Weekly wisdom about being human and living habit-free

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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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I talk a lot about how our experience is always changing. shadows

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? You’re not creating it (not intentionally, anyway). It’s part of nature. If you wouldn’t judge the wind, rain or sun, why would you judge happy, sad, or fearful thoughts and feelings?

It can be huge to see that your thoughts and feelings change on their own. I used to read 4-5 self-help books a month. Realizing that my experience is just fine as it is—that there is nothing I need to work at fixing or changing—freed up a lot of time.

And that’s just the benefit of time. I can’t begin to describe the mental and emotional weight that evaporated when I saw that every insecure thought I ever had about myself didn’t stick. It couldn’t stick. Change was its nature.

So while seeing your experience as a revolving door might allow you to take it less seriously, it’s also easy to hear this revolving door metaphor in a way that sells it short.

It can sound like the important part is that you get to eventually be somewhere you’re not. As in, “I feel horrible now, but this feeling will pass.” (read: Soon, I’ll have a different feeling. Yay! Life will be good again).

Nope. That’s not at all what I’m pointing to.

And not because that’s not helpful. It’s a lot nicer to know that suffering will end than to assume that suffering is your lifelong companion. There’s no question that it’s helpful to see that your feelings are temporary and changing.

But just because it’s helpful doesn’t mean it’s particularly insightful. There’s a lot more to see.

This isn’t silver-lining-therapy. It’s not about getting somewhere you aren’t because it’s better there.

It’s about seeing that anything you happen to be experiencing is one single energy taking a temporary form. It’s not you, it’s the shadow life happens to be casting as it moves through you.

What could be wrong with a shadow?

That shadow changes, yes. When the light changes, the shadow changes.

But the shadow is just a shadow. It’s all good right this very second, regardless of the thoughts or judgments you might have about it. (The thoughts and judgments you have about your experience are shadows too.)

There is nowhere to get to. There is no feeling that is better—in any objective way–than the one you’re experiencing right now.

Ironically, seeing that makes way brand new shadows to show up. It paves the way for a radically different experience.  

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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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How Lasting Change Really Works

May 11, 2017

It kills me to hear people doubting whether change is possible. They say things like “I’ve tried everything”, “I’m too deep in (to my habit or anxiety)”, “I don’t know if it will ever happen for me”. Change is not only possible–it is part of the human design. We are designed for constant, natural change. […]

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What the Operation Game Can Show You About Living Habit-Free

May 4, 2017

Remember the game Operation? You have to get that little plastic body part out of that very confined space without touching the walls. If you touch the walls…BZZZ. You get a quite jarring buzz and a red light. See why this game is an excellent metaphor for what’s going on within you when you feel stuck […]

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Thoughts Change. You Don’t.

April 27, 2017

It’s noon and so far today two people have said that they feel much calmer after our brief chat and one person asked if I was “some kind of miracle worker”.  I’m definitely not a miracle worker. The conversations I have with people often lead to what feel like miracles—brand new ways of viewing old […]

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At ease or dis-ease? Here’s the one thing that’s always happening when life feels tough.

April 20, 2017

Life moves through you. It powers you.    Imagine a kaleidoscope sitting in a dark corner of a shelf. With no light moving through, it’s just a pile of plastic. Then someone picks it up, puts it to their eyes, and turns toward the window. Stuff! Shapes and colors are brought to life by the […]

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When You Don’t Fear Your Feelings, Everything Falls into Place

April 13, 2017

What if you absolutely knew like you knew your name that feelings don’t require fixes or solutions? What if you knew with absolute certainty that all feeling passes naturally and effortlessly like weather passes through the sky? How do you suppose your day to day experience would be different? There would be zero attempts at changing how […]

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