How we are breathing can influence our feelings, thoughts and perceptions of life and the world. Just as what’s going on in the world and in our lives can influence our thoughts, feelings and the quality of our breath. By consciously choosing to support the fullness and depth of our breath we can have an influence on our feelings and thoughts and how we perceive what’s happening. This can give us a greater capacity to choose how we respond.
All that to say, the more fear is present the more we tend to hold our breath and breathe shallow which gives signals to our nervous system that we’re not safe, which disturbs our emotions and leads to our minds trying to take over and get things under control. Also, when people around us are afraid and not breathing well, we may automatically entrain to their breathing pattern without even realizing it.
Here is a meditation/healing session I did called Liberating Your Breath. If you’d like some support to find your breath you’re welcome to listen in:
In a time where there is more and more unknown and uncertainty, it can be tempting to either mentally generate some semblance of certainty about the future, about what's going to happen, about what you or we are going to do or aren't going to do. The other tendency to quell the discomfort of the unknown is to retreat into a kind of safe-zone, or known territory where there's a sense of certainty in what can be controlled, predicted or monitored. Although both of these strategies may provide a type of relief, they can also cut us off from unseen forces of grace, love and beauty that can manifest in the unknown.
Here is the poem that I wrote back in 2011 exploring the theme of walking into uncertainty:
Walking Into Uncertainty
Expecting others to know better even though they have no access to their loving, creative capacities
Many are still mesmerized by the fear-based focus on survival and accumulation of resources
Trying to protect themselves from the unknown that could destroy them
The question being, how to get more in order to feel safe and secure
No answer will satisfy
No amount of stuff will lead to a feeling of peace
It’s not easy to let go of all the conditioning
The time will come though
If an end to suffering is desired
Life will show us how
When we are ready to listen
Accessing compassion for what has been and what is now
Things are exactly as they should be
Given the patterns and belief systems we have internalized throughout time
If we’re willing, open and receptive new possibilities can show up
Creating a new reality through participation in the unknown
Becoming comfortable with uncertainty
Acknowledging fear and anxiety as part of the process
Dropping the masks
Opening our hearts and minds
Accepting the experience of growth
Discovering sources of support for new ways of being and doing
Enhancing our ability to love and be present with one another
Living our truth
Revealing our authentic Self to the world
Saying Yes to life
~Poem Written by me in 2011
As I've explored in many blogs over the years, the social construct of punishment and reward is built on the idea that if you do the good and right thing you deserve to be rewarded, and if you do the bad and wrong thing you deserve to be punished. We have an innate intelligence within us that can guide action and support integrity, health and wellbeing physically, mentally, emotionally and interpersonally. Yet this social construct of punishment and reward was born out of a world based in fear and separation, so it inherently lacks the wisdom of love.
Those of us who deeply desire and yearn for love, unity, freedom, beauty and truth to awaken within ourselves and within the world, can find our way to true fulfillment. As we come to know, sense, feel and live in and through what can be named as the field and frequency of love, we can offer this presence to all aspects of ourselves, including our bodies. Without recognizing it, we often carry beliefs about how our bodies should be or feel, based on what we have or haven't "done" to them. In other words, if we pushed our bodies hard through competitive sports, or spent years not eating well, or engaged in what can be labeled as unhealthy patterns, we may believe that we deserve to not feel well and experience physical or emotional pain as a punishment for our actions on inactions. The innate intelligence of our bodies may or may not agree with this belief! Are you willing to surrender it if your body is? Sometimes our bodies are willing, ready and able to let go of physical, emotional and/or mental pain before other aspects of ourselves are. For my more personalized reflection on this you can read my blog and watch the video posted in it: Addressing Physical and Emotional Pain. Another good one is called Being with Your Body. If you would like to listen to a meditation designed to activate this innate intelligence and attune to the field and frequency of love this is a good one:
As I named in my last blog, when we've experienced incoming or outgoing boundary violation without remedy or resolution we end up in a compromised posture or position. We lose sight of our integrity and either take on the posture of being wounded and withdrawn or aggressive. When we are in our natural state of integrity we have the capacity to assess or perceive what is. In other words, we are capable of acknowledging what we are thinking and feeling, and what's going on in the environment around us. When we're in a compromised state it is more and more difficult to do this so we end up having to rely on assumptions about ourselves, others, the environment and the world. The more wounded or aggressive, the more likely we are to deliver accusations based on assumptions.
Once we can see the dynamics at play, in terms of the relationship between assessments, assumptions and accusations, it can serve to encourage us to restore our natural integrity, so that we are more available for life itself, and more capable of dismantling assumptions based on patterns of wounding, that bear little resemblance to truth.
