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Consciousness

The Fascinating Man Behind Much Of What We Read About Consciousness

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Having been fascinated by (but not affiliated with) the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky tradition and teaching for most of my life, I recently reviewed “Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff – The Man, The Teaching, His Mission” the encyclopedic account written by William Patrick Patterson.

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Many “seekers” are completely unaware that the ideas of Tolle, Dyer, Katie, Ehrhard and even Alan Watts have a resonating thread to two men who led groups in the early 20th century, and who each had powerful charismatic personalities, Gurdjieff himself and his most famous student, P.D. Ouspensky.

My own interest in this teaching began over 40 years ago when I travelled to the Yucatan and later Cairo in search of lost wisdom. I had been fascinated by the extensive research into the Great Pyramid and its encoding of mathematical and astronomical truth by Peter Tomkins, in his Secrets of the Great Pyramid and Secrets of the Mexican Pyramids, written in the 1970’s.

At the same time I began reading about Gurdjieff, and mainly devoured Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous, which was the doorway into the vast psychology and cosmology of his teacher, Gurdjieff, which fascinated me with its clarity and scope.  (Patterson refers to Ouspensky as Uspenskii)

GinE_newDVDAt that time I tried to find out more about Gurdjieff and find like-minded people but they did not advertise and in fact were quite secretive. What I did know is that Gurdjieff claimed that some of his knowledge was the result of his own initiation in Egypt–where he worked as a guide at the Great Pyramid and encountered fellow seekers, who became his lifelong friends and colleagues. So it was with great interest when I found the Gurdjieff Legacy website, which informed me that William Patrick Patterson had a DVD titled:  Gurdjieff in Egypt.

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After watching the trailer, I ordered the DVD and have watched it several times.

Patterson is the narrator, author and producer of the film, which follows him on a personal journey to Cairo to get a sense of any possible answers to the question that formed the chief aim of Gurdjieff’s own life:

“What is the sense and significance of life on Earth, and human life in particular?”

Of particular interest to me was Patterson’s own research into what drew Gurdjieff to Egypt –his own search for ancient wisdom which climaxed with the discovery of an ancient map of “pre-sand” Egypt (when the area was not a desert but in fact fertile).

This period pre-dates the time of the pharaohs by thousands of years and has also been the subject of research by rogue archeologists like Robert Schoch, Robert Bauval, John Anthony West and others. (Schoch himself conducted research into the striations at the base of the Sphinx that suggest strongly that they are the result of water erosion –which would place it during that period)

gizaBut Patterson’s work is not wildly speculative in the least; while I love the “suggestions” in the Ancient Aliens TV series, Patterson himself makes only one intuitive leap –he conveys strong evidence that what shocked Gurdjieff on the map he found of pre-sand Egypt was, in fact, the presence of the Sphinx. This would turn all of conventional human history on its end, and Patterson takes us with him as he actually explores the ruins of Giza and other great temples along the Nile.

Patterson says that Gurdjieff himself was initiated into the mysteries of the Pyramid three times and begins to eloquently weave the deep meaning of this sort of practice and teaching amid the spectacular structures through which he takes us.

There are wonderful views and examinations of the interior of the structures along with a compelling narrative of the “sacred science” that must have been practiced and preserved by those who built these monuments. Patterson continues up the Nile to the Temple of Luxor, which is also known esoterically as “The Temple of Man” because it encodes ancient knowledge of biology and energy, which Patterson describes. (More about the details of this encoding can be found in “The Temple of Man” by R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz a little-known but fascinating figure who devoted his life to unwrapping the mysteries of Luxor)

Patterson’s DVD provides a historical context for the Gurdjieff work that some of us crave, and then also delves into the possible sources of the “sacred science” which Gurdjieff taught; again not with speculation but with actual insight into the symbolism of Egyptian culture (and of course the actual material –the hieroglyphs and works themselves –are right there – demythologized with excellent graphics).

Patterson as narrator is very engaging, going from the markets of Cairo to interact with guides at the various sites, and interspersing his commentary with extremely compelling analysis of what he is showing.  Short of going to Giza yourself (with someone as knowledgeable as Patterson) this DVD is a wonderful experience. This DVD is part of a trilogy which also includes Part 2: Gurdjieff’s Mission, and Part 3:  Gurdjieff’s Legacy.

