Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Breaking Through My Barriers Part I

It's the last quarter of the year, the last chance I have of fulfilling one of my resolutions when this year started and that is to blog some more (God knows I got a ton of travelogues lined up for this!) I used to find solace, comfort, happiness and wisdom in writing my thoughts and experiences here and in my other blogs as well. But due to time constraint, overflowing responsibilities and depression... yes, depression, I haven't been able to realize (yet) my goal of blogging regularly. Well, I hope to change that starting this month. Since I'm usually on U.S. time zone, then it's still the first of October today and I'd like to believe, this is a good start. 

Let me then begin by telling you about the cause of my happiness lately; why I've been feeling a lot perkier than usual, my mood swings seem to have stopped and I'm just able to control more how I view my life these days. Though there are still pockets of moments when I'd just suddenly feel down, I now know how to switch it the other way. Here goes...

with RR Herrera and Carelle Mangaliag (owners of Train Station)

I've been invited by my dear friend Carelle Mangaliag, owner of Train Station and a renowned Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) pioneer and master practitioner here in the Philippines, to participate in one of her amazing programs called Breaking Through Barriers (BTB), countless of times. But I'd always find an excuse not to go. Don't get me wrong, many of my excuses were valid like I'd be traveling or attending a previous engagement or the last excuse I used was when baboo Peter got sick (which was true!) after I got back from my 2-week Siargao trip. But knowing myself, if I really wanted to go or do something, I'd move heaven and earth to do it. That's my personality. I'm  a rebel that way. Anyway, I digress... 

So Carelle would always invite me. I've already seen many of her trainings before because I used to document these things and assist her when she was still connected with Motivating Minds, also a training company. Admittedly, even if I wasn't a real participant, even if I was just at the sidelines watching and assisting her during those times, I admit that I've already learned a lot. I've even shared with some of my friends how to practice a few of the NLP principles I learned (like how to tell if someone is lying, how to make someone fall in love with you, how to be amazing) and it has been an awesome and life-changing experience. However, deep down, I know that it wasn't enough... I knew that because of my baggage, past traumas and painful experiences, coming out of my shell would be hard. It's like I always have these negative voices in my head pulling me down. 

It wasn't until I posted something on Facebook (see image below --- I also shared this with you on my post about Childless Marriage when ABS-CBN and TV5 interviewed me before) that really got Carelle's attention. That was when she again invited me to join Breaking Through Barriers (BTB).

I admit, I've been depressive for sometime and if you're my friend on facebook and have been following my posts for several months now, you'll know what I'm talking about. When I voiced out one of my deepest emotions the past month, both new and old friends have also started sending me private messages voicing out their concern. I was touched. And I thank these friends of mine (you know who you are) who offered their opinion, help and support. It was humbling. I saw perspectives that I didn't see before and deep down I know that the decision to change myself, my state of mind, is ultimately mine. After all, who wouldn't get tired of waking up feeling so sad and depressed all the time? This was actually one of the reasons why I went to Taiwan last year for two weeks to learn about Buddhism and meditation. But these things --- traveling, bonding with baboo and friends, doing things I love, etc. --- weren't enough anymore! They were just band-aid solutions covering the root causes of my problems. It's about time that I seek the help of experts who can show me concrete strategies to work on my personal barriers and hopefully overcome them!

Basically, the training I attended last Sept. 21-22 was about this:

One of my barriers before, why I usually decline Carelle's invitations, was that I was feeling too proud. In my head, I was thinking, "I already know this! I have all the self-help books in my possession to help me out with my psychoses!" And yet, when I finally attended the first day of training that fateful Saturday, the first thing that Carelle taught us was to engender the "Know Nothing State". I felt ashamed of myself! No wonder I keep hitting the same wall whatever I do! It's because I was too all-knowing, too proud to really admit that I don't know anything. 

Writing about it now, this instant, I remember what one of my Ateneo Philosophy professors taught us back in college... That famous quote by one of my favorite Philosophers, Socrates, who said: “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” HOW COULD I FORGET THIS??? I got straight A's in all of my written and oral examinations back then! How could have I let go of this principle that I dearly held on to after I graduated 14 years ago? I guess life does take its toll on us human beings. With everything going on day in and day out, we do tend to forget the greatest lessons once taught us by great thinkers. Now that I am reminded of this, I really appreciate it.

Anyway, I won't delve into the details of how the whole training seminar went for two days. But I will list down the personal barriers that I have broken down so far. I didn't plan this. I was actually skeptic if I can do this, if after the training something good will indeed happen to me. My expectations were very low. I just wanted to be a teensy bit happy. But things did happen! Things I didn't expect to happen, happened and continue to happen. I guess our brain really is trainable. Once you learn how to unlock that part of your brain that holds you back, the possibilities for happiness are endless! 

I'll be posting about these things tomorrow, I promise. Til then! :)

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