THE THREE FIXATION: THE CORE IMAGE POINT
"Hello. It's so great to be here with you. My name's Ken Abercrombie, but you know that already, right? At least I expect you do. I'm pretty famous.
"So, Stevie's asked me to speak to you about the Three fixation. Well, that's something I'm extremely well acquainted with, and I'm very happy to teach you all about it.
"You know what I love? I love it when life goes according to plan, don't you? When things turn out just how you'd envisioned they would. Then I can get on with the next world-changing thing that I want to achieve with my life. My personal motto: 'So many goals, so little time.'
"If I'm having a bad day, though, don't talk to me. You really don't want to talk to me when things aren't working out . . . but I bounce back quickly. In fact, people rarely see me upset or angry; it's just not good for the image!
"If you'd like to tell me what you need right now, I'll make myself available to you in any capacity; I'm very flexible and accommodating like that. In fact, one phone call and I can have a team here in minutes. We can get whatever it is you need done in no time. I'm really very good at giving people what they want.
"Apparently, I used to be a real little performer when I was a kid. I don't remember it, but dad—may he rest in peace—used to tell stories about me singing and dancing for the whole family at Christmas when I was just two or three. These days I don't like to perform so much as succeed. I mean, why put on a song and dance if you aren't going to get recognition for it, right? If I'm not certain I'm going to win something, I generally won't start it; losing is not an option.
"I know, let me tell you about the business idea I had the other day. It came to me while we were doing a PR stunt cleaning out some old codger's garage. Oh, my God, it was great; you should have been there. We made piles of things that needed to be thrown in the garbage, piles of things to sell at a garage sale, and we gave a few knick-knacks back to old Henry to keep. He was so grateful; we'll do it again next year, of course. But then I thought, Why not start a de-cluttering business? Doesn't that sound great? I mean, I'm sure it would take off in no time . . . "
"Now—when I don't indulge the need to please people; when I don't follow the incessant urge to be busy and productive all the time; when I put down my harsh self-judgments and personal expectations; when I let life unfold without interfering; and when I stop trying to be everything for everyone, then my life feels so much more peaceful and pleasant; it's quiet.
"In fact, quite unexpectedly, life feels more fulfilling too. I can actually take the time to enjoy where I'm at and what I'm doing without rushing off to do the next thing, as I always used to in the past.
"When I stay centred and present, with a quiet mind and an open heart, I notice, surprisingly, that what I am able to achieve is taking on a new depth of meaning that I wasn't aware existed before. I find I now truly care about the well-being of others, and see other people more and more as not separate or different from myself. I think this is what compassion is? Most important of all, I find myself doing things for other people without needing anything in return. It feels quite good . . ."
THE TWO FIXATION: THE EXTERIORIZED IMAGE POINT
"Hello darlings. How are you all today? Oh my, aren't you just so scrummy? I want to squeeze your little cheeks and eat you all up. My name is Faye Abercrombie. Yes, I'm Ken's wife. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to be here with you. Thank you so much for asking me, Stevie.
"Let me see now, what can I tell about this Two fixation that is my companion in life? Well, it keeps me busy. There's always someone who needs me. Someone that needs to be saved, or rescued, or to just be told how wonderful they are. I feel so blessed to be able to help so many people with my charity work. It feels so natural, so much a part of who I am . . . being there for others.
"Shall I let you in on a tiny secret? I don't always feel like being nice to people. Truly! Sometimes it feels like I'm the only one doing the giving, and everyone is else is just take, take, take. Sometimes I even get tired, and want to curl up in a ball at home with a box of chocolates and some trashy TV. It just isn't fun slaving away behind the scenes all the time, giving my all, and generally not being adequately recognised for my contributions. There are even times when people don't notice or comment on all the hard work I've put in to make an event totally perfect. But don't tell daddy I said that, will you? He would be so disappointed in me if he knew I wasn't grateful for my lot; I really am so blessed.
"My daddy would be so proud of his little Faye if he were still alive. Especially now that I'm really making something of myself. Can you imagine what he would say if he knew that I was going to be the First Lady? I just want to scream, I'm so excited about it.
"I used to do anything to make my daddy happy. Since he passed I guess that now I do pretty much anything to make my clever husband Ken happy. And the twins of course. I guess that's a pretty core feature of this Two fixation I should mention: it's all about everybody else, and my needs really take the back seat. But there I go sounding like I'm grumbling again. Really I'm not.
