Picture of Wayne Andersen

Wayne Andersen

Session 28: Consciousness and You: What Does it Mean?

The more we’re self-aware, the more we can consciously influence our thoughts and feelings and respond in resourceful ways to help others.

Video Transcript:

Dr. A: All right. Well welcome, everybody, to the Conscious Leaders Forum. We are very excited. It’s actually— we call it the Conscious Forum. I put that extra word in there because it’s leading yourself. It’s really about giving ourselves the opportunity and perspective to actually move beyond where we are. One of the things that’s really important to understand is that in our life, as we move forward, being open, curious and wanting to grow is so critical. If we’re fixed, defensive and need to be right, we stay really contracted inside and we don’t really grow, and it becomes a—over time it can become a real problem for us.

So I really appreciate all of you that have joined us today on the Conscious Forum and I’m going to spend just a couple minutes, in case this is your first time, kind of going over what I mean by Forum. Forum is a place, meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged, and that’s the idea here. I do a lot of lecturing, and of course written books, but my favorite medium for learning, both for you and for me, is when we interact. When we spend time together, we talk about real life situations and how we can move those forward and be open, curious, and learn from them, and grow from them.

So that’s what the form is about, and so I’m going to— I usually like to do a brief overview of a subject, and we have a great subject today, which is really the core of talking about how we grow inside, you know, the external world happens, but the internal world we have control over. Complete control over, by the way, and I’m excited about talking about consciousness. But as I talk about this, think about things in your own life that are either, “Ah!” A light bulb goes off, or something that you’re dealing with that you would like to discuss, because that part is what makes the forum so powerful and it’s— I learn as much as you do during that part, and I think we can share, and when you think of something that’s important to you that you’d like to work on or talk about that works for everybody, and I think it’s probably one of the most powerful ways we learn because we’re humans, and we’re connecting as humans, and we’re more similar than we’re different, and we all have some of the same struggles in our lives.

So, I think it’s really important for us as we start here to really think about something that gets ignited inside of you so you can share that with us. That’s my favorite part of this. So basically today we’re going to talk about consciousness and you. This is really, really— to me, the essence of moving forward in my own life. You know, as I learn and grow, and obviously, you can see I have a—I’m out in Colorado. I’ve been skiing with my ski instructor who I’ve known for years and we ski together. Mostly now he just takes me into interesting environments and stuff to get ready for heli skiing because we’re going heli skiing on this particular Thursday up in British Columbia and we’ll be taken up in helicopters and put on the top of mountains, and so why I’m telling you that to kind of start this is that awareness, that understanding of what’s required, and how I can adopt and adapt to it in the environment.

It’s important by becoming awaken to the possibilities of getting better and then learning to become better and so I couldn’t have, 10 years ago, I couldn’t have done that and now I can do it, and I’m going to do it, and feel confident. My confidence is built. My self efficacy is improved and I go up there with the confidence that I can ski with some amazing skiers that are half my age and I’ll be fine and so that’s what we’re doing inside of here. It’s like putting on your lab jacket, putting on your goggles, and making the decision that, you know what? I’m going to start to understand myself, because the world that you live in now is changing more rapidly— in fact, today is the slowest that the world will change at this moment; it will continue to accelerate. Now we know with AI, and all of the data mining that’s done, that if we’re sleepwalking through our own life, someone else will be controlling your life. It’ll be like the Matrix. In fact, corporations are now out there with AI telling you what to buy, what to like, what not to like, when you’re happy, when you’re not happy, and your consciousness is the one defense mechanism. It’s the thing that as you explore and you become more self-aware that allows you to manage yourself and actually thrive, and at the end we— next month we’re going to be talking about, where does your happiness come from? Where, you know, how do you stay in a state where your days are good. Where you don’t have— I mean, we have stuff happen outside of us which we have no control of, and those things, those particular things, we have to deal with, but if we learn psychological flexibility. If we learn how we work, how our consciousness works, then we have an opportunity to go through those situations and come out the other end, without really having— it’s what it’s been called for years, equanimity.

We can take the things— be aware of the things that happen, that aren’t necessarily good for the world, for ourselves, individually, in our families, but we can move through those and then manage those in a way that we come out the other side in the best possible shape. So, let me first define consciousness. I’ve done this before but I think it’s important today as we start on this journey of understanding consciousness and yourself, but consciousness really refers to the state of being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings. So inside of us, the internal dialogue that goes on, understanding that and what it does, what it represents, how it works, what it doesn’t do, and how that is actually related to our own awareness.

We know this, the more we’re self-aware, the more we can consciously influence our thoughts and feelings and respond in resourceful ways to help others. We can help ourselves and we can help others. We can build better relational health. We can move out of the Drama Triangle, which you know, I’ve talked about quite a few times. The Drama Triangle is when people get pulled in. They become unconscious. They become reactive, usually from fear. It could be anger, it can be any of the basic emotions, but when that happens we presume the position as a victim. You know, something’s happening to us— and we’re going to talk about this. We’re a villain. We’re going to find someone to blame it on. Like right now people are blaming lots of the world events on each other and pointing their fingers. All you have to do is turn on any TV station and someone’s pointing at someone else, and the third is the hero. We don’t like the pain so we try to do something to fix the pain, by somehow manipulating the situation.

None of those things are good. They keep us in an unconscious state and they keep us really closed and contracted and don’t allow us to really, fully experience ourselves and also our relationships with others. So let me first start here. I think this is really important that we understand a little bit about consciousness and awareness and what it really means. So there’s basically consciousness or awareness of things that are external to us. So as you see this model is looking at a vase and it’s got plants in it and so we’re aware of that. That is external awareness. That is awareness of our surroundings. So if we actually look at that, let me move this [Dr. A changed the slide on screen]. We have sense organs and there’s five sense organs, and we know what they are and those sense organs, basically that plant vase is your eyesight. Your eyesight sees it. It’s something external to you. You bring it in, and as you bring it in, you see it, but basically, it’s actually like a monitor. So if you’re watching a baseball game in Oakland, California, and you were in New York City, you would actually see it on the monitor. You would see the game even though the game physically live was out in Oakland, you would be seeing it on a TV and it would look real.

That plant vase actually goes through your sense organs and is changed from the physicality of the light coming into your eyes and then is converted through the visual cortexes and you’re actually reproducing it inside of your head and so you’re seeing it. So you’re aware of that. So you’re aware of that external circumstance. Same thing of a bird chirping. A bird chirping, basically, you’re hearing it. It’s coming in through your sensory organ of your ears and you’re hearing the sound, but you’re not actually having the sound inside your head. You’re having, basically the bird chirping externally, but your body has the ability through these sense organs to bring that sound and internalize it and put it inside of you.

