When you check out at the supermarket, you pass your items by an optical bar code reader. The bar code reader reads the bar code on the label of the item. A can of cat food might be fifty cents. A can of tuna might be one-fifty. A can of pate might be several dollars, and a can of caviar, quite a few dollars.
The bar code reader doesn’t open the can and inspect the contents; it just reads the code on the label.
If you had one can of each of those items, your total bill might be close to a hundred dollars.
But suppose – before you went to check out – you took the label off the tuna, you took the label off the pate, you took the label off the caviar. And, in the cat food aisle, you threw in ONE can of cat food, but took the labels off three other cans of cat food. You stripped the labels off your tuna, your pate, and your caviar, and put cat food labels on the tuna, pate and caviar cans.
Then when you check out, each item rings up as cat food; fifty cents; you pay two dollars.
That’s what we are going to do with the Strengthening Exercise. Let’s say you have four thoughts or images to deal with. One costs you fifty cents emotionally, like the cat food. One costs you a dollar and a half emotionally, like the tuna. One costs several dollars, like the pate, and one is really expensive, like the caviar.
You are going to strip the labels off the expensive items. How do you do it in the Strengthening Exercise? You bring the thoughts and images to mind in a way that the amygdala does not react to it, and instantly return to a moment of empathic connectedness. We are genetically encoded to be calmed by moments of empathic connectedness.
We attach – by association – the calming effect of such a moment to every flying thought, image, and awareness. This provides automatic protection from reactions to those when flying.