Today I promised to get into my own undoing story a little more deeply than yesterday. I’ll be telling a lot more of the story as we go, and giving you some exercises and motivation along the way.
I recently asked folks on FB what they feel is the most important factor in self transformation. What do you think they said?
The most common answer was motivation.
So, my goal with these emails, and with all the courses, workshops and live experiences is not only to give you the most powerful, effective, and satisfying transformation techniques and approaches in the known universe–but also to help keep you motivated to take action and actually DO the exercises, experiments, and adventures on a daily basis–so you can start living a more flowing and enjoyable life…right fucking now.
I want this to be so beneficial to you that it even helps you start living a better and more fulfilling life yesterday.
Yes, you read that correctly. I said I want to make your life better yesterday, as well as today and tomorrow. How the hell can I do that, you ask?
By getting you to shrug all the shit off your shoulders that really doesn’t matter. Once you do that, even the most difficult and painful of your memories will start to reveal something deeper…something more…something quite beautiful when you learn how to stop interpreting and judging, and instead, start appreciating everything about your life, and what brought you to where you are now–> waking up and taking action to make it even better.
That’s what monkeys, chips, and worlds all have in common: none of them belong on your shoulders!
(Ok, it could be cool to have a monkey on your shoulder, I agree. But don’t let him get on your back, or you’ll have real trouble trying to remove him.)
The point of all this is to get you to realize that when you focus on problems, challenges, obstacles, complaints, and other shit that brings you down, you’re not focusing on appreciating and flowing with what’s actually going on in the life you’re actually experiencing.
Once you get all those imaginary burdens out of your mind, you can start taking action and doing things that bring you tremendous joy and satisfaction. All those things you’ve always wanted to do, but make excuses for why you CAN’T. Start now by replacing all your CANTs with WONTs, and then decide to do what it takes to turn your WONTs into WILL!
Then do it.
Just like today’s exercise. This is one of the first exercises I learned after the face stretching, and I gave it the name Atlas Shrugged, to remind me of the statue of Atlas and how it’s time to let go of the news, the issues, the woes of the world, and to start doing what you can with what you’ve got.
Just pull your shoulders up to your ears as high and as tightly as you can (be careful if you have injuries…NEVER force anything). Hold them up with a lot of tension and pressure for AT LEAST one full minute. Keep breathing the whole time.
Once the minute’s up, inhale fully, pull them up even tighter, and then thrust them down while making a loud “AH” sound and exhaling fully. Then just feel the effects the exercise had on you.
Here’s a look at a brand new video I made for a special new course we’re putting together. I wanted to show it to you first, so let me know what you think. I really value hearing from you, and I write back to everyone.
When I first did Atlas Shrugged, I remember feeling so much relief in my shoulders, and in my mind. At that time, many of my old faithful allegiances to politics, saving the world, social groups, pressure from family and friends, and even my deeply ingrained habits of eating and thinking were starting to crack and crumble away. The shoulder exercise helped me to crawl out from underneath that top-heavy existence I’d caged myself in and start living my own life.
Hopefully you’ll have an easier experience than I did. I still spent a few more years searching to get free of my beliefs and start flowing with my own life.
More on that in the next post, when I explain exactly how I learned to start laughing at everything you’re not supposed to laugh at. (hint: it’s actually possible to enjoy everything, and laugh at it all–it just takes one simple adjustment most people aren’t willing to make. Are you?)
Oh yeah, and I’ll let you know about a live Q and A session on google hangouts to learn more about Undoing, the intensives, and whatever else you want to chat about.
Enjoy…because it’s your life, and it’s the only life you’ve got.
PS: If you actually tried out the exercise, leave a comment right away and let me know how it goes. What other kinds of exercises would you like to see? And keep in mind, the more you repeat these exercises, the deeper and more powerful results you’ll get.
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!
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!
