Thursday, June 11, 2015

The 10 Second Miracle - Gay Hendricks

The '10 Second Miracle' is about creating relationship breakthroughs. Most long term, close relationships are stressful or stressed out - not like 'how they used to be' - and no one has a clue to get them back to that old frequency. Most give up and resign themselves - or have already resigned. But there is no reason why relationships should not transform miraculously if one follows Gay Hendricks advice. The title says it all - relationships can be built or broken in ten second windows provided you know what to do. Once you know what to do, initiate the 10 second communication. I believe there is a lot of good here. Hendricks knows what he is talking about - he is a PH. D, has gleaned stuff from over 3000 sessions.

When we are in a relationship that's causing stress, here are the prescriptions by Gay Hendricks.

First action. When stress rises, rest your non-judgmental attention for 10 seconds on a feeling or sensation in your physical body. Feel the feeling until it melts into a flowing sensation and then to a spacious openness. Hendricks calls it the shift in consciousness that causes miracles to happen. Its a bit like the vipassana technique where we focus attention and awareness on the area where we experience pain, and miraculously (perhaps in 10 seconds!) it melts away.

Here is how you do it. Hendricks asks us to scan three broad areas - 1) upper back, neck and shoulders 2) throat and chest and 3) stomach and abdomen. Any feeling of being 'off' in these regions indicates what you are experiencing.

The first zone (upper back, neck and shoulders) is about anger. Anger is about unfairness, trespass. To gain control over this situation you need to make yourself equal with the situation that is making you feel that way. It requires you to communicate straight about what you are feeling. 'I am angry' is good enough. 'I am not angry' is a lie and leads to headaches.

The second zone (throat and chest) is about sadness or longing. This comes with loss of approval, respect, promises not kept etc. To get over it you must resonate with it. Stay with it, experience it.

The third zone (stomach and abdomen) is about fear. You need to make yourself safe. Go into the feeling and face it.

Problems are caused when we separate mind and body. In all three conditions, once you get grounded in the body, you lose that sensation.

Second action. Speak a fundamental truth about anything 'real' It should be an unarguable truth (I am angry, I am in pain, I have a burning sensation here). Something simple to understand and delivered blamelessly. It has to be short enough to say it in 10 seconds and in, whats Hendricks says,  one breath (I had an affair!). This communication works faster, says Hendricks, if it is a fresh discovery (one that you didn't know 10 seconds before). Keep it live, real and now. Once again, this is about grounding us in the here and now, and getting one to feel one's feelings which is the key to unlock emotions and start healing.

Third. Claim full responsibility for all aspects of your life. It  means you grant full responsibility to others too. Pure responsibility is one which is by choice and there is no fault, no burden. Hendricks says that commitment is the biggest problem in a relationship - and it is about responsibility. 'I commit to living in an easeful flow of love and connection, both inside and outside.' He says we must not just commit with our mind but with our whole heart, mind and body.

I loved this aspect that in all relationships you must believe you are equal - else you are under stress. Hendricks also warns us to guard against the three dangerous roles - victim, persecutor and rescuer. When you take full responsibility of your life, even for all the things that you are complaining about, you are free.

Fourth action. Embrace anything about yourself or the other person that  you have previously shunned. When you embrace events of the past, and all feelings related to the past, pain ceases. This step resonates with both vipassana and what Eckhart Tolle preaches - of acceptance and non-resistance. Once we accept all parts there is no pain, no resistance. We get to love all that we have hated before.

Fifth action. Open your mind to wondering about things you have been worrying about. Wonder is a verb he says. And since wonder does not exist in the same realm as the problem, its the ticket to the way out of the problem. Wonder is a tool he says to become equal with anything.

For starters wonder about the seven biggest relationship mistakes:
1) You feel 'off' inside and take it out on people around you
2) You don't know how to connect authentically with people when you first meet, so you start off relationships on the wrong foot
3) You feel tension and distance in a relationship and don't know how to get unstuck
4) You don't know whether to leave or stay in a relationship, and you stew in indecision while other things in your life fall apart
5) You've been wounded and don't know how to feel trust again
6) You procrastinate in communicating a difficult feeling or truth
7) You stagnate in an uncommitted relationship because you don't know how to make or ask for a commitment

For solutions, read the book.

I liked the part where Hendricks talks of cancer. He says he has seen people curing themselves of cancer by wondering about it. He says they are better of wondering about these questions:
What is the source of my illness?
What can I learn from it?
What is the one thing that I need to face for my cancer to disappear (feel it)?

Worth a shot. Don't fight it. Don't beat it. Wonder about it.

One of the most powerful sentences in the book is this - "The moment we stop pretending, healing begins."

According to Hendricks, the problem begins when we pretend to be what we are not actually. Pain is caused by the gap between how things are and how we want them to be. And we get defensive when we want to hide ourselves from ourselves.

Hendricks releases us with a statement - the past is a lie. If the past comes up ask yourself - what past have you not faced squarely? Face the feelings directly. These are the feelings that connect us with others.

Hendricks book makes immense sense. I completely agree with him that its a less than 10 second miracle to set right most relationships. But like all things it needs commitment, responsibility and the desire to make the change i.e. the courage to say the truth. His technique makes immense sense - to ground an emotional feeling which is dragging you down into  the physical space, the body, and facing it or experiencing it. Saying the truth that needs to be said is a great release, accepting all that we are resisting is another great way to experience freedom, wondering about things instead of labelling them is a huge relief. That shift can change things in a moment. It must be practiced though and I am certain the results will be wonderful.

All those who wish to work at their relationships (that includes all humanity I guess), do read. Just might help if you are willing to help yourself.

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