Existential angst is such an essential component to growth and development. Being human is not exactly a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. We chew on our internal psychological suffering like we chew on a piece of gum without even noticing. By the time we get out of high school, the flavor is gone but we’re still chewing.
I’d like to assert that the parts of us that hurt are actually memories frozen in time. Eckhart Tolle calls it the pain-body. How could we give them a second though after all? Whether traumatic, benign or pleasurable, every single moment of our lives is being recorded by the mind. It is also measured, compared and stored or filed. My understanding of human suffering is that the reason we keep thinking about the same pain or regret scenarios is that they are frozen memories.
At the time of the event or incident, energy was blocked as the mind tried to protect us from feeling the pain of a circumstance I.E. accident, break-up, the death of someone, a radical change, abuse, you name it…the memory even though it is unconscious (that is unconscious to our conscious mind) is now stored in full Technicolor with all the feelings, sensations, thoughts, etc. associated with it.
In acting we call waking up these types of frozen memories “emotional triggers” as part of the creative work we do on “emotional memory work” elaborated by Stanislavsky and then further explored by Lee Strasberg at the famous Actor’s Studio. I had the good fortune of being made an “Honorary Member” in 1981, which allowed me to work with studio members on these powerful “emotional triggers” and always be astonished at how much frozen pain is stored in the body—suppressed by the mind.
Anyone can begin a process of slowly waking up these frozen memories gently and reminding them they don’t have to be stuck in that frozen state anymore. It is very much like saying: “things have moved on long ago, it’s time to wake up, shake the dust and be okay again”. It was only a moment in time that got frozen long ago like a mammoth in arctic ice. No need to scare these parts of you or they will feel embarrassed for not knowing they were in a frozen state for so long. Give them time to reintegrate into you. All they want is to find their place and fade away. In acting work, we creatively collect them for the purpose of getting in touch with our pain-body and its stored riches. We do so “creatively”, which means we have a license to get into the pain with the express understanding that we will get out of the pain with a valid return ticket.
So, how do you begin an understanding of what mind has done with the painful memories of the past? Without becoming a professional actor of course!
First, know that it is only the mind that is not educated, clean and not cleansed. Mind has to be refocused, hence why a great acting teacher always bothers to educate you thoroughly about the mind before you plunge into serious emotional work. Otherwise it can be devastating and very unproductive as the actor will fall apart emotionally with no clue as to get him- or herself back on track
Second, know and appreciate that your mind does everything it its power to keep these frozen memories hidden. It does it for two reasons: one, because mind likes control and two, it cannot control your state of being unless it has a leverage mechanism in place to pressure you to give up control. Thus, by keeping you “in the dark” about your painful memories, it maintains control and the result is that energy is kept frozen and your self-expression really suffers as well. It is the “emotional release” that frees up the past and reinstates a natural flow of energy in places where it was frozen prior. Frozen feelings are our “true and authentic” feelings but they are being guarded and protected by our ego-mind. Hence, why it is a matter of education first and release second.
Mind always comes up with reasons and interpretations as to why things happened or did not happen the way they were supposed to in our past. Most of them are false interpretations to keep us in the dark and for the mind to keep the control. Remember that mind is not educated at this point.
Therefore, love and truth unnaturally fly below the radar of mind’s follies and false interpretations. It’s admittedly really difficult to see or catch, but very doable if you are willing. You just need a bit of honesty and a lot of practice.
Mind without education, without direction and without the right focus will wreak havoc in a person’s life, tearing it apart, though seemingly, it looks and feels real and even normal. This is where all useless suffering originates in my view. Hence, why a rigorous acting training can do wonders to help someone get in touch with their true feelings and tap into an inner depth unavailable prior.
As a valid point, though perhaps metaphorical, Jesus saw suffering so clearly back in his day. He was a true clairvoyant in my view, without bringing Christianity into focus. Living free is about seeing the beauty that is available below the fumes, below the darkness and below the madness of mind on insisting in keeping control. It is all a matter of focus as in the type of focus that keeps you free of the past by releasing its energetic charges on your life.
One must get over one’s mind to be free. Mind only knows how to create three-dimensional views and frame what it sees out of ancestral habit.
Mind is not mad or insane as a fact, it is only mad when it is focused on the wrong things, only then is it mad. Most people have no idea their minds are focusing on the wrong things. But, whatever you focus on, tends to own you and keep you prisoner. Mind is spectacularly creative if it focuses on the right things, things outside of yourself that have nothing to do with you, your life or your relationships, unless it is the beauty of those relationships it is focusing on and measuring. The past obviously is often about you as the main character so when the mind is focused on your past, it keeps on bringing painful memories while keeping them frozen.
In our work, past thoughts and concepts are three-dimensional ghosts and they need to be treated as such. The body is the truth as far as the natural part of us. This is where the surrender has to go. It takes time to realize the body is always willing to experience life fully.
Mind is run by focus regardless of whether it is right for you or not. Body is run by what is right for you and it does not need the mind to okay it. The body is the life, the mind is a construct that shares its take on life—its view. Body is pure intelligence and pure instincts and intuition, something most people have swapped for an hyperactive mind that never stops and drives them nuts in spite of therapy, yoga, trips to India, drugs, and the other usual escape suspects.
Mind is not really connected to life. It filters life abstractly. It is the view NOT life itself. Mind is a spectator first and when surrendered to life, it finds its right view. We have spent 25 years teaching realignment through instincts and intelligence.
The wrong focuses and views will make anyone so profoundly unhappy because it appears as a world of reality. People are just equipped to deny pain. When you begin to scratch the surface, it’s all there.
Very few people have a perspective on their minds and its views and contents. They think it’s THEM doing the thinking. What a joke! It is the relationship you have to your mind’s content that matters. The more healthy you are the more visible it is to you that you have a relationship to your mind; the other side is we are trapped in the mind’s contents with all its warped interpretations and no way out.
Performance Impact Therapy is about freeing the mind not getting rid of the mind so as to create more ease, authenticity and impactful satisfying living.