Martin Messier

September 4, 2023

Stopping your (and your client’s) world

Carlos Castaneda was an American author and anthropologist who wrote a series of books about his experiences studying shamanism with the Yaqui Indian sorcerer, Don Juan Matus. 

One of his most famous stories involves a lesson he learned about "stopping the world." Here's how the story goes:

One day, Castaneda was walking with Don Juan when he suddenly noticed that the world around him seemed to be melting and shifting. Don Juan told him that he had "stopped the world," meaning that he had shifted his perception so that everything appeared different.

Don Juan explained that stopping the world was a technique used by sorcerers to break free from their habitual ways of perceiving the world. By doing so, they could access deeper levels of awareness and perception that would allow them to see and understand things that were normally hidden.

To demonstrate this, Don Juan had Castaneda look at a patch of ground in front of them. At first, Castaneda saw only dirt and rocks. But as he continued to look, he began to notice tiny plants and insects that he had never seen before. He realized that his usual way of perceiving the world had blinded him to these things.

Don Juan then told Castaneda that stopping the world was not just a temporary shift in perception, but a way of life. He encouraged him to continue practicing the technique until he could access deeper levels of awareness on a regular basis.

This story has become one of Castaneda's most famous and is often cited as an example of the power of shamanic practices to transform our perception of the world around us.

Just like "stopping the world," modeling is a practice that transforms our perception of the world around us.

We start to notice tiny behaviors that we had never seen before. And then we realize that our usual way of perceiving the world had blinded us to these things.

Plus, it's the simplest and easiest way of moving clients from a mentality of victimhood to one of taking full responsibility and "protagonizing" their life.

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