counseling

28 04, 2008

Balancing the centers of your body, part 2

April 28th, 2008|counseling, exercises, love, spectrum, spirituality, transformation|0 Comments

This is second of a two part series. For the preceding article, see part 1.


To summarize the previous article, having an imbalance of centers will restrict the perception of what choices are available. If you are imbalanced towards one center, you will only see possibilities based in that center, even if they are inappropriate ones. The imbalance creates a buildup of energy that can fixate into patterns of behavior that may not always be appropriate. Thus in the example of the person insisting on being ‘rational’ above, there is usually no awareness that there is another way to be. The consciousness is seated entirely in one center and has no easy routes to other centers, and so only sees the options from that place.

So let’s get on to… Techniques for Balancing.

Focusing on the trap


To continue the example in the first part of this series, the solution to the downward spiral of the trap (when you’re in an obsessive loop that just gets more and more dysfunctional) is to bypass this trap by using other centers in your body. What is normally recommended is moving over to the actual center instead of the part. In the case of the Moving part of the Intellectual Center (which is still in the Intellectual Center) this would mean fully Moving centered activity: going for a walk, exercise, dancing, cleaning, or certain forms of energy work. However, utilizing any other center can often help break this pattern, including higher centers.

 

Doing non regular activities (e.g., going for a walk in a forest) can often help anyone stop circular thought or emotional patterns. Likewise, listening to emotional music and singing along with it can help intellectual or body patterns. And finally, stopping to do a Sodoku puzzle can help distance oneself from emotional and body roadblocks.

 

The usual downside with using the method of focusing on the trap is not really the method itself, but how it is approached : reading material and thinking about ‘how to approach’ something means that invariably you will be using the intellectual center somewhat. Having a living teacher can mitigate this, but most people read this method from books or online. This is why doing nothing but reading self-help books rarely provides a full balance; there will always be a thought-based focus.


Balancing the centers again means knowing when and how to access ALL your natural intelligence at a given time. Some situations call for certain specialization, and allowing yourself to naturally gravitate to that portion of your entirety is much more efficient than first moving to your comfortable or “favorite” center and then struggling to move from that one to where you really need to be in order to process the situation you’re in. So the trick is, then, is intuitively knowing what center to use that works for you and having the access and openings in place to use it without effort. This intuitively knowing must be intuitive: it cannot, for example, be based in the emotional center. It is also based in a good communication between the centers being already in place, so that when one center exclaims “this one’s for me”, it is heard.

Therefore, another method is to simply focus on opening these connections.

Building up Inter-center communications


Again, when there is an open, well-used connection between all the centers, it is far more easy to see all the choices available in every moment. Like building a highway system between cities, it can take time and attention to cultivate these connections. They are all available to all of us in childhood, but for the most part blockages and decisions cause many interconnections to become unused.

The most basic example is to simply go through all of the parts of centers in the table above and practice being in them. Practise moving from center to center as Figure 2 describes: moving from the part of one center to the part of the related center. (e.g., Emotional part of Intellectual to Intellectual part of Emotional). After exploration, ask yourself these questions:

  • Were you completely immersed in the experience?
  • Was there an extra resource of energy that came?
  • Was there a sense of fun and playful exploration?
  • Did you involve other centers? (e.g., if you are exploring the emotional center and its parts, were you analysing it while doing something?)


When you are fully immersed in a center, you are tapping in to a greater resource of energy than is normally available to you. Perhaps you have seen people participating in tribal African dances. If someone does not have a background in this very Moving centered activity, then there will be an attempt to do the movement from another center. They will think about the moves, and then do the moves while watching themselves and evaluating. However, there can be a shift in which suddenly there is no thought about doing it “right” – one simply dives into the experience of being completely in the body and loving the motion of limbs, the freedom and play of intense motion. It is at that moment that the Moving center is fully activated. It is also in those moments that access to the higher centers are more available.

All centers’ energies are more available to you when there is that sense of immersion and play. University professors usually learn to play with their thoughts in order to keep the joy and energy going of a purely intellectual experience. Emoting actors must have a great sense of play to keep the energy repeated throughout every performance. Balancing the centers is work, but for it to work, there must be a great deal of play as well.

