You will never convince everyone to support you.
Never. So ultimately, you have to decide how many allies you need along the path. I say that you really only NEED one–yourself. To love yourself, connect with your own heart and soul, and prepare to walk the Thousand Mile Road, by yourself if necessary.
What is 100% certain is that the companions who surround you at one level of your life cannot all accompany you to the next level. You will lose some of them, and they will often pull the “crabs in a basket” routine and try to pull you down. If you don’t develop the ability to keep moving, you will be trapped on your previous level.
But loving yourself, visualizing and “emotionalizing” your goals, and remembering past successes gives you the ability to keep going, keep going. Just one more step. Just do, today, what can be done TODAY. Don’t feel guilt about yesterday. Don’t fear tomorrow. What must be done TODAY to have a glorious, wonderful experience of life?
What do you need to accomplish? Who do you need to contact? Have you meditated? Read? Worked? Exercised your body? Connected with your heart?
Make TODAY a perfect day, such that if you could string a hundred of them in a row, you would be a different person. A THOUSAND of them in a row, and you would live the life of your dreams.
What would it take? For me, I have to write a thousand words of fiction (no, blogging doesn’t count!). I have to practice yoga, joint mobility, and martial arts. Every day. Have to connect with my own heart, my “inner child” and “inner elder”. Review my “Secret Formula”: GOALS X FAITH X ACTION X GRATITUDE = RESULTS and be sure that every link is in place:
What are my goals today?
Do I have 100% faith I can do it?
What actions can I take today that would, IF I could continue them for a thousand days, take me to my dreams?
For what am I grateful, today, right now?
And I chant these things, and visualize/mentalize these things, WHILE I am moving. Walking, Tai Chi, joint recovery. Why? Because EVERYTHING you want in life is a combination of movement, thought, and emotion. Everything. If you are splintered in three different directions, is is like driving a stagecoach with your horses going east, west, and north. Good luck getting to Yuma!
But if for just 10-20 minutes a day you can focus your attention, work to get everything moving in the same direction and do this WITH POWERFUL EMOTION you will drill down DEEP into your unconscious. If you cannot control your time, body, mind, and emotions for a few minutes with full attention, what the @#$$ do you think will happen when you try to operate in the “real” world? Your results in life are NOT dependent upon what you can do consciously, but rather what you do and who you are on an UNCONSCIOUS level. If you fail to program this, you will never have your dreams.
So…you can treat this as a “programming”, or as a “diagnostic” (can I do this? How long can I hold this energy? Five minutes? Ten? How many times a week can I rely on myself to do it? What excuses do I use to rob myself of ten minutes of joy?)
You only NEED you. Everything else is what you “want.” But the beautiful thing is that the less you “need” people, the more attractive you become. It is when you aren’t looking for friends that you find them. When you are happy being alone that you connect with your soulmate. When you concentrate on service that people begin to give back. When you concentrate on the process of writing, reading, and submitting that suddenly you start publishing.
When you concentrate on eating and moving in synch with what your ancestors had to do to earn their food, that suddenly your body begins to look and feel different, in alignment with your values, expressing your individual personality and humanity…and broadcasting to the world: THIS is who I am! And if you really love and accept yourself, you’ll have no trouble being attracted to someone who is attracted to you.
Life isn’t “complicated” so much as deeply complex. You must know yourself, love yourself, live your own life one day, one breath, one moment at a time.
The rest takes care of itself.
One of my students posted the following:
“Several years ago Steven Barnes told me that one important tool a writer has when creating characters is realizing that on some level everyone feels frightened and alone.
Tonight is definitely a night where I am feeling that. A combination of not feeling good, a minor setback at work, and my (spouse) being on the road have left me feeling this.
But at the same time I have the comfort of what Steve taught me. I know this is part of the human condition, and that even though I feel this way, I will get past it.
I have a loving wife. I have my family I was born into who are there for me. I have the family I have forged with those close to me. I have friends who care and I have pets who despite what some cynics say show me love.
So even though I am feeling frightened and alone I know I will emerge from this and life will go on.”
Nice. Let’s unpack this a bit.
- Every human being feels alone and afraid. A corollary: all negative emotions are some version of fear. While not absolutely true, viewed through this lens, human behavior becomes far more comprehensible. And our own negative behaviors become easier to deal with. You observe a negative behavior (anger, anxiety, frustration, jealousy, etc) and simply ask: “what are they/am I afraid of?” Burrowing deep, you will likely find an answer far deeper and more useful than skating across the surface and paying attention to what people SAY about their or other emotions.
