Imagine, Part 1

Mechanisms of SOcial Control

boy and goose saying hi

One of my newsletter subscribers emailed me on the eve of the Aug. 7 Aquarius Lunar Eclipse to say:

“Shortly after reading your two emails, the song “Imagine” played on my playlist. We all know the intention of this song and we’ve all heard it a million times, but how long has it been since we’ve all really listened to the lyrics? I think this song means more now than ever and I’m not sure if it would help the rest of your listeners, but it sure helped put me on a better path this morning. Just thought I’d put that out there in case you want to share.”

I have found the lyrics written in the late 1960s and early 1970s  by artists like John Lennon, Pink Floyd and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to be incredibly resonant lately. Wanting to double check that “Imagine” was indeed written during this period, I ended up on the Wikipedia page for the song. I learned that the song was inspired by a Christian prayer book given to John and Yoko by Dick Gregory. In John’s words: Continue reading

The Power of Micro-Stories

Small Changes Add Up

magnolia blossom

Magnolia – image by DK.

I was brooding the other day about my addictive nature and how much time I waste daily in self-sabotaging habits to avoid completing things and thus have to face the possibility of failure.

Or is it the responsibility that accompanies success that I’m so afraid of facing?

The macro story here on a personal level is that I must always try very hard, frequently exhausting myself in the process. But I must always fall just shy of real success in the end.

Because, were I to succeed, the people I love would turn on me. I would be punished and/or exiled and would end up isolated, unloved, shamed and alone. So goes the narrative in my unconscious.

Living in a Van…Down by the River!

For those of you old enough to remember the old Saturday Night Live sketches with Chris Farley, the unconscious narrative that stars up in my subconscious whenever I consider threatening the status quo by doing what I really want bears an eerie resemblance to Matt Foley’s story.

Why on earth would my success, joy and happiness possibly cause anyone else to feel bad? I mean, that’s insane, right? Well, if you grew up in a dysfunctional family system (and most of us did), you began learning and internalizing a certifiably insane story about life – and your place in it – right from the beginning. In ‘my’ big story, here are a couple of reasons why I must never succeed:

  • It would “show up” my mom and my brother, both of whom played the role of the crazy-making ‘blocked artist’ for much of my life. My success would force them to examine their own shameful self-betrayals. This would make them uncomfortable and I would be punished.
  • If I had more resources I might just opt for freedom on all levels, including in my primary relationship. This would embitter my partner, who would then turn my children against me. I would be punished and/or exiled and would end up isolated, unloved, shamed and alone.

Better to honor my childhood contract with my family system to be the nice but weak-willed peacekeeper whose energy is always available to support the others, than risk the possible horrors accompanying success.

Changing the Micro-Story

It’s hard to change your narrative if you don’t even know what stories you’re telling yourself. In this case, I didn’t immediately realize I was telling myself a story about how I was too much of a loser to ever make any progress. What I did notice was that I was feeling particularly bad that morning.

Whenever we’re in the grip of a repressed or denied subconscious belief or archetype, we automatically fall into a light trance state. The mind, unable to choose between our conscious intention and the subconscious instructions to the contrary, starts to dissociate from the body and from the present moment.

This is a big reason why bringing awareness into the body in the present moment – something I do in almost every coaching session with clients – is so powerfully healing. The feelings in this trance included (K) generalized fatigue, a tightness in the stomach, and a heaviness across the shoulders and in the upper chest.¹

The inner dialog (A) accompanying the feelings – which I was unaware of until I had acknowledged the feelings – ran along the lines of:

“I waste so much time every day. No wonder you can’t finish anything. I’m never going to make it. I should just give up and accept that I’m cursed to mediocrity…”

Seize the Inspiration When It Hits

I have been asking Archangel Gabriel for help a lot this year when I find myself stuck in a mental rut. I don’t recall if I had specifically done that in the moments preceding this experience, but it’s likely. Suddenly I received a flash of inspiration: the idea came into my mind that ‘Yes, it’s true I don’t seem to be making any progress today. But I’m doing my best and that means I am making progress (albeit invisible on the outside). So I know² I will be making visible progress soon.’

Suspending disbelief, I followed this train of thought. The next idea to come along sounded (A) something like this:

“I feel it building up. I feel the resolve trying to build. Even though it’s not apparent on the outside I’m going to keep nurturing it. And once it gets strong enough, nothing will be able to stand against it! Yeah!

Whether this was the absolute truth or not (which stories are?) this thought filled me with a small surge of power. The heaviness in my chest now felt like a smooth even fire spreading outwards through the rest of my body (K).

