E034 - How to Wake Up & Heal in 2021

awakening trauma waking up Oct 19, 2020

Here's my take on what 'best practice' is for waking up, healing, and thriving in 2021. In essence, it's my opinion on how to develop a sense of harmony and wellbeing while living this wild, beautiful and rather short human life!

Get ready to give me your opinion on whether this rings true for you. Start warming up those typing fingers right now ☺️

Hello there!

Welcome to this blog where we are going to dive into the path to healing and waking up in 2021. How to do all the things leading to feeling good in 2021.

Now why 2021? Because – I think things are evolving. Things are changing. We're understanding new things. And while I hate this term, there's probably a kind of 'blunt cutting edge' to this that is worth looking at and paying attention. If nothing else, I'm going to put out a big fat, hairy opinion here and you can decide if you think what I'm saying is interesting or true, or maybe you've got some other input to share about what it looks like to wake up, heal and help with cleaning up in 2021 while having a good time.

So this applies to both oneself as a human being, but also to one's voice. So I'm going to kind of make it about both. So the path to healing and waking up in 2021. So here are the things. Why bother doing this? Why is this interesting at all? And I'm going to say some people watching this already feel consistently really, really good, maybe that's you, and so there's no point. And if that is you, I say, amen sister or brother, keep doing what you're doing.

And for the rest of us in the sandpit, we probably want more or we're dealing with our shit, or we're an adventurer and we're just called to keep evolving.

I'm going to to say that a huge component of this is that motivates me is that it feels good. There's some inner compulsion to heal, evolve, wake up, contribute, keep growing. And I think it's an incredible adventure and highly worthwhile.

So... deconditioning. Our neurophysiology contains embedded patterns of being. So for example, we learn how to brush our teeth and we do that every day, because if we had to relearn how to do everything every day, I mean, it would be an all mighty adventure, but we probably wouldn't survive very long because just even pooping would be like mystifying. And like, where do we do that? And I tried the lounge yesterday and that didn't work so well, tomorrow I'm going to do it on the bed.

And so we have this conditioning that governs everything and we wake up every day, playing out this conditioning. And a lot of this conditioning was set up when we were children and we keep repeating it and we keep repeating the same thoughts which are mostly survival-based thoughts about how can I do this better? How can I survive? How will month-end work? Oh, I'm angry about that. And there are basically these parts you could say, living inside us that are on repeat. We're a tape loop. We are a programming. We are programmed and living the programming.

So if you feel completely like, amen, I love the robot life and I'm going to live the robot life, then watch no further. But if you are interested in taking it further beyond repetitively watching TV at night and waking up and thinking much the same thoughts and that's enough, then you're probably enlightened and I salute you, but this is about those who want to do more.

So what is it and why waking up? What is this whole waking up thing? What does it even mean? And to be honest, I'm not in love with the term, but let's just say that one portion of the path, and I'm going to say it's kind of the top half of the path... you could call 'waking up'. You could call it awakening. Although that sounds like maybe the unicorns are going to visit us and sprinkle fairy dust, although I hope they do.

So let's take a deep breath now.

So waking up or awakening, what is it? What it is, is moving beyond living as the conditioned entity that operates through our minds (with associated emotions), day in, day out, these same set of feelings and it's like being in a very narrow range... in a very stuck TV, of thinking the same things almost every day and moving in and out of anxiety and shame and whatever your special little mix of emotions is.

And when we talk to people we're reading them and listening to them and talking to them through this frame. And it's a very narrow frame and it's just conditioning. And we just take off the VR headset and there's this potential to move into experiencing life through naked awareness, through beingness, through capacity, through the ground of being. And so we've put down the conditioning (or we learn to), and we practice letting go of the neurophysiology. And that's what it is. It's moving into the awareness that you had when you were a child.

Babies, they just look out of this naked awareness. There's (almost) no conditioning. They're not thinking "I love dad although he's a bit of an asshole sometime".  And so while we obviously need our adult brains too, we can also move into the part of us that's not conditioned. The one that can stare at the sky because the sky is there in all its glory every day. And without words, we can be filled with wonder and awakeness and appreciation and stillness, without thinking "oh look at that sunset. It's so awesome. I love the sun". It's OK to think, but we're moving toward allowing our beingness to experience everything without the deadening filter of thought.

And there's huge joy of being in moving into naked awareness. Into moving out of the narrative mind, the narrative mind is like living in black and white. In presence all the colors dial up, and potentially everything has heart (or at least something really subtly joyful).

