About Attention and Approval

 From Half Moon Bay

Question: (So how much attention or approval do we need.  How little……)

How much attention and approval do you need?  Well, why don’t you give yourself what you require?  You know, I figure nobody knows how wonderful I am as much as I do.  I know people that disapprove of me just got poor taste and I’m goin’ about my business. 

Do you know how much you would need to give yourself?  You see in the ultimate end, it’s your own approval you desire, not mine.  I can come along and tell you how beautiful you are; and how wonderful you are; and you’ll say to yourself “He was just doin’ this to try to make me feel good” or “He was makin’ fun of me.”

  So it’s your approval, your image of yourself that counts.  So can you give yourself enough approval or do you want and expect the rest of us give it.  You’ll never believe the rest of us anyway, is that right?  But we’ve been taught that we should always “put ourselves down”.  But if you put yourself down, who’s gonna ‘put you up’, is that right?  Or you wouldn’t believe ’em anyway, would you? 

You’ve been told how beautiful you were ever since you was this high, is that right? 

(This high.)

You’ve been told that all of your life, haven’t you?

(Well, about……….)

Well most of your life, is that right?  That you’re a beautiful lady.  Do you buy it or do you think you’re a ……

(I think they’re lying.)

Right.  So the only approval and attention that really matters is what you give yourself.  Now let’s all get that straight.  Now that don’t mean you’re conceited or anything of the sort.  The point is if you can’t approve of yourself, you won’t buy it if somebody else does.  I’ve watched you for a long time,  You give yourself the “put down”.


Yeah.  And you give yourself the put down, And so’s about everybody else here.  Now we all give ourselves a put down, is that right?  The only attention and approval in the ultimate end that matters is what you give yourself, okay?  And that doesn’t mean that you have to run and tell everybody how wonderful you are, but just so you know it, okay?  You don’t have to tell anybody about it, just so you know it.  Then you got plenty of attention.  If you need a little more today, give yourself a little more.

[From Marsha… Once my daughter and I found a sweet little canary flying free – he obviously had escaped.  

So we caught it, got a cage, food and the necessary accoutrements. My daughter being young would go to school and leave the curtains closed. I felt sad for the canary because as I understand it, we cover the cage at night so the bird will sleep; and then remove it during the day.

So after a time, I decided to take the canary with me. I told my mentor in music about the bird; and he said to take a lesson from the bird.  “WHAT, I thought?” What could I possibly learn from a little canary bird. 

So one day I was doing an afternoon gig singing and playing keyboard with a full house and nobody was paying any attention to me. I felt like a failure,  Of course, here comes the self “put down: and I left dejected.

Upon arriving home I could see in my front window and there was the canary singing his little heart out at the top of his voice. I thought about that lesson I was challenged to learn and realized that this canary didn’t need an audience. He was singing for just the joy of it.

And so I’ve taken his lesson with me for the past many years I’ve been playing.  And if people aren’t listening, I send out the joy anyway – we can never measure the effect of what we radiate.]

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Reality Check of the Garbage Man

                  From El paso 9/1979

Now I will ask you a pointed question.  If you had a chance today to live in a city with the finest medical clinic, finest hospital and the finest educated doctors in the world; but no sanitation department.  And the other choice you had was to live in a town that didn’t have a doctor one, in it nor a hospital, nor an infirmary; but had one wonderful sanitation department – which one would you move to?  

(Sanitation Department.)

I’ve traveled into cities where the sanitation department is on strike; and the garbage was piled everywhere.   I’ll take the one that didn’t have the doctor in it if I had to make that choice ‘cause I haven’t used the services of a doctor in more years than I care to mention; but I’ve used the sanitation department every day – every day.  So who’s the biggest man around town, the garbage collector or the doctor?   Tell me that.

(Garbage collector.) 

But you know we look down on the poor garbage collector and to the doctor we kowtow.

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“Don’t Take Anything Personally”

Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

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Making it unimportant

[From Marsha… All through the years ever since I began with the teachings in 1975, it has been said, “Don’t make anything important and keep your mood up.” How often I made something important and then tried to drop it and it just wouldn’t drop. So I decided to ask myself and people around me “What Could I Do?”  So here’s some ideas.]

1.  The mind attaches to the importance, but I can take charge by putting my attention on something else—something that requires concentration and creativeness.

