UncertaintyIt’s important.

You’re fully committed.

And you have no idea how you’re going to accomplish it.

Ever been there?

What did you do?

Panic?

Frantically start researching?

Beg a friend or mentor for help?

Freak out for days, weeks, or months? Even years?

Or, all of the above, like me?

What Happens When You’re Faced with the Unknown

You like knowing how to do things well, right?

And you like knowing how they’re going to turn out.

When you’re tackling something new, you probably don’t know either.

Scary, isn’t it?

That’s because it feels like your survival depends on knowing…how to do things and what the result will be.

No matter how excited you are about your new project or possibility, it triggers the fear that you might die, because you don’t know.

A Matter of Survival

“Wait!” you’re thinking. “Did she say I feel like I might die? It’s not that bad.”

You’re good at convincing yourself it will be OK, even if you panic along the way. Right?

That means you talk yourself out of the feeling that your life is threatened.

Actually, you bury it.

Which is OK. It has kept you alive so far.

But, living in survival mode takes a toll.

That buried feeling isn’t gone. It’s insidiously building up inside.

Have you noticed that each time you face a new unknown, it feels a little harder? A bit more exhausting?

You think, “I don’t know if I can do this again!”

That’s because you’re dragging around more and more of that buried negative feeling.

The Point You Entered Survival Mode

It was way back. Sometime in early childhood.

From conception until age 2 1/2, your brain was a sponge.

Its job was to absorb how people around you felt about being themselves, and turn it into how you feel about being yourself.

This absorbing process was supposed make more and more good for you.

It was meant to allow the core of who you are to expand and fit well with your surroundings.

The energy that makes up your core is what I call natural well-being. It’s the feeling that you are all good being exactly the way you are.

So, the feeling you absorbed from other people was meant to expand your natural well-being.

But, there’s a flaw to being human, and it threw you into survival mode.

The Underlying Flaw in Humanity

Do you know how your parents or other early caregivers felt about being themselves when you were young?

Even if you don’t know specifics, you can answer this question: Did they feel wonderful every second they were around you?

Of course, not.

Humans have bad moments, bad days, bad years.

From those bad times, your sponge-brain soaked up the feeling that there is something wrong being human.

And, it became personal…it was stored as the feeling that there is something wrong with you being just the way that you are.

This Learned Distress® is the flaw that shoved you into survival mode.

The 6 Survival Mechanisms

Gradually, Learned Distress overwhelmed your core well-being.

You had to keep moving forward, in spite of it. So, your brain formed a survival mechanism to handle the daily onslaught of the feeling that there’s something wrong with you.

Learned Distress comes in many flavors and can be triggered by circumstance, such as encountering a new unknown.

“There’s something wrong with me not knowing how to do this, already, or not knowing how it will turn out.”

In response, your survival mechanism kicks in. You might recognize yours here from the most common:

  1. I need help from someone else.
  2. I need to do this the right way, so I’ll research and see how other people would do it.
  3. I need to work hard to create an ideal result.
  4. I need crisis, so I’ll let this spin out of control and then find a way to overcome it.
  5. I need to do things my own way, so I’ll just pretend I know how to do this and figure it out as I go.
  6. I need everything to fail, so my failure at this task will serve as further proof. (Yes, really, this is a survival mechanism, and it’s the way some people move through their entire lives.)

Is There a Better Way?

Did you recognize the way you handle life?

Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, yeah, that’s just how life is. Why even bother talking about it?”

Because, Learned Distress may have overwhelmed it, but your core well-being is still there.

What would a life based on well-being be like?

Actually, it goes step further.

Learned Distress and natural well-being are stored in your sense of self.

This feeling storage bank is not just the filter through which you experience life or the way in which you respond to it.

Your sense of self is actually generating every moment of your life from the feelings it stores. Automatically, without any conscious input or control.

So, all those negative situations weren’t just triggering the feeling that there is something wrong with you.

The feeling that something is wrong with you generated those situations.

So, let me rephrase my earlier question.

What would a life generated from your core well-being be like?

How Survival Looks Close Up

I’m in the process of training my first group of Quanta Change Guides.

This is something I knew was coming for years, and I was fully committed.

And yet, I had no idea how to do it.

As I pondered, all of my survival mechanisms kicked in.

I looked to my own training as a Quanta Change Guide. But, I had just glued myself to the founder of this work and absorbed everything I could. It wasn’t a structure I could use to train multiple people. Strike one.

I told friends and colleagues what I needed the outcome to be, and they had no ideas for me. Strike two.

I looked at schools and training programs for other helping professions. I found no good fit. Strike three.

I spent years in quiet desperation, believing much of the time that I just wasn’t going to find the right way. Strike four.

The only option left was to take my own medicine.

What a Big Dose of Quanta Change Did

Actually, I’d been working on this issue for years, so it was just a matter of knocking off a couple more layers of, “Help, I don’t know how!!!”

Quanta Change work in this arena of “I don’t know” centers on trusting and allowing one’s core well-being to show the way.

