Vulnerability: A Wise Guide Through Tight Spaces & 4 Ways To Cultivate It

In a world of loud, quiet really wakes up the soul.

In a world of fast, slow magnifies power.

In a world of hard hitting, of slamming it, banging it, crushing it, the soft touch can slide through the tight spot with insuperable strength.

Vulnerability can be seen as the synergy of opposites such as rigid and flaccid, tight and loose, hard and soft.

Synergy is the blending of things such that the sum of effects of those blended things is greater than all effects of any one thing going about its business alone.

Vulnerability can be felt in body, heart, and mind. It’s felt as the outcome of blending opposites like rigid and flaccid, tight and loose, tough and weak in good measure such that each half of the pair of opposites tempers the mix with its finest quality.

Part body sensation, part feeling, part mental awareness, vulnerability can present from within as a scary openness at first. If you’re not comfortable with it, even the suggestion to open to your vulnerability can agitate.

Like cracks in a wall that leave you open to frigid blasts and malignant insect attacks, like cracks in communication that leak top secret intelligence, like cracks in an emotional armour that leave you open to getting hurt, vulnerability feels too undefended, too permeable.

Vulnerability might be scary because we’re not used to the soft-hard art of allowing.

In many martial arts, in the yogas, in the training of hunters and gatherers, in the long apprenticeship of a magician or medicine person, in the cultivating of a master artist, the intimate practice of vulnerability keeps the initiate open in a tight spot, ready to flow in any direction, poised for a leap or a roll, positioned for opportunity.

Vulnerability might be scary because deep in the ancestral language centres of our collective awareness we hauntingly remember that vulnerable comes from words that mean to wound, to maim, to injure, to pluck, to tear, to strike. That’s scary!

But today, vulnerability means an intimacy with body, heart, head, and soul in such a manner that you could no longer hurt yourself or others intentionally.

In The Yoga Sutras, Patanjali describes this power of yoga: When you are steadfast in your abstention of thoughts of harm towards others or yourself, all living creatures will cease to feel fear in your presence. (sutra 2:35)

That might be called vulnerability in extremis and vulnerability in extasis.

Vulnerability, then, might be described as the taming of the fear reflex and the absence of a blame and shame conditioning.

Vulnerability could be called the necessary angel, to borrow Wallace Stevens’s phrase, of empathy. Now, that’s a beautiful thing.

Invite your vulnerability to guide you and hold you. It has beauty, courage, and magic in it.

4 Actions To Invite Vulnerability:

  1. Tune in to your senses and sensations. Walk in a safe place in nature. Sit quietly, close your eyes, breathe, and practice developing eyes in the back of your head. Walk gently, sense the earth beneath your feet, and practice developing ears in the soles of your feet. Smell as if every pore of skin were a nose. Taste with your fingertips. Open to the subtlety of sensation.
  2. Acknowledge reactivity. You can develop a practice of tuning in to the tight place in the body that’s attached to a reactive trigger; then identify an emotion that goes with the trigger; then observe any meanings, ie, conclusions, perceptions, thoughts attached to that trigger.
  3. Simply sit and allow yourself to embody sensation, emotion, thought, without reaction. Just let it flow through. No judgement. No blame.
  4. Daily, track triggers, emotions, feelings, thoughts, behaviours through tight spots and tender spots. If any of those are uncomfortable, if they hurt you or someone else even in thought, write yourself into a next best perception or meaning. Write about the beautiful, helpful, good, blessed boons in your life even when going through trial. Stretch yourself. Notice something that has a deep and encouraging beauty to it in spite of any anguish or confusion. Focus there.

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A Few Ideas Toward Living The More Inspired Life

What do you need to start doing today to be living your more inspired life?

Do you need to take a break and listen to the birds or move that body or visit with friends? Do you need to focus more on a project, hobby, or passion? Do you need a fresh slant on an old idea, behaviour, attitude? Do you need to stop procrastinating and start investigating, resuscitating, reanimating your world?

One thing’s for sure: you must stop asking questions like: why does this keep happening to me? why can’t I get ahead/get moving/get inspired? Those questions plop you into the victim mentality hole.

The next thing’s for sure, too: you must rather ask: now that this {name it} is happening, and it makes me feel {name it}, what’s one small thing I can do today to shift, to lift, to move this into a better feeling or outlook or action? Knowing I feel stuck, where can I put my attention to help me get unstuck?

You might not get an answer right away. It’s ok. Keep asking the good questions, the enriching questions, the empowered questions. The questions will lead you to where you need to be for inspiration to fill you up. The questions invite the inspired life, the inspired choice, the inspired action.

And look around, in your head, in your heart, in your world. Listen. Wake up to your senses. Smell those roses. Touch that leaf. Taste that lemon, that basil, that chocolate mocha latté. Set an intention to make one sense your pathway of ritual engagement with your life today.

Notice beauty, innocence, simple acts of genuine humanity. Rub that aching knee with warmth and affection. Smile at that stranger, that child. Give a dollar to a street person. Mow a sick neighbour’s lawn.

Be kind. Be encouraging. Be grateful. Thank your modest income for being there to pay that bill. Thank your huge income for being there to serve a greater cause than ego’s illusory sense of security. Thank the wonky weather systems for reminding you to walk lightly on the Earth. Thank a cranky person for the opportunity to empathize and give hope. Thank your anxiousness for telling you to set a healthy boundary. Thank your depression for the wake up call. Thank a despot for reminding you to engage more fully in sage and savvy social change actions.

Everything comes as a result of something before and everything comes as a guide to something more. We can’t change what went before. We can acknowledge the past and imagine a better future. We can learn, use our old cramps of conditioning as guidance, and lean into what needs to happen now to make the next step more empowered, enriching, liberating. We can—however deeply tucked away that knowing is—live daily toward the more inspired life our hearts know is possible.

Massive Manifesting Mojo: Training The Ungoverned Mind


The Buddha once said that the most dangerous thing is the ungoverned mind.

The ungoverned mind is like an unskilled archer. Thoughts are its arrows.

With an unskilled archer, you never know where an arrow might go. Unfocussed aim, wobbly balance, distracted attention can send arrows willynilly in kneejerk directions.

With the ungoverned, undisciplined mind, you never know where thoughts might go nor what intention might be propelling them. The ungoverned mind can’t hold an aim. It can’t hold a thought. It can’t focus and hold its course. It’s a feral thing. It can’t assist in bringing forth the crazy sexy greatness you may yearn for.

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got. If you want to get closer to the bull’s eye, you’ve got to learn better aim and you’ve got to master the nuances of propulsion. If thoughts are like arrows, they need a bow to propel them and an aim to guide them so they land where directed.

In this archery analogy, the bow is feeling and the aim is the arrow; or the bow is intention, coming from the heart, and the aim is attention, coming from the head. Without bow and aim, arrows are useless. Without intention and attention, thoughts are random, indecisive, lopsided, and lacking a propulsion agent. They’re not energetically coherent.

COHERENCE

Coherence means things that hang together perfectly and make sense.

In physics, coherent waves are described as two or more waves whose troughs and crests meet and align perfectly, synchronizing trough to trough, crest to crest; and increasing the overall amplitude.

The HeartMath Institute defines coherence as a measure in the heart’s rhythms that reflects harmony and synchrony among body systems. Coherent rhythms between heart and brain are a measure of feeling good or feeling bad, and these coherent rhythms are guided by the heart.

Coherence comes through feeling and intention on the one hand and mental focus or attention on the other.

Quieting the mind is key to slowing racing thoughts, focussing distracted attention, brightening gloomy thoughts; and bringing coherent flow to thinking and feeling, to attention and intention. But we don’t work with the brain initially to build coherence. Quieting the mind begins with softening the breath and soothing the heart.

MEDITATION

Meditation practices of all kinds with their focus on breath and one point attention encourage coherence between heart and brain. Meditation quiets, clears, cleanses the bodyheartmind totality. A consistent meditation practice of soft breath, open heart, attentive head trains both our deep driving desire’s propulsion system, feeling; and our desire’s steering system, thinking, to focus on the desired outcome.

Dropping good intention into quiet mind is key to loosening old memory habits that appear as all those distracting or dismantling thoughts. Consistent practice of good intention in quiet mind refashions the neural grooves on which memory habits habitually travel, thereby cultivating health and wellbeing and assisting the fruition of your deep driving desire.

Good feeling supports good thinking. Good thinking guides good intention. A master archer of massive manifesting mojo brings coherence to heart and head. The governed mind is heart and head in sweet and savvy affinity. When feeling and thinking align, when attention and intention align, all your crazy sexy super powers come into coherence.

