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Getting The Stress You Need – Part 2

This week the Mindshifters group watched the second half of the lecture, Getting The Stress You Need, by Dr. Michael Ryce. One of the primary messages of this lecture is that once the human mind sets a goal, it remains set and active, even if unconscious, until the goal is reached, or it is actively, consciously cancelled. The ability to cancel a goal is one of the functions of the spiritual faculty of Will. The importance of cancelling unfulfilled goals is that each time I set a goal and do not reach it, I continue to use some of my mental emotional energy to maintain that goal. The energy needed to maintain an unfulfilled goal takes away from the energy I have to focus on and accomplish my goals for today.

The analogy used is that of the logging truck which is capable of pulling two or maybe even three loads of logs at a time. The logging company who uses this truck wisely will be very successful. If the logger only hooks up one or two loads of logs at a time, the truck will easily make the needed deliveries and have plenty of power and resources to spare. But imagine that one morning the logger receives an order for three loads of logs to be delivered next week and immediately hooks those loads up to the truck. Then later in the day he receives an order for another load to be delivered three weeks from now and immediately hooks up that load as well. Later he receives an order for two more loads to be delivered tomorrow and immediately hooks those up to the truck. Finally, he receives an order for two loads of logs to be delivered today. He hooks those up to the truck as well, and then tries to make the delivery, but the truck won’t budge! He has used all the power and resources of the truck with orders for tomorrow and further in the future, and has nothing left for what needs to be done today.

In the same way, when we set goals and they are not met, they keep running actively in our minds, even though we are not conscious of them, until they are achieved, or actively cancelled. The more unfulfilled, uncancelled goals we have running in our minds, the less resources we will have to do the things we need to do each day. There is an exercise in the lecture in which Dr. Ryce guides the audience through the process of reviewing past, unfulfilled goals and cancelling them, thereby freeing up resources in us for accomplishing the goals we consciously choose to set.

This part of the lecture was the most powerful for me this week. Despite the fact that I have listened to this lecture and done this exercise at least ten times in the past, I came face to face with an entirely new set of unfulfilled goals. This exercise was also interesting because I found myself integrating several pieces of other lectures, and the book; The Way of Mastery, while doing this exercise. The exercise consists of relaxing, getting comfortable, closing the eyes, and breathing gently while reviewing a series of people and events from your past, about whom/which you may have unfulfilled goals. When Dr. Ryce instructed us to think about any unfulfilled goals for education, my mind flashed on a series of events which surrounded the oral defense for my dissertation in graduate school. For many years now, those events have stood as some of the most traumatic and distasteful events of my entire adult life. As I flashed on those events and the people involved and told myself to cancel any unfulfilled goals related to those people and events, I found myself thinking about another exercise and the Forgiveness Process which Dr. Ryce teaches. I realized that if I was upset about something those people had done, it was only because I recognized that energy in myself. I realized that if it still upset me it was because I had not forgiven myself for having that energy in my thoughts and behavior, whether currently or in the past.

I chose to cancel any goals for those people and those situations, and I chose to cancel any judgement of myself for the times in my life when I had been dishonest or deceitful. As that happened it seemed like the vision of that situation and those people just disappeared with a puff of smoke. I felt myself smiling slightly as I watched that “horrible” series of events just fade away. I was left in awe of the process.

The group process this week was exceptionally lively as members wrestled with their conscious and unconscious goals related to food, body image, relationships, family of origin and other issues. The group showed its usual reverence and respect for each other as we each explored our individual reactions the questions raised and the beliefs explored. I remain unspeakably grateful for each of the individuals who have chosen to participate in making this group one of the most productive and rewarding group experiences of my life.

We come from Love, we are made of Love, we are Love. Everything else is false!

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