Heartbreak, the sorrow is groundless. No order or sense to grasp onto for solace. Far from the shore, but a light is on the distant horizon. Thoughts consume and the burden seems endless. A beacon for the soul to find faith and reprieve in. The soul sees the light, a source of divine silence. Grace is the hope, a comforting harbor. A warmth, a shelter to place all your grief within. Give the longing over to loving presence. Release the weight, it’s your soul’s gateway to respite. A sanctuary to kneel down and rest your hearts anguish. A stillness to bring ease to the bodies great suffering. To love greatly is the measure of one’s true living. The pain of the contrast is the reflection of their hearts beauty and riches. Our love always remains, it is our gift and can never be altered. A wholeness untouched by time, circumstances or burden. Pure current of the energy of loving existence. We reside eternally together, our heartbeats the witness. Listen deeply to the pulse, a vein of love. A line sent out to save our souls. Hold on through the darkness, for the dawn will bring lightness. A soul family, eternal, beauty beyond measure. To travel on the stream, to share love boundless and forever. Together without limits, a union for all time. No beginning or end, enduring bonds woven into our heartstrings. An unspoken promise to remain kindred, a silent agreement. The fabric of divine union, our tapestry of infinite soul connections. A thread that binds our hearts devotion, a great mystery everlasting and golden.
Cruelty and Consumption Vs. Kindness and Sustainability
The system of individuals using power and fear to control the kind and giving is just as much of a top down issue as it is directly within personal relationships. The mechanism of basically bullying has glorified monetary wealth and maintaining control and is a structure as old at time. Purposely continuing to withhold autonomy from people using stigma and judgement of value and propagating these messages about worth that are not reality, but roles that have been agreed upon to maintain power. I believe it is completely inverted with the value of the controller completely inflated and the value of the giver purposely erased. Now after hundreds of generations of this mechanism being propagated, people with zilch substance have the beauty pinned. Who were the individuals who truly built this nation with their constant efforts with little or no representation of the values they held being heard or represented? Who benefited from the status quo, where people were made to believe they had no control over their own destinies.The system is full of dog eat dog greed and the way I see it this system continuing to be glorified is the reason the Earth will be consumed at the fasted rate possible. Realistically if every person continues to be shown that the value of being rich or famous is the goal, how would 8 billion people find resources to support their insatiable consumption? The goal seems now to be a race to becoming the world’s first trillionaire. Does this world benefit from having a trillionaire, when children are not able to have their basic pyramid of needs met? I believe this is such an empty way of living, filled with fear of lacking and an insatiable desire to consume with no real finish line or satisfaction. To me a person who spends 5 minutes uninterrupted truly loving and supporting a child contains more true wealth. For the world to prosper, the people who contain the true value of loving presence need to take time to be kind to themselves. To begin to ignore the messages and lies that for whatever inverted reason they are seen as second class citizens and have less value and deserve less positive regard and dignity. Their children need to be immersed in a value system that makes sense to their little loving hearts. I am an adult and I am confused by how this diseased value system has been propagated for so long myself? I can’t imagine how a pure hearted child must view and feel about things as they appear right now. Living in a structure based on nothing of true value, only currency, status, power, control, continuation of fear, manipulation of source, consumption and selfishness. Watching kind people suffering, while the cruel seem to have so much material wealth and then having a sense that they will also have to participate in that worthless program to find their own happiness. Manipulation has been used to keep good people afraid of advocating for dignity or fearful of not providing a constant accessible source for people who benefit very comfortably from this meaningless and destructive structure. I believe quietly removing your energy from anyone or any system that uses you without regard or recognition and then to use the banked energy for self kindness. Or a time to reflect your own self kindness to your children or another person who is vulnerable to this crushing plaque of users. Showing your next generation environments filled with positive regard and self kindness. I think this system has been propagated by the kind having the fatal flaw of always wanting to see the good in others. They don’t contain these ugly drives and so they have no reference point for why or how others would choose to benefit from living off the backs of others. It seems that this has been used against them, as they have continued to sacrifice themselves from the inability to say something cruel even if it is true or the fact that they have been trained not be vulnerable and push back for fear of the cruel using shame and manipulation to maintain compliance. So this system is a loose loose, the cruel aren’t happy because only loving interactions are satiating to humans and the kind aren’t happy because they are completely drained, especially now because of this historic pandemic. The realization that there are others who could care less if you are happy or prosperous is a reality that must come to light. They only care if you are compliant and willing to continue to lie about your true needs and emotions. They would be more than happy for you to stuff every bit of your needs. They want an unlimited supply from you, but will begrudge you every drop of requirement you may have from them. They count on your strength being sapped, so they don’t have to provide you with respect, generosity, positive regard, equity or equality. This system needs to use you, yet it feels no obligation to love and care about you. Waiting around for this mechanism to volunteer to act with loving values is unrealistic and foolish. Truthfully no one can give you your freedom, but it seems they sure can keep it from you. They have no interest in handing you the keys to your autonomy and use your fear to keep you locked until your source can no longer serve them. Look how long good people have been waiting in compliance. Has that done anything for you and your children or the world they are entering? The path forward for empowerment of the kind and beautiful is to prioritize self kindness and not self sacrifice. This keeps you empty and unable to show your children how important reciprocal loving relationships are for the future of a sustainable planet. This generational pattern is propagated forward by new children being raised in environments where they are immersed in user versus taker structures. The cruel aren’t born that way they are trained by watching others use it successfully to get what they want and so they just repeat it and then their children repeat it and on down the line. To me America is just one glorified co-dependent relationship based on hate filled takers and crushed down givers. Cruelty equals rapid meaningless consumption and kindness creates meaningful, satiating sustainability.
