I tried to find a way to embed this terrific article from Carolyn Myss but the best I could do was “press” it, which seems to only wind up with a link. Her discussion of many common negative beliefs as spells we have allowed to be cast upon us is SO thought provoking:
The main reason I’ve been absent so much from blogging has been the unwinding face muscles. Not just the unwinding itself, but the huge transition it’s creating have been diverting me from the keyboard.
So many people have been puzzled about what I mean by unwinding, I decided one day while it was in full yanking and tugging mode to grab my phone and record. What you can see on the surface is really just the tip of the iceberg and I wish I could figure out how to describe the multitudes of things going on in the muscles underneath.
All the contortions are driven by what’s going on in the muscles and for the most part out of my control (I can clench down hard and force it to stop but that’s not something I can or want to do routinely, especially since it re-creates some of the knots and tension already released). When this decides to start happening it just takes over.
The good news is my face, head and neck are becoming slowly but surely free of tension, clenching, pressure, etc. Periodically significant pieces open and I feel a new level of “wow, my face can feel like this?” Those moments are the blessing in all this that keeps me able to tolerate it. Not to mention my eternal optimism 🙂
Nonetheless I thought it might help make the process clearer if I showed you. Imagine this going on for hours a day — sometimes as much as 18 or all 24 — and perhaps you can see why I say it stops so much of my life. Why I can’t sleep. Why I’m so tired. Why I often can’t concentrate to write or meditate… I’m not anxious for this to wind up all over the place so in about a week I plan to take down the video and probably this post.
In this time of transition both for earth and in my life, I’ve been pretty silent on this blog. Kind of hard to describe the fogginess that overtakes me every time I try to write up some thoughts… A lot has been going on so I thought I’d do one of my catch-up pieces about this and that.
I’m still pondering the “what am I here for?”, “what’s next?” questions that have been looming for quite some time. I’ve been seeing how lots of seemingly unconnected steps along my journey are adding up to a greater whole for some time. But lately I’m realizing it probably stretches on back to my politico college days and the studies I did on government and power (I’ll catch you up on that in a future post). I still keep seeing a guide book on peaceful activism but I keep feeling there are more pieces to put together first and I’m prepared for change to march me in a different direction…
The last few months have seen some significant, if slow, progress on the unwinding front. The deep, deep places in my face that are opening now are connected to patterns throughout my body and the opening is leading to huge energy flows. The huge runs of energy have a lot to do with my inability to pull together coherent thoughts and also interfere with sleeping.
I’m hearing that big energy shifts and downloads and weird physical things are happening for lots of folks as this is a big time of transition so I’m guessing it’s pushing my healing process along as well as impacting other levels of transformation.
This last weekend seemed to mark a moment of big shift. On Friday I whacked my left elbow into the edge of a towel bar which has had it black and blue and, initially, swollen. The next day, some spilled suntan oil in a store left me splatted on the ground, smashing my left knee and wrist as well as banging my left hip. By Saturday night I had puffy, black and blue elbow, wrist and knee.
Having learned that it really helps to do the triggers of release work after an accident, I did a number of those exercises Saturday night. I started experiencing pops and opening at way deeper levels than the accident could possibly have reached that quickly. It reminded me of another fall, after which Body Patterning practitioner Hanna commented on picking up the feeling that I needed the fall to crack some things open. That’s exactly how this has felt.
Not only did things begin to open more deeply that night, but it has activated a lot of opening in those last, intertwined pieces in my face — the root stuff that has been slow and resistant to opening. Now, I could do a lot of exploring about some message from particular places I injured (or look it up in Louise Hay 🙂 ) and I do find it interesting all the injuries were on the left (feminine) side, but I’m satisfied that cracking open was the point.
How long? how long?
Over the years I’ve often circled back to wondering why this healing process is taking SO long. I first realized there were massive problems with my muscles and my health over 30 years ago. I’ve practiced yoga, spent tens of thousands of dollars on body work, created a new exercise series for it and done countless of hours of energy practices not to mention the affirmations, prayers and visions…
While I’m aware there have been many lessons and I’ve learned a lot about my body I’d never have known without this long slow process, I’m again at a point of saying to the Universe, “Enough. I’ve had enough.” Way past the point of getting what benefit there could possibly be to 30+ total years and something like 12 years of just getting the muscles in my face and head sorted out. Enough. Not that saying “enough” seems to affect the Universe… 🙂
Love and Compassion
Meanwhile, still working at love and compassion and ever more convinced the answer for these times is to be love, be peace, be compassion. I posted a Patricia Cota-Robles video a while back in which she leads a meditation basically for healing all humanity and bringing love to the world. I’m posting it again below, just to make it easy if you’re interested. I play it on my tablet as I go to sleep most every night and I love it.
Got to see Patricia in person at one of her free events last Sunday, which was SO lovely! And I’ve been making my way slowly through a Ram Dass on line retreat involving videos from a real world workshop on transforming negative emotions. Good stuff.
Still chanting as well as seeking out videos and workshops focused on the issues so dear to my heart.
