Cognitive Emotional Therapy "Personal Service.... Professional Values"

"Help for your Mind ... When you're feeling a little lost..."

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July 22, 2015

 

Peace of Mind Questionairre

POMQ-Revised

                                

Name: ___________                 __                                Date:  _______

 

Date of birth:__________               Age: _____

 

Imagine a Disturbance scale ranging from -10, through 0, to +10 on which you could score how much peace of mind you think you have: -10 is “Deeply disturbed” and +10 is “Peaceful Bliss”.

Please make a circle around the number that best represents your answerAnchor to the following questions :-

 

1. Generally (on the whole) which number best reflects your state of mind as a person?

 

           -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

Extremely Disturbed                                                                                              In Peaceful Bliss

 

2.  If your general state of mind has changed for some reason what is it now?

 

           -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

Extremely Disturbed                                                                                              In Peaceful Bliss

 

3. If you have indicated that you are currently disturbed or upset in your mind in some way, do you think this is something that has occurred most noticeably over the last few months or last few years or do you think you’ve always been a little disturbed in some way ? 

Become upset over last few months/ last few years o or Always Been o (Please ü)

 

4. If your disturbance has occurred most noticeably over the last few months or last few years how long ago do you think it started approximately ?

 

             Started About   ____________       How many years or months ago ?

 

Can you say in the space below anything you would like to say about your current state of mind?

 

5. Where would you like to be on this scale?

 

           -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

Extremely Disturbed                                                                                                  In Peaceful Bliss

 

6. How much Peace (Absence of Disturbance) do you think you deserve ?

 

           -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

Not at all                                                                                                         Absolutely Deserving

 

If you were to divide your life-time roughly into your childhood 0-12 years, teenage years 13-19, and adulthood 20 + try to guess as well as you can :-

7. How  much Peace (Absence of Disturbance) you had as a child ?

 

           -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10 

Extremely Disturbed                                                                                                    Peaceful Bliss 

8. How much Peace (Absence of Disturbance) you had as a teenager ?

 

           -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

     Extremely Disturbed                                                                                                      Peaceful Bliss

 

 9.Finally (if appropriate) how much Peace (Absence of Disturbance) you have had as an adult.     

 

           -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

Extremely Disturbed                                                                                                     Peaceful Bliss

  

10. If there existed a scale of human worth or human value where would you score yourself on this scale?

 

         -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

                 Worthless                                                                                                        Extremely Valuable

11. On the same scale how do you think your closest friend would score you ?

 

         -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

                Worthless                                                                                                     Extremely Valuable

 

12. How do you think your natural mother would rate you if she were able to?

 

         -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

                 Worthless                                                                                                        Extremely Valuable

 

13. How do you think your natural father would rate you if he were able to?

 

         -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

                Worthless                                                                                                        Extremely Valuable

 

14. Do you believe that life has any meaning or purpose?

 

         -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

       Totally without                                                                                              Extremely Meaningful

Meaning & Purpose                                                                                              & full of Purpose

 

15. To what extent do you see yourself as a victim of life’s circumstances?

 

         -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

     Victim of life                                                                                                   Not a Victim of life

 

16. Do you believe that bad things can just happen to people by pure accident and without any reason?

 

-10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10

Everything                                                                                                               Everything

happens by accident                                                                                                 has a reason

 

17. How much do you like yourself?

 

         -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

                        Dislike Self                                                                           Positively Like yourself

 

18. How much do you like your life now?

 

         -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

                       Dislike Self                                                                                          Everything is perfect

 

19. To what extent do you deserve to live in comfort and happiness?

 

         -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

                        Deserve Punishment                                                                            Deserve Happiness

 

20. To what extent would you allow yourself total happiness - if you could?

 

         -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10   

                        Disallow happiness                                                                              Allow total happiness

 

21. Is there anything you think you need in order to make you feel totally happy? If so please briefly say what this in the space below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22. If you had the need(s) listed above (Question 21) met  - are you SURE you would then be happy?

No, I am not sure I would be happy    (tick)     

Yes, I am sure I would be happy         (tick)

 

Anchor If you cannot be precise, then choose the number that represents your ‘average’ state of mind.

..........................................................................................

 

Learning to master your mind through:

Cognitive Relaxation

OK. Let’s get this straight right at the very beginning - Cognitive Relaxation is not about relaxation, at least not in the way you normally think about relaxation exercises. It’s not about trying to relax your body. No, in fact it’s more like taking a medicine you don’t like very much... but one you need in order to affect a cure for an otherwise persistent illness. Once the persistent illness is cured, there is no longer any need for the distasteful medicine... But while the illness remains, the medicine is necessary.

Now, in your case, the illness in question is your ‘intoxication’ with certain thoughts or beliefs. These ‘toxic’ beliefs are poisonous to you because they do not always accurately represent reality. They  provide only a poor map (or blueprint) which does not allow you to navigate either smoothly... or painlessly, through your world.

These thoughts and beliefs have either been ‘taught’ to you in the early years of your life, or you have ‘acquired’ them as a result of your own experiences.

The various beliefs that have been ‘taught’ to you have had to do with right and wrong, or what is culturally acceptable - as opposed to unacceptable - behaviour. You have also been taught about the nature of good and evil, and about what sort of behaviour is damnable... or unforgivable. These thoughts have been toxic (or ‘poisonous’) to you because by ‘speaking’ to you constantly of guilt and fear, they have prevented you from becoming aware of your own “True thoughts” (or perhaps more correctly, from knowing your own Mind). In other words... the voice of guilt and doubt has led you to hide your Real Nature from yourself (and others), and your True Desires have become essentially unknown to you. Indeed, the thoughts of others, about how you “should” or “shouldn’t” behave, have prevented you from BEing REALly  aLIVE to who you are IN TRUTH.                                        

These ‘taught’ beliefs have obviously been toxic to you because they have led you to feel frightened about being yourself, and so, in the presence of other human beings, you have become unnecessarily plagued with all sorts of social pressures and irrational fears. Instead of becoming more and more calm, and, therefore, more and more at home with yourself... you have been experiencing considerable ill-feeling and considerable background or ‘mental’ tension. In addition to this sense of “dividedness” you have always felt the need to change yourself for the better in some way or other. You have never completely accepted who You really are... because you have always been led to believe that you “should” be someone better than or more perfect than the person you have become...