A Path to Equality and Empowerment
True wealth resides within the heart and to tread on this is unjust and cruel. To propagate inequity is beyond my understanding and is unfathomable at it’s core. It has been said before and in various ways, that you can never legislate an unconditional loving heart! In my belief this is very true and besides continuing to provide crucial legislation protecting equality, there would also be a great benefit of a parallel method of unburdening the beauty of the marginalized and oppressed. Working to strengthen the resilience and ease of the marginalized is a powerful way to create a beautiful community and country. Whether the rational for placing an individual in a box of lesser, is based on race, gender, socioeconomic status, age, ability, physical or mental health, etc. it all requires the worn out construct of othering. To use uglification to devalue another and in an attempt to protect one’s own security. All humans evolved to quickly and reactively make judgments based on differences, to ensure conditions to survive more efficiently. However, over time this has created an inverted view of the true value that resides within every individual. The unfortunate truth is, that when you tread on another’s freedom and peace it is always fleeting and unsustainable. There is never lasting satiation and it is an endless craving, without fulfillment or a sensation of true stability. The oppressor benefits in a continually finite way on their victims. They require constant submission and compliance to continue to feel secure within their habit structure. Finger pointing creates a sense of lacking and a clamp within the accused and just creates further division. The function of these constricted habits is that if challenged it could be a risk, as they will always push back to preserve their power and controlling ways. To interrupt these patterns they would be required to take a deep look into their beliefs and have the recognition that they are harmful to others, as well as themselves. I see it as a consumption of souls, that creates a wound within the hearts of the vulnerable as well as the cruel that continually saps their lightness and ease. The solution, as I see it is to of course continue to strongly voice opposition to these broken cultural constructs, however simultaneously creating conditions for freedom and ease in the populations that are continuing to be oppressed. Increasing strength and inner wealth through calming every individuals system and then intern entire communities. To create a reflection of strength within all individuals, therefore requiring the hate and cruelty to move away or transform themselves when they see their own dysfunctional patterns. To provide a stable base of loving support, a platform of security for the weary heart. A prioritizing of creating conditions that quiet the hyper-vigilant system. Families, communities and a country built on connectivity, unconditional understanding and shared trust. Our current inverted conditions have created very difficult realities with epigenetics, which play a powerful role in the mortality of the marginalized. The strain from an environment with a difficult history and it’s negative impact on the mind, body and spirit, creates the next generation of children’s self concepts and view of the world. Their ability to have trusting relationships within their society, has an impact that can last a lifetime. Stigma is dangerous and should be brought to light, the way it increases shame, guilt and fear within a person and steals their freedom to access their lives with ease. We learn to hide in plain sight for fear of being exposed as somehow lesser. This is at the base so broken, as everyone by birth is deserving of being seen with the same intrinsic value. I believe that if freedom and loving beauty continues to be crushed down by the ugly, it will continue to be very difficult for a person to feel strong enough to allow themselves to be vulnerable. To work towards expanding and sharing forward their truth and beauty. If they are completely overburdened by the base need of survival and their system is continually threatened, it limits access to creativity, insight and interconnectivity. Not always, but likely the individual will dissociate and remain shut down cutting off their access to their true voice and potency. If the burden of centuries of inequality were to be lifted, I believe the potential would be unfathomable and quite possibly exponential. For empowerment is learning to trust yourself and your strength. To have a recognition of the endurance you already contain based on the burden you have carried for so long. Increasing your ability to be vulnerable and decreasing signals of hesitation. Taking a risk when in the past you would have held back. It requires a practice of regulating and calming the system and resting with whatever is courageously. To support creating a society based on providing loving and satiating support, versus one based on finite consumption of resources and power hoarding and control is more important than ever. One where the true value of every individuals perspective is seen as a high value. There is absolutely never a certainty of which individual, if given the opportunity might have an insight into how to preserve this beautiful world. To continue to make limited judgments based on any factor, especially at this time in our history is dangerous to our continued ability to remain viable on this earth. In the long view, the collective future of all of our children will depend on each individuals moment by moment decisions in the now. Remaining fearful and cruel is dwindling and inevitably will create a limited outcome. Sharing hope, loving presence, understanding, restoration and comfort are the keys to our combined possibility and our universal true hearts desire to live in contentment within a peaceful fulfilling home.
