The Emotional Piece

My Life Purpose

When I was 20 years old, my Dad had a heart attack. I was the only one home with him when it happened. Waiting for an ambulance he said to himself, “Not now! I’m just figuring it out.”
In the car, the nurse told him to undo his belt and take off his watch. He removed his wristwatch, turned around in the front seat and looking me straight in the eye, handed the watch to me. I heard the unspoken communication “I’m out of time. You figure it out.”
Figure what out? The Emotional Piece……

My Dad was different than most people I knew. He lived in Pure Awareness a good deal of the time. He was always creative and shared that with his kids. He was totally creative at work, loved his job. He treated all people with equanimity. The labourer who swept the floor and the vice-president of the company were treated with equal and personal respect. He was the efficiency man, could cut through thick, messy problems with ideas that resolved complex issues with simplicity and relative ease. He did this both at work and with his family.
His family of origin were immigrant Jews who created significant money and wealth in North America. They were driven, sometimes ruthless, often angry, judgemental people, survivors of the brutal anti-Semitism of pre-World War Europe.
He came by his enlightened attitude when he found himself the sole survivor of his US army troop, when they faced enemy fire on the front, in an event in the 2nd World War. He decided then and there that his not being shot was an experience of pure Grace. From then on, he felt he was living on borrowed time. In that instant when he realized that he was the ‘last man standing’ he decided that all he had been taught about control and survival was meaningless, that a Higher Power controlled our life and death and he surrendered to that Power. But, emotionally he remained tied to his family, to their judgements and manipulations, tied in with the conditioning power of Jewish guilt, approval and disapproval, tied to the stories, beliefs and fears. This cut into his peace. He was just facing and dealing with those dependency ties, when he died.

I have always longed to be in an elevated state like he often was, but my dependency issues were more pervasive than his. I could always ‘see’ the clearer truth in any situation but always followed my conditioned beliefs of how I ‘should’ be, what life would be like if ‘I were good enough’.
I was depressed, although I expressed anger. I suffered from panic disorder as well. I gave 10 years of my life to alcoholism. I wanted, more than anything, to ’figure it out’. I thought I was crazy. The diagnosis was ’emotionally disturbed’. No therapy made sense to me. AA was, perhaps, the most effective treatment for my problems.

I found my ’enlightened space’ in the Creative Process as an artist. From this, I began to absorb higher descriptions. I identified with New Age thought, finding it the spirituality of creativity.

Still it seemed the emotional, social problems of my grandparents and parents repeatedly played themselves out in my life. At age 57, I was on my own, plagued by constant intense anxiety and panic, even while depressed. I could see ‘truth,’ especially in the art studio, but I could only feel it in the art studio. I could neither feel or live the Creative Process in my life, otherwise.

I wanted the ‘spiritual solution’. I needed to be anxiety, panic and depression free. But for those disorders, I had not genuinely felt emotion since the age of 6.
The Pure Awareness techniques that I found on the internet seemed to be skills that fed the Creative Process and not only relieved but ultimately eliminated inappropriate emotion pain.
I studied PTSD resolution and Core Dynamic Coaching with Tom Stone of Great Life Technologies, and found an answer to the questions symbolized by my father’s watch.
I found the completion offered me in “The Emotional Piece”.
Thanks, Dad.


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Paradox (The Threshold of Truth)

Children can superimpose cognitive ideas upon physical objects and be fully present and focused on the fantasy reality that exists in the relationship.  My son, for whom I was never going to buy a toy gun, at age 4, went outside, picked up a stick and went “bang, bang”.  So much for control.  For hours he could live in the created space where that stick was a gun.

As adults we fully enter into the reality that is created through our subtle Process and experience it.  Like the child’s fantasy, reality is absorbing, but much more powerful.

We see the child’s fantasy as a product of a Process of intelligence and imagination.  We think our reality is absolute.  Is it?

When I say “I”, my first identification, what I feel is the “I”, is the separate entirely physical body that I believe to be a solid fact.  In social interaction, this is still the persona I image to myself.  When we learn about ourselves as children, the learning seems natural and exciting and we learn all about our physical selves with which we totally identify.  What else is there?

In truth our physical selves are created by the expression of Pure Awareness (Creative Power or any other appropriate name) through our subtle selves which holds the blueprint for our development.  Happily learning and modeling on the adults in our lives, we have no awareness of this subtle creative power and learn, are conditioned to and even deduce, if we like logic, all sorts of myths, stories and rules that we soon feel are absolute, about reality.