This, of course, is an absurd belief because you can never be anyone else other than who you areAnchor, so that you are already doing what you are capable of doing. Thus, for example, at this particular moment in time you can only be you..., doing what you are doing, and thinking what you are thinking. This is because what you currently know and what you currently experience is limited and therefore, from moment to moment, you are always incapable of doing anything else other than what you end up doing! That is, until you know how to be different and you want to be different!

How is it possible

in any particular second

for you to be anyone else...

 or anyone other than...

WHO YOU ARE

in the moment that you are experiencing yourself.

This of course is not to say that you can’t improve the way you think and the way you act. But, until you learn how to do this, you cannot do better than you are doing... and so... there can be no call for the self-destructive emotions of guilt and self doubt. You see, it is inevitable that from time to time you will make mistakes... But it is not inevitable that you should feel guilty about the mistakes you make. Seen correctly a mistake is simply an opportunity to learn.

What you need to understand right now is that :-

It is your pre-programmed thinking that leads you to believe that you should be doing better than you are doing.

It is your early conditioning that has led you to believe you are inadequate and that because of this you are a failure in some way.

If a child adds 2+2 and gets 5, this is not a terrible disaster for which he should feel guilty for the rest of his life. It is a simple mistake through which he can (with careful, loving guidance) find the right answer. Likewise you need to become aware of the mistaken beliefs that you have held, in order to (gently) correct them.

As for the beliefs that you have acquired or taught yourself, these have resulted from your own past experiences, normally of pain (emotional or physical), and the corresponding action that your subconscious mind took in order to ensure that similar experiences of pain would be avoided in the future.

Some of these defensive beliefs have been quite balanced, and quite appropriate to your current circumstances... Others have been excessive... or ‘superfluous’.

It is these superfluous and self destructive beliefs that you need (to learn) to let go of... You need to let go of them because they are no longer relevant to your current circumstances.

But whatever the particular nature and history of your own toxic beliefs, one thing is certain: they are present with you right now... somewhere outside of your direct awareness... waiting... waiting to be reactivated... reactivated in the form of fearful thoughts and doubts. Doubts about the past... and the future... or about guilt and sin... loss and punishment... Or they are waiting to be reactivated as fears... fears about sickness and ill-health... loneliness and rejection... condemnation and reproof.

These fearful thoughts and doubts lie silently at the back of your mind, secretly watching and waiting... constantly guarding... guarding against any possibility of your ever re-experiencing those long forgotten childhood traumas... Guarding against those times when you felt emotional pain so deeply. Guarding you from ever being caught again, in the loneliness and confusion of childhood.

 

Now, this is not to say that all the things you have learned are wrong. The problem is  rather more to do with the fact that much of your current self-condemnation, and your current hostility towards others, has been the result of your past pre-programmed beliefs and expectations. Such beliefs have made you fearful and somewhat rigid in the way you see the world. As a result you have lost your most valuable asset. You have lost the childlike capacity to be honest... honest and open minded, without fearing  condemnation. And now, when there are times that you don’t know what to do, or you don’t understand, you are frightened to admit to this! Because you have ‘become’ an “adult” you think that to be unsure is to have failed in some way... And so you no longer receive the answer to your questions because you do not ask.

In fact ...

You have lost your childlike capacity to be genuinely and freely CURIOUS.

You have lost the capacity to be constantly fascinated by everyone and everything.......

and You have lost the simplistic sense of Joy that accompanies this.

In the place of your naive childhood curiosity there has developed a sort of socially induced trance, whereby everyone and everything has been defined for you... by other people. It is a trance that you don’t even know about... because you are always right in the middle of it !

The so-called defensive or self-protective aspects of your thoughts (in saving you from your childhood hurts), therefore, have never REALly brought you any enduring sense of Calmness. For they have been instilled in you at the cost of your childlike Innocence. And you are no longer in Awe of the World because these thoughts of fear and condemnation have regularly disturbed your calmness, often quite unnecessarily, by perceiving danger where danger no longer exists... and by seeing a form of evil in the behaviour of others (or yourself) that would be better understood as stemming from their own particular form of limited, or fear-based, thinking. That is to say their mistaken behaviour has also arisen out of their own particular form of ignorance and lack of Self-Understanding.

But the ignorance of others is not a matter for you to concern yourself with, instead your most sensible aim is to:

ensure that you no longer act out of your ignorance...

either with regard to yourself, or with regard to others...

and that you learn to correct your own errors of thinking !

For while you continue to see the world only through the ‘spectacles’ of your own past, and the beliefs it formed in you, you will always have a somewhat jaundiced (pre-programmed, and, therefore, prejudiced) view of everything. An inevitable Consequence of this will be that you will always see only a poor (limited, or muddied) reflection of the Whole Truth. You will see only a tiny part of the experiences in life that Are Available to you. And if you continue to see the world in this way, always believing what you see to be the only truth there is, you will always remain prone to frequent attacks of unnecessary anxiety, and anger... and eventually depression. Why? Because you will always be confronted with others who see things differently from the way you are seeing  things, and they too will require of the world that its belief map conforms to theirs. So don’t be so arrogant in your judgements, and be prepared to be a little less hard in your certainty about your own particular view.... there may well be much more for you to experience in life than you think......! You can rest assured that to be more open in this way is very much in your own best interest.

Therefore, note well:

Correcting your mistakes means being open to the correction of your own mistaken judgements... and not the faulty judgements of others...

 

...And that the mistakes that need to be corrected are those thoughts (judgements) that can be shown to be hazardous to your own peace of mind.

It is your own Peace of Mind that is THE single most important thing to you....... and others.

For if you cannot live in peace with yourself,

as surely as the night follows the day,

you will not be able to live in peace with any other woman or man.

 

And so if you are going to restore your own peace of mind, you will need to know something of the nature of the thoughts that disturb you... and also a way of dealing with them. For the sake of convenience we will refer to these frequently self-attacking and sometimes “soul-destroying” thoughts that always accompany negative judgements (either about yourself or others),  as the dis-ease-ing thoughts of the “ego mind”.