A oneness with the infinite, I sense no hesitation. I stand freely under the light of the moon lit sky, the stars signal the beauty. The silence within it all a connection to the gate of no time. A golden thread to tie our hearts. Nomads wandering adrift, lovers soul’s bound by destiny. A once misunderstood broken, became pure harmony. Love is simply not a word that describes this essence between fully. Eternal divine presence contains the closest reflection. I sit moonstruck by the potency of this old yet, new found union. My body contains volumes, my soul is humbled by the vastness of our kinship. You are a mighty guardian, I rest in you and feel so at home. Your shelter, your protection gives me balance to venture further into my mysterious unknown. My gratitude for your agreement to love me forever, quite a contract we entered into. The challenge and sacrifice, so painful and full of anguish. How did our souls believe we could sustain all the losses? To see the moment when we had nothing between. A grief I will hold for eternity, a bleed that emptied my heart of all it’s beauty. The cruelty of the path, she is so damned brutal. To exist in infinite divinity it seems you must walk the darkest of trails alone. The contrast is simply the only way to know the whole truth, from the hopeless midnight to the potent dawn. From all is lost, to the spark of our love’s ignition. A passion wordless and so fiercely wide open! I sit love drunk and mesmerized by this unseen turn of unfathomable love fortune.
Restoration of Heartache- A Tribute to My Mother Joan
Restoration of heartache, a tender space remains. Repair the bruising to take a new step and somehow begin again. A pain that was once unknown, now becomes the catalyst for your heart to restore. Listen deeply to your inner message, the current that flows below. Love cradles your wounded space, to bring comfort and strength. A giving in, a kneeling down, a river of love that surrounds. This limitless source just ever is, no question it’s our birth’s greatest gift. Once only hope for relief from immense burden, to a place of freedom to breathe in and enter truth’s reflection. This new dawn gives meaning to the longing. Without the grief you would have never shared such a love filled blessing. The measure of life is textured and full of brilliance. This is the importance of our fragility and impermanence. If there were never an end, I imagine little passion would we contain. We are beautiful and potent creatures. To love and to loose, gives richness to our being. Without the contrast, we would miss out on knowing the measure and the meaning. From love to grief, from lightness to heavy. A spark of divine presence blankets our heart to keep us steady. Stillness and silence contain this wordless freedom. A breath can be the gateway to your moment of open and clear seeing. Put down the impossible weight, it’s simply too much to bear. Enter into a sanctuary, let yourself just take the step. It’s alright to rest your weary heart, it doesn’t mean you let them go. It just strengthens the bond between the space, where loving memories flow. To truly see you live a moment of joy, is the wish they would certainly insist upon. Surrender into the place where happiness becomes the saving grace you can then live on. The gift to give yourself, to rest your broken heart. A space were you can reach out and touch the endless stillness, within the eternal current of pure loving existence!
Transformation, a broken to a whole. A reparation, from darkness to the gold. Overcoming the longing, the sense of lack. A stilling of the heart, a lessening of the grasp. A letting go of the constant hand over fist. I released myself, I had held long enough. Opened the gates to let the flood flow. Washed away the strife and looked upon the clear open land. Fell to my knees and took a true breath. The end of the race, the end of the last. An echo from within signaled the beginning of a new sight. A walk to a freedom, a walk through the end of night. Love a catalyst to ignite pure potency. A sun so bright it lights up the century. A deepening of existence, a meaningful outcome. All one ever dreams, a pulse from the heart-song. A valley of wondrous blooms, a fragrance beyond earthly understanding. A heart now unearthed, unburdened, so fearless. A lighthouse kept the shore, a glow in the constricted dark night waters. A beacon to provide a safe harbor for the vessel. I held strong through the wind, the rain and the swell. The ballast, the breath the steering of the ship. Kept the burden easing, a fog less thick. A flash, a spark, a candle in the darkness. A lighting of the way, a warmth to quell the fearful vastness. A constant faith you held through it all, a unwavering strength an unconditional soul. I have no human words for the gratitude I hold. You kept the belief, even in the time I lost all sensation of hope. A dark window of my life, a frightening prospect. The messenger you remained, the voice of a guardian. The place I have entered now, so full of promise. A gate I have opened, so radiant and full of life. I will carry your message to others in strife. I will forward your kindness in sharing of love. A giving of beauty, a flight of the doves.
A Letter to My Little Dear One
To my little dear one in the struggle. Your are so much more than enough! My hope is for you to sense the infinite beauty that you truly are. Just please hold on through the storm. Sometimes in life we can feel so shattered apart it becomes difficult to imagine how we can proceed. The darkness sets in and time becomes a constant grind. You sit and beg for it to pass to make the discomfort move away. The black clouds are dense and muffle your inner sensation. You numb out and stuff, the baggage gets heavy. The exhaustion is unreal, a question of how one one can bear this great burden? The cruel voice is relentless telling you “you are nothing.” It is simply not true, your are just everything! Who you truly are is a remarkable, creative beauty with a wit seldom seen. Sense the deeper voice, your calling. Move toward your passions and away from the crawling. Head up, body tall. Hear your individual wisdom. The gifts you were born with, your unique vision. Find your sway, the dance that’s inside. Move one foot and then the other. Be gentle with yourself, the rust will take time. Dance forth and listen for the inner rhythm, a choreography made just for you, it’s your special movement. A song sung to guide your way. Move out of the darkness and into your painting. A splendid sight, the eyes are in awe. The potential you hold is waiting to be set free. Use your great strength your one bad little mama. To bear the burden you have is no small task. You have the courage of an army to keep holding on through this war. I have sat in your shadow chair, I have found an easier way. Please trust me when I tell you the chaos can cease. The great pain is a gateway to finding the solace. A stillness you dream of, no more dark noise. A freedom to dance your dance, to paint your masterpiece. It is all in your hands. Let your flowers bloom, in all their sweetness and beauty. Open to your life, it’s yours for the finding. An undivided and free room to live and flourish within.