So breathe. Focus on one good thought. Hold the feeling. Take aim. You’re about to hit your bull’s-eye.

Beautiful Rowdy Prisoners


Knowingly or not, most of us build cages to put people and things in. Cages of judgement, cages of resentment, cages of gossip or comparison.

Often, the motivation is to keep ourselves feeling safe. The result is keeping ourselves small. The small feel safer or bigger by making the other feel smaller.

We might feel justified in building cages for others if that other is abusive, negative, or taxing in some way. Even a minor downer person at work, school, or in our friend group can nudge our inner jailer into action.

But we cage the best in others, too. Even admiration can be a cage if the admired isn’t allowed wiggle room for their life-giving flaws.

And most importantly we cage our own better halves, our unloved parts of self, including: our precious and rowdy passions, our curious creativities, our unlimiting ideas, our bigger self that lives outside the lines of collective habit. And then we conveniently forget how the cage got there or that it’s there at all, and we may blame someone or something else for our small life.

Who is this small person who builds cages of definition, limitation, judgement, prejudice? We know it today as that old bugaboo ego.

Ego is our protective self-identity. It’s the nervous system’s psychological comrade that grew out of repetitions of experience and grew into our cramp of conditioning.

The prison is in ourselves. And so is the key.

The jailer is in ourselves. And so is the liberator who drops the keys.

What are the keys this sageful self drops for the beautiful rowdy prisoners of a limiting idea of self? Praise, appreciation, encouragement, compassion; invitations to partnership, play, reverent mischief; an empathic nod, a supportive smile, an outright ooopsy daisy of chuckling truth. Anything that inspires and empowers the caged one is a liberating key.

A savvy survival sizzle is not about attacking the jailers. The Sage sidesteps that whole bamboozlement of opposition and conflict. He soft-shoes into the liberating rhythms of creative disruption that melt the cramp of conditioning. She jitterbugs through the narrowing norm with an effortless ingenuity.

But during her magnanimous rollick through the jails of conditioning, the Sage merely drops the keys. Picking up the key and stepping free is the choice we are each given as the Sage whispers to the beautiful, rowdy prisoners: Follow me.

SOME KEYS OF LIBERATING DISRUPTION

Breathe intentionally.

  • The breath is the key to what the mindfulness teachings call The Pause. The breath is intimately connected with the nervous systems. It’s one of the autonomic processes that we can take charge of to a very great advantage. Intentional breathing tones down the fight-flight-freeze stress reaction and tones up the rest-and-reflect relaxation response. The intentional breath is an essential key of liberation from internal and external conflict. The aware breath opens The Pause, the space in which we can bring a better perspective to the moment. In The Pause we can reflect and make use of other keys. In The Pause we can touch The Infinite.

Three game changing questions: Before saying, texting, blogging, posting our opinion, ask ourselves:

  • Does this inspire and empower?
  • Is this who I want to be and be seen as?
  • Does this come from my desire to be kind or my need to be right?

Share the Wealth.

  • Sharing our wealth of knowledge or know-how isn’t about telling people to do it this way, that way, my way. It’s about offering our best stuff to the need at hand. It’s about giving away our hard won treasures of deft alignment with success for the benefit of enhancing another’s success.

Replace competition with co-operation.

  • Competition comes from fears of: losing out, lack, insecurity. Co-operation, community, compassion come from the understanding that unity and equality liberate our gifts, talents, strengths as well as those of others.

Frequently spend time in Nature.

  • Open yourself to a sensory and mindful appreciation of Nature’s wildish wherewithal of wonderment.
  • Cultivate biophilia. Bio means life. Philia means love. Biophilia is a love of all lifeforms. Biophilia leads to good feeling and better health.
  • Practice shinrin yoku, which means forest bathing in Japanese. Forests, plants, and the bacteria that live on them give off phytoncides, essential oils that protect from harmful microorganisms. Walking among trees and other plants drenches us in health giving life essences. And more: In forests the negative ion emissions are high. Negative ions latch on to airborne contaminants and weigh them to the ground, liberating the air we breathe from harmful germs, pollens, allergens.

 

 

 

 

 

WILL: Whip Master Or Wish Magnet?

Have you ever considered will as a crazy sexy super power?

Or do you see will as a whip master, like a military mandate in the mind—coercive, ironshod, pushy, punitive—shackling your good and healthy faculty of creativity or desire for wellbeing to a shaming or blaming directive?

Our culture emphasizes will as a faculty of force we use upon ourselves to get ourselves going. And so many of us know where an ironshod will can lead: to blame and shame on self or others, a sense of futility when force fails, a sense of infidelity to a commitment or vow.

Modern studies on will and will power[i] are discovering that force, humiliation, stress, and overload deplete will power. Force and humiliation weaken the focussing part of the brain.

In fact, modern studies on will power are finding an exquisite alignment with ancient perceptions of will in the Sacred Psychologies, as my teacher Paddy called the old paths at the core of the world’s great spiritual traditions.

ETYMOLOGICAL MAGIC

There’s a hidden elegance to will; and the secret to unlocking it is buried in the etymological history of our word will and its roots in volition.

While neuroscientists twitter and tingle at brain discoveries and connections, linguascientists tweet and trip all over the joys of etymologies. And poets revel in both.

We all know that volition has to do with will or the power of choice. But way back when, when words were spelled and used differently, our English words will and volition had a lot more to do with the art of wishing, and with feelings of hope and well-being.

Volition comes from the Old English, willan, wyllan, meaning to wish and to desire. This Old English word descends through a long line of connected words, like the Old Norse, vilja, and the Gothic, waljan, meaning to choose; the Latin volo, velle, meaning to wish, to desire; the Sanskrit vrnoti varyah, varanam, to choose; Old Slavonic veljo, veleti, to command; from the Greek elpis, to hope; and from the PIE language root, wel/wol meaning to be pleasing.

In the old days and old ways, then, wishing was considered an act of a disciplined mind that can command its direction of focus; and wishing was considered the act of a caring heart that aligns itself in a serene and joyful manner with the most desired and keeps it there through loving attention.

MODERN SCIENCE & ANCIENT WISDOM

Modern neuroscience is also discovering this connection between the focussed brain and the loving heart.[ii]

Here we see neurobiology and etymology in agreement. Will as a pleasing, hopeful wishing toward the future and as the choice power of mental focus leads to wellbeing.

This thing we call will is actually a desirable, pleasing, and healthy faculty of being human.

In seeking the root of the matter, the definition of will leads to a perception of will that profoundly challenges the military macho of a coercive, domineering force. And so do new modern studies on will power.

Your willing power is more akin to a focussed and pleasurable act of wishing for that which is most pleasing to the soul, to the mind, to the body, to the heart; and to the faculty of focus which keeps the attention on the chosen path, desire, or wish.

We’ve gone from the idea of an iron will, that is, from forcing a path of action; to an idea of something intensely desired and pleasing, that is: to choosing, allowing, and enjoying a path of action.

WILL & DESTINY

Will as desire, wish, pleasantness, choice, and command is also a primary key to destiny.

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says: As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.

An insuperable will surrenders ego and force to desire, focus, vision, action; and enhances wellbeing. The Great Will of our destiny is never forced; it is only allowed.

When you put all this together, you get a crazy sexy super power of insuperable ability.

WILL STRENGTHENING ACTIONS

~meditation, governing attention

~balanced diet

~limited screen time

~pleasant time in Nature, less time in office/factory

~frequent mental focus breaks

~enough sleep!!!

~joy actions

[i] -Baumeister, Ray and John Tierney (2011). Willpower. USA: The Penguin Press.

-See The American Psychological Society, http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower.aspx

– McGonigal, Kelly (2012). The Willpower Instinct. The Penguin Group: New York & Toronto.

[ii] Ibid.

BELIEF: The Simplest Of Things Blog Bite


Belief is the smallest of things wielding the greatest of powers. Believing you can or believing you can’t makes or breaks your greatness groove.

But your greatness groove doesn’t help you much if you don’t believe in your greatness. Belief is an inner ally to the unfolding of your greatness.

If you believe that your greatness is determined by things you think you don’t have, such as innate ability, opportunity, special talent; or by arbitrary factors like social class, economics, geography, other people, then your mind gets into loops of lack.

None of us escapes some ups and downs in life. Adversity comes spinning along as it will. But adversity can come spinning along and crush you when you doubt yourself. Adversity finds weight in a mind that twists and turns in loops of lack. And in loops of lack, the same-old-same-old keeps spinning itself into a life.