The following delightful story was written by Mika J., a long-term client of Command Z. He wrote the story shortly after doing an exercise from the Radical Undoing 101 Course. Thanks to Mika for his boldness and willingness to dive into his own life and start experimenting! Good work at trespassing your limits, Mika. -Garrett
Last spring I had one of the weirdest experiences I’ve ever had in my life.
This exercise goes as its name suggests, with just one twist: you do the whole visit as if you don’t exist.
You enter the store when someone else triggers the door, and then just walk around and spend an hour in the store–without touching anyone or anything. After the hour ends, you sneak out the same way you entered, letting someone else trigger the door before you exit.
When I did this exercise, I was just roaming around for the first thirty minutes or so thinking, this isn’t doing anything, what a waste of time.
I was feeling a little unnerved, like an outsider, because I wasn’t behaving as people in that situation are expected to behave. I got suspicious of the store employees in their uniforms, wondering if they would notice that I was just creeping around. I was afraid they’d catch me for breaking the rules.
They were just ordinary people doing their ordinary mundane work, but I felt like a criminal in the presence of police officers. They were the authorities in that space: if they suspected I’d stolen something, they could call the police and draw negative attention to me. I became more aware of how I always get tensed up in the presence of “authorities” of any sort, even if there is no rational reason to be cautious.
Then, at some point after the first 30 minutes, things got very weird…
I was now not only seeing the employees differently, but the customers transformed as well.
It seems impossible to me how quickly and radically my perception of other people changed. Suddenly all I saw were robots. No more free people, just customer robots running a very deliberately programmed “At the Grocery Store” software. They all seemed to be behaving in the very same way, like their programmer knew exactly what he/she (who exactly?) wanted them to do.
Every robot guy and girl with their shopping carts and baskets were running around in a trance state fulfilling their noble duty of consuming. Moving and proceeding quickly, as the grocery store is no place for just hanging around and enjoying yourself. Of course the concerned consumer robots may spend a moment looking at the label before making their decision. The working of the software was clearly visible: Pick the product you need, move on to the next one, get out as soon as you’re done. Good job!
Before I left I was feeling pretty damned separate from everyone. They were playing their software faithfully, too busy to pay any attention to me. I was left outside their awareness, wondering what the hell was going on. I was observing the customers very carefully, but no one seemed to notice me. I even saw an acquaintance I expected would say hello, but he didn’t seem to register that I was there right before his eyes.
I snuck out of the store, feeling relieved and surprised at what had just happened.
I’m not claiming that I’m better or more enlightened than the other people who were there that day. What I do claim is that I had a very unusual perspective on what was actually happening there. I’m probably just as robotic when I do my grocery shopping, though now I may have become a little more aware of it.
I had already known–in theory–that when you bust loose from from your own trance state, it becomes more apparent how hypnotized everyone else is. This was my first direct experience of that phenomenon. What surprised me was how quickly and easily I could create a shift in my perception, and how bizarrely real it was.
I don’t know how or why this exercise works, and it doesn’t matter. What matters is that if you do it, it will work, and you will get your results. You can experience something truly new and interesting for yourself by just going to a grocery store. It costs you nothing, and takes less time than watching a movie, so why not give it a try?
Garrett here again. Wow, what a great story, Mika! Thanks again. Next, you can watch the original video from the course so you can do the exercise for yourself. If you do, and you enjoy it and want more expansive experiences, check out the full course.
Here’s the video:
I was sitting in my car alone after letting out the most blood curdling scream I have ever heard come out of my body. I felt as though my face was going to tear open as it spontaneously roared thru me…
Whoa, Where did that come from? I thought, my body heaving, then relaxing over the next minute.
I had just left my first Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA) meeting….
Oh yeah, you should know that I’m not an alcoholic and have never been.
Once again, I was out in the field on a Command Z adventure.
As instructed by the course, I looked up AA meetings in my city that I could attend. To my shock, there were more than twenty available in my city on one night.
I crafted an alternate identity complete with enough background and sob story to interact with at the meeting. I entered the room of reformed drunkards two hours before my scream to play the role of an alcoholic for the night.