Okay, and so how do we do that? Well, one route (and there are so many) is utilising awakening practices. Meditation is also super-important. Direct path approaches like taught by Loch Kelly and many other wonderful teachers are short, concentrated ways of getting there. Many other techniques help with it, like breathwork and psychedelics can (although the latter is not my jam). 

So glimpse exercises are short practices for waking up (and remembering that you are here). Bam! and then here we are, awake (or at least awake-ish). So there's lots more to say about about how – please drop a comment if you want to know more routes. But do check out the work of Loch Kelly for example, as well as any of your favorite meditation teachers 

So I'm also going to say just too much of just awakening only, or too much of this top half of the body, and we can:

  • become very ungrounded, not really here
  • really struggle with boundaries
  • struggle with money
  • even just struggle with dealing with life
  • and frequently will be taken downtown by our trauma and real emotions that are actually sitting in our body.

So in other words, everything is awesome and I am living in the infinite and it is just so great... It doesn't really work. It's not sustainable without meeting the bottom half of the body.

So let's just go there, healing, trauma, the body, somatic life, what is this, why bother? So just like the top half, this is an essential component. The what is to deal with your shit. So you could say at a level, all of our conditioning also sits in the body. It sits in our nervous system, it sits in our fascia, it sits in the tissues of the body, painful experiences and conditioning that we experienced as a child and through our whole lives. And this is where our trauma lives; those of us who've got serious trauma know it lives there, but also our cultural trauma lives there, our intergenerational trauma inherited from your family lives there, and even vicarious trauma lives there. An example of the latter is when you close up like a sea anemone as you read things on the news – there's a level at which we are all culturally traumatized. There's whole lot of fear and conditioning sitting in our neurophysiology and deep in our body.

So why do we deal with this? Because it's there and because we're living this human life. And so getting into the body, you might utilise techniques like TRE® and EFT / tapping and a host of other techniques like somatic experiencing. It helps to do things like going for walks and being in nature, but that's not necessarily going to de-traumatize us. We need power tools to help us release deep, deep blocks.

There are many, many techniques, but it's from my point of view, it's essential that we deal with what's in the body. I'm going to say that in addition, some kind of therapeutic process helps to unwind the our conditioning. So you might do psychotherapy for a time, I like psychotherapy with a woo woo kind of bent to it, or perhaps therapy that involves 'parts work' or whatever is your jam, but also something that's maybe mindful or spiritually connected. I'm going to say just like with the top half being too much, you can be too much in the wound and in the body and constantly focused downwards and you can become heavy as a stone that drops in the water and just keeps going... and relentlessly focused on how much it hurts and so on.

So, on one hand there are many people who will say, "damn, just stop the spiritual bypass and emotional bypassing", which is bypassing our shit and I'm really agree with that, but there's also a point at which we can spend too much time in our woundedness and it reeeeallllly helps just getting a little bit of lightness in the mix. 

Not taking it too seriously and realizing that we're here such a short time, and enjoying a little bit of joy is not such a bad thing.

So the way I like to kind of put it out is, and this is just my 20 cents worth for 2021 is that we're lengthening. We are expanding, awakening, becoming beautifully present on this upper half. And then we're going deep into the body. We're acknowledging  this humanity, this weird, beautiful, painful, sometimes joyful humanity. We are living this human life.

So we're increasing in depth and we're meeting and healing whatever trauma lies in both our personal and our cultural and intergenerational body, this human, and the best bit is of course as we lengthen vertically in both dimensions, you could say we're going to meet in the heart. A kind of a playful, joyful, clueless heart right here with a light touch.

And that's kind of it really, that's what I'm feeling for today and this comes with the caveat that my understanding like all of us is evolving and ultimately that I'm going to die and we're all going to die and we're dying right now and what do we really know?

And yet at some level we do also know things. So, you know, while I'm putting this out with a lot of confidence and a bit of joy, and it's also with just an understanding that I really do know I don't know everything or much and that's okay and it's okay to speak on the internet, not knowing. And at the end of it all, may we through all of this live a joyful life, but a human life, may we help others and really contribute to the world positively 'cause that feels good and we're just kind of part of cleaning up and may we have fun, may they be joy, and may we love each other.

That's it. I hope you enjoyed this. Let me know what resonated. If you think something was total crap, drop it in the comments. Let's talk about it.

Just wishing you love and a beautiful day and sparkly ponies and traumas healed and a great human life.