Thursday, 22 November 2012

Control - to be, or not to be?

There have been three excellent bits of writing which have stopped and made me think this week. It started with Super Coach's Michael Neill's Monday morning e-newsletter and continued with Chris Morris and Stephen Woolston. Each in their own way, talking about Life and the effect our perceptions have upon our experiences. I'd recommend you having a look to see what you think of their work. These are all men who are well experienced and qualified in their areas of expertise.

Me? I'm just throwing in my tuppence worth.

What is reality? How do you perceive it and Life around you? These are the big questions personal and spiritual development try to answer. I say 'try', because I believe there is no one answer, no one way which is right above all others. Ultimately, we all bring to our lives our experiences, hopes and dreams and for me learning is the key.

Being aware of where you are in The Moment, being able to recognise how you are feeling and thinking, is an incredibly powerful place to start. In this, I would follow Richard Bandler's thoughts on leaving out the 'why'. The 'why' can lead into so many justifications which can be a dead-end road. Sometimes we really don't know why. Why people choose to behave the way they's a mystery - all we know is that they did it, and we live with the consequences.

As I wrote that last paragraph, I realised I'm bringing in learnings from Buddhism as well. A bit of detachment and acceptance is part of this process. Being able to let your thoughts be what they are, without judging them, buying into them or believing them gives you more room to manoeuvre. Meditation and trance is a great way to still the mind and to learn how to be. 

My mind is like a troop of chattering monkeys. Any meditation which starts: let your mind be still, go blank...that's a non-starter for me. Instead, I give my mind something else to do. I focus on repeated phrases and I particularly like the meditations from Jack Kornfield in A Path with Heart. 

How much control do you have in your life? This was Michael Neill's question. I think it's a valid one. I like the fact that the point he was raising is that it's okay not to feel or be in control. That giving up on the illusion of control, leaping into the chaos and being well, as you deal with all manner of situations is the authentic response.

Are we really in control? No. I'm with him on this one. I'm not in control of my government, the World, the economy, my family, my lover or my child. I sure as hell can't make them do what I want...believe me, I've tried. That is what Byron Katie calls arguing with reality. And yes, I did and I only lost 100% of the time. Do I control my thoughts? Do I control how I feel? Umm....I can. I've learnt to guide my thinking in certain circumstances, to boost my mood when I've got to do something to meet my responsibilities. But by in large, I'm not blessed with an over-abundance of energy. I've learnt, I don't have to. Things get done, or they don't. 

Mostly, I've learnt to work with my body, work with my thinking, moods and energy levels. It's created more of a flow. I realise now that NLP has given me flexibility and more options. This has been it's greatest gift to me. 

This has been a bit of a ramble. I suppose I don't really have a point, per se. If I do, it's simply this: be well.


  1. Control of our lives? In the past I worked with wealthy people who worked full time on creating an illusion of control that made others envious. That was their job. Street people have defined goals each day (food & shelter)so in many ways they are far more content.

    In evolutionary terms our big brains helped speed up finding food and left us with more time to waste on social networking in the troop...most of the day is spent massaging alliances with powerful allies in the troop....all that we apex Primates seem to have accomplished is to make this socialization process ridiculously over-complicated.

    It's nearly impossible for most of us to perform an honest forensic autopsy on our lives because we seem pre-programmed to either ignore or persecute ourselves for not measuring up to our religious or societal ideals.

    The other day I saw a program on how babies are born with an innate sense of rewarding or punishing others who aren't nice to's there before all of the various forms of indoctrination amplifies our ideas of good & evil.

    Other than sociopaths most people I know have wasted a lot of time beating themselves up for stupid crap they did..which is sad because we all collect an astonishing array of overtly glaring evidence of our shortcomings. How we deal with that is interesting.

    I know a handful of water-off-a-duck's-back type of over achievers who discard any shame over making mistakes and they are not afraid to fail..they are not crippled or handcuffed by how others perceive's a beautiful thing.

    For most of us hitting "5" on Maslow's pyramid chart (Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem) and attaining some sort of Self-Actualization requires a gargantuan effort of determination and a mammoth infusion of detachment from our perceived judgement of others.

    Abe Maslow coined the term Metamotivation to describe the motivation of people who go beyond the scope of the basic needs and strive for constant betterment...that is the ultimate goal innit? To be all that you can be. Then you will be able to help others.

    1. Thanks so much for that Wurdin!

      I loved the last two paragraphs - metamotivation - perfect. I'll take it!

      And I really appreciate the time you've taken to respond to my ramblings. You've raised a lot of interesting points, that I'm going to have a long think about.

      I'm particularly interested in your ideas about sociopaths. Might not give a fuck, but they'll ultimately be difficult to be around.

      Thanks again honey. xxx

  2. I agree with going with the flow... as hard as I try I can never stick to a plan and going with the flow is actually more of an adventure.

    1. It's all about the flow.

      It's the adventure that matters. It's possible to over Plan things waaay too much.



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