Such A World

Pretty sure that the Taoist Lao Tzu said, “Those who know, do not say.  Those who say, do not know.”  So clearly he did not know or would not say.

There is much about this LIFE that baffles me—so many mysteries, so much unknown.

I can acknowledge that there is much that we THINK that we Do know, and there is much that we are delusional about what we ACTUALLY DO know; just as there is much that we may never know about ‘how the sausage (of LIFE) is made’ because sometimes it’s better NOT to know those things than to know them and be helpless to do anything with that less-than-desirous knowledge.

Confusing?  Yes.  Well, that’s LIFE.

If I let it, much of what I see and hear in our current world can fill me with anxiety, so to stop myself from feeling that nasty energy I ask instead ‘WHY am I feeling this unsettling emotion?’ Clearly there is so much fear and fury in the collective airwaves at present that it’s hard to simply shut yourself away from it even if you do turn off the TV, because the COLLECTIVE ENERGIES are rife with this whirling, furious agitation. Some of it is intentionally instigated by unhappy folks who want others to feel what they are feeling, and some of it is the natural uncertainty born out of our unpleasant world pandemic situation.

But what can I personally do about it?

I take a deep breath and calm myself to clear my thoughts, and then say to the orange tabby sleeping at my feet on the recliner, “How can you sleep? Aren’t you also feeling this awful collective energy?” To which he yawns and stretches into a new curlicue position with one paw resting atop my ankle—or in effect doing a mildly reassuring cat zen-thing: “Don’t worry, my human—be happy.”

Hmmm.  Maybe he’s right.  Maybe I’m over-thinking it.

As long as his dish is full and his litter is clean while he sleeps serenely in this nice warm house, he’s a happy guy. Simple needs—simple wants. Eat, sleep, poop.  He has no problems—no worries—no stress.

So WHY am I (or the rest of us) feeling stressed?

I could give a number of reasons as I’m sure you could also, but basically it comes down to whether or not I or WE choose to live that way—choose to accept that unsettling anxiety energy as a part of our own energy fields; and I simply don’t.  

So each time that I feel the ‘anxiety energies’ around me, I stop what I’m doing and take a purposefully deep breath, then refocus my mind to where I want to put my energies—NOT to where someone else wants me to put my energies.  It might take a few attempts to actually calm my inner state, but I can do it, as can you if you work at it.

Just remember: “Those who say…” want you focused on their own personal agendas, while “Those who know…” only want you to be happy and live in personal serenity.

Much like my wise zen-cat.

Here’s looking at YOU, the Universe

Alan Watts was one of those enigmatic, philosophical characters who promoted increased spiritual awareness during the 1960’s and 70’s.  He was best known for being: “…a British writer and speaker known for interpreting and popularizing Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism for a Western audience.”  (Wiki)

Before I get into my comments on him, here’s another memorial on Watts by David Chadwick:

“Of the books that look at Watts’ impact, one seems to be of particular significance: Alan Watts—Here and Now: Contributions to Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion (SUNY Series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology). The lead chapter is entitled ‘Alan Watts’ Anticipation of Four Major Debates in the Psychology of Religion.’  The book nails Watts’ critical influence on the study of the perennial philosophy as rooted in mystical experience, the relationship of the latter with psychedelics and eroticism, and the shift to the study of spirituality rather than religion. The book also explores Watts’ game-changing influence in psychology, the neuroscience of transcendence, and eco-feminism.”

And from Watts himself here are two variations on the ‘Universe as ocean’ theme:

“You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.” – Alan Watts

“We do not ‘come into’ this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.  As the ocean ‘waves,’ the universe ‘peoples.’” – Alan Watts

What I’ve been noticing from the folks who I follow online is that Alan Watts has become very popular again—likely because he spoke 50 years ago about philosophy that is more mainstream in today’s world: the concept of ‘us’ being merely visible fragments of the invisible WHOLEness.

That’s why the ‘ocean analogy’ is so easily understood. You can’t define the power of a single ocean wave without first acknowledging that there is NO wave to be had without there being an actual Ocean behind it.

And as might be expected, Alan Watts was controversial in his day. He was often brash, outspoken, and was far from being considered a ‘perfect’ human being during his LIFE tenure.  He had faults, as do we all; and he had weaknesses that he often indulged at the expense of his health.  So unfortunately for the rest of us, he wasn’t around a very long time.

