Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.
Be happy in anticipation of what is coming.
-- Abraham Hicks
Beginnings of My "Mental Dropping Technique"
During my many experiments where I used myself as a guinea pig, I put to test my little theory that symbolic mental motion of "dropping" an unwanted feeling was more effective than the symbolism of "letting it go" which was everywhere in self-help literature.
As I studied brain and its functions, I found out how its right hemisphere is operating on symbols, metaphors, imagination, intuition, creativity, and emotional thought -- while the left one was dealing with logical thinking, calculations, speech, practicalities of living.
To me it meant that I had to learn to speak the language of my right hemisphere in order to affect some emotional changes -- rather than counting so much on reasoning and verbal persuasion.
That line of thinking led me to symbols which would be the keys for those locks in my emotional right hemisphere.
I gave that one of "letting go" a good look. To let also means to allow, so in my brain it was translated as my "giving a permission to my bad emotions to go". Right brain doesn't understand the "contexts" in which the phrase is said, it takes it literally.
So, as I am giving a permission to emotional crap to leave, it doesn't say if it will choose to really go or not. It's like I am saying to my emotions: "Hey, it's fine with me if you go, and now it's up to you."
Thinking about other possible symbolism of a mental motion that would be much more effective, I came to "dropping". Like, anything that bothers us emotionally has that symbolism of "holding onto something with a grip -- because the damn thing keeps hanging in there and won't pass."
I took my pen, squeezed it firmly looked at it, imagining that it was a lousy feeling I was experiencing, maybe just boredom -- and then I opened my hand, imagining it was my mind I was opening, and I dropped it to fall by its own weight.
Being impressed enough even with the momentary results, I knew I got something there. And so, ever since, I have been one happy "mental dropper", and we are talking some decades. Long before I would learn about Sedona method, which only partially deals with the same.
But they are talking about "releasing", which I didn't find symbolically as strong as dropping.
An ounce of practice is worth more than a ton of preaching.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
Sequencing Is Everything
The most effective feature of mental dropping technique is that it has to come in consecutive mental motions, or in sequences. The more dense -- the better. Let me explain.
Just making a single mental motion of dropping won't do much. You see, brain loves its status quo, and I could write a book about how really much. Over a long time it has created its comfort zone, its familiar model of functioning, and without an active intervention from conscious intent, it will promptly slip back into its groove after you drop whatever there is to be dropped in your mental contents.
We are talking about fractions of a second event, in which time you may hardly notice that you have dropped what you don't like -- because your brain will quickly reestablish its "old rule".
That's why I am talking about sequences of dropping. Now, not so many people are really introspective a lot, I mean, aware of what's going on in them. Unless someone would ask them: "How do you feel now", they would have no need to observe it.
By the way, hence that famous question asked by psychoanalysts during a session: "How does it make you feel" -- as the patient is reliving their past. The therapist is trying to bring the subconscious material up to the surface of consciousness where it would hopefully resolve itself as obsolete in the light of present level of maturity.
I am not asking you to relive anything of your past, but, in order to remove something, we have to be aware of what it is that we want to remove, that qualitative something, that texture of our experience.
And then we come to sequencing. As soon as we dropped something, we have to look inside again, and see what's left there now. Without thinking whether we are progressing or not -- whatever we see left there -- we drop again. Then we keep repeating it for a while -- with practice from day to day making the sequences longer.
Depending on how long that "mental pen appears too glued to our palm to be dropped" -- it may take a week, maybe a month, or we can go extremely enthusiastic over how promising it feels right from the start.
Embrace the glorious mess that you are.
-- Elizabeth Gilbert
The Birth of Michelangelo's "David"
I had something like an epiphany of a sudden gut discovery at realization how everything is droppable. As soon as we get that deep conviction that the whole life is nothing but a state of mind, we are up to grasping this incredibly liberating truism that we have a choice to give our life a suchness as we want -- just by dropping what we don't want.
I used the following little anecdote elsewhere, maybe in anther context, but it will be extremely relevant here.
