Dreaming woman

Dreams: Your Brain Works Hard While You Sleep

Dreaming woman“You need to get more work done.  Can you go back to sleep?”  Mimi Herrmann, Quanta Change founder, said that to me a few times over the years.  You’re probably laughing, but she was completely serious.

Dreams are your brain’s vehicle for recharging your batteries – specifically, the battery that stores how you feel about being human and how you deal the situations in your life.  So, you have your dreams to thank for the way you wake up and handle each day.Continue reading

Procrastination Isn’t What You Think

procrastination

“Procrastination” does NOT equal “lazy.”  This is one of my favorite things to tell people who procrastinate, as so many of us do! Procrastination stems from the fear that “I don’t know how to do this perfectly.”  You can say this in a number of ways, including, “I’m not smart enough,” and, “I’m not good enough.”  Or, your inner voice might say, “I HAVE to do this perfectly,” or, “I HAVE to show everyone that I know how.”

When this form of Learned Distress is triggered, we do everything we can to avoid having “I’m not good enough” confirmed once again, or having people see our deepest secret – that we aren’t perfect.  We hold off doing whatever the task is until the last possible second – until the pain of not completing it at all is greater than our fear that we can’t do it well or perfectly.

It can be helpful to know that the part of us that stores Learned Distress is 2 years old.  You probably wouldn’t yell at a toddler for being scared, and it can be helpful to have this same compassion for yourself when you are feeling reluctant to start or finish a project or task.  It’s also helpful to know that Learned Distress is just a feeling that can be unlearned, so that your well-being can come to the surface and allow you to accomplish what you want to do.

The well-being state in this “getting stuff done” arena has a couple of feelings associated with it:
1. Comfort with your own unique way of doing things. (instead of following “their” rules perfectly)
2. A sense that you have everything you need within you to achieve your goals

What’s the result when someone unlearns the Learned Distress behind their procrastination?  Often without even noticing that something is different (typical with Quanta Change), people find themselves doing the very task they dreaded easily and without resistance.  In fact, I often have to point out that they accomplished something that a week or two before seemed impossible.

As an example, a college student was struggling in his humanities class and was dreading the paper he had to write for it, so we began to work on this procrastination theme.  As he unlearned layers of “I don’t know how,” he found a subject that excited him and decided to write about that.  He was so excited about it that he actually finished his paper early – a first for him!  He found that he did indeed have the ability to do it, and he found a subject that fit him – fit his uniqueness.  He kept telling me, “It was so easy and fun!”  He had never felt this way about writing a paper before.  His teacher told him it was the best paper she had read all year.

What does the voice in your head say when you’re struggling to start or finish something?

 

Your Well-being Is Only One Black Door Away

Black DoorMimi Herrmann, Quanta Change founder, told me this story just as I was beginning the process for myself.  It gave me a great idea of what was to come. . .and it still gives me goosebumps when I tell it:

Long ago, there was a war that had been going on for many years.  The convention of the day was to put prisoners of war to death by firing squad, but one general took an unconventional approach with his prisoners.  He gave them a choice: face the firing squad or walk through a black door in the amphitheater.

One day, the general’s aide came to him with a question: “Why hasn’t anyone ever chosen the black door?”  The general answered, “Because they’re afraid of the unknown.”

Then, the aide asked what he really wanted to know: “General, what’s behind the black door?”  With great sadness, the general answered, “The black door leads to their freedom.”

Mimi said that Quanta Change is the black door for us—it leads to our freedom from living with the feeling that there is “something wrong with me” and having to work so hard to try and feel good.  And just as the prisoners could not even imagine the freedom that existed beyond the door, we can’t really imagine what true well-being is like until we experience it.

“Really?” some of you ask.  “I haven’t experienced my true well-being yet?  But I’ve done LOTS of work on myself!”  My own experience and that of many of my clients—some who have “done it all” in the realms of self-help, spiritual growth, therapy, you name it, over decades—is that the freedom that Quanta Change brings truly is different and new.

They say things like, “I’ve never felt anything like this!” or, “That resentment that has been around my whole life. . .it’s just GONE.  I can’t even feel it anymore.”  Or a few months into the process, I’ll remind them of something they’d struggled with their whole lives, and they’ll say, “Oh, yeah, that.  I had forgotten all about it!”  Memory is stored by the intensity of feeling associated with it.  So, when you permanently unlearn a layer of Learned Distress, the memory of it literally disappears.  Not only do you not feel bad at that level anymore, but you don’t even remember how it felt.

Are you ready to walk through your own black door?  To find out what it’s like for your well-being to work for you, not the other way around?

Why Is Change So Hard?

People tell me all the time, “I work really hard to create good change in my life and I still wake up day after day feeling the same and stuck in the same situations.  Maybe it changes a little, but not much.  I’m tired of working this hard and not really seeing anything change.”

Why is the change we want so hard to achieve?  To answer that, we have to look at what is being threatened by change.  Is it that we just don’t like change, as we so often hear?  Is it that we are stubborn or just plain dumb—that we can’t see how much better life would be?  Nope.Continue reading

Relax in the Sun or Work Hard to Keep the Darkness at Bay?

This is a question I like to ask my clients at the beginning of the process.  Here’s how l describe their 2 choices:

We’re blessed to live in a world with the sun that does many things for us and our planet—it gives us warmth, drives our weather patterns, nourishes our plant life, and countless other things we couldn’t live without.  How hard do you have to work for the sun to do these things?  Not one bit, right?

Now, imagine living in a room your whole life where the sunlight is completely blocked out.  To survive, you still need many functions the sun provides, so there is a light in the ceiling that does those things.  But there’s a catch—this light is attached to a stationary bike which you must ride to keep the light turned on.  So, you have to work hard just to survive.

Would you rather continue to ride the bike or get off and stand out in the sunshine?  That’s the difference between surviving through your pattern of Learned Distress and living from your well-being.

Your bike-riding style is your Sensory Quotient pattern. 

Idealists are able to ride the bike well and they keep the light turned on brightly, but it’s very hard work.

Perfectionists control their riding to make sure that the light is turned on the “right way.”

Dictators ride the bike their own way, it is the only way, and they make sure everyone else does it their way, too.

The Defeatist’s bike never works, and in the rare case that they do get the light turned on, Defeatists know that darkness is only a few moments away again.

Optimists always have some crisis with their bike, but they keep struggling to overcome these difficulties.

Caregivers know they can’t keep the light turned on by themselves, so they make sure to ride the bike in whatever way will get them the help they need.

Quanta Change gives you the choice to allow your well-being to work for you, just as the sun works for our planet and humankind.  To find out what “relaxing in the sun” has looked like for some Quanta Change participants, check out these Quanta Change stories.