3. Invisibility: Enjoying Joy


Lauren wrote some time back, but I am just now getting around to responding to her email.  Here is a portion of what she wrote about her joy exercises.

In terms of my joy sessions, I’ve been hitting around 2-3 joyful experiences a day.  I realized that I often had to consciously create experiences because enjoying moments didn’t really come naturally.  I knew it was an issue, but it was just interesting to see how much effort it took to ensure I had the requisite number of experiences on a daily basis.  Some days I had to backload my joy experiences at the end of the day because I would come home and realize that I hadn’t experienced any joy until that point.

I was also surprised that I had to focus so much on letting joy in.  There were times when I was doing something that I knew I generally liked, but it was as if my mind was running on autopilot.  I knew I liked/preferred those things, but I couldn’t really feel it (the exhilaration, happiness, etc.).  I had to stop and mentally focus on what I liked and let the feeling in.  Sometimes it would take a bit, but I consider it a positive work in progress.  

One issue that I consistently encountered was enjoying the joy without rushing the moment.  I frequently wrestled this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I was taking too much time enjoying my joy.  I felt like I had so many things to do on my task list that I felt guilty for savoring the moment for too long.  So while one part of me wanted to be still and enjoy the joy, another part of me resisted it.  Because of that internal struggle, there were many times when I felt like my whole person wasn’t fully on board experiencing the joy.

I’ll keep practicing this assignment, and I imagine that many of these issues may work themselves out with time. 

First of all, Lauren, look at the issue of assets.  You don’t have a natural joy package yet.  However, you learned from childhood to be diligent and to push through the emotional discomfort so you could perform according to a check list.  This made you emotionally flat in a sense, because you were powering through.  Now you are taking your strong skill of disciplined focus and are using it to build a good neurological and experiential treasure.

This is an excellent picture for everyone else watching your story line.  Even in our junk, there are often treasures that we can use to achieve greater treasures.  So well done!  You are on track, using your liability as an asset to leverage greater assets in the future.

Second, I am glad you caught the fact that you struggled to let joy in.  The issue here is “permission.”  Part of the journey involves your giving yourself permission a lot of times to enjoy your joy.  Now here is where we shift from brain to soul.  Your brain experiences something that it likes and asks for permission to escalate the emotion.

We do this all the time.  I was at an event last night and something funny happened.  I felt the humor in it, but my soul grabbed a hold of my brain and choked it off, because it was not appropriate to laugh out loud in public over that issue at that time.

You are well familiar with the childhood constructs that demanded that you keep an even keel emotionally.  Thousands of decisions to stifle all sorts of emotions has created a pretty strong control habit in your soul, so you have to wrestle with the past in order to release your soul into the present.  For now, I don’t have any fancy tools to give you.  I think that just fighting 100,000 little battles and winning 80,000 of them will get you where you need to be.

I think that this is a huge part of your mantle of invisibility.  When someone is choking off a lot of who they are, other people feel a bit uneasy.  That emotionally blank, dependable worker that you were asked to be in childhood helped you survive there, but in the marketplace, people actually will promote the more emotionally engaged individuals ahead of those who are competent but flatlined.

That said, why don’t you think about what it would look like for you to enjoy someone else’s joy at work.  How is that done by others now?

I realize that your work place is a proper, stuffy, buttoned down, white collar bastion of propriety.  I doubt anyone whoops with joy and offers a hard smacking high five when something goes right.  But there has to be some level of celebration allowed somewhere.  Can you celebrate a new hairdo for the receptionist?  What happens when people get a raise or a promotion?  Is there some form of peer praise that is allowed or not until they are in the bar after work?

I think that at the end of the day you can envision past or future celebrations and “see” yourself doing them.  So “Fred” scored recently on the Jones project.  What happened?  How was it announced to the company that he concluded successfully?  Who said what to compliment him?  What could you have done to share his joy?

Then look forward.  Judy is going on vacation.  She will (we hope) come back all joyous.  What is the corporate context for asking her to share her joy?  What would it look like for you to enjoy her joy with her?

You need to figure out what works in that culture.  I just don’t know how locked down they all are emotionally.  You might have to ask Judy to go out to lunch with you to share the high points, or to send you some pictures of the most fun days.  You figure out what is viable there, but basically take your game to the next level.

It is usually easier for someone with the mantle of invisibility to enjoy someone else’s joy than to announce your own joy and have everyone yawn.  Very humiliating when no one wants to enjoy your joy with you.

