Untethering My Voice part 2

After last week’s session in which we looked at all the ways we might be avoiding telling our stories, our homework was to arrive at tonight’s zoom class with a large piece of paper.

And after a discussion about the scary state of the world and how difficult it is to feel like this process is even relevant while there are immense global issues touching everyone’s lives right now, Cara suggested that a time of turmoil is one in which a lot of ugliness is surfacing, but on the other side is a possible awakening, an awareness, and a striving for the beauty, truth and connection that is the opposite of the division and fear bubbling over in some places.

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Positive Thinking

I recently learned that you can’t get Vitamin D from sunshine through windows, and since ours only open up for a 15cm strip of direct sunlight on my face, I am now perched on the windowsill with one leg out of the window to get some 10am sunshine on my skin. It’s very uncomfortable and actually quite cold but I am grateful that we can still get sunshine up here.

So I got little snippets of anxiety again because lockdown eases a bit this week. But the guidance is so vague, and the message is basically you’re on your own. Dickheads can be dickheads and police can’t stop them. Try not to get sick, but it’s your own fault if you do. That’s what my facebook filtered world seems to be concerned about this week. On our family Zoom on Sunday, we had the usual update from around the world about the death rates. My New Zealand brother celebrated the success of ‘Aunty Jacinda’ (who is younger than him) in winning the worldwide competition against the virus, while my New York brother talked about friends of his friends who had died. London brother explained that we’re passed the peak in Britain, but you’re still only allowed out for essential exercise, so you can sit in the park but if you see the police coming you have to start doing sit-ups. Korea brother said there’s been no new cases for four days so everyone in Seoul is going out again, so they will probably be another spike, while Spanish sister went for her first run for ten weeks on Saturday. All her neighbours were waiting on their doorsteps at 8am, counting down the seconds till they were allowed out. We laugh about our lockdown hair, the boys compare beards, while my niece falls asleep on her mum’s lap, and the full weight of the international impact of this thing hits home.

Then I started to worry yesterday because my love opened a tin of mandarins, and I said ‘Oh the tinned food is for if we can’t get fresh fruit.’ A small argument ensued about the amount of tins in the house, the likelihood for the interruption of the supply chain and the invincibility of the three people we depend on for shopping, until I remembered my anxiety is the thing that causes him stress, so I shut up, but still quietly counted up the tins and watered my tiny new baby apple trees.

So to dispel my catastrophic thinking, this morning I found some powerful positive messages to pump into my head over my porridge. I am trying to get into a place of love and acceptance of whatever is coming. This thing is happening to a species on a planet in this universe. I am a tiny speck of that, and I have desires and plans, hopes and intentions, and so do the people I love, but if the direction of this species is towards something else then I have no use for fear and anxiety about that. I want to be in a place of peace and flow, with appreciation and love for my current moment, my sunshine spot right now, my lovely man, and my friends and family who I am connecting to now.

YOU ARE THE PLACEBO – DR JOE DISPENZA

3 Meditation Techniques – Bob Roth

I’m loving my sunshine mornings, I’ve settled into an effective way to save time, by listening to some wisdom from youtube as I eat breakfast, which equates to my required 10 pages of reading.

This morning’s search brought me to a surprising Russel Brand interview with the CEO of The David Lynch Foundation, Bob Roth.

The summary of which is as follows:

THREE TYPES OF MEDITATION – BOB ROTH TALKS TO RUSSEL BRAND- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBrmjWS98Gs

Meditation has been around for ever, but it has to be taught in the language of the time you’re in. If you have a meditation practice it will benefit all aspects of your life. It’s all one thing. Whatever the reason for starting meditating, it opens up the door to enlightenment.

The nature of the ocean at its surface is turbulent but the nature of the ocean at its depth is very calm. So the surface of the mind – some traditions call it the monkey mind, which you have to stop and control. It’s also the gotta mind – gotta do this, call her, etc. We all have it.

There are three types of meditation.

