THE DANCE OF EMOTIONS ~ FINDING BALANCE
Welcome to a new week!
Hopefully, you got the rest you needed this weekend and can enter a new week with a smile of contentment as the backdrop for creative self-expression.
I had a great weekend. My weekends normally begin on Fridays (it took me a long time to learn that self-management trick!), but when there are pending deadlines I can’t meet in the days prior, I’ll come in and be a Samurai to finish tasks.
Friday was one of those days. I built my slide shows for the next month’s Q&A with Paul and my Monthly Message for www.chekconnect.com and will film them today.
I fasted Friday so I didn’t go to the gym.
Saturday I took my time in the morning and did some reading on the correlations between the findings of quantum mechanics and spiritual development.
It’s always amazing to me to see how science is now objectifying spiritual concepts as truths; most science types have poo-pooed mystical traditions and teachings as fantasy, imagination or stupidity, but such people must now face their own evidence!
After reading, I did a great session of tai-chi and then I did some bodywork on Vidya.
She and Penny both love it when I take the time to work on their bodies and now and then I feel compelled to since they both do so much to support me.
After getting Vidya tuned up, I headed out into my rock garden. I put up a couple new stacks in the wind and rain.
It was so lovely to be outside with bare feet and hands walking in the soft mud. The chi was so strong I could feel the electricity of the environment dancing in my nervous system.
After I was done with stacking rocks, I headed inside to enjoy a fire, and create a mandala with Vidya.
Sunday, I had another unplanned day of joyous laziness. After a little more reading and a lovely breakfast of two sunny side up eggs, Vidya’s amazing crispy potatoes and some vegetables, I did another tai-chi session outside in the electrifying weather.
Then I spent several hours moving firewood from our storage area to the back of the house close to the fireplace.
I also split a whole wheelbarrow of kindling wood so that the ladies could easily enjoy a nice fire while I’m gone to Mexico with my son for the next two weeks starting Wednesday. Yippeee!!
After I got the woodwork done, it was time to repair the function of my large wind chimes.
The ground cover has grown so high it was holding the longer chimes still so they couldn’t move naturally in the wind.
I decided to dig out a circle under the chimes and remove the ground cover so they could swing and dance naturally. Then I covered the ground under the chimes with a beautiful flat red sand stone.
It looked like a stone mandala under the chimes when I was done.
My next act of creative self-expression was to create another mandala by the fire.
Vidya and I each did two mandalas this weekend, since it was quite a beautiful weekend to enjoy being inside by the fire as well as being outside.
Penny, Vidya and I really enjoyed watching Oprah’s “Next Chapter” show last night where she featured Lady Gaga.
I had only heard people talk about her, but was unfamiliar with her music and who she was. I was very impressed with her! What a gem of a woman!
I was so excited to see her encouraging young people to celebrate their uniqueness and to get out there and truly LIVE.
I was also impressed with the depth of the words of some of the songs she’s written. She’s definitely not puffed wheat!
I’m so grateful for what Oprah shares with the world. There are so many beautiful souls in the world to inspire us all if we are ready to reach out potential.
All the while, I was giving Penny a much needed foot and head rub; she really enjoyed the presentation on Lady Gaga too.
Penny is a graduate of Cambridge University in England, where she studied music and dance. She really appreciated Lady Gaga’s classical training; she’s much more attracted to skillfully created music than a lot of the modern pop-trash that’s common these days.
We all really enjoyed seeing Lady Gaga’s amazing artistic expression in her outfits and shows too! Very cool indeed. Cheers to Lady Gaga!!
I leave Wednesday morning to Cancun, Mexico, where I’ll meet up with my son, Paul Jr. He and I are heading to Tulum to relax and visit the Mayan ruins together.
I’m not taking my computer, or much else. I’ll take some notebooks, some art supplies, and a little warm weather clothing and that’s about it.
I really love the freedom of traveling light after all the years of hauling baggage around the world for my work.
I’m also bringing some of my special healing stones and tools so I can trade body work with Paul Jr.
This will be our first vacation together since he was a boy (he’s 32 now!) so we are both looking forward to a couple weeks “off the grid”.
THE DANCE OF EMOTIONS ~ FINDING BALANCE
In my last blog, The Body As Temple, I spoke about the importance of loving and nurturing your body as a means of authentically experiencing life and mind.
Today, I’d like to share a few of my thoughts in regards to finding emotional balance.
Tai-chi, simply put, describes the dance of energies attributed to both the masculine (light) and feminine (dark) energies that are ubiquitous in and as creation.
The very act of creation from which we each emerged into human form was a meeting of the male and female forces.
Spiritually speaking (from my own observations), when the sperm meets the egg, a powerful charge of polarities is created.
In that meeting, there is a moment of absolute stillness, creating an inter-dimensional gateway through which a soul can enter the earth plane.
Once the egg is fertilized by the sperm, a self-conscious, self-individuated being has a new body being created for it’s unique life experience.
