Releasing your energy eddies

imageLifted and swept into the current, we offer ourselves up to 2017. The sun sparkles on the ripples like a thousand tiny fireworks as we ride the flow past familiar bends and banks into the thrill of uncharted waters. I float in perfect harmony with the pull of the river, enjoying the gentle play of light on my eyelids and a body’s confidence in direction that only happens when you let nature set the course.

But suddenly the churning sounds are all wrong. My toe catches on a rock and I’m spinning! Round and round no escape. Trapped in a spiral of turbulence so full of air I’m falling. Can’t keep my head up! Can’t breath!! Hands, faces, are everywhere – wide eyes and gasping arching necks.
“Damned eddies!!” splutters a man just before a beer bottle comes out of nowhere and clocks him on the nose.
A woman clutches at another man’s ankles. He kicks her off, but she grabs again – repeating her own spin cycle of abuse that sucks so many people down. No warning a soggy wad of paper plasters itself over my face! I tear at it and sink again… a Kardashian’s sharpened false fingernails dig into my leg for the final..

I’m standing in my living room. I can’t breathe. Months’ worth of mail is spread across the floor. 21st century real life – something I poke at every so often with an 11 foot pole – has become a balls-to-the-wall speed race to burnout. I’m assuming someone somewhere out there has their shit together but the rest of us need to focus on getting back into the stream by tackling and releasing our personal energy eddies. You already know what they are: patterns of procrastination, relationship drama, overindulging or under-indulging, etc. An energy eddy is any attention that drags you out of universal flow and spins your round and round, robbing you of forward momentum, purpose, and pulling your energy into obsession like a black hole stripping a star. Subtle, I know. But seriously, even while writing this I got sucked into two text convos and was compelled by some deep dark internal quilting circle to find out how a twenty-something Khloe Kardashian overcame her jealously over her sisters’ clear skin…dear gawd…I am so ashamed…but surprisingly (if only momentarily) satisfied lol.

How do we release these energy eddies? First, know them for what they are. Our brains cruelly, and falsely, tie these turbulences into our identities and so much of our spinning is fueled by the desperate struggle to balance our “shoulds” with our escapes. But such a balance will never sit static. Just as an obstacle (a rock or “is The Rock married?”) can create an eddy, so will two conflicting currents. Sure, we’ve all gotta aim for this balance thing – I’ve read the literature – but we exist with equal authenticity on both sides, so why sit spinning in the middle?

phelps-faceWhen you feel your stomach knotting or your shoulders hunching in a habit of defeat, remember the Michael Phelps face meme. That’s the mug you’ve gotta rock to break out of an energy eddy. No one ever fought a rip tide by watching cute cat videos (another eddy oh mercy!). You’ve gotta get tough. No one is paying you to be “nice.” True compassion starts in your gut. And being real will always melt more hearts that being “good” ever has.

This January, commit to releasing one of your eddies. Maybe it’s that vortex guest room packed full of inherited/bought debris? As you deepen your connection with your authentic self, knowing that stuff is just stuff becomes automatic. Maybe you need to set some definite accountable boundaries with a family member or friend? Maybe it’s having a dry January? I opened and filed all my mail but that’s only the beginning. I’m starting light. Ok dear readers – my palms are sweaty all of a sudden – I’m going to go cold turkey on celebrity gossip for the rest of the month. The first of many eddies to tackle. Because my arms are getting tired from treading water and after years of watching life I have no more time to waste. Do you?

Making a change? Finding your authentic self

imageIn the long low darkness of the void, while your brain chemistry adjusts to change, there is one last sacrifice to make. After setting aside your rituals, your be-all-end-all attentions and beliefs, you must now claim one final permission in order to connect with your authentic self: time.

And here’s where all the mindfulness meditation really pays off. The glory of the void is that without motivation or direction you are free to surrender to the purity of the present – as an observer rather than manager or negotiator. I believe that each breath is a life lived in and of itself. This meditative perception is experienced so much more acutely in the void because you can’t reach into the past (ritual) for comfort or into a future that has yet no map or meaning. Yes, exploring this concept – existing only as a description of time – is a decidedly separate and inhuman bliss, but one that can be savoured if you bring your system back to the surface of your skin and through mindfulness meditation learn to let go (if only temporarily) of so much of that blinding social/paradigm-dependent judgement bullshit. Sure, you’ve got other stuff to do – don’t we all! – but it’s in these carefully cultivated moments of emptiness that your authentic self suddenly finds it has space to come up for air.

