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 The four agreements has superseded all of my five years of training and I have healed my old wounds.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.
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.
That’s often the question as one is working through their issues of limiting beliefs, fears, emotional reactions, or sabotaging behaviors. Always the question, “How long will it take?”
It will take a certain number of hours. You can put those hours in early and be done sooner, or you can do just a few minutes a day of change work and have it take many years.
It’s like learning to read, dance, fly an airplane, or play a musical instrument. All of these things will take a certain number of hours before you reach a level. If you want to go further and master more emotional skills and more of your beliefs, it will take more hours. The critical way to measure how long it will take is by how many hours you spend practicing, not the days or weeks of the process. If it takes 100 hours to break through a set of limiting beliefs you can do it in 5 weeks, or you can do it in 5 years. Either way it will take you the same number of hours.
So to answer the question about, “How long will it take before I see the changes I want?”
Love is a great change agent. When you are exposed to, and experience great love, your life has a tremendous chance to change. In the experience of love your unhappiness from a limited perspective, and beliefs in fear and lies can not survive.
One of the challenges is that when you exposed to love, your ego will fight back. It will try to deny, diminish, and distract you from what you feel. Such is the nature of stories in the mind. They don’t feed well on unconditional love and fear starving to death.
Love and Fear,,,, this is the battle ground within for the Spiritual Warrior. It is a battle over one’s attention. On one side is Love and all the expressions of Love. On the other, is fear, and all the expressions of fear.
Self awareness is a necessary trait of a warrior. Being aware of his expressions is how he recognizes which side he is on in each moment.
I used to think I had things under control. That is I believed I “knew” what was going on. As I became more aware I realized that everything that I knew was just information that I had learned from other people. I had unknowingly agreed with the ideas of other people about how the world worked, how people behaved, even what I was and what I wasn’t.
My next wave or realizations involved learning that what I knew wasn’t true. This was humbling. It was also unsettling to realize that what I thought of the world and other people wasn’t true. It was somewhat fearful to realize that the authorities that I looked to for direction and understanding of my world,,, didn’t always know what they were talking about.
As I became more aware I noticed that more and more of the ideas in my own head weren’t true. I had less to say because of this.
There was temptations to grab hold of a theology or philosophy for safety and claim it is what I believe in. It will guide me. But something within was holding out for Truth.
In the process of letting go of what I believed I knew that I knew less. Over time I moved through the uncomfortable emotions that arise as we dissolve the chatter of internal dialog in the mind. Embracing humility was liberating me from my Self Importance (ego). There was freedom in not knowing. What was a fearful process was becoming a quiet and peaceful mind.
For the spiritual warrior one of the challenges is to control the knowledge that is in their mind. For ordinary men and women this doesn’t mean anything. That is because knowledge and ideas run around in their mind uncontrolled and they don’t even notice.
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.
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.
I was listening to a group of people talking the other day. In this particular group the tendency was to drink alcohol in a self abusive way. They were mostly talking about what they do when they lose control of their emotions.
After a while someone asked me what I thought. I said,
“When we lose control,,, what do we lose control to? When we lose control,,, what is it that then has control? When this “other thing” then has control,,,, where are we?
Where did we go and what are we doing when this “other thing” has control of us?”
Sometimes making changes in your beliefs, emotions, relationships, and elsewhere in your life is counter-intuitive.
When you are riding a bicycle,,, how do you turn the bike to the right? You turn the handlebars to the left. How do you change the negative thoughts in your head? We’ll maybe you get the best results in a similar way. Don’t try to push more positive ones on top of them. Sometimes when you do you end up going in a negative direction.
Turning the handlebars to the right in order to turn the bike to the right makes logical sense if you aren’t aware of the other factors like the gyroscopic effect of precession. Don’t know what you are doing when it comes to changing your beliefs or emotional reactions and you are likely to end up goring in the wrong direction.
The Self Mastery Course can help steer you in the right direction. Some of the things might seem counter-intuitive, but they will make more sense when you have more awareness of how belief systems operate.
A question from a subscriber to my on line course in Self Mastery,,,
I started reading The Four Agreements Companion Book yesterday and noticed that it had exercises like your Self Mastery program. The first exercise in the book was dealing with image of perfection but I’m still about ten sessions away from your Image of Perfection session.
I am aware that the sessions in your program are in an order for a purpose, so I wasn’t sure if it would be okay to continue reading the book or not.
Should I… continue reading the book and do the book exercises with your program? or stop reading the book until I finish your program?
Thanks for your time,
The Four Agreements Companion book is great and I recommend that you read it. However most people I’ve talked to that have attempted the exercises have gotten overwhelmed. They see so much of their belief system so fast without first having control over their attention that they slip into a victim point of view. That induces a feeling of overwhelm, powerlessness, and then hopelessness. Then their inner judge kicks in and berates them for failing. They lose motivation and close the book,,, stop the exercises… defeated. They end up feeling worse than when they started.
So that’s one of the reasons why I don’t start with the Image of Perfection beliefs. It’s also why I have people develop some other skills over their attention and beliefs before trying to change their whole belief system. It’s like eating beef. It’s much easier to do one bite at a time so you don’t get crushed by the whole animal.
By all means read the Four Agreements Companion Book. But, I’d suggest doing the exercises in the Self Mastery before starting the exercises in the book. And if you want to challenge and dissolve your Image of Perfection beliefs, (which is a necessary step to eliminating self judgments) then I suggest the using the steps in the Advanced Series of the Self Mastery program instead of the Four Agreements Companion book approach. In the Advanced Series I not only walk you through changing the Image of Perfection beliefs, but also walk you through the different issues of resistance that come up to letting these go.
After that, you’ll be better prepared to do the exercises suggested in the Four Agreements Companion book.