2) Fear is your body preparing you for action. Fight or flight. And what your unconscious searches for is an answer to the question: “which will give me the best chance for survival? Which will bring the most pleasure and the least pain?” People who know what they want, see how to get it, and believe they can and should do it, and that the efforts will bring pleasure act automatically. Those frozen in place either have no idea what they want, see no way to achieve it, believe the efforts will cause more pain than pleasure. That’s how we’re wired, and to this day, I’ve never encountered an exception to the rule.
3) When we grasp how natural these emotions are, it is possible to forgive ourselves for being human, and recognize fear as a “dark night of the soul” moment along the “road of trials”, just part of the cycle. Only if you find yourself “stuck” there chronically, or in an acute state causing actual misery or paralysis is this of real concern.
4) The sense of loneliness is also quite natural. We are social creatures. It is not some unusual weakness to have this sensation.
5) A threat at work can be a sickening sensation. Work is hunting and gathering. It is survival in the modern world, and it is a rare person whose sense of self is not bound up there to some degree.
What are the ways “out” suggested by this post?
- Faith. Realizing you are just “there again.” You’ve been afraid and alone before. This too shall pass.
- Connectedness. To family, friends and even pets! Other living things heal our hearts. Touch, get hugs, exchange greetings, remember good times, imagine gatherings to come.
- Gratitude. Gratitude is an antidote for fear. Focusing on what you have, as opposed to what you do NOT have, is the secret. Millionaires can be miserable in the lap of luxury, simply by focusing on what is wrong in their lives. And martyrs have joyously survived incarceration and torture or accepted death by focusing on their commitments and spiritual faith. EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES DO NOT CREATE INTERNAL STATES. We teach this to our children. For some bizarre reason, we forget it as adults.
What other ways are there to deal with fear, anxiety, loneliness? What have you used in your own life? And if you are trapped in these emotions?
- You haven’t connected with your own emotions. You have given your power away. Use a technique such as The Ancient Child to heal this.
- You don’t know what you want, or have not created a “winnable definition” of what must be done. If you say “I want Sally” that may be impossible. Sally may be dead, or happily in love with someone else. You COULD say: “I want a relationship that is better than the one I had with Sally.” But even better is to say: “I want to be as happy as I was with Sally.” THAT is under your control. The others are not.
- Remember that you do not want relationships, money, success, or whatever. You want the EMOTIONS you believe you will acquire by attaining them. And the emotions are under YOUR control. If you want these things, FIRST generate the emotions. Then, when it “doesn’t matter” what others think about you, you will find that you are at your most attractive, and begin to generate “luck.” It is bizarre, and some will consider it unfair. Get over yourself. The universe isn’t going out of its way to hurt you any more than God sets up sparrows to be eaten by hawks. It’s just life. And if you are going to be happy, you have to step out of the “poor me” child self and Man/Woman Up.
- An adult must learn to “punch his own buttons”–how to generate emotions on command.
One of the first things I teach coaching clients is to generate positive emotions on demand. It has never taken more than three hours to do this, despite any depth of negative state. In one case, a person who had no positive memories, was surrounded by pain and grief, finally retrieved a single memory of watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. That was the beginning.
In another case, an older person who was so depressed that they wouldn’t perform their physical therapy exercises to regain mobility finally remembered riding a horse through the mists of their childhood mountains. That was a wonderful foundation.
Emotion is created by mental focus, language, and physical action. Learn how you must move, talk, and think to create a given emotion or state, and you have stepped into more “awakened adulthood” and leave your illusion of helplessness.
NO ONE IS COMING TO RESCUE YOU. YOU WILL HAVE TO DO IT YOURSELF.
Others can help you roll the ball once YOU have gotten it going.
- focus on good that you have experienced in the past, or are experiencing now. If you think there is “nothing”, YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF. Go deeper.
- Focus on what you want to achieve. Study others who have achieved it, and see how they dealt with their own “dark nights.”
- Take action. When you are in motion, you experience the emotions accompanying the actions.
- “Stack” your responses. Learn what words, actions, focuses create positive emotions. Practice triggering them five times a day during your “Five Minute Miracle” sessions.
- Make connection. Reach out to your friends and extended family.
- Let go of guilt. Guilt is a tool of the ego. The “Ancient Child” program is a daily ritual which, if you actually use it, WILL change you. This is incredibly threatening to the ego. So…what will it do? It will sabotage your regular practice (my, you’ll get busy! Too busy to take fifteen minutes in the morning, I promise you…even if you watch three hours of television at night. We’re funny that way) and then use your missed session as “proof” you have failed, and are unworthy, or it doesn’t work, or… this is exactly that same as having a map, ignoring its advice, and then blaming the map when you get lost. But we all do it, at one time or another.
