Learning to Be Human Again

From Original Wisdom: Stories of An Ancient Way of Knowing, by Robert Wolff

“Do not talk,” Ahmeed said — I knew he meant “Do not think.” “Water inside heart,” he said next, with a gesture of his hand on his heart. I knew he meant I should sense inside — not with my mind but from the inside.
It is sad to have to use so many words to say something so simple.
As soon as I stopped thinking, planning, deciding, analyzing — using my mind, in short — I felt as if I was pushed in a certain direction. I walked a few steps and immediately saw a big leaf with perhaps half a cup of water in it.
I must have stood there for a full minute, in awe. Not in awe of anything in particular, simply in awe.
When I leaned over to drink from the leaf, I saw water with feathery ripples, I saw the veins of the leaf through the water, some bubbles, a little piece of dirt. Reaching out, I put a finger in the water, then saw that one of the wriggling mosquito larvae had been trapped in a tiny bubble on my finger. How beautiful, how perfect. I did not put the finger with the water droplet in my mouth, but looked back at the leaf.
My perception opened further. I no longer saw water — what I felt with my whole being was a leaf-with-water-in-it, attached to a plant that grew in soil surrounded by uncounted other plants, all parts of the same blanket of living things covering the soil, which was also part of a larger living skin around the earth. And nothing was separate; all was one, the same thing: water – leaf – plant – trees – soil – animals – earth – air – sunlight and little wisps of wind. The all-ness was everywhere, and I was part of it.
I cannot explain what went on inside me, but I knew that I had learned something unbelievably wonderful. I felt more alive than I had ever felt before.
All of me was filled with being.

What this other sense is, I do not know. For me it is very real. I think of it as a sense of knowing. It probably is a quality we all have to a greater or lesser degree. For me it works when I can get out of my mind, when I can experience without having to understand, or name, or position, or judge, or categorize.
It is a quality that has to be used or it fades away; just as one has to exercise muscles, so too knowing must be exercised.
I am saying this after the fact, trying to describe something that does not fit into our Western concepts, and therefore there are no words. At the time I did not think anything. I was learning how to put my mind aside and use some other sense to know.
Standing over a leaf with a little water in it, somewhere in the jungles of Malaysia, I did not think in words. I did not think. I bathed in that overwhelming sense of oneness. I felt as if a light was lit deep inside me. I knew I was radiating something — love, perhaps — for this incredible world, this rich, varied, and totally interconnected world of creations that, at the same time, gave love to me. And with the love, I also felt a very deep sense of belonging.

After a while, I slowly woke up. I came to, so to speak, and was in my body again. I looked around. Ahmeed was not where I thought he was. In fact, he was not anywhere in sight. He must have walked on, I thought.
As soon as I thought, I panicked. I realized that I was alone, that Ahmeed had left me in a strange place. I had no idea where I was, or how to get back to Three or to find Ahmeed. My first reaction was to shout, to yell, to call him. But the sense of being part of this wonderful whole was so strong that I could not raise my voice. I opened my mouth and tried to make a sound, but no sound would pass my throat. I could not possibly disturb this oneness by yelling, by feeling panicked. I could not be afraid — after all, I was part of this all-ness.

My life changed in that moment.

 

(Original Wisdom: Stories of An Ancient Way of Knowing, by Robert Wolff)

Cherokee Harmony

The path of holistic harmony is virtually the same as the ancient wisdom of the aboriginal, indigenous, and native Peoples. Their knowledge is sacred and to be revered, not commercialized or turned into a social media meme. It is the higher wisdom that all seekers seek, but it protects itself behind a locked door. The key is silence and reverence, patience, and connection to your spirit. The words we use to verbalize and convey their sentiments automatically degrade the truth which they carry… these sentiments are meant to be experienced, not just read, so they can be known to each individual as their living truth.

Many people ask, “What now? What do I do? How do we go about raising kids in this degraded society?”

The following excerpt is to help answer that question.

From “Medicine of the Cherokee: The Way of Right Relationship,” by J.T. Garrett and Michael Garrett:

The Medicine Way is based on an unwritten “code of ethics” that honors the natural laws of Creation to guide our way of life toward harmony and balance with all our relations – personal, social, and environmental. The “Way of the Circle” is passed down from generation to generation, from Native American Elders to the children in the form of stories, traditions, customs and teachings. What follows is a general collection of these teachings, which can be embraced by anyone seeking the way of harmony and balance:

