Robert Lutey

I was experiencing especially acute anxiety from facing a situation that I feared intensely. With Kessuda’s guidance, the TRAIN process helped me to face that fear as something impermanent, momentary—like all experiences—and to understand how my mind obsesses over the future instead of living in the moment, the only time we have. With her guidance, I have continued the practice of TRAINing my mind to recognize the thoughts and patterns that have repeatedly governed my emotions and behavior for much of my life.

While change does not come instantly or without struggle, I feel I am able to see my thoughts more objectively—with less emotion—and to decide whether to “jump in a particular car” and let it take me for a bumpy ride or to just let it pass by as one of many cars racing through my consciousness that have been the source of unhappy “rides” for years.

Through the TRAIN process, I have learned to pay closer attention to situations where I intend to accomplish a task or longer-term goal but feel anxious or reluctant to start. In these cases, I try to stop and check in with my thoughts to find out what inner dialogue is actually leading me to procrastinate and avoid moving forward. It might be as simple as feeling overwhelmed with the need to get everything right—the need for perfection—and therefore, I become paralyzed. Or it might be a fear of the future that my “doing” will lead to, with all its uncertainties and possible negative outcomes.

I’m now practicing to recognize these unhealthy, unproductive thoughts, accept them for what they are, and then let them go—at least enough to take concrete action steps, one by one, in the present. I also experience the feeling of accomplishment that comes from achieving not just an overall goal but a series of smaller, day-to-day tasks that contribute to one’s sense of gratification for being alive. It may sound cliché, but I truly feel that the journey is more important than the destination, and I need to be on a journey, to be in a river flowing forward by my conscious choice, not governed by some ancient, unconscious and stultifying instinctual survival pattern.