- Have faith. You and others have “been here before.” It is just a part of the cycle of life. The way through is seeing the path, accepting your fear, finding companions and mentors, taking responsibility, having faith, taking constant and massive action
We’re all in this alone, together.
World Tai Chi day is coming Saturday. I wanted to touch on an aspect of my relationship with it. Some thirty years ago, I first taught a Tai Chi workshop at a science fiction convention. I was stumped: if it takes a year to learn the form, and you had to learn the form before you could really learn the “feeling” contained in the form, and it is the feeling, the capacity to relax and feel “flow” under stress, that creates the core value IMHO.
Because stress doesn’t hurt you. It is STRAIN that hurts you, and strain is a maladaption to stress. If your life stress doesn’t negatively affect your posture, breathing and muscle tension, it simply doesn’t become strain, and what happens is that that life stress: physical, mental, or emotional, will trigger an ADAPTIVE RESPONSE, and you get STRONGER. That’s how we grow. Stress plus nutrition (physical, emotional, or mental) plus rest equals Growth.
(Bonus question: who can spot the relationship between this and the “Secret Formula”: Goals X Faith X Constant Action X Gratitude = Results. If you can see it, you’ve just learned something critical)
Anyway, what I decided was that I could NOT teach tai chi the traditional way and give my friends and family something of value in just one or two hours. Not possible.
So I “cheated” and brought in body-mind concepts from Yoga, other martial arts, Pancultural Shamanism, Eriksonian Hypnosis, NLP and the other disciplines that had been proven to be of genuine power and purpose. Other material came from Sri Chinmoy, Harley “Swiftdeer” Reagan, Sufism, and Circular Strength Training.
Anywhere and everywhere.
One of the concepts I used was what is called a “Perfect Template.” A PT is a physical movement pattern which, if done correctly and consistently, will change you on multiple levels. “If I could do THAT, I would be THIS.” There are many forms of sacred and profound motion that contain within them the secrets of being a healthy, dynamic human being. You simply cannot practice them daily without changing. If your ego is strong enough, and clings to your “old patterns” enough, what will happen is that you will NOT BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN THE PRACTICE. If you do it, you change. Period.
Tai Chi can be one of those, especially.
One reason is that fear is the greatest barrier to growth. Oh, it might come under the label “stress”, “anxiety”, “anger”, or whatever, but if, for the sake of communication, you consider the underlying emotion to be fear, it can be addressed directly and powerfully.
Because if you “act” brave long enough, you actually become able to DO the things “brave” people do–in other words, the fear is there, but you can perform anyway. And when you actually take actions long enough, if you are also practicing one of these “Perfect Template” disciplines you will begin to internalize things that cannot be put into words…and you wake up one day, realizing you are a different person.
Here is a way you can “hack” your nervous system to get his effect even if you don’t have a “Perfect Template” practice:
The next time you feel “up”, optimistic, filled with energy and joy: notice how you are breathing, your expression and posture, the language you’re using, and where your attention is focused. REMEMBER THIS. Then, the next time you are feeling “down” hit “replay” and do the exact same things–and you’ll trigger the same emotions in the exact way that, were you to imitate the language, body movement and focus of feeling “down” you would “crash” the best mood of your life. It goes both ways!
- “Is it really that simple? And is it as easy as you make it sound?” I was asked this just minutes ago.
- And the answer: I never said it was easy. SIMPLE, yes.
- Your ego thinks it is you. And will fight to the death to defend its ground. And if you have a negative ego-identity that means it will literally destroy your external life to maintain your self-image. As the man said: “your ego is not your amigo.”
- That means that we need to use the “Five Minute Miracle.” EVERYONE HAS FIVE MINUTES A DAY. IF YOU THINK YOU DON’T, YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF. Period.
- The “Five Minute Miracle” uses a fantastic “cheat”–if you need to learn something, you will learn it better practicing multiple times during the day. Practicing piano for 12 minutes, five times a day, is better than practicing it for an hour in a lump.
- And sixty seconds of breathing, posture, and focused thought five times a day, once every three hours, can change your life in a single month.
- Catch yourself in a positive mood, and learn to intensify it. Catch yourself sliding into a negative mood, and interrupt the negative pattern. The breathing is probably the single most important thing to change. Go to a tai chi teacher, yoga teacher, or opera coach and learn deep, diaphragmatic breathing. Do it for sixty seconds, five times a day (every three hours), along with the postures and mental focus and internal dialog you use when ‘up’ and the effect is startling.