Same thing with cookies baking. That’s our smell, our olfactory, which again is very tangible. These are relative. I’m going through this because they’re relatively easy to understand about awareness. Now, just to stop for a second, if you basically are busy, contracted inside, which we’re going to go next, you may not see something in front of you. You may not hear what someone you’re talking to is saying to you. You may not even smell something that’s going on because you’re so distracted, because of that internal dialogue that’s going on. So the other two, just to finish this up: lemon. We have taste. We have our taste buds, and then of course, a hot plate, we have our touch, which are the receptors that are all over our body, but specifically in our hands and our feet, where we can. They’re very sensitive and they are very tactile.

So that’s basically consciousness of the outside world. That’s the world that we understand. We have no problem really— we have really no problem being aware, but, as I just mentioned, our consciousness inside, our internal chatter, our voice in our head, can distract us, where we’re not even aware. So think about the times you’ve driven your car, and hopefully you’re using a hands-free device, but you may be in a conversation and drive all the way home and all of a sudden you’re at the garage door, ready to open it and you think, oh my God. How did I get here? Because you weren’t really— you were on automatic. You were driving the car based on your ability to do those things because over time the experience of learning how to drive a car and you were able to do that without thinking about it, and your full awareness was into the discussion you were having with someone else, but consciousness of our inner world is really, really important.

It’s how we process. It’s how we actually deal with the thinking process, and you know, a lot of people have called it skull chatter, right? It’s kind of this, it’s been called the monkey. Monkey voice, right? You have this monkey mind going on inside and what happens is, something happens, we’re maybe aware of the present. Something happens as an event. It could be someone talking to us. Something happens, and basically, whatever that stimulate— and it doesn’t have to be external, by the way, it could be something inside you thought of and next thing you know you’re starting to have thoughts which are creating emotional feelings, which your ego is dealing with and basically looking to find blame.

Again, either you’re the victim, the villain, or the hero, and we’re trying to self soothe that and what in essence happens there is we get to the point where we actually stay in that triangle, and once that happens, and that discussion is going on, all those things around us, our kids playing, conversations someone is having with you, it could be a Thanksgiving dinner, rather than having a really gregarious thankfulness together, you might be— someone said something to you in the kitchen, whatever it is, as soon as that dialogue takes over and it goes into that repetitive cycle that we call a cognitive emotive loop. A thinking, feeling loop, then we’re done, and we’re totally unaware of what’s going on external, and it can actually be dangerous. It certainly can ruin relationships. It’s not healthy for us, and it’s something we want to talk about today. About you and how you can deal with that.

So the other part we do is we project. If we conceal let’s say rather than reveal something that’s going on and then go through it, take ownership of it, if we conceal it, basically then we end up getting to the point where we withhold and the next thing thing we know we’re projecting, “My aunt was doing this and that and she shouldn’t have done that,” and so we start projecting. So all these lead to healthy behaviors. So basically, we’re filtering reality. As I showed you right here, you can see the ego. The ego is our personal mind. It is your experiences of your whole life. Your mentors. Your parents. Your schoolmates. Your teachers. Everything that’s happened today has allowed you to create a personal mind and the personal mind is your own.

You’re the architect of it. You created it and it is what it is, and you’ve been using it to negotiate and you actually use it to filter reality. So you’re reality is basically different than everybody else’s reality. Reality is reality, and you know, an old mentor of mine, Robert Fritz, used to say, reality is an acquired taste, and it is, but bottom line, what we actually do is something is happening. We make meaning of it and our ego interprets it to create a narration that makes you more comfortable with the world around us. So we actually do that to relieve the suffering and pain. In essence what we do is we actually block what’s actually happening in our emotions, and our feelings, and our thoughts, and we block and get them out of the way, and we create a story.

So our story is made up. A video, that you took a video camera and took a situation that’s reality. What actually happened without any interpretation, then we make a story up about and we do make stories every day and stories are— we made stories since prehistoric man, you know, writing on the on the cave walls and stuff, and stories are way of communicating, and they’re a way of expressing, but they’re our story and we need to realize they’re not the story. They’re not reality. That’s why needing to be right, right? And being defensive, and basically being closed, that is because if we have a story and we have to— our ego wants to stick to that story. If something else is happening out there then we make something up and then we go into that reactive state to defend that.

So basically, if we look at it in general, consciousness is an unfiltered world. It’s where you can see this lady inside is seeing this beautiful sunset, and think about the times when you’ve been on vacation or you came around the corner and you were up in the mountains or somewhere and all of a sudden you saw this over the water. You see the spectacular sunset. It’s the universe, the gods, whatever God is to you, and it’s that feeling of just connection and that’s what I mean by unfiltered. All of a sudden you’re not thinking the small things. You’re not thinking, “Oh, I got to eat in 15 minutes. I’m late for dinner.” You’re not thinking about, “Oh, I’ve got to get that project done.” You are in that moment. In awe. Unfiltered. Your internal dialogue is silent and because of the impressiveness of this, you’re seeing the spectacular.

We can all think of times like that and remember how they felt. We’re going to talk about this next month, about how we become happy and stay fulfilled in a space where we thrive in our lives versus struggle, which most of us unfortunately right now are doing, and that’s about becoming unfiltered. That’s what consciousness is about. It’s about being at the point where you’ve quieted that skull chatter and now you’re fully aware of what’s going on, and with practice, you can do that within everything you can, actually silence your personal mind and be there. It’s beautiful because at those moments— those are the spectacular moments, and in our relationships when we can suddenly be fully present for someone else.

We’re fully aware and we’re not having our ego interpret what they’re saying and making a story up about it. We could be fully there. Life becomes alive and your relationships become so special and it’s such a—and by the way, if we’re building relational health, whether it’s in your family, your friends, or people you meet. Could be in your work environment, as a coach or whatever it is you do. When you have those moments and you’re fully aware, what happens is you quickly build rapport and you build trust because the other person senses because of their mirror neurons. They sense that, wow. They really get me. They really care. It’s so important, but unfortunately, as you can see on the left side, we have normally all these cogs going, and all these cognitive emotive loops, and we’re basically creating a story or saying how compared to reality, how, “Oh, yeah. I know what they’re saying. In fact, I’m gonna interrupt them,” because they already know what they’re gonna say or ”I’m gonna fix them,” right? Fixing them, by the way, is what we do as a hero. We help. We help fix them versus really being fully present and support them.

