Sentient Consumption

Posted on 25 October 2013 | No responses

A few years ago, when I was closer to being a 100% raw foodist than I am right now, I had a blissful and educational experience with picking and eating food from my backyard.  Some of it was cultivated, some was growing wild.  At that time, I joked with my family that when I ate a carrot, I didn’t feel like I was just eating, I felt like I was communing with carrot consciousness!  But it was true – I did feel that eating was a multi-sensory and even multi-dimensional activity.

DSC01561One thing that I noticed is that when I would go to pick from plants, they would seem to offer the things they wanted me to pick.  For instance with basil plants or lettuce, I would sense them communicating “take this leaf…but not that one.”  Sometimes it would seem that the angle of the leaves, or the light or the size would guide me to know which leaves were being pushed forward to be taken.  I would pick selectively based on these feelings.

I got the impression that the ones I was being offered were the ones that were at the apex of their development – they didn’t have much farther to grow or expand, so I was being welcomed to help them to continue their existence in another form.  The ones who still had room or potential to develop further – I needed to leave those ones.

I noticed through experimenting that the plants I purposefully and consciously picked from grew stronger and bigger – more so than the ones I did not pick from at all.  It reminded me of how with breastfeeding an infant, magically the more they nurse, the more milk you have to give them.  It was like I was encouraging the growth of the plants if I picked the right way.  It was very important not to pick everything, for instance taking every blackberry off the bush, but only encouraging their contribution by taking what was offered.

From these backyard encounters  I learned the value of sentient, attuned consumption.  Plants and other organisms are developing their experiential knowledge and wisdom, just as we are.  When this process has reached its culmination point, if they can give this accrued wisdom to another being, then they have expanded their impact beyond themselves, which is inherently fulfilling.  It is similar to when we have gained knowledge through living and it feels good to be able to share it with others.  In this way the lives we have lived take on greater meaning, purpose and value.  We know we have contributed.

DSC01559When we accept what is ripe and ready to be given, we receive the maximum nourishment from it.  The being that is giving feels its best is being received. The appreciation of their gift stimulates them to offer more gifts.  If we can be awake enough to only take what would be fulfilling for them to give, when we take what is given with sensitivity, acknowledgement and gratitude, then this becomes a beautiful co-creative relationship.  Nothing has suffered, all have been gifted.

I am not a vegan, partially because I don’t feel that plant life is less sentient than animal life.  I believe this dynamic of co-creative offering is also ideally possible with animals, and sometimes the case in more earth-respecting cultures.  All life is valuable – the issue is that we let the being choose what to offer, that we attune enough to feel for that relationship, and that we treat the meaning of their life as sacred, and on par with the value and meaning of ours.  We can learn when we take something from another being into our bodies, and their life’s wisdom becomes part of us.  This is not intellectual learning, but deep and qualitative energy exchange.

You can start on the road to this process by beginning to notice what your body gravitates toward.  Slow down and sense what calls to you, in the grocery store and at the farmer’s market.  Feel into the produce and imagine which things would taste the best, or be the most enlivening to you.  It takes time, but we can learn to commune with other beings through this type of sensing.

 

A Theory of Change

Posted on 24 September 2013 | No responses

This past weekend I did a workshop on how we might use intention and awareness of energy/energy work to bring about social change.  It was long and fabulous and full of interesting content.  Near the end I talked about this time of paradigmatic shift and how you can have things from the old system right beside things from the new.  A participant sent me this link the next day – I like the Berkana Institute’s idea of the old systems needing hospice care:

Two Loops: How Systems Change from The Berkana Institute on Vimeo.

I also like some of their resources, like this article about how the way change in living systems happens through the process of emergence.

 

Notes from August Manifesting Workshop

Posted on 13 September 2013 | No responses

A few weeks ago I did a workshop on “manifesting” – aka using intention and awareness of energy to get things to happen.  It was a great experience and the next day I wrote some summary notes that I sent out to participants.  People wanted to share them with friends and so asked if I would post them on this blog.  Here they are:

What is manifesting?
  • purposely attracting a circumstance or relationship
  • making something happen — actively creating
  • aligning energy with what you want — connecting with the core or ground level reality
  • making happen the vision in your head
  • getting congruent with yourself
  • being able to tolerate or allow the actualization of your vision when it starts happening (managing self-sabotage)
  • a multi-component process that involves intending, allowing, receiving – creating
  • a dialogue between your conscious and unconscious