Stand up or sit up straight. Smile. Breathe deeply and slowly (work with a teacher! If you have a hard time staying in a positive mood I PROMISE you are breathing non-optimally!). Walk with confidence. Move like a healthy animal on the prowl. Say something positive, aloud, with confidence.
Five times a day, once every three hours.
That’s all it takes to get started. I’ve had hundreds of fans over the years tell me that a single hour of working with me at a con, teaching them how to breathe and move and relax properly changed their lives. Now, I have a goal of changing one MILLION lives. That’s my goal. That’s what I want to do with the rest of my life, and have developed a way of doing this far more deeply and profoundly in a single day. I’m open to brain-storming about how and where to introduce this one-day workshop across the country, and thoughts would be welcome.
But first–help yourself. Try it, and see if I’m not telling the truth. Then…get in touch with me. Let’s change some lives together, shall we?
theancientchild dot com
A student has found himself in the “Dark Night of the Soul” and is currently using the Ancient Child to work his way out. The following note deals with his anguish at the loss of a precious, long-term relationship which triggered the emotional crash.
“I wasted” nine years – this woman was great – none of the others were even remotely that “good”. And she really loved me… Nine years man.. And I blew it –
So hard to forgive myself for all those wasted years… And It cant’ be faked…
Its time to FORGIVE.. I know it. how?
If you have accepted the challenge of mastering your life, have set goals in all four major areas, you will hit the “wall” in one or all of them at different times. If you have no “barriers” on one level, all that means is that you will rocket ahead to a level where you DO have barriers. Resistance is futile. You WILL experience the “downs” in life. Jesus Christ is as evolved a human image as exists in Western Culture, and he experienced despair multiple times. What chance do YOU have of avoiding this? About…zero.
But let’s unpack this rumination as we look into “confront evil–defeated”
Let’s approach this from the perspective that emotions are created by what we focus on, the internal dialogue and language we use, and the way we use our bodies.
- “I wasted nine years.” Only if you didn’t learn. Learn the lesson and apply them to your life, and it is merely experience.
- “I don’t know how to forgive myself.” If your most beloved child gave it everything he had, and failed, and came to you crying and begging forgiveness, how hard would it be to “forgive” him? Pretty damned easy, I’d bet. You would hold and cuddle and comfort him, tell him he was precious and loved, and let him sleep in your arms, gathering strength to get back out there and try again. The “elder” perspective is that falling down is simply part of the process…IF YOU LEARN.
So…the road to power here is to learn the lesson. The way to learn the lesson is to remove the barriers of fear that stop us from seeing clearly (if we look closely, we fear, we will see our wretchedness. What if we knew that if we looked closely enough, we would discover we were wonderful, blessed, divine, unutterably worthy of love, precious beyond belief–no more than an ant but no less than a star?)
And the way to that is simply love. Ever watched a baby learn to walk? They try and fall down and look at you to know whether it was all right. A good parent applauds the effort, praises the baby, and laughs. The baby laughs, because the “meaning” of falling down is a positive thing.
What do we do as adults? The opposite, too often. If we “fall down” we vomit out every negative poisonous belief we’ve ever internalized from the damaged, fearful, manipulative people we have encountered in life. Just TRY being positive, and watch people attack you and try to drag you down into their private hell.
Only love can heal those wounds. A child who is not loved and nurtured DIES. “Failure to thrive.” If you have not found some way, consciously or unconsciously, to feed and protect and love and nurture that “child” part of yourself, there is a part of you that is crying in the dark, wondering why and how you could “do” everything “right”, have all the external rewards, and still wallow in despair.
Focus only on the good parts of someone, and you’ll fall in love. Focus on their negatives, and that’s your route to divorce. The same is true of life. And of your own being.
This is the beginning. If you love a child, damn the odds: you’ll run into a burning house to save them. If your life is burning, either you see no possible route of positive action, or you don’t love yourself enough to do Whatever Is Necessary to create a life of meaning and joy.
“I haven’t been this happy, felt this productive or confident in over a decade”–Wendy Grace
I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to hear feedback like this about your work. THAT’S the ticket. Do you know when you are happy? When you feel you are flowing in your life, being where you need to be, doing what you need to do, heading in the direction of growth, love, health, and contribution. Just doing your “morning ritual” (physical motion combined with powerful affirmations built around the “Secret Formula”: GOALS X FAITH X DAILY ACTIONS X GRATITUDE = RESULTS) will change your life. Do this for thirty days, twenty minutes a day, and the “mere” doing of it will create massive momentum. Want faster change? Spend an hour of exercise (walking, or joint mobility is just fine! “Five Tibetans”? You’re my kinda person!) but MOVE. FEEL. THINK. The evil voices in your head will have to shut the #$%% up once they see that one of your goals (and you should have four: career, emotions/relationship, body, and finances), the physical, is being addressed as you speak. It is hard to deny something that you are experiencing.