I also was able to review another DVD produced by Patterson: Introduction to Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way: From Selves to Individual Self to The Self

fromselves-dvd-smlWhen one reads Gurdjieff or Ouspensky, a seminal point is that one cannot do “the work” alone.  Gurdjieff was P.D. Ouspensky’s teacher and demanded authority over his students, in order to enable them to eventually become aware of their “sleep” and inability to “do anything” by themselves.

These groups for self-study were called “schools,” and in this DVD Patterson combines a series of lectures elucidating the teaching with actual interactions and responses to the sincere questions and comments from his three-day seminar at the St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista, California.

Patterson himself studied with Lord John Pentland, who was tasked with bringing the Gurdjieff teaching to America, and who worked with both Ouspensky and Gurdjieff himself.

The material is broken up into four parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. Images of God and Machines
  3. Science of Being
  4. Faith of Consciousness

There is also a section devoted to showing an actual dinner based upon Mr. Gurdjieff’s teaching, and its preparation according to the practices of his students.

Patterson begins by echoing the cautionary note he writes about in another book, “Spiritual Survival in a Radically Changing World-Time” in which he examines the spiritual price that is being paid by our current “devotion” to Scientism and technology –the call of our intellectual “center” and the Ego.

Patterson continues by delving into the historical account he covered in “Gurdjieff in Egypt” by describing the “Sacred Science” which formed the basis of the teaching of Gurdjieff (also referred to as Lost or Esoteric Christianity, the actual foundation for the original teachings of Jesus as described in the Gnostic Gospels). Patterson says that over time the Egyptians lost the thread of this ancient wisdom and the original (Sacred) Science of Being gave way to animal worship.

But Gurdjieff’s teaching was “something completely new and self-contained,” based upon his own studies and was in fact an effort to “reconcile the teachings of the East with the Energy of the West.” Patterson both uses the computer “analogy” and the language of psychology to make the case for how most of us have become “conditioned or programmed bioplasmic machines” rather than conscious beings in God’s image. But the machine model has a positive potential –we do live according to impersonal natural law –so that we can potentially witness our conditioned reactions.

The work is based on self observation leading to self knowledge and ultimately to a tanglible and organic awareness of Consciousness “itself” –and Patterson addresses the illusion of control fostered by modern science with its aim of an “artificial intelligence” –Patterson states categorically that,

“There is no machine that has ever been built or ever will be built that can know itself.”

A machine cannot have self awareness – a machine can beat Gary Kasparov in chess, but it will never “know” it is beating him. This was also demonstrated by the IBM machine that “beat” the Jeopardy champions; it did so with massively fast calculations, but it could not form analogies or “reason creatively or symbolically.” But of course we are not a machine in “our image” like IBM but rather something completely natural –organic life—but living in a false sense of our true nature. We believe we have free will.  Gurdjieff thought otherwise.

Patterson goes through the limitations of our ability to actually control anything –much less nature –and then suggests the only “thing” or faculty we can control is our attention. And he also points out “What does society want from us – our attention.” That is why we live in a time of technological distraction based on capitalism, because as he continues, “What follows our attention?  Money.”

Core to the Science of Being is going beyond the “formative mind” or what Gurdjieff calls the Intellectual Center and creating a harmony with our total being—this can bring us to a deeper understanding of Consciousness and the recognition (“re-cognition”) of the reality that being “is not an idea- it is an experiencing.” To live consciously “our aim is to be – to receive and transmit (energies)” or “impressions” with complete presence, and not with automatic (programmed) reaction that triggers the many negative emotions that form our personality.

Patterson has a wry sense of humor which comes through the material.  When confronted with intellectual queries he is prone to reply:

“No sense asking questions you can’t answer.  No sense watching CNN – entertaining yourself with other peoples’ misery.”

The conscious individual is careful what he puts into his body, his mind and his nervous system.  As the advertising industry apparently understands, “Impressions are a food.” Imagery has a profound effect on imagination and being—it can be nourishing or distracting and destructive. Patterson’s account of the Gurdjieff teaching echoes its many influences, like the work of writers like Alan Watts, Adyashanti, and Eckhart Tolle. For Patterson, Consciousness is “no thing”. Consciousness is what receives all things. It is the background– what’s up front is the content. Patterson says that through distraction we tend to become completely absorbed in the “outside” – the “content” of consciousness, without an awareness of the underlying, vast space in which this content appears and disappears.

