The Value of Pain

It shows up at times where we’re thinking of others. That’s why we don’t notice its value. When we use our experiences with pain, it will be in some kind of compassionate act. To heal them is to heal ourselves when we feel that level of empathy. That is when we see another’s pain as our own. That is when we feel a sense of oneness with another person.

Let us immediately distinguish pain from suffering. Suffering is psychological and it leads to psychological pain, which is only just now becoming important for people to distinguish from physical pain. As I noted in yesterday’s post, relative to our cellular structure language is a very new creation. As a result, our body keeps reacting under the assumption that we’re in physical danger, when really we’re just worried about what someone will think of us on social media. Clearly those things should not been seen as equally important or meaningful.

While the same chemicals can get triggered, with physical pain it can take a long while to heal, whereas sincere efforts at understanding the structures of psychological suffering can quickly reduce it almost completely, and over time people can soon learn how to deeply love their own lives. But we gain access to loving it by trading away our psychological suffering in exchange for acceptance of the certainty that we will experience both physical and non-optional psychological pain.

Physical we’re already ready to accept, and to what degree we accept it is generally referred to as our pain threshold. But buying office supplies for our new job, signing our married name, imagining our life as someone different–these are all either hopeful or wildly hopeful fantasies. We’ll all do them sometimes, but that doesn’t make it wise. It just makes ego human.

There is no need nor benefit for us to spend a lot of time leaping into a made-up future to concoct expectations. We can just stay in the now, where we can actually take action to impact our future, and in doing so we become less likely to avoid causing ourselves future psychologically pain.

Non-optional psychological pain is when our circumstances have changed so suddenly and so drastically that we literally have brain wiring that just isn’t set up to manage it. It’s impossible to be someone and not take on a world view, but if you’re a soldier and you get your legs blown off, then you’re suddenly someone who needs a revised identity. Same for someone who goes broke, has a divorce, loses a job or through the death of a loved one.

The depth of our love with our loved ones relates to the level of pain we’ll experience when they die and our brain can no longer interact with them in the present. That’s why it still tries, often until death. I haven’t lost a parent yet, but I know a lot of people who still ask their deceased parents for advice all the time. They’re just wired into too much other stuff. Their beauty is that they’re literally hard to forget.

By living through very painful experiences, we become valuable to anyone else experiencing those things, and in a ways that could not be known by people who had never actually been in the same position. This is the basis of empathy: our own psychological and physical pain. And when we’ll feel its value is when we bestow our empathy on anyone whose pain we truly share. Having surrendered ourselves into a state of oneness, healing them is to heal ourselves. And that is the value of our pain.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

Stumbling Together

Yesterday I talked about how no one can take your spiritual or psychological journey for you. That prompted a friend to quote me and ask the question, “If you can say, ‘once you’ve understood what you’re trying to understand, you realise that no one can take this journey for you, and so no one needs your help,’ then why do you teach this stuff?”

It was worth discussing. I had wondered the same thing myself. But in doing that wondering I realised that just as some people’s nature came forth as music, or woodworking, or dance, or raising children, or cars, or gymnastics, or math, mine comes from helping others see how remarkably beautiful the universe is in this very special way.

I don’t take the journey for them. Let’s not mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon. I see a lot of beauty in this world. To not share it feels unnatural, as though we’ve driven past the most amazing waterfall ever and I never mentioned it to the rest of the people on my tour bus. That almost seems cruel to me. It’s like hogging all the majesty for myself. It’s too big for me. There’s room for all of us in there.

If people can’t see that beauty and they’re living a dead, repetitive life, they come across to me like people standing still, stabbing themselves in the eyes, ears, mouth and nose and then cutting their hands off. They’re literally using a kind of spiritual violence against themselves. By doing things like thinking they’re ugly or stupid or worthless, they’re cutting themselves off from the universe.

How could I walk past that and not act? That would be like a musician writing a beautiful or powerful or emotional song and then not sharing it with the rest of us. What good does it do for her to keep that music to herself?

Keep in mind that even categorising yourself as attractive, or smart or capable, you’re creating division between yourself and others. Those are all comparative terms, and as I explained to my friend; the very act of comparison means there must be at least two things to compare, and if we’re separate we’re lost.

