A Week of Defusion – Working on “A Liberated Mind”

[This is a crosspost from a community on Reddit discussing the book A Liberated Mind. Made sense to post it here as well.]


Like I said in my previous post, I’m working through the six pivots from A Liberated Mind over the next six weeks. And I said I would apply these both to everyday situations, as well as my specific issues related to nicotine, sleep, and the “other thing.”

Nicotine – holy shit! I haven’t vaped in 75 hours! WTFF! I am using the gum (4mg), but I’ve used the gum before with little to no success. For me, 75 hours does not constitute a “little” success. After 30+ years of Marlboro Reds, then about 5 years of ecigs (the last 6 months on the Juul), this is freakin’ huge. I have to constantly defuse from Ms. Mind (I’m a male, but calling my mind female gives me a little more distance) because she doesn’t think I’m really doing it since I’m using the gum – she’s just trying to be helpful.

Sleep – meh. Maybe a little change, but dropping the vapes is probably interfering with it as well. Not so much defusion on this one as some of the exercises from Guy Meadows “The Sleep Book.”
“The Other Thing” – No real application, so no real change.

I’m posting an edited version of my highlights and notes below. Hope there isn’t too much – the last thing I want to do is violate Dr. Hayes’ copyrights.


Highlight from pg. 178, Kindle location: 2,406
We learn to become more cognizant of the automaticity of our thoughts and to watch the ones that aren’t helpful from a distance, as if to tell the Dictator Within, “Thanks, but I’ve got this covered.”

Highlight from pg. 178, Kindle location: 2,407
The critical voice and its commands don’t go away, but we see them more as the products of our mental mechanisms, like the pronouncements of the contraption created by the Wizard of Oz. We don’t need to argue with our thoughts. It’s more like putting the mind on a leash.

Highlight from pg. 179, Kindle location: 2,415
This is the yearning to create coherence and understanding out of our mental cacophony.

Highlight from pg. 180, Kindle location: 2,431
Not only is the desire for coherence natural, but ACT can satisfy it if we stop expecting “untidy” thoughts and feelings to go away.

Highlight from pg. 180, Kindle location: 2,433
If we’re seeking to make our self-story coherent so that it conforms to social expectations, it’s time to stop investing in that goal.
My Note: Even if it’s too rebel against social expectations, simply for the sake of rebelling

Highlight from pg. 181, Kindle location: 2,435
But there is a constructive kind of coherence that is just a pivot away: that of paying attention to the thoughts that are useful to us for living in accordance with our values, and letting go of a focus on thoughts that are unhelpful.

Highlight from pg. 181, Kindle location: 2,439
trust function over form.

Highlight from pg. 181, Kindle location: 2,439
accept how chaotic our thinking can be and direct our attention and our behavior toward thoughts that are useful.

Highlight from pg. 185, Kindle location: 2,504
watching her thoughts from a distance with a sense of open curiosity.

Highlight from pg. 187, Kindle location: 2,516
function over form.
[“function over form” really struck me… obs]

[Since I’m using the Kindle version of the book, I highlighted my answers to the Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire (pg. 188) on my first read through. I’ll give it some time and take it again in the future. I scored myself at 5, 4, 7, 6, 5, 6, and 4, which gave me an overall score of 37… doh!]

Highlight from pg. 191, Kindle location: 2,552
Your thoughts seem predictable. You’ve had them plenty of times before, so much so that they seem to be part of who you are. Make a note of these thoughts, actually writing them down, and you can practice defusing from them over time.
My Note: “they seem to be a part of who you are” – highlight this one twice!

