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!

27 04, 2008

Balancing the centers of your body, part 1

April 27th, 2008|beauty, channeling, emotions, exercises, transformation|4 Comments

Centers and Balancing Them

Centers are a concept that is intuitively known to everyone, though not necessarily by that name. We know almost immediately when interacting with someone: Is this person a “head” person? Or are they a “heart” person? Or a “body-centric” person. This is the same as being Intellectually Centered, Emotionally centered, or Moving centered, respectively.


Expanding this, centers essentially little energetic ‘computers’ in which the experiences we live are filtered, processed, and delivered to our consciousness. There are 7 centers in all, although there are mainly three most people consciously interact with on a regular basis. These three are essentially summed up as “heart, mind, and body”. In the Michael system, these correspond to the emotional, intellectual, and moving centers. The Gurdjieff system – and many other systems, such as NLP – also have analogous concepts.

This article will mostly deal with these 3 most commonly used centers and partly with the Instinctive center. The instinctive center, loosely speaking, is the center that supports all the other centers by keeping the body alive via instinct and keeping records of experiences. The remaining 3 centers â???? Higher Intellectual, Higher Emotional, and Higher Moving centers â???? are explained elsewhere. However, balancing the 3 ‘lower’ centers is an effective tool to enable you to access the higher centers.

One interpretation of why they are called ‘centers’ is that we tend to ‘center’ our consciousness in one of them. Thus an ‘intellectually centered person’ will interpret all experiences through this perceptual lens. Emotions could be categorized, labeled, psychoanalyzed, and even considered ‘not valid’ unless the reasons for them are understood. A moving-centered person would listen to what the body says, store information in the body, and listen to the intuitive wisdom of the body more than others.

The concept of centering applies both to the individual as well as to a family, a group, a community, a nation, or a world. The western world is very much intellectually centered, though there are pockets which have other centering. In general, the order of preference of the 3 main centers are:

  1. Intellectual center: Almost all high paying corporate jobs are primarily based here.
  2. Moving center: Some athletes are rewarded, and this center is needed to ‘get things done’.
  3. Emotional center: Emotions are recognized, but are often seen as something to ‘deal with’ rather than use with intelligence, as a form of perception or to enrich one’s life.

Centers are related to chakras, but are not identical. Chakras are gateways of energy, allowing energetic movement and interaction between the “outside world” and your own experience. A chakra is not where you process this energy, but is the conduit of that energy from within to without and back. There is thus a high level of interaction between centers and their appropriate chakra.

Imbalance in Centers

As mentioned, most people have a ‘favorite center’. This is usually where they spend the greatest amount of time â???? perhaps all of their time – operating from. There is nothing wrong with this, as no center is in any way ‘better’ than any other. Each center has its own unique strengths. At the same time, when one center is relied on to solve everything â???? including areas which are not its specialty â???? imbalances occur. This might be equivalent to using a screwdriver when a wrench is the easiest tool. A common scenario might be an intellectually centered person in a relationship fight who insists on being ‘rational’ while denying all emotions, intuitions, and warmth at that moment.

These imbalances affect health in the body as well. When there is imbalance or blockage, the flow of energy meridians in the body will be affected. There may be a concentration of energy in one area, leading to problems in that area or surrounding ones. Much of Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture comes from thousands of years of observing the flow of chi, or energy, in the body, and noting where the most natural flow is in the body. When energy gets re-routed in areas the body was not designed to handle it, over time illness can occur. This is analogous to what an imbalance of centers is.

Beyond health issues, being imbalanced â???? and this is the most important aspect – 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.

When it comes to centers, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. This means that if you have all of intellectual intelligence, emotional intelligence, and body/world intelligence, you will be a much more powerful force to the world than three people manifesting each of these. Adding the awareness of the other 4 centers is more powerful still. Balancing the centers enables a much more regular and clear access to the higher centers, which are the source of epiphanies and ecstatic religious experiences.

Connections between Centers


The centers communicate amongst themselves. Because each center has their own intelligence, each benefit from the very different intelligence of the others. When used in co-ordination, there is immense power and wisdom that can be tapped by person. The emotions may inform the brain of their own wisdom, which then makes a more wider scope decision than it could have otherwise if it denied any emotional factors.