My friend doubted I never felt lost and he was right. Of course I do. Why have feelings if you’re not going to feel them? I asked him why he felt it was necessary to avoid something like that? He claimed it was because it felt so painfully lonely, but I argued that were it not for that painful feeling, we wouldn’t place such a great value on togetherness. You can’t ride the downhills unless you peddle up the uphills.

All of our lonely suffering is like a thought bubble within the dream of something greater than us. If I fall down in life I land in the palm of the universe. Our feelings are just nature generously steering us toward the good life. Not the good life in the sense that if you’re good you’ll enjoy life, but more that if you enjoy life you’ll be what often gets called good.

What confuses us is that sometimes the world needs us to play villain, so we all take a turn. I’m sure we can all remember a lot of the truly crappy things we did to people thanks to some misunderstanding to be sorted out now or in the future, or because we ourselves were feeling low and we pulled them down because because we desire togetherness and yet we can’t figure out how to get where they are. That’s why if someone makes you angry, you instantly feel a little to a lot better once they get angry too. At least now you’re in the experience together.

We were given all of the tools we need. Our emotions weren’t the point, they were the pointer. They not there for us to rate and rank. They’re to be lived. And this is a giant improv. So no one knows your lines but you. No one knows who your character is but you. They’ll all have a guess about who you are out of habit, but that’s their reality, just like you have a view of them that is your reality. Those were never designed to be reconciled.

We’re not supposed to argue over whose reality is right, we’re just supposed to share what we see and then we let the universe unfold. Sometimes we take action, sometimes not. But that’s irrelevant because we’re not competing. Our only job is to be ourselves. And sharing that binding, central truth is what leads me to feel connected.

If it’s done right, all sharing is selfish. So to answer to my friend’s question about people’s individual journeys and my role in guiding them; I don’t help them find their way for their sake, it’s a selfish act. My connection to, empathy for, and experience with their lostness is what connects us. In that vulnerability our separate selves melt and together we become whole. That is what it is to be generous with your life. And that creates the greatest feelings I have ever known.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

The Friday Dose #112

927 FD Relax and Succeed - Words are a pretextLiving life is first more psychologically peaceful and then a lot more spiritual if you only increase your awareness. Keep in mind that the things you think about each day are ego-related things. All your ego can do is pass around symbolic words but it is only thinking so it does not touch the world. To live you must be active about living. You must make choices that lead to happiness.

If you’re feeling low or stressed or any other feeling you don’t like, look around you and ask if that sense is appropriate. If you’ve just lost someone close to you then it makes sense to be in a state of despair shortly thereafter, but if you’re in that state of mind regularly and the reasons are far more general, then you will only feel better once you take action.

As I’ve stated many times, any stillness must be filled with internal spiritual activity or you will feel crushed by your lack of life. Likewise, if you strongly connect with the natural world–including other people–then you will feel larger than life. But this is a choice that only you can make.

Here’s a good example of how small changes can have a big impact over time. I know for anyone over 35 years old, taking advice from this young lady might even seem humorous and I do realize that before certain key life experiences our comprehension of what’s required for life is limited. While even early battles with serious childhood disease can’t fake that kind of perspective, I urge you to give her a listen anyway. The points she’s making remain entirely valid and they are worth your time. I do hope it helps you set yourself up for a really wonderful weekend.

Enjoy your days everyone!

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

Emotional Equalization

We have two ways of thinking about the world. One way is separate and egocentric where the world happens to you, and the other is connected and impersonal where only experience exists. The first produces patterned thinking and repetition based on past experience, the latter produces authentic, original ideas. It is helpful for us to know that when we’re in the ego-state we’re inclined toward a process of equalization.

926 Relax and Succeed - I just want a hugWe Human Beings have ways in which we are smart that we don’t fully understand. As an animal we’re reading more cues than we’re consciously aware of. We’ve added a lot of egocentric evaluation to these senses so we’re confused regarding what we’re supposed to do with the information available.

I’m not sure if you saw the recent articles about the studies in European theatres, but using sensors researchers recorded audiences watching the same 100 films and they collected the scents from the pheromones that people exhaled in their breath during the movie and because everyone’s breath was essentially the same, they got a sort of scent/emotional fingerprint of each film.