This  concept of the pre-programmed ego mind is such an important one to understand that the following section will summarise some of its more noticeable features. We will then go on to talk about how the discipline of Cognitive Relaxation can help you be rid of the ego’s disturbing influence.... And don’t worry, without the ego you will not cease to exist... You will still continue to experience life in a responsible and response ABLE way.

The term ego is used to refer to your ‘conditioned’ sense of self. That is, much of your thinking was conditioned or ‘pre-programmed’ into you as a result of your childhood learning experiences. When such predetermined thinking (i.e. your early programming) remains unrecognised it is frequently left unquestioned and, therefore, unchecked... or unrestrained. In this way the ego mind is left to determine for you your current reactions to everyone and everything. Correctly understood, what this process means is that for most of the time you are not really living in the ‘present’. Instead, your mind is regularly resorting to early learning experiences in order to make sense out of the present ones. When this is done automatically, without your even being aware of it, you might say that you have become entrapped by an old, and even archaic, system of thinking. Such a system of thinking has been passed on to you (at least in part) by your parents... and to your parents by their parents.

It is convenient to refer to this ‘knock-on’ and backward looking system of thinking as the “ego mind”. Your own peculiar brand of ego-type thoughts are frequently experienced by you (in your mind) as if they belong to you... or even as if they are you!

As already indicated, this intricate web of fearful thoughts and beliefs, known collectively as the ego mind, has arisen both as a result of your early attempts to defend yourself against the disapproval of significant adults (who were ‘responsible’ at that time for your education); as well as from your attempts to avoid re-experiencing painful childhood memories.

Like a well regimented army, your ego thoughts may be extremely resistant to change, and at times even completely inflexible. Considerable determination therefore is necessary in order to loosen these fixed fear-associations.

Only through a genuine commitment of intention, will you be able to “trust into” seeing things differently from the way you see things now. Only through such consistent openness of mind will you learn that so much defence is no longer relevant to your adult life. Becoming aware of... and then giving up your unconscious mind’s pre-occupation with thoughts of fear and attack may be a lengthy process... but it is nevertheless a necessary one if your aim is to live more peacefully, and more creatively with both yourself... and others in your life.

Cognitive Relaxation is a significant step in the releasing process engendered by such a determined aim.

“The  ego mind is full of thoughts of doubt and danger... thoughts of guilt and accusation... malice and attack!”

Cognitive Relaxation (CR) is a procedure whereby you learn to free yourself from your slavery to ego based thoughts and fears. By increasingly learning to ignore, and give up such self-disruptive thoughts, eventually you can  learn to reinstate greater choice in your life. Thus, CR is more like a discipline whereby you undergo a degree of discomfort in the short term in order to benefit in the longer term, by virtue of an increasing sense of freedom from your over-reactive and frequently fearful ego mind. Once the skill of CR (perhaps more correctly referred to as “Thought Releasing”) has been acquired, the discipline involved in the training period will no longer be necessary... unless of course the illness (i.e. your excessive preoccupation with the suggestions of your ego) once again returns...!

Another way it might help you to think about this is to imagine that your mind is a deep pool of crystal clear water which someone has contaminated by tipping polluted waste (i.e. ego type thoughts) into it. Now, if both the clarity of your ‘vision’, and the creative potential of your imagination were both directly related to the purity of this “mind-pool” then it would be necessary for you to clean the pool out... and in order to ensure its purity you might need to empty out all the water again and again, and again and again, in order to sieve out all the impurities. Obviously, such a procedure could be expected to take some time and would, therefore, require considerable patience.

Cognitive Relaxation is one method for accomplishing this sieving process. Initially all of your thoughts (both peaceful and fearful) are run through it, but in the end... almost without you knowing it... only peaceful, creative thoughts remain.

                  

Essentially there are four main reasons why you should commit yourself to a trial practise, and then persevere with CR.

  1. To increase your capacity to be aware of the thoughts of the ego as they pass through your mind. That is, by learning to progressively ignore the thoughts of the ego you will initially find that this, somewhat paradoxically, will make you more aware of them. This is an important stage to go through as it is important for you to know what sort of things you have been silently saying to yourself at the back of your mind. What has been hidden from yourself needs to be brought into the light of your own conscious awareness. 
  2. To demonstrate to yourself through direct experience that, contrary to your previous expectations, when you do actually start to ignore these thoughts nothing disastrous actually happens, and that you continue to experience yourself as a fully conscious living BEing. When you learn to release your ego thoughts you will learn that you do not disappear or become a non-entity... Instead you will find that many of the preoccupation’s that  previously had ‘dogged’ your mind will have shrunken to more manageable proportions... so that increasingly you will begin to develop a clearer idea of what to do, and how best to think about a situation in order to remain peaceful.
  3. Finally, to help you discover your Intuition as a more effective and more peaceful source of guidance for your behaviour than the ‘voice’ of guilt and fear (i.e. rather than the ‘voice’ of the pre-programmed/pre-conditioned “ego” mind).

If you follow through on your CR practice sessions you will eventually find yourself more and more in contact with a calmer and clearer ‘voice’ within you. At such times you will be able to say that you have become more “centred” or “clear” in your thinking. When you have achieved this centredness you will recognise that you have found a special “place of peace” in your Mind where you will be able to tune in more easily to your Intuition or the ‘voice’ of your inner Wisdom.

Getting in touch with your Intuition will enable you to learn that your ‘real’ self is not as bad as your ego mind would have you think. Learning to be led more by the non-judgmental and loving voice of your Intuition in this way will free you from acting so much out of guilt (and frustration), and will eventually enable you to do more (both for yourself and others) out of a genuine and heart-felt sense of interest and curiosity.

Enough has been said about why you should be prepared to commit yourself whole-heatedly to a trial practise. What you now need to know about is what is actually involved.

