A more restful way

 

Since the CFS returned strongly a few years ago, it’s been clear that I not only need to rest but also find a more restful way to do whatever I am doing. This goes for daily life, spiritual practices, and also healing work.

The “old” way comes with a sense of effort, pushing, and “personal will”. The “new” way is more restful, more from presence, receptivity, and trust, and is more aligned with reality and oneness.

This is especially obvious when I channel Vortex Healing. If I slip into a sense of effort, doing, and pushing, it tends to overload my system. When I relax, trust, know it’s the divine doing it, and do it more from oneness, there is a deeper relaxation and although the energies stretch my energy system it’s not at all exhausting or overwhelming.

The current pandemic is highlighting this for me. I wish to do preventative sessions for family and friends and also work on those who may be infected (two friends so far). If I do this from effort, I quickly bump up against overwhelm in my own system which makes it difficult for me to channel. And that is a strong incentive and motivation to find a more restful way to channel, and one that’s more aligned with reality and oneness.

I have explored this sufficiently so I know – more or less – my way around it. I can shift into this more restful approach, although I do still need to pay attention.

It’s certainly also helpful for me to further explore any beliefs, identities, and issues connected with this. For instance, what do I find if I examine beliefs saying “I” am doing it or that I need to push or put effort into it? What identities do I find behind the “doing” and pushing? (Doer, the one who needs to be in control, the one who wants the credit etc.) What emotional issues do I find? What do I fear would happen if I am not the “doer” or if I don’t put effort into it or (subtly) push? (Nothing will happen, it won’t work as well, I won’t be in control.)

In this way, Vortex Healing not only highlights a pattern in my life I am invited to examine and perhaps shift out of. It also becomes a laboratory where I can examine what in me creates the pushing and where I can explore another way of approaching it.

I have already explored this to some extent in my spiritual practice. I have partly emphasized approaches that inherently are more restful (natural rest, basic meditation), and partly found a way to do practices in a more restful way – more aligned with reality and oneness.

And who knows, perhaps the chronic fatigue is an invitation for me to examine this in daily life – and life as a whole – and find a more restful way to live. I have already found more restful ways to organize my daily life and do physical things. Perhaps it needs to go further and deeper.

As usual, there is a lot more to say about this topic:

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Slow it down 

 
When we do inquiry or any exploration of our own experience, the impulse is often to speed it up. And when we do, it’s often to avoid something, and that comes from unmet fear. We are acting on a compulsion to avoid resting with our own experience. And that, in turn, comes from a fear of meeting and resting with our own experience. When we notice this impulse to speed it up, we can take it as a reminder to slow it down, and also look at our own fears. Where in my body do I feel the fear of slowing down? What happens when I slow it down and rest with the sensations of that fear? I can also ask myself some simple questions to see what’s there. What do I fear would happen if I slow down? If I rest with my experience as it is now? What’s the worst that can happen? And I can also explore….. What sensations and imaginations (images, words) create this fear? What happens when I take time and rest with each of these?  Read More

Restful inquiry

 

As I continue to explore inquiry, it has become simpler and more restful.

Isolate out one component at a time of what we are looking at.

Rest with what comes up. A gentle noticing, allowing, resting.

Ask simple questions to help the mind see what’s there, and see what more is connected to it.

It’s a very natural process. And it can be quite effortless. It just what happens when there is a natural curiosity and kindness towards our own experience (or a wish for that curiosity, gentleness, and kindness), and it’s been guided a bit through training in this particular form of inquiry.

Of course, there is a lot more to it. And there is a lot that’s learned through the shared experience of those of us exploring these forms of inquiry.

For instance….

Notice fear, resistance, restlessness, or a command for something to be different. Notice where you feel it. Include those sensations in the resting. Notice, allow, rest with it.

When resting with a contraction, bring half of the attention on the sensations and half on the space. That boundless space it and everything else is happening within, and that’s also within the contraction (no matter how dense it may seem).

Welcome what’s here. (a) Thank you for arising. I love you. Stay as long as you like. (Scott Kiloby.) (b) I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you. (Ho’oponopono.) (c) Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. (Pamela Wilson.) (d) Gentle resting with it, with kindness.

Mine for additional imaginations connected with the contraction through tapping on the contraction, massaging the contraction, asking simple mining questions.

Asking questions to see what more is connected to sensations. What does it mean? What would it say if it could speak? What’s your first memory of having that feeling? How do you relate to it? What does it need from you? What holds it in place? 

The main dish is the gentle curiosity and kindness towards our own experience, and the isolating out of components and resting with them. The side dishes and spices are the rest, the questions, the little pointers to help the mind see and rest with what’s already there.

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Inquiry with a bodywork emphasis

 

I had a session earlier today where we combined bodywork and inquiry. This client is familiar with inquiry and is aware of a chronic contraction in his solar plexus/belly that’s connected to some long-standing issues, so we decided to start working on it from the body side and then see what came up.

Any psychological issue – whether it’s anxiety, depression, trauma, cravings, deficiency stories, or more generally beliefs and identifications – has a body side and a mind side. They are two sides of the same coin. So it makes sense to work on them from both of those sides.

When I first heard of the body-mind connection, it was partly from the new age world where it made intuitive sense but seemed a bit fuzzy and mysterious, and it was partly from science where I explored psychoimmunology and similar connections.

We can also explore this body-mind connection in a more simple and immediate way in our own experience, for instance through inquiry.

Body contractions give charge to any psychological issue, whether it’s anxiety, depression, trauma, cravings, deficiency stories, or anything else. These issues are unable to exist or have any sense of reality or charge unless they are associated with body contractions. It seems that for the mind to create these issues for itself, it needs to connect them with sensations, and the easiest way to do that is to create body contractions which provide these sensations. Chronic issues then come with chronic body contractions. These may not be obvious all the time, but they resurface whenever the issue is triggered. And sometimes they are obvious and present all the time, as with my shoulder tension.

The other side of this is that imaginations and stories (mental images and words) give meaning to sensations and body contractions, and any emotionally related body contraction will have imaginations and stories connected with it. If it’s chronic and long lasting, it may have a great deal of meaning – in the form of images and words – connected with it.

So if I am working with a client and we have done one or two sessions together, and we have identified a recurrent body contraction, we may do a bodywork session. A session where we focus on the body contraction, work on it physically, and then explore the mental images and words that come up through that work.

In this session, I massaged the belly contraction by leaning in, holding for a while, and then moving over slightly. The client rested with the sensations while noticing the (boundless) space they happened within. He also noticed and reported images and words, and rested with these as they came up. Occasionally, I would ask inqiry or mining questions such as is it a threat?, what is your first memory of feeling this contraction? 

During silent periods, I did run some Vortex energy to help heal the issue behind the contraction, and also bring up images and words related to it.

The client trembled (therapeutic tremoring, TRE) at times, and I used Breema principles and moves when I worked on his belly (hara), so we got to use Natural Rest, Living Inquiries, Breema, Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises, and Vortex Healing in this session. They all came in naturally and seamlessly.

For both the client and me, the session felt grounded and real. That’s one of the benefits of working more intentionally from the body side of the issue.

I am not quite sure what to call it. Somatic inquiry? Bodywork inquiry? Mind-body inquiry? Inquiry with bodywork emphasis?

There is nothing new here. I believe there are many traditions and practitioners doing similar work. And it’s also an integral part of the Living Inquiries. One way to do it is to have the client massage the contraction themselves. And the other way, which I often prefer since it can go deeper, is for the facilitator to do it while guiding natural rest and simple restful inquiry.

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