It’s about trusting in one’s own uniqueness, which is the opposite of looking to people or other models for the answer. Having said that, answers that come from our natural well-being will often point us to existing knowledge, if it’s really a perfect fit.

In this case, I felt drawn back to the training for my first career as a professional violinist. Instead of being about book learning and training, it’s about immersion and mastery over years and decades, from which one then uses to teach.

Once I was ready to start my first Quanta Change Guide class, I just knew this was the only way to do it, despite the fact that I was completely ignoring any conventions or rules for training in this arena.

I challenged my own fear that “I don’t know enough” by inviting two long-time therapists with 50+ years of experience and a few Ivy League degrees between them. I said, “I have no idea how you trained to do your current job, but here’s how you’re going to become a Quanta Change Guide.”

And then, I started teaching in the way professional violinists learn to play and teach.

It felt right to me, but I really knew I was on the right track they started saying things like, “This is what school should have been,” and, “Wow, this immersion model is the best way to learn. I’m starting to think from this perspective naturally.”

As is always the case with big Quanta Change, the shift taking my own unique direction has felt natural and easy to me. Not once have I felt like I had to figure anything out or push hard to make something happen. It has just been fun, and it’s working.

Is Survival Worth the Toll It Takes?

Is your survival mechanism even working for you?

Are you getting the results you want?

Are you happy with the status quo?

Or, is it getting exhausting to muscle that same boulder up the same old hill?

Are you tired of dreading the next new challenge, sure that this time, you really will fail?

Here’s the thing.

Your core well-being isn’t just a little better than surviving your Learned Distress.

It’s a LOT better.

It’s better than you can even imagine.

So, what are you waiting for?

Things are changing faster than ever in the world, and you, like everyone else, can use all the help you can get to keep moving forward.

And, the world could really use the good that will come from your well-being.

What if you could live with more ease than ever before and serve the world with your uniqueness?

That is what is waiting to be uncovered…right inside of you!

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How Dreams Can Conquer Your Biggest Challenges

by Sara Avery on April 13, 2014

Dream work can conquer your biggest challengesWhat on earth was that about?!

How often do you wake up from a dream and ask yourself that?

Do you wonder why dreams are so bizarre, even when they make perfect sense while you’re asleep?

Do you wonder how they might impact your waking life?

What about nightmares? What are they about?

Maybe you’ve read dream interpretation guides, but you’re still not sure.

Do your dreams really mean anything at all?

Why You Dream

Dreams come in several different forms, and I’ll just talk about one of them here.

Your brain uses this kind of dream to renew your sense of self every night.

You can think of the sense of self as a rechargeable battery.

It stores how you feel about being yourself, and from those feelings, it generates every moment of your waking life.

That drains its energy each day.

Then, it plugs into your natural energy renewal mechanism—your dreams—to fill up again.

The fuel for your nighttime recharging sessions is the way you felt about being yourself during the day you just lived.

What Dreams Are Made Of

Dreams are pictures of those feelings from your previous day.

What do I mean, pictures of feelings?

How do you feel when you think of your best friend?

How about the co-worker who yelled at you last week?

The pool you swam in every summer day as a kid.

Your first car.

The history class you failed.

Spiders.

When you dream about a person, place or thing that triggers an intense feeling, your brain recharges your sense of self with that feeling.

The dream isn’t about the person or place or thing. It’s about the feeling it brings up for you.

Your Brain’s #1 Fuel Source

Five good things happened today. One bad thing happened.

Which feels most intense? Which do you dwell on at the end of the day?

It’s the thing that felt bad, right?

Guess what feeling your brain uses to recharge at night?

You guessed it—the most intense feelings you experienced that day.

Ugh.

How Dreams Impact Your Days

Ever found it hard to shake the feeling from an intense dream? It can color…or even cloud…your whole day.

That is only a tiny fraction of how dreams affect your waking life, because of the what they do to your sense of self.

Remember, your sense of self stores how you feel about being you, and it generates every moment of your life. Specifically, it uses how you feel about being you to create moments that feel just that same way.

Automatically. Without your conscious choice or control.

So, you find yourself in the same kinds of relationships and situations, over and over again. Your negative patterns keep repeating, despite your best efforts to change them. And, you keep feeling the same lousy way about being yourself.

Then, your brain takes those icky feelings and uses them to recharge your sense of self at night.

See what’s happening?

You’re on the worst merry-go-round ever, and no matter how hard you try to get off, your brain keeps you glued to that scary, wooden horse.

How to Jump off the Terrifying Carnival Ride

The good news is that you can run this cycle in reverse.

The same kind of dream that built up these horrible feelings can also remove them, layer by layer.

A researcher named Mimi Herrmann figured it out—how to tap into your sleeping brain’s energy renewal process to peel away layers of these negative feelings, which she termed Learned Distress®.

Early in life, we all absorb these feelings, which all narrow down to the sense that there is something wrong with us being just the way that we are. Learned Distress becomes the automatic, generating force behind all of our negative moments and situations.

