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The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-beingby Hale Dwoskin
What Is the Sedona Method?
Best of all, you know this is just the beginning.
You can easily have this type of experience for yourself, just like the tens of thousands of others who have been living and using the simple, yet powerful techniques that Sedona Training Associates have taught for years in our live seminars and audio programs. Now these techniques are available to you in this book!
Are you open to being truly happy? Are you willing to achieve everything that you have been wanting in your life? Are you ready to find what your heart has always been seeking? If you answered "no" to all three of these questions, then please don?t bother reading this book. If you answered "yes," to any of them, The Sedona Method will show you a practical way to tap an inner source of boundless happiness, to achieve your wildest dreams and highest potential, and to become a spiritual "finder" instead of a seeker.
We live in a world that?s in a state of rapid change — and not all of it is positive. Most of us crave a certainty, security, and solidity that we cannot find outside of ourselves no matter how hard we try. But these qualities already exist within each of us, waiting to be revealed. It is as though we possess an inner wishing well or a fountain of joy and vitality that?s disconnected from the water supply. Yet, secretly, everyone has a tool to reconnect.
Intrigued? I hope so. Because I would love to share a simple process with you that can deliver on this promise: the Sedona Method. The technique has already helped many thou-sands of people to tap their natural ability to let go of uncomfortable or unwanted emotions on the spot. It is our limiting emotions that prevent us from creating and maintaining the lives that we choose. We abdicate our decision-making ability to them. We even imagine that our emotions can dictate to us who we are supposed to be. This is made apparent in our use of language. Have you ever said to someone, "I am angry," or, "I am sad?" When we speak like this, we are saying to those around us and to ourselves, without realizing it, that we are our anger, or we are our grief. We relate to others and our-selves as though we are our feelings. In fact, we even invent whole stories of why we feel the way we feel in order to justify or explain this misperception of our identity.
It is not that feelings don?t occasionally appear to be justified. It?s just that feelings are only feelings, feelings are not who we are?and we can easily let them go. Choosing to let them go frees us to perceive what is actually here, and to act, or refrain from acting, accordingly. This translates into an ability to handle life — to make stronger, clearer choices. It allows you and me to act in ways that support us in achieving our goals and aspirations as opposed to sabotaging them. I have seen the process of letting go of the emotions grow into an ability to have more money, better relationships, more radiant health and physical well-being, and an ability to be happy, calm, and focused, no matter what is going on around us.
Sounds good, doesn?t it? I thought it did back in 1976 when I met Lester Levenson, the man who inspired the creation of the Sedona Method and would also become my mentor. Back then, I was an ardent, although confused, seeker who had gone to numerous seminars led by teachers from both the East and the West. I had studied various body-centered disciplines, including yoga, tai chi, and shiatsu. I had actively participated in numerous personal growth courses, including EST, Actualism, Theta Seminars, and Rebirthing. At these seminars, I had many nice experiences and heard and understood — at least intellectually — many useful concepts. Still, I felt incomplete. I longed for a simple and powerful answer to some important yet vexing questions like: "What is my life?s purpose?" "What is truth?" "Who am I?" and "How can I feel at home and at peace with my life?" Much of what I heard and experienced only added to my questioning. No one seemed to have truly satisfying answers or to have truly satisfied themselves about their true nature. There was also a strong, almost universal belief that growing was hard work that required baring your soul and reliving painful, unresolved issues. That all changed during my very fortunate encounter with this remarkable man.
Meeting Lester Levenson
When I asked Lester what he did, he invited me to a seminar that was being held the next weekend. All he would tell me was that "a group of people is going to sit around a table and release." I wasn?t sure what releasing meant, but I knew if it could even point me in the direction of the qualities of which Lester was the living embodiment, I definitely wanted it. I took a leap of faith and signed up on the spot.
That weekend I was in essentially the same position you?re in right now. I was about to embark on a journey for which I felt a little bit of trepidation. I wasn?t sure exactly with what I was getting involved, and, since I had done so many seminars, I also had a healthy degree of skepticism. I found myself wondering, "Oh my God, is this going to be another one of those disappointments along the way?" As the course unfolded, however, I watched myself and other people in the class shedding long-held beliefs and limitations with amazing ease and speed, yet without having to relive or explain their life stories. Almost overnight, I knew that I?d found what I was looking for. In fact, deep inside, I knew that this process of releasing was what I had been born to do and share with the world — and to this day I have never wavered. In the past 26 years, I?ve watched thousands of other people change their lives, radically yet gently, for the better just by learning one elegantly simple, yet powerful technique.
