Tag Archive 'pain-body'

Jul 07 2014

Radical Ownership – Issue #110

What is radical ownership? It’s seeing and owning that life is a mirror reflecting me back to me. All the things that happen in my life have one thing in common…ME. I am the common denominator in all that keeps showing up. Mike Dooley describes it beautifully in his Notes from The Universe: “It’s one kind of victory to slay a beast, move a mountain, and cross a chasm, but it’s another kind altogether to realize that the beast, the mountain, and the chasm were of your own design.”

I have a treasured handwritten letter from Jane Roberts (author of the Seth books) in which she reminds me of this: “You are the boss of your reality.” Sometimes I feel like life is bossing me around, but when I land in radical ownership, I see that I AM the boss, hiring characters who fit my persona requirements: my wounded one requires someone to wound me, my not good enough one requires someone to regard me as not good enough, my unimportant one requires being treated as unimportant.

For years I longed for a loving relationship, but my expectation for being wronged magnetized being wronged. I would pick people who would fulfill that belief, and if they didn’t, I would project or provoke it. I see this in some of my friends who are longing for a partner. Sadly, I know that even if they found someone, their unowned, unexplored, unhealed wound (what Eckhart Tolle calls the ‘pain body’) would mastermind, orchestrate, and fulfill its requirement for pain.

Our pain body, once triggered, is extremely compelling! We become engulfed in a powerful trance that can only see from that limited perspective. That’s why radical ownership is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage and determination to break free of the hardwired, addictive hold of our pain body – like a heroin addict kicking heroin.

The good news is, once we claim radical ownership by seeing that we are sourcing our misery, it brings about radical transformation and a radically fabulous new life! That’s what happened to me. And if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone. (I was heavily addicted to my victimhood for a good part of my life.)

I have not mastered radical ownership by any means – I’m still challenged to resist the seductive lure of my pain body. Very recently I was put to the test when someone close to me stunned me by revealing a long-held hurtful secret. My hurt feelings were a natural response, and I expressed them. Yet I could feel the powerful pull of my pain body wanting to set up camp in the hurt. It had tasted the pain of being wronged, and like a shark smelling blood, it wanted to feast on it!

But fortunately I’ve developed a strong witness who watched this happening and said to myself, “No, nuh-uh, not gonna happen, not going there, not feeding that one.” Instead I made the healthy choice to go for a ‘clear my head’ walk to Whole Foods, choosing salad instead of the sweets my pain body wanted (okay, I own that I did add a little comfort food, mac and cheese). Then I sat outside at a table overlooking the eucalyptus trees, where I ate my salad and ‘realed’ myself in by journaling this healthy word feast: Resentment wants to resent. Bitterness wants to be bitter. Pain bodies want their pain. I refuse to give in to my pain body. I refuse to take it personally. Other people’s ego strategies are not personal against me. I’m responsible for how I choose to perceive and react to them.

And then something wonderful happened…I was filled with self-respect! I had triumphed over my pain body! My Big Soul Self had prevailed! I thought to myself, “I LOVE the soul that I am!” The rest of my walk was a celebration of that. Being free of the powerful lure of my pain body was my Independence Day celebration. (It’s very cool that the next day was July 4th!). Once I had shifted into this perspective, the trance was broken and the situation looked totally different to me, it wasn’t such a big deal, and I was free of pain.

I know I will be challenged again and slip into unconscious patterns, but I trust that I am committed to radical ownership and will always regain consciousness. Our lives are malleable like clay, shaped by our worst fears and our greatest expectations. I choose to live in a world formed by my greatest expectations.

How about you? Is there something in your life that’s ready to be owned? Here’s a good reminder to you (and me): the more you own it, the more you become free of it. Wishing for you and for me the freedom and fabulosity that comes with radical ownership!

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Apr 19 2011

Getting Free From the Grip of a Mindset – Mastering the Game of Life #71

I had an epiphany watching Tiger Woods play in The Masters recently. It was the last day of play and he was in the zone, playing like his old winner self and moving up in the pack. But then he made a mistake, and another, and another. He began to grimace, obviously upset with himself. His frustration only tightened the grip of this losing self that had taken over.

It became clear to me that the real Masters game of life is to become aware of these ego mindsets that hijack us, and to shift out of them and get back to present time, back to the soul zone of infinite possibilities. The ultimate winning is when we realize that we are not who we think we are – it is knowing that we are SO much more.