So, let’s spend a couple of moments on this because I think it’s really important, about the different states of being that we’re in at any given time. Now, I’m going to go through these, they’re not progressive. I mean, over time as you become more conscious then you’ll move a little more into the next state, but remember as humans, you’ve heard us talk many times about going below the line. Going below the line is where we go unconscious. We go from a conscious state to an unconscious state. We end up in the Drama Triangle and it happens to all of us. I mean, I study this a lot and it happens to me. It happened the other day with one of my daughters. In frustration, but the difference is I caught it, responded to it, came beyond it, and did what’s next, which we’re going to show in a minute here, and as a result to that didn’t damage the relationship and actually the next day apologized again, and actually because my daughter spent, my daughters have spent so much time, she actually tried to do it before I did it. She says, “Dad, I’m sorry. I was frustrated too.” So that’s the beauty of not damaging your relationships.

Stuff’s going to happen. We are human. We are going to move up and down from unconscious to conscious state. Use above or below the line. Above being open, curious and want to grow. Below being basically closed, defensive and want to be right. But if we’re living our lives in an unconscious state— there’s only one way to show up in the world. Your ego is so strong and so in charge. Your personal mind is telling you what things are and what things aren’t, and that is not malleable.

So this is the most important part of this. This is going on right now and I don’t have time to go through it today, but this is happening right now in the weight loss industry with the onset of the new drugs. They are effective and they serve a role, but to suddenly think that those medications can totally take care of any issues we have in terms of our weight, and our lives, and our health, is basically saying, “I’m a reactive person at the effective,” in other words something outside of me determines everything in my life and I’m not responsible. I don’t need to be responsible. Something else is responsible, and what we know is from long-term studies when we do that and we actually say that something else is creating us becoming a victim. A victimhood. Is that we’re saying, “That’s in charge.” “That’s responsible.” We are giving the power away and as soon as that happens we lower our ability actually to actually organize our lives around what matters most to us.

So important. So that victim mindset, it’s that thing, it’s happening to me, but you get energized. You know, there used to be the Jerry Springer Show. I don’t even know if it’s on because I don’t watch TV, but there were shows like that where you could see people would get really upset in reality shows and stuff. People really yelling at each other and when you get that way, when you get in their act, you get energized. You get adrenalized. You get that dopamine click, right? That hit goes on and you’re feeling energized. So at that moment we think it’s actually, this is good, but it actually isn’t. It actually creates cortisol. Creates cortical dysfunction. We lose cortical cells. We have a release of cortisol that affects our brain, our neurons. It releases epinephrine, norepinephrine, which creates all kinds of cardiovascular effects and it ages us quickly.

[00:19:53] In fact, I truly believe emotional mismanagement, not being able to express these things in a healthy way, is the leading cause of death in the world. So basically, that’s what it means to be in an unconscious state. So if we live our life in a conscious state and this is the work that hopefully you’re learning from the Conscious Forum and from the stuff you’re reading and studying, but basically we’re moving to; we take responsibility. Actually, in its most pure form, we’re taking radical responsibility. We are now saying that fundamentals, all the key things in our life, we’re responsible for. We decide the outcome of whatever happens. We may not be able to decide the external world. Usually we can’t, and it’s happening in front of us, but we basically, totally control how we respond to it.

So you’re moving from a victim to being the creator. That in every situation I’m going to be curious, open, and want to grow, and as a result of what happens here I’m going to help things get better. I’m gonna help myself get better. I’m gonna build my relationships. I’m gonna have connected, conscious, conversations. I’m gonna listen more, and I’m gonna have a growth mindset. I want to continue to improve. I want to have healthy relationships. I want to basically, live in the world where I get to be the Dominant Force in my own life, and I’m not a victim to something or something else. So this is really by me. This is the first goal of moving from an unconscious to a conscious state and starting to master your consciousness and your awareness.

So now you commit. You can’t manage yourself. You can’t manage yourself if you are unconscious because you’re not aware of what’s going on. You’re caught up in that reactive state which stimulates the limbic area of your brain. The emotional area of your brain, and you’re not able during that period to think correctly. I mean there’s a lot of people in death row because in the moment they were so outraged and out of control, and their limbic system was stimulated, and they were deep in the Drama Triangle that they reacted and did something horrific. That an hour later they realized, “Oh my goodness.” Once that had worn off. So I mean that’s an extreme example, but we do little micro — basically, breaches of our integrity every single day. So the highest level of, next to high, but the one that really— I mean, I like to spend as much time as I can in now and that’s what this is about. I do this for you guys because I love to help people, and it helps me, helps me understand how to co-create in the world, but this is through me. This is where you start to see the possibilities that are bigger than yourself.

Going from, to me to by me, you’re really taking control and you’re becoming the Dominant Force. This level is when you realize that, hey, you’re not the center of the universe, right? You’re actually part of something bigger and you want to contribute. Not from a hero role of fixing, but by expressing and co-creating together, and usually there’s a vision and purpose for something bigger and that’s kind of my goal working with some of the top conscious leaders in the world, is to help the world be a better place for— and it starts with the individual. It starts with you. Now over time, through the butterfly effect, improving our family health, improving our relational health, and basically realizing that we’re all connected.

They talk about climate change and we’re all affected because we’re all on this rocket ship that’s spitting around the sun called planet Earth, and if we’re not careful, we could actually implode. So this is the same thing at your own level of you, why consciousness is so important. So how a conscious person thinks. You know, if it’s by me, you ask the questions. Something happens, someone comes to you, and you ask what happened. You want to know what the facts are. What’s the videography? What is the actual film? What was missing in that? What was expected that didn’t happen and what’s next? So instead of getting into the emotional area and getting in the Drama Triangle, we instead, basically use the prefrontal cortex. This brilliant area. This abstract mind of ours that’s so powerful to really analyze the situation. Be conscious and come out the other end without damage and moving forward in a collaborative, cooperative way.

Unconsciously. The unconscious person basically, it’s happening to them. You know, they want to know what’s wrong. They want to know who’s to blame. Someone’s got to be to blame. It could be you. It could be me, and then how do I fix it? They want to problem solve and problem solving, by the way, doesn’t fix anything. It just simply gets rid of something we don’t want. So basically, what must happen for us to transform? To really start working with our consciousness, put on that lab coat, as I said, and the goggles, basically we have to know that we need to let go of the past as it sits. Now, in the present, basically, we need to be fully present and letting what is necessary to become your future self. So we want to be very present, and in our relationship with the past, now in the present, because we’ve grown and if we’re on this path, you need a telescope to look back and see where you were, right? Because you’ve changed so much. If you’ve made the decision to become conscious. You made the decision for every day to be open, curious, and want to grow. Both of those things are really important and then we reconstruct the past in a way that serves us, but our goal is always to lead from the future you want.

In other words, what are the things that are important to me? Because the world is so distracting. There’s so many things going on. If we don’t take control and command then you’re going to end up doing more of the past, and your present reality will become your default future, and you will not really change. You’ll stay the same based on the past story. The past personal mind that has not grown, and so you know, I like to use the word moving from repetitive patterns, right? To where we are now upgrading ourselves. We’re actually working daily in what’s called emergence, and I love that term because we’re emerging. We are becoming. Just because something happened 20 years ago with your parents or someone else, or an event, doesn’t mean that defines where you are now or where you’re going in the future, and you have the opportunity to change that.

