We all fall into emotional ruts at one point or another in our lives. To be able to move forward requires that we change our state. Here is a simple process for doing that. Download the file below the video for a fillable worksheet and the process I described in the video.
In this video, I talk about the real cause of stress in many instances in our lives and how to relieve it.
Recently I’ve went through a painful experience, and this time instead of running, or trying to intellectualize it, I sat with it. I had some profound insights into pain and the reason why it’s a necessary part of life. And before I get the hate mail telling me I have never had long term pain, i’m talking about emotional pain, not the physical type such as chronic back pain or migraine headaches.
Pain is difficult to accept because it is a felt experience. Sometimes it fucking hurts, as it can pull us past our breaking point, beyond the need to cry, it can be paralyzing where we don’t even want to get out of bed. We may call out, “why is this happening, or why me? When all we need to do is be with it, and feel it fully.
Pain avoidance is the biggest cause of our misery in our lives. We keep ourselves distracted with busy work, we hold strong to our vices, we take substances all to avoid this angel of truth. By avoiding it’s dissent we are denying the beautiful truth it’s trying to reveal. For it wants us to know a deeper authenticity, the truth of our nature. It wants us to experience the fullness of life.
For me personally, the way that I avoided pain is by trying to understand it. If I just understand the properties of pain, maybe I won’t feel it so intensely and can overcome it. Ha ha, nope! For me too the story is no different. Pain doesn’t need our understanding to exist, it needs our acceptance, with it comes a more vivid experience of life.
I belief the first objective of pain is to have us focus on ourselves. When we are externally focused on others, we miss the point of our story. To develop ourselves and share our gifts. No one externally to us, can provide true fulfillment because we are not living them, we are living us.
Eventually, it leaves us and in its wake, a greater knowing of who we are, and the full value of our experience. Until the day, we again call it forth by taking our eyes off the prize which is us and our experience.
If you have spent any time wondering what your life purpose is, here is three things to help you on your path.
If this interests you, I will be diving in further at the next event. This will be an experiential learning process meant to give you some important tools on your journey, outside of what is taught in the mainstream. We will also be working lots with passion, diving into how our bodies interpret the signals laid down by life to help us with our discoveries. Join us.
Embodiment is a deep state of presence, where we are fully engaging on every level. When we embody life, we are moving in an integrative way, rather than the uni-form way followed in society. The current uniform view sees the head as the central processing point of which everything else falls under.
The embodied way recognizes that the human being is a creative mini ecosystem, expressed from the greater ecosystem of life. As we learn to honour ourselves in wholeness, this is then reflected in our external world as we honour the world around us to the same degree. Before this can happen, we must see the mind as a part of this ecosystem and not the central force. We must develop a healthy reference point for the emotions and sensations in the body in order to inhabit our experience fully. So is within, so as without.
The benefits of experiencing our reality in an embodied manner are many. It allows us to experience a greater range of emotion, while processing those emotions in healthy ways without needing to project them on others. We develop the ability to respond to life’s challenges, rather than react based on past conditioning. We experience a deepening of our relationships as we grow in the ability to love and trust ourselves, and reflect that love outwards to others. We become more fluid as we no longer need situations to move in a certain way in order for us to be happy. We begin to experience the magic of living as we see life for the adventure it is.
Now, I’d be lying if I said it was a simple 12 step process. It can be broken down into segments, but for each person the process is highly individualized. Rather than learning to do, or acquire knowledge it’s more of a process of unlearning what we’ve been taught, and tuning in to our experience at deeper and deeper levels. It can be downright messy as we follow the clues of our actions to the motivations beneath. But in a safe and supportive environment, we can free ourselves from conditioning to live highly fulfilling and engaging lives. It requires creating healthy rituals to help us tune back into the greater whole, and live from creation rather than simply mind.
