The Root of Stress

Stress Pic

Stress manifests from one source and that is the maintenance of your story.

We each have a story of who we are.

You are not your story.

To complicate things you didn’t consciously create the story, much of the story you accepted from your family and the culture you grew up in without a thought. This is not wrong it is just how the self develops.

Stress develops when our story and reality diverge. The farther apart they are the greater the stress.

If we are successful at re-inventing our self as things change, life is fairly stress free. Most of us had a couple decades of career growth where this was true. We parlayed one story into the next, we were told and told everyone, we were growing. As the economy changed and corporate environment shifted, we found no motavation to re-invent ourselves in a direction we considered un-growth.

Our stories don’t accomodate being happy as the cheese guy at Whole Foods.

As an aside I chose this example because I know a guy who went from CEO to cheese guy and is quite happy.

Unknotting the psyche and psychology of the story and stressors is a long arguous process, it is much easier to just see through the whole story business. This allows the efforts you make to go toward moving forward on a new plan.

The goal of Corporate Rehab is to help you see through what is no longer serving you and empower you to write a new screen play where you lead the interesting and fulfilling life you desire.

May your life go well


Plucking Tiger

straw2There is the following story in Zen:

A man walking across a field encounters a tiger. He fled, the tiger chasing after him. Coming to a cliff, he caught hold of a wild vine and swung himself over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Terrified, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger had come, waiting to eat him. Two mice, one white and one black, little by little began to gnaw away at the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine in one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

No matter which field of life we choose, we encounter the tiger and sooner or later we find ourselves over a cliff holding on to a vine. Notice the story is clear to point out that he swung himself over the edge, likely feeling quite clever or victorious at the time.

So here he is, if he climbs back up, a tiger to face; if he lets go, a tiger to face. If he just holds on, over time the little mice will gnaw through the vine and again tiger to face.

It is easy in life to become so focused on the tiger and preoccupied by the mice that we never even look around and see the strawberry.  Let alone take the risk of loosening our grip to reach out, pluck it and pop it in our mouth.

The tigers and mice are a given as part of the human condition, by our age we have all witnessed death often enough to realize we are all just hanging on the vine. What is optional is how many strawberries we will pluck.

What are your tigers? What are your mice?

Have you plucked all the strawberries in reach?

What is that strawberry just out of reach if you loosened your grip a bit more?

May your life go well




Empower Yourself



The poster to the left is meant to inspire you, it is a trap. It is bullshit.

Thinking like this is what got you where you are. It makes for successful egos, not happy human beings.

“Surround yourself with people who empower you to become better”

Where to even start?


‘people who empower you’ … No one empowers you but you!

‘surround yourself with people’ …. You’ve been surrounded by people all your life, how’s that working? I love the old Ram Dass line, ‘I’ll pretend you are who you think you are, if you pretend I am who I think I am’. We have created so many filters for dealing with people, if it is your way, you won’t pick them, they’ll show up. Dogs, cats, horse, a bug on the sidewalk, even the sidewalk are just as likely to provide you insight. Opportunities to glimpse your true self are literally at every turn.

‘become better’ …   what is better? If you knew what was ‘better’ you would have no conundrum. I do not know what is better for you and it certainly isn’t what someone else has done.

What it should say is:

Surrounding yourself with your true-self is empowerment.

So what to do:

There are two things that will help you begin the empowerment process and both are scalable, so you can begin from any starting place.

First, is to build a container. Find a place where for some amount of time you won’t be engaged by people, phones, etc. Notice, I said ‘engaged by’ not devoid of. Secondly, establish a ritual. To keep this brief I will give an example and leave it to you to be creative. You can start with 5 minutes only on Wednesday if you must and increase the duration, container and change the ritual over time.

For example go to a coffee shop out of your neighborhood or office radius, sit as alone as you can and enjoy your favorite beverage. Do the crossword, knit, journal, people watch whatever you might enjoy.

Commit to doing this for some period of time on a regular schedule. Yes it will be inconvenient at some point, this is when I want you to pay close attention. Did you even notice when you scheduled a conflict? Did you forget? What are the ‘yeh, buts’ of keeping the commitment to yourself?

Likely you will yield the first time and maybe even the 10th or 50th, just go back to the schedule and the ritual. It took 25-30 years to get here; it’s going to take a while to get out. As for the rest of the process, it will take care of its self.

May your life go well




Confusion and Meditation

by Willem Scuitemaker

by Willem Scuitemaker


Confusion is a very repeatable and natural outcome in examining life and it is now being documented at large, not just by monastics.

The last few years meditation has emerged from the fringe and received a fair bit of attention in the public press. This is primarily due to numerous studies that show it reduces stress, anxiety and blood pressure therefore increasing the immune system, fertility and emotional stability. Nothing in my years would make me doubt any of this.

In recent months there has been a bit of a backlash developing in the press, which I frankly find humorous. In good western style many people came to meditation looking for a quick fix. Likewise, as good westerners they over achieved.

The truth is there are many techniques to initiate you into meditation … follow the breathe, count the breathe, label thoughts, etc. … and with a little effort they all work fairly quickly. You are so relieved to get a break from the daily grind and the energetic kick combines to make it a habit.

With continued sitting, mindfulness, contemplation, stilling the mind … whatever term you were introduced to … sooner or later you will have an actual insight! If the first one doesn’t scare the bejeebers out of you or leave you confused, sooner or later one will. This is where the spate of recent articles are coming from.*

Confusion is the common outcome, post insight, because you are simply not able to look at the underlying fear. Insights raise fear because they are not a product of the thinking mind and at the same time ring true. They upset the very foundation you have built upon and every alarm bell you have goes off.  In the end it is better to be confused than, heaven forbid, admit you were wrong and face the change implied.

Whether you meditate or not you are always examining your life to one extent or another. Being introspective or self-aware is how we define what separates human from animal. I propose to you that your confusion regarding life’s direction has the same roots.

What are you confused about?  What are the underlying fears?

If you want to look at this, you can of course take up meditation until it surfaces or find a place where it is quiet, you won’t be interrupted and you feel very physically safe. Then start the conversation with your-self about your deepest fears. You will be surprised how much of your life has been defined by just one deeply rooted fear.

Because I know this is scary terrain, let me attempt to soften the ground a bit. None of them are real, they are all empty suits.  I have witnessed hundreds if not thousands of fears expressed. The vast majority are not even logically relevant. They may have been relevant when you were four or fifteen or thirty-two, but you are not four or fifteen or thirty-two anymore.

May your life go well

*The basic yoga instructor and the ‘it’s all bliss and light’ new agers that introduce meditation typically have no experience to speak from and compound the problem by doubling down on their shtick at this point. This is a very difficult juncture in the process, when one realizes they need guidance and peers.