I felt all tingly inside for a few minutes afterward, a little giddy, you know, like when you just can’t keep your lips and cheeks from grinning all over your face?
After that, I didn’t notice too much of a difference, but something had changed…even if just a little.
That tiny experiment would eventually cascade with diligent repetition and thousands more experiments just like it into a radical transformation of the way I saw everything in my life.
It may not have been as monumental as the first time ever having sex, but the first time I ever did the slow face stretching, I knew I’d found something very different from any of the other life change and consciousness exploration approaches I’d been mired in for years.
Those first 5 minutes of stretching my face led all the way to me doing this business and writing you this email right now.
I just finished an hourlong undoing session–conducted by my beautiful partner, who’s getting quite good at it now–and I figured it’s time to get more personal about how all this came to be.
After the first time I stretched my face, I noticed a small time distortion, and the hold my emotions had over me seemed to loosen up…just a little.
Instead of identifying with the sadness, anger, or even happiness, I noticed a strangely deeper level of something creeping into my awareness. Something made itself known underneath all those shifting emotions and changing mental states, I just didn’t know what the hell to call it, yet.
Here’s a vintage video of me demonstrating the face stretching, long before the days of Command Z:
There’s something so utterly simple about listening to and following the wisdom of your own body that you can manage to ignore it for years.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve made the same trade unknowingly–you traded the simple flow of your organic, embodied life for a mind overflowing with stress and complexity.
The other part of that trade that no one ever seems to talk about requires your body to bear the burden of your mental overwhelm in the form of anxiety, tension, and rigidity. Look around, you can find the rigidity everywhere…
Listen to it in the voice of the cashier at the gas station.
See it in the shoulders of the waiter bringing your food.
Taste it in the chemicals designed to make you eat fifty more chips long after you stopped feeling hungry.
Smell it in the deodorant hiding your animal nature.
Feel it in your own tensed muscles.
I’m here for one reason: to tell you you’re beautiful exactly as you find yourself right now. 100% self acceptance is a prerequisite to this whole undoing journey, so I want to inspire that in your from the start, and all along the way.
This is your wake up call to go deeper into your life, and start enjoying a hell of a lot more of it…exactly as you experience it now, and even more as you go deeper.
You can start today by setting a timer–right now–for 5 minutes. Then just stretch and move every part of your face SLOWLY. Your eyes in different directions, nostrils, cheeks, forehead, brows, lips, tongue, and jaw. Breathing deeply while you keep stretching and moving your face–SLOWLY.
After the 5 minutes, just close your eyes and feel what you can feel in your face.
In the next post, I’ll tell you about the emergency going on in your neck and shoulders, and how to get the weight of the world off your back.
The only trick here is actually doing the exercises. That’s what you’re here for, so like Tim Leary used to say: Take a chance and break your trance. This is your life. This is your consciousness. So claim it and enjoy!
Soon, I’ll tell you about another first time…before which, I had no idea that I even had a body. Yeah, it’s that weird…but true.
Leave a comment or email me and let me know how it felt when YOU did the exercise. I love hearing from you.
PS: The next round of Radical Undoing intensives starts on May 3…and I’ll be doing a free, live Q and A on google hangouts very soon, so stay tuned!
“Man, when he is merely what he seems to be, is almost nothing.” -Antonio Porchia
From the moment we are born, the world gives us the impulse–and many times forces us–to have control over our lives. Emotions, behaviors, thoughts, everything must be regulated. We enter adulthood having learned to judge every detail of our existence, evaluating ourselves based on how much control we’ve acquired in the different areas of our lives: our bodies, job, bank account, interpersonal relationships, housing, etc.
We identify all situations where we feel we have no control as problems or difficulties. We also tend to categorize people and situations that aren’t living their lives within the proper parameters of control as dangerous and to be avoided.
In Colombia, my country of origin, there’s a saying about this: It is better bad and known than good and unknown.