As the audience’s emotions shifted during the story so did their pheromones. It got to the point where they researchers could put the sensor on you, have you watch a film, and just by watching your pheromones they knew precisely which of the 100 films you were watching! Now science just found that out, but you can bet that you’ve known it in a subtle way all of your life. This is how a dog knows if you’re nervous.

926 Relax and Succeed - Trust your hunchesWe all know if we’re relaxed and aware that it’s not hard to tell if someone’s displaying a false emotion. False pain, false fear, false anger. We don’t know how we know, we just sense that the person’s faking. Now think about how that comes into play when it’s time for empathy.

Someone being sympathetic means they are looking down at us from an emotional distance. They either don’t have the right experiences to fall back on or they choose not to consider them in relation to the other person, but that distance will create a separation that we now know has a scent signature. So the person receiving the sympathy actually knows it’s sympathy, not empathy.

Sympathy is when you’re at the top of a hole in the ground and you look down at someone at the bottom of the pit and you say, “That looks like it sucks.” Empathy is when you jump down in the hole with them, hug them and then say, “Hey, I’m sorry this happened but don’t worry. We’ll sit here until you feel up to it and then I’ll lead you out. I’ve been down here before.” The former smells like bullshit to us and it does not help us because we have not equalized our scents.

Y926 Relax and Succeed - When you loveou’ve all done this when you’re angry. You’re yelling at your partner, you’re frustrated and you feel isolated and helpless and they sincerely help and help and help. But the sincerity of the help is the issue, because sincere help when you’re in that state just smells like sympathy. So it isn’t until you upset your partner that finally you feel better. Once they blow up too you feel strangely closer and more in alignment and you relax.

Just knowing this can make it less frustrating to us when we catch someone being unhelpful with their own recovery. We get it’s not them being difficult; it’s nature. In an ideal world we won’t drag them down to our low-consciousness separate feeling. When we’re self-aware we can choose to go the opposite direction and try to rise to the better feelings that our partner is offering.

Of course it helps if the partner stoops to meet us halfway but maybe they don’t notice the opportunity so you can’t count on that. We must be grateful when they notice and respond, we must be forgiving when they take a helpful route but one that forgets to align with us, and sometimes they’ll feel just as lousy as us and they’ll be more interested in trying to get you to align with them rather than the other way around. These are all reasonable ways to be human.

Even when we have trouble it is due to our efforts to resolve issues. The layer of language over instinct has created a period of confusion where we have not necessarily aligned our use of words with what really goes on. As time goes on, with things like this blog etc, people will come to understand human nature much better and if they do that improved relations are inevitable.

If your partner is struggling and you can feel they’re trying to get you to join them in low consciousness, don’t get defensive. Don’t demand that they meet you. Do your best to meet them halfway. You’re the strong one: you offer a safe place to rendezvous. They need you. Not to be patient until you blow up, but to be present. Because benign open presence feels like pure love, and it helps basically any situation.

Become more aware of your emotional tone and how it interacts with the people around you. We are animals and we do operate with certain sensory inputs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t process all of that through simple wisdom rather than a complex web of external knowledge. Trust yourself. All you have to do to reconnect with that flow of information is to stop believing that all of the things that are happening around you are happening to you.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

The Friday Dose #104

Are you repressed or empathetic? Does that make your life better or worse? How big is your tribe? Who do you let in it and why? Would you let in people you don’t like if you really thought it would help you?

The reason we do March Kindness Month here is 885 FD Relax and Succeed - True happiness is givingbecause empathy is a specific thing you do. If you don’t do it enough you’ll start thinking there’s something wrong with the world when really there’s only something wrong with your connections. The old ideas of survival of the fittest are dead. Science has proven that’s only true to a small degree, because a group of cooperating people will always defeat a group that’s selfish and uncooperative, which is why we show this beneficial tilt toward cooperation, empathy and connection.

Start exercising your empathy and your life will improve. If someone ahead of you is carrying boxes, run ahead and get the door. If someone’s coming for the elevator, hold it up for them. Let someone into traffic. Be patient with a clerk having a tough day. Do a surprise favour for a family member. Call someone and let them know you think they’re special. And if you really want to do something meaningful–be nice to someone who isn’t nice to you.