"Is there any down side to the Two fixation? Oh, you're really not hearing me, are you dear? I spend all day, everyday, doing things for other people. Now I do those things better than anyone else does them, that's for sure, but if I'm entirely honest, I just don't get the recognition that I deserve. It can all be very exhausting . . ."
"THE MOTHER GODDESS"
" Now—when I stop trying to please people; when I give up the need to be seen and loved by everyone; when I relax and allow people to look after their own needs; when I give up judging other people's abilities as being inferior to my own; and when I allow myself to feel the painful unlovability that is hiding deep inside me that feeds it all, then it feels like I'm falling apart, dissolving. This reveals a new, innately loveable, and humbler me.
"When all the effort and activity to do things for others is stopped, I become aware of how light and wonderful the world really is. People are allowed to be who they are, no longer just an extension of me.
"When I stay centred and present, with a quiet mind and an open heart, I can share this soft, gentle love that is starting to flow through me effortlessly with the world. Most surprising of all, however, is noticing that I need to get nothing from the outside to feel whole and fulfilled . . ."
THE FOUR FIXATION: THE INTERIORIZED IMAGE POINT
"Good evening. My name is Eve Abercrombie. Yes, Ken and Faye's daughter. It's a pleasure to meet you.
"I know what you're thinking. You've met me before. That's it, isn't it? People say that to me, all the time. Well, I'm here to tell you that you have never met me—or anyone even remotely like me—before. Ever! I am most definitely one of a kind, so just drop it. OK?
"I should let you know that I'm not feeling in a very good mood tonight, so excuse me if I just sit here and let you take me in. Actually, that's a good analogy for the Four fixation—I'm like a good wine: you should take just a small sniff of me first, then swirl a tiny sip of me around in your mouth for that first taste of me, then take in only a little mouthful so as to savour the experience; you don't want to chug me down all at once or you'll miss the complexities of my deep nature.
"I can see you smirking. Sometimes I even believe that stuff myself. Mostly, though, I just feel inadequate; not good enough. That's pretty much it. It takes a lot to get me out in public at the moment. I can stay in my room with the door closed for days when I'm in one of my funks; getting out of one of those can be pretty challenging. Everything mum and dad say to me really doesn't help. They tell me how beautiful and talented I am, but they'd say that even if was ugly and talentless . . . which I am. They tell me they love me so much, but I don't deserve to be loved because I am a truly horrible human being. No really, I am.
"This feeling of being different from everyone—not just different, but flawed or damaged too—is at the root of most of my pain, and I do everything I can to avoid feeling that. Yet somehow—I really don't quite know why—I like feeling that way. In fact, if I'm honest, I think I have sabotaged my life on any number of occasions just to prove to myself that I am that hideous unlovable person. Then the pain is there again . . . and it feels kind of nice, almost comforting. That's pretty weird, isn't it?
"I try to keep myself distracted from my dark thoughts, or else I might never leave my room ever again. I do feel good for a while when I go out shopping, and buy myself the perfect pair of shoes to go with the gorgeous dress I bought yesterday. But I usually find as soon as I get home and put the shoes on that they don't seem to be right, and I want to go out and buy another pair, or a nicer dress, so I'll look pretty and people will notice me. Is it strange to desperately want people to see me, but at the same time to desperately want them not to see me? . . ."
"Now—when I don't believe the thoughts in my head that say I'm a bad person; when I don't wallow in self-pity; when I let people see me and treat me like a normal human being instead of someone special; when I feel the emotional pain and shame inside me without dramatising or repressing it; and when I don't constantly try to fill the black hole that's inside me with things and experiences, then I feel free and fulfilled. It's so surprising.
"I thought I had to always make myself better, prettier, more talented, to have people see me and love me, but in fact it's the opposite. When I am just myself, without trying, I don't need anything to feel whole and complete; it feels quite wonderful actually.
"When I am centred and present, with a quiet mind and an open heart, there is this movement to go out and connect with the world that is totally new. I find myself seeing the beauty in everyone and everything around me, whereas before I was looking to find the beauty in myself, which I felt was needed before I could be loveable and achieve anything useful or worthwhile . . ."