If you’re tired of being told to just let go of things that bother you—but you don’t know how—you will love this book! Using this brief, step-by-step guide, discover three little-known, magical sentences to effortlessly release anxiety and toxic stress in just minutes and reclaim the joy in your life. The revolutionary new technique revealed in Letting It Go: Relieve Anxiety and Toxic Stress in Just a Few Minutes Using Only Words (Rapid Relief with Logosynthesis®) shows you how to actually let go of whatever is bothering you—easily, effectively and often permanently. In an ever-faster moving world, people often feel like their lives are falling apart. They secretly worry that not being able to keep up means there is something wrong with them. This reassuring, easily understood explanation of complicated psychological information reveals how normal it is to feel this way—how everyone’s energy naturally gets stuck in the process of growing up and learning to manage the world. The challenge of letting go of that old, stuck energy becomes manageable. You are hugely relieved as you discover you can easily learn and apply this process yourself—either privately or with a learning partner. Then you experience the freedom that comes from effortlessly managing previously distressing situations and even forget to worry about things you used to obsess about. This leads to reclaiming the life energy and the joy you long for.
Who influenced the stories you told yourself as a child? Much of my career as a Psychotherapist has been about helping clients answer that question and then decide whether they would still listen to those influencers today. Those stories matter, and it is important to decide whether or not they are still useful guides for your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Sometimes those stories about yourself were created under distressing circumstances when you had very little power to change what was happening. Instead, you used the little power you had to try to explain to yourself what has happened to you. As I write this now, we are being bombarded by words and images that are reawakening long forgotten or suppressed memories of distressing past events. If that is happening for you, I hope you take the time to re-examine the stories you told yourself when those events took place. Use t his time to re-examine how those stories have impacted your life and decide whether you would like to create new stories that are more useful to you now. Use the process described in this book to help you release the old stories to make space for the new ones.
Many of my clients describe themselves as control freaks and judge themselves very harshly. They want to be certain that they can control the results of whatever they do. The problem is, it is impossible to know in advance exactly what will happen when you use this procedure. That’s why much of Letting It Go is focused on explaining why and how this procedure will be useful despite its unpredictability. It is all about releasing immediate control of your experience to your deepest Essence so that your experience can be guided from a part of yourself that is devoted to what is best for you. When I wrote the specific instructions about how to use the Logosynthesis sentences to relieve your own anxiety or stress I wanted to do three things. • First, I wanted to make the entire process very easy to use. • Second, I wanted to help readers understand that the results of saying the sentences are very variable and unpredictable. • Third, I wanted to help my readers avoid any kind of judgement about either the process or themselves. Happily, judging by the reviews, I succeeded. Readers have reported following the instructions, despite their initial skepticism, allowed them to release difficult experiences and memories easily and quickly.
When I work with a client to help release anxiety, I watch and listen carefully for signals that the conversation has touched a deep level of truth. It is only then that I know that my client's Self or deep awareness is accessible. The signals I hear may be a change in intensity, in pitch or in tempo. My own attention shifts and I may say to myself, "what just happened?" I may focus on a particular phase while the conversation continues. If our conversation is only through sound though, I miss a lot of information. When I see my client, I see a hint of tears or a slight smile. I see crossed arms or a foot suddenly start to sway. Again I wonder, "what was that?" I don't know any details about what those signals mean. We all can and do respond to those signals in each other regularly. Sometimes our response is to pretend we don't notice. When you send signals like that to others, you can become aware of them too. DON'T IGNORE THOSE SIGNALS! They mean that your Self is sending you a message. When you pay attention to those messages you learn where you have frozen the energy that is creating the anxiety you need to release.
I did not write these eloquent words. This description is written by Dr. Willem Lammers of Switzerland who discovered and developed Logosynthesis, an elegant new energy therapy. Dr. Lammers asked me to write this self-help book about his discovery to make this process for relieving anxiety quickly and easily because he wanted to make it available to as many people as possile. He honored me by writing this Preface. Logosynthesis is spreading quickly through Europe and has been used in Canada as well. It is just beginning to become known in the United States. Unlike many professional tools, you really can learn to use this process yourself--from this book--in just an hour or two. It is a deceptively simple tool. You just need to identify the image of what concerns you, say three sentences and allow the time to notice how you respond to each one. Readers have been astonished at the power of the tool to help them let go of problems that have caused them distress. In the hands of a trained professional it is even more powerful and has been used to relieve many deep and long-lasting challenges. Everything you need to get started is in this book. Try it yourself and experience its magic.
Sometimes what you are afraid of is obvious and makes sense. At other times it is a complete mystery. You react to something because it is similar to something distressing that happened in the past. The problem is, it is much more comfortable to not think about those events and so you use some of your life energy to freeze or wall off your memory of those events. Sometimes you remember the event but hide the emotions associated with it deep within yourself. Sometimes you remember everything but never think of it being related to your current fear. Often just using the Logosynthesis sentences about your current distress is enough to bring those connections to your attention. When that happens, using the sentences on the unraveled mysteries will quickly recover your lost energy and help you solve your current problem.
The first time I watched someone lead a volunteer through the Logosynthesis process during a workshop, it did not make much sense. When you try to figure out how to remove your energy from a memory or a disaster that you only imagine, you can't--and I was busily trying to figure it out. The part of us that figures things out in order to manage our world is sometimes called the ego. Many spiritual traditions urge us to strive to move beyond the ego and experience the world in a different way. However, the ego is an important tool for managing ourselves and our worlds and most people cling to using it to handle the problems of living in the world. The first time I actually experienced this process working (Chapter1), I realized that this was something different. I experienced something deeper, my essence, doing something my ego did not know how to so. I still don't know how to make Logosynthesis work. Instead I had to let it work. Somehow these words activate essence, that part of us that experiences the unity beyond the separation of all things. It is that essence that manages to shift energy and allow the words to help us find peace.
Looking at your life as a problem of energy flow makes blaming yourself for what might not be working rather obsolete. Nobody is to blame for your response to stress. It comes from your innate physiology and the circumstances you encounter and the resources you have available to manage that stress. When the energy of a difficult experience overwhelms your ability to process it, you freeze that energy to protect yourself. It is bumping into the frozen energy that causes you to feel anxious. A part of your brain says to stay away from those frozen places. The problem is those brain places are awakened when something happens that is something like the stress you couldn't manage in the first place. It could be a sound, a smell, a sight or a memory or fantasy that comes too close to the frozen energy. In using the Logosynthesis sentences, we dissolve the frozen energy so your system no longer feels like it needs protection. There is no blame and no shame. It's just freeing frozen energy you can use to enjoy your life now.
It took me many months to create the habit of using Logosynthesis routinely when I felt upset. I would either do nothing or use the tools I already had been using for years. I would simply forget that this tool was available to me. Often my husband, also studying this process, would remind me, "Use the sentences." Then I put copies of the sentences in various places where I would stumble across them. Eventually I would be replaying a scene in my mind and remember that I could easily turn it off if I wanted too. Then I realized that I sometimes wanted to keep suffering instead of solving the problem. Somehow, my distress allowed me some kind of reward. (Chocolate!) Eventually I decided I either could just get my goodie, whatever it was, just because I wanted it, and simply said the sentences about what was bothering me. If you want to avoid failure in using this powerful tool to release your own anxiety and toxic stress you too will need to practice using it on a fairly regular basis. You will also need to set up some reminder systems so that Logosynthesis eventually becomes a part of your life.
Selecting an appropriate target is the heart of using this amazing process. It answers the question of what is causing this discomfort. However, is is NOT important to get it right the first time. My first practice session completely ended my persistent discomfort with air travel. When I returned home from my first Logosynthesis training , I noticed that I did not feel nearly as overstimulated by the day long trip as I had felt in the past. I didn't really understand why because I didn't remember this experience for several years. I forgot that my first target was something about my discomfort with plane travel. Not much happened when I said the 3 sentences. When I was asked about my experience of sitting quietly and simply noticing my internal responses, I reported remembering a childhood experience of riding a subway train at rush hour. The experience was “these bodies pushing in on me and squishing me.” That became my second target. Often people start with one target and while they say the sentences a very strong image or memory appears. Sometimes its the remembered sound of someone's voice saying particular words or even a remembered smell. The new memory then becomes a powerful focus for saying all the sentences again. My second target made the difference.