Steve was my name. I made friends fast as soon as I walked through the door.
Welcoming little club they have here, I thought to myself.
As I went talked to people, shared my tale, and listened to theirs, something became glaringly obvious to me.
Of course this is all just my subjective opinion and ain’t worth shit, but hear me out. Doing an experiment like this really ramps up your sensitivity to everything around you.
What I noticed was how melodramatic and childish all these people and their problems were. It was obvious to me that the problems they presented were just masks for even greater problems beneath the surface.
Problems that they couldn’t confront on a conscious level. Problems that were living through them, having them search in ridiculous places for relief.
AA seems like it was pretty much designed to let this false sense of “healing” take place. AA was their blankie. These people used to run away from life with booze, now they do it with this group.
Ok, ok, so maybe it’s not news to you that AA is a sham, and maybe it shouldn’t have been for me. But that’s not the point. As always with the Command Z work, the goal is to take a giant mirror and turn it back on yourself.
And boy was it a shock for me when I took a look in the mirror….
It was clear.
I was engaging in a bunch of bullshit and drama out of habit and belief, just like the people in this group. Fuck me…I’m a Drama Queen! It’s true. I couldn’t deny it. I am among the least dramatic people I know, but all the same, it was true.
I forced myself to ask….
What is MY AA?
Where do I walk in and get off on spreading my own self-limiting bullshit, loving the fact that the others won’t say a word about it? Just “accepting” me, because it makes them comfortable that someone else is lying to himself as much as they are.
Who are the people in my life that let me get away with this?
Who are the people who allow me to reinforce my bullshit while acting as “support”?
“You ignore my obvious lies, I’ll ignore yours, we’re best friends, high-five”.
Is it Family?
Who happily lets me lie to myself about who I am and how I live?
I confronted all of these possibilities thoroughly.
Hey you, the one sitting there reading this…pretty entertaining, ain’t it?
This isn’t about ME…
It’s your turn.
What is YOUR AA?
Where do you walk in and get off on spreading your own self-limiting bullshit, loving the fact that the others won’t say a word about it? Just “accepting” you, because it makes them comfortable that someone else is lying to himself as much as they are.
Who are the people the people in your life that let you get away with this?
Who are the people who allow you to reinforce your bullshit while acting as “support”?
“You ignore my obvious lies, I’ll ignore yours, we’re best friends”.
Is it Family?
Who happily lets you lie to yourself about who you are and how you live?
Can you confront all of these possibilities thoroughly?
Do you feel something burning inside you right now?
Do you feel a little uncomfortable with what you just learned?
Here it comes…………..
LET IT OUT!
I’M A DRAMA QUEEN!”
Relax and Breathe……
There’s no one to blame here, just awareness to be gained and relationships to be changed. What we call Undoing is actually pretty fun when you get over it being terrifying once in a while.
The great thing about the Command Z courses is they are customized to you. Your experience WILL NOT be like mine. They are truly choose your own adventures that will tailor themselves to your life.
It’s not all about going out in public and being a jackass either. This is highly personal work that mostly takes place in the comfort of your home.
If you’re curious to learn what taking on the Command Z work could do for you, now’s a great time to dive in to Radical Undoing 101. This revolutionary course can change your life forever.
Follow the link to choose your adventure:
An intimate peek inside Command Z’s Radical Undoing 101, plus Lance’s adventure field report (hilarious!)
The Radical Undoing 101 Course consists of four components:
1. Physical Exercises.
2. Written Exercises.
3. Cognitive Experiments.
4. Adventures in the world.
The Adventures available to you in 101 can be simple, exciting, frightening, and oddly profound.
Command Z asks:
Why wait for life to shock, propel, or thrust you out of your frustrated routines?
The changes you desire or find yourself afraid to make are available to you right now.
The exercises and format of the 101 course are designed to support you in your courageous undertaking.
Relax your grip.…
Lance’s Radical Undoing 101 Field Report
Go to a grocery store and shop out of other people’s carts.
