The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Resisting the Blame Culture

One of the many enduring images from my schooldays was in the school's own "mock" General Election. During assemblies, in the run up to polling day, each of the 3 main party candidates (all fellow 6th formers of mine) got to make their "pitch" to the pupil electorate in "hustings" style, which was good fun! One morning the Liberal party candidate was in full flow when, from the body of the hall, someone threw a paper aeroplane at him. There were muted sniggers as it flew through the air, hovered a couple of yards from his face and then stalled and fell to the ground. "There - look!" he said. "Another failed Tory air defence project!" It brought the house down.

I first discovered at that GE what a blame culture we live in - how everything that is wrong with the country is all "their" fault and that is the overriding reason for voting "us" in. In politics it lives to this day and, due to the nature of our political beast, will probably go on ad infinitum.

The blame culture pervades our entire lives, however - both for external factors and (in a more pernicious way) for internal factors.

"This happened because of xxxx"
"I'm behaving this way because xxxx made me"
"Something (xxxx) made me do it"
Sound familiar?

I reminded the team I coach last evening that the responsibility for everything they do as individuals and in the name of the team is theirs and theirs alone. If they blame the referee, or if the opposition cheated, there has to be no culture of whingeing - THEY are responsible. If anyone misses a tackle or drops the ball - it is the TEAM's error. Just the same way if they all enjoy the pleasure of victory then it is a TEAM victory. And that applies to little victories through the game as well as the end result.
And if that's been down to hard work or brilliance by one or two individuals, then the rest should show their appreciation openly.

Collectively and individually we do not give enough credit where credit is due, show enough appreciation, give thanks for positive things that we take for granted.

The media have a lot to answer for - the spicy and interesting 'News' is bad news. Who wants to see endless reports of good stuff? It's boring - doesn't sell papers - doesn't make 'good copy'.

As coaches, therapists, changeworkers, mentors, we face this in every client and we face it in ourselves. I replied today to an online comment that read "If we keep waiting for perfection then we will never complete any task". My response was "I spent 50 years under the shadow of that kind of personal strategy - now I spend all my time trying to liberate others from following the same path."

Just acknowledging ourselves where we are right now is a REALLY great place to start. It puts behind us all the stuff we've brought with us to this place. It ignores ANY blame culture that is part of that stuff - and it allows unfettered forward movement. And that's real freedom.

And when we hear all the negatives, and the comments of a blame culture, we just need to acknowledge them as well - and hand them back to whoever or wherever they came from, labelled "Not wanted", "Not necessary for me to keep", "Of no use", "Toxic thought waste", plus a miriad of others.

Now, you can choose to accept what I say - or reject it. I would just ask you to listen to your thinking, and if you say "BUT" at any point then you need to sit on that thought.

And then let go.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Muscular rehab revisited - cultivating a positive Mind-Body Link for healing!

In an earlier post I wrote about how a change in mental attitude had started to bring about a physical improvement in a long-standing knee problem.

Last week I had occasion to make two visits to my rehab specialist - the first was a knee and thigh massage and then the following day an exercise session on the Reformer.

I explained to her about my change to a more positive, emotion-free, attitude and how it had come about and she said that she noticed some physiological imrpovements in certain muscles surrounding the knee. These were borne out by her observations on day 2, as I worked through some exercises on the Reformer.

She just kept saying "Amazing!" - and we both underlined our beliefs in the fact that the human body is a wonderful thing and that positive mind-body links are crucial to the healing process.
I now run (it's a jog at the moment to be honest) in occasional short bursts, and find it (a) manageable and (b) not detrimental in any way. It all seems to add to recovery by usage which is building and strengthening muscle.

More future bulletins are likely!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Should've gone to......"

There's an advert featuring an old couple walking at the seaside who take a rest and "it's good to take the weight off your feet." So they sit down on what they see as some 'free seats' and she reaches inside her picnic bag and gets out some sandwiches. He asks her "have you got a cheese one?"
And at that moment, the bar comes down on the roller coaster and it slowly sets off gathering speed.
And before they know it they're being whisked hither amd thither, surrounded by other people who are squealing, getting their faces pulled out of shape by speed and g-forces, and rushing through a water slide - interestingly neither of them ever close their eyes!
Eventually the roller coaster comes to a stop and the last scene is we see them walk off down the promenade and he says "what kind of cheese was that?"
It's one of a series of adverts for Specsavers, where people with less than perfect eyesight blunder into amusing action.

