Notes from “The Secret of Life” (2017) by Eckhart Tolle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atCYBU7_YsIeckharttolle5.jpg

I am a fan of Eckhart Tolle and have read many of his books, including The Power of NOW, so here are a few notes from this video titled “The Secret of LIFE”. I found that he elaborates on Presence and the concept of being present better here than in other videos I’ve seen from him. The actual YouTube version is listed above if you are interested:

“…There are two dimensions to you—to who you are—one that you are very familiar with—the person—the personal entity with a past and a future, ….including the physical body—the entity of ME—its life situation. That is usually the limit to people’s perceptions of themselves, not realizing that there is a deeper dimension in them that is…the Light of Consciousness—so that any moment you are both a person and you are the Light of lightofconsciousness6.jpgConsciousness that has nothing to do with your person or personal history….when the Light of Consciousness predominates over the personal sense of self, I call that being Present. There is a presence which you cannot touch or see or make into an object of consciousness. ….Because the Presence is an eternal subject not an object to your consciousness. …

“So in any situation—in the NOW—when you can sense the Presence rather than the personal, ….who are you really? Are you the Light of Consciousness seeing others around you without judgment, …or can you only operate as the Person of YOU with your psychological makeup—your sense of limited perception?  How do you feel, ….how do you sense, …the deeper Consciousness itself (of which you are only a minute part)?… At preeentmomentallthis moment (when you are in Presence) your problems have NO reality… you have only Presence. Therefore, you have no problem. …(Only when you start thinking about things do you perceive ‘problems’.  Problems do not exist in Presence. There may be situations and interactions occurring, ..but that is only what they are…situations and interactions occurring around you, …you can observe them in Presence. When you judge them and designate them as deleterious to you, then you make them ‘problems.’)

“The transcendent dimension can be experienced at any time as the simple powerful fact of the Light of Consciousness that you are.  …before the Light of Consciousness turns into a thought.  ..So you transcend your life situation and see your life situation as a timeless self immersed in the Light of Consciousness.  ..So then you can either be present or you can be immersed in your own stuff (that you judge and perceive as problems).

“…You carry the world inside your head with you,…so you cannot escape it. So you must bring the Presence into your daily existence so you can see thru the gaps in your daily life and simply be the Light of Consciousness… simply BE the Presence (without judgment or emotion).   When you are lost in your thoughts, you are lost in an illusory state of existence …unaware of who you really are.  livein now ekWhen you are Present, you can sense the peace of who you are in essence …you are not totally trapped in the personal sense of self.  A simple sense perception can take you out of your (thinking) mind and into your sense of just being.  This is when you can occupy two dimensions simultaneously: the formed and the formless—the personal and the Light of Consciousness itself.

“The fact that you are conscious at this moment is beyond doubt, but anything else could be a dream. …When you can know yourself as that Light of Consciousness (recognizing the illusory matter you call LIFE for the illusion that it is), …it is called self-realizationdeath and die ek

“You are the LIGHT from the projector, ….NOT the projection on the screen,…you are just the light.

“Challenges may distract us from our Presence, ….but then we wake up again to who we really are, …the Light of Consciousness, ..(not the projected image on the screen, ….we are just the Light behind it).

evolution ofconsciousness.jpg“We may experience challenging situations, but we do NOT have to suffer because of them, …because suffering is a choice. Suffering is how we choose to view any situation. Things happen to us, yes, …but SUFFERING because of those situations, is optional.”

 

“It’s wonderful to see you liberated from your personality.  To simply be your Presence without your rigid thought patterns or beliefs, …that is to be liberated.  And as you awaken there is a freedom in that, even though you may have your own particular characteristics, ….there is a transcendent consciousness that persists through it. That is who you are.”

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“The Neurophysiology of Spiritual Guidance”

dr stephanie mines.jpgDr. Stephanie Mines in this TEDx Talk video says that “Clear (spiritual) guidance is an integrated, holistic neuro-chemical phenomenon that forever transforms the individual who experiences it, recalibrating the nervous system.” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQOAxT8llto )

Mines is a psychologist who describes herself as “an advocate to clearing personal and collective trauma by unburdening the overwhelmed nervous system.”  She has a clinic and offers training in what is called The TARA Approach, which is an energy-releasing practice, such as releasing the trapped energies of shock or trauma for clients.

