“The heart is where the pain comes from. And this is why you feel so many disturbances as you go through the day. You have this core of pain deep in your heart. Your personality traits and behavior patterns are all about avoiding this pain.” – Michael A. Singer (the untethered soul)
The pain he is referring to is the fear. Its an underlying fear that is based in things we experienced during the forming years of our childhood. As a child, we are so full of wonder and so open the small things (and big things for many) created a slap to all that wonder and openness. We began to build armor. This layer was to protect ourselves from the pain. Think of a child of a divorce. This places one parent as a main caretaker (today that has changed with a more shared responsibility – parenting plans that put the children with each parent equally are encouraged) the other parent becomes an every other weekend parent. Think about how excited that child gets when it comes to that weekend they get to see that other parent. They were used to having that person in their life 24×7 and now it’s every other weekend. The excitement that builds up is huge. Now witness what it might feel like to that child to be sitting there, bag packed, waiting on the bed looking out the window. A glance at the clock. Back out the window. Its 5 minutes past time. Now 10. Now 15. The phone rings in the other room. The other parent is sick, not feeling well – they aren’t going to to make it. That child may not be able to fully put the thoughts together, but they feel pain. If they were able to put it into words they might ask or wonder why that parent was able to be with them while they all lived together. Hadn’t they spent time together when that parent was living at home and ill? Why would they cancel a visit? A child might not think logically through this. All they feel is pain. So, there is a layer built around that heart to cover pain. The next time the visit comes up, the bag is packed but suddenly there is the added listening for the phone to ring. The majority of the time it doesn’t ring – but they are still arriving past the time they said they would. Sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes an hour and still sometimes that call did come saying there was too much work, that they didn’t feel good or stating some other conflict that was going to keep them from seeing each other. Humans are adaptable. As something like this happens to a child they build a layer over their heart to keep from feeling the pain. Eventually they are still packing their bag, but their true expectation (this is the protection) is that the visit is not happening. That way when it does happen it is all fun, great and fantastic. As the child grows up, more often than not, that pain never goes away. We aren’t usually taught how to handle that pain, we keep it all inside. Every time there is a plan with anyone they have that same underlying fear. There is an expectation that they will have the person they have plans with change at the last moment. Now when they are looking at the clock and their date is 5-10 minutes late it is a physical reaction. The heart beats faster, the mind starts racing and imagining that they will cancel, there is a fear and anxiety that they no longer connect with those childhood moments. Only the fear is there. Protective armor and thoughts kick in. But it is that pain from childhood that is being felt. This can trigger hurt and even anger. The other person gets confused and hurt. They wonder why the person is angry and maybe even wonder why there is anger and not worry about safety. And wouldn’t you know it? The universe brings people into our lives that trigger that pain on purpose. They bring a chronically late person into our lives. Thus, the conflict and opportunities for growth and learning. The rehashing of these wounds can lead us to personal and spiritual growth if we choose that.
“This is why simple everyday interactions can affect you so much. If the core pain was not motivation behind proving yourself each day what people say” (or do) “would not affect you. But since avoiding the core pain is why you’re trying to prove yourself you end up bringing the potential for pain into everything that happens. You end up so sensitive that you are unable to live in this world without getting hurt” – Michael A. Singer (an untethered soul)
In the book I have been quoting, an untethered soul, he says there are two choices. The first is to leave the pain inside and continue to struggle with the outside events that keep triggering the pain. The second choice, he says, is to make a conscious decision that you no longer want to spend your entire life avoiding the inner pain. I pull a handful of things out of his writing that would help with this:
- Don’t be afraid of it (the pain and fears)
- View this pain and fear as a temporary shift of energy.
- Realize rejection, abandonment or the other associated fears are truly, in reality, nothing to be afraid of.
- Know that to be free and enjoy life spending the energy and time worrying about the “what if’s” are going to waste valuable time that could be spent enjoying the NOW and just BEING.
- This would mean that when someone is late, that the person with these childhood fears would look at the pain, feel it, and realize it is a fleeting emotion, just some energy. Realizing that there is a choice to be made to feed into the fear or release it is ours to make.
I resonate strongly with all of this. In my heart I know that being able to look at these fears in this way is a tool. Stopping the habit, building new neural pathways, is harder than a book (or blog!) makes it sound. The layers for me (and I believe for all of us) are complex. It is taking a lot of time and patience, which I often lack) to get to know myself, to understand the reactions and feelings I have been covering up with layers of protection for so many years now. As each layer is peeled away, there are new things there. The path of life is a journey – there isn’t a final destination. Taking things one day at a time, smelling the flowers along the way, listening to music and DANCING, finding love and joy right from the heart is my goal. Making the way through the layers is just part of life – We can choose to look at layers like onions, or we can look at layers like PARFAITS….. https://youtu.be/GZpcwKEIRCI
“All my decisions had brought me growth in one way or another. I learned that taking responsibility for the love, or the lack of love in my life, was the tool through which to create a different experience.”
