Weekly wisdom about being human and living habit-free

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I Know I’m Feeling my Thinking, but…

by Dr. Amy Johnson on July 20, 2017

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The first time I heard that I was “living in the feeling of my thinking”, I thought: “No kidding”.  As my kids say (usually with a frustrated eye-roll), “I already know that.”

The second time I heard it, I thought: “Seriously, this again?”

The third time, it felt like all thought stopped. My mind got incredibly quiet and I couldn’t wrap my head around anything. Sometime later I remember thinking some version of: “Why, for the love of God, am I just seeing this for the first time? Somebody should have told me. Why does no one know this?”

So…reactions vary.

If you have ever said “I know I’m feeling my thinking, but…[who cares/that doesn’t help/why is this important/I already know that…] this video is for you.

 

To see more about the fact that you experience nothing but your moment-to-moment thinking, join wait list for The Little School of Big Change.

 

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The Single Source of All Addiction

by Dr. Amy Johnson on July 13, 2017

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Beneath the perceived complexity of addiction—beneath layers of chemical dependency, psychological and emotional instability, complicated relationships, fear and trauma—lie some incredibly simple truths. 

These simple, universal truths apply to every human on earth, no exceptions. They are that universal. These truths apply to you regardless of the nature of your habit and regardless of how long you’ve been suffering.

They don’t care who you are or what you’ve done in your life. They have nothing to do with your physical or mental capacity; your age, sex, or religion; or how many people you’ve helped or hurt. They lie beyond your diagnosis, prognosis, or how many steps you’ve completed.

Realizing these truths begins with seeing that you are made of health and resilience, now and always. Innate health and infinite resilience is who you are. It is the default backdrop that never changes. Your capacity for, and inclination toward, thriving is stable and always present.

Think of who you deeply are—your healthy, default nature—as the sky. The sky is always blue. Weather moves through the sky masking its clear blueness, but the sky is still blue whether it appears that way or not. The sky is unaffected by the weather. Weather moves through, creates some temporary commotion, and then moves out, naturally and on its own, without exception.
The same is true of you and your human experience. You are healthy, clear and wise, just like the blue sky. And your addiction is like the weather. Your addiction is made of impermanent, passing-through thoughts and feelings, urges and cravings. Those passing-through feelings are not fundamental to who you are and so your addiction isn’t either.

Like the weather, your human experience is always changing. Even when the sky looks grey and overcast for a long time, there is movement. The clouds are moving, the air is moving, and particles in the atmosphere are constantly in a state of flux. Your “human weather” is the same. Regardless of how stuck you feel and how long you’ve felt that way, there is unending movement. It may be subtle, but it is happening. Your moods, feelings, cravings, sensations and memories are moving and evolving. There is great momentum—a force of nature, in fact—ensuring that your experience passes through you seamlessly and naturally, like weather.

We all have just one addiction: addiction to our own experience. We become addicted to our internal weather; our impermanent, safe thoughts and feelings.

We take our thoughts, feelings, urges and cravings very seriously. We get caught up in them. We misunderstand them, mistakenly believing that because we feel the urge to do something, we must do it.

We innocently miss the fact that our experience isn’t “us” or “ours”. It’s simply human weather passing through. We believe that we need to do something to end the discomfort, but everything we do to fix or change our experience tends to make things worse.

We buy our own stories, get caught up in our own painful lies, and fear our own safe, temporary emotions. We’re addicted to staring at the weather, imbuing it with meaning and importance it doesn’t actually deserve.

Recovery is about recovering the common sense way of naturally being that we knew as children. The way we lived in the world, letting our common sense and innate wisdom guide us through life.

Recovery is about recovering our innate health and resilience. That means paying less attention to the weather and returning our gaze to the blue sky backdrop that is within us all. Not denying or suppressing, but acknowledging and respecting what is real, true and stable, and giving less weight to what is not.

Life was incredibly simple before we became addicted to our thoughts and feelings.

The good news is that you have not actually lost your health and common sense so it is much easier to “recover” it than it may seem.

Look toward the supportive nature of life itself and the amazing resourcefulness that is alive and well within you right now.

These simple truths allowed me to walk away from an 8-year struggle with binge eating and I’ve seen the realization of them help countless people begin to experience true freedom.

All humans have the same basic design, and it is an unbelievably forgiving one. There is limitless hope for us all.

(This article was written for and published in June edition of The Sober World Magazine)

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There’s an Excellent Chance You’re Completely Wrong about Why You Do the Things You Do

July 6, 2017

Every profession has rockstars. You know, those people in your field who are as kind and down-to-earth as they come, but in whose presence you feel like a tongue-tied loser. As a graduate student, one of my professional rockstars was Daniel (Danny, to those who actually knew him) Kahneman. My field of study was social cognition–how information about […]

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Change You Didn’t Know You Wanted

June 29, 2017

I recently wrote the foreword to Jill Whalen’s new book, Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety.   Victim of Thought tells Jill’s story of finding freedom from something she didn’t know was a problem. Which is kind of interesting, isn’t it? Finding peace and freedom that you didn’t know you didn’t have? […]

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Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety by Jill Whalen (the Foreword)

June 28, 2017

Below is the Foreword I wrote for a book called  Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety by Jill Whalen.  *** What if—regardless of how anxious you feel—you are 100% healthy and well? The first time I heard that question, I thought the person asking it was insane. “YOU certainly don’t have complete mental […]

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A New Definition of Freedom (and How it’s Much Better than “This too Shall Pass”)

June 22, 2017

No experience is off limits. Nothing you do will make you immune to feeling things you’d rather not feel. But what if there’s an even better definition of freedom? Seeing how thought and feeling work allows you to still go through the full range of human experience…but this time, with freedom.

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Experience is Always Changing. But that’s Not the Point.

June 15, 2017

I talk a lot about how our experience is always changing.  It is. Thoughts and feelings are fluid, impermanent, not “yours”.  They are like weather, coming and going on their own. A revolving door of human experience. Why exert effort to change it? It moves out naturally in its own time. Why take it personally? […]

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June 12, 2017
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Facebook Live on The Freedom Series

May 31, 2017

If you missed The Freedom Series referred to in this video, catch it here.

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Facebook Live on Everything Change

May 31, 2017

A conversation about All Things Change

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