The paradox resides in the fact that the more we believe we have control, the less prepared we are for the times where having it is just not possible, and we feel like victims of circumstances.
Our beliefs wear down and with them our capacities to accept ourselves wither away. We all know people who seemed to be very solid in their lives, but suddenly during an unexpected moment they succumbed to madness and lost all the apparent control they had over themselves and over the lives of others.
The father of a close friend of mine–after being very proud of the way he raised his family and thinking that his sons were under his control–became very aggressive and later depressed after one of them revealed that he was gay. The man blamed his wife, the school system, and finally himself for his son’s sexual preference.
Although, if we reflect about what having control—over our bodies, our minds, our environment and the people around us—means, what we find is that it’s related to our ability to accurately predict the future. My friend’s father thought that by controlling his son’s daily routines, schedules, and attitudes, he could prevent or minimize unexpected and undesirable future situations, but of course, he couldn’t.
This raises many questions. Is having control over things a guarantee for the future? Is life predetermined? Are acts of control and repression necessary to ensure a predictable future? If so, is it satisfying and desirable to always know what the future holds?
In my own life, a powerful urge to control my physical appearance required me to repress emotions and behaviors that seemed to be against my desire for control. Ideas about my appearance dominated my mind. Whenever the scales and mirrors didn’t match up with my ideals, I felt weak, useless, and unable to accomplish anything in life.
Our lives are always transforming and will continue to do so for as long as we live. False ideas about control can make us lose our heads when reality doesn’t live up to our expectations.
Many times, the desire to control is nothing more than a desperate attempt to avoid or alleviate our underlying sense of uncertainty, which is one of our greatest fears.
Despite our best efforts to dodge the impending insecurity, all our intents to repress, dominate or control inevitably lead to disappointments and failures.
When certain of my relationships came to an end, I felt very disappointed, because I had believed that trying to control everything I could about myself and my partner would somehow guarantee that it would last forever…
Much of our beliefs about control come from distorted ideas about how life really works. It’s a lie. We think we’re in complete control of our lives, but then something unexpected comes up to disappoint our best efforts (which is going to happen at some point no matter how much we try to avoid it). Then we experience feelings of guilt and shame, which perpetuate an endless cycle of trying to control, falling apart, and then trying again over and over.
The reality is that we’re not controlling anything in this way, we’re just following instructions, obeying an external authority who gave us the erroneous beliefs in the first place. And while we’re too busy trying to control the uncontrollable, our own lives are being governed by others, and this is where we are losing the only real thing we can be in charge of: being ourselves, connecting with our own truth.
Welcoming the uncertainty, learning how to flow in all situations in life, connecting with ourselves and with the rhythms in everything we experience, and living from a position of genuine curiosity rather than from fear and obedience; these are the keys to being empowered and letting of the belief that we’re victims of our circumstances.
Working with Command Z and doing the undoing exercises every day has been leading me through a process of re-discovering myself. I’m learning to navigate the different aspects of my life without the fear of losing control. What before seemed abnormal or chaotic, I now see as essential parts of my development.
And I’ve discovered that it’s more exciting to not know what tomorrow brings than to try to control or anticipate it. I don’t care much about divination anymore because now I know from my own experiences and sensations that there is nothing to control, everything is as it is, in its right place.
Human beings are built to transform. Unfortunately, no matter how externally “successful” we are, we use only a fraction of our inherent abilities.
While we have our ideas about why this may be, the important thing is to change it.
Command Z sessions, courses, and workshops are all based on the idea that you can be much more than the limited creature you are right now. This doesn’t merely mean taking a placebo or grasping on to the next self-help or new age fad to try to “feel good” or fit in better with the crowd. It means doing real work that changes your body, mind, and emotions on a deep level.
They say you can judge the value of a scientific theory by how many previous theories it makes obsolete. The effectiveness of our techniques and expertise make most of the self-help, new age, and personal development market obsolete.