To this list I would like to add:

intention that organizes experience

Things we use to manifest:
  • prayer
  • meditation – allows space for things to arise – either sitting with something or something just comes
  • affirmations
  • EFT – handles opposing voices, memories, feelings to bridge from what I think I am to what is not me or hasn’t yet been part of my experience
  • art/collage/vision boards
  • movement – embodying an energy or vision
  • visualization
  • writing down goals
  • having others witness our commitment or vision
  • noticing or acknowledging synchronicities
  • doing playful things, using magic and ritual
  • singing/chanting
  • acting it out or pretending
  • scripting or writing out your perfect experience – what it will feel like
  • lists
  • feeling into the body to give us direction about what we are creating, and make decisions
Other ideas I wanted to re-iterate:
  • narrative (and identity is a type of narrative) affects what and how your perceive, so different things become accessible if you tell a different story
  • completing emotional cycles help you to have more of yourself present and able to use intention effectively
  • any work that helps you become more whole helps your ability to manifest
  • manifesting causes you to develop as a person – you become the person who is able to welcome and hold the thing you are seeking
  • we are affected by others and collective patterns, in terms of our beliefs and how our experience plays out but the more conscious we are of that, the more choices we have
  • at different ages/stages we are developing different sets of core beliefs (e.g. I am safe in the world) & emotional postures – sometimes these need to change to allow specific goals to manifest
  • it’s good to get support/containers/resources to work through traumas that might be blocking the energy around something – friends, therapy, spiritual connection, tools
  • judgement stops us from using certain energies we might need
  • often having things be easy or the path be open, is a matter of getting all our sub-personalities on the same page, helping them all feel heard and considered, and therefore able to collaborate on the goal/process
  • the universe says yes to what you are choosing with your vibration, so figure out what you are choosing with the types of thoughts and feelings you are having
  • when you are feeling bad, it’s good to just observe and be with the feelings without adding to them or creating any thoughts or actions from them – wait until a shift or sense of resolution comes — your body is processing something, so wait until that process is complete
  • some additional tools mentioned – flower essences, ho’oponopono, forgiveness, asking for divine assistance (for instance, in order to stay in the space of creating anew instead of in established patterns)

 

Here are a few bits of the feedback from people who came:
“I really appreciated when you told that woman to listen to her negative feelings. You don’t have to suppress your negative feelings because manifesting is about integrating and understanding your whole being.  I appreciate how deep and real what you share is – it’s not that new age jargon that some people talk about but don’t actually know.  You actually know the wholistic spiritual process that needs to be happening.”
“I found the workshop to be very beneficial. I liked that you used several different mediums to engage us in our awareness and understanding of manifesting. I really enjoyed the opportunity to have a personal reading…Your specific feedback to me was and is very helpful.”
“You are so integrated in the truth of what you’re saying, that it’s disarming.  You don’t have anything to prove and your ability to articulate is profound – you speak in a way that’s so plain that it betrays the complexity of what you are saying.”

ADHD & A Return to Nature

Posted on 31 July 2013 | No responses

I did a bit of energy-reading  for a friend recently about her kids – one of her boys has an ADHD/gifted diagnosis and the younger one is being homeschooled (so no label yet) but shows some of the same traits as his older brother did at the same age.

I can’t remember all of the information I received, but I want to write about the part that has been with me over the last few days.

800px-Rainforest_living_up_to_its_nameI was explaining to her that I have a theory that ADHD is linked to experiencing chronic stress and trauma early in life. There’s a youtube clip I love where Bruce Lipton talks about how a pregnant woman’s emotional and physical state (influenced by her thoughts and beliefs) are responsible for imprinting subconscious orientations on her baby at a physiological level. The example he gives is that if a woman is stressed out, and her body reacts by going into ‘fight or flight’, then that results blood flow moving from the internal organs out to the limbs, and from the front of the brain to the back of the brain, which governs physical co-ordination. The reaction in the fetus is the same – blood flows out to the limbs and to the back of the brain. The difference is, for the woman it’s a temporary state but for the fetus that is developing, so there’s a long-term cost: diverted blood flow means the limbs getting bigger while the internal organs become less developed than they otherwise would, and there’s more development in the back of the brain (that’s concerned with survival) and less development at the front of the brain (that’s involved with higher order thinking).

He says that a pregnant woman who is chronically stressed is growing a street-fighter or an athlete.