So that is an assignment you can move on immediately.   Since you like metrics, I will suggest that twice a week you find some way of sharing the joy of someone in the office.  Your first objective is to learn the skill set of inserting yourself into the conversation comfortably, and the second step is finding how comfortable you are in sharing other people’s joy.  At present, I am not raising the bar on intensity – just activity.

If the best you can do is say, “That’s cool, Judy” then that is fine.  If you can draw her out for three minutes or engage on Facebook or whatever else, then fine.  Your call.  So I don’t care about skill.  Let’s just do something twice a week to start the process and let me know.

Third, on the issue of rushing joy, you can often beat this by multitasking.  Can you allocate some time that is already “productive” to enjoying your joy?  What about in the shower, or while driving, or while folding the laundry, etc.  I know from other correspondence that you do motion well when you are thinking.  Will the inner policemen chill out if the whole time you are being productive with folding laundry, you have permission to enjoy your joy on a single issue for the whole 15 minutes?

Let me know.  If not, we will use some other tools to find a block of time where you have permission.  It is hard to enjoy your joy when the Grinch is standing there looking at his watch every five seconds making horrible faces at you for being so naughty as to impinge on his emotional atmospheric responsibility.

So, sneak some time when the Grinch has a headache and celebrate #1.  Work on #2 so you can report back and tell me what your starting point is, so I can coach you with more skills and techniques.  And let me know whether #3 works or we need a better tool.

Copyright February 2016 by Arthur Burk  Generational Blessings SLG Coaching blog

From JFK, between flights

 

 

45. Hebrew Worship: Food as Worship


Scripture is ambiguous about the spiritual orientation of Jethro.  He is simply described as THE priest of Midian.  The Midianites were descendants of Abraham, but in the general engagement through the centuries of Israel’s relationship with them, they were deemed to be followers of other gods, not the God of Israel.  So we don’t know where Jethro stood with Yahweh during the decades Moses was part of his family.

After the Exodus, when Moses gave a report, Jethro overtly validated Moses’ God.  We don’t know whether Jethro became monotheistic, or simply acknowledged that Yahweh was a cut above the gods he served.

“So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him.  They greeted each other and then went into the tent.  Moses told his father-in-law about everything the LORD had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake and about all the hardships they had met along the way and how the LORD had saved them.  Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the LORD had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians.  He said, ‘Praise be to the LORD, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians.  Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.’

“Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.”  Exodus 18:7-12  NIV

The Gentiles generally acknowledged multiple gods.  There was a hierarchy with a god who was greater than the rest, but there were also specialty gods who could be served for a particular asset which they were supposed to deliver.  My guess is that Jethro was simply acknowledging that in the pantheon of gods, he was recognizing Yahweh as supreme.

The point however, is that there were three components to this worship.  First, the unambiguous declaration of the greatness of God and the attitude adjustment that he, Jethro, had experienced.  “Now I know . . . ”

Second was the animal sacrifices.  There was the traditional burnt offering for sins and then “other” sacrifices for food for the party.

Third, there was the feast.

From the beginning, food has been the central meeting place for God and man.  There was no religious protocol at all in the Garden of Eden.  Just God and man talking and walking.  When the first post-fall sacrifices were offered, it was two different kinds of food in competition.  Through the season from Cain to Mt. Sinai, both the righteous and the unrighteous celebrated their gods with food.  At Mt. Sinai, God instituted a massive eating-centered religious structure.

When the complexity of the Mosaic Law was reduced to two ordinances in the New Testament, one of them involved eating – and in the Church of the apostles, it was not a crumb and a sip.  The elements for Communion came out of a full meal.

In eternity, at the marriage of the King and the Bride, there is no mention of any ceremony or vows or symbols other than the clothes of each.  But central to the ceremony is food.

Today, one of the greatest triumphs of the enemy is to secularize food.  Broadly speaking meal times at home or at church are times for fellowship and feeding.  The body and soul get all the attention.  There is little spiritual consideration other than perhaps the token prayer at the beginning.

Ironically, the most spiritual thing we do with food is to abstain from it!  Fasting is considered a high spiritual discipline.  Feasting is considered a concession to the crass body cravings.

That simply is not the picture Scripture portrays.

Feasting was central to worship.

The challenge we face is that we are so far behind, we don’t even know what questions to ask to begin to dig out of our ignorance.

