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?

Gasp.

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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  • Judy

    Well, last night’s call gave me a chance to figure out how to post a question! I look forward to us all trying again next Thurs.

    • Nice to see the bright side! I remember you in the chatroom! I’ll be sure to post very explicit step by step instructions on the post and in the chatroom next time.

      • Larissa

        Yes, where can we find the details to call in on Thursday?

      • I’ll post it on the blog Wednesday and Thursday. There’s an icon on the right sidebar that will take you right to the show if you click on it.

  • Dorrinda

    Sometimes I wonder if your posts are directed to my questions. Its a great thing. I have been giving it a lot of thought and have decided to honor my son by helping and educating addicts. That is why, to me, this post is so important. I want to be able to guide and not control. It is time for someone to save our children. Maybe , as Erik says, I can be the first spark of awareness. Time to help others over the mountain. All my love to this blog and to Erik you truly have an amazing son.

  • Alex J Campbell

    I heard the first radio show and I found it difficult to listen to some of the callers but i’m glad Erik was able to help and give them some comfort.

  • Alex J Campbell

    Did Erik ever get to the bottom of the Black Knight satellite mystery for us?

  • Liz

    Totally understandable…Erik is worth the wait! 🙂

  • Cherie

    When I got home, I couldn’t wait to listen to the replay. Was actually relieved–selfish huh–even though I had no question. I just wanna be there live so must decline Friday obligations when possible from now on. Glitches be gone!

  • T Diaz

    Don’t feel bad, Elisa, I make lists, lots of lists, in multiple places! I hear what Erik’s saying about not feeling bad, unproductive, disappointed, etc., when things don’t get done that are on the list. But I’m with you on making lists. Especially having raised all the kids you did, how could you not have lists?!?! If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t get done, and that’s with only 1 kid! <3 to all 🙂

  • Terri Moreno Gelbaum

    I’m feeling really grateful . For Erik’s loving funny nature. For Elisa ,Kim…..all of it.Thank you.

  • Angela

    This is great info because whether a little or a lot I think we all probably have some issues with wanting to be in control or at least have that (false) sense of security 😉
    Elisa can you please post the link for the CE tour again? Or maybe its on here I just couldn’t locate it on my mobile. Thank you! Xoxo

    • If you go to desktop mode or your laptop/desktop, you’ll see an icon to click on on the right sidebar.

  • rafa

    Is erik allowed to say the san bernardino shooters code??

    • Not sure, but these validation questions are difficult because it causes a lot of performance anxiety for mediums and filters can interfere. They’re all human.

    • You can try asking Erik during the next radio show Thursday.

    • OMG It’s God

      Short answer: No
      Long Answer: It goes against my plans

  • randee

    OMG I needed this today! All week I have been down and disappointed about my controlling, ego driven, OCD husband trying to control and manage me again. I’ve learned to set boundaries and not take on his stuff and most times he’s good and goets it. Just yesterday I asked Eric and anyone else listening how to not be so disappointed in my husband and controlling, manipulative, angry people in general so I can get back to my happy self. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember to stay in love when there’s so much ego & fear in people right now. Thank you for my answer. It shifted my thoughts so I am glad I read this today! Thank you Eric and Elisa for the work you are doing. I love reading the posts and love both books. You both are a blessing and doing so much good for us all. Hugs and love! ❤️ Randee

  • PollyMax2010

    Yep my hubby is OCD and I’m not LOL

  • Margreth Seuren

    Hello, I’m new here. Wanna be a part to read more. saw it on first on YOUTUBE.Many love from Maastricht (Limburg), the Netherlands.

  • TXSunShine

    How about OCD running in families? I do not have it, however both of my sons do, one from birth (I swear), and now my grandson (he’s only 3, but since 15 months refused to play in the swingset playhouse until he cleaned it). All three have similiar cleaning traits. Other members in my maternal side also have OCD. How it completely skipped me I have no idea, I could use a little. lol Are we passing down this personality trait of insecurity? There is a lot of love in this family and to have it show up so young. I must say, I had a very clean house having OCD sons! (a little OCD humor)

    • I wish my son had OCD! All my daughters do, or actually it’s obsessive compulsive personality, not disorder. They get shit done, man!

  • Alphonso de Barbo

    #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…
    But in another article, Erik said it doesn’t matter if, for example, you’re hateful or compassionate – there should be no judgement, as they are both just experiences… So, logically speaking, ‘accepting/not accepting the world around you is irrelevant as it is just an experience…

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