Tucked away in the bottom of a closet I have a very beautiful and very dilapidated, stained white cashmere sweater. It has elaborate beading showing the initials of my maiden name. One of my cats once discovered it tucked into a half-zipped garment bag and decided it was a wonderful place to deliver her kittens. Yes, today I'm talking about letting go of physical stuff. Logosynthesis works for that too--but only if I take time to do it. Even with physical things, maybe especially with physical things, my attachments persist. That is often because stuff represents much more than what it is. So what does this object represent to me? It was an engagement gift from my mother-in-law who did the beading 58 years ago. She died a few years later. I never got to know her very well. It is time for me to let go of lots of stuff. I will say the 3 Logosynthesis sentences to recover my energy from this sweater, and perhaps from my fantasies about my mother-in-law, and then let it go. If you are having a hard time getting rid of stuff, you may want to try the same process. The target, in this case, “this beaded sweater,” can be followed by the words “and all that it represents.”
An email I received this morning blew me away. A gentleman in his late 60's shared the impact of experimenting with Logosynthesis. He writes, "For some time I have been trying to cope with Meige Syndrome" (involuntary, irregular muscle contractions – of the lower face, jaw and neck, as well as of the eye.) ... after reading about Logosynthesis "started to realize that I was trying to cope with a pattern of symptoms rather than looking toward underlying sources of the problem." In his letter he describes how the problem got worse over the years and the many different methods that have brought him only partial and temporary relief of symptoms. "Following your suggestions in _Letting It Go_, I have begun using Logosynthesis one "slice" at a time on various specific 'targets' as I recognize them. I can report very significant improvements in the ability to relax tension in the body ..." [This] "has been the most promising light for me so far in finding my way out of this affliction!" I am thrilled with this information and the hope this process provides. Please experiment with it and share what you learn.
Everyone I teach to use this process experiences finding the frozen energy as a challenge. I did too when I was learning to think this way. That's because we tend to think about our own discomfort instead of what causes that discomfort. Once, before I had even considered becoming a psychotherapist, I witnessed a demonstration by the late Dr. Eric Berne, author of the famous book, Games People Play. He was showing what most people think is the problem by pounding on the thumb of one hand with his other fist and loudly proclaiming, "Dr., my thumb hurts!" Dr. Berne clearly demonstrated that the patient (or in this case, all of us students) is focused on the pain in the thumb, not on the pounding fist that is causing the pain or on whatever belief the patient holds that compels him to use his fist in that way. In order to learn to use Logosynthesis successfully, it is important to learn to notice either the fist or the belief driving it. Throughout this book I have offered lots of examples of how to focus this way. In addition, I have created a tool, a 7-day challenge, Secrets of Reducing Unnecessary Worry, you can download free to practice this kind of thinking. Get it at www.LaurieWeiss.com/7daychallenge.
I often have someone offer me water or a cough drop when I have not even noticed I am coughing. I have a chronic cough that is being treated medically and this note is not about that. I'm just using it as an example of what a coach calls a toleration--something that is somewhat annoying that remains a part of my life. Often, like the woman in this example, we all tolerate things because we simply don't have the tools to remove them from our lives. Or we may believe that it would be difficult or expensive in time or money or other resources to take effective action. I've noticed that in book reviews of Letting It Go, readers are reporting that they are using what they learn to let go of many things they have been tolerating for years. I am doing so also. I remember an old resentment or, sometimes, a compulsion, and realize that I no longer need to tolerate it being a part of my life. I do the Logosynthesis process and usually it simply evaporates. It doesn't work on everything though. I can release a desire for sweets pretty quickly, but the cough is still persisting.
How do you spread the word about something new that can make a big difference in people's lives without being dismissed as a crank, weirdo or fanatic? I am thrilled to share this week's news that Dr. Willem Lammers, the discoverer and developer of Logosynthesis has successfully accomplished this feat. At the recent Energy Psychology Conference in Florida, Logosynthesis won the jury's award and Dr. Lammers received the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) prize "for a major contribution to the field" on 5th May. Logosynthesis has now reached a new level of visibility and recognition in the field of Energy Psychology, which will open up more opportunities for further research activities. The professionals working with this process has steadily increased over the past 12 years. Most of these professionals are in Europe and there are still very few in the United States and a growing number in Canada. We are all very excited about this boost which will help enable Logosynthesis to enhance the lives of more and more people. When you start to practice the simple but profound technique taught in this book, you too can experience the joy of knowing your own essence.
I used to respond to--get triggered by--the noise and crowds in airports. I would feel tense and stressed, and would spend energy trying to block out my awareness of what was happening around me. I would arrive home exhausted. After a Logosynthesis session when I thought nothing had happened, I spent the next day flying home and did not even notice the hubbub. I can remember my previous upset and exhaustion, but I have now gone 8 years without reacting that way. When a partner in a workshop helped me identify a target for releasing my upset about air travel, I had a vague memory of a scene when I was 8-years-old and in a New York subway train at rush-hour. I experienced "being squished." I didn't even remember that part of my work until several years later when I found some notes from the session. All I knew was that I responded very differently to air travel. The explanation for this (what seemed to me) miraculous transformation is that I had frozen my energy during that overwhelming experience when I was 8-years-old and had already learned to act like a “good girl” and not show my feelings. By saying the 3 Logosynthesis sentences, I had reclaimed my frozen energy.
Sometimes it is hidden in plain view but you can't see it until someone points it out to you. Fortunately, that happened to me when I was about 30. I was attending a meeting of professionals for the first time and stumbled over someone's protruding feet as I approached my seat. "I'm sorry. I'm just so clumsy." was my automatic response. One of the senior people at the meeting, that was partially about the stories we create, asked a question that illuminated a story that I was completely unaware of. He asked, "Who told you you were clumsy?" Once I thought about the answer I realized that my father and other members of my family had been teasing me and laughing at me for being clumsy ever since I was a small child. I adopted their story about me and accepted it as truth. Much later, after I had finally learned some physical skills, I learned that many people need to be taught those physical skills and that my abilities were well within the normal range. I was not especially clumsy after all. Are you accepting as truth limiting stories that you created from a uninformed experience in your past? Listening to your own language and assumptions may help you to recognize it.
Stress and anxiety relief can often be a do-it-yourself project. For many simple things you encounter, all you need is to learn, and practice using, tools like the ones offered in this book. And yesterday I was reminded of what incredible work people have been doing in this field to help people who are so traumatized by stress that they can barely function. I spent the day attending a virtual workshop with Peter A. Levine, Ph.D., developer of Somatic Experiencing, a body focused treatment for toxic stress. His work, the work of Bessel Van der Kolk, M.D. and others on the cutting edge of this field have so much to offer and so much to teach about healing that I am awed. This field is certainly worth many lifetimes of study and I am thrilled to learn more about how many different areas are being carefully examined. If you are someone who struggles to maintain your equilibrium on a moment by moment basis, please seek the help of an experienced therapist who is integrating and applying the information in Logosynthesis or one of the other developing fields. Healing is definitely possible and does not need to involve indefinite drug use.
After nearly a year of attending The Mystery School with Jean Houston I was very confused. I was different in ways that pleased me but I did not understand how the change had happened. I did not know exactly why I flew 2000 miles across the country once a month to do the strange things that were a part of the process of this training. I only knew that I felt extremely drawn, almost compelled to be there. I also trusted that nothing Jean did would be harmful to me. This trust was based on a personal experience 10 years earlier, on reading her books and on the experience of a thoughtful friend. I was very fortunate that when I enrolled in this process, I had been invited by another trusted teacher, Dr. Lawrence LeShan, to consult with him about my experiences. As I sat in Larry's office he questioned me carefully about how I had changed. Then he congratulated me for moving into the next stage of my maturation. I had accomplished a major growth step simply by following appropriate instructions. Maybe that is one of the reasons I was open to learning about Logosynthesis. I hope you are willing to experiment with this very safe process to allow it to change your life.
