“Agenda anxiety”—is the feeling that what we want to say to others is more important than what they might want to say to us. Sometimes we try to impress rather than express, not realizing that two monologues do not make a dialogue. If you find that you have a need to say something, let it go and listen to the other person instead. True communication requires doing nothing. Listen without judging or needing to respond.

Holding on to the need to say something blocks receiving the other persons communication. Truly take in every word with your heart. You will discover that you will be perceived as an excellent communicator. When you listen, the other person will hear what they are saying. They will hear their own distortions. This has the effect of moving communications to a place of truth. Notice that always, the truth requires no defense.

Listening to self and others, is one of the most valuable skills one can learn and apply during a lifetime. This is more than a rational process of data collection and information processing. True listening requires an inner shift in focus from a rational psychological problem oriented process, centered in the mind, to an intuitive spiritual process, centered in the heart.

Because a problem demands a solution, the rational mind gets caught in an infinite loop of data gathering and nothing changes. One more new piece of data can always flip the belief system from true to false or vice versa, a terrifying prospect to the ego. In this particular addiction pain begets more pain. Data gathering is about comparing, judging and pigeonholing information in relationship to what the ego already has decided is true or useful for survival. This problem solving mode binds one to survival states configured during the avoidance of pain. Nothing new can get through the filter system. If you must avoid pain then the message is that pain is real, more real and powerful than choice. One becomes a victim of a self fulfilling prophecy.

You cannot solve a problem from the reality and context within which the problem was created. Over the years many clients have come to me after working in a psychological context. They have a clear understanding of their self-concept, the stories about why their lives do not work. The psychological process sees the individual as a two dimensional complex of thoughts. Nothing ever seems to change. They are bound by layers of “stories” about why they are the way they are and why their lives do not work.

It is our fixed and rigid world view, our mythology about how it is or how they are, established as children and in adolescence, the sense that we already know how everything works that prevents growth and change. The ego has an investment in keeping things the same. Even if we have chosen to live in a world of pain, fear, and limitation, the ego prefers this known state of discomfort to change. Many would rather live a lifetime wrapped in a cozy blanket of pain and suffering than stepping out into freedom, beauty and the unknown. They never become a fully functional adult. The truth is life is more than a self-concept, a psychological process. When one adds the transpersonal, a spiritual component, the individual’s life begins to take on a new multidimensional frame of reference. It becomes the experience that there is something greater and more powerful than the mind and that it is spirit that heals.

It is with this realization in one’s life that you begin to feel everything without judging the emotional content. Change requires change! At some point you just stop the old behavior. It is almost too simple for the rational mind and the ego to comprehend. It is just like getting amnesia. If you don’t know you have a problem, then the problem doesn’t exist. If you believe it, then it will be true! I am not talking about denial here, I am talking about detachment from the need to understand or tell stories about what has or is happening to you in your life, how you are at the effect of external circumstance beyond your control.

I am talking about a choice to view life in a new way. That is why it is said that doing things the same way and expecting a different result is one definition of insanity. When you cannot feel or avoid feeling, you are insane! Life is about having emotions rather than your emotions having you. Life is about experience rather than giving the experience meaning. It is about what window you look through to view your world. One that is colored and distorted by the rational processing and filtering of the ego or through the clarity of a window washed clean by the power of an enlightened and loving spirit, through the single eye of your higher-self and spirit. It is your choice.

Life has no meaning, it just is! However, the lives of many in our culture are defined by drama and these individuals would have no idea what to do with their lives, and all the free time, if everything was just the way it was supposed to be. It is your choice. You decide what you identify with internally, the logic of an irrational ego or the clarity of spirit and your authentic-self. You get to be a victim for the rest of your life or release the addiction to anxiety and let the “soul” be the director in your life!