WHY WE NEED EMOTIONAL LITERACY

WHY WE NEED EMOTIONAL LITERACY

The juice of life is emotion. When something stirs you; be that great art, music, writing, song and dance, all are birthed through the creative process of emotional life. Pleasure, pain and power. Look in any dictionary and you’ll find dead described as devoid of emotion, sensitivity and activity, motionless and incapable of being moved or opening up.

Emotions are the glue that hold relationships, families and societies together. Built on the bond, bridged by connecting beyond the rational, it’s this deeply visceral sensing that unites. Felt. Embodied. It re-establishes our integral need to feel part of a greater whole. Our common-unity. It’s a universal language interoceptively understood by all living things. 

Even krill feel and emote.

Relationships are the essence of life and are always built on emotions. Imagine not relating, not connecting with feeling, the awkward silent, ambivalent instants, but also those, deeply intimate, fulfilling moments. 

One can’t exist without the other, they’re part of the same continuum.

Emotional Literacy Versus Emotional intelligence

Emotional literacy is different from emotional intelligence in that it dives into the universe of emotions. Name any adjective and it can literally be translated as something we feel and can express, if we choose to. Recognising the uniqueness of each emotion for what it is, we don’t pathologize it. 

Giving it space to be, and become because emotions always move and shape shift, we actually harness the energy within. Then it informs our choices as to what changes we want and need to create, transforming us in the process. 

We need emotional literacy because an emotion holds immense energy. Instead of sublimating or diverting the intense charge that arises, similar to giving gas and then slamming on the breaks, it’s harnessed and channeled. Used instead of wasted, emotional literacy gives us the understanding and momentum needed to create the much needed change. Be that societal, relational, political, environmental or physiological.

Emotional Literacy

Emotional literacy is first feeling what arises within us as an energetic statement. Are you fired up, did someone throw a wet blanket on your fire, have your socks been knocked off, are you off track, beaten down, sucked dry, deflated or elated, alive and kicking, radiant, priceless, ready to roll, unmovable and content or ready to sing your heart out? 

Use that information.

Second, understand what initiated the feeling in the first place. Was it something someone said, did, gained, or displayed that triggered it? Or is it an underlying fear, association, belief or thought that caused the feeling? And from that knowledge, deduct what changes need to occur to prevent, if it affects you adversely, or to direct the energy to full fruition, if favourable. Use the inherent energy within the emotion to transform what needs changing.

Thirdly, find out how to emote that energy as a culmination and real-I-sation, (sation means sowing), of what you know deep down to be right for you at this moment in space and time. 

Emotions are Storytellers Enhancing Wellbeing

Whether promising or disparaging, each emotion tells a story. Connecting our past with present and future, mind with body and soul, as well as me/you/we with world. It’s deep, juicy stuff. Confusing only if we don’t take the time to become literate in this very nuanced language. 

Emotional literacy directs and channels the energy flow of a feeling by emoting it. Expression either in work, creative projects, programmes that create change, art or music. It transforms our physiology, energy, chemistry and therefore our moods, mind states and enables releasing old psychological patterns and beliefs. Creating space for new, life-affirming expressions of being human.

Be limitless in your imaginings, generous in your love and courageous with your actions!

Much Love,

Shira

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S NATURAL WISDOM

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S NATURAL WISDOM

Women are the reason there is Life. Women can carry another life in their womb for 10 months. Every single being that is, is because of Woman.

This simple fact, taken for granted to the point of dishonour, denigrating us since monotheism. The Goddes in Her infinite and often mysterious forms has been trampled into the dust of derision.

Our current culture has thrown independent women, healing herbs, fascia, emotions and healers, to the wayside for thousands of years. WE, who bear children, whole families, basically all diversity, are still struggling after thousands of years to live fully.

We’re free to work for our money, drive cars, live alone, take any professional path and even become leaders. But the path for a woman is always a battle field. Whether overt sexual insinuation, assualt or abuse, or subtle remarks, looks, beliefs and laws that encroach upon our self-esteem, self-confidence and sense of self-worth. In religious texts, media and medical instituitions we’re bombarded with messages of being inferior, or objectified as some thing to be had by another.

Womens Wisdom in Our Cycles

Our cycles, when honoured and listened to can deliver not just babies, and families, but beauty that radiates from within. A deep satisfaction and strength that connects us not just to each other, but to the stars and planets. It’s our universality that is a womans power. Our menstrual cycle flows round like the seasons of the year, it ebbs, peaks and flows back out.

With each moon turn, we go within, we see what needs to be changed, we blossom, flower, bear fruit and whither once more.

Starting from our menstruation we follow the moon tides as follows;

Menstruation. New Moon. Night. Winter, fallow. Higher progesteron is good for researching, restoring, returning to within to replenish. It’s also a time to clear, cleanse and eliminate.

Follicular phase. Waxing Moon. Morning. Spring, blossoming. Outgoing, enthusiasm and expression. Starting new projects and getting creative.

Ovulation. Full Moon. Mid Cycle. Midday. Summer, high estrogen, blooming. Verbal fluency. Left brain activation great for creativity and physical, mental and emotional fertility. Fulfilling projects

Luteal phase. Waning Moon. Evening. Autumn, whithering. Reflective, letting go of the outgrown and making changes. Finishing projects.2

Yet we’re asked to adapt to the phases of day and night, daily, which is the natural hormonal cycle of men. And that’s why we eventually burn out, feel nervous, anxious, depressed, lonely and become so ’emotional’. This Womben’s Cyclical Wisdom PDF helps us to easily see where we’re at in each phase and what lving, yoga and work practices work best.

Facts & Faces of Feminine Disrespect

  • Most anatomy textbooks use male bodies as the default, yet inutero the first 3 months of life, we’re all female.
  • Adverts in men’s magazines objectify women 76% of the time in 52% in womens magazines.
  • Only 11% of girls worldwide would dare to call themselves beautiful.
  • Every ten minutes a teen girl dies due to violence in this world.
  • 33,000 girls become child brides each day.
  • 1/5 girls is sexually abused before her twenties.
  • Safety features in cars are designed for men causing 47% more injuries to women.
  • Only Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, France, Luxemburg and Latvia give women equal legal work rights.
  • 22% of STEM professionals are women.
  • Only 20% of national legislators worldwide are women, and when ridiculed or remarked upon, it’s often for their hair, dress or other outer appearance.
  • Globally 45% of women use hormonal contraceptives.
  • Globally 64% of Gyneacologists are male, before 1990’s 95% were male!

Contraceptives as a Form of Control

Though hormonal contraceptives are touted to prevent and relieve us of the many inconvieniences related to menstruation, and off course prevent unwanted pregancy, they often cause many more symptoms. Leading to chronic conditions in the long run. Our body naturally produces the hormones we need to create life.

