Thomas' follow up workshop to The Fragile Self has a new name! It is called The Integrated Self: Live a Bigger Life! The goal of this interactive workshop is to guide participants through the journey from crisis through transformation. It is critical that we understand this process to move through these versions (Fragile Self, Authentic Self, Integrated Self) without getting stuck or trapped in a lesser self. Using the tools of The Paradox Process, Thomas will expertly facilitate a dynamic and transformative experience in order to bring you from small to big, from unentitled to demanding that life give you what you want!
A new year deserves a new approach! Instead of doing the typical making a New Year's Resolution, which is a formula for failure, why not try using a word or a phrase as a guiding principle of the year. I try to pick a word that is actionable in the moment, rather than one that is too conceptual; for instance, "awareness". This is a word that by merely saying it you must change in some way. You could declare that "I am going to lose twenty pounds by March 1st" or you could use the word "awareness" every time you lift a fork. I find that there is much more power in using these guiding principles than in making a hollow resolution, that defies you to fail. Use this word as a password; keep it present for you. Meditate on it. Look it up in the dictionary and really invest in it. The more you work in it the more it will reveal itself.
Good examples of the Word for the Year: courage, yes, forgive, win, ease, love, power. Pick your toughest issue and see what word speaks to you.
Our newly formed not-for-profit: Healing and Discovery Foundation, Inc., is now open for business. We need your help to build! Your tax-deductible donation will be used to help Thomas and the team bring the "Mindfulness Curriculum Using the Paradox Process" to a larger pool of students in the NYC metro area. We cannot do this without your support and we thank you in advance for your generous donation!
Click here to donate and to learn more about our efforts
No doubt you are creating the reality you are in, but how? How do we create this situation? Here are your manifestos: Beliefs, Feelings, interpretations, perceptions, choices, and actions. That's all you have to change, Simple, yes. Easy, not so much...
Let me break it down:
Beliefs: What do you believe about what you are trying to create and how it should be? How is the situation you're in going against those beliefs?
Feelings: What feelings represent for you in the situation? Are you managing them?
Interpretations: How are you interpreting those feelings? What meaning are you assigning to them?
Perceptions: What does it look like to you through these beliefs and feelings and interpretations? What are you seeing and telling yourself? What is the story you are creating?
Choices: You are choosing constantly from these feelings and perceptions: Do you know what you're choosing?
Actions: Through the actions you take you have results that you create. When you change your actions, you change your reality. Start by changing one belief, one premise that you are operating under, and you change what you are creating in the world.
The Fragile Self presents as frail and vulnerable; we are scarcely able to face the light of day. We lead with our sensitivity and we feel everything with a daunting intensity. The stories that we tell ourselves accommodate our perceptions and feelings, stories of loss and weakness. When we identify with this version of ourselves we are diminished and refuse to challenge life. It is the first stage of actualization, and the most difficult to navigate. It brings with it a sensitivity and sensibility that will be useful later.
The Authentic Self emerges from this Fragile Self and is a breath of fresh air. No longer do we feel helpless and weak, but rather, angry and enlivened. Our strength and our passion begin to emerge in a way that feels boundless. The Authentic Self, rather than hiding from life, runs toward it without discretion. We engage with life, but are just as likely to run into a brick wall. This stage is useful in building our passion and determination.
The Integrated Self is the combination of the sensitivity and empathy of the Fragile Self combined with the power, passion and drive of the Authentic Self, and includes the discernment to know which to apply when. It is truly the best version of ourselves, a combination of all of our strengths and colors applied with great skill. It is a joyous experience to be in this self, sensitive yet powerful, understanding, yet still determined and passionate. In the process of actualization we must wade through the trials of the fragile and the impulsiveness of the authentic to get to this self, but it is well worth it.
We come through the process of actualization as the best version of us, like forged and tested steel. This is the process of growth, the journey from crisis to transformation. It is critical we understand this process in order to move through the versions of ourselves without getting stuck or trapped in a lesser self.
Our newly-formed not-for-profit, Healing and Discovery Foundation, Inc., is now accepting donations to help support our 2017/2018 endeavors!!! Thomas Jones and team have been invited for the fourth semester in a row, to teach our "Mindfulness Curriculum using The Paradox Process" at a NYC high school. We intend to change the conversation that students, teachers and parents are having about negative feelings and perceptions. We teach students how to handle negative emotions in a way that empowers and informs them about themselves and the world. We need your help to expand our curriculum and to reach more students and more schools.