Part 2

Imagine yourself as the planet Earth. You have a very turbulent atmosphere, with clouds and haze that prevent you from seeing clearly. There are violent storms that wreak havoc. If you focus, or centre, your attention into this turbulent confusion, then you will seem to be Being tossed about and hurt and you will become confused. Withdraw, or re-focus, your attention closer to the centre of yourself (planet Earth) and you leave behind the turbulence. Life becomes calmer away from the surface and you start to realise that the storms have purpose, that rain and heat are appropriate, and that though the atmosphere’s turbulence is there for good reason - you don’t have to sit in the middle of it. You are able to withdraw the focus of your attention from it and observe it from a distance. It is only as a distant observer that you can experience clarity. While you are a part of the storm, there is only pain and uncertainty.

Centring yourself involves withdrawing your attention from the turbulence of your ‘surface’ thoughts, in order to stop your Being “dis-eased” by ego thoughts. In general terms “Centring your Self” involves your conscious choice to ‘quieten’ your mind,  so that it is no longer trying, from moment to moment, to solve problems... so that it is no longer in a state of constant tension because of ‘unREASONable’ demands placed upon it... by the ego !

Initially then,

Cognitive Relaxation

is about your spending

10 minutes

(twice daily)

engaged in

this

process

of

CENTRING’.

In order to help your mind along this path towards ego release, Cognitive Relaxation uses a simple distraction or ‘anchoring’ technique whereby you choose to focus on something simple, such as your breathing, in order to take your attention away from a preoccupation with anything else more complicated or disturbing. In one sense, therefore, it is true to say that CR aims to trick the ever-active egoAnchor  mind into increasing inactivity through a conscious (and somewhat determined) decision to attend to something else, at least for the duration of the practice session. Thus, by refusing, with some conviction, to listen to the incessant ego chatter which goes on in the back of your mind, eventually you will learn to ignore this guilt and fear based system of thinking. You will learn to listen more easily to the peaceful or more intuitive source of guidance we are calling your “Intuition”. Thus, whenever you experience situations that seem to overwhelm you, if you have practised CR sufficiently, you will be able to quickly centre yourself and distract yourself from the disruptive thoughts of your ego. Then you will find that you will be able to relate to the situation more peacefully and with greater clarity.

So, note well, that your Intuition is a Friend that Lovingly Understands you, can see the Greater picture, and always knows more than you about what is the most appropriate way to look at and eventually handle any situation that concerns you. Guilt comes from your ego mind, is judgmental and nearly always Undermining. Guilt may lead to you changing your behaviour in the short term, but it rarely leads to a Genuine change in Your Mind.

Has guilt been your guide?

You feel guilty - so you know you have done something wrong. Is this guilty feeling what dictates your course of action through life? In truth, guilt is something you are taught. It is not a built-in guidance system to right and wrong. Do your life-teachers not expect you to feel bad when you do wrong in their eyes. ‘You ought to be ashamed of yourself’ - how many readers, I wonder, have not heard this idea expressed.

If you are in pain, and guilt is your ‘guide’ to right and wrong - then consider the possibility of a ‘guide’ that allows you to be you, free of pain, and free of the fear of being seen as ‘at fault’ in the eyes of another. If you would like such a ‘guide’ then you need to learn how to listen to your Intuition. The way to do this is to learn and to practise CR.

What then, in practical terms, does Cognitive Relaxation involve..?

In brief CR involves BEing aware of, tuning in to, or simply listening to your breathing  while at the same time you repeat the words “LET GO”, silently in your mind. Every time you breathe in, you think “let” and then when you breathe out you think “go”. As much as possible your aim is to focus your attention on these two things only: your breathing and the words “let go”. These two things, therefore, will temporarily represent a deliberately chosen ‘resting’ point for your mind that you can refer to as your “Centre”. As you continue to Centre yourself  in this way, your aim will be to release any thoughts that distract you from attending to your breathing and the words “let” and “go”. That is to say, as you notice all sorts of thoughts starting to form in your mind which are unrelated to your chosen mental ‘focus’, you consciously CHOOSE to IGNORE these thoughts by repeatedly coming back to the sensations of your breathing around the bridge of your nose and to the instruction to yourself to “let go” of any  thoughts that may materialise that are unrelated to this process.

But rest assured that you will not need to worry about the fact that more thoughts keep coming in to your mind, because the constant re-generation of thoughts is something that is bound to occur... at least at the beginning, and perhaps for some time to come....... The point is merely to repeatedly demonstrate to yourself that you are in charge of your thoughts... and that your thoughts are not in charge of you. In time you will learn, through constant repetition and practice, that if you do not want to think certain thoughts you can ignore them by choosing to attend to something else.

But this is clearly a learned ability that improves the more you actually choose to take the time to practice your authority over thoughts. So whatever you do, don’t fight with your thoughts, because at the end of the day you will eventually triumph and you will see that you are the thinker and that you are the one that chooses what to think.

Therefore, be warned!  Fighting unwanted thoughts is not a good idea!  Such an approach will serve only to drag you more into the ego’s world, where your fears will only grow in significance! Instead you need to learn how to step back from them... and observe them passing through you, like clouds. You will see that they are there but you will not need to react to them as if they are saying anything significant about you. The thoughts you like say more about who your really are in your nature. The thoughts you don’t like are simply the product of your being in a world where you can pick up almost any kind of negative thought and idea going around. Such negative thoughts do not represent you and are simply the result of your fears, doubts and imaginings. When you are in a stressed state of mind you become sensitised to such thoughts and develop what might be called “what-if-itus". Your reponse to such negative “What if?” thoughts eventually will be simply “What if not?” And then you can simply move on....

So for the time being simply be prepared to notice your thoughts as they come up during the session and then remember your agreement with yourself to release them by ‘HOME-ing in’ again on your breathing.

In general terms your aim will be twofold :-

a) make a point of noticing whenever you have strayed from your Centre (i.e. when you have started to think about something unrelated  to your breathing or unrelated to your self-instruction to let go of your thoughts).

b) make the conscious choice to return immediately to your Centre by letting go of any distracting thoughts, and by concentrating once again on your breathing and the repeated self -instruction to “Let Go”.

If you experience any problems with this technique then bring them to the attention of your Cognitive Therapy FacilitatorAnchor.