Many times over the years I’ve circled around to a contemplation of whether I need to dig around in my past and discover old issues or it would be better to hold positive thoughts. I’ve wound up after landing for periods of time on both sides, concluding that most of us need a combo. And maybe there’s a time more for one and a time for the other.
I started off in the “You Create Your Own Reality”, positive-thinking and affirmations mode. Initially, when I was in total excitement with discovering this whole new way of thinking and being, it worked magically well for me (which certainly fits the theory of the Law of Attraction). But — at least as I see it — I eventually hit the wall of negative beliefs which permeated my being and it seemed like my spiritual progression ground to a halt.
Still clinging to a belief that this spiritual path offered a better way forward, I kept plugging and wound up being guided to Ellen Margron’s marvelous version of the Fisher-Hoffman Process (Ellen has since died and as far as I’m aware no one else had similarly developed or taken on the longer and more comprehensive process she created). Massive amounts of digging around in my belief system and releasing (“processing”) beliefs that no longer served me transformed many aspects of my life and I became a firm believer in the need to do some excavating.
Over the years I’ve periodically run into teachers who feel it’s more important to hold positive thoughts and not necessary to examine the past. Initially I couldn’t even compute what they were trying to say. I now get it if I think of neural nets. Creating new positive thoughts and beliefs can build new neural nets and your unconscious will often start taking down the old thinking patterns as it recognizes how much better the new pattern feels– or at least guide you to behave/respond from the newer nets.
But many neural patterns are so intertwined and complex and well-established, I decided somewhere along the way that just saying affirmations and “thinking positive” is kind of like aiming a drip of water at the top of Mt. Everest and waiting for the mountain to erode…. And I also noticed how often people’s determined positivity seemed more like denial than a true shift.
During “The Process” Ellen taught us about layers of being. The divine essence or true heart is in the center, then the next circle is the negative thoughts and beliefs we develop as we’re taught that we’re not divine and perfect and then around that we circle the mask of the personality we choose to present. The most fascinating piece for me was the news that meditating or affirming, etc. while determinedly avoiding the roiling circle of negativity in the middle CREATES ANOTHER LAYER AROUND THE OUTSIDE instead of taking you into the heart.
This really describes the sense of denial I sometimes feel from some peoples’ “positive outlooks” — like a big layer of plastic is covering something they’re avoiding. In pursuit of spirituality or calm or peacefulness they’ve thickened the layers hiding the true heart instead of illuminating it.
That said, after years of digging and excavating I’ve come to see you can also get kind of caught up in the other direction and turn life into a constant process of finding what you need to fix. For those of us who already suspect something is deeply “wrong” with us, it’s an easy trap in which to land.
Having cleared a great deal, I’ve come to a place where I feel a lot of benefit from holding to positive thoughts. I keep watch for negative belief patterns but instead of feeling I need to pursue and “process” them, I work at staying mindful enough to turn around the thought to a statement that carries the belief I’d rather hold. I’ve written before about some of the other ways I submerge myself in affirmative thinking so here I’ll just say I can feel the neural nets changing from all the steps toward thinking more positively.
In the end I’d have to say I feel it’s both. If you hold a huge amount of negative thought patterns — especially if they’re ancestral patterns of thought that have been passed down for generations — I think some excavating out of the past is the only way you’re going to step beyond it. And I really think if you feel absolutely determined never to examine your life there’s a big issue just in that to explore. Why are you unwilling to look into whatever may be holding on and hindering you?
It’s kind of a juggling act I’d say between exploring issues as you become aware of them and creating a new structure of thinking. And I’d guess in the early stages of the journey most of us need a bit more on the digging around side and as we clear issues it becomes more fruitful to work on building new neural nets with positive thoughts and beliefs. I’d love to hear some chiming in from some of you deep thinkers out there! What’s been your experience?
Note: Zoe at HopeDreamWait has nominated me for a Cramm Blog award. I quit participating in these blog awards some time ago, but I am so grateful to Zoe for nominating me — thanks!. Her blog is fun, so check her out!
As I mentioned in the last post, my practices have been a little hit and miss lately as I wade through another round of unwinding and not sleeping. The on and off of it is giving me a chance to observe the doing and not doing and the way I feel about both.
Some years ago I realized I often sabotaged my progress by not doing my practices. I’d start one up or get back to an old friend and do it faithfully for a few days or a week or two and then I’d start “forgetting” (helped along by often feeling too crappy to do anything). More and more days would pass between practices until I’d finally realize I couldn’t remember the last time I meditated or performed a round of chi gung.
Once it sank in I asked myself some deep questions about why I sabotaged myself. Then I set up a “watcher” to help me keep track of consistency and give me a nudge so I could put myself back on track. Ever since I’ve been much better. Not that I don’t miss days and even occasionally several in a row, but I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping track and at pushing myself to get back to it if I’ve let it go
It’s rare now for an entire week to go by without at least one session of whatever practice or set of practices I’m doing and most weeks I manage at least three or four days. The great weeks I get in six (I always allow for a day off as I feel even the good stuff needs a break). But I still have spells when it’s less rather than more.