What are the spiritual implications of boiled meat versus broiled?  What combinations of meats and grains produce which spiritual results?  What kind of food would comfort the brokenhearted? What kind would produce faith?  What kind would be best for an evangelistic meal?  Why is meat central to God’s worship services and not veggies?  What are the spiritual qualities of different grains?

Bottom line:  Hebrew worship was mostly anchored in food.  And our worship is rarely even peripherally related to food.  We have lost a huge treasure in knowing how to worship God with feasting.

45. Hebrew Worship: Food as Worship  Mercy Season SLG Coaching blog

Copyright February 2016 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub

 

 

Two Tools for Finding Identity


“Sally” contacted me and asked about some growth issues.  She has a strong religious background, so duty to the demands of community has been central for her in the past.  I am always alert to that as a possible filter for her thought processes, and gently push back when I hear that tone.

In this case, she had a growth project she was working on and wanted me to speak into her strategy.  I gently demurred against her game plan and suggested that unpacking her God-given design was more important to the Kingdom than fulfilling someone’s To Do List.

When I moved the discussion toward her design, she predictably choked.  Discovering our individuality is not core teaching from the religious spirit.

I concurred that it is hard for a person to see themselves, so I sent her to a good friend of hers and asked the friend to describe her design.  The results were not useful since they were all descriptions of her growth in recent years, not her design.  Predictable, since the friend is also coming out of religion.

I tried to show the difference between design and skill acquisition with this illustration.  The objective in school is to teach all the kids how to write.  However, there is the foundational question of whether the child is right or left-handed which needs to be addressed before teaching them how to write.  As the child grows older, there are a multitude of academic skills that need to be mastered to become a good writer, but at the same time, there is more and more pressure to find one’s own voice in their writing – and that is the primacy of design, again.

I sent Sally back to her friend, Suzie, and suggested two tools.  The first is a static comparison.  I suggested that Suzie identify four people who she knows really well and then describe how Sally is the same or different from each of these.  It is often easy to see a comparison when we can’t find language for the abstract.  When Suzie puts Sally alongside her son, Fred, it will be easy to see that Fred is contemplative, Sally is impulsive.  Fred is adaptive to every environment, and Sally needs to change her environment to fit herself.  Fred has a narrow emotional range, and Sally is a piano with a key board twice as large as a standard piano!

Once Suzie comes up with that list from the four comparisons, Sally can sort through it and say, “These are design statements and these are woundedness and this other set of markers are simply immaturity.”

The second tool I gave her was to have Suzie place Sally and Fred in situations they have never been in and describe how they would respond.

Each is hosting a party at their home.  They get so caught up in talking with one of the guests, that they let the main dish burn until smoke is coming from the kitchen.  What would each of them do in that crisis?

Each one is offered a promotion which means moving out of the country.  How would they process that offer?

Each hears that there is a big move of God in the city one hour away from them, at the church they used to attend.  How would they process the decision of whether to go back or not?

Whether Suzie is right or wrong in her assessment of how Sally would respond to those situations, the discussion is sure to surface some valuable information about how Sally is perceived.  If Suzie is adamant that Sally would do X and Sally is positive she would do Y, this would be a very productive conversation.  What is it in the culture that has caused Sally to act differently from her design, and could Sally give herself permission to act according to her design in the future, if she knows so clearly what it is?

NOW — here is the real point of this blog.

My life is an awesome dance between principle and revelation.

WHILE I was having a hurried chat with Sally on doing her homework better, I got one of those beloved Elbow in the Ribs from the Holy Spirit.  He reminded me that long ago, Sally had engaged with the Giver portion of her spirit and came back with a real blank.  Giver had no clue who she was.

In the context of my using principles to show Sally how to find out about herself, the Holy Spirit gave revelation about Giver, saying that Giver had a passion for architecture.

I immediately floated that to Giver, suggesting that she had strong feelings about when a building was put together badly.  Knowing her religious background, I added a guess.  I suggested that in the past, when Giver had spoken about buildings that were right or wrong, she had been cursed with the label “judgmental.”  This is one of the most universal Christian cuss words used to silence people we don’t agree with.

I legitimized Giver’s design by pointing out that God the Architect was very controlling.  He told both Moses and David that they were not permitted to improve on His architectural design of the buildings they built for Him.  Right now, Jesus is involved in a huge building project getting ready for us.  And one of the few things we know about the eternal state is that we, the Bride, won’t be in heaven.  We will be a meticulously designed city in the “new heaven and new earth.”