The way we normally go through life, is more of a conceptualized auto pilot sort of way. We end up not taking in much of our experience as we avoid situations, and numb ourselves based on various ways of coping. With embodiment, we learn to understand the causes of our emotions instead of avoid them. We see thought, not as the end all be all to living, but as simply a tool to be used with discretion. There’s a quote attributed to Einstein that states, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” This is because logic depends heavily on our conscious minds which utilize only 5% of our total capacity. When we learn to tune in to our experience in wholeness, we access the other 95% house within our subconscious, and gain access to a level of experience we have not known before. Before we can enter this space, we must collect the parts of ourselves lost through various traumatic experiences.
We’ve all experienced some level of trauma causing us to disengage from our bodies. The reality is our bodies are the vehicle in which we experience life. When we learn to honour our bodies, we become anchored in our present moment; we then bring a part of ourselves back in line with the whole. We activate new abilities lying dormant in our being. Our body is the only part of us anchored in our present moment, therefore an excellent reference point for healing.
My passion for this work arose out of my own need to find a different way, outside of the common methods given in society. At the time, I was chasing success as I believed it was the answer to happiness. Fortunately it never worked for me. I tried following the success crumbs left by others, and felt something was missing. Although I couldn’t identify it at the time, my saving grace was actually my 1st failure as an undeveloped artist. During those years I was working on becoming an airbrush artist to create murals. Due to life circumstances of my son being born, I let go of the dream to chase money and potential success. But no matter how much I tried to follow the success formula, something was missing. What about my own creativity where did that fall in the mix? Yes I can duplicate someone else’s success formula, but it felt like dead energy to me. I didn’t just want to duplicate someone else’s version of success, I wanted to discover more life, more love, more experience. I wanted to live in a way that was uniquely me. How was I meant to serve my community? What was my purpose? Beneath the chase for success, these were my deeper questions.
This led to several trips helping me reconnect with my love of dance and music. I recognized how content and nourished I felt after a week of dancing and connecting, versus chasing success as a means to fulfilment. From this point I took an interest in healing and decided to dig into my own experience. One thing led to another, and after a series of trainings I recognized the value of living in an embodied way. I discovered my own uniqueness which was hidden within the pain story I developed. Although the journey is still going for me, I now help others to embody life and discover their own unique essence and expression. I know I have found my calling as with every new discovery I become more eager to dive into the deliciousness of the experience. I feel like a kid with cake all over my face and want to dig in further. If you would like to know more, feel free to drop me a line or attend one of the events I host.
If you're anything like me, creating meaning and making a difference is crucial to your sense of satisfaction. If only the journey was as simple. We may start off with great intentions, but are unable to get things moving consistently. This will be a two part series, first this post on inner alignment, second coming next week on outer reflection.
This has been a riddle which took me a long time to resolve. If you're a people pleaser, you may also be familiar with the story. Here's what I've discovered through my journey, and changes to positively affect the power available for my creative pursuits.
There's lots of material out there suggesting that if you follow a set formula, A, B, C you will arrive at D. For me, this wasn't the case. I would start with the best of intentions but inevitably freeze, and not make it to my resolve. What was more confusing, was the feedback from friends and family. In their view, there was nothing stopping me from accomplishing my objectives. They saw me as strong and able, meanwhile internally I felt weak and incapable. The information coming at me, looks on people's faces, body language, everything implied you can do this. However Inside, I didn't feel so confident. So, how do we move into the world and make an impact when internally we can't generate momentum?
For us pleasing types, at some point in our lives, we learnt that in order for us to be safe, there were those who needed to be appeased. By being in the good graces of these specific individuals, we were safe, we were left alone, we were loved. Often with a family member, we developed a pattern that over time became an entrenched habit. With this habit, we moved through life forming new relationships. we entered new scenarios where although the main antagonist was different, the characteristics were similar. Like a slow leak and an air mattress it can be difficult to recognize. This is because we are so entrenched in the habit, we don't check in to know how we feel regarding a situation or event. So how do we actually turn this situation around and keep our power to use in our creative pursuits?
The first step for me, was to stop speaking affirmatively with others just to appease. Let me tell you, this was very hard to break. I didn't realize I was doing this until it was pointed out by a partner. To get there, I needed to be around people where the foundation of the relationship was truth, they needed to be truthful with me, and I needed to be truthful with them, without repercussion. This was especially important with the key relationships in my life.
