The Power of Awareness

The Power of Awareness

The Power of Awareness 

Imagine going into a house in the middle of the night, the sky is cloudy, no stars and no moon.  You walk in the front door.  The house is dark.  You can’t find the light switch.  Finally, you find a small candle.  It is very dim, but you can see a little bit.  The house is very cluttered.  Furniture and piles of stuff lying around.    Yet as the light from the candle is so dim, you keep tripping over stuff in the dark.  You fall down again and again and have to keep hauling yourself up from the ground.  It gets very tiring.  

A friend arrives and brings you a very large spotlight.  When you turn it on, you can see the house clearly.  You can see what is in the house more clearly.  You can discern useful furniture and appliances.  You can see piles of junk mail that is no longer needed.  You can see pile of unfinished projects. 

 

This demonstrated the Power of Awareness 

Our body is the house.  Within the body resides unfinished business and unnecessary thoughts, emotions and cellular memories.  Also, within the body resided our inner knowing, necessary functions, abilities, good judgement.  

By increasing awareness, we have the ability to see things more clearly.  The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.  Sometimes we don’t want the awareness because we don’t want to see the bad and ugly.  However, that only keep us stuck tripping over the mess and falling down and having to lift ourselves out of the mess again and again.  

 

A dose of acceptance goes a long way 

Along with awareness, an equal measure of acceptance is necessary.  With acceptance we observe from a place of equanimity and use discernment to discover what is helpful and valuable and what can be discarded. 

 

What clouds awareness 

The greatest block to awareness is the mind.   For most of us, our mind is going constantly day and night.  There is very little space for awareness to shine through the business of the mind.   To access awareness, we need to begin to break up the constant stream of thinking. 

 

Tools to nurture awareness 

Here are some tools to create gaps in the stream of thought and access awareness. 

  1. By bringing you attention the breath for even a few moments can create a gap in the thoughts.  Give it a try right now.  See what happens with you pause to focus on your breath.  If you have even a 3 second gap between the thought, that is a great starting place. 
  2. Slowing down the breath. Slowing down the breath takes more attention away from your thoughts and can create additional gaps in the breath. 
  3. Become conscious of your surroundings. Really see and feel the chair you are setting on.  Touch the table in front of you.  Notice the feel of the surface and the colors.  Look at the walls and notice pictures and other things hanging on the walls. Go outside and look at the sky; admire the flowers beginning to bloom; the trees getting buds; the snow on the ground. 
  4. Truly see other people. The next person you encounter, stop thinking for a few minutes and really look at them.  See them.  Let go of your thoughts about them.  See their face, their body posture, the expression they wear.  What can you observe beyond your chronic thoughts about them?  

These tools will allow you to begin to break the addiction of thinking and open to moments of the awareness the already exists beyond the mind. 

 

Awareness practice 

This week, practice taking mini awareness breaks using some of the suggestions above or creating your own.  

 

May you grow in awareness, 

Bindu

Navigating Crisis with Awareness

Navigating Crisis with Awareness

The world is in a panic with the spread of the Corona Virus. Along with the political environment the world feels chaotic and unstable and even dangerous. How can we navigate this chaos in the most sourceful, calming and healthy way? How can we use this situation to enhance the positive rather than focusing on fear while at the same time taking necessary precautions to ensure our health?

Stepping forward with Awareness is the key. Without awareness:

  • The mind can spiral out of control down a frightening rabbit hole.
  • The panic purchasing has already spiraled out of control and fuels even more panic.
  • We can either exaggerate or diminish the true and healthy response to the situation.
  • Our pain body can become triggered and run the show.

How do we step back into awareness?

1. Stop and breath.

Several times a day, simply stop and take several long, slow deep breaths. Deep breathing calms the nervous system and lessens the tendency for negative emotions to take control. Deep breathing also helps one to step back into awareness.

2. Step back into awareness.

Engage the witness. Watch your thoughts and emotions. When you are in a state of witness consciousness, you have the power to choose. It not, the mind can drag you down a very dark tunnel.

3. Chose wisely.

What thoughts frighten you? What thoughts inspire you? What thoughts are aligned with fear? What thoughts are aligned with common sense? As you watch the mind from awareness, you can use discrimination as to which thoughts to give your attention to and which thoughts.

4. What is real, right here, right now.

Be aware of the tendency to awfulizing. What do you need to do right here right now to keep yourself and your family safe? Watch the tendency to project what may or may not happen in the future. Deal with what needs to happen in the present moment.