You Never Know Who You Might Save
If you have ever wondered, what could I have done to help another suffer less? I believe the answer resides within the hearts of each one of us individually. Though we have advanced our civilization in many ways, it seems we continue to remain very separate and distant from one other. We do have great love, but struggle with the vulnerability to be open and truly available. We stay busy, distracting ourselves participating in escapism, yet when required to engage deeply and listen we feel resistance and hesitation. For many, our hearts are locked away from many generations of painful struggle and for some even an embrace feels too close and exposed. Our relationships could benefit from every one of us working to calm our reactive and overwhelmed systems. Feeling deeply into the truth of our emotion, even when it is difficult. Sharing forward our gradually expanding ability to be open, available and aware of each other’s hearts and burdens. Creating a fabric of loving presence and comfort, that would expand outward strengthening community overtime. This, I believe is the way to stem the losses and to increase the well of hope for those who feel alone and without options. To create a shield from the pull that this place does not contain the love to save us. Building a home of warmth and connectivity in our families, communities, society and culture. This resource is available only within each of us, within our individual decisions and moments to save ourselves from more moments of fear, grief and longing. It rests on us collectively together and not just upon the beings who suffer the most because of the fear of shame and judgement and then their loving families who struggle to support them. That is an unfair burden on those who have already paid the highest of cost. Truthfully, it is complacent to imagine that somehow we are immune from one day also becoming a person who too may be impacted by the same circumstance. Being preventative is always the answer and this prevention is all of our responsibility. Believing otherwise will inevitably end in more tragedy. To move forward with a desire for freedom of heart, vulnerability, truth, autonomy and authenticity from this current culture that requires uniformity and shuns diversity in every form. Practicing resting our fearful divided systems, increasing availability and cultivating true open presence will all decrease our own need to escape from ourselves. Only then can we provide a model for our children and families of safe, unconditional non-judgmental relationships. The great importance of building trust within yourself has never been more vital than now. Moving toward providing a reflection of availability, reciprocation and understanding that demonstrates true engagement and embracing another’s heart fully. You will never know who you might save and that is an immeasurable gift to those who will never have to suffer the loss.
The Restorative Spring
Can we look back and reflect on the past two years and give ourselves grace? To take ownership of how for most, it was a window of time in our lives that contained the greatest of challenges. Honoring the duration of our overwhelmed systems and the toll we individually and collectively paid? A time for caregivers when we tried to give more than ever before, but the comfort somehow always seemed to fall short. Our bodies may have been ravaged by lack of time to prioritize caring for ourselves and while in the past we may have been able to get by without consideration for any of our own needs it became no longer viable because of the continued strain. Finding that often our old methods of escapism and coping failed to comfort us in the face of continual unpredictability, taking a further cumulative toll on our well-being. We may have had to make great shifts in our understanding about ourselves and our way of living to survive and sometimes even begin to learn how to thrive. For me as I see it, moving forward we always have a choice. We can either white knuckle our way through the inevitable stress and pain of our days or we can practice centering in and finding a steadier balance. Becoming more aware of our inner sensations, as well as our external environments and the tremendous effect they have on our longevity and feelings of well-being, happiness and enjoyment of life. It is unavoidable that life is filled with unknown challenges around every turn. Practicing a more easeful baseline assists us with not only our day-to-day experience, but creates more firm ground in the face of unexpected catastrophe. That even without major upheaval, we will enjoy our everyday experience with more ease, grace and wide-open view of what remains beautiful about life. We can then be even more capable of looking forward to the things that require restoration, or even further at the things that contained no beauty at all and need to be completely rewritten for us to move forward with a focus on the collective sovereignty, authenticity and agency for all individuals. For everyone to have increasing access to freedom and the opportunity to express the beauty and depth of their own unwritten stories.
Expanding the Window of Stress Tolerance
Stress and difficult emotions are universal for all humans. Stress is a normal response to environmental challenges. Stressors may include adverse life experience, attempting to comply with social norms, media, school, jobs, stigma, diversity and worries of shame, judgment or criticism.
It has been found that stress cannot be turned off or minimized by attempting to think it away. It is best to use a full-body response and embodied experience. The body responds immediately to difficulty and challenge, even before your mind senses that it is anxious. This stress builds over time and can cause cumulative tension in the body.
Window of Tolerance– The nervous system reacts to stress in different ways for each individual, everyone’s way of coping is different.
Some individuals when challenged go into flight or fight and run or explode. Others become shutdown and become frozen, fawn, feign, stuck, or implode.
