Interesting Times

Well it’s bizarre and interesting times. I’m getting mixed messages about how to approach life. I recently read Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton, and was quite blown away. The chapter on dealing with anger was particularly enlightening. I was left with the impression that I have to actually start telling people that I resent them when they upset me, before I’ll really begin to feel the anger I’ve been repressing all my life. Seems to make sense. When I got stuffed around for the second time by the camera store last week, I felt sad instead of angry; that seems to be what I do. Not helpful!

Then I went along to Malcolm Cohan’s Future Shifters events a couple of times in the last week. His philosophy is somewhat the opposite. We get so stuck in the painful stories of our lives… what would happen if we just “flipped” them, and told the opposite story to what we remember? Our memories are hideously unreliable and we lie to ourselves about how bad things have been anyway; so why not just “lie through your teeth” and tell a positive story instead? Fascinatingly, it seems to work. But what happened to radical honesty?

One of the women that came along to the last Future Shifters meetup triggers massive anxiety in me. She’s extremely attractive, and I first met her at a wealth creation seminar about 18 months ago, where we both signed up for a 12-month Life Coach training course with Beyond Success. When I approached her to say hello at the first day of the course, she just walked away. Seems to trigger my “why doesn’t the attractive woman want to be my friend?” response. I’m not going to speculate on what was going on for her, but something was obviously up. I approached her at the meetup to ask if she’d help work with me on it, and she said “No”. I know she works as an energy healer, so it was all a bit weird.

The meetup was also an opportunity to hook up with a new mate of mine with a very similar background story to me: grew up in a family where emotions were repressed, went into engineering and ended up with chronic fatigue. He’s now recovering, and the thing that made the biggest difference for him was doing an acting course at The Actor’s Pulse based on the Meisner technique, which is all about getting out of your head and learning to react to situations instinctually, based on your emotions. I’ve been looking for some time to do some sort of psycho-drama or get into some sort of group to practice the expression of difficult emotions, particularly anger. After talking with my friend I contacted the acting school and went for an interview; it just sounds totally fascinating so I’ve signed up for a 3-month introductory course.

The Amygdala that Gupta’s retraining technique works on is the emotional centre of the brain, so it makes sense that resolving emotional issues should lessen the stress load and help break the adrenaline cycle. I made a commitment to myself recently that I wouldn’t take on anything new that wasn’t directly related to getting myself well. Part of that is reducing the stress that I put on myself. Taking on an acting course might seem counter-productive, but if it helps me deal with emotional stress, it will be well worth it. I think a lot of my stress is caused by internal conflict over fear of what other people think. In the words of the guy running the course: “We’ll beat that out of you!”. Should be interesting.

I spent most of Saturday in bed with a headache, and Sunday I made a video for my niece’s birthday, which she absolutely loved. Good work Uncle Graham. Then Sunday evening I just felt lonely and depressed. The old “what am I doing with my life?” thing again. It’s hard to really move forward when I feel like crap so much of the time. If I rest up, keep doing the retraining and the meditations, I should have enough energy to do the acting course. I’m looking forward to the first session this afternoon… Let’s see where that takes me.

Author: Graham

I'm a guy in his late 40's, recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since May 2009. I now offer coaching and support to other people with CFS/ME.