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Sunday, February 24 2013


Graceful Release


       The Sedona Method, taught by Hale Dwoskin, asserts that letting go of pesky patterns of thinking and emotional reactivity can be as natural and effortless as releasing your grip on a pen and dropping it to the floor. 


       After just a few days of practice with myself and others, I've found it to be an elegant and effective way to heal by communicating directly with the deeper self.  You by-pass ego, which relies on analysis, judgment and rumination, as it struggles to eliminate the very pain it causes.


       The method involves a simple process of inquiry that I've adapted somewhat for my own use – and, perhaps, yours.  Here are some instructions.


       First, invite the pattern of thinking and emotional reactivity into conscious awareness.  Then gently, very gently, ask the following three questions – fully accepting whatever answer arrives.


       1.  Can I let go of this or do I have to hang on to it?


       2.  Am I willing to release this or do I prefer to carry it?


       3.  When will I let go – now or later?



       Moving meditatively through the sequence – inquiring, listening, allowing – and repeating the sequence as often as you'd like can noticeably lighten your load.  Release may happen quickly, in one sitting, or gradually, over time, with patient and persistent practice.


       Maybe it doesn't have to be such a struggle to get free.



       I'll be off-grid for a while and will post again in mid-March.   Meanwhile … May you be happy.  May you be healthy.  May you freely enjoy the graceful lightness of being.

Posted by: AT 07:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 13 2013

Brene on Love


       Love is a mystery – one I've spent my whole life pondering, one I don't expect to ever unravel.  I enjoy the pondering, and I enjoy encountering what others write about love.


       Daring greatly, Brene Brown developed a definition of love, intended not to nail down the concept, which is too big to define, but to invite a conversation about love and what it means to us.  She published this definition in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection.  I found her words worth pondering.


       "We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.

       "Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow; a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

       "Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows.  Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare."    (p. 26)


       Happy Valentine's Day!



Posted by: AT 08:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 04 2013

Joy Vulnerability


       Daring Greatly, a book by Brene Brown, invites us to embrace human vulnerability as "the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity."  (p. 34).


       For her, vulnerability is not weakness, it's the human condition.  Uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure are inescapable.  We do, however, have choice about how we respond to vulnerability.  We can engage authentically and wholeheartedly with life – or not.  We can show up or shut down; we can hide or be seen; we can invest – hearts all in – or we can protect and defend.


       Midway through Daring Greatly, I was struck by this conclusion from Brene's research:  "Joy is probably the most difficult emotion to really feel."  (pp. 117-8).  We mistrust joy.  Anticipating its passing, awaiting the other shoe to drop, protecting ourselves from letdown, doubting our worthiness of such blessing – we numb our joy and resist our vulnerability to it.


       According to Brene, strategies for minimizing vulnerability to joy range along a continuum from rehearsing tragedy to perpetual disappointment.  "Some of us … scramble to the bleakest, worst-case scenario when joy rears its vulnerable head, while others never even see joy, preferring to stay in an unmoving state of perpetual disappointment … It's easier to live disappointed than it is to feel disappointed.  It feels more vulnerable to dip in and out of disappointment than to just set up camp there.  You sacrifice joy, but you suffer less pain."  (p. 121). Thus, we choose a steady diet of low-grade disappointment over the ups and downs of engaged, wholehearted living.


       Softening to joy – breathing through the vulnerability we feel in its presence, gently stretching our capacity for its fullness – is a spiritual path to wholeheartedness.  Brene recommends such "leaning into joy" and the regular practice of gratitude as antidotes to old habits of "foreboding joy."  (p. 123)


       Gratitude's the attitude.  How good can we stand it?






Posted by: AT 12:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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