Belief in yourself liberates your greatness groove to do its good work in your life and in the world.

Belief in your greatness groove is a primary liberating ally to your deep driving desire—that thing in you that must be what it can be. Believing in the greatness of your deep driving desire or believing that you can and will discover your deep driving desire gets you thriving from its wildish ground.

A lovely adage says: You must believe it to see it. I take that to mean that belief creates the inner conditions for something to be so in the world, preparing you for its arrival. Belief sets up a resonance hub inside you, an electromagnetic pulse of possibility.

To use a garden metaphor: if you want to attract butterflies, plant the flowers that butterflies vibe with. Your greatness groove needs you to plant a bright blooming belief in your greatness.

Belief in your deep driving desire lifts you from a path of fate to a path of destiny, from the path handed to you by circumstance to the path required by your soul. And then destiny begins to unfold.

It seems that the bright belief is the beloved of destiny. And belief, at its root, means joy, gladness, and love. Yes, right in the root meaning of the word, joy is the heart of belief.

So when we say something like: destiny hangs on your belief in your greatness; we are saying destiny hangs on your joy in your greatness.

True belief is practicing joy. And joy is a resonance that brings the best into being.

 

 

The Dolorous Blow~~Revisioning Trauma

The Dolorous Blow in Arthurian legend is the wound that maims The Fisher King, leaving him and the land impotent. In the terms of Law Of Attraction metaphors, the King’s vibrational frequency plummets to an energetic low and the land follows. His kingdom becomes The Wasteland.

In myth, the king or queen can be symbolic of a governing principle in our selves; and the land a reflection of the psychic wholeness of the king or queen. In Arthurian legend, the entire kingdom depends on the King’s health, on his life force energy. In life, it’s really the same~~our world hangs on our health, on our internal vitality, on our energetic balance.

Our inner life out-pictures, to use Neville Goddard’s phrase, into our lives, shaping the world of our personal and collective reality. We are energetic beings. Our prevailing feeling state affects our energetic resonance. Our resonance governs the kinds of events attracted into our lives.

Can you see yourself as the king or queen of your inner realm? Are you hale and happy in abundant blessedness? Or are you sad, angry, sick? Is the inner marriage of your kingly spirit and your queenly soul balanced and bright? Or are you invisible to your egoic view entirely, duped by the duplicitous cheats and wormtongues of power that you are nothing?

The wounding of The Fisher King is a wounding in us all. Traumatic experiences have become epidemic. Traumatic stress wrecks the energetic balance and wracks the mind. Traumatic stress disorder becomes a crutch for some and a banner for others, a label that constricts vision and obstructs healing. The clinical pathologizing sets in, we lose the dignity in the experience, and little heals.

Trauma loops explode all around us, in tv shows, film, avatar games, on the streets, in homes. Generational repetitions compound over and over, violence consolidates violence, and the out-picturings of profound lack of vision make a wasteland of this good green luscious living Earth.

An experience so global and obvious is crying out for revisioning. Trauma is a blow to our very life force. For such a critical experience, the language of myth restores dignity to the spirit, devotion to the soul, vitality to the body, and vibrancy to the imagination. The irresisitibly attractive energy of mythic language restores our magic to us.  transforms how we see ourselves .

THE DOLOROUS BLOW IN REAL TIME

A dolorous blow in our lives can really rock our trust, hope, curiosity, playfulness, joy~~those sparkling energetic exhilarators of abundant living~~thereby clouding our perspective and damping our vibrational lustre.

Nearly drowning or being involved in a near or tragic drowning, losing a limb, developing a life threatening disease can be the incidents that Arthurian legend calls The Dolorous Blow.

Consistent sarcastic assaults to our sense of self over time or direct hits to the soft animal of the body, as Mary Oliver describes our sweet ally of carriage through this life, are dolorous blows. These blows of experience can be paralyzing, to the mind or to the body. Fear, anger, despair, physical pain take over. Fertility of resilience fails. The inner wasteland sets in.

If you have ever been depressed, cast down, despondent, in agony, you have shared in the human experience of the dolorous blow, of soul loss. These blows lay waste our inner land of psychic wholeness and become reflected in the crippling outer circumstances of our lives.

Any event that conditions our subconscious toward a fear, grief, despair, anger bias can be a dolorous blow to our wellbeing. And the word trauma can consolidate the blow. I find the liberating language of myth to be a respectful and wonderful way to revision the blows of life so that we sense a path forward, through the dark wood, out of the wasteland, and into growth potential.

LINGUA MYTHICA~THE LIBERATING LANGUAGE OF MYTH

Clinical psychology calls the dolorous blow a trauma event and its repercussions post trauma symptoms.

I have found in 60 years of my own gorgeous perilous missions, and in 20 years of clinical counselling practice, that diagnostic labels, like trauma or post traumatic stress, are helpful guiding descriptions, but can severely limit a person’s recovery. Labelling a person with post traumatic stress disorder (or bi-polar or cancer or such) is like putting a sign on the path: Fisher King’s Castle This Way. The sign may lead the heroic quester to the castle, but says nothing about next steps in healing.

People get really attached to labels. Phrases like: mental illness, terminal illness, inoperable condition, toxic people, toxic situations can become a  life sentence to a mind hung up on strict definitions. These labels can suck the life energy out of a person hunkering under the dolorous blows of life.

I much prefer the lingua mythica of the heroic journey. Lingua mythica translates roughly as the language of story or story language. A mythopoetic language liberates soul into the healing process. The Grail Cycle of stories is one such healing language.

The language of the heroic journey gives us magical allies, the animal friend, words of power, opuscules of opportunity, hope swings across impossible odds, timely meetings, divine encounters, the chance to recover a fearless awesome courage, the jewel of wisdom in the Underworld, redemption of self and community and land.

WARRIOR TRAINING

Healing trauma, healing false limits to our soul’s purpose, healing The Dolorous Blow may be one of our gorgeous perilous missions in life.

Warrior training teaches that we must take our fear, breathe it intensely into a ball of fire in the belly, govern our attention, direct our intention, and use these like an archer uses a bow: to aim the gorgeous perilous mission of the moment and propel our fearless awesome courage towards the bull’s eye of necessary action.

Spiritual Warrior training teaches that with breath regulation and meditation, we learn to embrace the body, govern thoughts, inspire the heart, hone vision, and trust action. The best springs forward of its own accord. When you do the work, the work supports you. When you do the work, the work heals you. You learn to unhook from habituated reactivity. In Arthurian terms, you cut and ride the psychological wave through danger to safe harbour. It’s a deep practice of focus and non-attachment.

ATTACHMENT

Long ago, in another place and time, my beloved painted paddlemaking teacher, who gave me such loony latinate phrases as lingua mythica, taught me much about facing my fears. He taught me that The Sacred Psychologies (his term for the perennial wisdom traditions) don’t see fear as the problem. Attachment to fear is the problem.

Our instinctual emotion is ok. Instinctual fear is ok. It serves a purpose. It tells us danger is afoot. It sends powerful chemical warriors and scintillating electromagnetic allies through our bodies, collaborators of immense energetic oomph unleashed for our instant strength.

Attachment to fear and attachment to fear based reactivity—such as panic—is the culprit. Habituated fear, habituated stress, or a habituated trauma loop, for example, is the problem. Habituation rather than instinct is the more damaging culprit. Getting unhooked from fear’s grappling irons is part of the gorgeous perilous mission.

THE GRAIL OF OUR GORGEOUS PERILOUS TIMES

Our times call for each of us to unhook from learned patterns of fear-based attachment: attachment to me, mine, more, an eye for an eye, fossil fuel use, toxic manufacturing practices, compulsive consumption, torture of any kind of all soft bodies everywhere.

Our sweet oasis in space, our Earth, is showing symptoms of The Wasteland of myth. The faulty belief system of egoic self-interest is the dolorous blow to our collective energetic good vibrations.

Our life habits live up to~~or down to~~our most consistent conditioning. Our emotional patterns and thought addictions shape our choices, actions, and vibrational frequencies. Our biosphere suffers or thrives accordingly.

This egoic self-interest that sets our species as more important than Nature’s exquisite life harmonies and our wants as more valuable than the liberty of our animal, plant, mineral, water ,and gas allies out-pictures in tragic proportions as the toxic wasteland of our times.

In The Grail Cycle of stories, finding The Holy Grail brings healing to The Dolorous Blow, The Fisher King, and the land.

The Holy Grail can be seen as a symbol for the energetic frequency of healing, harmony, and happiness. The Grail lives in the heart of The Fisher’s King’s castle.