Unlike our “personality,” consciousness is also unsentimental and “impersonal.” Consciousness has no point of view. Patterson also resonates with Eckhart Tolle, among others, when he explains that, “The last thing we will give up is our suffering” – we don’t really want to wake up from our identification with victimhood because it’s “the devil we know” –it is the sense of not knowing that is terrifying–something that Gurdjieff famously called “The Terror of the Situation.”

Unlike other teachings that may suggest a withdrawal from conventional reality, the Gurdjieff Fourth Way seeks to use the conditions in life –to consciously receive Life as impressions –and use that to come to real life –through what is called “self-remembering.” The access to this sense of a true self is not just through the mind, but by deeper awareness of the body, sensation and witnessing (negative) emotions –-

The moment that “I’m here” there is a shock to the organism (a technique for regaining presence might be brushing your teeth with your left hand) – and we slowly begin a practice where we drop allegiance to the hypnotic consensual reality. When I give “my” attention to my “self” (Consciousness itself) rather than its content (thoughts, beliefs, emotions, sensations) then a new flavor of concrete experience comes and I can receive this (unfiltered) directly – this sort of food according to Patterson provides the organism with double the power ‘to be.’

Technology and conventional reality urge and prompt us into self-talk and daydreaming to numb our feelings –Gurdjieff calls them buffers because they insulate us from direct impressions and the shocks we need to wake up. And in this way, through technology we give up our energy or it leaks. “When I identify with a reaction I create a world with all of that energy…” Patterson says, suggesting that the energy is then lost but “If my self-remembering (presence) is equal to the shock of the moment ‘I eat it.” My conscious organism becomes a true “shock absorber.”  All of “me” can now assimilate it and I have more energy.

Patterson cautions that through self-observation we can discover that there is a big part of us that doesn’t want to know the truth – that is comfortable with reaction, judgment and “sleep.” But once we get a taste of consciousness it’s like no other taste at all –all fears are “just content.”

Going through the DVD is like having Patterson as a guide or teacher, and it also goes well beyond a mere intellectual understanding by giving the viewer a sense of the dynamic of the profound interaction between teacher and sincere student. This dynamic is not always comfortable or “positive” –it is loving in the unconditional sense because it confronts us with impersonal perspectives on our deluded nature, and ultimately can lead to a deeply felt energetic sense of something far more vast and deep—the subject of Sacred Science—Consciousness itself. This is not some “thing” to be known –it is a mystery to be lived, moment to moment, consciously and with profound gratitude for each breath that we take.

To get a taste of the material in this DVD, check out the trailer at the following link:
http://www.gurdjiefflegacy.org/selves.htm

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Consciousness

New Moon In Aries: Taking Bold Action

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a New Moon in Aries during the later hours of April 11th in the Americas and on the 12th everywhere else in the world. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned throughout this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26th/27th.

Aries season began at the Equinox (on March 20th globally this year) as it always does, as per the framework of the Tropical Zodiac. Being the first of twelve signs, and initiator of a transitional season, it begins the Astrological New Year. However with this New Moon actually occurring in Aries as well, it will crank up the energies of this sign even more so in comparison to the previous weeks that were part of a lunar cycle initiated by a New Moon in Pisces.

Aries is the domain of self, independence, and individual needs. As a Cardinal Fire sign ruled by Mars, it is assertive, courageous, direct, pioneering, and leading. It is initiating, quick, bold, energetic, and warrior-like. Negatively, this energy can be inconsiderate, selfish,  hot tempered, combative, restless, impatient, aggressive, and overly competitive. Aries lacks thoroughness due to its quick forward energy.

New Moon Conjunct Mercury & Venus In Aries

This New Moon is close to both Mercury and Venus. This can reflect a period in which our social interactions and engagement with others can be more lively. Both Mercury and Aries have a busy moving type of energy and we may feel more active, physically and/or mentally, as a result.

The conjunction of both of these planets with this New Moon also means it is tied into cycles that each of those planets have with the Sun. Venus recently joined the Sun in the last week of March and it is now travelling ahead of it in zodiacal position.

In recent weeks this has been a time in which we experienced shifts, developments, endings, beginnings, or more clarity around Venus areas of friends, love, social dynamics, values, worth, or financial matters in some cases. This New Moon and the weeks following can continue this process, especially when it comes to beginnings or newer ways of expressing ourselves in these areas.