On the ego level there are many selves, personas, stories that we can get lost in and think that is who we really are. Like multiple personalities, each one takes on a life of it’s own, requiring and expecting different things. Each self believes that they are the only one and that this is the only way it is and ever will be.

In the book The Bell Jar, poet Sylvia Plath writes that her episodes of suicidal depression were like being in a bell jar where she could only see life through that oppressive distortion. I know what that feels like. In my late teens and early twenties I was also suicidal and, like Sylvia Plath, I experienced that through that filter of depression life did not seem worth living. In that context it seemed that life was unbearable, always had been and always would be — from that limited perspective I could not see it ever getting better. The bell jar is a dangerous place to be.

It was about that time that I started reading metaphysical books and realized that I was trapped in a mindset. I was excited and hopeful knowing that life would change if I could change my hardwired thoughts and beliefs. That was the big challenge that life was offering me. I accepted the challenge and after much work I eventually got free of the bell jar.

I was also trapped in a mindset about relationships – I believed that I was alone and always would be because I wasn’t good enough to be loved.  This was a painful self-fulfilling prophecy that served to keep me alone and, therefore, safe from the perceived greater pain of loving and being hurt. That mindset was only able to see the possibility of hurt. When I finally realized it was just a mindset, I set out to change it. I deliberately started seeing myself as a glorious, magnificent, beautiful soul. I bought a lavender glass swan as a symbol to remind me, “I’m not a duck, I’m a swan.” Imagining myself being loved became easier and easier, until it eventually became a reality.

In the book, Love for No Reason, Marci Shimoff talks about the love-body, which is the opposite of the pain-body (that painful mindset that Eckhart Tolle writes about in The Power of Now). The love-body is who we truly are. While the pain-body is contractive, the love-body is expansive. We can build our love-body by focusing on love. Having experienced cancer nipping at my butt, I am very motivated to focus on my heart and build my love-body — I know that in the realm of love there are infinite possibilities far beyond what any of my limited selves can imagine and create.

My love-body was tested recently. I had gotten into a bit of a funk and had fallen down the ‘rabid’ hole. It was a brief but intense revisiting of an old neural pathway of misery. I hadn’t felt that bad in many years, but I remembered well that terrible feeling of being unloved, unlovable and unloving. My husband Tom was being his sweet and loving self, but being loved was not congruent with this self I was trapped in. This self feels ugly and bad. Tom didn’t fit in with this miserable self’s story of woe. This self looked at him perplexed, “What is he doing here? He loves me? How could he love me? Doesn’t he know I’m unlovable?” In the midst of my misery, a witnessing part of me was watching all this, well aware that I was stuck in a pain-body, and knowing it would soon pass. This is what was different from all my depressions in the past – I had developed a witness that was able to see the light, even while I was in the grip of darkness.

In the thick of this episode I had a dream about being on a train that was filled with drama and danger. In the dream I had an ah-ha moment when I realized that it was all an illusion sprung forth from my imagination — I knew that I could focus on my heart and all the drama would fall away. The train represented my being hijacked by a runaway train of thought. Focusing on my heart brought the train back to the station, back to the present moment, back to my love-body. The train is also a symbol of me training myself to make that shift.

The greatest mastery in life is being able to shift out of our menagerie of mindsets and return to the present moment where love resides. I’d like to share with you a simple formula I devised that helps me do this, using the acronym NOW which stands for:

Notice — my body sensations, breath, feelings, thoughts and beliefs

Own — This is one of my selves. It is not who I am. Which self is this?

What’s the truth? — Who am I really? How is it really?

Here’s an example of this is from the recent brief bout of depression I described above: I notice that my breath is shallow, my body is rigid, and I feel angry, sad, and scared. I own that I’m stuck in a pain-body, I call her Chopped Liver, who feels unimportant and bad and is sad and mad about it. I ask myself, “What’s the truth?” The truth is I know that I am loved, that I’m important to people. I know that I’m important to myself. I see the reality check that Tom is in my life, showing me how far I have come, and I deeply value myself for that accomplishment. I take a deep breath, recognizing that I am a strong woman and a beautiful soul. The runaway train has returned to the station.

Are there mindsets of yours that take over and have you thinking it’s who you really are and how it really is? What are ways you stop these runaway trains of thought and return to the station, to your magnificent, present moment, True Self?

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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