This proclaims how important architecture is to God.  We will not be just a Bride, or sheep, or a vineyard but a city with specific characteristics.

Finally I reminded Giver of the deep emotional reaction Sally had to the chapter “Secular and Sacred – Paula” in the book “Blessing your Soul” about the B & B.  I suggested to Giver that in addition to blessing the land, she could design a B & B for the redemptive gifts.  What would happen if people could choose to go to a Teacher B & B or a Mercy B & B?  And when the first seven B & B in her chain are built, she could take it a step up.

What about an architectural design that fits a male Exhorter vs. a female Exhorter?

And then there is the land.  Imagine the chatter on the web when this world famous chain of boutique B & B explores the options for opening the next one.  Giver has in mind a female Ruler B & B for the next one in her chain.  What would it be like if this were in a Mercy city, or a Prophet city, or a Teacher city?  I could see some vibrant discussions around that theme.

So I left Sally with the mandate to clear her schedule for the day and allow Giver to begin to unpack her treasure now that she had language for it.

She still needs to go back to Suzie and do the bigger principle-based assignment, but as so often happens, when we start with principles, we often end up with revelation.

Giver scored today, thanks to an “Elbow.”  BYSo SLG Coaching blog

Copyright February 2016, by Arthur Burk

From the Hub.

 

 

 

Covenants within Contracts


Here is a simple picture of a complex problem.

When I married Ann, I committed to a bunch of stuff.  I married her freely, chose the things I was committing to, etc.  There was no force, fraud, pressure or requirements.  I did it willingly.

However, after I married her, I found out that she had a large student loan that was now my responsibility to pay off.

When I married her, I inadvertently married her commitments made prior to our marriage.

Now take it a little different direction.

I know several people whose life came unraveled on their honeymoon.  As much as they hated to face the facts, that spectacular jewel they married was loaded with critters and curses, and when they married that person, they also married all the critters and curses – unknowingly.

One more.

You buy a house.  After you buy the house, you find out that there are roots in the sewer line, and you are going to have to pay $7,000 to replace it and the fancy driveway it goes under.

Now the real one.

I have a paper lease with my landlord from work.  It is pages and pages and pages.  I talked to a real estate broker the other day and he said my landlord is legendary for being the worst of the worst in Southern California.  I have been pondering what to do about the paper lease and the violations thereof by him.

While I was sitting at my desk pondering that, the Holy Spirit said, “There is a covenant hidden inside the paper contract.”

In other words, the guy is a bad boy not because he is just greedy.  He apparently is in covenant with darkness, and one of the terms of his covenant with darkness is that everyone who signs a financial contract with him also – involuntarily and unknowingly – comes into submission to his particular demon and has to pay “taxes” in a variety of nasty ways.

I pondered that when the Holy Spirit shared it.  The idea seemed very viable.  And it matched the time line when he bought our whole complex.

I pondered other human contracts that could theoretically have covenants embedded in them without our knowledge.  It seemed like a monster of a possible problem but it could also explain some people who have renounced “everything” and are still quite obviously stuck.

So, we did what we usually do – tried it out on me.  Forget fancy titles like CEO.  I am the CLR – Chief Lab Rat.

I called an intercessor and shared the idea.  Then I prayed asking God to separate me from every covenant I did not sign up for in terms of the landlord.  I did a bunch of hacking and whacking in a fairly inelegant way, since I had never walked this way before.  The intercessor who was on the phone is a seer and she saw layers and layers of stuff coming off me.

Well, I am fairly casual about what seers see.  You know me.  Goose bumps don’t count.  Give me measurable, verifiable, sustained change.

When we got off the phone, I checked e-mails and there were two e-mails that specifically addressed the problems we have been having with the landlord – without knowing that at all.  They were just nudged by God, with precise timing, to let me know we were onto something.  It has been three days now, and there have been at least fifteen e-mails, letters or phone calls that have all repeated the same theme.

So I am becoming a believer but not really locked in until we beta test it on YOU!  If you get consistent, measurable, verifiable, sustained change, we will know we are onto something really big.

Below you will find not one, but a series of different links dealing with spiritual covenants that might be hidden inside the social, economic, political and religious contracts we enter into.  Pick however many you think might apply to you.

