This important episode highlights and contrasts Friendly Mind with other methods, identifying similarities yet making the valuable differences clear. Friendly Mind clarifies how affirmations, positive thinking, ‘fixing’ feelings, self-judgment, and the more conventional expression of “I’m fine” all fall short of true healing. They miss the critical element of responding as simultaneously as possible with awareness of life’s challenges and the value of guiding ourselves toward well-being and healing. These distinctions help us understand the subtlety of Friendly Mind. Listen to this episode . . .
The third principle of Friendly Mind is a subtle understanding that Friendly Mind doesn’t require us to feel friendly, even toward ourselves. This principle supports us when we are in any kind of severe distress, including but not limited to exhaustion, or anxiety, which limits the availability of friendly feelings. Friendly Mind contains the wisdom to steer ourselves in a beneficial way without the pressure to feel friendly or caring. At these times, we often feel neutral, which, once we get the knack of this principle, is a great relief. Listen to this episode . . .
In this episode, we explore the second principle of Friendly Mind—thinking empathically when we are in any kind of pain or suffering. We learn to develop the capacity to think and follow friendly, realistic, grounded thoughts that care for us no matter our feelings or circumstances. Friendly Mind acknowledges and faces feelings without suppression. It oftentimes guides us to relate to both our feelings and the situation in a way that supports both Listen to this episode . . .
We enter the first core principle of Friendly Mind—an awareness of life’s most challenging feelings and situations. Friendly Mind subtlety grounds and benefits us by looking at this awareness in a neutral or positive light. This episode explores this principle, which is the underbelly of all the other Friendly Mind principles. If we don’t stay grounded with clarity of the specific challenges we face in our daily lives, we limit our capacity for fulfillment, inspiration, and personal evolution. Listen to this episode . . .
We continue to explore impossible standards that impale our progress toward healing. Friendly Mind guides us to do and be all that is realistically possible while helping us to not be slaves to these pressures. With personal examples, we closely explore the myriad of ways we guilt and pressure ourselves to be different from who we are and can be in our own bodies. We push ourselves to get rid of our anxiety, depression, and fear or religion, spirituality, non-spiritual beliefs, or intelligence. However, Friendly Mind teaches us to come back again and again, doing and honoring our best efforts. Listen to this episode . . .
Childhood experiences and culture teach many of us to strive for impossible, unrealistic, or unreachable standards. This episode explores the trap created by these standards and introduces how to free ourselves. Friendly Mind creates a realistic, present focus on supportive and realistic thoughts. We look closely at standards and expectations relating to family, friendship, work, love, sex, youthfulness, and success. This is the first episode to deal with unreachable standards by identifying a grounded, balanced focus on what is possible. Listen to this episode . . .
With practice, Friendly Mind helps us identify with who we are becoming rather than with our feelings in a given moment or situation. Friendly Mind steers our focus and understanding toward our own wisdom, with it becoming clearer and clearer that Friendly Mind’s guidance and response is more important than what we feel. This Friendly Mind could be called wisdom, God’s guidance, or intuition. However, listening to and finding the best guidance, no matter what we call it, to deal with our greatest challenges is the most important step. Listen to this episode . . .
In the Friendly Mind, we learn the value and benefit to ourselves and others of focusing on our responses to challenging emotions and situations rather than trying to change the feelings themselves. Accepting these emotions feels counterintuitive at first. However, with encouragement and practiced dedication, we learn the importance of thoughts, especially those that help us accept our situations and feelings. Acceptance begins a process of learning to independently act from emotions without denial. Listen to this episode . . .
This fourth level of awareness is where the vast majority of healing takes place. This is awareness that heals. We are not only aware of our present challenging feelings and situations, but also we experience a genuine motivation to move toward healing and well-being. We see the challenging state(s) we are in and at the same time we care for ourselves enough to respond toward healing and well-being. This creates a sense of purpose and inspiration to be our best selves. Listen to this episode . . .
The vast majority of healing takes place in the fourth level of awareness. This is awareness that heals. At this level, we are aware of our challenging feelings in the present, but we also experience a genuine motivation to move toward healing. We see and acknowledge our challenging state(s) while at the same time, we care for ourselves enough to respond with actions that take us toward healing and better well-being. This creates a sense of purpose and inspiration to be our best selves. Listen to this episode . . .