Mercury is now approaching the Sun as they will make their conjunction on April 18th/19th. At that time we may experience developments, which may be significant, connected to what has transpired during its previous retrograde in February and how things have unfolded since then. From there, these things may develop further with a better perception, or circumstances may indicate lack of sufficiency, not what was anticipated, or that something needs to change.

Planets In Aries Square Pluto & Sextile Mars Trine Jupiter

This New Moon, along with Venus and Mercury, are in a square with Pluto and sextile with Mars and Jupiter. Pluto combined with Aries and Mars energy can reflect a period of intensity. However, it can also play out as issues around power, control, manipulation, jealousy, insubordination, or subversion.  It can also be revealing, psychological, compulsive, transforming, and purging.

The sextile with Mars in Gemini adds to the lively, assertive, instinctual, and energetic expressions of Aries. The Aries’ planets sextile to Jupiter, which is also trine Mars, can be good for applying ourselves in a way that is expansive, optimistic, educational, philosophical, explorative, freedom seeking, or centered around beliefs. New doors may open up and it can even be lucky for some people.

Uranus square Saturn (mentioned here in a previous article) is still in the backdrop as it will be throughout the year. Although it’s not in one of its strong periods, themes of ‘freedom/rebellion/revolution being at odds restrictions/limitations/traditions are still playing out. This may get activated in different ways by this new lunar cycle and the Aries energy that has already been present over the previous weeks following the Astrological New Year.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

How would you like to grow and expand and what do you need to change to get there? In what areas do you need to be more bold or courageous? What have your relationships shown you in recent weeks? What is important for your individuality? What are your personal needs? What do you stand for and should you be fighting for it? Do you need to be a leader in any aspects of your life? Are there any new things that you want to explore?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time. However, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. The exact moment it will occur is 2:31am Universal Time on April 12th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Consciousness

A Symbiosis of Humans & Technology – Changing The Conversation

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Have you ever noticed that discussions about transhumanism tend to focus on technology more than humanism? The journey to reaching our highest potential as a species is usually focused externally on the technology rather than internally on our conscious evolution. This is probably because people assume that conscious evolution is more about spirituality whereas technology is more having to do with the things humans create. The two paths are interdependent so we need more conversations between experts in each of these fields. It will only be through a recognition of the symbiotic nature between humans, their technology, and the environment that we will avert self-destruction.

trans·hu·man·ism (n.) 1. A belief that humans should strive to transcend the physical limitations of the mind and body by technological means. 2. A movement of people who espouse such a belief.

Standing at a Crossroads: The influence that technology has on society and culture is called, technodeterminism. Most of us carry mini supercomputers in our pockets called smartphones. These devices act as external brains which seamlessly integrate into most aspects of our life. Most of us are completely dependent on them for travel, work, communication, entertainment, and beyond. Take a moment to consider the future implications of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine-learning, mass surveillance, automation, genome editing, nanotechnology, and their potential influences on society, culture, and our environment.

When I think about these things, I can’t help but ask:

Why aren’t people like the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Andrew Weil conversing more with people like Ray Kurzweil, Elon Musk, and Steve Mann?

Ancient Futures: It will become increasingly imperative for our most advanced technologies to be informed by the natural ethos of indigenous people blended with the emotional-intelligence of our enlightened spiritual masters. We must remember that the first humans who captured fire to light their cave, stay warm on a cold night, or cook their food were using technology. Anthropologists proudly call us humans “tool-makers” as one of the attributes that make us distinct from most species.

Paradigm Shift: Conscious evolution will require a concerted effort to communicate across silos and disciplines. Cooperation and collaboration towards collective goals will need to take the place of competition for personal gain. What are we hoping to accomplish, and at what cost? We are a risk-taking species and that drives us to exceed all our limitations. Let’s make these be calculated risks because with our technology also comes a great responsibility.

Start Within: Even our most sophisticated technology does not possess the complexities of organic systems. Computers and machines can do many things for us but they will never be able to feel for us. The realm of emotion is central and unique to our human experience yet it is only now starting to be recognized as a valuable form of intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” -Andrew Coleman A Dictionary of Psychology

Research in multiple fields of study shows that curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking, and empathy are skills that will redefine traditional beliefs about intelligence. The ability to accommodate new information requires a certain level of mental flexibility, humility, and ultimately character. It is through our ability to feel and process our emotions that our higher intelligence flourishes.

