Friday, January 08, 2010

Getting The Stress You Need Part 1

This week the Mindshifters group watched the first half of the lecture by Dr. Michael Ryce titled: Getting The Stress You Need. What struck me most about the lecture this time was how Dr. Ryce described how my intentions are the raw materials of my goals. When I hold a number of intentions and eventually elevate one of them to the level of a goal, that goal then organizes my energies and my behaviors to guide me to the accomplishment of that goal. Therefore, the quality of my intentions determines the quality of my goals.

Dr. Ryce described how each of us has a filter over the intentions in our minds, and a filter over the perceptions in our minds. These filters can be set to fear, hostility, or Love. Whenever the filters are set to hostility or fear, they distort our perceptions and show us a false set of data. We then take that data and build our perceptions of reality based on that false data. This is why we were told that the first and most important instruction is to keep the filter of Love set in our minds whenever we are thinking of God, neighbor, or self. The reason is that if the filter is set to hostility or fear, it will distort our perception and show us false data. So we are encouraged to frequently monitor our emotions and mental state and act quickly to reset our filters to Love, whenever we notice that we are feeling something other than Love. By definition this means that we are perceiving things falsely, and therefore we will not be reacting to actuality, but we will be reacting to the false reality we have constructed from the corrupt data that is created by the filters of hostility and fear.

Another critical concept that was introduced is the definition of stress as: "The tension within me that is created by the difference between the way things actually are, and the way I perceive them to be". The greater the difference between these to things, combined with the amount of energy I pour into wanting things to be different, determine the level and intensity of my stress.
This concept alone is worth the entire time I invested in the lecture. The more I monitor my own thoughts and emotional responses and catch myself earlier and earlier in the process, the less time I spend in the tension of stress. As soon as I catch myself feeling tense, angry, frustrated, confused, irritable, or unhappy I ask myself some version of the following question - "I wonder how this is all going to work out for the better?", or "I wonder how this is going to help me learn a critical lesson I need to master?", or "I wonder how this will work out to be a blessing?"

This one process alone has improved the quality of my life more than I can even begin to describe. In the last five years that I have been practicing and applying this process, I have seen that it does two important things. First, it stops me in my tracks when I start thinking negative thoughts which generate negative feelings in my body. I find that since I have started this process, I have spent much less time feeling negative emotions in my daily life. Second, it leaves me more open and observant to see the ways in which things do turn out for the better. I find that I see positive "coincidences" much more often than I ever did before. My hunch is that these positive "coincidences" were always there, but because I was angry, fearful, or frustrated when things did not happen the way I had planned, I was not able to see or notice the positive "coincidences".

Dr. Ryce presented one more very important quality of goals, which is that once a goal has been set in the human mind, it keeps running until it is either attained, or consciously canceled. This is absolutely true, even though it may be running in the unconscious part of the mind, it is still active and the mind is looking for ways to achieve or satisfy the goal despite the fact that the person may be completely unaware of it. This leads to some very confusing and unproductive behavior in people, as their unconscious mind is working to satisfy un-achieved goals, while the conscious mind is unaware of the motivation or the goal.

It is suggested that we take time to consciously cancel all un-achieved goals from the past, with a focused visualization exercise. Then we can implement a nightly routine which has us reviewing the day, and canceling any un-achieved goals before going to sleep each night. In this way we can rid ourselves of some unproductive baggage and prevent ourselves from creating more of it each day.

We come from Love, we are made of Love, we are Love. Everything else is false.

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