One of my favorite quotes from Richard Bach in Illusions is We teach best that which we need to learn.
To me it relates to the concept that research is me-search.
When people get involved in research often they have a passion to figure out something that has in some way touched their lives. Talk to people who work on cancer research and often those on the cutting edge can tell you a story about how they lost someone to cancer and they wanted to find a cure.
In psychology and child development you find people who want to explain how they can see patterns in front of them. Like Izzy Kalman and his development of an entire program to deal with anger management in response to the horrendous killings by children feeling victimized by other children. He sees our current resolution as partly creating the problem of bullying and wants to re-create a new solution that allows for more peace.
We often find therapists who had early losses and went into therapy to help others through such circumstances.
In each of these situations the individual is beset with a difficult situation about which they want to discover a solution – research; I think of it as a soulution – it’s me-search. They are not just investigating the big picture they are trying to resolve their internal conflict. These are often spiritual traumas so that’s why I think of these as soulutions.
I have been writing this blog about mindfulness for several months now and teaching mindfulness in my practice for many years. Yet, I still struggle with it. I still react, and infer incorrectly what others say, and think uncompaasionately. I still get angry. I have not perfected this skill but I have developed a way to get on track and get back on track through the methods I have presented in the blog and my practice. This has been the focus of my research – my me-search.
I have had to deal with anxiety, with debilitating negative self-talk and negative self-concepts, for all of my early and middle childhood long into my twenties, especially when stressed. In addition, as a young person, I had a number of traumatic events in my life, emotional and physical.
Either of these experiences alone are typically debilitating for a person and greatly impede an individual’s opportunities and ability to create a successful life.
I have been able to create a great deal of success in my personal and professional life due to mindfulness, my strong spiritual connection, and my unending belief and love of humans even in the face of the trauma I experienced. I credit the intensely strong parents that I was lucky to have. Their values, beliefs, and styles of being in the world created a foundation upon which I could build a resilient character even in the face of my difficult path.
I also credit my unwavering ability to accept what I was feeling while arguing with it – applying the principles of mindfulness, with compassion, forgiveness and lovingkindness toward myself and those who hurt me. To trust my inner knowing that the negative self-talk was not real but an anxiety reaction – through evaluating the figure/ground and facts in an unattached and neutral way.
I had to learn this. In order to survive I had to learn this – I was a pioneer – my parents could not show me the way and there were no guideposts available for me – there was just my me-search with my particular set of tools.
I have developed this program, this theory, this application from the inside-out. It can and does help others deal with their various kinds of anxiety. You teach Best that which you NEED to learn. I can teach this because I have had to walk it, be it, fail at it, and find my way again. It is part and parcel to my whole being
I have been able to weather the storm waters of my life due to my strong centered, focus on mindfulness, paradigm shifting, and figure-ground concepts.
It is no surprise that I was drawn to existential writers, phenomenological philosophy, Gestalt therapy and Jungian Analysis; no surprise that I developed practices in mindfulness meditation, prayer, physical breathwork and athleticism; all of these together were the practices required for dealing effectively with debilitating anxiety which was a product of mind and experiences.
For me it’s about language and meaning, figure and ground, the idea of paradigms as ways to order your world and the need to shift those to create mini-internal, cultural revolutions using mindfulness and making connections and seeing how to integrate disparate views and disparate actions.
Mindfulness offers the process to observe, notice and stop habit reaction patterns.
In psych there is the “aha experience” it’s like a strong insight or epiphany, where someone has an internal feeling of “aha, that’s why I do that or that’s what this is about “- it’s a coming together of a whole and a paradigm shift at once. These are profound experiences and the more one uses mindfulness to approach their interactions and situations the more opportunity for these quantum-like shifts in perception are possible. I think mindfulness is less of an “aha” experience and more of a “huh, or Hmmm” experience. It opens the door to look for and create a soulution to a problem or conflict. Mindfulness leads you to the “aha” experience.
Think about what really matters to you; think about what really bothers you; think about what situations you keep finding yourself in from which you have to extricate yourself. These will give you a sense of what your me-search may be about and how to get yourself focused on your path of soulution creation.
See you tomorrow.