Sunday, September 6, 2009

"I'm not blogging enough" is working me up!

Hello Friends,

I am realizing that my "blogging pace" has slowed down and I have had some fearful temper about it; this has brought into clearer light a strong link that I have: once I start something and am doing that something with a certain frequency, I have the belief that I need to, at least, maintain that frequency and if I don't, then I feel that I am wrong in some way. Well, it is time to do a little spotting on this! First, I can endorse for participating as a blogger and endorse everytime I blog or comment on someone else's blog. If our aim is to serve, we cannot fail. Also, I spot romanticism. Dr. Low says we are not machines and should not try to be like one; instead we should allow ourselves to be average human beings. Well, human beings sometimes do more of certain things and sometimes less because life is continuously changing with new demands, opportunities and situations to deal with. The Method encourages me to develop greater flexibility and discourages rigidity. There is no danger if I do less blogging during some periods; if I never blogged again, I would still not be wrong; where is the judge to decide the right and wrong of that? Of course, this is all a triviality. There is some self-importance here. My mental health is my #1 priority; everything else follows behind that. I am an average blogger and that is OK. I have now done a blog about not blogging enough; irony I suppose. Hope everyone is having a good average Labor Day weekend.

All my best,

Cliff Brown

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Emergency Tasks" Before Going Away: Are they all really Emergencies?

I am leaving for Puerto Rico on Thursday; this trip is related to my job as a regional leader for Recovery. As I write this, I am looking at a list of things to do before I leave and am worked up and sabotaging my mental health by moving my muscles at a frenetic pace to be sure I get "everything" done. I can spot right now which I want to do with conviction because why should I put myself through this emergency mode of operating my life? My spotting is I can command my muscles to move at an average, sane pace in order to prove to myself that there is no danger (I am doing this right now as I slow down my typing of this Blog). My muscles will retrain my brain if I mean business about muscle control. I spot objectivity: I "want" to get everything done on the list but do I need to? NO! My mental health is what I need; not the total completion of the task list. This situation is very average for a person before they go away. I can lower my standards and my performance will rise in my own eyes. Perfectionism is a hope, dream and an illusion which I haven't yet given up pursuing at times but that is average, too, so I don't have to indict myself. I am endorsing right now for the efforts of the last 10 minutes. This is certainly a triviality. Also spot self-importance. Before Recovery when I was very obsessional and compulsive, the frenetic pace would have dominated my consciousness and behavior until all the tasks were completed. I am a calmer person today and gaining more inner peace as I go forward and utilize our invaluable Method.

Cliff Brown
Grateful Recoveryite.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Want Things My Way:How the Recovery Method Helps

I get cranky and, frequently, it is because things aren't going the way I want, either within myself or with others. They are generally very trivial things but, nevertheless, get me hot and bothered, worked up and somewhat irritated.

I use the Method to spot in various ways. I recognize that to be cranky is very average. I use objectivity to point out to myself that "My Way" is a bundle of inner contradictions or desires that all point in the same direction: I want permanent comfort and security. Dr. Low says this is average, too, ("It is human and natural to crave an easy life", page 218, Mental Health Through Will Training) but I can spot this as boiler plate romanticism and it would be exceptionality to have a life like that even though it is common to think that most others have it easier than we do. The Method gives me a clear response to this last point: the most exquisite form of spotting is to spot what I do not know. And I certainly do not know the depths of the inner world of other human beings.

The outer environment doesn't exist for my benefit or anyone else's; I can spot self-importance in this regard. When I am cranky, there is, of course, angry temper but also fearful temper because, underneath, I don't like myself. So self-endorsement becomes important for me to cultivate. I command my muscles to slow down outwardly and use my "will to listen" within myself and take the focus off what is going on outside myself. I further spot that crankiness may have some elements of both fate and will because Dr. Low points out that you can see crankiness in the youngest infant which implies fate but I can also use the Method to place my will against fate and neutralize its effects. I then spotlight what is going well in my life and there are always many things that are if I have the will to self-honesty. Needless to say, crankiness is distressing but not dangerous.

After I have spotted for awhile, everything starts to look better, both in my outer and inner environment. The change in attitude literally creates a different perception of reality; I experience myself and others in a more positive light. The Recovery Method provides the road for me to take. All I have to do is walk it.

Cliff Brown
Grateful Recoveryite

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is an apartment flood an emergency?

Not compared to my mental health! Today, my wife ran a bath and forgot that the water was running for 30 to 45 minutes and one half of our apartment was flooded. I was definitely worked up with symptoms of anger, anxiety, fear. I was startled and couldn't believe this had happened. I spotted pretty quickly distressing but not dangerous, it wasn't an emergency, I can take the clean up process in part acts and command my muscles in a way to not work myself up further. Also spotted some averageness in that this type of thing happens to others and you have to deal with it whether it comes from fate or negligence. Nothing important was permanently water damaged. My wife did something that irritated me but not to irritate me; she was plenty upset with herself for her forgetfulness. I felt better after I got into the cleaning up process but symptoms continued on various levels for some time. It is now late evening and a lot of progress has been made. I see more deeply that regardless of what happens, I have a choice whether to work something up or not, to see it as exceptional or not, to command the muscles or not, to spot or not, etc. The will says yes or no. Before Recovery, I would have gone into panic/emergency mode and stayed in major symptoms for a longer period. I am not Mr. calmness at this moment but I am doing better and feel that dealing with this experience has strengthened my nervous fiber.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Is it an Emergency?

Too often, I don't know the difference between a trivial outer event or situation and an emergency. Oh, I frequently know the difference intellectually but not on an emotional, feeling level. When that strong link feeling of emergency is present, anything that is going on during the day seems to be of paramount importance e.g. getting a certain task done, doing a complete round of calisthenics or returning a phone call.

I am learning from our Method that I can challenge my belief that something is an emergency through commanding my muscles not to do the thing (or do it slower) I feel I must do and bear the temporary discomfort of an impulse being frustrated. I am not a prisoner of the dictates of my mind. My demanding thoughts can be challenged.

I want to be a free human being and our Method, I believe, is a road map to having freedom within myself. It is a pathway for regaining self-management of my inner environment. Sometimes, it takes the will to bear torture. But our founder, Dr. Abraham Low, said that torture can be borne for a good purpose. To become free from the tyranny of my own thinking seems to qualify, doesn't it? So I will persist and persevere and endorse myself as I go along.

Look, I want to see things as they are. Is it an emergency or a triviality? The Method provides me a way to discern the difference. As I do that, it is gradually becoming clearer to me that I have very very few emergencies - just "worked up" trivialities that feel like emergencies.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Opening Day Greeting

I have just set up my blog and will endorse for the effort since I had to persevere through some trivial complications. I will now trigger spot and lower my standards for my first blog and limit it to saying that the Recovery International Method has been and continues to be a backbone of my life and a key reason why my mental health has risen from the ashes of doom, despair and hopelessness to a dynamic and fulfilling life.