I couldn’t take another step, couldn’t find a reason. And so I sat down right where I was, on a frozen cement stoop in front of a Calgary strip mall: pizza/ hot yoga/ flowers/ coffee – each shop a different desperate human reach. But I was done reaching. All my human handholds had become electrified (hence my need to make a change). And so I sat, huddled and directionless, in a despair of overwhelming physicality. This time I did not even try to fight it. The sun took pity and lay a warm and gentle hand on my back but I (no joke) sat there wishing I was cold so I’d at least have something real and tangible to push against. But I had to let that go.

The miracle of the void is that no one is watching over your shoulder. You’ve earned all your permissions and now you just have to relax into them. Let go, just watch, just be. Be time. You’ve done it a thousand times before – every orgasm, that third glass of wine, your next Netflix marathon (sweet sweet scourge of our age). Own the truth and cut out the middle man. Every submission beyond self is a glorious abandon to time. So dare to go manual. No risk because you’ve risked it all just by being brave enough to step into the void in the faint mad hope of connecting your survival to new sources of abundance (aka true change). You’ve built this space of cognitive freedom – so use it!

I let the sun heat my body and my eyes find a place to rest. But then I let that focus go too. I existed only as one breath after another, as time itself, each small pulse of life perfect in its completeness. Minutes passed, the world closed comfortably around my meditation and then, very slowly, I began to realize I had a partner in my surrender. As I brought my attention back to my senses I discovered I was literally watching ice melt. Just a little piece, jagged edges smoothing under the sun, tiny fingers drawing themselves across the stoop, quietly darkening the pavement. But every nuance of its journey became my own as I watched the crystals give up their rigid structures, born of atmospheric trauma, as the ice returned to its purest form.

Finally!! On that grey stoop, from out of the very depths of the void, I was hit with a motivation, a desire, a genuine new want!! Without conscious thought I picked up a bit of snow and molded a crude tool. I let my hand draw what it needed to – no, wanted to! A face appeared and with it tears in my own eyes (even writing this) because releasing myself into time had broken the spell. A new set of attentions had begun, in that moment, to assert themselves. What I had lost to human turbulence so many years ago was reawakened.

I am a scribe and I carry our stories in my bones. There are many languages and not all of them learned – I was born with more than most. I had lost myself by losing faith in what makes me special. My failings will always be monumental, but so what? I say screw fitting in! That ship has so sailed. Your authentic self already knows your purest path to abundance. You were designed for it! We spend so much time trying to moderate or sublimate what we coded to celebrate. Let go into time and trust the process. Take away fear and the void dissolves, melts into a pool around your ankles. Laugh, cry, and splash to the sky because this is victory, not over death, or even life, but the first guns blazing steps of a victory march onto the blank canvas of a storied life.

Did you miss…
Making a change? Welcome to the void!
Making a change? Why risk the void?
Making a change? The REAL reason to risk the void!
Making a change? The mindfulness key
Making a change? A warning from the void!
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 1
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 2
Making a change? Finding your authentic self

Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 2

Click here to catch up on Part 1… So, after tasting universal love I had two options: retreat into bliss and keep surfing my supernova, or use this new platform as permission to seek out compatible abundances to honour my temporal self. This is a crazy world, and keeping our bodies, our little frictions in the flow, alert and alive can be a tedious business. But did I really want to sacrifice my humanity to white, black, or orange robes and hide in ritual? Because the power of this ultimate connection really does invite a full commitment. Robes seem to be the de facto uniform, and meditative ritual a psychological shortcut to sustaining the connection. I’ll stick with folding laundry, thank you very much. I get how, beyond simplicity and modesty, these robes echo the times of the founders of these stories, but we live in an individualist time and culture when even a good belt isn’t enough to go from robe to runway. Heaven forbid Kanye West finds nirvana and we all end up in nude body spanx – the horror!

And anyway, any uniformed, persistent bliss is essentially an escape from your humanity, paralleling drug addiction or workaholism – death through life in my opinion. So throw on some ass huggin’ jeans and claim the right to explore your own story of abundance! I suggest a moment to moment respect, honour, and yes, love of this brief sneeze, supported by your universal self.