Holding on to something familiar makes you feel safe. There is nothing at all wrong with that. You are a human being and that is what humans do, both physically and emotionally. When you're little you literally cling to your parents. As you get a little bigger you may cling to a familiar blanket or toy to manage anxiety in an unfamiliar situation. Then you hold on to familiar ideas. In kindergarten, my son and one of his friends almost came to blows when one claimed that the tooth fairy was really Mom. You may even have been told how wrong it would be to give up this belief. You are afraid of not belonging--of being excluded from your friends or family if you give up some old belief. Furthermore, you suspect that you will feel strange and uncomfortable without your belief (or memory or object or hope.) Then you watch your favorite media which also reminds you of how important it is to keep holding on. You feel even more anxious about letting go. The truth is that learning to let go opens you to new growth and possibilities and actually relieves that anxiety. Use the tools in this book to help you experience the joy and freedom that comes with this new skill.
Creating the right word or phrase to use as a target for the Logosynthesis sentences is a challenge for most people. Don't let that stop you from playing with the process. The worst thing that can happen to you if you do this "wrong" is nothing. You will be left with exactly the same frozen energy you started with. Even when nothing much happens when you practice the process you may have what seems like a random thought. Instead of dismissing it, consider the possibility that that thought is a clue to a more useful target. One of the beauties of this process is that you can't predict the outcome. You simply choose the best target description that you can and trust that your essence or higher self will use it in the best way it possibly can. Some people have immediate and strong responses when they experience the process. Others experience little or nothing to let them know if something shifted. The way I usually find out is that I completely forget about the challenge I was trying to manage. I sometimes don't even notice that I have forgotten until I am reminded several days later. So go ahead and practice the process described in the book. At the very least, you will learn something about yourself.
As a psychotherapist, I have worked with Life Scripts for at least 45 years. A Life Script is a story we each create at a time in life when our understanding of cause and effect is very limited. We take many small experiences like Emily's and by the time we have finished grade school we have usually decided what kind of person we are and what happens to people like us in the world. We make plans for our lives that sound a lot like "because of these experiences I need to act in this way." We more or less unconsciously create a plan or "script" that leads us to do certain things and avoid doing certain other things throughout our lives. Occasionally these plans are dangerous or even lethal when people have experienced abuse or neglect as children. More often these plans are simply limiting. They show up as limiting beliefs in your life. They make sense in the situation you are in when you make the decisions that lead to these beliefs. It is only later in life that you may feel the uncomfortable effects of living by them. You can use the Logosynthesis process described in this book to effectively dissolve these beliefs and regain your life options.
I have had several emails lately from readers who are afraid Logosynthesis won't work for them because they are trying to release too many things at the same time. This tool simply does not work that way in a do-it-yourself situation. It is more like eating the elephant one bite at a time. I know that for many people, the distress you are experiencing feels like being weighed down by an elephant. Still, you need to start practicing with small things. You can't predict what images or thoughts will arise any time you say the sentences. Often those thoughts will dissolve as you proceed through the process. If they don't, they become excellent targets for future practice. I often think of healing as taking an unknown path through an unknown terrain to an unknown destination. Start small, with something that is a current irritation as a target. Be as specific as possible and just notice what happens. Chances are good that you will start a growing and healing process.
I recently received a note from someone who was reading this book. It was headed "A Long Time Ago." He wrote of an old memory of his wife of 42 years. The memory was of watching his wife with a different young man at a time she had rejected him in favor of the other man. Although things had obviously changed and she eventually chose him, he wrote that he was still disturbed by the picture of that old event that is still coming into his awareness over 42 years later. This is a vivid example of freezing energy when you are overwhelmed by an event that you don't have the resources to manage. As a young man he may have felt overwhelmed by feelings of jealousy and helplessness at the sight of a girl he felt so attracted to with someone else. Since he did not have a way to process those feelings, he froze them. Now the image he kept seeing was the message about the frozen energy. The image represents far more than the actual scene it shows. But it’s not necessary to know the full story of what else the image represents to recover the frozen energy. Logosynthesis uses just 3 sentences that include words describing his image, to reclaim his frozen energy.
I keep getting emails from readers telling me they have followed the steps in this book and experienced remarkable relief from anxiety and stress. Then, occasionally someone asks me why the process works. And my answer is, "I don't really know." Part of me thinks it is important to know. After all, as an undergraduate, I studied to be a scientist. As a healer, I know many things that truly help people change the way they feel and act have no rational explanations. Logosynthesis may eventually be scientifically validated. I certainly hope so. I also know that while our toolkit for understanding our brains and minds is constantly expanding, it is also very limited. I once heard a prominent scientist answer a question by saying, "We don't have the tools to measure that yet." I loved her answer! It is important to keep asking the question and looking for answers. But not knowing something yet doesn't mean anything is wrong with what we are doing. It just means we are still exploring. It may be even more important to keep practicing the process. Whether or not we understand why it works, we can become more skilled in working with it to relieve pain and find the joy we seek.
When I first learned about the powerful Logosynthesis process, I printed out the sentences onto an index card. I put the card in a drawer near my computer--and left it there! At the times I really needed to release stress, I often simply forgot about this powerful resource. Even now, when it has become an important part of my life, I find myself making notes in my journal about things I need to "Logo." I still forget sometimes. As I was writing this book, I knew I needed to do something to encourage my readers to PRACTICE! This entire chapter is filled with suggestions and readers still forget once an immediate crisis has passed. I have even used "anything that keeps me from remembering this tool," as a target. I think the best way to have this tool available when you need it is to make practice a regular part of your day. The way I use it is at bedtime when I am reviewing my day. I can easily notice one item that still holds stuck energy. I usually do it quickly and sleep better because of it. When is a time in your routine where you can put in some practice time?
You know intuitively when something is draining your energy. All you need to do is pay attention to your self-talk. I hear myself saying things like, "It's tiring just to be in the room with her." I also hear, "I just can't stop thinking about this situation." I bet you do too. When I was learning to use this process, I was repeatedly surprised by how quickly the Logosynthesis process let me release my energy from the stuck places and how easy it was to not even notice anything had happened. People have different responses to the process. Some experience intense waves of shifting energy. Not me--usually I don't notice a thing right away. It is sort of a non-experience and I wonder if anything has changed. Then, a short time later, I may notice that the pictures and conversation in my mind have shifted. My self-talk has changed and I am no longer putting any energy into the problem that I had been focused on. This low key experience is like a delayed action response and if you experience it, don't let it worry you. It does help to keep notes to remind yourself about what you have done. Otherwise you may totally forget that you ever had that particular problem.
Writing this book was taking an unknown path to an imagined destination and I was incredibly grateful when my early readers gave me feedback that let me hope I had accomplished my goal. I was trying to take a deceptively simple technique that nobody fully understands and explain it so that naive readers might use it to change their relationships to stress and suffering. This process, the integration of many very complex thought lines, had already helped me make important changes in my work and my personal life. I felt like I was walking a thin line between old and new views of the change process itself and doing my best to honor both perspectives. I am grateful to the colleagues and friends around the world who acted as sounding boards for me as I wrote the pieces that made up this book. Yet, I practically held my breath when I asked new people to read the complete manuscript. I am especially grateful to Dr. Willem Lammers of Switzerland, who originally discovered this process, helped me learn it, and asked me to create this book in the first place. And I am grateful that he has now taken the resulting work and had it translated and distributed in German.
Finding a new way to look at life challenges is the core to rapid anxiety relief. Most conventional self-growth training says to look at the story of what happened that is creating or has created distress in your life. Then examine the story in detail and learn to relate to it in a new way. This can be painful and take a lot of time. Logosynthesis is different. It is not about the story!!! It is about where you have stored the frozen life energy when you could not manage the problem when you originally encountered it. One way of looking at this is that you once did something to create a protective shield to take care of yourself. Now that shield is getting in your way. Instead of looking at why you created the shield, you use the sentences to dismantle the shield. The reason you created the shield in the first place may have been forgotten long ago. In any case, spending energy on why you built a shield or wall that you no longer need is not an especially good use of your current energy. You use the sentences to let it go.