Origins of the Sedona Method
Lester was a man who loved challenges. So, instead of giving up, he decided to go back to the lab within himself and find some answers. Because of his determination and concentration, he was able to cut through his conscious mind to find what he needed. What he found was the ultimate tool for personal growth?a way of letting go of all inner limitations. He was so excited by his discovery that he used it intensively for a period of three months. By the end of that period, his body became totally healthy again. Furthermore, he entered a state of profound peace that never left him through the day he died on January 18, 1994.
What Lester discovered firsthand is that we are all unlimited beings, limited only by the concepts of limitation that we hold in our minds. These concepts of limitation are not true; furthermore, because they?re not really true, they can easily be released or discharged. Lester?s experience made him understand that not only could he practice this technique himself, he could teach others how to do it as well. As a result, he began working with people, both in small groups and individually.
Lester believed strongly that personal growth was not dependant on any external source, including a teacher, and he did not want to be anyone?s guru. But, because of how elevated people felt around him, despite his protestations and attempts to avoid it happening, many of Lester?s students insisted on seeing him as a guru. So, in 1973, Lester realized that his teachings needed to be formalized into a system that he could allow others to teach?leaving him out of the equation. A way to transform his powerful techniques for personal growth into a do-it-yourself system was devised, which is now called the Sedona Method: the topic of this book.
How Releasing Has Influenced My Life
Working with Lester afforded me the opportunity to spend more time with him, observe him in action, and see how he dealt with life?s inevitable challenges. I was very impressed. One of the ways we related was by sitting in coffee shops and speaking at length. He consistently enjoyed sitting and chat-ting over a cup of coffee, right up until shortly before his death. He frequently stated, "My office is my brief case, and the nearest place to get a good cup of coffee." Our meetings were always a little comical, and sometimes frustrating to me, because I always thought it was important to discuss the truth, whereas Lester would invariably steer the conversation to as mundane a topic as possible. Nonetheless, every time we were together, my understanding and direct experience of truth would deepen — even if we never spoke about it. He was a living example rather than a pontificator. This helped me discover the opportunity to release and experience greater freedom in every moment, a practice that stays with me to this day.
I was so engaged that I even started holding support groups for people using the Sedona Method in the living room of my Upper West Side apartment. But it wasn?t long before I realized that I needed to mature and grow personally before I could be of much use to Lester and his budding organization. I decided to support him as a volunteer and active participant instead of as an employee while continuing to explore in different ways how releasing would affect my everyday life. Soon after that, I started my own business selling jewelry. The success of this venture afforded me the opportunity to work part-time while exploring life and my releasing full-time. I continued this venture and my more casual involvement with Lester until around 1981. As I worked with the Method in my business and personal life, I became ever more convinced that I?d found a technique that could help anyone. In the late ?70s Lester moved out to Arizona. Except through his teachings, my contact with Lester during this period was occasional, but it continued to influence me profoundly.
Then, in 1981, I was invited to fly to Phoenix to participate again in an Instructors Training. This seminar began a new phase of our relationship. It also rekindled my desire to work closely with Lester on sharing the Method with the world. I started leading workshops for Sedona Method graduates on a regular basis in New York City and flew to Arizona several times a year for more training and to participate in weeklong or longer retreats called Intensives. Leading the workshops and participating in the Trainings and Intensives greatly accelerated my personal use of the Method. I noticed profound results in myself and in friends who were also participating.
During this same period, I decided to participate more actively, full-time, in the world of business. I briefly worked for my father selling industrial real estate in and around New York City, but I didn?t feel the job suited me. Then I joined a firm in Manhattan that sold co-ops and condominiums. I was quickly able to use the Method to support my sales ability and became one of their top salespeople. For a while I enjoyed doing this, but then an opportunity presented itself to join my brother in establishing an investment division back in my father?s real estate firm. I happily made the transition to selling office buildings, shopping centers, and other real estate investments.