FROM DOLOROUS BLOW TO RADIANT WOUND

Our collective mission calls upon each of us to see our own dolorous blow~~our trauma wound~~as the opportunity to seek the grail of the heart, drink the elixir of a new vision, and tell the liberating tale of a new guiding story in our lives.

The old trauma story can become the epic tale of the gorgeous perilous mission. The old trauma wound can become The Radiant Wound of radical redemption.

When we change the way we tell our story, the story we tell changes our world. As each of us unhooks our story from our cramp of conditioning, from our trauma wound, we transcend habituated fear. Every personal liberation from habituated fear raises the collective vibe.

Globally we need a new guiding story. Is this the New Dark Ages or is this the Age Of Vision? The version we choose out-pictures and becomes our world.

The fresh story begins inside each of us. And as tales like The Grail Cycle remind us, the liberating story we need must be centred in the heart.

Awakening heart energy gets us unhooked from fear and unleashes our fearless awesome courage into vibrant vibrational change practices.

Only heart medicine heals The Dolorous Blow. A change of heart changes everything. The time is now. The time is only ever NOW.

The Grit & Gumption Of Your Fearless Awesome Courage big blog

Everyone has a gorgeous perilous mission. The details change from person to person, perhaps from life stage to life stage. The magnitude of the mission is large for some and small for others. But the principle of the mission stays the same.

We are each here to redeem our deep driving desire from its prison or slumber and fulfill our personal destiny within the collective destiny of our times. We are here to be, as fully as possible, the channel for our singular purpose to arrive in the world. We are here to unleash a fearless awesome courage into the world.

LIBERATING DESIRE FROM THE CRAMP OF CONDITIONING

Why do I call it a fearless awesome courage?

One reason is that, for most of us, our deep driving desire got lost beneath layers of experience. Unearthing our desire can require an exceptional courage of us.

The magnificent evolutionary efficiency of our nervous system shaped itself in, through, and from this world of experience, a world filled with danger and safety. The nervous system evolved to shrink from pain and reach for pleasure.

These layers of experience become our cramp of conditioning—the learned habits of limiting memory and rote behaviour that keep us in the same-old-same-old. These habits very often keep us from daring the difference that our unique and singular destiny calls for.

Our cramp of conditioning is also mostly invisible. I say mostly because we can’t see a belief; we can’t touch a memory; we can’t eat a perception of any kind, limiting or unlimiting—at least not physically.

But we can see the effects of conditioning. The effects unfold as our typical reactions and behaviours, preferences and abhorrences.

To liberate our deep driving desire we have to dare our conditioning that holds guard at the gates of memory. Like any great heroine or hero, we have to dare the underworld, the place where lost things go, where forgotten things lie, where the treasure of our true destiny waits to be freed.

And old habits die hard. Our entire ego identity and sense of belonging cling to these old patterns of conditioned memory. It’s a big deal. A belief is a little thing wielding a huge heft of power.

After we dare the underworld of our subconscious, then we have to dare the world.

DARING THE WORLD

The world we must dare includes: the convictions others have around who and what we’re supposed to be; the insistence the collective conditioning has around how we’re supposed to fit in and do our duty to maintain the status quo; the hard line group mind has around keeping everything as is.

And dare we must if we are to redeem our own true authentic self from conformity. Dare we must if we are to protect and liberate the good, the right, the perfection in ourselves and in the world.

You may feel called to rescue abused animals or help relieve world hunger. You may be called to release yourself from an addiction. You may be called to be the strong light in your family or neighbourhood that brings hope to despair, joy to sadness, a helping hand to a disabled neighbour, a shovel to a tree planting event.

No matter who we are each of us is called upon to protect beauty, truth, innocence, and trust in whatever form those appear in our worlds—both inner and outer. And many are the forces against us—from within and from without. An old shame habit can keep us down. An old worry, such as what others might think, can keep us stuck in deep unhappiness. An old taboo can keep us small. A military occupation can throw the mind into terror.

But what’s the alternative to playing safe? Does dying with your music still in you appeal to you? Does living with an unlived story inside you appeal to you?

THE CHALLENGE OF GRIT & GUMPTION

Your gorgeous perilous mission calls upon you to challenge your habitual fears, make fear your ally, and lift that wildly singular burning desire into your living flow. Big or small; visibly on a world scale or invisibly in the inner arena where you wrestle for your soul—your gorgeous perilous mission is as important as anyone’s.

What’s stopping you from beginning? Fear of some kind? Well, take a deep breath, take heart, and take a step. That step not only calls for a fearless awesome courage, but calls upon the fearless awesome courage to arise. That step evokes it from its prison or slumber, wakes it up to the dire cue of the moment, ignites the grit and gumption needed to carry through.

When a fearless awesome courage allies with a gorgeous dangerous mission you get a golden opportunity.

As soon as you take that step, the path of radiant attraction begins to open. As soon as you begin the challenge, courage begins to muster. Your gorgeous perilous mission attracts the allies it needs to liberate your joy. And a primary ally is the fearless awesome courage that lives within you, within each of us, awaiting ignition.

 

Your Gorgeous Perilous Mission Big Blog

When is fear a friend and when is fear a foe?

Your gorgeous perilous mission in this life is to find out.

Loon Canoe, the exquisite 100 year old 16-foot Peterborough cedar strip canoe with extended prows, and veteran of many gorgeous perilous missions, taught me much about my own depth and purpose–and about making fear an ally.

Everyone experiences physical, psychological, and spiritual dangers in this life. The smallest thing can be a mortal danger if we let fear take us down; the smallest threat can be crippling to body, mind, or spirit.

An angry fist in the face, a sarcasm dart to the heart, a tornado across the field, a bomb blowing up your car—these call up fear as an appropriate first reaction.

THE EVOLUTIONARY GENIUS OF OUR NERVOUS SYSTEM

We have two primary levels of nervous system functioning: instinctual and learned. Fear is part instinctual and part learned. We’re designed to fight, flee, or freeze to protect this mortal coil from threats to life or wellbeing, or to protect what we love.

The evolutionary genius of our nervous system does some complex things with experience. It stores information for future reference; we call that memory. It reads current environmental factors lightening fast, compares the current situation to the stored information, and alerts the subconscious as to what to do according to fresh current need or according to our past conditioned memory data.

And mostly we’re not thinking consciously about any of it. The slick and savvy genius of our nervous system allows us to live a multi-layered life. We don’t have to learn everything anew each moment. But at the same time, we are governed by the stored memory of experience–our cramp of conditioning. Some of these memories store learned fear and learned reactivity.

A lot of situations call up fear. And a lot of these situations call up a really good reason to pay attention to fear, listen to its message, and act.

So fleeing a tidal wave or a falling tree is always a good plan. But we’re not born with a fear of water or trees. Our specific fears are a result of conditioning.

A traumatic accident like almost drowning, witnessing a drowning, losing a loved one to a falling tree; any violent event like an intimidating physical or psychological assault; or repeated low dose neurotic conditioning, like consistent sarcastic assaults to our sense of self over time get stored as those dangerous frightening memories. These set our fear-based reactivity on perpetual unconscious alert for similar events.

ATTACHMENT TO FEAR MEMORIES

Our subconscious alert system attaches old memory to a present situation of similar emotional and sensory influence. And it’s this attachment glue that keeps us reacting—and perhaps reacting in unhelpful ways. Our learned reactive patterns have become conditioned memory, too.

One of our innate as well as learned reactive patterns is to fight fear. But attachment to fighting fear increases fear’s power rather than decreases it. What we resist persists. What we emphasize amplifies.

And fighting fear is both overt and covert, obvious and hidden.

Direct attacks on our fears and fear reactivity, such as arguing with it or levelling ineffective affirmations at it along the lines of, I shall fear nothing today!, have the opposite effect of giving fear more power. Your subconscious knows when you’re pulling the wool over your own eyes. Shouting at a tidal wave does nothing to stop the tidal wave. Hamlet knew that taking arms against a sea of troubles does nothing to relieve troubles.

Analyzing, questioning, or ruminating also consolidates the old fear pattern and usually amps up the reactivity. Why, why, why does this keep happening? Why can’t I do this? Why am I the only one like this? Why am I such a weakling, scaredy cat, wuss? These can be the longest suffering series of questions you ask in life. These questions perpetuate the reactivity.

Avoidance or denial, such as putting on a happy face; squashing, stuffing, saccharinizing, puts you in more danger. Turning your back on a big wave and pretending it isn’t there puts you at risk of being rolled up into it and drowned. But what about the wave coming up from the ocean of issues stored in the subconscious? How often do we turn our backs on that one–and get unequivocally swamped?