That’s so critical. So in conclusion, so we open this up for some questions, there is no one giant step. You got to where you are today based on how old you are and how many experiences you’ve had, and most of us, you know, have not had much practice even knowing what self-awareness is, what presence is, and what being unfiltered and being in the moment really is, but it’s a practice, and you start with the low hanging fruit. You don’t address the huge traumatic things of your past first. You start with the little things. You start with, you know, I use the example of— because I live on a A1A in Florida and it’s 35 miles an hour in the area where I live with a two-lane road, and the bottom line is you always have some old person that probably needs to go slow because their eyesight. They probably shouldn’t have a license anymore. Happens all the time, but they’re going slower than the speed limit and you’re behind them and you can’t pass because it’s a double yellow line, and what do you do? Do you become frustrated?

Do you start, you know, drifting down, being upset, getting to the Drama Triangle or do you use that period and actually say, you know, what I’m going to shift back up to being conscious. I’m going to use this time for something creative. I’m either going to listen to something on the media, I’m going to think about something important of where I’m going and what I’m going to do there and rehearsing it, but you actually turn it into something positive those little periods, those little events that happen are a great training ground for us to work. Same thing with our kids. So if you think about it, I’ve talked about this a lot, and by the way, you can go to drwayneandersen.com and all of these videos are there for you, and things you can start practicing. We’re filling that with more things to help you on your journey and more resources for you as well, but to realize that you are not your thoughts, you’re not your emotions, and you certainly aren’t the physical world outside.

So we use the analogy of the vase that we know. We understand that that’s not me, right? The vase is not me. It’s outside of me. We understand that, but our emotions are also not us. They are simply a response mechanism that your body uses. At one time, 10,000 years ago, was used to prevent you from getting into danger. To react quick. Emotions. Your emotions are energy. They’re kinetic energy that are moved through your body, but they’re not you. So you’re not your emotions, and your thoughts are a little closer and sometimes it’s hard to define that, but your thoughts also aren’t you. So you can practice that. So I like to show this because this is moving from looking for someone to blame, to gossip, to not take responsibility in a situation, to not the need to be right. Like kids. When kids are young they’re in wonder. They have curiosity. They wonder, and wonder questions are really about you know, I wonder what this is about. You don’t need an answer. You know, if 2 + 2 equals 4, we wouldn’t argue about that. We wouldn’t need to be right because that’s pretty obvious, but we might argue about something because our ego says, “No. This is the story. This is reality and what you’re saying isn’t correct,” and you may argue that to death. Even the point where we ruin friendships or really hurt our relationships with the people we love.

So getting back to changing our perspective, to be aware in the present, and to wonder. Wonder what’s going on and wonder how this works, and you know, I’ve done that because I’m skiing right now. It’s on my mind, you know, I wonder how you know that works and so I spend time with my ski instructor, in great discussions, and so that when I get in these situations, rather, no I’m right. I know I’m doing that right. No. In this situation I could have done better and I wonder, how can I have fun and really enjoy that? So bottom line is, the goal of this really is shown in this slide. We want to build to really have a life where you’re thriving. You’re having great relationships. Where every day is a joy. Even though things happen, I’m not— listen, it’s not polyana. I’m not saying there’s not things that happen in our lives. Life is intrinsically unstable, but how we respond to them, that internal stability, to be able to have psychological flexibility and then that helps us create external equilibrium.

[00:30:19] What I mean by that is in our relationships, when we’re upset about something we don’t then take it out and project it on someone else. We’re able to stabilize internally. Take care of ourselves. Have that psychological, emotional agility and do the same so that when someone comes to you and they’re really upset, rather than going into the drama, you know, who’s to blame? What happened? Let’s solve this problem. Instead you’re like, what happened? What’s next? What was missing? It becomes a logical, comforting discussion that you can have. So in your relationships then they become more stable and this is important, not just for our family and for our community, but also for our work environment. Being able to thrive in that environment. So let’s open up for some questions. Let me get off this thing and let us go. All right.

Rachel: All right. 

Dr. A: Hey, Rach, what do we have?

Rachel: First up we have TJ TJ can you come on camera?

TJ: Good morning, Dr. A.

Dr. A: Hi. How are you?

TJ: Thank you. Good, thank you so much for everything that you do and I think that exactly what you taught this morning is going to apply, but I just don’t know how to put it specifically on this question, so I’m wondering if you could coach me or guide me through something that has been a lifelong struggle for me.

Dr. A: Sure.

TJ: Wow. It’s gonna make me emotional.

Dr. A: No, no, I just want [crosstalk 00:31:47] and I’m not interrupting you. I want you to go with it. I just want to say this though. See, if you’re getting emotional, now we’re starting to get real. We’re starting to become aware. We’re starting to feel it and you’re sensing it and it’s bubble up inside. We’re not pressing it. So bottom line, just so— you know the old saying is, “there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.” So just go for it. It doesn’t matter, but let’s work on it.

TJ: I love it. So I’ve been healthy for nine years and I have evidence that I am a size small. I mean, I can go to any rock and I can pick a size small, but I still— even when I say that, I can’t go to the juniors and grab a small or I make these funny little excuses. So I cannot get beyond my body image issues. This is something I’ve had forever and my husband’s great. He’ll take pictures of me because I can see, oh, I am small. He takes different angles and he’s always sending them to me too because he knows I have this issue. If I look in the mirror I don’t see myself as small. If I talk to myself in my head, I don’t think of myself as small, but I don’t know how to apply this and I’ve grown so much through the years from everything that you’ve taught. This is one issue that I just can’t believe the truth.

Dr. A: Okay. So great question. You know, by the way, why this is so important, TJ, and what I love about this is we’re more similar than different and we all have things inside of us that we’re ashamed of, right? We’re ashamed of it and it created this indelible impression and the thing with shame. Shame is a very, very interesting phenomena because it’s actually a state of not really discussing it. I mean, you’ll discuss it with your husband, but inside you have this internal dialogue that’s going on, right? And it creates that same repetitive pattern. So when we talk about cognitive emotive loops, is you have this thought, you have a concept, and just for a moment— it was interesting because I’m preparing a talk and there, in one of my first book, I had an artist, a good friend of mine draw a picture and it was a picture of a guy in a lake, and he was looking up at his vision, you know, his future.

