Post Type ArchivesPodcast

#67 Consciousness and moving Beyond the Mind

 

We can’t yet prove consciousness exists, but we can’t prove the existence of love or fear either. Consciousness is real, the real question is, “How do you experience your Self as consciousness”. The journey to realizing your Self as consciousness involves extricating your “Self” from the mind’s narrative thoughts. The constant thinking has trapped consciousness into a virtual identity of the narrative. 

In this podcast, Eva Beronius and I explore the steps and obstacles of moving from the identity with the ego-mind to realizing our Self as Consciousness. 

Mindfulness meditations are becoming popular and direct us to be the observer of the mind and thoughts.  Becoming the “observer” is just the beginning.  The “I” and “me” qualities of the way we think about ourselves have to change. This change in identity can be both a bit scary and confusing to our thinking mind. It can also be a tremendous launching point into new worlds of perception, imagination, and emotions.

Want deeper insights on how to Connect with Consciousness and change the relationship with your mind?

Sign up for the upcoming free masterclass:

Accessing Consciousness: How to end the battle with your mind

 

 

You can find more about Eva on selfmasteryandbeyond.com or connect with her on Instagram or Facebook.

 

 

#66 Trauma symptoms and treatments

 

Trauma events can produce symptoms of anxiety, anger, suicidal thoughts, ADHD, panic attacks, or harsh self judgments, and freeze responses.   Trauma is often experienced by people who later become alcoholics and drug addicted.

Trauma isn’t just experienced by soldiers in combat that end up with PTSD. These same PTSD symptoms can be the result of an alcoholic parent, a car accident, surgery experience, abusive relationship, sexual assault, abuse, or bullying. You don’t even need to experience them directly. When you watch someone get bullied, or suffer a traumatic event your brain is cataloging that experience in a way that can bring up fears later. It is calculating that this might happen to you.

Listen to the podcast as I give an overview of trauma symptoms, how  a person’s nervous system responds to distort and confuse a person when triggered, and the best modalities for treatment. The effects of trauma can be undone and your brain and nervous system trained to be self regulating and calm again.

Follow these 5 steps to get a good foundation and understanding for overcoming trauma issues.

    1. Add your name to this email list and get information about the upcoming Resources Course for people recovering from trauma.

2.   Do this Breathing practice regularly : https://pathwaytohappiness.com/blog/podcast/how-to-relax/

I recommend that you work your way up to 15 min twice a day. More of you can. It will take time over weeks or months to reset your nervous system to a relaxed state as default, but it will be worth it.

 

3. Practice the lessons in the Self Mastery Course located here:

 

4. Get guidance and understanding from experts with these books and audios.

Waking the Tiger  by Peter Levine. He developed Somatic Experiencing which helps people release the memory trapped in the body.  It’s a good book to start with so you understand how trauma is created, held, and that it can be healed.

 

Three o    Or get the Audio Book 

 

Complex PTSD: from surviving to thriving by Pete Walker:  is written by a therapist that grew up in a trauma environment. He knows from first hand experience what someone is going through.  After reading this book, my clients response is often relief to the effect. ” I finally understand why my thoughts and emotions do what they do and why I haven’t been able to control them. Now I know I’m not broken. I’ve just had trauma.

—     Or get the Audio Book   

 

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk is considered the kind of bible. It’s a deeper study of the history of trauma, how it’s been ignored, misdiagnosed, and misunderstood. He outlines how approaches like talk therapy fail, and why. It is backed up by studies he references, but that doesn’t make the information or content boring. He spends the last part of the book describing his experience with multiple approaches that really help heal trauma, and their efficacy. If you just want to understand what you need to do personally right now for yourself, then get the two resources above. They will give more immediate help. If you want a larger lay of the land, and deeper guidance on what will help and what won’t, then move on to The Body Keeps the Score.

Or get the Audio book version

Another good resource for overcoming trauma issues is The Power of Attachment by Diane Poole Heller

 

Heller studied extensively with Peter Levine and the Somatic Experiencing work.  She combines that background to address insecure attachment issues through nervous system re-training.  I think her background and the exercises she applies are very helpful for developmental type trauma.

