The Committee "Where it ALL begins"
"When you are being driven by the adaptive self’s beliefs, the thinking is doing you as opposed to you doing the thinking."
The room is silent as you ready yourself. You’re plotting without thought, your battle strategy as you slowly and unconsciously place each piece of your armor in its proper place. You steady yourself under the weight, as you rise to face your skillful foe. You know every movement and every thought that they know, for you have faced this opponent throughout your life. Your opponent has been given a variety of names that dwell deep within yourself. It has been given names such as the “committee”, the “false self”, the “ego” or the “adaptive self”; all terms I will use interchangeably throughout my Blog.It’s as deceptive as a skilled con artist, it’s as cunning as a tiger stalking its prey, as convincing as a lawyer giving her closing argument, and as merciless as a cancer. For this foe has no investment in your well being or your enjoyment for life. Do not be deceived by its trickery and cunningness. And above all, never allow yourself to be convinced that the committee is you. It is the great deceiver that misguides your ability to live autonomously and empowered, keeping you separated from the Authentic essence of who you are. Although the committee members are well intentioned in their attempts to protect you from perceived harm, their influence doesn’t allow you to live from a place of wholeness and completeness. The voice of the committee, as you will learn, is who you’re not. Although this nemesis has existed since the beginning of human kind, it can be tempered and managed in a way that will allow you to experience a state of well being. The implementation of the THANKS principles (Trustworthiness, Honesty, Amends, Neutrality, Kindness and Surrender…Gratitude…) will tap you into a place deep within yourself, like the calm waters of a lake and the enthusiasm of an innocent child. There are plenty of challenges in life that arise on a day to day basis. These challenges are neither good nor bad, but when subjectively interpreted as good or bad, is when the committee is in its active state. It is within these day to day challenges where the committee thrives. It will take the “challenge du jour” and create a story in your mind that will compel you to feel victorious or victimized, happy or justifiably angry, superior or critical and blaming, guaranteeing your false sense of happiness or dissatisfaction and unhappiness. The committee undermines your abilities to approach any situation and challenge with clarity and focus. It throws you into pre-disposed ways of feeling, thinking, and behaving that leave you at the mercy of outcomes to external circumstances that dictate your state of mind.
“Challenges are neither good nor bad, but when subjectively interpreted as good or bad, is when the committee is in its active state.”Filled with thoughts of judgment, criticism, incessant complaining, self doubt, self depreciation, arrogance, superiority & inferiority, and so on the committee’s ploy is to keep you in a position of feeling superior or inferior feeding on the emotions. It takes your mind hostage through a variety of self defeating patterns that enhance the insecurity and belief that you and/or they can’t make good things happen. The voices of the committee are accepted for most people as a normal state of being. In actuality, this deception legitimizes and perpetuates its’ ability to exist. The false self is broken down into a wide variety of negative influences within one’s self, and many of these influences are well camouflaged. Fear, pain, and shame are at the root of the false self’s influences, unconsciously catapulting you into the past and the future with the merciless negative self talk generated by the committee. This unconscious catapulting is what we refer to as the “Time Traveler”. When the Time Traveler launches into the past, it gathers painful experiences and uses them to then catapult into the future for the purpose of generating futile, fatalistic, dramatic outcomes that rarely come to fruition. The more active your committee’s chatter becomes, the greater the escalation of emotional and physiological responses that are associated with fear, shame, and pain. The thoughts feed the bio-chemical responses and the bio-chemical responses feed the thoughts. This looping effect perpetuates unhappiness and often undesirable behaviors. As you learn to catch the committee’s chatter and work with conscious thought, the bio-chemical reactions begin to recalibrate, diminishing its’ potency. As you take charge of the thinking, interrupting the looping pattern, you are far more capable of making effective responses to the situation at hand. This process than enables you to take appropriate action, rather than react out of the fear, pain and shame. When you are being driven by the adaptive self’s beliefs, the thinking is doing you as opposed to you doing the thinking; pretty much a steady stream of thoughts that serve little to no purpose in supporting your quality of life. As you are able to observe this cunning phenomenon, you can then change the direction of your thoughts with volition, choosing to create a different story and response to the situation initiating the committee’s rant. “When you are being driven by the adaptive self’s beliefs, the thinking is doing you as opposed to you doing the thinking.” I guide all of our Power of THANKS® students through an imagery where they create an image or color that represents each committee member for the purpose of clearly identifying them. One student of mine described how she identified each committee member through specific colors. Red symbolized fear and green symbolized shame. Another student of mine identified each committee member with Gremlin characters of assorted shapes and colors. By having an image associated with the variety of committee members, it helps to identify clearly and succinctly what’s being activated.
