Lifelong transformation

It’s easy to become irritated and to feel ashamed for the unwanted thoughts that run through our minds on a daily basis.

Especially when we’ve been influenced by our religion to protect ourselves from such “dark” thoughts and feelings.  Or when we were taught that it's by ridding ourselves of these thoughts and feelings that we grow, find freedom, and become "reborn." 

A large part of this worldview was formed by Paul's verse in Romans stating that transformation comes by the renewing of the mind...  But unbeknownst to many, when Paul talked about transforming the mind in Romans, he wasn’t just talking about changing what thoughts go through our head.  After all, most of our thoughts are formed by forces we’re hardly even aware of, memories we don’t even remember, and the random, often uncontrollable, circumstantial stimulus around us on a daily basis.  So transformation is not brought about by mental power nor force, instead, it is rather a masterpiece formed by a string of acts, sometimes across decades, of soul work that echoes from the depths of a man's soul.

For to truly renew your mind, you must go far beyond your rational ways of thinking by making space to search and listen to what is hiding behind the fog of your imagination, dig up old memories, listen to your dreams, face your shadows, look at the parts of yourself that are uncomfortable and perplexing, and seek to see yourself more clearly as you bravely face what terrifies you.

As time goes on, you will find more self-clarity and insight than you ever thought possible, and you will realize the importance of inviting Love in with you as you reshape everything that you find. This includes bringing God into your nightmares and traumas. Your memories and shames. Your perceived truths. As you seek to be renewed, everything must be let go of, all the way down to the very framework that holds your entire world together.

This is why the renewing of the mind is an extensive and exhaustive journey, for to truly change and be reborn, no part of one's body, spirit, soul, or mind can be left behind... It will cost us all that we psychologically fear letting go of, for to search for a new truth requires the laying down of an old one as we explore other alternatives. Yes, even the false beliefs and personality traits that have protected and brought us comfort must too be cast aside... for a time, you will feel exposed, naked, and unprotected, but this is a necessary process, the dying to live, as Jesus spoke of.

And what other choice do we have? To stay living in shrouded darkness amidst a bed of lies, shielded from pain and danger, fragmented from our own souls, distant from the truth, and to live as a foreigner of love? 

This is what most do....

But it’s not living.  Nor is it free.

You know you were made for more. That you were made to be fierce and dangerous. To face the darkness and charge mountains. 

You were made to transform and push toward all that you can become.

This is your invitation.

This is your path to heaven.  

Creating space and energy for psychological work

Over the past couple of weeks, many of my new clients have entered my office feeling burned out, overwhelmed with responsibilities, and heavily disconnected from themselves and God. 

After taking the time together to figure out why, it was clear that one major issue is they had basic needs that were simply just not being regularly met- like eating fresh food consistently, getting enough sleep, or intentionally taking time to slow down every day to journal and connect to their heart.  It was leaving them feeling emotionally and physically whip lashed.

It sounds like a simple solution though, right?

But what was so frustrating for these men is this wasn't the first time they've been stuck here.  They wanted to reach for more (and rightfully so!).  They wanted to push for who they could be.  They wanted to do something remarkable, worthwhile, and daring... but care for themselves? Again, they wanted to be more.  And it’s true, they could be.  But unfortunately, taking care of their basic needs was a mountain they had yet to conquer.  

As I thought upon the situation further, I realized that what often happens to us men is we get so trapped in the struggle of trying to take care of ourselves consistently that we never find the space, health, or energy needed for the psychological work we desire to do.

And before we know it, a decade goes by without making any lasting changes.  And maybe even another.  It's sad and it happens far too often.  But it doesn't have to be this way.  This is why if we truly want to reach for our potential, our basic needs must be prioritized.  According to the research, it's a non-negotiable to becoming who you were made to be.

Maybe you feel like you've been neglecting to care for yourself, you know it's holding you back, and this resonates with you...

If so, try to take the next three months to prep for battle and get your life in order. Make your bed daily.  Clean your room.  Wake up early, guard your sleep, and don't stay up unnecessarily late.  Take care of yourself like you would a friend.  Make a plan and schedule your week.  It's ok to take the next three months to focus on your physical health just as long as you know this is only the beginning... And make the changes you want to make today.  Not tomorrow.  For tomorrow will morph into six months before you know it.   Schedule a session with me.  Or with a nutritional therapist (if you need referrals I have plenty).  Start buying healthier groceries.  Go to a workout class with a friend.  Journal daily.  Try something, anything new.  

