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Personas/shadows, introversion and relaxation

Hello everyone,

I am so new to this looking (since January) and it feels as if very little is happening in terms of the method, so many doubts are arising here about the seriousness of my intent, my ability to do this blah blah blah. However, I keep on going with it and I am noticing a couple of things happening in my life which probably had already started before doing this looking (when I was doing other 'spiritual' stuff) and wondered if any of you guys had similar experiences or anything to say about it.

Firstly, my old persona which liked to please and keep the peace seems to be disappearing. I just don't seem to have the energy to keep up this 'nice' persona anymore. Instead, I think my shadow side is getting stronger and I can be grouchy and rather direct with friends, family and even strangers. This may be a result of my age, 46 and peri-menopausal - but it's very intense. It also brings up fear in me since I was a people pleaser for fear of upsetting people and falling out with people etc. It may also have lead to my second observation.

My second observation is that I have become increasingly introverted over the past year or so and this has intensified since starting the looking. I don't feel like interacting with others very much (especially if I feel I have to behave in a certain way), preferring my own company much of the time. I used to be extroverted, loving to meet up with friends. Does anyone have any experience of this? It may due to my fear of not pleasing others, I guess. But I think that only plays a small part.

Lastly, I wanted to ask if anyone has anything to say about relaxation. Is it important to try to relax into the looking in some way, or can it be a result of the looking. Another non-duality teacher who was encouraging me to get in touch with aware presence throughout the day suggested that relaxation was essential. So I have been wondering about this.

Thanks to all of you who contribute to these forums. I am gaining so much by reading of others' experiences, doubts and encouragements.

Much love,

Susan

Hi Susan. As far as questioning the seriousness of your intent, I think a better way to talk about that is the priority you want to give the elimination of suffering and misery in your life. I don't think seriousness is much of a virtue in this endeavor, but priority might be.

I found myself going through personality changes like you have. I don't know what to attribute them to and suggest you'll be like a dog trying to chase its tail if you ascribe much significance to the why. Nor do I put much stock in using the way I behave or think as a gauge to my progress in the looking. There is a strong pull to find shortcuts -- quick fixes -- fashioned on behavior and mental activity, but it's wasted activity in my book.

Now relaxation, that's something else. You need to hook up with Emma, The Vigilant. I frankly don't think anything is essential, much less relaxation, but I think relaxation will come of its own accord with looking and is consistent with the gentle nature of the teaching. When you're easy with yourself and easy with life, you can't help but be more relaxed. But being relaxed is no shortcut. Trimpi

Hi Emma,

I will confirm what Trimpi said: relaxation will come of its own accord with looking and is consistent with the gentle nature of the teaching.

This is also true of the entire recovery process - it will happen on its own, and in its own time. You don't need to do anything, beyond looking at what it feels like to be you, to bring about the recovery, and the relaxation into yourself. The changes in your persona will happen on their own, and they are beside the point. You are you, no matter how the persona is manifesting. Becoming more introverted is not a problem. You are still you, no matter how introverted you experience your persona to be. These little signs and symptoms are all part of the recovery process, and they will wax and wane as does the moon in the sky. Even the looking will take care of itself. Vigilance will slowly fade away on its own. In time, you will see your personality quirks as just that - personality quirks. They're no big deal. You are still you, and it doesn't matter what the quirks are, or what anyone else's quirks are, for that matter. All is well!

Welcome to the forums, glad to see you here!

Jenny

That's it exactly. And when those quirks grow as big as mountains, look to see who's making the comparison. Trimpi

Hello Susan,

I think Jenny meant to address you as Susan rather than as me, but thought I would say hello too, as a fellow newcomer (January) and also 46 and riding the delightful rollercoaster our age brings! I have posted my experiences in the forum today so won't repeat them here. But thank you for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to sharing the journey with you here.

Best wishes,

Emma

Can Relate

Hi Susan, I'm new too and when I read your post, I had to look up at your name and thought for a quick second; did I write this?..lol.

