February 3, 2022

“It ends up that we never experience true happiness because there’s always some ‘unless’ or ‘until’ that we’re imposing on our happiness.” — Don Joseph Goewey

IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The reasoning and principle behind “stop fixing yourself”
  • How to recognize the programming that leads us to think we are broken and need fixing
  • What attachments are and how to spot them
  • How to identify the conditions that we sub-consciously impose on our happiness

ABOUT MY GUEST:

Don Joseph Goewey is the director of the Center for Spiritual Exchange, the official archive for the works of Anthony De Mello. De Mello was a Jesuit priest and psychotherapist and was regarded as one of the great spiritual minds of the 20th century, influencing the likes of Eckhart Tolle and Thomas Moore.

Don is the author of  End of Stress/Four Steps to Rewire Your Brain. And recently, Don edited the book Stop Fixing Yourself: Wake Up, All is Well based on Anthony De Mello’s practical spirituality.

De Mello’s message is to stop fixing ourselves. That we’re OK just as we are. No need to interfere or fix anything. It’s enough for us to simply watch and observe. We will see that these things we struggle to fix just need to be understood. And that once we understand them, they will simply drop.

In this episode, we explore (and challenge!) De Mello’s message and use specific everyday situations to see how we can apply this approach.

MENTIONED

My 2022 Goals, Intentions, and Commitments
Stop Fixing Yourself: Wake Up, All is Well by Anthony De Mello
Growing Old—or Older and Growing by Carl Rogers

Follow Second Breaks on Instagram
Connect with Lou Blaser on LinkedIn

A FEW HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CONVERSATION:

Fundamentally what it means is that you’re not broken. You’re not some problem that needs to be solved. You’re okay. And if there’s a problem, it’s the way that you were programmed to believe that without some thing, some possession, some person, some outcome or result, you can’t be happy. You can’t be fulfilled in your life. And it’s a false belief.

We don’t acquire or earn happiness or peace or fulfillment. We have it already. The sad fact is that, in this day and age, it’s really hard to find a completely happy person. It’s only 4% of the population when you do the data.

The irony is we were born free but we’ve become trapped in our own limited thinking. We are born gifted beings of immeasurable worth but so many people have shame reactions where they don’t feel like they’re good enough.

People will be surprised how fast they make a list. I cannot be happy until I’m out of debt. I cannot be happy until my boss appreciates me. I cannot be happy until my wife agrees that she’s been wrong and I’m right. I cannot be happy until there’s more money in the bank. Goes on and on and on and on. And it ends up that we never experienced happiness because there’s always some “unless” or “until” that we’re imposing on it.

Society programmed the joy, that beauty, that basic nature of ours, it programmed it right out of us. It stamped into us, a belief that the most important thing was to make our way out there in the world with the promise that if we worked hard and long enough success would come. And out of that success, happiness and fulfillment would follow.

Success is not the same as fulfillment.

A lot of people have come into contact, at some point in their life, with the things that they love to do. But they’re not doing them. They’re not in touch with them. They’re doing what society told them to do.

MIDLIFE CUES: For the busy midlifer, a weekly dose of nudges and curated resources to help you feel better, do better, and be your best in your middle years. 

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About the Host: Lou Blaser

A former management consultant and IT leader, Lou Blaser is the editor of Midlife Cues and the host of the Second Breaks podcast. She is also the author of Break Free: The Courage to Reinvent Yourself and Your career. Lou’s work is focused on exploring how to navigate, thrive, and turn midlife into the best phase in our life.


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