Awareness That Heals

Robert J Strock

The Awareness That Heals Podcast brings you meaningful discussions that provide guidance and insights into the way we care for ourselves during life's emotional, situational, and existential challenges. They can be faced and embraced by using the tools presented in the Awareness That Heals book and podcast. Awareness That Heals offers you a variety of practices to support greater awareness of what may be troubling you, while simultaneously finding a place to actively care for yourself. Find out more at: www.AwarenessThatHeals.org

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Introspective Guides: When Anxiety Arises - Episode 71
Yesterday
Introspective Guides: When Anxiety Arises - Episode 71
In this episode, Robert and Dave discuss the experience of anxiety that is prominent for so many and highlight what to do when you are experiencing it. Many people's initial reaction is to distract and run in the other direction, but suppressing anxiety will only make it grow. When anxiety arises, take some time without trying to change it. Let anxiety breathe so you can increase your acceptance and awareness. It is important to dignify the human experience. This allows us to have enough contemplation to realize we want to care for ourselves instead of giving ourselves a hard time for feeling anxiety.  This is a great time to bring in The Introspective Guides. This can set a whole new trajectory. Instead of being frozen in anxiety, there is a partner to help care for ourselves, to befriend ourselves as we are. It could be that answers come up like, I need to call the doctor. It is time to stop running away from anxiety and not wanting to deal with feeling threatened. Anxiety for virtually all of us is involuntary and it deeply deserves our caring. That is the internal part where you are continuing to encourage yourself and recognize, over and over again, your innocence. You're not doing this on purpose. You don't deserve to be punished. You don't deserve anything but to support yourself and to do your very best to breathe, bring calmness,  keep asking questions  and respond in a way that will best care for yourself. This can be done with accepting thoughts, actions and developing different ways of caring for this challenging feeling. Through Robert's words, he is attempting to empower you to sit in the seat of your guidance that can look and see what your feelings are and what your needs are. As you listen it is very helpful to have the list of The 75 Challenging Emotions and Essential Needs from The Introspective Guides that can be found on our website. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
Introspective Guides: When Anxiety Arises - Episode 71
Yesterday
Introspective Guides: When Anxiety Arises - Episode 71
In this episode, Robert and Dave discuss the experience of anxiety that is prominent for so many and highlight what to do when you are experiencing it. Many people's initial reaction is to distract and run in the other direction, but suppressing anxiety will only make it grow. When anxiety arises, take some time without trying to change it. Let anxiety breathe so you can increase your acceptance and awareness. It is important to dignify the human experience. This allows us to have enough contemplation to realize we want to care for ourselves instead of giving ourselves a hard time for feeling anxiety.  This is a great time to bring in The Introspective Guides. This can set a whole new trajectory. Instead of being frozen in anxiety, there is a partner to help care for ourselves, to befriend ourselves as we are. It could be that answers come up like, I need to call the doctor. It is time to stop running away from anxiety and not wanting to deal with feeling threatened. Anxiety for virtually all of us is involuntary and it deeply deserves our caring. That is the internal part where you are continuing to encourage yourself and recognize, over and over again, your innocence. You're not doing this on purpose. You don't deserve to be punished. You don't deserve anything but to support yourself and to do your very best to breathe, bring calmness,  keep asking questions  and respond in a way that will best care for yourself. This can be done with accepting thoughts, actions and developing different ways of caring for this challenging feeling. Through Robert's words, he is attempting to empower you to sit in the seat of your guidance that can look and see what your feelings are and what your needs are. As you listen it is very helpful to have the list of The 75 Challenging Emotions and Essential Needs from The Introspective Guides that can be found on our website. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
Introspective Guides 101 - Episode 70
Aug 7 2022
Introspective Guides 101 - Episode 70
Welcome to the start of a new series of The Awareness that Heals that will be working directly with The Introspective Guides for “Challenging Feelings & Emotions," as well as “Essential Needs & Qualities." Both can be downloaded for free on our website awarenessthatheals.org. These guides will help identify a list of the most common needs that we all have, are often unaware of, or unable to articulate. They will also assist you in becoming more aware of challenging emotions, which can then become a lucid guide to your core needs by learning to ask what is missing or most needed. This is something that most of us do not have literacy in. It is a time we can find our way to be humble and receptive. Therefore, it is helpful to have access to these lists, even as you are listening to the podcast. These guides are an invaluable resource for teachers, therapists, clients, and anyone who wants to clearly understand what they feel and what is needed to take better care of themselves and others. Most of us understand the words, feel and need, but the depth of application, especially while we're living it, is