I just listened to an interview with Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on the NPR show, On Being, with Krista Tippett. The interview centered around Sheryl’s and Adam’s new book about Sheryl’s husband’s death and Adam’s work with resilience. At the end of the interview, Sheryl said that it is really about “post traumatic growth”, Read More “669th Week: Accessing Options”
Watching a video of a talk from, I think, a Science and Nonduality Conference, a concept caught my attention and got me to thinking about the power of creativity and unexpected discoveries. In this talk, the presenter described the process of “emergence”, where nature is able to bring things together and create completely unanticipated results, outcomes we wouldn’t be able to conger up from the original elements involved. The example he gave that stuck with me is how, when nature brings together two inert elements—say, two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen—there is no way any of us would expect that combination to create a liquid, water. For me, this is a powerful and inspiring example of Nature’s intelligence and of the creative, living context in which we live. Read More “704th Week: The Concept of Emergence—Expect Miracles”
Recently, I participated in a conversation in front of a large group of people where a colleague and I discussed intersections between Somatic Experiencing® and other body-based approaches and Buddhist practices and concepts. What became the underlying theme for me was to convey to the audience that when we feel activated—under threat or overwhelmed—our perception narrows and we lose sight of the bigger picture. We can see this dynamic all around us at this time, where people on every side of an issue become locked into their perspective and are seemingly unable to take in new information that would widen their understanding of a given stance or situation. Also, we lose sight of all the good that’s happening in the world when we’re overwhelmed by activation.
The discussion went on to underscore the importance of being aware of our own particular activation signals and behaviors, and how essential it is to be able to manage ourselves and bring ourselves back into regulation when we notice that we are activated. I spent some time talking about the difference between the “trauma brain” and the “present-day brain”. The “trauma brain” operates within an either/or, lack-of-options framework, so when we’re activated, it’s difficult to see possibilities that weren’t initially obvious. The “present-day brain” operates within a framework of both/and, along with an ability to imagine a range of options.Read More “757th Week: Coming Back to Grounding”
Recently, I read an article that described a research project done by a woman in Germany. It was published in the American Psychological Association Bulletin and addressed a subject that I have experienced and promoted for many years. The research looked at the relationship between a person’s sense of greater life satisfaction and a belief in oneness, “…the idea that everything in the world is connected and interdependent.”
Two things struck me about this research. First, that it was published by the American Psychological Association gave me hope that the concept of oneness is becoming more mainstream, or at least on its way to that, and secondly that this belief has a positive impact on people regardless of their religion.Read More “753rd Week: The Benefits of a Sense of Oneness”
It goes without saying that these are stressful times and we all are having to dig into the strategies that we have for finding and accessing our internal steadiness and sense of centeredness. One of the practices I’ve written about many times over the years has to do with recognizing, and then playing with, the constant process of choosing what is in the foreground of awareness and what is in the background. Our culture tends to favor putting activation, emotional intensity, and drama into the foreground, while experiences of being centered, steady, and internally quiet slide into the background, often not to even be acknowledged as present.
Another dynamic I’ve written about many times is the metaphor of the kaleidoscope—that we are all complex beings comprised of many aspects or parts of ourselves. Sometimes we’re fully focused in our present-day adult self, thinking, responding, and behaving in centered and rational ways. Other times, we are triggered into different kinds of activation and find ourselves acting from impulses that arise deep within unhealed and uncentered parts of us. Read More “729th Week: Foreground/Background Revisited”