The Trading Tribe
(c) Ed Seykota 2003-2011 - Write for permission to reprint.
Ed Seykota's FAQ
Readers Say Ed Says

June 12, 2011

Tribe Meeting Report: Giving and Giving In

Dear Ed,

At the last and final tribe meeting, we continue on the topic of how to interact with another person who is not willing or able to use the intimacy model. As the conversation proceeds, we learn that when dealing with a person who is not operating in the intimacy model, it is important to know your goal. If your goal is stay in the relationship, then you must accept the other person's desire not to engage in intimacy. There are times when you must be willing to give in to the other person's demands.

As I listen to this dialog, I begin to feel a tightness in my throat. I also begin to feel my emotions build. Before arriving at the tribe meeting I have several arguments with my wife, who is suffering from postpartum depression. Though the topics vary, our arguments are largely battles for control.

I eventually take the hot seat and am soon overcome with sadness and fear. I recall being a young child, perhaps 3 or 4 years old. My mother is trying to convince me to attend a play date. She is yelling at me in very loud voice for refusing to go to my playdate's house. I am in my bedroom holding on to the bedpost, refusing to let go. I eventually retreat to under my bed, where I am repeatedly jabbed with a vacuum cleaner extension. The drama plays out over several minutes until eventually my mother gives up in exasperation. As I explore this memory, I recall my father using this tactic as well. My mother is a loud and emotionally volatile person for much of her adult life. When my mother makes a vehement demand of my father, he stubbornly digs in his heels and refuses to accede to her requests. It seems that I adopt the same tactic as a child, and now continue to use it as an adult in my marriage.

As these memories come alive I feel very sad and lonely about having to always be so strong. I also feel very tired. It is exhausting to always stand your ground and never give up. Yet, when I think about letting go and giving up control to someone else, I feel afraid. I do not feel safe when leaving my fate in the hands of others.

After reliving this memory, I watch other tribe members role play a situation in which my wife is demanding that I leave my computer and take the kids outside to play. Many tribe members attempt to defend their desire to use the computer by using the intimacy model.

My wife simply has no interest in being intimate, and doggedly demands that the role players shut off their computer. Many of the role players are unable to resolve the situation and arguments ensue. Finally, you play the role of me and simply give in to my wife, saying "Thank you for reminding me to be a better parent. I'm getting up right now to take the kids out. Would you like to join us?"

Immediately, the hostility dissipates, the argument ends, and my wife turns back into an ally. Whereas the other tribe members try to use the intimacy model to get their way, you simply give in and join my wife, looking for the positive intention of her act.

When I enter the role play and attempt to use this new response I find it hard to give up control. During several role plays, even when I tell my wife that I plan to do what she asks, I cannot help but utter certain phrases which frame the interaction as a struggle which I plan to continue later (e.g., "You win, honey."). I also use body language (e.g., throwing up my hand) which show that I view the act of giving in as a form of loss, rather than an act of kindness. I have to perform the role play several times before I am able to completely accede to my wife's demands.

Through this process I begin to make some fundamental realizations. As a child, stubborn defiance is the way I defend my personal identity against an emotionally overwhelming mother. It is the tool I use to to survive as an independent person. Later in life, I rely on the "never give up" mantra to perform exceptionally well in graduate school, and then to build and sell a successful company. So the strategy is something which seems to work in many areas. However, I also begin to see that there are some very real costs to using the "never give up, never give in" tactic. It is hurting my marriage. It is hurting my children.

After the role play process ends, I engage in a dialog with the tribe to better understand the concept of giving in. Some of the words that come to mind I do not like, such as submission, surrender, or giving up. Those metaphors imply that I am losing something. You suggest other metaphors. For example, you suggest that I am simply deciding to become a passenger, and that being a passenger can be an enjoyable experience as I no longer need to worry about making all the decisions. Now I can simply enjoy the ride.