Interferring with intelligence of our endocrine system, off course affects our entire menu of hormones and neurotransmitters. This causes changes for our entire body and mind. Some good, some bad. And all unnatural. Telling our organism it’s continually pregnant is what the dairy industry does to cows. It’s cruel, toxic and controlling. Packaged as a freedom Pill we swallow it willingly.

Eventually it causes our moods, energy, and mind states to swing as our body’s naturally seek balance. We risk depression, weight gain, ance, nausea, vomitting, changes in libido and vaginal fluids, changes in menstrual flow, headaches, migraines, breast tenderness, increases risk of breast cancer, hypertension, hypotension, endometriosis, gallstones, facial discolouration.1

Internal Freedom From Patriarchy

And so we suffer to keep up on the treadmill of patriarchy’s productivity. As long as we feel free to be just ‘as great as men’ assume to be, nurtured through society who still thinks men as the default. But the cost is higher for us because not only do we earn less globably as women, no matter how highly educated we are, we also work harder, cycle differently and so will always feel behind because we can’t rest those five-seven days when we menstruate.

When our night/menstruation arrives we’re still going, knowing, learning, nurturing, connecting and caring. We need to shift our mindsets and honour our menses. And men honour our cycles, as we do theirs- day and night.

And why do we have male gyneacologists?! Being told that chlamydia is a good contraceptive by one, another shouting me out of his office at age 19 when asking about an abortion, I’m strongly against male gyneacologists. Why would a man want to put his hands in a woman’s warm insides all day, and yet have absolutely no understanding, nor experience, of what their cold tools being pushed and prodden inside us feels like, is beyond comprehension.

Reclaiming Women’s Wisdom

We need women to help women’s health, it’s complex, intricate and complete. We have all we need within us when we work with our internal wisdom. In that way we free ourselves of many constraints and consumerism aimed at women under the guise of beauty, wellness and health. When Women honour womens ways we are well beauty-full and whole.

Let’s honour our Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Aunties and All Women and the Wisdom by listening to our bodies needs as we move through each phase.

Much Love,

Shira.

1, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_oral_contraceptive_pill

2. Chrstianne & Kate Northrup have expounded this reality in thier books, Womens Bodies Womens Wisdom & Do Less, respectively.

YOGA & SPIRITUAL BYPASSING

YOGA & SPIRITUAL BYPASSING

Spiritual bypassing can feel good for a while, sometimes a very long while, but at some point we hit a wall. And the practice we once loved seems to fail us, and we’re going round in circles. This is when we hit a crossroad of transformation or degradation.

Do we stay or do we go? Do we move through or bypass? Will we choose to go all in and expose our ungainly self, or do we opt for ease and deny the diffculties ahead? Moving through is the fulfilling opportunity to growth. To remain with and hold space for, our dark, earthly solidity moves us into the light of consciousness and soul, in an encompasing awareness of our full potential.

Immature Understanding

When I first started out on my spiritual journey, I was 15years old, and naively believed being really, truly spiritual meant transcending the world and all our material, maternal, and nutritional needs. Even our need for social connections. Detachment was high on my list of values. Being a free and spiritual adventurer I’d managed to escape being social for decades. No material plans, constraints, agendas, desires or goals. I felt extremely spiritual, non-human. Highly esteemed in my bubble.

 

Facing Our Shadows

Becoming a mother of a very social child burst that bubble. After giving birth to my daughter personal development quickly shifted from spirituality to social-ability. Forced to be part of society inadvertently I discovered I actually love people. I love learning, sharing and exchanging. It also revealed my many weaknesses and blind spots. Limiting beliefs, scarcity mindsets, my escapist attitude. Non-realistic ideals. It left a lot to be desired. Especially as a mother in a complex culture influenced largely by domination structures of patriarchy.

The gap between on the one hand, unfulfilled desires and projected fears, and the other transcendental living, was now a huge cataclysm. I saw no support, community, shared insights and wisdom to guide my choices as to what’s a healthy way to live in a world placing productivity and financial gain above nurturing and caring. I saw no examples of conscious, empowered, single mothers creating change in their communities in modern western culture. Was it me or my mindset?

 

The Gifts of Our Shadows

Spiritually bypassing our biggest chances to face truth, the good, the bad and the utterly ugly, to grow and transform, are sacrificed for glory and gratification.

To be truly spiritual means taking a good look at our ways of relating to self, other and world. As a young mother, and out of desperation and frustration at being such a beginner again, I asked my meditation teacher Rose Baudin, what my purpose was. She answered clearly and without further ado, “Whatever is in front of you at any given moment is your purpose. You’re a spiritual being having an embodied experience”.

Though that didn’t quench my thirst then, it sure has been my experience since. And the more I accept and appreciate this embodied life and the limitations we experience being in a body, the more I’m driven to find intelligent and integral ways to communicate, relate and connect. It’s the only way to live fully. To honour this gift called life. Handed down to us through billions of years of incredible evolution, biological intercommunication across species and time, transforming constantly.

 

Ayurveda & Yoga Enable Transformation

Without Ayurveda, Yoga has the potential to become superficial at best. Ingraining already present patterns of ego, separation, coping mechanisms, defences, projections, and escapism, into deeper grooves. The abuse of power we’ve seen surfacing in nearly all patriarchal yoga traditions in the last years are devastating examples of bypassing unresolved and suppressed psychological domination patterns. The ingrained, violent and misdirected frustration, domination and exploitation of races, minorities and diversities. Which literally is the life-line that makes our world so colourful and beautiful.

Transforming our wellbeing, includes transforming our world and societal structures. We need to face the underlying currents and belief systems. We have to see these examples as deeper issues revealing our world cultural tendency toward power abuse, fear response and deep distrust issues. For this to happen we need inclusivity of all aspects of living, which includes our emotional selves. Emotions are the rivers of sensual joy, beauty and intelligence flowing through us. Connecting one to another. It’s the blood connecting all social species.

 

Emotions as Clues

Because Ayurveda looks at emotional states and sees the imbalance, or direction of our mentality and physiology, it adresses spiritual bypassing. Emotions are so often misunderstood, supressed, managed, repressed, unexpressed and redressed. Emotional intelligence and empowerment allows us our access, desire or knowledge to the power behind any emotion.

Emotions are passion, the opposite of patience, but a powerful force when we learn to ride their waves.

A potential we should explore.

A deep journey. One that can feel dangerous, difficult and painful if we don’t feel supported by others, through this process. When we internalise unexpressed painful or difficult emotions, because our company can’t handle them, enough times, it becomes a trigger. A tricky and painful place. Left unheard and unseen, a traumatic feeling. All of us have experienced trauma, small or large T. We all have some struggle, growth and trauma process to move through. And the emotions and memories associated with that can overwhelm us when our emotional repertoire has been kept limited and restricted according to outside values.

Leave this terrain completely unexplored and we have spiritual bypassing.