5. Work with a therapist who specializes in treatment of trauma.

I recommend someone who is experienced in the treatment of trauma, which means 5 to 10 years of experience. That way they will have seen and heard it all and be relaxed about whatever you show up with. If you find a therapist that is uncomfortable about your trauma history and reacts, winces, tightens their facial muscles, then keep looking. It is important that the person you are working with remains calm in all scenarios, as this will help your nervous system reset.  They can’t guide you to relaxation unless they know how to get there themselves.

The types of therapy that have been effective that I know of.

      1. Internal Family Systems

Types nervous system treatments documented as effective:

      1. Somatic Experiencing
      2. EMDR (Uses various forms of bi-lateral stimulation )
      3. Emotional Freedom Technique

 

#65 Beliefs I’m Broken and Unlovable that Produce Shame

“I’m broken,  I’m not lovable,  Something is wrong with me,  I’m not good enough.”

These are the narrative stories of thoughts that generate shame. Except it isn’t the thought that creates the emotion. It is the core belief that is carrying the shame. That belief generates  thoughts and adds more emotion and thoughts. It is a belief that isn’t true.

Then why would you ever come to believe those things about yourself?  And why, years later, would you still have your mind running with those thoughts when you intellectually know they aren’t true anymore?  Here are some answers that help with those questions in this episode.

If you can remember back far enough, and I have clients that do, they recall who they were before they ever believed something was wrong with them. That sense of ourselves as whole, complete, loved, loving, and just fine the way we are is a sense of ourself that we seek within. It’s there. It’s in everyone. It’s in you.

It’s underneath the layers of narrative false beliefs our mind tells us. Cutting through those false beliefs to get to your authentic self is what the Self Mastery courses are about. 

 

 

 

#63 Overcoming Trauma and Living Happy

My interview with Anna who is waking up and being happy every day. That’s a log emotional healing journey from the emotions of anger, anxiety, depression, and anger that was overwhelming her everyday. Caused by earlier trauma in her life, Anna took an aggressive approach to change, which included applying the skills from the Self Mastery Courswork. 

Most people recovering from trauma, or just trying to stop their emotional reactions set the bar low. They hope to manage the problem. Many people, even professionals will tell them that’s all they can hope for. Anna didn’t buy that story. At first she just wanted peace. But as she got to have peace, and calm she began to experience love. Then she wanted joy, laughter, fun. Now Anna is working on feeling unlimited, and she wakes up feeling excited about that each day. That’s a long way from where she was 3 years ago, when she was afraid to go to sleep at might because of the nightmares, and afraid to wake up.

I don’t know all that “be unlimited” entails, but it’s something Anna is excited to explore.  Her hard work using the self mastery practices, combined with an aggressive application of trauma healing and recovery wasn’t easy. But listening to her, it sure seems worth it.

At numerous times the tunnel looking forward looked dark. Anna knew she could continue forward into the unknown, or go back at anytime. She kept going forward towards the unknown. Going back meant certain anxiety, anger, and depression.  Sometimes what looks like courage at going forward, may just be an unwillingness to keep doing what doesn’t work in your life.

You can find out more about Anna’s coaching of trauma clients at: https://livinghappy.com.au/

The Self Mastery practices that helped her develop the needed skills for change are at Self Mastery Courses

You can also watch this interview on video on Gary’s YouTube channel: 

 

#62 Overwhelmed with Emotions – Why am I so Angry?

Have you ever been overwhelmed emotionally? Most of our emotions are created by our belief system. But sometimes, in cases of real physical threat to ourselves, or someone close to us, our emotions are no longer from our mind or beliefs. Our sense of survival is driven by physical and nervous system instincts that are millions of years old. Those automatic survival responses can over ride any conscious efforts of our attention and put us into raging anger, grief, fear, or freeze responses.

If you have done a lot of awareness and conscious development, you can stay present while your limbic system and nervous system do their response. It might take everything you have to refrain from acting out on your overwhelming anger or frustrations.

Afterwards our rational mind and belief systems get back on line. When this happens our belief system might generate thoughts about what just happened. The inner critic (Judge) usually has something critical to say about how poorly we handled that. However it has no idea of the real source of those emotions, where they came from, and why. In essence, your Judge is stupid.  Listen to this podcast to get a better understanding of those deeper survival emotions and how deeply wired into our system they are.  It goes back millions of years.

