Friday, September 4, 2009

Sedona Method Day #1

According to Sedona Method, there are three things you can do with stress. You can express it by yelling, throwing things, or other actions. You can suppress it – as in “never let them see you sweat or cry.” Or you can release it. After all, emotions aren’t you - they are just temporary responses to situations. Sedona Method is about releasing stress.

Sedona Method has a lot of methods to release stress.
The first method is to decide to let it go. I tried that. My mind is stuck in a loop. Every time I want to do something that I can’t do, I get upset. I feel worthless, helpless, angry. I’m not an invalid. And supposedly, I will heal and I will get my life back, so this isn’t permanent. I don’t need to get used to it and find another way to live. I don’t want to make temporary adjustments. I want my life back now! Okay, that method doesn’t work for me.
The second method is to allow the feeling. That seems more feasible. I can allow myself to feel the anger. And the helplessness. But what good does that do me? I don’t want to feel this way. I want to feel healthy and strong. Allowing these emotions does not accomplish anything I want. If I allow myself to indulge these feelings, I’m giving myself permission to be unhappy about things I cannot control. That makes no sense at all.
The third method is to welcome the feeling. That feels the same to me as allowing it – only crazier. I don’t want to feel this way.
The fourth method is to expand the feeling. Everything is really nothing if you expand it enough. I know that from studying physics. If I expand the anger, I do find the spaces between the lumps. But the lumps are still there.
The fifth method is to dive into the emotion(s). The book promises that emotions are like soap bubbles. Get past the surface where all the colors and swirls are and inside, there’s nothing.
The surface is rough going. I can’t lift anything over 5 lbs so I can’t buy groceries. I can’t lift anything over 5 lbs, so I can’t ride my bike, which means I have to take the bus, which means it takes four times as long to go anywhere. I can’t lift anything over 5 lbs, which means if I want to do the laundry, I have to make many trips to the basement because I can’t carry the laundry box. And if I want to hang laundry on the line, I have to make many trips up stairs from the basement and out to the yard, because wet laundry weighs even more than dry laundry. My left shoulder hurts. My left arm has a limited range of motion. Same for my left leg. And I get dizzy spells. This turns into a major pity party. But I get bored with the list. And then there is silence.
The book says there is a deep peace at the center of the bubble. I didn’t find that. But silence is way preferable to the long list of grouches. And amazingly, about a minute after the grouch list stopped, the dizzy spell stopped, too. I was able to repeat that. Stop the grouch list and a minute or so later, the dizzy spell stops. The dizzy spells that come from moving my head rapidly are something else.
Every time I run up against a limitation, I know the list is boring. And I know the list triggers a dizzy spell. My limitations are facts. Facts are neutral. There is no point in getting upset about facts. I can’t do basic things. Some things can wait. Others can be broken down into smaller pieces, like carrying a few pieces of laundry down the stairs at a time. I can ask a neighbor to buy groceries for me. Or ask my husband, the alien, to get them on his way home. The pity list is boring, it triggers dizzy spells and I’m better off without it.
With the grouch list aside, my mind immediately jumped to something even scarier. I hate gratitude lists – because everything on a gratitude list is something I can lose. There is a lot more I can lose besides my current grouch list. I’m basically healthy. A have friends and loved ones. I live in a house where the roof doesn’t leak and the utilities work.
Ultimately what I want from this process is a sense of security that will keep me calm no matter what happens. The grouch list is only hurdle number 1.
The assignment for tomorrow begins with listing everything I want - limitations and probabilities aside.

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