November 1994. Profoundly depressed, I sat on a rainy beach in Nanaimo, British Columbia (Canada), and wallowed in the shit that my young life had already become.
Just one year before, I'd quit my crappy job, dumped my crappy relationships, and said goodbye (and "screw you") to East Coast New Brunswick. I'd hopped a plane and started over on the west coast. It was a wonderful, empowering moment of my life.
My new job was horrible. I hated everything about it. Eventually I got fired. But I was saddled with an apartment I couldn't afford, a roommate who went from one life-threatening drama to another, and a handful of "friends" who did nothing but criticize me and demand that I do things for them.
My life was just the same as it had been, only worse.
And then I saw it: there was only one common denominator between the life I'd had one year before and the life I had now.
Something inside me had turned my life to shit ...that something was my MindTree
Somehow I had left a bad job and created a worse job. I'd left a set of abusive personal and professional relationships and created a bigger set of even more abusive personal and professional relationships.
All the goals I set for myself a year before I not only failed to achieve, but cost myself whatever small happiness I'd had before I took this big risk.
I had done this to myself.
I had to control this demon force within me.
If you aren't aware of your MindTree, you have no power to be happy
When I got that it was me - not the world outside me - that made my life the way it was, I immediately started looking for ways to change (fix) myself.
For 21 years, I have committed tens of thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars to contemplation, acupuncture, neurolinguistic programming and hypnosis, counselling, therapy, naturopathic supplements, chiropractic adjustments, dietary controls, training, coaching, and experimentation.
All for one reason: I desperately needed to get power over my own life and happiness.
But I was putting all my energy in the wrong place.
It is the MindTree - not the world - that controls what happens to us
Like many people, I was raised collectivist. I was taught that I was a cog in the wheel, that my role in life was to be a "good citizen," a "contributor to society." I felt that the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the individual. I believed that the key to my happiness was to make everyone else happy.
Then it would be a happy world and I would live in it and enjoy it and everything would be hunky-dory.
There was just this one, gigantic, grotesque, impossibly-huge flaw in my logic: the world does not control how I feel.
All the work I now do comes from the same premise: your brain controls your body and your mind tells your brain what it needs to do.
Your brain, locked safely inside your skull, has no idea what's happening in the world around you unless you see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the world around you ...and then interpret that information.
The interpretation part is done by your "MindTree," the decision-making computer program of your brain.
But what if you don't know this? What if you believe that the world around you directly controls your body?
For example, what if you believe that germs, toxins, or allergens "make" your brain, colon, or skin react a certain way? What if you believe that words that come out of other people's mouths "make" emotions happen in your body, "make" your hormones do certain things, "make" certain words come out of your mouth (and maybe even make certain actions come out of your fists and feet)?
If you try to control the world, you will become sick
I had panic disorder and a tumour on my left ovary. I had bronchitis every winter. I was addicted to cigarettes, and no matter what method I used to quit, I never lasted more than a year. And I got fat and depressed without my smokes.
I had a lot of other health problems too. I had severe back pain on the right side of my back, all the way down my leg to the top of my foot. I had blood sugar problems, fainting spells, pleural effusion, and nodules on one of my lungs. And a bunch of other annoying stuff.
I was, as I nicknamed myself years before, "Ugly Disease Girl."
I also went from one abusive relationship to another, both in my personal life and in my professional life. I reached a point where I became convinced that I was asking for it, that I was creating the abuse myself. I began to hate myself for being a victim.
All of this quietly, while people around me applauded my success, my strength, my courage, and my unique ability to solve any kind of problem.
They did not know what was happening inside me. I was alone. I was totally unhappy.
It took me 21 years to be able to see my MindTree
First I saw pieces of my thinking. For example, I noticed that some people had no interest in saving or investing. Some people were happy just to receive whatever life gave them.
Some people were even capable of asking for what they wanted and seemed to actually expect to receive it.
This was revelatory for me. I was raised to believe that I had no right to anything unless I earned it, saved it, created it myself. And to get anything from anyone else, they had to owe it to me. I called this, "The Debt Theory of Life." And I saw that it was something I had learned, but that it was an idea, not a physical fact.
And it was possible to not have this idea. I saw that this was a thought or belief that I had, and that it was part of my mental structure.
