Thanks to you all, Channeling Erik is a finalist in the 2013 Bloggies. My daughter’s fashion blog, Pretty Shiny Sparkly, also won as a finalist, and deservedly so! Voting for winner starts today.
Listen to Erik talk about negative emotions:
Me: If someone feels jealousy, pettiness, or resentment in their heart, but they don’t want to feel those emotions, and they want to be a better human being, how can they change? You can’t just think, “Okay, I’m not going to feel this anymore.” How can one become a better person? For example, when someone says, “Don’t think about a pink elephant,” that’s all you can’t think about.
Jamie: Are you kidding? That was one of the, uh; he’s got me cussing. I wanted to frigging kill him the other day. When I was in the MRI scanner, right?
Me: Mm hm.
Jamie: So, they were going to do an MRI of the thoracic area.
(Jamie had a car accident (not her fault) a while back and has had neck, shoulder and back pain since.)
Jamie: And so the woman said, “Please try not to breathe deeply. Breathe very shallow.” And then when they do your cervix they say, “Don’t swallow.”
Me: Your cervix? Isn’t that a little low?
Jamie (laughing): Cervical, cervical, cervical! Sorry. I always say that wrong!
Me: I don’t think that’s related to your neck pain, girl.
I can’t help but laugh hard at her anatomical faux pas. Boy these fender benders are getting more and more dangerous.
Jamie: Anyway, when I got to the breathing part, I could hear him like taunting—not really in the machine cuz it’s pretty loud and stuff. I was hearing stupid comments and remarks about the sounds that I was hearing, and in my head (thank god, I thought) I said, “You prick! Get away from me. Get out of this room right now! You cannot be here with me!” But I did what the woman said, “Don’t breathe.” And that’s all I could do. And Erik just said, “Oh, you don’t wanna breathe? I’m gonna make you laugh! I’m going to push you!”
Me: Oh no!
Jamie: So I said, “Jesus, I can’t believe this!”
Me: You just need to pummel him. But he knows this. You can’t pummel him.
Jamie: When I die, I AM going to pummel him.
Me: Oh, yeah.
Erik: I’ll reincarnate.
Jamie: You can’t get away from me, Erik.
All three of us laugh.
Jamie: But it’s just hysterical. So, Erik’s using, you know, we’re using that as an example.
Erik: Yeah. When people are told they want to do something different, but their thought keeps feeding them the action of, you know, “don’t be mean, don’t be a dick, don’t see it that way or don’t be that way,” this is all this mental discipline, but Americans don’t want to work on it. We don’t see it as being a valuable technique. We just see it as, “Well if you’re that way, you take some medicine.” That’s how we’ve been trained. So, for the last 50 years, that’s really been fed to us, that a pill can help the way our mind is running rampant. We really should just jump over and see how Eastern philosophies and Eastern techniques of “how do you get quiet”—getting quiet doesn’t mean that there’s no sound, there’s no thought, there’s no voices. It’s kinda like getting your head just under the water to where it’s muted. So, how do you get muted? People need to learn this for themselves. It should be required to do this in elementary school so you have this technique to fall back on if your character is encouraging you to behave in a way that you’re not proud of and you don’t want to be. There’s a discipline of finding your center, calming your head, and saying to yourself, which is a truth, this is a truth: Thoughts that are not triggered are random. Here we have thoughts that are triggered by something: you see your favorite color you go, “Oh, that’s my favorite color. Oh, that was also my dog’s favorite color.” And then you think about your dog. Triggered. Then you have thoughts that are —Intuition, I’m not looping as a thought. I’m just saying you as a dull instrument, right? Then you have thoughts that just kind of come to you, and you’re not thinking about them, but this is not intuition. People are going to get angry at me about this, because I always say that intuition just pops into your head. Intuition is always going to come in ways that are progressing you to learn. I mean not every fucking thing you do in life has a goddamn message.
Me: Mm hm.
Erik (in a dramatic tone): Oh, a bird hit your window. Oh, It died. That must mean you’re awful, because it hit YOUR window and it died. That’s a sign.
Jamie and I giggle.
Erik: It’s not a fucking sign. Yeah, you know, it happened to you. It doesn’t mean that you are marked a certain way or that you are meant to experience this a certain way. Just stop fucking over-analyzing and realize that, “Oh shit, that thought that came to me that’s encouraging me to be a certain way, I don’t like it, I don’t need it, it’s not intuitive, it’s not helping me.” Then let it go. That’s the kind of mental discipline I’m talking about. People need to stop taking pills and start owning up to who they are. Okay, that was wordy.
Me: No kidding? But brilliant as always.
Erik: Mom, that’s the only thing I can think of telling people.
Me: Yeah. It’s a tough question to answer. There’s no step-by-step, insert tab A into slot B for this one.
Erik: Yeah, just own up to it. Develop mental discipline. Stop spoon feeding yourselves and being the victim and saying, “Oh, this shit’s so hard. I don’t want to be an asshole, but I’m always going to be an asshole.”
Erik: Well, guess what, dick, you’re choosing to be an asshole. Slow down. Calm your thoughts down. Calm your mental mind down, because that’s the one that’s running rampant.
Me: Maybe it’s also about practicing looking at people through a different filter or taking the asshole filter off. Practice compassion. Smile more. Fake it til you make it.
Erik: Practicing compassion. I think it’s easier if you understand that you’re not responsible for how people are reacting.
Me: Yeah, you’re only responsible for your own reaction.
Erik (throwing his finger out): Hell, yes. You can get that down, when you go to have compassion for someone and they’re a total dick, you can do it, because you realize they’re acting their own shit out. It’s really not about you. EGO! That’s why that whole shit came up with ego so much. Kinda weird.
(In retrospect, I’m not sure I understand that last sentence. Wait. I’m positive I don’t. Hm.)
Me: Yep. Okay. Anything else on that?
Erik: Nah. That’s all I got for now. It revs me up too much.
Me: I can tell. I can tell!