SuperHumans: Any sports fan knows that there are individuals who possess superhuman gifts. Think of popular sports stars like Michael Jordan, or any of the various extreme sports heroes who somehow manage the seemingly impossible. We also have the various musical or art prodigies who express the skills of a master before the age of 10. We have seen humans walk on red-hot coals with bare feet, walk a tightrope between skyscrapers, and exhibit mind-boggling feats of mental-focus, and will-power. Did you know that Wim Hof ran a half marathon barefoot on ice and snow, with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 34 seconds? Humans are capable of amazing things when they channel discipline, practice, creative brilliance, fearlessness and focus. We have barely scratched the surface of what is possible!

Global Meditation: This simple practice of quieting the mind, and bringing presence to one’s breathing has a long list of documented benefits that include enhanced neural connections, deep feelings of connection and well-being, as well as a strengthened immune system. When we compound this focused intention to include tens of thousands of people all over the world, we begin to literally shift planetary magnetic resonance. The science does not lie, we are potent electrical beings with the ability to focus consciousness and create beyond our wildest imaginations.

Everything technology offers is a reflection of the technology that we, as humans are. Learning to laugh at ourselves a little while delving into our emotions and to make room for possibilities beyond our currently held beliefs is essential for this journey. In order for us to create technology that is aligned with all of life and our planet, we must first become aligned with ourselves and each other. Global meditation is where we practice together!

We can no longer claim that a technology is advanced if it is destroying our skies and rivers or perpetuating harmful practices like war and domination. These are examples of misguided technologies. Our DNA has been informed by countless generations of evolution. It is time that we focus our consciousness towards the natural wisdom kept by indigenous people, while embracing the presence of enlightened spiritual masters. This will allow us to infuse our science and highest technological advancements with ecological and emotional intelligence for the benefit of all life.

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Consciousness

A Proven Technique To Neutralize Draining Emotional Reactions

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We'll explore a simple scientifically proven technique to help neutralize emotional reactions that often drain our energy and reduce our ability to think clearly and make effective decisions.

  • Reflect On:

    How often do you check in to how you're are feeling? Do you feel you are able to self regulate your emotions easily?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Do you notice that you sometimes feel tired or fatigued but are not sure why? Maybe you can have a restful sleep and still wake up having a sense that your energy is not quite there? Maybe you notice yourself being reactive, having a short fuse and feeling unclear about what decisions to make? Maybe you say things to friends, family or people online that you later regret or didn’t truly mean. Much of this can have a lot to do with how we’re feeling emotionally on a regular basis. Emotions that are happening just a touch outside our conscious awareness.

Let’s just do a very quick check in to see what I mean. If you stop a take a moment right now to ask “how am I feeling?” What do you notice? Are you feeling good? Energized? Do you have a background tension? Are you a bit stressed? Annoyed? Are you relaxed and calm? Are you perhaps relaxed yet feeling blah? When we do these check ins we bring awareness to how we might be feeling. This is something we typically don’t do that often and thus are simply not consciously aware of how we feel. If we were a bit more consciously aware of how we felt, we’d have a greater understanding of what we could do to feel better as we know where we’re at.

Energy Loss

This is important because one of the greatest unrecognized sources of prolonged stress, fatigue and physical wear and tear on our bodies comes from living our day to day lives in a state where we consciously or subconsciously experience what we might call ‘draining emotions.’ These are emotions like worry, fear, anger, resentment, or sadness etc.

For each of us, we’re likely going to experience these emotions at some point in life, and this is normal. Typically when we experience these emotions, we’re getting an insight into ourselves. Since what triggers these emotions can often be subjective, we can learn something about our current self by paying attention to these emotions. For example, someone might cut us off while we’re driving on the freeway. On one hand, one person might react aggressively and become very angry, while another might simply see it as a mistake on the part of the other driver and move on with their day.

Why some of us react and others don’t typically comes down the the story we’re telling ourselves about why that person cut you off. Perhaps they take it personally, perhaps they see it as an attack in some way – who knows? You. Only you know, and you can get closer to knowing what that is so you don’t harbour that draining emotion for the rest of the day, and even remove the trigger to begin with so you don’t necessarily have to go down that angry road every time something small like this happens.

I want to be clear here, we’re not looking to avoid emotions or never experience them, we’re looking to gain awareness around why they come, and ultimately have the choice over what gets us bothered and what might be better to simply let go. There is a difference between momentarily feeling an emotion like this, and letting it become a ‘background state’ of being that slowly begins to shape our attitude towards unhealthy and draining tendencies.