I felt more energized and hopeful than I had a moment before. My body felt like it wanted to move. (K)

So I moved. I went down to my office, fired up the computer and started working on one of those unfinished projects. In fact, not only was the rest of that day enjoyable and productive; I’ve accomplished more – and enjoyed doing it more – in the days since then than I probably did in the entire month leading up to this experience.


Notes:

1- Being aware of the submodalities — visual (V), auditory (A), kinesthetic (K) — that predominate in our various stories  (both subconscious and conscious) can really help you take back your inner authority. While there are a lot of great, proven techniques for harnessing the power of submodalities, it’s really powerful when you can simply allow yourself to become aware of which system the brain leads with when showing you a good story versus feeding you a bad story.

2 – Thanks Corin Grillo for turning me on to the power of specific angels to help us with specific life areas.

Clearing Mental Clutter

Making Room for the Big Idea

I’ve been working on a Big Idea for a while now. If I told you how long, I’d have to kill you. But let’s just say it has been percolating in my creative unconscious since at least 2014.

This past week, as Mercury stationed direct, I felt the gears starting to click into place. (There are a lot of moving parts here!)

My initial reaction was mild euphoria, followed immediately by suspicion: “Whoa! Can this really be it? After all this time? But what about…?” Continue reading

The World Needs Your Giftedness

Jupiter in Libra: Collaboration and Community are the Keys to Prosperity

Those of us who care about the Earth, who have kindness in our hearts, who share a vision of a vibrant, healthy planet…we can no longer afford to be living on the fringes, settling for scraps.

Waiting for politicians to save us is a childish fantasy of rescue. The only people who can make it good are – and always have been – we the people.

Our next call is on Sunday, Nov. 27, a couple days before the Sagittarius New Moon. This New Moon is a fine time for activating not only more abundance but for calling in win-win partnerships and collaborators to help us expand our influence and do more good in the world.

Listen to the first Prosperity Sessions call and join us for the Sag New Moon and Gemini Full Moon calls here: Prosperity Sessions with DK and Ra Ma

Habit Hacks for Rebel Tendency People?

How I’m Attempting to Pscyh Myself into The Habits I Want

If it’s true that my daily habits are the difference between mediocrity and success, then I want to develop the right daily habits. But, how do I square this with my tendency to rebel against expectations?

The answer: I don’t know.

But I want to find out.

Here are a few ideas I’m working with to try to solve this mystery: Continue reading

Why Do We Resist Good Habits?

Daily Habits and Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies

tick-tockIn my post on the power of doing something every day, I mentioned how Gretchen Rubin’s book Better than Before was just about to inspire me to start some positive new habits when Mars went retrograde and my “new start” energy seemed to dissipate into thin air.

Since the Mars Rx ended, I’m back to reading the book and trying to apply Rubin’s insights to motivate myself.

The biggest insight I’ve gained from the book so far (and believe me, it is full of fun, piquant observations) is looking at my habit patterns through the lens of Rubin’s Four Tendencies framework. Continue reading

The Power of Doing Something Every Day

Daily Habits as the Key to Success?

better-than-beforeI started reading Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before in February, a few weeks before Mars stationed retrograde. It’s a fascinating exploration into how different people form habits, and how knowing thyself a little better can help you actually succeed at making a good habit (or breaking a bad one).

I’ve been taking classes from producer and electronic musician Jason Timothy – I really dig his sacred warrior approach to music-making. In the intro materials to one of his classes I read the following statement: Continue reading

Gratitude and belonging

church by sea (c) DK Brainard 2016Last week I came down with a strong case of the Kundalini Fever. Or the Ascension Flu. Whatever you want to call it, it was gnarly. Migraines, nausea, bizarre hot flashes, no sleep, nothing but sleep, dropping things, verbal part of brain shutting down mid-sentence and refusing to come back online. Am I cracking up? Or cracking open?  Continue reading

Hammered by the Gods (and Goddess) Part 2

A Creative Response to the Blows of Fate?

I’ve spent the last week dealing with migraines. It has been an interesting experience. I’ve had ‘migraine clusters’ in the past – times when I’ve gotten three migraines over a two-week period, for example. This one has been different. I’ve come to think of it as one long migraine. Sometimes I feel almost fine, other times I feel woozy but mostly functional – and then there have been the days where I just have to lie down and be still.

As you might imagine, I’ve found this sense of being repeatedly incapacitated somewhat frustrating. Continue reading