You make another point which really resonates. You state that giving in is not about losing or giving up. It is about compassion. There are times when someone you love is unable to connect, and unable to use the intimacy model. During these times giving in is an act of compassion. It is an act of love. By framing the interaction this way, I begin to feel much better about giving in and letting go of control.

For the next several days after the tribe meeting I feel dizzy, and come close to vomiting on a few occasions. I also experience a profound sense of being lost and alone. I do not feel as though I belong in this world. I question the point of my existence. I feel completely depressed.

I also have a strong urge to experience dizziness, so I try to move my head rapidly in circles to engender the feeling. This method does not seem to work well. I then take long jogs in very hot summer weather, which seems to provoke the sense of dizziness I am seeking. After a few days the feelings of dizziness and depression dissipate.

During this period of time my wife senses a shift. She is very pleasant when I arrive home, and she makes an effort to accommodate me. Similarly, I also decide to give in on certain decisions over which we've been struggling. As I focus on using my new skills, I make an important realization. For me:

Give in = Give - ing

I begin to see the act of giving in as an act of love. I also see that it is not realistic to expect the person you love to always operate in the intimacy model. Similarly, it is not realistic to expect to never be hurt. I realize that the key, at least for me, is to be with someone who is worth giving in to.

Thank you, Ed, and my other tribe members, for an amazing tribe series. I am able to grow because of your courage and support.

Take care, everyone.

Thank you for sharing your process and insights.


Giving In

can be a gift to yourself.

June 12, 2011

Tribe Meeting Summary

Dear Ed,

We had our final tribe session last week. Two tribe members took the hot seat. I got a lot from both processes.

In the first hot seat, a tribe member learns how to deal with his wife. She has postpartum depression. Wife wants tribe member to stop working on his computer and to take the kids to the park. She tells tribe member that he is an absentee father. Tribe member tries to implement the intimacy approach. However, the wife is not in the intimacy model. Most of the tribe has the opportunity to role play the tribe member. When I role play, I try to use the intimacy model. When the wife refuses to share feelings or receive mine, I do not know how to proceed.

Ed observes that we are trying to change the wife.

Tribe member does not want to give in his position and accept his wife's demands. During the process, he learns that sometimes it is ok to give in. He starts to enjoy giving in and giving up.

In this scenario, tribe member consider accepting his wife's demands. He can go with the flow and find the positive intention. Tribe member role plays the situation again. This time, he thanks the wife for reminding him to take the kids to the park. He also asks her to join them.

From this process, I learn that sometimes it is ok to give in to maintain healthy relationships.

In the second hot seat, tribe member wants to have an emotional connection with his father. However, the father does not want to get emotional. Tribe member role plays a situation where the father is reading a book and he interrupts him. He wants to play catch with the father. The father gets angry and yells at him. Tribe member shuts down. During this process, tribe member starts to accept that the father does not want to get into feelings. However, he can create a connection with the father in other ways (like playing catch for example). Tribe member learns to approach his father in a respectful way to ask him if he would like to play catch.

I relate to this process. My father does not feel comfortable talking about feelings. He prefers to talk about politics. I also am learning to accept this. I like talking about politics too. I notice we can have a connection expressing and accepting our point of views. Lately, I notice he expresses his fears in the conversation. I acknowledge him.

During the second part of the session, we talk about our goals and growth during the series. Some of the changes I notice in me are:

I am setting boundaries with my mother and other family members. I feel that I regain my sovereignty.

I am expressing and asking for feelings often. I am also accepting and respecting people the way they are.

I am expressing my preferences and going with the flow. I notice I get better than expected results.

I feel more comfortable interacting with people. I see more smiles (especially from women).

I am more willing to try unknown territory. For example next week I start to work on half commission & half salary (risk control). I propose this half-half arrangement to my employer. I expect to increase my income this way.

Finally, I want to thank you and all tribe for the support. Thank you all for sharing your issues with the tribe. I grow with every tribe member process.

I want to thank you, Ed, for your hospitality and for the opportunity to learn from you.

All the best,

Thank you for reporting in.



June 12, 2011

Tribe Meeting Report

Dear Ed:

I found the last workshop very instructive in managing my actions and emotions with my wife.