The parents we choose afford us the necessary environment and opportunities to progress in our journey toward Self-Realization.
Though many would be challenged to believe they actually “chose their parents”, reality is such that in retrospect, it doesn’t matter who parented you or how you got here.
What’s essential to your own experience is learning how to convert apparent adversities and challenges into opportunities; though the lady in my drawing is broken, she is smiling because she knows that she, “as a whole”, is greater than the sum of her parts.
SOME TIPS FOR EMOTIONAL SELF-MANAGEMENT
I will admit from the get-go here, that I have had to do a LOT of work within myself to learn to manage my emotions, and that this is an ongoing process for me.
My upbringing was about as close to a wild wild West experience as you could have in a modern world.
My parental and developmental environment sets the tone of energy flows that ultimately underpin the basic nature of my individual feelings and thoughts; everyone’s does.
Though I could write volumes on the topic of emotional self-management (and I have!), I have found through years and years of practice as a teacher that it is better to focus on first things first.
Therefore, today I’ll keep our discussion to the essentials that must be addressed before any of the “volumes of information” available to us in workshops, seminars, books, etc., become of any lasting value to us.
What Is Emotion?
I’d like to start by once again referring to the best definition of “mind” I know, since mind is the basis of energetic flux and flow and can’t be separated from emotion in a sentient being.
Daniel Seigel, MD, psychiatrist and expert at interpersonal neurobiology defines mind as: An embodied process that regulates the flow of energy and information.
As I stated in my previous blog on Body As Temple, “mind is an embodied process.”
Within our body~mind construct, we perceive emotion as the byproduct or affect of energy flow and flow patterns.
Our emotions emerge predominantly from our biochemical interactions and are labeled as good, bad, happy, sad! by our ego’s perceptions.
The ego’s perceptions and related emotional experiences can be broken into three categories of self-expression:
1. INSTINCTUAL: Your instincts emerge largely from the wisdom of the body.
Your body has many redundant systems for managing the flow of energy as needed to ensure your survival in any given environment you may enter.
Your instincts emerge largely from three nerve centers or ganglia (large collections of neurons that process information from the cells and organs they integrate).
These ganglia are: A. The brain. B. The heart, and C. The Solar Plexus (abdominal brain).
Because our instincts are geared to ensure our survival, our body~mind construct is such that our instincts emerge relatively unfettered by our intellectual (programed) mind.
For example, even in the middle of a project where your mind is fully engaged, you naturally feel the instinctual urge to use the toilet.
If your mind reaches the point that it dominates your instincts, you are very likely to loose touch with the essential survival information being offered by your instincts.
The result is that your memes (ideas) can destroy your genes (body)!
This is very common in our culture today and is a direct byproduct of our religious programming, school systems, and over-attachment to intellectually driven technologies (largely computer systems).
Your instincts are at-one-with autonomic regulation of your physiology.
Because your body is the very basis of your feeling nature, to the degree that your body is imbalanced structurally and/or biochemically, your sub-conscious mind (instinctual intelligence) will alert your conscious mind that a threat is emerging or is present.
If ignored, a person will loose contact with their instincts; through perpetually identifying themselves as their cognitive processes alone, a person becomes unconscious as to the influence of their bodies biological fear and can’t effectively differentiate that experience from their intellectual perceptions of fear.
The result is that seemingly intelligent people often act quite irrational and emotional unintelligent.
The very basis of a healthy emotional experience is the health and balance of the body, for it is the action pole of the mind.
In my book, How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy!, I share an individualized approach to balancing the body with sound diet and exercise principles, as well as an overview of what stress is and how it emerges within the construct of our triune mind: reptilian, mammalian and neocortical brain structures.
2. INTELLECTUAL: Once a child begins saying the words “I’ and “No”, the ego is forming. You may notice that these key words are expressions of separation. “I” separates “me from you”.
“No” stops the flow of energy between people, places, and things (or concepts).
Each time we use the word “no”, we teach a child how to separate and each time we use the word “yes”, we teach a child how to integrate their surroundings or experiences within themselves.
Every word we learn produces a shift in our perceptual state, which reflects itself in our body’s energy state or flow.
Whenever key words or events are experienced that generate an emotional flow-pattern, we record both the affect (or feelings) of the experience in and around us, and any information as to the rational content we perceive through such experiences.
By the time we are adolescents, we’ve had millions of repeated experiences and our reactions to key stimuli serve as triggers.
If we had a lot of fun at birthday parties where we also at cake, every sight or smell of cake can trigger an innate sense of joy within us.
If we were repeatedly chastised over our poor performance with homework, any discussions of “homework” can trigger the same negative emotions, regardless of the number of years since the events around homework that ultimately served as a programming stimulus.
3. INTUITION: Our intuition is the product of relaxed perception.
Intuition is a process of both receiving and sending information, yet is unlike instinct or intellect.
