Polarity Processing

Uroborus = Psychological Wholeness

My favorite book on processing our “stories,” especially the ones that keep us stuck in negativities, is “The Marriage of Spirit: Enlightened Living in Today’s World” by Leslie Temple-Thurston.

In uomo cerca donna Pozzuoli the first part of the book she teaches us the cosmic laws of living in a dualistic world. In donna cerca uomo Perugia the second part she walks you through three very powerful processing techniques meant to help dislodge the grip our shadows have on us. The first processing technique — donna cerca uomo Scafati polarity processing — I will outline here.

There are 7 steps to the Polarity Processing Technique.

  1. Pick an experience.
  2. Write a description of the experience.
  3. Pick out the theme words and phrases.
  4. Make a list of the theme words and phrases.
  5. Find the opposites.
  6. Offer it up with a prayer.
  7. Wait for grace.

Start by writing out in detail a story that has gripped you. Write out all the details, the feelings and thoughts related to this story. Just let it flow until you have extinguished your view from every angle on this story.

Next go through with a highlighter and highlight all the theme words and phrases that trigger you.

On a separate sheet of paper draw a line down the center. On the left side write out all the theme words. This may take several sheets of paper.

Next on the left side of each word write down the opposite word or phrase.  For instance, if you wrote donna cerca uomo Ravenna hate on the left side, write down coppia cerca uomo Latina love on the right side of the paper. If the opposites don’t immediately come to you, use a thesaurus.

The opposite words are the ones you are repressing out of your whole experience of life. They are in your shadow. This process is about transcending duality and embracing both sides as your true and whole experience.

Now offer a prayer of gratitude to god, spirit, angels or whatever you refer to as your higher self. And humbly wait for grace to help heal these imbalances within you.

The Path to Wealth: Seven Spiritual Steps to Abundance

GratitudeImage

My new favorite book this season is by May McCarthy called The Path to Wealth: Seven Spiritual Steps to Abundance. I usually avoid gimmicky sounding books, but this one came across my radar while listening to George Noory’s radio show – Coast to Coast AM.

What I like best about her work is the way she blends her business savviness with her spirituality. For instance, she calls her higher-self the Chief Spiritual Officer (CSO).

Her book outlines a 7 step gratitude practice.

  1. Read something inspiration for about 10 minutes.
  2. Write a letter to your CSO.
  3. Read the letter out loud and with emotion.
  4. Using your imagination visualize what you are creating in your life.
  5. Notice the gentle and not so gentle nudges from your CSO.
  6. Celebrate and record in your demonstration journal all the ways your CSO has guided you.
  7. Right before you go to bed make a quick list of gratitudes for the day and make a quick list of people you need to forgive and forgive them.

 
I added this practice to my morning practices and it has really made a huge difference in my life. I especially like writing down all the daily guidances I get from my CSO in my demonstration journal.

 

Below is a template for the Daily CSO Letter. Try it for 30 days
.


Exercise Write out a CSO letter using the following guide:

Dear CSO, Thank you for my . . .

(List what you have and are grateful for.)

1. __________________________________________________
2. _______________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________
4. ___________________________________________________

Thank you for my . . .

(List what you want as gratitude statements, as though you already have them.)
1. ___________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________
4. ___________________________________________________

Thank you, CSO, for your universal power operating in my life. For all this good and more, I give great thanks. I now release these words to the law, truth, and power of the universe and know that it is done.

With gratitude and love,

Getting your Body Back through Focusing

Focus-On-the-Small-Things

 

Why not Wake Up this Morning — Rumi

Recovering Our Body: The Moving Cycle

movingcycle

Awareness

“In the first stage of the Moving Cycle, we acknowledge what we feel, or what we weren’t letting ourselves feel. This starts out as a very physical process, one of tracking and reporting sensations in the body in order to reawaken our natural ability to tell when we are harming ourselves” (p.71).