A very logical-minded individual asked me to explain this word that I use so frequently. I started by saying I don't really know. Wikipedia has pages on the topic. It starts with a ability to get something done. It is a "conserved quality" of something. It goes on to list 14 different forms of physical energy. Yikes! Then there are ideas like human energy and chi--and we sort of understand that those words are an attempt to explain an experience we all share. We know when we feel able to be present and engage with the world and each other. We know when we can barely drag ourselves to our next activity. We know that quality is revived with food, drink and human contact. It's something we share yet it is almost impossible to define. Yet, I talk about your energy being stuck and you understand, or at least sort of understand what I am saying and can use my words to help change your life. Every now and then I realize that there is much more happening than I understand and that that is still OK. We are traveling this path together.
I have always loved this quote. There are so many things I have accepted because people I trusted told me they were possible. Often those things worked and sometimes they didn't. Sometimes I understood why, but more often, I shrugged and moved on. We as human beings are way too complex for us to fully understand on biological, biochemical, physical and social levels. Once, I was privileged to hear the late Candice Pert answer a question most other distinguished scientists would have dismissed. She said, "We don't have the technical tools to examine that, yet!" I offer Logosynthesis in this book from this perspective. It is a method that has been extremely helpful for many people. I have personally observed its usefulness for myself and others. I offer it for you to experiment with and to learn whether it is useful for you.
Jack and Jill, a popular children's magazine ran a feature called, "I Used to Think..." where an 8-year-old could contribute a story about an old misconception about the world. Beliefs like "the tree-tops touch the sky' and 'my mom always knows where I am' were common. I watched 2 6-year old boys almost come to blows about whether the tooth fairy was real, and I simply could not convince a 4-year-old that it was a cartoon character and not he who had smashed the monster. It is completely normal for children to believe this way. And it's the job of parents and other care takers to gently help kids to understand how the world really works. The problem comes when children don't talk about their beliefs about the world--especially when they are under stress. Parents often accidentally cause cause the stress by making threats or promises or simply repeating ordinary statements like 'boys don't cry' or 'stop asking for stuff.' If you were on the receiving end of experiences like this, and most of us were, they may still be shaping your view of the world. It may be time to start really listening to the stories you tell yourself and see if they are causing unnecessary anxiety or stress in your life.
I need to reorganize my kitchen. My consultant looked and commented that I have lots of stuff I probably don't need. She is absolutely right. Yet, I don't want to let it go! I know why. My parents lived through the depression and taught me to conserve everything because I might need it someday. That is still true I suppose. More important, I carry the memory of their disapproval, left over from anytime I wasted a resource, frozen deep within myself. They actually did manage to downsize and release a lot of their stuff, but I was not close by to witness their doing so. The frozen energy from many years ago is still impacting my life today. I know I can and eventually will take on this challenge and use the Logosynthesis process to help me release the stuck energy. Meanwhile, I still have overstuffed cabinets and drawers. Did you read this because you too have too much stuff? Do you know why you are holding on and where your energy is stuck? Are you willing to find out? And are you willing to join me in the challenge of letting it go?
While reading science fiction as a teenager, I believed that I could learn to do the special things the heroines of the stories could do--if I could only find the right teacher. In the course of my life and career I have been blessed to find many such teachers. One of the most important things I learned is that there is much more depth and complexity in the world than I can possibly understand. Another important lesson is that if you engage in certain practices while holding certain beliefs about the world, unusual things can happen almost routinely. A third, critically important lesson is to "not kill the question." That means to keep thinking and experimenting instead of labeling things and deciding I know an answer. It is this background that enabled me to embrace Logosynthesis and share its benefits with my readers, my clients and my students. I invite you to accept the magic and experience the process. Most people who do benefit from it.
You may think that the misunderstandings that are so common in childhood are just cute, but the truth is, they can shape your life. Because I know this, I have always considered it very important to help children understand the world as well as they possibly can. The problem is that many decisions you make as a child are unknown to the adults who cared for you so those untrue or partially true beliefs continue to exist. It is nobody's fault. It is just a part of how people work. So if something in your life is not working the way you want it to, it makes sense to check out what the fundamental belief about the world that drives that situation might be. Not too long ago it was very difficult to change that fundamental belief, even if you know, logically, that it does not make sense. Now, using the Logosynthesis process described in this book, changing the belief is as simple as repeating 3 sentences and letting your higher wisdom rearrange things and dissolve what no longer serves you.
You continue to make up stories to make sense of the world throughout your life. Often the stories are linked together by a common theme. If you were a child with an older sibling you often experienced not doing a task as well as someone else. The task might be climbing a tree or reading a story or making a peanut butter sandwich. The task doesn't matter, the experience of not doing things as well as someone else might lead to creating the story or belief, "I am not good enough." That story is retold in a new format every time you have a challenge learning something new. The basic story and belief is automatically reinforced. Fortunately, since you created the story in the first place, once you learn to notice telling it to yourself, you have the power to change it. Until recently, changing your story involved a complicated process of learning to focus and refocus on a different story and/or re-experiencing the painful emotions that led you to create the story in the first place. The Logosynthesis process you learn in this book is a very powerful way to help you change your story, permanently!
The actual process of saying the three sentences aloud is very simple. The reason I don't simply put those sentences into one on these short pieces is that the critical issue is learning to direct those sentences to a useful target. Choosing such a target takes much more understanding of how you freeze your energy than just saying the sentences. One of my biggest challenges has been to find ways to help my readers find the targets they need to easily reclaim their frozen energy. I recently created a 7-Day Challenge, "Secrets of Reducing Unnecessary Worry" to help you learn to create useful targets. It takes less than 10 minutes/day and it does include the sentences and instructions about using them. You are welcome to use this process yourself. It will cost you your email address so I can send you the material and reminders about using it. It will also cost you a bit over an hour of your time, spread over the 7 days of your choice. That's the only cost. You do it your way. It is entirely self-paced. You can get more information and register at www.LaurieWeiss.com/7daychallenge . Register right now while you are thinking about it.
In his amazingly comprehensive book, "Thank You for Being Late," Thomas Friedman has a chapter called "Just Too Dammed Fast." I feel that way a lot of the time. Do you? In revisiting this book, I realize that I did not include needing to release the small trauma's we encounter every day. I just read someone's Facebook post about frustration with 'unnecessary' changes to Skype. Just as you get familiar and comfortable with operating your favorite device, you are forced to upgrade to the next operating system. Everything changes instantly! And the world is getting faster every day. It's hard to adapt instantly to all of those minor traumas you face daily. And these stresses add up to a general wariness and anxiety for many people. Unless you are in the small percentage of people who love change, your sense of safety and security is challenged repeatedly. You need to let go of these daily mini-traumas just to live comfortably!
Do you feel guilty or ashamed because you just can't let go? Or do you get angry when someone assumes that letting go of what is troubling you should be easy? Lots of people react in these ways because most of us don't realize that no matter how much will power we apply to trying to really let go, it just doesn't work. That is because your brain is hard-wired to be hyper-sensitive to threats. It carefully stores any and all information about potential threats in a system that is something like a library. When a new situation comes up, your brain automatically compares it to all stored situations in order to warn you to protect yourself from danger. Once something goes into the library, you need very special tools to get it out. Will power is not one of those tools. It is sort of like trying to use a hammer to saw a piece of wood. It just doesn't do the job. You need a different tool. The Logosynthesis process I teach in this book is one of the few special tools that actually works.
When have you been in a stressful situation? Did you have the resources you needed to resolve the problem or did you close down a part of yourself for self-protection? I still remember a scene from my pediatrician's office when I was 4 or 5 years old. I was terrified at the prospect of the nurse pricking my finger to get a drop of blood! I screamed and balled my hands into tight fists. I buried my face in my mother's midsection. Finally the situation was resolved when the nurse uncurled a finger and got the sample without my even noticing. I was too busy screaming. When I was told it was over, I remember being surprised. I don't remember any further scenes ever, even when I had a series of allergy shots. I had the help and protection I needed to eventually manage that situation. But WHAT IF??? What if my mother had not been both sympathetic and loving? What if she or the nurse had yelled at me to shut up? What if I had been alone with the nurse? In any of those situations I could easily have been overwhelmed by something an adult would consider a minor inconvenience. If you were not protected, your energy may still be stuck in an incident you barely remember.