I have implemented what I learnt through that process and it has resulted in less time spent on unproductive arguments, blame and hard feelings.

When my wife is highly emotional - the only thing that works is to follow the trend that she is creating no matter what I think at that time. This is very similar to a trend in the markets that goes completely against my beliefs and analysis.

Again in that situation, I simply follow the trend.

Thank you for your report.


June 12, 2011

Wants to Set Boundaries

Dear Ed:

I would like to request a workshop on setting boundaries.

You can bring <setting boundaries> up as a topic in a workshop or Tribe series.

June 13, 2011

Position Sizing

Hi Mr Seykota,

After reading your work on the Trading Tribe Process, I began to realize the importance of my psychology on my trading. It took me a few months for your work to make sense as I explored other references on trading psychology.

I chose not to join a tribe because of convenience. (I choose to think there's no active trading tribe in Singapore)

A new development in my life (marriage) prompted me to seek consistency in my trading. So I started writing my trading journal in September 2010, expressing my emotions (anxiety, anger, joy, etc) on paper. I may not have solutions for all the issues I've written down but I made sure that my conscious mind (CM) and Fred are aligned to the issues. For the past 13 months, I am consistent in my trading in terms of position size and trading profits.

My trading size is usually between 10-20 lots. When a new external pressure develops (down payment + financing new home), I have the urge to increase my trading size to 100 lots. My CM realized this urge within the trading day. So I let CM and Fred settle their differences on paper at the end of trading day.

If I can help in anyway for your TTP World Tour to Singapore, please let me know. I'll be glad to be a part of it.


Thank you for sharing your process.


In Marriage

and in trading,

size matters.

June 13, 2011

Bulgaria Tribe

Dear Mr. Seykota,

We would like to invite you to visit Bulgarian Trading Tribe in Sofia, Bulgaria. We would like to know what is your requirements for such visit.


Thank you for your invitation.

June 13, 2011


I'm trying to find information on workshops held in (near) Austin, TX. I've consulted my Dallas-area tribe leader but no tribe meetings are scheduled in the Dallas-area in the near future(?)

Are any workshops presented by Ed scheduled in the near future?

If so, what is the venue and date?

If not, how can we learn more about Ed's lessons?

I have a buddy in OK that would also attend. We are trying to coordinate a trip to learn more.

Please advise.

You can watch the FAQ Index page for event information.

June 13, 2011

Second Chances

Learned a new procedure while in Chicago.

Have no real issue about being in right livelihood - how I take care of people may change over time as it has already a time or two, taking care of people will probably always be what I do in some fashion. Medicine is going to change a lot in the near future so how that looks may vary.

Felt very saddened coming back. Not by the class but by the inequitable relationships I have settled for. Somehow it seemed right/admirable/idealistic to base my relationships on how I felt, not how the other person felt. Never wanted to feel like I was selling out or selling myself. Wanted to be independent, self sufficient.

This is a bit rambling I know, wrote some things down earlier but this is all free form!!


Somehow at this point regardless of how I proceed, or with whom, I am starting over. Daunting in some respects, exciting in others.

I am very grateful to several people who have reminded me of things I had forgotten. I fell in love with somebody who did not feel the same way but it let me know I was still capable of doing so.

I ran into you and learned that what I believed was possible was indeed so. I don't yet know who or where I will end up. Do not believe you get a second chance though because you were afraid to take chances the first time!!

Thank you for sharing your process.



June 13, 2011


Hello Ed,

Do you do private consulting and is there a planed TTP Workshop in 2011?


See the bottom of the Ground Rules page for consulting terms. Watch the Index page for news about workshops.

June 14, 2011

TTP in Action

Tonight my son came into the dining room where I was sitting and reading CS Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters.”

I engage him in discourse. He is 15 and has better things to do than talk to me about challenging topics like faith, science, opposing forces, the meaning of words justify, psychology, philosophy, love, communication, spiritual, warfare, intention. I engage him nevertheless, gently, but firmly.