Include & Move On

Often we need to leave behind certain things. Things which have been the backbone to our entire way of living, functioning and relating. Limiting thoughts and habits, family traditions, beliefs, activities, cultural ways of coping, defence mechanisms, and ways to relate to others, handed down by anyone we’ve identified with in the course of our life. The tribal mind.

Psychologically leaving behind the tribal mind can feel life threatening. Like we’re going to die. Because for 2 million years of evolution, leaving the tribe meant death. It’s only since 10,000 years we live with some guarantee of safety. And only since fifty years we, as individuals, dare to speak our truth. Other values. It’s a psychological and emotional leaving the nest.

Once we see the underlying beliefs and associated pain, emotions, fears and insecurities, and own that story, no matter how gory, we can move on. We don’t need to be blameless and shining beacons of spiritual glory. Being a good, honest human is liberating not just for ourselves, but for all those who experience the imperfection of being human.

To move through is the opportunity to grow fully. To remain with and hold space for, our dark, earthly solidity moves our shadows into the light of consciousness and soul, revealing our full potential.

Much Love,

Shira.

EMOTIONS & IMMUNITY

EMOTIONS & IMMUNITY

Our Immunity is our sense of self. When we feel attacked so does our immunity.

Right now our world is upside down, and everyone is feeling overwhelmed, down, lost, anxious, angry, and confused by the many different voices and facts, on some level. When I voice my counter culture opinion or feelings I’m sometimes met by rigidity, hostility. It feels like heresy. It’s a scary feeling.

So I asked myself, why do i want to voice my opion? Alleviate suffering and prevent dis-ease. What can I do instead?

Educate. The only way. All I want to say is that if you look at the above adjectives of our states, it’s emotional content. Hypervigilence, makes us reactive. This article explains how emotions enhance health or harm.

OUR IMMUNITY IS OUR SENSE OF SELF. WHEN WE FEEL SAFE SO DOES OUR IMMUNITY.​

You can decide if you need to move out of the fight and flight, and into a tend and befriend. If only for your health and everyone around you. Only then can we move into an honest, more sustainable world. Environmentally, emotionally, psychologically and physically.

How Emotions Change Our Tissues

Zach Bush MD, physician of internal medicine and endocrinology states emotional toxins are the third contributor to damaging health, after food and environmental toxins. “Emotional toxicity will shorten life and damage our quality of life more rapidly than any other biological process can.”[i]

Have you noticed how our minds are scattered lately? Our feelings have more effect than mainstream medical science acknowledges. According to the HeartMath Institute, the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. And has significant effect on brain function, influencing emotional processing, higher cognitive faculties such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving. Stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability. This means that sustaining positive emotions, not only benefits the entire body, but also profoundly affects how we perceive, think, feel, and perform.[ii]

Robert Sapolsky, professor of neurology and biology, says there’s no real centre for our emotions, it’s an immensely complex circuitry[iii]. Which runs through the entire body. Our molecules of emotion, hormones and neurotransmitters, affect our brain and our brain affects hormones. The effects, visceral, reach far into our tissue development. A two way stream. We have as many hormone receptors in our gut as in the brain. Often called our second brain, because digestive health and receptivity affects our overall physical as well as mental wellbeing.[iv] The dialogue between gut hormone, bile acid and the brain plays an important role in energy homeostasis.[v] And the building blocks for our entire being.

According to Christiane Northrup MD, our beliefs become our biology. Beliefs shape our perception, filtering emotions, initiate thoughts, actions, reactions, responses, physiology and physical matter. Our daily thoughts and emotions, which are accompanied by a multitude of biochemical changes in the body, set up an electromagnetic field around us, and seeing like attracts like, every cell in our body attracts our vibratory equivalent.[vi]

Emotions As Energy & Matter

Quantum physics and Samkhya, see matter and energy, at the subatomic level, as being interchangeable. Expressions of the same manifestations at different frequencies. Energy vibrates and moves, when energy moves at lower and slower vibrations, it’s more solid. Experienced through our senses to hear, touch, see, taste and smell. The more conscious, imbued with awareness, a manifested form, the less condensed, and therefore receptive. The more solid, the less conscious and closed the body or system is. 

Just like matter, thoughts thought over and over become solidified. They form neural wiring so solid they eventually think themselves. Manifesting a belief. Moving into the less explored consciousness. Thought without awareness. It becomes subconscious, and if we don’t go and clear it every once in a while, through meditation, contemplation or reflection, or any form of non-doing and just being, it becomes unconscious. The energy becomes so dense it’s an energetic blockage, and turns into a matter. 

When we hold a certain vibrational energy pattern long enough, it solidifies. Emotions felt often enough often manifest as issues in our tissues. And physical manifestation of dis-ease is a long way down the track from when we first got off track. It’s a very loud, and often last call, from our soul.

Psychological and emotional factors influence our physical health greatly because our emotions and thoughts are always accompanied by biochemical reactions in our bodies. These reactions are mediated by cell membranes, which are the actual “brains” of each cell. The mind-body continuum can be adequately understood only when we appreciate ourselves as an everchanging energy system that is affected by, and also affects, the energy surrounding it. We don’t end in our skins.[vii]

Beliefs inform biochemicals, biology informs our cells, and cells copy themselves continually, taking on a new structure with each imprint and becomes the new template. This embodied attitude is then passed on as a solid reality, a certainty.

Beliefs & Body

Beliefs, mindsets and associated emotions pave the way for breakthroughs, or breakdowns. And seeing this isn’t a one way stream, we can use our biology to affect our beliefs.

This is what Yoga does so seamlessly, using the body, breath and movement to initiate change and transformation in body, mind and psyche. Mind with matter and matter with mind. Not over, under, nor around. Through. Not fighting with some infantile imaginary of an ‘enemy’. Once we own our enemies as shadows of self rejected and projected, emotions, mind and psyche become tools. Empowering, lifelong companions. We embody our emotions and move toward real evolution. We stop reacting and being rigid in our opinions.

An exchange between inner and outer worlds creates this shift in ebb and flow of energy within us. Every sensation within your body is just an expression of these two, body and mind, matter and spirit, meeting. Surrendering to the emotions as they arise, releases the tides and allows us to harness our energy and return to our true nature, biorhythms and being.

Express your voice from the full conviction we’re all at heart good, healthy and whole beings. Our fullest manifestation is love, power and beauty. Letting ourselves be, live, breathe, enjoy, relate, communicate, create, nourish and rest with more passion, enthusiasm and deliberation without constraint. And daring to ask and explore how we, each of us, can bring this profound way of living into day to day life? 

We regulate, guide and transform our emotions by understanding the messages of emotions. We can retrain our brain, beliefs and biology to become the creators of our experience.[viii]

3 Steps to Calm Emotions & Mind

The tend and befriend, also known as the rest and digest activation of our autonomic nervous system calms us down. It gets us out of our heads and into our bodies. It makes us feel safe. Held. Secure, trusting, calm and grounded. It’s us going into parasympathetic activation. It’s our social pathway of the Vagus nerve coming online. The vagus nerve travels from the carnium to the reprductive system and is 80% afferent, meaning it brings information from our senses to the brain most of the time. When we move our body and this long nerve, we’re sending our brain, nerves and endocrine system the message we’re safe, held and ok.

