Personal Story

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Personal story by Woody Goulart in his own words…

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It’s All in Your Mind

Each of us has a brain. It is physical. It is the largest organ we have in our body.

Each of us also has a mind. It is not physical. It is mental.

In our mind we have the capacity to hold conscious thoughts. We can stop and think of how much we enjoy the taste of chocolate candy, for instance.

Then there is our subconscious. It is where thoughts and memories that we are either unaware of or unable to remember and focus on in a deliberate or conscious way. We feel we should avoid chocolate candy and just thinking about enjoying chocolate candy can encourage our guilt.

The subconscious is one very important element of mind that I focus upon in my professional coaching. Some coaches won’t go there. I am different from them.

Each of us has the capacity to use our mind voice. This is not “voices in your mind” saying things you don’t want to hear or believe. Quite the opposite. Your mind voice has what you need to hear and believe.

I show people how to find their mind voice and how to use it to get what they want out of life. I can show you, too. It doesn’t hurt at all. In fact, it feels great!

5,280 Feet Above Sea Level

I found my mind voice while living at an elevation of 5,280 feet above sea level. No, this was not some “back to nature” weekend to discover what higher altitudes can do to the human body.

Denver, Colorado is famously nicknamed as “the mile-high city” because of being at 5,280 feet above sea level. No other major United States city shares that distinction.

If you have lived at sea level all your life like many people have, the first few minutes after you get off your plane in Denver, you may notice some odd physical sensations. Why? The Denver air is thinner and drier than what’s normal down at sea level. If you drink liquor on your first day or night in Denver, you can’t help but notice how it affects you faster up there.

Such things don’t matter much to you once you’ve stayed long enough in Denver. And, no, I didn’t find my mind voice because of the thin, dry air or the higher altitude effects of drinking liquor.

On my first time in Denver I drove in by car from Deadwood, South Dakota—some 375 miles away at an altitude of about 4,300 feet above sea level. So, I did not notice what happens if you get to Denver on a plane from lower elevations.

Plus, I couldn’t feel much of anything at all, to be quite honest with you. My mind was filled with “fog” as I called it. I think the correct medical term is for it is cognitive dissonance. I was an emotional wreck and I didn’t even try to deny it.

I remember how much I enjoyed spending a couple of days in and around Deadwood pretending to be back in time to the late 1800s when Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane walked the streets there. It’s a total Wild West cowboy experience if you want one.

I was not on vacation, however. I think it would be accurate to say that I had “run away from home.” The most painful experience of my entire life was deciding to end my marriage of a dozen years to a woman I had met during graduate school. One week before arriving at Mount Rushmore and then Deadwood, I had left her suddenly and without warning. The very next day after I left her, I was let go unexpectedly from a career managerial job I’d held for nearly a decade. So, being an emotional wreck seemed “normal” for me at that time.

Rocky Mountain Exile

One week after experiencing the intense double-whammy emotional trauma back east near Boston, I drove alone thousands of miles across the nation to escape from what was. I bolted from Massachusetts in a blur of daily disorientation and tears. I remember thinking that I could live off the severance money I had received from work as I attempted to get my life together, but I had no specific plan that I could follow. Because of my very high escape needs, I decided to drive coast-to-coast from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific with some vague notion of returning to live in my home state of California.

When I arrived in Denver, the physical beauty I observed there felt highly intoxicating to me emotionally—in a very positive sense. It was as if I had never seen mountains or trees in my entire life. I instantly felt that I had to relocate there in search of a new life for myself.

Of course, seeing natural beauty in this life such as mountains and trees is not supposed to be so unusual. I believe that I had “numbed myself out” in what can accurately be called a self-induced “fog” in my brain (not allowing myself to be honest and genuinely feel what I was experiencing in my life) because having invested myself in an utterly impossible relationship. I morphed into a full-time caretaker for my wife as she suffered through a bipolar disorder when all I wanted was to be a husband.

I slowly came to accept that I had taught myself a “normal life” meant filling my mind with “fog” that would insulate me from breaking down emotionally and psychologically. I had to leave New England to free myself from a life that certainly was unhealthy, per se. I went with the urge that I felt to drive as far away from the east coast as possible.

That guidance—or perhaps it was post-traumatic stress hallucinations—convinced me to stop and live for a while in the Denver metropolitan area. The daily emotional pain I carried with me motivated me to seek ways to change who I was as a person and, more importantly, how I used my mind to face my daily life.

I spent my 20s and 30s with very immature ways of thinking and behaving. As with most young men, I sought to avoid pain and increase the pleasures I could experience in life. I also bought into the all-American myth of “one-man-married-to-one-woman.” I label this as a myth based upon my own experience with marriage. Your mileage may vary.

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