All the things that they wanted in their life, but he’s in the lake and he’s holding onto this rock, right? And this rock is this concept. This is the concept, and he’s holding onto it, and he’s treading water and his nose is just above the water, but he’s treading. He’s using all this energy, right? Because he’s trying to— this concept he has basically is the reality that his personal mind said, “this is who you are.” And you’ve used this for your whole life to defend something. We stay with a concept because it serves a purpose for us, right? And whatever that purpose is, basically, for you, that purpose is that you still believe that you’re unwanted. Through discussions and fat prejudice. Doesn’t matter how it got there, but there’s this concept about your self-image of yourself and that you’re big, and what’s happened is your cognitive emotive loops, and your personal mind have got you so dialed into that that you’re scared to let go of it because it served you so well in the past. And even though your reality now is that you’re now a small person— it’s like, I remember one of the people that really lost, I think they lost like 300 pounds, they felt like they basically had a, and I don’t mean this in a negative way, but a fat suit on and they unzipped and walked out and they’re this little person, but they still have this concept that they’re big, right?

So what’s going on there, TJ, is you have mechanisms in this concept that have served you in the past. It could be anything. It’s multiple things. It could be one of the things and not to get personal, this is generic, not about you, but these are just some ideas so you can understand and apply the things that are you. It could have been that we were young, we were sexually molested, right? It could be that we didn’t want to go out. We were shy and didn’t want to go out, and so we use these mechanisms of not being as physically attractive and fitting into the standard of society, of what is pretty. What you see in the models on TV, and we’ve built this concept to protect us against whatever it is that protects us, and so what’s really important for you— and one way— by the way, and this brings up a good point, this is about consciousness. About being more aware of yourself and working on yourself, but if there’s stuff from the past that come up there. There’s nothing wrong with getting some help.

You can go to a psychiatrist or psychologist and have them work with you and they’re really good at that. This is more about cognitive behavior. This is about us cognitive learning to manage our emotions and stuff, but if there’s stuff that’s really there and you can’t get rid of it, but we know one thing, we’ve know you’ve grown tremendously. So you know the old, gain in the gap? Your gain is tremendous. You’ve changed. I mean, first of all— I’m gonna tell you this, it won’t really help, and your husband can’t really help with pictures, but you’re beautiful. You know, you’re attractive. You’re a beautiful woman and you’re basically full of— I can see all this joy, and you’ve held on to and blamed yourself and used those concepts in the past and they’re no longer serving you and they’re the last part. They’re part of your consciousness of becoming really self-aware, that when you look— you’re like that vase, right? You look in the mirror you should see a beautiful woman because that’s what’s there, and basically that concept is so strong. What you need to do is let go of that rock and you will emerge and because of all the work you’ve done, you will just soar into the sky. So to get to that next level you can go and search for, you know, what is the stored trauma? Let that start bubbling up.

[00:37:56] There are reasons why you hold on to that concept and basically, part of it is in the past. You didn’t reveal. You concealed. So now, by revealing, just revealing in front of our audience, all these people that are on today. Bottom line is you’re revealing, and you’re becoming more attune to this isn’t you, right? This is not you. It’s becoming more about what you want to create, and that’s the other part. As the creator, you’re creating that concept and that concept is self-limiting to you, and you know that now. It’s time to let go. Drop the rock and focus on what you want to create, and what you want to create is loving relationships. Obviously, your husband is being there, being supportive, and your family, and all the people around you. So just take those things, and then ask yourself, am I making progress? Is this getting better? Am I allowing that stored trauma inside to bubble up? And basically, it’s going to be painful. It was painful. That’s why you stored it. That’s why you got it out of the way and created this image of yourself, because it helped protect you, but it’s not serving you anymore, and you’re aware now. You are conscious, and that’s why you’re asking these questions. Before you would have just shamed yourself or blamed yourself, right? Now you want to grow. You’re open. You’re curious to this. You ask this question in a public environment because you want to grow and look how you’re smiling when you sense and feel that. So with that, work on it, and see how it goes, and continue— again, remember I said it’s baby steps, and if you think you need to, go find some professional help. Go find a therapist that can help you because there are a lot of great people out there. Does that make sense?

TJ: I actually, I love that, and I have to tell you through the things that you’ve taught me, I lived 55 years with being afraid of spiders and I came to the truth that that was a concept that was holding me down. I’m not afraid of spiders. I don’t like them. 

Dr. A: I don’t like them either! [crosstalk 00:39:54].

TJ: I changed the narrative. I dropped that rock. I love that vision. That’s where I’m going to go when I start thinking about those things. Thank you so much.

Dr. A: You’re welcome. Thanks. Go get them. Let me know, let us know how it’s working, okay?

TJ: All right. I’ll see you in Utah.

Dr. A: All right. Sounds great. Okay. Who else we got?

Rachel: All right. Next up we have Shelly.

Shelly: Hi, Dr. A [crosstalk 00:40:29].

Dr. A: Hey, Shelly. How are you?

Shelly: Great. How are you? Happy Easter. I see there’s a lot of people behind me so I’ll keep— it I’ll keep it quick.

Dr. A: No. This is your time for you. No, see now there we go. There we go. You’re being the hero. You’re basically saying, “Oh, I’m not as important as all these other people.” Stop it.

Shelly: Okay. I will. Thank you.

Dr. A: Seriously. This is your time. You’re here. I want you— you’re the most important person in my life right now. Okay?

Shelly: Okay.

Dr. A: No. I mean that. Right now. That’s what the present’s about. I mean obviously, my girls, I love my daughters, but [crosstalk 00:41:04]. You’re not superior. You’re not inferior to any other human on the planet and that’s where it starts. That’s where the— because if you’re not Shelly, as you ask this question, and you’re thinking  “Oh, I don’t want to take up too much time,” then you’re not fully present. You’re actually thinking that in your loop, and I’m using that as an example. So sorry that I started off like that, but I want you to understand; you are a human that is as important as anybody else, okay?

Shelly: Okay. Well this leads right into my question. So you talked about the cognitive loop. Do you have any tangible steps to stay more conscious when you’re fatigued, because when I’m tired, usually that’s when my non-conscious comes in and says, okay. Well this is what we normally do. I’ll take over, you know, and it’s harder to stay more conscious and then you dip into that cognitive loop you were speaking of.

Dr. A: Yeah. That’s, no, and that’s a very profound— it’s interesting, because the parallel to that is willpower, right? Willpower. There’s a lot of work been done in willpower because obviously someone’s working with struggling with an addiction or whatever, trying to use willpower by itself, and one thing we know is when we’re tired and fatigue, our willpower is easily depleted, right? So our ability to be disciplined is less. Same thing with exactly what you’re saying, our comfort zone, our ego, who ran your life for many, many years, likes that. It likes it, and it likes to take over, and for your awareness, it slips into an unconscious state, and your ego takes over when you’re tired. So you need to understand and know that. By the way, that’s why you know in the Habits of Health, I spent a bunch of time talking about healthy sleep. Sleep is so critical. In fact, if I would have to say in my life to be able to go heli skiing in a couple days, in the mountains up in British Columbia, that I’m physically able to do that and mentally able to do that, because one thing I make sure, sleep is not a luxury for me, other than rarely now, because I have control of Dominant Force of my life, I basically get— and I wear a device that measures that — and I pretty much, I was just looking at it earlier this morning, in the last 10 days, even though I’ve been in a different environment, and now I’m staying at a friend’s house, bottom line is I get 100% sleep.

