Tag Archives: clarity

Your Illusionary Past – Garret Kramer

This article is incredible. Taken from: http://garretkramer.com

Can your behavior become habitual? Yes. Can a habitual behavior originate from your past? Definitely. If you are struggling now, should you look to your past as the reason why you feel the way you feel, and for the cure? In my opinion, not for a second.

Indeed, the self-help world strongly disagrees. Virtually all therapists, life coaches, and counselors believe, and have been trained to believe, that conquering former traumas is the key to overcoming current difficulties. One famous self-help professional recently insisted, “The key to finding the truth is to go back to the past, to those haunting times, and resolving former traumas.” Oh boy, where do I begin?

Let’s try simplicity. If people delve into their past in order to explain or fix their current troubles, then they seek answers in the same misinformation that created the troubles in the first place. Or as Sydney Banks once said, “Going back to a troubled past is like putting your hand in a burning fire, pulling it out because it hurt, and then saying, ‘I think I’ll put my hand back in again’.”

The past no longer exists. Why do so many of us look to the past to explain our present troubles?

In short, the past is merely a memory carried through time, a thought. And like all thoughts, the past is not real. So if you attempt to solve your problems in this illusion, you’ll pretty much spin your wheels. As a personal example, for years I couldn’t figure out why at times I lamented my childhood, poor me; yet at other times, I relished it, lucky me. Same childhood, so why did I look at it in such dissimilar ways?

Then, one day I realized that my perception of my past was solely the result of the quality of my thinking and state of mind—which are always changing. Thus, it made no sense to look to my childhood as a concrete circumstance that had the ability to bring me down.

In other words, if I thought about my past one day and it made me miserable, and I thought about my past another day and it made me smile, it had to be something inside of me (my thinking) that was causing my despair or happiness. The past had nothing to do with it.

Your perception of your past is always changing. When you feel down, your past is problematic. When you feel up, your past makes sense.

Now, to be fair, I’m not saying that there are never times when a therapist takes a client back to a former ordeal and the client then finds clarity and feels more at ease. What I’m saying is that when this happens, going back to the past is not the reason. If the client’s thought system and level of consciousness are on the upswing at that moment, he or she will find tranquility no matter what the therapist suggests.

Here’s the bottom line about the past: If it had the ability to lead people to despair, then different individuals who experienced the same traumas would all be suffering now. Plus, your past misfortunes would affect you in the same way at all times. Of course, neither is the case.

To me, the self-help world needs to consider the negative impact of taking a person back to former low states of mind. It energizes and perpetuates suffering. Instead, let’s teach people that they perceive the past from the inside out; that the quality of their thinking and state of mind in the moment create all of their perceptions, including their perceptions of the past. Remember, challenging thoughts about your own life history will occur, but you don’t have to do anything about them—they are illusions—left alone they’ll wither away in no time.


Excellent Points

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

We perceive the world in a particular way and confidently expect it to conform to its appearance. But we fail to recognize that certain aspects of the ‘reality’ that appear to us are nothing but figments of our own imagination. In this confusion a conflict ensues between the world as it is and the world as we believe it to be. And the more we insist on our infallibility, the more frustrated we become as the actual world again and again stubbornly refuses to live up to our expectations.Stephen Batchelor from Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism

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Believe in the Ability

Believe in the ability. I love that quote.
What it means to me is to just believe that something is possible or capable. Not a guarantee that something will be done, but the ability is there.
I found this quote to be comforting in times of high anxiety, stress, and fearful / what if thought.

This new notion did not require me to have conviction, that I could handle these situations, but the ability is there. All I needed to do was have faith. This was much easier for me to grasp in some of my darker days, because I didn’t think I could get through anything.

Anything is possible. Just believe in the/a ability.


Emotions and their Influence

Understanding how your emotions influence your actions can ensure that you are always cognizant of why you make your choices. When you let your feelings drive you without knowing where they may lead you, the life you end up creating may be vastly different from the one you dreamed of. Recognizing the power our emotions can hold over us allows you to choose whether to follow their lead or to seek counsel from our rational mind first. Our emotions are meant to serve us, rather than be served by us. When you understand how your feelings may be driving you to express yourself today, you’ll be able to harness your emotions to help you further your cause, not hinder it.


I have shared some of why I love the breathing track so much, and how its changed my life more than I could imagine, but evidently, others have noticed too.

