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Secondary Mechanical Transparent-Acts (SMTs)

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Steve Ozanich, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    The body matters.

    For some purpose beyond our understanding we have a body. So, a goal should be to unite our bodies with our “mind.” We will never see Mind in this life. In many ways TMS healing should be called “brainbody healing” and not mindbody healing. No matter how you view it our goal is peace and harmony; the uniting of the divided mind—absent of most conflict.

    But as we know separation begins at birth, and through succeeding events, producing trauma, and attunement problems begin. This lack of attunement is the force that disrupts the autonomic nervous system, and creates emotional imbalance, which in turn creates symptoms in TMS. So the goal is finding balance again and ultimate peace. This comes from uniting mind and body, by getting them to work together with little emotional disruption. The soothing of the wounded spirit.

    The TMSer is borderline OCD in that obsession rules the day. The obsessing is a means they have chosen as a defense mechanism against further heartache, and for reducing fear. Obsession is a survival tool. It allows for thinking to dominate over feeling. If we “think” then we can’t be trapped by our emotions in which we feel we have no control. In Carl Jung’s words, “nothing inhibits feeling like thinking.” So people who have been overwhelmed in life, by early separation anxiety often go into permanent think-mode in order to never have to feel emotions again (Rainman-like). They then enter a life-pattern of living in their heads as alexithymic robots. They end up procrastinating, never realizing goals and dreams, suffering pain, and forgetting about their body as part of life’s equation. They forget how much the body does matter.

    As anyone who has read The Great Pain Deception knows, golf saved my life, not once, but twice. I saw an interview on The Golf Channel where comedian George Lopez interviewed golfing legend Lee Trevino. In that interview Lopez stated, “golf saved my life”—and he began to cry. You could see that it affected Trevino also, and he appeared to get emotional and said, “I know what you mean, it saved my life too.” There is a great peace when you are using your body as a means to an end, and not as a house for worry. AND—when you shift awareness from body to activity.

    What I mean by a secondary transparent act, is any act, where you’re using your body and allowing for your brain or mind to daydream, or become secondary to the act itself. The act must also have no goal or ego is involved and emotions are still in play. The act itself should need no forethought to perform it, but should be done for ritual-sake only. When I say “golf” in my example, I mean just hitting golf balls, not golfing where there is a goal.

    These acts could include walking, hitting golf or tennis Tom-balls, playing a musical instrument, crocheting, sewing, jogging, juggling, juggling while jogging, and thousands of other possibilities. Some have asked me if I wanted them to become OCD? No—OCD is used to reduce fear. SMT is used to get the body involved without the need to prove anything or to hide anything. Just in the moment.

    I would guess that about 60% of the people who have contacted me over the past decade have been marathon runners or some form of 5K-10K runners. They are clearly discharging freeze responses. This isn’t quite what I mean by “secondary” OR “transparent.” These people still have goals in their heads driving them to succeed, to win, to be better, to experience that praise at the end of the test. So this type of act is not secondary, it’s still primary.

    The best example of an SMT is the Chinese Baoding balls that supposedly stimulate meridian points to aid in energy flow and in healing. Once the person is engaged in the SMT their conscious brain drops out, somewhat, and their unconscious takes over. This reduces thought chatter and conflict, allowing for emotions and thoughts to appear, but not necessarily be disruptive. So the SMT is a form of active meditation, but the body is now involved because the body matters. True meditation also attempts to unite mind and body. But SMT brings “movement” into the equation.

    Life answers may suddenly appear while performing these transparent acts, if you allow for it. So it’s important to be safe and not walking out in front of cars daydreaming.

    Tai Chi has been used for such purposes in uniting mind and body in mindfulness acts. The idea is to just “be” in the moment, no mental chatter, without goals. The end result will be inner peace and ANS attunement. It won’t solve your life problems but you won’t care about them for a short time, and that’s enough.

    3rdCoast, North Star, yb44 and 4 others like this.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wonderful and wise thoughts from Steve the TMS Guru.

    I'll read up on Baoding Balls.

    I have a DVD called "Tai-Chi for Seniors" and try to play it every day.
    It's about 20 minutes, 15 of easy exercises and 5 minutes of Tai-Chi.