“Our ability to feel and express our physical experience is the foundation of recovery, the bedrock of joyful and satisfying action in the world” (p. 71)

Owning

Owning is “the act of telling the complete truth about one’s experience, of seeing everything that occurs within us to be our own creation” (p. 71)

“When we take 100 percent of the responsibility for our current experience, not confusing it with childhood wounding (for which we were not responsible), we can then reclaim the power to do things differently. As long as we make others responsible for how we feel or for what is happening to us, we give them power over our very aliveness, and the only way we can feel alive is to control them. Taking responsibility cuts through codependency as well” (p. 72)

“The essential problem behind the inability to take responsibility is a lack of boundaries, or inadequate limits. … When are needs are not with such a boundary, the body’s energy continues to rush out into space. This kind of unbounded energy is frightening on a primal level — the feeling is similar to falling off a cliff through open space” (p. 73)

We must practice letting our bodies be the containers for our feelings and emotions. And so, we relearn trusting our bodies.

“We must be able to sense the difference between our own and other people’s movement energy, and still keep our boundaries” (p. 73).

Acceptance

During Acceptance we address our core imprints of shame and wrongness. “Shame lives in the body in several ways. First, it translates to a poor body image … Second, an imprint of wrongness lodges in certain parts of the body causing tension, desensitization, injury, or illness…. Third, and most important of all, the lack of love that we feel for ourselves affects our breathing. By constricting our breathing we cut off our ability to feel, thereby defending ourselves from unrequited pain or threatening pleasure” (p. 74)

“The Acceptance phase has to do with getting the love back” (p. 75).

Action

“The Action Phase begins when we can sustain uncritical and loving attention to ourselves” (p. 75).

“The assumption inherent in the Action phase is that in order for change to become real, in order for love to mean anything, it must be manifested in the world” (p. 76)

“Action makes us producers in the world rather than consumers” (p. 76)

deadcomingback
PS — The story I told about the dead coming back to life is found on 2013 Coast to Coast AM interview with Dr. Sam Parnia and can be watched here on youtube.

Focusing by Eugene Gendlin

Focusing moves inward, drawing on information from the deeper, wiser self – the body. — Eugene Gendlin

The key to this practice is understanding the “felt-sense.” A felt-sense is a deep down level of awareness that comes in fuzzy and unknown. It is a feeling, not an emotion or thoughts, of a physical nature. It is a body awareness of a situation or person or event. It is an internal aura that encompasses everything you feel and know about a given subject at a given time.

The Six Movements of Focusing

  1. Clear a Space
  2. Felt Sense
  3. Get a Handle
  4. Resonate
  5. Ask
  6. Receive

1. CLEAR A SPACE

Now ask yourself, “How do I feel? Why don’t I feel wonderful right now? What is bugging me on this particular day?

Stay Quiet. Listen. Let what comes come. Don’t get attached to the problems let them all come in and out of focus.

The say, “Well except for all of these, I’m fine.”

Do you feel a small increase of well-being in you?

2. FELT-SENSE OF THE PROBLEM

Ask which problem feels the worst right now. Ask which one hurts the most, feels the heaviest, the biggest, the sharpest, the most prickly or clammy or sticky — or just choose one problem.

Don’t go into the problem. You must get down past all the noise in your head to the felt sense of the problem.

What do you sense in your body when you recall the whole of that problem?

Sense all of it, the sense of the whole thing, the murky discomfort or the unclear body-sense of it.

Be Patient!

The felt-sense is the holistic, unclear sense of the whole thing. — Eugene Gendlin

3. FINDING A HANDLE

What is the quality of the felt-sense?

What one word, phrase, or image comes out of this felt-sense?

This is not analysis (perception versus interpretation).

Avoid forcing words into the felt-sense. Let it come to you with its own essence. Or try one word gently.

What you are looking for is something that comes along with a body shift, the whole felt-sense stirs just slightly and eases a little. It might only be a small shift.

4. RESONATING HANDLE AND FELT-SENSE

Take the word or image you got from the third movement and check it against the felt-sense. Make sure they click precisely into place — a perfect fit. Ask (but don’t answer): Is that right?

There should be a felted response, some deep breath inside, some felt release again, letting you know that the words are right.

It is alright if, on its own accord, the feeling or the word or image changes, as you peforming the matching procedure.

You should get an Yes, Oh Yes, That’s it feeling.

Now let yourself feel that.