But it was his life and he said what he said and he did what he did while he was around to do it.

I just wanted to mention that many of his lectures have been revived on YouTube, and he’s always worth a listen just to hear the Universe expressing itself through Alan Watts.

Brigit Anna McNeill’s Prose on “Winter”

“We are approaching the threshold of winter.

Life is being drawn into the earth, painlessly descending down into the very heart of herself.

And we as natural human animals are being called to do the same, the pull to descend into our bodies, into sleep, darkness and the depths of our own inner caves continually tugging at our marrow.

But many find the descent into their own body a scary thing indeed, fearing the unmet emotions and past events that they have stored in the dark caves inside themselves, not wanting to face what they have so carefully and unkindly avoided.

This winter solstice time is no longer celebrated as it once was, with the understanding that this period of descent into our own darkness was so necessary in order to find our light. That true freedom comes from accepting with forgiveness and love what we have been through and vanquishing the hold it has on us, bringing the golden treasure back from the cave of our darker depths.

This is a time of rest and deep reflection, a time to wipe the slate clean as it were and clear out the old so you can walk into spring feeling ready to grow and skip without a dusty mountain on your back & chains around your ankles tied to the caves in your soul.

A time for the medicine of story, of fire, of nourishment and love.

A period of reconnecting, relearning & reclaiming of what this time means brings winter back to a time of kindness, love, rebirth, peace and unburdening instead of a time of dread, fear, depression and avoidance.

This modern culture teaches avoidance at a max at this time; alcohol, lights, shopping, overworking, over spending, bad food and consumerism.

And yet the natural tug to go inwards as nearly all creatures are doing is strong and people are left feeling as if there is something wrong with them, that winter is cruel and leaves them feeling abandoned and afraid. Whereas in actual fact winter is so kind, yes she points us in her quiet soft way towards our inner self, towards the darkness and potential death of what we were, but this journey if held with care is essential.

She is like a strong teacher that asks you to awaken your inner loving elder or therapist, holding yourself with awareness of forgiveness and allowing yourself to grieve, to cry, rage, laugh, & face what we need to face in order to be freed from the jagged bonds we wrapped around our hearts, in order to reach a place of healing & light without going into overwhelm.

Winter takes away the distractions, the noise and presents us with the perfect time to rest and withdraw into a womb like love, bringing fire & light to our hearth.”

  • illustration by Jessica Boehman
  • words Brigit Anna McNeill

***

(As we approach the arctic season of reflection called “winter” in the northern hemisphere, I wanted to offer this beautiful poem and graphic to those who may not have seen it previously. It’s Brigit Anna McNeill’s poem on “Winter,” with the illustration by Jessica Boehman.

I’ve had many blogs prior to this one, few of which are still online for various reasons. And ironically I must admit that I’ve never had any other posting that was so appreciated by viewers as was this poem on an older blog. That stated, I have NO connection to either the author or the illustrator, but can celebrate their gifts and wish only to share them with others. And from the comments received a year ago just prior to eliminating my namesake blog where this was posted, THIS poem was very cathartic to many who were feeling sad this time of year. So here it is again. Hope you enjoy it.)

Unified Energy Consciousness

I’ve been into ‘energy work’ for over two decades now, and I can say that it has changed my life for the better in many ways. From the most basic concept that we are far more than merely physical beings, to the consideration that we are ‘individual waves in an immeasurable ocean of energy’ per Alan Watts, we are flesh and blood, yes, but even more so, we are units of energy.  

As energy units we can affect the energy fields of others near us without physically touching them, as can they affect us in similar fashion if we allow it.  I’ve made a living proving this fact with my REIKI practice.

Over the years as a collective we have learned that human energy IS Consciousness personified. When Grand Consciousness (or God Consciousness if you prefer to call it) is individuated into smaller representations capable of holding lesser amounts of it (that’s US), GC becomes ‘matter’ imbued with the ‘energy and awareness’ of LIFE.

Also because all ‘energy’ is gauged in units of frequency (oscillation of sine waves per second), the higher the frequency designation, the faster the sine wave oscillations, and the more powerful the energy that is emitted.