2.  When people say something derogatory, sometimes I remember an idea that I’ve been given from time to time that says “they are projecting onto me what they don’t want to see in themselves”.  I can check to see if it’s something I really need to change because it is an unnecessary disturbance to others.  If it is not, I can just consider the source and let it go.   So it is to consider.

3.  Sometimes it helps to change my activity.  Perhaps go for a walk. Dr. Bob told me to walk until I didn’t feel the anger anymore. That’s to “walk it off”. 

4.  Another idea is to ask myself if this is going to affect my life 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years from now.

5.  Ask “What is the ideal?”   If I could get the ideal, what do I think it would give me. Look up “ideal” in the dictionary — Ideals are illusions created in the mind.

6.  Notice if what is being made important is something I am wanting right now—perhaps seeing that it can be had eventually—perhaps it’s a process and will take a period of time.

7.  I’ve also observed that at times when I’ve made something important and been blocked, that it was the best thing that could possibly have happened.  I have realized that and sometimes it took years!

8.  Change perspective.  Imagine other ways of looking at it—perhaps the way someone I respect and admire might see it.

[From Marsha…This at least gives some ideas to work with. And if all else fails read #26 Motion under the school talks where Dr. Bob suggests beating the bath tub with a wet towel – and I’ve used that one on several occasions and found it to be very valuable.]

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Results of getting caught up in blame

Anger, guilt, fear, insecurity

[from Marsha:  I read a description a while back about four possible results that can happen when we get caught in blaming. I started transcribing in 1994 and I finally found that description again; and can now share it with you. I have observed sometimes when I have become disturbed at what someone has said or done, I was not able to let go of it for days. I imagined conversations of what I should have said and great arguments to prove that I was right and what I could say the next time I was with that person.  The thoughts ran like a horror movie. I would try to escape the inner argument and turmoil; but it was always stronger than I could ignore. So here is a sketchy road map of what happens in the four roads of blaming.]

From DC Workshop 3 & 4

Dr. Bob says……..When you got stuck with “it” [blaming], you felt hurt.  Now whenever any of us feels hurt — if you will observe the next thing you do — is look for blame. That is ole’ #6 [see picture of man on website] comes up there in a big way – you look for blame because somethin’s bound to be to blame.  Now we may most commonly express blame by sayin’ “why” did this happen to me, huh?   “Why” didn’t he do so and so.  We look for an impossible answer because “why” has 10,000 answers or none whichever one you want, huh?

(Any answer would be right.)

Any you like, but it won’t stay more than a minute or two because another one comes up, right? 

So you look for blame and when you look for blame, you will find it.  Now there’s four possible ways that we will find to blame

           Blaming “them” results in anger

If you blame the other person, you will find it was him or her to blame; and then you will feel anxiety and the blame will take the form of “anger”.

Now every now and then this one jumps up over here and relays off several conditionings from the past because Mother always told me if I would “always do the right thing”, that everything would work out fine.  Did your mother tell you that? 

(Uh huh. Still does. )

Do you tell your kids that lady? 


You didn’t tell ‘em that? 

(I told them that it is life and nothing is either fair or good or bad because…….)

…it’s really not, “it is”; and that’s about all you can say about it.  But it’s not fair, is it?

(If you expect it to be fair, it isn’t.)

No, it surely isn’t.  It’s not fair – nothin’ fair about it.  Some people are born rich and some are born poor; and some are born tall and some are born short and all this good stuff – nothing fair about it.  Some born with a high IQ and some are born with one to just barely get along with.  So there’s nothin’ fair about it; but nevertheless we can sometimes find that maybe I goofed up a little bit.  Now that’s not too frequent — understand — but it was the way I was trained and I was trained real well.

              Blaming “me” results in guilt

So then we can feel guilt.  Now did anybody here ever feel guilty?   Did you ever have a guilt feeling Barbara – it’s a mess isn’t it?  Did you ever? 

(I have a permanent guilt.)

Do you?

(Carry it all the time.)

…everywhere you go.  Did  you ever feel guilty Hon?


It’s horrible isn’t it – a mess?  So we feel guilty.  That’s another form of anxiety. 

    Don’t know “what to blame” results in fear

Now the next thing that we might feel is that we “can’t for the moment find what to blame it on”.  Have you ever been in that shape Mr. Pinkous?”

(Oh yes.)