Highlight from pg. 192, Kindle location: 2,559
highly comparative and evaluativeH

Highlight from pg. 192, Kindle location: 2,559
When your mind is just noting what is effective—seeking functional coherence—once you notice it, the review quiets.
Note: again with the functional coherence – I think that concept has really helped me. My thoughts can be completely jumbled in the background – just develop the ability to be coherent in the foreground.h

Highlight from pg. 192, Kindle location: 2,564
overbusy mode

Highlight from pg. 192, Kindle location: 2,564
lots of contradictions

Highlight from pg. 192, Kindle location: 2,564
(“You are wrong, you do not need that donut! It will make you fat. Well, even fatter. That’s why people avoid you. Oh, come on, it’s just a donut . . .”).
My Note: replace “donut” with “hit off of my Juul.” replace “fat” with “sick and addicted and in chains to the man.” The man – lol.

Highlight from pg. 194, Kindle location: 2,594
The goal is not just to make the specific pivot, it’s to learn the dance.

Highlight from pg. 195, Kindle location: 2,597
literal coherence

Highlight from pg. 195, Kindle location: 2,604
The goal is progress, not perfection.

Highlight from pg. 195, Kindle location: 2,607
Disobey on Purpose

Highlight from pg. 196, Kindle location: 2,617
the mind’s power over you is an illusion

Highlight from pg. 196, Kindle location: 2,618
You can easily build this into your life as a regular practice (right now I’m thinking, I cannot type this sentence! I can’t!).
My Note: I can’t take this note. Nope, can’t do it. I can’t type this, I can’t form a coherent thought about this! And I especially can’t save this note…

Highlight from pg. 176, Kindle location: 2,624
Even Mr. Mind or Ms. Mind will do.
My Note: Since I’m male, maybe I should start calling it “Ms. Mind” just to provide a little more distance?

Highlight from pg. 197, Kindle location: 2,626
Appreciate What Your Mind Is Trying to Do

Highlight from pg. 179, Kindle location: 2,629
“I really get that you are trying to be of use, so thank you for that.
My Note: Ms. Mind is just trying to keep me alive and functional, the best way it knows how.
Add-on: Not an it!

Highlight from pg. 197, Kindle location: 2,633
Sing It
My Note: First one I started to use from “The Happiness Trap.” Really powerful for me, but I find that sometimes I’m trying to use it to push away the thoughts rather than defuse from them. Pushing them away is just another way of fusing.

Highlight from pg. 197, Kindle location: 2,635
My default is “Happy Birthday.”
My Note: My default is the Brady Bunch theme song – “Here’s the story – of a man named Lyman…. who was thinking that he was gonna fail again….”

Highlight from pg. 197, Kindle location: 2,637
The measure of “success” is not that the thought goes away, or loses all punch and becomes unbelievable. It is that you can see it as a thought, and do so just a bit more clearly.
My Note: Again – I was going for the “go away!” or “get weaker!” – sometimes it happened, sometimes it didn’t.

Highlight from pg. 199, Kindle location: 2,657
The Hand Exercise
My Note: I’ve tried this one a few times, completely in my imagination. Not a regular part of my toolkit yet, but I’m going to try to remember to use it more.

Highlight from pg. 199, Kindle location: 2,668
These words are an echo of your history.

Highlight from pg. 200, Kindle location: 2,672
The Little Kid
My Note: Tried this one a few times too – not a whole lot of success – I’m never sure what I should be saying to the kid.

Highlight from pg. 200, Kindle location: 2,674
You are not ridiculous.

Highlight from pg. 202, Kindle location: 2,709
quite a pile of these badges:
My Note: add “addict” in there, along with the highlighted ones. “lazy” too. and “stupid”. and “retarded” (sorry, that’s the label that comes up.) Add On: “Evil” just popped up too.
These are the badges/labels that I highlighted: unlovable, sick, shameful, untrustworthy, fraud, cruel, liar, pervert, anxious

2 thoughts on “A Week of Defusion – Working on “A Liberated Mind”

  1. Pingback: A Week Focused on Values - Working on "A Liberated Mind" - Lyman Reed

  2. Pingback: A Week Focused on Action - Working on "A Liberated Mind" - Lyman Reed

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