In this particular TED talk she elaborates on how to become more intuitive and Neuro+Resiliency.pngspiritually guided in your life: “Let your body become the tuning fork for harmonious efforts…(to make this a better world). …  (Spiritual) Guidance will tell you YOUR role …. Let guidance come to you. Accept it without regret. …Track your sensations carefully. … In that space between assumptions and conclusions, something new is waiting—that is guidance.  Guidance will cause you to give up the life you had planned and replace it with the life you are meant to live. …And you will accept that without regret.  And that will surprise you. ..It is in that very surprise that you know that guidance has found you. ”

Guidance is an expansive softening, whereas compulsion is tight and compressive.  True guidance always allows free will and brings a felt sense of spaciousness.  It feels good. …There is joy in the experience of guidanceGuidance is an organic, utterly human phenomenon. It thrives in the presence of creativity and honesty. …”

“Our task is to find it (TRUE Spiritual Guidance) and surrender to it.”

She is also a very vocal ecology advocate: “We all have the capacity to attune to the spiritual forces that are convening now at the crossroads of time. A call has already gone out from the Guardians of the Earth. Can you hear it? Please, don’t let anything interfere with the reclamation of your personal guidance. This is your whole priority.”

taraapproach3While this specific TED Talk video was focused on developing the ability to listen to your higher guidance and act from that direct knowing, I guess I’m more amazed at the multitude of folks working on their own in the world—folks that I was so unaware even existed, just doing their own versions of trying to help others in some way. Evidently Dr. Mines with her TARA Approach, mixes psychology with energy work to help clients get in tune with their own bodies to first recognize and then eliminate the energetic trauma packets still affecting the client’s energy field (and physical body).

As a REIKI teacher and practitioner, I can easily relate to this approach because during REIKI sessions when I am working on someone who tells me of a particularly sore or painful area on their body and I put my hands over that area (and I don’t even have to touch them), I can sometimes feel the flavor of the emotional sensation trapped in that area (like sadness, or fear, or anger, etc.).

I can kinesthetically FEEL them because they are energetic vibrations that my emotional body recognizes, plus I may get visual images in my mind of a scene in which the client and others participated. When I ask the client what this image that I’m seeing means to them, along with explaining the accompanying emotion that I’m feeling with the scene, they suddenly know what that body pain is and who it was directed at.

Then when we work through releasing the stuck energy in that part of the client’s body/energy field, the original pain washes away like magic. It’s amazing. I’ve actually seen it happen.vortex knots

So I understand what Dr. Mines is doing even if I don’t know exactly how she’s approaching it. Trauma and shock are disharmonious energies that are tangled in the client’s energy field that disrupt the natural energy flow through the body. If that energy flow is disrupted long enough, then health problems arise.

The point of the therapy, whether with REIKI or whatever Dr. Mines is doing, is to find the problem area, acknowledge what the client’s association and connections are to that problem, and then to clear them from the client’s energy field and body. Then the body can reestablish a more harmonious energy flow which leads to better physical/emotional health.

taraclimatechangeThe other main thing Dr. Mines seems to be focused on is the ecological crisis at present and to bringing increased awareness to resolving that. To that effort I wish her the best of luck and hope that this renewed publicity of critical ecological situations can get people activated to become climate advocates themselves.

Lots of folks are doing lots of positive things in the world. Why not join them?

 

Predictions for Year 2018

2018predict.jpg

 

“Hey ya, hey ya, …right here folks. Get your 2018 Predictions…hot off the psychic!”

Might be funny if it weren’t so true that folks are looking for what the future holds for everyone in general, but especially what the future holds for them personally.

I know.  I’ve listened to my favorite astrologer predicting that 2018 will look a whole lot like 2017 in terms of chaos and uncertainty. But he seems to think that we, as a collective consciousness, are “birthing” something new—a NEW perspective—a NEW attitude—a NEW enlightened state of being.

I hope he’s right. That would be nice.

It would be nice if it means that people will stop being so cruel to each other—stop being so greedy and selfish.