THE DOLOROUS BLOW

The Dolorous Blow in Arthurian legend is the wound that maims The Fisher King, leaving him and his land impotent. We could say The King’s vibrational frequency plummets into energetic deficiency.

In myth, the king of queen can be symbolic of a governing principle in our selves and the land a reflection of the psychic wholeness of the king or queen. In The Grail legends, the entire kingdom is dependent on The King’s health, on his energy. In life, it’s really the same.

Our inner life out-pictures, to use Neville Goddard’s phrase, into our lifescape, shaping the worlds of our personal reality and our collective reality. Our governing energetic resonance influences the kinds of events attracted ito our lives. A dolorous blow to our life can rock our trust, hope, curiosity, playfulness, joy.

Nearly drowning or being involved in a near or tragic drowning, losing a limb, developing a life threatening disease, can be the incidents that Arthurian legend calls The Dolorous Blow.

Consistent sarcastic assaults to our sense of self over time or direct hits to the soft animal of the body, as Mary Oliver describes our sweet ally of carriage through this life, are dolorous blows. These can leave us psychospiritually paralyzed with learned fear, lay waste to our inner land of psychic wholeness, and often be reflected in the crippling outer circumstances of our lives.

Any event that imprints a heavy fear, grief, despair, anger–you get it–can be The Dolorous Blow.

Clinical psychology calls The Dolorous Blow a trauma event and its repercussions post trauma symptoms.

I have found in 60 years of life in my own gorgeous perilous missions, and 20 years of clinical counselling practice that diagnostic labels can severely limit a person’s recovery. People get really attached to labels like mental illness, terminal illness, inoperable codition, toxic people, toxic situations. These labels sound like life sentences. These labels can suck the life energy our of a person recovering from the dolorous blows of life.

I much prefer the lingua mythica of the heroic journey. A mythopoetic language liberates soul into the healing process. The Grail Cycle of stories is one such healing language.

The language of the heroic journey gives us magical allies, the animal friend, words of power, opuscules of opportunity, hope swings across impossible odds, timely meetings, divine encounters, the chance to recover a fearless awesome courage, the jewel of wisdom in the Underworld, redemption of self and community and land.

Healing trauma, healing false limits to our soul’s life, healing The Dolorous Blow is our gorgeous perilous mission.

Warrior training teaches that you take your fear, breathe it intensely into a ball of fire in your belly, and use it like an archer uses a bow: to aim the gorgeous perilous mission of the moment and propel your fearless awesome courage towards the bull’s eye of necessary action.

Warrior training teaches that you manage your fear, detach from habituated reactivity, and ride the psychological wave to safe harbour. And that is a deep practice of focus and non-attachment.

My beloved painted paddlemaking teacher, who gave Loon Canoe her magnetized skin of mythopoetic power and me such loony latinate phrases as lingua mythica, taught me much about facing my fears. He taught me that The Sacred Psychologies–his term for the perennial wisdom traditions–don’t see fear as the problem. Attachment to fear is the problem.

Our instinctual emotion is ok. Instinctual fear is ok. It serves a purpose. It tells us danger is afoot. It sends powerful chemical warriors and scintillating electromagnetic weapons through our bodies, allies of immense energetic oomph unleashed for our instant strength.

Attachment to fear and attachment to fear based reactivity–such as panic–is the culprit. Getting unhooked from fear’s grappling irons is part of the gorgeous perilous mission.

Our times call for each of us to unhook from learned patterns of fear-based attachment: attachment to me, mine, more, an eye for an eye, fossil fuel use, toxic manufacturing practices, compulsive consumption, torture of any kind of all soft bodies everywhere.

Our sweet oasis in space, our Earth, is showing symptoms of The Wasteland of myth. The faulty belief system of egoic self-interest is the dolorous blow to our collective energetic vibrations and our life habits. This egoic self-interest that sets our species as more important and our wants as more valuable than Nature’s exquisite life harmonies out-pictures in tragic proportions as the toxic wasteland of our times.

In The Grail Cycle of stories, finding The Holy Grail brings healing to The Dolorous Blow, The Fisher King, and the land.

The Holy Grail can be seen as a symbol for the energetic frequency of healing, harmony, and happiness. The Grail lives in the heart of The Fisher King’s castle.

Our collective gorgeous perilous mission calls upon each of us to see our own dolorous blow as the opportunity to seek the grail of the heart, drink the elixir of a new vision, and tell the liberating tale of a new guiding story into our lives. Awakening heart energy gets us unhooked from fear and unleashes our fearless awesome courage into vibrant vibrational change practices.

A change of heart changes everything. The time is now. The time is only ever NOW.

GETTING UNHOOKED

When it comes to a moment of fear, discernment is key.

Is this a real outer threat—a real tidal wave rolling a one hundred foot high and who knows how wide wall of water at your shoreline? Or is this an inner tidal wave, the old wound activated by a perceived threat like criticism, sarcasm, psychological intimidation? Is The Dolorous Blow memory all up in your face? Knowing when to run, when to ride, when to stand, when to hide is key.

Running from a tidal wave is always a good plan. Running, hiding, arguing, attacking the inner wave, such as fear of criticism; or doing the same with its momentary outer source, such as a nasty boss or neighbour, is ultimately counterproductive. Those actions keep the dolorous blow levelled again at your psychospiritual wholeness and limit your radiant attraction action. You just end up compelling the same-old-same-old to arrive.

In Dr. Strange, The Ancient One says: We do not lose our pain; we learn to live above it. We must do the same with fear. We must get ourselves unhooked so we can act with a slick and sensible sanity toward the old conditioned culprit of attachment.

Awareness of triggers and reactivity is the key.

Bringing self-awareness practices into your life helps you stand up in your fear and make fear your ally.

Try meditation, tapping, journalling, yoga, mantra. Try archery, drawing, bonsai, flower arranging.

Finding human guides who walk the path of liberating awareness as a life practice can help you redeem an old fear conditioning and learn better habits of responsive awareness to fear’s warning message. Find a life coach or counsellor or support group.

Fear doesn’t have to take you down. Fear doesn’t have to compromise your radiant attraction action. Fear can wake you up, stand you up, and fill you up with a powerful urgency to grow out of the cramp of conditioning and grow into your lucent and purposeful living flow.

When fear is an ally and not an enemy you have a helpful warning system that alerts you to real danger and to the hook of an old conditioned reactivity. Your gorgeous perilous mission is to discern between the two. Your gorgeous perilous mission is to act above fear, to act as if your life depended upon it, and to act as if death were no consequence.

 

 

Your Fearless Awesome Courage Blog Bite

Believe it or not, everyone has a fearless awesome courage buried or shining within. Everyone. And this powerful courage is allied with the gorgeous perilous mission we each bring to the journey of our life.

We are each here to redeem our deep driving desire from its prison or slumber and fulfill our personal destiny within the collective destiny of our times. We are here to be, as fully as possible, the channel for our singular purpose to enter the world.

No matter who we are each of us is called upon to protect beauty, truth, and innocence in whatever form those appear in our worlds—both our inner and outer worlds. We are here to unleash a fearless awesome courage into the world.

And many are the forces against us—from within and from without. An old shame habit can keep us down. An old worry, such as what others might think, can keep us stuck in deep unhappiness. An old taboo can keep us small. A military occupation can throw the mind into terror.

But what’s the alternative to playing safe? Does living with an unlived story inside you appeal to you?

Your gorgeous perilous mission calls upon you to challenge your habitual fears, make your fear your ally, and lift your wild and singular burning desire into your living flow.

Big or small; visibly on a world scale or invisibly in the inner arena where you wrestle for your soul—your life’s mission is as important as anyone’s. And you are equipped with the necessary tools to accomplish it.

What’s stopping you from beginning? What stops any of us? Fear.

Well, take a deep breath, take heart, and take a step. That step not only calls for a fearless awesome courage, but also calls upon that fearless awesome courage to step up and move in. The step itself ignites the grit and gumption needed to carry through.

When a fearless awesome courage allies with a gorgeous perilous mission you get a golden opportunity.

As soon as you take that step, the path of radiant attraction begins to open. As soon as you begin the challenge, courage begins to muster. Your gorgeous perilous mission attracts the allies it needs to liberate your joy. And a primary ally is that fearless awesome courage that lives within you, within each of us, awaiting ignition.

…for the full version of this Livingflow Blog Bite see

The Grit & Gumption Of Your Fearless Awesome Courage big blog

Fear: Friend or Foe? Your Gorgeous Perilous Mission Blog Bite

When is fear a friend and when is fear a foe?