It is useful in the path of balancing centers to have a series of exercises that aid in experiencing other centers and communication between parts of different centers. Again, this is because trying to learn something exclusively from printed words is a surefire way to keep yourself in the Intellectual center. Some exercises can be done alone, but it is recommended to do things in a group, or at least one other person. It is much easier to trick yourself into keeping to a familiar center when you’re alone. In a group there is a natural play and family feeling.

Here are some exercises that may help revitalize connection pathways between your centers.



Exercise 1: Instinctive-Moving Center connection

The instinctive center governs instinct, basis processes of the body, and a repository of memory. This exercise comes from Vipassana Buddhist meditations.

First, sit (or stand) and do nothing but pay attention to the breath. For a few movements, watch the inbreah and outbreath. Notice how it affects every part of your body. Notice the rise and fall of your chest, the gentle sensations in your nostrils or mouth, and how each breath creates a tiny motion everywhere in your body. Watch the impulse to breathe and the internal sensations. Enjoy the moments and, after some time, play with your breathing. How does pausing at some point feel? What parts of your body will speak up then? Simply notice and listen, then go back to playing.

The next part is a moving meditation. You will be noticing your body as it very slowly walks back and forth in a straight line. Ever so slowly, notice shifts in your weight. Notice all the movements in your body, from your breath to how your arms help you keep your balance. Notice the impulse to move and how it connects to your muscles. Again, play with your motion and notice the results.

Now, after this is done, evaluate yourself: did you immerse yourself and feel alive and in that state of play? Did you become somewhat childlike? Was there a joy in simply being alive? There is no “right” way to do this exercise, but these are signs that you are activating the energy of other centers. If you feel there is still more connection to be had, find some way to do things differently. There is always a way to turn a ‘chore’ of an exercise into a playful exploration.

Exercise 2: Emotional-Moving Center connections (group)

This exercise must be done in a group of at least 3 people, preferably 5 or more. Because Western society is primarily Intellectual centered, this exercise is extremely beneficial to most people. It also usually creates a good amount of laughter and fun.

It is something called “impulse passing”. It is to be done as quickly as possible, without pausing to stop for thought or to collect one’s self.

In this exercise, an impulse is simply an emotive sound and a movement. It can be any combination of the two. The sound should not be a word, but rather a sound with emotion attached such as “aiiigh!” or “blech” or “ooOoooo” or an animal-like sound. Again, it can be any sound you wish it to be so long as it is not a word. The impulse movement should ideally involve as much of the body as possible and be able to be performed in about a second. It could be making monkey faces, a mock punch, a wiggling of the feet or body, pulling one’s hair, etc. It should not touch others, but other than that, anything is allowed.

The group should arrange itself in a circle. The exercise is first done between adjacent people. An impulse is passed between individuals by one person showing an impulse, and the other person “receiving” it by repeating it. The receiver then creates a completely different impulse to the original person or the other person adjacent to them. Again, it should be done as quickly as possible. Usually when there is a pause it is a sign that another center is in operation. Emotional and moving centers react very quickly; there is no need for pauses here. (This does not mean people should not be cracking up with laughter, of course!)

It takes a little time for people to be comfortable with this, but is great as an introduction, to shift energy, or simply to allow more room for the Moving Center and Emotional Center.

After some understanding of the exercise is achieved, a slightly more advanced version involves passing multiple impulses in different directions around the circle. Care must be achieved to not lose impulses; it requires people to pay attention to the circle. If someone is “caught” with multiple impulses being passed to them, one “giver” will have to keep repeating the impulse until they know it is “received”. Still even more advanced variations involve passing across the circle by eye contact.

This is a wonderful exercise because when there is no pause between impulses, it is virtually assured the intellectual center is not engaged. It is also extremely playful and draws a group closer together.

 

Exercise 3: Moving / Emotional / Instinctive Center


This exercise can be done alone, but it is best done with a group of people doing the same exercise together.

In this exercise, you lie flat on a floor. It can be a carpeted floor or on a mat, but it should be comfortable and give you free range to move a little from side to side and not bump into people.