I get the sleep. So it allows me to stay in that zone where I can stay aware. When you lose that, you’re a human being, and when we get tired, we— just like a great example of that, look at kids, right? They’re great, but when they get sleepy and they get cranky, they’re done. That’s why if you’re reading to your kid or your grandkid, or they’re reading to you, and they’re doing great, and all of a sudden they make a mistake, and as they’re sitting there on the bed, as soon as they make that mistake you should stop, give them a hug, a kiss, and say good night, because then they’re going to get more frustrated, and then they get really irritable and then it all goes south and there’s no helping it. We’re just simply an older version of that and without sleep, we’re not at our best and our old patterns take over. That’s why— you know, why do people go to the coffee shops that sell the donuts every morning? Because they didn’t sleep well they need to get caffeinated. Need to get a high glucose level to get their serotonin, get themselves stimulated to be able to go to work because they didn’t sleep well. So anyway, that’s the first part. So what specifically would you like to work on?

Shelly: Well, I mean I’ll give you an example, sleep is really my primary focus right now for 2024, but there are some unavoidable things, I mean, well, for example, over the weekend our entire family went out of town for Easter and a hip replacement was thrown in, and so I was at a hospital, exhausted, you know, fatigue, obviously nothing that I really had a lot of control over, technically, right? So I know I’m tired today. So what I’m doing is just sort of very intricately planning the day and really shutting down this evening earlier than I normally would, but if I’m in the moment and I start, sometimes around four o’clock, I start to feel a little fatigued and then my subconscious kicks in. Do you have any steps to kind of combat that before…?

Dr. A: Sure. Yeah, we could, and by the way, what I hear already from you is that you are aware. You’re aware that you’re fatigued. So that’s the first thing because a lot of people don’t even realize. They’re aware of it. They’re just going through their day, and like I said, they’ve caffeinated or done something to help them, but they’re not even aware and they just allow themselves to have those reactive moments, and so if you think about conception, my dear friend Jim Dethmer created the drift shift move, and are you aware of that? [crostalk 00:46:16]. I’ll go over it. I’ll go over it for everybody here. So we’re present and we’re present for about 4 seconds and what happens is something— remember I showed the slide, an event happens, or people, or something? Something happens and you start to shift and what happens is because it’s a cognitive emotive loop that thought coming in, or that event that happens, it causes us to drift, and so we drift down where we then look for something and if we don’t catch that then we go into the Drama Triangle and next thing you know you’re upset with somebody. You’re yelling at somebody. You’ve done something you didn’t want. You grabbed a bag of M&M’s, it doesn’t matter what it is, but your body has multiple different ways of responding to comfort itself.

Once that happens, the key thing is to be aware. Something will change in your physiology because that’s what— again, cognitive emotive loop. Emotions are energy. They’re felt energy. Could be this pressure in your jaw. Could be that you’re getting angry. If it’s pressure in your throat, it could be you’re starting to be fearful about something. If it’s something down in your chest, it could be that you’re feeling love or sadness. Whatever it is, something will give you an indication that you’re starting to shift and as soon as that happens, you know, you heard of— I created this almost 20 years ago, stop, right then, challenge, why am I sensing this? And then choose an outcome. So I love what you said about you decided, “Okay. I know I’m tired today.” So if the big picture is, “I am going to go to sleep early tonight and I’m not going to let anything,” you’re going to do a full body “yes.” Full body “yes,” is, “I’m going to sleep tonight and anything else,” unless something like, “I’ve got to go to the hospital because someone’s having a hip replacement,” — unless something that important happens, I’m saying, “no,” to it.

So let’s just say a girlfriend calls up says, “Hey, let’s go have dinner,” or “let’s go see a movie,” or “there’s a charity thing today.” In your day, that event, even the charity thing, right? Which would be good, and you’d like to help, and be the hero, in your day, that’s not in your best interest. So you would say, “I really can’t tonight. I’m exhausted. I had a very busy weekend and I’m going to go to bed early.” That’s you becoming the Dominant Force in your life. Not letting external things— so, first of all, you’re doing a good job of that. Second is there will be things still during the day though that will irritate you. That will have you start to drift and what you want to do is simply use a change in posture. Stop. Challenge., use a change in posture. Some deep, slow breaths, and kind of let that go away and then basically move on to the next thing. So you’re processing that emotion and allowing it to bubble up so it doesn’t come inside you. And if you’re— you know, one of my favorite techniques is if I’m in a boardroom with executives or in a situation with people and there’s challenges going on before I speak, I like to stop. I always kid around about having a bottle of water with a top on it, you know, taking it off. Stop. Not responding. Not reacting, because I can feel it. I can feel it. It might be that I’m getting a little, I’m a human, just like you’re a human, and when we get tired. Their personal mind, your ego, would love to take over because it doesn’t want you to suffer.

[00:49:37] So it wants to take over, and what it wants to do is, one of the things it actually wants to do is challenge what’s going on, because that creates that adrenaline surge. That’s that dopamine hit and all of a sudden, yeah. I’m alive. I’m feeling better, but you’re really done multiple things. You’ve actually hurt yourself physically in those micro moments because that design, that emotion, were initially designed to protect you. The limbic area in your brain was designed so that when you were going down a path and a rattlesnake was there, before you even noticed it, here up in your human brain, you actually had responded and jumped out of the way. In your emotional brain it powered you to protect you, but today most things are perceived threats. They’re not real threats. They’re threats to our ego, and what we do is we get caught up in that and you don’t want that. You want to avoid that, and especially you recognize— when you’re aware that you’re fatigued you want to make sure that in your surroundings you minimize the necessity to interact.

So you wouldn’t have a complex discussion or negotiation. You wouldn’t have a complex discussion with a family member about something that was going on. You would save those to the times when you’re replenished. So that mechanism, Stop. Challenge. Choose., and then use it first of all to sense as soon as you feel something, the icky sauce happening, because that’s what it is, right? Somewhere inside you. It’s telling you you want to stop and challenge what’s going on and then choose an outcome that moves you, and then what you’re going to start to do is— that will build. Those are microHabits. Those are you taking something that previously would have irritated— like driving in the car, and I smile to myself because I talk about it all the time. I still deal with it. I’m not there right now, but when I’m there and I need to go somewhere pretty much inevitably there’s going to be someone in front of me where I can’t drive my car at the speed limit or a little over the speed limit, because we’re all a little bit of rebels, right? Does that make sense?