5. Trust in the big picture.

I know the world can seem like a very scary place right now. Yet, there is a higher force of goodness that is far superior than any egoic manipulations or dramas playing out in the world. Trust that there are more loving, heart centered people in the world and that the power of love will always, ALWAYS over come fear.

 

6. BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF LOVE.

Here are some quotes to help ground you in a positive focus

And the People Stayed Home

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.  And listened more deeply.  Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows.  And the people began to think differently.

“And the people healed.  And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

“And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”

~Kitty O’Meara

Lockdown

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighborhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,

Sing.

– Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM March 13th 2020

 

Until Next Week:

May you be safe.

May you be happy

May you be free.

May you know your true self.

May your heart be open to love and compassion.

From my heart to yours, 

Bindu

Understanding Fibromyalgia Pain and Suffering

Understanding Fibromyalgia Pain and Suffering

Years ago, someone introduced me to the difference between pain and suffering.  Until that time, I hadn’t made a distinction between the two.  To me, pain and suffering was the same thing.  Over the years, I began to begin to see the difference between the two . . . and that makes a huge difference in my experience.  Let’s explore this and how it relates to women with fibromyalgia.

 

Pain

Although there are other kinds of pain, for this part of the conversation, I will define pain as a sensation in the body.   We might have back pain, abdominal pain, headaches, neck and shoulder pain.    Our legs might ache.   We might have a burning sensation on our skin.

In this definition, pain is a sensation in the physical body.    Take a moment now and bring your attention to a place in your body where you feel pain.  Focus on that sensation as nothing more than a sensation in the body.    Rate the sensation on a scale of 1-10.  Ten being extremely intense, I gotta stop this and one being barely noticeable.

For a few moments simply observe the pain as a sensation and nothing more.  And for an extra bonus, deepen your breath while you do so.   Continue to observe the pain as sensation.

I am not saying to minimize the pain or the importance of it.  I am saying to simply for a few moments to just be present with the pain.  Watch what happens as you observe the pain.

Notice how successful you are at this or not.  Can you be present with the pain without any thoughts about the pain other than it is a sensation in the body?   Most of us can’t do that.  For most of us, our mind will be filled with thoughts and emotions will arise.

 

Suffering

Now become aware of the mental and emotional content around the pain.  I am not trying to minimize or marginalize your pain.  But to help you differentiate the difference between the mental and emotional pain and the physical pain.  Both are real.  Both are painful.  Both need to be addressed.

Now, as your focus on the sensation in your body, also become aware of your thoughts and the emotions you are feeling.

Do you feel sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed, resigned, upset, discouraged?  What flavor is your emotion that is connected to the physical sensation in the body?

What thoughts come into your mind as you observe the sensation in the body?  Here are a few out of an infinite number of possibilities.  I hate this pain.  It is my fault.  Why did this happen to me?  How can I get rid of this pain?  I hope the doctors find a cure soon.  Nobody believes me.  Why don’t they understand how miserable I feel?   I hate it when people tell me it is all in my head!

When we are dealing with fibromyalgia, we experience physical, emotional and mental pain.  The emotional and mental part is what I called suffering.  It magnifies the physical pain.  This isn’t bad or wrong.  It is simply a way to pull apart the elements in the matrix called fibromyalgia.

 

Why is this important? 

This is important because it identifies and makes more conscious the puzzle pieces that make up the experience of fibromyalgia.    The more aware and conscious we are of the pieces, the more empowered we are to transform the experience.

For example.    You have pain in your abdomen.  When you focus on that sensation, you begin to feel sad.  You mind says, nobody hears me or understands me.     This is a sign that there may be an emotional wound underlying the pain in your abdomen.    Sub or unconscious cellular memories of a time when you were unheard and disrespected and misunderstood.  With the right tools, the sub and unconscious cellular memories can be neutralized and can alleviate the pain.

This is a simple example, but it illustrates the underlying cause of some of our physical pain.  There are other causes of physical pain as well.   Here are links to some previous blogs that focus on the physical causes of pain.  Anatomy of a Symptom and 12 Steps to Balance the Body

I know that this is a big trigger for many women with fibromyalgia.   I know because I had it too.  How often are women with fibromyalgia told things like:  “It is all in your head”.  “Your pain can’t be that bad”.  “You are too sensitive.”  “Everyone has pain.”  “You are just lazy.”    And when we are suffering and people say that it simply makes the pain worse.