The baseline of emotions and window of tolerance can be expanded. If you find yourself in a constant state of overwhelm, reactivity and distress, there are strategies to increase your ability to become easeful, resourceful, grounded, settled, flexible, focused, restorative and proactive.
Grounding and calming strategies– Shifting from hyper-vigilant to safe and relaxed
• Listen to inner sensations and have awareness of emotions within the moment: heart rate, shortness of breath, tension in the body.
• Rest, stillness and silence without distractions including breath-work can reset the baseline.
• Heavy work/weights/ fishing, hiking, gardening
• Light movement/stretching/yoga
• Investigate and inquire into what you are drawn to, your potential? What makes you feel positive and meaningful? The things that can make you feel purposeful, creative and alive.
• Rhythmic reciprocal movements are soothing, running/walking/ biking
• Participate in creative outlets including writing, painting, music, singing, dancing.
• Practicing awareness of the five senses- look, listen, feel. Remain within these 5 minutes, these 5 feet and these 5 breaths.
Preservation and Restoration-Regulating the nervous system assists with calming the rapid, repetitive thinking mind, increasing tolerance of stress and challenge over time. Learning to trust that you can tolerate difficult emotions without escapism, addictions and distractions. Food, drugs, alcohol, technology, aggression, perfectionism or shutting down are all quick ways to avoid difficult emotions, but are not successful at creating preservation or restoration. These brief escapes provide short doses of brain chemicals, that are not satiating and only temporary.
Bodyfulness and Emotional Literacy– Gain experience contacting your emotions within the body. Tolerating difficult emotions and what you feel in the present in the here and now is how resilience is found. Small moments of discomfort build into strength, trust, improved stress tolerance and mastery with repetition. Over time the ability to get out of the thinking mind and have the realization of emotions taking over expands with practice. It is like emotional literacy or gradually learning to read your body signals.
Expanding Inner Resilience– Practicing calming yourself and learning to be comfortable in your own body is the best way to overcome anxiety and stress. Re-calibrating the system from anxiety, reactivity or shut down to a state of inner security and trust. Repetition of new habits, inner resourcing and the ability to calm and regulate your body will require obtaining new healthy coping strategies. Changeable, external environmental factors cannot be the only variables to rely upon. Life including family, work, the current pandemic and obtaining of resources will always remain uncertain. The constant in the face of these challenges will be your inner wealth, increasing stress tolerance and ability to respond to unpredictable demands. With practice these gains expand your sense of impact, competence, mastery, purpose, access to choice and autonomy within your life.
The Sacred Heart
Within every heart resides a sacred song, a melody of love to dance and truly live upon. A comforting rhythm, a lyrical beauty of divine purpose. Unique, although a part of the collective unity and oneness. Listen deeply to align to your golden movement. Attune to the radiance of your eyes filled with wonder and inspiration. A brilliance reflected by the heart set free and ignited. A source of strength from overcoming all odds. The measure of the courage to remain steadfast and strong. To stand tall in the face of the grief, that is what it means to be human. A thousand moons, a reflection in the still water. To see your true face without a veil of hesitation from the painful losses. Step forward in the wise direction, fluid and untethered. A guide from intuition, the colors of transcendence illuminated and iridescent. No more need to repair or mend, just an appreciation of the depth from the longing. The history of the heart sturdy and courageous. A movement of the mountain, slow but certain and timeless. A continuation to embrace and become unfrozen. The rust is the memory, the measure of the healing. The beauty of your story, the script that tells your heroic journey. Your inspiration for others to keep the steady pace and continue to walk their own loving soul path. From the broken pieces, to a wholeness that remains with you forever and beautifully formless.
The Groundwork of Emotional Resiliency.