This adventure comes from the Non-Sequitor Suite:
When I came across this adventure my first reaction was a cringing resistance. I thought to myself;
What’s the point?
What if the shopper punches me in the face?
What if they call security?
These thoughts and emotions gradually defused into:
Why not do it?
What is this Adventure all about for ME?
Where is my fear coming from?
How am I going to accomplish/approach this?
POSSIBLE APPROACHES I CONSIDERED:
1. Avoid eye contact take the goods and run.
2. Say hello take their stuff and await the backlash.
3. Ask if I can take their stuff, when they say “no,” I take it anyway.
4. Say pleasantly “oh, I was looking for those, thanks” and walk away with a smile.
5. Run in, start grabbing shit and deal with the “consequences.”
Ok, Time for Action
As I do before entering most potentially stress inducing social situations, I loosened myself up with undoing exercises, Simple Twist of Face, Atlas Shrugged, and the Laughing Breath.
Ok, I’m ready to go, I’m walking in the Safeway door;
I wandered about the store looking for someone to strike. As I would approach potential “victims” I would feel anxiety rush through my pelvis and feet, my breath shortening. (The more I “undo” the more I have become aware of the physical origins of my fears).
I walked past one young woman kneeling down with her basket a few feet away, I decided I didn’t really want to bother her, in other words I chickened out…no biggie.
I turned the corner and saw an entire family around a cart, I must have been thinking safety in numbers, I have no idea, but I had definitely flicked the switch, I was going to take something from this family… There they are, Bananas!
I inspected their cart and announced pleasantly, “I was looking for these, thanks.” I took them and put them in my basket smiled nodded and walked away. As I walked away I heard the whole family BURST into laughter. Alright! When I first considered this exercise I thought it could end with a fist fight; that was not a bad result at all! I walked away smiling, feeling anxious but more confident.
When my own giggling subsided I spotted another woman with a cart. I felt uneasiness rising in the body and I could feel my heart strongly beating. I approached her and enquired about a bag of potato chips, she replied that that there was a deal-“ four bags for 10 dollars in the other aisle”. I asked if I could have her bag, she replied with an an emphatic “NO”. I reached in her cart and took the bag anyway, I put it in my basket, said “thanks”, smiled and walked away. I heard her shout at my back “Asshole!!”
At this point I began to feel a little anxious, I let the sensations rush over me, I wandered looking for another shopper to “steal” from. I ended up at the cash register. I paid for the bananas and the bag of Lays and headed for the door walking straight past the sour lady glaring directly at me one more time. I repeated my gratefulness to her “thanks again” I sang, as I walked out the automatic doors, barely containing my laughter. Anxious energy and laughter rushed thru me as I walked out into the outside air.
By challenging my boundaries in the grocery store, I acquired loads of information about how I approach other aspects of my life. As the “moral dictates”(lol) of grocery shopping lose their power in my perception, I start to see the arbitrariness of other matrices that exist in my world view. Webs of meaning that exist only in my mind. I also start to see this more and more in others around me, how their imagined boundaries imprison their free expression. It’s one thing to think about and read about it. It’s a completely different thing to experience firsthand.
I have found that Radical Undoing 101 has encouraged me to bump into my own bars and apply heat, freeing up space for me to move about freely in the world. As I begin to strategically and intentionally dynamite myself internally with Undoing techniques I find life opening up, Not just in the grocery store but everywhere. The bars begin to fade into their surroundings as life opens up for me to greet it.
So, What do you make of this?
What does this adventure say about grocery shopping? What does it say about how I approach potentially tense, confrontational situations in my regular life??
And where does my fear arise from? My imagination? Was my life at risk?
What do you make of this?
What thoughts and feelings does the exercise awaken in you?
Do the experiment and tell us about your experience. (Or don’t do it and keep your assumptions about it.)
Or better yet, join in all the fun and change for fucking ever.
Follow the link to get Radical Undoing 101 and join in the fun. 101 is a game/life changer. The forum is available to you for your support along the way.
…We all relax our grip eventually…