The Secret Code of transformation 4: Frustration

You are looking at your email today and seeing that you have a communication from your boss letting you know how awful your performance is in every way imaginable. When you think about responding all kinds of frustration comes up because you have already tried to change your boss’ perspective on numerous occasions through rational explanations and reasonable agreements. You begin to do the same and then you realize that you are caught in the negative emotion of frustration.

Frustration happens when you have the correct goal in a situation, but you are utilizing the wrong process or pattern. It is just the opposite of disappointment where the goal or expectation is incorrect, but the pattern is the right one. The attachment with frustration is to using the same pattern of behavior because it was probably successful at sometime in a different context in the past. As soon you feel frustration the key is to change the pattern. It means getting unstuck from using the same thing that isn’t bearing much fruit. Often frustration makes you do something with more effort or more intensity, but the results still get you nowhere.

In the above scenario a heated exchange of who is right or who is wrong is not going to get you anywhere. It may make you feel self-righteous, but you won’t get to where you want to go. With disappointment your energy level goes down approaching something like sadness or depression, but with frustration it rises and approaches anger.

In the above scenario the boss throws in the bait and then you can get caught taking the bait and running with it ending up no closer to the goal. Frustration throws you into a negative mind state where you are seeing negatives in the past, like the person’s actions, and then responding with negative action of your own. It is a lose-lose situation. When someone is throwing negative comments your way, the solution is not to throw negative comments back at them, but to find your positive mind, then calm down and give yourself a lot of choice in the way to respond.

Where is the positive mind when people are throwing negatives at you right and left? The positive mind starts in your memory of positive experiences, embodying the memories by actually feeling them, and then allowing the positive memories to inform the positive possibilities in the future of what your actions might be. It is easy to be triggered in the modern world because people mostly believe that that they have the right to get heated and respond accordingly. It only seems to raise your energy for a short time before everything comes crashing down with you being no closer to the goals. When you let go of feeling like there is one solution to the fix you are in and then access your positive memories, you have an inner calm and renewed enthusiasm for new approaches.

If you understand that frustration means that you have to change the negative mind space you are in to a positive one, then it is easier to get to new ideas. For instance, you could choose to not respond respond to the boss or you could choose to ask him for a raise.

The Secret Code of Transformation 3: Grief/Sadness

It is 5:00 PM the day before the last day of school, the day of anticipation of the long awaited and deserved rest period. I have just arrived in my apartment and am about to lie down on the living room couch to get a few moments of rest. The phone rings. It is the executive secretary of the acting director. She tells me that I have a meeting with the executive committee of the school council the next morning. I fear the worst in the same manner that any of the 750 students do when an administrator suddenly pulls them out of the middle of a class. It must be bad, but I quickly dismiss it with a host of other reasons for the meeting. When I mention the call to my wife, she is certain that my fear will be realized. She calls our children in Vancouver to say that we may be spending the next year with them. Then we sit down at the dining room table to consult about our options should the worst actually occur. Should we stay or should we go? That is the question. We both agree to return to Vancouver if it happens. Our children are already leading cheers for the worst in hopes that our bad is their gain. We also talk about going to the Pantanal, a huge watershed in Brazil, known for wildlife observing if the worst does not happen. My wife begins to pack and make a list of all the household items we should sell. She is certain.


Before the meeting I tell her that in an hour I will tell her whether we are going to the Pantanal or to Vancouver. I walk into the meeting and realize that the end has come. They tell me that I am disconnected from the school. It is a strange word for me even in Portuguese to be disconnected as if I had ever been connected to them. They give a few reasons. I ask them why I haven’t been informed previously about the perceived weaknesses. They tell me that they have been giving me signs, but I haven’t been reading them correctly. At that point I know that any chance for justice is impossible. I arise from my chair, turn, and walk away.


From the meeting room to my wife’s classroom is about a 100-meter walk. I move slowly and deliberately trying not be noticed. The reality has not fully set in. I approach her door, gaze at her, and say, “We are going to Vancouver.” The words now spoken make the decision of the Council suddenly feel real. My voice cracks, tears begin to flow.