He initially rejects my questions out of hand as I challenge him to define his terms. I actually start by suggesting this Lewis book would make a nice summer reading selection. He takes this suggestion as a challenge and defends himself. He mentions a book he is already reading as a way to ward off my entreaty. I gently persist, and I consciously refuse to raise my voice even when he raises his.

When I ask him if he believes in God, he says he does. If about Satan?  He says he does but the subject is weird and he feels uncomfortable. I assure him I understand but each time he rejects further discussion, I tell him he is slamming doors shut. He is a smart kid and he makes the connection, gets the metaphor. He knows I am referring to doors of perception.

Because I do NOT mirror his behavior, or escalate with him, to my great pleasure, he settles down and rather than seeming to bolt from the room, almost in a panic, he returns, sits down, and we have a father son exchange I can only describe as very special and intimate.

TTP is teaching me so much about how to live. All of my endeavors are deepened thanks to what I learn from reading FAQ, what I learned in the Reno Workshop “Sticking With Your System,” working through Rock processes and getting feedback from Charles Faulkner, and fellows who were in my workshop. Gratitude is a humbling and wonderful emotion. My Fred and CM are nourished when I express gratitude from the heart.

For my daughter’s 13th birthday in March, a close friend gave her two small Bonsai trees. He has an amazing collection and I asked him if I could buy one for her. Instead he gave her two. One of them is looking very healthy, while I was alarmed that the other tree was looking quite sad, and they sit next to each other on the same table in the same window. I’d been experiencing growing concern for a couple of weeks. Then I noticed the copper wire wrapped around the trunk had been removed from one (the healthy one) but not the other. The wire was strangling the poor tree, rather than simply shaping it. I asked my son if he could help me find some wire cutters. He did. I went back upstairs and began clipping the tightly wound wires. They literally popped off the little tree as I cut them carefully. While doing this I had such a feeling of liberation and caring for this little tree. I felt a real sense of responsibility for the welfare of the tree. After all wire was removed, I got a spray bottle with water and misted the tree and the rocks and soil it is placed in. I added a quarter teaspoon of Miracle Grow to the solution. While I was at it, I sprayed the other tree for good measure.  Life force is a miracle and TTP has helped me see it and feel it with higher intensity.

I dip into FAQ from archives. Apologies, I cannot give you the exact date. My selection was a random reading from maybe 2004 or 2005 archive. What I want to share is that the FAQ was a tribe member going to great length to apologize to Ed for behavior unacceptable for a tribe meeting. The member asked how Ed felt and Ed’s response was, to me, like snipping those copper bonds from that tree!  Ed’s response, I paraphrase, was that he felt great!  In other words, the tribe member was playing some sort of victim role, or acting in some sort of cloying way, and Ed did not feed this behavior, or encourage it in any way. Quite the opposite!

This reading affected me profoundly because I had just lost a client that week and the behavior was somewhat similar to that tribe members. My client had begun acting really immature to the point of being obnoxious. He was exhibiting a behavior I had seen before and seeing this coming on, I decided to step aside and let him either stand on his own two feet, or wallow in his mess of emotion. I let him decide but I was willing to give him an opening to close his account, or not. He chose to close it, and like Ed, I think, I felt empowered by this! The reason is I was willing to let go. I did not feel the slightest need to fight with this guy, or change his emotional diaper (so to speak), just because the market was dropping a little bit on the day, the week, even the month.

I read Resources and Books link on Trading Tribe website and not ea new book has been added since I was last there, Kaufman’s 4th Ed. “New Trading Systems and Methods.” Admittedly, I groan a bit. True learning is not always easy and I know Kaufman is the real deal. I already had the 3rd Ed. Of this book but had been hiding from it after a quick scan of it. Yet today, I am different than even a few years ago. I’m stronger and more resilient. So after a moment of reflection I order the 4th Ed. And begin reading the 3rd Ed. The books “speak” to me today and I am not afraid.

Ed tells us to take a little time with programming. I plan to do this very soon.