5. ASKING

If a big shift, an opening, and a bodily release have already come during the earlier movements, go directly the the sixth movement.

Ask Open Ended Questions like:

What is, about the whole problem, that makes me so _________________?

What does the felt-sense need?

What is the worst of this?

What comes swiftly is old information, let the felt-sense stir and from there the answer will emerge.

6. RECEIVING

Welcome what came. Be glad it spoke.

It is only one step of the problem, not the last.

Now that you know where it is, you can leave it and come back to it later.

Meditation and the Tarot

A On my 2012 holiday vacation break I began a new soul / meditation practice that inspires me each morning.

Using Aleister Crowley / Lady Frieda Harris’s Thoth Tarot Deck I choose my SOUL, MIND and BODY cards.

Then using The Tarot Handbook by Angeles Arrien I read the spiritual interpretations.

Next I take these cards into my meditation using this great little meditation app called Insight Timer Meditation. I allow them to infuse their meaning deeply into my soul. As a result, I am reaching new levels of joy in my life.


There are three other books about the Thoth Tarot Deck worth mentioning:

Here are other depth psychological books on the Tarot:

Inquiry Practice

Inquiry is a powerful soul practice, a path to self-realization or what Jung called individuation. While, ego wants the answers now, and well, most of the time it thinks it has all the answers, soul is activated in the inquiry practice. Soul lives questions, where ego lives answers. (From a quantum physics perspective, think of ego as a particle and soul as a wave.) In fact, we need ego to live answers, for it focuses mostly on our physical survival and operates reflexively, most of the time. However, ego’s life is lived mostly unconsciously, responding to stimulus faster than the speed of light.

Consciousness is a soulful affair. Until we have chosen each and every one of our responses to stimulus we are living a mostly unconscious life, from an ego that was developed in childhood. What was feared in childhood is not as scary as an adult, but until we have the capacity to stop our reflexive responses we have not truly grown up.

An inquiry practice begins with true curiosity into the functioning of ego. The key components of an inquiry practice are: experience, observation and distinctions.

Experience is composed of three parts: the event, your perception, and your judgment. For example, your boyfriend comes home and slams the front door. You believe he is angry and think it is about this morning’s argument. The event is your boyfriend coming home from work. You perceive that he is angry because the door slammed and you judge that it is about this morning’s argument. If you don’t separate your experience into these components, then you are apt to react as if the morning’s argument is still going on and fore go a new experience with your boyfriend.

Observation is composed of two parts: the observer and the observed. The work of consciousness is to continually improve the observers skills to see what is there in great depth, tone and color. However, observation is only one of our six perceptual organs. By far it is the most used. We see, we hear, we smell, we feel, and less so taste the world. And for some we intuit the world. It is important to make distinctions between these six perceptual ways of becoming aware of the observed.

And finally, distinctions give depth and breadth to what is observed. This is where knowledge comes in. The more you know about your psyche and the world, the better you are at sensing and judging what you are experiencing and choosing the appropriate response in the moment, not from your canned patterns of responses.

The mystery of life reveals itself when you stay in the inquiry as long as you can without foreclosing with answers. Too often we get trapped in the questions starting with why and never venture into asking questions beginning with who, what, where, when, and how. Challenge yourself to learn the distinctions of inquiry practice, and then challenge yourself with asking better questions about your psyche and the world.

A PATH WITH HEART: Necessary Healing

In this audio/video I take you through chapter four of A PATH WITH HEART: Necessary Healing by pointing out the four fundamentals of mindfulness: healing the body, healing the heart, healing the mind, and healing through emptiness. I pull from Ken McLeod, Rollo May, and Christine Caldwell to deepen the material.

I took longer than usual to complete this audio blog post because I wanted to make strong distinctions in regards to body, heart or emotions and mind. The very essence of psychological work is in this chapter. An entire book could be written (probably has but I have not read it yet) on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. They are: “awareness of the body and senses, awareness of heart and feelings, awareness of the mind and thoughts, and awareness of the principles that govern life.” Kornfield continues,

The development of awareness in these four areas is the basis for all of the Buddhist practices of insight and awakening.

And I would add it is the basis of psychological insight and awakening.