Notice I said social pathway. Being social makes us seek connection. Just having a conversation with a friend, loved one, or eating a delicious warm meal in welcoming company heals. Being together, joking and tending to each others needs activates our rest and digest system.

Social distancing, or is it physical distancing?… we have less access to this pathway. Setting us up for distress and hypervigilance. Simple Yoga practices activate our tend and befriend pathway by stimulating parasympathetic response.

Three simple practices move us out of hypervigilence and into tend and befriend.

  1. Doing spinal flexion and extension, cat cow, or just lying on your back doing pelvic tilts will get us in our body and out of our minds. It stimulates the entire vagus nerve and that inturn activates rest, digest, tend and befriend.
  2. Extending our voice with a long sound. Either a long vowel such as AAaaaaa, OOoooo or UUuuuu, or singing something healing like Enya, Ajeet Kuar, Patti Smith, chanting or prayer.
  3. Extending the out breath. Breathing in for 3 seconds and out for 6. Just 10 rounds will work.

Once we’re in this state we communicate, relate and honestly, really heal and feel all that’s going on. Both inside us and around us.

All the hard stuff and the goodness most of us seek. We all know there’s something more going on. It’s just not clear what and why. But we’ve got to stay connected, honest and immune by having real conversations, with questions, with the ambivilance and ambiguity of the uncertainty.

Please feel free and welcome to write me back, leave a comment and tell me how you’re feeling.

Much Love,

Shira


[i] Zach Bush interview by Fran Drescher at https://vimeo.com/409457528

[ii] HeartMath Institute -https://www.heartmath.org/science/

[iii] Robert Sapolsky, – Behave, (2017), Penguin Random House

[iv]  https://www.austinhormonedoctor.com/connection-mental-health-hormones/

[v] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/47348954_Gut_hormones_and_the_brain

[vi] Christiane Northrup, M.D., – Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, (2010), Bantam Books

[vii] Christiane Northrup, M.D., – Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, (2010), Bantam Books

[viii] Lisa Feldman Barrett – You aren’t at the Mercy of Your Emotions-Your Brian creates them, Ted Talk

YOGA TO EMPOWER DURING DIFFICULT TIMES

YOGA TO EMPOWER DURING DIFFICULT TIMES

Yoga to Empower Emotions During Difficult Times

I’ve been on a journey of reclaiming wellbeing since I was young. Passionate about finding answers to pain points for loved ones and understand health on all levels, I was drawn to Yoga, Buddhism, naturopathy and herbalism early on. Seeking foods, plants, practices and philosophies as remedies for issues of body, mind and soul.

I observed, for some obstacles led to opportunities, while for others the opposite. Emotions and mental states were always very intriguing for me.

As yoga teachers our practice is vital to our wellbeing on many levels. But what happens when one, or more, of those levels isn’t transformed by our practice? What if, even after decades of study and practice, we feel lost and have no idea what’s going on? As a yoga therapist, with decades of yoga, mindfulness, meditation practice and continuing education, I hit that point. My emotions were wild, my energy levels unreliable, my mind unclear at best. Outbursts, frustration, fears, doubts, power struggles, relationship issues, feelings of loneliness. Like a blade of grass breaking through concrete, no matter how solid our practice, inevitably emotions begin to break through unseen cracks. If we don’t deal with our unconscious, it’ll deal with us. Breakdown got me facing my shadows. Our shadow work is vital to our Yoga journey. It’s the healing process of reclaiming all we repressed, rejected, neglected and abandoned long ago. Ultimately emotions showed me the limiting unconscious beliefs holding me back in fundamental ways. And so the journey to a fuller wholeness began. Beyond Peace to Breakthroughs Within the dis-ease lies the cure. Feelings and thoughts can’t be divorced. And how we think and feel influences our life and our practice. Yoga and other modalities help us access our relaxation response, calm and restore the nervous system and mind while integrating bodily systems. Bringing integrity, peace and a sense of bliss. But sometimes it’s not all about peace and bliss. Wholeness also includes aspects preferably denied. Getting stuck in seeking bliss isn’t a solution in itself. The wholeness guides us in our daily choices, but its not a state most of us can remain in, let alone lift others up from. Yes, we can show or clear the paths for others, or we walk together. And others show us the way, but without shadow work, it becomes ego world. We’ve got to do the heavy lifting for ourselves first, if we want to do any in the world. And right now we’re all being asked to do that. Switching gears and moving beyond bliss through breakdowns and into breakthrough, allows us to embody consciousness fully. ‘Mastering’ and masking the less glorious aspects of our nature is spiritual bypassing. To unconsciously avoid, deny or resist certain aspects of our selves, lives and the related necessary changes, out of fear, shame, guilt or some other difficult emotion, is ignoring our shadow. Pushed into the unconscious. Yet wherever we go, there it is. Seemingly irrelevant, we override these emotions for years. Or our ego, the ingenious dividing principle, whispers, “We’ve conquered it!” Now think about this; just as strong as your resistance is to that change, that much energy and possibility lies beyond the breakthrough. Sure it asks us to our explore our anger, fears, shame, and our responsibility. To dig deeper and find that motivational force which we all have within, to change our present situation. Which is exactly what emotions are. They’re calls to action. To step up, raise the bar. Our present world situation is asking us to take action in integral, sustainable, collective and proactive ways. We need collaboration to find solutions together. What better time than now. Stepping up to find our strength and empower ourselves, each other and our environment proactively, means a pretty impressive impulse. A push. Emotions are energy in motion. Some very convincing; anger, fear, exhilaration, guilt, have lots of potential behind them. That’s why we struggle, we’re forced to find sustainable solutions.

