Welcome to the initial podcast of Fishing Without Bait. Perhaps a different type of view on life where we will be dealing with approaching life from a different perspective, one without definitive expectations. In the coming weeks we’ll be talking about human being and human doing versus being a human being. A human doing is same stuff, different day. A human being is participating in your life. We’re also going to be talking about taking choices rather than obligations in our life and taking our choices back and how we do that. We’re also going to be working on being the observer behind the thinker. Often it’s the thinker that causes all of our problems. And, when we can become the observer behind the thinker we take a more mindful view of our lives. What we’re also going to be doing is talking about the ability to label and describe which is so incredibly important.
And, today fortunately, I have my friend and often co-host, Mike Sorg, with us. And, what I’m going to do is I’m going to throw a question out to Mike.
Jim: If you were at the doctor, of you were a doctor, or let’s say an auto mechanic and you were not accurately able to label and describe either a patient’s symptoms or why a car is funky, how much success would you have?
Mike: Probably not a lot. Probably not a lot. And, that’s me. I don’t know much about how my car works or my body.
Jim: You bet. So however, one of the best answers I can get from a person like that is, “I don’t know.” Tell me, Mike, how often have you been to a professional, whether it be a mechanic or a doctor, and they throw some type of technique at you that you don’t understand, and perhaps they don’t either. Would you rather hear, “I don’t know?”
Mike: From the mechanic, the professional themselves, no. Because, that’s why I went to them.
Jim: Well, I would rather, from my own perspective, I would rather have them be honest with me and tell me, “I don’t know. I’ll find out,” rather than make a guess.
Mike: That is true. I mean, you have to think, if you have that squeak and you’re like, “What is that it? I don’t know.” And they say, “We’ll see. We’ll find out when your tire falls off.”
Jim: And on the contrary, isn’t it our responsibility to accurately describe our symptoms to whoever we’re presenting them to, rather than, “I hurt. My knee hurts.” “I feel bad.” “I feel anxious.” “I feel depressed.”
Mike: Isn’t that a problem that typically we have? And, we’ve been looking at some situations that may help that, where it’s hard to think how I’ve been feeling over whatever period of time when you go meet the professional, correct?
Mike: Because you have to sum up everything in a few words.
Jim: You do. And, quite often when we have to speak extemporaneously then our mind becomes blank. So the idea is to rehearse and rehearse. And some of our life we’re participating, or what we’re doing right now in the present moment is a rehearsal for our future.
Mike: Exactly. As they say, practice makes perfect. And, that’s with life itself, correct?
Jim: Well, sure. Mm-hmm. And, we’re going to be talking about an activity we can do on that also in the coming weeks. So right now, what I’d like to do is talk a little bit about time traveling as this is a mindfulness-based show from a mindfulness-based perspective. Now, some people may view mindfulness as Tibetan monks sitting around in crimson and saffron robes with incense and lots of candles going, “mmm” all day. And, that can be true. However, the simplest definition of mindfulness is paying attention on purpose. So, let me ask Mike this. How often, Mike, have you heard, so here were are, we’re in the middle of June and the weather’s beautiful. However, when we’re in September or October, how many times, Mike, have people come to you and said, “Where’s the summer gone?”
Mike: Right. Right. So many times. I mean, I definitely feel, “How’s the year gone.”
Mike: It’s just, it’s so busy. So many people pack so many things into the summer, especially if they have kids, right? And, say I have to have vacation. I’ve got to do this with the kids. I’ve got to take them to camp. Now they’re home all the time so I have to deal with all the comings and goings of that, for instance. It’s just so many things, especially here in a very Western PA climate. I wonder, if I can pontificate a little bit, what happens in Florida?
Jim: Much the same.
Mike: Is it much the same? Because, I mean I visited San Francisco in December and it’s very mild. You know, you could do more of these summery things about anytime of the year.
Jim: Well, that is true. However, what you’re talking about is being a human doing.
Mike: That’s right.
