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Click play below for a reading of today's intentional session from Matt.
It is up to us to investigate the architecture of our beliefs with deliberate compassion. Through honest investigation, we will only ever find love at the center of our swirling fear & rigid pain.
– Aberdeen Violet
As we begin to understand more about the human brain we also begin to understand how our conditioning is impacting our reality.
Because of the way our brain (especially during development) processes our experiences we come up with the most brilliant solutions for surviving the wide spectrum of “traumas” we may encounter. For the ability to come up with these brilliant solutions we can be grateful. At some point, these brilliant solutions were our saving grace. It is possible, that these “brilliant solutions” are no longer serving us.
Other species, when faced with high-stress situations, run and shake off the stress hormones that are created.
Once the situation is resolved, they are back to eating or whatever they were doing. They process in real-time even if they meet the same experience many times. They do not run their experience through an analytical mind filter, they do not create a story, they do not judge themselves or the experience.
Watch as this antelope freezes from the stress response of a cheetah attack and then, once free, shakes off the stress stressful event.
As an exercise in observation and discovery only, this week we will look to the past.
To the people and experiences of the past. Not to perpetuate a trauma story but to make peace with it. Not to blame, shame, or judge ourselves or others but to identify and gain clarity.
Let's begin, with a pause.
Find a comfortable place without distraction for a few minutes.
- Take three very deep, long, slow breaths anchoring yourself to this moment.
- Feel how your ribcage expands and the path your breath takes.
- Notice any tightness or blocked areas.
- Your breath is your focus.
- To give your mind a task (if it is wandering) count 4 on the inhale, pause, count 5 on the exhale, pause.
- Repeat, following your breath as it fills your lungs and you become present in this moment.
When you feel ready, invite your child-self of five to join you.
- This may manifest as a visual, a feeling, a sound…there is no “correct” way, there is your way.
- Just BE in the presence of that five-year-old, get down on their level, and share feelings of safety, love, and curiosity.
- Ask if your five-year-old will join you as you complete your sentences today.
I easily connect with my inner child.
I allow all facets of myself to BE.
I am safe and loved.
Find the beauty in children.
Their possibilities are endless, their love is true. If you are graced with the presence of children, BE with them and find their BEAUTY. (In fact, BE them. They know their beauty. You understood this, as well, as a child). This will be easy to do if you can set aside your “grown-up” role and invite your inner child to be courageous, curious, and free with you.
Document every beautiful observation.
If you don't have any children readily available, find a park with children or visit a friend with children (make sure your friend understands your objective). If you cannot find any children, imagine them or invite your inner child of five on a play date.
We create memories and beliefs based on our perceptions of what is happening.
The people and experiences of our childhood helped shape those perceptions. These memories and perceptions may or may not be based on “fact” but they turn into our beliefs about reality. Remember, we are doing this exercise for discovery. There is no blame, shame, or judgment in our exploration.
This is going to seem like a lot of work but the information that can be gathered with these sentence endings are like a treasure.
Take all the time you need to complete each segment with any person relevant to your childhood. Begin with “Mother” and “Father” (or your primary caregivers, whoever filled those roles). Remember to move along as fast as possible and complete each sentence whether you believe it applies or not. If you run into a block or resistance, make something up. (You may think that is nonsensical but your subconscious speaks through the “stories” you tell … fact or fiction. You may see patterns.)
📓 ✍🏼 ✨
As a child, I …
I felt different from other children because …
One of my happiest early memories concerns …
One of my unhappiest memories concerns …
As a child, it seemed to me that “Mother” was always …
As a child, it seemed to me that “Mother” rarely …
As a teenager, it seemed to me that “Mother” was always …
As a teenager, it seemed that “Mother” rarely …
One of the things I wanted from “Mother” but never got was …
“Mother” gave me a view of myself as …
“Mother” speaks through my voice when I tell myself
When “Mother” touched me, I felt …
When “Mother” saw I was happy or excited, she …
When “Mother” saw that I was frightened, she …
When “Mother” saw that I was sad or hurting, she …
The message from “Mother” always seemed to be …
It's not easy for me to admit that …
I am becoming aware that …
With each “significant” person in your childhood, finish the sentences above by changing “Mother” to each person (Father, Auntie, Grandparent, Teacher, Mentor, etc.) when you write it at the top of your journal page.
Give yourself plenty of time to reflect on the information you have gathered this week.
While you are reading over your sentence completions from this week's Journal Session, if another ending occurs to you add it to what you have. Right now we are just noticing patterns, feeling places, and connections.
No conclusions, beliefs, or judgments can be drawn without all of the information.
As you become more aware of your SELF, your perceptions and beliefs will change. If we remain open to the information we are gathering, (as observers only) we will not run into the resistance of “already knowing”. Once our conditioned mind says we already know we stop paying much attention. Stay open and receptive to what you are observing.
Let's bring ourselves into the flow of this present moment.
Using this quote (or one that resonates for you about the past), create a journal page:
“The Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.”
– C.S. Lewis
In the flow of creating, more information may occur to you as you reflect on “The Past”. Document these observations.