The whole process, in one sense, is quite simple. In practise however, you will initially find that maintaining your centre will be quite difficult. So to help you I have outlined the step-by-step instructions for Centring below. For the time being the important thing is to get a grasp of the basic idea, without getting too complicated. Later on, in the sections that are to follow I will go on to describe some of the preparations that might help you to get more out of your CR practice sessions. I will also draw your attention to some of the more commonly experienced problems with CR and some possible ways of overcoming them. Again, however, it is important for you to understand that these so called instructions are only provided to  assist you if you think that you need assistance with motivating and disciplining yourself.

 

If, however, you feel that you can get on with spending a few minutes or so each day, learning to Centre your mind without too much trouble, then ignore all the tasks outlined below and simply do it in your own way and in your own time.

 

But for now just try experimenting with the following step-by-step instructions :-

1. Draw your attention to your breathing...

2. Breath in and out slowly, fairly deeply and repeatedly...

3. Become aware of the sensation, the feeling, of the air as it flows over the lining of your nostrils. Move your attention into that sensation to whatever extent you can. Become aware of the coolness of the air on the way in and its warmth on the way out. Notice how a quiet breath is more difficult to feel on the way out. Listen to the sound the air makes, as it travels through your nose, both in and out...in and out...Do this four or five times. Over this time try to develop an awareness of BEing ‘present’ with yourself. Focus on the sensation of air as it enters and exits your nose and be mindful of the life to be found in each breath... and the accompanying sense of being a living, thinking BEING...

4. If you wish, say to yourself in your mind very gently, very softly and very quietly “let....go”. Do this by saying “ l-e-t “ every time you breathe in, and “g-o” every time you breathe out. Think  “l-e-t” and then “g-o” at a measured and even pace with every cycle of breath, first in and then out respectively. Do this a number of times in order to get the feel of it...

5. When you say “let go” to yourself, if you notice that your thoughts have strayed from your chosen focus of attention (i.e. from your breathing and the words “let go”) try to actually draw your attention back to your Centre, so that you make a conscious choice to take your mind away from any other thinking that may be going on.

Don’t worry if you find that your thoughts keep straying away from your chosen focus.

Just be prepared to make a conscious choice to ignore these thoughts as soon as you become aware that you have been thinking them. Try to be firm with yourself and repeatedly draw your attention back to your breathing and your commitment to “let go” of everything...

 

TASK

Take a moment now and try it for yourself...

Try to practice the whole process for three or four minutes to see how it feels...

 Do not read on until you have spent at least 2 minutes practising...

In essence all that is required of you is to try and focus on the sensation of air passing the bridge of your nose, while at the same time calmly suggesting to yourself to let go of any thoughts.

 

Further clarification

As I explained earlier, this conscious choice to place your breathing at the centre of your attention will eventually allow your Mind an alternative point of concentration that will, with practice, enable you to distract yourself from the otherwise continuous, non- stop and turbulent flow of undisciplined thinking. Throughout your CR practice session your agreed aim is to CentreAnchor yourself as much as you can by focussing your attention on your breathing and repeating the instruction to your ‘self’ to let all conscious thoughts go.

You are doing this in order to learn that YOU are the master of your thoughts and that your thoughts are not the master of you. Thus, your aim is to utilise your breathing as a sort of “homing beacon” which will allow your mind an alternative place to ‘gather’ itself in peace. Therefore, whenever you notice that your thoughts have strayed from this pre-arranged focus, you should try to home in again on your Centre... by once more  drawing your awareness in and away from any ‘illegitimate’ thinking. So, when you first notice that you are thinking about something else, don’t make a big fuss about it... simply return peacefully to letting go by tuning in once more... allowing the sensation of air... as it passes through your nose and into your lungs... to fill your mind completely....

Try practising CR for the next three days. Do it for a full 10 minutes... once in the morning and once in the evening. Make a proper commitment to yourself and set your watch or some other timing device to ensure that you know when the 10 minutes are up!

Just before you go...

If practised sincerely and regularly, CR will help you to develop the skill of Centring your mind at will. Once you have learned to do this you will be less tied to the over-reactive thoughts of your ego mind. Instead, when you are confronted with difficult situations (at home or at work) in which your thoughts might normally be automatic, illogical, unrestrained, intolerant or merely inflexible, you will find that you will be able to “step back” more often, and let go of such self-disruptive thoughts. You will be able to do this firstly by learning to notice any tension in your body associated with your anxious thoughts, and secondly by learning to Centre yourself quite quickly - thereby restoring your peace of mind. You will then be able to review each situation calmly, with a more “open” mind. Eventually, as you feel increasingly more confident in doing this, your capacity for natural and “intuitive” thought (from in + tuition, or self-teaching)Anchor  will be released, and your thinking processes will become more efficient... more creative... more peaceful... and increasingly less judgmental of both yourself and others. At this moment however, all of this will seem a long way away from your current experiences.

So get a little closer by taking another step towards Self-Realisation by completing the task below.

TASK

Experiment with CR...

and read no more...

 until 3 days of twice daily practice sessions are up...

 

Part 3

By now you should have completed a total of six 10 minute sessions of CR, and you should be somewhat more aware of some of the difficulties involved. Bearing this in mind therefore, I would now like to outline some of the more commonly experienced problems with CR practice, so that being forewarned you will feel forearmed.

By reading through each of these points you will give yourself a better chance at learning the potential value of CR. CR can be quite a difficult discipline to keep going and you will need to be aware of some of the ploys (used by your ego mind) to get you to change your mind about ridding yourself of its influence. Clarity about what to expect is essential. If you are unclear as to what you are supposed to be doing, you will be unready to commit  yourself, genuinely, to a full month’s trial practise.

It is very important for you to try and rid yourself of any preconceptions you may have had about CR being a discipline whereby you learn to stop thinking.

Such an expectation will probably get in the way of you doing CR peacefully, because you will probably start to blame yourself if you find yourself spending a lot of time thinking in your session, and then you will start to feel uncomfortable... which is the last thing that you want. You see, you must try to understand that in order to develop the skill of putting thoughts in their proper place by this system, you are inevitably (at least at the outset) going to have plenty of thoughts coming up for release. So there is no need for you to feel guilty when they do. All that is required is for you to be consistently Mindful of the following  instruction or agreement made with yourself every time you sit down and prepare yourself for a 10 minute session... :-

 

“As soon as I notice that my thoughts have strayed from my ‘centre’ (...accepting that there may be times when I fail to notice that I have strayed... possibly even for lengthy periods) I will immediately release those thoughts. That is to say, whenever I realise that I am no longer paying attention solely to my breathing, I will release whatever it is I am thinking about, and gently re-focus my attention on my breathing. I willingly give up my time in this way in order to learn how to Centre myself at will. In this way I will eventually learn how to be free of disturbing thoughts, and be progressively more at peace with myself... and others.

