A good friend in Seattle was always worried about her physical safety when driving, especially on I-405. Several years ago, while driving on 405, she sat in helpless terror as she saw a piece of sheet metal fly off a truck in front of her and hit the underside of her car. She barely made it off the freeway and to a station, the metal had sheared off her oil pan and ruined her engine.
Her fear continued to grow when the insurance agent explained in detail how dangerous 405 is, how she could have been killed. That summer, driving on 405 every day, she had another near accident. By this time she was in constant fear of driving the freeway. Always tense, she didn’t even want to be a passenger on the freeway, much less drive.
During a session of Rapid Eye Therapy, her therapist used RET on this fear. Afterwards she has commented to me several times that she can’t get over how comfortable she feels driving on 405, even with trucks on both sides of her. She still knows 405 is a dangerous road — however she is no longer tense or anxious — just alert.
Rapid Eye Technology works by relieving the stress on the neural pathway that can be built up over time through repeated experiences as my friend’s example demonstrates. Through the natural process of eye blinking and eye movement (which occurs nightly in our REM sleep state) and other techniques, one is able to access the experience consciously and release the fear, stress or anxiety around the event.
When I discovered Rapid Eye Technology in 1995, I was delighted to see the Skills for Life Principles included in the training and process of Rapid Eye. The Skills for Life include:
- Choice and Accountability
- Cause and Effect
- Gratitude and Abundance
- Health and Healing
- Harmony and Rhythm
These skills can help us on a daily basis (with practice) to maintain the transformative changes we make during the Rapid Eye Process. I use and teach these Skills for Life, and I have a special history with each one of them. Using Choice and Accountability is a foundation to living a positive life and I have especially worked with this idea for many years.
The principle of Choice and Accountability is a key part of beginning to live life with awareness and increased power. If you find, as I did, that you feel you have no choice about what happens to you, here is a simple technique I learned from John Enright, a great psychologist and teacher. His ideas fit perfectly into the Skills for Life model.
In Seattle in the 1970’s I had the chance to study under John and take his seminar called ARC (Awareness, Responsibility and Communication). One of the things he taught me was the life-changing idea of taking responsibility for my experiences, and the beauty of being able to say no.
I was a person, at that time, who had trouble saying no to the people in my life (my mother, sisters, brothers and at work). I would say yes to a request when I didn’t really want to do something or I didn’t have time to do whatever I was being asked. Then I’d look for a way to get out of my commitment by not showing up, forgetting about it, or fabricating reasons or excuses why I couldn’t keep my word. Or I would do what I committed to do feeling angry or resentful. This was not a pretty pattern.
So my daily discipline became to absolutely keep my word. This is a simple, but not easy, two step process.
First, I had to begin to pay attention to my feelings when a request was made of me: did I have time to do it? Did I want to do it? And did I have negative feelings — guilt, fear, duty or whatever — about doing it?
Second, if I said yes (for whatever reason) I made myself keep my word and do those things with AWARENESS of my feelings. My feelings were usually something like, “ugh, I said I would do this for (name anyone) and now I have to do it and I don’t like doing this. I WILL pay more attention next time so I don’t have to keep my word and do things I don’t want to do.”
My commitment to keeping my word, and this awareness of my feelings created the space in me to begin to say no. Through this daily discipline I learned not to give my word unless I could keep it, to not make commitments lightly and to be more aware of my own needs. Eventually I gained the ability to say NO to the things I didn’t want in my life and the ability to say YES to all those wonderful experiences, people and things I really wanted.
Today I live with the realization that I am responsible for my life and my choices. And I become more powerful and authentic when I work on keeping my word and not giving my word to do something I may not want to do or may not be able to fulfill. If I say yes and do it with AWARENESS, I have no resentment, hostility or procrastination, it is my choice and I am at peace with my choices.
One last thought, John Enright brilliantly used the idea of victim, villain, hero in his ARC Seminars. He pointed out that many times we start out as a victim (not being able to say no) and when we begin practicing saying no, we become a villain (you never help me, you are selfish, you do only what you want to do). Then as we keep saying no to the things we don’t want, a very interesting thing happens, we become heroes. (Look at her, she can say no, she is in control of her life, I want to be just like her.)
My suggestion is to try out this discipline and see what happens. And if you find you feel blocked or unable to work with the feelings that come up, give me a call and we can discuss the possibilities. 303 527 1996
Last week I was watching a TV episode of Medium and was moved by this observation about change and the preciousness of time.
Allison (the Medium) is saying in a voice over:
“Time is priceless, yet it costs us nothing
You can do anything you want with it, but you can’t own it
You can spend it, but you can’t keep it
And once you’ve lost it, there’s no getting it back
It’s just gone …..”
Earlier in the show Allison had said to her angry daughter:
“All this time that you are choosing to be angry is time you could have spent being happy. Time, it’s just gone and you never get it back. There… there’s a second gone and you’ll never have it again, and there… there’s another one just wasted. We wasted it just holding on to anger.”
This is a powerful message and one that speaks directly to the changes in our lives that Rapid Eye Therapy can create. Through the process of RET we can let go of the anger, fear, pain or suffering that we have experienced and are having trouble letting go. We no longer have to be stuck in our negative emotions or experiences.
Sometimes, the most difficult part of our healing journey is the choosing to face and let go of past adverse or invalidating experiences. However, once the choice is made there are Rapid Eye processes that assist in the releasing of this old pain. These techniques are simple and natural. It isn’t necessary to call up and relive ALL of our pain in order to release it. In my experience, by starting with the most current or pressing issue, whether it happened yesterday, last year or when we were 10; we can begin to release those issues and many other related feelings.
Right now, we can choose to stop wasting this moment… and this moment… and this moment and make a decision to reach out and take advantage of the ways available to us for change. With the realization that time is priceless, can come a commitment to releasing and letting go of the past. And with that choice we can move into a new possibility for more peace and joy in our lives.
Left to Right eye movement seems to affect memory, according an article posted in 2007 on LiveScience.com. In Rapid Eye Therapy this movement in what we call “auditory” does seem to make connections between both sides of the brain. Many people have reported to me that after the process, they make new connections related to the issue we are working on. They have an insight or realization about the issue and see new possibilities in relation to it.
See the full article at:
I was watching a very old episode of Joan of Arcadia last night. If you don’t know the story, God gives Joan various assignments and she learns from each one. The episode last night was about Joan being jealous. At the end Joan turns to God (who is a six year old girl) and says:
“Why would you put those feelings in me?” God replies: “Everyone has a part of themselves that they don’t like Joan. You carry it around like a weight. The lucky ones realize that when it becomes too heavy you can choose to set it down. That’s when you can see things the way they really are.”
This is so true. When we put that weight down, just release and let go of it, then we have a new sense of freedom. This is what I love about the Rapid Eye Process, it enables one to quickly put down the weight and begin to move through our lives with more love, ease and energy.