Rather than post on the frustrating or silly parts of this education programme, I want to bring 2 things together that I've lived through today. I sat down to do my "SEPwork" with HUGE pain. I have been avoiding "doing" much today, because I feel completely shattered. I have been decorating a room at home, and I'm nearly finished 3 weeks in. I wonder how shattered I might have felt if I'd not had the pain anyway - is decorating exhausting for non-TMSers? I resolved to NOT have any painkillers, and then started to read the article by Alan Gordon on breaking the pain cycle. Ha ha! I am already thinking in the right direction! Is this an "extinction burst"? I really hope so. The other part of my story is that I sat down to watch "The Crimson Wing" a Disney film about the life of Flamingoes on lake Natron. It was a most beautiful film with a wonderful soundtrack! In part of the story the film-makers showed a little chick trying so very hard to walk about with the most enormous rock-hard salt shackles on his legs. The more he walked in the salty water the bigger they got. The commentary said that his chances of following the others as they marched off the salt-island were slim. I couldn't help but think that the parent flamingoes should have been there to peck these shackles off, or the species could have evolved to "teach" the chick that it could do the same. Neither of these things happened. And then I realised that TMS is just like that chick's shackles. We carry around this heavy weight of pain, but we still try really hard to be normal. Wherever we go, those shackles go - and all we have to do is peck them off! (Not literally!) Our parents may not be around to help us (perhaps they can't recognise there's a problem), and we don't know how we got into this mess. I guess this is the work we're doing. We're pecking away at those personality traits, childhood traumas and current stresses - and we WILL be free. I agree with Alan Gordon that cultivating a way of being "not-bothered" is the only way our shackles will go. My pain has reduced just by writing this!