That might seem like obscure info to some, but to others who know the importance of this, it is recognizable evidence of HOW you shift your emotional states higher or HOW you utilize your ability to attract to you what it is that you most desire. Dr. Joe is the epitome of that practice. That is what he preaches and practices.  He literally “SHOWS YOU” how to do it.

I’m not here to drum up business for Dr. Joe, but only to use him as reference of the actual ability to change your thoughts and your behaviors, as well as the quality of your life by raising your personal frequencies out of the lower-end ‘sorrow and despair’ emotions and into the higher-end ‘joy and happiness’ mind states where you can attract to you the more enjoyable aspects of LIFE.

That is why raising your normal operating frequency is SO important to changing your life for the better: THE ENERGIES THAT YOU PERSONALLY HOLD IN YOUR ENERGY FIELD ARE THE ATTRACTORS TO WHATEVER MATCHES THAT PARTICULAR FREQUENCY IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT.  (If you hold ‘DOOM AND GLOOM’ energies, THAT is exactly what you will attract to you. Same thing for ‘ANGER’ energies—those are VERY low frequency.)

Like a magnet—the energy frequency that you personally hold in your emotional-state energy field, is what you attract into your life.  That is why it is SO important to keep your emotions in the higher range (joy and happiness) to attract the better, more desirable experiences to you. It isn’t ‘woo-woo’ science—it is simply frequency matching.

So on this beautiful fall day I can easily say that it is important for you to keep your outlook positive and your emotions to the higher-frequency end of the scale to have the greatest benefit for your immediate and your distant-future life.

Smile, and mean it. It’s in YOUR best interest to do so.

Are We Our Stories?

Disclaimer: Over the years for me, Deepak Chopra has been a strong influence. I think the first I read from him was long ago with The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success; and then for awhile afterwards, I read nearly everything that he wrote.

At present, I’ve tried to read Chopra’s latest book, Metahuman, and I find that his current writing style and intellectual comprehension level reminds me of trying to wade through one of Buckminster Fuller’s philosophical epics like Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking, with its substantial rhetoric and unbelievable depth of thought.  Clearly Chopra has evolved in consciousness over the years to the point that he has greater trouble now distilling his thoughts down for the rest of us who aren’t at that same level of thought where he presently is.

That being said, I still follow Chopra on Facebook, and I still like reading his comments about the human experience and his occasional articles on ‘self-realization’.  I state this lengthy disclaimer more so here for those who are less familiar with Chopra’s writing and YouTube videos.  He IS definitely worth reading and hearing!  But his current messaging may be occasionally hard to decipher without some serious effort to do so.

 Just saying.

However, in this graphic’s quote when he talks about “the Infinite Being”, he is referring to the Vedic philosophy of ancient India where the ALL—the Oneness Consciousness that many refer to as God or Universe, is simply considered the “Self”—with a capital letter ‘S’, whereas the “self” without a capitol letter is considered to be referring to the individual person and his/her ‘person’ality.

The implication is that ‘we’, as individuals, are merely parts of the greater wholeness of the grand Self. So the Infinite Being, the ‘Self’, is composed of all these minute parts (us), fragmented out into separate pieces known as ‘individual souls’ who then go through multitudes of experiences throughout infinity (because there is NO real TIME), and who gather additional information, explore situational experiences, and undergo emotional extremes so that the greater Self expands its own grand awareness and grand consciousness; and in doing so, further explores its own infinite variety and infinite capabilities.

Hence when Chopra claims, “Every human is the same being with a different story. Stories recycle and evolve as persons.  You, minus all stories, are the Infinite Being.”  that is what he’s referring to—we are merely ‘experiential fragments’ of the greater Wholeness and those individual ‘stories’ that we live are what we are dutifully compiling for the Grand Consciousness, by the Grand Consciousness and through the Grand Consciousness Itself.

Talk about ‘not taking things personally’—if you can stop doing that—stop taking things ‘personally’—then you are merely observing all experience AS the Grand Consciousness. You become as Eckhart Tolle has previously suggested: YOU becomethe Awareness.’

Be the Awareness

“Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.” Eckhart Tolle

Many times that suggestion is easier said than done, but I do know that it is possible to do it. 

Throughout the day I’ve begun asking myself WHY I am thinking what I am thinking, or WHY I am feeling the emotion so strongly that is affecting me at that time.