much more subtle and difficult to achieve. This episode deals with the most simple yet profound linkage that each of us can make between our challenging feelings and our needs. Learning how to discover and follow our needs is a central way to break free from how others in our past, our culture, have defined for us what they think we need or the values we should hold. The most crucial part of this series is to identify the most frequent feelings that challenge you. Emotions like when you are afraid, how do you move in a direction of safety or courage, or when you're feeling weak or inadequate? From there, it guides us to be able to pivot in a direction of taking care of yourself by breaking old patterns. Join us for this podcast and upcoming episodes to see how to implement this tried and true process to find your challenges and guide yourself to whatever will improve your quality of life. View the Guided Meditations Download the Introspective Guides Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
Identifying Your Ways of Being With Resistant Emotions & Responding from Wisdom - Episode 69
Jul 31 2022
Identifying Your Ways of Being With Resistant Emotions & Responding from Wisdom - Episode 69
It is a pleasure to have you join us for this final part of the series centered around Robert's book, Awareness that Heals. Here we will continue to develop a greater capacity to have a more healing response to emotions rather than becoming trapped in conditioned reactions that each of us has. Most of us get confused and think we are the imprint of our conditioning from the way our parents raised us, our siblings, our society, our movies, and our sports. If we can find our awareness beyond this, we have the potential to be free.  Normally, our conditioning is like a tornado, moving us along. The work we are doing here, together, is to strengthen our aptitude to think for ourselves, question ourselves, listen to what the answers are, and respond. Don’t let yourself get too grandiose. Instead, relish the little steps as the big accomplishments that they are. Robert and Dave will finalize the book with a summary. As well as providing the context of the eighth chapter with all the chapters and how they integrate and support each other. As Robert and Dave review, don't just hear it, but glimpse it from your life experience and ask yourself questions from the heart. With your wisdom, you can bring both your wisest thoughts and your best qualities together to guide your life. The most important thing isn't to appear developed. The most important thing is to authentically be right where you are in your development. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
Moving from Being Angry Toward What You Really Need - Episode 68
Jul 24 2022
Moving from Being Angry Toward What You Really Need - Episode 68
Robert continues his guidance in developing our capacity to move outside our conditioning and reactive emotions. Most of us behave based on how we were seen or unseen by our parents or by others in our society that we model. We often identify with the heroes that are athletes or actors in TV shows. Amplifying these skills to inquire who we aspire to be independent of our conditioning will allow us to question ourselves, listen to what the answers are, and find ways to respond. This episode, on the surface, may appear to be mostly focused on one lone case study, the gradual steps of healing, and how it applies to various concrete examples. However, Robert makes it clear that the primary emphasis is you being able to find your own needs, starting with your challenges.  While listening, seek the potential benefits of expressing what you need rather than staying with what you are against in your resistant state. There is no one size fits all. Sometimes you need to find a way to communicate sensitively. Sometimes you need to find a way to resolve it internally. The case study discussed is a couple that has been with Robert for 10 to 15 years. When Adam came to work with Robert many years ago, his main complaint was that his wife was self-centered and angry. What he wanted was more open heart communication and more connection, but his tone was hostile and angry. With that kind of tone inevitably an endless power struggle would continue. With some resistance, Robert was able to help Adam realize he was not just an innocent character in all this. Through several sessions, Adam gradually became aware of his feelings of abandonment, his hurt, his aloneness, his loneliness, his dependency, and his desire to be intimate. See how Adam's story unfolds into a renewed relationship with his wife. In contemplating this case the central focus is to see your patterns. Remember a point in time either that has happened recently or throughout your life and use Adam's story as a mirror to look at your relationship with anger. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
Pausing in Anger to Move Toward a State of Well-Being - Episode 67
Jul 17 2022
Pausing in Anger to Move Toward a State of Well-Being - Episode 67