The other side to this, is learning to say no. This was also difficult. I would come up with all these world ending scenarios, feelings of panic, especially in an instance where I said no, and sensed disappointment in the other person. With practice it became easier. By becoming aware of the habits that kept me in an unsatisfying orbit, I began to understand what it felt like to be comfortable in my being.
The next stage involved redefining healthy relationships. This became easier to do when I had the contrast between healthy and unhealthy. To clarify, unhealthy relationships require massive amounts of effort to maintain. A healthy relationship requires truth and honesty to sustain. An unhealthy relationship may hold you hostage to an outcome. A healthy relationship feels freeing and is based on mutual respect. An unhealthy relationship plays on guilt and shame. A healthy relationship leaves you feeling empowered and capable.
Shame is an emotion that greatly hinder self empowerment. It is a result of being shamed at an early point in our development. We were made to feel small, and we fell out of favour with a parent or caretaker. Shame shows up in negative self talk. It requires an ever present vigilance to over come. It's being mindful of when I'm feeling it, and what's triggering me. I still experience this one, it requires patience and a supportive environment. I joined a men's group which helped to normalize the feeling. By seeing that I wasn't alone, and ways other men where dealing with it, I was supported to make changes on the emotional front.
Many ancient cultures still have rites of passage. To pass, an initiate must go through a trial meant to reveal the adult to him/her self. I had the privilege of going through such an experience, and nothing helped me to connect to my inner resources the way this did. My fears and doubts surfaced, and I was left to face them. It was only when I was able to dig deep and connect to my internal source of power, knowing I would pull through, that I made it to the end of the trial. The only experience that had me feeling more blissed out was the birth of my son. We need experiences in life that test us deeply. When we do this we come in contact with a greater definition of who we are. It requires stepping outside of the comfortable existence to make contact with the spirit within. The more of these trials we face and make it through, they then enable us to show up powerfully throughout our lives.
Are you ready to move to a more of an empowered perspective? If so remember these 5 points.
When we are not tuned to ourselves and the world around us we may experience setbacks. These challenges may enter through our relationships or become setbacks in our plans. When we are strictly in a thinking mode of operating, not factoring in the other aspects of our being we can miss the signals and signs trying to help us on our path.
For me personally, when I get to this place I tend to get tunnel vision and become forceful trying to, "make things happen". When they don't, frustration soon sets in. Why the hell is this door not opening, did I forget something? At this point, if I'm not approaching life with awareness I'm on my way to a wake-up call. That one event or situation I can't ignore that causes everything to come to a complete standstill. It may be through sickness, or some kind of accident something that needs my undivided attention.
Then, there is other times when things are going well in one area of my life and inevitably challenges pop up in another. It may be that I'm gaining traction in my business then all of a sudden a family member becomes sick, or I open the mail and there's a photo radar ticket. Why can't it all just work out?
I believe that it's our inability to tune in that has brought us to this point in history with so much disconnection and conflict. We may be trying to change situations, events, or people outside of us when the answer is really turning our attention inwards and being able to tune in.
My personal experience in this state is very different with subtle changes in my perception. I feel calm and centred not needing anything to happen as I am grounded in my being and tasks become effortless. In these moments, I'm working from a place of magic. I'm in line with creation in a dynamic state of presence. There is a synchronistic element to my experience and I feel like the choreographer of a great dance happy, playful, and engaged. I am a part of what's happening and not separate from it. It's not that anything outside of me as different as challenges may still be present. What changes is my perception of these problems. In this state, I'm no longer worried about outcome. I'm able to do what I can, and leave the rest not carrying it through my experience. So, what is this magic i'm speaking of, and how do we consciously engage with it?
When I say tuning in, I'm referring to consciously bringing more aspects of our being into awareness. We all have this ability and it can be cultivated through a consistent practice. It all starts at the beginning of our day.
When we start our day, We do ourselves a great disservice when we jump out of bed and right into tasks. For me personally, I find this habit concentrates the energy in my head and I feel more frantic in my approach to getting things done. I may quickly glance at my to do list and immediately start working on the most pressing task. When I reach the end of the day, I may have completed a few key tasks, I don't feel accomplished and I'm not sure how these tasks tie into my bigger picture.