So what are some of the subtle learnings, insights and presuppositions here for the rest of us? Here are a few notions that come to my mind - you may have some others that are particlarly stimulated by the experience - either remembered or constructed.

There is a presupposition that vision is important for safety.
That thrills and excitement are only there for those who anticipate it.
That eating certain cheeses can bring about curious events and happenings.
That there is an inner reality and an outer reality and the deeper we are in either the less we notice about the other.
That we are never too old to do anything, only thinking about it makes us scared.
That we should trust the unconscious, as it keeps us far more safe than we can ever realise.
That what we see is only our perception of reality and not what is actually there. In other words, we are making it up - from thought.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Minor miracles and cosmic conjunctions!

I've had one of those discoveries this last week - a discovery where you feel that celestial bodies are in alignment and that cosmic forces have combined to give you a nudge!

Here's the background -
About a year ago I was running one of our rugby training sessions - it was a dry evening and so instead of changing into boots I just wore trainers. There was a hint of laziness in this! As the evening wore on the grass got dewy - and, in the course of the activities my right leg shot out in front on the wet grass and I hyper-extended the knee, exacerbating a 34 year-old injury.
In the time since then, on and off, I've suffered somewhat - and in spite of remedial treatment, I often felt that nothing was getting better. In fact there have been days when things were decidedly worse! Running has been impossible - sleeping or sitting in one position for a length of time makes the act of standing up awkward and painful. So driving, getting out of bed etc is a bit of a trial. Even though I've always taken the view that walking as normal as possible is a good corrective way of recuperating from leg injuries, my limp is getting more noticeable (so people tell me).

With the people I coach, I talk a lot about living fully in the Now - playing in the Now. Now is where it matters - yesterday has gone - tomorrow never comes. And once the importance of the Now is accepted and fully engaged, then perceptions and beliefs and lives begin to change. I've talked to people about accepting themselves as they are "right now" and noticed some really fundamental changes in their physiologies - changes that signal some real shifts for them on the inside. However - when it came to applying-to-self with respect to that knee I've been stuck.

Until now! Until the "cosmic" line up began to impact....

1. In the course of studying, reading and listening to interviews by those involved with The 3 Principles (Mind, Consciousness and Thought) I have come to understand that Thought has been getting in the way with regards to my sensual experiences and perceptions about this injury. Day by day I have been adding emotional content to the pain and discomfort - and this has been the cause of the lack of healing.
2. I was watching an interview on DVD with Tim Hallbom and Robert Dilts called "Journey into the structure of your beliefs & how you create reality". Fascinating and engaging as this was, I really paid close attention when Robert Dilts began talking about his mother (Patricia Dilts) and her life after the recurrence of metastatic breast cancer. Hers is a powerful and inspiring story (related in My Pathway to Wholeness - 1992), and resonates with those of some dear people I have known also.

One of the things I particularly remember in the 1999 eclipse was how the birds fell silent and then re-awakened once the eclipse had passed. Watching Robert Dilts relate the story of his mother rather silenced the birds for me in the run up to event number 3.

3. I have a number of Twitter accounts, and as is the case I often get sent messages or read postings that have a link to what is often quoted as "something useful" or "a gift". Without the benefit of endless free time, I rarely follow these up - but on this one occasion I did. Was it random or providence? It turned out to be a 10 minute guided meditation by Jim Kitzmiller called "Perfect Self Meditation".
The essence of this particular meditation is that from here (and every) moment of NOW, we just need to notice and acknowledge that what we are is perfect - nothing more, nothing less. This is really so very simple, that it is easy to take forward into everyday consciousness. As such it transcends Thought and becomes Consciousness, and just needs to be noticed and affirmed.

After first listening to the meditation I just stood up straight and walked to another room, rather amazed that there was no period of leg straightening, no initial or residual limp. It felt curious and liberating. I then re-listened with particular focus on some aching and very sensitive teeth in my upper jaw. Again, the pain dissolved and I was able to drink various hot and cold items without any recoil!
From that evening I have re-listened a number of times and the continuing and ongoing results are equally positive.

I'm not a person particularly prone to miracle cures from the outside, but I do know that the Mind knows no bounds. And in that, we are all capable of far more than we ever think we are. Certainly, for me, the conjunction of these events - the arrival of these three trains of thought in the station at the same time - has set in motion something significant.
And this will - going forward - be something I know will be of use to me and many others I come into contact with in the coming weeks, months and years.

The message is -
We should never under-estimate the relevance of anything we do, no matter how unconnected or random or pointless it may seem.