Self Mastery

Avoiding Emotions

There is a line from the movie, Thanks for Sharing.

“Feelings are like kids. You don’t want them driving the car, but you don’t want to stuff them in the trunk either.”

I mostly write about beliefs, but the only reason to do so is because how they affect your happiness, and unhappiness. I always try to tie it to your emotions. In the end, the really important part is about your emotions. However, emotions are what most people are ignoring in their life. There are no classes on them in school. We aren’t just uncomfortable feeling them, we are uncomfortable talking about them. My clients often talk to me about what they are feeling with me, but are scared to death when I ask them about sharing it with their partner.

We all feel emotions. It’s the common denominator in the human experience. No matter your race, gender, or socioeconomic class, by the time you are an adult, you will have experienced fear, heartbreak, betrayal, guilt, shame, anger, sadness.  You will also have experienced joy, laughter, gratitude, happiness, love and many more. Whether you are aware or not, you are experiencing emotions all day. Your skin is sensing tactile experiences and temperature all day, you just might not notice because you are busy with your attention elsewhere. The same goes for your feelings.

Joy, sadness, stress, anger, or gratitude might be going on emotionally within you, but you are too busy on your phone and emails to notice. That may be part of the unconscious belief system plan; Stay busy so you don’t feel those emotions. It’s what we often learned to do because we felt some bad ones sometimes. When we try to block out or avoid the bad ones, we are actually turning our attention away from all feelings. How are you going to feel excited, passionate, inspired, or sustain love in a relationship if you have trained yourself to turn down your emotional state?

What did you learn to do with your emotions when you were a kid? Whatever it was it is likely you are still doing that today, just unconsciously, and automatically. If uncomfortable emotions came up, we often ignored them. Or we learned to what our parents and people around us did. Some would get to blame others, or get angry until they got what they wanted from others. Maybe you would over eat, over exercise, or shop. Food and spending money has a way to make some people feel better, but as a distraction from the original feeling, not a solution. Others use dieting, getting attention from others, or sex to give us a positive self esteem, or chemical rush. If you don’t consciously develop a healthy method to work through your emotions, and release them, you are going to exaggerate the unconscious patterns you learned in childhood.

Sometimes in college it was exercise, maybe a game of racquetball with my friend Frank. I burned off the frustration, anger at an instructor, or myself in two hours on a Friday afternoon. You can’t be very emotional if you are physically exhausted. I got good exercise, but that didn’t mean I dealt with my negative thoughts or emotions in an emotionally healthy way.  If exercise didn’t work, there was alcohol to turn to.

The “patterns” can be found in your behavior, and your beliefs.  “I hate feeling this way, lets go..……”  What do you fill in the blank with?  Are you addressing the source of your emotions, or just distracting yourself?  You pay a price when you shop, drink, or vent at others. You feel better by avoiding your emotions, but you pay a price elsewhere, and it can get expensive over time. Not addressing your emotions can cost you money, friendships, or your marriage.

“They didn’t do everything right either. If they hadn’t done X, Y, and Z, then this wouldn’t have happened.”  Blaming someone, or something else works well to shift things, but you pay a price in your relationships over time when you don’t take responsibility for your half.  Turning things around so you feel right by making someone else at fault only works until others are tired of it.

What price are you paying, or going to pay in your life if you don’t work through your negative thoughts and emotions in a healthy way?  Do you want to keep paying that price?

Helpful methods to work through your emotions and beliefs in the Self Mastery Course, Releasing Emotions, and Recapitulation Series.

Avoiding Emotions

Hello Gary,

I got session 9 of the Self Mastery Series last Thursday. I have been listening to the audio, and I noticed something that left me lost. At the beginning of the audio you have us do the exercise of creating an emotion. What left me lost is that I could recall a story that would go with the emotion, but I was not able to recreate the emotion.

I should not be surprised by that, since I am aware that I have repressed my emotions for decades now. For as long as I can remember I have not allowed myself to experience my emotions.

The reason for that goes back to my childhood. I have a narcissistic mother. From a very young age, I learned that if I expresses emotions that would lead to problems with my mother. If I was laughing I was reprimanded for not behaving as a proper girl. If I cried for hurting my knee, I was reprimanded for crying just to annoy her. Not allowing my emotions to show became a second nature to avoid confrontation, blame, yelling and criticism.

I find myself now at a place that I do not know how to feel my emotions. I don’t know how to let them free. As i tried the exercise through the day, what I noticed happening is that I have this tight control all the time, an armor I would say, that contain my emotions all the time. If any emotion starts to simmer, that control squashes it, so it does not manifest itself – no wonder I suffered from depression for decades now. With all that emotion bottled up…

Anyway, can you help me here please?

