Euro4: The end of an incredible trip

November 28, Sunday

Finally, I am home! It took me a couple of days to recover enough even to write this. In the morning I did final packing and Sheela drove me to the airport. We had a lovely talk, as usual. This entire trip has been filled with wonderful talks.

I flew Air Europa for the first time, and it was a good experience, except for the airplane food once again. I really need to remember to order the gluten-free meal next time. I saw a really good movie on the plane: “Truth,” about the fall of Dan Rather from CBS News. I highly recommend it.

The rest of the time I worked on my new book, Seduced by Consciousness, and tried to sleep but only caught about a half-hour. Gee, it takes at least two hours longer to fly from Madrid to Miami than it does to Boston.

My son Dave picked me up at the airport and we grabbed a very quick bite to eat, then he put me on a train (we had all kinds of trouble finding the station), I got off at the Boca Raton station where my car was patiently waiting for me and it started up right away. By the time I got home it was after midnight.

I’m feeling really run down right now, as if a cold is trying to come on. But what an incredible trip! I am filled to the brim. I could not have asked for anything better. On only one day did I feel in kind of a low-ish mood—the first day of the VIVA conference; and the rest were not just normal but high mood days. Not bad for almost an entire month. Hopefully, I’ll be able to go back to Spain again in about six months. I’m growing very attached to that place.

Thank you to everyone for being so wonderful, to all my trainees who were off the charts, to all the VIVA attendees, to Marien’s Leadership attendees. And an extra special thank you to those who went out of their way for me on this trip: Amanda G., Sheela, Katja, Holly, Richard, Lise, Amanda O., Sue & Peter, Marien, Mark and, of course, Robin. Then I have to give extra, extra special kudos to Gabriela, with whom it was so wonderful to work again after so many years. Also, thank you to the three of you who faithfully read this blog. Signing off.

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Why Our Thinking and Feelings Ebb and Flow

Since last week’s article (http://garretkramer.com/the-jonah-complex/), quite a few readers have reached out and asked about this paragraph:

Within all of us, thought builds up, falls away, builds up, falls away, and so on. When it builds up, we feel bad—e.g., apprehensive and unworthy. When it falls away, we feel good. And, again, these feelings occur independent of circumstance or environment.

Many of you simply want to know why thought builds up and falls away; plus, if it’s got nothing to do with circumstance or environment, why do our feelings trend up, down, and back once more?

Here’s my answer—or best attempt to put words to a spiritual truth (so please read carefully):

Human beings are blessed with the ability to think. We’re the only inhabitants of the planet that possess the power to process thought—i.e., we own an intellect or personal thought system. And while the intellect is really good at solving math problems and the like, it also tends to do this: Form an illusionary causal link between our feelings (inside) and the physical world (outside)—which requires a ton of personal thought, obstructs the connection to God, and causes us to feel bad or lost. It’s not until we stop looking outside for answers, or look within, that thought falls away and the connection to God is cleared (good feelings return).

From birth, everyone starts succumbing to the outside-in illusion and then waking up again. Spiritual in nature, we’re thrust into a physical world. We look outside. We look inside. Thought builds and thought falls away. Feelings trend up and feelings trend down.

The short answer to why our thinking and feelings ebb and flow: The dance between the spiritual and the physical is the human experience—and, gratefully, you and I are human beings.

Euro4: Pleasures on the last full day in Spain

November 27, Saturday

My last full day in Spain; meaning my second to the last blog entry for this trip. After my bout with the carrot cake (or “passion cake” as it was called, which seems appropriate), which kept me up from 3:30 to 5:30 AM, I fell asleep until almost 9:00. So Robin and I scooted down for breakfast, then came back and packed and spent our last beautiful time together this trip. What’s really nice for me is people told me how much they appreciated Robin and how lovely she is. Robin describes us as “a love relationship with no destination,” and that is really accurate, because since we live a continent apart and can only see each other one or two times a year if we’re lucky, and neither of us plans to move, we really have no choice but to live our separate lives. But I am grateful for our brief time (this was only the second time we have ever been together). One of my favorite blokes, Yoga Mark Jones drove us to the airport, where Robin and I said our goodbyes. Then Mark and I spent some real nice time together talking, down at that beautiful, peaceful place by the sea where Robin and I sat yesterday. I came back and packed some more. Then Sheela, Mark and I went out for a final dinner to the Indian restaurant. Afterwards I couldn’t help getting my first and final Magnum ice cream bar, which will likely wake me up at 3:30 AM again, but right now was so worth it. (Ask me tomorrow.)