Same age, peri menopausal, introverted for the last 4 - 5 years, blunt to people. Plus, I've been a real 'eye- roller' over the last few years too. When I realized that non of this intent studying and psycho-spiritual information or practices are really doing anything and I cant MAKE anything happen; like enlightenment or even self realization....So the 'eye roller' kicks in when someone is going to a deeksha gathering, or when I looked into EFT, the secret.... (please!), got invited to various healing workshops etc. I either say something rude or just hold my tongue and wish them well. I even went to receive the deeksha or oneness blessing for awhile; thinking well maybe if I had some energetic-conscioussness boost that would put me in more of a 'resonating with my true self' place. It didn't take long though to see the 'specialness' and all the hoopla was really quite ridiculous. To go to India and receive some 'special initiation' and then to give 'special' healing energy to others.....can you see the whites of my eyes.

Now that I've said my rude rant....it's all in the name of searching for the truth, which is noble. Well I was led here as well. But I also look to the ones who have been doing it for a while for encouragement, because, I'm not really clear about if I'm doing it or whatever. Like Jenny and Trimpi here.

Until some recovery affects become more clear, they may just have to let us rant a little here in the forums hehehe.

Gail

EmmaD

I think Jenny meant to address you as Susan rather than as me

Whoops, yes, I did mean to address Susan (don't know how I came up with Emma there) - thanks for pointing that out Emma! And welcome to the group Susan!

Jenny

Gail, I encourage you, truly. It costs as little as your attention, and only then on occasion. Trimpi

Hi again,

Thanks for all your responses. Yes Trimpi, its about priority not seriousness. I get that and it feels alot less jugdemental and harsh. And I get that attempting to relax more or make other changes in me cannot create a short cut, but my mind will continue to try, no doubt. I guess if my mind stops trying to work this looking at myself out it won't know what to do with itself and, although there is some relief in that idea, there's also the thought 'what will I do with myself if I'm not actively seeking self-realisation? I've heard John suggest to some on the podacasts to stop going to satsang etc - that does create a little anxiety here. So although I enjoyed hearing about your eye-rolling, Gail, I guess I'm kind of jealous of my friends who still love to go to darshan etc. I used to love it too and rather miss my rollercoaster seeking spiritual ride. What fun it was at the time. But being 46, I'm on a different roller coaster ride as Emma says. Good way of looking at it, Emma.

Jenny, when you say 'you are you', it reminds me of the Dr Suess riddle: Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

Sweet.

Love

Susan x

Susan, I think we can all agree that sometimes the mind is like a wild horse. There's nothing you can do but give it its head. One of the things it will constantly do is question what things will be like once you're cooked and whether that will take the zest or fun out of life and make everything drab. Like ending the search, which has obviously been so rich for you. For me there is as much or more enjoyment in fine-tuning than in trying to figure out what path works and what path is the most efficient with the least effort. All paths hold interest for me, and I'm so relieved I'm no longer at stake in finding the right one for me before, as John says it, I fall into the grave. The promise of future fulfillment has lost its hold on me, and it will for you also. It takes time, so best enjoy the ride. And if you like satsang, go. Better that than some crappy movie. Trimpi

Silly post

Susan

when you say 'you are you', it reminds me of the Dr Suess riddle: Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

LOL this should be the tagline of this forum!!!

Having said that, I can see how challenging it is to explain something so simple, because it seems the words don't do it that well. Plus, it's a subjective experience that John and others are trying to explain and describe. They seem to have to say the same thing over and over for people like me...grasping to understand. So when John and others try the; "it's you"," the one I call me", "the I when you say I"...

I hear and see this: to the tune of Ol Macdonald Had a Farm: "me I, me I, you" LOLOL

(Ol John Sherman had a farm....)

Cheers,

Gail

trimpi

.....All paths hold interest for me, and I'm so relieved I'm no longer at stake in finding the right one for me before....., Trimpi

So then it should be ok for me to put a giant chicken suit on and dance around on the street to salsa music ????!!! LOL.