For the first time in our lives, my brother and I became friends. I was able to release the old baggage that I had been carrying around about our earlier relationship, and we became a terrific business team. We were having a recurring problem, however, of starting many more deals than we were actually closing. Then, one day out of the blue, Lester called me up to see how I was doing. I explained what was happening. He said one sentence that totally turned around our closing ratio and the rest of my business career. He simply said, "Bank in the bank, not in your head." Without me saying anything about it, he had picked up on a tendency that I and most other people in the sales profession have, which is "head banking." I was so busy imagining how great it was going to be when I closed each deal that I was neglecting actually closing them. As soon as I started releasing instead of fantasizing, we started to close a lot more deals.
Another important lesson about letting go was learned when I received a listing for nine shopping centers from what was affectionately known in the industry then as a Xerox broker. A Xerox broker is someone who gets written listings on properties from other brokers, then copies and sends them to other brokers and principals without ever bothering to check the facts or get in contact with the actual owner or listing agent.
I sent a copy of the listing to one of my better customers, and he shot me back an immediate, almost full-priced offer. Of course I was excited, so I picked up the phone to call the man I thought was the principal, only to discover that the listing had come from a Xerox broker with no way of contacting the true owner.
Distraught, I realized that there was nothing I could do but let go. So I did. I cleared my mind and released all my feelings about the situation until I reached the point where it was okay whether or not I ever made the deal. The very next phone call in our office was from the actual principal of the shopping centers, responding to an ad looking for properties that we just happened to have running in the Wall Street Journal. When he offered us the listing on the very same property, I nearly fell over.
This is only one of many events that have led me to under-stand that a statement I?d heard repeatedly from Lester is absolutely true: "Even the impossible becomes completely possible when you are fully released on it." I also got to practice using the Method right while closing deals, sometimes when people were renegotiating multi-million dollar contracts and trying to cheat me or each other by making up a whole new story of what we?d agreed on, instead of simply signing the papers and exchanging checks. These were tense occasions, as a lot of money was at stake. Nonetheless, because I was releasing, I knew when to be quiet — which is very difficult for a broker. I also knew when to stand up for what was correct. The financial rewards were beyond my expectations.
By early 1987, I?d saved enough money to move to Arizona to rejoin Lester and support him in sharing his wonderful technique with the world. Much to the consternation of my brother and father, I relocated to Phoenix and became a full-time volunteer for his non-profit organization, the Sedona Institute, doing whatever was needed to get the word out. I spent most of the remaining years of Lester?s life working closely with him on his mission, almost entirely without monetary compensation. The reason I didn?t mind working for free was that I could see how much good I was doing, and how much I was personally changing for the better.
In 1989, Lester asked me to move to Sedona to help him sell some of the organization?s real estate holdings to graduates in order to raise money. It was there that I met my wife Amy. I saw her in a karate class and immediately recognized who she was to me, so the next day I asked her out. She was dating another man at the time, however, and asked for my card in case her situation changed. A few months later, I got a call from her and we went out on a date. That was a Wednesday. By that Saturday she was taking the Sedona Method Course. Today, Amy and I have a beautiful, loving relationship, but it wasn?t always that way. It was tough in the beginning. Honestly, Amy was interested in other men at the time we met, so I had to do a lot of releasing for her finally to pick me. Once we married, we still had our disagreements — which of course still happens, that?s only natural. But because we both use the Sedona Method, when something happens that causes an upset, we let it go. From my perspective, our relationship is very unusual in that it just keeps getting better and more loving.
By the early ?90s, my relationship with Lester had grown to a place of such mutual trust and respect that he decided to turn over the copyrights of his teachings to me and asked me to continue his work. I maintained the organization that he?d established towards this end until two years after his death. Then, in 1996, I decided it would be much more effective for Amy and me to start a new company, Sedona Training Associates, to convey the Method to the world in an even bigger way.
One of the things that impresses me most about the process of releasing is that it has resulted in a sense of unshakable peace, happiness, joy, and calmness that is always with me, no matter what?s going on around me. Not that there still aren?t ups and downs, but, as Lester used to say, this is really the "bottoms-up method." I know from my own direct experience that what I used to think was a peak experience, or something really terrific, is now normal, and my peaks just keeping getting higher and higher. I have no idea how far "up" is, and I?m looking forward to finding out.