I also saw something on the internet recently about how a neurobiologist named Jaak Panksepp has done research where he induced ADHD in rats by reducing the size of their frontal lobes.

So anyway, my friend had asked me to tune in on how her son’s ADHD meds were working to help him – because they do help him do better in school. It looked like his energy is very ambitious, wants to accomplish a lot, cover a lot of ground, and has the capability to do many things at once, and express in a big way. I felt that if this energy couldn’t come out in its preferred style – as a wide-ranging, exploratory and striving consciousness, then it could come out kinetically, or physically. I felt his medication stimulated his brain so that it felt like it was doing what his system wanted to do – getting high from pushing his limits and expanding in an exciting way – even though it wasn’t actually doing those things. I also felt that this high capacity is one reason why he can do several things at once. While teachers might see this as not being able to focus, to me it looked like being asked to do something that only takes up a small portion of attention, so if you didn’t add in other activities, you’d be bored and under-stimulated.

Then an idea started coming to me…if you’ve ever been very ill or in a situation where you are close to dying, you might have experienced that the body has its own will to live. It begins to tell you in very clear terms what you need to do to survive. Many things that might previously have been important to your personality fall away – your system seems to know that you just have to do what you need to do to survive regardless of how it looks to other people. You move back to the core systems and fundamental free-energy flows that support life. I felt like kids with ADHD and other related syndromes represent a collective dynamic that parallels that type of dynamic within an individual.

It was a little shocking for me to see this – I think sometimes I’m still not totally able to acknowledge how our civilization has reached the end of the line with the values we’ve historically held. Our structures really aren’t sustainable and it’s showing in a myriad of ways.

I got the sense that these are the children that mark our return to nature. We have deviated so much from following what our systems know on a biological level, that our children don’t get enough of a nourishing foundation from which to be able to self-regulate to the degree we think is normal. Those expectations and constraints aren’t “normal” anyway, and the standards have been getting higher, but the point is that the self-regulating system in our kids is breaking down – many kids now experience burnout almost from the beginning. So they revert to what is considered “abnormal” – but what is natural when the system needs to regenerate. They don’t self-regulate and self-contain according to societal norms, they must go with their natural responses which may be at odds with society. And because conforming to one’s society is an important survival strategy, there must be a deeper biological survival mechanism trumping that one.

Parenting models that suggest we should sometimes force children to do things they don’t want to do because it’s a good life skill, don’t make any sense for these kids. You need a healthy internal foundation to come from, in order to successfully take in these life lessons given under duress. Children who, by default, live in a very stressed-out environment, don’t have a wide band of tolerance for stress or suppressing their impulses. Pushing them past their ability to cope by forcing, drains both the children and their caretakers of resources. Rebuilding that inner foundation is what needs to be addressed, and that’s a society-wide issue.

I felt that in future we might see a movement of young people getting into ‘living indigenously’ or nature survivalism as a sport. Partially because nature is the only thing that can contain many of them…and the way they function is the way that humans need to function to survive in nature.

The more I thought about this, the more sense it made to me. Animals are profoundly sensitive on a sensory level – they get so much information from smells, sounds, sight, touch. Rupert Sheldrake (the morphic field guy) has written a book about experiments that prove that animals pick up energy – for instance, pets knowing (at a distance) when their owners have died or are in trouble.

If you imagine the kind of awareness one would need to live in a forest – the subtle, diffuse and simultaneous awareness of all of that exists there – those are the types of awareness states that many kids are displaying.

It’s weird how the type of sensitivity you would need to exist in nature is considered dysfunctional and a liability in our society. It’s hard to be a sensitive alive being in such an anti-organic environment.  Now that our levels of sensory suppression are reaching levels dangerous to ourselves and other species, the pendulum is swinging and our children are coming with the volume on their ability to feel turned up high.

So in terms of parenting choices in our society, at this point in history – certain things start to make sense in this light. Diets that have few additives, processed or artificial ingredients, even possibly raw or paleo type diets. Kids with sensory issues often hate to wear clothes – animals don’t enjoy being constrained in clothes either. Using herbs and natural remedies that acknowledge the body as an alive feeling organism,  rather than allopathic solutions which approach the body as a machine. Time outside. Lots of physical activity and contact. Heart-based direct communication that is simple and honest. Connecting and connectedness as a way of life.

Even if we can’t actually be in nature more, we are a part of nature, and we can prioritize following what our bodies tell us.

This energy-read has slightly altered how I look at parenting my daughter, who at times has seemed to show some signs of sensory disintegration. I feel like I’ve already done the right thing by trying to respect her natural rhythms and being spare about when I feel it’s important to take a hard line or enforce things – seeing this has reassured me and given me permission to deepen into that approach. It makes me realize that it’s important to help her be as relaxed as possible, and to create protective spaces where she can stay open to what her body tells her. It’s also going to change how I approach food I think – going to try to do more wild, organic, raw.

c 2010

Surviving School

Posted on 31 July 2013 | No responses

A friend was over with her kids, and she asked me for advice on how to talk to her daughter’s kindergarten teacher at a parent-teacher interview tomorrow. She’s not happy because her daughter has been labeled as ‘behind’ in reading and writing because she is not at the same level as other kids in her class. Apparently, her daughter will ask “what letter is this?” and the teacher will say “I can’t tell you – this is kindergarten and you are supposed to know stuff like that already.” The child is starting to feel bad about herself and comes home saying ‘I’m not as good at reading as the other kids and the people at school won’t tell me the letters.’

Just to say – this is kindergarten at an alternative school, with a teacher who is ostensibly interested in progressive models of education.

I tuned into the teacher, and saw that she believes that one way to get the children to meet the benchmarks is to hold and communicate high expectations. She’s figured out that most children want to meet adult expectations. When she’s saying things like “you are supposed to know this already,” what she’s aiming at is having the child recognize that they haven’t been meeting the expectations, hop to it, and strive to meet them.

But what I also saw, is that this technique works mostly with children who are used to being raised with a behaviour modification model – if you do (insert “good” behaviour) you get a reward, if you don’t do (good behaviour) then no reward, if you do (bad behaviour) you get a punishment. I would say the majority of people use this method to some degree with their kids – which is essentially training kids with a Pavlovian response model often used on animals.

This little girl has been raised with respect for her feelings and perspective.  She holds the sense that she is okay however she is (although obviously according to the school system right now she isn’t okay as she is). She isn’t responding to that motivation method because she doesn’t recognize it or what is expected in response to it, so the teacher is seeing her as difficult to motivate.

So my friend asked – but okay how can the teacher motivate my daughter to do something that is not within her capacity? If the teacher says okay I expect you to speak Mongolian, she is not going to be able to suddenly speak Mongolian.

When I looked into that, what I saw was that when adults use behaviour modification on kids, often they are giving and taking things that are essential to a child’s survival – attention, approval, affection, physical autonomy – in order to have leverage in the power struggle. So a child responds to those motivators as if in a survival crisis – they go into total focus, and re-allocate resources toward managing that crisis. Cued to be committed to this goal as if it’s a life or death thing, they will do everything they can to accomplish it or make it look as if they have. They will use any means they can find – look at their neighbours’ work, study what other kids are doing, search for subtle clues, hide, cheat, lie, etc.

Over-utilizing reward-punishment methods means the child is in survival mode a lot – and that has a cost. Number one – it means resources are being diverted from other developmental tasks (ones we probably don’t even know about); number two – we are not meant to be in survival mode most of the time, and after a while the mechanism wears out so that’s when you get kids that can’t be motivated by any means; number three – it wires the brain in a very specific way – in either/or, domination/subordination, and strategic tunnel vision patterns. Add to that the physical toll and emotional trauma that comes out of being constantly under that kind of stress.

I understood from seeing this, that ‘achievement’ of the benchmarks is gotten by leading kids from survival reaction to survival reaction. And it’s this way throughout school – so there is very little room for students to think about who they would be or what they would do if they weren’t so focused on just surviving.

I wanted to look at why it was so important that kids are all on the same developmental schedule, from the teacher’s point of view. It looked like being a little bit behind in kindergarten, especially in reading & writing, would lead to a magnification of disadvantage as the grades went on. For instance – in grade one the teaching methods would switch over to more reading-based instruction, so a child who can’t read would have a disadvantage in absorbing all that was presented. As later material builds on earlier material, the gap would multiply. So there’s a big push for early intervention to catch the kids who ‘lag behind’, and the teachers have their own types of stress about it.

Why would they switch over to primarily reading-based instruction? Because it’s much easier to “teach” a class of 30 by telling them all to read something, rather than designing activities that allow them to learn in unique, experiential and multisensory ways.