The Power of Emotions

Apart from ‘positive ones’, emotions aren’t often talked about, freely to expressed or embodied. Yoga, equally powerful, brings about healing and associated ‘positive’ emotions. Popular positive think culture sees happiness as the ultimate goal. Spilling into our Yoga process, we miss the deep transformative potential of breakdowns beyond breakthroughs. Being emotionally illiterate can inadvertently causes feelings of being inherently flawed and broken. Outcast. Can we co-create a world of harmony, honesty and integrity, when certain aspects are left in the dark? Off course not. Beyond feel good are untold overlooked opportunities of growth. Only when we move through our pain, fears, and other ‘negative’ emotions, can the phoenix rise. And fully step into who we came here to truly be. Turning wounds into wisdom, instead of vice versa. And emotions are vital. Guideposts to finding out what any situation calls for from us as individuals part of a social group. Being awake and on a spiritual path means we see everything we can, with clarity. And from that clarity take steps to move ourselves, and our collective family, forward. To do that we need to honestly face our shadows first. We can only handle the shadows of the world, a reflection of our collective shadows, once we manage to hold our own. Reframing Emotions as Life Energy in Motion Emotions, powerful messengers between soul, body and mind, are transient. They have no substance. If we can just contain them long enough to hear their call to action, we can move mountains. They’re that powerful! Why waste their potential for change? There’s inherent intelligence behind each emotion. Energy is Shakti’s deepest desire is to live, thrive, give, fulfil and become. Her moving through us as emotion. It’s a conversation. A message between our inner guidance conversing with the inner guidance of another, both filtered through ego. And the way we experience and express emotions, and their underlying needs, depends on our many filters of past experiences. Memories and perceptions, influenced by family, culture and anything with which we identify. We have thousands of emotions. A vast universe. Imagine allowing yourself the freedom to experience a limitless space of emotions. Instead of pinning it down to a limited few, hear the actual conversation between your soul and the present situation. Use this precious time to see yourself living in the immense possibilities of all visceral sensations. A movement from our beautifully wise, nurturing bodies, nervous system, mind, and limitless self. This time is an opportunity for exactly that. Emotional Literacy, Reframe & Transform Your Emotions into Actions Our mind and body are incredibly malleable. We can rewire our feeling of anxiety into an invitation into newness. Just 5 minutes daily of reframing emotions using feeling your sensations, feelings and holding them with mindful self compassion in meditation, can be powerful when practiced consistently over months. Then we can take these emotions onto the mat, move with them, then take them into the world, as bold statements. With reframing and consistent practice, we begin to experience nervousness in a universe of emotions, instead as a fluttering exhilaration for a fresh, young anticipation to explore. Adventurousness. Nervousness re-examined gives us extra energy and alertness to raise our ability, intelligence and consciousness in a more engaged, creative and curious ways. Feeling anger doesn’t ‘make us angry’. Anger is a powerful, dynamic and concentrated energy. It can be explosive. Explore it’s quality and ability before it’s on the scene in that state. Through consistent mindfulness practice we learn to feel anger in our spacious awareness moving through our body-mind. We befriend our emotions. Slowly learning to channel it into action steps for radical change instead. A new project, plan or activity, or conversation, creating change in relation to what triggered our anger in the first place. And so we explore the universe of emotions, learn their vast language and movement. Emotional literacy. It’s yours and unique. You’re a master of your emotional vocab, no one else. No more shadows, no more projecting your beauty, power and fears onto others. It’s all You. By giving back the full scope of emotional experience through a more nuanced language, we reclaim the potential energy within emotions. Allowing ourselves unlimited expression to experience our feelings, allows energy to move through us, rather than to us. We’re called to action and the universe is waiting for our soul response. Begin to have a deeper conversation with your feelings. Step into your power, feel and see the subconscious speak through subtle pathways as Shakti’s wisdom and Prana moving through you. Let your universe of emotions expand and your shadows dissipate. Let’s have some truly deep, transfromative and real conversations. Leave a comment below and reclaim your voice, wellbeing through self expression. With Love,

Shira.

PURPOSE & UNDERSTANDING OUR PATTERNS THROUGH OUR BLISS BODY

PURPOSE & UNDERSTANDING OUR PATTERNS THROUGH OUR BLISS BODY

Our life purpose becomes clear when we see our life’s patterns through the Bliss Body.

We’ve journeyed from Body Beauty, through the physiological- Energy Body, mental- Mind Body and psychological- Wisdom Body, and we culminate at out deepest body, our deepest desire to live and potential to give. 

In Yoga we call it the Bliss Body, Anandamaya Kosha. It’s the essence of why we exist and what we came here to do.

Whats the Bliss Body and Why it Matters?

Our Bliss Body, the very drive of our life, is our casual body. It’s the desire to come into life as an individual being. To experience, express and share our knowledge, power and life force with others. To nourish, enjoy, bring change, feel, and bring into the world our unique gift and vision, in a way only we can.

Our uniqueness is our gift and the purpose off our life is to uncover it fully and share it. 

Our strengths, quirkiness, weaknesses, fears and potential power to become a greater version of ourselves all lie and live in this Bliss Body.

It’s the underlying drive off all our actions, our desires, needs and perception of life and relationships. And most of us ignore our Bliss Body, until…

We hit rock bottom. We enter ‘mid-life-crisis’. The dark night of the soul is our day and night existential reality. When all we do, or don’t do, doesn’t seem to effect our dance with the devil. When deep, painful psychological, physical or emotional turbulence disturbs our existence enough to realise there’s more than meats the eye.

After a Breakdown Comes a Breakthrough 

If we honour our path and purpose, we don’t hit walls, bottoms or end up dancing with our dark side. But most of us aren’t that lucky.

Most of us need the earth to shake or be pulled from underneath us before westart asking deeper questions. 

Planet Saturn, known as the Great Teacher, presents us with immense and intense life questions. Saturn returns to the same solar placement every 29.5 years. Some of us begin with existential questions around this time; 27-32years of age. Some wait till the next, age 54-64, or the one after that.

This unconscious force is our Soul’s deepest desire moving us toward our purpose. Instead of continuing the same old comfortable, but often meaningless path, which seems futile, shallow or at best repetitive, our Soul asks us to dive in. It knows our potential and asks us to uncover it.

Because this is such a difficult transition time, we ask why. Why did this happen? Why me, why now? What could I have done different? Why are we here? Why am I here? For what purpose do I do all these things?

Because we won’t find our potential power without a quest. We need to digdeep, soul search, fight the demons of our psyche, rescue our victim self and uncover the jewels within. 

This is sure to shake our fundamental beliefs about self, life and our dearest relationships.

The Jewel of Bliss Underneath the Ruins of Uncertainty

In the throes of this seeming unbearable pain, we can’t see an end in sight. When through to the other side, we can look back, take distance and see the patterns. We see a pathway starting to emerge. We uncover a strength, beauty and wisdom that only occurs through personal experience of suffering and leads to deep compassion and empathy.

Someone once asked me if it’s possible to know another’s suffering, withoutgoing through the experience. I believe we can only understand what we’vefelt, known and been through fully ourselves. 

Without the experience, we can’t empathise nor empower another.

We don’t have the past lived experience to know what it feels like, what depths of suffering, doubt, shame, pain, grief, fear and loneliness we cansuccumb to, or endure. Nor can we grasp the patience, acceptance, love and empathy needed to be there for ourselves as we struggle to get out. 

And yet we will come out.

And underneath that, that deep experiential knowing, lies our radiant jewel of Bliss. The wisdom, beauty and empathy of our deep desire to share, show and guide others through their similar struggle. 

This in and of itself shows us our strength and ability and gift.

We know nothing can break us. We are stronger than a diamond, more beautiful than the highest mountain, deeper than the blackest hole and clearer that a silent lake.

There is certainty in that. And from this certainty we can hold others pain, fear, grief, shame and suffering.