This week Robert and Dave go more deeply into the seven steps to transform anger. The podcast coincides with the final chapter of Robert’s book, Awareness that Heals. We all have loads of hypnosis or conditioning from our parents, our culture, our movies, and our friends that lead us in directions that make anger a divisive force, rather than one that can be directed in a way that serves everyone. This show is zeroing in on how to find a spaciousness inside us that can choose to guide us in our anger and resistant emotional reactions. It is normal (but not healthy) to be in the heat of our anger as most of us have rationalized that the other person or circumstance has caused it. We feel so deserving that we are not aware that our repressed or suppressed anger is our reaction rather than learning how we can find a beneficial way to contemplate it. When attempting this pivot, everyone needs to cultivate awareness of what we need. If we don’t, it is inevitable that we will express ourselves insensitively when in this state of mind. We are aspiring to find the best sides of ourselves, find ways to be sensitive, balanced, and aware of the process that can move us toward this kind of healing. Robert and Dave offer tools and concrete examples of how to cultivate this inner spaciousness. For many of us, it may be hard to be aware of our anger until days later or even suppress it for a lifetime. It’s never too late to be aware. It’s never too late to be aware of a part of you that wants to care. It's never too late to evolve to the next step of finding and expressing our needs sensitively. The idea is to be balanced and recognize that we are not suppressing anger. We are feeling it in a safe way inside ourselves. Or, when circumstances allow us to go to a safe location to feel it as totally as possible and use it to find our strength and capacity for intimacy. We are not suppressing vulnerability. We are using it to find a more gentle, tender, caring side of ourselves that can be expressed in a balanced way when we are with someone who can handle honest caring communication. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
Transforming Anger & Resisting Emotions into Intimacy & Strength - Episode 66
Jul 10 2022
Transforming Anger & Resisting Emotions into Intimacy & Strength - Episode 66
In the last episode, Robert and Dave focused primarily on containment. This week’s episode is focusing on giving some personal examples of containment and penetrating even further into transforming anger and resisting emotions into intimacy and strength. For most of us, feelings are central. Here, we are  being guided and given options to how beneficial responses to our feelings can be vital to long-term happiness. It can be a bit like a lobotomy at the beginning to think and question ourselves outside of our conditioning, to stay frozen or fixated in our feelings. Once we can begin to listen we can recognize that these guidelines can be a much better definition of who we are. Containment is that pause between feeling and reaction. This is not something most of us have been taught to do and therefore must be applied again and again until a new habit is formed.  Robert and Dave offer up real places in their lives where they struggle with frustrations and impatience. Join them as they reflect on their own conditioning to illustrate how they use containment and other tools, such as the 75 essential needs, to help them navigate through their personal challenges. Getting through feelings does not always mean getting over them. As you are hearing their stories, take this opportunity to look at your difficult feelings and see if you can find a place that still wants to care for yourself, others, and learn how to implement this caring. This is not a standard, but because you realize it makes you feel best when you can allow awareness of challenging emotions and the intent to heal coexists. This opens the door for a direction of healing that otherwise wouldn’t occur. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
Containment: Feeling as Fully as Possible in a Safe Way & Accessing our Needs - Episode 65
Jul 3 2022
Containment: Feeling as Fully as Possible in a Safe Way & Accessing our Needs - Episode 65
Join Robert and Dave as they take a deep dive into the process of containment. Many misunderstand the word. Containment is not suppression. It is feeling as fully as possible in a safe place where it does not hurt anyone, including ourselves. It helps us not to become paralyzed in withdrawal or lost in a wide realm of expressing feelings that have fight as an element inside them. Containment requires us to have the self-control to pause in the midst of uncomfortable feelings. Anger, for example, if we do not misuse it by dumping it on others, or by suppressing it, can have a great vital energy. It gives us passion. It gives us intensity. It gives us juice to live our lives. To move into a state of containment we must break free from being trapped in conditioned reactions that each of us has to automatically express or repress. If we can remove ourselves from the situation and let ourselves really be present with our intense feelings we can learn to use them in positive ways. While we are feeling raw emotion we can also ask ourselves some inquiring questions. What vulnerable feelings do I have that are also underneath this? What is it that I really need that this anger is showing me? What is it that we need to do to best take care of ourselves and the significant others with us while we are in this state of anger? Containment is the 3rd step of a 7 step process. Stay tuned as Robert will be covering each step in future episodes. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
Increase Your Quality of Life One Awareness at a Time - Episode 64
Jun 26 2022
Increase Your Quality of Life One Awareness at a Time - Episode 64
In this episode, Robert and Dave wrap up their focus on the key practices. They continue to illuminate the link between our most challenging feelings, the situations we face each day, and how to identify the needs to guide us toward healing and wellbeing. It is important not to get this path confused with being a seeker of perfection. That seeker is really a form of rejection, rather than genuinely making our best efforts in a natural way. We are looking to hold two ideas at the same time. One is being aware of our greatest challenges at any given point in time. The other is moving in a direction that our needs will guide us. This may sound simple enough, but these are major grounded and inspirational steps together. We will virtually never fully arrive, especially if the issue we are facing is not superficial, and that is okay. It is not a realistic aspiration to extinguish these kinds of challenging feelings completely.    We are being encouraged to ask ourselves, what challenging emotion(s) are you facing right now?  Which are the most significant? As you look to identify them, see which need(s) is going to be most healing and supportive of your well-being. It is vital to be aware of our inner tone to have additional trust and strength that you are going to support whatever needs to be activated both inside and outside. We can learn how to be best friends with ourselves by experiencing our challenging emotions consciously and responding by following through with our most helpful needs. As we can take some steps in that direction we can also help those we love to do the same as we bring this process and awareness into our lives. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