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Euro4: Effortless Leadership

November 26, Friday

Robin was supposed to give Amanda a massage first thing this morning but we got a message from her saying that because Marien’s leadership session was to begin an hour earlier than planned, Amanda couldn’t do it. She’s been working so hard she really deserved it, and we wanted to give that to her as a gift. Too bad!  Oh well…

Instead, Robin and I took a nice power walk to the lighthouse with Sue and got back just in time for Marien’s “Effortless Leadership” group session that she, Sheela, Katja, Christina, Deborah and Amanda made to a few local business people. I thought they did a real good job getting their point across in a creative way. I thought Marien in particular was very clear and powerful. This was Robin’s first Three Principles presentation, and she herself saw something new that every individual in all parts of an operation had something to offer by way of leadership and could be treated as such.

I gave feedback to Marien at lunch where I thought the presentation could be improved: to be sure the connection was made between their point and what people came there to get; namely, aspects of “Effortless Leadership” that participants considered either important or had difficulty with, to show how their Three Principles point applied to it.

After lunch Robin and I took a mini hike from the lighthouse path down past the ocre mines to the sea, where we sat for a while in that most peaceful place.

When we came back we had a dual Skype call with Saskia, the person who originally “fixed us up”, so to speak, which was very nice and very heartening because she is doing so well.

Next we had dinner at a recommended restaurant named “Pushkin,” which definitely lived up to its billing. Our meal was capped off by delicious glutinous carrot cake, from which I knew I was going to suffer later but was worth it, and that’s why I’m up in the middle of the night writing this. Yet another really wonderful day.

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Euro4: Thanksgiving

November 25, Thursday

Make that yet another; this one even better! I am definitely on holiday now. Robin and I wanted to go to Guadalest but both of us couldn’t fit in Peter’s car with them, so instead in the morning we hiked the steep trail up to the tower, the first part of the hike to Benidorm. Beautiful views up there. Came back in time for a late lunch, after everyone else had finished. Took a siesta. Then we borrowed Amanda’s table, and Robin gave me a luxurious massage. We celebrated Thanksgiving beautifully together with a dinner at a really good Thai restaurant. Really beautiful day.

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Euro4: Another wonderful day

November 24, Wednesday

A wonderful day again today, as Robin and I walked to the pretty town of Altea up on the hill where the church is, ate some ice cream, had wonderful conversation and took photos. We lost track of time (not surprising) and had to send a message to Amanda that Robin unfortunately would not be there in time for the massage I gave her as a gift. Later, Robin gave me her “Amazing Grace” healing, as she did with Mick. So relaxing! We had a nice dinner with the gang and learned about the ins and outs of airport security from Peter. Great night all around. Feeling awfully good right now!

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Euro4: A new adventure begins

November 23, Tuesday

Part 3 of this Spain trip; a new adventure begins. After saying goodbye to numerous wonderful people in the morning as they left for their respective homes, and after a final morning walk- talk to find a Post Office with Holly before she left, Mick drove me to the Alicante airport to pick up Robin, who flew here from Mallorca to visit me for 4½ days. We had only been with each other once for five days previous, when I visited her six months ago at her home in Palma, Mallorca, but we just seemed to pick up right where we left off as if no time had passed, which is a beautiful thing.

Robin amazed me by volunteering to give a healing to Mick, which really seemed to help. I introduced Robin to the 3P people left behind and then we took a nice walk up to the lighthouse. The only fly in the ointment was that I had picked up a stomach virus or something that appears to be going around here, and was quite uncomfortable for the afternoon and evening. But it’s only supposed to last for a day.

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Euro4: VIVA conference end on a high

November 21, Monday.

How many great days can one person stand? This has been such a wonderful trip, and the best may be yet to come (but no expectations). I had the privilege of being on the closing panel on Resiliency with Sheela, Katja and Jenny and they all did wonderfully before me, then I closed it with what may have been the best speech of my young life.

First I talked about how the countries today that only have a handful of people involved in the Three Principles are like it was in the old days in the U.S. and Canada, and then 8 or 9 years ago in the U.K. The people in these countries now are pioneers, just as the early 3P people were pioneers then, and look what has happened!

Then in walking over to the VIVA hotel this morning I saw resilience in a new way than I ever saw it before, then told a couple of personal stories from my forthcoming book of how resilience reared its head for me when I had been suffering.

One woman came to me in tears afterwards and told me how much what I said meant to her, and many people afterwards told me how much they loved it. This was good for me because I don’t think giving speeches is my greatest skill.

I had a real nice lunch with Rudi where we started planning on doing a retreat together in Florida. Then when Rudi left I talked to Fredrik a while, and it was real nice to catch up with him.

I lost track of the time and realized I was late for a meeting with Holly back at the other hotel. I hate to be late, so I literally ran back there, found her (she had just gotten there herself), and then we spent part of a beautiful afternoon by the sea walking, talking and getting ice cream. Holly is getting to be a really good friend.

Then I realized I was late for a meeting with Gabriela, Sheela and Katja to plan for our next Spain event, so I literally ran back to the other hotel.

Then we had the closing Viva celebration and more fun singing and dancing. Then a great group buffet dinner at the fabulous Indian restaurant where I totally pigged out.