“Where once I’d been dealing with guilt, I was finding growth; where once I’d been dealing with hate, I was finding compassion; where once I’d been feeling resentful, I was feeling autonomous.”
When I first picked up this book, my first thought was “uh oh”… I often shut down when I hear or see something I consider “religious”. This is something I am learning to be more open minded and tolerant of. Reading this book gives me even more evidence that I should be more open and and a push to be less judgmental! Had I missed out reading this book because of an initial judgment that it was religious I would have been the one that missed out.
As my aim is to do things Right From the Heart, her preface captured my full attention with the first sentence. Betsy Otter Thompson’s first words of the Preface are “The heart is a magical organ.” She goes on to describe how she feels our hearts work independent from our body system. This book is basically her conversation with Jesus made through her heart. She indicates that she “opens her heart, receives a feeling, and lets that feeling express.” Do not expect the book to be historically accurate as that is not the purpose. The book takes and discusses topics; twenty-three of them in total. At the end of each chapter there are a set of questions that deal with the topic just read often leading you to think through something about yourself. After these questions there are some more that lead you to evaluate yourself even more. And at the very end she ends with her own personal insight and what she learned working through the particular topic. This book takes you on an internal spiritual journey that provokes emotions, thoughts and an analysis of yourself.
The title: Walking Through Illusion; refers to the idea that all we have around us is an illusion. It is a life we are living; but we only experience things as we assign meaning to it and that’s it… by changing the meaning we assign the experience we can completely alter our lives. This makes whatever we are dealing with – only an illusion. As she (and Jesus) describe in her book, we are actors working through lessons that we chose to learn and work through prior to entering this specific life. “They were illusionary experiments to expand our hearts so that when we left these dramas, we had the needed emotion for the next performance taking our hearts even deeper.”
I loved all of the chapters, they were all thought provoking; however, I thought I would discuss at a high level a few of my favorites.
Obstacles: What obstacles stymie growth?
“Obstacles enter your life when you deprive others of what you think you deserve.”
This chapter deals with obstacles, whether that be illness or lacking – basically any dis-ease. The key is to realize that all obstacles, no matter what they are – are emotional. This gets back to the illusion again, they aren’t something “out there” they are “in here” and all obstacles offer some type of personal development. Everything offers some type of positive outcome in the end.
Opinions: Can we control our opinions?
Bottom line, this chapter says you respect other’s opinions when you respect your own. As one fault finds; this puts our focus on the thing that is negative and it hurts and it also will cause the mirror to reflect on ourselves what we are inflicting on others. If we find ourselves in judgment it is important to focus on finding who it is we ourselves are judging. This chapter also dealt with blaming; how we often blame our parents. We can’t change our past, but we can change our future thus it is important that we look and decide where we want our future to go. Even if those we are blaming change that will not change our problems, it will improve their life, not ours. We can only deal with us, our emotions and what we-ourselves are dealing with.
Advice: Whose advice is worthy?
“Trust that you are everything you need to be. Trust that life has meaning. Trust that goals have purpose, trust that ‘being’ is enough.”
Because I often get defensive when others try to give me advice (more so for those that are closer to me – like my husband!) this chapter hit home. This chapter points out that we are always mirroring our own behavior. Thus I was urged to look at my own life and understand how often I offer unsolicited advice. Understanding that if I focused on giving others support and only offering advice if asked that I would break through the illusion of having others offer their unsolicited advice. I now see a very interesting illusion in our family. Between my daughter and husband, they are both telling each other how and when and why to do things and I am left out of most of this interaction.
Hearts (of course!): What constitutes a big heart?
“An obsession with the picture to the exclusion of his heart created a mind out of sync with its purpose. A mind out of sync with its purpose created a body out of sync with its purpose. A body out of sync with its purpose had no reason for being.”
This chapter spoke to purpose and legacy, which, is at the top of my list of topics (am teaching it at CFU) so this chapter also resonated with me. It is important to look at the different legacies we want (and perhaps do not want) to leave. I took away from this chapter that it is important to appreciate life and that our bottom line purpose is to look for personal growth and development within our own lives.
Betrayal: Why is betrayal so painful?
“Betrayal is an act of doing in a way you’d hate to be done to.”