You could search for years going in circles and not find the techniques that we use at Command Z. We use them not because of any particular lineage we belong to, but because they work. And though they work differently for each person, we have the expertise to make sure that you get the most out of them.
Get in touch via my personal email and I’ll get on the phone or Skype with you for 30 minutes so we can assess your situation and inspire your transformation.
I have a confession to make. I love making courses… and creating experiences that transform people’s lives for the better. But, I’m often lost as to how to explain them. I get loads of thank you letters from people so I know the course is right. But I can’t figure out how to explain any of it to someone who’s new. However, a client (Scott) who recently did an intensive with me said it well (italics added by me):
“At first, I got my feet wet with basic undoing exercises. And a session here and there. But, even doing just a small handful of these techniques, I began experiencing it. Less stress… deep relaxation… dissolving of anxiety and a deep ability to just enjoy my life.
“So, when the opportunity came up to take part in the first ever Command Z intensives… I had already experienced first hand how great this stuff was…. so I signed up. And the results were dynamite…
“The intensives started off with some good momentum and by the end of the first week you’re literally seeing your inner and outer world change (in a good way). It took my life to a whole ‘nother level. What started as some initial relaxation and other goodies snowballed into something bigger.
“When you take the intensive, you can really feel you’re going somewhere with all this. That sense of adventure. That feeling that you always had when you were a kid, the magic of every day life that died away at some point in your teen years… it just starts coming back. And it just keeps snowballing into something even greater.
“And… In all honesty my personal life was extremely hectic during the intensive… so I wasn’t even able to complete all of the intensive work each day. But, even though I was doing less than all of it… My work and home life suddenly became more enjoyable. I started to look forward to everything. It really does feel like you’re high on life (minus the cheesy motivational seminar that lasts for a week followed by sinking back into some miserable existence). The results of this stuff lasts.
“And Rather than being happy for 10 minutes now and then… and only when you think you should feel it… Happiness almost always. Without needing a reason. Joy just for the bliss of joy. No need to wait for it to come. Hear me out on this:
Living this way can not be given a price, it is your birthright.”
Ya know, maybe I’ll never figure out how to explain this stuff. But, the results are undeniable for anyone who’s gone through it. If you’d like some of that for yourself… that always-with-you feeling of excitement and joy… join me in the next round of intensives. Think about it.
30 days from now, you could be on your way to new-found happiness…and finally find a sense of satisfaction in life. Or… things could stay exactly as they are (for better… or worse). The choice is yours.
P.S. Send me an email right away to get signed up for the next round of intensives starting on March 15. I can only accept a maximum of 30 people per month (only 10 with private weekly sessions. Non-session option is $597 for this round, and this is likely the last time you’ll be able to take the intensives for that low. Email me to receive your personal invitation and interview). And I wouldn’t want you to miss it. So, contact me right away… before you forget.
His work has always stood out to me for their focus on body awareness and organic experience.
In a genre filled with fantastical thinking, wishing, and imagining, Antero’s approaches to consciousness exploration remain grounded in the body and individual perception.
Keep your body in mind while you listen to the discussion, and treat it as a jumping off point for your own individual exploration of your mind, body, perception, and life.
Antero and I have a free-flowing conversation starting with the 8-Circuit-Brain model and it’s relation to direct experience, and then we go deeper into Paratheatre, and his ParaTheatrical ReSearch project stretching over the last 3 decades.
The images above are paratheatre stills from “Dreambody/Earthbody: A Paratheatre video document by Antero Alli (2012; 80 min)”; photo credit: A. Alli.
His most recent offering is this year’s 8 Circuit Brain 8 Week Online Course, starting on March 14, 2014.
Enjoy the interview in the player or by downloading below, and let us know what you think here in the comments!
Anthony Halvorson is a client of mine from Minneapolis, Minnesota. We met a few years ago and he’s asked me to share this with you.