Now, may I suggest that if you know people who have played their hearts out and are just emphatically stuck, please send them the link to this blog.  There could be a lot of people who are just one more renunciation away from deep freedom.  I have been shocked at how much has changed for our company in the one obdurate area due to a single prayer.

These prayers are not a cure for immaturity, lack of character or lack of skill.  But they could make a difference if the enemy has slipped a chain around your neck hidden inside something that looks proper.

1.   Birth

2.  Child Care

3.  School

4.  Sports and Extracurricular Activities

5.   Religion

6.   Marriage

7.   Medical Care

8.   Insurance

9.  Purchases

10.  Banking Industry

11.  Business Contracts

12.   Land Contracts

13.   Employment

14.   Government

15.   Software

16.  Memberships

17.  Burial

18.  Holy Communion

 

We recommend listening to these prayers once, in a focused manner, then letting them play in the background for a few days until you experience solid closure.

 

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by Arthur Burk, February 2016

Sapphire Leadership Group, Inc.

 

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6. Tracy: The Last 20


Here is the rest of her list.

 

#11     Looking at the new seed catalogue and anticipating the beautiful flowers that will be blooming throughout my yard and on my deck this summer

#12    Baking and sharing it with others

#13    The smell of a fresh cut hay field when I’m driving down the road with my car windows open

#14    New baby calves in the springtime as they run about kicking up their heels

#15    The wide open spaces and the endless blue sky where you can see for miles

#16    My time with God in my special chair as I just sit and wait

#17    Sitting on the deck in the cool of the evening listening to the peaceful silence

#18    Camping and the smell of bacon frying on the campfire early in the morning

#19    Enjoying the company of my funny and witty brothers. They make me laugh

#20   My goofy friend makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts

#21    Wearing the tiara I bought so I could feel like a princess

#22   My new rock garden that I created last summer

#23   Hiking

#24   The look on little girls’ faces when I ask them if they are a princess

#25   Collecting the chicken eggs on a farm

#26   My beautiful gold colored sandals

#27   Winning first prize at the fair for a cake I baked

#28   My soft green zip-up hoodie feels like a warm hug

#29   Re-decorating my very plain bathroom

#30   Picking berries for pies

#31   Building a deck storage seat at a wood working course

_________

So, Tracy, you are far more alive than you thought you were.  There is a wide spectrum of areas you already find pleasure in.  You just had not languaged them as part of your treasure chest, and you had not been overt about anticipating, being in the moment and savoring after the fact.

Having those three tools from the PTSD set will enable you to take what already produced a sparkle in your brain to build a very large pleasure center which we will use in the next step.

I don’t know if you like to sort or not.  For some people, categorizing is a pain in the neck.  For others it is a revelatory experience.   I don’t want you to do this next step if it is going to be a discipline, since I don’t want to intrude duty into your pleasure center unnecessarily.  But if you find pleasure in sorting, then you could sort these a number of different ways.

There is the visual of the blue sky and the tactile of fishing and the olfactory of the pie.

Or there is the physical of your hoody and the emotional of your coat.

Or there is the solitary experience of gathering eggs and the experience in community of asking a girl if she is a princess.

For me, it would be interesting to see which areas produce the most pleasure for you and which the least.  And how you feel about that.  I find my greatest pleasures alone and that bugs the living daylights out of my gregarious friends who want to mooch off my pleasure, but I am really, magnificently OK with solitude.  On the other hand, I have a deep craving for nuanced smells at the right time, but am sad when I look at my list and see how rarely I experience those pleasures.

So if you want to, sort and comment.  No pressure.

I am going to park this for a week.  Now that you have had this insight into who you are, I would like you to work vigorously at growing the nerve center for one week, and get back to me next Thursday with a report of anything you can report.  It might be too soon to sense anything different, but the way you are tearing into this project, there might be something measurable.

Then I will launch the next phase of the project.New spiritual authority

Copyright February 2016 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub, after hours

 

5. Tracy: Beginning to Feel


Well, Tracy is progressing outrageously fast.  The sin of smugness is multiplying like rabbits here in Anaheim.

Here is an excerpt from her latest email.

I do know that since I have written what I have I am more aware of enjoying life experiences as they happen and to bask in that enjoyment at the time. 

I also listened to Brain Rot and am now looking for glory stories – at least one a day.

I also want to thank those who have written in and commented on the blog. Their prayers and encouragement make a huge difference. I don’t feel like I am going through this alone. I appreciate their support. Thanks.

