The Science of Change

Speaking of change: Welcome SPRING!   With the winter that we and many others in similar northerly locations have endured, a change to warmer weather is deeply appreciated.

So I can applaud CHANGE right now, and I imagine that this exuberant change-anticipation is what caught my eye in Dr. Joe’s scienceofchangelogolatest post where near the end he mentioned “the science of change.”

Really?  There is such a thing?

I know he was pushing a new webinar on changing how you think, which likewise affects the body’s ability to heal and replenish itself; and his focus was to help people shift their thinking to create more positive outcomes in their lives.  I know this, and of course, yes, he does make money doing these things. It isn’t all altruistic. And I’m not pushing it, but if you are interested here’s the link: ( Dr. Joe: “We are doing a webinar on March 22nd to share the science of change and how you can implement this formula into your professional career. To sign up for this webinar click here: http://www.drjoedispenzawebinar.com/two-step-order ”) 

BUT… also in the post he was emphasizing the stand-alone importance of change itself. CHANGE simply means a disruption in status quo—a difference in sameness—a divergence from a habitual path—a sampling of newness—a variance in monotony—a more expansive way of seeing, etc..  For the most part he was saying that if you want to change your life for the better, you have to willingly break old habits to do that.

However, the word ‘change’ actually means ‘no longer the same.’

And the most potent reason for change is our unhappiness with the current situation or pleasure pain barometer of change.jpgcondition. It goes back to that ingrained pleasure/pain barometer that rules our lives. If some action feels ‘good’ you keep doing it, and when it doesn’t feel ‘good,’ you are more likely to change what you are doing trying to get back to that ‘GOOD’ feeling again.

That ‘GOOD’ feeling can be called homeostasis—the body’s state of equilibrium—the harmonic balance in body chemicals and body function where the muscles relax, or it’s the emotional calmness of being not too high or not too low—that ‘Goldilocks sentiment’ of it feels ‘just right.’  It’s not exactly a bliss-state but it’s not like a light depression either. It is more like feeling mildly calm and pleasant, but not excited or giddy.

pleasurepainquotewater.jpgHomeostasis is basically just feeling a degree of satisfaction with the current condition as it is, because if you enjoy your life as it presently is, you are less enthused to change any aspect of it.  The ‘need for CHANGE’ decree that pounds away in our temples and often prevents our sleeping comes when we are unhappy about some aspect of ourselves or our lives.

So to say there is a “science of change” is to imply that these human motivations and behaviors have been seriously studied and there is documentation existing on that subject.  Being curious, I checked, and the National Institutes of Health does indeed have a behavioral psychology approach to this “science” called the Science of Behavioral Change:  (https://commonfund.nih.gov/behaviorchange/)

“The Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) program seeks to promote basic research on the initiation, personalization and maintenance of behavior change. By integrating work across disciplines, this effort will lead to an improved understanding of the underlying principles of behavior change. The SOBC Program aims to implement a mechanisms-focused, experimental medicine approach to behavior change research and to develop the ratdrawbehaviortools required to implement such an approach. The experimental medicine approach involves: identifying an intervention target, developing assays (measures) to permit verification of the target, engaging the target through experimentation or intervention, and testing the degree to which target engagement produces the desired behavior change.  “

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After reading that description, I do wonder if they are dealing with actual people or merely ‘things’ because they call the participants “targets.”   Now I bet Dr. Joe doesn’t call his workshop participants “targets.” That’s probably why he has such a large human following, and likely why most people hate going to psychologists.  But that’s my personal opinion, and I digress.

changecompass67In finally closing, I will say that CHANGE is simply an aspect of our lives. We deal with it daily. It isn’t something to fear or to dread. But it does require a shift in how we consider change as affecting our lives.

When you can look at change in your life with curiosity and wonder what this new day will present you to explore, then you can realize your true evolutionary potential for maximizing this life experience. It just requires a change in your perspective on how you view your life.

SEE with new eyes.  HEAR what you’ve not before heard.  TASTE the gamut of sweet, sour, bitter, and saltiness. FEEL with sensations so acute that a gentle breeze ripples across the expanse of your awareness.  And SMELL life in its fullest fragrance wherever you are.