Most sincerely,  Jane


Hi Jane,

Good work. Most people don’t know how much they repress/suppress or avoid their emotions. Realizing that you do this is an important discovery. Most people avoid their emotions, but don’t notice. Session 9 is as much about noticing your emotions as it is about being aware of how you repress them. For some people, like yourself, this will be a more important realization, and one that has to come first. Next step, deciding that you don’t want to avoid them anymore, which is necessary if you want to be happy.  That you want to release what is stored there and have a healthy emotional system is what you set your intent for.

To do this, get the Releasing Emotions Exercise. It’s in the products area.

Also get the Recapitulation series.  It will help incorporate more than just the emotional part. It will help deal with the memories and thoughts that come up.

If you want add a more intensive process to this emotional reconditioning there is a type of therapy called EMDR that might be helpful. It is extremely helpful for resetting and clearing your nervous system from past trauma experiences. This may or may not apply to you. But start with the two processes in the audios I mentioned and then check back with me.

good work


———— from Jane on Sept 22nd . —– 10 days later…..

Hello Gary,

As you suggested, I got the “Releasing Emotions” audio to help me get in touch with my emotions.

I started listening to the audio on and practicing. It was very difficult at the beginning, but I kept trying, listening to the audio at least twice a day. I began to feel as if a wall was crumbling, and I felt really odd about it, like, exposed. As the weekend went on I began to feel really down and anxious, to the point that I did have a full-blown panic attack on Monday. By Tuesday I was not only anxious, but extremely down, barely getting out bed to do the minimum necessary so the kids would stay alive.

Then, it subsided, and by Thursday I was feeling well once again. That day I listened again to audio about Gratitude (session 1 of the Self Mastery Course), and something really remarkable happened: I FELT the gratitude spread over me, a warmth that began on my chest and flowed through my body, a feeling of contentment that I had not experienced before as I listened to the audio. It made me so happy, because now what you were saying in the audio (let the feeling of gratitude spread over) finally made sense, I finally experienced it!!!

As I started listening to the audio today, I noticed that I was feeling tense, somehow uncomfortable. As the audio went on I burst out crying, with no warning at all and remained so for a while. That was also something new to me, as I have rarely allowed myself to cry. I felt lighter afterwards.

Thank you so much for the suggestion you gave me, and also, thank you for making that audio available. It is really helping me in a way I had not thought possible as all those bottled up emotions are being released.

Thank you for the support.

Most sincerely, Jane

—- — – – –

Hi Jane,   you are doing great.

It sounds like your instincts were good, you followed through with the emotions exercise, even when your emotions weren’t pleasant, and then you see how opening up to feeling allows you to feel more gratitude.  Good work. Your instincts and intent are leading you in the right direction for what you want.

It can be surprising how much emotion can be buried down in there -panic attack, anxiety, and depression etc… but with time they pass too, and you are on to feeling other emotions, and the general trend is towards feeling better. This can be some hard work, and you will need a rest now and again so give yourself a break, and then when you have had some rest, you work on some more things. In the long run it gets better.

Hope that helps.



Recapitulation is a breathwork process for releasing the emotions, energy, negative self talk, and beliefs. It is a method for freeing yourself from the emotional baggage you collected in your past. In the recapitulation process you visit emotional memories stored in your mind, discharge their energy, and build new neural pathways so your mind works in a healthier way. Through Recapitulation practices you will reduce and possibly eliminate negative self talk and emotional reactions. In the process you recover tremendous amounts of personal power that allows you to change habits and behaviors in your life.

Changing Memories and Stored Emotions that Cause Reactions

Emotional forces in your memories can activate to create feelings that are often unconscious to you. That “look” from your spouse, can activate feelings related to experiences from childhood. At times you may be aware of the feelings, but not aware they are arising from your unconscious memories, or which memories. You won’t know that what you are feeling today is because your mind has associated it to a past event. All you know is that you have activated something in mind and feel those uncomfortable feelings. Only sometimes will you consciously know what your mind is reminding you of from the past.

Memories exist as a system of neuron patterns firing in the brain. Science has shown that memories are not fixed. The neural patterns that fire related to a memory can and do change over time, but not always. With Recapitulation you consciously change the neural pattern of the memory in a way that removes the emotion, changes the perspective, and even changes the beliefs that were created at that time.