With that we mature and arrive at, what my creative friends refer to as, the Creative Rift, that paradoxical divide between childhood and adult life.

The sticking point about this threshold of change is that often, the rules that facilitate living and learning in the physical realm are opposite to the rules that facilitate living and learning in subtle energy.

In the physical world, I strive to control my function, environment and situations.  In subtle energy, things do not go well until I let go of trying to control too many of the variables in my circumstances.  Learning/living skills:  control versus letting go

In my physical world view I set goals, work to achieve them and judge my success by how accurately and completely I have actualized the goal.  In my subtle energy, my Creative Process, I only set a goal as a guideline to work toward.  What goes on, in working toward the goal is much more important than the outcome of the process.  The goal is often changed or  modified many times, depending on what manifests in working toward the original goal.  Learning/living skill:  Willingness to change the goal (the outcome, the product) is an important skill when working with subtle energy.

In the physical paradigm, the product is important and I focus my attention on that.  In the subtle paradigm, the process that creates the product is what I focus on.  Learning/living skill:  focus on product versus focus on process

In my physical mind, I strive for security, certainty, predictability.  In the subtle realm, I enjoy the wonder of uncertainty, the excitement and curiosity which arise in anticipation of what the Process will manifest.  Learning/living skill:  valuing security versus valuing uncertainty

On the physical side of the threshold, I compare what I perceive to what I already know about.  On the creative side, I look for new things or to see old things in a new light.   Learning/living skill:  valuing knowing versus  discovering

In the physical I see things as separate from myself.  I look for the differences between myself and other people and things.  In the subtle I see things as unified.  I look for the reflection of myself in others and things and circumstances.  Learning/living skill:  looking for differences versus looking for similarities and reflections

In the physical I am often the victim.  I am acted upon by people and forces.  In the subtle I surrender to forces, participate in and observe all the relationships between the energies I perceive.  Learning/living skill:  striving for a sense of separateness versus the sense of being integrally involved

As a physical being I believe that life and the world and reality happen and I must deal with this as it happens to me.  As a subtle being I am responsible for everything I think, feel, experience and observe.  I may not be able to change things immediately but I am responsible.  Learning/living skill:  Seeing oneself as being created and affected as opposed to creating and affecting

In the physical, responsibility is equated with blame.  In the subtle, responsibility is a golden key to effectiveness, balance and resolution of conflict.  Learning/living skill:  Excusing and blaming versus taking responsibility (responding – doing what one can to balance/effect the situation)

As a body, I live in a separately created world.  As an energy body, I give form to reality.  Learning/living skill:  Reversing cause and effect (I feel like this, am like this, because that happened ,versus That happened as an expression of what I am feeling, thinking, accepting.)

Only as a physical body, I perceive a finite world with limited resources.  As a subtle body, I know that energy is always giving form, that the possibilities for form in life are endless and always being given.  Living/learning skill:  Identifying with my form versus identifying with my energy

As a physical body, I survive by virtue of my strength, talent, and luck.  I am helped by those I love, befriend and sometimes, by strangers.  God is the dubious creation of religion and I consider religion ineffective at best.  In my subtle world, my physical body is the expression of divine power expressed in energy through a created blueprint for my form.  My energy is my awareness which dances with itself creating experience to share with its Creator.   Learning/living skill:  Considering human power as ultimate versus seeing human energy as a dynamic that did not create itself.

My simple, basic knowledge of the subtle body as described in Eastern philosophies is sketchy at best.  The details of the descriptions of the aspects and functions of the subtle body fill large texts in time tested, respected literature and I only really know the little knowledge of the basic categories and labels. But, this description goes deep in my psyche, describing accurately my experience of what I first learned of as artistic Creative Process.  When taught to me, it was obvious that this Creative Process underlay all human learning and living, although we did not discuss that.  I personally have made it a life goal to find the skills that feed that Process in all aspects of my life and I am finding success and transformation in my search.


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Subtle Body/Creative Proces

Subtle Body/Creative Process

In the sixties, a strange phenomenon appeared amongst children between the ages of 9 and 11 years who had watched, on television, Uri Gellar bend metal spoons using only his mind.  These children would go to their kitchens and procure a piece of stainless steel flatware and bend it by exercising the particular focus of mind they had witnessed on the television.  In pre-teens there is already evidence of a change in the nature and power of the mind.  The maturing mind can effect physical matter and alter it in relation to us.  Bending spoons, walking on hot coals without getting burned or even sleeping on a bed of nails are not useful life skills, in particular, but they are evidence that the adolescent and ultimately, adult mind is more powerful and open to more possibilities than the mind of a child.

