Nine Stepper

           If they can’t exist at Center, how can you in The Nine Stepper actually work with those memories from Center? Remember, when you take a memory to Center, you discover through a longer process that the memory can’t exist there. The very act of observing the memory from Center begins the work of not identifying with it. Remember in the earlier groups all the work we did with observing situations and noticing how by observing them, we could begin to separate ourselves from that situation? So by the act of observing, we begin separating from the memory. Continuing with The Nine Stepper, we experience the physical and emotional release from the memory at Center which helps us to further separate from the memory. Then we pick the still frame and move it further and further away and think, “I’m letting you go,” or some phrase to support the separation from the memory. All of that supports the idea that memories can’t exist at Center.

            You can define your work with your Center in any way you choose whether it seems logical or not. The key is to pick what works in helping you to stay Centered. For the purpose of this shorter exercise, it is helpful to remember that memories can’t exist there so you take a different approach. I’ll tell you about this approach in a minute. It’s important you understand. (Group Discussion)

            Here is an example of the shorter version.

Listen to CM24          




            1. Take Focker to Center.

            2. Experience being Centered.

            3. Bring in a memory.

            4. Repeat statements such as, it dissolves and vanishes, memories can’t survive at Center, the memory is weaker and weaker, the memory diminishes more and more, I am not my memory.

            5. Say or think, “I’m letting it go.”

            6. Repeat steps 3-5 about ten times.


            Remember to use the longer version of The Nine Stepper for the more serious and intrusive memories. When you’re making some progress, you can switch to the shorter version of The Nine Stepper with those same memories. At some point, you will notice that those memories and related symptoms of combat are diminishing. How can a memory vanish and then get weaker and then diminish? It vanishes in that experience at Center. But it may still be alive in your memory bank. So the suggestion is when it vanishes in your momentary experience, it diminishes in your memory bank.

            Let’s work on The Nine Stepper. We’ll do these exercises with three different partners. Take turns doing a nine-stepper on a traumatic memory. Designate yourselves A and B. A will go first. B will coach the steps and A will take B through the experience. After doing The Nine Stepper, study the shortened form of The Nine Stepper. Then A will do the shortened form of The Nine Stepper with a different memory of less intensity remembering to repeat it about ten times. Remember that repetition is an important part of the training. When A has finished, then B will do the same exercises.

            On the short form, the memory is like a ‘still frame’ of the experience. In that moment, do the best you can to see it and feel it in that second or so and then it dissolves and vanishes. Pick your own way to dissolve it. I use the Star Trek image they showed when putting people in what I call the “transport capsule.” Use whatever works. One soldier said he liked the idea that the picture moves away from him like a shot out of a cannon and it’s gone.

            Keep working on it. For any of you who may be struggling with the images, remember the movie screen or one of those big TV’s directly in front of you. Do the best you can. Remember to also try and feel what the experience was like and then that feeling also dissolves and vanishes and you feel peace. Even though we are saying this is a shorter way to practice letting go of memories, take your time and don’t hurry it. Find your own pace.

            You will know if it’s working by paying attention to the frequency of reoccurrence. I’ve had you write in your notebooks each week the number of occurrences of intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, flashbacks, and nightmares. Continue to do that so you will be able to chart your progress.

            (Following the exercise, group discussion)