TASK

Given the importance of Self-Commitment to CR

Write the above pre-sessional briefing down on a card right NOW.

Later you will be able to read it through each time you engage in a daily session and be more CLEAR about what you are committing yourself to on a day by day basis.

Read this card through before each practice session. It is worth spending this time BEing clear in order to remind yourself of your self-commitment, and to ensure that you keep on target... because if you do not... your ego will surely find a way to distract you, and your ability to ignore difficult and unwanted thoughts will be curtailed!            

You see, your consistent goal will be to home in, repeatedly, on your breathing in order that you develop a greater capacity to put your ego related thoughts increasingly in their place (...by learning to ignore them). It is important that you remain highly committed during your practice sessions because moments of ‘crisis’ will eventually arise when your excessive fear-related (ego) thoughts will start to get the upper hand. Without prior training you will soon feel trapped and out of control, and your ego will tell you that “spending a few minutes Centring yourself will just be a waste of valuable thinking time”.  Or it will give you such thoughts as “CR is  just a means of avoiding issues without facing them”  or that you are “not coping very well”. You see, the long-standing domination of your Mind by your ego thoughts has been such that any effective change for the future is going to require both alertness and considerable  preparation beforehand. Contrary to the ego’s accusations, the Truth is that if you stop listening to its ‘voice’ for guidance, you can learn how to find a Greater Source of Guidance and Wisdom.... and eventually you will handle situations with greater Clarity and greater Peace of Mind. For the sake of convenience this Greater Source of Guidance (found in the stillness of your quietened mind) has been referred to as the voice of your IntuitionAnchor. This inner voice will sound a little like a more peaceful and wiser version of Your own thoughts, except it will not be so much like a thought, it will be more like a communication of Clarity and Meaning.

This quiet experience of “Meaningful Ideas” (which are to be found in this Place of Peace in your Mind) can then be translated into the best thoughts that you can conjure up at the time to communicate to yourself what was being ‘said’ or COMMUNE-icated by your Intuition. So once you have learned to recognise and experience these “Meaningful Ideas” you can allow thinking to occur once more. This sort of thinking is appropriate because it has followed your decision to join with your ‘higher’ Guidance, and is therefore helpful to you because it does not come from the instinctively fear-based system of your ‘lower’ ego mind and it helps you to understand what is being said to you in the Silence.

You will need to feel your way towards this sort of Higher Self Guidance....because the static produced by your ego has drowned it out for so many years that you have lost touch with it. And you need to know that this feeling of your way will take time.... You need to know this in order to short-circuit any experience of guilt that occurs when you find that the silence of your mind just seems like silence and nothingness. If you simply continue to allow the silence, eventually it will turn to Silence (a comfortable feeling of contentment rather than the hollow emptiness of silence). And in this Silence eventually the experience of Meaning (understanding - without the distortion of ego beliefs) will occur..... This process can be likened to leaving a brightly lit room and going into a room that appears to be in complete darkness. As time passes you can gradually start to make out some of the shape outlines, together with some of the features of the room.

What you need to understand for the time being is that your pre-conditioned thinking has had its un-interrupted way with you for most of your life, so that you are not REALly aware of the full extent of the problem. You may think you are but you are not..., and you will not know how much you have been imprisoned until you learn to See through new Eyes!

Inevitably, while you are in the process of training your thoughts, you will miss the target from time to time. In fact, it might be helpful for you to use this image of learning to shoot at a target to help you realise that missing is not always something to feel bad about. Try to accept that sometimes you will be off target, or off Centre... but each time you miss, your sub-conscious mind will make use of this “miss” information and (providing you continue to want to improve your marksmanship) your mind will gradually use this information to help you to be more and more on target. There is no penalty for being off centre... it is simply an opportunity to see how far off the target you were! Therefore, be prepared to be patient with yourself and persevere.

Remember:

There is no misinformation - only miss information,

no failure... only feedback

As you learn to get more and more on target in your practice sessions - by being able to remain centred more frequently and more easily - you will also experience a greater capacity to be able to ignore the disruptive thoughts of your ego mind throughout the day.

You need to discipline yourself into doing CR regularly...

...otherwise you will not routinely get the practice necessary for you to become adept at ignoring ego thoughts. It is important for you to learn to simply ignore these thoughts, rather than actively confront them or fight them, because to allow them any space in  your mind at all is to give them excessive mental significance.

The importance of doing CR regularly cannot be over-stressed.

It is the signal to your mind that you are serious about wanting to change.

It is the signal to your mind that you are no longer willing to suffer.

It is the signal to your mind that you are ready for Peace.

 However, recognise that disciplining yourself, in order to do your exercises regularly, does not mean feeling guilty if you do not achieve your goal of Centring yourself perfectly every time. In any particular CR session you will only be able to let go of thoughts as often as you become aware that they have strayed. Once you know in your own mind that you have made a genuine commitment to spending the agreed upon time Centring yourself, you need no longer feel responsible for the periods of time when you have inadvertently failed to notice that you have strayed. Your honest intention and readiness to “let go” is the most important aspect of this exercise...not the frequency of your success! Try to remember that if you manage to put your ego in its place on only one occasion during the exercise, then you have made progress. And each time you invest, by paying this price inthe short-term (i.e. by practising CR), then the interest payments received increase over a hundredfold.

 

Remember

 CR isn’t about not thinking.

It is about returning your attention to your breathing...

 whenever you realise that your attention is not on your breathing.

 

It is impossible to fail at CR...

 ...as long as...

...you sit down...

...read your pre-sessional brief...

...focus on your breathing for the first breath...

...and stay in place for ten minutes...

...ignoring all distractions.

Do not, for a moment, think that CR is going to be something that you are going to look forward to.