    I always feel good doing it and about doing it.
  3. DanielleMRD

    DanielleMRD Peer Supporter

    Hi Steve,

    We have spoken via email. Your post above is just beautiful. This seems to be one of hardest things for me to do...quiet the mind. I'm in that "paralysis of analysis" phase...been here awhile (years), like inertia....stuck. I'm not sure what activity to do, I've literally done nothing physical for fun on any consistent basis in over 10 years...where to begin?
  4. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Danielle, several Danielles have emailed me, I wish I knew which one you were. This is an important aspect to healing. The ability to physically move and to allow for the subjective psyche to take over. SMT allows for a discharge of the freeze response without ego interruption. The ego is a willful act of seeking something. If the act is secondary, then the subjective psyche is allowed to surface where the person is aware of herself and all her surroundings, but there's no judging of the moment. That's where we want to be instead of gridlocked in negative chatter with tension rising in anticipation.

    What this does is:
    reduces tension through discharging the freeze energy
    regulates the ANS through the same discharge, allowing for full breath
    increases oxytocin
    increases oxygen flow
    acts an EMDR "substitute" by redirecting trauma
    allows answers to rise to the forefront
    reduces chatter and negative thoughts

    Where to begin? My advice is to begin at the beginning. Plato said in the Republic x that the beginning is the most difficult part. Indeed it is. We know once we choose a direction that all our other aspirations will never be realized. So we tend to never choose as to keep all dreams alive. In the process we never achieve any dreams for the want of them all. "Want" is at the core of suffering. Tension itself comes about as the difference between what we want vs. what we just got.

    The body matters, so choose anything. It won't be a bad decision because you'll learn something from it.

    DanielleMRD likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    For some ease-into exercise I like tai-chi.
    Google to learn about it.
    There are DVDs on tai-chi and your local library may have them.
    If not, rent them from Netflix.

    I can't do the yoga techniques that are like pretzel movements,
    but tai-chi is easier and good for both exercise and relaxing.
  6. DanielleMRD

    DanielleMRD Peer Supporter


    Wow...this really spoke to me:

    "We know once we choose a direction that all our other aspirations will never be realized. So we tend to never choose as to keep all dreams alive. In the process we never achieve any dreams for the want of them all. "Want" is at the core of suffering. Tension itself comes about as the difference between what we want vs. what we just got."

    I totally avoid choosing and in turn do nothing. This brings intense guilt and almost hatred towards myself, like I'm blowing it (my life) and it's going by so fast... Then it's the constant symptoms, the distract me so then there's more "wasted time." I also resent most things that happen to me or dictate what I must do...those things I did not choose...So I'm finding some of that anger I guess ;)

    In emails I've sent to you, I briefly described a few of the TMS triggering events in my life, although I've had TMS all my life. I got pregnant at 16, married at 18, 2nd child at 19...at the same time my husband and I are both goodists at heart, we married, both graduated from college, determined that our girls would want for nothing simply because of their young parents...I also suffered two miscarriages about 6 years ago...during the pregnancy of my youngest daughter who is now 4, I had a complete nervous breakdown, thought I would lose her (probably because of the previous miscarriages), thought I had MS (tingling from the panic attacks)...it's been down hill and up again a little now, since then.

    Anyway, thank you for your amazing wisdom!

    Ps, I'm the Danielle from NC...not sure if that helps narrow it down, hahaha
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
    North Star likes this.
  7. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    The "NC Danielle" clue didn't help me but the pregnant at 16 did. How are you doing? It's good to see you here. Or is it?

    The reason I understand about dreams and aspirations and procrastination and TMS is because I've lived it, and almost every TMSer that talks to me is living the same conundrum. Why is it important in healing? Because living with deep purpose steals the anxiety away by calming conflict of guilt, and by diverting the conscious awareness from body to goal. The reason people get locked-up in trying to find their avenue in life is because they want to make the perfect decision, to not fail, to please everyone. It's mostly about the fear of failure and further rejection, but it also has to do with happiness and the desire to not squander a precious life. We want to enjoy our lives, but we can't decide on how to do it because we have been living our lives to please others for so long. Then when the time to seek our own happiness comes along, we're lost.

    Perfection is a thief of happiness because it steals the joy of now. The moment is the only thing that matters. And the only way to live a good life is to have good relationships and to be true to yourself, and to Truth.

