Self Mastery Course Feedback

Posted by Gary on Aug 22nd, 2013

Hi Gary,

Thank you for the follow up. I’m writing to give you some feedback. Since reading the four agreements and completing both your courses (Basic Self Mastery Series and Advanced Series), everything has changed for me. Incidentally, I found the four agreements by accident, it was a link on a website called F.O.G personality disorders for help with dealing with people like this (I’ve had several in my life including my mother) This help me see that continual trap I was falling into of freely loving and trusting the good in people only to my disadvantage. I struggled with the four agreements at first and I hunted the web for ways of implementing it for a while, I eventually found you and did both your Self Mastery courses.

A bit about me, I am a psychiatric nurse and also a trained counselor, I’m now aware that I went into these professions not only to help other people but to heal myself. The four agreements has superseded all of my five years of training and I have healed my old wounds.

I cannot put into words how much Gratitude I have for what your Self Mastery course has enabled me to do, I am Moved beyond anything I have ever felt before. What you have done is Beautiful.
Thank you.

It is my intention to meet you on one of your spiritual workshops / retreats and I look forward to giving you a big hug.

I am currently starting to build a new life and I’ve decided to change professions. I’m going to be a writer I’m working on my first book now.  It’s one where all the main characters have different mental health problems. Look out for it in the next couple of years – it will be done.
I’ve liked you on facebook, have a look through so you can see what I look like.
I love you.

Z. B.

 

Four Agreements for Kids

Posted by Gary on Jun 14th, 2012

How to raise kids using the Four Agreements?  

Dear Gary,

  Upon reading about domestication. I had this awful awareness that I will be placing these walls around my own children’s thought by using positive and negative reinforcement . I was wondering if you had any recommendations how to avoid these patterns or if there are any books out there to help .
Thank you in advance……. Concerned Parent

Dear Concerned,

This is a question I hear a lot and it often comes from a concerned parent becoming more aware of themselves, and how their actions impact their child’s emotions and beliefs that will be with them a long time.  First let’s explain the term “domestication,” which Miguel uses in his book.  It means a system of punishments and rewards used to modify other people’s behavior.  We reward kids with praise, dessert, hugs, and attention.  We punish with isolation in their room, time out, scoldings, anger, and criticism.    As we become more aware as human beings we realize that some of what we say and do to children may affect them emotionally well into their adult lives. That kind of realization makes us much more vigilant in how we use the power of  our word and emotions.

There is much more to this issue of applying the tools of the Four Agreements to your relationships,   so this is only a short overview.

First, the truth is that you have to domesticate your children.  It is best if children learn about the world of punishments and rewards of the world from people who love them.   If they don’t learn of the world of punishments and rewards from you, then the world will teach them those experiences.  If they don’t follow some basic rules,,,, then the police will eventually catch up with the.  Case in point,,, Paris Hilton.

Second.  it is a question of how you domesticate them that makes a great difference.   A child can still learn about punishments and rewards in an environment of kindness, acceptance, and love.
Third: The best way for the child to avoid developing deep sabotaging fearful beliefs is for the parent to live happily, impeccably, and without emotional drama.   A child is more likely to model what is lived around him or her.
Domestication in a loving and aware way is to learn about consequences.  Teach children about consequences,,, and to do that you have to provide consequences, and let them experience consequences.  Some pleasant,,, some unpleasant.   If they don’t learn to do laundry, then eventually they don’t have any clean clothes to wear.  Expecting their parents to do everything for them is not learning to take care of themselves and is not learning about real life.
Consequences can not be avoided.  They are a real part of life.  Yet this has to be balanced with protecting them.  A five year old doesn’t need to learn about crossing the street by themselves through trial and error of consequences.
Consequences is not the same as punishment.  If you yell at me, then I don’t respond to you or talk to you.  That is a consequence of yelling at me or treating me with anger.  I do not engage.  If I yell back at you,,, that is a punishment of anger I am trying to inflict emotional poison on you.  If you have awareness,,, you can choose if you will punish or if you refrain.  If  a parent doesn’t have awareness and personal power, then they are more likely to  just react and punishment happens without choice.  Then later,,, you punish your self for how you over reacted.  So to help you parent, you need to develop your own awareness and mastery. If you are judgmental of people and get angry a lot then a child will learn that to be normal behavior, even if you tell them, not to.
Punishment is not the same as making it personal.    This is an awareness between what a person does, and what a person is.   A good person can fail, make a mistake, have an emotional reaction, and it doesn’t mean they are a bad person, failure, or unloved.   If you correct  a child, perhaps they don’t like what you did,,, but can still love you.  In this regard it is as important what emotions you express with your words, as the words themselves.
Make a distinction between what your children do, and what they are.  This is something that you will need to practice in normal times so that when stressful emotional times happen it will remain part of your awareness and interaction with them.   They are people you love, and are beautiful, even when their actions and behaviors might not always be aligned with what you want for them.  You can provide them consequences for their actions while you love them.   Hopefully in this way they will learn to be wise in their choices, and feel good about themselves no matter the outcome.
For more on honing your skills at communication, emotions, and eliminating your own emotional reactions, I suggest the Self Mastery course and Relationship Course on my other site. PathwayToHappiness.com
 

Controlling Your Attention

Posted by Gary on Feb 20th, 2012

We don’t learn to control our attention when we are young. We have to learn to control our attention when we are adults.