But, there’s something else stored your sense of self. It’s the feeling that you are all good exactly as you are, and this natural well-being is the core of who you are as a human being.

Mimi developed a way to tell your sleeping brain to recharge with your natural well-being, instead of your Learned Distress. As a result, layers of the negative feeling peel alway permanently, and your core well-being becomes the automatic, generating force behind more and more situations.

As her research subjects tried her process, they said they had never experienced such joy in being themselves or such ease in their lives.

She and I condensed the process down to three integral elements that allow you to tell your brain what Learned Distress to remove while you sleep.

Engaging in these three Quanta Change elements produces dreams that show us that Quanta Change is happening…like watching through a window as your car is run through an automated wash.

The Anatomy of a Quanta Change Dream

Let’s walk through a dream that a client brought me, so you can watch a layer of Learned Distress being removed.

The Dream

He and his wife are in a dungeon-like room. There’s a long, skinny snake that is chasing them. My client wonders if he should be the hero and save his wife, but thinks that he might get sick and die, as a result. He realizes that he doesn’t have to do that. Instead, his wife could probably take care of herself, and she might even save the day.

Shift Theme

Shifting is the daytime element of Quanta Change, which tells the brain specifically what to unlearn during sleep.

He was working on staying completely connected to what really matters to him, and on the idea that doing so benefits everyone around him. He has felt that the only way to survive is to disconnect from what is important to him, and instead just focus on taking care of other people.

Context

You bring people, places, animals, things, situations, or time frames into dreams based on the feeling that they trigger within you. In a Quanta Change dream, it is these triggered feelings that are unlearned.

His wife: She tends to live in crisis, and he often feels triggered by that to drop everything important to him and just help her, often before she even asks for it.

The dungeon and snake: These don’t have any intense personal meaning for him, so they just represent a crisis to be overcome.

Points of Change

In a Quanta Change dream, each time there is something wrong and the dreamer does something about it, they permanently remove a layer of Learned Distress from their sense of self.

One: They’re in danger and he stops to think about how to address that.

Two: Instead of automatically assuming he should take care of it, he stops to think about what might happen to him, that he might get sick and even die. This is a huge point of change. In real life, he hasn’t been able to even consider the negative effects to himself when he jumps in to fix his wife’s crises.

Three: He considers the idea that his wife could take care of this problem, instead of him. This is another huge point of change, as he has often assumed that he would be much better at taking care of problems than his wife, or even that she wasn’t capable of doing it, at all.

The Result

Quanta Change outcomes are not planned, structured, or mapped out. Just like negative moments have happened, these good moments happen now without conscious input or control. This is the natural result as Learned Distress is stripped away and core well-being becomes the automatic, generating force.

Over the next few weeks, my client started to respond very differently when his wife had a crisis. At one point, he sat down and listened to what was going on for her, but said, “That’s really all I wanted to do. I didn’t feel like trying to fix anything.” He confirmed for me that it felt very different, almost bizarre, to not even want to try and fix things for her, much less try to do it.

At another point, he said that the need to leap in and fix things felt even more distant. For the first time, he asked her very directly to clearly define anything she might want him to do. He has often put his own projects on hold, guessing that she will need something and waiting for her to tell him what she needs. But, he’s now feeling and expressing how much he resents last-minute requests, and he’s not willing to work that way, anymore.

And, over the past few weeks, he has finished some important projects of his own and felt really good about staying focused on his own work.

Potential Bonus

When one person unlearns Learned Distress layers that impact a relationship, the other person is forced to work on their own part of it. While this sometimes seems like a negative to the second person at the time, wonderful change often happens for them, as a result. I’ll be watching for that possibility in the weeks to come. (His wife is also my client.)

So, Does This Sound Crazy?

I’m right there with you.

I guide people through this every day, and I’ve experienced it for myself for 14 years. And, some days, it still sounds crazy to me!

But, people take the Quanta Change leap, wondering if anything could change, and then they say things like:

“For the first time, I feel unconditional love flowing from me. It’s not just an idea or something I’m trying to do. It’s just who I am.”

“I usually hide away and drink or smoke when I visit my family. But, this time, without planning it, I found myself connecting individually with each one of them. I never even thought that was possible.”

“I’ve avoided cleaning out the garage for years. Suddenly, I felt motivated to do it, and I got half of it cleaned out in an afternoon. Wow.”

“I’m not angry all the time, anymore! Sure, I still get angry here and there, but it’s not that constant, underlying anger that’s ready to burst at any moment. I’m so much happier, and so is my family.”

So, as you might guess, my clients stop caring if it seems crazy to let their dreams change their lives. They just want more.

Their friends and family stop teasing them about the weird thing they’re doing, and start asking how they changed so much for the better.

Dreams really can change lives.

Dreams really can shift the negative patterns that you’ve been living with for so many years.

Dreams really can transform your relationships, career, emotional and physical health, and the way you express yourself in the world.

Are you ready to let your dreams work for you?

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