I feel glad and sad over this report.  She has worked so hard at deliverance and inner healing without growing in intimacy.  And when she first read my email, asking for 30 examples of pleasure, it was like a slap in the face because she could not feel.  Never had.  And now, with this ultra-simplistic little exercise, we have significant progress in a couple of weeks.  I sooooo wish more people would add brain repair work to their deliverance and inner healing.

Also notice that there has been a lot of pleasure in her life up until now.  Her brain was registering it as pleasure, but her soul was not allowing her to feel and enjoy her joy.  So the stories she is reporting below come from real life experience where she felt pleasure but had no permission to feel pleasure.

____________

So, #1 was the apple pie in the previous blog.

2.     Fishing

I did not realize how much I enjoyed this experience until I started to write about it.

I love to fish. Now, I don’t mean from those big rigs where you hire someone with a huge boat that is all set up with the fishing gear connected to the edge of the boat and when there is a tug on the line you run to your fishing rod at your station and try to reel the fish in. I mean real fishing. It’s been a few years since I have gone fishing, but oh the fun and the joy when I can go. Whether it’s in the ocean, a river, a lake, or a stream it’s always time well spent. I went salmon fishing off the west coast. We didn’t have a boat to go off shore so we used the next best thing – hip waders. Fishing in the ocean can be tricky when you are wearing hip waders as you have to walk out with the tide and walk in with the tide. So I slip on my hip waders, grab my fishing rod, and try to attach a worm onto the hook as it tries to wrap itself around my fingers when I poke the hook through it. I hate the sensation of it wiggling on my fingers. Maybe next time I will wear a thin pair of gloves to do that job. I walk out into the ocean walking with the tide, continually throwing my line out into the waters. I see the hook and worm hit the water and sink. I wait as I slowly reel in the line. I do this several times anticipating the thrill when something hits the line. And then I feel it – the tug on the line. I give a quick jerk on the line to set the hook – then the fun begins. I lift the tip of the rod into the air to pull the line part way out of the water and closer to me. Then I let it down, all the time reeling in the line. My thoughts race – Is he going to stay on the line? Is he going to break the line? Did I just snag him and he’ll break free? All the while I’m doing this I am walking backwards towards the shore. I do not want to be in deep waters now as I fight to keep him on the line. Besides the tide may turn and start coming in anytime. My line gets shorter as I continue to fight with him and reel him in. I continue to back up until I am in shallow enough water that he can no longer put up much of a fight. He is flopping around on the sand of the ocean bottom. I now have two choices. I can grab the net or the fish bonker. I choose the fish bonker. I win!

Now, that’s fishing!

3.     The taste of fresh salmon baked in butter and lemon

4.     Hugs from little friends.

I don’t see these two little guys very often. But when I do, the initial meeting of the older one is met with a run at me throwing his arms around my legs and squeezing hard. He’s ready to tackle me to the ground.

The younger one approaches a little more slowly and cautiously. He has a quirky little grin on his pudgy little face. He continues to grin as he takes his turn to wrap his little arms around my legs.

This gives me such pleasure knowing that this will be their greeting when I see them this summer. They will be older and bigger so I better brace myself.

5.     New coat

I bought a new coat last fall. It’s not heavy enough for the cold winter days but it will be great for spring, fall, and warmer winter days. It is a beautiful, above the knee length, and very slimming gray coat. Two months ago I put on my new coat to wear to church. I had been anticipating this day, knowing how good I would feel sporting that new coat – then just before I headed out the door I changed to my everyday winter coat. I lost my courage. It went back into the closet. I kept thinking about that coat and anticipating the day I would wear it. This past Sunday I put on my new gray coat to wear to church. I felt good, I looked good. I didn’t need anybody else’s approval. I had God’s. I was styling. I rocked it! – at least I thought I did and that’s what counts. I still smile when I think about wearing my new gray coat.

6.     Swimming

From the moment I step into the cool waters of the large swimming pool to practice, I anticipate the pleasure of going to the lazy river in 40 – 45 minutes. Oh, the lazy river, where the water is considerably warmer and the current is running at a nice pace. And best of all there is a whirl pool at one end of the lazy river with a seating ledge around the inside of it with jets pounding out that considerably warm water. After a few rounds against the current in that lazy river I can sit on the ledge and let those jets pound out that warm water on my back, my shoulders, the bottoms of my feet, and where ever else I can position my body in line with the jets. I love the feel of the gentle massage on my body from the jets and my body is no longer chilled from the large pool of cool water.

