The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Not-so Random thoughts

I have a week to get the book out the door.  Unbelievable stress, but  that's not the killer.  The killer is what happens when stress becomes strain, and I know how to keep that from happening.  Every couple of hours I breathe properly for sixty seconds, as taught in the FIVE MINUTE MIRACLE, and that keeps me sane.  Also, lots of hugs, and naps when needed.  And let me tell you, they're needed!
A reader asked me about a sequel to LION'S BLOOD and ZULU HEART.  It's in the pipeline, but for the first time in a long time, I'm actually overloaded.  This is a result of the move to California, with the attendant increase in expenses, and the nasty little surprise of ageism in Hollywood.  We're working around that stuff, but it's requiring some rather slithy moves on my part.  More on that later.
another reader asked me to go into greater detail about how I've used the Chakras in my own life.  Man oh man, am I going into THIS in the near future! But first I have to lay out the basic grid of Chakras and Hero's Journey (characterization and plot).  But just as a teaser:
1st chakra interacts with all of the others.  Dealing with core survival, any fear originating in a survival value will screw up your ability to smoothly evolve upward (this is why the "Fear Removal Process" is so incredible, btw).  What kinds of fears am I talking about? Well, here's a short list...
1) abandonment.  As children, we are incredibly vulnerable to the whims of our parents, who  literally have the power of gods. Their approval means everything, and we are genetically programmed to love and imitate them.  This transfers later in life to bosses, friends, and mates, often to our detriment.
2)   Pains or shocks experienced early in life can "anchor" inappropriate stress levels to perfectly normal and harmless activities.  The fear of public speaking is one such, or rejection, or the ability to deal with bullies.  On the schoolyard, we get punched if we stand up for ourselves.  In the workplace, bullies count on the fact that that childhood trauma still controls our behaviors. 
3) Sexual intimacy is incredibly powerful.  We are all vulnerable to rejection, physical control, etc. in the bedroom.  Women often find themselves attracted to the "bad boys" who both excite and frustrate them.  The source of that attraction can be a dominating parent, or a perception of threat that makes our subconscious say: "the world is dangerous...get a dangerous man!"  Only by demanding that we "grow up" and develop the capacity to control our own space can we break those chains.  Men are often endlessly attracted to rejecting women, as they attempt to heal the wounds of a rejecting, distant mother by playing out the intimacy scenario again and again, seeking to gain approval and acceptance denied in childhood.  Survival fear is a powerful force here, as are forever trying to re-create the moments of total acceptance they felt in mommy's arms as a baby.  The result can be devastating.
4) too fat or too thin?  Our bodies hold stress, have their own memories and motivations.  I'm currently dealing with a student who weighs close to 400 pounds, who is dealing with MASSIVE guilt and feelings of worthlessness, stemming from the death of a sibling.  Guilt is fear of worthlessness, of letting down role models, of transgressing in the social arena.  the penalty for such transgressions is exclusion from the tribe.  Often such people find other outcasts, and they cling to each other, "norming" the dysfunctional behavior.  Trying to break free to health often demands that such people leave all known "tribes" behind: the greater social tribe that rejected them, and the current sub-set social group which, while dysfunctional in a few aspects, accepts and loves them.  they must deal with the fear of being alone...and that's a killer.
I could go on forever.  The point is that a single thing, fear, anchored in survival needs, can impact every other level of health and performance in our lives.  Our fears of inadequacy, abandonment, disfigurement, and death need to be addressed directly, not hidden or sublimated, because they will poison everything else, leading to inappropriate relationships, distorted body image, thwarted ambitions, inability to clarify goals, and much else.
What is the solution? 
There are many we've discussed here.  A few basic ones:
1) meditation.  Gain clarity and run the "aquarium filter on the fishtank of your soul," so to speak.
2)  Aerobic exercise.  Terrific for improving the brain's physiological capacity to metabolize fear hormones.
3) Yoga.  Designed to break the bonds of servitude to the body needs, yoga has, built into it, some of the finest anti-fear technologies in the history of the human race, far too subtle to explain right now.
4) Prayer.  Faith is arguably the most powerful tool of all.  Find a way to connect to the divine.
Fear is a killer of every dream you have.  Confront it directly...which may be painful, but is far preferable to allowing it to fester!


No comments: