As I’ve written about before, I’ve been noticing the tangible impact of practicing offering blessings as I move through the world. One of the most important is the ongoing practice of blessing water. Water carries memory, as demonstrated in the work of Masaru Emoto, where he looked at the crystalline structure of frozen water molecules before and after they were blessed, as well as when they were sent love, gratitude, hate, or “you’re a loser”. It’s quite compelling research and, in case you haven’t seen it, here’s a link to a YouTube video about water and memory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOp-bxNug5A. There are many other related videos, as well, if you are interested.
Many people don’t believe that water carries memory, or that it matters if water is blessed before taken into the body. Many of us forget that our bodies are up to 65% water and, when we take into account the images that come from Emoto’s work, we can better appreciate why blessing water is an important practice for our overall sense of well-being.
I am also a proponent of expressing a great deal of ongoing love and gratitude for my body, as it’s the means by which I’m here in the world. I include my awareness that the water in my body will carry my love and gratitude within it as it circulates. Whether it directly affects my body, I don’t really know but, even with the inevitable changes that come with aging, I know I feel better when I actively engage this practice.Read More “765th Week: Blessing Water”
Continuing with a recent theme, I’ve been thinking about what practices can offer support during a time when so many sources of distress, uncertainty, suffering, and fear are in our personal and collective atmosphere just about all the time. As I pondered our current collective situation, solution-focused therapy practices came to mind. In solution-focused therapy, clients are invited to place an emphasis on noticing things that go right in their environment, relationships, and everyday lives.
With this in mind, I’d like to offer a practice around noticing what’s going right. When we are able to do that, we perceive the world through a filter more focused on wholeness, where there is room for everything—for what causes discomfort and distress and what offers support, optimism, hope, inspiration, and enjoyment. All too often, it seems to me, we can become caught in a focus on what’s negative or destructive and forget that there are also positive and constructive things going on in our world.
A mundane example related to the situation with my feline housemates that I described last week is not only a recognition of the pain and distress caused by surgery but also a recognition of the blessings offered by medication that reduces pain and the slow “bouncing back” of all concerned.
And so, for this week, here’s a practice to play with. As you do, please track where you find yourself not wanting to shift from problems to what’s going right. It can be very illuminating to discover how loyal we can be to what causes us distress and our culture tends to discount, if not negate outright, positive actions and events happening locally and around the world.Read More “857th Week: Noticing What’s Going Right”
Walking across Central Park one morning, I became aware of the returning presence of birdsong throughout the park. It’s always a sure sign of spring and, along with the brightening of the light, touches me with the promise of the season to come. It also reminds me of the inevitability of change and of the gift of having a head’s up that change is coming, no matter how subtle that signal may be.
As a trauma therapist, and someone who works with shock trauma on a pretty consistent basis, I know the price the body and psyche pay when experiences emerge for which there was no warning. As a person who constantly delves into new information about science and processes in nature, I also keep in mind the idea of “emergence”, of the ways in which nature seeks novelty and brings together unlikely elements to create something new. I mentioned this in a prior practice, about how bringing together two air elements—a molecule of oxygen and a molecule of hydrogen—creates an unexpected outcome—a fluid, water. For me, this demonstrates how nature is full of surprises, how life is full of surprises, and that we never really know what will emerge within the context of a new cycle. Read More “709th Week: Noticing Emerging Change”
Listening to a cooking show on NPR this morning, there was an interview with a man who has a restaurant in Houston, TX called Underbelly Hospitality. I didn’t hear the very beginning of the interview, but the gist was that the owner/chef has a great interest in foods of every kind, from many different countries, and has spent a great deal of time with other chefs/restauranteurs in the area getting to know the in’s and out’s of their particular kinds of food, including Vietnamese and others. What struck me most powerfully is that he is a man who practices what I call “mutual empowerment”. At his restaurant, there was a time when the check for meals was accompanied by a list of other restaurants in the area where people could go, inviting them to explore how these foods tasted in various places. His goal was, and is, to share all the wonderful resources in his city and to cultivate his close relationships with other chefs in the city.
I’ve written before about the power dynamics of “power-over” and those of “mutual empowerment.” In the “power-over” model, there are only two positions: who’s on top and who’s on the bottom, who has power and who is over-powered. We see this kind of power relationship in many countries in the world right now, including the United States. In the “power-over” model, only a relatively few people are granted the privilege to have power over a vast majority of people. Many are left out…Read More “767th Week: Practicing Mutual Empowerment”
During times of extreme stress, such as those we collectively and individually face as a global community at this time, it can be a challenge to move through daily life with our hearts open. It can also be a challenge to feel centered and grounded, and I’ve written a few prior practices to support returning to a grounded center.
One of the unfortunate side effects of the level of stress we collectively experience at this time is a tendency to constrict our hearts. More than ever, this is a time when, because of the pandemic and also the challenge of climate change, we need to awaken our hearts to ourselves, to one another, and to our planet.
For this week, I’d like to offer a practice for cultivating an open heart. Many years ago, back in the early 1970’s, my first therapist often drew on approaches drawn from Psychosynthesis. Created by an Italian psychiatrist, Roberto Assagioli, Psychosynthesis is a transpersonally-oriented psychotherapy which uses guided imagery and work with symbols, among other approaches.Read More “802nd Week: Cultivating an Open Heart”