“Your freedom is already here and now.” – Hale Dwoskin.
Choose to let go of your emotions instead of letting them control you, but how can we do that? Today, Adam Markel welcomes Hale Dwoskin, the New York Times best-selling author of “The Sedona Method” and the founder of Sedona Training Associates. In this episode, he shares the key to achieving happiness. When we let go of our emotions and transform ourselves from the inside out, easily and permanently, we will truly find our freedom. Tune in to learn how to put an end to the struggle of suppressing those long-standing emotional challenges you have.
- 06:08 – We are all that pure limitless awareness.
- 07:30 – The Sedona Method
- 14:15 – Every time we think we know why things happen, it’s beyond what we think.
- 18:14 – Misery comes from one thing.
- 21:16 – The natural flow of life
- 27:10 – The greatest secret
- 30:40 – The mind is a tool if we use it correctly.
How do we leverage continuous uncertainty to thrive in this unprecedented new world?
The answer is to build the resilience we need to power us through the challenges we face so that we become “Change Proof.” Prepare to tackle the future with confidence by reading Adam’s latest book Change Proof: Leveraging the Power of Uncertainty to Build Long-Term Resilience.
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The Sedona Method: The Key To Achieving Happiness – Replay
I’m so happy you’re joining me for this episode, where it’s a replay of a conversation that I had with the one and only Hale Dwoskin. Hale is somebody that I have respected from afar for many years. We’re part of some organizations but had not met until this time that we got together for this conversation. Hale is truly one-of-a-kind. He is a New York Times bestselling author of the book, The Sedona Method and is featured in the movie Letting Go. He is also the Founder of the Sedona Training Associates, an organization that teaches courses based on the emotional releasing techniques inspired by his mentor, Lester Levenson.
Hale is also an international speaker and a featured faculty member at Esalen and the Omega Institute. He is one of the 24 featured teachers in the book and movie phenomenon, The Secret, as well as a founding member of the Transformational Leadership Council, an organization that I have also been a part of. Hale is one of those very special individuals that understand what gets in the way of our greater personal development and growth but also what gets in the way of our relationships, health or even our business success being what it can be.
In our conversation, we talked about The Sedona Method. A very simple, yet powerful set of tools to show you how to tap into our natural ability to release things and let things go. We also talked about his lifelong deep yearning to help others and how he has managed to do that. He shares some of the spiritual experiences that changed his life and led him on the path that he is still on. The impact of the autobiography of you and what that had on his life and why he believes that so many people are so miserable. It was a deep conversation with a very deep and wonderful man. I know you’re going to enjoy this episode so sit back and enjoy this replay of my conversation with Hale Dwoskin.
Welcome back to another episode. I’m feeling incredibly lucky and blessed to be sitting here with all of you. It’s a glorious day outside. Randi and I are taking a little time to ourselves living on this little island. It’s cold as an East Coast island. We’re normally in Southern California and we’re shivering ourselves silly in the East but I feel incredibly lucky to have variety and diversity in my life. It’s contributed so much to my sense of joy.
I feel joyful, even though it rained all day. It was sleeting sideways at one point. The sun is out and that variety is in terms of even just the weather. I forgot how much I crave that, living in such a glorious environment as Southern California. Maybe I found myself a little deeper in that groove of every day at 60 and sunny so it feels good.
What else feels good to me is that I’ve got somebody that I’m going to introduce all of you to. Some of you already know this gentleman or know his work because he’s been around not so much a length of time, I don’t want to say that. I got my age issues but it’s the depth and the breadth of this body of work that first I came in contact with when I was pivoting out of practicing law and wanting to help people to navigate their transitions and pivots in life.
Often, it is that what gets in the way or at least creates resistance when we want to make a change or when we are being called to a change is this holding on and hanging on to the past. Hanging on to other people’s thoughts about us and expectations, as well as our thoughts about what’s happened and old hurts, anger and a whole host of things. When I first got introduced to this gentleman, it was in regard to how it is that I was able to let go of certain things. What process is there? Is there a process? Is there a way to let go of stuff?
You’re not constantly walking around with a knapsack full of these heavy things that get in the way of us being able to do the things we want to do in our lives. Let me read a bit of this gentleman’s bio because he deserves to have this full bio shared with you and we’ll invite him in. I feel incredibly blessed for this moment and looking forward to sharing it all with you.