#61-Fear Virus – Live Self Mastery Get Together

Along with the biological Corona Virus spread, there are emotions of fear and confusion spreading like a virus as well. There are some practical things you can do to get a hold of your attention and help calm your mind. Gary van Warmerdam and Eva Beronius share some actions you can take to get a hold of your attention and break out of the fear narrative. Also included is a 17 minute guided meditation in relaxation. You can use that to help you calm your nervous system, and the incessant chatter that can keep you up at night.

You can get the mp3 meditation by following the download instructions below.

 

 

 

#60 Emotional Wounds and Relationship Baggage

What are emotional wounds? Why do we carry our relationship baggage to the next partner? The conditioning in our emotions and nervous system may have us thinking that our mind is there to cause us pain and problems. While the mind may be replaying past pains and giving us problems, that’s not what it is trying to do. It is actually trying to operate as a warning system preventing us from getting hurt. The problem is that the emotional warning system isn’t working correctly. The good news is that it can be changed.

Memory is powerful when it comes to emotions. When those memories are stored they replay by associations. Certain signals can trigger our alarm system about things that could be great, or that could hurt. By the time we are adults we have all experienced heartbreak, betrayal, feelings of rejection, and shame. Our mind has developed associations to emotional pain and jumps to those pains too easily.

If we have been cheated on in the past, we are more likely to imagine and project that our current partner or every future partner will cheat on us. This is our mind giving us information based on the past about what to avoid about the future. It gives us this information at an emotional and nervous system level, even if our intellect knows that our current partner is not like our past partner. Our emotional alarm system lives in the past pattern of pain.

The two products I recommend to clean out your emotional wounds and reprogram your mind are:
1. The Self Mastery Course
2. The Recapitulation Practices.
Both of these processes work to address repressed and stored emotions from our past that form emotional wounds in different ways. Both processes also address the faith and beliefs that hold the emotions in place. You can try one, or both systems and combine the approaches for a more comprehensive system in healing your emotional wounds.

#59 Self Mastery Interview with Eva

 

The website is called Pathway to Happiness, but the journey there isn’t always that pretty. It usually involves delving into the emotions and beliefs from our past and cleaning them up. The process can require a raw honesty with yourself, the lies you turned into beliefs earlier in your life, and the repressed emotions that you didn’t know how to release earlier. Eva Beronious shares her journey out of a life of regular panic attacks, depression, and career burn out.  Cause when you start there, going through that stuff mentioned above  is a step out of emotional hell. You are in it anyways, you might as well move through it.

#58: How to Relax

 

 

There are reasons that breathing techniques can help you relax. Breathing, when done properly, bypasses your intellect and directs your nervous system to switch off the flight or fight mode of hyper-vigilance. This is something that you can’t do by thinking better thoughts or trying to be positive. Good breathing techniques allow you to work directly with your body to reset your nervous system, change your brain wave patterns, and return you organs and cells to a restorative process. This helps with digestion, your immune system and other healthy processes in your body.

There are several keys to breathing to relax your whole body. When put together it will be simple, but be sure to include as many as you can. Here is a short list. More details are explained in the audio podcast.

  1. Focus your attention in your torso area. The heart area is the best, but the diaphragm where you will be moving most of the air is also helpful. They aren’t that far apart so you can have your awareness on both
  2. Make your breath consistent. Find a relaxing pace and count the rhythm of the inhale and exhale. Breathe according to that rhythm. Making your breath cycle consistent is the most important factor. It reduces your heart rate variability which then changes your brain waves from beta to a more relaxing alpha.
  3. Breathe down into your lower belly using your diaphragm.
  4. Breathe through your nose as much as possible.
  5. Close your eyes if you have that option. If you are driving, in a meeting, or around people you can do the breathing with eyes open.
  6. Once your breathing rhythm has been consistent for a while, you may find it easy to lengthen the count of the inhale and exhale. Do this if it is easy and comfortable. Then be consistent with your breath in the new rhythm.
  7. When your attention drifts off, simply bring it back to your heart/diaphragm area and continue the rhythm. Let pass any need to address what the mind offers. Don’t follow up on a thought, or “fix” anything during this time. This is a practice of letting that other stuff go for now.
  8. Notice any subtle changes and sensations in your body as different areas make small relaxations.
  9. The slower rhythm of breathing will allow you to notice different feelings and have different thoughts. Welcome these as a sign of good change.