Uncovering your Bliss Body

A student in class, when talking about the 5 bodies said she was baffled by hercasual body, our bliss body. She wanted to know the raison d’etre. I think more and more young people ask this question with all the uncertainty we face with our wonderful world in so much turmoil.

One of the most effective ways to find out why you’re here is journaling on your story. Your past and present struggles and get to the core feelings.

It doesn’t need to be a very long story, you don’t need to get into details. Rather be objective and see the pathway you walk/ed and what have you understood, learned and know so well that no one can tell you otherwise.

It is as simple as asking three questions and find the undercurrent, recurrent pattern.

Write down My Story, and answer

What was it like? 

What happened?

What’s it like now?

From this short and succinct summery of your story you’ll see what it is You know better than most people in your life. And reframe it as an empowering experience. One in which you’re the main character, get to choose the role, the trajectory and destination. You’ll begin your journey back to your Bliss Body. You’ll hear what your Soul is trying to move you toward all along. Know there’s others who would love your guidance, support or understanding and empathy.

Know you’re not alone.

Know you are amazing.

Know you have the power to choose, change and cancel anything from this point onwards.

If you choose to.

Much Love,

Shira

FULFILLING RELATIONSHIPS RESPONDING INSTEAD OF REACTING

FULFILLING RELATIONSHIPS RESPONDING INSTEAD OF REACTING

Feeling like we’re going with the flow in our relationships is possible when we identify with people, projects and places that uplift and inspire us. A feeling of visceral flow shows us we’re with the right people for where we’re at now.  Responding instead of reacting can feel like such an achievement, like success. And it’s the most fulfilling and rewarding way to relate to others. But how often does it happen when in confrontational settings?

Have you ever made a choice you regretted, yet next time round you again made that same stupid choice?

Do you ever feel like your going round in circles when it comes to certain relationships or situations?

Have you ever wondered why you deny, fear, avoid or run from particular people, places or parts of yourself?

All of us have moments when we feel out of control. We react instead of respond. And the actions we take from these emotionally charged moments cause regret, resentment, grief and can make us feel like we’re going crazy.
 

Vijananamaya Kosha & Inner Drives

Kosha means sheath and Vijnanamaya means wisdom. Wisdom is something universal, known to all; consciously or unconsciously. This knowing is strengthened by repeated personal experiences in the presence of  our first teachers; carers and parents. An experience of wisdom as infants learned through relation, connection and bonds of trust.

There is also learned wisdom, which is part of this sheath. Therefore anything we learn and experience, repeatedly, when together with loved ones, intensely shapes what we believe to be a truth; our wisdom. A deep conviction is rooted in personal experience shared with those we identify with, associate with or trust.

These emotional reactions are patterns we were unconsciously trained in at a very early age. Habits we used to adapt to the circumstances we were born or brought up in. We’re also at our most impressionable from conception till the first 3 years. This is when anything that’s repeated over and over, and we cannot explore, express or communicate about consciously, becomes a certainty. And therefore forms our beliefs about ourselves, our loved ones, our environment, world and our lives and experiences in love.

These latent impressions become our drives. Drives are directed by our subscribed to beliefs, conscious or not. Our beliefs are shaped by those we are influenced by; those closest to us. These impressions in Sanskrit called Samskaras and in psychology inner drives.

Working with Vijnanamaya, Yoga Psychology

Yoga psychology is all about relationship. To self and other. Understanding and working with Vijnanamaya is the psychology of Yoga and Ayurveda.

Vijnanamaya kosha is the body of wisdom and perception. Experience and belief. It’s the part of us that’s intuitive, receptive, reactive, respond-able and responsible. Without integrating this understanding of living and experience, a yoga practice can help or hinder, empower or inhibit, even make or break our health and wellbeing.  

In Yoga therapy a huge part of creating a practice is understanding the wisdom sheath. Our inner drives, the root cause of many imbalances. Understanding our inner drives and deepest fears gives us a big clue to how we can undo the knots of past impressions. Because we want to move into fulfilling, rewarding and delicious relationships. No one wants to go around in circles accusing, arguing, coping, walking away, blaming, shaming etc.

We all need, desire and deserve healthy, deliberate, conscious and compassionate relationships and connection to self and others.

Understanding our Inner Drives 

Understanding how our wisdom body influences our perception, emotions, choices, reactions, and eventual actions, allows us to make new choices. To flow more naturally through our relationships, and experience our interconnectedness.

It allows us to be more accepting of self and others. It’s the first doorway self love, self compassion and self care. Because we can love ourselves as imperfectly perfect, we open the windows for others to also be perfectly imperfect too. This spaciousness makes way for a sense of responsibility to do our part and also to set up boundaries, that allow others to do their part in the play of life. Problems and differences are no longer personal.[1] Just two people seeing and experiencing in their unique ways.

We can accept conflict and confront people. We separate issues from people.[2]
When we honour our sense of self, our identity and integrity, we respond to situations instead of reacting.

Identity, a Template 

The bottom line of why we react instead of respond is our sense of identity. Identity drives actions. As new-born’s we identify wholeheartedly with our caregiver. Whatever the repeated reaction, physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically, sets the example for us to do the same.

We only differentiate as far as we feel safe enough to still be accepted as part of the family /tribe. These early adaptive patterns ensure survival. But if we never psychologically or emotionally leave home and find our own identity, they become our basic default drives throughout our lives.

Our beliefs are based on the repeated behaviour of the family/tribe/group/culture/society with which we identify. The behaviours, like latent impressions, create templates of beliefs of how we should act and react. These beliefs become filters for what comes in and out of our wisdom body. The filters, Samskaras, informs our perceptions. Our perceptions in turn influence our experiences, emotions and reactions.

In this way, identity drives our choices and actions, again and again. We’ve lost the ability to respond or see clearly without filters and distortions of past experiences. And seeing we’re a social species, one of the most powerful influences are our family, friends, teachers, and mentors. Whatever we immerse ourselves in, we’re influenced by. The degree of influence depends on time;  how much we spend with them, how much we’ve invested into that belief and way of life. Not whether we like what they feel, think, say or do. Identity drives action.

Changing Tides, Responding Instead of Reacting

We can use this to our advantage too. When we identify with inspirational people, we flow like a stream toward that way of living and looking at the world. Because their life, actions, words and thoughts embody and exemplify what we aspire toward. We’re guided by their beliefs, perception and choices.

We identify with whomever we hang out with. And the five people most in your daily life influence you most. So just hang out with people you want to be like. If you can’t hang out with them, read books, articles, watch interviews, documentaries of how inspirational people live, laugh, share, care, create and integrate their wisdom into everyday living.

Our perception, beliefs and intelligence; becomes our wisdom. This template of latent impressions all inform our choices, reactions and inner drives

Guided by the healthy people we surround ourselves with, choosing which books we read, films we watch, activities we take part in or the music we’re immersed in a self we want to be with. This is exactly how we influence our psyche and set ourselves up for success when it comes to relating and connecting. 