Grief is the emotion that you experience when something is over, where there is loss, and there is no chance of going back to the former reality. The difficult thing with grief, is that the attachment to the former state is very strong. In the above scenario I do not want to leave Brazil. I love the people I work with, the work I am doing, and the results that I am getting. That the results were in conflict with what the administration was striving after meant that my dismissal was inevitable. At the moment of separation the tendency of the mind is to not give in to what has clearly happened, to stay and fight your way back to the former state. The message of grief is that something is over. When you feel grief, it is the signal that something is over. The difficult part of grief is accepting when something is finished, when you have lost. It knocks the energy right out of you. If you are human, you cannot help but feeling depressed.

The worst part about being fired and having to leave a country is that the ones doing the firing do not seem to feel any of the pain or remorse. They are, in fact, joyful that you are gone. It is celebration day for them, while you just want to dig a hole and bury yourself in it.

The way out of grief is first the acceptance that something is over, that you are not going back to the old reality. The meaning of grief is that there is a new reality that is more positive than the old one, and it is impatiently waiting for you to move to it.

baby turtle poking his head up

After we leave Brazil and spend an amazing year with our family, the time comes when we need to start seriously searching for new work. We hop on a plane to Boston to an international schools hiring fare. I am still completely attached to the old reality because all that I can think about is getting another school administration job. We have 7 interviews with 7 strike outs. I am laying on the hotel bed shattered (as my Aussie friends would say).

We arrive back in Vancouver after scrapping Plan A and then go to Plan B. Plan A was administration like a school principal. Plan B is a p.e. teacher/athletic director. It is so difficult to give up on Plan A. I am wrestling with my depression, but as it turns out Plan B lands us a job in Malaysia as part time P.E. teacher, part time athletic director. I must be a gluten for punishment because after five years, when the program is getting to where I want it, I get fired again from the administration work. I am a Taurus by birth, a stubborn bull. Sometimes it takes me a long time to get something. It is obvious that even though I can do excellent program development as an administrator, it is not the new reality that the Divine world has in store for me. The new reality is to directly help people transform their lives.

Grief in the short term is acceptable. It is human. Grief in the long term is not. It is stubbornness. I seem to excel at it. I have this bad characteristic to hold onto lost causes for a long time. The goal of grief is first to let go of the attachment to the old reality. I am embarrassed to say that holding onto the goal of being an administrator again took years, not days or weeks to get over. I think I am over it.

After you detach yourself from the old reality, then the new reality will begin to show itself. It seems as if it is lying ready for you to let go. When the letting go happens, it awakens and begins to show itself. As it shows itself the appropriate response to the new reality is the virtue of enthusiasm.

The formula looks like this.

  1. You feel lots of grief/sadness because of a loss.
  2. The grief is the messenger that the old reality is over.
  3. You go through a process of accepting that the old reality is over.
  4. You understand that when you detach from the old reality, a new reality will appear that is specifically designed for you.
  5. As you detach for the old reality and depressed feelings, then you see the new reality appearing before you.
  6. When the new reality appears, you use enthusiasm to begin moving into it.
  7. New positive results begin to happen that benefit others and yourself.

I know you are probably tired of talking about Covid-19, but it should be clear that the world we lived in before the virus has ended. Grief is going to set in. A new world is coming where we are much more connected and we care about each other. Let’s embrace and not be stubborn Tauruses.

How to Deal with the Present Generalized Anxiety in the World

As I was making my way into dreamland last night lying in my bed, I started wondering why I felt so tense and stressed about getting to projects that normally would be so easy. My digestion was off. I was napping a couple of times a day. I took some magnesium powder to ease into the sleep mode. When the morning came, I noticed that it was already 7:15. Usually I am up an hour earlier.

I took about 40 minutes to begin processing sipping a morning brew before taking the dogs out for their morning routine. What came to me was that I was feeling completely anxious. Normally I do not worry a whole lot in comparison to most people I know. As I zoned in on it, it became clear that it was not my anxiety that I was feeling. It was the world’s.

