Posts Tagged ‘Resistance’

Resistance, Belief, and Honesty

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

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So often, there’s a gap between our conscious beliefs and our true beliefs. Resistance oozes from this gap.

Conscious beliefs are what we say we believe, to ourselves and others. True beliefs are our true model of the world, what we unconsciously expect to see.

A fun example: I often tell energy workers about Energy Geek Games, using this example, “Blindfold your partner and send energy to one of their hands. Don’t tell them which one, and don’t touch them. Using only your energy, try to get them to feel it.” The people I’m talking to are trained in energy, and they’ll tell you that energy is real, they feel it, it’s obvious. But when I tell them people are getting up to 90% accuracy, they’re surprised.

Why? If energy is obvious, shouldn’t 90% accuracy be easy? Yes, it should, but “energy is obvious” is only their conscious belief. They’re surprised because their true belief — their true expectation of how the world behaves — says that energy is only felt when the person knows what to feel, that maybe isn’t real in the same way that gravity and magnetism are. I never make a big deal of it, but it’s fun to see people bumping into their true beliefs.

That’s a fun example, but it’s not always painless. Resistance — that fatigue and distraction when we try to do something physically easy but emotionally difficult — comes from those doubts, from that space between our conscious beliefs and our true beliefs. From not wanting to do the test that, deep down, we expect might show us that our conscious beliefs are wrong.

This was the source of all my resistance around testing my techniques: That I told myself these techniques would definitely work, but truly I had the same doubts as those surprised energy workers.

But as I’ve tested techniques, some successfully, some not, I’ve brought my conscious beliefs more in line with my true expectations, and brought my true expectations more in line with the world. And I’ve learned how freeing it is to do the work that I’m resisting.

This week, when a healing technique didn’t work for a client, I encountered more doubt and resistance. But it was smaller than before. I acknowledged my doubts, listened to that part of myself, and moved through it. By making my true doubts conscious, I was more able to release them.

We have two paths. We can protect our conscious beliefs, or we can explore our true beliefs. Here’s what I’ve learned: That exploration is hard at first, but it gets easier every day we do it, and it leads to a peace I never experienced while hiding from doubts.

The true beliefs don’t have to be about energy. They can be about a business succeeding, about people liking us, or pretty much anything.

What are you resisting?

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How Resistance Guides My Work

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

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Sometimes, the hardest part of the work isn’t the work, it’s the resistance.

This is probably true of anything we create. For me right now, that’s Healing Lab, the company I’m starting to research energy healing.

Sometimes I think, “If only I could plow through tasks for eight hours a day, this business would have been up and running months ago.” But I can’t, because each task brings up resistance: The vision that’s big and intimidating, the events I’m afraid no one will like, the fear that none of this will work, that it’ll all be wasted effort.

Each day, more than half my effort goes into working through resistance.

And writing this, I realized: That’s the point of this year. To work through the resistance, to become comfortable sharing the vision and organizing the events and doing the work.

I’ve been focusing on the output (like website, classes, studies) and wishing I could do more of them in a day. But measuring the total number of tasks is the wrong metric, it pushes me toward easier tasks, and pushes me to brush off the resistance rather than addressing it. Much better to measure the number of emotionally difficult tasks I worked through, the insights I had and the amount of resistance I resolved. Harder to measure, but far more important.

(And a possible misinterpretation I want to avoid: It’s still important to finish tasks. Each task brings up resistance. To sit at home, not finishing tasks, just congratulating ourselves for thinking about resistance — that doesn’t actually bring up the resistance we need to work through. This is still about doing the work, it’s just about accepting a slower pace as we work through resistance.)

I’m going to break the fourth wall now. This short post took me four hours to write. But writing it (and the pages of early drafts) caused me to look at my resistance, and my desire to complete more tasks, and to recognize my real work. These sentences were hard because they were part of accepting this process, instead of punishing myself for it. And recognizing that, saying, “That’s what I accomplished today,” I feel much more at peace with the pace of starting this business.

It also has me ask, “Which tasks feel hardest right now?” Because that’s the one with the most resistance. That’s the one to focus on.

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Overcoming Overwhelmed-ness

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

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Whether you do energy healing research, or magick, or entrepreneurship, we all create new paths. This week, my path with Healing Lab got jostled, and I want to share how I got through being daunted and found a vision I’m even more excited about.