#57: Critical voice in your head

 

 

The critical voice in your head telling you whether you are succeeding or failing at things is actually pretty stupid. It sounds smart, acts confident, and pretends to be an expert.  However, it hasn’t actually done any of the things it is criticizing you about. It has no expertise in learning the skill, or in coaching and guiding you to learning a skill. Sometimes it is just a fraud and you are better off not listening to it.

It behaves as a biased scorekeeper, always marking you down. It doesn’t apply how we really learn a skill, which is through a lot of trial and error repetition. It somehow expects perfection on the first try, even though that is not in reality how we get better. When you become aware of it’s impact you discover that it isn’t actually making you better. The result is that it acts more as a saboteur to demotivate you to continue learning and practicing. Your counter move to it’s antics is awareness and that will allow you to not believe what it says.

 

#56: Social anxiety from unconscious beliefs

 

 

Most of your emotions arise from unconscious beliefs. In this podcast I describe a process to dig into the layers of your unconscious beliefs, and release the emotional beliefs trapped there. A man shares what he discovers as the source of his social anxiety that  began when he was in 3rd grade. You can use this method to discover and change the source of negative thoughts, anxiety, and other emotional reactions.

Sometimes the cause of the negative chatter in your head is from repressed memories and emotions that generate internal thoughts long after the event happened. These memories form a kind of belief. You may not remember the event, but it can still cause you to have negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors years later.

Helpful methods to find and change these beliefs can be found in the Self Mastery Course, the Releasing Emotions Exercise, and the Recapitulation Series – see all online trainings here.

#55: Origin of ego and false beliefs of identity

 

 

What are the false beliefs that form our Ego?  Where do our false beliefs come from?  When did we begin to get these false beliefs o our identity and lose touch with our authentic self? What is our identity when we shed our mind’s version of who we are?

A critical step to getting back to an authentic self is that we have to dissolve the labels and stories (thoughts) that fill our mind with descriptions of our self. This version from the mind will always be a false version.

For practical steps on how to rid the mind of the chatter of thoughts beliefs and emotional reactions check out the Four Free Sessions of my Self Mastery course. Or my book MindWorks.

#54: How do you recognize the truth?

 

 

How can you tell if something is truthful or if it is a lie? From a consciousness perspective, even statements that are factual are still not the Truth. Words are what we use to describe a thing, or facts. But words are not the thing itself. The words used to describe a chair are not the chair itself.  The best words can do is to give you a factual description of the something that is true. But believing in the words, is not the same is believing in something that is true.

As Alan Watts describes, “The menu is not the meal”.  Don’t confuse a good description, or even facts with being the truth.  A description of what “Love” is, is not the same as love. A description of what “Beauty” is, is not the same as Beauty.

 

#53: Why lie to your self?

 

 

Lying to your self can cause a response in the reasoning part of your brain that makes you feel good. Sometimes people confuse this good feeling with being right, or feeling that they have just agreed with an explanation that is truthful. Sometimes people are relieved from their “need to know” or a feeling of uncomfortable confusion by believing something that isn’t true.  Often times our analytical mind, or what I call the reasoning part of the mind doesn’t care if an answer or explanation is true, it only wants to be satisfied with having an explanation.

For some reference reading you might pick up Noble Prize winner for Economics Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow.

 

#52: Self loathing

 

 

Self loathing is a strong hatred towards oneself.  You will also find with it a lot of internal thoughts of criticism and self judgment. Underneath that there will be a layer of beliefs relating to worthlessness. This layer of beliefs about being bad, unworthy, or inferior somehow justifies the emotional punishment of hate and anger one pours on themselves.  What makes this cycle perpetual is that the beliefs involved in the unworthiness and emotional punishment cycles don’t have enough awareness to look around and see if there are other options.  There is a kind of certainty that this is the best course of action and that the hate and anger are deserved.

I this podcast we explore the unconscious beliefs that can be behind self loathing and self hatred.  I also explore why getting rid of these habits can be accompanied with resistance, fears, and objections from our own mind. You can learn how to do this process through my Self Mastery Course or through my book MindWorks: A practical guide to changing thoughts, beliefs, and emotional reactions.