My notes from this chapter: If I am resenting others, I am resenting myself. If I resent myself others will resent me. If I resent myself resentment poisons the mind. If it poisons the mind it will poison the body. Basically outward actions reflect an inward action. Betsy’s personal notes captured much of what I felt as well. When you hear the word betrayal you picture something quite bad, but betrayal is basically doing things to others that you do not want done to you… thoughts, judgements, laughs, snickers and any other minor offense counts.
Bottom line – READ THIS BOOK!!!!
About the Author: A native Philadelphian with a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, Betsy worked as an account executive for WFIL radio in Philadelphia, and from there went to radio stations WPEN and WFLN. After that, she became a commercial print model and acted in television commercials in New York and Philadelphia. For seventeen years, she worked in Los Angeles at the motion picture and television company Castle Rock Entertainment as the Assistant to the Chairman and CEO. In August ’99, she followed her boss to Warner Bros. as he took a new position there as President and COO, and became his Executive Assistant. She is now writing full time. Betsy’s writing began unexpectedly while going through an especially difficult time in her life. She believes that her books were the answer to her prayers.
This is really great!!
The words to this song is something we should all keep in mind and remember. I love that this is something going out to the kids!
If what I am is what you need then Ill stay strong that’s who I’ll be and I will always be the best me that I can be
There’s only one me I admit have a dream I ‘ll follow it I admit it’s up to me to try
Oh, Im gonna keep my head up high keep on reaching high never gonna quit Ill keep getting stronger And nothing’s gonna bring me down never gonna stop gotta go because I know I’ll keep on getting stronger
And what I am is … thoughtful, musical, smart, eight, helpful, special
There is nothing I can’t achieve because in myself I believe in gonna keep our heads up high keep on reaching high never going to quit Just keep getting stronger and nothing is gonna bring us down never giving up gotta go because I know Ill keep getting stronger
What I am is…. Super, Proud, friendly, grouchy,
What you are is….magical, special
There is nothing I can’t achieve, cause in myself I believe. Going to hold my head up high, keep on reaching high Im never going to stop I’ll keep on getting stronger; Nothings going to bring me down; never give it up gotta go Ill keep getting stronger
Crush It – Gary Vaynerchuk
Ever since I saw one of Gary’s video’s and heard him on one of the Success Magazine CDs; I had wanted to read his book: Crush It
Although it doesn’t make my tip top favorites, I did enjoy it. I enjoyed it because I love reading about others who are living their passions and Gary is definitely doing that. Not only is he doing it, this is one of his rules. I also admire those that are living authentically and he isn’t out to impress anyone and he walks his talk. He is an early social media adopter and when he doesn’t talk about the three rules he is talking about how to use social media to your advantage.
Gary starts out by talking about passion and how it is everything; he mentions his three rules and advises that everyone adopt them:
- Love your family.
- Work super hard.
- Live your passion.
He explains that he measures success by how happy he is not how big his business is or how much money he has. He said by following these three rules he is 100% happy. Loving your family and working super hard doesn’t take special skills or knowledge, these two rules are about just doing. As you move into the third rule, this is where many people need the direction.
Identify and Test Your Passion
This is about recognizing things that you love and because you love it you know tons about it. Find this thing. Find your passion. Then test it. Can you think of many topics to write or talk about? Are you double sure that what you think is your passion is your passion? [His book doesn’t clearly help here – but there are other ways to work through this!] Lastly ensure that you know about your passion, that you are an expert on it.
Find your brand. Your name or some other nifty, catchy phrase. He advises that even if you use a catchy phrase, brand yourself (your name) as well. After you have determined this then you need to ensure that you start assigning this to social media sites, domain names, blogs, etc. Anything that you can think of; make sure you sign on and grab your name.
Start getting involved in social media. Use Facebook Connect, Facebook and Twitter. Use tools that allow you to post to these sites like ping.fm or TubeMogul.
Create your content. Write, blog, shoot video, make podcasts – whatever you feel you can do well, start doing it. Get a blog – he recommends WordPress or Tumblr. The one place he recommends you spend some money is on the design of your website. Everything else he talks about is very inexpensive and he says that the reason for spending money on the design of your website is due to ensuring that the first impression people get is a good one.
Make Friends – Make Community
Search for and find like minded people, people talking about your passion. Create a community – offer your expertise, share your knowledge and make friends with other that share your passion and those that are looking for answers.
I think that this was a good book and would like to have all the folks that are out there “spamming” others with posts about themselves and their businesses take some time and read how social media should really be done.
Have you read it? What did you think?