The gentleman’s name is Hale Dwoskin. He is a New York Times bestselling author of The Sedona Method and is featured in the movie Letting Go. He is the Founder of Sedona Training Associates, an organization that teaches courses based on the emotional releasing techniques inspired by his mentor, Lester Levenson. He is one of the 24 featured teachers of the book and the movie phenomenon, The Secret, as well as a founding member of the Transformational Leadership Council.
For over four decades, he has regularly been teaching The Sedona Method to individuals and corporations throughout the United States and the UK and has been teaching and leading coaching training and advanced retreats since the early 1990s. It’s such a pleasure to have you with us, Hale. Thanks so much for being here.
It’s my pleasure. It’s fun to be here.
The bio is filled with a lifetime or many lifetimes of work helping people. I’m going to ask you a question that’s more about what’s not in that fabulous bio. What’s one thing that you would love for people to know about you as we get started?
Even though I’ve been working on myself for decades and have experienced very profound peace, joy and love and all the things that we all want, what I am is the same thing that you are. At your core, there is this self-radiant awareness that is your true nature. We often ignore it. We look away from it. We get involved in our stories, dramas and the things that are holding us back but at our core, there is no difference at all between what you are and what I am.At your core, there is a self-radiant awareness that is your true nature. Click To Tweet
We are all that pure limitless awareness. Yes, that’s not our living experience all the time. However, when you’re aware of anything, that is that same awareness shining through. It’s not different from that boundless awareness that we all are. You can’t have an experience without awareness. That same awareness gives us the ability to have this conversation, to see, hear, feel, experience and have an incredibly full joyous and rich life. The thing I want you to know about me is I may have been puttering with this for decades and studying it but it’s as intimate to you as it is to me.
Before we got started, you were sharing with me The Sedona method and the ripple effect that has been around. The procession of that body of work has been significant. A lot of things have grown out of it because I had asked you before we hit the record button if you were aware of someone that had written another book called The Presence Process. I’m curious because so much has grown out of The Sedona Method. What did The Sedona method grow out of?
The Sedona Method grew out of two things. The main thing it grew out of is my mentor, Lester Levenson back in 1952. He was sent home to die from a second coronary. The doctors said, “You’re about to die.” He was successful. He had all the trappings of success. He was living in New York City in an apartment overlooking Central Park. He lived in a penthouse in Central Park South. He had several successful businesses. He was popular. It looked like he should be happy but he was a physical and emotional basket case.
The second coronary was like the icing on the cake. It was the last straw. He was trained as a physicist and an engineer so he decided to go back to the lab himself. Over a very short period, he went from a physical and emotional basket case into a state of unbroken awareness and pure peace that he lived for another 42 years after the doctor said, “You got weeks.”
He started trying to share this with other people. He used the Bible at one point to try to share it. He used the teachings from the East but it started to formulate into a system in the early ‘70s. I met Lester in 1976 at a seminar that I organized for a man named Leonard Orr called Theta Seminars. I was one of the organizers for his one-year seminar in New York City and Lester came as a guest.
I didn’t even notice him because one of the things about Lester is he was unassuming. If you talk to him and paid attention, you could feel the amazing breadth and depth of the piece that he was exuding but he didn’t ever try to draw attention to himself. Fortunately, I went out to lunch with him, the other organizer and Leonard.
As we sat there at lunch, he didn’t talk that much but I could feel where he was coming from. I thought to myself, “If I could have a little bit of what this guy’s got, I want it.” To make a long story short, I was on what used to be a two-week seminar the very next weekend. He didn’t teach it because he didn’t want to be in front of the room and it was teaching the basics of The Sedona Method.
Before the seminar was even over, in addition to noticing immediate profound changes within myself, I had this deep intuitive knowingness like, “This is why I’m here. I’m supposed to help this guy and share this work.” I was 22 years old in 1966 and still going strong. In the early ‘90s, Lester knew he was getting ready to leave the body so he passed all his copyrights to me and said, “I want you to continue this work. I’m giving you this mantle.”
At first, I fought it. I didn’t want the responsibility but I said, “Okay.” He also said to me, “You will continue to evolve this work and find a way to make this even better.” The other thing that The Sedona Method has come out of is since the early ‘90s, it has gotten broader and included more ways of helping us let go of what is holding us back and recognizing the truth of who we are, the awareness that I referenced in the very beginning. That’s its origin story.