#51: Unconscious beliefs

 

 

Unconscious beliefs are agreements we have in our mind that we have no awareness we are holding. In spite of not having any intellectual knowledge of our own beliefs, they can still cause us to have emotional reactions and sabotaging behaviors.  Often these beliefs are formed early in our life, either through a strong emotional event, or through subtle repetition. In this audio I discuss a woman’s fear of flying that formed when she was 5 years old.

She avoided the issue for years, mostly by not flying or through taking medications.  When we took an inventory of the belief and when it was formed she discovered that her fear had nothing to do with flying. Beliefs in a powerless identity, feeling helpless, the world not being safe, and the fear of death, were all fused together when she was on her way to her grandmothers funeral. These unconscious beliefs can mask themselves for years or decades behind a smart intellect that makes excuses, a denial system that distracts and deflects the issue, or white knuckled under repressed emotions. The way to change the emotional reactions and sabotaging behaviors that these unconscious beliefs may be causing is through an honest inventory of beliefs and behaviors. You can learn how to do this process through my Self Mastery Course or through my book MindWorks: A practical guide to changing thoughts, beliefs, and emotional reactions.

#50: Personal power and responsibility

 

 

When you take responsibility for your life, you also accept a power over it. Taking responsibility for the good stuff is easy, it is the not so good stuff that feels uncomfortable. But this is what you want the power to change. When you are in the expression of blame, you personify a victim attitude that is powerless.  When you accept some responsibility for your half, and this does not mean blame your self, you begin to change your story.

#49: Anxiety – understanding it differently

 

 

Attempts to overcoming or at least reduce anxiety tend to fail. Perhaps our efforts fail because we are applying the wrong understanding, and therefore the wrong model for changing it.  Anxiety isn’t the kind of thing that responds to our intellect. That is why very intelligent and highly educated individuals often are susceptible to issues of anxiety, anxiety attacks, and panic attacks.  Their efforts to change are often intellectual or through a system of knowledge that they are familiar with. There may be a different way to understand anxiety that can help.

#48: Becoming the observer – mindfulness practice

 

 

Becoming the observer requires that we do it in a neutral witness manner. It is not enough to just think about our self, any egotistical person can do that. If this were the case, the narcissist would be very self-aware when this is actually furthest from the truth.  When the ego part of the mind thinks about our self it often does it with a sense of comparison. That part of the mind will compare us to someone else, or an idealized version we hold in our belief system.  It is evaluating how well or how poorly we did something. It might even judge us for not being very spiritually aware. It is an egotistical thought that says we are not meditating enough or not doing enough mindfulness practices. While these may seem like observations, they are not. They are criticisms with an agenda.  The result of which is that we feel worse.

When we act in the way of a neutral observer we notice different things. We notice when those thoughts are arising from parts of our ego and the emotions they produce. We can also notice the idealized version in the background of our mind being used as comparison. We might notice the idea that we could sit down and spend some time in quiet meditation, and then notice how our emotions, thoughts, and body reacts to that idea. As an observer we might notice negative thoughts rebut why it is not a good time, we are busy, or that we will be better served by exercising today. The Observer state of mind doesn’t see any of these rebuttals as a problem as that would have an agenda. It just notices these rebuttals as if it were a car driving by with an interesting paint job. If it were to think anything about them it would say, “I notice a rebuttal coming from other parts of my mind… interesting.”

Read this article for more on being the neutral witness observer

In the online training in the Self Mastery Course I guide you how to move into the observer state, step by step.

#47: Reality, projections and illusions

 

 

How much does our mind project into what we see and distort our perception of things? Is it possible to know the truth about things? What is reality? What is illusion? All these questions first require that we understand perception. When we begin to understand how we perceive the world, or our self, we become immediately aware that the mind has the capacity to distort and project on to what we see in ways that are difficult to spot.

Once you realize that the mind that is distorting things is at the beginning of our perception and interpretation of events, you become aware that perceiving reality is much more difficult. The mind affects and changes what we see before we get a chance to be consciously aware. Not only are the images we see with our brain processed by turning them upside down, but two 2D images are converted to one 3D image without us noticing. Who knows what else it might be adding or changing.

You can help your self untangle the stories of drama in your mind by applying the Self Mastery sessions. You can begin with the first four exercises as a free trial.