Saturday, September 26, 2015

Your neural network, 2.0

Many of you are familiar with the various strategies you engage to take yourself out of feelings you do not want to feel. And with the dissociative pathways put in place to get away from the underlying vulnerability that is lurking underneath the display, longing to be met and allowed back into the vastness of what you are.

Overeating, mindless shopping, surfing the internet, sinking into a marathon weekend of Homeland, multiple shots of tequila, complaining about your life, writing another rambling Facebook post – you have discovered how you can even use your relationship with spirituality as a way to distance yourself from your experience, rather than move closer toward it.

No judgment, no shame, no blame, no apology – just curiosity. One moment of self-care. Just see. One moment of clear seeing. One moment of kindness. Just ask: what feeling state am I trying to get out of… now. And slowly invite it back, even for just one moment. Commit to practicing intimacy and non-abandonment with the unwanted within you.

But the most effective strategy of avoidance, one that we've all mastered, is the removal of awareness from our bodies, our feelings, and our emotions, and shifting it into the field of thinking. There is no easier, less expensive, less time consuming means of dissociation than the fascination with the storyline of ‘me.’ The greatest story ever told, staring ‘me,’ involving the most vivid cast of characters and how they are spinning… around ‘me.’

We become masters at thinking 'about' our experience, rather than actually 'having' it. In seconds, we can abandon what is alive in the here and now and immerse ourselves in our conditioned histories – falling into the grooves of our archaic narratives, dramas of unlovability, compelling stories of flaw and failure, and trances of victimhood, shame, and blame. All to remove us as quickly as possible from the sensitive, groundless, unresolvable mandala of vulnerability in all its forms.

These strategies were likely critical as young children in our families of origin, to keep intact as best we could the often precarious ties with our caregivers, and to ensure our psychic and emotional survival. They were intelligent at the time, and quite creative. They are not ‘bad,’ ‘neurotic,’ ‘insane,’ ‘pathological,’ or ‘unspiritual.’ They are just a bit out of date given your current capacities. They just need an upgrade. Your neural network, 2.0.

For just a few seconds, make the commitment to stay close to your vulnerability as it surges when you are triggered, when you are hooked, and when the uninvited guests arrive. Infuse your presence into the core of this material and surround it with warmth, with kindness, and with space. Dare to see that your immediate experience need not be understood, transformed, shifted, or ‘healed.’ It will liberate on its own as you mingle clear, loving awareness inside it.

As you return into your tender, naked vulnerability - slowly, with kindness, and with space as your guide – the somatic tangles and psychic knots will begin to unwind. Your raw heart, your miracle brain, and your sensitive nervous system will come online and be updated with new pathways of love. And from these new pathways you will more creatively and more skillfully be able to help beings everywhere, to discover the majesty that they are.