The world is worried and I am feeling it. Worry is an emotion that, unlike fear, does not take you to a past experience where you may have experienced abuse or trauma. It takes you to the future and starts generating all kinds of negative possibilities that are not based in reality. Suddenly my future is filled with doom as if the whole world is going to come to an end. When the future becomes negative, no matter which emotion I am feeling, fear or anxiety, the internal response is tension followed by a lack of positive action, a kind of retreat into my protected self.

As I reflect upon my anxious and tension-filled state, the first work is to realize that the energy does not belong to me. It is not my energy. I feel it. It feels like it is mine, but it is more like I am allowing it to come in. My true energy is bouncing and flying. It is so living in the world of positive possibility despite the anxiety ridden world. I am now letting go of the worry of others and the tension. I am flying.

What I am beginning to understand during this period of necessary restriction from the social experiences we normally have is that the world of possibility is still hugely wide open. I have lost my skiing, my tennis, and socializing, but there is so much open. Covid-19 reminds me of my experiences in certain schools where I had very restrictive administrators who wouldn’t allow for the expansion of what I was doing. The doors of opportunities seemed closed. But were they?

I am being pushed to new possibilities. Come and join me.

The Secret Code to Transformation 2: Anxiety

One of the ways I help people get a handle on anxiety in my practice is to compare it to fear. Fear results in a negative vision of the future because of some experience that has occurred in the past. Fear is experienced based. It always requires developing a new capacity to improve one’s effectiveness in new contexts. Anxiety, you can say, is the opposite. Anxiety is the code that lets you know that you already have an ability from the past that you are not able to access and use confidently or with empowerment. What a person does in their minds when they have anxiety is to create (unconsciously usually) negative visions of the future and then act as if the visions are real. It causes a person to stay out in the constructed negative future and try to solve the thing that their ego mind has created. In doing so they forget their positive capacities which causes them to lose confidence. It is like having a temporary memory loss of what one can do. In a sense it is creating an image that haunts the person and then makes them try to solve the haunting.

turtle’s first steps to the sea

The goal with anxiety is to discover what caused the mind to create an illusion and then to remember the positive states so that a person can act confidently.

One of the most common form of anxiety is the feeling of being overwhelmed. The onset of feeling overwhelmed often occurs when there are too many tasks to accomplish and not enough time to do them. At the point when there is too much to do, the mind begins to make every task seem a lot bigger than it is. Instead of being able to do more work, a person feels paralyzed or barely able to do the slightest thing. The mind forgets how effectively you might have been able to achieve things before. Everything just seems so immense. The coded message with being overwhelmed is the need to reevaluate the quantity of work that one is trying to do, mainly to cut the amount of work to something more reasonable. This often happens to new parents. No one can tell just how much your life is going to be changed when an infant arrives. The baby takes a huge chunk of time that parents used to have for other things. By changing the amount that needs to be achieved, the anxiety can be replaced with confidence because each task can be perceived as relatively small in the mind rather than big.

The origin of anxiety is often the result of a child having been given an adult task when they were young. They were too immature to achieve what was given to them such as caring for other siblings. Instead of being confident in their playful and curious selves, which is the state of childhood, the future is heavy with too much responsibility that they are incapable of achieving. As an adult the confidence to go for doing a project will be met with inner resistance of feeling that every step is going to be heavy and difficult. The heaviness is an illusion that causes the person to be stuck. What is needed, when facing a new project, is the confidence to be playful and curious.

In the dream world anxiety shows up often as ghosts or haunted situations. Your mind doesn’t know how to act with confidence so you get a ghost in a dream that you believe to be real.

Once you know that anxiety is like temporary dementia, then a person can take the states to remember their positive capacities so that they can act. The negative pictures of the future that are often cloudy or obscure can be replaced with great memory pictures. The advantage of current technology is that thousands of past photos are available on one’s laptop. By browsing through them or making a list of past achievements the memory can be stimulated and become the key player again.

With overwhelm a person can start with a small task like washing the dishes or taking a short run.