Put simply, tuning in is really about starting deliberately with intention. It's fully inhabiting your body with full awareness of your state from a calm and focused mind. It doesn't mean that you won't experience chaos at points in your day. But if you start off by cultivating this state of awareness, you will find that you are not rattled by the challenges that occur, and you're able to draw from more resources in solving the riddles as there's more creativity to draw from. So to get here, here's what I recommend
Body-based Awareness Meditation
Start off with a body based awareness meditation. This will help you tune into what's happening in your body. Through time, this practice done consistently will help you to be more sensitive to what's happening in your body and in your environment.
To do this meditation, set a timer for 20 minutes, light some incense or a candle with a fragrance you like and play some relaxing music. The more senses you engage in this, the better as it helps to create an immersive experience.
For this meditation, we're going to stay focused on the breath and the sensations in the body. Start Off in a seated position with your feet flat on the floor and your hands gently resting on your knees. Begin to breathe all the way in, filling up your lungs like a huge balloon. Any effort is on the inhale only, allowing the exhale to happen on its own, allowing the breath to gently leave your body, clearing the air completely till you reach the point of stillness. With each exhale, allow yourself to feel the gravity and sink into your chair, feeling more relaxed with each breath.
After you've done this several times and are able to maintain awareness on your breath, gently riding the wave, falling into a uniform rhythm you are ready for anchoring in your purpose. Slowly increase your awareness and back from your body to the room, and come out of the meditation.
After you've completed the meditation, next we want to connect to a compelling vision that moves us forward. If you've been working with your purpose for a while, you have a pretty good idea what you're working to accomplish. However, you don't need to have a purpose for visioning to be effective.
To do this activity, simply focus your attention on the kind of life you're looking to create, or some aspect of your day that makes it worth experiencing. It may have been some time since you've used your imagination and this may feel weird. Imagination works because where the attention goes energy flows.
Continue to breathe into the vision, seeing the picture as clearly as possible. The more that you engage the imagination and do this activity consistently, the clearer the images will become. Don't just see the images in your mind but also pay attention to how you are feeling. If you feel inspired to move parts your body in line with what you're seeing this is a good thing. It means that you're engaging the deepest levels of your belief system. Yes it may seem crazy to those watching and they are not the ones living your life.
If you don't feel anything at first, don't worry you're not doing anything wrong. For myself personally, it took me about 30 days of consistent practice and lots of emotional clearing before I could see images which inspired good feelings.
The key for this activity is not the size of the vision but rather the feeling that is associated. Once you can anchor in one aspect of your day helping you to feel good you are ready to move on.
Body Based Activity
A body based activity helps to turn our system on fully to be engage with the day. At this point we've been laying in a bed for 5 to 9 hours and its time to work out the kinks. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water first thing in the morning.
My personal favourite activity is dancing. It's more of a dynamic expression which allows me to check in, and see if I have any resistance I'm carrying forward into my day. The dancing can be rather simple of just moving the body to music. Any activity that allows you to move through your full range of motion and expand your energy to fill up the room that you're in.
If our day is requiring us to be big and bold then we should be big and bold in our movements. By doing this, we enlist muscle memory in the body to also help us on the journey through the day. We want to send a signal to the body that we are not afraid to occupy space with our energy.
Any body based activity would work. Many people utilize the benefits of yoga. I wouldn't recommend muscle work unless it also includes stretching. This can be done at some point later in the day if you need a charge. The thing with muscle work is it concentrates energy in the muscles causing us to tighten.
From this point, it's time to fuel up and flow with life. The key to this process is generating awareness. Once we approach our schedules from this fuller perspective, we have greater access to ideas and ways of implementing that extend beyond our usual waking awareness.
It's also necessary to check in to parts of the day to see how we're feeling. Especially if you're sitting in front of the computer it's important to get up and walk around ideally in nature. The more that were sitting in front of computers, the more the energy starts to confine to our heads.
