Drop the Rock

Jim:    Isn’t it amazing that things are usually in the last place you look for them?  I’m not sure what you were looking for.  However, you’re here.  And, you’ve found Fishing Without Bait.  And, I’m grateful you’ve chosen to stay.  We’re all in search of something.  And, if you’re looking to create your life – if you’re looking for some guideposts, perhaps a crudely drawn map, listen on.  This is a podcast for individuals who have an interest in participating in their life.  The kitchen in which we are in we are careful to stock with many ingredients.  Most of these ingredients we already possess.  Some we create.  Others we find.  We combine the ingredients of serendipity and synchronicity and make 1+1=3.  I want to help people create a life.  Create a reaction rather than wait for one.  Buying the ticket to get on the ride – and not waiting on the side.  Let’s use all your senses.  Let’s use all your thoughts and feelings and use it as our vehicle to expect the unexpected.  These are challenge podcasts.  I’m daring people – double-dog daring you to look for the white rabbits.  To have some honesty.  Open-mindedness and a willingness to try to develop conscious choice.  If you’re looking for something beyond traditional mindfulness – if you’ve considered living a life without definitive expectations of yourself or others – to immerse yourself in your existence, allow me to introduce you to full-impact mindfulness.  Follow the sound of my voice.  Follow the road signs.  Make choices, and I’ll teach you how to Fish Without Bait.  Turn on the afterburners, jettison the nonsense that is dragging you down.  Aim, fire, blast off.  Today, as always, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host and producer of this program – Mr. Mike.  Mike, we’ve been exploring new thoughts and new ideas on this podcast.  Asking people to suspend disbelief and normal, structured thought that we’ve been taught.  And experience.  And impact our lives.  Mike, are you ready to go on another adventure?

Mike:    Absolutely, Jim.

Jim:    Have you ever been to the airport and have had a lot of baggage with you?

Mike:    Yes, I have.  

Jim:    What happens?

Mike:    You feel dragged down.  You feel worried that you’re forgetting something.  I’m always afraid I’m going to leave a bag, or leave something hanging out of my bag and leave it on a seat behind and it’s gone half a country away for me.

Jim:    And, what’s the cost?

Mike:    My attention.  My energy.

Jim:    Sure.  And, do they let all this extra baggage on for nothing?

Mike:    Oh.  That’s definitely a money cost as well.

Jim:    There’s always a cost.  At times we insist on holding onto every possession that we have as you never know when you’re going to need it.  Mike, did you ever go hiking?  Ever carry a backpack?
Mike:    Yeah, a little bit.  I’ve gone for walks and such.

Jim:    Cool.  Have you ever seen people carrying an enormous load on their back with their backpack full of things that they think they might need or don’t want to get rid of?

Mike:    Certainly.

Jim:    In order to proceed in our lives with full-impact mindfulness, and to Fish Without Bait, we first of all need to inventory the items that we’re taking with us.  When you’re going on a long walk, Mike, would you carry a bag of rocks with you?

Mike:    No.  

Jim:    Of course not!  Who would?  Although many people do.  And, Mike, what I’m talking about is taking that inventory of rocks.  Once again, I’m going to refer back to the 12-step world and take a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, which is what the 4th step in 12-step recovery says.  What it involves is confronting the mental blind spots about people, places, things, and situations which drag us down.  Mike, do you remember in a previous podcast where we talked about how monkeys are captured?  It’s about having a cage with a banana or some type of edible item inside of a cage with an opening only large enough for the monkey to stick their hand through.  When the monkey grasps – let’s say the banana, and then tries to withdraw his hand with the closed fist, it is unable to get out of the trap.  However, the monkey will not drop the banana in order to escape.  And, quite often what people do in their lives is hold onto those rocks – those character defects that prevent them from getting out of the trap of their lives.  So, Mike, in order to drop the rock we need to identify them. So, before we move on, could you tell me about some of the rocks that you’ve identified and dropped in your life in order to get where you are today?

Mike:    I’ve definitely grown up with a little bit of hold onto things – you never know when it’ll be worth something.  And, that’s led to a lot of the collecting I’ve done over my life.  And, I’m finally kind of letting go of bits of that.  And, little pieces of that.  Personally, and in my life, on a more grand scale I’m looking at certain activities that maybe weren’t so important – things that distracted me.  And, so I could focus on the more important thing of progressing what I’m doing and where I’m going in my path.

Jim:    And, we’ve spoken over and over again about the importance of being able to identify and label thoughts and feelings and in the same way to describe and label the consequences of the rocks we carry.  Referring back to the 12-step world one of the things that we carry around that drag us down and prevent us from fully participating in life, and moving forward, is resentments.  What would you describe as a resentment?

Mike:    Just hang-ups that people have.  Whether about people, about situations, that don’t let them move forward.

Jim:    Sure.  Do you have any?

Mike:    Yeah.  I’d say so.

Jim:    Have you met anyone who is consumed by them?

Mike:    Yeah.  When you speak to people and they go on and on about a problem that’s happening.  And, they don’t offer any solutions – but, they’re just trying to talk about how they’re so wronged all the time.

Jim:    And, again, where we’re talking about is those emotional blind spots.  Quite often they are unable to see that these are huge obstacles.  Huge rocks of weight that’s preventing them from being happy.  Mike, have you ever met anyone who has deep resentments in their life that is happy?

Mike:    No?  That gets in the way of it.