Finally, as I started walking out of the event with Holly I didn’t see a step in front of me, tripped, and I ended up doing a shoulder roll on the hard sidewalk. Ouch! Since I wasn’t injured too badly, except for a bruised ego, Holly and I had a huge laugh all the way back to the hotel. Anything to make someone happy.

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The Jonah Complex

According to Wikipedia: “The Jonah Complex is the fear of success which prevents self-actualization or the realization of one’s potential. It’s the fear of one’s own greatness, the evasion of one’s destiny, or the avoidance of exercising one’s talent.” The name comes from the Biblical story of Prophet Jonah—and at all levels of sport, performance-based activities, or businesses, this pattern is common. Many of us are familiar with athletes who habitually perform poorly whenever they near the lead or get close to a personal best. And it seems as if many people sabotage their own success.

But why? Why would anyone prevent the actualization or realization of their own potential? Why would anyone evade their own destiny? Why would anyone get in their own way?

Over the years, philosophers, psychologists, clerics, and coaches have cited several causes. Most (as the definition of the Jonah Complex suggests) revolve around apprehension (fear) and a sense of unworthiness. But here’s my question: Can experiencing apprehension and unworthiness really be the reason that someone would habitually falter? They are feelings. And a feeling, by definition, is a result or reaction. An effect. Not a cause.

So, let’s take a look at this self-defeating complex—and its actual cause. I’m hoping that the following principle resonates within you, clears up some confusion, strips away a label, and thus propels you to grasp the brass rings you rightly deserve.

At the root of the Jonah Complex is an innocent, but widespread misunderstanding. All human beings, to varying degrees, fall for the misunderstanding or illusion that our feelings are the result of circumstance or environment. When, in truth, our feelings are exclusively the result of the normal ebb and flow of our own thinking.

Here’s how it works: Within all of us, thought builds up, falls away, builds up, falls away, and so on. When it builds up, we feel bad—e.g., apprehensive and unworthy. When it falls away, we feel good. And, again, these feelings occur independent of circumstance or environment.

This is why, for example, people who get caught up in this misunderstanding tend to credit their good feelings to something like sunshine and blame their bad feelings on something like traffic. They fail to realize that their thinking is causing their feelings, not the sun or traffic.

To follow this further, let’s say a pro golfer suffers from the same misunderstanding to a high degree. What do you suppose will happen when he gets in contention during the final round of a tournament, and at the same time his thinking builds up creating bad feelings such as apprehension and unworthiness?

You guessed it: The Jonah Complex.

He’ll mistakenly attribute his feelings to where he stands on the leader board—in his mind, being in contention is the cause—and because he doesn’t like to feel bad (no one does), he’ll pull himself out of contention (stop making birdies or make an unexplainable bogey) in a quest to feel better.

Does the Jonah Complex play a role in your life? If yes, it’s essential to know that you’re experiencing an issue of innocent misunderstanding, rather than an issue of bad feelings that need to be fixed.

People who tend to “rise to the occasion” or “come through in the big moment” deeply grasp what I’ve pointed to in this article: Feelings are connected to the normal and uncontrollable ebb and flow of thought. Not to the outside. Therefore, the performance level of those unaffected by the Jonah Complex remains consistent no matter what circumstance or environment they find themselves in. Better yet, no matter what they’re thinking and feeling, too.

Euro4: What if Love really is the answer?

November 20, Sunday

loveIf I felt a little out of it at VIVA yesterday, that all vanished today and I was back in a really good feeling. Sue worked me to the bone today, giving me three breakout sessions, two on well-being in a row, the first with Maureen and the second with Sheela—both went really well, although in the second I had to save a moment between two participants that started making the feeling go downhill—and one session on relationships with Gillian, which also went really well. Luckily that one came after we took a break and I took a nap.

All three of my co-facilitators were my former trainees, and they all did a great job, I am very happy to say. But the highlight of the day for me came when Rudi and Jenny gave a presentation about what had happened to their relationship and how they went from devastation to recovery, so now they are friends and working partners again. I was really touched by their presentation. It was so honest and real.

I came away with the thought, What if the answer really is LOVE, no matter what kinds of problems one is experiencing in a relationship? That love transcends all. Not personal love, but love of and from and by Spirit or God or Universal energy/Mind, from which we borrow to manifest in personal love. And what if continuing to point in the direction of love cures all, including hidden beliefs that breed fear, ego and reaction. And what if one’s partner in a relationship if s/he saw the partner going astray in his/her thinking, were to offer a gentle reminder to help the partner back on the track of love?

The evening ended with a couple performing Spanish dances, which were really beautiful and lively, and then most everyone danced for a while afterwards. It was the first time I danced in a long time. Fun! But I had to break away so I could get back and eat dinner (late!), because I have another panel presentation tomorrow. Great day.

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