There is a strange conflict between the idea that school is supposed to support a child’s learning and the idea that school is there to evaluate a child’s competence. How can labeling, which leads to a way of thinking about the child that is limiting because it makes it seem like something incidental or transitory is inherent or relatively unchangeable, be supportive of their learning? The classifications also have social implications; the school is looking at grouping the children in next year’s classes based on reading ability. As my friend said – that is streaming…in kindergarten.

It was good to look at this today, because lately I find myself considering putting my daughter in school. I’ve been straining to live up to my own expectations as a homeschool parent in the last month because I’ve been really busy. But seeing this reminded me that I want to protect her from the developmentally inappropriate expectations that school has for young children, and that impact that can have on a kid’s self-esteem. Does it matter if they read at age 4 or 8? Not really in the big scheme of things. But school will systemically punish the child who starts reading later, because the child needs to fit the system or the system can’t function.

Everything I do on a spiritual level, is about moving out of living in survival, and into cultivating a sense of abundance and relaxation so we have the inspiration and leisure to build heaven on earth. Survival is about war – war with the earth, war with life. Seeing how systems that use reward-punishment make survival a way of life, and eventually the only available option, makes me more committed to evolve beyond them in whatever ways I can.

People have a hard time conceptualizing an education system that doesn’t enforce standardization or conformity, because they can’t understand how you would meet the individual needs of many kids at once. But it is possible – they just have to decide that it is, and then figure out how to do it.

c 2010

Working with Affirmations

Posted on 23 June 2013 | No responses

These ideas about working with affirmations are a fusion of all the different resources I’ve encountered (including books by Louise Hay, Shakti Gawain etc.) plus my own experiential learnings. The way affirmations are applied in Rebirthing has been of particular interest and influence. (I recommend exploring the ideas of Leonard Orr and Sondra Ray.)

Techniques

This is how I use affirmations myself. I come up with a desired outcome and put it into a positively structured sentence.

example: “I am always well-rested.”

Then I write out the phrase, noting the thoughts and especially the emotions and bodily reactions that come up in response to it.

example:

“I am always well-rested.” (anxiety, thought: ‘but my child gets up every 3 hours!’)

Whatever the emotion, I try to go into it or rest in it until it passes or transforms into something else. In this case, let’s say the anxiety just fades away.

Then I write it out again, noting my response – usually it is something different but related or similar to the first. Maybe same feeling, slightly different thought – I do the same accepting and feeling the emotion until it is gone. I repeat this process until I see my thoughts becoming more neutral or at least less negative. If I get stuck, I will create an affirmation that addresses the block directly and then repeat the response/acceptance process again.

example:

“My daughter is sleeping in longer and longer chunks”. (‘well, her sleep patterns are better than they were; I do see them improving as she gets older’)

I find I usually need to do this affirmation exercise for 3 days in a row before I see evidence of change in my life (ie. things will magically rearrange themselves to make the statement true). Each time, I try to write out the affirmation until I see my responses getting increasingly positive and believing of the affirmative phrase. Once I see that happening at the beginning of the exercise (ie the first time I write out the affirmation) I know I have cleared that issue.

Then I might just post it someplace where I will see it occasionally.

Another way I use affirmations is to write out several affirmations that all generally express the same idea and reinforce each other. I adjust them as I go along, to fit my mood and goals. I try to make every phrase a bit different, or a bit more detailed.

example:

I choose to live an abundant life.

I experience abundance in every area.

I am linked to the unlimited abundance of the universe.

I am constantly increasing my conscious awareness of abundance.

When I am in need of general self-encouragement and uplift, I read a collection of affirmations I like, that I have put together from ones I’ve created or found. They cover all different aspects of life and are kind of organized by topic. I find just running through them when I am having trouble staying optimistic gives me a boost and leaves me thinking, yeah, that is the framework I want to come from.

Affirmations that I find especially helpful include ones that begin:

I am allowing…

I am giving myself permission…

I am choosing…

I am releasing my resistance to…

I am running the energy of…

I am holding the vibration of…

So an example might be “I am holding the vibration of health.”

You can also modify the affirmation by putting things like ‘in a quick and easy manner’, ‘in the best way possible’ or ‘in a way that serves the highest good of all concerned‘ in the phrase somehow. I don’t usually do this, unless it’s a more lengthy or detailed outline for manifesting something.

Affirmations Bring Up What Is Holding You Back

Affirmations are useful for making you conscious of what is holding you back so you can change it. They don’t work so well if you just repeat them while ignoring the underlying dynamics of your mind. Then it’s just a paste-over.

