Thursday, January 28, 2016

Are You All In?

commitment Commitment is a complicated and funny concept. On the one hand it represents strict, unbending discipline. On the other it represents a giving up, or letting go--a turning of one's soul totally over to a belief.

The first definition makes me feel tired. Don't we all feel a commitment to working as hard as we can to make our lives happy? We grit our teeth and grimly set forth on the laborious path to what we believe will create happiness and fulfillment. This brings out the rebel in me. Why not work smart, not hard? Or, maybe it's not a matter of "work" at all?

The second definition of commitment is scary to me. It's the commitment it takes to jump into the abyss; take that leap of faith, or give up all your preconceived notions, plans and schemes for success, and let the Universe just provide.

Somewhere in the middle of these two extremes is where most of us dwell for the short years we have on this planet. We beat ourselves up for not "sticking with it"; but then beat ourselves up because we realize we just can't let go and have a little faith in life. All the while, happiness, contentment and fulfillment seem like bubbles in the wind.

abyss I must say, after 60-plus years of wearing myself out working my ass off, instead of achieving a modicum of happiness for my trouble, I instead have realized the utter futility of it. Over my lifetime I've often glanced over at the Second Way longingly wondering if that would be the fruitful path not taken. I even dabbled in it sometimes when the stakes weren't very high, with mixed results.

Now I'm wondering, what if the Universe is just waiting for me to get out of my own way? What if I'm unconsciously blocking the Universe by making all these plans, cooking up all these schemes, and worrying my pretty little head about outcomes. There's a nagging knowing that this is the true reality of my life, that the ego must demonstrate how powerful it is in creating a life for me. But what if that is all just bullshit? What if the doorway to fulfillment and the actualizing of all my grandest wishes and dreams was as simple as just asking for it?

The Universe sometimes has a way of pointing directly at your self-esteem issues when you ask for something. We jump over into planning and working hard to prove to ourselves we're worthy of what we ask for. "Work hard enough, and you can have everything you want." I think this is mostly a lie. Sure, hard work and slavish commitment to an objective is how most of us get stuff we want, but what if that is the "long way 'round"?

Instead, what if it's more a matter of asking for something and then being completely, and committedly willing to do, be or not do and not be whatever comes up in the actualizing of it, and what if doing and being only those ways of joy and ease was the fastest track to bringing your dreams to fruition?

joy and ease In other words, you want the joy and ease in your life that your objective would bring. What if the path to that objective was doing and being that joy and ease right now? All the Universe seems to want to know is, Are you committed to the joy and ease your dreams would bring? Can you truly receive that, or are you awash in doubts and self-defeatism? The Universe is all too willing to let you thrash around in those doubts, otherwise how would you become aware of the alternative?

Say it with me: I hereby COMMIT to the joy and ease the actualization of my dreams would bring, vow to become joy and ease in my life right now, becoming a powerful, shining beacon the Universe cannot miss in bringing me everything grand and wonderful I can imagine, and beyond. Are you ALL IN?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Reverse Engineer Your Pain

anchor After being on the spiritual discovery path for most of my 63 years, I've come to see that there are just about as many approaches to how to go about this journey as there are people. In other words, spiritual journeys are a deeply individual experience, and ultimately, only the journeyer can decide which way to go, or what approach to take.

Ironically, there are also some very tried and true techniques to use to speed you on your way that seem to apply to practically everyone--results vary. My own style of research and discovery into who and more vitally, what I am, includes trying out practically every mode and modality I run across. I've often thought, If I just stayed with one damn technique I'd probably be a lot further along by now. But then, this would be only if I didn't change as a result of applying these various tools. I change--need a new tool. And although that seems like a bit of an excuse, it seems to work for me as I am now.

That said, one observation I keep running across, and then processing on, is how the emotions are intertwined with the physical body. There are hundreds of modalities that address the emotional component of physical disease and discomforts, yet basically, they are all saying the same thing.

My favorite spiritual teacher and savant, Teal Swan, summed up this whole approach with one question: "How does your pain make you feel?" Sit with that for a moment. "How does your pain make you feel?" What emotions are triggered by your pain?

emotions The reason this is such a significant approach is because the structure of pain and dis-ease in the body is underpinned, anchored and given form by the emotions or feelings from which they arose. By re-experiencing these emotions, we're able to effectively "reverse-engineer" and de-construct our pain.

It goes like this: Say, you experience knee pain. Now sit with that pain for a moment--not resisting it, not judging it, or fleeing from it. Instead, observe how that pain makes you feel. Pick out some emotions--there will be several.

For example, I felt my knee pain and it had a feeling of helplessness about it. I followed that back into my past, asking for the earliest time where I felt helplessness like that. I ran straight into a time when I was about 8 years old and had badly sprained my ankle. I couldn't walk on it, and was limping around. My friends wanted me to come out and play, but I had to say I couldn't. This tied into feelings of abandonment and rejection--not to mention frustration. I realized my knee pain had dozens, if not hundreds, of "anchors" or connecting points with past incidents.

I immediately began to feel my knee loosening up a bit, and inflammation and pain levels going down. I kept re-addressing the feelings my knee pain was putting me through, with it becoming increasingly clear that although physically the knee was swollen, stiff, sore and hard to walk on--all of that was being held in place by a previous emotional state. The "holding in place" of those emotions, over time, created physical changes and mutations resulting in knee pain.

emotions Another one of my favorite teachers, Christopher Hills, always emphasized that emotion is "E, energy, in - MOTION". When the motion stops or is obstructed in some way, either by denial or lack of interest, or misunderstanding, it eventually creates physical disease and discomfort.

Thus, pain becomes a virtual key to emotional freedom. Emotions are locked up in the pain. By simply looking at them, the energy is reset into motion and pain dissipates.

This is such a simple mechanism it's easy to forget about it--not to mention pain has a way of distracting attention away from its cause. Use your pain as your deep existential treasure--your strident path to ease and joy in the body and freedom of choice in life.