I went down to Joplin , MO a couple of weeks ago to volunteer to help with disaster relief. You could say I felt compelled to go there. I have never before done such a thing. I believe this is personal growth. I went alone. It was a five hour drive from my home. My experience was life changing in that I will never think of a community, a tornado, buildings, sheet metal, wind, protection, warnings, resilience, compassion, spirit…I’ll never look at these things the same after going to Joplin and seeing the devastation, but also experiencing the hope, feeling our mortality, seeing how chance can work, like price shock in the market, only potentially deadly.

While I am there, a friend has given me a small amount of cash to hand to someone in need. On my last day in Joplin I have worked for 6 or 7 hot, dusty hours around chainsaws and Bobcats and other volunteers, and I am looking for dinner somewhere. I call my friend and he asks if I have given the cash away yet. I haven’t. I will, now. As I tell him this I am at an intersection mostly commercial when I spot a single story residence nearby where the roof has blown completely off, the ceilings are gone, windows blown out, three walls stand but one facing the driveway is mostly gone, and three young men are standing in the driveway talking. I pull over to a parking lot next door.

As I approach the guys on foot I notice that up in a tree next to the house a king size mattress is dangling high in the tree, seemingly impaled on one of the limbs about 20 feet off the ground.

After explaining that I am a volunteer worker, I ask if one of the guys owns the house. It is awkward as a stranger to ask. One of the guys, an Asian looking guy, says yes, it is his house. I tell him I am sorry for his loss. I ask if he would take the cash, along with some I have added of my own, and if he does not need it, to please give it to someone who does and is a victim of this disaster. He agrees to do this and suggests placing it in a fund being collected at a Christian college where his father works for families of storm victims. The Under Fred is alive and well in Joplin . I sense it strongly while there.

Just then, his dad pulls up and I get to meet him. He is a super nice man. We talk some. We share a few things that just seem beyond normal…like a market Gapping. My system skips momentarily. I tell this dad that May 15 is my sobriety birthday of five years. He exclaims “May 15th!” Yes, why? “That is my son’s birthday!” he says. He is referring to the son who owns this blown apart house who has reentered it and is picking through the debris. I find this an interesting coincidence. Another coincidence is that the son was in Miami when the storm hit. I was in Miami with my family a few weeks earlier when another tornado hit St. Louis airport and shredded some of the surrounding area.

Before I left I asked [Name] what he did for a living. He said he is a computer programmer. Once again compelled (Under Fred) I asked him what language he specialized in. He answered C++. All I could think of was the C++ book that used to be on Ed’s favorite books list, or in his resources section. I have never met someone who programs in C++ before so this was still another interesting connection and I exchanged e-mail addresses with this guy. Perhaps he will help me program my trading system! I may write it myself in Easy Language, or even try to learn C++.

When we commit, as Ed has taught us, people we need and resources required appear for us. When we get outside of ourselves, leave our comfort zones, reach beyond our old ways, almost anything is possible. It is late and I must sleep. TTP is a true blessing for me. Best wishes to all of you as we support each others pursuit of excellence. I am beginning to understand the Intimacy Model!

Thank you for sharing your process.


June 15, 2011

Wants to Join


I have been seeking to visit the trading tribe in [City], but they are no longer meeting. Austin is the next closest tribe to me. It is an 8 hour drive for me. I think I could commit to once a month or every other month.

I read your book the The Trading Tribe. It helped me through a very rough patch with my father near his death. What do I need to do to join?

Thank you,

You can join a tribe near you and/or start your own.

June 15, 2011

Hi Ed,

I forward the clip [Chris Sacca's commencement address to Carlson School of Management] to FAQ. The clip feels like TTP to me.

I continue to work on not shutting down. I find it to be a confusing process of feeling negative emotions.

Thanks for

Thank you for the link.
June 16, 2011



Aha ha ha.

June 16, 2011

Dear Ed,

Today, I feel free from the need to fix people.

I realize people are free to feel however they want. It's actually kind of cool to have this freedom.