And now for the fun part; I already did that a couple years ago lol!!! I trully did, my friend and I were trying to start an Artisan/Farmers market and that's how we drew in the crowds...honestly that was the most fun job I ever had, and I would go for 3 hours at a time.

Alas, the whole market project was just taking too much time and not enough income.....too bad.

oh boy, I may have to stop writing in the forums for awhile, I'm getting really silly and starting to lose my mind......just like the 'random question'; I'm 6 less a dozen eggs!........

I don't know what else to contribute while I connect here and wait for some looking results.

Back to seriousness, in reference to your post Trimpi, I'm at a funny place where I've been really feeling 'at stake' in trying to decide what direction to go in in regards to work/career. I've been an artist and I feel 'out of sorts' with everything. I'm finding it difficult to continue my 'heavy labour' type artwork I've been doing ( large houses; faux finish, murals etc.) and so have wanted to move into more 'canvas paintings' artwork...but then feeling so weird about trying to sell people more THINGS!!! Then when I think of doing something different, I really feel at stake about just about everything....for example; maybe a care aid type thing would be more needed in my city, but when I think about all the money and time, education or certificates etc that would be involved and maybe I WONT LIKE it at all when all done....this just shuts me right down. Then I feel even 'at stake' at being a 'non committed canvas painting artist'....it just goes on and on. These details are all beside the point, but sure point to the 'at stake' about everything. Yikes, I really do feel 'stuck'.

I guess I'll let time go by, as is and do the looking.....

Thanks for everyones interesting posts.

Gail

Feeling stuck, feeling paralyzed, feeling overwhelmed, feeling confused -- all biggies in the state of mind competition. The goal of the competition is to feel good and not be subject to one of those. But what we're engaged in here really isn't taking aim at any particular state of mind. Even the state of mind you mention about being at stake in what you have done or want to do. That's right there with the other biggies. Trying to convert your thinking or channeling your energy into something more satisfying are good subjects for self-help books, but this isn't what we're after here.

In saying that, I'd also like to say how I feel for you. What you're going through or are afraid you'll be going through is no fun. It can be pretty awful. I've written some really down stuff in the last few years. Maybe you could do that too, Gail. Write the worst stuff afflicting you. Or paint it. Do it for you. Put aside the looking and allow expression to flow through you, no matter the content. Just don't expect the looking to solve your competition for suitable states of mind.

It won't be long before you find yourself interested in just about everything that crops up in life, and even though there's so much to choose from, the choices are so much easier to make. All you have to do is fully inform yourself as to the facts, and the decisions will jump right out at you. Until then, you might as well make friends with feeling stuck or overwhelmed or at the effect of life or losing control. Trimpi

stuckness

stuckness

Dear Gail,

I can relate to your stuckness but I was listening to a video from the 2009 retreat yesterday and John says something like 'just recognise what it feels like to be you and everything else will be taken care of'. Apologies, John, if I have misquoted you, but I find it helpful and reassuring to be reminded of this and hoped it would help you too Gail.

Loved your Ol John sherman had a farm rhyme. He he.

love

Susan

Hi, thanks you guys for your responses.

I notice that what I'm really uncomfortable with is 'letting go of the belief/control, that I could do anything to heal myself and to allow the looking to do what it does, while I go through a recovery process.' All the while only half believing what John is saying, while I continue to do the act, without any clear or confirming results ....I've built up a warrior searcher, a big wrestler. I gave it several hours everyday for several years to find the answers, to realize 'self'. Now maybe I'm just plain annoyed that that was just a waste of time and now this big energy wrestler has nothing to do but write in the forums lol!

Trimpi, I only see it one way at this time: a carrot has been dangled in front of me and I want the carrot. I had already given up on enlightenment and even self realization.....I'm quite satisfied that the carrot is neither of those; instead it is living life without the background haunting.

Thanks Susan for the quote, to remind me of my intention....

The other side to our instructions of looking for the feeling of you in childhood, is that I sure do feel like a big baby sometimes!!

Sulk Hogan

 

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