When we’ve experienced incoming or outgoing boundary violations we fall out of touch with our natural integrity. An incoming boundary violation is when something we don't want to have happen happens and we have no say or choice in the matter. An outgoing violation is when something we need or value that is readily available to us is all of a sudden withdrawn or taken away without notice or without our say in the matter. If there was no resolution to these experiences, if we were just left in a state of confusion, shock or disbelief with no support to understand what happened and process through the physiological, emotional and mental aspects of it, then we often end up finding a way to cope that reduces our quality of life. Two common postures we take on are either being withdrawn and wounded, shut down and unavailable or being aggressive and angry, forcing or pushing our perspectives or stance onto others.
Being oriented in our natural integrity makes it possible for us to have situational awareness, receive information from our environment moment by moment, and thus respond in ways that are in alignment with what’s actually happening. If you notice that your response patterns don't match what's happening in your current environment, or you're having a hard time assessing what's happening and how to respond it may be beneficial to take stock of whether you've lost sight of this natural way of being, or if it has never been given the chance to be fully established in you. As our natural way of being is re-established or as we are restored to natural functioning, it's amazing how much that can support us to be physiologically balanced, psychologically at ease, emotionally responsive to our current conditions and spiritually available to see our place in the greater context of life.
It can be easy to get caught in a freedom vs control paradigm. This is where freedom is at one end of the spectrum and control at the other. The more control, the less freedom and the more freedom the less control. According to this linear perception, too much freedom or too much control is dangerous. So the solution is to attempt to find the right balance between the two. What is beyond this polarity? What does control become when it is imbued with the field and frequency of love? What is true freedom? In an environment born of fear and separation, control is often imposed in a way that stifles life, growth, beauty, vitality, creativity and expression. Freedom is often exercised in a way that is potentially harmful, detrimental or dangerous to people who aren't on the same page with the one acting according to their perceived rights. In other words, it can merely be people acting with the notion that there should be no consequence of their actions, because they are deserving of and entitled to their "freedoms."
As love enters the picture, or as the field and frequency of love heals, dissolves and remedies the pain and torment of fear and separation what becomes possible? Control can be exalted into caring about our own and other's best interests. Freedom can be about truth, honour, expression of being, creative ingenuity and celebration of the best of who we are individually and collectively. It's no longer a me vs you or an us vs them dynamic. Perhaps we have a ways to go as a planet, yet how many of us can now reconcile and integrate this freedom vs control polarity within us and be the leaders of a different possibility for the world? May we realize unity and live the joy of knowing and being love in action. For more on this theme of living beyond polarities you can read my blogs, Living Beyond Polarity, Beyond Success or Failure, and Beyond Strong or Weak.
Today I facilitated an online meditation with the theme of activating Energetic Aliveness. We can invite and welcome the activation of the body's intelligence, heart's wisdom, clarity of mind, presence of being and love in action. Here is the recording of it. I wonder what can wake up and come alive in you as a contribution to the joy, beauty and richness of life and living!
The third option is a term that can be applied when you're in a situation where A or B are presented and neither of those are favorable, leading to the desire for a "third option", or a solution, strategy or approach that hasn't yet been thought of, considered, explored or included as a potential. We're in a time when may of us may be faced with circumstances or situations where there doesn't seem to be a good option. As the saying goes we're choosing between a rock and a hard place. Or in what can be named as a lose-lose. I wanted to bring this topic up today, to serve as a reminder that something we may not have thought of or considered can come available. We don't have to remain stuck in an either-or paradigm. A good starting place, if faced with an A or B type decision, is to ask: Is there a third option here?
Another thing that can be adjusted in this moment, is the approach to deciding or choosing what we're going to do. Often we've favored mind-based approaches. The common mental models that are employed to help with decision making are: 1)The problem-solution model, 2) The broken-fixing model, 3) The wrong-correction model, 4) The wounded-healing model and 5) The question-answer model. These models first synthesized in my consciousness a few years ago when I wrote the blog Say Goodbye to Being Stuck, which you can click on the title of to access it. Last year I made a video exploring them deeper called, What to Do if You're Going Mental. I'll include it at the end of this blog.