Here is the visual/audio portion for Chapter 4, Necessary Healing. I had to break it into two parts.


PART ONE

PART TWO

A PATH WITH HEART: Take the One Seat

To take the one seat in the center is to commit to meditation as your central spiritual practice. Kornfield warns against the practice of trying many different spiritual practices which move you left and right, forward and backward without ever drilling deep into the depths of your being. In this blog post, rather than, re-capping the chapter, which I hope you read, or recapping my audio comments, to which I hope you listen, I am bringing in another Buddhist book I often recommend — Wake Up to your Life: Discovering the Buddhist Path of Attention by Ken McLeod.

In Chapter 3, “Cultivating Attention”, McLeod describes in great detail the practice of attention which is a critical precursor to meditation¹. McLeod distinguishes two types of attention: active and passive. He wrote,

When an experience absorbs emotional energy, whether the experience is a flower, a thought, a feeling, or a belief, attention goes passive and we are less present with what’s going on. Emotional energy shifts to a lower level. We are, in effect, passive participants in the experience.

In contrast, active attention occurs, “when attention remains directed at an object and there is a shift in clarity and vividness.” He goes on to say,

Active attention is volitional, stable, and inclusive. We choose to direct attention; we aren’t simply reacting to stimulus. Active attention is not disrupted by sounds, thoughts, sights, or other events in our experience…. Because active attention is not disrupted by habitual patterns, the more we live in attention, the less we fall victim to the reactive processes that are operating us.

With out further adieu, here is the visual/audio portion for Chapter 3, Take the One Seat!

Footnote:

¹ In the audio portion of this blog Lucia René in Unplugging the Patriarchy: A Mystical Journey into the Heart of a New Age tells us the practice of attention (or concentration) precedes the experience of meditation.

Journaling with Soul in Mind


A common exercise life coaches assign is journaling. And the common response is UGHHH! I think that’s because we instantly recall the diary from junior high school we used to record our secret feelings about the guy we had a crush on and the girlfriend we hate for stealing him away from us. This is the same diary that our younger brother found and read at the dinner table embarrassing us in front of our parents.

However, journaling is not a diary of what we did for the day. From a Jungian perspective the point of journaling is not so much about what we say, as it is about how we say it. Journaling in Depth is a practice of calling our ego into relationship with our soul, a practice that is as important as exercise and meditation on the journey of individuation.

The critical skill for journaling is asking questions. In fact, journaling is really a practice of inquiry. Once I start journaling I find soul slipping in, which it must do to get past the rigidity of ego, with brilliant questions and insights. Ego wants the answers now so it can file it into unconscious standard operating procedures. In contrast, soul strives for wholeness so it will ask questions that compensate for the one-sidedness of ego.


For instance, let’s say you are writing about why you erupted in rage when your boyfriend forgot to pick up lemons on the way home. As you describe the event your thoughts start spinning all these stories about him and perhaps you get angry all over again. That’s okay, but that is not the point of journaling. At some point I hope soul slips in a question about you and your rage.

The point of Journaling in Depth is not to reinforce ego’s war with your boyfriend. It is to question your unconscious automatic patterns of thoughts and behaviors giving you a chance to withdraw your projections, own your shadow, and learn to consciously choose appropriate responses.

Ego is always looking for data to reinforce its beliefs. And I promise you any time you erupt emotionally out of proportion to the event [rage about lemons? come on!] a projection from your shadow needs to be withdrawn from your boyfriend.

The place to start in this example is the stories that got spun about why your boyfriend forgot the lemons. He never listens to me, I have to do everything all the time, he forgot on purpose to embarrass me, etc. [Another clue to discovering a projection is when you use extreme language like always and never.]

The questions to ask yourself are: Is that true? What is the evidence to support your claims? Are there alternative reasons he forgot the lemons? To find wholeness you must be able to see the events and stories you spin in your mind from every side.

If the point of meditation is to build awareness in the moment and to rid the mind of worries and phantom dialogues with others, then journaling can be a meditative process. For me that’s exactly what it is, a meditation; it helps me get rid of what I call the “monkey mind,” a mind completely lost in thought, by bringing the monkey into relationship with the soul.