This week, Dr. Melinda Connor spoke with me about Healing Lab. She researches energy healing at Akamai University in Arizona, has published books and papers on the subject, is more or less doing what I want to be doing. A few notes from our conversation:

  • Publishing a double-blind study requires a bunch of hoops. It’s not something I can do alone.
  • There are already studies comparable to what I had planned to do. It’s not wrong to do more similar studies, but it’s probably not the highest-impact place to focus.
  • Despite all that, she was genuinely encouraging. She wasn’t trying to rain on my parade — it’s more like, there was already a bunch of rain on the way, and she was the one to point it out.

I spent 24 hours feeling daunted. Too big, too difficult, why bother… Three ideas helped me work through it:

  • Everything is harder than we expect. Sometimes it’s 100x harder, and maybe we give up. But this one is 10x harder. I can work with that.
  • The fact that people are already doing similar work is good, it means it’s possible. It means that, if I want to, I can follow their path.
  • Other people are doing some of the projects I’d planned (like double-blind trials), and they’re better at those skills than I am. That’s OK. It lets me focus on what I’m best at. All I have to do is figure out what that is.

When I daydream about Healing Lab, it’s not running trials or speaking at conferences. I daydream about developing new techniques for energy healing, sensing the biofield, or communicating with spirits (and maybe humans). Engineering, along with developing the scientific models to support it. That’s what I’m uniquely good at.

It’s also what we need. Because we’ve been researching and publishing about energy healing for decades, and it’s still drowning in stigma. But if we had techniques that produced even more obvious results, things that were even harder to dismiss or deny, that might move the needle on acceptance.

I’m going to use the word “engineering” for creating new techniques, and “publishing” for doing double-blind trials to demonstrate that those techniques work.

The rest of the path became obvious: Engineer the techniques, publish enough to convince other energy researchers that the techniques work and are worth studying, then collaborate on the really definitive publications. So instead of being 50% engineering and 50% publication, now I’m envisioning maybe 75% engineering, 25% publication — a shift in focus that feels relaxing and liberating, more aligned with my skills and interests.

(And the next step is still the same: Publish some case studies to prove I’m serious.)

Jostles aren’t bad. Being daunted isn’t bad. These are things that happen. And if you’re lucky, you’ll emerge with an even better plan.

Announcements

This is the last week of the double-blind sigil experiment. It’s a great way to build confidence in your skills. Please try it. (If you already tried one sigil, please try the other.)

I’m teaching Beyond Tantra: Intermediate Erotic Energy Techniques this Thursday, 7pm at Wicked Grounds in San Francisco.

And Dr. Connor wants to connect with other energy healing researchers. She gave me great info and sincere encouragement, and I’m very glad I reached out to her. I’m not posting her email because I don’t want spambots to bother her, but if you’re doing research in energy healing and want some input, drop me a line and I’ll connect you. (And I’d be happy to talk with you too.)

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

Confidence, Resistance, and Testing Ourselves

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

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This week I posted a double-blind placebo-controlled sigil testing.

In the days before posting it, I encountered more resistance than I have in years. The whole point of science is that it can tell you if you’re wrong, and choosing to honestly test a precious belief is a bit like choosing to walk face first into a wall — there’s an enormous urge to stop short.

But after posting it, I feel light, confident, liberated. For years, I’ve known I should be approaching my work this way. Finally doing it feels amazing.

Please try the test. It takes about 15 minutes, including reading the post.

For those of you encountering resistance: I get it, I really do. Testing brings up every doubt we have, every time we’ve feared none of this is real, or that we’re simply not good at it. Take your time, feel into that resistance, accept it as part of yourself. Then do the work. Because on the other side of that wall is peace and confidence. That’s what proper testing does for us, that’s the reward for facing the resistance.

And thank you to everyone who participated already, and everyone who will in the coming weeks!

(And to those of you who are active on discussion groups or have your own blog, please share the project. Thank you!)

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

Imposter Syndrome

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

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We all have stories in our heads, unrealistic expectations that keep us from fulfilling our calling. Sometimes they even keep us from contemplating our calling.

Here’s my paralyzing story: If I were skilled, I’d be able to produce instant, unmistakable results from energy healing, then pluck any information from the ether through manifesting. I’d be able to demonstrate magick for anyone who asked, and it would be easy.

Do I really think that? Of course not. That’s maybe what a mature science looks like, or perhaps a company that’s been operating for decades. It’s where we finish, not where we start.