An example of how a memory can change is when something that was embarrassing at the time, becomes something funny that you laugh about later. Another example is when you forgive someone. You change the emotion related to an even and that person, as well as how you interpret that event form then on. Something or someone that was a painful memory becomes something you are at peace with. The Recapitulation process works to accomplish these types of changes. In the Recapitulation process you heal the emotions from events that you remember. You will also find that you can access many forgotten memories into your conscious awareness to be emotionally healed as well.

Healing Your “Emotional Baggage

If you have had a painful relationship breakup or rejection experience (pretty much everyone has by the time they are an adult) it is possible you are feeling those emotions again and again years later. That neural pattern is wired into your brain to fire off those same emotions when you think of that event, that person, or that time in your life. Your mind can also fire those same patterns when you think of things that relate to that experience.

Having this emotion and neural pattern in your brain can be an issue later in your life in other relationships. The impact is that you are going to consciously, or unconsciously avoid similar situations related to that pain. You may become uncomfortable about relationship issues, such as, asking someone out, accepting an invitation to a date, becoming committed, or opening up emotionally. You may get nervous about becoming monogamous, moving in together, or marriage. These feelings aren’t necessarily from the current situation. They may be due to your mind taking past experiences and projecting those emotions into your current situation. The Recapitulation process can help you clear your emotional history of baggage so you have a clearer head, make better decisions, feel better about the decisions you make, and live a happier life.

Emotions Combine To Build Limiting Beliefs

Along with the emotional patterns in the brain, the Recapitulation process can be used to release limiting beliefs created in the past. Emotions can combine with ideas about yourself, other people, and the world to form beliefs. The beliefs you create during times of negative emotions are often false, limiting, and remain at work in your unconscious affecting other areas of your life for years. These beliefs then produce negative emotions and thoughts in your mind years later such as: “no one is there for me”, “I can’t trust…”, “I’m not lovable…”, “They will leave…”. This is just one example of the emotional history and belief systems that Recapitulation process can help clear up.

Clearing One Event, or Your Whole Past

We have all had numerous emotional events in our life that have altered our emotional response, decision making, and behavior. In the process we react, wear masks, or put on armor over our emotions. This isn’t necessary if you free yourself from the emotional baggage from your past.
Recapitulation is the use of focused energy and intent on these past events to unwind and release the emotions stored in your body and mind. In the process you change your memories, so they are no longer painful events. You still remember the event, but without the painful emotions, or interpretation and perspectives of judgment, victimization. Recapitulation has the impact of changing the neural patterns in your brain, so you will think better thoughts, perceive different outcomes, and feel comfortable about decisions and situations that would have bothered you in the past.

The process of Recapitulation involves some simple breathing patterns and focus of your attention while mindfully reviewing events of your past. It typically is done while comfortably laying down. Once you learn the process you can effectively use it while commuting in your car, in a meeting, or even in a conversation. Once proficient, you can even use the technique to help you relax in a meeting at work or to change the direction of a conversation while discussing an issue with your relationship partner.

By clearing the emotional history from your memories and belief system you will be more relaxed, present, and focused. Old patterns of reacting emotionally, negative thoughts, or self-judgments are reduced, and in some cases eliminated. Consider what changes this would have to your life, and if the effort to live in a more relaxed, healthier, and happier way will be worth it to you.

You can purchase the Recapitulation audios from the membership area. The mp3 audios are then available to download and listen to at your convenience. There are eight sessions. The first four break down breath-work and releasing processes into basics for you to build on. The next four sessions consist of guided practices that help you integrate the Recapitulation process into an effective tool for personal change.

Seeking Unconditional Love

The Spiritual Journey is for you if you are serious about increasing the amount love and happiness in your lives.

Coming to the Spiritual Retreat in Mexico is like coming home to a place you belong. The unconditional acceptance and love is a warm welcoming that keeps giving long after you leave. It isn’t just the consciousness opening experience of what was once a great Spiritual University, but it is the heart opening experiences with others as well. 

How could traveling to a foreign country and walking around ancient ruins make you feel at home? “Home” is a feeling. It is a feeling of being completely accepted just the way you are. Through various contemplative meditations and ceremonies, you work your way into a state of consciousness where the voice of the inner critic doesn’t exist. You also grow a feeling of love and acceptance with others that allows you to drop the worries about what others think of you.

Nobody cares about what you have done in your life, or what you haven’t done. We don’t care about what happened to you in the past as it doesn’t determine your value or worth. We only care that you leave it behind in a process of letting go so you can be present with who you are now. We care about whether you are happy, feeling love, and self-acceptance. And we care about doing things that purge out the fear, false beliefs, and judgments that interfere with an internal state of happiness. 