We can likely go on all day about where we should ‘honor’ some emotions in some situations or stand up for ourselves in others – I’ll let you decide that within yourself for each situation, but what the focus here in this piece is to simply look at how we can neutralize an emotional experience so we can stop it from draining all our energy and gain greater clarity on why it might be happening.

The exercise below is geared towards improving our self awareness around situations and how we feel, so we can learn to self-regulate emotions at anytime, as well as turn off triggers that might not really be the greatest to have to begin with.

Remember, we’re going to stick with a situation where we are cut off in traffic, but you can use these steps for anything. Maybe you realize you are fearful about a situation. Maybe you notice ongoing worry about something that’s happening or may happen – whatever it may be, the steps can be applied.

A Quick 3 Minute Exercise

We’ll go through the steps, this might seem long at first but it’s actually very short once you get the hang of it. This method is based on decades of scientific researching involving the heart and the benefits of creating coherence through good heart rate variability. You can learn more about that here under the section “Coherence & Optimal Function.”

1. The first step is becoming aware of the fact you’re having the emotional experience. What we’re doing here is by reading this we’re setting up a bit of an increased self awareness in our minds that can help us remember to check in when we next have an emotional reaction to something. Perhaps the car cuts us off while driving, and we react, but then shortly after we remember that we want to have a closer look at that emotional reaction and perhaps choose a different response instead of going down an energy draining rabbit hole. So the first thing we want to do is become aware that the experience is happening.

2. The next step is accepting the experience that’s happening. What this means is, if the person in front of us cuts us off while driving and we get angry and realize we’re angry, bring to your awareness that this is OK. We’re not looking to create a judgement about what happened or what we’re experiencing, instead we simply want to see it for what it is, an experience that happened and we’re now aware of and sitting as an observer of it. What this does is it empowers us to be able to look a little more closely at what we’re feeling and why. After we become aware, take note of the emotion you’re experiencing and name it. Is it anger? Is it worry? Is it fear?

As a small kicker to this, just imagine that the intention here is to turn down the intensity of the emotion so we can go in a take a look at what’s going on in the same way that a firefighter will spray water onto a burning house to stop the fire and cool it enough to go in and assess what the source of that fire was.

3. Next we’re going to take a moment and place our hand or a couple fingers over the areas of our chest, around where your heart is, and use the placement of your hand as something to focus on. With your eyes open, take some comfortable yet slightly deeper breaths. Feel your breath moving in and out of the area of your heart (where you hand is). To do this, don’t worry too much about how perfect the breathing is or whether it’s exactly going in and our of your heart area, just sit with a gentle focus that your breath is moving in and out of the area of your heart. Our goal here is to bring awareness to the physical heart and begin to influence its rhythms ever so slightly. Breath into your heart for about 30 seconds.

4. Next we want to continue our heart focused breathing while also imagining the feeling of calm or ease enter into our bodies. Spend the next 2 minutes or so breathing in the feeling of calm or ease into your heart with comfortable breaths. Notice the calm and ease come over your mind and body. What this stage does is it shows us that we have the ability to produce our own emotional regulation by creating a physiological state that is more synchronized and favorable for introspection and clarity.

After step 4 you should feel a lot more neutral in your feeling, but it may be possible you’re still annoyed or upset about the situation, this is great and in many ways the point of the exercise. Remember the firefighter analogy.

If it’s a really small situation, this awareness might already help us choose to simply let it go. If it’s a larger situation, this exercise helps us reduce the intensity so we can gain a bit more clarity about what’s going on and stop us from simply circling the experience over and over again in our minds, potentially increasing our anger and draining our energy.

Now as a final step, you can take a moment to just assess, what is the story you have been telling yourself about the situation? What might be a more effective way to approach or think about the situation? In the case of getting cut off in the car, was it really personal? If so, how do you know? If it was a mistake, is anger helping you or just providing an undesirable experience? If you had the freedom, would you choose anger at the other driver or to just let it go and maintain better health?

The point here is that with awareness we get clearer on who we are and how we function. This inevitably gives us a choice in how we choose to react.

For more information on this and to build a bit of a deeper practice, you can check out a short course I produced in our members area called CETV. The course is called Improving Daily Self Awareness, Presence & Connection. 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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