It’s so interesting that you said origin story because there are always so many little wonderful synchronicities. This will mean nothing to you but as part of some of the work that we do in the world, which is to train people to deliver talks on a TED stage and be speakers, we talk about starting with your origin story. That’s part of the structure. For you to call it that, that’s what it feels like. It’s the first domino.
That was a huge pivot for me.
What were you planning at that moment at 22, I’m curious.
I didn’t have any big plans. He caught me at a perfect time. I had already been a spiritual seeker since a teenager. I studied Eastern and Western teachings. I had done things like EST, actualism, Theta seminars and rebirthing but whenever I did anything, I did it full tilt. I was being trained as a rebirth when I made the pivot into The Sedona Method. When I was involved in EST, which is now called Landmark, I was on the trainer tracks. When I did something, I went for it.
Where’d you grow up?
I’m a Queens kid.
I could sense that when we first start talking.
I have all the burrows covered because my mother’s from The Bronx and my brother lives in Manhattan, except Staten Island. Poor Staten Island, I always get this fuzzy and they stick with me. My wife and I lived in New Jersey for a bunch of years. I remember we used to travel through that island borough to get to our house in Jersey. That was it.
You grew up in New York. Do you know why you were leaning into that work? It’s curious. In my own, if we go to that origin story, my dad was a Civil Servant. He worked for the city of New York. My mom did odd jobs. We lived in an apartment. They didn’t have a lot of money but service and being of service were important. My dad was writing at night. He was a creative writer and he did this other work during the day. I got to hear a lot about things, not just philosophy but the science of living. The person I heard about early on was Albert Ellis. You must know Dr. Ellis’s work. That was more of a psychology side of it.
The seeds in me were planted early on, that there were fewer talked about ways of approaching life that you didn’t necessarily get access to by watching TV or the common conversations that went on or things that you were taught in school. What are the seeds of your fascination and even this deep commitment that you dove right in? Do you have a sense of why that was?
It’s hard to say because the truth is, in my experience, any time we think we know why things are happening, it’s usually way beyond what we think. I’ve seen that over and over again in my life. It could have started when I was three. I had a brother who was born severely with brain damage. He was severely mentally retarded. How I coped with that is I wanted to help my mother.
I also felt like I got pushed out of the spotlight so I wanted to be visibly helping. That wanting to help was with me my whole life. Before I got into spirituality, I thought I was going to be a doctor. There was this deep wanting to help. I realized that I started having spiritual experiences at a very young age. I had no idea at the time. I had no spiritual conceptualization but I remember watching a sunset.
When I was very young, I was at camp and disappeared into the sunset. There was no hail there. There was this incredibly beautiful scene. Things like that happened occasionally in my life and I thought nothing other because it was what naturally happened. At the same time, I had all the psychological struggles that everyone has growing up, especially the early trauma of having such a disturbing thing happen in your life because he was institutionalized and it changed our whole family.
It was a tough thing but the way I coped with it was to look for ways to help. By happenstance, I read a book called Autobiography of a Yogi when I was a teenager. Many people have read that book and it inspired them to go in this direction. I read that book and deeply resonated with it. I started exploring that whole field. At the time, it was very rich and open. I started in the ‘60s or it must’ve been the late ‘60s.
Everybody in my age group was exploring these types of things but it wasn’t until I hit The Sedona Method that something stuck. I can’t say one particular moment. It was all a gestalt of things pulling me in this direction. Also, my patients contributed too because they were very open-minded and quite liberal. By the time I can remember, they had their early struggles but they were starting to become successful. My mother was a teacher and my father was a lawyer and a real estate broker.
They had some modicum of success but even with their success, they always cared. They wanted everyone to succeed. It wasn’t just about their success. It wasn’t just us against the world. It was, “We have a responsibility to everybody. If everybody wins, we win. It’s not just if we win.” I owe that to my parents as well.
I want to dig in because time is so precious. I want to talk specifically about the method and set the context for it a little bit. It’s not our intention to try to create a summary of four decades just to be clear. I would like to maybe think about if we go to the cause of causes if you will. People are miserable, let’s start there. Why are people so miserable? No, I’m kidding.
I can give you that in a short answer if you want. It’s very simple. It has nothing to do with the pandemic, the economy, family struggles, life struggles, illness or all the things that we think cause our misery. Our misery comes from one thing and you don’t have to believe this. This is how I perceive it. It only comes from one thing. It’s forgetting the truth of who we are and believing we are a limited person.