The instructions are to breathe, connect to your diaphragm, and express as sounds or movement. There is always something in your body to feel and/or express. Often this comes out simply as laughter. You do not require an intellectual understanding of what is going on. Allow things to come out either via motion (without getting up) or via sounds.

When you connect to your diaphragm, there is often laughter there. Allow this to come. It is easier to connect with it when surrounded by a group doing the same process and a “model” to look at. If the connection does not come at first, practise nudging it a bit by forcing a little laughter and seeing if it connects with something. Don’t force too hard; this is about connecting, not doing something the “right way”.

What can occur is an “ecstacy-agony” cycle, where laughter connects to sorrow/pain, which brings one back to laughter again. Doing this regularly can help bring non-attachment to emotional states: each state will always flow into another when nothing is resisted.

Again, this exercise is hard to describe without seeing a good example in front of you, but if you try doing it with at least one partner, it can lead to great discoveries.

This exercise is difficult for most people because there is an assumption that things need to be “there” in order to feel and express something. So laughing for “no reason” is considered impossible without faking it. However, there is no such thing as a void in the universe. What this means is that there is never a place with no emotion in your body. There is never a time that you are feeling nothing. You also have the power in your consciousness to shift your focus to different parts of your body and feel different emotions there. What most people describe as “feeling nothing” is either feeling a calm peace, or feeling a block of some sort, depending on the ‘heaviness’ of the ‘nothing’. This exercise can also bring up energies stored in the instinctive center, and so can be wonderful as part of a healing process.

 

Conclusion


These are some examples of exercises that are available. I haven’t listed intellectually centered exercises because most of them are well known. Psychological exercises tend to be about the Intellectual-Emotional connection, while formal dance, martial arts, and movement meditation tend to be about the Intellectual-Moving connection. It is very helpful to invent your own exercises, as this brings a sense of your own play and creativity to the process.

Balancing the centers and building up communication between all the centers in your body is a lifetime project, much like working on childhood issues and fears that block your perception. There is thus no “magic” fix to do it immediately. It takes patience and some discipline, but also a sense of play that is the primary way to be willing to move to completely different modes of perceptions and experiencing life.

Please feel free to suggest other exercises here!

29 12, 2007

The essence of compassion (channeled)

December 29th, 2007|allowing, counseling, love, non duality, relationships, suffering|28 Comments

The following is channeled material on compassion:

 

 

Let us speak to you today on the topic of compassion. Understand that when we use this term, we would like to refer to it as ‘an expression of Love’. Compassion is, in our perception, a melding of one’s energy with another’s. A combining to create something new that didn’t exist before. This new creation of energy as a combination of yours and another’s unites you, creates a bond between you. Over time, this act of creation between two people takes on a life of its own in some ways. But regardless of the length of time of the melding of energies, there does exist to varying degrees an understanding, awareness, acknowledgment, and acceptance of the state the other is in at that present moment. This acceptance for the state of another, whatever state that may be, is what we see as compassion.

24 06, 2007

boundaries revisited!

June 24th, 2007|boundaries, conflict, counseling, Travel and Places|1 Comment

In honor of my mother’s visit (there’s a conference on commodity stocks in town she’s interested in) and in self-preparation here’s some thoughts on boundaries. I’m always learning about this when she’s in town!

To start off with, probably the best analogy is that of a cell in our own bodies.




(Note: does anyone else see a similarity to a brain in that?)


The membrane in a cell does an essential function. It controls, among other things, what goes out and what goes in. This is essential, because analogous to us, what is food to one cell can be poison to another. Without a good boundary, health decays as the composition becomes a cesspool, good for little in the long term. Boundaries allow for choice, which is always a good thing.

Boundaries are also essential for clear perception. Without them, it is impossible to tell causal factors, such “what brought up this feeling?” Emotions and psyches are so enmeshed that eruptions occur without rhyme or reason. In a relationship, this most often shows up as drama. Strong emotion occurs, and because of the lack of clear boundaries, it is impossible to determine where it comes from. Thus there is a huge tendency for projection and condemnation.

