With the impact of the Delta variant of the Covid 19 pandemic, with suffering from effects of climate change all around the globe, and the intensity of the political polarization that affects much of our global population, it seems more important than ever to have available a practice that allows us to return to the steadiness that is always present in the core of our being, in our internal home base. Many times a day, I bring myself back to this awareness, when I find myself drifting into lines of thinking that either fuel activation or intensify feelings of helplessness in the face of all that is happening.
We know from work with trauma that cultivating the “noticing brain”—which is our present-day observer awareness—calms activation and helps the body and psyche to settle. “Noticing” is a lot different from “thinking”. It represents simply becoming aware of what is happening—what’s arising in this moment in our physical experience, our emotions, and our thoughts. Once we are aware, we have more choice. We can consciously choose to seek out sensations of settling, of steadiness—of whatever the qualities are that help us to center and ground ourselves.
For this week’s practice, I offer a brief approach that supports a return to steadiness and ease when you feel overwhelmed or captured by what’s going on in the world around you. As with all practices, play with this one so that it suits your sensibilities and style of settling. What follows are suggestions for how the process might unfold for you. You can do this standing, sitting, or lying down.Read More “843rd Week: Returning to Home Base, Cultivating ”Noticing””
An area of interest I’ve had for more than 40 years is the creative possibility inherent in what quantum physics has to say about the world. Thirty-eight years ago, I began to work actively with what I called the optimal future self, for want of a more precise term. This work had to do with inviting people to access the part of themselves that had already resolved whatever they sought to achieve, heal, or develop and depended, as it does to this day, on accessing the body state, the lived-in felt-sense, of the optimal future self.
At that time, I used the word “future” to imply something that wasn’t yet on board, even though in quantum terms past, present, and future come together in an ever-present now. It’s as though we can reach into a timeless realm of possibility and extract something that has an impact on our present-day lives. Over all these years, I have been personally affected by this practice in powerful ways and have watched countless others have beneficial outcomes as a result of reaching into “as-yet-to-be-realized” possibilities.
Because of these experiences, I find myself orienting to optimal futures during this time of deep and necessary demands for change in how we humans live with each other and with our planet. The results of the current pandemic, the devastating impact of the history of white supremacy in the United States, and the crisis we humans have created with our planetary environment all speak to me about an urgent need to orient to optimal possibilities for our future on the planet.Read More “789th Week: Accessing Optimal Futures”
So many of us have been taught that the nature of nature is “survival of the fittest”, suggesting that competition is the underlying principle of evolution. Elisabet Sahtouris, an evolutionary biologist, points out that the early stages of a species development involves competition, and that the mature stage is characterized by cooperation and collaboration within and between species. Agustín Fuentes, a biological and evolutionary anthropologist also points out the many moments of collaboration and cooperation in our human species, moments that arise spontaneously and seemingly without thought countless times each day.
There’s no question that we humans can be cruel and injurious to one another, and to other species, and I don’t in any way mean for us to ignore those realities. As I listened to Elisabet recently in an interview, though, I thought about how important it is to support the movement toward maturity in our species, and also pay attention to the natural expressions of compassionate collaboration among our kind, not only to each other but to other species, as well.
I’ve mentioned many times that I start the day watching or listening to something that inspires me. That’s where I again encountered Elisabet and her wonderful wisdom. Because of this commitment to finding inspiring resources, I’m more able to live with my heart open and free of hatred and fear—well, not overwhelmed by fear or carried away by outrage, anyway—and to allow my heart to be a major source of information and understanding. I’ve written any number of times about the importance of orienting to heart intelligence, which has a different take on things than does our brain intelligence. In fact, I’ve posted as a past practice a process of shifting into heart intelligence when pondering a problem or exploring a situation, then comparing what your heart says to what your head said. It’s a very useful practice!Read More “818th Week: The Prevalence of Compassionate Action”