The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Driving With Your Brakes On




I was looking into the 101 Program this morning, and as often happens, free associated with its content. the "Five Tibetans" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juZxrvc8-A4) , one of the very first concepts introduced, is a hyper-simple, quick and efficient whole-body fitness regimen. More importantly, because it is to be performed daily, it is a great diagnostic for your body-mind connection, and degree of unconsciousness.

 But it isn't fool proof. One of my students, a lady who was tremendously angry with her husband, confessed to wanting to punish him by making her body unattractive. But at the same time, she was concerned about back pain and loss of energy that resulted from a serious weight gain. I suggested the Tibetans, and a few weeks later she reported that she had hurt herself. How? The first Tibetans says that you hold your arms level with the ground and spin in a circle.
 She interpreted this as "keep your feet in the same place and corkscrew your body until you twist your back."
 Ouch. I don't believe she didn't understand. You could give those instructions to a thousand people--and I have--and not one of them would do something as unfortunate as that. She's smarter than that. She sabotaged herself.
 Goals demand that you have your values, beliefs, and emotional anchors all aligned. This lady had equal and opposite "pulls" on her unconscious: "keep extra fat" and "lose weight" operating at the same time.
 I think we've all seen this before. In writing: people who deliberately follow pathways their mentors have told them will cause failure (like writing huge novels without ever having published a short story. You can burn up YEARS with this one.)

 In relationships: following old, negative patterns of behavior, or refusing to pay attention to indications that a prospective partner is pure poison. (Prospective partner is pure poison. Say that five times fast!)
 In finances: skipping your Quicken sessions, or refusing to balance your checkbook. Not answering creditors' calls. Continuing to spend money on consumer items that depreciate instantly.
 In other words, you know what you should do, you are afraid to do it, so you take actions that look kinda sorta like forward progress, but are actually designed to create the illusion "I'm trying! I'm writing/exercising/working/dating but the world just isn't cooperating!"
 Until you are certain that your unconscious supports your external goals, you are operating with your brakes on, and the results can be dreadful...
 Lying to yourself and others.
 Breaking promises to yourself and others.
 Distorting incoming or ourgoing information.
 "Forgetting" important details of your process.
 Vague, unfocussed fears and negative emotions.
 Procrastination.

 Any and all of these can be symptoms of "fighting" internally, competing beliefs and emotions. And they can sabotage your life.

 1) Where do you recognize the above behaviors in your own life?
 2) Where have you seen them in other people?
 3) Where have you seen them create dysfunction within organizations or political bodies (conflicting goals leading to gridlock)

 Much to think of here...


 Steve 

63 comments:

Theresa said...

I think you wrote this post for me, Steve. It describes my life to a T. I was complaining about it earlier today, as a matter of fact.

I have and have had multiple competing goals, and believe me, it's lousy. My life right now is definitely far from wonderful.

I am pretty much totally and completely lost. I don't know what goals are good and what are bad, and I have done many of the behaviors you mention above, some last night and today.

I definitely didn't used to be this bad. Is there any hope?

Cosmetic Surgery said...

Good article! Thank you so much for sharing this post. Your views truly open my mind.

Steven Barnes said...

Theresa--
there is more than hope. Just being able to state the problem puts you FAR ahead of the pack! Here are some thoughts:
1) Clarify your values. Literally write out a list of the most important things in your life, in every major arena: health, relationships, career, etc. Prioritize. What is more important? Passion or freedom? Security or creativity?
2) Prioritize your goals. Which ones will have the greatest effect on the others? A goal of increasing fitness has global effects, giving energy to everything else. A goal of clearing up your bills or increasing income can give freedom, time, and decrease stress in other areas of your life.
###
Clarity, sweetie. Love yourself. Know that you've done the best you can, with what you had, at every moment of your life.

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