When we are young we were told where to put our attention, who to put it on, and how long to keep it there. We learned to put our attention on what other people told us to. Since adults taught us to put our attention on them, or on what they wanted to put our attention on, (school work, chores, minding our manners, following the rules, etc) by default we learned not to put our attention on our self.   We became automated to have others control our attention.

Indirectly we learned not to pay attention to our emotions, what we were feeling,  or what we wanted.

When you become an adult, and you realize that your attention is still governed by all those rules you collected, or that your mind is looking for other people to direct your attention.  You might even feel uncomfortable if it is your own hands with no one telling you what to do. You may find your self trapped with your thoughts and beliefs controlling your attention.   Realizing that you are trapped, and don’t have control over your attention is one of the first steps towards freedom.

It is only as adults that we have the opportunity to take control over our own attention, notice how we feel, and direct our life in a way we want. This is something of an opportunity not typically available to us when we were children.

Oh,,, and it will take work, and many attempts to free your attention from limiting beliefs and fears.

Such is a spiritual warriors training ground.

Specific exercises for gaining control over your own attention can be found at my Self Mastery Course at  Pathway to Happiness. 

 

 

 

What is wrong with me? A Different Perspective

Posted by Gary on Sep 21st, 2011

My perspective is basically this. You are fine. There is nothing wrong with who you are. You may not feel that way about your self and that’s usually due to lots of beliefs we have about our self. It’s these false beliefs that are the problem. They are stories about what is wrong with us. But it is the beliefs that are false. When those clear up we will feel fine about our self again.

The key is having the awareness to perceive the difference between what you are, and what the beliefs in your mind “say” you are.

Free Audio podcast covering the question “What is wrong with me?”    It is a very clear explanation about the beliefs and negative thoughts in our mind that cause us to feel terrible about our self.

Practical steps to developing this awareness and using it for change can be found in my Self Mastery course. 

 

 

Challenge to Love

Posted by Gary on Nov 21st, 2010

The challenge is not just to love.  We’ve all done that quite successfully and easily as children.  The greater challenge is to love with awareness that the world is a difficult place, where people are not always kind, or what we want them to be.  The challenge is not to love people when they are beautiful, but to love them when they are not.

The challenge is also to love and accept your self, even when don’t measure up to your beliefs about what you should be.  This is a spiritual warrior’s challenge.

Posted at: A Spiritual Warriors Challenge to Love

Website:  ToltecSpirit: A guide for spiritual warriors based in the Four Agreements

 

 

Solutions to Boredom

Posted by Gary on Oct 7th, 2010

Boredom is a problem. 
Emotional drama is not a very good solution but it is the one we may have learned. 
At times in the past we may have just gone into drama in order to avoid boredom. 
Creativity, action, and expressing love is a better solution to boredom. 
We may not be very practiced at it, but that’s okay, we can learn.

 

Make Someone Love You

Posted by Gary on Aug 9th, 2010

If someone doesn’t love you. There is nothing that you can do to make them love you.

If you love someone… Really love someone unconditionally… there’s nothing THEY can do to get you to stop loving them.

They might leave you, but you will still love them.  They might get caught up with drugs or alcohol and you may have to put boundaries in place with them so you are not abused or mistreated, but you will love them.    Unconditional love is like that.

 

Fear and Power

Posted by Gary on Jun 6th, 2010

My friend studied political science. He said politics was basically a scramble for power. But power is a need to control,,,, and a need to control is only necessary if you are afraid. So the scramble for power is really just a reaction to fear. If we really want to study political science we need to understand fear. Power is just the tail being wagged by the dog.

The irony here is that those that seek power often do so because they are powerless over their fear.

As a spiritual warrior,,, you will not develop real personal power until you develop awareness and win over your mind from fear.

 

 

 

Addicted to Suffering

Posted by Gary on May 9th, 2010

Are people in love with their suffering?

People are not in love with their suffering.  Rather I’d say that either it saddens them, or they hate it.  In either case their emotional reaction of hate and sadness to their suffering causes them to suffer more.

What is important to breaking this cycle is the awareness that our emotional reactions are not something that we control.  But this very idea that we are not in control,,,  this frightens people more.  So to avoid their fear they cling to the idea that it is reasonable or justified to hate or feel sad about their condition.  In effect they close themselves off to the truth out of fear of acknowledging something that is already happening.

 

Originally posted at Addicted to Suffering

Published at ToltecSpirit.com   Guidance based in the Four Agreements for  Spiritual Warriors seeking happiness and love.

 

 

Free Your Mind

Posted by Gary on Feb 4th, 2010

The challenge is not to free your mind.

The challenge is to free your self from your mind.

 

This post by Gary van Warmerdam at http://www.toltecspirit.com/2010/02/free-your-mind/

Where you can find Wisdom of the Four Agreements for Spiritual Warriors

For practical steps and exercises to inventory and change your own beliefs/agreements there are exercises in the Self Mastery course.

 

Next »