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Using the Just One Look Method
I was listening to the recent podcast today and something Don said about self-sufficiency struck a chord with me. The other day in a moment of extreme frustration I called my mom, a default for me, wanting her to somehow make me feel better. After a short frustrating conversation she told me that she didn't really know what she could do to help me at that moment. After I hung up the phone I realized it's my responsibility to work through the feelings that were coming up. No one else can do that for me and it's not others people's responsibility to make me feel better. They couldn't even if they wanted to. I felt my anger, did some taiji, and the intense feelings subsided. I am finding that although I have my moments I'm becoming less inclined to call everyone I know when I'm facing difficult emotions. The self-sufficiency that comes with the act of looking translates to emotional self-sufficiency for me. Not needing others to make me feel better and fix my problems which feels freeing to me. I have everything I need even though I sometimes forget that.
Thank you for sharing your experiences here--I always enjoy reading what you write.
This is quite a striking realization to come to, and it feels consistent with the type of insights that have come since I started the looking too. It's wonderful to hear about someone else's process and sense that it "feels" the same.
Someone told me once that there is a difference between "understanding" and "KNOWING". I've always interpreted that to mean the difference between an intellectual grasping of something and the deep-in-your-bones, couldn't-deny-it-if-you-wanted-to knowing about something. Many of the things that John says (about the fear of life and the need for radical self-reliance, for example) feel true to me now in that "knowing" kind of way (as opposed to spiritual beliefs that I was always forcing down my own throat) and your words here have that same ring of knowing.
Hope this is helpful (or at least clear!)
I was re-reading through posts and realized I missed your response. I guess better late than never.
Thanks for your kind words. I feel the same about the experiences and insights that you share. And yes I get what you are saying and it is helpful. There is a big difference between intellectual understanding and deep 'knowing'. The work 'grok' from the book Stranger in a Strange land comes to mind. To understand something intuitively to the core.
I think what brings me back to this community is that the experiences people are sharing feel authentic and very similar to my own. We're not talking about spiritual ideas or ideals here we're actually taking it upon ourselves to to try what John and Carla are suggesting and reporting back our authentic experiences. There's a pioneering spirit here and a lot of courageous people who have realized they are there own salvation. Not God or enlightenment or some Guru or a perfect romantic partner (that was my form of seeking). I arrived here out of desperation and probably intuition and John and Carla pointed me in the right direction. Now that the most intense aspects of the fear has dissipated I'm continuing to work on strengthening my attention. I have found that anything movement based works for me. Walking and counting my breath or doing Taiji. I also started taking alexander technique lessons which is based on the premise of inhibition and redirection of attention. And sometimes when I'm really having a hard time, like someone else reported, I've found that doing nothing is the best response.
I like what you say about self-sufficiency. It has been my experience also, that the looking has made it possible for this to happen.
Its been very long since I have posted on these forums and much has changed since then. I am continually surprised by the changes in my personality, in how my mind approaches and views things. Some things are VERY different and others subtly so. But I find I notice these things only when something happens and my response is very different from how it used to be.
I think what brings me back to this community is that the experiences people are sharing feel authentic and very similar to my own. We're not talking about spiritual ideas or ideals here we're actually taking it upon ourselves to to try what John and Carla are suggesting and reporting back our authentic experiences. There's a pioneering spirit here and a lot of courageous people who have realized they are there own salvation. Not God or enlightenment or some Guru or a perfect romantic partner (that was my form of seeking).
I thought you'd like to know that John read your posting and made some comments about it at our Open House Meeting on May 21, 2014. He started reading it at about 00:11:00 (eleven minutes in).
Thank you for being here!
"Not God or enlightenment or some Guru or a perfect romantic partner (that was my form of seeking"
Everything posted above reflects my own experience as well. I can add one little thing; once the mass of fear-based detritus had left I began to feel absolutely free to desire or do anything I felt like - sans ANY form of negative self-judgment or self-criticism. I thoroughly enjoyed spending a period of time indulging in some of my old "bad" habits... with impunity.
Aabha - I agree it is a very new way of being. I used to get 'fired up' about all sorts of things in the past and needed to vent.... this has definitely shifted. John talked about patience in the May 21 open house meeting and I realized that is exactly what has happened. I've become more patient with all the things I used to find extremely irritating and uncomfortable. I am in no way perfect, but I am clearer and calmer. I can wait things out and see if they change or an obvious solution becomes clear instead of reacting immediately out of impatience and a need to be right.
Richard - Thanks for sharing that. I hadn't thought much about it but realized that I also had a period of time where I took up old 'bad' habits. I actually started smoking cigarettes again for a short time which I thoroughly enjoyed, but decided it made me feel crappy so I quit. Funny what happens when the fear based mechanisms collapse.
Thank you John and Carla!
Much gratitude to everyone here.
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