I don’t always get an immediate answer (Maybe that’s a good thing because then the question is WHO would answer me?) but it does help me shift my awareness that “I” am more than the thoughts and emotions that are trying to affect me on so many human levels: physiologically, mentally, and behaviorally.

And the most interesting thing that I’ve realized in this questioning is that if you take away external sources of input and simply relax into a calm and quiet inner state, you can more easily discern the actual outside influences that are attempting to sway you one way or another.  You can then see through their influencing façade.

When you can successfully do that, you stop automatically “reacting” to everything you hear or see. Instead you start to assess and analyze WHY you are seeing and hearing those input sources before you simply ‘respond’ to them in some way.

So you might say, ‘Hm-m-m, that sounds like an awful lot of work’.  But in a sense, if throughout your day you can better determine WHO and WHAT are influencing your daily thoughts and behaviors, then you can more easily decide whether or not you wish to allow those external sources to continue to influence you or to cease entirely.   

I mean, I like Eckhart Tolle. I enjoy listening to him on YouTube, and I’ve enjoyed his book The Power of NOW, but sometimes he comes from such a barely recognizable state of peaceful mindedness that you want to say, ‘Okay. But what about the rest of us who are still living here in the REAL world?’

But then I stop and accept my reactive “frustration” at having to be more cognizant of all influences attempting to affect me in some way, and I can acknowledge that Tolle’s premise is probably accurate: The very act of intentionally ‘stepping out’ of a situation (shifting my perspective from the ‘personal’ to the non-personal overview) for me to better consider my options at the moment, is all that I really need to do.  

I keep reminding myself that no matter what I am seeing or hearing: Don’t take it personally.  Whatever you are thinking and feeling because of something someone said or did is just that—one attempt to influence your responses/reactions in one way or another for a reason you may not understand.  So DON’T REACT TO IT!   Just let it go.  

You can acknowledge anyone’s attempt to sway you with: ‘Hm, …good try, but NO, I’m not taking the bait,’ and move on with your life in the direction that YOU choose.

Always keep in mind that non-reaction IS indeed your option, and after all, choosing your own path direction is the key to finding your own truth.  

In fact, I’m not sure you can find your TRUTH without first choosing your own path.

The Perplexing State of Education Today

One might think that this current pandemic is creating a crisis in education institutions around the world, but I personally think it offers a unique opportunity for all of us to redefine ‘teaching and learning experiences’ for educators, students, and parents.

Probably the most soul-numbing career I have ever experienced was teaching Technical Writing to two classes of junior college students of all backgrounds and mixed-economic options.  When I mentioned in a previous post that the students’ most prevalent attitude was “I don’t want to be here”, I wasn’t kidding. That was actually an understatement for how badly disrespectful the classes of students could be to me and to each other in the room.

And if you think it’s easy to pry open young, ‘know-it-all’ minds with technical instructions for how to more formally express yourself to others without using the standard texting ‘alphabet-soup’ shorthand, I can assure you, it is not.

I mean I’m a pretty creative person after all, and I’d had so many broad-based life/work experiences by that time, I knew that I could get through to them and help them accept and utilize these technical writing skills to better their own future lives, because Technical Writing is business writing—it’s how you communicate in the work environment—how you learn to accurately and succinctly express yourself to peers, bosses, and potential future clients. 

If you want to be seriously considered for a job or a promotion, or for a business proposal; or if you are requesting a loan by presenting a solidly-prepared business plan to the bank loan officer, you MUST learn to formally present your ideas as though you are an educated and coherent thinker.

From creating a resume, to writing instructions on how to complete a task for others to follow, to doing research and exploratory reports on feasibility and applicability studies, to doing the final ‘formal business proposal’ to sway a boss or a client to accept your ideas as viable opportunities for investment, this was the class basis for helping a young neophyte into the next phase of their lives—WELCOME to the WORK-LIFE experience—these are the basic core skills you must learn for your future success.

I do know that the 2-year junior college experience is often considered the poor cousin to a 4-year university education, but it can still be a solid, reliable step-up to a better future for many; and it can knock down those same 2-years of university-required general courses prior to focusing on a more-specialized MAJOR, so for many it is economically advantageous to get the general college requirements out of the way at the junior college level prior to transferring to the university for more-advanced college experience.