1.When you first arise in the morning, give thanks to the Creator (Great Spirit), to the Four Directions, to Mother Earth, the Father Sky, and to all of our relations, for the life within you, and for all life around you.
2.Remember that all things are connected. -All things have purpose, everything has its place. -Honor others by treating them with kindness and consideration; always assume that a guest is tired, cold and hungry, making sure to provide him or her with the best of what you have to offer.
3.If you have more than you need for yourself and your family, consider performing a “giveaway” by distributing your possessions to others who are in need.
4.You are bound by your words, which cannot be broken except by permission of the other party.
5.Seek harmony and balance in all things. -It is always important to remember where you are in relation to everything else, and to contribute to the Circle in whatever way you can by being a “helper” and a protector of life. -Sharing is the best part of receiving. -Practice silence and patience in all things as a reflection of self-control, endurance, dignity, reverence, and inner calm. -Practice modesty in all things; avoid boasting and loud behavior that attracts attention to yourself. -Know the things that contribute to your well-being, and those things that lead to your destruction.
6.Always ask permission, and give something for everything that is received, including giving thanks for, and honoring, all living things.
7.Be aware of what is around you, what is inside of you, and always show respect. -Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest Elder with respect. -Do not stare at others; drop your eyes as a sign of respect, especially in the presence of Elders, teachers or other honored persons. – Always give a sign of greeting when passing a friend or stranger. -Never criticize or talk about someone in a harmful, negative way. -Never touch something that belongs to someone else without permission. -Respect the privacy of every person, making sure to never intrude upon someone’s quiet moments or personal space. -Never interfere in the affairs of another by asking questions or offering advice. -Never interrupt others. -In another person’s home, follow his or her customs rather than your own. -Treat with respect all things held sacred to others whether you understand these things or not. -Treat Earth s your mother; give to her, protect her, honor her, show deep respect for those in the animal world, plant world, and mineral world.
8.Listen to guidance offered by all of your surroundings, expect this guidance to come in the form of prayer, dreams, quiet solitude, and in the words and deeds of the wise Elders and friends.
9.Listen with your heart.
10.Learn from your experiences, and always be open to new ones.
11.Always remember that a sole is something sacred, to be shared.
12.Live each day as it comes.

How to Stop A Panic Attack and Release Anxiety

Remember what you already know: All is Mind. All is Mental.

To address a condition like panic attacks or chronic anxiety, we must mentally reign in the runaway mind that has bought into fear and/or false belief systems. First, let’s get centered by taking in some big breaths – inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Relax the jaw. Relax the hands.

Remember that all is mind, as you breathe in deeply, slow and steady. Your experience in this moment depends on how you look at the world around you, how you choose to perceive it. Are you driving your thoughts, or is your anxiety?

Be present in this moment, and be with your breath. Take the mental wheel, and say to yourself, “I am safe. I am calm. There is no danger. I am at peace now.”

As you inhale, feel the new, calm energy entering your lungs, and infusing the cells of your body with a gentle, soft lightness. Exhale out all the tension, blowing all the way out, and then inhale again deeply, and slowly. Know that you are breathing in the natural life-force energy that soothes the body and allows you to reset, emotionally and mentally. As you breathe deeply, you are slowing down your heart rate and supplying fresh oxygen to your brain. You are providing a balanced environment for your mind, body and soul to harmonically support one another. Imagine only pure divine loving energy in your body space.

As you continue to slowly inhale and exhale, release all lingering tension in your body.

Allow your mind to get quiet, and still. Turn off any music or tv, if you can. If your mind keeps telling a story about how terrible this day is going, or anything negative, take charge and start re-writing that internal script. It is your life after all! Do you want to feel calm and steady, with clarity and emotional balance? If yes, choose to actively seek that experience. Choose in this moment to think a positive thought – this is your chance to start transforming a panic attack into an empowering lesson, and start re-training the brain to wire itself according to thoughts of hope, serenity, compassion and confidence. You can do it, but you must choose to do so.

Positive thoughts can be as simple as noticing the beauty of a bird in flight, being grateful for a kind person in your life, or mentally going through a wonderfully intricate visualization. Use your imagination to make this your own happy place. There is no right way. The goal of it all is to calm the mind and uplift the spirit, and the absolute quickest way is to tap into our natural resources, which are always with us and always free. When you proceed with the breathing exercise and steer the mind to a quiet place, the panic has no place to exist, and the anxiety evaporates. Both are products of the mind, same as the peace that you feel as you meditate. Steer the mind and you steer the perception of your experience. Choose your experience!

 

WHEN PANIC ATTACKS ARE CHRONIC/SEVERE/DEBILITATING

Speaking from experience, panic attacks can be a mild, temporary condition that disappears for years at a time, or it can just as easily become a (seemingly) permanent figure in life that worsens rapidly and ultimately causes an otherwise healthy person to feel trapped at home and become unable to go out in public without triggering a panic attack. When panic attacks are part of a pattern of repeated triggers and the solution has not yet been found, the internal talk that occurs before, during and after the panic attack is all collectively contributing to a false belief about one’s self. Chronic panic and anxiety, agoraphobia and other similar conditions that disrupt everyday life are best approached with honesty and a search for the root cause of the distress. It is vital that we determine the cause of the discordance, not just learn to avoid a bunch of triggers. Triggers are actually TEACHERS. Are you ready for your lesson? Of course you are, love.

