A disturbance is always an invitation to explore something a little further, to bring something already true for us into awareness.
As I did a self-Breema exercise this morning, I noticed an impulse to get away.
And in exploring this impulse a little further, looking at what was alive – although not yet noticed – in my own present experience, I found that…
- The impulse came from a slight discomfort.
- The discomfort seemed to come from doing two things at once: a Self-Breema and engaging in thoughts about something else.
- When I saw this, I made a small shift into being more present with the movements, finding a way to do it so I would want to do it for a long time. And in this, the discomfort and the impulse to get away dissolved. They were not needed as signposts anymore.
I also saw how easy it is to interpret the impulse in different ways.
- I can see it as an invitation to explore why there is discomfort, and change the way I did the self-Breema (as I did). This is a movement into and through the discomfort, exploring what is behind it.
- I can see it as an impulse to get up and do something else (which also would have resolved the discomfort). This is a movement away from the discomfort.
- Or I can create more elaborate stories around it. For instance how self-Breemas are not for me. That there is something wrong with the self-Breemas themselves. Or that I am no good at self-Breemas (and lots of other things). This is yet another movement away from the discomfort, although one that itself creates a good deal of discomfort.
What I wanted to explore here is a very simple dynamic. Yet, it is obviously not quite clear to me right now since it came out in a very convoluted form – as the drafts below show…
As I did a self-Breema exercise this morning, I noticed that part of my attention was caught up in thoughts about a different topic, and I also noticed an impulse of wanting to get away and doing something else.
I was doing two things at once, self-Breema and engaging in thoughts, which gave rise to a discomfort. And this discomfort took the form of an impulse of wanting to get away.
Initially, I saw the impulse as telling me to get up and do something else. But looking into it further, I saw that the impulse was telling me that the way I was doing the self-Breema was uncomfortable.
The impulse told me to get away from the particular way I was doing it, which could take the form of doing something else, or
When I explored the impulse further, I saw that it was the way I was engaging in the exercise that I wanted to get away from. I was not present with it, I tried to do two things at once (self-Breema and exploring something through thoughts), and it was uncomfortable. Seeing this, I also saw the invitation in it to find a way to do the self-Breema that is comfortable – with whole body/whole mind. I made a little change in this direction, and now again enjoyed the self-Breema. I found a way to do it so I would want to do it for a long time.
So again, the impulse itself was completely innocent and also very accurate.
When it arises, I can interpret this impulse in different ways.
I can create a story about not wanting to do self-Breema right then, which may lead me to interrupt it and go and do something else. I can even create a story about not enjoying self-Breemas very much in general. Or that there is a flaw in the exercises themselves.
And I can also simply see that the impulse of wanting to get away is just that: an impulse of wanting to get away. Exploring this further, I see that what I really want to get away from in that situation was the way I am doing self-Breema.
An impulse arises, I take it as an invitation to explore what may be behind it – what is true for me in the present, and in doing this I see that the impulse itself is completely innocent and just a helpful guidepost into seeing what is true for me right now.
I am not in touch with what is true for me in the present, an apparent disturbance comes up, and this disturbance turns out to be a guidepost for discovering what is more deeply true for me in the present.
And sometimes we need a framework for discovering this, such as Process Work and the Byron Katie inquiries.