I had a part of me that never felt valued, understood, respected, heard or loved.    For me, that was just as painful as the physical pain.  Maybe even worse.    I think that many of us, as women with fibromyalgia, have a common emotional wound around not feeling heard and believed.  My mom had that.  I had that.   Do you?   What are your triggers?  What is the predominate emotional pain in your life?   That holds the key to part of the healing process.

 

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are common symptoms of fibromyalgia.  They are both signs that there are unresolved suppressed emotions, trauma and/or negative life experiences.  This can be resolved with the right tools and support.

I am working on a program to assist women with fibromyalgia to move beyond these kinds of unresolved experiences.  Stay tuned.

 

Awareness practice for this week:

Take some time to focus on the “sensations” in your body and notice your thoughts and emotions while you do so.  See if you can discern unique patterns with different parts of the body.   Have fun experimenting with this.  It doesn’t need to be serious . . . unless it is.

 

May you discover the transformative power of self-love, 

Bindu

 

Breaking Free from the Pain Body

Breaking Free from the Pain Body

breathing The pain body, is an integral part of fibromyalgia. It is the blend of destructive cellular memories, suppressed emotions, sub and unconscious negative beliefs that cause emotional pain, stress and contribute to physical symptoms. 

In order to heal the pain body, it is essential that you break your identification from it.  Otherwise, it literally feels like you are trying to kill a part of yourself.  Your defenses will come up and sabotage your success.

In order to break your identification with your pain body, we need to develop Witness Consciousness or Awareness.

To understand awareness, we must first understand multi-dimensionality.  Multi-dimensionality is the awareness that we are not one-dimensional linear beings.  It acknowledges that we are the sum of many parts.  The parts can be summarized in 6 dimensions:

  1. Physical – body
  2. Emotions – feelings, emotions
  3. Mind – thoughts, belief systems
  4. Expression – how we interact with others and the world
  5. Spirit – the spark of God, consciousness that is the enlivening of our existence, our connection with God, Consciousness, Spirit
  6. Energy – e=mc2 – meaning everything is energy

 

Why is this important? 

When we are connected with our spiritual essence, we can become “identified” with our body, mind and emotions.  We have forgotten that we are more than the body, mind and emotions.

When we have been subject to trauma, negative conditioning, or negative life experiences and haven’t resolved those experiences, they congeal into what is called the pain body.  The pain body feels separate from God and everyone else and creates a separate identity to keep itself safe.  The downside of this is that it also holds onto its pain.

In order to free our self from the pain body, we need to step outside of the pain body and view it from a detached perspective.  Stepping outside of the pain body is accomplished through Witness Consciousness.  Witness consciousness is the part of us who can step back and observe the body, mind and emotions.  It is intimately connected with our spirit.

 

How do we do this?

The biggest block to Witness Consciousness is the mind.  The mind is where we store memories of our past experiences.  It evaluates and creates conclusions about those experiences and makes decisions and forms beliefs based on that.  Many of those decisions and beliefs keep us stuck in pain and limitation. 

To access Witness consciousness, we need to step outside of the mind.  There are many tools to do this.  I will provide a few here:

  1. If we connect to our breath and watch our breath, it creates a momentary gap in the stream of thought.  That gap is the doorway to Witness Consciousness. 
  1. Deepening the breath. When we slow down and deepen the breath, that gap widens, and we come into greater connection with our body and Witness Consciousness. 
  1. Pay attention to the current moment. Look around the room.  See the furniture, photos on the wall, other people, animals.  
  1. If used correctly, positive thinking can quiet the mind. Our minds are habitually filled with negative thoughts and beliefs.  When we balance the stream of negative thoughts with positive thoughts, the mind can slow down and become less identified with the old negative thoughts and beliefs. 
  1. Becoming aware of our emotions. Many of us demonize our negative emotions and suppress them.  Emotions means energy in motion.  By suppressing an emotion, we block the flow of energy and create increase tension and pain.  We also block our awareness.  By breathing and being present with our emotions, we can release the emotion.
  1. Intend to step into awareness. By using this languaging, you are speaking from the witness.  It encourages breaking identification with the body, mind and emotions.
    • Simply say, my mind is thinking . . .
    • A part of me is feeling . . . (insert emotion).
    • My body is feeling . . . (insert sensation)

 

The Benefits of Embracing Witness Consciousness – Awareness

By breaking the identification with the mind, and becoming more aware of our breath, body, emotions, the environment around us, we are entering the present moment and Witness Consciousness.