Shelly: It does. I used to joke, I mean, I’ve gotten a lot better at Stop. Challenge. Choose., but when I first started it was choose, challenge, stop for me, but when you’re fatigued I find it harder for me to stop.

Dr. A: Yeah.

Shelly: Do you have any, maybe, steps of how to actually stop? Is it the breathing? I think.

Dr. A: Yeah. No. No, you gotta— awareness. It’s— remember what we’re talking about. We’re talking about consciousness today. It’s exactly what we’re talking about [crosstalk 00:52:04]. See you have your conscious, subconscious. The majority of stuff going on is under the waterline. It’s in your subconscious.

Shelly: Yeah.

Dr. A: And that, by the way, goes all the way back for your whole life. So there might be a stimulus that’s back there that used to irritate the hell out of you, right? And all of a sudden, on this day, when you’re tired, it comes up. Right? It could be a call from a distant family member that’s calling for money or, I’m just making that up, but something [crosstalk 00:52:33].

Shelly: I already had that!

Dr. A: Okay. [Dr. A laughs with Shelly]. All right, so you know that— if you already know— think of it this way, think of it as being at the beach and there’s a set of flags depending on what the weather is, right? The green flag, I don’t know what the colors are, but the green flag means it’s calm. There’s no current. All the way up to black. Double black, which is a hurricane, obviously, you’re not going to the beach, but in between there’s a bunch of things; undercurrent, rip tide, stay out of the water. Boom. Hey, when you’re tired— first of all, awareness that you’re tired and fatigued, you put the flag up. The flag is, you’re not at your best. You’re not. You’re functioning at more of— not a leadership. Not leading yourself, but more at a human primordial level. You’re at a level where you’re ready to have a fight with somebody.

You’re just irritated and your ego’s sitting there on the sidelines. Put me [crosstalk 00:53:29]. Your awareness of that, first of all, one of the six MacroHabits is your surroundings. Minimize the surroundings that are going to put you in an irritated state. All right? That’s the first thing. Just like when you go to the grocery store. You buy your willpower, right? Don’t bring home Häagen–Dazs, double fudge, ice cream if you don’t want to eat it because if it’s in the freezer, and you’re having one of these days when something like that happens, you’re going to go right to the freezer. The same thing how you control your behavior. You have control over your behavior. Your behavior doesn’t control you. Only if you let your personal mind or your ego run the show. So, know on these days you got a double warning sign up and you need to avoid those situations. That’s the first thing.

Keep yourself out of those difficult conversations. If you’re in something that is difficult or happens because you don’t have any control over it, first of all, sense how you’re handling it. Is my national brain going through this? Am I feeling calm, collected? Am I not contracted? Am I expansive? And if that’s happening, great. Keep going with it, but if I start to feel— you’ll feel that contraction. It’s not fully alive. It’s a contracted state that’s happening and you’re already tired, so you’re already not in your most open state. Your most joyful state. You’re not in the state where you want to skip around your living room and say, “Oh, everything’s beautiful.” You already know [crosstalk 00:54:54]. So, and when you sense any of those changes in your body happening, before you even start analyzing, move yourself into this stop state. Don’t proceed, because if you proceed you’re going to move right into the Drama Triangle.

Shelly: Do you think that the breathing will help put me in a stop state?

Dr. A: No, no, no, the stop state is your awareness. Let’s get that right. Awareness. The challenge, choose state is the breathing. So as soon as you start drifting, a great— when you drift, a great shift move is breathing. It’s probably the best.

Shelly: Yeah.

Dr. A: So as soon as you start to drift, some deep, centering breaths, like you know, four seconds in, four seconds out, and as you breathe out kind of feel whatever it is. If it’s in your jaw. It’s in your throat.

Shelly: Where do you feel fatigue? I mean, you feel tired, but you know, anxiety you feel in your stomach for example.

Dr. A: Yeah. You feel a sense that you’re not acute. You’re not acutely aware. So that’s part of the issue. The issue is that you know you’re a little dull, right? You’re a little dull. You’re not at that hyperacute state. So since you’re a little dull, know that you need to be aware that your warning flag’s out. You’re not going in the water. So don’t go into those situations. Say, “Hey, listen. Can we talk tomorrow? I’m really exhausted today.” That, “I’d really want to hear what you say.” So you’re actually taking an active role in knowing full body “yes.” You’re only seeing— unless it’s emotional. Unless it’s your thoughts, your emotions, and your gut are saying, “Yes. I’m ready to do this. I feel dead on to do it.” Like, I wouldn’t have— three weeks ago, I wouldn’t have been ready in any of those states to go heli skiing. It’s scary. You jump out of— they drop you out of a helicopter! So you gotta be a full body “yes.” Right? And I’m now a full body “yes.” I’m ready to go. I wasn’t three weeks ago, and so that’s the same thing during your day. If you’re fatigued, you didn’t sleep well, just know that what— today I got a warning flag out and so I am going to proceed with caution. I’m going to be more acutely aware when something’s happening in my world, an event or something that it could trigger me, and I’m going to immediately take some deep breaths, and I’m going to say, “no,” unless it’s something that I’m a full body “yes,” with. So obviously, if you had to go to the hospital, you’d suck it up and go because it was something you had to do, but the 90% of the things that are self obligations you don’t need to do today, right?

Shelly: No, I have full bodied “yes,” my meetings, to tomorrow after four o’clock. 

D.r A: Perfect. Yeah, that’s perfect. So hopefully that’s helpful.

Shelly: Thank you, Dr. A.

Dr. A: You’re welcome. You’re so welcome. Okay, we have time for one more question, Rach.

Rachel: All right. We have Jeff. Jeff, can you come on camera? There you are.

Dr. A: Hey, Jeff!

Jeff: Hey, boss. It’s great to see you. I’m so grateful for your work, and Jim Dethmer. I feel like through this I’ve gone from when trauma, challenges happen, I go from, I used to be like a tired two year old. Just, you know, “ahhh,” and just for days focusing on that, and now I feel more like a a Buddhist monk, you know? You just kind of like that calm, and you can just kind of go, and be creative, and flow through this, but the really interesting part is that when I think about challenges that have happened in the past, there’s an emotional stickiness to it. I cannot let go of the emotions associated with that event, but the great part is with this, you kind instead go— I beat myself up about it. Why can’t you do it…? It’s more like, and now I’m curious. It’s like, “hhmm,” why can’t I let go of this? So, do you have any suggestions about how to process and reframe those situations?