The other big worry that people have is what others will think of them. This is the place where the imagination goes completely bonkers. The worry image is one of others not approving of whatever it is you are going to do like preparing a dinner or planning an event or what you are wearing. The origin of this type of worry comes from living in a culture where every action is compared against the highest level. For instance, if a person doesn’t look like the magazine cover at the grocery store (which even the people in the photos don’t like in real life), then the mind gets active creating all kinds of negative reactions from others that are not real. As soon as that happens then a lot of frantic behavior occurs to raise the level of whatever you are doing to get up to the higher level.

By dropping the image that the mind has (which is culturally based), one can begin to remember their competence and live in the joy of it. Then the activity like inviting guests becomes a happy one.

With anxiety the key is to remember what you can already do, do it, and then gradually build new capacities.

This post is from Rachel’s blog.

A Dreamwork Blog

Day 2: How the Virtue Will Change Your Entire Life

O SON OF BEING! With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light. Be thou content with it and seek naught else, for My work is perfect and My command is binding. Question it not, nor have a doubt thereof. Baha’u’llah

The advantage of choosing a process or virtue for your focus of change this year is that virtues and processes are automatically generalized to all parts of your life, not just the one that may be giving you the most problem. When you learn how to have endurance, for instance, you can stay positive for long periods of time with any project. However, it is my experience that the mind often needs some help in the process of generalization.

The…

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Stranded on a Ski Chair Doing Our Work

It is 1C. The three of us, Diego (grandson), Erika(daughter) and myself are suspended above the snow sitting on the Raven’s Ridge chair. Instead of moving forward, as you would expect, the chair comes to a halt. Under normal circumstances it usually restarts after a short wait. Now 5 minutes go by and still we haven’t moved. Diego begins to shake the chair to get out some of his stored up impatience, while my mind begins to wonder about how I am going to descend if it doesn’t start again. Erika suggests that we continue the inner work we started the previous evening in our Transformation Training group (a group of 7 people who gather each Monday evening to learn and then do inner transformation work).

She wants to work on the blocks she has of doing more painting. Meanwhile, my mind keeps drifting in and out of the thought that I am going to drop out of the sky and die. Interestingly enough, it turns out that the virtue Erika needs in order to do her work closely resembles that of being uplifted. She needs the up virtues like enthusiasm and vibrancy and the ability to use color to uplift others.
About the time we start getting somewhere on the work, the chair begins to move. As we get off the lift, the chair operator instructs us to go to Guest Services at lunch where later Erika will get free lunches vouchers for the 3 of us worth about $60.

Instead of going on more runs connected with the Raven’s chair, we head over to some others. It is not too long before we are on the Sky chair. The metaphor is compelling. Erika needs upliftment and I am scared of falling out of the sky. We continue the work. This time we do it simultaneously because sitting on that chair suspended without moving brought up issues. We are both faced with the ego’s past, the fear of death. While hers surrounds painting, mine centers on writing. She is trying to get upward, but the virtues I am going for on are on the earth. I hear gentleness and softness calling to me.

I am reminded of being a young man of 18-19 at the Air Force Academy being trained in the numerous ways the Vietnamese have of killing me. It teaches my ego(not my true self) that I need to be tough if I am going to survive a war, but it is a strategy that is built on the fear of dying. I need a more advanced one for assisting others to transform their lives. So I begin to replace toughness to prevent death with softness and gentleness which is the quality most associated with helping another person to make changes. Meanwhile Erika’s fear of death is a dark wall which she changes into more vibrant colors and then begins to feel much lighter.

The change shows up immediately, which is always its nature. Erika starts flying by me on her skis as if the snow does not exist, while the virtue of softness allows me to relax and be gentle on the turns. We are transformed, doing the thing we love, and have been given a free lunch. How sweet is that .