Most people have only certain pathways in the connections between centers open to them. To give an example, one person may be intellectually centered and base his consciousness there. He may not be open mentally to listening emotional sensitivities, and thus it is generally only the intellect that affects emotions, and not vice versa. There may be a good two-way connection between the body and the brain (but not the body and emotions). There may also be a strong emotional memory of certain pain in the past from the instinctive center, but thoughts of these events are unwanted and blocked. This may result in a connection flow such as this:

This is of course a simplified diagram of the connection in this example (your habitual connections may differ), but it is helpful to illustrate that connections exist and can be blocked.

The goal of balancing the centers, or being a balanced human being, is to ensure there is a good two-way connection between all the centers in the body. Each center listens and speaks to every other center, and each center performs its natural function while allowing others to perform in their own strengths. There is a perfect complimentary nature to all the centers, each helping the others in its own way. The idea of a ‘balanced man’ in Gurdjieff is based on this.

Parts of Centers

Nothing is an island in itself, and this includes centers as well. There are thoughts that have much emotional energy, and emotions that are close to being a thought. In this framework, this is because each center can be thought of as being itself a spectrum of all the centers, or a spectrum of 7 parts. (Again, we will focus only on the 3 “lower” centers here) Thus within the moving center, there exists a spectrum that covers the energy of all the centers in your body, but with a moving-centered foundation laid under it. So the emotional part of the moving center would deal with body-centered states and motions that have a definite emotional expression or focus.

The Michael Channel Shepherd Hoodwin has written the following about centers, introducing the part of a center:


Every center has seven parts of centers, which is a sort of doorway into the other centers. The parts of centers have the same names as the centers themselves. So there is an intellectual center, and an intellectual part of every center. Also, your part of center is like your secondary centering.


The part of a center is both within the original center as well as part of a connection with the matching center. Thus, as shown in the diagram, the Intellectual part of the Moving Center naturally connects with the Moving Part of the Intellectual Center.

If you could imagine each of the centers in the body, the various parts, and the interconnecting energies, you would get a picture of immeasurable beauty, a complete system that is in effect a miniature reproduction of the energies of the 7 planes of existence. When someone has all the centers connected to each other, there tends to be a great feeling of peaceful completeness. All is well.


Each part of each center has their function. Here is a table of some manifestations of the parts of the 3 more common centers a person might have. It is by no means a comprehensive list.

Part of center Manifestation
Intellectual center, intellectual part Pure thought, abstract theory. Thought for the sake of thought.
Intellectual center, moving part Planning events and what to do.
Intellectual center, emotional part Poetry, thought and words with a weight of emotion attached. Psychotherapy.
Emotional center, intellectual part Awareness of emotions, where they come from, and what they mean.
Emotional center, moving part Movement of the body as expressing emotions.
Emotional center, emotional part Pure emotion; crying, joy, perceptual feelings and some energetic sensitivity. Emotions for the sake of emotions.
Moving center, intellectual part Thoughtful actions, finishing projects, tai chi, movement meditations. Movement with awareness.
Moving center, moving part Running, pure dance, movement for the sake of movement.
Moving center, emotional part Emotive expression of the body. Dance, physical theatre, embodying emotions. Catlike movement.

When centers are discovered in someone or are channeled about them, what is usually given is the main center and the part of that center that is usually inhabited. In the example above, one’s consciousness can be fixated in the moving part of the emotional center. This is still the intellectual center, but is an aspect of thought that is focused on getting things done: thoughts about action.

The part becomes the trap

Returning to the connections between the centers, as mentioned earlier, most people have only a smaller number of connections active. When someone’s awareness is based in the Intellectual part of the Moving Center, this does not necessarily mean their connection to the Intellectual Center is well established. Often this connection is blocked to some degree, which means that there is some blocked energy, and the ‘part’ becomes the ‘trap’. It is a ‘trap’ because the majority of a person’s focus is spend locked in that part of the center, with significant inflexibility in accessing the wisdom of other centers.

For an example, say you were trapped in the Moving part of Intellectual center. In this trap, the energy that comes from a thought about putting something in the world would not move into action, nor come out as emotions that might inspire you further. You might think over and over thoughts about a plan of action, potential problems, analysis of other people involved and so on, but not do anything towards the plan. The impulse stays in the intellectual center, without using the balancing and completing energy of the moving and emotional centers. The trap tends to be a downward spiral, no matter what center it is based in. In this case, there might be a recognition of procrastination going on, in which case even more thoughts about doing something about it would form. Rather than solve the blockage in flow between the centers, this places even more energy in the already over-utilized centers. Those in a trap will have thoughts that things aren’t working because they’re not trying hard enough. There is thus more energy spend in doing the same thing with the same method, thinking things will be different.

