Herding Cats, Part One

Okay, so I’m officially bummed. The radio show had to be canceled yesterday because the radio network had trouble with their host direct connect button so there was a terrible delay and echo that made it impossible to hear anyone. This is similar to the problem last week only worse. It could also be a browser issue in that it might not like Chrome.

I’m so sad that people wasted their time waiting in line to get their questions answered, but next Thursday I’m not going to use Direct Connect. Instead, I’m just going to do it the old fashioned way: my landline. I’ll have to buy a phone headset so I can use my hands to screen calls, etc. Oh, and one thing I noticed is that a lot of you submitted your name, city, question and the last four digits of your phone number but didn’t call in to the 619-639-4606 so that their number would appear on the studio board. Please don’t forget to do that! Please don’t give up on me, guys. We’ll get this to work, and it’ll be wonderful. You’ll have more access to Erik and his wisdom, and he’ll feel all the more fulfilled. 

Well, it’s that time! I’m going to write the next Ask Erik column soon, so if you have any questions, please email me them to emedhus@gmail.com. I’ll accept them until midnight tonight (central time). 

I also want to give you one last reminder for tonight’s show, The Outlander with Heidi Hollis. You can ask Erik questions by going to the chatroom, and you can listen to the show HERE.

Last announcement: We’ve put more cities up for sale so now you can get the early bird price for Denver, NYC, Chicago and Vancouver. Don’t miss your Erik hug when Kim trance channels him! Also, space is limited so secure your spot as soon as you can. 

Kim (laughing): I can’t stop laughing. Erik is being so goofy!

Me: Oh, what’s he doing now?

Kim: We just got done talking about happiness, and when he said, “I can be your happy,” he started talking about playing pranks on people and making them laugh in really raunchy ways!

Me: Oh, of course. Keep it up. Keep up the good work, Erik. Do those raunchy pranks. People love them!

Erik: Whatever I can do to make y’all smile!

Kim chuckles.

Me: Aw, you’re so sweet.

I sure do love that boy.

Me: Well, hey. I have an idea. Why don’t we talk about—us human beings, we like to control things. I want to talk about the pros and cons of guiding rather than controlling. How can we not be control freaks and learn how to manage things without controlling them? What do you think?

Erik: Oo, you and your lists, Mom!

Me: I have my lists. I have lists of lists. Are you kidding me? I’m a list maker. I have my to-do list on an index card, and I also have them on iCal on my phone. I just love scratching things off a list. It feels so good. I just scratched off “Clean cat litter,” “Feed the cats,” “Water the plants,” “Take out the trash,” so yep, I made headway!

Kim: Making progress.

Me: All right. Back to the important stuff.

But what’s more important than sifting through cat turds? Really?

Erik: Control vs. guiding. How can you keep them separate? How can you guide someone without controlling them?

Me: If you want to start out with why humans need to control, that’s fine. Otherwise, go on with your bad self.

Erik (busting a move and doing the moonwalk): I AM bad.

Kim laughs.

Erik: Well, let’s start out with control. Why do people need to control or feel like they’re controlling situations? A lot of that comes from ego, and for a lot of people, feeling control is a false sense of security. People need to feel secure in certain situations and with certain people in relationships. Even as parents, we control our kids instead of teaching them. But this sense of security that controlling provides is a false one. Mental illness can play a role in that, too.

Me: Yeah, like OCD and anxiety?

Erik: Yep. You have people with OCD—

Like list makers.

Erik: –that are very tedious about—

Kim (laughing): Okay, he’s going to use my husband as an example.

Me: You could use me as an example for this one, but okay.

Kim: He’s very OCD. He likes things to be just so. He never used to be that way. I think it’s because of the military. That was instilled in him.

Erik: Duh.

Kim: That goes way back. We won’t open up that can of worms about the military.

Erik: The OCD is derived from ego and controlling and having the need to have things in order, just so and inside this framework. “If it’s inside this framework, then everything will be okay. Everything will be nice and secure.” That’s partially a personality trait. Then you have opposite personalities who don’t care. Things are just “go with the flow.”

Kim: That’s me. I’m one of those.

Me: I wish I was more like that!

Kim: I couldn’t be OCD if I tried. I wish I was, sometimes.

Erik: People control people and situations so that they’ll know what outcomes are ahead, and, again, that’s the ego needing that sense of security. When trying to guide instead of control—and you can be OCD and not controlling—

Me: Wait. Why is it a false sense of security because I feel that it is a security for me to control my day with to-do lists and all that stuff?

Erik: These are tangible things that you think you need whether it’s marking it off on a list or doing things step by step on the list to get to that, “I feel fulfilled, and I feel in control.” It’s a personality trait. It’s when the mind needs to relate to situations and events that you’ve written out, and then you go through them step by step in your mind to get them done. Hear me with these words. What happens when you don’t get something on your list done?


Erik: Then you’re not happy, or upset, or anxiety sets in.

Me: Unsettled.

Erik: Yeah. This is where people place their fulfillment and contentment in having that control. It can be a vicious cycle because it can trigger anxiety attacks in people, and it can trigger—sometimes people with OCD, if they don’t achieve what’s on their list or go about their day in a certain way, they actually internalize awful thoughts about themselves like destructive thoughts, “I failed today!”

Me: “I’m not productive.”

Erik: Yeah, “I suck because I didn’t get that done.” Being up against that sometimes can be very unfair to yourself. Anyway, that contentment that comes from that is all about the need for control that derives from it, and the need for control of situations and relationships comes from the need for security.

Okay, Erik. Move along.

Erik: So let’s say—this is going to freak you out, Mom.

Me: Oh boy. Prepare to freak.

Erik: Let’s say you take a couple of days and you don’t make any lists.

I gasp.

Erik: You just go about your day however you—

Me: Seriously, I have butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. That’s how bad it is.

Kim giggles.

Kim: He’s trying to introduce this thought to you very gently, like he’s walking on eggshells.

Me: Oh, go for it! It’s okay. Don’t worry.

I’m hard to break.

Erik: Perhaps you might be more aware, more mindful of the whole world around you outside of that list or your plan or your framework.

It’s true. My family says I’m not on Earth half the time.

Erik: Sometimes people can get so focused on their plan and controlling things that they forget to experience the rest of the world around them. Love accepts what is and accepts it as it comes. Love surrenders to the world around you and allows you to be one with everything whereas ego needs control. Ego needs understanding. Ego needs all of those things that give that sense of control. So how do we guide without controlling? By sharing. It’s not rocket science. Share your experiences. Share your love with somebody else. Share friendships, relationships, ideas and thoughts. The moment when you need the outcome to be a certain way based on what you shared, that’s when you’re stepping into the waters of control.

Me: Yeah.

Erik: That doesn’t mean that you OCD people aren’t loving. That’s not true. There are so many people who are OCD about loving that make sure they do things that show people they’re loved!

Me: Well, that’s me.

Erik: In all honesty, when you take a big step back and look at the big picture, when you need to control anything, you’re not accepting the world around you in love. You’re not going to get a clear picture of the world around you because you have tunnel vision on controlling whatever it is.

Stay tuned for Part Two Monday, and have a wonderful weekend!

How Childrearing Works

How Childrearing Works

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Elisa Medhus

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