Jim:    Sure.  And, have you ever met someone who said that they never want to be happy?  That’s their goal in life is not to be happy?

Mike:    No.  No.  Even though their actions seem to display that.

Jim:    So, my challenge out there is for everyone to day, is to #1: identify resentments.  What person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to you?  List them.  It’s important to identify them and put them out in front of you.  Then, borrowing from the 12-step recovery world, list why the resentment exists – such as I lent somebody money and they won’t pay me back or I didn’t get that job or so-and-so always talks down to me.  The next would be how that particular resentment affects your life.  Is it your self-esteem?  Is it your financial situation?  A romantic relationship?  Schoolwork?  Employment?  Health?  Those type of things – I think everyone out there knows what I mean.  Now, here’s where the real deal comes in.  Here’s where full-impact mindfulness comes in along with the concept of Fishing Without Bait.  When we describe resentments using expectations we place the blame wholly on the other person, place or situation.  However, when we fully engage in a situation with our eyes wide open, rather than using expectations that give us eyes wide shut, we can identify the part that we played in that resentment.  If we have an attitude of honesty, open-mindedness and a willingness to try we will be able to see what part we played in that particular resentment.  And, that often is our emotional blind spot.  Perhaps a second look we may list that and describe as fear.  It is said in the 12-step world that fear is a corroding thread throughout our lives.  It causes all anxiety and worry and prevents us from any type of joy.  We need to label and identify the fears and the part that we played in it.  Mike, the biggest fear that anyone leaves out of their life is the fear of being found out.  Everyone has something in their life that they have either conveniently forgot, repressed, and/or never want to be brought to the light of day again.  These are perhaps the biggest rocks in a person’s backpack.  They prevent full engagement in your life – to find happiness.  These are perhaps the biggest rocks – the biggest weight in a person’s backpack.  They prevent full engagement with your life.  Not only in finding happiness in relationships, particularly significant and/or romantic relationships.  Mike, can we fully engage with someone, or life if we have the fear that something may be revealed? 

Mike:    No.  You’re always kind of weighted back.  You can’t take that full step forward.  

Jim:    Has anyone ever come up to you and said Mike, do you have something to tell me?

Mike:    No.  I don’t think so.

Jim:    These are items, Mike.  These are unsellable items that we don’t want to take on our journey.  These are the ones that cost the most when we check our baggage at the airport.  These are the things that weight down the canoe.  These are the items in our backpack that cause life to be such heavy going.  And, we’re exhausted by their weight.  Another list.  Again, from the 12-step world, is sex.  And, this isn’t about orientation, consensual encounters, or your own thoughts and desires.  This is an examination of where you have been selfish or dishonest in an emotional or sexual relationship with another human being.  These are unsellable items – damaged goods that we don’t want to take on our trip.  Mike, what type of impact do you want to make on your life?

Mike:    I just want to do things that are creative and interesting with my life.  

Jim:    Sure.  And, for today’s purposes, let’s make our last list of lying and deceit.  At times, Mike, we can lie to make conversation.  And, these become repeated patterns of behavior.  Let me give you an example to see if any of our listeners could identify.  Mike, was there a time in your life when if someone called you up and said Mike, when will you be here? All they wanted to know is when you were coming – whether it was going to be half an hour, one hour, one day, one week, one year, or never.  However, how often was the answer 20 minutes – no matter how far you were away?  How often did someone call you and said when will you be here? And, you’ve said I’m on my way.  And, you haven’t even gotten out of bed?  I think everyone’s been like that.  However, the most egregious and serious lies we tell to whom, Mike?

Mike:    Ourselves, of course.

Jim:    Yes.  Of course.  They’re to ourselves.  They are lies and delusions.  And, these are things we create.  And, these are the emotional blind spots in our life.  Remember, Mike, these are our minds protecting us from the fear and the resentments in our past.  Our mind is seeking to protect us by pretending or lying.  So, Mike, this has been a rather serious podcast.  However, in order to go forward – we need to jettison the ballast.  Mike, when a submarine wants to submerge, what does it do?  

Mike:    It takes on water and adds weight.

Jim:    And, what does it do then?

Mike:    It submerges.  It drops.

Jim:    It sinks.  Right.  And, the purpose of a submarine submerging is to be out of sight.  Often what we do is those lies and our resentments and the fears that are taking on ballasts are taking on rocks, and we’re dropping out of life.  We’re getting out of the flow.  And, Mike, when a submarine wants to surface, what does it do?  It unloads the ballast – just like we were talking about during this podcast.  So, Mike, in order to move forward and fully impact our lives, we need to jettison the ballasts.  This was about dropping the rock.  Let’s not weight down our journey or pay such a heavy price at the baggage counter.  When we buy the ticket, let’s do so freely and be able to move throughout our lives.  Let’s not carry too much bait.  My hope is that by practicing these principles, your load is a little lighter.  And, it takes a great deal of courage to address the things I just spoke of.  If you would like further directions or some guidelines to further lighten your load, please contact us at the following.  And, as always, be good to yourself and be good to another.  

Please check out our website at FishingWithoutBait.com where you can listen to the show, comment on our discussions and find out where you can subscribe to our podcast.  If you’re interested in flying the colors of Fishing Without Bait, click the “SHOP” icon on our website to get clothing, mugs, cellphone cases, and so much more.  Show the world that you Fish Without Bait.  Fishing Without Bait is a production of Namaste Holistic Counseling, P.C.