Jim: You’re talking about being a human doing rather than a human being in your life. So how often do people say “Is it Thanksgiving already?” “Oh my gosh, it’s only a week before Christmas.” Or when you meet someone’s children and you say “How did you get so big?” Well the idea, and what we’re going to be working on in this show is how to be present in each moment. And, when we’re present in each moment, and as we move from present moment to present moment, Mike, that present moment becomes timeless, and in effect we are immortal as we move from present moment to present moment. And, this is where paying attention comes in on purpose. This isn’t to be confused with transcendental meditation. We’re not going to be making any trips around the moon, as much as that would be fun. We won’t be doing that. So, in keeping in that vein and doing the time traveling, I’m going to ask the folks who are listening to this podcast if time traveling has been invented yet. That would be neat. It would be wonderful. What would you use it for? I don’t know. However, how many of you do time travel? I’m sure that many of you have frequent flyer miles racked up from going into the past and going into the future with perhaps brief layovers in the present. So I’m going to ask everyone out there to take a few deep and cleansing breaths and please breathe through your nose. Do your lungs a favor. Your lungs love warm and moisturized air. So let’s just do three (3) breaths, and when we breathe in, we’ll say “accept.” And, when we exhale, we’ll say “surrender.” “Accept.” “Surrender.” “Accept.” “Surrender.” “Accept.” “Surrender.” For those of you out there who are not driving your automobiles or heavy equipment you can close your eyes and if you would raise your right arm. And, let’s call that the past. Normally, when people are living and traveling, being in the past – they’re living in resentment. Or they’re living in frustration. They’re living in anger. They’re living in remorse. They’re living in sorrow. They’re living in self-pity. They’re thinking about things I wish I would have done, or thinking about things I would not have done. Thinking about things I wish I would have said. Thinking about things I wish would not have said. How often do you go there? And the more we go there, the more we get stuck there. It becomes a tar pit of quicksand. So, let’s hold up your right arm, and let’s call that the future. And normally, when we’re in the future, living and thinking in the future, we’re living in anxiety and we’re living in worry. Most of all, we’re living in fear. Underlying all worry and anxiety is fear. So, what we attempt to do is turn that past into experience and wisdom. How much collective experience and wisdom is there in that audience? Not only to help yourself, to help others. We turn that future into goals and ambitions. It’s when we plan definitive results for ourselves that we set ourselves up for disappointment, unrealistic expectations either of ourselves or often of others. And that is accomplished by action and effort in the present. So, I would like everyone, including my friend, Mike, to place his hands in the middle of his chest, and I’m going to ask Mr. Mike what organ of your body are your hands near, Mike?
Mike: Uh, near my lungs and my heart.
Jim: Your heart. Correct. So, what I’m going to ask you is your heart beating in the future right now? Is it beating in the future?
Mike: It’s beating right now.
Jim: It’s beating right now. Is it beating in the past? No. It’s beating right now. So what I’m going to ask everyone in our audience to do today is to live where their heart is. Please live where your heart is. And, your heart’s beating right now. It is an excellent way to focus on the present moment. Perhaps just to feel your heart beat, to feel it beat, to bring you back to this present moment. And, also in future podcasts, we’re going to be talking about using time as currency. Quite often we throw it away so casually when we would avoid even throwing quarters onto the street, we would not do that. We’re going to be working on uncomplicating our lives. Mike just talked about summer and everybody packing everything into a finite period of time. How complicated does that seem? Mike, how complicated is your life?
Mike: Oh, geesh. Well, you know, I’m a very self-employed person. So, it does seem like you’re always looking for room for that extra thing.
Mike: And, there just seems to be no time for it.
Jim: So, quite often, what happens, Mike, is when we complicate our lives so often we get into what we call paralysis by analysis. We get into all this overthinking. And, one of my favorite philosophers, a trapist monk by the name of Thomas Merton said most men’s minds are like crows picking up every shiny object and sitting in our crowded nest wondering why we’re so uncomfortable. Of course, referring to your brain. So, quite often also, I’m going to be asking you to do some breathing exercises out there. And, perhaps some of your friends might say, “What’s this breathing deal? Why do they make so much emphasis on breathing? I know how to breathe. I’ve been breathing since I was young.” Well, here’s a little exercise you can ask your friends to do, and I’ll ask Mr. Mike to do this right now. Take your left hand and place it over your mouth, if you would. Then, place your right thumb over your right nostril. And, place your right forefinger over your left nostril. Now, in about thirty (30) seconds, Mike, tell me the only thing you’re thinking of – is taking a breath.
Mike: And how hard it is to focus.
Jim: That’s the importance of the breath. It’s something we do so automatically. And, when we put our lives on automatic then we truly become human doings.
Mike: It’s so interesting, because, especially working with you for the time that we have – and I think about things like this, especially driving home and driving from thing to thing, and I start thinking about “oh, I need to sit up a little straighter and take that breath,” because I do have so many things running through my head as I’m going from appointment to appointment, client to client, and just taking that time to breathe. It’s to the point my wife has called me out and is like, “you’re sighing so often.” But no, I’m just processing. I’m just letting it out, and it has kind of become sort of built in, at least taking the moments like that. And, I know I have to be better about doing it on a more regular basis.
Jim: Well, Mike, what we’ll be doing in the coming weeks will be focusing on doing one thing mindfully at a time, and dealing with what’s right in front of us. Another area that we’re going to explore is multi-tasking. I’ve seen a lot of people even use that on their resumes, Mike, as a skill. However, how many things can you do well at once? I’m sure a few. However, it sounds even when you’re talking to me, that you’ve been trying to do many things at once. And what it is, even if you’re not physically doing, we’re mentally doing it. And, that’s so exhausting at the end of the day.
Mike: It certainly is. And, I definitely find myself in that trap a lot.
Jim: I would expect that many of our listeners out there are troubled by racing thoughts. I’m going to ask you how many of you individuals have disturbed sleep patterns? Perhaps yourself or someone you know. We’re going to be exploring sleep hygiene as you cannot overestimate the healing power of sleep. And, if you’re interested in any of these topics, or perhaps if you would like to send in a topic, call in to have it addressed on this show, I’m going to turn it over in a moment to Mr. Mike to wrap things up. I’m Jim Ellermeyer. I’m a behavioral health therapist, and I’ll be your host on this podcast, Fishing Without Bait. Thank you for listening.
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. Fishing Without Bait is a production of Namaste Holistic Counseling, P.C.