Getting Centered

194I would be surprised if most of you weren’t aware of some Focker resistance to continuing the training . Perhaps some of you are continuing because you are desperate to get some relief and others may have felt pressure from family or friends. The important thing is that you are here to continue.

            I hope each of you took time to pay attention to your Focker. Perhaps there was some conflict between the “you” at Center and Focker. Remember, it’s not about winning or losing. It’s about getting Centered where things are flowing and working well.

            Some of you may have noticed that you spent quite a bit of time living on, “auto pilot.” Sometimes you were Centered and things were flowing well and other times Focker just took over without you being aware of it.

            In the novel, one of the ten soldiers was Anna. She lost her right arm in the war. Her Focker’s name is Pee Wee.

From the novel:

            Anna: “Pee Wee started feeling sorry for us. She was comparing our life with some of our friends who seem to have everything going for them. I reminded her that for a few moments during our having no memory exercise last week I didn’t know there was anything wrong with losing an arm. In spite of that she had me so discouraged that we didn’t feel any better. Then I said we’re going to do the deep breathing for about ten minutes and I was surprised that it helped. I’m starting to experience the idea that we can only handle one thought at a time. It was a relief to let go of her negative thoughts and I felt at times I was more in control and Pee Wee was not able to override me.”

            Another group member, Frank, whose Focker’s name is Huck said, “Huck really worked on me about this group. He kept telling me that this stuff isn’t gonna work and that I’m wasting my time. I kept telling him that it’s going to take time and we need to be patient. I’m here so I made the decision over his objections.”

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Listen to CM14



            Sometimes you may experience the benefits of Center and at other times you may feel despair as soon as you open your eyes. Despair is neither good nor bad. It is what it is. Focker is creating despair and you at Center suspend judgment of the despair? It is what it is and you can choose to stay in it with Focker as long as you desire. So, you’re despairing and despairing and despairing some more and then the “you” at Center reaches a moment where you decide you’ve had enough and are ready to feel something different. While Focker continues to despair, you choose to shift to Center to create a new experience. So you might ask yourself at Center, “What was the despair about anyway?” Then you think it was about losing a friend in combat on that last mission. So at Center, you’re thinking this despair is okay, an acceptance without judgment, but you’re now ready to create something different.

            Until now, feeling that kind of despair didn’t feel like a choice. You felt stuck labeling it as depressing and judged it as bad. Until this training, you didn’t realize that Focker out of habit was doing the despair and you were labeling it as bad. It is definitely challenging to get Centered and create something new and different. One path to Center is a quiet mind. I used the numbers a few minutes ago as they can be a helpful way to shut down Focker’s chatter.

            Some of you may be wondering if you can do this. It is a matter of believing you can do it and a willingness to do the training.

            The complexity of the brain/mind never ceases to amaze me. All of what we are about here is an attempt to take something complex and make it into something that we can understand and use for managing these PTSD symptoms. The model will not stand the test of the neuro-scientists, psychologists, and psychotherapists who make their life’s work studying the nature of the brain. Some of you will see inconsistencies in the model that I will not be able to explain to your satisfaction. I urge you to keep in mind that our goal here is not to find out if the model will stand the test of any discipline or logical thinking. The sole purpose of the model is to find a system that works and that will help you find peace and happiness in your life.

            You all have faced hell on earth and danger that most other people will never face. I hope you’re tired of running from these flashbacks, nightmares, and especially your own feelings. Hopefully, you will choose to create the energy and determination to get Centered and find some happiness.

            We will continue our work using topics with less intensity than despair, flashbacks, and other more intrusive thoughts. We’ll get to those later. If I’m you’re coach and I’m helping you train to run a marathon, we start slow and build up stamina and strength – the same with our work. I want us to start with some areas that are not as challenging as others. First, it’s important to become more comfortable and at home in your Center. This means more Centering Meditations so stay with me.