I noticed that when I left home and went to college that there were many groups that I could join. There was a catch though, I could belong if I believed what they believed. I had to do the things they did. To be a part of a community I had to give up my identity, the right and ability to think and freely choose. I had to accept their value system, interpretations, and perspective, and then they would accept me and be my friend. It was on a Spiritual Journey such as the one to Teotihuacan that I discovered that I could be accepting of myself just the way I was, and that I could accept others just the way they were as well. 

I have taken that feeling from those journeys and brought it inward and grown it. I’ve since come to feel I belong in the world without having to subjugate myself to someone else’s opinions. You get to be you, and you have every right to feel you belong in this world just the way you are. It is this sense of peace and calm in oneself that we all seek, and when we find it we feel we are home. This is the feeling inside of you that the Spiritual Journey to Teotihuacan brings out in you. You all have it inside you, just buried in various layers of fog. In these Journeys we have ways of uncovering that fog and bring out the Unconditional Love.


When you create or find, that sense of peace within yourself you no longer worry about finding the right person. You no longer worry about losing the partner you have and being alone. You have a sense of peace and calm with yourself that allows you to be happy with you. In the ceremonies in Teotihuacan we shed the beliefs and fears that interfere with feeling peaceful self-acceptance. 

We do a lot of hard work clearing away our false beliefs, emotional reactions, negative thinking, and sabotaging behaviors. We have a strong intent, and a good track record that you will be a changed person when you board the airplane headed back home. It’s just that we aren’t hard on ourselves as we do it. A compassionate accepting environment allows us to get it all done, gently, and fast. We also balance out the hard work with bountiful amounts of tasty and healthy food, friendship, laughter, and play.

Consider taking a Journey inward and finding the Love that makes you feel at home with yourself. 

I hope to see you there.

Teotihuacan Retreat Intensive 

Conditional Love

How We Learned to Love  Conditionally

I’m going to assume you had well adjusted parents. If you didn’t, then just amplify the impact of what you are reading here by the amount of extra drama growing up. Your parents, even if well adjusted, had two important roles in your childhood. They loved you and wanted you to know that you were loved, no matter what, unconditionally. It’s an important component of being happy.  Except the second role they played in your childhood would interfere with this understanding. Your parents had to prepare you for the real world. They had to teach you to be responsible, respectful, follow the rules of the household so that you would follow the laws of society. All of this is necessary for you to be responsible, take care of your self, and others, so that you can have a fulfilling life. This meant that you learned to act upon consequences of punishments and rewards.  In short, you learned conditional love, acceptance, and approval of yourself in the process. When your parents punished you, your experience of their love was that it was conditional. From this, it is likely your whole experience of love became skewed. Love, acceptance, and approval became something that you had to earn.

So let this sink in for a bit. Your primary relationships, your first bonds with other humans are based on the patterns you learn from your parents. You learn that they love you, and that included in that relationship that they can also be disappointed, frustrated, annoyed, angry and dismissive of you. Your experience of “love” includes all these other emotions.

They love you if you do what they want. They shame, guilt, reject, or punish you if you don’t follow their rules. You learn to condition your behavior to appease their emotions and beliefs. You learn to watch their facial expressions for any sign that they will give you “that look”, or any other bit of negative attention. You learn, until it is unconscious and automatic, to try to appease them and make them happy. You learn that if you follow their emotional conditioning that you will get loved. You learn that if you violate their protocols, that you will get some negative emotions of rejection. You learn that you don’t feel good about yourself, unless you have acted in a way that makes them feel good first. You condition yourself to please them as a means to gain a feeling of self-worth, happiness, and love.

In the Self Mastery Course you will discover this  leads to the development of the sub-personality that I call the “Pleaser”, which we identify and dismantle.

Your Mind Begins to “Self Parent” your behavior with it’s own Voices.

Over time growing up a part of your brain is continually reminding you to behave in a way that they would approve of and avoid doing things that they will get upset about. When doing something new, you run it through an imaginary scenario of how your parents will react IF, or WHEN, they find out. Your imagined scenario gives you a sense of whether they will feel good about it, or bad about it. You imagine your response to their response. Your mind and nervous system creates the emotions that you would feel based on your “Imagined Parents”. This feeling tells you whether it is a good idea, or bad idea. You condition your emotions to be created as a response to the minds movie of your “imagined parents.”

Over time, you no longer see your “imagined parents” in the emotion creation process, as these elements become absorbed into your unconscious mind and become invisible to you. What you are left with is a “feeling” about doing certain things that unconsciously guides your choices.