There’s a kind of push pull at work here. At the moment it’s the chanting and some movement practices that feel so good they constantly pull me back on track. But both things raise energy, open stuck places, and thereby set the stage for more unwinding. Any time I practice 6-7 days a week during a week or two when I’m sleeping well and feeling good, the practices inevitably help to set off another round of unwinding.
While I want the unwinding to finish so you’d think I’d welcome each round, I’m pretty miserable when it goes crazy, especially from the lack of sleep it creates. I’m regularly confronting the up and the down side of regular practice. It works. And in this case that’s both great and not so great… I haven’t quite decided how many skips at this point arise from an unconscious dread of the down side…
A deep spiritual journey often has these up and down moments. Sometimes the same practice contains elements of both the up and the down. Sometimes a practice leads you into painful places or opens something that hurts for a while before it gets better. I harp on this one a bit, but I run into so many people who don’t know this spiritual road curves into shadows and down into valleys of dark nights as well as giving you peace and balance and higher consciousness, an occasional reminder seems good 🙂
It’s been over a month now that I’ve been regularly chanting. First time in quite a while I’ve had a regular chanting or meditation practice. I’ve done a bunch of those 21 day meditations in recent years and I’ve done a couple of 40 day practices, but it’s been years since such a practice has stuck.
A lot has changed in my body since the days when meditation was a daily practice. In fact, some of the change is due to the movement practices I’ve done to balance energy and open flow instead of meditating.
One of the blessings of the long-term sorting out of my muscles and their steely impersonation of body armor has been that as they open, I experience many things about practices differently and learn nuances I’m not sure I’d have noted without the change.
Since my appointment with Hanna, the muscles have been unwinding and the usual sleep deprivation and headaches have ensued, which has led to missing days of chanting here and there and occasionally two in a row. I’ve changed the chants since I first started, beginning each time with the lovingkindness chant and then singing the Gayatri Mantra and Om Shanti Om.
The Gayatri, among other important impacts, opens the heart. Om Shanti Om is chanted for peace and I find it opens my heart. The lovingkindness chant also brings me into a big heart space. Chanting these every day helped immeasurably to calm my distress in the wake of the election. At first, if I missed a day I went right back to feeling panicky, then as soon as I chanted again, calm returned.
After a couple of weeks the peace settled in and I could miss a day without any big change. When sleep deprivation, headaches and missing days of chanting hit all at once, I noted that I could hold the peace through one missed day but a second tipped me back into unease and anxiety. I’ve also been learning anxiety is often a side effect of sleep deprivation for me, not as intense as the “oh no that thing can’t be president” panic, but noticeable. And it too is soothed away by chanting.
While I chant I feel so much more energy moving through me than I’ve ever felt from the same practices before. Channels and pathways opened as the muscles released and in so many areas I can now feel energy flowing through. I feel the power of the chanting more than ever. I feel it changing me.
Between the chanting and the releases Hanna helped to achieve it’s been a time of realizations and movement forward. After a long time of receiving “wait” messages, I’ve heard the time to wait is ending.
In the meantime I love the slow awakening of feeling and the subtle ways in which my practices change as I grow. I’m ever more aware of how much tight muscles stop the flow and reduce how much I feel when I do yoga or meditate or chant or … All the hard work… so worth it!
Back when I was reading lots of books in the Seth material, one of the areas I felt struck by covered collective consciousness. The energy of thoughts, when people collectively hold the same ones, grows exponentially.
Many teachers since have told me the same thing and I have experienced the powerful energy of people gathered together in a common energy. Perhaps the most amazing moment was when about 1500 of us participated in a meditation involving coming into heart, filling the room and each other with love and then sending love out around the world.
When a large group focuses its attention on a shared vision, the energy going toward that vision gets that exponential increase. This is one of the reasons I believe so strongly in the power of people around the world meditating, chanting, praying, and/or holding a vision or energy space for the same goal or outcome.
This is also why I believe a campaign FOR what you want to see, participated in by tens of thousands or millions can create the reality you hope to see. If you spread the word about a clean earth or a different electoral college outcome and help that idea go viral, the energy and attention being sent toward the outcome you seek will help to make it so.
Collective action like the people coming together at Standing Rock has a big impact. And I particularly love the messages about nonviolence and understanding that have been made by the leaders of this movement/protest. I passed this article, “Standing Rock: A Change of Heart” along on FB and hope to see it going everywhere. The call is for not dehumanizing anyone no matter which side they’re on and I believe that’s one of the most important messages of our time.
Gandhi is said to have made the Hindu gesture of forgiveness as he fell from an assassin’s bullets. The Dalai Lama forgives the Chinese for what they’ve done to Tibet. Martin Luther King preached nonviolence no matter what happened around him. Taking in and living their message of maintaining love and compassion no matter what the circumstance seems to have been one of the hardest lessons ever for the world to learn.
At this moment in time the world needs us to stand together in love and compassion and refusal to be seduced into violence more than ever. And in the next post in this series, I’ll explore the group that’s been building and sailing under the radar for years. We could change the world.