Another example might be being trapped in the Moving part of Emotional center. This trap could appear in a number of ways, from always having a “jittery” feeling, to being very reactive to emotional events. In essence, there is an immediate emotional reaction to events, and then there is a reaction in the body (inwardly or outwardly) that keeps one in an emotional state. Any action that appears tends to be a frustrative reaction rather than a productive choice, and will have a strong emotional flavor. The full power of the Moving center has not been engaged and it is hard to step back and think in a detached manner about choices when a strong emotion is present. The trap is most noticeable when the reactions to emotions perpetually create even more emotions, leading to a life filled with emotional drama.

It is important to see that no trap is “better” than any other. They are all limitations: of perceptions, of resources, of choice. Society might have a preference that says it’s better to be stuck in the intellect, but aside from societal preferences there is no ‘better’ trap. Some will be more internal than external and are not as obvious to others who are not closely connected. The only issue is that of being whole; living more completely in who you are.

 

This ends Part 1. Part 2 involves techniques for balancing the centers.

? If you like this, read the next in the series!

2 07, 2007

Loving Awareness – an exercise

July 2nd, 2007|exercises, love, Self, wholeness|1 Comment

As I mentioned in the previous blog, I’m co-writing a book with Karen Murphy centered around the subject of Love.? Notice the capitals – it’s intentional.? It’s really meant to go beyond all the cultural stereotypes and assumptions we have about the subject (e.g., “a vague syrupy emotion that guarantees happiness”) coming back time and time again to the truth that we ARE Love. 

? Every part of us, without exception.? This of course is interplayed with all the duality we live in here on Earth.? We’re mostly done the “Levels of Love”, which aren’t based on cosmic grade schools, but more about the degree of allowing we have in our lives.? The duality is that Love already exists perfectly inside us, but our awareness and experience of it may not be consistent with this.? It doesn’t focus on the idea that a “higher level is better”, but instead, on seeing the perfection and unity of all expressions of Love, even actions such as survival-focused, reptilian brain ones which we tend not to think of as such.? It is via that perception that allow more expansive experiences.



I’d like to intersperse this with a little personal report on how this is affecting me.

Many changes seem to be happening inside me as this writing and channeling is going on.? First, as the focus on what Love IS continues, more potential for the experience of it has shown itself, and at the same time, more light has been shown on the manners in which I resist it. 

? Things I’ve not fully accepted about myself.

For example, this morning as I was meditating in the sunlight, fears came up strongly.? Before, I would feel plenty of discomfort, with many impulses to get up and abort the practice, but this time it was much more a direct experience – terror.? Today, these were all related to my impatience, such as what I’m “missing out”, intolerant thoughts such as “why haven’t I gotten over this yet!”, and thoughts of all the other things I could be doing now.? The latter ironically included things my mind thinks would be loving – which were always about the future and not in the present moment.? My impatience also does a wonderful job in excuses to avoid any pains or intense feelings occurring in the present moment.? Years ago I truly thought I couldn’t handle intense emotions and needed to be “fixed”.? Now there’s still some terror, but I know what is “me” is truly bigger than any of them.? Ironically, the emotions I could accept were the ones which I didn’t feel were “loving” emotions.? This now is superimposed on my newer understanding and application of Love which includes ALL these aspects of myself, which paradoxically includes, for example, small minded bickering (within myself and with others), frustration with myself, intolerance, and pure pain.?

When it comes to it, Love has been emphasized to me over the last few years – of which Troy’s group (Cocteauboy on here) has been a wonderful part – as a Wholeness.? That is, everything inside myself is already loving, including all parts I’d previously thought as not loving, such as anger.? More than that, it all IS Love.? This has changed so many perspectives, especially any perspective that thinks there is something in myself, or others, that needs fixing.? That change has been such a shift in truly appreciating the magnitude of simply being alive on Earth and in getting to a sense of play with all of life.



back to the book…

The following are 3 exercises that I am putting out there.? I would like as many people to try them as possible and report back any experiences and thoughts they have.? So no, you don’t have to comment right away on this one!