To the degree that we identify with our story of will, to that degree, we suffer. There are too many examples in life to name people who have gone through similar experiences. One person comes out of the experience profoundly transformed for the better and the other person is crushed by it and never recovers.
The difference is that one person let go through the experience and discovered a little more of their essence of inner truth. Not their personal truth, the same truth that we all share. The other person identified with the story, felt the victim of it and felt crushed by it and then live their whole life in compensation for it.Let go through the experience and discover more of your essence of inner truth, not their truth, the same truth that we all share. Click To Tweet
We all have an opportunity when faced with anything to either let go and grow from it and use it to discover what’s beyond the surface events or we can identify more with the suffering. What happens once we start to identify with being limited and suffering, we become suffering collectors. “That was bad. I’ll add that to the stack.” The burden that we carry gets heavier.
Even when things go well like we make a lot of money, we have a beautiful relationship and our health is good, we can’t fully enjoy it because we’re carrying this burden of all this past stuff that we think happened to us personally. Whereas it was just an experience that the body-mind went through. Now, it’s a new experience. Every moment is new. The only moment we ever experience is this one.
When we live from that awareness that we are, there’s nothing for any of this to hold onto because we’re not identifying as that limited person. We’re identifying as the truth of who you are but it’s also incredibly practical. You don’t lose your memories. When you’re dealing with what’s here, for instance, if you’re trying to make a business choice, instead of having to depend on the things that worked in the past, you take that into consideration but then you look at what’s here now and make better business decisions.
If there’s an investment that you’re trying to make, instead of operating out of fear or lust, you operate out of queer reason and intuitive knowingness so you make better decisions. In relationships, if you’re already happy inside and feel more content, you bring happiness to it instead of trying to get your partner to give it to you.If there's an investment that you're trying to make, instead of operating out of fear or lust, you operate out of queer reason and intuitive knowingness. Click To Tweet
In health, it goes up and down. That’s the natural flow of life but when you don’t react to the health condition, you’re more likely to find a solution but you’re also a lot less likely to suffer. You’re cooperating with the body’s natural healing ability. You’re not sticking your fingers in the gear because you’re going, “Ah.” It makes a huge difference to approach life in that way.
I’m curious when it comes to why people, not so much why misery is so prevalent, I suppose but when there is a desire to move past that, to be able to be happier. I’m not a huge believer in that word or concept but in the quest for happiness. What gets in the way of it, Hale? Is it the fact that people don’t know the process for letting go of the things that are creating that misery or is it that they don’t perhaps understand the ROI that comes from it?
It’s a little bit of both. One is if you’re letting go and opening, there’s the happiness that you are coming forth. The other piece is most of us are looking for happiness where it isn’t. We’re looking for it outside of ourselves. Lester Levenson, my mentor, used to say, “Happiness is simply you being you. Not your persona or the person you are. You being that awareness and beingness.”
The reason we get confused is when we want something, that hurts. The more we want it, the more it hurts. When we do finally get it because we do get things we want from time to time, that wanting drops away and all the thoughts that come from it and all the angst of not having it temporarily drop away. We’re experiencing more of our basic nature, that joy, peace and love that is at our core. We then go, “I know. It came from having more money so I need to get more money.” It doesn’t work or it came from being with this person or from finally getting through this disease.
Am I saying don’t have loving relationships, more money or be healthy? Of course, not but when we think happiness comes from that, then it’s never enough. It never emerges deeply and out from our core into our experience. It’s fleeting. Whereas as you recognize that you are that awareness or beingness, that is the root cause of all. The more you recognize that, the more you bring happiness to that.
The more vulnerable you feel even when you’re in the middle of a struggle. Struggles don’t stop. Struggles continue. This body-mind has had a lifetime of challenging things. Yet, because of my perspective, letting go and deepening experience of that core of who I am, the challenges created more space in me, more ability to take on more responsibility in a world way but also live that happiness that I am and that you are. This isn’t unique to me. This is what everyone experiences when they pay attention.
Hale, is there a way to describe the method without doing a disservice? I want people to go out and get the book, The Sedona Method. Can we tee up a conversation about what the method is?
I can talk about it but I can also give people at least one technique they can start using right away.
Let’s do that and I want to ask you too. Do you use this method daily? Is it so regularly ingrained?
It’s more than that. Years ago, it went from a technique into a way of living. Things arise in consciousness and then they dissolve. I rarely cling to them. If there’s any clinging, I notice it. In noticing it, it dissolves.