But as I imagine, that wish is more along the lines of what His Holiness the Dalai Lama said awhile back when asked about ‘praying for peace’, something to the effect that ‘Praying is nice but it won’t change anything because it isn’t GOD that is creating the problem here—it is people creating the problem; and people have to want to change for the better. So take responsibility for your role in all the chaos and violence—be more loving toward others and be at peace to spread peace.’dalai-lama-quotes4.jpg

So with that thought in mind, my prediction for the New Year of 2018 is that this ONE person of ME, will try to do that very thing: To be more loving toward others, and to be at peace to spread peace.

Let’s make 2018 the year that it all turned around for the better.

Yeah!  No matter how improbable that might be—let’s do it!

The Return of the LIGHT

title lightreturn.jpg

Happy Winter Solstice!

For those who follow the sun’s light strength and earth’s progress around her, we in the northern hemisphere welcome the return of the LIGHT. Meaning that from this day forward until June 21, the hours of daylight north of the equator will steadily increase until additional hours of light are gained in a day. Then it slowly reverses for six months to the light equivalent of yesterday.

Faulty perceptions aside, over the year it isn’t really that the sun changes position in the globe of hours.jpgsky, as much as it is the earth, on its tilted axis, positions us to receive more sunlight during this particular phase of earth’s 365 day rotation path around her. That’s a very important distinction of reality over appearances—true facts verses creative justifications for behavior.

The sun does not revolve around us although it might seem that way each dawn and twilight. WE revolve around the sun because this is NOT an earth-centric universe.  That theory was tossed around the time of the flat-earth debunking.  But for some strange reason some folks just prefer to believe untruths for the personal or psychological benefits that they may provide them.

However for the many of us who prefer truth, this RETURN OF THE LIGHT DAY is a happy one, especially to those of us desperate to find a reason to celebrate any change for the better in today’s world.

To agrarian societies, the extra sunlight and warmth meant the coming of planting season and the renewal of warm-weather food sources to easier sustain the people and animals. And to those who suffered during winter’s bitterness, it meant a greater chance of survival and the means to sustain the tribe’s procreation efforts.

So to those people with limited means who lived close to the land—those who most depended on earth’s bounty to fill their bellies and warm their bodies—the sun’s light strength meant everything; and days such as today with the winter solstice signaling a return to lengthened daylight hours and warmer temperatures, would give hopeful winter solstice blue.jpgreasons to celebrate the chance of better days to come.

On this day I hold that thought in my mind.

I celebrate today as the beginning of the RETURN OF THE LIGHT in all aspects of our existence—hopefully also the RETURN OF TRUTH AND HONESTY in all human endeavors—and the RETURN OF INTEGRITY to individuals who seem to have lost theirs for the possibility of personal gain.

Perhaps there are those still existing in our present world who cannot be bought by promises of personal advancement and material gain.

If there are, we need them to step forward now while the LIGHT grows the strongest. That is our greatest chance to overcome the spreading darkness of this deception-focused time period in the history of our nation.

We, as a growing tribe of Lightworkers, have an opportunity now to accept the challenge of creating a brighter day ahead. Let’s celebrate the return of the LIGHT on this day, and accelerate the return of truth and integrity to all aspects of government affairs.

earth in handsLet’s honor with joy and love those folks who serve quietly with dignity and respect, to make this a better world for all of us.  Bless them for their sacrifice and determination. Bless them for their dedication. Bless them for their higher aspirations and their intentions to make life better for everyone—and I mean EVERYONE—not just the top 1% of wealth-holders.

Those folks who daily battle darkness and depravity are the true Lightworkers. They revere the Light—they revere TRUTH.

Without a doubt they are my heroes. I celebrate their LIGHT.

I celebrate OUR united Light. Let it strongly shine and strengthen with each new day forward.

Happy Winter Solstice!lightflashing

PEACE and LOVE to all from the Tribe of LIGHT.

The Beautiful Mystery

This title could be referring to LIFE itself, but here it refers to a book I just finished by Louise Penny called The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.beautiful mystery.jpg

Why I mention it is because it describes a fictional, secluded Canadian monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups (Saint Gilbert Among the Wolves) where an ancient order of Gilbertine monks reside and produce the most transcendent Gregorian chants imaginable in the modern world.

The book was okay—no literary masterpiece, but it did inspire me to look for my old CD of Gregorian Chants just to recall hearing the actual sounds of harmonious devotion sung in lower keys.

