Joe Dispenza’s Progressive Workshop – Review

When I first read Joe Dispenza’s book, Breaking the Habit, it gave me a scientific perspective on a concept that was becoming familiar: that the mind and what we give our attention to matters. A lot. For everything.

Both this book and his follow up, You are the Placebo, explains how to improve your dominion over mind and body by doing an Eminem, and just losing yourself. Losing your identity, to be precise. 

Sensing the importance of applying this knowledge in my life, and knowing how sketchy my willpower when it comes to things like meditation (the main tool in ‘making your mind matter’), I attended one of Joe’s progressive workshops in Mexico City.

I suppose if you had to put a category on it, you would say Joe specializes in change and transformation. Many people find their way to his work due to difficulty overcoming a chronic health condition, or else have some kind of personal mental barriers to overcome. Some like me were there out of curiosity I guess, and a vague sense of feeling limited somehow.

Overall, I’d say that although his method of delivery might not be to everyone’s tastes (although I didn’t have that issue), his message is relevant for every single one of us.

How so?

Our minds are limited by our past experiences and emotions, which have created an invisible boundary around what’s possible for us.

Without actively ‘removing’ this past-element to our thinking, making any kind of lasting change is ultra challenging. 

Joe’s method, which is simple but not easy, and that he has developed through extensive research and practical experience treating patients (he’s a chiropractor), shows you how. 

stuff I learned at the Progressive Workshop weekend 

What follows are just some hopefully digestible tidbits from the weekend with Joe.

It isn’t a replacement for actually attending, but it should give you an idea of what you are in for if you are thinking of enrolling. 

lesson one: the source of all emotional stress is what we choose to focus on 

This is one of the central messages. We act like we aren’t really powerful in creating our state of health (both mind and body) – but actually we are.

When we do attempt to create change, our bodies and minds will fight us every step of the way. That is because fundamentally we are addicted to our negative emotions. Plus, change is scary. For this reason, the most important qualities that we can have if we do want to create change is resilience and consistency. It’s like that Winston Churchill quote: we have to never, ever, ever give up.

We have to be totally unreasonable (with ourselves).

Dr Joe demonstrated how all emotional stress – anxiety, depression, etc. – is a preoccupation with either the past or future, and an inability to find the present moment. And how we can turn on our stress response by thought alone. This creates disease in the body.

Our greatest healing mechanism, our most important commodity, is our attention Click To Tweet

Our standard ways of thinking and trying to make change – where we control and predict outcomes – creates a highly incoherent brain. Emotional incoherence creates disease in the body. The only way to restore order and let the automatic nervous system bring the body into balance is to improve this brain processing.

The process of creating coherence (explained below) isn’t an intellectual process – it’s a visceral one. For this reason, very analytical minds may struggle the most with doing this work. You need to learn to suspend your attachment to the rational plane a little bit.

lesson two: we use our external circumstances to give validity to internal beliefs

This is a little tricky to get your head around. Dr Joe showed us how we use others and the conditions of our life to reaffirm our emotional addictions. So say you’re addicted to feeling insecure. You’ll get into relationships with those that will reflect that back to you. Your partner might treat you badly and flirt with other people, etc. If you wasn’t addicted to the feeling, it wouldn’t happen.

We use the circumstances of our lives to reaffirm our emotional addictions Click To Tweet

When you have removed all of your emotional addictions (through changing your mind), previously challenging people and things lose their charge.

lesson three: the ‘normal’ way to create change is doomed to fail

When we are living in the dimensions of time, body and space, we try to create change ‘the hard way’. We apply for jobs, we join dating sites. We do everything ‘right’ but we do not to do the important thing, which is to address the underlying mind state and thinking that created the conditions of our lives.

lesson four: we have to become ‘no-thing’

To heal the body with thought alone, or to create a new experience (‘personal reality’) or transcend your predictable future, you have to become thought alone.

You are going from ‘something’ (your identity which is based on the past) to ‘nothing’ (consciousness alone) to ‘everything’ (infinite possibility).

This is why meditation is necessary. When we meditate, we shut off our external environments. We become not our bodies, but consciousness running through our bodies.

Every time you meditate, you elevate your brain processing and improve your ability to direct your attention Click To Tweet

You probably won’t ‘cure’ yourself with three meditations. But every time you shut off your outer environment to go inner, you will bring this state of being closer to you.

You can’t think your way through this process, so don’t even try. Just work with knowing the truth that your perception is inherently limited, and that in order to change you need to move beyond yourself. 

lesson five: How to create a new personality reality (‘fifth dimension creating’)

When you combine a clear intention with a raised emotional state, you are then creating the right conditions for an improved personal reality. 

Change happens when we combine a clear intention with a raised emotional state. Repeatedly Click To Tweet

The important part isn’t outcomes as you imagine them (i.e. your new job, relationship, or cured health). If you can imagine the exact result, then you are limiting yourself.

Instead, focus on being clear on what you want to create, and identifying the desired emotional states. After you have become ‘no-thing’, you teach your body how you would feel emotionally if you had the experience that you are seeking, now.

The process is this: (1) you write down exactly what you want. (2) You write down the emotions. (3) You invest your energy and attention at the end of your meditations ‘into’ that new future (i.e. you ‘feel’ what you want to experience).

There is one final part: you surrender your desires to the unknown. Make room for the results of your more coherent state of being to come unexpectedly (that’s when you know they have come from a ‘new’ mind).

What I got most from doing this work

As a person that has already done a lot of work around self limiting beliefs, being on the weekend reminded me that there are always more. The day after the course ended, I found myself writing reams of them. About my work, my relationships, my family – you name it. 

Attending this course really underlined the gravity of the creation situation for me. Getting ‘into state’ is not something that is nice to have. It is daily work, a commitment that needs to go right at the top of the ‘important’ pile. If you want a life that works, that is. 

Getting 'into state' is not a 'nice to have'. We have got to do this every damned day Click To Tweet

It was great to get ultra clear on the mechanics of creating possibility from ‘no-thing’ – listing exactly what you want and identifying the emotions. Because most of us ordinarily do not live like we actually have control over what we want, we do not take the time to drill down on what it is. It is a massively fun process – like designing your life should be.

And in terms of the actual event – it is just always utterly humbling to be around people that are taking themselves on (overcoming themselves) at that level.

six steps you can start doing now

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  • Become aware of what you are giving attention to. That is the most creative energy in the universe and you are investing it somewhere.
  • Spend 10-15 minutes each day meditating until you are ‘no-thing’. Be unreasonable with yourself about it. Don’t get up from your med until you have transcended body and mind.
  • Take one thing you want to create in life, and list exactly its attributes. Identify the corresponding emotions.
  • At the end of your meditations, feel those emotions. When you do this, you are priming your body to escape its limits and confines (past). 
  • Throughout day, become aware of when you are not being present and bring your awareness back to the present moment.
  • Practice gratitude (for what you currently have, and the future reality that is already yours in mind). Do this daily. It has a powerful emotional signature. 

For more information and resources including downloadable meditations, check out Joe’s site.