Click here to read more about our non-profit projects and to donate to our cause.
This workshop offers participants a tremendous opportunity to create a new relationship with the version of them that feels weak, upset and even broken. They will discover the incredible strength that is inherent in this "fragile" self and learn how to use it to create what they want in the world. Check out Thomas' video about The Fragile Self below.
Date: Saturday, October 22nd
Time: 10:30am - 4:30pm
Location: The Paradox Space, 118 W 27th Street, Suite 2R, New York, NY
The Four Steps to Change are designed to give you a strategy within the experience that you are having. It does no good to blindly struggle without awareness. Rather than wrestling in a half-dream, gently wake yourself to reasonable action.
Step 1: OBSERVE: Don't be in a mad rush to change anything, simply observe yourself and your circumstances. In order to effectively change we must first see what needs changing.
Step 2: ACCEPT: Remember, you can't change anything until you accept what is: see it objectively, as though you are a stranger observing through a window. Don't judge, just accept.
Step 3: ALLOW: Let yourself be yourself without judgment or fear. There is always a positive reason that we are doing anything that we are doing. Try to find the positive reason instead of focusing on the negative outcome.
Step 4: RESPOND: Having re-assessed your true goal, now start to take small achievable steps toward achieving it. The moment you take one effective step toward your real goal, you immediately feel empowered and back on track. You do not have to achieve to feel better, only to be on the proper path.
There is a version of you that does not wish others well, it is addicted to drama and masterfully plays the victim. This character wants everything to go wrong because that fits the picture it lives from. This self is sad, mad and scared all of the time. It is constantly living and reliving your childhood trauma, and populating your life with the characters that fit that drama.
Welcome to the Fragile Self!
Your heart is broken, your dreams are remote or unattainable and you live in a state of isolation and despair. Moreover, you identify with this version of you and you feel a mandate to fix it and hide it at the same time.
It is not the only version of you, but it is the most dominant. It is filled with unresolved issues; it scans your life for situations where you can act these dramas out. It is quicker than you and as slippery as an eel. It changes your vision to make it appear that others are the source of trouble, not you.
This you is proactively trying to create enough drama to obscure anything good in your life, and will do so without rhyme or reason. It will revel in the upset while it consumes your time, your resources, your good will and your life.
While all of this sounds like terrible news, seeing and identifying your Fragile Self and watching it act out is the first step to taking your power back from it. In next month's newsletter, I will introduce a different version of you that exists right along side this one. For now, be an active observer of The Fragile Self and the chaos it creates in your life.
The first order of business on every "Getting What You Want" retreat is to define an intention for the trip. Thomas asks each participant what they want to accomplish and helps them define a crystal clear intention for the work ahead. This is not something you need to wait for the next intensive retreat to do. In order to create what you want, you must first clearly define an intention. Create one for every area of your life: Career, Money, Family, Love Relationship, and Self. Keep it concise, yet descriptive. A good example could be: "I want to create a new long-term, loving relationship this year so that I feel love, happiness, and connection."
BIG, HUGE, ENORMOUS ...ANNOUNCEMENT!
Thomas M. Jones and The Paradox Team are proud to announce that after two years of planning, scheming, and tons of paperwork, we have finally been granted not-for-profit status!!! Yippee!!! It is registered under the name Healing and Discovery Foundation, Inc.
The purpose of the non-profit is to introduce and extend The Paradox Process to students of all ages. We want to share tools to battle test anxiety, bullying, peer pressure, family issues and self esteem; anything that could possibly stand in the way of ultimate success academically and professionally. Our task now is to apply for grants and investor funding. We need financial support to implement our "A Mindfulness Curriculum" into existing schools, or in after-school programs. Students will have the opportunity to work on emotional obstacles!! Maybe down-the-line we will open our very own school.
It is 40 minutes before the pre-dawn meditation I am about to lead. I was up late the night before, going over each participant and what their ultimate goals and dreams are. Each member of this group is a puzzle to be solved: I have to find out what they want and determine what is standing in the way of getting it, internally and externally. If they could get where they want to go on their own, they would be there already. I am humbled by their willingness to trust. My job is to help clarify their goals and intentions. Every step of the way I observe each participant to see where each needs support and belief. In the beginning I wonder how it is possible to do all of this, but somewhere early on inspiration lifts me and gives me incredible insight. Things start to crystalize and change and everyone feels it, even as the challenges present themselves.