?

1. 

?? The first has simply to do with assisting you in transcending the sense of isolation that can exist.? Position yourself where you can feel sunlight on your body, preferably your face.? Closing your eyes, imagine yourself becoming one with the particles of light and energy that rain down upon you and around you.? Feel the Love that comes to you from the enormous source of energy that is available to you at almost any time.? This source of energy has, of course, no expectation whatsoever from you.? It is freely given.? It is yours.? Feel, then, again, the sense of oneness that begins to pervade you as you feel the warmth spread on your skin.? Allow yourself the freedom to expand INTO that source, for you are indeed a part of it.? Your sense of awareness, then, may begin to extend to other facets of nature.? Sense the trees in their perfection.? Inhale the scent of flowers, of the damp earth fresh from rain.? Listen to the sounds of nature all around you.? If you are not in a place where nature can be sensed so closely, you can still feel at one with the walls and the carpeting and the roof around you, for all of these things once came from nature.? Awareness that a thing is as perfect in moving from its original form to another will increase your sense of oneness with everything around you.

?

2. 

?? For the second part of this exercise, we encourage you to extend your awareness to the perceptions of others.? Specifically, to the meeting of the boundaries of your Self as you know it and the boundaries of others.? All of you have experienced a time when someone moved past your own internal boundaries and created within you a sense of discomfort.? This is especially true of children, and you all have memories of being children when your boundaries were crossed.? Many children react with violence, and some withdraw.? It is this pattern of behaviour that persists later in life.? It is important, then, to maintain an awareness of the boundaries of others whenever you attempt to connect with them for balance to be achieved.? The innate desperation we spoke of earlier creates a sense of urgency in connections, causing ‘rushing’ and ignoring of boundaries.? It is important to temper the connection within the confines of the boundaries of whom you are attempting to connect.? This then, leads to this second exercise.

?

Imagine your self surrounded in a circle of your closest friends, acquaintances, or family members.? You love all of them.? You are aware of their love for you. 

? Starting with a very small circle, imagine yourself sending an invisible cord from your heart to theirs through which to connect more closely.? If this is done slowly and with gratitude, you will sense at some point a slight barrier between you.? Feel this barrier, and allow your gratitude to expand and include it.? Enjoy this connection, and appreciate any sensations that come through this barrier, without any rush or urgency.

?

This circle can now grow further.? Allow then, the circle to begin to widen to include still others.? You notice this creates a momentary sense of the potential of loss.? Be aware that through the cord of connection the circle could widen to an infinite degree without you ever losing connection.? Practice attempting connection, feeling a boundary, appreciating it, and then allowing the circle to widen further with those of your immediate acquaintances for some time.? You will notice more than likely, shifts will occur within the construct of these relationships.? Notice them and allow them while maintaining the knowledge that the connections can never be severed, no matter how wide the circle grows.

?

You may wish to continue this exercise and practice it with those with whom you are less acquainted with, for instance, work colleagues.? It is not necessary to maintain an intense connection with those around you, but instead to simply allow a connection to develop and grow naturally between you.? Once allowed to develop naturally, the connection will strengthen of its own accord.

?

3. 

?? The third exercise involves increased awareness of Self.? You have all likely heard that in order to love others, you must first love yourselves.? We would not put it in such stark terms.? However, loving yourself is the SAME as loving others.? There is no difference.? Love is Love.?

?

Visualize yourself, then, high up on a remote, rocky mountaintop.? Your friend the sun is gently warming your face.? Your awareness extends to the circle you made in the second exercise, however it is far, far away, and you are simply alone.? You sense the grandeur of your surroundings, yet, at the same time, you are aware of the perfection that exists within the rhythmic being of your own heart.? And it is this sound that now lulls you to sleep at night.? On this mountaintop, you are aware of the rhythmic ebb and flow of the tides of the movement of clouds across the atmosphere of the ever present circling of the seasons as they occur around you.? On this mountaintop, you experience time both very quickly and very slowly at the same time.? Allow then, your awareness to build towards the circle you made, and toward the source of the sun at the same time.? Moving in both directions causes your own inner source, your heart, to grow as well.? You are now aware that your entire existence can reside within the vastness of your own heart.? This gives you a tremendous sense of peace and gratitude for the perfection that is you.

[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]