  1. Focused Attention – if you want to have a calm mind, you still the thoughts, the surface of the ocean. Stop the waves, you calm the ocean. Vipassina is one of these, you focus on a part of your body, a certain thought, it produces gamma waves.
  2. Open Monitoring – many mindfulness techniques. Thoughts are not the disruptor of calm, but the content of thoughts can be the disruptor of calm. Open monitoring teaches me to dispassionately observe, to be in the present. Be mindful. Don’t be in the past. Theta brain waves.
  3. Transcedental – self transcending. Thoughts are fine, waves are fine. Where is the ocean naturally calm? At its depth. Where is the mind naturally calm? At its depth. We hypothesise that deep within everyone is a transcendent level of the mind which is always and already calm and this meditation gives access to that.

We know that there is a vertical direction to the mind. we feel deeply, we hurt deeply. We have gut feelings deeply where our intuition knows. So the hypothesis is that even deeper than that, is a level of the mind that is always calm and peaceful. Religion uses the words ‘The kingdom of heaven is within’. It is expressed differently but the quest for inner calm is common throughout time.

There is a peace that surpasses all. A unified field. In the ancient meditation texts they talk about a unified field of consciousness. From physics you can’t access that. So the human brain is able to access that. The deepest level of my own nature and yours and nature’s nature are one and the same and if I access that, it enlivens all of the best qualities of life. It reduces stress but it more than that it wakes up compassion, kindness, insight, power, strength, discernment, all of the values of human life that have been talked about forever. This is the language of religion, poetry, science, everything.

Thousands of years ago we might have been so in tune with the seasons and the flow that we naturally accessed that. Where naturally humans lived in alignment with nature. And now people are looking for stability and something true but they’re not finding it outside so it’s driving them inside.

Chakraffirmations

Following my discovery yesterday that I like a bit of colourful energy in my breathing, I have been researching chakras. There are a million sites and illustrations, with some contradictions, but I’ve chosen this picture that I like, from 7Wisdoms.org.

I’m sure there’s far more study that can be done – in fact this site offers me a 21 day course for $21 – but for now what I am enjoying is the categorising! I love a colour-coded categorisation, and if I can work on each aspect of my life along these seven colours, it becomes nicely compartmentalised. And so pretty.

I am in danger of upsetting people who see chakras as far more profound than this, and those who think I’m on the dangerous slippery slope of new age nonsense, but for now, I will enjoy the colours, and see if my affirmations can fit into these seven spheres.

Meditation by colours

I don’t know how to meditate. I have read bits of advice about how to empty your mind and access the depths of the soul. I have tried, honestly but is it fair at this point to say that my mind just can’t switch off? I try to focus on my breathing, and my record so far is three deep cleansing breaths before I start to get a) worried about the raspy nature of my lungs; b) an inspiration for something to write about; or c) a flashback to a snippet of my dream about a tiger in the kitchen.

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May the Fourth connect you

I have been looking at his star wars memorabilia around the flat for a while, wondering if the occasion would present itself for the entire collection to be combined for a colour-coordinated composition. Of course May the Fourth was it. I allocated two hours for the project, but it took nearly all day and involved a few excited trips to the loft, much rummaging in the T-shirt drawers and a huge amount of dust. What was meant to be a fun art project turned into something quite stressful and caused the return of the headache. So that by 7.30pm, when I signed in for my much awaited zoom call with my choir, I was not feeling great.

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30 days

I have spent the whole day reading The Miracle Morning book – interspersed with yoga, snacks and a National Theatre Live screening – and I am so happy about starting my 30 days tomorrow, for the rest of May why not. There’s a Miracle Morning facebook group full of people sharing their Miracle journeys and I am their newest excited member.

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The Miracle Morning

I bought this book a few years ago, and I loved the concept but couldn’t stick to it. Mr Hal Elrod outlines a six step program of practices to do every day, to achieve optimum success and happiness. It includes exercise, affirmations, stillness, visualising, reading and writing. I like all these things, I know the value of doing them well, and I love the idea of carving out an hour every morning to focus on them.

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