I let go. I feel light.

Thank you for sharing your insight.


Total Freedom

includes the freedom

from having to fix others.

June 16, 2011

Ping Pong

Hello Austin Tribe,

I'm reaching out to say thank you for a wonderful experience and all the support over the past 5 months and to pass along my contact info.

I want to let everyone know that I do have a ping pong table on my back porch and I would enjoy catching up over a friendly match if you happen to find yourself in my neighborhood!

All the best,

Thank you for your invitation.


Ping Pong

provides yet another way to practice

sending and receiving.


June 16, 2011

Celebrating the Feeling of Saying Good-By

Hi Ed,

The last tribe meeting at the Ranch was a emotional time of good bye. I can say with confidence that I learned something at every single tribe meeting and this one was no different. At this meeting I found it interesting how you did not avoid the feelings of sadness of the ending of the tribe. In fact you celebrated the sorrow of missing a buddy with a song.

It finally occurred to me the importance of accepting / enjoying the feelings of whatever season of your life that you are in. I realized if you don't like, avoid, suppress or run from feelings because you label them or the situation that caused the feelings as bad then you end up living with the feelings forever. So I see now if you are unwilling to celebrate and fully experience the sadness that comes up with the ending of a tribe then that sadness will stick with you.

If your unconscious goal is avoid this sadness then you will follow a life path that allows you to run from or stay ahead of this sadness that lives inside you. In essences this feeling will control your life.

I think I have spent most of my life running from feelings of fear, anger and sadness. That is a lot of feelings to run from and I have had to run pretty fast to stay out front!  I am very new or you could say a child when it comes to the idea of welcoming a "negative" feeling. This notion of accepting, even welcoming and celebrating all feelings is not the way my family dealt feelings. I learned from my family coming up that I must avoid painful feelings at all cost. If that means running from them or passing out and going unconscious. I learned that in order to cope and survive I simply must use these resources.

No one ever taught me another way until you came along Ed. You showed me another way. You demonstrated a new resource that I didn't even know existed.

Celebrate your feelings of Sorrow, Grief, Angst, Longing, Fear, Pain, Despair, Loneliness, Situational Trapped, Anxiety, Tension, Alone, Powerless, Stuck, Vulnerable, Burdened, Resentful, etc.

Lets face it, at first it is not easy to celebrate feelings that you have always labeled bad and have run away from like the plague your entire life. I think its a process of unmasking the monsters that have been chasing behind you at a distance and realizing that up close they aren't that bad. After awhile of getting to know them you realize you might actually enjoy them in your life. Then eventually you are glad when they show up, one and all. Really it boils down to dispelling emotional ignorance. I liken it to getting to know your neighbors. You will probably like some more then others but you can always find things to like and ways to learn from anybody, no matter how bad they seem at first.

Celebration of all feelings is what it means to be truly human. I feel like if you celebrate all the feelings that come your way when they come your way then and only then are you fully alive. Anything short of full realization of all feelings is living a muted life that is less then full freedom manifested.



Celebrating Feelings

helps build intimacy.

June 17, 2011

The Right Way

Hi Ed!

I am very happy you accepted our invitation to the world tour in [City]. I have received additional requests since we were signed up on your page. I wonder what time schedule you have so we can book the date.

I feel a little nervous since we are not doing the hot seat process so "alive" as it is usually described. The interaction is less "wild" since we focus our feedback to the check out after the hot seat. During hot seat, I am not, as a tribe leader, encouraging, only validating. As tribe leader I take a more passive role and let hot seat go where he/she wants to go.

You once mentioned that your intention for it to be successful is more important than exactly how you work with your tribe. I have focused on that! Since I get the feeling I am not doing it exactly the "Seykota way", I am very happy that you will be joining us and can give us additional resources of how to lead and contribute in the tribe.

I have taken the feeling of "doing it the right way" to hotseat but as you will be visiting, the feelings come back. As I think about it, lately our tribe have had greater turnover and some of the people from the start are slowly dropping off. As long as we are at least three persons, we go ahead. Yesterday was the first time ever that I cancelled a tribe. The reason was that we were only two persons.