No luck.  Not even in Billy Joel’s hidden location. So I went online to Amazon to hear a few samples just to remember the vibrational feel of the monk’s chanting. Back when I first purchased my set of Gregorian Chants, I remembered them as interesting, but not awe-inspiring or ephemerally transcendent—or trance inducing as the book had claimed. I’m sure if they had been, I’d still be listening to them.

But I was at least inspired to keep playing Amazon samples of various Gregorian chants and other choral music until I heard some that did feel more ascendant and heavenly. ericwhitacher gold.jpgHowever, they weren’t Gregorian. They were in Eric Whitacher’s hauntingly-beautiful choral album called Light and Gold.

Check that out on Amazon if you get a chance. The very first song sample sold me. It was called “Lux Aurumque” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs) .  This Virtual Choir has to be the most amazing thing in the world. The sound on the album Light and Gold is beyond ethereal, but the YouTube version is pretty close to it as well.

Just wanted to share that little discovery I made today with anyone if interested.

This time of year with our political situation in the states, we need all the ethereal assistance we can muster to shift our energies higher and beyond the level of these far lesser beings controlling our world.

Second Part on Pat Ogden, PhD from the S & P Summit

I wanted to complete this Pat Ogden review before more “info” comes through that I feel compelled to share. As mentioned in my earlier review of the summit itself, one of the patogden 5.jpgthings I liked most about some of these spiritual psychotherapy approaches was the more collaborative methods of therapy between client and therapist.  Pat Ogden was a main example of that.

Her stated belief was that you must trust your client’s inner wisdom (which the client may not be overtly aware of) to desire to heal non-harmonious aspects of themselves, so there is no need to push or force change with the client. You simply allow what needs to change to unveil itself as you work together. But you need to create a safe-haven (a safe and comfortable environment) for the work to unfold.

She believed in the principles of mindfulness and presence, meaning that mindfulness is an actual state of consciousness—where the observer and the observed are united within that state of mind; while presence is a state of beingness.

Being mindful is the ability to focus awareness within and outside the person all at same time, which is desirable at times, but it actually prevents you from being fully present in the body.  Mindfulness may be more the out-of-body experience while being present, is being well-grounded and right here, right now.

traumainterventions.jpgOgden’s work is a unity-focused therapy of client and therapist working together for better client outcomes.  She uses language reflective of the intention of unity— lak’ech-“I am another you.”   It’s a collaborative language of “we”ness in the client’s discovery process where you give the client an option, a say in what they will do together to help the client.  Frame it for them in ways that are easy to understand, and then give them the chance to say yes or no, let’s pursue that suggested exploration or let’s wait a week or so before we do.

Her focus is on holism. Her Sensorimotor Psychotherapy goal is to harness the wisdom of the body to liberate human potential, and the body holds tremendous potential for sensoimotor psy.jpgwisdom. She simply says to honor the intelligence of the body. Watch how a client is presenting herself.  What is the body language stating that the spoken words are not? Hunched shoulders means she is holding fear….so ask about that body message you are seeing.  “Why are you sitting so scrunched together? Are you hiding within yourself or unconsciously defending yourself from something you perceive around you?…Is there something you are afraid of—something you fear about this situation or about exploring those memories? Let’s get it out and look at it. Let’s see if it truly is threatening or just seemed that way for awhile.” (paraphrased)

She says one of the greatest gifts you can ever give is helping the client discover important things about themselves—what is meaningful to them.  Her goal is to help reveal the client to themselves—it’s all about self-discovery.

Ogden avoids diagnosis of a client and especially labeling them with a disorder because they too readily identify with the diagnosis and then become it.  Her stated example was Dissociative Identity Disorder…. It may not be a good thing to call someone this. It limits them—limits how they perceive themselves.

She believes in non-violent approaches. Don’t try to force a client toward an outcome. They resist and it may not be the right outcome anyway. Try another way if possible—make it more exploratory.  A lot of this involves more “undoing” bodypatternsthan doing—unlearning old ways of thinking and being, to allow new ones to emerge.

In her practice mindfulness is a critical skill that supports our way of being, and supports the importance of presence.  When we are focused on our bodies by using our minds to assess what we are feeling in the moment, and when we examine how we are executing the actions that we take in our lives, it establishes the principle of self-engagement. These are all building blocks of the “being present” experience.