HOWEVER,…at the junior college higher administrative level, there needs to be a more clearly defined PURPOSE for WHY we are attempting to “educate” these particular students before we just throw them into a classroom designated as a “REQUIRED COURSE FOR GRADUATION” when some of them are ill-prepared for the most basic class work: i.e., like reading and writing English.  (Seriously.  I had two students in my classes who spoke little English and who likely could not read it.  WHY were they in my class? I asked my supervisor that question.  She had no idea other than it was “REQUIRED” for their graduation.)  

To me, despite the junior college’s marketing hype of creating “a world-class education experience at minimal expense”, what I instead saw was the administration’s two-fold education effort: 1) an overall plan to mass-produce a skill-specific workforce defined by local manufacturing needs (CAD, Welding, IT Technicians, Computerized Assembly-line Manufacturing operators, Construction Project Managers, Advanced Auto Repair, Semi-Truck Driving); and 2) the pre-university coursework to maximize taking  all general requirement courses on-the-cheap prior to transferring to a 4-year institution of higher learning.  

I got the ‘plan number 1’ group for both classes.

Was that basic 2-fold structure intention right or wrong?  And more importantly, was it effective in how it was conducted or not?

Maybe I’m not the one to ask on that because all I experienced was tremendous frustration at every turn primarily because of a few class members who either had attention deficit disorder or simply chose to disrupt the class because they desired attention from classmates.  Remember, these are 18-25 year olds. They are actually young adults, and that is how I viewed them.  While you can provide the learning experience for them to partake in, you can’t make them appreciate it or take advantage of the current opportunity to stretch their minds.

One thing I emphasized to the students who actually toughed out the semester with me was that they should view this current educational training as simply the step/training that is necessary at this time of their lives because even though they think they are preparing for a CAD or welding job, or learning to repair a computer, or learning how to program a control panel on a manufacturing line, this training will not be a ONE AND DONE situation.

This particular classroom training may well apply to this time period in those specific jobs that they desire, but for their future—to be the best prepared and able to adapt to any new opportunity that might present itself before them, they ALL needed to KEEP LEARNING—to keep retraining for the next job. The days of a person doing the same job for 40 years and retiring in it were long gone now. You had to be flexible and adaptive if you wanted to survive in the present and future job markets.

The world was changing way too fast to stay in one job much more than 4 or 5 years now before you will have to retrain for something more advanced or you will be out of a job.  That’s just how it is.

And for those who were capable of going further in higher education, I encouraged them to please do so, because if you don’t do that now, you will face a wage-ceiling a few years down the road where you will lose any future promotion to someone who has a 4-year degree to your 2-year associates degree and who is vying for the position that you want.  That’s simply how the Human Resources departments will view it.

I asked the classes if anyone else had ever explained that LIFE-FACT to them of likely needing to retrain in the future, and they said no.  So my thoughts are that we need a complete restructuring of top administration for these Area Higher-Education boards, and a cultural shift to reassessing WHY we are creating the education systems that we are from K-12 and higher before we try to just patch up the holes in the current training systems that leak like sieves.

But then, that’s just my opinion, and hey, what do I know?

The Pragmatist

A little discussion yesterday with my mate led me to this personal realization after hearing extremely sensible words coming out of my mouth: “OMG!  I think I’ve become a pragmatist. How did that happen?  And WHEN did it happen?”

I’ve always been an idealist, an optimist, an earlier-in-life romantic even. Not many others who have known me throughout my existence would have ever described me as ‘practical and results focused’.  Uh-uh.

Nope. That’s NOT me. At least it didn’t use to be me.

I didn’t grow up to be an accountant, or an actuary, or a paralegal/attorney, or anything remotely ‘practical’ in my career choices that assured me of a good-paying, reliable job once the initial training phase was completed.

Oh heavens no.  I have a bachelors degree in ART followed by an ENGLISH masters degree as a Writing Specialist.  Nothing practical or financially predictive about anything there.  

I’ve had jobs ranging from being a college pump-jock in my dad’s gas station, to a woodworker in my own shop, to a farmer, to a Graphic Artist, to an Operations and Maintenance Supervisor, to a Technical Publications Coordinator, to a Graphics Project Manager, to teaching Technical Writing to junior college—“I don’t want to be in here”—students, to going out on my own with my publishing company and teaching REIKI to students who actually DID want to be in there, to conducting Self-Awareness workshops, to writing on any subject imaginable—just because I can, to being retired and a little bored and unfortunately a bit clumsy.  