This occurs even when positive intention is set. Our psyche and energy systems have their “waste products”, much like the cells in our bodies mentioned above. Hence the term “shit”! But this isn’t a bad thing either; as above, what is excrement to one can be food to another, even on an energetic level. However, in a close relationship it is likely the people are similar enough that this wouldn’t be the case; hence the need for boundaries and awareness of actions.

Looking at two people are in a relationship and healthy boundaries aren’t there (which is fairly common, as we as a society are learning about boundaries), I see two general patterns as coping mechanism.

i. Distance/withdrawal. In this case, at least one person withdraws to keep the relationship peaceful and not too rocky. There is a spectrum of this, from conscious choice, to unconscious internal actions. An example of the latter is the overfunctioning/underfunctioning dynamic, where one person relinquishes self in a dance of withdrawal or inability to cope to the other person, who acts like they’re the one who “has it all together”. The former might include two people being “together” but living very separate lives; some societies have very rigid splits between men and women that help keep this distance to avoid drama and having issues come up.

ii. Conflict and drama. Instead of distance keeping the peace, two people jump even closer together. This can be for a variety of reasons, from wanting to “figure out the relationship”, to “resolving issues”, to wanting the other person to “just get it”, to a passionate pronouncement of love without awareness of self. Sometimes this results in conflict between the two parties, but it can also involve triangulation, where two people get close, but see all the froth of the chaos as being “caused” by a third party, which could be a person or even a political/social ill. This coping mechanism is more about constantly “diving in”, because if new issues constantly arise you never have to see more fundamental, pervasive choices.


It’s important to note that there may be underlying issues in all these behaviors, but a major factor is proper boundaries. Or to put it in other terms : knowledge of self. To have proper boundaries goes hand in hand with self-knowledge, and the perception of how complete you are as an individual.

Now, that’s all background. So the question is, how are good, healthy boundaries achieved? Many people get the idea that establishing good boundaries is a constant war zone, where an uneasy truce is arrived at after warning shots. While that can be a boundary, it is not a healthy one, as it can all too easily escalate into an entrenched war zone.

Boundaries are a form of Love.


Although most people wouldn’t see it as this, they do what they are meant to do: provide safety and protection, which is in itself a form of love.

Nothing is lost by setting a boundary. Rather, it is a declaration of the person, yourself, that you are creating in the moment.


Because boundaries are a form of Love, they already exist naturally. You don’t have to do anything. All you have to do is allow them. Boundaries are not cultivated from mammoth efforts. Rather, they are cultivated by allowing the complete expression of your full being, including self-protective elements. This may include elements unacceptable to the culture you live in, but so what? Your self is truly far too large to be contained in any culture.

Take a look at a cat being stroked. At some point, it will have had enough. If restrained or irritated by touch it doesn’t like, it will set boundaries. For those of you not close to cats, this isn’t done with any malice, nor attack. It is the allowing of a message from within that says : what I need in this moment has changed from previous moments. Please listen.

Apart from simply allowing the process, another essential factor is play. It’s very hard to learn anything without playing! You try something out of a sense of discovery and fun, and watch the results. You then try something differently. There’s no right or wrong, only a continual process of learning about Self. This is how children learn for so many years, until we educate it out of them. It’s no accident that most learning in life occurs while this sense of play is unrestrained. Even though playing with boundaries can provoke irritation and ire, that’s no reason to be too serious about it!

People may ask “but people often use setting boundaries as a form of control.” That’s true. If someone is triggered easily, they can be invasive on what’s not alright with them. This IS based in protection and self-love, trying to take care of one’s self – but if a large amount of pain exists then the area of protection desired may be so large it crosses into other people’s lives. This is what control is. In which case, these people need help. And the best help is ALWAYS a good example – a living example of what a loving boundary looks like. It’s by living examples we change the world; merely speaking words doesn’t actually do that much, comparably. And yes, that gives me some humility!

6 05, 2007

The ugly and short prince (story)

May 6th, 2007|channeling, counseling, dealing with life, love|0 Comments

Hmm, I guess people have gotten enough on the environment already – the comments numbers are significantly lowered. Anyway, here’s a story from the channeling of Michael by Karen Murphy. I find it wonderful and heart touching!