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These are your tools of perception while you are alive. You can use them to change your life for the better if your present situation isn’t so pleasant.

But again, that is your choice. How you actually view CHANGE is up to you.

 

Change simply means ‘no longer the same.’   And really from day to day, who is?

 

 

The VICTIM or the WORLD

“So the question is fundamentally, do you define yourself as a victim of the world, or the world?”  – Alan Watts watts meaing oflife56.jpg

Here in this short video narrated by Alan Watts,  he asks “What does it mean to spiritually awaken?”

video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7blUYJm6i-c

“So then, here’s the drama. My metaphysics, let me be perfectly frank with you, are that there is the central Self, you could call it God you could call it anything you like. And it’s all of us. It’s playing all the parts of all beings whatsoever everywhere and anywhere. And it’s playing the game of hide and seek with itself. It gets lost, it gets involved in the farthest out adventures but in the end it always wakes up, and comes back to itself. And when you’re ready to wake up, you’re gonna wake up. And if you’re not ready, you’re gonna stay pretending that you’re poor little me.”   – Alan Watts

Alan Watts is always interesting to hear; and his take on enlightenment is more direct and sometimes more cutting than the often gentle approaches of Eckhart Tolle or Deepak Chopra.  But Watts is usually pretty clear and concise in his talks.

watts univers quote.jpgHe gets to the point quickly, but with more ‘attitude,’ I guess you could call it, than the others. (Some might call it an ‘entertainer’s ego’. Others might say he simply loved to poke fun at others who claimed to be “enlightened,” as well as poking fun at himself for his “polished spokesmanship” on the many subjects that he discussed.)

His online biography is interesting and quite colorful. He died in 1973 at the age of 58, but his influence lives on in all the YouTube videos that are broadly shared throughout social media. He has presently entered a resurgence of popularity for his sharp frankness and critique of religious institutions in general.

His second video listed here is called “How to Wake Up”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAQ4FuKlY9g

I personally find it helpful to sample all the flavors of enlightenment that others offer to us. Perhaps our own personalities respond best to one over the others.

To me as an energy worker, the feel of listening to Watts is not as peace-inducing as Tolle’s more soft and gentle approach.  Watts affect is more like stepping naked onto the shower floor and then turning on the water—where the first blast sprayed from the showerhead is cold and shocking before the warmer water rises through the pipes.

But in the 1960’s and 70’s—during the rise of the ‘Flower Children,’ he was the man to hear.

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“If Not Now, Then When?”

(Thanks to Tao & Zen on  May 25  for this posting from Lama Surya Das in 1994)

(I personally align to no particular religion, but am open to quality spiritual thought. I like Buddhism for its psychological depth and self-examination aspects. I like Hinduism for its ancient Vedic Seers (as well as more modern saints) who were capable of parting the veil obscuring our perceptions on this life. I like agnostics who claim that we can’t possibly know God based solely on our limited comprehensions. And I especially like the wisdom of our own Higher Self aspects that define our life experiences within the context that this human vehicle is capable of understanding.  To me, this article expresses all of those ‘likes’ by simply discussing Dharma—the way of awakening to one’s fullest potential.)

“Buddhist meditation is the heart of the path of awakening. It is called Dharma… the way of awakening to one’s fullest potential, in Western terms.buddhamedpic5.jpg

‘Awakening from what?’ you might ask. Awakening from the sleep of semiconsciousness, the dream of delusion. Awakening to enlightenment, illumination, freedom, nirvanic peace, inner peace as well as outer peace.

This is a path that we travel. It is not a dogma or belief system that we need to accept. In fact, as a very wonderful wise friend of mine, an American lama, once said, “It doesn’t really matter what we believe. It only matters what we do and are.”

I found that interesting. In Buddhism we usually say it doesn’t matter what we do, it matters how aware we are. It shows that the outer and inner are totally inseparable. It is what we are that counts, but that is what we do, actually. Our inner state shows up in our behavior…

If we practice this path, we experience the fruits, the results. Each of us innately has that Buddha potential or Buddha-nature, enlightened perfect nature.