When neurological and physiological resilience is being taught, it is explained as the contrast between survival or staying alive versus engagement and learning. Feeling safe and satiated is the very foundation for all well-being and ability to explore and enjoy our moments. When under threat we disengage from life and when secure we are able to freely engage in our lives. To shift factors into moments that are enriching and empowering helps to mitigate fears, and to rewire the brain for well-being. Under-represented groups can gain greater control over their environments, grow their voice and participate for positive change within themselves, their families and communities. Gaining the courage necessary to require boundaries that include dignity, respect and a standard of loving presence. I believe that great struggle leads to real change and that all of the loss and the suffering must have meaning. That meaning is the fuel for a shift into a more autonomous, hopeful and free way of living, with more opportunity and positivity. The contrast between the burden and the freedom is a sensation like none other. Resilience and overcoming are the most powerful force in a life of liberation and true freedom. Your voice is yours, find your power. To remain in a fear driven nervous system keeps you vulnerable to manipulation from outside individuals who may not have your best interest in mind. It also keeps you closer to the constructs of the status quo, which lessens your access to your unique perspective and truth of being, ultimately erasing your individuality. Your resilience can not solely rely on the shifts in the structure of your government, community or family structure. I believe resilience occurs within the micro-moments and the micro decisions within each individual. Practicing resilience increases awareness of sensations of safety, which leads to higher access to cognition and thinking. One breath, one moment can, overtime add up to a calmer nervous system with less fear and more ability to take in knowledge and tolerate increasing levels of stress. When trauma occurs we must practice unlearning the unhealthy coping patterns and neuro-connections of fear. Mindfulness or meta-cognition is not just relaxation, it is the groundwork for emotional resilience. It is to be aware of what is happening in the present and to allow it, and accept it. To purposefully focus on a conscious, present level, to how you are developing and maintaining your situational awareness. Meta-awareness is to inquire and observe thoughts, feelings, sensations as they happen in the now. Without awareness you remain stuck in familiar habits with no choice about what you can do next, which creates feelings of less efficacy. With practice, when stressed you can gain greater capacity to step back and notice body sensations of tension and the difficult thinking and feelings that are driving the tension in your body. To pause and take note of the now, intentionally. To notice purposely and embody your moment. Noticing the rhythm of your breath and investigating and cultivating self acceptance. Body work assists with unlocking the immobilized brain. Activities including walking meditation, yoga and dancing are all known to help ground and regulate the body. The rhythmic movement and focus on slow breathing, both calm and stabilize the brain and ground the body. Move the body and change the brain. Movement makes us more malleable, improving emotional flexibility, adaptability and tolerance for change. To engage more fully without being frozen in the old habit energy of fear. Interoceptive awareness of inner sensations of emotion are more accessible and tolerable during and following participation in calming movement tasks. Labeling and granulation of the details of sensations of emotion assists us in shifting from the subconscious, where things are in disorder to the conscious where we can translate the difficult thinking into order. Overtime, resilience grows as you build courage and tolerance to fear and stress. You are more able to override the desire to retreat or move away from difficulty, and to pause and bravely face them. This improves your access to life, as you gain a sense of competence and ability to have an impact. Awareness of ones own values can be enhanced and accessed. There is great meaningfulness, improved engagement and access to greater feelings of confidence. You understand and feel that you have more choice over environmental factors and how they can shape your day and life. Small shifts, towards moments of calm silence and inner awareness are your greatest currency for overcoming obstacles, gaining your autonomy, voice and sense of your true life’s purpose.
The Potency of the Feminine
The revolution of the feminine is to courageously embody the nature of vulnerability and compassion fearlessly. To take on the masculine traits of power and aggression of the system that has oppressed, minimized and demonized the feminine gender with for millennia is just a continuation of a crumbling system. The feminine has not been given equal access to literacy and education, spiritual studies and places of esteem, political office, decision making or opportunities for creative tasks of art, dance, poetry or music. This has created a massive imbalance in the world culture, as the masculine traits of power, aggression, conquest and insatiable consumption have lead to war after war and now an environmental global crisis. That system has had its time and has been found to be fleeting, dwindling, destructive, hateful and divisive. A true revolution of the feminine energy needs to be equalized, to give access to the wisdom of all of it’s beauty, patience, love, compassion and great depth of ability to share kindness. Women bring life and because of it have receptivity, they have the divine gift of embracing and delivering souls into this plane. I see the womb as a powerful and untapped force to change the world into a sustainable, open and equitable home. For the liberation of humanity and for us all to prosper, a balancing of energies must become a reality. Feminism, is to become emboldened and fearless to be feminine. To end the chains of the cultural constructs of subservience and self abandonment. The societal pattern of feminine submissiveness, while carrying great burden and without any love remaining for herself. Children must have a role model of an autonomous and liberated feminine, not a suppressed and voiceless self sacrificing one. The masculine is just as much of a prisoner to this finite and fleeting, insatiable structure. In a constant battle of egoic dominance and the continual maintaining of power, without access to the unburdened beauty of half of the population. Everyone loses in this inverted value system, where only one side is represented and given a voice. Equal representation will bring restoration, a potency of 1000 generations of insights, inspirations, innovations, art and the truth of balanced, conscious relationships and unions. Wisdom and love, fairness and understanding, open hearts and unconditional giving. Unity and oneness of minds, bodies and souls begins with the feminine building resilience of heart. To practice restoration and creating access to a calm and balanced system. To heal the collective store of pain within the body. To improve regulation and access to a sense of self worth and confidence. To ease the body from constant stress that interferes with access to wisdom, creativity and voice. To open to and listen deeply to the voice of the truth of emotions from within and the needs and desires that have traditionally been ignored. The womb seems to be a storage of pain, to heal the collective soul the feminine needs to be seen for what it is, as a high value. To build compassion and love for themselves and to see the nature of vulnerability as a great strength. That the indomitable feminine will and the ability to carry great responsibility and burden are all immeasurable factors to finding balance and satiation. The passion, grace, understanding and independence, that has been the backbone and the base of creating humanity since the very beginning. To uncover the empowered confidence, erasing the inferiority and devaluing of the feminine. The liberation of all humanity depends on this balancing. Providing positive regard, dignity and and expression of an entire perspective that has not had an opportunity to be cultivated since the beginning of recorded time. I have daughters and their freedom to be true to themselves, to consider their own needs and desires, to find their own unencumbered path is a compromise I am no longer able or willing to accept. A world filled with authenticity, prosperity, joy, freedom and ease depends on it. The viability of the Earth and the continuation of the species depends on it!