We Are Not Limited to Dominantly Identifying with Our Feelings - Episode 63
Jun 19 2022
We Are Not Limited to Dominantly Identifying with Our Feelings - Episode 63
This week Robert focuses on a different set of needs called chronic needs or chronic feelings. These situations can be identified as when you are compromised due to serious things like your health or your partner's health, hormones, trauma, or chemistry. Other examples of these chronic needs can show up in serious gaps in communication with people that are important to you, or in dealing with yourself when you are in your worst mood. Accompanying emotions like shame, inadequacy, or withdrawal are common. We all know at least someone that is in one of these states on an ongoing basis. We ourselves are going to go in and out of these emotional valleys. Robert begins to guide us through the conundrum of how we can best deal when we are in deep. It is all too easy to think, this is not a mood. This is not a feeling. It is who I am. Being able to see that we have a tendency to identify as our moods and feelings, especially these chronic ones, as who we are is crucial. For example, if someone were to ask you how you were doing today? You may say, this is how I am. Rather, you could identify with your awareness and say, this is how I feel and this is how I’m doing my best to take care of it. The shift is nuanced but can create tremendous space for healing.  If we are able to allow some acceptance, this will lead us to be able to keep inquiring as to how we can support ourselves and will help guide us to suggestions for a new direction. Robert has often referred to this as wisdom guidance which shows us how not to be dominated in a one-dimensional way by our feelings. For many of us, there will be that inner part of us that is driven towards achievement or simply feeling deep anxiety, grief, anger or alone. The best we can do is to keep guiding ourselves. This is not a consolation prize, as it is the peak of wisdom.  What is the maximum we can do for ourselves today? Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
By Facing Difficult Feelings, It Gives Us the Best Chance to Find Peace - Episode 62
Jun 12 2022
By Facing Difficult Feelings, It Gives Us the Best Chance to Find Peace - Episode 62
Life is full of conflicting information.  We are constantly managing and doing our best to hold opposing emotions and conditioning at the same time. On the one hand, we have feelings that are the least desirable. Alternatively, we have the most desirable qualities of trust, love, and compassion. It is not only important to see these as opposites but to recognize that we are taught to work hard, be disciplined, be successful, be attractive, and have financial means. As we process and wrestle with our conditioning as well as our emotional extremes the paradox emerges. Robert helps us start with the most difficult feelings so we have the best chance to discover what we need. Therefore, giving us the best chance to feel good. It is never too late to go back and realize that you have been judging yourself or that you have been shut down.  From this awareness, a pivot can occur.  That intention to care can begin to become a definition that you identify with more than what you do or how young you are, or how wealthy you are because that intention to care will help you in all directions, no matter where you are. Join Robert and Dave as they continue to deeply delve into these key practices highlighting moving from internal awareness to communicating with our partners and those we are close to. This includes using the right tone, asking for your needs more than once, and reassessing how important this need is to you. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
The Vital Link Between Feelings and Needs  - Episode 61
Jun 5 2022
The Vital Link Between Feelings and Needs - Episode 61
This week Robert focuses on the second to last chapter of his book. This step entails moving from feelings to needs. There are many foundational steps required to get to this point. Robert takes some time to review. From these precursor steps, we can make a distinct connection between identifying our most challenging feelings and what needs could be supported that would most help us in any given situation. Each situation is always unique. Every challenging feeling can be supported by a need or perhaps more than one. This really is a formula for caring for ourselves and others. Later in the episode, Robert switches gears from our relationship with self to our relationship with others.  A good relationship does not mean that all of our needs are going to be met. The key is that you see the comprehensive good nature and love that you share over the years and see it in a balanced perspective. Being the best of friends or in a relationship doesn't mean agreeing on everything. The balance is when you have had enough beneficial times together that you can absorb those disagreements with grace and put it in the context of the whole relationship.  It is important to see if you are someone who is overly critical and perfectionistic or are too tolerant of relationships that aren’t serving your well-being as a whole. It is important to ask yourself on an ongoing basis, What is your greatest need? How is it not being fulfilled? What thoughts, qualities and actions are needed to find greater peace and well-being? Ask these questions together with Robert and Dave as they go through a variety of examples to help model balance in relationships with yourself and others enhanced by in-depth communication. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