Your “Imagined Parent’s” circuit in your neural pathways is established early in your life, and runs autonomously in the background by the time you leave the house.  It becomes so automatic, and you are so used to it as part of your thought process, that you probably don’t notice it.  Your unconscious belief system is helping you follow many behaviors and make decisions without you being aware of it.

Even if your parents were very unconditionally loving there were the influences. Childhood friends give you signals that you are cool and accepted, or the make fun of you. We know kids can be pretty mean in making fun of each other. We try to wear the “right’ clothes, what to say, what to avoid and how to act “cool” so we don’t get made fun of. We want approval and we fear rejection. Over years, your behaviors become unconsciously automatic to get along. You are approved of and accepted of by these friends based on these conditions.

In many ways this can be very useful and helpful. The world is a complex and busy place, and we need some automated protocols to make choices in navigating life. This can all work well if the patterns in place are based in reality, and love.

The fundamental problem is that these neural patterns that produce thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, are all giving you the message that being loved is conditional.

You no longer need your parents to tell you if you have been good, bad, right, or wrong. Your internal “Parental Belief System” is giving you this information all during the day. It can take the form of emotions you feel, or it can be the internal dialog in your head. It comments about how great you are, but more likely you notice the negative thoughts, as they stand out more. Those negative thoughts tell you, “I’m not doing enough, I should be working harder, I’m screwing things up, I should be further along by now,… I should…. “ etc. It’s giving you instructions to receive the conditional approval, and avoid the conditioned rejection.

The voices in your head act like an “Imagined Parents” speaking to you in your thoughts that being loved is conditional. That you still need to earn respect, and do more to feel worthy. Over years you have learned to believe what those thoughts repeatedly tell you. Your emotional body responds with guilt, shame, excitement, fear, unworthiness, or celebration as if those voices in your head were telling you the truth. Except those voices aren’t telling you the truth. The voices in your head are repeating the punishment and reward programming they learned from your parents. They are not repeating the depth of the love and acceptance they were fulfilling in their other role.

The thoughts and beliefs are projecting you the conditions for you to get love, respect, acceptance and approval. They are also telling you when you don’t meet these conditions, and giving you the reprimands, rejection, through self judgment and criticism in your thoughts. The emotional response is a measure of the conditional punishment you are getting from your mind’s “pseudo parental” guidance system.

Your Mind Will Amplify the Fears and Pains and Minimize the Love and Acceptance

Those voices in your head aren’t treating you with unconditional love. They are very conditional, and often they are far skewed towards the negative feedback.

Even with very kind and loving parents, signals were sent about what they approved of and disapproved of. In emotionally volatile households the negative programming was more pronounced. But even in very peaceful and loving households there are typically forms of withdraw, signals of “lack of acceptance” which the mind will convert to experiences of rejection.

As a child those neural pathways that conditioned you to measure your worth based on what your “Imagined Parents” might think branch out. The pattern extended over time and you become concerned with what your teachers think of you. You seek approval from teachers, adults, relatives and friends. You seek approval and fear rejection from intimate partners so that the rejection circuit in your neural pathway doesn’t fire. Their approval, or disapproval can trigger your internal “Parental Belief System” for feeling accepted and approved, or judged, rejected, and not good enough. As adults your Self Parenting Belief System continues to work on you and your emotions, greatly affecting how you feel about yourself. It works that way until you confront your own beliefs and change them.

You don’t have to live with conditional love for your Self.

It is possible to re-program your belief system, and convert those negative thoughts, self-judgments, and unworthy emotions to your own feeling of self-acceptance and unconditional love. The message of unconditional love for your self may have been lost to you over the years, but it can be recovered, and lived again.

You are going to have to do some work on the “Imaginary Parents” of your belief system before you will be able to love your self unconditionally. It will be work but experiencing yourself with unconditional love and acceptance brings worthwhile rewards in feeling every day.

As adults you have to take responsibility for your “imagined parents.” Those are your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions now. Your parents may have been an influence on you, and we inherited some of their thinking and emotional patterns. But you are not trapped in them. They can be changed. You can re-create your mind, and grow to love yourself unconditionally.

The Self Mastery Course: Practical Tools for Getting Rid of the Emotional Drama in Your Life
  • Stop Emotional Reactions
  • Change Core Beliefs
  • Quiet the Criticizing Voice in Your Head
  • Develop Communication and Respect in Your Relationships
  • Create Love and Happiness in Your Life
Check out Gary's Self Mastery Audio Program and Download FOUR Sessions FREE