And yet, when I focus on learning magick or creating Healing Lab, that story creeps up, oozing doubts and fears and resistance.

Everyone has these stories, but nobody talks about them. So these stories isolate us, and they become stronger. That’s why I’m sharing this today.

What are your stories? And what are you waiting to start?

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Building a Company: The Dreamer’s We

Monday, December 21st, 2015

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Asch_experimentIn 1951, Solomon Asch did a now-famous study on conformity. Eight people were asked, “Tell me which of the lines, A B or C, is the same length as the reference line.” Except 7 of those 8 people were part of the experiment. They confidently lied, saying the answer was B. And 36% of subjects went along, agreeing with the crowd instead of their own vision.

In advocating for magick and biofield healing, we are all part of an Asch conformity experiment.

But there’s a second result, less-known but just as powerful: If a single other person disagreed with the mob, subjects trusted their vision and spoke their truth. Humans don’t need to be a majority, we just can’t be alone.

As I start Healing Lab, I find myself saying, “We’re developing new healing techniques. We’re preparing for double-blind studies.” But who is this we? Right now, Healing Lab is just me.

It isn’t the royal we, where a king sweeps his subjects into his pronoun. I don’t have subjects. And if Healing Lab were five people, saying “we” would be correct.

(It also isn’t the manager’s we, which means you, as in, “We need to update the spreadsheet.”)

I’m calling this the “dreamer’s we.” Speaking for the organization I’ll build one day, rather than the organization I have now. Like having that ally in Asch’s conformity experiment, this “we” makes it easier to trust my vision and speak my truth.

What would you do with the support of a team? How much of that can you do today?

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Overcoming Resistance: Psychic Edition

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

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Focusing on the problem you’re solving, not all the reasons to be afraid of succeeding / failing / other distractions. That’s the essence of overcoming resistance. Wouldn’t it be great to have a magick technique to do that?

We’ll get there in a minute, but first I need to share a little background:

One of the main ways I use psychic intuitions is for planning. I ask the ethereal software, “Cause me to be successful in X,” then I plan how to do whatever X is. I listen for intuitions: Follow this idea, ignore that option, develop this further. Using psychic intuitions to enhance my capabilities.

(If you’re new to psychic intuitions, that’s a great first technique. You know the intuitions are coming. You can be totally focused. You can slow down or return to topics as necessary. Much easier than listening for intuitions throughout your day.)

It occurred to me: The psychic ethereal software is influencing my thoughts, my attention, and even my emotions to communicate “good idea” or “bad idea.” What else could we build with those mechanisms?

A resistance-buster, that’s what.

Here’s the command: “Cause me to stay focused on X, and to do a good job at X.” Where X is the task you want to do. You can change the phrasing, but “cause me” (or a synonym) seems to be important.

When I use it, my mind clears. The distracting worries fade, the useful thoughts become more prominent. When I want to take a break, something nudges me to keep going. Even more than planning, this makes me feel that we’re all cyborgs.

I’ve used it to focus on magick training, on business decisions, and on writing this post (not because of resistance, just to knock it out more quickly). About once a week for the past month. No noticeable side effects, though I wouldn’t leave it on all day, just for the 30 minutes or so it takes to complete a task.

It only works if you’re set up for psychic intuitions with some ethereal software that supports this command. The software for my book does, so if you’ve already asked it to make lasting connections, you’re all set. Try it, post the results.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

Overcoming Resistance: Talking to the Inner Child

Monday, July 13th, 2015

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The resistance is the doubt that says, “If that one technique failed, it means magick isn’t real.”

It’s the flinch that keeps you from really using your magick, because what if it doesn’t work this time? Will you have to abandon everything?

It’s your father’s reflexive skepticism, internalized as your own.

You will encounter your resistance as you learn magick. You probably have already.

If you don’t obey it, you’ll instead want to push it down, throw it in a locked room and hope it dies.

It won’t. It’ll scream and bang and torment you.

Instead, talk to it gently, like you would a child. That’s where it came from, after all — a learned response from childhood, when you had to agree with parents and teachers or face punishment.

Listen to that voice. Talk to it. Thank it for looking out for you. Explain how it’s scared of the wrong things. Teach it what really matters, and why you path is safe and good. Guide it like you would a child, with kindness and empathy. Help it go back to sleep.

Then get back to creating your art.