How? By bringing personal authority back to your consciousness through simple mindfulness meditation (observing thoughts without judgement), then using this new position of observer to search for and support a new set of attentions and attitudes focused on freeing the flow of energy through your system. These attentions should be chosen to reflect your genetic coding and guide you towards healthier habits and deeper connections. Once you’ve selected a new set of attentions to try on for size, next step is to fake it till ya’ make it! Only repetition will imbed them into your neural wiring and, before long, your identity. Note: your observer self will evolve into your universal self when you can start projecting it beyond your own body. Not a good idea to try on a first date, but fun times once you get the hang of it. All terminology aside, the central concept here is to develop a safe place for your ego to sit while its underwear drawer is reorganized.

You might be thinking, “when’s she gonna whip out the chakras and eightfold path stuff?” Pleeease. If Buddha can sit under The Bodhi Tree and say, “screw it! I ain’t budging till I figure this shit out,” you can too! We all can. It’s the great privilege of human consciousness – use it or lose it baby. But who’s got that kind of time? Enlightenment can be a bitch to reach, even just to taste. Seriously. So, while you’re training your universal self, start questioning your current attentions and ask yourself: “does this support my system’s most biologically blissful energy flow?” Or just cut right to the chase, all nomenclature aside… “do I want to want this?”

I’m no guru. I want you to have the authority. This is a journey, ongoing, and I just want what you want: to wake up looking forward to the day. If my story, my translation of universal bliss resonates with you, excellent. If not, there are a thousand other paths to take, all leading to the same great love. Because we’re all reaching for it. My journey becomes real in the sharing of it – and isn’t that the very essence of our humanity?

Read the next post: Making a change? Finding your authentic self

Did you miss…
Making a change? Welcome to the void!
Making a change? Why risk the void?
Making a change? The REAL reason to risk the void!
Making a change? The mindfulness key
Making a change? A warning from the void!
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 1
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 2
Making a change? Finding your authentic self

Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 1

img_0933Why alter the attentions of our little friction in the universe? Why change? Love. Not for family, friends, not for any ideal, country or even love of self; because the self is a violent sneeze, a brief yet explosive misting of mucus soon lost to time. Eloquent, I know. True change courts a love beyond our humanity, known only when we offer ourselves wholly to the unorderable bliss of the universe. Bring that love home, and your human connections can finally become what they need to be – your reality and guide to purpose.

Universal love, this ultimate connection, is experienced by our bodies as unimpeded energy flow – when we stop holding and fighting and trying to control the wild coursing motion of time and space through our physical selves. We story this love and God is real. Bring the story closer, deeper, into the private universe of your seething, sparkling brain. How far can we reach into love from this landscape?

After years of dedicated creative mindfulness meditation I was ready to risk the ultimate thought experiment. My greatest fear? Death (sooo original). What is the greatest death? The death of a star… And so I gave in, collected all my energies and released – knowing I might never come back. Because you can’t see death without risking (at the very least) everything you believe – not to be too dramatic or anything. And so, with every atom of my being, I became a supernova. Note: this thought experiment, mind you, came after years of playing in geological time and countless embarrassing moments of “I am the rock” (and the more advanced) “I am the tree” projections of my consciousness on my walk home from work. Because I’m cool like that.

Now back to the supernova. To my surprise, it was the most glorious full-being-gasm of my life!! (and I’m a multiple girl ~wink) If the french define an orgasm as “the little death,” this was, dear readers, the megaton – the big one. Instantaneously, every particle and energy blasted outwards in all directions, filling space and time with the spectacular essence of… me. I became abundance. And what was left of my humanity was swept swirling into the clouds from where I was standing. Because yes, I was standing, I may have a flexible brain but these knees will never lotus. Obviously, words can never describe this experience, and gawd I’ve tried. All I can say is that I burst out crying and felt for the very first time in my life that “everything was going to be ok.” And maybe that’s the best, most human, way to describe it.

Actually, I wasn’t just standing; I was folding laundry. A gal’s got to keep herself grounded somehow! And here’s the crux of my argument: from all I’ve read it would seem unlikely that anyone could touch enlightenment while folding laundry – except of course Martha Stewart (but apparently it didn’t stick) – I can only share my story. It’s all I am and all I have. Because I’m human and you’re human, and a side-effect of this condition is that we cannot sustain continuous universal bliss if we want to keep our little friction alive. So what are our options? How can we keep this connection alive in our relationships and day to day reality? How can our universal self give us the space to change? And more importantly, after tasting bliss, what do we wear?