Not just in us, like a needle in a haystack, so hard to find; rather, it is us, just waiting to be realized fully, or actualized. So this path of meditative practice, of self-inquiry, of cultivation of awareness is a practice path that we travel ourselves. Not a dogma we need to believe.

This meditative practice is like a mirror to help us see ourselves, to better know ourselves, thoroughly — our true selves, not just our superficial personalities and conditioned social selves, our persona, but our true nature, our true selves. To unfold and realize that is possible. That’s what we call awakening the Buddha within.

An ancient rabbi, Hillel I think, said, “If not you, then who? And if not now, when?” If you are not the Bodhisattva, a selfless spiritual activist or hero serving the welfare of beings, who will be?

And if not now, when? This is a call to action–not just worldly, compulsive busy-body-like activity, but a call to Buddha-activity, enlightened activity, enlightened living… ifnotnowwhen7.jpg

Not just living wisdom from the eyebrows up, totally cerebral and intellectual. Rather, embodying truth and living it.”

~ Lama Surya Das ~ Excerpts from “Dharma Talk,” October 24, 1994; Cambridge, MA.

 

At the End of the Day

“How it looks at the end of the day will be the determiner of how effective the changes were.  It’s the historical perspective that appropriately labels big changes.   History defines the major cultural movements and global shifts of consciousness, along with the pivotal decisions made during that time period.” (quoted as mckayquoteday.jpgsome nameless voice on some media device heard on this day)

I was thinking about this very thing this morning when I heard a speaker discussing the importance of our present time period and how we cannot even see that importance from our present mind-state because defining that importance will only be seen in the aftermath of the situation.  In other words, this day itself cannot be determined to be good or bad based on a single moment within the day, it is only “at the end of the day” that we can assess the day’s affect, for better or worse, on our lives.

And likewise it is only at the end of our life that we can decide how well we lived it. Potential means nothing if not realized. Potential means only “might have been,” and who wants to reach the end of life thinking like that?

I can look at my own “might have beens” and ponder the paths not taken, or the stumbles recouped from or the sudden obstacles that changed my direction completely. I can do my own set of “if onlys” if I wanted to—we all can. But we are where we are right now because of choices made at any past moment that seemed like the very best itiswhatitischoice made for our own wellbeing considering our mental, physical, and emotional stability at the time.  We did what we felt was the RIGHT THING to do whenever that was, for whatever reason we felt outweighed all the other reasons to chose a different direction whether made through avoidance of immediate or future punishment, or the promise of immediate or future rewards.

“Two roads diverged” in the present of our existence and in the multi-verse we took them both simultaneously, but in the present-life path that we know we are living, we took only one and are now logging the escapades of our perilous journey. It is from that single-path vantage point that we can now look back on our life with assessments and critiques.

We can ponder the road not taken but we can’t know exactly what would have happened during our trekking over all the unforeseen potholes and jagged rocks lining that “other” road. We can only speculate, and not particularly well given the uncertainty of our existence.

I can look at my own life and say, “I might have been this or that” or “I might have done this or that,” but at the end of the day—I didn’t.  “And that,” according to Frost, “has made all the difference”, or has it made no difference at all? Was it two separate roads simply converging on the same destination (death) or was it two different possible destinations complete with two different likely outcomes?endofdayquote.jpg

At the end of the day, only each of us can decide that for ourselves.

Creating a NEW Mythology for a New World

https://www.discover.hayhouse.com/inka-prophecies-of-end-of-time-movie/

villoldocredtialsJust saw Alberto Villoldo’s movie from Hay House on the Inca Prophecies, ….which I believe I’ve seen a version of it awhile back, so what I was hearing today was not new to me.

I’ve had shamanic training a decade ago, and am quite familiar with all of Villoldo’s books and teachings, etc., and felt that this subject matter and the message of the film was expected and appropriate for this time period in the history of our world and culture.