I have been reminded about matriarchal societies around the world including indigenous North American cultures, where the mother-line is highly valued. In this structure the social construct of the dominance of the physically stronger male is not observed. Upon looking further into this way of existing, I found Visionary Feminism. This feels very much like what I am trying to convey in my writing. A culture focused on mutual growth of everyone involved. A place of equal self actualization with no gender having privilege or power over one another. A shift from bondage to freedom and from maintaining power to actually experiencing reciprocal love. Society can not prosper if relationships and communities are not based in authentic shared love and continue to prioritize control, power and oppression. Love is based in the desire to share with someone, to live in a place of freedom with the ability to make authentic and truthful decisions for themselves. Prosperity will never take place if the system that continues to be propagated down, is based on ownership and control of minds, bodies and souls. A balanced society where freedom is not based in gender, but on cultivating the truth within each individuals liberated heart.
The March of the Golden Heart
Heart in a ravel, heavy and broken. Confusion and burden searching for the reprieve of restoration. Darkness and distortion, a smoke filled battle. Eyes sunken, burning with desolation. Finding the source, reaching into the unknown. Hands of beauty, a faith restored. Belief in grace, the hope never truly lost. The rhythm of the heart, the pace of sincere living. From chaos to clarity, an escape from illusion. Listening within, to the messages of healing. A body worn, but a soul stirred and curious. The triumph foretold, the truth leaves one wordless. Wholeness of heart, the catalyst that kept the steps. A whisper to seek peace, a home to reside without soul shattering anguish. To step over the threshold, to enter an empty unburdened place. Courage and fearlessness, the tools of the peace trade. The depths contain the ground, the stillness and refrain. The march of the weary, full of scars to honor the dark hours. Fresh eyes clear and humble, a future where once seemed little hope of reaching. A golden heart, a hard earned beginning. An unwritten moment, potency unfolding. The work of the heart, a store of pain. The fuel for the glory, the grist mill for the grain.
Neuroception and Self Regulation An Occupational Therapy Perspective
Neuroception is the subconscious system for detecting threat and safety. Doctor Steven Porges, PhD theorizes in the Polyvagal Theory, that neuroception is the process that evaluates risks within the environment without our conscious awareness. That the brain distinguishes whether situations or people within our relationships are safe and trustworthy or dangerous and threatening.
Neuroception takes place in the primitive portions of the brain without conscious awareness. You may not be conscious of threat, but the body has already started a sequence of neural processes, that lead to an adaptive survival response of fight/flight/or freeze.
Our capacity to form social bonds is integrally dependent on our ability to neurologically inhibit our defense mechanisms. To switch from a defensive state into social engagement, your brain assesses risk. If your environment feels safe you will subconsciously inhibit the primitive defensive reactions and comfortably engage.
The nervous system automatically knows when the environment or people within it are safe and provide security or are distressful and threatening. The brain makes these evaluations by detecting features including body and facial expressions, vocalization and posture. Non-verbal factors contribute to the overall impression of safety and trustworthiness.
Nonverbal communications reveal the state of another person’s mind. Another’s facial expressions and eye gaze subconsciously decides for us whether to approach (positive) interaction or withdraw (negative) retraction.
Neuro-diverse students including those with diagnosis of autism, ADHD, trauma, anxiety, depression, aggressive disorders or medical interventions prior to three years of age are possibly in a neuroceptive state of immobilization.
Just because the classroom does not appear threatening to us, does not mean the circuits of children with neuroceptive awareness deficits agree. The environment may be too loud, too bright, too busy or they may be in a state of physiological distress.
Treatments for improving neuroceptive awareness and self regulation:
Somatic experiencing therapy emphasizes guiding the student’s attention to interoception, kinesthetic and proprioceptive experiences. It is considered the art of reconnecting with bodily sensations in a way that is safe and self aware.
Survival activation can remain stored in the body disrupting mental and emotional processes. You must interrupt this destructive loop and move away from the state of persistent activation. When addressed the allostatic load (the cumulative burden of chronic stress and life events) can slowly be released, building resilience.
When focusing on resolving the symptoms of chronic stress it is a bottom up process. It is an approach that avoids direct contact with intense evocation of traumatic memories. It is indirect and done very gradually.
Interoceptive therapies involve investigating inner awareness or the capacity to identify access and appraise internal body signals. To adapt and demonstrate appropriate emotional responses, facilitation of new corrective interoceptive experiences must be practiced. Interoceptive awareness assists with increasing attunement to body cues, signals and messages prior to overwhelm or reactivity. Interoception improves relevance to sense of self, cognition and mental health.
To begin, notice, describe and label physical sensations within the body. First engage in a positive manner, investigating easeful and relaxing emotions. Put the student in touch with positive inner feelings of safety, strength, comfort and optimism. Provide positive social engagement with proximity and face to face contact, vocalizing with appealing inflection and rhythm, all creating a safe and secure therapy environment.
Approach inner experience gradually reducing arousal, to enable restoration to occur slowly overtime. Train students to practice noticing the sensations and emotions without reacting, labeling them with granularity and detail. Staying present and feeling the experience, furthers the discharge of distressing stored energy and increases the level of regulation and resilience.