Read the next post: Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 2

Did you miss…
Making a change? Welcome to the void!
Making a change? Why risk the void?
Making a change? The REAL reason to risk the void!
Making a change? The mindfulness key
Making a change? A warning from the void!
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 1
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 2
Making a change? Finding your authentic self

Making a change? A warning from the void!

Processed with Snapseed.The void is being in love with two men, two stories, two promises. One glows with the promised flush of that first hot thrust. Immediate gratification. The other tantalizes with the promise of a full to bursting future, but it’s a happily ever after that pulls further away with every desperate reach from within the void. Because while your brain chemistry adjusts to reward a new set of attentions, and you progress towards real change, there is no way to ignore that first lover’s little whisper in your ear… “I swear,” it teases, titillates, “this will be the last time.”

Of course you and I both know this is insanity! But it’s our most irresistible limbic lie. From within the void, old rituals, however banal, suddenly light up with religious exaltation. Cutting out caffeine? Sitting on the dock… lake lapping gently… sun spreading in dappled strips across the cool sand, opening nature’s blinds on another perfect day… and here comes your happily ever after with a latte and the eager smile of a man knowing he is bringing only pleasure. How could you say no to that first tickle of fresh foam? To that warmth? To that sparkling deep body kiss that lifts your entire being to match to glory of the day. How could any future fullness reject such easy magic?

That little voice is your most dangerous lover, because he/she was your first and no one will ever know better how to seduce you: your limbic mascot (you can see my ‘Mitch the insatiable itch’ taunting me above ~wink). It’s that one primal part of you that not just knows but feels your mortality – every second of every day. It can’t commit – why would it? – to the unfathomable horror of any life of ‘less than’. And so you let yourself imagine taking that first hot sip… the flood opens and suddenly your brain is humming with dopamine. You’re smiling at strangers and there’s a skip in your step. With a true craving satisfaction doesn’t matter (actually part of a different brain structure) because in the end, the scratch of any itch is only the quieting of want. This disconnect is one reason why the permission is very nearly as chemically exciting as the actual behaviour/substance. We story our basic biological responses into worlds of ‘less than’ or ‘more than most’ but true abundance is not found in any “quieting of want.” And tapping into its most powerful source is our ultimate human permission. My nose is tingling just thinking about it!

WARNING!!! Yes, from the soul blinding dearth of the void the thrill of submission to old rituals is intoxicating, even irresistible. Dear readers, I am on this journey with you and have just spent a month bathing lasciviously in what are unarguably isolating rituals, born of protection but now just kicking my ass. I am anything but the poster child for perfection. Machete in hand, I’m just trying my best to clear the path. Yes, the release, the neurotransmitter thrill of purity of purpose is one of the great gifts of the human experience. But it is not a place of poetry. In the void this is a place of fear – disguised as a naked schoolgirl in your lap or the last three sparkling strides of a touchdown run. The story feels too good to be true because it is. And as the orgasm fades, or the cup or bank account is drained, all that’s left is the salty metaphorical crumble in the bottom of the KFC bucket. And you’re all alone again, gasping, puking in the unforgiving blackness of the void. So you’d better remind yourself why you’re here…

I want change because I want a more connected and exciting future. No, that’s too abstract, and abstract isn’t worth shit down here in the void! I’m here because I wanna have more fun. I wanna share my creativity and blow open this life. I wanna be able to supernova any time I want. I want change because I WANT!!! And you want too!!! Maybe even more than I do. Only one way forward… to brave the void long enough to start altering our attentions so that we can finally give our happily ever afters the chance to reach out to us.

Read the next post: Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 1

Did you miss…
Making a change? Welcome to the void!
Making a change? Why risk the void?
Making a change? The REAL reason to risk the void!
Making a change? The mindfulness key
Making a change? A warning from the void!
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 1
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 2
Making a change? Finding your authentic self

Making a change? The mindfulness key

mindfulness meditationSTOP whatever you’re doing and SMELL where you are… take a long, slow, lazy sniff of this moment and watch its molecular landscape paint itself across your brain. Now draw a few shorter more urgent breaths and pay close attention to new layers and nuances that add texture, peaks and valleys to this internal mapping. Play at humanizing this universe by adding the intimacy of your inner elbow. When you focus your concentration, your complete conscious awareness, on any attention, it becomes your entire world for that breath – and every breath, being our most human quantization, is a life lived in full.