For many people, myself included, being forced to operate outside the authentic self can be a trigger. It is possible to live from behind a mask that gets slowly built over time, and before we realize what we’ve done, our ego has been driving the whole show with little concern for our true wellness, and we start to get sick. We sense a discordance in our body, a feeling that something is off. We are nervous, or more irritable. We are scared, usually, of something that may be illogical, and we simply don’t know how to not feel the fear. It is as though it has been programmed into our mind. There is a correlation worth mentioning here, since I have observed it both in my own healing as well as later reading many accounts of others awakening to this empowering truth – Authenticity is a key to sovereignty, meaning control, over one’s mind, body and emotions. When we are authentic, we are liberated from the mask that the ego-driven life often materializes. When we live authentically we can speak our truth, we can know ourselves, we can trust ourselves. When we understand that All is Mental, we can appreciate what a tremendous gift it is that we are in charge of the mind, and that we can clean things up any moment we are ready and willing to make space for better things.

Triggers are teachers in that they reveal to you quite clearly that something is wrong. Unfortunately many people are too busy and distracted to be in touch with their personal voice of intuition, and they are culturally accustomed to externalizing their power in order to determine the value of things, including themselves. Humans aren’t meant to live every day in a mode of stress, we aren’t meant to feel like we’re in constant competition, we are made to embody relaxation and beauty and confidence, to connect with nature, to show compassion and forgiveness, to be kind and to teach others by our example, not by our judgment or condemnation. Can some slow, deep breaths snap you out of your moment of panic and reset things enough to get you through the day? Sure, and for a time, this is fine. Do face and learn from your experience, because many times a trigger is revealing a deeper imbalance that wants our attention.

We transcend what we face, and that is a beautiful thing.

Peace and blessings to you, sweet soul.  -CC

5 Keys to Starting a Harmonious Day

Thoughts have power!

#1 Waking Thoughts – Have you ever observed what your first thoughts are in the morning? You may find that those initial waking thoughts sound a lot like a to-do list, or maybe they contain a daily rundown of some of the moments you’re dreading that day. Becoming a more conscious driver of your thoughts is the first key to starting a truly harmonious day. Thoughts have power! Each thought is its own little energetic entity, with it’s own vibrational frequency, and every thought affects you, especially those you dwell on. Put your conscious mind on the right track by shifting your waking focus to a positive observation, something you are grateful for; it can be as simple as the sunlight or the softness of your pillow. Try it the next time you wake up – in the first few seconds (or minutes) while you are still in the bed, take your mental focus to something positive and uplifting, perhaps something you are grateful for, and acknowledge it with a mental statement, such as “This is a beautiful day,” or, “I am grateful for my soft pillow.”

#2 Mind-Body Connection – Yoga is an easy way to connect with the breath, soften up any stiffness in the body, and feel balanced and energized. Begin by standing in mountain pose with the hands at the heart. Inhale deeply through the nose, counting up to 8 to 10, holding it for a count of 3, then exhaling everything out for a count of 8 to 10. Do this 3 times. Next, take in a deep, deep inhale and on the exhale vocalize the Ohm sound, letting it resonate throughout the body as the exhale completes. If you are already familiar with yoga, proceed with a sun salutation series, choosing pose variations according to what feels best to you, staying in tune with your breath. If you are new to yoga or prefer a less physical exercise, after the three breath cycles, come to a seated position on the floor with your legs crossed and proceed to number 3…

#3 Intentions and Affirmations – If you haven’t already established for yourself what you most want to get out of this human existence, now is the perfect time to look within and ask. What do I want to be, do or have? What challenges am I facing? Create a list of 5-10 intentions that are direct from the heart and aligned with your authentic self. Statements like “I embody the energy of compassion and acceptance” and “I am balance” send the message to your mind, your body, and your environment that you are driving this experience, and not the ego. Have your written list of intentions within reach of your morning yoga area. Read each one aloud, giving them the calm energy of that conscious, connected state of being. Complete your exhale after saying each intention, and take a new breath before saying the next one.

#4 Water & Lemon – Fill a tall glass with filtered water and two slices of fresh, organic lemon. Switch it up by using sliced lime instead, or by adding a thumb-sized piece of peeled ginger. Drinking water infused with lemon aids in maintaining a healthy alkaline level in the digestive system. Try to get in several glasses of water every day for overall healthy functionality. Avoid unfiltered tap water, and do minimize bottled water consumption. If you don’t already have one, a counter-top tap water filter might be your next favorite thing.

#5 Attitude of Self-Care – Why do we fill our cup first? So that we may overflow onto others. Embrace an attitude of self-care that includes shifting any negative self focus into a perspective of acceptance. Be present with yourself every day, right from the moment you wake up. This is your chance to set the tone and the direction for your experience. Work with what is available to you, and be a witness to your good choices. Put down the electronic device and put on some music that soothes the soul, like the healing sounds of Steven Halpern or Ben Leinbach. Listen to your heart and your body, and show it that you accept it and appreciate how amazing it is. Nourish your body with smart, compassionate eating. Reach for the raw, organic produce and the cold-pressed juices. Shun the sodas, processed foods, and artificial sweeteners. Let go of what isn’t serving you and make the conscious choice to live in harmony with your Higher Self. It’s talking… are you listening?

Have a beautiful, harmonious day!

-CC