Well that’s what you call “fear”.  You see we don’t have fear when we know what to blame it on.  We can get “angry”.  We can get “guilty”.  We can get aggressive or what-have-you; but we can’t feel fear.  Now fear is that feeling you have when you are hurt and you’re looking for blame, and you can’t find something right away to blame it on.  Did you ever have fear?  And wasn’t that the situation?  You couldn’t find exactly what to blame it on.  You didn’t know whether to get angry.  You didn’t know whether to feel guilty.  You couldn’t find exactly what to lay it on and then you feel fearful. 

(Also when I don’t have control of the situation.)

Well I know, but then you’d have control of it if you knew what the cause was, wouldn’t you?  When you’ve had something to blame it on, you would know what to blame it on. 

                      “Unable to control”

               “Blaming resulting in insecurity”

Now “what you think when you don’t have control of it” is when you feel “insecure” which is a very similar one, but it’s another way of going at it.  I know what the blame is; but I can’t get a hold of it because so and so has charge of it and I don’t. 

Now wouldn’t it be nice if we was totally in charge of this world – you could move everybody just where you wanted them?  So we come up with these – “anger”, “guilt”, “fear” and “insecurity” because ….

(I walk around with all four of ‘em.)

Yeah.  Well most of us do Mr. Pinkous, that’s our usual state.

Now those usual states one or more of them at any given moment is what most of us carry around to some extent, huh?  

Now let’s refer to all of those with one broad word of “stressful”.  We’re full of stress.  We’re all wound up to do something and that’s it; and so we don’t feel what you call “at ease” or “peaceful” or “pleasant” or that you can go on about your work without having emotional turmoil. Is that right? It does interfere in your function.

(Sure does.)

Because we were never designed to have them.  This was one thing we were never equipped to handle.  We could only have it when we’re trying to use “truth that was for another time and place” Therefore, those are false feelings of emergency for every one of us – they are anxiety and we were never equipped to have them. 

Now when we’re full of stress, the body mobilizes  — X does the appropriate thing here because if I’m angry or feel guilty or fearful or insecure, the only appropriate thing to do would either to be “to fight or run and hide”.  Now I’m stuck standing here with my face hangin’ out and what can I do about it.  It is not appropriate to fight and there’s no place to run, so we’re stuck with the stress, and X does the appropriate thing which is to adapt the body with soreness, stiffness [see vicious cycle and adaptation on the website]. 

[From Marsha: You can also go to “School Talks” on the Webpage and see #26 Motion in order to relieve the hypnotizing of the blaming that won’t let go – can be fun too!]

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Bean Pot Story

Arizona Workshop #43 on Gratitude. 

[from Marsha — In this day and time, it seems we have been given so much that we have taken everything for granted. Seems businesses give us many choices touting “new and improved” trying to get us to buy. Who would ever have thought that a simple hamburger could get so complicated. So it seems that we feel we can have everything  just like we want it; and if we can’t, we get very upset and feel mistreated, misunderstood or denied by others thereby creating conflict, struggle and resistance either within ourselves or with others.  Here’s a simple beautiful story from the Arizona talk….]

“In this morning’s paper, there was an article about some people that lived in the city of Phoenix that are homeless. They’re living under an overpass, and they have no shelter except maybe they cover up with blankets and what-have-you.  They can build a fire out under the place where they can stay reasonably warm. Some reporters asked, “Where do you get your wood.” The gentlemen said, “If you don’t ask any questions, you will be told no lies”. But they had one picture of a little two-year-old girl who looked very happy. She had a big grin on her face and everything. She was stirring a pot of beans, which was being cooked on an open fire. I guess she was anticipating having some beans after a while, but possibly the little child hasn’t been in a situation where she could set up ideals yet.

So it seemed to be quite all right. She’s camping out and having a good time and she’s feeling all right, even though it had been cold weather for Phoenix–hot for most places. She’s living outside and has no home of any kind; but her parents are with her and she gets to stir the bean pot, so that’s quite all right.  Now maybe if she’s denied stirring the bean pot, she would be very unhappy, I don’t know. You see, whatever the person sets up as being the “ideal” can become an overpowering thing that makes you have a feeling of being sorry for yourself–feeling “deprived”, feeling “put upon”, “unhappy”, and whatever word you want to put on it.   

Definition of ideal from the dictionary

2. existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality.

[from Marsha  — So perhaps it is of benefit to look at the ideals we live by and see the illusion of it’s being achieved.]

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