I hope that the practices of observing unnecessary tension in the body, emotions, and thoughts have been useful to you. We engage these types of practices so that we can create the conditions that lead toward self organization, something our nervous systems want to do, and to find our stability from within amidst the external turmoil. I was talking with my friend Denise yesterday about how we are needing to find a different place inside to respond to the world from. She articulated it well, “We have to find our anchor from within. These are very difficult times for those who are looking to find an anchor outside of themselves.”
We have to find our anchor from within. From a wisdom perspective, this means we trust that we must find our balance from the inside, a balance rooted in something that comes by many different names - the Divine, God, Christ, Mystery . . .
The more our individual selves can find our anchor from within and keep cultivating coherence - when our body, mind, and heart are working together in the present moment - the more we can offer that coherence to the whole. We also begin to recognize it outside and draw that in as support creating a mutually supportive feedback loop. This week we will put all the practices together to create a check in. Pause for a minute or two—it may take longer at first—to do the following practice before you are going to turn on the television, jump on your phone, or engage any type of social media.
This practice is a slight variation of a practice taught to me by Deborah Rose Longo, a Gurdjieff Movements teacher and mentor. ~ Pause and follow your breath in and out a few times while engaging your environment through your senses. Notice what you see, hear and sense with your skin. Then follow a few more breaths while sensing into your body, locating it in time and space. ~ Take a moment to consciously notice the places in your body that are already at ease and allow them to grow, supporting the release of any unnecessary tension present. ~ Take a moment to consciously notice the place in your mind that is still underneath the thoughts and allow this place to take up more space, supporting the letting go of any unnecessary thinking. ~ Take a moment to consciously notice the place in your heart that is soft and open underneath the emotions and feelings allowing it to grow and supporting the settling or moving through of any unnecessary emotions. ~ Stay in this three centered awareness and from a more open state of ease in your body, a quieter mind, access a feeling of gratitude—an inner “thank you”—and follow a few more of your breaths while you remember yourself.
We can engage this for ourselves and one another on behalf of the whole.
Let’s keep honoring the pain, leaning into the grief, making space for joy, finding time for play, building our resiliency, and taking time to just be.
Here are a few readings from this week: “I keep having these irresistible impulses to speak the truth to political leaders. . . . If they could experience what I have experienced, I know that it would be impossible for them to condone the violations they have been condoning. . . . But since I do not have access to these men, I turn to you, my Lord, and beg you to make all things right. . . . I certainly am growing bold, aren’t I? Please tear this up if it sounds bad to you. Believe me, I could say this a lot better in person, if only they would listen to me. I sincerely pray for our world leaders, and I would like to be of some help to them. Such an urge makes a soul reckless. I would gladly risk my life to gain what I believe in. Living is empty once we have seen the grand illusion with our own eyes and realized what suffering comes from walking in blindness.” — Teresa of Avila "Gather your burdens in a basket in your heart. Set them at the feeet of the Mother. Say, 'Take this, Great Mama, because I cannot carry all this shit for another minute.' And then crawl into her broad lap and nestle against her ample bosom and take a nap. When you wake, the basket will still be there, but half its contents will be gone, and the other half will have resumed their ordinary shapes and sizes, no longer masquerading as catastrophic, epic, chronic, and toxic. The Mother will clear things out and tidy up. But only if you freely offer them to her.” — Mirabai Starr "Rather than simply integrating my shadow elements into my phenomenal selfhood (as this process tends to be understood her in the psychological climate of [our world]), I instead offer my entire phenomenal selfhood...the materials of my life from which in the lower worlds one constructs the metanarrative of self (my history, my passions, my drama, etc.) become instead the raw material to be transformed into far higher order comic substances:..."fruits of the spirit"―love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. From the fountain of our surrendered being they flow out into our immediate earth environment, where they do indeed help it to become "more supple, more fully animate," more responsive―more personal, Teilhard would say―less toxic and indifferent, more a place where sentient beings can flourish and grow." — Cynthia Bourgeault "The Place Where We Are Right " From the place where we are right flowers will never grow in the spring. The place where we are right is hard and trampled like a yard. But doubts and loves dig up the world like a mole, a plow. And a whisper will be heard in the place where the ruined house once stood. — Yehuda Amichai
With Love, Heather