One upon a time, in a land where there was no time, there lived a prince. This Prince was short and ugly and awkward, and people made light of him behind his back. He knew this instinctively, though the people were careful never to show him anything but the utmost respect directly, and because of it, he was quite unhappy. One day this Prince decided to drown himself in a nearby river. He made preparations that involved placing several large stones in his pockets, filling them with weight that would keep his body under the water while he ceased to breathe. The Prince was very sad as he made these preparations, and for every stone he placed in his pocket, he remembered one small slight against him. Soon his face was covered with tears and he could no longer see clearly from the force of his weeping over all the ills that had been done to him, both real and imagined.

After a time, the Prince’s face cleared and he ceased his weeping. His pockets no longer felt heavy with the weight of the ills he perceived that had been done to him. Confused but still determined t complete the job he set out to do, the Prince entered the water anyway, remembering as he did so that he had placed the stones in his pockets and therefore should sink to the bottom. Or should he? The Prince was no longer sure. The Prince slowly entered the cold rushing water, walking toward the place where it was deepest. He knew he should be submerged soon, and felt relieved. Still, he remained in a state of confusion, for he felt strangely buoyant at the same time. Hadn’t he filled his pockets with heavy stones? Shouldn’t he be weighted down with the ills and troubles of his lifetime? Oddly, the Prince began to feel elation, andâ???.joy. The feeling was strange to him, but he knew it for what it was, instantly. No longer did he wish to remain at the bottom of the cold river until he ceased breathing, not if he could feel joy like this! But the Prince found that he could not walk further, could not return to the river’s banks. He felt rooted in place, made motionless by fear. Would his unhappiness return? Would he still be ugly and short and would people still make light of his appearance? He did not know the answers. He felt confused and strangely afloat with the motion of the water now flowing around him. He did not know what to do.

The Prince, now rendered motionless, felt his body relax. He felt the water flow around him, moving him slightly this way and that. He no longer, now, cared whether he sank to the bottom. He had surrendered himself completely to the motions of the water flowing around him, immersed as he was in the river. He decided to let go entirely, to allow his fate be determined by the river.

No sooner had he done this than he found himself standing on the bank, perfectly dry, pockets light as a feather. A group of his subjects approached, madly rushing to look for what they feared â???? that their prince was lying dead in the river. Joyfully they embraced him, knowing that he was safe.

The prince was, again, confused. Didn’t his people mock him behind his back? He did not understand.

“The Little Prince is safe!” the people cried. “Our beloved Prince is safe, bless, his little soul!”

As the people rejoiced, the Prince felt he began to understand. The words he felt behind his back about his appearance were words of affection, not of derision, and it was his own fears and insecurities that had led him to surmise otherwise. He had not followed his own heart in the matter.

So, too, must you learn to release yourself from expectations regarding those around you. Each of you is connected, yes, but while living life on the physical plane, so too must you keep your suppositions separate from those of others. In other words, if you take on the energy of others, it will define you. You must decide whether that is what you wish, or not. Do you wish to define yourself? Or to allow others to do so?

So, too, must you begin to remember what it is like to simply “allow”, to Be. You may find, then, that once you do so, what you most wish for will come to you without your having to try so hard to achieve it. You will find, as you do so, that worlds will open up to you that you never knew existed. Time will stretch and have new meaning. Colors may brighten, and the world may seem, in general, a more pleasant place in which to be, as your awareness of that innate connection among all things, and by this we mean ALL things, even, for instance, your computer keyboard or the window you gaze out of, as well as everything in the animal and plant kingdoms, is connected.

Stretch, then, your awareness to both the minute and the great. Realize that you are the heartbeat of the Universe, that you are the breath of Time. And, simply, Be. Allow your attachment to outcome evaporate, and allow the you-ness that is most deeply within you to rise to the surface and become the You that Is.

— Michael, May 6, 2007, channeled by Karen Murphy

Karen Murphy’s site is at http://light-spring.com/. She is a wonderful channel as well as a beautiful person – well worth her services when the perspective of channeling is useful. I met her a couple weeks ago and found such an amazing heartlink with her, *very* evident we had shared a large number of past lives. I paid for some channeling myself which I’ll get around to posting soon as well!