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From Belief to Knowledge: Teaching at Pantheacon

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

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Two weeks ago, I taught at Pantheacon. I was scared, not of speaking or teaching, but of testing my magick in front of an audience. And I learned just how subtle resistance can be.

The class was about belief and knowledge. If I believe in something, there’s also a doubt, often deep and unacknowledged. I can push it down, but it’s still there, still impacting me. I’ll avoid true tests, avoid situations where I might discover that my belief isn’t true. It holds me back in ways I’m often unaware of.

Knowledge is different. It’s sure, confident. If I know something, I don’t even realize when I’m testing it, because I just know it’ll work.

My goal was to help students move from belief to knowledge. But even more, it was about moving myself from belief to knowledge.

The technique was simple: There’s a sender and a receiver. The sender builds energy while thinking of a memory, either happy or excited. The receiver moves that energy into their own head, and feels the difference between the two emotions. It uses some fundamentals of Direct Magick, and can be taught in about an hour.

There are two ways to use this: Practice, and Test. To practice, the sender announces the emotion they’re using, and the receiver notices the difference. It’s striking how different the energy feels, which students enjoy. But it’s also safe — you know what you’re supposed to feel, and if you don’t feel exactly that, well, no one ever needs to know.

In the test condition, the receiver closes their eyes and doesn’t touch the sender. They can only feel the energy, there’s no non-energetic communication. Based only on the energy, they figure out which emotion the sender is sending.

I knew I’d want to demonstrate the test condition. You can’t talk about the test then not do it. That’s like a play having a rifle hanging on the wall, but never firing it.

Except I haven’t done this test in years. I hadn’t done it with anyone in the class. What if my partner messed up? I’d look like an idiot in front of the whole class.

It was a fear that came directly from not testing my magick. My lack of testing threatened to hold me back, not in an abstract way at some future point, but by flinching away from teaching the best class I could, right now.

I have a reflex: When I notice something uncomfortable, I look at it more. It’s consciously cultivated over the past decade. And I realized, I’d never really tested the technique at all.

I first taught the class in 2009. Demoed the test condition, everything went great. Taught it again a few times, demoed the test condition each time. But I never sat down with a partner, ran a few dozen trials, collected data to really prove the technique. Just never got to it.

Except I didn’t “just never get to it.” I avoided it. I could have done it anytime over the past 5+ years, but I never made the time. I hadn’t noticed, but my fear had made me avoid testing. Which is why I was still scared.

Well, the class went well. I demonstrated the test condition, it worked, everyone was happy. And I’ve resolved to test this, and many other techniques, before the end of 2015. Because I can’t do what I want to do if I flinch away from demonstrating my magick.

What about you? Do you have doubts that leave you flinching from opportunities? How could you turn those doubted beliefs into knowledge?

Other Highlights

I also taught Hypnosis for Deeper Trance. Over 30 attendees, so much fun to teach, and I’m teaching a follow-on class, “Hypno-Shamanism,” in April with Francesca Gentille. Details coming soon.

I had some great conversations with Taylor Elwood of Magical Experiments, and came away with some inspiration for my book. (It’s been in progress for over a year, partially because I haven’t found quite the right focus. I think I have that now.)

And I discussed the overlap between science and magick with Oberon Zell of the Church of All Worlds. He had some interesting ideas, and it was great to connect.

In all, a great conference, and I’ll be there again next year.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

Rest, Resistance, and Training (My Work July 19-25)

Friday, July 25th, 2014

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Every Friday, I discuss what I learned that week. Lost? Read the archives.

This was another rest week. That seems to happen about once a month.

I’d meant to start training, but encountered some resistance. There are different flavors of resistance, and I think this one is, “I just finished a project and want to feel awesome for a little longer before focusing on more things I don’t know.” I simply waited it out.

I did decide what’s next: Learning the right fundamental skills to do last week’s more complex emotion shifting technique in other people. Because I don’t want to use my body to build energy in their signature, that just seems like a bad idea. So, I need more fundamental skills to be able to deliver the power directly to them.

I also talked with my spirits about what exactly those skills are. They’re two or four more steps along a track I’m already learning — the same track I’m using to shift the signature of my aura.

And I started that training today. So, I’m embracing the grind. It’s not the exciting part of learning magick, but it’s necessary.

(Want something more to read? George and I are having an interesting discussion about communication and ethereal software. Enjoy!)

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