Emily's story is really about who she is and what she needs to do to have a right to be in the world. We all create stories that explain the world to us when we are children. Some are more or less benign like "I will grow up, get married and live happily ever after." But even that simple story line can be pretty limiting when it does not match the reality of having to work at any relationship to make it successful. Other stories are less happy. This might be "I will need to work hard for every single thing I get and never have time for fun." Some are even tragic like "I will die young just like my father did." In every case the story helps guide decisions you make about how to live your everyday life and limits your options. What story do you tell yourself about your life? Is it "I need to keep my feelings to myself?" or perhaps, "I would lose my friends if I did not do what they expect?" or perhaps, "I can't afford to take a vacation?" Whatever it is, consider giving it up and making fresh choices with more possibilities. The information about how to reclaim your energy from your stories will help.
How can I explain this astonishingly simple, profound experience in a way that makes it possible for a naive reader to take this strange new concept and actually use it? I pondered this question for a full year after I was asked to write a Logosynthesis book for a general audience. I wanted to create a user-friendly experience that bridged several cultures because this process is much better known in Europe than it is in the US. And I wanted my audience to know the good news that transformation no longer needs to be painful. Since I actually had been teaching this process for several years, I had developed a process that my students seemed to like. But that process involved being able to tell about my own experiences while encouraging those students to try the process themselves and adapting it to each one's prior experience. How could those students experiences be translated into a useful form? Finally I asked for help--on Facebook--and volunteers from 7 different countries joined my “Little Logosynthesis Book” team and agreed to read and comment on each chapter I created. With their help, this book emerged. I was thrilled when early readers affirmed that together we created a practical and usable book that actually guides the reader to experience this potentially life-changing process.
So many self-help programs pretend that all it takes is willpower and planning to make a big difference in your life. What they neglect is that you need to reset the automatic pilot you created by telling yourself stories about why things happened when you were small. Otherwise every change you make will be temporary and easily undone. You created these stories with an immature brain that was doing your very best to make sense of your world and your relationship to your world. These stories helped you manage situations where you felt threatened in some way, whether the threat was real or imagined. I have spent my career as a psychotherapist helping my clients uncover and rewrite these stories in order to reset their automatic pilots. Now that reset can be accomplished faster and with much less drama and trauma using Logosynthesis, the process I teach you to use in this book. Once you reset your automatic pilot, permanent change can occur, sometimes almost effortlessly.
What story do you tell yourself over and over again? I'll bet you can't even identify it as a story. The first time I realized that something I thought was a fact was just a story, I was stunned. I was 30 years old and taking part in a professional seminar as a Junior High School teacher. I accidentally bumped a real Psychologist as I was getting up to get coffee and said, "Excuse me, I am so clumsy." Instead of responding politely he looked at me and asked, "Who told you that you were clumsy?" I was stunned! I stammered something about my parents calling me clumsy. By the time the meeting ended, I had become aware that, "I'm clumsy" was simply something I had been told and had very little to do with reality. It was a story I told myself that kept me from learning physical skills. My energy was frozen in the story. After I learned it was just someone else's story about me that I was telling myself, I was able to take back my energy and use it to learn skills I could have learned many years earlier. What limiting stories are you telling yourself that you simply heard from someone else? Would you like to reclaim your energy from those stories?
Are you still blaming your parents for what they did or did not do when you were growing up? Are you older now than they were when you froze your energy in response to their behavior? I remember the day that it occurred to me that my parents were just ordinary people living in a fairly restrictive world when I was a child. I could see how they were doing the best they could to show their obvious love for me, even though some of what I learned from them was causing me problems in achieving my own goals. I felt a profound sense of relief at that moment and my (then) current struggle with them simply evaporated. If you have not been privileged to experience such a moment, it would probably be useful to focus the sentences you learn in this book on some of the scenes you remember where your parents did not give you what you needed at the time. Keeping that energy frozen only holds you back from having the joy you could be experiencing in your life right now.
I just skimmed another magazine article about worry. The author's conclusion is we all do it, it's not good for us, and we should stop by thinking happy thoughts and doing good deeds. OK, I am being a bit glib, but basically that is what seems to be the common view of how to manage this kind of suffering. The truth of course is much more complex. Worry is a sign that your energy is stuck in some situation in the past or in anticipating some situation in the future. How it got stuck in the first place and how to release it is an ongoing challenge. Talk psychotherapy, which I have practiced for 45 years, addresses this issue by trying to understand what happened to freeze the energy in the past. The hope is that by understanding what happened, you will be able to let go of the worry and use the energy for other things. This approach works often enough to keep doing it. The problem is both clients and therapists focus on the story rather than the stuck energy. Since learning the approach I describe here, we can now release the frozen energy much more quickly and easily.
As a psychotherapist for 45 years I “know” from experience that people are affected by things that happened to them when they were children. Now scientific validation shows the correlation between “adverse childhood experiences” and problems later in life. The Center for Disease Control-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and later-life health and well-being. www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/ From 1995 to 1997 over 17,000 people received physical exams and completed confidential surveys about their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors. And ACE’s are common!!! Almost two-thirds of participants reported at least one ACE, and more than one in five reported three or more ACEs. I believe each ACE is a childhood experience that most children do not have sufficient resources to manage. Therefor they freeze their energy to protect themselves. I believe that learning to release the frozen energy helps protect us from the otherwise negative effects shown in the study. The research shows that as the number of ACEs increases so does the risk for a long list of difficulties in adult life. The list includes addictions of all kinds, depression, financial stress, many physical illnesses and many types of violence. If this fascinates you the way it does me, start with the link above and explore.
When you learn to use this process, you don't get to decide what outcome you want and do something to produce it. The conscious part of you can't (and eventually learns not to even bother trying) to rearrange your energy. As a Logosynthesis practitioner I had to learn that I could neither predict nor control the outcome when I worked with my clients. As a psychotherapist and as a business owner and manager, I found that disconcerting at first. Many people do. We are accustomed to trying to plan, predict and control our lives and are often encouraged to do so. And that process works just often enough to make us believe that we are somehow failing if we we aren’t in control. Trying to control what happens when using these three sentences slows down the process of self-healing that Logosynthesis activates. What works best is to trust your deepest and truest Self to know and do what is best for you.
Miracles are now so routine in my life that I barely realize how impactful they are. I wrote this a few months after learning about this tool, when I was still awed by it. "I am being willingly seduced by the power of a new tool that appears to help people make remarkably rapid positive changes in their lives." In our first "Logosynthesis Self-Coaching Study Group" we learned how easily we could teach interested people to use a few focused sentences to dissolve their reactions to past, present or anticipated stressful situations. One of the participants shared with us. "My first experience of it was a demonstration working with my wife, Barbara, on her tendency to overreact to what she sees when she's a passenger in a car. This is something I had experienced for many years and which seemed to be getting worse. It happened frequently and involved a stomping foot or that gasp somebody might make as they suddenly see the train that's about to take them out. It stopped completely after the one five or ten minute process. Barbara expressed her own amazement for days afterward. She continues to ride with remarkable equanimity, especiallywhen you consider that my driving habits haven't changed." Woody M. It used to take us many client sessions to accomplish similar results.
Denise told me that she had let go of the experience of being sexually abused as a child and had forgiven her abuser. So she was shocked when a recent event had re-awakened all of her feelings about that horrible time in her life. As we explored what had happened she described feeling intensely unworthy and dirty. We used the process described in this book to release the belief we uncovered--the belief that she was responsible for being hurt. Ten minutes later the belief and feelings that went with it were gone. Three weeks later she was still doing fine and, reviewing the situation, she discovered that she had followed instructions about how to manage forgiveness as an adult. The problem was that the part of her that had frozen her energy to protect herself from an impossible to manage situation, had not been Wasaddressed with those useful "how to" instructions. It took releasing the frozen energy to truly find peace.