The tribe is less dynamic with only two participants. I have had at least ten tribes with only two people, more. The tribe helps me to communicate more straight forward and I apply what I learn when interacting outside the tribe. I print and save your comments. I save it in my diary and read them frequently. I like it! It is definitely helping me towards right livelihood!

Recently, I have noticed that my tolerance level has increased significantly. I feel I can be validating towards my children and it gives me great pleasure.

Have a nice summer. I will be on vacation for two weeks now!

Thank you for sharing your process. You might consider taking you feelings about <the right way> to Tribe.
June 17, 2011

Hello Ed,

I send the ID of a new Tribe. Please add it to your directory.

So far there are no active tribes in my country. I wonder if my intention is strong enough to attract volunteers.

All the best,
Thank you.

June 18, 2011

Austin Tribe Summary

What a remarkable experience the Austin Tribe is.

I now seek a community of support to see what I don’t. The group motivates me.

This week I have been enjoying applying skills I gain from Tribe. My communication is easier with people. Today I’m able to share with my wife in a way she does not feel I’m judging her (an issue in the past) that I think the kids should wear sun shirts when at the pool. She warmly welcomes the input. A few days ago I recall dealing with a sensitive topic of a trader’s drawdown in manner he feels support from me and not attacked and I’m able to share my feelings about the situation.

From a tribe member’s process at our last meeting I get insight into resistance, persistence, and surrender. It seems there are very few hard and fast rules for life. I believe there are lasting principles.

I deeply thank you Ed for sharing yours with us.

Thank you for sharing your process.

June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Hi Ed,

Happy Father’s Day!


Thank you.

June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Hi Ed,

I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day today!


Thank you.

June 20, 2011

Paying Attention to Feelings

Hi Ed,

I hope you are well. I stay on the path.

I've been paying more attention to my feelings in order to experience them and now, I am more aware of my body in general. I notice that I wake up every day with a slight numbing ache in my calf muscles (greyish, lose, warm) and as I type this, I also notice a slight ache in my left bicep (small, roundish, metallic) and, now, my left thumb (sharp like a nail). I try and experience these feelings as best I can. Often, now, I don't name them (be it anger, fear, stress, excitement) and I just let them be. If I don't name them, then I don't think of causes/blames. I just try and experience the feeling "fully" - try and express a color, object, texture etc. Sometimes the feelings dissolve into smaller and smaller objects which disappear and sometimes they stay, regardless of how much attention I give them.

As an example, a couple of weeks ago, I experienced, what I typically label as: fear. I went through the process for many days and the feeling remained. Then a friend reached out to me (over IM) and asked me how I was doing. I asked her if it was a serious question or a casual one and she said I could share whatever I was comfortable with. I shared my feelings with her and it dissolved. After that, I couldn't "recreate" the feeling.

Sometimes I wonder if I "should" honor the feelings i.e. accept them and do what it is suggesting as a positive intention or just acknowledge it and keep on task. For instance, if I'm feeling like my eyelids are heavy like they have small weights tied to it, I try and experience this feeling completely. Then I wonder if I rest for a while and honor the feeling of being drowsy/tired or whether I continue with my work and stay on task. If I do the former, I might be avoiding some other feeling. If I do the latter, do I honor the feeling completely?

On occasion, I experience strong feelings during my meditations/practices. I used to struggle with this phenomenon earlier. I would experience rage and remember incidents from the past. I would wonder what was wrong with the meditation / practice. ("Its supposed to calm me down! Instead its doing the opposite!") Now I realize it could be the best thing happening. I try and experience these as well during the meditation. Sometimes I experience these feelings "better" by virtue of being in meditation. Sometimes I feel goaded to move on to the next step in the practice.

Sometimes when I try to experience feelings completely, I close my eyes. I then find myself drifting naturally into focusing on my breath as in one of my meditations. (Medication?)