Part of your gorgeous perilous mission is to find out.

Almost everyone experiences physical, psychological, and spiritual dangers in this life. The smallest thing can be a mortal danger if we let fear take us down; the smallest threat can be crippling to body, mind, or spirit.

An angry fist in the face, a sarcasm dart to the heart, a tornado across the field, a bomb blowing up your car—these call up fear as an appropriate first reaction.

Fear is part of our evolutionary alert system. We’re designed to fight, flee, or freeze to protect this mortal coil from threats to life or wellbeing, or to protect what we love.

But fear doesn’t have to take you down. Fear doesn’t have to compromise your radiant attraction action. Fear can wake you up, stand you up, and fill you up with a powerful urgency to grow out of old conditioning and grow into your lucid and purposeful living flow now.

When fear is an ally and not an enemy you have a helpful warning system that alerts you to real danger and to the hook of an old conditioned reactivity. Your gorgeous perilous mission is to discern between the two. Your gorgeous perilous mission is to act above fear, to act as if your life depends upon that, and to act as if death were no consequence.

And the moment you begin; the moment you make that first inner decision to face the big calling of your life or the small calling of the day’s particulars, an unexpected ally arrives. Your fearless awesome courage arrives. It may be small, just enough to squeak you through to the next crack in the wall, the next helpful turn in the maze of confusion. And it may be the huge leap you need.

But big or small, you find you’re not alone. You find you’re equipped with the tools needed to accomplish the journey of the moment.

And big or small, when a gorgeous perilous mission allies with a fearless awesome courage you get a golden opportunity. And that’s the cosmic dynamo of attraction action dancing with your destiny.

…for the full version of this Livingflow Blog Bite, see

Your Gorgeous Perilous Mission Big Blog

 

Integrity & Reciprocal Blessing Blog Bite

Integrity is an energetic attractor. Consistent practice of integrity’s vibrant vibratory trio of bold heart, prepared mind, and honed skill gives integrity more spunk and sparkle. The more ardent, focussed, and skilled our internal integrity here and now, the more vibrational verve we swing into the universal field of energetic élan.

Integrity and reciprocal blessing are partners on the path of spiritual growth. The cosmic dynamo of organizing élan seems to love nothing more than reciprocal blessing, responding in kind to your most consistent energy frequency, that is, to your most repeated emotional resonance. Integrity makes good emotions.

Whatever your deep driving desire, be it now. Practice now. Study now. Network now. Do it now. Wherever you are, be here now in your present circumstance and practice what needs to be done within the mire and majesty of your life to liberate your crazy sexy super charged destiny.

Let’s say you want to relieve world hunger. That’s a vision of bold and compassionate integrity. To get there, start local, start here, start now.

Feeding the hungry locally, where you are, sets up a vibratory resonance that ripples through the nonlocal cosmic field with the integrity of the initial local action. Soon the intention to ease world hunger shows up in more and more hearts in more and more places—and opportunity moves, too, creating pathways, opening doors, recruiting allies.

Be integrous in your deep driving desire. Every day, imagine the desired outcome. Feel the joy of its fruition as if it were fulfilled now. Feel the integral, holistic resonance of imagined fulfillment throughout your entire bodyheartmind. Every day practice attitudes, hone skills, take actions that support your wish fulfilled.

Integrity is about what you do now. The integrity of your future depends upon the integrity of your intentions, actions, choices now.

Opportunity knocks every moment. Open the door and greet it with a bold integrity. Reciprocal blessing falls all over that attraction action.

Imagination Matters!

Imagination matters. The images in our minds matter.

The consistent image quality in our imagination has a lot of effects. It creates movement in our mind, neural grooves in our brain, feeling in our heart, sensation in our body, outcome from action, and habit from repetition.

Furthermore, all this in-picturing, this imagining, pumps corresponding electromagnetic energy frequencies through us and out into our world. What we imagine consistently becomes reflected into our cells, our DNA, our results, our world, our reality.

Nothing comes into the human world, nothing gets made or built, without a picture of it first and the intention for it to be so. From the size and shape and design of a simple chair, to staggering architectural towers of splendour, to works of art that open our hearts and heads to a presencing of truth and beauty, all our works come through the great wonder of imagination.

Our bodies are an expression of our imaginings. Our results are a reflection of our imaginings. The shape and quality of our circumstances are reflections of what we repeatedly imagine. We are what we imagine all day long. Our imaginings metabolize into matter.

Therefore: imagination matters. And: imagination matters!

 

A Wild And Singular Life

Whatever the universe may do in some distant future—spin, shrink, disappear, start over—the universe, right now, is vibrantly expanding. Expansion seems to be its driving urge.

From the Big Bang, right down to the explosion of binary cell division that resolves into a complexly evolving fetus, The Universe seems intent on expanding more and more life, complexity, beauty, abundance into its vast body.

From the exquisitely patterned developmental stages of a healthy disposition, into the full throttle thrown into wish fulfillment, we are coded with an expansive desire for growth.

From crystalline structures in snowflakes, frost patterns on windows, and sparkling symmetries in rare gems buried in layers of rock, fractal iterations throughout Nature insist on unfolding and expanding our wonderment.

You are one of those unfoldingments. You are the desire of the evolutionary impetus to further itself. You are the smouldering ember of desire’s next big bang.

“Tell me,” writes Mary Oliver, “what is it you plan to do with your one, wild and precious life?”[i]

That’s a crazy sexy inspiring question. That question can set the heart on fire. It can set the mind to scanning the psychic landscape for those embers of potentiality that, when tended, burst into destiny’s living fire.

If you don’t feel any spark in you, try this exercise: take Mary Oliver’s question with you as you walk through your days and weeks.

What is it I plan to do with my one, wild and precious life?

Repeat it like a mantra, a prayer, a favourite song lyric.

Write it on binder covers, notebook margins, journal headers, doodle scraps.

Post it on cupboards and mirrors and fridge doors.

Post it on Facebook and Twitter statuses.

Let it seep in, remind you, become you. Just let it in, over and over. Then let go.

Let go of outcome agendas.

Let that question expand your mind, fill your heart, and inspire your whole being to transcend current limitations.

What you impress upon your subconscious mind over and over begins to arrange itself in patterns beyond the conscious mind’s imagining.

Let that question in. What do you plan to do with your one wild and singular life?

Let the answers flow. Become what you most singularly must become in your one wildish soul.

Livingflow.ca   Facebook.com/kimberlya57/

[i] Oliver, Mary (1992). New and Selected Poems, ‘A Summer Day.’ Boston: Beacon Press, p. 94.

Imagination~The Hinge Between Something & Nothing

Imagination is power, creative power, co-creative power with the original and originating All Stuff. We mirror that power. We partake of that power.

And the etymology of the word imagination itself carries that power right from its roots into our vision, our language, our hearts.

The word imagination derives from the Persian magush, the Greek magos, and the Latin magi, becoming magian and magic in English. The Proto-Indo-European (PIE) ancient language word magh- is at its root. Magh-means to be able, to have power.

The image in our imagination has immense magical power. Poets, yogis, teachers, sages of all times and cultures have celebrated this tool of incarnational power that each of us has so ready to our creative vision.

Imagination partakes of magic, enabling us to create what never was before.

Imagination gives access to the worlds of which it dreams—or frets. What we imagine we become. Imagination brings forth worlds.

And true imagination partakes of beauty. In many ancient systems describing what I call our crazy sexy super powers, imagination is seated in the heart.

You are a magnificent imagining maven.

Imagination is the hinge between nothing and something. It gives form to the formless, substance to spirit, matter to musings. Bold, loving, playful imagination is the crazy sexy super power that helps incarnate your deep driving desire.

 

 

The Body Temple

An old adage says your body is a temple.

Like a temple, the body is filled with spirit.

Like a temple, the body is filled with temple bells.

Organs and glands, neurons and cells, molecules and atoms, photons and gluons; thoughts and feelings, ideas and imaginings, desires and disenchantments—these are all like big and little bells, all playing off one another.

These bells are chiming and ringing, resounding and humming, fading and rising, radiating wave upon wave of resonant harmonies or disharmonies according to your feeling tone.

Something moves you, your temple bells chime. You move, the world bells chime.

The world, the solar system, the galaxy, the universe move and the resonant bells of the whole vibrate. You are part of that whole bell choir.

In yoga teachings, spanda is the primordial vibration of all things, a version of a Big Bang. Spanda was there before anything was there. Spanda gives rise to all things.

Spanda is the soundful silence yogis hear, the moving stillness they feel in the resonant core of being. Spanda is the sacred tremor of the unstruck heart.