Understand that CR is a discipline that can be compared to paying off a really expensive mortgage, whereby the repayments have become so large  that you can no longer make a move in life without having to consider its affect upon your ability to keep up the payments. Obviously such a state of affairs would be so profoundly disruptive to your enjoyment of life that it would be in your interest to pay off some of the mortgage, as often as you could. That is to say, if from time to time you found yourself with a little spare cash, although you might not be very fond of the idea of parting with your money, it might be wise for you, periodically, to save some of it up and pay a little of the mortgage off, in order to increasingly relieve yourself from the tyranny of such a large debt.

Likewise, in the same way that a person can be terrorised by an over-size mortgage, you have become subconsciously enslaved by the thoughts of your ego mind (i.e. by the conditioned beliefs and associated defences developed in your childhood) to such an extent that this long-standing thought liability also needs careful and controlled correction... And correction, in this case, requires you to periodically pay off the debt -by breaking up the tendency of your mind to think in stereotypical (repetitive) ways. This means that although CR may not be wholly desirable to you in the short term, in the longer term it will pay dividends. You see, Cognitive Relaxation is not at all about trying to be relaxed while you are actually practising it, rather it is about learning to distance yourself more and more from your automatic and self-defeating thought patterns. Eventually you will find that when you are in a tight spot you will no longer continue to respond with the same old fear-laden, ‘knee-jerk’ responses. Instead you will be able to quickly step back from the situation by Centring yourself as soon as you can. Then, and only then, will you be able to deal with the problem(s) from a place in your mind that is peaceful; a place where efficiency and harmony is preferred to urgency.

Becoming centred is about...

....learning to “come from” the most appropriate place in your mind.

This place is the most peaceful and, therefore most enlightened, place for effective decisions to be made. Although this may require you to let go of unsettling thoughts from time to time (in order to be as calm as you possibly can be... i.e. under the circumstances) it does not mean that you will always avoid feeling uncomfortable.

 

That is to say, there may be times after a CR session when, in order to feel OK about something, you may be ‘directed’ (by your Inner Guidance) to be quite assertive and at times even quite bold. You see, many of your fears are quite unfounded, but in order to ‘REALise’ this it is sometimes necessary for you to confront them... in the short term, in order to be free of them... in the longer term. The longer term of course, becoming much shorter every time you make a decision to tune in to your Guidance. Centring yourself is more than just the absence of anxiety. It is the means by which you can experience companionship and guidance. It is a means by which you can find your Self.

 

You will probably find that often you will want to avoid your CR sessions...

... or that other more important things miraculously seem to come up, or that you just need to do something else first... etc. etc. Remember - taking time for CR is an investment for your future. It is your opportunity to release yourself from the burden of a stimulus/response slavery to your ego mind. Therefore, to say that you do not have time for CR, is like saying that you don’t have time for yourself.

At times you may find that doing CR will make you a little sleepy...

Given that this is not really the aim of CR, try to practise only when you feel sufficiently awake to benefit from experiencing the Silence of your Mind.  Also try to ensure that during your actual practice sessions you are sitting with your back straight. This careful positioning of your body helps because in order to keep yourself balanced you will need to remain conscious. If you still seem to have problems with drowsiness then try opening your eyes and focusing on a candle or some other point of non-intrusive focus. However, if you still find that you feel too sleepy, then at least persist with  your sessions. If you fall asleep, then you fall asleep.

 Each session will consist of the following stages

 

  1. Preparation - Ensure that you find a quiet place, where you know you will not be disturbed.

 

  1.  Spend a minute reading through the pre-sessional brief you copied onto a card.

 

  1. Set your timer for 10 minutes.

 

  1. Close your eyes and make a mental note to carry out your commitment to ignore any attempts by your ego to get you to think “constructive” thoughts relating to solving any problems that have been, or are, pre-occupying you.

 

  1. If during the 10 minute session any thoughts come to mind that you think are outstandingly important, then it is even more important that you also let these thoughts go. You’ll have an opportunity to write down any inspired thoughts later. If, however, you should find that you forget, you will just have to trust that these ideas were not as inspired as you thought they were.

 

  1. Start the timer and engage in Centring yourself. You can perhaps best mentally visualise this step by seeing it as a moment in which you  have decided to step into a time capsule that will take you outside of time for a while... starting the session by “closing the door” would signify that for the next 10 minutes you are willing to keep on “track”, by not allowing yourself to get sucked back into the world of Doing. Instead you will just Be.

 

  1. When 10 minutes have passed, keep your eyes closed and spend one minute becoming aware of how you are feeling... and what you are experiencing. Do this by asking  yourself  “What am I aware of right now..... and what am I feeling ?”

 

  1. Next, allow yourself to think any thought or thoughts that come into mind.... and then be ready to write the most important one down at the bottom of your daily worksheetAnchor. This thought may be about anything. Listen to it as it will probably enable you to learn something important about yourself. You may have more than one thought, but don’t spend much more than a minute writing things down.

 

  1. At the end of this listening period, whether you have had any thoughts or not, ask your Intuition (Higher Self Guidance) any important question that may have been on your mind, and that you would like guidance, or clarification, about. Spend about two minutes asking and listening. If you do notice that you have a question write it down in the appropriate section of your worksheet. Also write down any answer you receive.

 

  1. You may find that there is an answer to be found in your mind very shortly after the time of your asking. Alternatively it may follow later, at anytime during the day or coming week. So continue to be aware of the question, so that later you can be subconsciously prepared for the resulting Guidance. This Guidance may come at any time or in any form. When you do receive an answer that you feel comfortable about, also write this down in the appropriate section of your worksheet.

 

  1. Finally make sure that your worksheet (see below) is complete. Note that the worksheet covers both the morning and evening session for the same day.

 

Morning Session                                                                                Date :   ________

Did you read through your pre-sessional brief?                                             Yes/No ? ___

Did you return to your centre when you were in a position to do so?            Yes/No ? ___

Any Thoughts or Comments following the session worth noting ?

 

 

 

 

Write down the question for your Intuition? (if any)

 

 

 

Rate importance of this Question on a scale of 1 - 10:  ___    (1 = important and 10 = vital)

What answer(s)  have you received?