Teaching clients how to pay attention to their own bodies and to learn to recognize their own body cues is important for recognizing what the body is telling them it actually needs for optimum mental and physical health. The client might misinterpret a current situation as to whether or not it is threatening, so you look for the natural body cues as to what their body, not their mind, is saying about it?bodyleadsushome.jpg

Helping clients look for their own body-reactions in situations helps them learn what is really happening to them as opposed to what is simply being triggered by a childhood memory, etc.   How we organize our experience—those earliest patterns of inner organization—are often how we first see a situation; and it starts with how we felt about a similar situation in our childhood—like whether or not we felt helplessness or fearfulness in that similar situation.

She believes that if we go in deeply enough to the inner depths of the client, the client’s natural higher consciousness will spontaneously reorganize them toward health.  Uncovering what is emotionally hiding within the client and preventing them from realizing their wholeness allows them to self-reveal and then to self-heal.

She simply becomes a container for love for the client—holding them in acceptance and process until their health is revealed.po7.jpg

Interesting lady, Pat Ogden. Good interview.

Thanks Sounds True for this psychotherapy/spirituality summit.

How to Reset the Mind

As I mentioned previously, new info sources are really flowingdeepak2.jpg before me now. Saw an article this morning by Deepak Chopra, MD, who most everyone on the planet who is and has been into spirituality for the last 20 years, knows in some way.

I’ll post a few way-too-long excerpts before I make my own comments:

 “Does the Human Mind Need a Fresh Start?” By Deepak Chopra, MD

In SF Gate – On November 20, 2017

https://www.deepakchopra.com/blog/article/5915?sso_code=eyJpdiI6IlNPZHBsUDljdUZZcHpwUFpRZlFcLytBPT0iLCJ2YWx1ZSI6IkZFY245OUFGNGQwWHlLcXQ3Vm8zXC9UMjBYTlR6YlJLTXJHb0tXWGM4N1dOWTc1Z1lIbmR4ZnkrXC91cWU3Y1hSaW9kcERCdmNsUE5EdENnbzNXRUhtbWcwVk5EZUF0Z3Yza25YV1BlSlYzWDQ9IiwibWFjIjoiN2NmMWI0OGZhYTUyZTFjMDk4ZDlhNjMxMjE4YjZhNzlkZDY5OGM3NWY1ZDE4MWE5MDc1MDUyZGMzNWJkZTU3ZSJ9

“Most people would agree, even without a degree in psychology, that many if not most problems are created by the mind. …

resetmind“Medicine aims to relieve people of mental distress, with the goal of addressing a mood disorder like depression, for example, and returning the mind to a normal state. But this only highlights our confusion over what “normal” means, because there are plenty of ills created by people who would pass the test for normality. …

“It isn’t the brain that has created such misery and confusion, such lack of self-awareness; therefore, neuroscience and psychotropic drugs aren’t going to save us. It’s the mind’s status in everyday life that lies at the heart of the dilemma.  Here are the basic areas of confusion and conflict that remain unsolved.

  • Is human nature changeable? If so, why is history a litany of the same oppression, war, and strife repeated century after century?
  • Are we inherently good or evil? Where do good and evil come from?
  • Is the unconscious a dark, fearful realm or the source of inspiration, insight, and love?
  • Why is it so difficult to curb the tendency toward anger, fear, envy, and insecurity that lies just beneath the surface when people are put under stress?
  • Why are whole populations addicted to us-versus-them thinking? What makes common humanity so feeble in comparison?
  • Finally, why is it so difficult to find happiness? Is happiness ultimately a fleeting state, a blip in an existence ruled by every kind of unhappiness?

