Open-Up! Six Steps to Getting Unstuck and Move Forward in Your Life by T.G Harris
Sit Down and Read
One Line Summary
Make a change right here, right now
Open-Up! by T.G Harris is self-development in a bottle. Just as the title says, it’s a step by step guide in order to make a real, lasting change in your life right now based on deep spiritual and scientific truths.
What is the Open Up method? Pretty simple, it stands for Observation, Permission, Experience, Not-Identifying, Understanding and Putting it into Practice. Each one of these words represent a different step you must complete before moving onto the next.
The purpose of this method is clear: take control of your life via your thinking patterns.
This is a big theme here on Aurum Reviews, so we’ll dive in and see how this method relates to the other material I’ve shared with you guys.
Why it’s Awesome
If someone told you that a single mother with two kids, no job and serious disease turned her life around to become successful, would you believe them?
More importantly, would you believe you could do it?
That’s the story of T.G Harris. She shares an authentic account of her struggles throughout this book, a classic “if I can do it, you can do it too” situation.
And she’s right. People don’t want to hear this because it upsets them, but no one is fundamentally different in their capabilities.
The Open Up method is full of time tested wisdom in order for anyone to make a change. Let me run through each letter briefly.
People would be shocked to realize how many of their problems would simply fall away if they really got a sense of awareness and observation over it, instead of intellectual theory. That’s what this step is all about: observing yourself and your thoughts.
Why is observation the first step to victory? Because you won’t stop doing something until you really see the damage it’s causing you. That’s just the way we’re wired, sorry.
You’ve observed some bad thinking/behavior patterns. The next step is you got to give yourself permission to let it go.
I often say that everyone gets what they want. This is very true in this case. If someone doesn’t want to drop a habit, they won’t. You have to want it.
Are you open to experiencing all of life? This step is all about experiencing your life fully from a place of objectivity and curiosity.
Many of us close down to certain experiences in life because of pain we experience. Yet those walls often end up being the very thing that causes us to miss out on what we want.
Personally, I know that after a break up with one of my ex-girlfriends I was totally closed down to the idea of getting in a serious relationship. It took me time to finally let that one go, and I can happily say I’m in a great relationship right now.
Every psychological problem you perceive that you have comes from identification.
As Harris explains, negative thinking patterns and our perception of our thinking patterns are two very different things. This is very counter-intuitive, so let me explain.
When you have an angry thought, most people automatically perceive that “I’m angry”. They identify with it. They aren’t able to create a mental space where they can notice an angry thought but not believe it.
For someone who mediates regularly, this becomes very obvious. Thoughts simply fire away with almost no control on your part as you try and quiet the mind. The idea that therefore you “are” these thoughts becomes absurd.
You may not believe that this “not identifying” with your thoughts could be that powerful, but let me share a story.
During my Vispassana meditation retreat, one thing they ask you to do is what’s called Strong Determination Sitting. During these one-hour sits, you are asked to not move at all. If you’ve never tried this, I highly encourage it.
Most of the time, these sits resulted in an extreme amount of physical pain and psychological suffering. Every minute seems like another minute in Hell. However, after many attempts I finally had a breakthrough moment where I disidentified with the pain I was experiencing.
The effect was immediate and intense. Yes, I still was in a lot of physical amount of pain. But psychologically, I was on a beach in the Caribbean because I no longer believed the pain was happening to me. That’s the power of identification.
Of course, what I was doing was the equivalent of extreme training. No one would actually sit through such pain in real life. But the point was I could.
The fact that athletes aren’t taught this blows my mind sometimes. They have to deal with lots of physical pain, and if they were taught these techniques I honestly believe we’d see shocking things happen in the world of sports.
As you make changes to your thinking patterns, it may often feel like there’s a war going on inside you. I know I’ve experiencing this personally. Understanding is about realizing that this battle is taking place and making peace with it.
The reason this is happening is that as you affirm new beliefs, the old beliefs still remain strong and strike back. Neurologically, I believe what is happening at this stage is that different parts of the brain are literally fighting with each other.
It’s a very strange experience to have. Ancient Toltecs referred to this as “the warriors path” because you are much like a warrior. Only the enemy is yourself.
Theory is no good with putting it into action. This last step is about real, tangible practice of the Open Up process.
So there you have it, the O.P.E.N.U.P Method. Harris goes into far more detail in the book than I’ve gone into here, so don’t think what I’ve written is a substitute.
Overall, I think this process is amazing. It covers all the major areas for changing your thinking patterns, and it’s extremely practical. The book doesn’t waste time with endless theory that you’ll never use. It just gets straight into it, which I love.
Why Does It Suck
I don’t have much bad to say about this book. Are there deeper levels of self-development than this? Of course there are. But this is a great start for anyone new to personal development and is looking to make some changes.
The Wrap Up
Harris’s story is compelling and her advice practical. Open Up! will inspire you to make that shift you’ve been wanting to make, and maybe some you didn’t even know you wanted. Highly recommend this book to just about anybody.