You’ve embodied this to the extent. It’s not a technique you have to deploy.
No, but what’s interesting though is I continue to research myself and expand the work as I work with others. All the changes that have happened to The Sedona Method, the deepening over time after Lester asked me to take this on, even with a method, I didn’t do it by rote. There was a person or a group in front of me and they needed something. There was so little hail so I got out of the way. Things arose as a way to present this.
I’ve been fascinated with how the human consciousness works and also, it’s not divine. It’s how the natural being that we are works and is. I’m constantly exploring it. Out of that, comes more direct and easier ways to help people discover this. You have an older bio, the one you read in the beginning. Rhonda Byrne, the woman who wrote The Secret and created the movie The Secret has a new book out. It came out in November 2020. It’s called The Greatest Secret. Lester and I are a huge part of that.
A lot of what’s in The Greatest Secret didn’t come from me because many other teachers discovered the same thing and are saying that. Some of it may have come from us directly but a lot of how that book talks about how to end suffering and discover the truth of who you are is how I’ve been teaching for decades. It’s all a gestalt. It all evolves together.
Back to what The Sedona Method is. The Sedona Method is a very simple, yet powerful set of tools that show you how to tap a natural ability that we all have and this natural ability is that we all can let go. We did it naturally as young children and then we forgot. When we rediscover it as an adult, then we can’t lose it again. It was natural but automatic as children. There’s a process.
We would melt down. Kids have a total shit fit. We have four kids. One of our kids did that but is that part of what we stopped?
No. The meltdown is not it. It’s what happens afterward. Yes, kids have meltdowns but did you ever notice a kid fall? You have four kids so you must have seen this. They look around to see if they need to be upset.
As soon as they see the look on the parent’s face that says, “You’re hurt,” that’s when they cry.
That’s right because they know it’s an opportunity. “Daddy or mommy’s going to take care of me.” As soon as they get their kiss or the acknowledgment, they drop it because they don’t even try to drop it. It falls away because that’s what’s natural. Things don’t stick to you unless you cling to them. We start clinging very young at about age 2 or 2.5, through the terrible 2s you watched your children. I’m sure you remember at about age 2 or 2.5, they learned the word no but that was a side effect.
What happened is they went from referring to their toys as, “My toy,” to Bob’s toy or Harry’s toy. I don’t know what your children’s names are. They started identifying with the name that you gave them. From then on, most of us continued to accumulate around that. We let go less and less. I’m sure you saw that with your kids.
That’s an example of the clinging that you’re referring to.
Yes, but I’m sure you noticed that as your kids got older, they got better at being an adult but they also got worse at letting go. They started trying to model after us. Not just, “This is mine,” but, “These feelings are mine. These hurts are mine. These thoughts are mine. These limitations are mine.” We cling to it believing it’s true, yet it’s never been true. They’re things that pass through awareness and they’re done. The mind dwells on it and claims it as its own.
I don’t want to get into the technical on this but are we calling that the ego? Is that what’s claiming?
We could call it ego but I don’t like that term because it’s too misunderstood. A lot of people go to war with the ego or the mind. That’s a mistake. A mind is a tool if we use it correctly. The mind is not a good master. Unfortunately, for most of us, we’ve made the mind the master. When you make the mind the master, then you’re being dragged behind the bus. This is something that Rhonda talks about in The Greatest Secret. This is one of our more advanced techniques. Notice your mind, the thoughts and feelings that you’re experiencing at this moment. Check, are you that or are you that which is aware of it?
As soon as you know you’re the awareness, something relaxes and opens inside because we live contracted around this belief that we’re our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and ideas. We think that’s who we are but that is never who we are. Who we are is the awareness that gives that life. The more you recognize that, the more you see the world from that perspective. The clearer your mind gets, the better it is at solving any life situation but the less you suffer.
You only suffer because you think you are all that stuff. You can check and I recommend that. That’s one of the things we do in our programs but also one of the basic things Rhonda teaches in her book, The Greatest Secret. If you check your direct experience, there’s no belief required. Look at your direct experience. Whatever you’re experiencing, you can simply check, “Am I that or am I that,” which is awareness.
Each time you look, you start to feel what awareness feels like. Awareness is boundless. Awareness is the source of happiness and love. That’s who we are. This is something that the more you explore, the more your whole world is transformed in every way. That’s a small piece of The Sedona Method. We also teach very powerful tools for letting go of the parts of the mind that you get tripped up in.