Allegedly, the great sculptor and painter Michelangelo was asked how he made the sculpture of "David". The artist said: "Very simply; I took a granite block, and then chipped off everything that was not David".
Folks, believe it or not, but this single anecdote did more for my personal evolution than possibly hundreds of those over thousand of books that I have read about human nature.
Again, it's about symbolism and metaphor, these important tools of the creative right brain hemisphere. "Chipping off what is not us" -- or keeping to drop what we are not.
What happens deep within our personal energetic space is a sudden emergence of a better version of us -- which, as if waited for some vacant room for itself to come out of nowhere.
If you are in a doubt about that "better-you" coexisting somewhere within your personal space -- try to think in terms of you intuition, that smart voice, that "guardian angel", that "gut feeling" -- what else you want to call it.
Then try to see how you don't have to "develop" anything "new" that's not already in you. Not by adding -- but by subtracting do we tune to our best version. Indeed, people are obsessing about some sophisticated methodology which would instill a better model of psycho-physical functioning into their inner computer's hardware.
But it's nothing of that sort. Remember, it didn't take us any smart techniques to become the way we are now.
And the same way mind could do it -- mind can undo it, just in a reverse order. Instead of learning, it's unlearning by dropping the fragments of the structure of the old self.
The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning to work on being yourself.
-- Anna Quindlen
A Mental See-Saw
Those sages of the Far East would ask me to say now: "It depends on the small hinges to which side the big door opens."
So, something as insignificant as the practice of mental dropping can result with some big changes. While every neuroscientist will tell you that "brain cells that fire together -- wire together" making new neural pathways, so it stands to reason that those cells that stop firing together unwire from each other. Or, as the popular alternative truism would put it: "If you don't use it -- you lose it.
With another little symbolism, think about the sea-saw motion. The more old self goes down, the more new self emerges up. Remember the old Alby's (Einstein) words: "A problem can't be solved by the same mind that created it."
So, when the whole life seems like one big problem to the point that we are craving a huge change, we have to remember how life is just a state of mind and in order for the life to change -- we have to change first.
Nothing on the outside will do. Which is an unfortunate feature of this western culture that's so heavily based on materialism -- suggesting that our possessions will set us free from misery. Money is a toy, but it's either in hands of a happy kid or a miserable one.
Money can buy many pacifiers for that inner crying child, but as we know, no child gets fooled for long.
So, as I am practicing my own "becoming who I am", my brain, unburdened from weight of negativities computes for me some new and new forms of experiencing the old. For, once that I stripped off the old significance and emotional charge from my past -- I have changed it, the events are still the same, but my mind is emotionally processing it differently.
Whole reality feels so different. Even the air may bring a smell of something happy. Like once, at my regular walk in my park forest, the breeze suddenly brought to me the aroma of my mother's perfume that she was wearing when I was a little boy. I looked around, and there was nobody there.
So I believe, together with those sages whose wisdom has been paving much of my path, that "those biggest life truisms are actually quite simple". And once put in a practice, it can't be simpler than dropping everything that we are not.
Like becoming a chiseled masterpiece of an invisible genetic sculptor.
© 2020 Val Karas
Val Karas (author) from Canada on May 11, 2020:
Allen, my old buddy -- As always, I am deeply moved by your words of praise, and happy beyond saying that something in my writing provides an inspiration in your quest to better the quality of your inner reality. You, my friend, are the living proof how it's never too late for mobilizing courage of giving a hard look at ourselves, and finding strength to choose again.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on May 10, 2020:
Excellent piece of writing.
Chardie Cat from Northern Mindanao, Philippines on May 10, 2020:
I thought I was looking at my brain while reading this long but interestingly insightful hub. Thanks, Val.
Allen Edwards from Iowa on May 10, 2020:
Val, My Friend...Everytime I read one of your "wonderful" creations, I feel so -- uneducated and yet, so privileged to have found you.
My brain pathways seem to become more active after reading your lessons, and I only wish they (the pathways) would remain so!
Thank you for All you do for us Val!!