You know you were made to fly, to reach for more, to be all that you could be.

But first, rest up, eat, and sharpen your sword... 

No warrior intentionally walks into war unprepared.

How motivation works

Have you ever wondered if there’s a universal structure that explains why humans do what we do and why we want what we want?  Is there any organization to the underlying force within us driving our behavior?

If you're familiar with Psychological theories, then you likely have heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.  He set out to study this very topic.  In studying human motivation, he developed a theory of 5 basic needs (or goals) that according to his research drive and influence almost all human behavior. 

In his famous paper, A Theory on Human Motivation, he claimed that in order to understand our motivations, we must look not just at our motivated behaviors, which is a nearly endless list, but at the goal under our motivations. In the end, he found only 5 underlying universal needs that encompass the goal of almost every behavior we could act out:

Need 1) Physiological health

The need for normal biological functions that sustain one's life, including but not isolated to hunger, rest, sex, and so on.

Need 2) Safety 

The need for an organized, safe, and predictable world where one can abide freely without the fear of harm, pain, lack, and danger.

Need 3) Love & Community

The need to belong and to both give and receive affection and love within a community.

Need 4) Esteem 

The need for a predictable and consistent positive view of oneself, for self-respect, and to be respected by others, as well as for achievement, adequacy, freedom, independence, recognition, attention, importance, and affirmation.  

Need 5) Self-Actualization

The need for Self-Actualization refers to, as Maslov said, the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, the tendency for one to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.

A simple way to apply Maslov's ideas is to assess and reflect on what need might be motivating your goals, habits, and behaviors. 

According to Maslow, every behavior that you have is motivated by one of these five needs.

How motivation works

Have you ever wondered if there’s a universal structure that explains why humans do what we do and why we want what we want?  Is there any organization to the underlying force within us driving our behavior?

If you're familiar with Psychological theories, then you likely have heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.  He set out to study this very topic.  In studying human motivation, he developed a theory of 5 basic needs (or goals) that according to his research drive and influence almost all human behavior. 

In his famous paper, A Theory on Human Motivation, he claimed that in order to understand our motivations, we must look not just at our motivated behaviors, which is a nearly endless list, but at the goal under our motivations. In the end, he found only 5 underlying universal needs that encompass the goal of almost every behavior we could act out:

Need 1) Physiological health
The need for normal biological functions that sustain one's life, including but not isolated to hunger, rest, sex, and so on.

Need 2) Safety 
The need for an organized, safe, and predictable world where one can abide freely without the fear of harm, pain, lack, and danger.

Need 3) Love & Community
The need to belong and to both give and receive affection and love within a community.

Need 4) Esteem 
The need for a predictable and consistent positive view of oneself, for self-respect, and to be respected by others, as well as for achievement, adequacy, freedom, independence, recognition, attention, importance, and affirmation.  

Need 5) Self-Actualization
The need for Self-Actualization refers to, as Maslov said, the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, the tendency for one to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.

A simple way to apply Maslow's ideas is to assess and reflect on what need might be motivating your goals, habits, and behaviors. 

According to Maslow, every behavior that you have is motivated by one of these five needs.

Bob Lefsetz - This is it

I don’t agree with all of it, but it moved me.

It forced me to think about things I want to avoid and lends answers to questions that everyone in today’s world is pondering...

Enjoy this unique piece by one of my favorite writers and podcasters in the music industry, Bob Lefzetz, called “This is it.”

It's the best thing you’ll read on the internet today.

https://lefsetz.com/wordpress/2019/04/27/this-is-it/

This specific quote really stuck with me and spurred my thinking:

And you think your life is in front of you before it's suddenly behind. Your parents die and then friends die and then you realize it's you next. All the things you were gonna do, the places you were gonna go, it's too late, time's up.

But you don't know all this until it's too late. You're drifting, and then you're hanging on for dear life.

Some people will tell you the truth, but you don't listen, you only realize their wisdom in hindsight.

Like your health is everything... Meaningless when you're in your twenties, everything when you're over fifty.”