Intuition works best when we depolarize ourselves relative to any given outcome; to access intuition most effectively, we must subdue the body by giving it all it needs to feel safe.
If we don’t, our intuitions are often fear-based because we are intuiting the voice that speaks loudest and is most close to us!
If our intuition is commandeered by our intellectual minds, it is usually because we are invested in achieving a specific outcome.
This again is the home of the ego’s idea-set. If we are invested in getting a specific outcome that involves “judgment toward self or others”, intuition bows to the providence of ego-mind; then what you thought was an “intuition” is but a reinforcement of your own fear-generated ideas.
In my experience, we don’t reach our potential for emotional self-management until our instincts and intellect are managed such that meeting our needs and overcoming our fears is effectively addressed.
SIMPLE EMOTIONAL SELF-MANAGEMENT TIPS
1. Have a dream (bigger than your crisis!).
As I share in PPS Success Mastery Lesson 1. How To Find and Live Your Legacy, and my multimedia ebook, The Last 4 Doctors You’ll Ever Need – How To Get Healthy Now!, once you are clear on a realistic dream (or goal) you are willing to achieve, you have the basis for defining the core values that will guide your actions toward that end.
NOTE: If you don’t have a dream, then simply choose the one thing you are ready and willing to change in your life and make that your overarching purpose at this time in your life.
Once we establish our own core values set, we become clear as to when we should be saying “no” and when saying “yes” is optimal for all parties involved.
If you say “yes” when you really desire to say “no”, then you will never be fully present and that absence will be reflected in the quality of relationships you maintain; like attracts like.
As you can see by my drawing, what you are looking at in relationships with other sentient beings is the Universe looking back at (and relating to) you.
Once we realize that all human beings are faced with the challenges of personal, professional and spiritual growth and are doing the best they can with the skills they have cultivated through their own unique experiences, it becomes easier to have empathy and compassion for ourselves and others.
Using this model, we approach potentially challenging situations and relationships with an open heart and mind.
We guide ourselves in relationship to self and others with this awareness by asking only one simple question when faced with challenges:
“What would Love do now?”
With a moment of pause to gather our instinctual information, we can take stock on how any choices to be made with regard to our chosen core values, and then let our heart guide us.
If we hold near and dear the concept from Nonviolent Communication (see www.NVC.org) that all judgments reflect unmet needs, we can express and ask for wants, feelings and needs.
When we share, and show interest in the other’s wants, feelings and needs, we avoid judgments and stay present with what is real for ourselves and the others involved instead of falling into the dangerous emotional trap of woulda, coulda, shoulda, didn’t!
We develop neuronal pathways to facilitate every repeated thought we have, and the number of connections and associations grows as we repeatedly experience any thought or emotion.
Though there are many processes available to us in the fields of psychology and shamanic healing to reprogram ourselves, they often take a lot of time and the participation of a skilled practitioner if they are to be successful.
I have found that when I’m feeling off balance, If I draw something that feels soothing to me, by acting to change my inner-perception of circumstances and look for the silver lining behind any metaphorical cloud of gray, I learn to create new associations and connections within myself.
If I take such action while the emotions are still vivid and active within me, I can more easily get into a state of empathy and compassion for myself and any other involved in the situation at hand.
The mandala you see here is one I created while on the road teaching.
I was feeling challenged by all the people ceaselessly wanting something from me, and!trying to constantly tell me to be someone other than who I am!
Instead of letting myself get reactive or too defensive, I chose to practice creating the shift within myself that I needed in order to be present with potentially challenging, needy people, which is inherent to my life’s work.
I then use the mandala I create as a meditation piece.
I relax myself and look at it with an unfocused gaze, while at the same time holding my heart-space open from intuitive guidance from my soul.
I have enjoyed a lot of personal growth with this simple method. I don’t need to wait for others to help me.
I don’t need to determine if I’m right or wrong in any challenging situation.
I can do the inner work of calming myself and then trust that by acting in accordance with my dream, my core values, and opening my heart-mind to my soul, that I will be guided effectively.
So far, EVERY TIME I’ve done this, I’ve been guided.
Through this and related practices, I’ve gown to be a more relaxed man who is capable of listening for the needs of others more effectively, which I can only do if I’ve been honest in meeting my own authentic needs first.
These are just a few methods or principles you can use. I’ve found that any good method works if we are willing to give it a try.
It always amazes me how people are more willing to take dangerous prescription drugs to handle emotional imbalances than they are to put colors to paper.
But we all come to rest a little more deeply when we reach the point in our lives where we realize that all streams lead to The Ocean.
There is no path to Self-Realization that is more right or wrong than any other unless our ego’s make it so.
Once we get there, there is an undeniable joy and celebration of all the trials and tribulations we’ve experienced along the way.
We realize then and there that it is, and was beautiful, perfect.
We realize that without such experiences, love would have no value, no functional basis in our lives.
Thanks for joining me today!
Love and chi,