(And it was possible to be happy by not having this idea)
Over the years, I learned more and more about the biology if illness. I knew, from my symptoms, that I had an "identity conflict" and also an "entrapment conflict" (which is the "freeze" part of fight-flight-freeze).
Eventually I began to see that the conflicts all branched off of each other. That an identity conflict could lead to an entrapment conflict because, not knowing where I belonged (identity conflict), I could feel that I was in the "wrong" place or situation and have a need to get out of it (entrapment conflict).
And those conflicts branched more and more, into auditory conflicts (fear of heights/flying phobia), betrayal conflicts (autism), territorial fear (bronchitis), fight-flight conflicts (blood sugar)...
Our beliefs and conflicts are organized into a tree - the MindTree
Our symptoms and problems are all connected to each other.
By understanding that one problem, left unresolved, will lead to more problems, we get a really important piece of knowledge: underneath every conflict is another conflict.
We can work our way backwards. We can solve our conflicts by turning and facing into them instead of running away from them.
As long as a conflict remains unresolved, it will keep producing symptoms and problems and those symptoms and problems can cause new conflicts, which create new symptoms and problems.
The result is that we get totally lost in all our problems.
But, since most of us learn early in life the collectivist mindset of "going along to get along," most of us will become obsessed with trying to avoid everything that's wrong with us. Most of us will spend at least a portion of our lives just trying to be normal, just trying to stop our symptoms from exploding into more and more symptoms.
When we do this, we're screwed. Because from the place of avoiding symptoms, we are also avoiding solving them.
How to climb down the MindTree and resolve all your symptoms
Every biological problem is really the brain's attempt to resolve a conflict in the MindTree. Knowing this, I now ask a very different question than I used to.
I used to ask, "What's wrong with me that's causing this symptom?"
Now I ask, "How is this symptom a solution to a problem?"
And then I see, as I rip off the bandaid, that there is a deeper wound. And that wound is a bandaid for a deeper wound yet.
And beneath all of them, at the very core, the deepest wound of all. The original.
At the bottom, it is always a spiritual wound
It has taken 21 years, but I finally know what makes me unhappy.
It has nothing to do with other people. It has nothing to do with limitations of the economy. It has nothing to do with any physical thing "out there."
It has nothing to do with the devil or even God.
It's all just an idea. One simple idea.
That I might not really be anything.
Why it's so important to get help
Once you see your own MindTree, you've got it in the bag. You can just look at your own decisions, see how illogical they are, and choose a different way of seeing things.
But if you're reading this, you, too, were almost certainly once a child who was taught to go along to get along.
Before you were even trained to not shit in your own pants, you were trained to obey people bigger than you. Because they said so, that's why.
And so, you are wearing collectivist-coloured glasses. You believe that your happiness, your purpose, your identity, your very reason for existing, has to do with the world "out there."
So that's where you're looking for solutions.
In the same way that the eye can't see itself, the MindTree can't know that it exists. Until you look in a mirror.
Therapy, counselling, inner work - even a good friend - these are your mirror. These are the only way you can see the forest for the MindTree.
Many of us never learn this. It's a sad testimony, but most people don't live 70-90 years; we live the same year 70-90 times. What a waste of our human potential!
If I could make everyone in the world understand one thing, it would be this
Your selfish individual wellness is the only thing that has ever mattered or will ever matter. And you cannot get it from the world "out there."
Everything you do to try and get your happiness from "out there" is making you sick and unhappy.
The solution is so simple. It's difficult, it's a total reversal of what you've probably been trained to do since infancy, but it's really so simple.
It's about switching your perspective, flipping the switch in your MindTree, recognizing that you aren't looking at the world "out there" ...you're looking at a mirror.
Turn into that which you have been trained and conditioned to avoid.
Then hold on, because the ride back to the Truth is wild.
Through a series of powerful communication techniques I call "the MindTree Integration Process™" I can help you see your MindTree and resolve your primary symptom in a 1.5-hour online session.
Book your Resolve Your Symptom at its Source Session today ...and not only can you reverse the conditions that are holding back your happiness, you'll discover the meaning and purpose for creating those conditions in the first place (so you never have to create them again).