Morty Lefkoe is a person I respect and admire deeply, who does amazing work in the field of personal development and empowering people. I want to write about my experience using his methods.
A few decades ago, Morty created the Lefkoe Method, which is a series of processes designed to help people eliminate the beliefs and conditionings that cause fear and other emotional obstacles to happiness and well-being. I became aware of him in 2011, and that year I used his free videos at recreateyourlife.com to try to eliminate some of my beliefs. In those videos, the part that impacted me the most was the “Who am I really?” process. Using that process put me into a very peaceful state of consciousness where I realized that I am something other than the sum of all of my beliefs. It’s a really powerful tool that I would recommend to anyone. I also took a Lefkoe Method training course, where I learned how to facilitate the belief process.
In fall of 2013, I participated in Morty’s 10-week program called the Lefkoe Freedom Course, which was absolutely life-changing for me. The course involved a LOT of work – but it was totally worth it. Here’s what happens in the course:
Every day, for 10 weeks, participants are to discover and write down their “occurrings.” An occurring is a subjective interpretation of an event (at a subconscious level) that one thinks is true. It’s the meaning given to an event. Like a belief, an occurring is an unproven and subjective assertion about reality. Unlike a belief, it’s not necessarily a long-term or recurring one. It could happen just once and never happen again. Another word for an occurring could be an assumption.
In the course, Morty told us to write down an occurring we were having once every waking hour, or at least 14 times a day – saying that the key is repetition. He urged us to set an hourly timer so we wouldn’t forget. I did so, and those first few weeks, there was rarely a shortage of occurrings for me to write down. I was creating meaning all day long, as do most people.
The key to the process is understanding that events themselves do not directly cause our emotions. What does cause the emotion is the meaning we give to events. It goes in this order:
event happens –> meaning (occurring) is created –> emotion is felt
And sometimes, emotion is not felt. It depends on if the subjective meaning has any positive/negative stuff in it.
To illustrate the point, I’ll give fake examples.
Example 1. Event: Bob’s boss calls him into his office.
Meaning Bob gives it: “The boss is going to fire me.”
In this example, Bob had what is called a future projection. All future projections are occurrings. He couldn’t know for sure that he was going to be fired, before it happened. Another example, that takes it further:
Example 2. Event: Melissa doesn’t receive a text from her friend Ann for a full day, even though Ann said she would text.
Meaning Melissa gives it: “Ann is angry with me.”
Emotion Melissa feels from this meaning: none
In this instance, Melissa has drawn conclusions about why Ann hasn’t texted. There is no emotion from this particular occurring (because there’s no ‘sting’ in it… more on what I mean by that, later in the blog), but there IS an emotion when this occurring snowballs and causes an occurring beneath the occurring, because the occurring felt like an event itself:
Example 3. Occurring that feels like Event: Ann is angry with me.
Meaning Melissa gives it: It’s stupid of her to be angry with me, and she shouldn’t be.
Emotion Melissa feels: anger
Now we’re getting somewhere! The meaning of the meaning, which feels like an event itself, produces an emotion. And all from the fact that the friend didn’t text. This is how a mind snowballs – from the one false premise that produces more false premises. “Stupid” and “shouldn’t” are highly charged, subjective words… indicators that a negative emotion, or a judgment of the situation, is present.
It’s important to break down all of these subtleties, because without extracting each individual occurring – all Melissa knows is that she feels angry after Ann doesn’t text, without being able to understand why. These breakdowns help us understand exactly what is triggering the emotions.
So to dissolve the emotion, Melissa can go back to the original premise – the assumption that Ann is angry with her in the first place – and realize that there might be some other reason that she didn’t text. (Lost her phone, forgot to text, etc.) Oftentimes, we can use our emotions to guide us to the occurrings we are having – essentially working backwards to dissolve them.
As the course progressed, we learned more and more ways to notice the meanings we were creating. We were pulling these meanings from our subconscious and into our conscious minds, which requires pausing and introspecting. And Morty made sure to guide us in making sure that our events matched our meanings. 14 times a day, I dissected my thought processes so I could dissolve my negative emotions. And it worked!
Like any other skill, the key is practice, practice, practice. And just as important, practice it correctly. Match events, meanings, and emotions correctly to make it work.
Morty created this course not just to teach this incredibly valuable tool for dissolving negative emotions, but to allow his students to be in a community of growth-oriented people, help each other, and hold each other accountable throughout the course. Every week during the course he holds a webinar that students can participate in, where he goes over the homework assignments and provides guidance. Once a week, students are to post 3-5 events/meanings/emotions they had during the week, in the private online forum – along with any issues they have with dissolving meaning and emotions. During webinars, Morty talks to everyone who is on the call while reviewing their assignments, and gives feedback. Students are also encouraged to provide feedback on each other’s assignments and help each other with issues they are stuck on.
All in all, I have to say that taking this course was a profound experience. I can’t say enough good things about it. A few weeks into the course, because I had practiced so much and done it correctly, I started going through hours at a time where I was creating no meaning at all – it was dissolving itself automatically, before the emotion occurred. And during those times, my mind was completely peaceful. It was the happiest I have ever been.
I’m a pianist, and I liken it to the difference between sight-reading a piece (playing it for the first time, having to think about every note deliberately) and having played a piece so many times that my muscles just remember what to do and my subconscious takes over the process. That’s what it’s like when you practice dissolving meaning enough times that it becomes automatic. Staying in a positive state of mind become effortless.
Morty promises that at the end of the 10-week mental bootcamp, participants will start automatically dissolving meaning to the point where they no longer have to think about it or do it manually – thereby making life so, so much easier. He warned that if we stopped early, we’d slip back into our old mental habits.
And he was right! In my case, during the very last week of the course is when I started getting lazy for some reason I still don’t understand. I was doing less of the work. And, I slipped back into my old mental habits, just as he had warned. Honestly it still kind of haunts me to this day… like what would have happened if I’d have kept going? Still, my mind was blown during that course because I had no idea I could be that happy.
So, my advice to anyone who is interested in taking the course…. seriously, do the work til the bitter end, if you’re going to do it, and don’t make excuses like I did. Do it for a couple weeks after the course ends, just to make sure. Morty also teaches an Advanced Lefkoe Freedom Course, for people who’ve already taken the first one.
Another interesting thing that happened to me during this course is I kept discovering the beliefs I have. I spent a lot of time writing those beliefs down so I could eliminate them later. Some of the beliefs went away on their own, just by noticing them.
I distinctly remember this odd occurring I had during the course, while I was out on a walk.
Event: I see a house with its porch light on.
Occurring: No one is in the house.
It was a really subtle one to catch, because there was no emotion involved to help lead me to it. I realized that I only believed no one was home because when I was growing up, my parents would normally leave the porch light on if they were gone. I didn’t think that anyone would leave a porch light on while they were home and it was daylight, so I assumed no one was home.
I’m thinking about doing a part 2 of this article, where I’ll talk more about some of the subtle meanings I picked up on while doing the course. (They’re more interesting than the porch light one… I promise.)
Until next time,