And now I’ve become a pragmatist.

I don’t get it. 

Where did I go wrong?

Branches of the Same Tree

“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.” – Albert Einstein

This quote may elicit a mixed reaction from many people because ‘freedom’ is a word that means different things to different people.

Here as the Einstein quote proclaims, freedom can mean transcendence—transcending the baseness of the human experience to honor our higher philosophical and intellectual aspirations.

OR… in the broader meaning, freedom can simply mean having the liberty to do as one wishes.

Right now to me FREEDOM means the ability to slowly regain the use of my right hand to live independently again—to do what I was once capable of doing prior to this broken wrist.

It’s true that all meaning in our lives is often relative to our personal experience of it, but for this particular quote he’s asking that we take an overview perspective on life in general—an overview of how and why we live our lives in this plane of existence and to understand that whatever is beyond our physical capacity is still very much an aspect of our total life experience. Broken wrist or not, it doesn’t change how I choose to view the world around me or to consider my place in it.

When mythic faith (religion), aesthetic expressions (arts) and factual documentation (science) all branch from the same tree, there’s a very good reason to more closely examine that tree’s trunk and root system to see how those vastly different fruits all grew from the same single source that originally fed them.  

That is how we honor our limited time on this earth—by more closely examining the totality of the human experience.

“It Is Not the Answer…”

It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.”

~ Eugene Ionesco
www.earthschoolharmony.com

For me personally and for ALL of us world-wide, this 2020 year is BEYOND strange.

I’ve certainly had a bunch of questions over many aspects of our shared experience, but I know that there aren’t believable answers for them, so I just file them away in my mind since I’m probably the only one who cares about them anyway.  

I mean, look at the concept of KARMA for example…. You do have to admit that this past week in the political arena took a pretty amazing turn; so despite what I personally believe, there does seem to be a justice scale in the ethers somewhere weighing matters of significance.  Or at least that’s how I choose to view it.

All I know is that every day I do my best to face whatever happens with both courage and the determination to keep going no matter what obstacles might arise before me.

That’s all any of us can do.

For in the process of persisting to survive and in striving to create a better world around us, we grow our personal character as well as our group efforts to declare that “We WILL make the world a better place for everyone, today and every day here after.”    

And actually MEAN IT.

Reflections On My Left Hand

I have far greater appreciation now for the lesser-used appendage: my left hand.

Last Wednesday morning bright and early I took a “woops” dive off the back stoop—two steps high. As I plummeted to the ground I turned mid-flight to brace myself before I hit the ground, and naturally put my right hand out to catch myself.  Really dumb move.

I remember seeing my right hand reach out to stop the fall’s force and at the same time thinking, “NO-O-o-o-o-“.  But my brain didn’t relay the message fast enough because my hand, wrist, and arm tried to protect my body from the worst of the jolt that I would soon face.

And I literally saw my wrist buckle in the attempt. Evidently my shock was so great that the pain was muted when I tried to raise my right arm and saw that the wrist was now “Z” shaped.  Oh so NOT good!  Definitely broke.

This happened around 7am and we left the hospital after out-patient surgery at 7pm that night with a titanium plate and screws now holding the two large bones connecting arm and wrist together.

Swell.

So since that day, I’ve been only using my left hand/arm for everything.  (They actually made me illegibly sign hospital forms left-handed throughout that day.)

Nothing gives you greater appreciation faster for a secondarily-used appendage than being forced to solely rely on it for your every need.  I think I’m becoming ambidextrous.

But this past week has also given me greater awareness of how adaptive we become to adversity—we do what we need to do to survive. We find a way. Since I’ve always been a pretty independent, self-sufficient person, asking someone to help me do something just doesn’t sit well so I refrain from asking if I can figure out a way to do it for myself.

What amazes me the most about this whole learning experience is how flexible the left-hand has become during this past week. It’s like it is saying, “Hey, I was always here—you just didn’t use me.” And now it’s ALL that I use.

So I just wanted to mention a couple things here, that when you think your life can’t change from one second to the next, it definitely can; and the second thing is that whenever you feel like you can’t take one more bad thing to go wrong in your life, you can take it. You can do whatever you need to do, whenever you need to do it, because that’s what we do—we adapt, we find a way, and we keep moving forward because that’s the key to survival.