I've also noticed an increased sensitivity in myself. A friend of mine was describing some life issues that her mother was facing and I had a distinct feeling of heaviness in my heart like a heavy lead object placed on my chest. I expressed this to her. In another event I was watching a story about the struggles of a boy in another country and I found myself crying. However, a few minutes later, I was watching a video of something funny and I was laughing out loud, while the tears from the previous experience still hadn't dried. I didn't feel conflicted. Just "emotions" passing through my system.

I attended a tribe meeting in my city as a guest - that was great. While receiving, there too, I noticed feelings of a burning sensation in my chest and a headache while the sender was sending. Intellectually, I didn't really identify with any of the issues that the sender was describing and yet I had unmistakable feelings while he was talking.

While I've been paying attention to this, "it" seems "everywhere". I'll switch on the TV briefly for a few minutes and I'll notice someone expressing their feelings. I go for a walk in the lane and I'll notice a T-shirt which says something related. I then think of it as a humorous coincidence and turn my head in another direction and I'll see another T-shirt saying something related.

I've also been reading the FAQ daily and I started from the beginning and have reached December 2003. I identify with almost every email sent in - as in, "yes, I've got that", "yup, that one too!". I may have experienced it at a lower intensity but it is present in me. I used to think that I'm quite "sorted" ("Hell, I even meditate!"). Then at one point, I realized that I couldn't find a "flaw" in someone else that wasn't also present in me - that the world was a mirror - that I could only identify something if it was present within me.

In the mean time, I've learned C# and programmed a rudimentary trend following system to see the results. I'm also learning a platform so that I can use some of the stock features and extend them with my C# extensions to back test other systems. Right now my system is to basically trade nothing / tiny unless I have a system that is back tested and fits well with my overall preferences.

On another random note, earlier this year, I held put options on a particular stock that was trending down. I placed my stop too close and I was stopped out. A few days later the stock fell off a cliff. Then again, a few days ago, it fell off another cliff. This time around, I chose to pay close attention to my feelings and experience them as best I could. I went through them for a better part of a day which then culminated with a nap. After I woke up, I couldn't help thinking about the fact that nothing/none other than I had gone through that exercise - the price was still where it was, the birds outside were still going about their lives, everything else was just as it was. I was the only one jumping up and down with a story. I could just as well choose to take what is offered and make the "best" decision given what I know now.

Thanks for everything!!!

Thank you for sharing you process.

June 20, 2011

Experiencing Wrong


This past Saturday night I chose to go out with a friend. Its been a while since we connected and he asked me how I had been doing. In keeping with being willing, building intimacy and being completely honest, I shared with him what I had experienced in my relationship with my parents.

He then spent a fair bit of time telling me how I was "grossly wrong" and how he was surprised given how "intelligent" I am. That the reason I felt "hurt" was cause I had adopted the "wrong point of view". Through this I kept noticing my feelings to see if anything was coming up but it was largely flat/numb (As I type this, I realize numb could also be a feeling ... potentially protective). He must have noticed something and even asked me how I was feeling - and I told him that it had been going on for so long that this particular instance wasn't causing me to feel much of anything. He then proceeded to tell me how it was an asset to have people point out to you when you're wrong - which I get.

I went to bed that night without thinking too much of what had happened.

On Sunday morning though, as I started with my daily meditation, a storm started within me. Rage. Like a whirlwind within me. I try to experience it and try and realize that this could be a really good thing happening cause I'm getting to experience it while it was "still in my system". Yet the intensity is so strong that I find it hard to stay on task. I decided not to "distract" myself with work and I spent most of Sunday in my bed intermittently trying to experience whatever was coming up. It lasted through the entire day. This morning it was and still is present as well.

Just thought I would share.

While I'm still working on experiencing this I do realize how important it is for me to receive people without judgement, offering advice, offering perspective. All of the advice, perspective may be well meaning and "correct" but it doesn't do much for the sender. The best thing I can do for other people is to be a great receiver. Just listen with empathy.


Thank you for sharing your process.