If “monkey mind” is a left brain affair and meditation is a right brain affair, then journaling as a meditation process can be a way to tame your anxiety and integrate the left and right hemispheres of your brain which helps in healing depression.

In conclusion, I recommend handwriting your journal. Why? Because it helps you slow down and really BE in the process, and it involves the body — where Wisdom resides. Finally, please be sure to hide it so your brother won’t read it at the dinner table and embarrass you in front of your boyfriend.

Reading with Soul in Mind

Often when we sit down to read we engage our “thinking mind” gathering tidbits of knowledge like we do fruit at the market. Tossing them in the basket of our mind we continue through the chapters perhaps thinking, “I already know this; tell me something I don’t know.” While this kind of reading serves most uses it does not lead to wisdom.

“Reading with Soul in Mind” engages all of you in the process of reading. It is a slow and disciplined process of engaging with the text like you would that ideal peach in the market. You pick it up and squeeze it ever so softly twirling it in your hand admiring its peachy color wondering if it had been bruised. Next you lift it towards your nose and sniff hoping to whiff that ever so sweet peachy smell. And if it passes this final test your mouth is watering in desire for this unique soured-covered sweetness to glide down your throat.

Now, I am not suggesting we eat the text. However, I am suggesting we engage our mind, heart, body and soul in the process of digesting the text. So, how do you do this?

First, hold the text in your hands as if you are holding a sacred object (or a peach). Let your hands feel it; and let it feel you. You can sniff it if you want to but I doubt it will make your mouth water. Most importantly prepare your mind, heart and body to be in a place of wonder and openness to gifts of knowledge before you.

Secondly, read sitting at a desk with your favorite writing instruments, a dictionary and journal nearby. Read slowly and deliberately making sure each word is understood looking up the words you do not understand immediately. Also, reading slow allows the ear to bounce along with the rhythm of the text. I like to breathe in through my nose and read out loud the sentences that inspire me letting the words vibrate through my entire body as if I was chanting a Hindu mantra.

Thirdly, check in with your body often. Does your heart and chest feel open or closed, relaxed or tense? Does the perimeter of your body feel hard like a melon or soft like a peach? Is your mind in a state of judgment or in wonderment?

Fourthly, underline whatever inspires you, touches you, and challenges you. Joseph Campbell once wrote, “Underlining is my meditation.”

Fifthly and most importantly, stop to inquire when you misread something, when you feel an emotion arising and especially when you find yourself confused or distracted. This is soul trying to interrupt the linear flow of reading with wisdom for your self realization.

Finally, go back to where soul interrupted and begin the inquiry process.

  • If it was something you read then ask, “what is it about what I just read that stirs me?”
  • If it was an emotion then ask, “What is this emotion? What color is this emotion? How does it feel? What is this emotion attached to?”
  • If you find yourself confused or distracted then ask, “What am I resisting? What am I denying? Where have I closed down and why?”

Journal, draw or tape record your questions and the spontaneously arising answers. Continue to inquire into each image, concept, body sensation or emotion that arises. It is critical to stay in inquiry mode as long as you can, hopefully exhausting your mind’s habit of shutting soul out of the co-creative process of self-realization.

By taking the time to read with soul in mind as suggested here the focus moves from tossing the fruits of knowledge into your mind basket to focusing on what your soul deems nutritional for your journey towards wholeness.

Soul Practices

DR BREN recommends the following soul practices to improve your consciousness and your connection to soul, your true self.

  1. Meditate for 20 minutes each day.
  2. Journal for at least 20 minutes each day. Use it to ask yourself questions, record and celebrate progress, plan, record insights, note patterns, etc. (See blog post called Journaling with Soul in Mind)
  3. Inquiry Practice is the way-of-being for the masters of self. (See blog post called Inquiry Practice.)
  4. Read with soul in mind. (See blog post called Reading with Soul in Mind)
  5. Analyze your dreams. (See blog post called Dreams Direct us toward Wholeness.
  6. Eat healthy and whole foods.
  7. Exercise your body. Do some form of Aerobic exercise 3 to 5 times per week and/or do Yoga 4 to 6 times per week.