That’s how we’ve all made it this long doing whatever it is that we do.  We squeeze that lemon into lemonade, and just take an acid-reflux pill before we drink it.

Traumatic Emotional Impacts Become Looping Negative Memories

Saw a short video by Dr. Pat Ogden, the creator of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, on helping a young anxiety client to counter her own reactive responses to the world around her.

Ogden is one of the few well-known psychotherapists who treat clients more holistically recognizing that the kinetic movements or posturing of the physical body often provides clues to what is happening in the client’s mind.

She was telling the story of a too-quiet, young Latino girl of 13-years old who had been bullied and ridiculed from age 8 onwards.  The girl was very shy and had retracted into herself with a natural posture of cocking her head strongly to the side and hunching her shoulders. Had she been a turtle, she would have retracted completely into the shell.

After prompting the young client to explore what was going on in that cramped-up neck and shoulder area—encouraging her to just say out loud whatever images or memories came into her mind when she explored the physical body parts of neck and shoulder, the girl began to unravel an entire memory sequence of how badly others had treated her at age 8—particularly her peers; how terribly it had hurt and traumatized her when she had been bullied, scorned, and ridiculed by her fellow classmates—to the point that she began to view herself in the same negative way that the others had once treated her.

The current anxiety felt by the now 13-year-old girl was primarily due to the emotional impacts of previous cruelty by others; and those traumatic impacts at such a vulnerable period of her young life had created constantly reinforced memories looping in her current mind continually reminding her of her diminished self-worth.  So the memories from 5 years prior were still creating a barrage of negative programming constantly bombarding her throughout her present life.  

Dr. Ogden treated the physical body evidence first—encouraging her to slowly straighten her neck and hold her head level on her shoulders. When the young girl started lifting her head higher, it instantly created anxiety in her stomach area.  So Ogden then told her to put her hand over her stomach to protect her while she raised her head and straightened her neck.

As the body slowly straightened, the offending memories quickly surfaced from her earlier traumas as an 8-year old. Dr. Ogden told her to use the present knowledge and courage of her 13-year-old self to now sooth and help calm that younger 8-year-old version of herself.  Ogden encouraged her to help that younger version of herself regain her lost confidence and to reestablish her proper elegant stature.  (Sounds a lot like what’s called Inner Child work.)

By keeping her one hand on her stomach area to protect her energy field, the girl was slowly able to successfully straighten her neck and hold her head high and straight.  When she had accomplished that feat, she took a deeper breath and began to smile. That simple act of retraining and straightening the body to face the world ahead allowed the girl to shift her perspective on herself and the world around her; and it helped her to begin to redefine and eventually to rebuild her sense of self-worth.

All that diagnosis and treatment came from first addressing hunched shoulders and a head held cocked to the side.

I’ve listened to Dr. Pat Ogden before on treating trauma patients, and I like her straight forward, down-to-earth style to helping her clients. It’s practical and effective, and a little bit familiar.

Two things that rang very true here with me is that I’d previously mentioned that my REIKI clients tended to hold deep emotional traumas in various parts of the body and that I as an energy-worker helped them to release those trapped energies existing in those body parts, and by also utilizing ‘release statements’ in the process, which means the client must actively engage with the memory and intend to release those energies still trapped in their body through the breath.

And the familiar second thing was the “holding your hand over your stomach area” is a classic energy-worker suggestion for dealing with negative people to avoid their noxious projected energies, OR to prevent them from stealing YOUR energy by pulling it from your solar plexus region which is the easiest energy region for them to access.  

These are actual techniques that I teach to my REIKI classes—as energy-work, NOT psychotherapy.

One of these days hopefully modern medicine will recognize the holistic nature of the human experience and realize that we are much more than physical masses lumbering through our lives. Emotions are far more energy-based than they are physical-location-in-your-brain specific.

And even though memories might well be located in the brain region as stored electrical-impulse packages, they are also the basis for programming our current daily perspectives on our environment, and as such they can powerfully skew how we view the world around us and how we consider our rightful place in it.

I will repeat this statement over and over:  We are NOT victims of the world around uswe are co-creators of this world!

So let’s start focusing on creating something better here than what we must currently endure.

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