The good news is that the good I have experienced using the Method isn?t unique. People around the world have been able to produce the same kind of phenomenal results in their lives. Years ago, a study of the effectiveness of the Sedona Method was done with an insurance company called Mutual of New York. A group of field underwriters were trained in the Method, and their sales results were compared with as close a control group as possible over six months. Over the study period, the group that learned the Method outperformed the control group by 33 percent. The study was also broken down into two three-month segments, and the results in the second three months were better than the first three months. The Method?s efficacy increased over time.
How to Use this Book
In addition, as you experiment with this simple system in your life, you?ll keep discovering more ways that you can apply it. Whatever initial insights you gain from reading this book and working with the Method are only the tip of the iceberg. This single technique can affect every part of your life, because it is built on the fact that we are already unlimited beings. If you think back over your life, you?ve probably had glimpses of this unlimited state, which is natural to us all. You?ve probably also had glimpses or periods where you felt like you were in a state of flow, moments in which everything seemed to ?click? and work effortlessly. Through using the Sedona Method, it is possible for you to experience the flow as part of your everyday life from now on.
I don?t know what kind of a reader you are. You may be the type who participates fully in what you read, or you may just collect useful ideas that you can call on later as you choose. I recommend you participate fully and do all the exercises presented in this book. In my experience, the only way that you can effectively learn how to let go is by doing it your-self. Direct experience. Additional benefits will be gained from reading this book repeatedly, as that?s how you?ll learn and integrate the practical skill of tapping your natural ability to let go of limitation.
This book is divided into two parts. In Part One, we?ll explore the basics of the letting go process and the underlying motivations for inner limitation. You?ll be introduced to various techniques that can accelerate you on the path to freedom, such as ways for coping with resistance, being "present," resolving your feelings about past conflicts, achieving your goals, and balancing the positive and negative sides of emotional equations. In Part Two, we?ll explore some of the specific areas of your life where the Sedona Method can have a strong, positive impact. These include finding freedom from guilt, shame, fear, and anxiety; breaking habits; building wealth; operating a business; improving relationships; developing radiant health; and contributing to the creation of a harmonious and peaceful world.
Please work with the material in order. Each chapter builds a solid foundation for the ones that follow. You will not have learned all that you can from this book until you?ve worked with the chapters in order and done your best to apply what you?re learning in your daily life. Each chapter contains at least a few gems that can enrich your life. Allow yourself to be as open as you can to what is being communicated in this book and look at it as an opportunity to change your consciousness and your life.
If you want to go still further after you complete this book, Sedona Training Associates offers an audiotape version of this course, as well as live seminars in many major cities throughout the United States and the rest of the world.
Don?t Believe Anything I Say
I suggest that you take for checking everything you?re exposed to in this book. Give yourself permission to be as open to the message as you can be without accepting it on blind faith. The material will have much more value for you once you?ve explored and applied it, or checked it, under real life conditions. The ideas in The Sedona Method may appear to contradict what you?ve learned from other methods and modalities. But there?s no need to throw out the other material that you?ve learned. Merely set it aside, as best you can, while you explore this book. I highly recommend that you suspend comparison and judgment, if only for the moment. Once you?ve had time to draw your own conclusions, you can then go back and compare this material to everything else you?ve learned and see where it fits. People usually find releasing a wonderful adjunct to the other techniques and therapies they already use.
Contradiction is inevitable when you compare different paths or traditions of growth. This does not necessarily invalidate the different points of view. When it comes to self-discovery, if you can embrace multiple possibilities, you?ll find yourself understanding and applying the insights you gain on a deeper, more heartfelt, and much more useful level. There are many rays that lead to the one sun.
It?s a Matter of Resonance
Adopt a Gentle, Playful Attitude
The Sedona Method reminds us of what our spirits already recognize intuitively. We can have freedom and happiness now. We don?t have to wait for it to arrive some far off day in the future when we?ve worked hard enough to deserve it, or when we?ve succeeded somehow in making ourselves ready. We have reason for joy, and to delight, now!
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