Messy Thoughts

Things I learned watching Saved by the Bell

Growing up in the late 80’s & early 90’s, I spent several Saturday mornings watching various cartoons, along with a show called ‘Saved by the Bell’. This show took place at a fictional high school in Southern California called ‘Bayside’. Zack Morris, the lead character, would often pause to narrate/talk to the audience, allowing us to see his perspectives, thoughts, along with the various schemes he would concoct as the show unfolded.
Every week the show would tackle a new theme, and lessons would be learned, all in the span of the 20-30 minute episode. One of the episode lessons that stuck with me came from the show’s spin off series – Saved by the Bell The College Years. In one episode Zack is enrolled in a Cultural Anthropology Class, and is given a challenge/opportunity from his professor. If successful, it will result in him receiving a B grade without the requirement of any future class attendance. The question posed to Zack is ‘What do Women Want?’
Zack begins his assignment by utilizing his opportunity to hit on various women throughout the college. Not coming any closer to the answer he seeks, he begins to stop hitting on the women he is interviewing, and develops a genuine interest in discovering an answer to the question ‘What do Women Want?’ However, upon reviewing his ‘field-work’ findings with his Prof. Zack admits to being more confused then ever stating ‘I couldn’t find the one thing that all women want… I guess they are just like guys, they want a lot of different things.’
Even though I was presented the answer to this question, personally, it wasn’t until several years, and failed relationships later that I truly understood the meaning it conveyed. In the past, when I would get upset with an aspect of a particular ‘woman’, I would often then proceed to project that attitude/belief onto all women. But what good does that do, other than putting individuals into our nice tidy little predictable self-created boxes.
Fast-forward just over 20 years and we can see that much has changed since the ‘Bayside’ era. For one, far less people are wearing neon, pastels and parachute pants. The modern day lines, between ‘men’ and ‘women’ have become significantly blurred with the rise of recent freedoms in gender identity. It now poses a re-visit or a re-frame to the question – ‘What do Women Want?’
Try this on for size. Instead of asking ‘What do Women Want?’ re-state the question – ‘What does Jennifer Want?’ or ‘What does Amy Want?’ or Mike or Steve, Rachael, or Shaniqua. Notice the change? With this simple re-frame we are no longer objectifying the person… no longer making them, a sex, a gender, a religion, a belief, a race, or a creed. We can now look at the essence of the other in their ‘presence’ and any pre-conceived notions, and assumptions we may have had, soon begin to fade away.
-Wes Paterson

The Paperclip Principle

Back when I was in college I worked part-time as a Lifeguard. It was the greatest job I ever had, I was essentially paid to watch people swim. Another aspect of the job involved teaching, mostly children, to swim. One day my co-worker was teaching a 9 year-old girl the front crawl stroke, when he noticed something interesting. When the child held onto a flutter board, she could perform the stroke flawlessly. However, as soon as the board was taken away, she would panic and sink. Given back the board, she would once again perform a flawless stroke.

Experimenting, my co-worker began to switch out different items for the child to hold. First he gave her a lifejacket, then a ball, and finally a small rubber duck. Every time she held an item, she was able to perform the stroke, and every time the item was removed, she would sink. He then gave the child a small plastic paperclip, and once again she could perform the stroke.

As a child, one of my favorite movies was the Disney movie Dumbo. Dumbo was a young elephant with big floppy ears that soon became a social outcast amongst his immediate peer group. After being kicked out of the circus, Dumbo meets up with a jive bunch of crows that provide him with a ‘magic feather’ giving Dumbo the ability to fly. Dumbo then returns to the circus and proceeds to jump off a platform, clutching the feather in his trunk. As he falls, the feather slips out of his grasp and Dumbo is required (forced) to believe in himself and flight is once again achieved.

Have you ever tried swimming with a paperclip? It is not easy. In fact, it requires a great degree of concentration to avoid dropping it in the water. It is far easier to swim without holding a paperclip in your hands. Yet all of us have ‘paperclips’ that we use day in and out to help us perform various activities. Some of these are practical tools, such as cell phones, computer software, day planners, etc. Other people engage in positive ‘acts’ or ‘rituals’ such as affirmations, physical activity, healthy diet, and getting enough sleep throughout the night. Still, there are those of us that will take on a negative behavior, such as drugs and alcohol, and will still, at least for a short while, gain positive benefits from their use. This will often later present itself in negative aspect for the user.

What are the paperclips in your life? Which ones are beneficial? Which ones are detrimental? When I ask these questions of myself and spend some quiet time in personal reflection, I begin to build awareness around what is causing me to act in a certain way. I also begin to release quasi ‘crutches’, or ‘security blankets’ that may be causing me to avoid ‘claiming’ my own personal power. Once personal power is owned, we can then begin to actively build and create the lives of our choosing. We are then able to release the paperclip and swim, let go of the feather, and fly!

-Wes Paterson

Why Should We Muscle Test

Muscle-testing has been a craze since the 60’s and the sky is the limit. If you can figure out how to apply a stressor to the body and test it afterward, you’ve just figured out the easiest way to get your own body to talk to you.

The more important question, I have found, is to ask WHY that works.

And we can actually look to physics for that answer.

Everything we see in our world is made up of matter. Tiny atoms that are electrically charged and hold together with what we call ‘electromagnetism’. Compared to gravity, electromagnetism is much stronger … and just like gravity, we can’t see it but we can become aware of the effects, or results, it has on us.

The truly neat thing about living organisms, such as ourselves, is that we have a bio-electromagnetic field. What makes us different than the chairs we sit on, for example, is that we have this incredible ability to generate (or even degenerate) electricity within our bodies. Our iron-rich environment and the blood in our bodies (which contains iron too) not only make us magnets, but we act as conduits as well. Every time we cut through the magnetic field of something else, we get charged. Even the simple act of breathing does this … for without it, we’d die in our sleep. The more we move, the more energy we have.

We call it resonance when we become aware of an external force … favourable or not, it often matches the current electromagnetic field we have. Since our electromagnetic field has a biological component and it changes, external forces or environments are also subject to change. For the most part, we never think about it. This is how we develop habits.

When we use muscle-testing in our world, we can essentially check to make sure that any stressor, such as food or supplements, is either beneficial or detrimental. When the muscle is tested and it’s strong, your physical body benefits from it. When the muscle is tested and it’s weak, your physical body will continue to breakdown if you continue to use that stressor. The same can be said for your behaviours, your coping mechanisms, your emotions and your thoughts.

“You have to have the courage to be who you really are in order to match the frequency of what would come to you naturally”

– Mandy Lee Metz