In the body temple all your being bells are part of the universal vibratory chorus attuned to the sacred tremor of life. Your whole being  desires to feel and express its joy in the unstruck song of the heart.

Long ago, a Japanese poet named Basho wrote this exquisite haiku:

The temple bell

Stops; but the sound

Keeps coming out of the flowers.[i]

Maya Angelou writes it like this:

People will forget what you said;

People will forget what you did;

But people will not forget how you made them feel.[ii]

Let your One Chime ring. Let your unique and singular song sing out. Let your heart be the central bell of your self-temple. Begin now ringing this bell in little and big ways.

Set a practice of quieting your mind. Bring your attention to the breath. Set your intention on one good thing and repeat that intention over and over. Notice and appreciate beauty. Walk in Nature and cultivate biophilia—the love of hanging out with other forms of life. Dance. Sing. Bless.

Every cell in your body will swell like flowers unfolding. The song in your heart will keep coming out of your marvelous cellular structure, your most ennobled thoughts, your magnanimous actions, your singular sparkle long after the ringing stops.

livingflow.ca    facebook.com/kimberlya57/

[i] Basho, trans. Robert Bly (1972). Basho. San Francisco: Mudra.

[ii] Angelou, Maya in Bob Kelly (2003). Worth Repeating: More Than 5,000 Classic And Contemporary Quotes. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications. p. 263.

Be Willing To Be A Beginner Every Morning

Morning is a fresh beginning. Our waking encounter with the miracle of our biology and with the magic of our perceptual choices opens a window into novelty and possibility. We need only see it and step through.

Here’s a lovely fact. Each night as we sleep, cell growth and repair is going on throughout the body. When we wake up, cells never before imprinted by the outside world open their eyes to a brand new day.

Also, new cells form in response to new experience. Engaging the brain with a new intellectual or physical pursuit grows grey matter, that is, cells.

Learning a new language, doing Sudoku, reading new ideas build the brain.

New and repeated body movements like dance steps or yoga postures; learning a new recreational sport like bicycling or paddling a canoe, give rise to muscle growth, muscle memory, and new neural paths.

World travel or driving a new route home amplify cell growth as we wake up to the need to pay attention.

New cells arise to house the not before known, to catalogue and store it. The new situation itself calls forth this amazing cellular engagement with our world.

Furthermore, the 50 trillion or so cells in our bodies communicate with each other at, quite possibly, the speed of light—or faster. What happens to one cell happens to them all, simultaneously, in the entangled network of cellular energetics.

So, upon first opening our eyes, every cell in the body is in on the experience of a new moment. At precisely the moment we open our eyes, our new cells meet the new morning and the narrow window to make the same-old-same-old out there new from within opens its crack in the mind.

At the threshold of a brand new moment awaits the fleet potential to make the familiar fresh. Here is the opuscule of opportunity for a brand new view of ourselves and our world.

But we don’t always see or say or do it that way. Conditioning might say, “Ho Hum. Another day.”

But it’s precisely here that we have the opportunity to supply a conscious message of a fresh perspective; it’s here we have a chance to begin to shift the subconscious memory banks of habituated perceptions and behaviours.

When we support Nature’s miracle of cell growth and repair with Nurture’s magic of a new attitude—such as welcome, gratitude, wonderment, joy, kindness—the sacramental zest we give to this new moment begins its good work of transforming the old stuck neural routes into vision paths of delight and perceptual grooves of the possible.

The new situation is each morning upon waking. The new situation is every breathing, winking, blinking moment of your life.

Open the windows of your fresh daily sight. Every morning upon waking say: thank you eyes, thank you body, thank you bedroom, thank you sun through my windows, thank you breath in my lungs, thank you world. Ask yourself: Who may I become today, how might I transform my world? Be willing to be a beginner every morning.

 

 

 

Karma & Will: Dedicated Focus Brings Radiant Results

Gandhi understood will. He understood the vibrant vibratory power of an insuperable will dedicated to a higher purpose. Many of us might not call our own will power insuperable, but dedicating our focus in that direction strengthens will and extends our vibrational oomph.

Gandhi combined the great traditions of Western secular law and Eastern spiritual law in his practice of Soul Force. Soul Force is non-violent ceaseless persistence of a group will in a common liberating purpose—in partnership with the cosmic dynamo of organizing élan.

Gandhi inspired the peaceful liberation of India from British rule. The emotional magnetism of soul force was unstoppable. Ultimately, he was murdered for his devotion to non-violence and liberation.

His path wasn’t easy. His death was messy, tragic, iconic. His legacy—unshakeable. How did he sustain the mental focus and strength of devotion to hold to the course of destiny? Firstly, he knew that he had to be the change within himself that he desired for his beloved India. He had to align with the liberating force of the All Soul. So, in his daily life, he rested his mind in meditation and his heart upon The Bhagavad Gita.[i]

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the sacred Hindu and world scriptures. The title means “the song of god.” The Gita was Gandhi’s bible. It’s a gorgeous poem about karma yoga—the yoga of dedicated action—and union with The All Soul. It’s a Book of Wisdom, a Book of Power, a book of super power definitions and practices.

If this text were a book of power in a fantasy story, it would be the much thumbed, used and worn, scraggly little leather bound pocket book that a Glinda, Gandalf, Yoda, or Dumbledore might carry deep in a secret fold of a luminous skirt or roughspun cloak. But The Gita is not fantasy, though the powers it describes as available to the devoted heart and insuperable will are indeed fantastic.

The Gita describes the laws of yoga that liberate us from conditioned living to creative living, from ignorance to enlightenment, from mediocrity into majesty. It focusses much discussion on the relationship between karma and will.

In yoga, tapas is a synonym for will. Tapa means self-governing. B.K.S Iyengar describes tapas as a fervent, unwavering, disciplined devotion to practice.[ii] And that takes will power.

Literally, tapas means fire. Figuratively, it can mean austerity. Poetically, it’s the fire and focus of the awakened, liberating will. Tapas is the practice of dedicated attention and intention toward a desired path. In yoga, such dedication of willing practice leads to union with the divine esprit of limitless manifesting power.

Gandhi was determined in devotion and devoted to his determined path. Caring, committed, and co-operative in soul force, he didn’t budge, he wasn’t budged. He had an insuperable will.

While reading The Gita fed his soul, daily meditation focussed his mind and strengthened his will. Any meditation that trains your attention to focus on one thing is a primary practice to develop will power—our power of creative choice.

Ultimately, the insuperable will is surrender of ego, of the Me-centre. It’s a surrender into the limitless I AM—what I sometimes call the cosmic orchestrating élan of everything. It’s the paradox of giving and receiving: giving over everything gains everything.

A willing discipline leads to willing surrender. And surrender leads to liberation. Tapas, that animated joyful devotion to a particular practice, opens a path for your wild and singular destiny to blaze its way through your heart and into your life.

A practice of daily living fuelled by a deep driving desire, guided by dedicated will, and supported by action, may not always be easy. A disciplined devotion may not be easy at first; but dedicated focus brings radiant results.

If you want your wild and singular life magnetized by the liberating blaze of living flow between finitude and infinity, practice a willing devotion to disciplined attention. It leads to a willing surrender of ego unto trust—a trust in the vibrant vibratory source of everything. Then destiny is yours.

[i] Stephen Mitchell, (2000). The Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita. New York: Three Rivers Press.

[ii] Iyengar, B.K.S. (1996). Light On The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali. London: Thorsons. p. 30-31.

A Karmic Kiss or Karmic Carom?

Holding on to revenge is a karmic slap in the face—our own face.

Replacing revenge with reverence is a karmic kiss on the cheek.

Revenge doesn’t have to be a big intention or even a conscious intention, nor a full out moral or ideological war on anyone or anything.

Our little daily dismays, pet peeves, closet inadequacies, secret shames are breeding grounds for pocket revenge—that little nag of narrow mindedness or small heartedness that needs to feel bigger, so it reduces someone or something else.

Our pocket revenge tactics are often unconscious and habitual actions: sarcasm, passive-aggressiveness, cold shoulder, interrupting. Nothing major.

But the karmic carom niggles its way back into our own lives, someday, some way through The Universal Law of Returns.

An antidote to revenge is reverence.

A wise reverent rapport with ourselves leads to more conscious awareness and more intentional action. And that always liberates kindness into our living flow.

A karmic slap in the face or a karmic kiss on the cheek comes to us or through us in many forms. We have a choice which cheek to turn, so to speak. We have a powerful influence now on the immediate and future outcome of actions.

We could choose reverence.