Balancing Toughness with Compassion to Become Stronger

Our tough Dogs

I am writing this short post to share a few thoughts about the relationship between inner strength/toughness and compassion. I have this great client who came to me some time back mainly because he was having relational difficulties. He was an unembarrassed supporter of people on the far right and had positive thoughts toward people like Hitler. Most of my clients come from the other side of the spectrum so it tested my kills of being non-judgemental to not just kick him out and tell him I couldn’t help him. The great thing that I learned when I did my NLP training some years ago was to be curious and to put any judgment to the side when helping a person through what they are facing. It turns out that he had a really tough time growing up in his family and was bullied in school. He found that the key to his survival was to be really tough and then work really hard. It made him very successful in many aspects of his life except the long term relational aspect. I could see right away that the virtue he needed was compassion, but when he tried to go to that kind of energy, he just felt disgusted. His thinking was that compassion equals weakness and it gets you nowhere, that people who are compassionate are whiners.
Growing up in America in the 50s and being a white male in household that believed only in toughness and discipline, there is a large part of me that goes along with him. But, then on the other hand, I have also done years of working with people to deal with the worst kinds of abuse imaginable, so I have first hand experience in the value of being non-judgmental and compassionate.
What my practice has taught me is that having both energies working together harmoniously is a big key to solving the kinds of issues that the world is facing. What is so interesting is that while you would expect religious groups such as Christians and Muslims to side on the virtue of compassion because of the teachings of Jesus and Muhammad, large numbers of those religions (not all) have emphasized toughness as the main virtue. They do not seem to be able to do both.
Why, for instance, do the Evangelicals tend to side with politics that do not support universal health care? You would think that a religion whose central teaching is love and compassion would make that their first priority, but the message you get from them is one of being tough.
So if a woman has had to fight her way through a masculine dominated system and she gets sexually abused along the way, why does the tough side get so upset when she talks openly about her experience. She had to be a lot tougher than any man, but those who believe only in toughness are disgusted and call the women weak for bringing it out. It is so interesting. Why did it take the Catholic Church so long to even begin to admit that it had a problem with blatant sexual abuse when they knew what was going on for years? Why did the leaders of the Church have no compassion? Why did they tell the people to just be quiet and take it? Why did they make them just tough it out? Where was the compassion of Jesus?
What I think, and I may be wrong, is that when a person is faced with seeing abuse, it calls up their own feelings of having been severely mistreated or abandoned inside. For an instant they feel the feeling, but because it is so hurtful and automatically weakening, then they run from it by trying to be tough. For the longest time in sport we made people tough out there injuries to the point of humiliating them if they quit in the middle of a match. When I first started playing tackle football in the U.S., I had severe back pain, but I kept playing for a long time because I thought I was just supposed to tough it out. Finally my coach saw that I could barely move, and then I went to the doctor.
What most people do not realize is that compassion is the virtue that helps you look at the abuse/pain, see where it is affecting your life, and then begin to take steps internally and externally to make you a stronger and better individual. Without having compassion, the amount of inner strength that one can use is limited.
Balancing compassion and toughness is what is needed, and the key to compassion with yourself is the ability to realize that in order to move forward in your life, you can greatly benefit and use the negative and hurtful experiences that have happened to you. It is not about examining what happened and giving into feeling sorry for yourself and then being depressed. It is examining the hurt and pain and then going to a much higher level of functioning than you could ever examine.

The Secret Code to Transformation 1: Fear

Fear is huge topic. There are probably as many types of fear as there are stars in the sky. A great deal has been written about fear already by numerous authors, but most people do not see the negative emotions, in this case fear, as code or positive message to spur on transformation. Much of our handling of fear stems from the same notions of modern medicine. It is most often viewed as a negative force to be eliminated. It is sort of like having a bad leader. An immense amount of energy goes into ousting the leader only to find that when the person is gone from the position, we are still the same problem-filled people as before. It gives some relief from a great deal of negative discomfort from the leader’s actions, but the end result is still the same level of incompetence.

When fear is conceptualized of as a transformation code, it can take on a more positive, attractive presence. It is no longer the enemy, but a close friend. When the code is understood, fear is even as your closest intimate. So what is the code? Fear is the negative emotion felt inside that gives the message that a new capacity needs to be developed. When a fear is felt, it means that something new needs to be actualized. It is different than anxiety, even though the two concepts are often used interchangeably. Anxiety, which will be dealt with in the next post, is message for having confidence to implement what capacities already exist. Fear is the harbinger of a new potentiality, heretofore, unseen or as yet not experienced.

