I had quite an amazing session with a client recently. Why? Because he got it! When he came in the first time, he had been feeling low and depressed for about a year and a half. A couple of big things had happened at that time that shook his self-esteem. He wasn’t his old self who was confident and comfortable in his own skin. He wanted to be that guy again.
We had a nice long first session, about 90 minutes, which I like to do in order to really be able to give someone tools for peace that they can use literally as soon as they walk out the door. So we did that, and all seemed fine. He decided to reschedule for one week later in order to check in and see how he was doing with this new way of seeing things. Note: remember that you can always go to the BEGIN HERE! category of this blog for a refresher on this new way of seeing things (which is not really new at all – just new for most of us).
So he came in a week later and looked great – very light and happy. I asked him how the week had gone, and he said it was pretty stressful. It was one of those weeks when lots of things went wrong. There was a frustrating issue with school that was out of his control, there was “girl drama,” and there was a situation with a bodybuilder meathead who wanted to fight (I love when that happens). This all sounds normal to me, because I’ve noticed in myself and in my clients that when people start to do this kind of inner work, life sometimes throws the kitchen sink at them right away. We could debate about why this is, but to me, it’s not important. Now we know how to handle it, so it’s no big deal. It gives us confidence, too, that it’s taking more and more to rattle us. Thus we’re on the path to inner peace. And that feels very, very good. Back to the story…
As my client told me about all of this drama, he was glowing the whole time – it was clear that these events didn’t touch him. I asked him how he thought he handled it all, and he said he was very pleased. Not long ago, he would’ve been depressed and now he was ebullient (SAT Word Alert… I’m a math major, so I get excited when I use big words. I’m not even sure I know what this word means, but I don’t care because I’m so excited about it. Back to the story.).
Why wasn’t my client depressed this time, beating himself up? What on earth had changed? He explained that since we had talked only a week before, none of this stuff bothered him. He was so ready to hear what I had to say that he was able to embrace it and implement it immediately. Remember that it always comes down to two things – feeling and thinking (because the things that happen to us are largely out of our control). He nailed the feeling part, letting feelings flow through him without getting stuck in the body and hanging around. He was truly blown away by how they would dissipate when he would go inward and just wordlessly let go of them, letting them be there but making sure he wasn’t holding onto them. Feelings won’t be able to have much power over him for the rest of his life. I explained that the only thing that can happen now is that bigger things can go wrong – worse things can happen. In these cases, the rules are exactly the same but the volume is turned up. That’s all. So he has feelings down pat – totally demystified. Now they’re only feelings – no big deal. Awesome.
Regarding his thinking, he had corrected that as well. The voice in the head was effectively neutered in favor of real, conscious, active thinking. He stopped the negative voice in the head that runs on repeat and replaced it. He went from being asleep to being awake. Amazing.
While he was telling me this, I was sitting there getting happier and happier, realizing that this kid had gotten it! I actually had to ask less than halfway through the session what he needed me for? How should we spend the rest of the time? Not a bad dilemma to have… We continued to talk for the rest of the session, and then we parted ways. He has my card and will contact me as needed if/when things come up. I explained that there’s no failure in life – just practice. We review the things that went south, ask ourselves how we handled them, and look for any improvement. There’s no harshness if we see room for improvement – we just learn and wait for the next opportunity. And if we like how we handled it, then we pat ourselves on the shoulder. He was very happy with how he had handled all of this. He knew that in the recent past he would’ve beaten himself up and ended up feeling depressed. Now those feelings are gone. Gone. He also felt totally confident being himself, talking to people, etc. Mission accomplished. Now he just has to live and practice, letting A Clean Mind get more and more cemented. It really does become habit, replacing the habit of freaking out and beating ourselves up. What a nice upgrade…
I don’t know why some people are more ready than others to let go of their old dysfunctional habits of mind, but some are. I don’t know why some people grasp the whole “feeling without the story/letting go/releasing” thing more than others, but some do. Today I just wanted to share the tale of one of those people who was ready.
NOTE: All of these client stories are told with no identifying information and of course with permission from the clients. My only interest in sharing these stories is to help more and more people find peace, and these clients are interested in the same thing. There is no pressure on the clients to allow their story to be told. Finally, note that these stories are always told at a certain point in time.
When they are told, it is unknown how the future will unfold. Feelings are powerful, thoughts are powerful, and the past is powerful. New and old issues might emerge after progress is made. If that happens, though, we know how to deal with it. In these cases, I’ll write up the rest of the story if and when appropriate. As said before, it’s all about helping more and more people find peace.