Try this practice for 30 days and see if it works for you. I can't emphasize enough how important consistency is in this ritual. It's better to start off with less minutes per activity and be able to consistently go 30 day straight as that is where changes happen.
Let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to offer suggestions and help you fine-tune your practice. Also if you would like a more engaging experience, Also, I have a meditation movement event coming up, there we go through the many applications of this practice. Many believe that meditation is just about becoming more zen. That isn't the case. It has many applications in our business life and is a healthy addition to any practice.
If you run a business or hold a position in a company where you have a lot of responsibility, you more than likely have a hard time creating separation between you and your business. It's a never ending perpetual stream of tasks being added to the list daily, and you may end up being on, all the time. I'm no stranger to this state, being a business owner myself has forced me to have to redefine what healthy is to me.
What I found is that unhealthy starts off as a slow trickle and builds to a crescendo. May start off by checking my phone in the middle of the night or getting one task done at the wee hours of the morning. And if I'm not careful, one tasks turns into several and many hours of sleep lost.
All this ends up doing is tightening the energy in our heads and reducing the number of rested hours of sleep we get. And the less sleep we get, the less we are able to function at maximum capacity. It then starts to trickle down through our emotions. situations start to get on our nerves or we begin to feel sensitive to our environment. And if we are still not careful eventually burnout sets in, or starts affecting our health through sickness and disease. The good news is, there is some healthy decisions we can make before it gets to this point.
Healthy, from an Embodied Perspective
Our bodies were not meant to function like machines. It's a diverse ecosystem of interacting elements that functions best when we consciously engage with it, from a state of love and acceptance. The way our society is structured serves the driver in us, the warrior on a quest for more. However, It does little to contribute more health and happiness to the ecosystem that we occupy as our bodies within the greater ecosystem of life.
You Are an Ecosystem
Consider that each one of the cells in your bodies is alive and tuned into an intelligence without you needing to consciously think about it. Whether it's the cells in your lungs oxygenating the blood, the cells of your nervous system sending impulses throughout the body, the cells of your blood transporting the oxygen to the various regions of the body, along with the other 37.2 trillion cells do an amazing job of keeping you alive. Could you imagine if you had to consciously think of even half the processes that are keeping you alive? That in itself would be a full-time job.
Then we can go to the macro level and see that the same ecosystem that makes up us holds our planet, solar system, and our universe together. All beautifully choreographed by an intelligence that is beyond our understanding. When you look at your life from this perspective, how does your to do lists measure up? Does it still hold the same importance? This view from the ecosystem perspective is actually the door way back to balance.
Steps to Ensure Balance Is Consistent:
Start with, ask yourself the following questions. From the perspective as an ecosystem, what do you need to maintain health and happiness? Would you be making different decisions on a daily basis? What disciplines would you ensure happen consistently?
A Meditative Practice Is Key!
Any meditative practice that gets us out of our heads and helps us tune into the greater ecosystem means that we're functioning at maximum capacity, working with the flow of life instead of against it. We begin to tune into the impulses of creation instead of feeding our own agendas. In this state we can feel relaxed, open, dynamically present to what's happening through us.
There are many ways to meditate at which I don't plan to get into here. The key is to begin and carry through with consistency. At first you may not notice much, but sooner or later the benefits begin to multiply as it affects how you engage with your day and the activities in it.
Next, Having a Body Based Practice
When we engage with our bodies through exercise, simple walks out in nature any activity that engages more than just our heads, we begin to engage the intelligence of the body. We are more in tune with changes in sensation and emotion when things feel off track and we can adapt quicker to changes in our ecosystem. The feeling of well-being then becomes the gauge by which we move and operate. This then attracts situations and people to us in a more effortless flow as we then begin to tune into the greater ecosystem of life.
Overall, the state that we spend the majority of our time in can either help us or hinder us, requiring massive amounts of energy to maintain. When we begin to cultivate this way of life through discipline and consistent practice, we then reorient our being to a more dynamic state of awareness.
Simply begin by taking a pause before you jump into doing in the morning. Be more aware of what you are actually feeling and sensing. It's worth waking up earlier to start, so if you find you don't have time right now create it by waking up an hour earlier. You will not regret it.