Our wisdom body is the psyche that knows our interconnection. We see ourselves in the heroines and heroes of stories. Identify with archetypes. That’s why it’s vital who our leaders are. We see unconscious and subconscious patterns playing out in each one of us.

Bringing these patterns to light of consciousness through meditation, mindfulness, concentration and journaling. Reflectinng on inspiring stories and uplifting films is exactly how we empower our wisdom body. Once the patterns are conscious we see and understand what’s going on underneath our inner drives. We dive underneath the play of details into the immense incredible fabric of consciousness, and connect to our identity with bigger self, universe, cosmic, higher, divine, whatever You want to call it.

We can identify with the heroine and hero, the Goddesses and Gods, because even they make mistake and have their fair share of flaws. 

Issues, imperfections and mistakes are the bounty of playful living, they make us laugh, let us relax and see the silliness of our seriousness. They give us room to BE.

Love to the fuller, bigger and wiser You, the self that dares to step onto the Heroines’ journey.
Love the You you are now, perfectly imperfect, finding your beauty and power as you go.

Much Love,

Shira. 

[1] Melody Beattie – Beyond Codependency
[2] Ibid.

TRANSFORM EMOTIONS AND SHADOWS

TRANSFORM EMOTIONS AND SHADOWS

Bottoms up, Top-down & Heart Centred

Practicing Yoga mindfully based on Ayurveda, it’s no longer prescriptive but a process. Bottom up, using the body to regulate energy, moods and nerves. Top down, add psychology and it’s a process of rediscovering deeper layers of wellbeing in self and relationships, uses clarity to bring homeostasis. Heart Centred uses emotional empowerment, works with our feelings, passion and deepest desires.

For decades I believed Yoga alone was the Panacea for all healing. As a teacher and therapist, sure students didn’t need to go outside the realm of Vedic studies for healing and transformation. Until I hit rock bottom. That spurred me on to study all I could on psychology, Ayurveda, neuroscience and anything related to emotions. Top-down. Heart centred. Bottoms up. You name it.


For our Yoga practice to really support our healing process, transformation and growth in our lives, we need all.
Instead of reacting and acting upon subconscious fears and feelings, yoga with a willingness to face our weaknesses, creates space to see and release underlying triggers. Subconscious triggers.


The subconscious is the pathway through which our conscious and unconscious mind communicate. The limited mind with limitless knowing, or pure potential as Deepak Chopra calls it. Limitless potential is frightening because we have no idea what it is, where we’ll be when there, how we’ll be challenged moving into a bigger arena of self or where it’ll take us. Because it’s new and unknown, we can’t compare it to any previous experience.


But there are pathways that we can slowly open up to the limitless potential of mind without being overwhelmed.

Consciousness Pathways, Our Potential and Our Shadows 

Our subconscious reveals parts of our unconscious and limitless mind, or limited and maladaptive aspects of mind, which need to be faced, embraced and replaced. This makes space for our potential to grow, thrive and feel alive. 


Without seeing our weaknesses and imperfections, we’ll never change for the better. We’re only Bhogi Yogis. Spiritual bypassers, seeking pleasure and sidestepping any real transformation. And there are way too many Yoginis and Yogis that skip this vital part of practice. To think or believe we’ve done the work is the ingenious play of ego. We’re here because we are the work in progress. And progress happens by practicing not only what we love and what we loathe.


Meditation creates more space in the subconscious(SC) realm. It allows the SC to flow into the conscious mind, expanding our conscious mind into this SC realm and becoming conscious. This frees up space in the SC for the unconscious(UC) to flow into. And that let’s more of our potential and limitless mind to flow into our subconscious. And so on and so forth.
This is expanding consciousness. Living from limitless self means we have pure potential to create and become all that lays dormant within us.


And in the clearing, not only amazing parts of ourselves come to the fore, our shadows also arise. Dormant are also those suppressed aspects of self. All we’ve learned to reject, suppress and neglect. All we’ve forgotten and felt shame, guilt or fear about never rise to the surface of our consciousness to be seen, felt and heard, grows in intensity from the resisitance. 


These shadows are projected becoming power plays and dominator dynamics. Whether physical, mental, emotional, psychological or sexual. Just look at Osho, Deshen Thurman, Bikram, John Friend, Swami Rama, Swami Muktanananda, Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar, Kausthub Desikachar, Satyananda Saraswati, Nirjanjanananda and so many other ‘Gurus’. Their repressed physical, emotional, psychological and sexual shadows later defined their character as authorities. 


To free ourselves fully is to become ourselves fully. Preventing another’s domination means understanding our projections. Stepping into our power is seeing all we project; the glorious, the bad and the ugly. Not just on those we dislike, but even more on those we adore, idolise and look up to. It’s our responsibility to acknowledge, accept and even embrace our failings, shortcomings and progressive, not perfect, actionsLetting this out into the light of consciousness frees us as well as it. Then we humbly and humanly step into ourBeauty & Power. 


Through meditative Yoga practice we not only see the thoughts and feel the emotions underlying our habits, beliefs and perceptions, we actually move through them. We use our embodied experience and release and energy trapped in the body/mind complex in a conscious manner. The issues in our tissues, or the condensation of mental energy solidified is moved through. One way to free our shadows.
There’s only one way out, and that’s through.

Dreams and Feelings

Dreams are one pathway of the SubConscious. 
Dreams allows us to better understand our SC and therefore become more conscious of what we belief, fear, and feel. Dreams are a powerful channel of SC unfolding, if we learn to read their symbols and listen to the dynamics. If we see each personality as different aspects of ourselves, we can decipher the language of dreams and our SC. But some of us aren’t aware of our dreams or their symbolism.


Emotions are another pathway of the subconscious. And we are definitely aware of them.
But can we read them? Are we emotionally literate?
Remember emotions are energy in motion. They’re transient and have no substance, but that doesn’t mean they’re not powerful. They’re very powerful! Underneath each emotion lives our body-mind intelligence. This is the divine communicating with us.


We can actually empower ourselves emotionally. The desire to live fully and express our experiences of being and self, without limitation, is the essence of the life itself. Shakti. And it’s inherent in all of us. Supress this long enough and imbalance in our free flow of energy becomes dis-ease.
We reclaim the power within emotions, by learning their language and speaking our truth. Living from the heart, the desire to live fully will awaken in us again.

Test Your Emotional Intelligence and Language

We often lack the freedom to express emotions because we fear of being rejected, disliked, stand out from the crowd or facing the truth of our lack of… fill in the blank.
How many emotions do you think we have? And can you communicate them to others in the spur of the moment? And what’s your initial reaction towards difficult emotions? 
How many emotions can you think of right now?
Give yourself 90 seconds and write down as many as you can.
Count them.