Please, do yourself a favor: get started. And if you want to drive your change faster, use the ANCIENT CHILD 30-DAY PROGRAM.
A common complaint during meditation or using an hypnotic tape is falling asleep. Totally easy to understand, as you are often using a lot of the same tools or techniques one uses for sleep: relaxation, comfortable space, a sense of safety, etc. In fact, the mental space used for hypnosis, “Yoga Nidra”, and deep visualization is very similar to the “hypnogogic state” we enter just before sleep (and first thing in the morning when we wake up.)
So when you’re using the new ANCIENT CHILD audio, its perfectly natural if you nod off. Some thoughts.
- You may simply be tired. Be certain you are getting your 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
- It has long fascinated me that many of the same people who “nod off” otherwise have difficulty sleeping. One suspects that there are either emotional issues (not feeling safe, stress) that once unraveled release deep exhaustion or:
- There is avoidance connected with that stress.That something in the mind does not want to perform the visualizations: it knows, or fears, that it will lead to change. The sleeplessness is another manifestation of the same fear.
- The deep relaxation used on the MP3 will teach you how to “shut your brain and body down” for sleep.
- If you fall asleep while lying down, try sitting up but leaning back, with your back supported by a wall, pillow, or chair.
- Even if you fall asleep every time perform your weekly session anyway. The unconscious mind is deep, and can pick up information from the environment even when the conscious mind has crashed out.
In other way, so long as you persist, there is no way to do this program “wrong” if you simply learn from every experience. In fact, that exploration is precisely the point.
One core idea is that no one can perform 21 Tibetans, make loving connection with her own heart, embrace your “inner child” and “inner elders”, and perform the Morning ritual of motion, focus and emotion for 30 days without putting her hands firmly on the wheel of life. Without seeing exactly how to love herself, care for herself, and create the life she desires with efficiency and effectiveness.
Have problems getting there? It means you are human, that’s all. But…the body doesn’t lie. If you can’t do it, you can’t hallucinate you are healthier than you are. If you can’t focus, stay awake, or get yourself to perform a simple task for 20 minutes a day for a month…you know the work you have to do.
If you can’t clarify your goals, feel faith that you CAN and SHOULD have it, define and perform the daily behaviors that will place responsibility for results in YOUR hands, and feel gratitude for the life and opportunities and resources you have…
If you can’t embrace your own heart, and the child within you and commit to protect her and her dreams with every drop of your strength–
Then the work is clearly defined. If you need to go to Fiverr and hire a personal assistant to bug you everyday to do your program, do it. If you need to share your program with a friend to support you…I’ll look the other way.
If you need to adjust the Tibetans or perform more Joint Recovery or substitute a simple walking session, or dancing, or stretching…
Do it. You’re a grown-assed adult. If you don’t take responsibility, it’s like sleeping at the wheel of your car, careening down a mountain road, while your kids are screaming in the back seat.
SOMEONE had better be in control.
Why not you?
Think And Grow Rich #3: Auto-Suggestion
This is one of the arenas where
Think And Grow Rich was both
ahead of its time, and somewhat
behind ours. The principle of
Auto Suggestion basically states
that the only way to change the
belief patterns that control our
unconscious behavior, and
emblazon our goals in our
hearts is to repeat our goals
and dreams again and again,
daily, with powerful emotions.
This technique works, it really
does, but you MUST combine
it with emotion.
use powerful body language,
read your goals and dreams
aloud, use strong voice and
facial expression, perform a daily ritual
of motion (do it while exercising!) and ACT
like the person who can make
your dreams come true. In
exactly the same way that
hearing negative things about
yourself, or saying negative
things about yourself, for
sufficient time can crush your
will, saying POSITIVE things,
focused things, determinative
things again and again, for
days, weeks, and months will
It must be
accompanied by action, but
this is the basic way Napoleon
Hill recommends that you use
conscious action to change
the unconscious mind.
1) Reduce your goals and
plans for actions to writing.
2) Read them aloud with
passion, morning and night.
3) See yourself accomplishing
them. Act as if you believe it.
Speak and move as if you believe
it. “Fake it till you make it!”
I mentioned that Hill was both ahead
of his time and behind
our own. Self-Hypnosis, NLP,
and other disciplines can increase
the rate of change, and I strongly
suggest that you delve into them.
The 30-Day challenge was designed around
this idea: chanting, visualizing, and affirming
while moving powerfully is a dynamite way to
program your own mind. And 30 days is long enough to
begin to see the effect!