With the world that we’re living in, I know this show will be heard for a long time and it could be very many great distances further down the road that someone’s reading to this and thinking that the example I’m about to use isn’t relevant but you can choose. Replace what I’m about to say with anything that’s going on in your life that you feel suffering from.
There are many people who have suffered great loss during the pandemic and will continue to, whether that’s the loss of a job, a business, a loved one or any number of other things that are tough to deal with. To someone that’s holding on, let’s say, the weight of that experience, that’s been real. We’re not saying in any way, shape or form that this is ignoring reality. What are we saying to someone in that situation where they are hanging on to something right at this moment?
In addition to this question that I used, which I recommend they use, if you can see that you are the awareness, even though it hurts at the moment, you are more than that. Knowing you’re more than that, the hurt starts to subside. Sometimes dramatically and quickly but you can also look at it in another way. You can see that it is a thought, a feeling or an experience that you’re having. It isn’t attached to you and because of that, you can let go of the hurt.
In letting go of the hurt, you can rebuild your life. It’s not, for instance, if you lost someone. It’s not an abandonment of the love that you feel for them but if you let go of the hurt, you’ll discover you feel more of the love that hurt was covering over. The more you let go of the emotion, the more you’ll feel like they’re still here with you, at least in your heart.
If you’re out of work and you are struggling with that, your income is lower than it was or you’ve had to adapt to a way of working with the way the world is at the moment, you can be crushed by that and you might feel that way at the moment. If you can let go of even a little of the emotional reaction, what you’ll find is your mind is creative. Your mind knows.
It’s not the mind. The mind is more of a filter but the mind has access to infinite creativity. It’s only when we’re looking at the negative part of the situation that we fall into a hole with it. If you sit back within yourself and start to let go even a little, you start to see creative solutions. You might find a different way of approaching the job search. You might even find a whole business that applies to whatever life is at this moment.
In seeing that, you can start to find solutions. What generally happens when we’ve gone through something traumatic is we keep reliving it over and over again, which only creates more suffering. It’s like we’re digging a hole and covering ourselves with dirt. Instead of if you dig deep enough, you reach gold, water or oil but most of us are filling the hole and we’re getting deeper into the hole.
Eventually, we stop seeing the light but the light that you are is what allows for everything. Instead of digging a hole or a deeper hole, you can also start looking for the light that’s already in even this contracted situation. Even when you’re most contracted, there’s still some light because you’re aware of it. Awareness is the light that illuminates whatever you’re experiencing. You can start with that awareness and use that as a way to dig out of the hole.
I’ve worked with people with severe PTSD, people of childhood abuse and people who’d lost everything. By letting go of the anger, the fear, the frustration, the angst and exploring that awareness, the combination of the two has transformed them amazingly. It works for any age. I finished leading a facilitator training. There was a young child struggling with Zoom.
They’re being isolated at home. Their introvertness or shyness had gotten so exaggerated. They couldn’t even look at the screen and ask questions. It was extreme. The person working with them is a Sedona Method facilitator. She helped this young child let go for about three minutes and then she talked to the mother later that week or the next week.
In those three minutes, the next time the child was able to ask questions looking directly at the camera, the child then said to the teacher, “Can I make a presentation to you?” She made a presentation to the teacher and then the child said, “Can I make this for the whole group?” All that was from a few minutes of letting go. That’s an extreme example but no matter what you believe your limitations are, they’re not more powerful than the awareness that’s illuminating them.
What’s embedded in what you’re sharing too is that this is something that can happen at any moment based on any prior circumstance or history. The freedom that this allows or creates a space for is the only true thing. I’m searching for words here because I want to say this the way I’m feeling it. We have great power within us at any moment.
That power transcends or transmutes anything that came before. You could have had the most miserable life or the last year has been the most excruciating of experiences one after another. At this moment, if you were to choose to acknowledge what you’ve shared with us, to let go and recognize a bit of the truth of your being, it doesn’t mean those things didn’t happen. At this moment, what you experience is something like peace, freedom, happiness or joy. In all honesty, what else do we have? The way we experience this present moment is all we have. Our whole lives are a collection of moments we’ve experienced. The only one we can hold onto at all is this one and even this one is gone.