There are a zillion ways to express your empathy and compassion. If you don’t do any of them then don’t expect to feel any better. And if you do them, those acts may not always make you or the world better-off, but they definitely give you the very best odds at a good life. And those odds are plenty good enough to make it worth it.

Be nice as a habit and do it because it’s good for you. That kind of selfishness the world can use more of. Have a great weekend everyone!

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations around the world.

Swapping Sexes

884 Relax and Succeed - First of all he saidHow did you do at your meditation yesterday? Were you able to hold your attention on your schoolmate or co-worker’s perspective? Did you learn something about them that makes them more human, more connected, more deserving of your empathy?  If you did that much you did a lot.

Today we’ll focus on the differences between the genders. What’s it like to live in your society as the opposite sex? Men have more personal freedom and often a greater sense of safety, a woman will have more freedom to experience her full range of emotions but she will feel almost instantly less safe. These are not small challenges for each gender to face. These are some of the biggest issues each group has.

It’s terrible to say, but even in a modern country like Canada the most recent stats show women making on average 72 cents for every dollar a man makes. Guys, just take whatever you buy today and multiply the cost by 1.28 and you’ll quickly realize it would take you far longer to recover or get ahead. And remember–these are for a lot of the same kinds of jobs.

884 Relax and Succeed - Empathy isGuys–imagine how ridiculously unfair you would think that was if it was men of your colour, nationality or body type? How would you feel if something arbitrary like that almost certainly guaranteed that you would be up for fewer promotions, get sexually harassed, and make 72% of the guy’s pay? Face it: we’d be furious and we would take action. And if our sisters and mothers and wives and daughters didn’t leap to help us that would feel terrible.

Ladies–imagine how difficult it is to be the one who is carrying the lion’s share of the total costs of living? Most people couldn’t maintain important aspects of their lifestyle without their 72% salary being married to a 128% salary. And maybe you make more, but you don’t feel like you could leave your job if you’re being abused, mistreated, threatened or even if you just can’t stand it. Without the guy the household topples and everyone’s living a much different lifestyle. That can be extremely stressful at time and it can make work feel like a jail.

Whether it’s work feeling like a jail or a dark street feeling like a very real threat, we walk through each day without an enormous amount of consideration for how the other half lives. Just watch your spouse for one day and imagine doing what they’re doing. Imagine if all of the responsibilities were swapped? Imagine if you had to even know what they know, or if ladies couldn’t call friends when they were distraught or men couldn’t protect themselves in everyday situations.

884 Relax and Succeed - Where there is no loveThe fact is, you probably haven’t had much cause to think at all about your spouse’s or brother’s or mother’s or son’s lives. Doing so will expand your awareness and that will open you up and that will feel good. Get out of your head. Establish empathy with more people. Stop thinking about how they affect you and start thinking about how they are impacted by you.

There is greater connection and increased respect between people who understand each other’s experience. Men will never know what it’s like to have a baby and women will never know what it’s like to first in line for dangerous duty, but we can invest ourselves in the healthy action of leaving our own thoughts and worries behind for a day so that we can expand our meditating abilities and establish better relations with the opposite sex. Actually do it. It will expand who you are.

Now go have a great day everyone. I gotta go figure out where I’m gonna put this tampon….

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations around the world.

Ego vs Peace

807 Relax and Succeed - I am discouragedWhen I write to you it’s to slow things down. People see a quote, they like how first strikes them and they hit share or like or whatever. But that’s it. Done. Gone. Sometimes these are primary bits of wisdom that are so impressive they’ve lasted thousands of years and yet they are almost always given only the most superficial attention.

When a Student asks: “I am very discouraged. What should I do?” it could be initially be viewed as flippant for a Master to respond by suggesting the student “Encourage others.” Because it feels a lot like the Master is saying, if you’re not doing anything useful then go help someone else. And maybe it means that. Or maybe that and something else….

Who is this “I” that the student is referring to? Where does the student’s discouragement take place? The Master directs the student to acting on behalf of their true self. If the student’s issue is their ego then they must be taken out of that state.

