Tips for Dealing with Difficult People

This 75 minute class explains in detail Dr Robert Firestone’s Separation Theory (cost $20). His theory is fascinating, what he developed over 40+ years living in a community, (in his book, “the Ethics of Interpersonal Relationships**,” he calls it the “friendship circle,” it’s somewhere in California.) He watched as his close friends intended to become more self-aware and encountered what Firestone describes as a “psychological equilibrium” between the “Self-system” and “anti-self system.”

**see my Goodreads book review describing the theory here


Besides that class I created a 60 minute science chat class (cost $20), The part of you that is your own worst enemy” that is probably a better first introduction to the theory.

I am going to paste the class title slide, then the timestamps below it. Reading the timestamps will give you a better idea of how interesting the subject matter is and then if interested, you can email me to purchase at [email protected]

I am including this blog post in the 8th Level Time Integration category because this science chat brought together the way the brain makes meaning out of the pain of living (the 8th level) and Firestone’s theory. People who are spiritual seekers, interested in philosophy/ethics/morality, state they enjoy this lecture. It is wonderful to watch it with someone else and to apply to yourself using the suggested discussion or journaling exercises. Then I recommend you watch the more detailed above 75 min class to better understand your “squid” and other people’s “squid.”

Description for this 1 hour class:

Which wins out in your decision-making process–the lizard brain or the wizard brain? Heidi walks audience members though 5 possible exercises to help integrate these two parts. She begins asking for a success, then a moment of failure, then has 3 more exercises.

At min 31:00 and min 41:00 she outlines a theory from Dr. Robert Firestone about two core defense mechanisms that develop in response to the pain of living, then ties these to interpersonal neurobiology concepts of integrating uncertainty and time (which is the 8th Domain and about how we make meaning in our lives).

Basically, our brains develop ways to cope with pain–either our coping mechanisms can involve more connection and making sense of life through a well-integrated prefrontal cortex region or they can involve a more “black white” and judging style of thinking which limits the capacity for interpersonal relating. This second way of coping is called the “Anti-Self System” or slang “SQUID.” Heidi gives solutions for wiring your brain up optimally and how to reduce the more primitive reactive regions of the brain from overtaking our thinking. There are examples of traveling from more lizard to more wizard states with audience members.

Time stamps are 1st reflection exercise min 4:51,

2nd reflection exercise min 12:48,

3rd reflection exercise min 33:44,

4th reflection exercise min 35:45,

5th BONUS exercise min 38:45 (Do I hang out in uncertainty or certainty more, which do I need to be with more and how can I better hold BOTH states AND commit to walking forward with my heart open toward my life goals)

Other timestamps:
Min 3:32 What exactly the prefrontal cortex means and why it is core to the process of creating meaning

Min 17:00 to 21:30 after completing reflection exercise #1 and #2 do this integrative exercise with Heidi

Min 25:00 to 27:30 Demonstration how a person enters different autonomic nervous system states, physiological states, but the mind cannot notice the difference shifting between them

Min 28:00 Attention can be focal or non-focal, pulled or guided

Min 30:00 The Solution is to soften around the SQUID, Min 32:30 Psychological equilibrium is like a rubber band. Heidi (using the science of memory reconsolidation) can help you unscramble the mechanism inside you that is unconsciously tightening and maintaining the rubber band.

Min 35:00 overviews the entire theme for today of how the brain makes sense of and is best able to be with the uncertainty (and pain of living) inherent with being alive. Heidi explains how neurobiology defines spirituality min 35:50, how the shared source of consciousness in the interpersonal neurobiology model (the open plane of possibility) is a core part of being able to hold states of uncertainty min 40:00

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