What I wanted to emphasis now is that we can get caught inside of one of these mental frameworks, and exclude other modes of perception, or ways that can help us make decisions and become aware of third options, different strategies, or ingenious approaches to navigating difficult situations. These other modes of perception include your heart's wisdom, your body's intelligence, and what can come to mind as insights, epiphanies and inspirations from the broader intelligence of life, or the fabric of the unified field, or the web of consciousness. Now is a great time to get in touch with these other modes of perception, or ways of knowing, so that you don't have to rely solely on mental models or mind-based strategies to inform your choices. If you'd like support to activate these other ways of knowing you can get in touch with me through this website and we can do one-on-one coaching and mentoring sessions.
So, in these times when we're confronted with things that we don't agree with, or approaches to health and safety that seem to foster the opposite, or decisions where neither A or B feels right, we can get in touch with these other modes of perception and await new possibilities that emerge or different strategies that arise that honor collective agreements while maintaining personal integrity. I wonder what can become known and available to us now, and what can present to us in our lives as potentials, possibilities and actions that remind us of the beauty, grace, majesty and richness of life and support us to feel at home in existence.
If we spent time in environments where only what we did was valued, acknowledged or appreciated often there comes a time when our being or “who we are” comes out of the wood work and says, what about me? In other words, a part of us feels unseen, unacknowledged, unappreciated and excluded. If this sentiment is strong enough in someone a flip can occur, something along the lines of a claim that “It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s who you are that counts.” There’s this sense that doing or action doesn’t matter and the focus, attention, appreciation and acknowledgment goes to being, or to recognizing qualities of the self. In the short term this may feel good, like relief. Qualities in the person, the presence of the person or what is radiated from someone is finally seen and acknowledged. Eventually though, if doing has been excluded, devalued, depreciated, and made to not matter, there will be an uprising. It may show up as the thought, “I want to do something, participate, offer skills, make a difference, move something forward and contribute.” However, if doing has been diminished, even though the want is there, few opportunities or invitations will present themselves. Or the ones that present may be what you don’t want to do, or things that have little value, meaning or importance to you. Do you see how this works?
What often happens is that being and doing are positioned as though they are in a competition for attention and appreciation. Either what you do matters (winner) and who you are or your inner world doesn’t matter (loser), or who you are matters (winner) and what you do doesn’t matter (loser). Eventually, once we see this dynamic we can introduce the possibility that being AND doing can be included, valued, acknowledged, appreciated and given attention. Being can support action or what we do, and what we do can display who we are, or facilitate who we are being shared with others. Often after sessions with clients I write up some notes to review what we explored together. Here is an excerpt from the notes that speaks to a few other things regarding being and doing that I find relevant to include here:
“Inviting the progression towards acknowledging the value of being and doing: We've come from a society where doing, action, contributing to society and being a good person is valued and valuable, whereas from that perspective "not doing anything" or "just being" seems without value or purpose or meaning. As we question that societal perspective and have direct experiences of "Being"...the qualities of presence, breath, relaxation, having an expanded field of attention etc. we come to know how valuable it truly is, both to our own health and well-being and also to the quality of our relationships, and our outlook on life. It also helps us to see possibilities for what we can do, that we may otherwise not see. You can continue to contemplate the question of: How can being and doing come together? And see what insights arise.
As children we often don't get the mirroring of our states of being, where we're at, how we're doing, or what's going on for us in real time. Not having any attention on that gives us the impression that it doesn't matter, or isn't overly relevant. Once we see the assumptions we made based on that experience we can have a new choice, to include those things as relevant and important. We can thus make the choice to include giving attention to our states of being, where we're at, how we're doing and what's going on for us as well as what we're doing, the actions we're taking, the accomplishments of the day etc.”
So, where are you at regarding being and doing? Are they both valued, seen, acknowledged and appreciated? If not, you can note where you’re at, which is your starting point, and move in the direction of offering attention to both and seeing how they can come together.
Involution is a word that Richard Rudd uses in the book called the Gene Keys. It describes the process where the higher frequencies within your DNA are activated through the agency of Grace. Evolution is about the longing for love or light or that which is higher, and involution is the response to that, or the process whereby these higher frequencies descend or marry what is here. To quote directly from the book, "Just as there is an evolutionary force pushing upwards within all matter, so there is an involutionary force working its way down from the realms of spirit towards the material plane." Or another expression of this that he brings forward is: "Evolution represents the force within matter that always strives upwards towards spirit, as opposed to involution, its counter-force, which is the essence of spirit descending or embedding itself within the form."
When things get heavy or tough or dense or limited, and we've placed the responsibility on ourselves to find a way to raise our vibration, become more loving or evolve ourselves it can feel like a lot of work with not much environmental support to do so. This other perspective of inviting the currents of involution to touch your life, or inviting these higher frequencies to support you to transmute the shadows and embody your gifts can be a welcomed reprieve!