Recognizing Tendencies: Do I Stew or Suppress? - Episode 57
May 8 2022
Recognizing Tendencies: Do I Stew or Suppress? - Episode 57
Recognizing a style of how we deal with our challenges can be a great way to begin learning how to best take care of ourselves. At one level it may appear paradoxical because most of us have been raised to believe we want to feel good. That we want to appear to feel good to others and ourselves. We haven’t understood the price of suppressing feelings. This episode highlights the importance of taking some time to drop into life’s most difficult experiences. It can lead to a contemplation of needs to support having a more complete and accurate direction of how to feel and live.  Stewing is one of the other common ways to deal with challenging emotions. Like a forgotten pot of food boiling on the stove. We do not recognize that the food is there to be eaten/experienced in a way that doesn’t create harm. It can then guide us to recognize and follow our most essential needs. Many people are not aware of their feelings, or they might be aware of them but they do not want to share them. They want to appear together, happy, and cool. However, both these tendencies are what actually keep away deep connections from ourselves and each other. This is why it is so important to investigate a more nuanced way of being with our feelings. We can't deeply trust ourselves when we're having to run away or compartmentalize. For those of you that have not yet looked at The Introspective Guides to Awareness That Heals, this would be a great time to download those for free. They identify 75 challenging emotions, 75 healing qualities, actions, and essential needs. It helps us to become much more literate at being able to both see what is difficult and to see what is healing, which gives us so many more options. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
When Desires go Awry: Redefining Success to be Inclusive - Episode 55
Apr 24 2022
When Desires go Awry: Redefining Success to be Inclusive - Episode 55
The importance of this podcast is to put attention on yourself, so you may touch on the most universal needs that are going to benefit your life when challenges arise. When you are able to do this, even some of the time, you will begin to be able to benefit the world as well. It is a common misunderstanding that when we focus on ourselves, this is narcissistic. However, by discovering and accessing our essential needs, it is actually the most generous thing we can do. We can focus on challenges to support ourselves to live and use them to pivot to discovering and activating these essential needs. By recognizing and accepting ourselves as we really are, and not our fictional selves, our social media selves, or our shiniest selves, we can better support ourselves and those around us.  Our desires go awry when we excessively put our focus on success which often excludes interconnectedness, transparency, poverty, and caring for others as we want to be cared for. So of course our self-image can appear shinier and more perfect. Robert offers an invitation for self-inquiry. What has been the greatest desire in your life that has caused the most suffering? Or perhaps even, what desire is causing the most suffering right now? After this reflection, Robert expands our investigation. What happens when desires go awry? Join us for this week's discussion of the self in relation to the desires for power. Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.
How can we find dignity and peace in challenging feelings and situations? - Episode 52
Apr 3 2022
How can we find dignity and peace in challenging feelings and situations? - Episode 52
In this episode of Awareness that Heals, Robert continues to explore the importance of recognizing, accepting and communicating our challenging feelings.  It takes significant motivation on our part to recognize that our feelings are important as a starting point. It's how we get to be honest with ourselves without running away from what's difficult. Facing your feelings head-on can be challenging, but continue by asking heartfelt questions especially when things are difficult, and then responding to the caring suggestions we receive. Robert is also joined by Dave and Mark, both of whom share similar experiences about dealing with challenging situations and conflicting emotions. For example, Mark shares how his faith has been clouded with doubt, which makes him feel conflicted about the strength of his faith. But Robert shares a novel way of approaching this conflicting feeling. The key is to honor both your faith and your doubt. Being able to doubt your faith takes strength and understanding; it requires your faith in supporting your doubt which is something that almost all of us haven't been taught to do.  When it comes to using your feelings and emotions to expand your quality of life, you need to expand questioning yourself. "What are my needs?” We also need to respond to the guidance we receive.  There is no state, whether it is extraordinary suffering that's overwhelming and traumatic, or whether it's circumstantial, that isn't dignified and worthy of our caring attention. Our responsiveness to guide ourselves toward what is our best potential toward well-being and healing is what will pave the way forward to healing in our lives.  Read the transcription and listen to this episode at Awareness That Heals.