I find allowing the feelings to come up and resolve is what can make a shift happen really quickly. I’ve had this happen this year around money/success issues – I did the process once, in my head, and I really let myself go into the uncomfortable emotions that came up. Two days later I started a crazy month of doing more sessions than I could comfortably handle.

Often it’s pain standing in the way of us receiving, and we resist feeling it. Then we don’t get to have all the good that’s on the other side of it.

I just want to address the issue of the ‘negative’ emotion coming up and the idea that you need to stay away from negative emotions in order to attract things that are in synch with positive emotions. The negative emotion (representing conflicting beliefs) shows itself in reaction to the positive phrase – it has always been there effecting your creation of reality. Emotions are information about how your beliefs (conscious and unconscious) fit together. Where there is tension, there is contradiction.

Emotions Are Information

Learning to let your emotions just give you the information without reacting to them, or acting before all the information is relayed, is an important skill and one you can develop through meditation. Practices that encourage you to witness your thoughts and emotions, that show you how to just rest within a feeling without resisting it or trying to change it, are huge pieces of any healing journey. When you have a practice like this, you realize no emotion is never-ending or permanent.

Not clearing those emotions – not letting them express themselves fully – means that you continue to be affected by them, whether you realize it or not. And they influence the vibration you send out, since emotions are magnetic.

So I’m not suggesting that you dwell in what comes up, or that you devote a lot of analysis to it – but just feel it and let it go. If you need a bridging thought to get past immovable thoughts or sub-blocks of emotion, create another positive affirmation.

One last thing I’m going to mention is that you can get around mental and emotional blocks by giving the affirmations to yourself (or have them given to you) as hypnotic suggestion. This is another way of getting into a state outside of your normal thought patterns and ego so you don’t invoke the resistance of past beliefs or emotions – an in-the-moment awareness similar to some types of meditation. I have used this a few times with friends. The trick is to pitch the affirmation at just the right level of consciousness, when the person is in just the right state.

It’s An Art

There is an art to working with affirmations – choosing and structuring the statements so they resonate well to where you want to go and are appropriate to use where you are, listening to your body so you know where in the process you are and how close you are to results showing up in your reality. When it’s done well, it’s like a key turning smoothly in a lock – a simple, powerful and effective tool to use when you seek to make positive change.

“I now hold loving positive images of myself.”

“I choose wholeness and peace.”

“I allow the universe to support me in all I do.”

2008 Post Script:

EFT is a newer technique that also uses phrases, and sometimes affirmations. The idea is that you trigger emotional patterns or conflicts with the phrases and then tap on meridian points to disperse the energy associated with the pattern. Tapping often also induces a bit of an altered state. Ways you can combine affirmations with EFT include first tapping out the ‘negative’ feelings/thoughts and then tapping in ‘positive’ statements that can take their place, or tapping while saying an affirmation and then continue tapping while verbalizing your resistant feelings/thoughts, then returning to the affirmation.  There are lots of EFT resources available online and on youtube.

 

by Amy Johnson

c 2007

Body Wisdom

Posted on 23 June 2013 | No responses

An important element of creating consciously is learning to feel your body from the inside and becoming sensitive to the messages it’s giving you about your thoughts and experiences. Surprisingly, a lot of people cannot do this because they’ve needed to block out sensations and emotions in order to survive or cope. This skill forms the basic foundation of the intuitive work I do; since we are all receivers and emitters of energy, I literally tune into other people by looking inside my body for the information.

Benefits that come from being able to feel your body and its messages include:

  • knowing how you really feel about things
  • being able to sense whether a given path is right for you
  • understanding people better
  • being able to clear emotional blocks
  • being present and open to what is happening in the ‘now’

Depending on your individual journey, being more aware of your body sensations could lead to outcomes like:

  • feeling freer in your personal expression
  • improved relationships
  • intuitive or artistic development
  • healing from illness
  • becoming ‘plugged-in’ to your sense of purpose

Exercises

A simple and common way of starting out is by scanning your body for tension and letting your attention rest there. Notice if it changes and how it changes. You may find the tension originates from another region of your body or you might connect with emotion that comes up. You may get images or memories; the tension might just leave. Just doing this everyday can have profound effects. By putting your attention on a body part, you are directing energy to it, allowing it to unwind and speak to you.