Now place a N next to all the negative ones and a P next to the positive emotions.
Now look at which ones you call ‘negative’ and ‘positive’.
Why do we do that? Why do we assign N or P to any of them?
Our past experiences and perceptions, influenced by our caregivers’ reactions makes us relate so distinctly.

But we can do it different

According to Dr. Alan Watkins we have a vast universe of emotions. Imagine allowing yourself the freedom to experiencing a limitless range of emotions. See yourself living out immense possibilities of all the visceral sensations that intuite and invite us to live better and wiser lives. Messages from our beautifully wise, nurturing and loving bodies, through a nervous system thats always connected to the mind, and leads us back to our limitless self.


The mind-body pathways are always ready to change, adapt and improve.


We can feel anxiety in a positive sense. Feel nervousness, as a fluttering exhilaration for the new, a youthful excitement and anticipation to explore and be the adventurer once again. It gives us extra energy and alertness to raise our ability and engage our intelligence and consciousness in a more creative and curious way.


Feeling anger doesn’t ‘make us angry’. Anger is a powerful, dynamic and concentrated movement of energy. If we feel it in our spacious awareness moving through our body-mind, we can channel it into a new project. A plan or activity that creates change in relation to that which made us feel anger.
And so we can explore the universe of emotion and learn to move with it.

Transform Emotion into Motivation

By reclaiming the full scope of emotional experience through emotional literacy, we access the power within emotions. It’s here to tell us something is happening and the universe is only waiting for our response. Allowing ourselves unlimited expression to experience our feelings, without fear, allows energy to move through us, rather than happening to us.
Find that joy and immensity of pleasure to pass through us by embracing what you feel. Moving with emotions and letting the intelligence of the divine in our body speak to us, will motivate us to change for the better.

SO step into your power, feel and see the subconscious speak to you through its pathways as wisdom moving with life-energy, or Praana.
Let your universe of emotions expand and your shadows dissipate. Let Shakti free the issues in our tissues. Begin to have a deeper conversation with your feelings.

1. Write down two emotions you have a hard time with and how can you see them and experience them in a new light so the motivate you. Move You in the right direction 😉 
2. Write down two emotions you love to experience and do something this week to make sure that feeling wakes up in you again.


Namaste, love and move with meditative awareness of your energy’s movement,

Shira.

EMOTIONALLY EMPOWERED BY SEEING YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

EMOTIONALLY EMPOWERED BY SEEING YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

We can empower ourselves emotionally and live fuller lives. These two simple steps will help you overcome fears and understand your limiting beliefs. Giving you more control, calm and resilience. 

Last weeks blog about was about how feelings and thoughts can’t be divorced. And how our vagal nerve allows us to enhance our relaxation response with a smooth, slow and rhythmic practice, of breath and movement. Helping us switch from active to responsive. Using the body to calm the nervous system and mind.
Yet sometimes, even though we do relaxing activities, our body is still tense and our mind restless. “Where on earth has peace and calm wandered this time?” I find myself wondering.


We all know we have the power in our hands to create health in body and mind. Especially when we educate ourselves and apply that knowledge. But even then, sometimes it’s really hard to switch from active to calm, and somehow, we jump to reactive.Trivial events trigger us. And it feels violent when we have a ‘Creating world harmony’ ideal.
Even after practicing mindfulness and yoga for over 29 years, it’s still a work in progress.
Why?  

Obviously, emotions.

Emotions, those wonderful messengers between body and mind. Energy in motion. They’re transient. They have no substance, but they’re very powerful forces!
There is an inherent intelligence behind each emotion. A message between our inner experience and the outer stimulus. Underneath each emotion lies our body-mind intelligence communicating with us in waves of change. And the way we experience and express that e-motion, depends on many things.
Often our inner experience is strongly influenced by past memories, thoughts and perceptions associated with the outer event.

The crashing of fear

And the strongest wave is that of fear. Because our brain was intensely wired to fear for more than 2 million years, ensuring our survival, we have a fear bias. Fear triggers us to react and fast.
Using the vagal nerve is called a bottom up approach.
This week it’s a top down approach. Using the mind to understand our fear and calm the mind, nerves and soma. Both bottom up and top down complement and enhance each other. To move us away from fear we need to use all tools in our toolbox.

Somatic practice and psychology is a beautiful marriage  

1. Create Mental Space to See Triggers
Using the body, breath and mind to create mental space we can start to see triggers earlier.
The reflective moments we create through yoga and meditative practice, especially breath centred, calms the nerves and creates more mental space. Chittakasha is expanded.
Because there’s more space in our minds, we take distance from our fears. Emotions are like waves, the come crashing on the shore of our consciousness from the unconscious. Spacious mind sees the waves of fear coming from afar.
This spaciousness let’s us see what undercurrent thoughts triggered the emotion. Emotions don’t happen to us, but move through us to change. A better change, a positive change. Opportunities to improve next time round. And there’s always a next time. (Remember nothing is perfect, especially the first time, we have many opportunities to try again.)

2. Find the underlying thought 
As we see the wave of emotion coming earlier the underlying thought also becomes clear. Underneath any reaction surges a fear. And behind every fear lies a good intention. Every negative habit has a positive intent. To protect us. Find that positive intent. Hear the fear behind it. Most reactions stem from one of 5 fears.
Martina Sheehan and Susan Pearse in Wired for Lifespeak of 5 fundamental fears:
1 Fear of rejection or standing out
2 Fear of losing out or scarcity mentality
3 Fear of losing control
4 Fear of failure or not good enough
5 Fear of facing the truth or being responsible
Socially, we need acceptance of our ‘tribe’, to survive. This desire to fit in is deeply ingrained and stems from our brain, the limbic system, the oldest part of our brain. All emotional triggers, especially fear, ensure we please our tribe. That may be our society, family, peers, colleagues or friends.
So find the fear. Hear the story you keep telling yourself subconsciously.

And then take action, move with emotion

Let that energy move through you not to you. 

1 Fear of standing out – Find our voice. Diversity is beauty. Only you define yourself, not the opinion of others.  
2 Fear of losing out – See the abundance. Know whatever you have to offer, there are people out their who need your gift. Think win/win, not win/lose. When others succeed see it as prove that you can too.
3 Fear of losing control – Let go. Accept things as they are. Uncertainty holds opportunity. 
4 Fear of failure – Take the chance, the challenge and grow. Progress not perfection is key to moving forward.
5 Fear of facing the truth – Take responsibility. Own your life, thoughts, feelings, actions and situation. Then take the steps to create the life You want to live.

So, hear the story you keep telling yourself, and find the underlying push your subconscious is trying to give you to move you toward a greater self. A less limited self. And if you dare to be really brave, a limitless self in a world with certain limits.
Namaste dear friend, so much love to You, Be that brave One,

Shira.

 Next time reaction happens ask which of the fears is asking You to change and move forward.

 What limiting belief or fear holds You back?