By: Dr. John Paul DeMann
How would you like to access that part of you that allows you to have complete control, to be cause, not effect in your life? To be cause means to be in control of your life. Many of us feel that we are being manipulated by some outside force and this brings on a feeling of being stuck! I know I have and many of my clients have as well experienced this horrible state. For the past 20 plus years I have recognized one of the most common states clients have is feeling stuck.
Today, more than any time in history, we are experiencing change so rapidly we often feel like we cannot catch up. This environment is creating even more complaints in my practice with regards to the feeling of being stuck. In fact 91% of my new clients experience this state. More than ever in this environment it is important to have control of your life and this is the reason for this entry. I want to share some of the tips that have helped me take control of my life and have helped my clients take control of theirs.
I have been flooded with new clients all experiencing the same symptoms. These include: fear, worry, anxiety, depression, and the feeling that they have no control. Some may tell you the best ways to deal with this experience are to let go or roll with the punches etc… In my opinion and experience with my clients this is exactly the wrong reaction that should be taken. It may help in the short run, but to let go or to roll with the punches means that you are letting go of being cause in your life. You literally become a response to the experiences you face.
One of the important differences between humans and animals is that animals are specifically response oriented organisms and humans are able to create the stimulus required to cause a response. I tell my dog Drag to sit and it is as if his back legs automatically give out. The stimulus of “sit” causes Drag to drop his rear end. It is as if there is some force that controls Drag. Humans experience this as well, but the difference is humans can control it, if they want to. The problem is that we often become lazy because it is easier to just respond to the stimulus’s we experience. To take control or to be cause in life requires effort requires us to think, to think ahead and determine what our actions will do to the future we face.
The difference between success, no matter how you define it and failure is how we respond to the environment. Your response can be one that only focuses on dealing with the stimulus at hand or it can be one that deals with the stimulus and creates a cause further down the road. When we create an outcome consciously we begin to feel free. When we respond in a way that limits the outcome to only dealing with the initial stimulus we create nothing more then what is required to deal with the initial experience. When we consciously look at what our actions will do in terms of cause and we choose an action that creates a desired response we achieve the ultimate experience of control and creation.
A typical example that I see often is with regards to work. Many express the feeling that they are in a dead end job or that their job does not allow any freedom of expression. Another example I see is in the area of personal fulfillment. Here many say that they are unable to do the things they really enjoy doing; rock climbing, golf, exercise, home projects, camping, fishing etc… because they feel pulled in different directions which brings us to the popular statement that "I just don’t have the time!" All of these examples are common among those who are not creating, who are not being cause in their own life.
It is not abnormal to have these feelings; in fact it is the norm in many of the clients I have worked with. It is important to understand that you will never eliminate being an effect in your life; you will always be required to respond to the cause of others. The key is to look at the stimulus’s you face differently. Look at all experiences as an opportunity to cause and create something from your response.
You can begin doing this with simple situations you face. For example, if you feel like you are out of control commit to cleaning one room in your house or apartment. One exercise I have my clients do when they are feeling depressed is to clean something they own, why? Cleaning allows them to get physical and allows them to take control of something. Physical movement allows your body to respond chemically by producing the "feel good" chemical bath of endorphins. When we see change that occurs from our own actions we also tend to speak to ourselves in more positive ways. I have had some clients who were clinically depressed that literally cured their depression by cleaning something every day. They did not have to clean their whole house; they just needed to change something by through their actions.
Once you recognize the power of being cause in your environment via cleaning you can begin doing it in other areas of your life. Organizing your home, car or work area can have tremendous effect on how you feel. By understanding that all actions produce an effect you can become more responsible to the experiences you have. Of course we all will experience others having some control over what we do, but we ultimately have the final say in how we will respond. Commit today to taking control in some small way in your life by cleaning something or organizing some area. Get in the habit of doing something consistently and then consciously begin adding to your habits in such a way that will have lasting effects on your environment. Eventually you will experience a life most only dream of, a life of creation.