    People often hire me for consults to ask me what they should do with their life. I can't answer that, I'm not quite sure what I want to be when I grow up, or if I want to grow up. Growth is the most difficult thing because it requires letting go of your current knowledge; and becoming yourself is part of that growth. Birth is painful but necessary.

    But in the interim of birth the body matters. So it's requisite to give it what it needs, and that is movement, good thoughts, and the allowance for peace. So to avoid over-stimulation we need to have an activity that provides us with these things such as an SMT. It's a form of active meditation that fills the mindbodyspirit.

    North Star, DanielleMRD and Ellen like this.
  8. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Barbara Sher identifies a group of people she calls "scanners" who are interested in almost everything and have a difficult time choosing so often end up feeling directionless. She advises them to Refuse to Choose (the name of one of her books) and to feel good about weaving strands of intense experience into a mosaic of life that is uniquely their own (my words, not hers). She says scanners will never settle happily into one choice but can have a productive and joyful life with self-acceptance of who they are. Lots about this on her site at: barbarsher.com -- she is one of my all time favourite gurus.
    North Star and DanielleMRD like this.
  9. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I like to sew and knit to please my own mindbodyspirit. I could spend the rest of my days quite happily creating. One of my favourite bloggers, Karen Ball, recently wrote about her own enjoyment of sewing which seems to fit in nicely with this topic:

  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I like to sew. It's relaxing. I sew holes in socks, etc. Nothing fancy.
    But years ago I sewed a cloth cover for a recliner.
    An aunt who was a big sewer said even she wouldn't attempt that.
    I just measured the parts... arms, back, seat, etc., and then
    put all the pieces together. It really looked great. I bought heavy plaid
    material and heavy-duty thread.

    Now if I can't sleep and have tried everything such as
    deep breathing, mantra, visualizing, and counting backwards
    from 100 to 1, I get up and sew.

    Concentrating on what I'm sewing lulls me to sleep right away.
    yb44 and DanielleMRD like this.
  11. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Is this the same as 'Flow'?

    From Wikipedia:
    Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, this positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.[1]

    According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate experience in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. To be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task[2] although flow is also described (below) as a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one's emotions.
    North Star likes this.
  12. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    This whole thread has explained why I've been drawn to play piano once again…something I haven't done in many years. Thanks, Steve for starting such an interesting conversation!
    DanielleMRD likes this.
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    North Star, one of my (few) regrets in life is I never learned how to play the piano.
    I love piano music. We had a player piano when I was a young teen and I loved playing
    piano rolls of pop tunes of the 1940s and the old songs. When the roll part konked out
    we didn't have any money repair it, so I just played the piano without lessons and did a
    pretty good job of the melody with one finger or two, for an octave.
    I was never any good at learning chords.

    But what I played sounded good to me. A policeman who lived across the street said
    he liked to sit on his front door step and listen to me play. I was amazed!

    Then my folks gave the piano away and years later I shared an apartment with a friend
    who played both popular old songs and classical. I said I'd pay for a rented piano if
    he would play it. That worked great for our seven years renting the apartment together.

    Since then I bought a lot of piano CDs, classical and "easy listen" and old songs.
    I love playing them.

    But being able to play the piano must give you great pleasure.

    My favorite piano composers are, of course, Chopin and Liszt.
    I have most of their works on CD by great pianists.
    I also have heard some of the great American and Russian pianists
    in recitals in Chicago.
    North Star likes this.
  14. DanielleMRD

    DanielleMRD Peer Supporter

    Walt, it's never too late!! ❤️
  15. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt, I play by ear. I played guitar as a kid for many years and I decided I wanted to play piano too. A popular Christian artist in the 70's and 80's by the name of Keith Greene inspired me to learn. I loved how he expressed himself. So I would spend hours learning how to apply my chord knowledge to the piano. In time I played well enough to accompany many a church service.

    I'd say I wish my sight reading were better but if I *really* wished that, I'd put the hours in. Then I'd be able to play my favorites…Mozart and Beethoven. Rachmaninoff too. Instead, I enjoy their gifts to the world by listening.

    What a treat to have access to some of the greats right there in Chicago! Fortunately, the small city I live in MT has a fairly strong arts community so we do enjoy the symphony and the guest musicians they bring in.

    And yes, DanielleMRD is right! My mother in law has taught piano for many years and a few of her students have been well into their 70s! She began learning violin in her 60s!
    DanielleMRD likes this.

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