What opens up at adolescence is the awareness of and readiness to participate in the power of the subtle body.  This body contains the blueprint for our development and our physical bodies are given form through it, although, as children, we can not be aware of this as experience.  As children, we identify with the physical world entirely and go through the developmental stages of learning that Piaget and others have pretty much defined.

My knowledge about the subtle body is pretty sketchy, my experience is a little better and I think I have always been aware of it, feeling it as an emotional pressure inside me, telling me that I was ignoring the most important things.

Most adults remember the energy and anticipation that they felt in their later teen years, a feeling that they were entering into something wonderful and powerful that included but was more than their awakening sexuality, something that(for us in the Western world) did not really continue to develop as we aged.  If there had been adult models who functioned in and from this power, if there had been information or any education about that significant change of consciousness that we are all prepared for in adolescence, we, as adults would have consciously taken our place as participants in the Creative Process.


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Notes for Pure Process Coaching Blogs:

unchanged in content, and import in July 24/2011

More than once today I have been amazed at how I have, in my life, mind, attached importance to certain stories.  I have elevated them, making the achievement of whatever they involve seem so significant.  They are stories, like all the stories, somewhat arbitrary, automatically conditioned, imitated from family or culture.

I noticed that the story I tell myself about Tony, my first love, remains essentially spite of my attempts to see things more realistically.  There is the cultural “love myth” to deal with.  But, my first love story was totally based in my grandmother’s story and I, at the time, was not conscious of that.    Today, I realized that the way I turned the story into a rather self-pitying, never to be let go of story, was exactly the way my grandmother did the same with her similar story.  I’m so unoriginal.  I just borrowed half this stuff and then weighted it with great moral, emotional and judgemental import.  I can see my grandmother’s Russian tendencies to create tragic drama out life events.  Russians do that a lot.  I didn’t see it in me.  Intellectually, I did but I did not get how seriously I just made up all the meaning and implications about my human worth.  They were not in the story, really.  Hey, if my grandmother drowns her happiness in her self-pity, that must be the way one does this stuff.  No!  I just patterned my explanations of my life on my grandmother’s (plagerism) and added all the grief onto it (although that is what she did as well).

All this to come to the realization that I am not a pitiful being, after all.  Although, as soon as I get nervous about something, I pull out the pitiful being belief, even against my will.  How we humans waste our energy!

And……..there are also all the little social judgements we adopt, automatically and use, automatically to judge people in social situations which are unfounded, untrue, unreliable assessments.  We hardly ever think to authentically evaluate our (small, meaningless?) judgements, that we make in our internal dialogue anyway, thinking that a quiet derogatory thought isn’t hurting anyone, anyway.  Bet ya it does hurt the integrity of our social situations (our society).  All those little thoughts distributed among all the people add up to genocides and world wars.  And, there is always a smaller, quieter, equally unjustified negative thought lurking under the big ones (or at least that is how it seems).

Who is it, in our world, that does not deserve respect (to be treated with regard to his true ability and character)?

Pure Process technique:  Notice what the feeling you are having regarding anyone you judge for any  reason, is.  It is likely that you do not want to be fully aware of this feeling and the judgement, conditioned or spontaneous, kind of invalidates the person as one to be noticed with feeling, right now.  Then feel the feeling and release the judgement for they are as fully deserving as you are of respect at all times.

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Pure Pefection

Last week I had a conversation with some friends about perfectionism.  It left me strangely disturbed.

Trying to be perfect is trying to do nothing.  There is no way, in any instance, to have more  practice than you have or have studied more than you have and no way to control the intensity or clarity of focus you can achieve in any one action.  Practice and study can lead to excellence but they can not create perfection and certainly can not make you perfect.

I had my stint with perfectionism when I was around 11 years old.  I was going to get perfect grades.  After a short while I found that I could not perform at all.    It was just too much work to check my answers over and over.  Really, I was trying to get my parents attention.   Education seemed so important to them.  I did not succeed in impressing them and I could not think of any other way to involve my parents in my life.  I felt helpless.

I think it was the expression of the feeling of helplessness that bothered me in our perfectionism conversation,

At 11, I was on the brink of adolescence, the threshold of post-biological development.  I was ready to learn subtle skills and practice subtle perception.  These things were not taught or reinforced at home or at school.  So, I tried to create, in the physical world, using the skills to concrete operations – and exercise in ineffective manipulation.  I know many people who perfecionistically manipulatied the images of their lives and were considered very successful.  They, however, felt phony and inauthentic and it was a very painful success for them.

