The crucial difference between being flexible and being floppy, or What is the difference between people who grow and people who don’t?

One of the 67 steps talks about the acquired attitude in life, called by Martin Seligman: Learned Helplessness.

It is a distinction, and it seems that none of my students have even attempted to observe it, identify it, and recognize it... like the color in the color exercise. 1

Because nearly everyone has it, and because it is so important to recognize it, recognize it as a learned behavior, not innate, not natural, not coming from the Tree of Life, I am going to do the work here... as a demonstration of what mastering the color exercise can give you.

Let me start with the experiment Martin Seligman did: he put a dog in a box and gave it electric shocks. The box could not escape: it was in a box.

Then lowered the walls of the box, and did it again.

By this time the dog "learned" that there is no sense in doing anything, it is hopeless, it cannot escape... so it just sat there, bearing the shocks.

Instead of putting words into the dog's mouth, which puts as straight on the Tree of Knowledge and the emotions, let's concentrate on the Tree of Life... where we may learn something useful.

Looking from the Tree of Life... from sensations, the dog is limp, floppy, it has given up, it's a victim, powerless.

But the most important thing is that it's limp.

Does not even hold itself with dignity.

That is you.

Everywhere.

You have no core...

Yesterday we had an emergency exercise class (not yoga, Jill, exercise, jumping around) and our exercise class is to make seniors strong enough that they won't fall and break their hip.

So the class has a lot of stand up/sit down type of exercises.

If you try to stand up as you are... you are floppy. Standing up is hard, and you flip and flop.

On the other hand, if you breathe out while you are standing up, that simple addition makes your core solid and standing up is a simple smooth move. Your knees may hurt, but that's it.

So, what can we learn from this unexpected change? That your core is what makes life easy, doing things easy, learning easy.

Your core.

In the stand up exercise it is both physical and attitude. If you think you can't... you won't breathe out.

You want to be right... for your own evil purposes. Get off the hook, not having to be responsible... "You see that I can't... baaah." Sinister.

Pure learned helplessness.

The question is: what would strengthen your core? Both in the moment, and permanently.

In yoga you are asked to do things that unless your core is strong AND flexible, you'll fall. So you get up and do it again.

I don't care what anyone says about yoga: this is the essence of yoga. To become a person who can. Who can do anything, or she can't she'll find out by doing it and doing it and doing it.

The expression I like to say: I'll do it or die trying it.

If you are on the level of a dog who just sits there whimpering, this sounds obscene to you. You have a TLB 1 and you live on the Tree of Knowledge, where your emotions justify your behavior. You are wretched, and your life is boring.

To be an expanding human being, to live by the Original Design, you need to have a strong core, fortified with virtues you learned, one by one.

This is what I teach you on this site, in my coaching programs, in my health consultation, on my webinars.

I already know what will be your weak points by your soul correction, with at least 90% certainty.

  • Some will refuse to do it... and will argue that they can't.
  • Some will refuse to do it... but will talk about what they should do... endlessly.
  • Some will explain what they experience, what they think, what is what... but won't do it. Or maybe do it once and write me a celebratory email.
  • The variety of attitude is as rich as the soul corrections...

I have some amazing students with amazing core they built over the years.

I get misty eyes when I think of them.

One is a family man. His young son is frequently ill... just began school.

Last week he fell ill with belly ache. Instead of taking him to the doctor he put him in bed, gave him fluids... and contacted me.

Caring for a child is a huge responsibility. What if I screw up? What if I miss something? I was terrified. But I did what I could... suggested stuff... prune juice, walking, withholding solid food... even though for four, maybe five days the child wasn't getting better.

Last night I think I was more ill than the child. What if the child has appendicitis...

So I suggested that maybe the pain is just a phantom pain... give that the child could poop... but if the child doesn't get better, he should get a lab test for elevated white blood cells.

When I connected to the child I felt peace and no pain.

This morning I woke up to an email: the child is well and happy.

The three people who had to have trust... which is the most important part of a strong core, the mother, the father and me, proved to ourselves that we can.

I am choking up and smiling at the same time... But such is life, the life of someone who can.

Doing only things that you know you can do is for weaklings... but for doing the seemingly impossible, you need a strong core.

And most of what we do here looks impossible, looked from the culture, the Tree of Knowledge, from your past.

But nothing is impossible for who is willing to go for it.

The operative word is "willing".

And this takes us to the last identifying "feature" of learned helplessness: unwillingness.

There must be a payoff... a hidden sinister benefit to refusing to do something. To say "don't tell me what to do!" or saying "I can't do it" or however you maintain your floppy or rigid stance of remaining the same.

One of the measurements in your Starting Point Measurements is about your behavior when someone suggests a correction, or an action to you.

The categories are "wise, foolish and evil" I think from the bible.

I must tell you: I have not had anyone yet who was a "wise" person.

Most people are "evil"... meaning they'll bite the hand that points in the right direction...

The more desire for the self alone your soul correction has, the less you are going to be willing to follow instructions.

Pretending to follow instructions

And pretending to follow instructions, like some of you do, is, maybe even worse... because you only think you are fooling me... so you have glee as an instant payoff... Nasty, nasty.

And while most play this game thinking they are winning, some others, quietly living a life of growth and expansion, and being happy, having a happy family who are also growing.

Because what is in common in these two people (the one with the sick child and this other winner) is that the family they create is also growing.

You are not an island, and you can't do it alone... unless you live alone.

Enrolling your family in becoming growing is going to be the assurance that you can't get off the hook.

Watch what you say to this in your head... That is your floppiness... got it? Saw it? No manage it.

Footnotes

  1. The goal of the color exercise is to get to a point where you can see the color everywhere, even where you could not see it before. Transferred to other distinctions, for example "learned helplessness" you would be able to see learned helplessness in all behaviors where it is a component, or where it is underneath other behaviors... you would suspect it in areas where you never produce results, etc.

    The real secret in distinctions and the ferreting them out is this: you cannot be responsible for what you can't see. So the goal is to see where previously you could not see. But see with your own eyes. Not through someone else's.

    If I point out a behavior, you may correct it, this specific behavior, for this one time. But if you cannot see the pattern, the distinction, then you'll leave all the other occurrences of the behavior wreak havoc.

    In essence I am teaching you to see on this site, to see. Most of you refuse to see... by the way.

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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