807 Relax and Succeed - A man who conquers himselfThe student’s discouragement emerges when their internal narration creates a subject and object situation where comparisons are made to either someone else or to the student’s own expectations of what was going to happen. The “I” has wants and it never feels good when it does. So by saying “Encourage others,” the Master is asking the student to kill their ego by stealing the energy that it uses to exist.

Your ego comes into being as your empathetic and compassionate thoughts about others drops in favour of a small collection of habitual perspectives that you always use. These perspectives (e.g. pessimist, helper, victim, leader) all reflect the world back in consistent ways, so you add that consistency into your world view–what is known to you as You. The Real You is the one thinking your Ego You into existence.

If you are not mindfully conscious then every time you’re not thinking about some thing or some person outside of yourself then you will be using your thoughts to create an “I.” That self will have filtered personal experiences rather than just having the larger open experiences–as you would in the moment, without any thought put into an opinion about the experience that would require an individual to have that opinion. Better to stay in the flow as the Taoists say.

807 Relax and Succeed - The stronger you becomeIf you’re suffering then take that Master’s advice. Find out how much you really have by thinking about anyone or anything other than yourself. A flower, a friend, a pet, a person on the street; just take a moment to think about their life instead of yours. Look around you and see the lives you walk past every day. Not the people. The lives. Invest in those instead of yourself and your “views” and you will be a calmer and happier person.

The people you’re around every day have loved ones who are dying. Some have dangerous secrets. Some wish they could tell you they love you. There is much much more going on that just what you replay in your head. So a good place to start is to notice someone who feels like you and listen to them carefully. Odds are you’ll have some wisdom for them. And by sharing it with them you will be bringing it into your life as well, and you’ll be surprised at how much energy and vitality you get by simply expressing your natural compassion.

Your journeys matter to me. I love you all.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Changes of Perspective

Winner: 2015’s Blog of the Year #8

People are often surprised when I say I don’t change people but that I change their awareness. They wonder how that can help if, for instance, a couple doesn’t change whatever behaviour patterns are leading to their difficulty. I would agree in the cases of physical or emotional abuse, but there’s not always a need for anyone to change their behaviours so long as better understanding exists. Things will never be perfect, so it’s important in any relationship that we have ways of dealing with the harder, darker parts of our partner because every partner will have those, including you and me.

629 Relax and Succeed - The truth is that the more intimately you know someoneI was trying to think of a good example of how this awareness affects your perceptions of what’s really going on and how that awareness makes your responses much wiser and more informed. I was surprised to run into such a good example. A client reminded me of one insight that he and many other clients have noted as being very helpful. In their cases, each of them found their relationships improved a great deal when they had a better understanding of lalochezia (lalia, speech + chezō, to relieve oneself). It’s often used in a medical context, but it’s how–when you’ve hit your finger with a hammer–screaming a swear-word can actually help you feel better.  In those cases, yelling is an attempt to equalize pressure in much the same way that a race-car is designed to have parts fly off to help dissipate accident energy. It can be a good method of quickly getting rid of unpleasant and negative chemistry.

A recent example of where an increased awareness of this helped someone was a very quiet and relatively diminutive boyfriend who was struggling with worry because he found his girlfriend’s angry screaming so threatening. His parents were British and went to the right schools. If anything life was maybe a tad cool, but it was always highly civil. He’d seen plenty of cold shoulders but he had never heard a person yell at their partner until he started dating.

His wife on the other hand came from an embattled house where the parents and children routinely screamed insults at each other. The boyfriend knew her family as much closer and warmer than his, so when they shouted at each other it always felt like violence to him and he would shrink back in fear. I was fortunate enough to be on the phone with him one night when she went off on one of the rants he dreads. Having finally heard one myself I was able to meet with them and help them a great deal.

629 Relax and Succeed - LalocheziaI explained to him that there were two types of yelling and insults. One is cutting and deeply personal and it’s designed to hurt the person listening to it. This is the very lowest and most destructive form of exchange. Fortunately there is also a version of yelling and even insults that is almost therapeutic. I explained the concept of lalochezia to him and then told him about this example:

Before he moved away I used to have a friend who would phone me on occasion. Sometimes he would call and say, “Hey do you have a moment to talk? I’m upset.” And I would ask him if he wanted me to change the course of his thinking or should I let him be angry? Sometimes he would choose the latter.