But to me the most important thing to take from this “End of Time” message is that it is now TIME to create a new Mythology to birth and support a NEW WORLD. The OLD world might be ending but the NEW world is only just beginning. That is the important thing on which to focus.

There albertoand shamans.jpgare many aspects of shamanic healing and shamanic theory that I think are useful and helpful to establishing proper context of life as we think that we know it: information on the energy body—the energy imprints in our fields—the choosing your personal destiny—the personal soul retrieval aspects and the removal of things not you from your body and energy field—the past-life residues still lingering—the ancestral curses and genetic predispositions toward certain human weaknesses or situations—the connection to spirit world and to the earth herself—the list could go on and on.

In fact, there are many benefits and ways of framing the world around us within the modern day shamanic world view, so to me, modern shamanism (theory and practice) is a beneficial paradigm to help contextualize our experiences.

The aspect of shamanism that I consider less helpful is an adherence to assessing the experiences we have within the original ancestral context that a particular culture prescribes. As we gain knowledge and wisdom we need to refine our beliefs of the “known,” the “unknown but knowable,” and the “unknowable”—which is beyond our present egyptian knoweldgecapabilities to grasp even minute aspects of what is occurring. These three categories of knowingness have expanded over the years.

If you doubt that humanity’s personal knowledge and beliefs have changed in 3000-6000 years, then take a modern physics class and see how far your everyday working knowledge helps you in comprehending the workings of the most sophisticated electron microscope in operation today or in understanding the functions and purpose of the Hadron Collider.

Or maybe you should write new code functions for your computer—sure, go computprogrammer.jpgahead—do it. Some folks can do this—they have that specific knowledge, but most can’t.  These are specialized knowledge bases with theories and practices that stretch our understanding of what composes the world around us and how we can interact with/utilize that knowledge to form NEW beliefs about who we are as a species and as an advancing culture. Those newer knowledge bases pave the way for our technological future.

To me, the important shamanic connections are those that realign us to who we truly are alexgrayimagebodyat our spirit core—the interconnected Universal energy units expressing themselves in many life forms. When we recognize and celebrate that interconnectedness—that loving, unifying energy—then we truly know ourselves in all our many life forms or spirit expression forms.

When we don’t recognize our interconnectedness with all of life, is when we lose our way—is when we feel disconnected and unstable, or even unsure as to why we are here.

When we continue to tell our tribal, creation myths filled with group exclusions and blame, or where we emphasize believers feeling guilty and shameful for things they haven’t even done, then that’s when we miss the entire point of our being here together.

So I do agree with Alberto and the Inca wise people, that our only way forward is to create a new mythology for birthing a NEW WORLD.newworldtheory.jpg

We need a new narrative to follow. Let’s create new hope around NEW beliefs of unity and the desire for peace.

And NOW is the time to create it so it can unfold with our purest intention and greater hopefulness for our peaceful co-existence alongside each other.

Final Mention of the Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit

Before I start the new year of 2018, I want to wrap a few more of the speakers from the 2017 Psychotherapy & Spirituality Summit mentioned previously.dianeheller.jpg

I also found these folks very interesting:

Diane Poole Heller, PhD, who often worked with Peter Levine on attachment theories and trauma resolution—especially working on relationship trauma, was very worth hearing.

She claims that attachment template starts in utero…it is the earliest blueprint for our sense of relationship and how we “attach” to others, which in this sense is the birth mother.

Each attachment style requires a different kind of interface with the client to work through it.

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The four attachment styles are secure attachment, avoidant attachment, ambivalent attachment, and disorganized attachment.

Secure attachment:  Biologically designed in all of us. It is the ideal of what constitutes security and safety—this is the baseline of desired attachment—feeling protected and loved, playfulness, confident. Have a capacity to trust, and this is when we feel accepted for who we are. The ideal state.