Times of dire reverence like ours now, where big and little acts of revenge and rapacity are devouring beauty everywhere, call for a karmic kiss of deepest respect from all our intentions and actions. That kiss is the karmic catalyst for more liberating kindness in the world.

 

The Old Bugaboo Doesn’t Have To Bug You Forever (or Believe It To Achieve It)

girl dandelion

Have you ever wondered: why people who actively desire to make good changes in their thoughts, feelings, habits, and actions don’t succeed in the long run? why people don’t believe in themselves or in their innate capacity for deep change? why counselling doesn’t always stick? why intention or affirmation practice alone doesn’t seem to fulfill its promise of big change? why we stay stuck in the mud, caught in the fence, treading the same old pattern pathways over and over?

The answer comes down to subconscious belief and the locus of deep change. Our subconscious beliefs guide our choices and actions. The locus of change is the subconscious beliefs. A deep change practice has to reach through the mind clutter and touch the subconscious.

Thinking Isn’t Enough

Thought alone doesn’t reach deeply enough to shift an old defunct pattern. Thinking alone doesn’t cavern into the place where the old patterns live inside you.

Therapy helps. Counselling helps. Positive self-talk helps. But talk therapy and positive affirmation don’t touch the neural grooves in the brain that represent the hidden beliefs in the subconscious.

It’s those hidden beliefs in the subconscious that need to be targeted and bull’s eyed.

So what is this subconscious? And why is it so important in the process of deep transformational change?

The Subconscious

The subconscious is the whole body and all its functions and gifts, instincts and intuitions, illuminations and limitations. It’s the nervous system and neural grooves; it’s the gut, the heart, the head; it’s the deepest operating system and the lifelong companion; it’s the warehouse of daily events and storehouse of memories and memorized patterns. Our learned beliefs and habits live here. The subconscious comprises about 80-90% of us; our conscious self is pretty small in comparison.

Imagine the subconscious to be a magnificent, powerful animal of transport, like a horse. A well-trained horse who trusts its rider and its instincts blends with the movements and guiding directions of a rider who respects its horse and trusts its horse’s power.

Imagine the subconscious to be like a work ox of old, attached to the arm that turns the grinding wheel, walking round and round all day doing its work faithfully, entirely limited by harness and ingrained habit. An oxen who has always moved like this will always move like this, harnessed or not.

The subconscious is a magnificent evolutionary survival mechanism, filled with all the inherited codes of our DNA and imprinted with the learned behaviours of our lives. The deepest learned behaviours, and often the ones that hold us back the most, are the earliest ones learned. Our deep patterning, housed in our subconscious and reflected in neural pathways, unconscious beliefs, repeated thoughts and emotions and behaviours, governs most of what we do and how we behave. We like to think that our conscious waking mind is in charge. It’s usually not. The subconscious deep patterning is in charge, making our choices from learned patterns that became entrenched over the years and through repetition.

The subconscious isn’t trying to be the boss. The subconscious isn’t trying to be subversive. The subconscious isn’t trying to trip you up. It’s a loyal companion, a faithful friend, doing what it was told to do over and over and through many repetitions.

For example, most of us were taught to look both ways before crossing a road. It’s automatic. The behaviour was taught, we do it without thinking. It’s a very good pattern to have had set into us from the earliest years of our lives.

Conversely, some of us were taught that another way of thinking or believing is wrong. That teaching gets in deep, too. And we react to that foreign way as if it were actually wrong and not just a different way.

Learned Belief

Three core beliefs—deeply entrenched neural patterns that represent deeply held convictions—are: hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness. And most of us got stuck with some dose of at least one of these, and some of us got dosed more heavily in one or more of those self-beliefs. We subsequently live without believing in our abilities, dreams, selves.

We learn to believe what we were taught. The belief gets set into the neural structure which means that our entire psycho-social-physical-spiritual self is governed by beliefs we may not even know we have. You can’t see a belief. But you can experience its results.

How often have you looked at your reactions and behaviours and choices that trip you up; acknowledge they’re not healthy or helpful; but feel powerless to change them? No amount of thinking about them helps. Positive thinking helps a bit. Talk therapy helps a bit. But mostly, the old bugaboo keeps bugging you.

The Way Out

But the old bugaboo doesn’t have to keep bugging you.

The old sacred wisdom and the new scientific understanding about the subconscious, the neural patternings, the power of core belief, and the way out of the cul de sac of I-Can’t-Change now align. There is a way out of the dark psychological alley. The old psychologies provided tools and techniques to get free. The new scientific psychologies have found that these old sacred psychologies work.

Hypnosis, deep meditation, visualization toward a specific target goal, or behaviour, or change all work to change the deeply entrenched faulty beliefs that hold us back. In the yoga psychologies, these old neural grooves are called samskaras. In neuroscience: neural patterns. In psychology: subconscious core beliefs. Whatever the language or tradition, hypnosis, deep meditation, and visualization targeted toward a specific goal work to manifest that change in your deep neural structures and therefore in your beliefs, thoughts, emotions, choices, actions.

An old adage says: You must believe it to achieve it.

Old beliefs that hold you back can be changed. The old bugaboos don’t have to bug you forever. Try these therapeutic techniques: hypnosis, meditation, visualization. Target an old belief and become a new you.

Contact me for information on a 6 session engagement to repattern the old stuck neural grooves and install that new, shining belief. Believe It To Achieve It

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Will Serves Balance, Balance Is Power

stones balanced

Will serves balance. Balance is power.

Any significant change in the good direction needs the support of your will. Does that sound scary? How many times have you said you have no willpower? How often do you hear others bemoan their lack of that big ingredient in the optimal change recipes: willpower? Well, let me tell you: you have all the will power you need. You just have to engage it and exercise it. And ahhh ha. There’s the rub, right?

What I mean by will or will power is not the common notion of a gruelling grit that hunkers down, muscles up, locks the jaw, girds the loins, secures the perimeters, and sets to with a stiff upper lip.

I don’t mean lashing yourself to the mast of masochism to quit smoking, do the housework, do the homework, do the yardwork, scoop the poop, get up, get fit, get off X-Box, get off Facebook, get off Netflix, get off binge watching, get off binge eating, get off oxy, get off meth, get off drunk fighting, get off mean texting, get off complaining, even though these actions are beneficial and involve self-control and self-discipline.

Will power isn’t the act of yanking yourself to do any or all of the things that are good for you that you’d rather not be doing but which you feel compelled to do by some outward force like The Laws Of Society. And will power isn’t the act of fighting the inward impression left by The Laws, the impressions which have become The Long Learned Laws Of Self-Limiting Mind—those locked-in subconscious belief paradigms that stake us to compulsive repetitions of self loathing or self effacement or self aggrandizement, mystifying in their autonomy and stupefying in their self-sabotaging economy.

I don’t mean a whip master will, like a military mandate in the mind, the coercive, the ironshod, the pushy, the punitive; nor the shackling of any good and healthy faculty of creativity or wellbeing to a shaming or blaming or gaming directive. I don’t mean force. In fact, studies are discovering that willpower decreases as force increases. And force only consolidates the The Long Learned Laws Of Self-Limiting Mind.

By will power I mean an ability to direct the attention where you want it to go, to notice when it wanders, and to bring the attention back to your focus of choice.

By willing your attention to go where you want it to go and in willing your attention to return to your chosen focus when you notice your attention has wandered, you’re learning the illimitable skill of awareness, you’re strengthening your innate faculty of choice, you’re honing perception, you’re fine tuning equanimity, you’re giving yourself the golden scales of right balance. You’re exercising your Amazing Super Power of Will. Will is one of the significant skills in effecting positive transformation. Will grows strong through exercising it, through creating a willingness to exercise it, and through sane and sensible practices of reflection and restoration, attention and intention, motivation and inspiration, that support you in your desired direction toward destiny.

At LivingFlow Integrative Essentials, I use and teach therapeutic interventions, partnered with a cognitive behavioural and appreciative enquiry approach of what’s holding you back, that support positive transformation: hypnotherapeutics, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, or aromatherapy. Doing a practice consisitently will get you unstuck, will get you out from under the thumb of The Long Learned Laws Of Limiting Mind. Do the practices—and you will grow into a greater being than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

Meditation

Meditation cleanses the mind and opens the heart. Meditating daily enhances the immune system, emotional balance, mental clarity, sleep rhythms, hopefulness. Meditating teaches us to detach from negative thought flows. Meditation enhances so much. Meditation connects us with The Infinite. Contact me for information on how meditating and building meditation into your counselling process can work, especially possibly with your benefits.