Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another Interesting Shift To Ponder

One of the feelings we often learn to avoid or ignore because it seems so very vulnerable (and God forbid we should allow ourselves to be vulnerable) is sadness. The very idea that we could do this is really quite amazing and kind of sad in and of itself even though I spent much of my life avoiding it myself.

I remember clearly the day over 20 years ago now when I finally stopped running away from sadness and just let myself feel it completely. I was sitting in the backyard at the house I lived in in Calgary at the time. I have no idea why I ended up facing the sadness at that point but I did. When I stopped resisting what was going on inside me I was awash with sadness. As I just noticed what I was feeling and allowed myself to be curious about it I realized for the first time that this was a very familiar feeling. In fact, it had been part of the background noise most of my life. I had been painfully aware of it at various times but never very friendly with it that's for sure. I had learned well to ignore it for the most part unaware that the effects of it were being felt in other ways such as anger or being shut down and kind of numb.

Some of the things I've learned about sadness over the ensuing 20 years has been a bit surprising to me. For instance, when I let myself feel it completely, without judgment or resistance, sadness invariably shifts into an expansive feeling that I can only describe as love. It's like sadness is really love pressed down and imprisoned in the psyche and the body. As long as I resist it or ignore it I am really blocking the flow of love and life that is always wanting to move through me. No wonder it gets so uncomfortable and turns to anger and that flat, lifeless feeling when its repressed!

Fractals of Love
I suspect this very awareness is one of the reasons I love doing memorials and funerals and being present to the sadness that shows up in others in the counseling or coaching process. I can feel the sorrow opening my heart more and more all the time as I join with clients in theirs. It is a beautiful gift to be able to share those precious moments of vulnerability and realness. I am so grateful!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

From Fear to Joy

The 40 day focus is a great way to become very aware of times when you are in the flow, feeling expansive and joyful and in love with life.  It could take a week or two or perhaps more but when you are truly moving directly into the deepest, darkest feelings and questioning the beliefs that take you there on the way to whatever you want more of in your life you're bound to run right smack into the expansive feelings that are pushing up the constricting ones.

If you have been noticing a lot of fear, guilt or shame when you do your check ins, you may already have discovered that fear is really excitement without the breath as Fritz Pearl the founder Gestalt therapy noted. The two feelings live very near each other in the body and when you breathe love and compassion into the fear what often happens is that the feeling shifts subtly and starts moving upward. This is excitement which is akin to joy. You might say fear is joy being held down and squeezed into  submission. When you breathe into where the fear lives in the body and question the validity of fear based beliefs something's gotta give. It may just be a wellspring of joy that gets released which has been held captive for who knows how long.

Because there is so often a belief that there's something wrong when uncomfortable feelings show up there is rarely the awareness that an opportunity may just have come knocking on your door.

What if in order for trapped joy to be released pressure is built up increasing the level of discomfort? What if when you learn to see it from a totally different perspective you realize there's potential for something amazing to be brought forth here? What if you could just breathe into the place where the discomfort is strongest and allow it to move? What if you found that the uncomfortable, fearful feelings were really signals that there was more joy, more peace, more love ready to be birthed? Hmm... I wonder what might be possible then.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Staying The Course

I've been talking about the 40 day focus idea where you take something you want or want more of in your life and focus on it every day, at least twice a day, bringing presence to the feelings that show up. If they are fearful or heavy or if guilt or shame show up, you take time to be fully and compassionately present to those feelings and then inquire into the beliefs fueling the feelings before moving on to the open space of wonder.

It isn't always easy to get in touch with the beliefs behind your most deeply felt fears, etc and even when you do realize what the thoughts are behind the feelings, you may find there is a lot of attachment to some, especially when they are associated with unresolved memories. It means questioning what you believe about the more traumatic experiences of childhood that you've been operating from most of your life. Who you think you are is based in part on these assumptions and beliefs and the ego is not really happy about being questioned most of the time. That doesn't mean you should give in and fall into step with the old beliefs just because you don't find relief in a few seconds. The key is to shift the focus back to the feelings once the belief has been questioned and bring as much compassionate attention there as you can then move on.

This isn't about dwelling on the past, it's about resolving the need that has gone unfulfilled for a lifetime by loving the beingness while realizing the conclusions that were drawn are not the truth. Tricky stuff sometimes because it's easy to get caught up in the old pain rather than being unconditionally present and moving all the way through to wonder about what life would be like without this belief.  Even if the feelings are still there, carry on with your day. In a short while you may find yourself surprised to notice the feeling is gone and a lightness has come in to replace it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Going Deeper

As the 40 day focus period moves through to its midpoint a distinct shift in energies has occurred. There is a rise in the experiences of peace and expansiveness and opportunities opening up.

Moving through any and all fears, shame and sadness is a wonderful way to blow the cover of personality and experience the fullness and joy of life as it shows up.

With the commitment to be present to whatever shows up there is the opportunity not only to be fully present to fear based energies and bring resolution there but to ever expanding energies of peace and bubbling joy as they show up. Saying yes to new adventures and possibilities is the natural evolution to saying no to fear based lies that no longer serve.

The levels of gratitude also rise exponentially and compassion for all fills the spaces that had been occupied by limited beliefs and assumptions.

Keep stepping into what arises and let the bondage of belief fall away.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


It feels like it's been a long time since my last post. There has been a lot going on and we just had our Thanksgiving long weekend which I thoroughly enjoyed. I didn't even turn on my computer yesterday!

The day after the last workshop on September 24th a thought hit my head; it's time to do another 40 day focus for myself. I know better than to think I came up with the idea, it's just what I became aware of  and paid attention to. The hit was about the work and going deeper so that's part of what I've been up to. Quite frankly the activity has been more a reflection what is opening up than of the time it takes to do the work itself which is actually minimal in terms of time but maximal in terms of focus.

What I'm talking about in regard to doing a 40 day focus is where I use an idea or desire or wondering to notice what comes up for me in terms of feelings, beliefs, limitations of any sort and use the liberation process to dismantle them. I use the process regularly anyway but when I'm doing a focus I deliberately bring up the stuff that is blocking or limiting in that particular area on a daily basis. I sit down at least twice a day and bring the idea or area I'm focusing on to mind and see what shows up. It can get pretty intense at times as layers of memories and beliefs are revealed but following through with the whole process and keeping the focus on what life would be like if I didn't have those limiting beliefs makes for a wonder-filled experience. Some feelings may hang around a bit longer than others but overall there is a sense of peace and well-being that pervades as I go about my days.

One thing about doing a focus period is that the original question often morphs into a deeper, more meaningful one. There can also be plenty of temptation to abandon the question when it gets really uncomfortable which it will if the question has any real meaning. The whole reason for the 40 day commitment is to move through those times, knowing that the commitment will carry me through those temptations whereas when I'm just dabbling it's easy to wander off before the depths have been plumbed.

It's a powerful process and I'm right in the middle of it and very grateful for all it is revealing and the openings it is creating.