Are you still angry about the times your Dad promised to show up at your game and didn't? How about the times that your Mom insisted that you stay home and babysit when you wanted to be with your friends? Often you hold onto resentments like this because you felt helpless and decided that someday, some way, that mean parent would realize how badly you had been treated and apologize. Holding onto those resentments is a way of freezing energy. Noticing when you resent something in the past that nothing can possibly change can be a signal to you of a place where you can reclaim that frozen energy. It helps if you get clear about the fantasy or belief that goes along with the original resentment. Is it that the culprit will be sorry and change? Is it that you will get back at them in some way? Once you understand that secret hope, then you can use the Logosynthesis process to reclaim your frozen energy.
Not processing difficult situations to release frozen energy can cause later problems. Almost every addiction, whether it is to alcohol, drugs, food or even work started as a way to help you feel better when you had an uncomfortable experience. The experience could have been the stress of living in a home where you witnessed emotional or physical violence and drinking alcohol or using drugs helped you relax. Or you could have learned to distract yourself from the stress with work. Or perhaps when you were small, each time you experienced difficulty you were consoled with cookies and you learned that food was the way to feel better. The problem in each case is that it takes more and more of the pain relieving substance to produce the same amount of relief and you then need the substance just to feel normal. Healing from an addiction is a complicated process. Often releasing your energy from the original problem reduces the pressure to use the substance to try to feel better.
If letting go is such a challenge, why bother to do it at all? Many people don't. If you are among the 54% of people in the US who have not experienced "adverse childhood experiences" and don't mind putting up with occasional upsets, that is certainly a valid choice. If you are reading this though, you probably find that current reactions to past difficulties are causing problems in your life. Research shows that the more of those adverse experiences you have experienced, such as: *parents or guardians who divorced, separated, died, or were jailed, *witnessing any violent behavior *living with anyone with mental health or addictions, the more likely you are to have mental and physical problems. Fortunately it is now much easier to recover your energy from your reactions to those events and prevent the serious after-effects of those problems. This book will show you how using just the power of words will allow you to reclaim your life energy from those reactions.
Is it about road rage or something someone close to you says? It doesn't matter. It's hard to stay in control! When it happens to me, I am usually shocked at what I want to say and do--often about something I had long since forgotten about. My brain is hijacked (a Daniel Goleman term) and on one level, I am certain I must fight, or run, or freeze! When I wait a few seconds my thinking mind catches up and sometimes I can figure out how to respond in a rational way. I thought there was nothing I could do about this except learn to breathe deeply until I stopped shaking. I was wrong! The right words can unhook this reaction. Just 3 sentences with the correct target can change everything.
If you are fairly comfortable in your life, occasional experiences of anxiety and depression may not bother you. You believe this is just the way things are. It's especially true if you believe that it will be difficult and time consuming to change. Yet holding on to old resentments, fears, and hopes can sap your energy. If you are very uncomfortable in your life you may want to change but fear delving into the trauma of your past that leads to your comfort discomfort. Until I discovered Logosynthesis, the process I teach in this book, I had to work very hard to help my clients take on the challenge and to help them cope with the discomfort they experienced. Thankfully, that pain and difficulty no longer is required. Saying the special sentences that focus on the cause of your discomfort is easy to do, and the discomfort is often minimal or non-existent.
You often feel anxious when something reminds you of the things that overwhelmed you at some time in your past. That's especially true if you tried to manage a difficult situation by freezing your energy and deciding to never think about something again. Then you conveniently forgot that you ever made the decision. It is like having a double lock on a door to try to stay safe. You probably have a lot more resources now than you had at the time you made those decisions. Even if you don't, those locks have side effects that cause other problems. Psychotherapists and other healers have been working toward helping you examine and/or reset your reactions to those experiences for a very long time. The process of Logosynthesis is the most effective way I have ever encountered to allow this reset to happen. After it happens, the anxiety and other side effects vanish.
Sometimes, when you think you want to let something go but keep holding on anyway, a part of you has another agenda. That part of you secretly thinks that you can magically change the outcome of something that happened in the past--if only.... If only you had said something different, if only you were stronger, if only you had left the party a few minutes earlier, then things would be different. If you want to let go of remembering how angry you are because of the way someone treated you, you may have to let go of the fantasy that, somehow, something you say or do now will change what happened back then. It won't! What happened, can't be changed. What can be changed is your fantasy or secret belief or secret hope that you have the power to fix the past. Once you let go of the fantasy, letting go of the original event will be much easier.
The nursery was ready and it was time, but it didn't go as planned. Over 50 years ago my first baby was stillborn. I was in total shock and disbelief. I had done everything "right" throughout the pregnancy and could not even imagine the idea of not coming home from the hospital with a baby. I was numb at first, then incredibly sad and disillusioned. Most people I met tried to console me with some variation of, "You’re young and healthy, you can have another one." I was just supposed to let it go but I couldn't. Not only was I grieving but my whole view of how the world worked was destroyed. Most loses are not as life-shattering as that one, but still, it can be really hard to let go and move on. Even a tiny loss can cause us to get stuck. Fortunately, a good therapist helped me move back into the world then. About 10 years and 2 healthy children later I encountered a process that finally allowed me to truly let go. Now, thankfully, we have the tools to let go much more quickly and with much less pain. I want you to have them. Please read this book and make those tools a part of your life.
When you use the Logosynthesis sentences, you need to insert a target which represents whatever is causing the disruption in your energy flow. Today one of my clients was doing her best to cope with changes she is experiencing in many areas of her life. She reported doing well most of the time but overreacting to some simple things like roads being blocked for repairs that inconvenienced her. The flow of her life energy was definitely disrupted. She recognized that she was "on edge" because of other changes in her life. Yet many of those changes were natural and expected. When we explored where her energy was stuck we discovered that while one part of her was moving forward, another part was being critical--not of herself or other people but of the basic idea that things are changing. The target that we chose was "this belief that the world should not be changing." I guided her through the sentences and she experienced relief, acceptance and relaxation. This book is designed to help you develop the skill of finding a useful target for the sentences so you can use them to re-balance your own energy.
I love the title of this book, "If How-Tos Were Enough We Would All Be Skinny, Rich and Happy." Every time I open my email someone is telling me how to do something I want to do in some fantastic new way. I want those things done and sometimes I even sign up for them, yet I rarely complete them. When I look at why, I remember unfinished sewing projects hanging on the back of my door when I was a teenager. I finished the things that were coming together the way I had pictured them. I managed to never get around to finishing those that were not really working out. My mother nagged me to finish them. I knew how to finish them, but I really did not want to finish them. Yet no one told me what to do when I knew something was not working. I had to wait till much later in my life to learn to let go! And obviously, I am still learning!
Today I did the physical motion of paddling a boat while taking a Pilates class. I was immediately vividly aware of paddling a boat under very challenging conditions on a lake in Alaska during a tourist expedition. That experience exhausted me so thoroughly that I became vulnerable to a virus. That virus took me out of my normal life for 3 uncomfortable months. The Alaska experience happened 10 years ago and I had not re-experienced that paddling memory in at least 9 years. It was triggered simply by a taking a similar physical position! That kind of flashback can happen to anyone, anytime. When the flashback is to a traumatic experience, the Logosynthesis process described in this book can relieve the discomfort of the feelings associated with the memory.
A remarkable book I just finished, Sickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhood, by Julie Gregory tells in painful detail about how much of one child's life energy was frozen in an attempt to survive an impossible situation. This book vividly highlights just how dependent children are. As an adult it takes many difficult years for this damaged child to reclaim her own life and disentangle herself from her own life-preserving responses to this pervasive trauma. As children we trust, love and want to obey. We have little concept of any way to experience the world outside the one our parents believe in and explain to us. In Julie's case, her mother defined her as sick when she was not. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. Even in much less toxic situations parents who carry scars from their own pasts often can't provide the resources their children need. And so the cycle continues. We each need to reclaim the energy we used to protect ourselves. The process shared in Letting It Go helps each user reclaim the energy frozen in the struggle to get what we need in the wold.