Dr. A: Yeah. I love that. Yeah. I really love what you’re saying and it’s so true. You know, along with the stored trauma— stored trauma, are things that have happened that we, at that moment, didn’t have the capacity to deal with, right? We struggled. Something we didn’t want to address so we pushed it down inside. So that stored trauma is associated with feelings. There’s no question about it. You’ve identified that and so the work you’re doing, and what you’ve seen already, has allowed you to help with the stuff that’s— think of it this way, so you’ve got a series of things that you pushed down inside that you’ve kind of repressed, right? And now, because you’ve become a student of this and you’re working on consciousness, some of those things that are more, they’re flexible, they’re not as concrete inside of you.

[00:59:39] You’ve been able to deal with those and they’ve come up, you’ve resolved them, and now you— one of the things you’ll start to do, I’m sure you do with some of those things that used to bug you, you laugh when you start to sense that because it’s no longer important, and you say, “Yo know what ego? Stay out of the way.” It’s an easy thing, but there are things that are deep, stored, huge, things that have tremendous emotional overlay with them that are inside of you, and so it’s kind of like these big boulders that are in there, and now what’s happening is you’re starting to take the pick and the axe, the hammer, and you’re picking at them, and they’re coming, but you can sense they have a lot of emotion with them. A lot of stuff that’s stored, and so what you’ve done now is you’re at the point now in your life with the stuff, you’re fully feeling your emotions in the moment. So, you’re fully in the present, but the ones that are deep, down inside of you that you haven’t had an opportunity are now starting to  bubble up, and so as they bubble up you’re doing exactly the right thing.

If you’re defensive. If you repress them. If you need to be right and keep those things, then they stay the same, and it doesn’t matter, you can change your external world. You can get a new house, you’re still going to have the same stored trauma. So in these cases, you’re dead on in the way you’re approaching it. You want to be open, and curious, and what can I learn from that? And those things that are, have the emotions in, what can I learn from this? What is this really all about? And then what you’re doing, you’re starting to process, and they’re starting to bubble up, and even though it doesn’t feel it. It feels icky. You actually allow that to— because this is different from what we were talking about with the last person. We were talking about— they’re in a situation as it’s happening. This is stuff that happened in the past, and the more you can release that stored trauma— what happens is it’s blocking energy.

It’s not allowing us to be fully alive and one of the things— I was at a retreat with Jim and like 20 other conscious leaders, and that’s one of the things about if you’re willing to play the game, and the game is the game of being fully alive, then you can thrive in your life and what happens is now you don’t go down and freaking look for them. It’s not like, “Oh, I gotta go down and fix those.” No, that’s not the idea. They’re there and as you’re kind of taking all these superficial things that used to keep you busy all day, and get you energetic, and adrenaline shown, that stuff like you said, you’re like a Buddhist in that you’re calm here, oh those things are there, and your ego is saying, “wait a minute, you’re messing with me. You’re not letting me do my job.” Right? And now you’re doing that. I got some good stuff, some deep stuff, down inside, and I’m going to start bringing that up to mess with you. To get you back, so I’m in control. Does that make sense? But now you’re addressing it as a scientist.

You’re addressing it as; I’m open. I’m curious. I want to grow from this and those things will start bubbling up in those bigger pieces, and like I was talking with the lady earlier, in that case, you may be able to manage it or you may not be able to. You may need help, and I’m not a psychotherapist. This is not psychotherapy. This is simply consciousness of how to manage yourself and if it’s something that’s really deep, it could be— because post-traumatic stress is real. I mean, these are areas where within our hippocampus, in our memory, there is stored trauma. That’s connected to emotions that we repress on purpose because it’s too painful to let it happen. So depending on what it is, some of it is smaller and because you’re now taking command, you’re able to manage it, but if it’s not, if it really isn’t, bottom line is, go get some help. So either way, because remember, the stigmata of saying, “Oh, I got something wrong with you,” that’s your ego saying, “No, you don’t have anything wrong with you.”

We all have stuff. We all— our parents were doing the best they could do with what they knew at that time, right? You know, our life is an expression of collective experiences and we always have the opportunity to remove some of those things that basically keep us from being fully capable. To be fully in that moment, because there’s things that are painful. So I think that that, Jeff, really takes it into perspective. If you can manage it, and bring it up, and you can work with it, great. And it sounds like you’re well on your way. If you need help in some of those areas, get some help. There’s nothing— because now you’re in a state where you’re not trying to defend. Your ego isn’t in charge anymore. You’re at a point where you’re getting the two things you hear me say, and have been saying for 20 years, is become the Dominant Force in your life. Become your authentic self, build that wholeness with yourself, and the things that are down from before, bring them up and allow them to effervesce because they’ll unblock, and suddenly you’ll feel just a flow of energy.

When we’re not in integrity with ourselves, we’re not energetically whole, we become contracted and nothing in the outside world— temporarily it can help you. Buying a new car or something, and this exactly leads into what we’re going to be talking about next month. Is about, how do you really create happiness and fulfillment and thrive inside? So, does that make sense?

Jeff: Yes. And I think that it’s just the wonderful part is it gives you power back, and being open and curious, and saying, again, putting labels to it. It’s like, “I wonder why this is happening? I wonder?” And there is just so much more emotional energy to handle things coming on and it calms the people around you as you do it because then you are almost leading by being calm [crosstalk 01:05:36]

Dr. A: Yeah. You’re showing internal stability, external equilibrium, right? You’re actually— that’s a perfect example of what you’re creating and your life becomes a joy. That I can’t wait to jump out of bed in the morning, and I’ve been doing this a long time, and I love it because you grow. You’re growing. You’re becoming more. And that stored stuff inside that’s not allowing you, energetically, to be whole, you’re starting to pick away at and remove, and the more that happens— and by the way, it starts to get a momentum of itself where it’ll start coming up and you may actually feel kind of blah and tired because it’s coming up. Your ego saying, “No. I’m gonna hit you with this. I’m gonna give you that,” and now you can just smile and say, “Smile and wave, boys. I can handle it.” Cool?

Jeff: Yep.

Dr. A: Awesome.

Jeff: Appreciate it.

Dr. A: All right. See you. Okay. Well thanks, everybody. Chris is going to bring on for next month a slide that kind of talks about it. I’d love for you guys to join us. Where Does Our Happiness Come From? We’re going to spend time talking about that. Hopefully, you go back— and the beautiful thing of these, there are recorded. You can go back and if there’s something in it that really hits you, you can go back and listen to it again and make notes, and the ideas in baby steps to basically, put on your lab jacket, start learning more, and being open, curious, and want to grow. About how you, as an individual, can move forward and build more happiness, joy, and relieve the suffering. So, thank you guys for joining, and I’ll see you next month. Bye.

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