When I was 30, my favorite art teacher taught me about ‘creative Process’, the subtle structure underlying all achievement.  First he taught me to stop trying to control things.  Then he taught me some efficient and rather simple skills that fed the ‘creative Process’ and that Process has been the author of every work of art I sign my name to.  I was freed from the misery of perfectionism and found great joy in  what became ‘my passion’.

At the age of maturity (18-21) we cross a threshold into a new and more powerful state of attention than the physical one we lived in as children.   We become full participants in the creative Process but we must use our subtle senses, primarily emotion and intuition, to engage the Process of self-realization.  The perfectionist tends to mute his feelings and thinks intuition is for psychics and stage magicians.  Perfectionism may make you a master of the past, for a while, but learning to trust yourself opens the door to truly living and loving.

As a Pure Awareness coach, I can teach (and use) the techniques that feed the developmental ‘creative Process’.  That Process is the author of all that we truly achieve and produce and connects us to Pure Awareness, the Source of all.

These techniques can vaporize perfectionism and restore us to our true selves.  Only the unified ‘Whole’ is perfect and the pieces of that ‘Whole’ perfectly intertwined in relationship.  Peace and joy, not stress and pain, are the true experience of ‘Perfection’.

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Hereditary PTSD

Thursday, December 2 2010
Stressed out? It could be in your genes.
By Laura Spinney

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that not only can stress bring about permanent changes in your body, but you can even pass on some of those changes to your offspring.

Rachel Yehuda, a neuroscientist at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, had her first inkling of the indelible mark that stress can leave on families back in 1993, when she opened a clinic to treat the psychological problems of Holocaust survivors, and was deluged with calls from their adult children.  Investigating further,  she found that those children were particularly prone to post-traumatic stress disorder.  Both parents and children tended to have low levels of the hormone cortisol in their urine.  Stranger still, the more severe the Holocaust survivors’s PTSD symptoms, the less cortisol there was in their child’s urine.

Cortisol plays an important role in the body’s stress response.  When a threat presents itself, the brain instructs the adrenal glands……to release hormones, including adrenalin, into the blood.  When the threat has passed, the brain sends another signal to the adrenal glands to release cortisol.  Cortisol shuts down the stress response by binding to receptors in certain regions of the brain, including the hippocampus.

At McGill University, in Montreal, Canada, neuroscientist Michael Meaney has shown that stressful events in the early lives of rats, such as being reared by a negligent mother, can affect their response to stress as adults.  The pups of negligent mothers grow up to be fearful and skittish, and they have fewer hippocampal receptors to corticosterone (the rat equivalent of cortisol) than pups of attentive mothers.

Last year, Meaney’s group made headlines when it reported a similar finding in humans.  Meaney’s former student Patrick McGowan managed to get hold of tissue samples from the brains of 24 adults who had committed suicide, half of whom had been abused as children, and half of whom had not.  The researchers found that the hippocampi of the abuse victims contained fewer cortisol receptors than those of the individuals who had not been abused.

In both rats and humans, therefore, stressful early life events leave an enduring trace in the brain, causing those brains to be less sensitive to the stress-dampening effects of cortisol.  And in both speices, the reduced sensitivity is associated with so-called epigenetic changes – chemical modifications to DNA that alter the activity of genes without altering the genes themselves.  Genetic change, also known as evolution, takes millions of years, but epigenetic changes can be accumulated in a lifetime, allowing organisms to adapt more quickly than their genomes can.

Meaney’s group found that the gene encoding the corticosterone receptor in rats carries different epigenetic marks, or modifications, in the brains of the offspring of negligent and attentive mothers.  As a result, the gene is less active in the neglected offspring, meaning that it is translated into fewer of those critical receptors – the ones responsible for shutting down the stress response – with profound consequences for the pups’ behavior.  They found a similar difference between the abused and the non-abused suicide victims.

Yehuda began to wonder if epigenetic mechanisms could explain the vulnerability to PTSD of the children of Holocaust survivors.  Most epigenetic marks are erased during the formation of the gametes – the sperm and egg – so that each generation starts out a blank slate.  However, there is now good evidence that some survive that erasure process, and stress-related marks are among them.

(this is just part of this article)

I have always suspected this.  However, I thought that PTSD would be passed on through behavior or emotion or attitude.  I never suspected it could be passed on genetically.  I guess, though, since the psyche is subtle, it is bound to express itself in the physical world, somewhere.