You can’t hold onto this one or anything. That’s such a weird thing. We spend our whole lives trying to hold onto things but it never works. Even this body that we try so much to keep around as long as we can, we’re going to fail at that and no one succeeds at that but that’s not being used.We spend our whole lives holding onto things, but it never works. Even this body that we try to keep around as long as we can, we will fail at that. No one succeeds at that. Click To Tweet
Revealing these paradoxes, sometimes they make it a little better at night and sometimes they keep you up at night.
I understand that but that’s not bad news. If you live this moment fully, it’s exquisite.
Even that, I’m picking at your words because even living this moment fully implies somehow that there’s a way to do it.
I don’t mean there’s a way to do it.
It’s so glorious because it allows you to leave the past where it truly is, which is dead. There’s no energy in the past.
There is no energy at all, except that which we’re funneling out of the present moment into trying to create this whole fantasy. I don’t want to call it a fantasy because that sounds like an invalidation but this whole experience saps so much life from the infinite awareness. We were tapping that instead to enjoy life, accomplish things, feel good and help others. We’re creating this whole illusion around ourselves that for most of us feels impenetrable. It’s exhausting and it makes us sick.
To hold on or protect, we cling to protect all the crap we collect and we call mine, whether they’re your personality, your house, relationships or any of these things. It’s thoroughly exhausting to have to care for all. Upkeep all of that. That’s my way of leading into one final question. They relate to this concept of resilience because it’s so vital. Maybe I’m a bit self-serving here in the sense that a lot of my speaking to organizations is on that topic of developing.
It’s a brilliant, wonderful topic so please serve yourself. Go for it.
I want to know to what degree you attribute resilience to your ability to continue to look the way you look and with the energy you’ve got. If people are watching this on YouTube, they’ll see this gentleman looks maybe like he’s in his mid-40s or something. It’s shocking. I’ve been doing this for decades and you have the energy and the enthusiasm that you’ve got. I want to attribute that in some ways to resilience. I’m curious about what you think of it.
That’s valid because this path that this body and mind has been on its whole life hasn’t always been easy. There have been major challenges but what happened is, I’ll use your word, I had the resilience to stay with it even when things were the most challenging. In 1998 or ‘99, I led a seminar or a retreat. I had a mild earache. I went to a doctor and he gave me ear drops.
What he didn’t realize at the time is I had severe meningitis and encephalitis. Twenty-four hours later, I was rushed to the emergency room and got very close to death but while I was in the hospital, it was a profound learning experience. I realized that at the moment I could die but I also was a complete piece about it. I didn’t think that was even possible. Lester had told me that was possible. You can be facing death itself and not be disturbed.
Until it happened to me, I didn’t realize it was even possible. That made me also help others face things like that because I did whatever I needed to get better. At the same time, instead of living my life like, “I might get sick again or I may get sick again,” eventually, I’m sure I’m going to get sick and die. That’s what happens to most of us or we kill over but that’s one example. Instead of going, “I might die,” I went, “I might die. Let’s see what this means.” There was also tremendous pain and it didn’t stop me. It encouraged me to keep going.
It’s so interesting how many definitions there are for the word resilience. It didn’t stop you. It helped you to move forward and to a great extent, our ability to utilize everything. I’m a great believer that there’s no waste. I have a no-waste theory. It’s wonderful about the universe. Everything is utilized. It’s like the front and back of the cow patty.
It’s a great example of how that all works. It’s the alchemy of sorts of experiences that are difficult but ultimately help us to live fully and connect with others compassionately. Every good thing. Everything good about the way what is good in human nature is even more greatly expressed when we are able to embrace those things that have happened. I would probably call that humility. It’s the word I’ve always used for that. We crave definition. I’m hesitating with you here because words are vitally important and yet there’s something arrogant for me about placing a term.
No, you have your wonderful mission, sharing the amazing things you’ve been sharing and this show is a vehicle to help you do that. Don’t apologize for that. It’s wonderful. This show helps even one person discover their resilience and that’s all they get from it. There’s no problem with you bringing that into this conversation.
Anything is fair game and I appreciate you saying that. I’m not suffering from a lack of ability to move through my insecurities toward other things but I want to expose the fact that regardless of what any of us have done or how that’s viewed by others, still, we all deal with the same stuff. That’s what I’m putting out there. I have my moments where I question whether this isn’t some big ego trip with the books, speaking and all that stuff. I’m being honest about it.