On those days it felt better to him to express his anger so he was looking for a safe place to do that where no one would get hurt. How respectful. So on those days I would tell him to go ahead and then he would start complaining about whatever had first upset him. If it was bad, he would chain it into other problems and in the worst cases he would even start attacking me. But when I say worst case I don’t mean that I was attacked. I mean that he felt so horrible that he attacked someone I know he knows loves him. That made my heart go out to him. And that is precisely my point. By having this empathetic view, what would make a lot of people angry instead made me even more compassionate.

629 Rel ax and Succeed - Hurt people hurt peopleSo why not demand that he behave better? Because then I’m asking him for something and he’s already in trouble. If I do that I want to be right rather than wanting peace with my friend. I’m not mad. I feel good. By demanding that the other person grow a whole new personality you are throwing away a gift.

There’s a dude yelling at me, bringing up mistakes I made five years earlier and saying those events define me as this ugly thing or that useless person and am I getting angry? Do I feel attacked? No, I’m in love with my friend and I understand. And I know how much he appreciates that he has this freedom with me and that after he calms down he’ll remember I’m the only friend he has that can do that. Eventually he burns the chemistry out of his bloodstream and rather suddenly he’ll shift. We’ll both be able to tell it happened by the sound of his breathing and his voice. I’ll ask him, “Are you good?”

He’ll take a moment to be sure. “Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s it. Thanks. Everything okay for you?”

He wants to make sure he hasn’t hurt my feelings. He hasn’t. “Yeah, hey, no problem, but I gotta go okay? I’ve got a deadline.”

No problem. Thanks again. I owe you one.”

629 Relax and Succeed - try not to confuse attachment with loveWe’d hang up and, despite the fact that I just listened to negativity and anger directed toward me personally, I would still feel good that I had been useful to a friend I love and care about. His day was better because of our friendship. That feels good. The yelling didn’t make my day worse. It made it better. That whole thing took 15 minutes. 15 minutes. Things are what you think they are. And, in a beautifully poetic way, by calling me in that state of mind where I could model the opposite State of Mind, wouldn’t you know—he started absorbing that state himself. So the thing I would have tried to force into him via convincing ended up there naturally through listening. Voila.

So it’s important that I teach a client to take stock of the reality being experienced by the person they’re talking to, because they cannot apply their reality to the other people’s reactions. They have to listen to the type of angry words they’re hearing and make sure that the situation isn’t the opposite of what they’re assuming. Rather than them needing protection it may be that their partner than needs love and support.

Only with practice can the entrance to that process be as clear as with my buddy and I, but if you know this is what to listen for then you can watch for these situations shaping up throughout your day. Once you identify that they’re struggling, you go voluntarily right down there with them and then your natural buoyancy reminds them of their own. You feel where their energy is at and you harmonize with them and invite them higher, to greater perspective and more internal peace. But you do that by simply staying strong in the face of their experience. Just be sanguine and in love with them, regardless of what they say in that crazy State of Mind. I swear, they’ll love you for it. Just make sure you start bowing out as soon as it stops feeling like you’re doing something helpful.

Much love, s

Married Sex

I’m not sure if you will want to blog about this so I’ll completely understand if I don’t see this question posted but I really would like an answer to this question and so far no one has come up with anything very appealing. My husband is really terrible in bed. He completely sucks. Pretty much every time we do it he acts like we both had some amazing time but when we’re doing it he barely even seems to recognize the fact that I’m there with anything other than my body and even then only parts of that! I’m 38 years old and I’m terrified I’m going to die without ever having another orgasm with a man. I’ve tried dressing up, role playing, I’ve asked him questions, I’ve really done everything I can think of. Please tell me you can help me. I really want that orgasm.


Dear Horny,

Allow me to apologize for my gender. This is an extremely common issue and I’ve been hired more than a few times to explain to a husband or boyfriend that their wife or girlfriend really isn’t kidding—they really are bad in bed. But try not to take his behaviour too personally. The average man can be very nurturing but in general they would be less-so than the average woman. As a result, when infant parenting gets to be its toughest it will most-often be the female who steps in to resolve things. This ability comes largely from another ability343 Relax and Succeed - You should be kissed and often—which is a deeper sense of empathy.