When a teenager first gets behind a wheel in the process of learning how to drive a car, fear is often present. The major one is the fear losing control and crashing. The fear is the code that lets the teenager know that the capacity to control a car out in public on busy roads is not yet developed. For the most part this type of fear goes away with a lot of practice over a considerable time period in a lot of different types of situations because the capacity to have control and manage the car has been actualized. When a capacity is full developed and generalized, the fear, that was once so large an ominous, pretty much leaves on its own.

What happens to a soldier who has been off to war, has seen and participated in a lot of difficult fire fights, having to have remained at high alert for long periods of time, and then returns home to a different environment where the possibility of death is not so near at hand. How is that the nightmares of war keep being replayed in the mind? Why is the fear still present despite there being no presence of a threat? In war one learns how to be hyper-aware at all times scanning for the possibility of the enemy and being ready to respond. The mind learns how to be aware that an enemy could pop out at any moment in any situation. The fear is that someone could suddenly appear and make a lethal blow.

What the mind sees, when it looks out at the future, are possible enemies, that are ready to do fatal damage. When the soldier comes home and remains in the same kind of fear, it is because the mind still functions as if the enemy could appear at any time. The mind does not have a higher or better way of being. It is stuck in what it learned in fear in war without having developed a better capacity. The capacity that is lacking is the ability to see the future full of positive possibilities and to see oneself as friendly with the whole world in the process of actualizing them. It basically visualizes negative ends and enemies. To remove the fear so that it is no longer a crippling the force, the new potentiality has to replace the old one that was used for coping. In war seeing people as the enemy and being on full alert is a positive thing. In peacetime it is disability.

The fear is the code. What is true about fear is that when it is present, it always has an origin in the past that triggers the mind to react in a fearful manner. For the soldier the initiating event is war. For the teenager it is a time in life when he/she would have completely lost control of a situation. When you decipher the code, you can figure out the solution and move toward the actualization process.

Fear first always has a negative object out in the future, an enemy. It strengthens its intensity by doing perceptual tricks in the mind so that the it will be attended to. Most often it makes the negative object larger than life so that it looks much more menacing. It can also be darkened or distorted, whatever it takes for the fear to be felt. Imagine having to live your life with big pictures where everyone is your enemy and every picture has you ending up dead. It is not fun. All the fear wants you to do is to flee from everything in life.

The solution to fear is found in the code. When the pattern is known, then the solution is its positive opposite. In the case of the soldier at war, the first step is to change seeing the future and past as completely negative and lethal to visualizing positive possibilities of the future until they become completely compelling. The second step is to see people yourself as a friend to the whole world rather then seeing people as enemies. When you can easily form positive relationships and see a compellingly positive future, then the fear will give way to the higher capacities.

Human beings are wired in such a way that when a higher capacity is available and it is appropriate, it will be utilized over the lower one. That the soldier returning from war has not yet developed the higher capacity is the issue. It is not that the person has to completely let go of the old pattern. When the new one is in place and it is successful, why would the old one need to be used.

It is not the purpose of this post to teach techniques that facilitate the change process in fear related behavior, but more to explain the code and how it can operate. It is not necessarily a quick transformation to expect a person who has been trained to kill others to suddenly become friendly with the whole world. It is needed if the fear is going to go away, but it may take some time.

Another example may help to clarify. A person who has been in a relationship where they have been constantly belittled and criticized by the other will most likely fear being criticized in the next relationship. It could cause the person to avoid relationships altogether. The code goes like this. When the person images a new relationship or furthering a current one, what will be heard in the mind are puts downs and criticisms because the mind is remembering all of the criticisms in the past with negative tones and volume.

To get to the new capacity the person has to see that they can be friendly with everyone and encourage others so that they are uplifted. They have to go from being belittled to uplifting others. When the new capacity is fully in place then the fear will no go away.

Once again it is important to understand that it takes some skill to work with fear, but the end of the fear is the reward.