From a state of witness consciousness or awareness, and its natural connection to our spirit, we can receive answers to the challenges that we have from outside the mind, our conditioning, and our deeply held sub and unconscious belief systems.  This new awareness holds the key to healing and transforming every area of your life.

 

Awareness practice:

  1. Take some time each day, even 2-5 minutes to just stop and notice your breath. When you are at a stop sign, waiting in a line, or every time you open a door.    When you go to bed at night or when you first wake up in the morning.  Put a reminder on your phone.
  2. Pick any one of the steps above and take some time each day, even 2-5 minutes to practice it.

This begins the process of breaking the identification with the pain body and reclaiming your power.

 

Stay Tuned

I am working on a new 21 day program called Reclaiming Your Power,  that will walk you through steps to break the identification with the pain body and bring you into Witness consciousness and Awareness.

 

May you grow in awareness,

Bindu

What if . . . ???

What if . . . ???

What if . . .  ???

For those of us who are challenged with fibromyalgia and other chronic illness, we can feel like a victim to our circumstances.  We might fight the illness and the symptoms and want them to go away.  That is perfectly natural and normal.

Consider for a moment that there might be a higher possibility.  What if having fibromyalgia or another chronic illness is a wake-up call.  An opportunity to look beyond the illness to underlying factors contributing to the illness.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t want the symptoms to go away.  It does mean that rather than only treating the physical symptom, we might need to look deeper to fully rebuild our health.

 

The Wake Up Call

There are many possibilities that your wake up call might be asking for.  Here are a few examples:

  • Empower yourself in a relationship that you have been giving your power to another person in an attempt to feel more loved or safe.
  • Let go of childhood or societal conditioning to move into a more satisfying or empowered expression of your highest potential.
  • Begin to love yourself more and take care of yourself rather than to give all your energy to others without taking time to rest and recharge.
  • Take care of your body and provide it what it needs to heal and thrive.
  • Heal traumas or emotional wounds that are festering inside and blocking your inner peace and fulfillment.

 

My wake up call:

In my case, fibromyalgia was a huge wake up call and sent me on a journey of personal and spiritual growth that has changed me completely from who I was before.  I held onto a lot of repressed emotions and a lot of should’s and have to’s.  I was a very weak person and would let people walk all over me.  I was so desperate for love, that would stay in unhealthy relationships.  I wasn’t living my truth or my full potential.   Spirituality was an unknown word to me.  

Today, I am a force to be reckoned with.  I am strong.  I own my power.  I speak my truth.  I have found that by loving myself, I don’t need love from outside, yet attract loving people into my life.  I take great care of my body.  I love the work that I do.  I am content with myself and my life.  I have goals that I am working toward, and yet am at peace with where I am at.  My health is greatly improved.

I cringe when I think of what my life might have been like if I hadn’t broken out of the mold I was born into.

 

Are you ready?

If any of this resonates with you, then I congratulate you.  I welcome you to this incredible journey of healing and evolution.  I would love to support you in this journey.

Stay posted.  I am planning on rolling out some step by step programs to support you in reclaiming your power and nurturing self-love.

 

Introspection for this week:

Take some time this week to ask within to get some ideas about what your wake up call is.  Here are some questions you can contimplate:

  • What is your inner self reaching for?
  • What are your unfulfilled desires?
  • What success have you had in moving forward?
  • What is holding you back?
  • What are the obsticles in your way?
  • What support do you need?

Feel free to share on my Facebook page any insights that you have.

 

May you reach your highest potential and live a fulfilling life.

Bindu

Fibromyalgia and the Pain Body Pt 2

Fibromyalgia and the Pain Body Pt 2

Reclaiming Your Innocence 

Last week, we talked about the pain body and how it was an important factor in fibromyalgia.  This week, we are going to explore how to break the cycle of the pain body.  Freeing our self from the pain body is an essential piece in rebuilding our health.

But it isn’t in my head, it is in my body!

The pain body is part of the energy body.  It is not the mind, although the pain body feeds negative messages to the mind.  The pain body also feeds negative stress messages to the body via the nervous system, keeping the nervous system in fight or flight that doesn’t allow the body to rest and repair.

If my post last week was reminded you of times you were told it is all in your mind, that is truly not the case.  The pain body isn’t the mind.  You don’t have conscious control over it.  It controls you from a sub and unconscious level.

Acknowledgment of the pain body and our health

Dr Bruce Lipton explores this in his book entitled, The Biology of Belief.

Dr John Harrison also explores the pain body in his book, “Love your Disease: It’s keeping you Healthy.   In his book he revels the connection between physical and emotional symptoms and deeper traumas and childhood conditioning.  

