Leaving War Behind

warI spent many sessions working with a successful entrepreneur to try to help him cope better with stress and depression. His problems seem to be neatly encapsulated in Joseph Campbell’s notion of the Hero.

Like all of the heroes in the past, he set out as a young man to make fame and fortune and to change the world for the better. It was a noble quest and one that involved many battles. Along the way, he found himself trapped in a psychological state of almost continuous battle.

I noticed how he would almost always use war-time images to describe a business dilemma. He would talk about himself as though he was “cornered by enemies with no support” when he was describing people’s reluctance to accept his plans for a project.

Over the course of several months of my pointing out how often he resorted to violent images and analogies, he was gradually able to wean himself off of them.

It was not an easy thing, but I think has helped him immensely to return from the battlefield and to begin to establish a more peace-able relationship with co-workers and even with his family.

I thought about him when I read this post from the “Just One Thing” blog of Rick Hanson. There are some interesting ideas in it that might help you inhabit a world of greater contentment and less anxiety and turmoil.

I’m doing a series of JOTs on my personal top five practices and have named four so far: meditate, take in
the good, bless (compassion, generosity, kindness, and love), and rest in green. This fourth practice has to do with helping the brain disengage from its ancient survival patterns of fear, frustration, and heartache, and instead, rest in the responsive, “green” mode of the brain, which refuels and repairs the body, and fills the mind with a basic sense of peace, contentment, and love. Continue reading at http://bit.ly/187QpL3.