I am about to start a twelve week strength building program which makes sense to me all around. Right now, I follow the program to get familiar with it, and will then start the twelve weeks in July when I am back from a CSS retreat and trips to Seattle, Steens Mountains and the Bay area (!)
The program works with…
- Brief exercise periods of either upper (46 min) or lower body (42 min)
- Brief warm-up of a particular muscle group, then increase in intensity until what seems to be maximum effort, and then pushing beyond what we thought was maximum, with brief periods of relaxation in between, and then on to the next muscle group
- Rest period of two days between working the same muscle group, allowing the body to reorganize and build muscle tissue with less interference
- Exercise periods planned in advance, down to the particular exercise, minute and pound (leaves out the choice when it is performed)
- Focus on diet and specific, measurable goals
Lots of things come up for me around this…
First, how so many activities we do in daily life, and how so many systems we follow, are aimed at holding us at a particular level. It becomes a training to stay at a particular level. We just tread water. Habituate in staying at a familiar level.
As mentioned in another post, I see this very clearly in the form of bodywork I am doing, where both the terminology and practices are great at the centaur and soul level (and allows for a continuing deepening here), but also create a ceiling for anything beyond – for unraveling beliefs and patterns which reveals what we are as Ground. It is fully possible to have a system that focuses on the centaur and soul levels, yet is transparent to and aligned with what is beyond.
Then there is our habitual pattern, for most of us, in engagement+identification and disengagement+disidentification. This is one of the places we get stuck in our human development and in terms of noticing ourselves as Ground.
We are used to engagement+identification. To have a strong focus, goal and effort, and to be caught up in it and identified with it. If something comes in the way for our goals and effort, we go into a sense of I (as the belief, goal and effort) and Other (as that which thwarts it), and feel – at least to some extent – frustrated, tense, irritated, angry, hopeless, and anything else it may trigger.
And we are used to disengagement+disidentification at our human level. I see someone over there who are in trouble (maybe in the news), but I am not identified with them so I am also not engaged.
But the trick is to allow for… The inherent disidentification in noticing ourselves as Ground (as headless, Big Mind). The natural engagement at our human level, in life. And the empathic identification at our human level, finding ourselves in others and others in ourselves.
This disidentification from beliefs and identities brings a new fluidity at this level, a playfulness with stories and identities, a seeing of it as only relative truths and practical tools for functioning in the world. It also allows for a more free and full engagement at our human level, free from being held back by fixed views and rigid identifications. And both of those open for an empathic identification at our human level, noticing ourselves in others and others in ourselves, seeing that we are all in the same boat. Which in turn invites a more full engagement at our human level. And a more clear noticing of ourselves as Ground.
I find that particular strength program very helpful here as it works with goals, plans and effort in very specific ways at many levels – both in terms of the progress over the twelve weeks, and also within each session.
Can I allow for going fully into engagement, goals and effort, yet also not being caught up in it? Can my human self go fully into all of this, and the awake void still notice itself as awake void?
In practical terms for me, it means including headlessness in the sessions, and also notice when there is a split into I and Other and then identify and explore the beliefs behind that split.
This split into I and Other can take many forms.
It can be an overlay on the plans, which are just stories and practical tools but if identified with and taken as an “I” creates a sense of being caught within space and time. Now, space and time, future, present and past, seem very real and substantial, and I don’t see that they all come from this overlay of stories.
It can also be a sense of an I here wanting to do something, and an Other over there preventing it. And this Other can be something arising within this human self, such as sluggishness or lack of focus, or in the wider world such as schedules changing, injuries, and so on.
And finally, this exercise program also reminds me of all the many systems that work in inviting specific shifts in our lives, mainly because they work with our body-mind instead of against it (seems obvious, but many systems work as much against as with, and so are less effective).
Some of the most effective tools I am familiar with include…
- NAET for allergy treatments (resets the body to see the allergen as harmless)
- YMoYL for money, time and work
- The Work for unraveling beliefs
- Big Mind process for exploring the various ways the mind works at human and soul/spirit levels
- Headlessness for noticing ourselves as headless, as awake void full of the world, and the world itself as this awake void
And soon, after going through the twelve weeks, I can add the Body for Life program, which seems to fit nicely into this family of simple, effective, smart systems that works with what is – and the natural processes of the body-mind.