Two groups a day, three meals a day, through trips and excursions, swimming and hiking and playing, they and I are committed to real growth and change. We form teams and use all of our resources to create a tremendous momentum that is infectious. Through this intensity I see people start to transform from tentative to confident. Suddenly they start to see the lives they want and dream of can be theirs.
"Getting What You Want" is a 7-day retreat intensive. This year is Hawaii July 22-28, 2016
Below is a sample of the daily itinerary:
6:45am - Group sunrise meditation and visualization.
7:00am - Light breakfast and get ready for the day's excursion. Breakfast is self-serve: light fare of cereal, fruit, toast, juice and coffee.
9:00am - The group will leave the villa and travel to a beach or similar outdoor destination (weather permitting). Once on location, Thomas will lead the day's first group session, designed to set a strong intention for each individual, identify any obstacles standing in the way, and/or use Paradox Process tools to clear and eliminate the feelings and perceptions standing in the way of moving forward. The time at this locale will include some breaks to swim, snacks and relaxation.
1:00pm - Lunch will be served back at the villa and prepared by a local chef.
2:00pm - 5:00pm - This period of the day is less structured to give everyone the opportunity to complete a variety of exercises and tasks that have been assigned to each person. This time will also give people a chance to meet with their accountability partner and power teams, both which are chosen by each participant at the beginning of the retreat.
5:00pm - Preparation and clean up for dinner: a team building exercise each night and will be headed up by different members of the group.
8:30pm - After dinner, Thomas leads the day's second formal group. This is a continuation of the work that was done throughout the day. He will check in with individuals and look at the progress being made by each power team.
10:00pm - Approximate end-of-day
*excursions may include: (depending on group size and weather) paddle-boarding, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, swimming, sunbathing, surfing, shopping, and boating.
Click here to see the itinerary and learn more about our trip.
If you could pick three people to help you get what you want, to strategize with you, to call you out, and ultimately make you accountable to the most extraordinary version of you...who would you choose? In last year's Getting What You Want retreat in Ibiza, Spain, Thomas asked each person to choose a Power Team for the duration of the retreat. Each person would meet with their team daily to discuss strategies, flesh out strengths and weakness, and provide the support needed to create exactly what they wanted when the retreat was over. Those who will join us on our Hawaiian adventure this summer will have the opportunity to choose their team as well. These people make us stronger and more efficient. Your team dynamic promises to be one of the most beloved parts of your trip.
Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa is a Hawaiian name meaning "triggerfish with a snout like a pig." Triggerfish have the remarkable ability to rapidly alter their coloration. They can fade into a relatively drab appearance when sleeping or demonstrating submission, while their coloration is often the most vivid when the fish are healthy and unthreatened by their surroundings. When fleeing from predators, the triggerfish will sometimes make grunting noises, possibly a call to warn other nearby triggerfish of danger. They are fairly aggressive and will generally not tolerate individuals in their general vicinity. The humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa is the official state fish of Hawaii and it is often said that "the name is longer than the fish."
How would you behave if you knew you could not fail? How would life be different? What would you change and what would you immediately stop doing? I think when you live into that question you will discover the adventurer in you, the risk taker. We only show up authentically when we are in a space of discomfort; we come alive in a whole new way and our genius comes out. We find inner resources we didn't know we had and we perform in ways that often excite and astonish.
Occupying this "could not fail" space invites our dreams and our aliveness: write that book, take voice lessons, quit that mausoleum of a job, tell that person they are hurting you, go skydiving! Do it all. At the end of the day, all we will have is our experiences. Your real job is to build and collect those dream experiences now.
The people of Hawaii consume the most Spam per capita in the U.S.
Hawaii is the only U.S. state that commercially grows coffee, cacao, and vanilla beans.
The Aloha State has the highest life expectancy in the United States...81.3 years.
There are only 13 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet and every word (and syllable) ends with one of five vowels.
Hawaii's biggest island (called the Big Island) is getting bigger by more than 42 acres each year thanks to Kīlauea Volcano. It's been erupting for 30 years.
When I wrote "Love Games: The Hidden Rules of Relationship" I wanted it to be a manual for navigating romance, a way of avoiding the pitfalls that are so common in love. What I stress is that love is a game that, when played correctly, leads to an authentic experience.
Partnership is not diminished by being viewed as a game, but rather, explained. As a game you can understand that there are rules and dynamics, instead of hopes and expectations which so often lead to disappointment and disaster. Learn the rules and master the game and you can have and will be able to create the love that you want!