Dynamics of the nature described above must come into play a lot at this time of year, especially after a couple of drinks all around.  “A Course in Miracles” states that “The past is not real.”  So, as an adult, one could think that way and only deal with family ‘here and now’, all memories deleted, at least for one Christmas celebration.

Have a cortisol filled Christmas.

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Your feelings are your primary subtle perceptual sense. Take care of them.

Anxiety, Panic, Depression and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  They are also rapidly filling categories which many people seem to be assigned to these days by psychologists and psychiatrists.  There is Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder and depressive Disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

A ‘disorder’ is apparently a condition where you feel unpleasant, often intense emotions for no reason.  These emotions are not responses to your present circumstances.  They are just present without connections.  Perhaps, there is a chemical imbalance that also has no reason to exist but does.  Then you may benefit from medication, which can be helpful if you are not sensitive to the side-effects.

Since studying and engaging the techniques of Pure Awareness (Core Dynamics) coaching, I have come to believe that there are no ‘disorders’.  Feelings from the past (even from infancy) are often stored in the body as they were never fully processed.  They can be easily triggered by current events and you end up either over reacting or reacting ‘inappropriately’ to you circumstances.  These feelings, however, are legitimate and usually natural responses to past circumstances, sometimes intense past circumstances. 

In general, we tend to dull our awareness of intense feeling, as children, to survive and as adults, out of habit.  Without our full awareness of them, we can not let our feelings go.  This is an entirely natural process and I can’t call it a ‘disorder’ anymore.

Pure Awareness techniques bring full awareness of feelings and the energy fields they are associated with and facilitate the process of ‘letting go’.  In their place, one cultivates Pure, independant, Awareness.  Pure Awareness is usually a rather blissful state.

Expectations, disappointments and attachments to the descriptions of our lives and life in general can lead to anxiety, panic, depression etc.  There are Pure Awareness techniques for these cases too.

The Core Dynamic model considers depression to be the result of moving awareness to the outer edges of an emotional energy field of sadness.  If one moves to the center of this field, with their awareness, the sadness can be very intense but the depression, with its characteristic lack of motivation, abates.  I think, a short time feeling intense sadness beats years and years of milder but somewhat immobilizing depression.

Fears, projected into the future, (what if?, should I take a risk?, any change could be for the worse) often lead to difficult emotional states.  There is a Pure Awareness technique for this also.

My parent’s generation procreated right after the 2nd World War.  The father’s of most baby-boomers were soldiers and the mothers often took on unfamiliar roles while they waited for the men to (maybe) come home.  Present day vets suffer from intense PTSD.  WWII vets had a much richer social support system than present day soldiers so they coped better.  That does not mean that they were not as deeply affected by the violence and destruction and inhumanity.  Before that was there was WWI and before that a lot of North Americans were immigrants trying to escape oppression, prejudice, poverty, and genocide and war.  That the children of these people were aware of anxiety and grief in their parents, whether or not it was directly expressed, doesn’t seem so unlikely.  Those Post War feelings were expressed in people’s values and ambitions, some of which were the unrealistic dreams of people waiting for the violence to end.  I don’t think that we have known enough peace, for long enough, to be free of the PTSD that violence inevitably brings.  I think many of the ‘disorders’ may be connected to a realistic awareness of the circumstances and conditions we and our parents and grandparents were born into.  These shape our experience.

Awareness is the tool and the goal of this coaching.  Suffering is what is eliminated.  Pure Awareness Techniques are ways to process emotion that work all the time.  After learning them, you can have a full emotional life and not find your growth stuck because you can’t deal with emotional issues.

Pure Awareness Techniques are efficient.  You can process some painful situations by being aware of you feeling for 15 minutes.  That is very manageable.

Pure Process (a fusion of Pure Awareness techniques and Creative Process) will offer $20 sessions to new clients who have anxiety disorders or panic disorder or depressive disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

You may be wary of trying something new, an alternative approach no-less, but this approach is very effective.  I can testify to that.  A PA coach must process any and all PTSD symptoms – we list 30 – before helping others to dissolve their symptoms or ‘disorders’.

I’ll need to ask some people who have done this for me for testimonials.  They are always re-assuring.

This Trauma Resolution coaching is mostly meditative.  Meditation has a track record for healing pain and suffering.  It would be impossible to make it worse.

If you are interested contact:

Susan Bornstein – Trauma Resolution Specialist – Powell River, B.C. – (604) 483-2003 or or the Pure Process facebook page.

Your feelings are your primary subtle sense.  Another is intuition.  You need to take care of them as well as you would your eyes.  You need to trust them as much as you trust your eyes.  With your feelings you can see energy.

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