Yesterday my boyfriend and his mother were talking, and said I seem the happiest and most peaceful I have been in my whole life. The reason I think the breathing track is so effective is it touches my core issues. I spent time in 12 step programs, CBT, therapy and other groups. I feel the focus of these were on the symptoms, why I drank or why I had severe GAD. The track deals with the cause. It heals parts of me that nothing else worked for. No person, kind words or behavoral change worked as profoundly as the track. The acceptance and surrender practiced with the breathing track, touches all other parts of my life. I can let things flow, and in turn since I am not trying to control every detail through fear, things are falling into place better than ever imagined.

I also find I have immense gratitude for the little things, I went food shopping last night, and loved it. The fact that I get to go food shopping. This is no longer an anxiety riddled chore. Its enjoyable.

Oh one other thing – I always considered myself an impatient person. Well, Marty & I were talking today and impatience is the symptom. The cause is doubt and fear. That if something is left alone for a certain amount of time, something bad will happen (like my childhood) these realizations are so comforting. I thought relinquishing control was terrifiying, and in fact it is reassuring to the fact that I am not and never was ‘crazy’. Thanks for reading!

C PTSD - A Way Out

I have shared some of why I love the breathing track so much, and how its changed my life more than I could imagine, but evidently, others have noticed too.

Yesterday my boyfriend and his mother were talking, and said I seem the happiest and most peaceful I have been in my whole life. The reason I think the breathing track is so effective is it touches my core issues. I spent time in 12 step programs, CBT, therapy and other groups. I feel the focus of these were on the symptoms, why I drank or why I had severe GAD. The track deals with the cause. It heals parts of me that nothing else worked for. No person, kind words or behavoral change worked as profoundly as the track. The acceptance and surrender practiced with the breathing track, touches all other parts of my life. I can let things…

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Daily Om: Moving through Darkness

Often it takes something major to wake us up as we struggle to maintain an illusion of control”

In life, most of us want things to go to the places we have envisioned ourselves going. We have plans and visions, some of them divinely inspired, that we want to see through to completion. We want to be happy, successful, and healthy, all of which are perfectly natural and perfectly human. So when life takes us to places we didn’t consciously want to go, we often feel as if something has gone wrong, or we must have made a mistake somewhere along the line, or any number of other disheartening possibilities. This is just life’s way of taking us to a place we need to go for reasons that go deeper than our own ability to reason. These hard knocks and trials are designed to shed light on our unconscious workings and deepen our experience of reality.
Often it takes something major to wake us up, to shake us loose from our ego’s grip as it struggles to maintain an illusion of control. It is loss of control more than anything else that humbles us and enables us to see the big picture. It reminds us that the key to the universe lies in what we do not know, and what we do know is a small fraction of the great mystery in which we live. This awareness softens and lightens us, as we release our resistance to what is. Another gift gleaned from going to these seemingly undesirable places is that, in our response to difficulty, we can see all the patterns and unresolved emotional baggage that stand in the way of our unconditional joyfulness. Joy exists within us independently of whether things go our way or not. And when we don’t feel it, we can trust that we will find it if we are willing to surrender to the situation, moving through it as we move through our difficult feelings.
We can take our inspiration from any fairy tale that finds its central character lost in a dark wood, frightened and alone. We know that the journey through the wood provides its own kind of beauty and richness. On the other side, we will emerge transformed, lighter and brighter, braver and more confident for having moved through that darkness.


Daily Om: Free from Agendas

A desire for validation could lead you to want to be recognized by your loved ones. You may find yourself feeling vulnerable and insecure, however, if your neediness causes others to shy away from you. Instead of seeking more recognition and support from others, consider developing your confidence by setting attainable goals and regularly affirming your worth. Crafting a well-developed personal identity and nurturing your confident nature could help you feel more secure in your own uniqueness. Acknowledgment will come naturally when you are at peace with yourself and feel secure in your worth as a person.
Finding validation within you rather than looking for approval from others leaves you free to enjoy the people you care about without the feelings of neediness interfering. When others feel that your desire for acknowledgement is more important to you than building a strong bond between you, they can be driven away. By building a strong sense of self-worth on your own, your relationships can be about creating intimacy rather than building your self-esteem. It is when we least need approval that we effortlessly receive it from people. Together, you can build a relationship that is free of overwhelming ego needs and fulfills you both. A strong sense of self may be all you need today to attract the positive attention of the people you care about.