Fear and Decision-making

September 13, 2011

One key aspect of the DecisionClarity process is to examine the role that fear is playing in the mix. Fear is not only a powerful emotion, it is also part of our genetic imprinting to avoid what eminent neurologist and psychologist Rick Hansen refers to as “sticks”. Recently while on Cortes Island I attended a lecture on the brain by Hansen, author of Buddha’s Brain, who was a presenter at Hollyhock. During his presentation he reflected on the importance of fear in helping our primitive ancestors survive. “The worst mistake an early primate could make was to assume there was no tiger in the woods.” The consequence of that erroneous decision was likely fatal and as a result we are generally descended from ancestors who did not make that mistake. Unfortunately this can also result in us placing too much weight on the fear factor when we are making a decision.

He suggested that when the lower reptilian brain became geared to avoidance, we would make ten wrong assumptions of a tiger being in the woods in order to avoid the one occasion that it was there. This has resulted in an evolutionary effect where our primitive instinct is to avoid “sticks” even when there may be nothing to fear. This helps explain why fear based negative advertising is so effective; we are responding at an instinctive level to a threat whether it is real or not.

So when faced with a major decision where fear is a critical factor influencing the outcome, I suggest you explore the fear from the perspective of just how real it really is and how much of your emotion is influenced by the old reptilian avoidance of danger. Historically it may have helped us all survive but it has much less relevance today where tigers are few and far between.


Four Dream Evenings

September 13, 2011

It is my intention to offer a new series of four evenings to explore dreams and active imagination in the fall, 2011.  The two groups I facilitated earlier in the year have resulted in one ongoing group for graduates but I have had interest in another introductory group. The concept of dream work emanated with Sigmund Freud and was refined by Carl Jung and more recently by James Hollis and Robert Johnson amongst others.  We all dream six or seven times a night but frequently dreams never make it into conscious awareness. However when we commit to working with our dreams we can begin to increase our recall and awareness. Not all dreams have the same value so we need to learn to differentiate types of dreams. Join me this fall in an exploration of your dreams and what they mean.

Evening One

  • Learning to differentiate types of dreams and discern which are likely to be meaningful.
  • How to facilitate remembering dreams and keeping track.
  • To explore the principles of dream analysis and how to tend a dream.
  • Exploration of the relationship between the imagination and dreams and how symbols are created in dreams

Evening Two

  • Introduction to dream partnering
  • Looking at the dream in the context of your life..
  • An exploration of energy, feelings and consciousness in dreams.
  • Learning to understand archetypes and their influence on dreams.
  • Introduction to dream partnering.

Evening Three

  • Experiential dream partnering.
  • Working with the active imagination.
  • Exploring animals in dreams.
  • The value of dream books.

Evening Four

  • The power of drawing in dreams and active imagination.
  • Exploring the dream in the context of the soul’s landscape.
  • Using oracles in dream interpretation.
  • Review

Dates to be advised

Cost $20.00 each evening

What Others Have Said

“It’s wonderful to work with Trevor who is so knowledgeable and passionate about exploring dreams. I would recommend his sessions to anyone interested in learning more about themselves through understanding their dreams.” Vaune Kolber

“I found the sessions I was able to attend to be simply excellent.  I loved the opening meditations, your flow in bringing the content into application, and your style in honouring of individual input.   Thank you for showing us a craft that you have obviously invested time and energy in mastering.” Joyce Gwilliam

“The harder I tried, the less I remembered my dreams! However, Trevor’s encouragement was unequivocal, warm and full of wonderful suggestions. Even mere dream fragments proved to be much more than my ego realized!” Ursula Beale

For more info contact: trevor@soulclarity.com

Items to bring: a pen and a journal

You Can Only Count The Dots Backwards

September 13, 2011

Recently while following an unrelated link, I came across a commencement speech given by Steve Jobs back in 2005.It is a remarkable speech and well worth watching for many reasons however the theme on counting the dots backwards was specifically meaningful. He tells the story of how being firing from Apple was the worst day of his life resulting in disillusion, depression and an abject sense of loss and failure. Yet in hindsight he can see that it was an essential step in his success because without his experience at both Next and Pixar the next generation of incredibly successful Apple products may never have happened. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA)

This resonated with me as I have been struggling to make sense of the events of my current life and where they were taking me. I realized that I was trying to count the dots forward instead of trusting in life’s unfolding journey. This insight led me back to my Soul Journal where I record the unfolding signs, synchronicities and mystery of my life.  These become a foundation for trust in the outcome because in hindsight I can always see connections: a broken ankle that led to a complete life change, a car crash that resulted in a dramatic personality adjustment, a failed marriage that caused a paradigm shift – the stories are always there to support me in times of uncertainty, I just have to remember to call upon them. I am an absolute believer in recording the magical experiences that life brings us to assist in supporting the uncertainty that can so quickly undermine our faith. However I have also learned that these require us to become more conscious of the patterns as they unfold.

This became particularly transparent in a conversation I had later the same week. A friend of mine suffers from a sleep disorder. It is not critical but totally irritating and she is constantly exploring possible solutions from medical intervention, acupuncture, sleep clinics, meditation etc, many of which provide temporary respite but the problem remains. Later in the conversation, I shared Steve Job’s perspective about counting the dots backwards and suddenly she began to connect the dots of her sleep disorder and how it had frequently been a gift. On one occasion encouraging her to leave a job she needed to exit and on another to prevent her from taking a job that could have landed her back in the same place. Only by counting the dots backwards could the pattern emerge and we begin to fully appreciate the amazing nature of the mystery and as James Hollis observed in Swamplands of the Soul, “When we stand in conscious relationship to the mystery we are more deeply alive.”

NB: This is the first blog I have written using typewriter keyboard software that makes the sounds of an old style typewriter. It’s weird but it makes it more fun to write! (http://alphaomega.software.free.fr/typewriterkeyboard/Typewriter%20Keyboard.html)