7.     Electric mattress cover

I never knew how much I would enjoy my electric mattress cover. I can anticipate the warmth of this cover anytime during the day or five minutes before I go to bed. I live in a cold climate and start out working in a cold building until the furnace warms it up. It is easy to get chilled and feel cold all day. I enjoy slipping into that bed that is heated to whatever level of temperature I set it at. My body appreciates the heat and I just lie there absorbing it. I bend my knees so that my feet get the warmth of the heated cover through the flannel sheets. Then minutes later I can straighten out my legs and feel the warmth the whole length of my body. Oh! does that feel good.

8.    Sharing a good deal

I don’t like to pay full price if I don’t have to. And whenever I get a good deal, I’m smiling! I had gone into the hardware store in the nearby city to purchase the gloves that I wear for work. There was a bin of 6 pack men’s socks – heavy and warm. They were regularly priced at $9.99 for the pack. They were discounted to $5.99. I consider I scored a good deal. There is a drop-in center that just opened up in this city that provides daytime and evening support for the homeless. They quite often make an appeal for socks, gloves, and hats for those at the center. So 3 packs later I’m at the center to drop them off for those less fortunate. Now that’s a good feeling. Smiling again.

9.     Pedicure

I had never had a pedicure before. But I decided I wanted to treat myself so I booked myself a pedicure.  I choose the color I want my toes to be painted. The lady leads me to the chair where she will be working on my feet. I sit back in it and she instructs me to put my feet in the water. Then she asks if I would like a drink – coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water. Hot chocolate would be my beverage of choice since I don’t like coffee or tea and water is so blasé when you’re having a pedicure. She begins to work on my feet. I push a button on the arm of the chair and immediately the chair begins to massage my back. I choose where I want the pressure of the massage and how deep. Oh does this feel good. I lean back and relax with my cuppa hot chocolate, the chair massaging my back and the lady working on my feet. I close my eyes and enjoy. This will definitely not be my last pedicure.

And to add to that, I go to pay only to have the cashier tell me that someone had called in and paid for my pedicure, tip and all. I am loved!

10.     Square plates

I used to live in a small town in another area. Once in a while I would travel to another city to shop. I found a store that sold different kinds of dishes among other things. I am not one to collect items just for the sake of collecting. There was an assortment of square dinner plates in this store. I liked them. They averaged around $8 to $10 a plate. I consider that to be pricey. But I wanted one. So I bought one. So over a period of a couple years every time I went to that city I would buy one plate, each one different from the other. I have since moved but I have this little stack of 10 square dinner plates in my cupboard – some brightly covered, some with very little color. Every once in a while I take out one of those square plates and enjoy my meal on my special plate. I take my time as I eat my meal and it makes me feel special.

___________

Clearly Tracy is in better shape than she thought.  She has more Scrabble letters on her tray than she knew.  We are just rearranging them.  She already knows how to anticipate, be in the moment (especially with fishing and her little friends) and is learning how to savor.  This exercise should be a discipline for a year and by then it will become a lifestyle.

She is moving so aggressively and is in such good shape that as soon as she finishes her list of 30, we will be able to transition from pleasure to joy.  This is a large step forward in experiencing intimacy with people, then ultimately with God.

Now there are many other tools we will explore along the way besides brain work, but this is our starting point so the others can build on an intensely sizzling brain.

Copyright February 2016 by Arthur Burk  YouTube Laterality

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Parts and Emotions


When working with someone who is DID, parts with negative emotions get the most attention in ministry and in the discussions among practitioners. This is understandable, because when a hurting part is up front, they will destabilize the whole person.

This blog is dedicated to the other extreme.  There are parts who can’t feel certain emotions.  When I think I am dealing with a part that is older than three, I will gently test for capacity to feel positive emotions.  Rarely can a part express any desire to go to a positive place.  They can usually agree that it would be good to get out of where they are, since it is cold and dark and lonely, but they don’t have a world view for anything better.

With deeply hurting little ones, the objective is simply pain relief and integration.  We discuss this in detail in the Tools for Freedom album noted at the bottom of the blog.  But for the older ones, I try to give them some dignity before integration, and dignity is an emotion.