The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study was done by the US Health Organization, Kaiser Permanente, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which also verified the connection between physical illness and childhood experiences.  

Science is just now beginning to acknowledge the connection between the mind, body, emotions, energy body and physical illness.  Yogic theory, Chinese medicine and Ayurveda are just three of the ancient methodologies that have known this connection for hundreds of years.

That said, let’s explore how to neutralize the pain body.

 

Part 2:  How do we break the cycle of the pain body?

Component 1:  Awareness.

Being aware of the concept of the pain body is a first step.  Being able to observe yourself and your patterns, reactions, habits, emotions, thoughts, fears, triggers.   Knowing yourself very well.

Component 2:  Dis-identifying with the pain body

The second essential component in breaking they cycle is dis-identifying with the pain body.  When we identify with the pain body, we think the pain body is us.  If it dies, we die.  From this perspective, there is very little chance in breaking the cycle.

By developing Presence or Witness conscious, we can dis-identify with the pain body.  The pain body is only a part of who we are.  A very dysfunctional part.

There are other healthy parts of who we are, but they have often been suppressed, exiled to banished.   This happens when we are raised in an environment where we had to behave or act in a certain way to be safe, receive love, be accepted.  Yet when we banish those parts, we feel incomplete.  Our aliveness, joy, excitement dies with them.

Presence or witness conscious is engaging the part of us who can witness or observe all part of who we are.  Awareness practices can help to build our Presence / Witness Consciousness.  This enables us to dis-identify with the pain body and allow for an environment where healing can take place.

Component 3:  Identifying the Parts.

Once we have awareness and are beginning to dis-identify with our pain body, we can begin the sorting and reclamation process.  We need to be able to feel the suppressed emotions.  Not all at once, but over time.  We need to become aware of our negative thoughts and belief systems.  Reconsider them and be willing to change life negative thoughts and beliefs to positive life supportive thoughts and beliefs.

We need to identify and heal traumas from our past; not just on a mental level, but on a cellular and energetic level.  If you work on the mental level only, you will have a different perspective on what happened, but the negative emotional and cellular memories will still create ongoing drama and trauma and negative experiences in your life.

Component 4:  Reclaiming our Banished Parts

The fourth component is reclaiming our suppressed and exiled parts.  The deepest and most rewarding work is reclaiming our wholeness.  All parts of us are valuable and part of the whole.  If we approach our healing thinking that we must never feel negative emotions or have a negative though, we are fooling ourselves.  Even our so-called negative parts are there for a reason.  They are normally protective parts, protecting an exiled part or banished part.

Perhaps we have banished a part that feels sad or frightened.  Or we have banished a part of us who loves to play, sing and celebrate.  Or the part of us who is clear and direct.  Or the part of us who just knows stuff without knowing why or how.   The part that is naturally joyful for no reason.  The part that loves unconditionally.  Or the part that was hurt or abandoned.  The part that was traumatized, physically, sexually or emotionally.  The part that sees angels or talks to animals or plants.

We are a kaleidoscope of parts.  To be whole and beautiful inside and out, we need to reclaim all of who we are.

Fifth Component:  Love unconditionally

All our parts need more love, not less.  Our exiled or banished parts are hiding because at some point in our life, they were unloved and rejected.  We have both “positive” and “negative” parts that have been banished.  Loving a part doesn’t mean we like a part.  It means we can be compassionately present with that part.  Just like you might be compassionately present with an angry child.

In order to be whole, we need all parts.  When we encounter and can be compassionately present with all our parts, they integrate, and we experience wholeness.  We feel complete.   A deep sense of wellbeing ensues.

In this process, we also reclaim our power.  When we have the ability to love and accept all of ourselves, all of our parts, we no longer seek love and completion from the outside, from another person, place or thing.    We no longer give our power to something outside of ourselves.   We are free.

We are free to love and to live fully.  We can be in a relationship, not from need, but from enjoying our partner or friends’ company and companionship.  We can work at the career of our choice, feeling fulfillment from within and loving the opportunity to serve and support others.   Our fears won’t stop us, and our bliss can guide us unhindered. 

The need of a loving support system

Trying to heal your own pain body is a difficult endeavor.  The pain body has built in protections.  You often need skilled outside support to help unravel the pain body.

This year, I am going to launch a group program for women who would like that support.  Around the end of March or early April, I will offer a free workshop to introduce interested parties to this program.  Stay tuned.

 

May you love yourself more fully each day,

Bindu