Reframing our Relationship to Stress

This podcast gives an overview of how the nervous system functions in relation to stress as well as looking at the difference between physical threats and perceived stressors. Our bodies are amazing! They are designed to meet stress but we need to understand the importance of having a more flexible nervous system and what getst in our way of this. Super simple exercises are included in the podcast for you to explore.

 

Awareness insight and exercise

I have been speaking to the importance of awareness and why it is essential. Here is a simple exercise I call ‘Body Scan’ to help you build your personal awareness. You can do it in as little as a few minutes or longer when you have the time. This episode offers you the basics so you can do it on your own anywhere.

Life is Art

Sitting with my tea, I was watching the movements of this mind…..playing the intermediary (or multiple advocate) for the unfolding of thoughts I was having. I was amused by the constant tweak in perception these contrasting advocate roles offered, how it could show me some new aspect to the thought beyond my attachments.

Then my thoughts shifted to photography. I have been reflecting on this passion of mine with more consideration lately as I realized that it is something that has never faded for me. That these ‘captured moments’ never fail to evoke or stimulate something within me.

And then I recognized that each moment in my life is like the experience of looking at a photograph. Each moment I am filling in the blanks, writing a story and unwinding a string of sensations. Each moment I am compelled by the images in front of me or the creations of my mind’s eye. With patience, commitment and awareness I learn about ‘myself’ through this exchange/practice.

In any given experience, each of us may view an event and walk away with very different interpretations.
We may, or may not, have similarities to what we perceive from the ‘same’ stimulus.

The art of life (or the life of art) is every day and the elaborate witness that is you and I brings such a particular nuance to the viewing. I hope that there will always be passionate exchange about our perceptions…..but I also hope that we don’t forget to honor one another along the way. And perhaps, along the way, open ourselves to the ever present ‘tweak’ that is accessible to us. Not as a form of abandoning our beliefs but as a practice of learning from the ‘divergent advocates’ available and within each of us.

….and thinking makes it so….

We live these finite lives and each of our days we fill with continuous thought.  In a way I suppose we are our thoughts because it is these very thoughts that construct our worlds, opinions, actions, emotions, choices….the manifest  ‘reality’ of our days.

There is a quote from Hamlet that often leaps to my mouth….’There is neither bad or good but thinking makes it so.’

…..’thinking makes it so….’

I am sure many would make debate about the existence and definition of ‘good’ and ‘bad’.  But my focus of curiosity is on …..‘and thinking makes it so’.  As I peel layers of ‘self’ I find continuous chains of thinking.  Peeling brings thinking.  Writing brings thinking.  Most activities are thought based.  We are formulating thoughts constantly.  And all these thoughts inform and influence us.

Such influence in fact that there can be a challenge to know one self without the thoughts.  How can we separate our ‘essence’ from all the thinking?

I must say that in writing about this I put my pen down often.

I simultaneously feel I could write indefinitely (in circles) but that it is also as simple as the words of Hamlet. 

So then, why do I write?  Well, I feel compelled to follow threads and ask questions; to question the ‘thoughts’…..all the thinking.  Even though it is the mind I use to do this questioning (the mind that also indulges the habitual thinking process)….I find these flash moments of the unexpected.  Glimpses that are in between these mechanisms and offer me the very breath I use to interrupt the habits of thinking  that can limit me….get me stuck…..put me on auto-pilot.

To be honest, this experience is beyond words to truly describe.  But I feel it….something…..I feel it.  And I witness the possibility of interrupting thought and thinking.  I witness an expanded palette of ‘choices’ when I am aware (and interrupt) this slipstream of the mind; when I am not simply riding on the unquestioned suction of its propellers.

The vehicle of my thinking is an elaborate creation that has been in continuous design since my birth (at least).  How incredible.  How vast.  I don’t know that I could (or need to) dismantle such a work of ‘art’.  But I have found that creating spaces in the soundtrack of my thinking has changed my life.  Changed it in a way where I experience more compassion, spaciousness, unconditioned love and a range of choice.  I am able to see an array of other possibilities in my concepts, perceptions and ensuing emotions.   I also get to see where I feel attached to certain concepts and emotions.  I don’t feel inclined much these days to figure out these attachments as much as ask if they are serving to nourish.  What do they create?  Perpetuate?

(….’but thinking makes it so’….)

I have found there is a dance with thinking and that I am not just along for the ride.  There is infinite potential and discovery in those spaces within the slipstream/soundtrack of our thoughts.  These spaces are not quite as ‘straightforward’.  They leave a bit of mystery to it all and a loosening of the ego.  But if I am improvising with …..’and thinking makes it so’…..then perhaps I can counteract the possible discomfort that accompanies mystery with simply ‘thinking’ another potential  ‘reality’….

What do you think?

Thanks for coming along on the journey…..


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