Those are small moments. I let them go and you help me to release and let go of even that one little thing in my head where I’m going, “Who the F are you,” to put a label on something. You’ve been doing this a lot longer than I have. I feel like I’m in the presence of somebody who has been an unknown mentor as you have been to so many other people.
I remember hearing about The Sedona Method originally through some of Jim Britt’s work. I used to lead a three-day seminar and on Sunday mornings, I would have people write about painful things. They would ask themselves some questions out loud to release and let go of those things. It was wonderful. The things that I saw were breathtaking like the tears of relief that were released, the people who would call their parents on the break and people in their lives they hadn’t spoken to in twenty years. It’s the best, Hale. To whatever extent, you, Lester Levenson and others who’ve been doing this work for so long have been doing it, I want to say thank you.
Thank you for continuing it and doing it yourself. I want to come back to one thing you said because it’s important for everyone and this is for everyone reading too. The fact that you have moments of doubt and you grow from them as opposed, we’re in trouble if we don’t question ourselves. Part of the reason we get so lost in the mind is we never question what the mind’s saying to us. The fact that you’re questioning it means that you’re open to seeing the truth. Even in our moments of doubt, our gifts to grow from are supporting us and moving forward. Thank you for being that transparent.
Thank you. I want to end with a question for you, which is related to a TED Talk I was privileged enough to give a few years back. It’s something that’s written on my sweatshirt. A lot of people are reading this and not watching it necessarily but on YouTube, if you are, you’ll see I’ve got this hoodie on that says, “I love my life.”
The through line of this TED Talk I gave a few years ago was this question, “What would it be like if you chose to love your life no matter what?” The no matter what part is what folks do struggle with. I’m going to ask you that question, Hale. Do you love your life? If you do love your life, why? It’s nothing like ending on a small question.
I love life. It rarely feels like my life. The life that’s living through you, me and everyone reading this, through the plants, the animals, the stars and all of it. In my experience, life is in love with itself. There’s not a separate me and a you doing it but the aspiration to love your life is a fantastic way to work on yourself or work with yourself. The more you can love what is, as it is, the more that love becomes a living part of your every moment.
Loving life is a great place to start and it can be difficult in the beginning, especially if you have challenges in your life. If you’re persistent or resilient and you continue to do your best to love what is as it is, you’ll start to find ways to get out of the problems that you’re struggling with. If you resist life, say no to life, curse life or do the things that we usually do, all that does is it makes it more difficult but you can even love that.If you continue to do your best to love as it is, you'll find ways to get out of the problems that you're struggling with. Click To Tweet
If you fight with your mind when it’s getting cranky, it likes that. It gets crankier but you can even love your mind when it’s trying to run interference. As you do that, it gets more cooperative. It tries to find ways to help you as opposed to sabotage you. Loving life is a great direction and it must’ve been a wonderful talk.
It’s become a way of being for us and our company. It’s a message ultimately that we’re most connected to. I love what you said. Someone said some years ago, “When you love your life, your life will love you back,” and I believe that. You bless what you want, the things that you bless, bless you back and the things we curse do the same.
A little warning with that too but love what is as it is. Thank you for those words, Hale. I so appreciate that you made the time for the conversation. Our community will love this no doubt. For those of you that know someone that would benefit from reading or watching this, please feel free to share it with them. Leave comments and questions. You can do that at AdamMarkel.com/Podcast. If you want to leave a comment on iTunes, we’re always answering those as well. We appreciate your feedback as always. More than anything, I hope that you go about your way in the world loving what is as it is, ala Hale Dwoskin. Thank you so much, Hale. I appreciate it.
Thank you for having me.
You’re a blessing.
- The Sedona Method
- Sedona Training Associates
- The Secret
- Transformational Leadership Council
- The Presence Process
- Autobiography of a Yogi
- The Greatest Secret
- iTunes – Change Proof
- @TheSedonaMethod – YouTube
About Hale Dwoskin
Hale Dwoskin is the New York Times best-selling author of “The Sedona Method,” and is featured in the movie, “Letting Go.” He is the founder of Sedona Training Associates, an organization that teaches courses based on the emotional releasing techniques inspired by his mentor, Lester Levenson.
He is one of the 24 featured teachers of the book and movie phenomenon, “The Secret,” as well as a founding member of The Transformational Leadership Council. For over four decades, he has regularly been teaching “The Sedona Method” to individuals and corporations throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, and has been leading coach trainings and advanced retreats since the early 1990s.