Here are two scenarios from recently.  One of my survivors got slammed by a really nasty critter.  We circled around it and found out that there was a part whose job was to open the “door” whenever a particular “knock” was given.

Once we figured that out, I told the demon that Sally trumped the “permission” it gained and I sent it packing.  Then we had to engage the part.  I started by complimenting the part for being dependable and diligent.  I pointed out that it had received those orders many years ago and had remembered the code and been on standby for a long, long time.  I commented on how much I like dependable people and people who don’t need reminders of what their job is.

In short, I celebrated everything I could about that part’s essence even though I was furious over the results of the “good job” it did.

Once I gave dignity and tried to build a safe place for the conversation, I explained that there had been a changing of the guard.  The human being who gave it instructions on doing this task was no longer in charge of Sally and I was.  So I had the right to create new jobs.  The part was surprised but obedient – obedience was deeply ingrained into the part.

So in a situation like that, I have the option of exploring rapid integration so it could have a rest and didn’t have to do hard jobs any more, or assigning a new temporary job until integration was acceptable.  But however the story line ends up, I want to stay away from a “naughty part” narrative and expose the part to an emotion it had never faced before – dignity.  I know the part had no place on the shelf for that emotion.  I put it out there anyway and let it just hang in the air for consideration after I left the part.

A second situation recently was a part that blocked pain.  Sally went through a tough patch years ago where everything hurt.  This part was not under the control of the perp.  It was formed for self-preservation.  When the pain was about to become overwhelming, it was able to step into the “driver’s seat” and cause Sally to go completely numb, not feeling anything in body or soul.

Again, I complimented the part on playing an important role in survival.  I explored the fact that it had some exceptional skills for dealing with the biology of the body.  To be able to completely block massive biological pain is quite a significant skill set.  I praised the part for being such a specialist.

Then I pointed out that Sally has been on a great growth curve for years and has not had that severe pain for a long, long time, therefore, all of the skill this part has is more or less wasted.  It agreed.

I asked if it could consider a new task.  In theory it could.

After a few days of negotiation, I set the part to work healing a portion of Sally’s biology that is still subpar.  Obviously I want to move toward integration, but the part is older and is not overly receptive to the idea quite yet.  It will probably be a week of watching other parts being integrated before it asks about it.

Meanwhile, it did an amazing job.  Within 24 hours of taking on the task of expediting healing instead of blocking pain, there was noticeable change in that portion of Sally’s body.  I celebrated that for the part.  The part was so trained to shut off emotions that it was not able to enjoy success.  That software just did not exist.  So I modeled pleasure for the part, and honored it for a job well done.

Ultimately, the part is not going to feel high emotions in the positive sense until it is integrated.  That is still the major objective.  However, along the way, I am investing in modeling emotions for parts that are on their way to integration.

Parts were created and established in a very negative environment.  I am fiercely intentional about creating a positive emotional environment that affirms their essence while moving them toward the long term solution which is integration.

Copyright February 2016 by Arthur Burk

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TFF1 SLG Coaching blogTFF2 SLG Coaching blog

 

TFF 3SLG Coaching blog

44. Hebrew Worship: Buzz


“. . . Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt; . . .”  Exodus 18:1  AV

Growing up in a technologically detached third world culture, we marveled at the speedy diffusion of new information throughout the community.  Obviously the world of Moses day did pretty well without Twitter too.  Before Moses arrived on scene, Jethro already had an earful about the works of God in Egypt.

What people talk about indicates what they consider to have worth.  A quick glance at Twitter or any of the online news sites will show you what is trending any given day – what the culture deems worthy of discussion.  That “worth” that is attributed to a theme is an expression of worship.

The modern press in America is very manipulative.  Stories are showcased or downgraded based on what the editors want the public to see.  But buzz is honest.  When people are hanging out and there is no pressure to think in a particular direction, what bubbles up is what is important to them at that time.  The selection of topics to discuss is an act of worship.

And agreement among people matters a lot in the spiritual realm.  While the Hebrews were living in the present, worried about food and water, God was keeping the grapevine busy for 40 years, bringing agreement from Gentiles that He, the God of the Hebrews, was not to be trifled with!

In addition to the overt worship He would be requiring from the Hebrews, He was collecting informal worship and establishing structures in the spiritual realm from the agreements of a whole lot of people who served other gods – like this priest from Midian!

44. Hebrew Worship: Buzz  RGI SLG Coaching blog

Copyright February 2016 by Arthur Burk

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