What makes a sexual partner good in a mature relationship is their ability to connect. Can they read the signals you naturally give off? Or are they even paying attention? Because in most cases most men simply won’t sexually evolve much past adolescence. When we’re young we’re flooded with hormones. We’re entirely focused on actually rubbing our throbbing members against anything reasonable. And we’re so focused on what we’re experiencing that there’s never even a thought that maybe the girl would like to feel like that too.

Hey, I’m a very metro-sexual, open, sensitive artist who loves to touch, but even I started like that in puberty. And that felt like an uncontrollable explosion in my loins. I was suddenly interested in every woman who walked by. Like Portnoy in Philip Roth famous book, I remember suddenly realizing that every single woman who walked past me had a vagina. And at that point, with that early teen mindset, I wanted to be with as many of those vaginas as p0ssible. It seemed like the world’s greatest buffet. But of course it isn’t. Because 99.9% of those girls wouldn’t let just any guy near their vagina.

So we learn slowly. Experience by experience. But based on some casual research it seems that the vast majority of men reserve their focus for the hunting part, not the eating part. They’re great at strategizing how to get the girl into bed, but there is no discussion or thought put into what to do once they’re there 343 Relax and Succeed - Sometimes people don't want to hear the truthexcept for whatever his favourite positions or things-to-do are. The men generally won’t even inquire as to what might be desired or even needed by the woman. Like 98% of people, they’re too insecure to ask. Like most egos doing most things, they think they should know the answer not learn the answer.

Guys. Seriously. Come on. Yeah, your wife maybe had some kids and doesn’t look like an impossibly airbrushed teen pop star, but even the pop star can’t look Like that. And your wife certainly isn’t someone you should use to get off while you think of the pop star—it’s not like you’re Brad Pitt either. But you see her vagina like a target and home in. But she has a mind too. And it feels good when you lightly touch her legs, or face. Or brush her hair. She’s a living breathing human being with all sorts of sensitive naughty bits that like to be touched just as much as yours do. Try having sex thinking about her instead of you.

Let’s face it, most of you haven’t even considered the idea that your wife fakes every orgasm just to get you to stop. Men often cheat out of desire, women more often out of desperation. How would you as a guy feel if I told you you would never in your lifetime have another orgasm with a woman? For most of you that would be removing something significant from your life. Okay, well if that’s true, then adding it to hers will be just as important. It will have an extremely positive effect. But for that to happen you have to get out of your childish, selfish bubble and actually interact with your partner. Ask questions. Pay attention to the answers. Because to choose to do nothing is to do choose to do something. And there is always a consequence to every choice. So choose your consequences wisely.

343 Relax and Succeed - A good traveler has no fixed plansObviously you’re not my clients and I don’t know enough to provide any truly personalized guidance, but when it comes to helping you, I can say the one thing that men seem to universally respond to is competition. I did a piece earlier this month on the swinging lifestyle. Those women tend to not have this problem because the men are fully aware that they are in a competitive environment. They see their wives being satisfied by someone else and it spurs them into action (not literally—the spurs I mean). So I’m not in favour of threats or ultimatums but your partner should, in some form or other, raise their awareness that “married” is a title not a state of being. You still have your vagina.

If you have been faking it tell him that. Let him sit with it a bit and then see if he’ll participate in a discussion regarding how things might improve for both of you. Don’t blame. Don’t dwell in the past. Build a bright future by making choices appropriate to who you are now. But don’t think that just because someone’s a certain age that they’ll have ever really thought about how to make sex satisfying for their partner. Because most only know what works for them. But their sex will improve if yours improves. So don’t blame, argue or complain. Instead try clarity, sincerity and connection. Because that’s where the connections are formed that turn good sex into great sex.

peace. s

Comforting Friends

We all love our friends. We care about how they feel. But when dealing with strong swings in their emotions we often will over-react in either one direction or another. If it’s someone we admire and respect we’ll find their struggles to be unnerving so we’ll want them to simply end. In those cases we’ll say that everything is going to be fine and we’ll offer a bunch of pat solutions—and some may even be true—but what we’ll really be doing is avoiding the fact that a mentor or parent needs us to meet them where they are and we don’t want to go to that weak place with someone we lean on.