Click here to discover sense scrolling and continue this mindfulness meditation

So change? Change is the process of altering our attentions. And we need an access point to get in there and get nitty gritty about switching our patterns of attention from automatic to manual. There’s a reason race cars have manual transmission: delicacy of control to maximize power and performance. Mindfulness, bringing a non-judgmental awareness to the present moment, is your access key. Through practice, conscious observation of our internal and external attentions (paying attention to our attentions) has been proven to build grey matter in your brain’s prefrontal reasoning/decision making area (your reality negotiator) while reducing the size and pervasive connectivity of your fight or flight, get-it-while-it’s-hot emotional amygdala. Interestingly, this process of bringing authority back to personal consciousness within the brain eventually rewires our natural resting state so you don’t have to walk around sniffing your elbow on public transit like a crazy person to experience the benefits of mindful living.

Now let’s get back to the void, that dopamine dearth that prevents so many of us from reshuffling our habits and patterns of attention. Because it’s dark down there, lonely and brutal because suddenly everything in us is begging and scratching for the chemical reward of familiarity. Yes, dedicated mindfulness meditation quiets your screaming toddler amygdala while also having the power to directly influence our genes’ epigenetic expression to help bring our attentions to a whole new genetic honesty (bit of a gritty read) but all abstraction aside, you need an immediate handhold down in the abyss.

Mindfulness gives you two: the dopamine payoff of curiosity and a moment to moment space beyond reaction. Curiosity is one of the most primitive, potent stimulators of our dopamine reward system. Grab hold and max it out! The void can be hell, sure, but it’s full of unique and fascinating body sensations and urgencies. Explore them, escape into observation and the pure glittering want of ‘why’. The void is an investment in the future, but this moment is just as rich and ripe for discovery. There is a glamour down here; the thrashing, wailing mourner of your mind is passion itself – and if you hold her lovingly, without judgment, she will bring you through to a self with the power to celebrate and sustain its own system through anything.

Read the next post: Making a change? A warning from the void!

Did you miss…
Making a change? Welcome to the void!
Making a change? Why risk the void?
Making a change? The REAL reason to risk the void!
Making a change? The mindfulness key
Making a change? A warning from the void!
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 1
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 2
Making a change? Finding your authentic self

Making a change? The REAL reason to risk the void!

shocked face
I’m so embarrassed! I’m sitting here trying to deny the complete inaccessibility of this morning’s post, not to mention its stomach churning irony. Ever push a truth so far it turned into its own satire? Just spent 3 hours picking the ‘right’ words for a painfully intellectualized argument for genetic honesty pursued through epigenetics and personal consciousness to ease universal energy flow… ya I’m WTF-ing along with you. My apologies!! Can’t believe I just wanked all over the screen and wasted both of our time. I fell into that ol’ well-worn prefrontal trap of overthinking and once again cut myself off (this time through isolating, alienating language – although I did throw in a Kardashian) from the one real reason to change – connection. There, now I’m tearing up so I know it has to be true.

So why change? Why risk the void as your brain chemistry adjusts to a new set of thoughts and behaviors? Flat out – to build the path of least resistance to deeper connection with the human experience. To share, to want, to satisfy, to explore. To love without fear because you know you are worth every effort. To love… with unrelenting compassion.

Change is just a way of reshuffling ‘want’ to get you out of your own head and into the most full and welcoming human experience possible. Because we’re only here for a geological blink – may as well bliss out as many times, and as epically as we can. There are a thousand constructs to explain the unfathomable (my last post makes it 1001 lol) but essentially, you already know the truth. In every cell of our bodies, we all do. After years of dedicated meditation I can wax on about energy and supernovas and different ways of touching the ultimate expression of universal bliss – and believe me I will – but all I’ve ever wanted is to wake up looking forward to the day. I’ve fought for that gift, with everything I have, and now all I want to do is share it. Darn it, the language is hard. And I’m going to mess up like I just did with my last post. So all I can promise you is that neither one of us will be alone for the journey. Now let’s get back to business with pre-training and the mindfulness key!

Read the next post: Making a change? The mindfulness key

Did you miss…
Making a change? Welcome to the void!
Making a change? Why risk the void?
Making a change? The REAL reason to risk the void!
Making a change? The mindfulness key
Making a change? A warning from the void!
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 1
Making a change? Connecting with your universal self – Part 2
Making a change? Finding your authentic self