Mindfulness meditation is beneficial with improving the overall awareness of inner emotional state. Sustaining focus on the breath with a practice of sensing all subtleties is restorative and calming.
Breathing therapy is used to attend to the sensations and flow of the breath. Deep inhalation through the mouth followed by exhaling through the nose is calming and inhibitory.
Body scans are beneficial to decrease stored body tension. Tense and release muscle groups, bringing attention to specific areas of internal body (chest, shoulders and abdominals). Tensing the muscles on the in-breath and releasing or softening the stored tensions on the out-breath.
Body literacy defines and articulates sensory experiences associating back into the body, improving awareness, increased resilience and providing stress reduction.
Integration of interoceptive experiences into greater self understanding improves daily life, well being, self care, body connection, social connections and embodiment of emotional regulation. With practice insights and shifts in understanding can take place, bringing increased ease of being and greater freedom to access life tasks.
Payne, P., Levine, P. A., & Crane-Godreau, M. A. (2015). “Somatic Experiencing: Using interoception and proprioception as core elements of trauma therapy”: Corrigendum. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, Article 423.
PORGES, S. W. (2011). The polyvagal theory: neurophysiological foundations of emotions, attachment, communication, and self-regulation. New York, W.W. Norton.
Price, C. J., & Hooven, C. (2018). Interoceptive awareness skills for emotion regulation: Theory and approach of mindful awareness in body-oriented therapy (MABT). Frontiers in Psychology, 9, Article 798.
Neuroception- The Sensation of Trustworthiness or Threat
The Polyvagal theory of neuroception from Stephen Porges, states that the subconscious system for detecting whether situations or people are safe and trustworthy or threatening, occurs without conscious awareness. Neuroception takes place in the primitive portions of the brain and is directly linked to your social ability to interact. This system is non-cognitive and immediate and begins a neurophysiological sequence that can either lead to flight or ease. The brain assesses the environment and initiates an adaptive survival response. That it is biologically impossible for humans to simultaneously self protect and also to socially connect. These subconscious evaluations are based on the brain detecting features from others such as body and facial expressions. Non-verbal communications reveal the state of another persons mind. Vocalizations of pitch or intonation contribute to our sense of safety or insecurity. Facial expressions, eye gaze, blinking and widening of the eyes, all regulate whether to approach positive or withdraw negative. All these decisions bypass conscious processing, allowing for immediate reactions to fearful stimuli. Increasing your interoceptive awareness of emotion will assist you with lessening suppression and disassociation of your inner emotional truths. Helping you to increasingly come to realize and be conscious of your state of security or defensiveness. When you are around a safe person, your nervous systems guard is interrupted. Your shield or barrier drops and your authenticity naturally increases. When a person is threatening or provides a feeling of contempt, you have a sense of being walled off, fabricating emotions and an overall air of feeling disingenuous. This increases your fears of lacking, self consciousness and increases the suppression of your truth and needs, draining your resources. A friend or loved one that brings out your authenticity feels sincere. They provide inspiration, a deep sense of satiating gratitude and an overflowing cup. Reciprocal kindness and wealth of giving is fulfilling and restorative. The joy of sharing and being immersed in loving presence creates ease and makes the heart happy. Comforting relief from the everyday stressors of life is provided and preservation of emotional resources is a result. Sharing honesty and not having the sensation of needing to hide your self or embellish is a great benefit. Time spent in these relationships creates a safe space for growth and freedom from constrictions. You can truly be yourself and your heart can rest. Your ruminations and worry subside and your belly is no longer uneasy. The body tension is released and the need to strain to keep the peace and ease artificially is eliminated. Kindness can coalesce and cruelty will dwindle without your supply of attention and energy. To increase attunment and body literacy, practicing calming to your system is vital. Breathing and listening deeply to your interocepitve emotional truth increases your ability to become aware of your history of suppressing or numbing your inner sensations and needs. This practice overtime, develops your awareness and capacity of identifying internal body signals, cues or messages prior to feeling overwhelmed or burned out. Grounding strategies of heavy work can be a great benefit for preparation of the body to decrease overall built up tension and forceful repetitive thinking. Rhythmic movement such as nature walking is another calming tool, especially for individuals with a constant sense to keep moving to avoid difficult inner emotional frictions. Deep breathing in through the nose and deep exhalations out through the mouth are a recommendation for expelling long held tension and constrictions. Move toward the truth of your heart and begin with listening deeply to the positive sensations that reside within the body. Define and articulate with positive language to describe the sensations with as much detail as possible. Embodiment of the sensations of these positive experiences provides a sense of wholeness. Open the space for your positive and loving relationships to flourish. Decrease as much as possible the environments that were using up all of your energy, resources and emotions without a reflection or reciprocation of loving kindness and positive regard. Move toward thriving and freedom, joy and liberation. Love your life and unlock your peace, you have the keys. They are simply your increasing awareness of emotional authenticity and autonomy. This has immeasurable value for you and your true loves, well-being and ease. It improves your health and longevity, your ability to have rewarding social connections and deeper awareness and insights into understanding the great wealth of sharing your kind and loving hearts.