264 Relax and Succeed - Talking about our problemsIf it’s someone we care about in a protective way—or if we feel beholden to the person—then we will be inclined to commiserate with them. We’ll let them tell us endless sad stories and we’ll share common-themed sad stories of our own. In a strange way we will encourage their painful feelings. Whether we don’t let them talk or do let them talk, neither of these approaches will lead to the best possible outcome for very logical reasons.

In the first case we have not met the person. Right when they are feeling weak and vulnerable we have made a demand: get over this. Accept a quick easy solution and tell me we can go back to you being the rock I hold on to when I’m scared. That person may be your rock 99% of the time. But it isn’t friendship if it can’t go both ways. So sometimes you might just have to accept that even life’s heroes will need tending. Even they will feel beaten and tired and even they will be driven to uncharacteristic behaviour. They’re not lacking in humanity. They have great respect for it, so they’ll be the ones that will apologize for their behaviour. And they will also forgive you for your judgment of them when they were merely being human.

In the second case the person’s situation is whatever it is. Talking about it or thinking about it won’t change that. What the person does will matter. So yes, unlike the first example commiseration at least meets people at the energy level they are capable of. But instead of leading the person out it actually helps to keep the person trapped. Healthy people think about something only long enough to plan their action or inaction. After that they drop it. That’s what being healthy is. Emotionally unskilled egos will replay events and chain them into past events or imagine them connected to future events. In short, the ego will sit and 264 Relax and Succeed - When someone is going through a stormruminate on what it wish had happened whereas a healthy spirit will take the action that makes the most sense and otherwise stay present and focused on the current moment.

There’s a reason that commiseration reaches a point where it doesn’t feel good. At that point you are no longer truly joined with the person nor are you usefully sharing their feelings. At that point you have disengaged and you are beginning to think about yourself. Your natural defence mechanism rises up and it wants you away from the negativity—hence the fact that you don’t like the feeling you’re feeling. This is when it’s time to turn your friend’s chemistry. This is when you begin to offer other frequencies of thought.

Their thoughts about the situation will be generating a lot of painful chemistry. Maybe they feel betrayal or frustration or anger or guilt. It doesn’t matter which chemicals—just focus on the fact that they don’t feel magnetic. They don’t feel encouraging. They’re not feelings you want to see continue. That’s your motivation. That’s your signal. That’s how your body communicates to you about your thinking. You feel what you think. So steer life away from unpleasant thinking and towards enjoyable thinking until eventually you can get to almost no thinking, just being.

So when you’re talking to your friend don’t tell them everything will be okay because from their perspective that’s like saying they’re crazy when they’re not. But also: don’t start ping-ponging sad or angry stories back and forth because that will really build up a tempest of unpleasant chemistry that can end up leading to some very poor decisions that may 264 Relax and Succeed - You can not save peoplepermanently affect your future.

Be with your friend. Just Be. There’s no right words at a time like that. There’s only love. So just sit there and focus on your love for them. Let them talk. And when it feels right remind them of the good things in their life. Remind them of great past events that grew out of crappy past events. Get their mind on thoughts that will provide more pleasant chemistry—thoughts that will heal them instantaneously because their thoughts are where their emotions are born. And by leading them to better chemistry you’ll lead them to higher perspectives that feel less foreboding.

Being sad or angry or hurt feels good for a time. But that time passes fairly quickly. Learn to help your friends shift to better quality thinking. The more you help them the more you’ll wire that concept into your own brain. You’ll just take it for granted that you can change moods quickly and easily. And because you know you can, you will. And just like people die deaths of a thousand tiny cuts, you will save yourself with a thousand tiny thought-shifts a day. That is why they call it a practice.

Don’t over-think painful experiences. That only continues their effect. Free yourself from unnecessary suffering and learn to help guide those you love to more enriching thinking. Don’t rush them. Don’t push with your thoughts. Just be patient. Trust me—when you’re in the right head-space, what-to-say will seem to come to you from out of nowhere. And when you hear it you will be just as amazed as the person you say it to. Because it will be that special kind of brilliant wisdom that can only come from the pure, infinite genius that is The Universe.

peace. s