One of the (many) reasons we love psychotherapist Barry Michels is that he has a tool for everything. You have tools to regulate your thoughts, prepare to be unleashed, and process your emotional wounds. All its tools, which you can read about in The tools other Arriving alive—Helps address what he and co-author Phil Stutz call Part X, the inner voice that makes us believe we are not worthy of happiness or fulfillment.
In his new video series, Soul dive, Michels explains ways to reframe everyday emotional challenges in just a few minutes. In this week’s video (above), talk about the connection between trust and willpower and how keeping commitments to yourself can change your relationship with both.
Below, he shares the steps for using the Black Sun Tool, which is a visualization exercise that can help anyone exercise self-control.
Directions for Using the Black Sun Tool
Most of the time we are not indulging our urges; We look forward to the moment when we will surrender. Use this tool the moment Part X floods you with any kind of self-defeating impulse – checking your email, losing your patience, etc. that you stop giving in to these impulses and turn inward.
The tool in a few steps
Deprivation: Feel the deprivation of not getting what you want, as intensely as possible. Then drop whatever you want. Forget about the outside world as the source of whatever fills you inside; let it disappear.
Empty: look inside yourself. What was a feeling of deprivation is now an endless void. Face it. Stay calm and still.
Fullness: From the depths of the void, imagine a Black Sun rising, expanding within until you become one with its warm and boundless energy.
Give: Redirect your attention to the outside world. The energy of the Black Sun will overflow and flow out of you. As it enters the world, it becomes a pure white light of infinite generosity.
Replenishing your life force
When Part X tempts you to give in to your urges, what it’s trying to do is steal your life force. Self-control not only preserves your life force; increases it. When you retain an urge, greedy lower energy transforms into higher giving energy, increasing your life force.
Barry Michels has a BA from Harvard; a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley; and an MSW from the University of Southern California. He has been in private practice as a psychotherapist since 1986. With Phil Stutz, he is the author of The tools other Arriving alive.
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