I want so much for this book to help readers ease unnecessary suffering. That is the reason I wrote it. I know from my professional and personal work with Logosynthesis and reader reviews that the process works and readers have been using it successfully. I keep thinking about all the people it could help If they knew about it. One way to spread the word is to to get it into libraries. The process of preparing and explaining why this book, among all the hundreds of thousands available deserves a space on a library shelf is detailed and time consuming—and I am doing it. You can help by asking your librarian to add it to your library collection. Then tell your friends it is available. Of course, the more reviews there are, the easier it is to convince new readers to give it a try. If you have left a review, thank you very much. If not, please go to wherever you READ reviews and add a bit about your experience with the book or the process.
A professional coach who is using Logosynthesis to release her own stress told me that what she really needed was "target practice." Others nodded in agreement. Yet a few days later many many of my personal growth students, came up with useful, significant targets for themselves in just a few minutes of discussion after hearing some of the sample targets in Chapter 6. They were very clear about where their energy was stuck. Maybe the professionals are so used to looking for deeper meaning that they over-complicate things. It isn't difficult to listen to the running conversation you are having with yourself. Anything that you keep thinking about probably has frozen energy that would make an excellent target for the Logosynthesis sentences.
We have so much energy frozen into our experiences and beliefs about money that sometimes I wonder how anyone can successfully manage his/her financial life. Maybe that is because negative experiences about money are so painful. Energy gets stuck when things don't work, not when they do. So when you are a child and want something but can't have it because it cost too much all kinds of glitches can happen. Of course every commercial screen you see encourages that want! You can be shamed by a parent who says, "Do you think I'm made of money?" You can make up a story that you don't deserve what you want because there is something wrong with you. You can make up a story about how a mean parent is depriving you of something. If you are lucky you get a useful educational experience about saving and spending. Logosynthesis can help release the stuck energy. It is so useful that we have even taught a day long workshop to help people sort out this issue.
Ongoing research about trauma is helping me to understand that our brains store traumatic images differently than they store ordinary memories. Traumatic memories are stored in disconnected fragments instead of coherent stories. That may be because all of those details in one place would be too overwhelming to manage. That is also part of the reason those traumatic memories are so hard to "just let go." It's as if you want to assemble a jigsaw puzzle, but some of the pieces are in a kitchen drawer while others are under your pillow and most of the others are in a box in the closet. Before I had Logosynthesis as a tool, I thought it was necessary to assemble all the pieces of the trauma to let it go. Then I learned how to help a client release a single important piece of the stored traumatic memory. Amazingly, once this was done, the rest of the assembly job became unnecessary.
Do you ever wonder what makes it so easy for some people to send back food that isn't properly prepared at a restaurant while to others, the very thought of sending it back causes intense anxiety so they suffer in silence? It probably has something to do with a past event or events you have completely forgotten about. When we feel overwhelmed by something we can't manage, we often solve the problem by quickly putting it out of our awareness--forgetting that it even existed. This effectively freezes energy around that problem. So if you were ignored or punished or shamed when you complained about something long ago, your brain registered that as something to avoid forever. When you might like something to change now, you feel anxious without knowing it's about a forgotten incident or pattern from your history.
Ouch! I heard myself thinking "I still resent that..." and realized how much energy I had frozen into something I had tried to change and simply couldn't. Many of my clients hold resentments about things they have not even tried to change. In any case, resentment is a way of saying I want to stay angry about this--whatever this may be. Resenting something often involves the hidden fantasy that if I stay angry it will hurt the person or thing that did not do what I expected or wanted. The Logosynthesis sentences can be very effective in retrieving the energy that is frozen into any kind of resentment. Just listen for the word "resent" and use it as a signal that your energy is waiting there for you to retrieve it.
My iphone froze on day 2 of a 10-day vacation. I spent hours following every on-line protocol I could find to get it going again--to no avail. Finally my husband took over talking to tech support on his phone and as I sat waiting for the verdict and upset about the wasted vacation time, I heard a voice in my mind saying "You're a bad girl." At the same time I experienced a wash of shame! Wow! Where did that come from??? I first thought defensively--"I didn't do anything wrong!" Then realized I had just stumbled on a piece of stuck energy. It did not really matter where it came from. I used the target "this experience of believing I am a bad girl" with the Logosynthesis sentences and felt better immediately. The phone has a hardware problem and I will get it repaired or replaced when I get home.
One of the first things I learned about using Logosynthesis as a tool to help others reduce anxiety is to not assume anything. Here I am trying to help my reader understand that nobody knows what anybody else is really thinking or feeling! By showing how wrong my assumption was about what was troubling my friend, I hope my reader will be reminded of how easy it is to make mistakes. Of course, the solution is easy! Just ask! Ask yourself, ask your learning partner--"what part of this distresses you the MOST?" That is most likely to be the best clue to finding a useful target. I used my friend's answer to get the target so perfectly that she completely forgot what she was scared about.
During a recent discussion of using this process, one of the participants said, "If you hear a target in what I am saying, tell me." As a very experienced professional it is now fairly easy for me to find the target to use in this simple process. But I have struggled to find an easy way to help my students and my readers find their own targets. One of the simplest ways I have discovered is to start paying attention to emotional intensity. That intensity usually shows up when you come close to a disturbing memory or anticipate a possible problem in the future. Once the target is identified it becomes easy to do the work.
A feeling or emotion is a natural response to something you experience. The experience can be real or imagined. It can be happening now, remembered from your past, or anticipated in the future. Most systems for change focus on changing your feelings. Logosynthesis (this process) has a different focus--the real or imagined experience that triggered your feeling. Your stuck energy is located in the experience that comes just before your emotional response.
Are you tired? Losing energy is such a common experience that most people barely notice it. Of course, the activities of your daily life regularly use up your energy. The problem is that you often put a lot of energy into worrying about things you can't control, trying to make perfect decisions when good enough is good enough and other useless pursuits. This process is a quick and easy way to find and reclaim this lost energy. It will also help you just stop doing those energy draining activities.
Energy either flows naturally or it gets stuck. This image makes sense to almost everyone. You can understand the image because you have seen the flow of water changed or stopped in many different situations. And you know how to release the flow again by removing whatever is interfering with the flow. It is a problem with a solution. When your energy is stuck it does not mean there is something wrong with you. It is simply a problem of releasing what interferes with your energy flow.
When I was just starting to use Logosynthesis in my practice I was used to being very cautious about asking for information about traumatic situations. That's because clients were reluctant to even think about the past because of the pain it evoked. When I learned to ask a different kind of question about the situation I was surprised at how easy it was for my 17-year-old client to remember and talk about his part of her experience.
Experiencing stress, whether it comes from our own urge to grow and explore or from some outside source, can be either helpful or toxic. When you have the resources to manage a stressful challenge, you may feel a sense of excitement and success as you master a new skill. But you live in a complicated, challenging world and if you don't have the resources you need, the stress becomes toxic. I wrote this book to help you learn a new way to release that stress.
Listening to your true Self is a lot like what many people call listening to your heart or listening to your inner wisdom. Some people even call it listening to your gut. The important part here is learning to pay attention to your inner guidance. That means learning to know the difference between impulses and reactions and a quieter, more subtle messaging system. I hope these few paragraphs help you tune in. Just remember, your true Self is not your ego.
The Logosynthesis sentences still seem magical to me. It isn't at all unusual for someone to trip on some present event that reminds them of a past trauma. During most of the years I practiced psychotherapy it could have taken several sessions of skilled work as a therapist to help my client detach from that trauma. And it probably would have involved him re-experiencing the original trauma. Now, using the sentences, the process is so simple and painless that it can be done in just a few minutes.
Encapsulated pain consumes your available energy. The more energy you used to protect yourself from difficult situations in the past, the less you have available to live your life now. When you feel exhausted, depressed and stuck, it may be because so much energy is stuck protecting yourself from situations you could now manage easily. This book is about helping you reclaim that energy to use in your life now--and to do it simply and easily.