You are already accessing intuition through your body. Here is an exercise that can show you this:

Try thinking about different people and noticing what your body feels in response to the thought of them.

You are picking up information about their energy system and how your energy system reacts to theirs. Of course, you are connecting to them through your own filters, (which is fine, since these help orient and protect you in a certain way) but as your filters become more neutral, you become more able to receive people as they are. Once you have cleared enough of your own ‘stuff’ (ego structures that show up on a body level) you will find your ability to get ‘objective’ information improves. Lightening your filters (which is in essence, living a more spirit-based life) is also a constant and infinite process.

Using the Body to Make Decisions

Body awareness can be used to make decisions or choices.

Pretend you have already chosen option A. How does that feel to your body? Now pretend you’ve chosen option B. What does your body say about that? Your ‘gut reaction’ can factor in variables that you cannot keep track of consciously. The body is in touch with all possible timelines that spin out from the present moment. Since you are looking for a future that feels good, it works to go with one that makes your body feel good when you think about it – more alive, free, secure or whatever quality you prefer. If we take this body-listening to a subtler level, focusing in with greater detail on the quality of responses, the body can tell us exactly what doesn’t work about a particular option. Then we can use this to create or imagine variations until we hit on one that does make all of us, including the body, say ‘Aha! That’s the one I want’.

Try asking your body about every decision you need to make, from ‘What should I eat?’ to ‘Should I get into a relationship with this person?’ It doesn’t have to be the only information you take into account, but asking the body’s opinion will give you a well-rounded perspective. If you’re getting uncomfortable or bad vibes about something, ask your body what it would prefer, what would be better or what needs to happen for the situation to feel okay.

Body Feelings are an Important Source of Knowledge

Emotions and the body have been undervalued in our society for so long. This has not only caused certain social imbalances, but also cut us off from an important source of knowledge. Part of the path of being an integrated and empowered person is learning to value the body’s wisdom.

In time, being in touch with one’s body extends to naturally include being more in touch with other beings around us – empathy and connectedness become a way of life. Becoming allies with the ‘body’ of the earth will solve many of the problems we have created on the planet. Just like our bodies, she’s got a lot to say – she’s just waiting for us to ask. ;-)

 

by Amy Johnson

c 2007

Translator as Artist

Posted on 28 April 2013 | No responses

As part of our homeschooling fun, I’ve been watching sign language translations of music on youtube in the hopes that I’ll be able to teach the kids in our homeschooling group some signs via their favourite pop songs.

Most of the ASL song videos are actually signed English, which means they use ASL signs but use one sign per English word which is not how ASL is actually “spoken”.  It’s a good way to learn signs but doesn’t actually make sense in ASL.

A few years ago, when we lived in a small town in BC for a short time, I joined an American Sign Language choir and it was an amazing experience that I’ve always wanted to replicate.  Some people in the choir were deaf, some hard of hearing, some could hear but not speak, some could both hear and speak.  It was a very heart-centred group, with a wonderful facilitator.  I discovered that I learned signs so quickly through music and it was also a beautiful way of integrating my mind, heart and body.

I’ve discovered that my favourite interpreter is a woman who’s handle is Soph1951.  Through watching her I’ve discovered many things, but a key one is that a translator is an artist (key for me because my job is translating non-verbal impressions of energy into words).  When I watch a well-interpreted song, I actually feel the emotions more than if I were just listening to the song!  I notice how she matches her energy to the energy of the song, and how the felt emotion in the voices is subtly translated in the the way the sign and facial expression is put across. It blew me away to see her interpret the same song by two different singers, differently!  I also love the fluidity, clarity and elegant efficiency of her signing.

This is her doing Adele’s ‘Someone like You’:

 

 

I’m going to link another video I really like, a version of Goyte’s ‘Somebody that I Used to Know’ because it also shows the ASL interpretation as a cover of the original, complete with a video storyline:

 

 

I love Emilie Conrad

Posted on 28 April 2013 | No responses

Lately I’ve been exploring somatics and watching a lot of Emilie Conrad videos online. She’s the founder of Continuum Movement, which could be described as a type of movement therapy.  I find her to be so smart and inspiring – smart and inspiring in a way that only someone who’s mind and body is very integrated can be.

This is a little workshop excerpt that I particularly liked because of how she talks about trauma (she’s in her late 70′s here):


 

If you want to find out more about her work you can check out www.continuummovement.com.

Embodied Wisdom

Posted on 25 May 2011 | No responses

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