Family

She ’bout knocked me through the wall…

We were in the middle of one of Dawn Callan’s AWAKEN THE WARRIOR WITHIN workshops, where in two days this little human dynamo would teach women more about self defense than most teachers could convey in two years. But this one woman, “Molly”, was a tough nut to crack. She was so filled with fear, timidity, had been so beaten down that we couldn’t get her to hit the pads. She couldn’t kick the shield. Molly would break down into tears at the very idea that she should or could fight back. “I can’t!”

None of the other instructors had been able to help her, so in desperation they brought her to me. I was holding the pad, as tears and snot ran down her face, a woman utterly convinced of her helplessness and unworthiness to defend herself.

This was, I decided, a defining moment in her life. This wasn’t about “doing karate.” This was about an adult human being deciding that she had a right to exist, to defend her space, to choose the rules by which others could enter her world. This wasn’t just about her body, it was about her dreams, and words, and values. About the ability to look at the world and say: “I love you, but you will not define me.”

I saw in her tentative movements, her face frozen in terror, her stuttering speech a lifetime of making excuses, of perceived failure, of attracting predators into her space, of a false self-image that was dragging down her life and extinguishing her dreams.

And decide that it was going to end TODAY. When dealing with a client, the only intent must be to help them. Period. To put their hands on the controls of their life, by any means necessary.

So…I cheated. I looked at her and said: “do you have any kids?” (more…)

My autobiography part I

A Life From Two Perspectives

People think that they must satisfy countless social, religious, and personal groups. Countless friends and family individuals.

They are wrong. There are only two people you have to please in your life.

This is about how I learned that. And how I came to please them.

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My dad, Emory Barnes, died March 8, 1995, when I was in my early fourties.

I remember standing at his deathbed in San Jose, California. He had deteriorated greatly, the cancer eating him until he no longer resembled the handsome singer who had performed with Nat King Cole, who I’d actually watched record the back-up vocals for “Rambling Rose.” (more…)

Attack the root, not the flowering

(FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2013)
Kill the monster while it’s small

What I do with Jason’s morning ritual is to implant generative patterns he can use to guide and evaluate his behaviors. The “morning ritual” is critical, and I’m hoping to implant a habit for lifetime (although the specific techniques will shift, I’m sure.)

The most important things this morning were:

1) interrupting the non-resourceful behaviors. (Bowing, sitting seiza)
2) Anchoring love and confidence (morning hug)
3) Calming his energy levels (10 “omm” patterns with deep breathing”
4) Reminding him of his resourceful states, principles and values (Musashi’s principles, “the rules”
5) “Killing the monster while it’s small”—“swish” patterns, envisioning a negative behavior and SMASHING the image with an expanding image of a hyper-resourceful behavior. Again and again. Faster and faster.
7) When highest-energy, positive, and centered he pumps his fist and yells “YES!” anchoring in that positive state.

“Killing the monster while it’s small” means to attack the root of a negative behavior. Before he has what we call a “brain fart” he will begin to distort his body into odd positions. His vocal quality will shift, he starts acting goofy. This leads to a hyper-excitable and sensitive state in which “he wants what he wants” and the slightest disappointment can trigger upset.

By this time, it is too late for conscious control. But BEFORE this point, he can take control again by sitting upright and calming his breathing, doing a “swish” pattern, or pumping his fist and saying “YES!” NOTE: the efficiency of a fired “anchor” is in direct relationship to how much you have “powered it up” earlier, and the uniqueness of the anchor.

He is learning to recognize the early stages of a tantrum, while “the monster is still small” and crush it, replacing it with a positive, resourceful state. This is very similar to recognizing when he is at a “3” on a scale of 1-10, “3” being a little tickle in his bladder, but an “8” meaning he has 30 seconds to get to a toilet.

If you study your own mind, looking at any unresourceful behavior, you’ll notice that there are precursive actions, feelings, and thoughts. Smoking. Cheating. Writers’ block. Begin to examine how you “do” them. What you do first, second and third to “accomplish” an unresourceful state.

Trust me…you have a recipe for any state or behavior in your life, positive or negative. And if you can deliberately change that recipe by changing your physiology, mental focus or emotional state (I work all three with Jason!) you can derail the process.

Be a dragon-slayer.

But kill it in the nest

Namaste,
Steve