Letting go for a baby means the slow process of becoming an independent human being. But this process shows up in lots of other ways. I have been fascinated at all the times everyone needs to go through this process in everyday life. I am not sure why it's easier for some people than for others. Some people love cleaning out their closets and keeping only things they love. Others, like me, keep thinking, "I might want this someday." It's a strange truth that sometimes we even need to let go of happy things to make room for whatever comes next.
I once read a book that said something like, "you surivied--your parents did their job" and since I was still blaming my parents for what their imperfections had done to me, I was a bit resentful. I hope this helps clear up the expectation that anyone can give another human being everything he or she needs. You react to an imperfect environment by doing the best you can using the limited resources you have at the time. That means shutting down your awareness of it by locking up some of your energy. You have more resources now and it's time to reclaim that energy to use now!
Once upon a time--a long time ago--I over-reacted regularly. I had no idea that my energy was stuck in experiences of being criticized by my father. Now, It's embarrassingly easy to identify because I would yell at my husband for relatively small infractions. Not returning my scissors to the right drawer was enough to set me off. So was putting away the pots in the wrong place. Serving my leftovers when it was his turn to cook would make me furious. I finally learned to be less territorial when he pointed out that I could choose between having his help in household chores or doing everything myself so it would be done correctly! I had to bite my tongue for years before I learned that I was safe even if everything was not the way my father would have wanted it to be. I was criticizing my husband the way my father had criticized me! Now, Logosynthesis makes it easy to remove my father's energy from where it had become frozen within me.
I have a long history of trying to disregard the signals my true Self sends me. Maybe you do to. My own favorite way of tuning out those signals is to eat. I have known clients to use every kind of addictive and compulsive to block these important messages. I think our fantasies of what would happen if we tuned in can seem truly overwhelming. In reality, I have experienced doing so as fascinating detective work. I hope reading about this makes it easier for you to notice the messages of your true Self and find the joy of reconnecting with your essence.
When you learn to do something in order, step by step, you learn to think like everyone else. I have always had trouble with this kind of learning so I had an advantage in learning this new process--Logosynthesis. I like thinking differently. When you learn healing skills you learn to focus on relieving suffering.Psychotherapists are trained to relieve the symptom by helping the client understand why it occurs. Much of western medicine uses medication to relieve symptoms each time they occur. Logosynthesis focuses on what the client experiences just before the symptom occurs--the trigger for the symptom. Once the trigger is identified we use words to dissolve it. Once the trigger is gone, it no longer can stimulate the symptom.
Holding on is easier...at first. Letting go and realizing that I will still be OK without the support is still tough for me so when I wrote this part I wanted to emphasize that this is a normal cycle for everyone. Nearly 50 years after the fact I can still remember my interrupted sleep when my son was a baby learning to pull himself up on the side of his crib. At 5 am I would stagger into the other room, unhook his tiny fists, lay him down, pat his back and try to soothe him back to sleep. I would go back to bed, doze off, hear more wails and repeat the cycle! I was holding on too--to the idea that he should learn faster and let me sleep. I learned, he learned and we repeated the struggle in hundreds of not thousands of ways over the years...
I love doing psychotherapy because it requires me to be "in the zone" with my clients. And I get to hear their fascinating and sometimes heartbreaking life stories. Now, using Logosynthesis as a tool, I still need to be "in the zone" but we no longer need to go through the painful and traumatic stories in order to relieve distress. All we need to know is what is triggering the client's current distress. Once we know that, saying the sentences and reclaiming the energy stuck in the trigger usually provides relief.
I discovered a bit of my own stuck energy many years ago in a yoga class. I was about 30. My teacher encouraged me to do a somersault, saying I was strong enough to do it. I resisted but finally tried it. When I was upside down I started to sob and kept sobbing for a long time. I had no idea why. Later, while studying psychotherapy I connected to the source of the problem. When I was about 4 I was in the surf with my father, he lost his grip on me and I was tossed upside down in salt water for what was probably a few seconds. I don't know what happened immediately afterwards, but 26 years later the trauma associated with the energy that got stuck was triggered by a similar (unusual) physical position.
Past stress does not need to be particularly traumatic to cause current problems. But the truth is that most people have no idea that much current anxiety and stress have very little to do with current events. When you did not have enough resources (love, attention and support from others) when something difficult happened, you tried to manage your distress by focusing on something else. When something current reminds you of your past distress you feel it again. Knowing that is the first step to healing the past so it does not interfere with the present.
Before I learned this process I could and would re-tell my stories of being wronged to whomever would listen. I liked telling my stories! And my friends would listen and share their stories too! A wonderful experience of mutual sharing and support. I knew I should let those stories go, but I just couldn't stop thinking about them. After I learned how easy it was to take my energy out of the story--not exactly forget the story--it just stopped mattering very much--I was no longer very interested in sharing it. I had to find new things to talk to my friends about...
It's not too much of a challenge for me to learn to think of problems as disturbances in the flow of energy. After all, I grew up reading Science Fiction and watching Star Trek. The biggest challenge was to help my readers disengage from thinking about external forces as the source of stress and anxiety that need to be managed. Instead I needed to help them see those events as markers that just direct us to the area we can actually impact--the places energy is blocked. This is the first section in which the idea of blockage in personal energy flow is introduced as important for relief. I develop it throughout the book.
I love the first sentence of this section. It is a part of the preface written by Dr. Willem Lammers, the discoverer of Logosynthesis, the rapid anxiety relief method described in this book. I was a bit reluctant to ask Dr. Lammers for this preface because my approach to teaching his material is so different from his. After all he is a European academic with incredibly deep knowledge of many different areas of healing. I am a non-traditionally trained psychotherapist and adult educator. In any case, I was thrilled with his response and I am delighted to share it with you here.
These are the words of Dr. Willem Lammers, the discoverer of Logosynthesis, the anxiety relieving process described in this book. His discovery was accidental--an intuitive jump he could only make from such a rich professional heritage. I am a professional colleague of Dr. Lammers in the International Transactional Analysis Association. When I was first introduced to this revolutionary method though, I dismissed it. It was not until I experienced it for myself that I understand how powerful it is. My goal is to share that understanding with you so that you can experience that power in your own life.
I used a team of volunteers to help me create and refine this book. Some were professional Logosynthesis practitioners from around the world who readily agreed to join my closed Facebook group. They were all very encouraging but I was concerned about whether someone who knew nothing about this revolutionary new process would find the material useful. Several people in my own community graciously agreed to read the work in progress and give me feedback about it. Karen was one of them. The next response is from a wonderful Swiss corporate consultant who gave me feedback about how to make this more useful to her clients. I am so grateful to all who helped me complete this project.
Truly, when most people look at their distress as a problem in energy flow, the problem becomes easier to solve. Instead of blaming yourself or someone else because of some interpretation--or misinterpretation--or what is happening around you or has happened in the past, you just look for stuck energy. The process for actually releasing the stuck energy involves ONLY using words to guide your true Self to to do the job. Once your energy is flowing again, you simply move on.
As I reread this section I remember how uncertain I was about even telling my good friends about this unusual approach to healing. I did not quite believe in it myself. I only knew that I had experienced some startling personal impacts when a professional friend used it with me. The training we had traveled over 2100 miles each way to attend had been somewhat confusing and results there seemed minor. All I was certain about was that the worst thing that could happen was nothing at all.
This passage tells the story of how I got hooked on this incredibly simple and profound new process. I had heard about it before but didn't sound very plausible to me so I dismissed it. I want to show my readers the results others have experienced to understand the benefits of learning more. I have been a therapist for 45 years. These results continue to startle me even after studying and using the process for over 5 years.
Many of my readers are ashamed of being stressed, feeling anxious and feeling exhausted. I want them to know that these kinds of problems are almost universal challenge for people trying to manage busy lives. This book is about a surprising, recent discovery that allows readers to manage these problems far more easily than every before. Although this is a powerful tool for psychotherapists, coaches and other people helpers to use in their work, almost anyone who wants to can use this book to learn to apply this new rapid stress-relief process to their own lives.
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