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The Journey Starts Here Go Inside & Expand Your Awareness

Now we're going to take a step back. We are going to turn the microscope off and turn the telescope on. We're going to expand our awareness so that we can hold a much larger and wiser vision of ourselves and others.

Each of us comes hardwired with a formidable judge inside. (More on our preinstalled Judgy Mcjudgerson in another post) You know the voice-the one that criticizes, blames, scares, demoralizes, attacks, inflames, and angers. According to the latest neuroscience, it's on most of the time. Good news though-it comes with a switch. And, no matter what it tries to tell us-we are the only ones that can actually turn it off.

When we flip the switch, we start to make contact with a presence inside of us, instead of a judgmental voice. We make contact with the one that is actually thinking the thoughts and feeling the feelings. We shift from the subject of our thinking to becoming the object of our thinking, from participant to observer. "What am I thinking about?" becomes "Who is doing the thinking?". "What am I feeling?" becomes "Who or what is feeling the feeling?". "Who is the captain of this ship?". "Who is the director of this drama?" More good news-once we make contact with the "who", we are no longer just the actor/ess in the theater drama of our lives. We actually become the audience and then soon after the creator or director.

Below, is a session handout that I've created to begin the process of replacing a microscopic lens with a telescopic lens. On the left hand side, you'll find a list of ways that we abandon ourselves. And, as a result, either pull people toward us or push them away from us in thought, spoken word, or deed. When we experience ourselves as separate from others, we start to protect and defend ourselves.

What is really interesting about this process, is that just by reading this list of defense mechanisms and becoming familiar with them-we turn the microscope off. In the act of gaining awareness of our defenses, we actually get some distance from them. We are no longer trapped inside of our egoic scary stories or mindless chatter. We have just expanded our vision and awareness of the "who". Over time, this practice, this small act of staying with ourselves soon becomes more important than whether anyone else is staying with us. The need to push or pull anyone dissipates.

On the right hand side, you'll find a list of ways we create a sense of connection, wholeness, and harmony with ourselves and others. Just in the act and commitment of holding these concepts in our field of awareness-we start to activate them. We move from a sense of a separate struggling self to a connected accepting nurturing presence. Voila! The telescope has been turned on.

In therapy and in counseling, every journey starts here. When you turn the microscope into a telescope, you open up to a whole new world. It's like you've just landed yourself on "the yellow brick road". In this theater drama, the storm that brought you here is beginning to pass. The black or white, right or wrong, my fault or your fault world is quickly disappearing and filling in with all kinds of colors, new possibilities, and creativity. There is support and guidance all around you.

It's time to take your first step. Or, if you and I have been here together before, it's time to take it again. It's a really important one. You can always return here in your mind. Come often, and remember why you came, and remember what you came here to do.

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Psychological Defense Mechanisms Connection Mechanisms

Defense Relating Acceptance Relating

Ego- Greek Meaning “I” WE

Separation from Self & Others Union Within & Communion Between

Past & Memory Based, Unconscious, Present Moment Based, Conscious,

Emotionally Charged, Inflammatory Emotionally Connected, Soothing,

Reactive, Participant Intentional &Skillful, Observer & Creator

Judging Self or Others Compassion

Blaming Self or Others Empathy, Reflective Listening

Retaliation Pausing

Pushing- Aggressive, Rejecting, Assertiveness, Respect

Persecuting, Attacking

Distancing Stillness

Perfectionism Patience, Progress

Pulling- Addiction-Obsessive, Clinging, Allowing, Delay of Gratification

Compulsive, Pursuing

Seeking Approval, People Pleasing Acceptance

Over Functioning- “Staying Busy” Attention

Controlling or Manipulating Forgiving, Openness

Drama Roles- Persecutor, Rescuer, Victim Kindness, Gentle Humor

Passive, Withdrawing, Disassociating Gratitude

Fixing or Changing Another Apologizing

Other or Self Abandonment Affection

Engulfing Another Equal Giving and Receiving

Justifying, Rationalizing, Explaining Equanimity

Desire to be “right”, “better” or “Good” Desire to be “whole”

Compare and Compete Dis-identification

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