Why We Need to Stay in Our Discomfort

I am walking down Commercial Drive in East Van (Vancouver) on another cool and rainy day. Every step I take tells me to get out of my discomfort and into temporary relief. I could get some nice pastry, maybe some pizza, or a double macchiato latte topped with whipped cream. Don’t get me wrong here. I love my comfort foods. Who doesn’t? Everything in moderation.

So why stay in the discomfort? What is so great about the negative irritations inside? Why can’t I just use sugar to rid myself of it? Discomfort is the message that we all get inside each day that lets us know that we have a place in our lives where growth is needed. It is like code to tell us that we aren’t finished with our growth. New growth is calling us. When we stay with the discomfort, it can begin to inform us. I first started doing this work about 30 years ago. Most of the world thought that dealing with the negative experiences internally was just a waste of time. The most common method of trying to stimulate growth was to just tell someone else repeatedly what they needed to change and to just get over whatever they were feeling. It was paired with an even worse method of telling you how bad you were and somehow expecting that because you know all of this that you were suddenly going to change. Who hasn’t had a teacher, a parent, or a boss that has used these methods?

Are we further along today than 30 years? It is hard to say. The old methods prevail. The newer ones are difficult to take hold. A simple way to begin to take steps that will lead to new growth is to start with the belief that your inner being always desires change in a positive direction. There are no days off where it is not going to want to have a new capacity, a new virtue, a new positive energy. Knowing that this is true can accelerate everything and make growth constant. It may want calmness, tranquility, firmness, courage, confidence, intimacy, love, determination or any one of an infinite number of other capacities. And it is always insistent. When you have a certain level of one capacity like patience, then suddenly a new one like creativity shows us asking to be developed. There is no such a thing for human beings to say what a lot of people say to get out of change work like I am not the type of person who takes chances or I am introvert, meaning that they are not going to have to be friendly or take risks in life. Everyone has to learn how to be friendly and every extroverted person needs to learn how to meditate and go inward.

In my experience worldwide the most discomfort people have is connected with developing closeness. There are a lot of cultures where there is warmth or friendliness, but even in those cultures true intimacy is uncommon. The largest portion of our negative feelings is centered around our inability to get close to others. When you wake up in the morning and feel the negative feelings inside of you, most of the time it is going to be about your relationships with other human beings. It is because we are all underdeveloped in this area. Think about the range of emotions you can wake up with as you think about relating others. You can feel anger, hurt, guilt, embarrassment, fear, anxiety, envy, jealousy, shame, frustration, disappointment or sadness. It is all there.

What to do? First feel it. Next stay with it because it is leading you somewhere to a more intimate space with others. Each emotion is like a code to tell you where you need to go. In the next 12 posts I am going to write about the code of each negative emotion. The starting point will be fear.

The Morning Call to Changework

It is raining a Vancouver rain this morning as Erika and I are walking our young puppies along our usual path. We are doing what we usually do (besides cleaning up after the dogs). We are sharing our dreams from the previous evening’s sleep and working through some daily issues. Vancouver rain reminds me of what the work with transformation is like. It is steady, not too forceful, and cool. As dramatic as a hurricane or tornado may be the change work that comes from dreams and daily life is usually like Vancouver rain, constant without a lot of drama. We can stay in the comfort of our soft couches ignoring the gifts that lie in the cool and wet morning air, but choosing to go out into our discomfort is where the progress is. Today’s first question is not unlike the one’s I have heard in many dream meetings. When I lie in bed processing, I suddenly forget parts of the dream. Why does this happen? How do we go into memory loss? Memory loss tends to happen the moment we dissociate from the feelings in an experience. Dissociation tends to occur when the feelings we are having our uncomfortable. To be able to process so that you can get to the positive change the choice is about the rain. Am I going to go out in the rain or stay on the couch? Choosing the rain is choosing change. It is feeling the discomfort of today’s fear or worry or other feeling and then making the effort to transform it to something more positive. Some days the sun shines, but not today. Today it is raining inwardly and outwardly. What higher state is my inner rain calling to me?