Getting rid of negative emotion
[Excerpt from SANE]
A thirteen-year-old girl I was working with said ‘I get really sad sometimes. I worry that I might cry in my class. Can you take away the sadness?’
Take away the sadness.
Take away the fear and the worry.
Make me always happy.
That’s what she wants.
And pretty much all of us say the same.
Take away the anger.
Take away the low state.
Take away the feelings of overwhelm.
Take away the grief.
Take away the fear.
Take away the anxiety.
Take away the frustration.
The freedom of no chooser
(Excerpt from FREE, getting real with life unlimited)
What a confusing title to this chapter. How can there be freedom in no choice?
Isn’t freedom only ever about being able to choose to do or have or say or write anything or go anywhere we want?
It looks like our life is made up of choices.
It looks like the more choices available to us, the more free we are.
The more able we are to go after exactly what we want—the job, the salary, the car, the holiday, the lifestyle, the partner—the more…
How do we get what we want?
[Excerpt from 'It's not you... and it's not me']
In the taxi once on the way to a party I asked my fiancé at the time, ‘Is this outfit a bit too much do you think?’
It was a glitter dress. We were going to a pub.
‘Probably’ he said.
I didn’t talk to him for the rest of the night.
Yes. I know.
In the taxi I sure as hell didn’t want his actual opinion. I didn’t want what I had actually asked for.
The honest request would have been, ‘I’m feeling insecure about this outfit. Please say somet…
Understanding choices and behaviour
[Excerpt from the book SANE]
Self-control. Will power. Determination. Commitment. Dedication. Restraint. Mind over matter.
All ways of describing the power that this apparent self of ours has or should have over what this body does or does not do.
It looks like this control is not just possible, but necessary for every aspect of life.
To succeed, we have to persevere.
To be happy, we have to banish negative feelings.
To be in good shape, we have to resist the bad food and do the exercise…
What is really needed?
[Excerpt from 'It's not you... and it's not me']
In the midst of our suffering, we have a skewed view of what is really needed. And the greater the suffering, the more skewed the need and the more desperate we are to get it.
It looked like I needed the man to make me feel valid and worthy. The only way he could do that would have been by convincing me how much he cared about me, how special I was…
Because then I would feel OK. My self-esteem would be intact. My view of the weekend I had ju…
[Excerpt from SANE, Getting real with reality]
In insanity, pleasure is a release from the prison cell. It is temporary relief.
The greyhound is allowed to catch the rabbit before the chase is back on again.
The hamster wheel stops momentarily.
But it is a temporary fix and it is a fix that ultimately can make the prison harder to bear. Because we have experienced the relief of the end of the search.
The yoga class, the pills, the alcohol, the shopping hit, the love affair. All brilliant. T…
Make the suffering go away
[Excerpt from WELL, getting real with physical and mental health]
At the moment of writing this chapter, the on-line course ‘WELL: getting real with mental and physical health’ is underway. I have had emails this morning from four different people on the course all saying essentially the same thing:
‘Make the suffering stop. It is overwhelming. Take away the anguish. Make me feel better. I’ve tried everything. This is my last hope.’
Maybe we all know that desperation. It might not be sufferin…
The lottery started in the UK in 1994 and my sister suggested that our family should have a syndicate. Every Saturday we sat in the living room seeing if our numbers would come up. My 93 year old grandmother would sit there, not saying a word until all the numbers had been chosen. Then, when, once again, it was clear we hadn’t won anything she would let out a sigh of relief and thank God for sparing us…
Her relief often comes to mind when people describe their dream life. The major successes th…
Goals and Results
[Excerpt from EASE, getting real with work]
Let’s have a chat about goals and desires and what we want to achieve.
Wouldn’t it be great if, every single time we set a goal, we achieved it?
Want to earn more? Done.
Want to get more clients? Done.
Want that next promotion? Done.
Want to achieve that target? Done.
Want a new job? Done.
Sometimes we get what we want and sometimes we don’t.
What’s going on there? What makes the difference?
Why does desire not translate every time into auto…
Game 1 and Game 2
[Excerpt from GAME, getting real with the play of life]
Game 1: Drama and Tension
This is the ‘getting your money’s worth’ from The Game. Because, after all, who wants to play a boring game where nothing happens?
The character is given the aims which create maximum drama:
“Go out there and find yourself! Be someone! And then you will have everything you want. Security, happiness, love, success, freedom! It is all there for you to find. Off you go!”
This is the ultimate search of all time.…