“Fear, pain, and shame are at the root of the false self’s influences, unconsciously catapulting you into the past and the future with the merciless negative self talk generated by the committee. This unconscious activity is what we call the “Time Traveler.”
So why do you react in repeated patterns doing the same things over and over again? In part, it’s because you have learned to live in unconscious patterns of misery and unhappiness where the thinking and feelings do you as opposed to you doing the thinking, with clarity and focus. These learned patterns are rooted way back to childhood, and they become the gift that just keeps on giving. To equal measure, it’s the only resource accessible at the time of challenge and adversity, so it becomes the default setting.
I recount as a kid often feeling invisible and like a disappointment to my parents. My perception was that they had little recognition as to what my thoughts, feelings and subjective truths were. I felt misunderstood and unimportant which manifested in an unconscious belief of feeling ashamed and insignificant. Because of this formulated belief, my committee members demanded that I be seen and have merit throughout much of my adult life. It sounds reasonable, but without the awareness of what drove the committee’s need to be seen and valued, I would repeatedly superimpose my parents onto people in my adult life.When I’m standing in line at the bank, or waiting in line at the coffee shop and the teller or cashier aren’t moving fast enough to my liking, or they dare to take an extra minute to talk with the customer, my pre-disposition is to feel annoyance and impatience. These feelings promote judgmental and critical thoughts (this is the thinking doing me) coupled with bio-chemical releases in my body that legitimize my state of unhappiness. Without recognizing the ploy of the committee’s subversive action, I would share my displeasure with other patrons waiting in line. This repeated pattern is driven by the early childhood beliefs that I was invisible, having no validity in the current situations.
When I am able to be the observer of the annoyance and irritability, I can quickly recognize that the committee is acting from that place of being ignored with an understanding that the teller or the cashier aren’t doing anything to me. I am then able to redirect my thoughts (this is me being conscious and present and me doing the thinking) to a place of acceptance depersonalizing the experience, feeling the irritability release and drain right out of myself. I am then restored to my authentic state of well being.
The very first thing that needs to be accomplished whenever you are motivated to change, is to become aware of what you are needing to change so that you can learn to get out of your own way. In the final analysis, it is only you and you alone that gets in the way of your joy and well being. Every morning upon awakening, a new day will greet you. This day is neutral, and will operate as it does without your permission. You’ll have no control over people, places and situations, leaving you with the options of acceptance or resistance. In your ability to accept life on life’s terms, there will be a greater abundance of joy and well being. Living in resistance will be directly proportionate to your misery and unhappiness as was demonstrated in my story.
If your committee has been living rent free in your head, it is now time to put them on notice. The 7 transformational principles that comprise the Power of THANKS® program will become the agent of change in learning deeper truths about yourself.
“At the end of the day it is only you and you alone that gets in the way of your joy and well being.”
I have been witnessing globally the committee’s ability to methodically work in opposition to core principles, inherent to our prosperity and well being. Greed, selfishness, dishonesty and lack of integrity are key components causing so many to suffer. Driven by fear, pain and shame, these components have left a wake of destruction. The manifestation of this destruction is a necessity in order to create the recalibration and sustenance of the planet.
“It is a natural process for destruction of negative forces to make room for the creation of wholeness, both individually and globally.”
Clearing out the chatter of the committee is a life-long endeavor. When you live with belief systems embedded in fear and toxic shame, there are pre-dispositions to feeling victimized, and unworthy of love, grace and joy. Life can be experienced as unfair and a chronic struggle. These deeply rooted belief systems are generally born out of negative influences from childhood. Although I do not address in any detail the issues of neglect, abandonment, and abuse, it is important to note that the patterns of the committee and the accompanying behaviors are often intertwined with them.The more you get to the core of the shame and fear, the better you are able to negotiate and separate from the feelings of inadequacy, deprivation, and lack. This process loosens the grip on the identity of being a victim. If you find yourself taking on the challenges in my blog and continue to experience self condemnation or an inability to negotiate feelings of victimization, I highly recommend seeking out some counseling with a professional that understands shame core issues.
’It’s time that the committee stops living rent free and be evicted!"
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2013 The Power of THANKS® and Brad Stevenson