Avoidant attachment: One of parents may be distant and unattached or unapproachable. When this occurs there is not as much development of the baby’s right brain–the child seems to be living in an isolated bubble of existence.  The child becomes more independent and reliant on self rather than others because s/he had to be this way to survive. As adults, the person tends to dismiss relationships and feel more isolated in life—became more ambivalent toward others. Couldn’t relax into love because they were waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under them—hyper-alertness. As an adult they tend to avoid disappointment that felt inevitable in a relationship–so they avoid relationships.hellerblurb.jpg

Ambivalent attachment is being too focused on others. Too dependent on others for sense of well-being and acceptance–too clingy–too needy–feeling too weak to make it alone.

Disorganized attachment: This style is the result of parents who do “paradoxical injunction” with the child—the “Come here! No, go away!” “I love you—I can’t stand you.”  “You are so good. You are so bad.”  The child may be in a double-bind of never being able to please the parent or to know which behavior is the correct one that is rewarded rather than punished because rewards and punishments are confused to the point of not knowing if intimacy is a good thing or a bad thing. Is it pleasant or painful? Or is it both?

Heller cites a collaborative treatment method for trauma therapy that involves healing attachment issues, using Levine’s somatic trauma resolution, the Diamond approach of psychology mixed with spiritual inquiry, and the New Autonomic NS Understanding by Steven Porge, along with the latest innovations in neuroscience.

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grof6.jpgThe one other presenter I will mention from that summit is Stanislov Grof who still is one of the most influential transpersonal realm explorers of the last 40 years. The transpersonal realms deal with ordinary and non-ordinary states of reality.

Stan Grof is far too important to contain in a paragraph or two here, but he is one of the main psychiatrists who explored the alternate reality experiences of LSD, shamanic trance, Kundalini activation, Near-death experiences, possessions states, channeling other spirits, etc.

At the end of the 20th century he helped to give those extra-sensory experiences a sense of legitimacy and professional acknowledgment. The bonafide mystical experience was his holy grail of inquiry and exploration. He made it a mainstream exploration for psychiatrists.grofquote2.jpg

Holotropic states of consciousness became his life’s work, and he and his wife Christina, created the “holotropic breath work” treatment to substitute for the psychedelic drugs of mescaline, LSD, or ayahuasca experience.

He still offers training in some of those techniques and provides great historical research into non-ordinary reality.

Thanks again Sounds True for allowing me to listen to these presenters for free!

The FIXER

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Over the years I’ve seen my role in my own life’s drama change: I’ve believed myself to be many things to many people.

Today I actually have no idea what I am to anyone other than to myself, and even to me, I’m an enigma that is constantly evolving—transforming into something other than the role(s) I once held.

That was hard to accept for awhile—that I wasn’t this ONE thing that I’d truly believed myself to be.

But I slowly began to realize that my perception of myself and my role in humanity’s slow-unfolding progression was at best a delusion and at worse, an egoic fallacy.

Even now—this very morning, little egoic ME thought: “What should I do to help them?”

And the “them” here doesn’t even matter, because to believe that I could be the ONE to help, was the problem. It’s not up to me to FIX the situation or the people involved in the situation. It never was up to ME, and it never will be.

Part of my own spiritual evolution is in the final fixyourselfrealization that I, in all my illusions of grandeur, am NOT the FIXER of those perceived problems, because perhaps it is my perception instead that is the actual problem. And the only one who can change that faulty perception is ME, so if I want to FIX something—FIX that!

When I fully comprehended what I was at first contemplating and then resolving NOT to do in my own mind, I realized that there is nothing for me to FIX. Everything is all illusion and all perspective, and ALL situations are resolvable in some way without my interference and/or assistance.

So there ego-mind!  The FIXER is at peace with not fixing anything but her perception of any situation.

Us control freaks have a hard time letting go of affecting processes and outcomes. But this time it feels like an awakening for this control wrenchman.jpgfreak to let go of my attachment to perceiving that there is a problem. If there is no real problem, then there is no need of fixing it.  I’m not ignoring the situation; I’m simply allowing it to resolve without my interference.

So, …I now take a deep breath and choose to let go and let the Universe decide the next course of action in this situation and in all others as I think that’s the smartest and most sane thing I can do.

Perhaps it’s about time that I got smart enough to realize it.