 

 

 

 

Evening Session                                                                                

Did you read through your pre-sessional brief?                                             Yes/No ? ___

Did you return to your centre when you were in a position to do so?            Yes/No ? ___

Any Thoughts or Comments following the session worth noting ?

 

 

 

 

Write down your questions relating to any feelings or thoughts that have been or currently on you mind.

Rate importance of these Questions on a scale of 1 - 10:  ___    (1 = important and 10 = vital)

Allow time and space for your Intuition to form any ideas in response.

 

What answer(s)  have you received (if any)? Please write down your answers below or on separate paper for reviewing later.

 

 

 

 

Now is the time for you to make a personal contract with yourself to make a longer term commitment to 2 weeks further trial practise of CR. This will involve you putting aside 10 minutes twice daily in order to accomplish this. You will have to do this in a formal way or else you will find that your mind will allow things to slip.

 

TASK

Read through the following Self-Contract below:

Do not sign it yet !

 “No matter where I find myself and no matter what excuses my mind comes up with, as from ___________(write in starting date) I will find the time to do a 10 minute CR session, once in the morning and once in the evening, for two consecutive weeks. I will also agree to repeat each of the stages outlined in the CR text and fill in my daily worksheet after each session.

 

Signed ............................................                    Date..........................

If you should decide to sign the above agreement with yourself to practise CR for 2 complete weeks, then, at the end of the two weeks, your Daily Worksheets can be reviewed in order to ensure that you have carried out your agreement with yourself. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

It is unlikely that you are sufficiently ready to change yourself in any significant way if you cannot spend up to 30 minutes with yourself each day. If you have a wife, partner, and/or family to consider, you will need to let them know of your commitment well beforehand and then make the necessary arrangements to identify when and where you will carry out your sessions.

In order to carry out your commitment successfully first of all you will need to make sure in your own mind that you are serious in your attempt to change the way you are. Therefore, you will need to complete the following task before finally deciding to sign the contract above.

TASK

Spend the next two days thinking about what your main problem is. What is the problem that you would like to change. Write this down and then think about what some of the disadvantages to changing might be. For example, if you decide that you would like to be more self-reliant, one possible drawback to this might be the possibility of being alone more often. Another perceived drawback might be that you do not want to go through each of the sessional stages of a CR session on a regular basis...

If at the end of the two days you conclude that you are ready to change, then read once more through the sessional stages outlined above along with the personal self-contract and then, and only then, sign the declaration of intention and date it. You see, one way or another you are going to have to deal with any conscious or pre-conscious resistance you may have to accomplishing your aim. Therefore, only once you are sure that you have weighed up the pros and cons for changing your current circumstances will you be able to sign the commitment with sufficient conviction to see it through. Now, read no more until you have completed this task.

In order to gain a greater idea of how CR can help you in any tight spot you find yourself in throughout your two weeks trial practise, try engaging the procedure of listening to your breathing and letting go of anxious or angry thoughts at every opportunity... i.e. even outside of your scheduled daily sessions. So whenever you feel in a bit of a fix and you don’t know what to do, just try to settle yourself a little by letting go of your thoughts and concentrating on the sensations of your breathing and the bridge of your nose for a few moments.

Now, this will not be an easy thing for you to do... especially if you are right in the middle of a tantrum, or an anxiety or embarrassment attack, or an “I’ve just got to prove that I’m right” attack... especially if you start to think to yourself: “ you’ve really gone overboard this time”; or “I’ve really shown myself up this time.”  In actuality this is never true. You can never go too far before you can put a stop to your ego thoughts (!)... especially when you are coming “full steam” from your ego in a dispute with someone. It is simply never, never...never too late to engage in a little CR in preference to listening to the prattle of your ego. So, don’t allow yourself to keep on and on in order to justify yourself. You’ll only dig yourself further into the realm of the problem (the kingdom of the ego) more deeply.

So always be open to an opportunity to stop fighting and stop JUSTifying and to start LISTENing to that silent ‘voice’ (ever-present WITHIN you).

So JUST LISTEN WITHIN!

Do this in your mind while you are in the situation (if you think that you are up to it), or try to excuse yourself from the situation for a minute or so and then do it. Don’t listen to the voice that says “it won’t make any difference... the anxiety and the pain will just be the same, so don’t even bother”. Instead, just do it! Do it as soon as you can! Try and stand back... even if it’s only to take two or three short breaths. This will be better than responding from the place of your ego mind, where groundless judgements or mental associations with fearful outcomes will only serve to take you further into ego territory. Indeed it’s better to sometimes say and do nothing (particularly if you don’t REALly know what to say or do) than to pretend to know... when you don’t!  Better still, in cases where you don’t know what to say or what to do, be prepared to admit it. In this way you will be able to release your ego based thinking even more... and yet still be safe! The more sensitively honest you can be the less prone you will be to a later guilt attack (from your ego). Even if the other person responds unkindly you will know in yourself that you were not BEing dishonest or manipulative, and that you tried genuinely to do what you could.

If your genuine and sensitive honesty doesn’t work, make sure you make a tactical withdrawal to a place where you can engage CR for a few minutes. Once the storm of your emotions has passed you will be in a better position to carefully collect the necessary information you require in order to make the “RIGHT decision”. You will also be better able to review this information more efficiently, with reference to your more intuitive sense of inner guidance, and as a consequence feel much more peaceful about any chosen course of action. Sometimes you will, of necessity, have to “make a decision not to make a decision”, and then “let time pass” until you have more information, or you are in a different (more peaceful) frame of mind.

 

It has been to the easier accessing of this “different frame of Mind”, that this text has been addressed.

 

FINAL TASK

When you feel ready, repeat your self commitment to two weeks of further practise, but this time spend 20 minutes practising CR. If you want to you can leave out the step where you fill in a daily worksheet.

 

NB CR as a method of personal ‘Self’ development is, strictly speaking, an approach that needs to be understood within the broader context of POMM therapy. In this respect CR is more appropriately seen as a most important preliminary, or preparatory, stage to the healing of more deeply seated patterns of dysfunctional thinking through regular therapy sessions.

(for further information please go to contact tab).