“One reason that these questions remain unanswered is that modern society has devised no kind of answer that seems to fit. These aren’t medical questions, nor are they within the domain of scientific problems.  Psychology as currently practiced is about relieving the mental distress of people who need it, not diagnosing and treating “normal” people. Philosophy and religion are on the wane so drastically that they have little influence, and it’s not clear whether religion in particular is part of the problem or part of the solution. Secularism based on reason has its advantages in dispelling myth and superstition, but rational, dispassionate science gave us atomic weapons and ever-more-lethal means of mechanized death. ….lifechange.jpg

“These vexing problems aren’t being laid out to sound gloomy, but to place a proposition on the table, the proposition that the human mind needs a fresh start. This is the only path to redefining what it means to be human. Despite the evolutionary argument that would make us prisoners of the past (violent because of the lower brain, predacious because of the need to compete for food and mating rights, afraid because of the need for continual defense in the harshness of natural surroundings, etc.), there is an equal argument for free will, higher consciousness, our so-called better angels, loving kindness, and everything else one associates with enlightened humanity. …

“No one doubts that such qualities exist, and they too are mind-created. So at bottom we aren’t talking about the human mind, or human nature, as inherently evil, ignorant, and self-destructive. Instead, the human mind and human nature are divided, and the division exists in everyone. Realizing this fact, most of the solutions to human ills come down to the same thing: coaxing people to identify with the positive side of human nature and denying or releasing themselves from the negative side. …

“In this case it refers to the mind but not to the totality of awareness—that’s the clue to a workable solution to the divisions created by the mind. Awareness is the foundation of thought but it isn’t a thought. It is the foundation of good and bad behavior, positive and negative impulses, but awareness doesn’t behave or feel impulsive. By analogy, awareness is like color. Horrible and beautiful images use color, but color itself isn’t horrible or beautiful by nature. …

“This single fact allows us to know ourselves in a new way, to give the mind a fresh start. Everything we call innate about the mind is conditioned, learned, constructed, inherited, reinforced, and struggled against. …

universalconsciousness3.jpg“It is inevitable that consciousness wants to know itself, unlike the mind, which spends endless time and energy not knowing itself. The inevitability of consciousness is the second greatest insight of the world’s wisdom traditions—let’s see how it expresses itself in our time.”

***

Ok, ….so aside from the fact that I wish Deepak would condense his article a bit more into a few specific thoughts to explore rather than defining the entire human condition in one blog post, the key point I got from it was all of humanity’s problems stem from our conditioned responses to every aspect of the world that we inhabit, and that we need to reset our minds to change the inevitable conclusion that we default to, which is our being preprogrammed for violence and self-preservation.  (“You want to be good—then stop being bad” sort of thinking.)

The main questions that he raises here on humanity’s potential for changing itself are important ones to consider further:

  • “Is human nature changeable?
  • Are we inherently good or evil?
  • Is the unconscious a dark, fearful realm or the source of inspiration, insight, and love?
  • Why is it so difficult to curb the tendency toward anger, fear, envy, and insecurity that lies just beneath the surface when people are put under stress?
  • Why are whole populations addicted to us-versus-them thinking?
  • Why is it so difficult to find happiness?”

Here are MY bullet points pertaining to that:

  • I’m sure that every therapist in existence today makes a living dealing with those same key issues.
  • Self-help gurus make their fortunes providing palatable answers and working solutions to those same questions for the crowds who follow them.
  • Philosophers and theologians have staked their life’s work on providing theses and institutional hypotheticals pertaining to the countering of man’s innate badness tendencies with man’s potential qualities for goodness.
  • There are real-world ego/financial-based reasons shown above that may stymie genuine progress in evolving mankind’s earth-based consciousness.

everyconsciousne.jpgAnd if I understood what Deepak was trying to explain, he is saying that “consciousness” (here meaning the Great Awareness—Universal Existence—GOD) is the infinitely larger reservoir of ALL THERE IS TO KNOW, while the human mind is more finite and self-focused on its own perpetuating state of existence within the human vessel.

So when we can expand our awareness beyond the limited self and tap into the larger UNIVERSAL AWARENESS consciousness, we have the potential for changing the human condition and humanity itself for the future.

At least I hope that’s what he was saying.meditationsit.jpg

He’s been pushing meditation and spiritual transcendence for decades, so focusing on connecting into the Higher Aspect Consciousness is his suggestion to resetting the human mind to recognize its potential for goodness and maximum co-creativity for our world.

But retraining ourselves also involves lengthy undoing of previous training (from our infancy onward by parents, teachers, religions, peers, media, etc.). That’s why there are so many practicing psychotherapists, and I bet they do way more untraining than retraining.

reset button

Too bad we aren’t like our computers in that respect. You hit the reset button with your fingers crossed and your mouth held just right, and hope for the best.