When we're feeling lost, we might wonder, "*Where are all of my life opportunities?"
If we stay focused on our thinking minds in hopes of an answer, we are going to swirl around and around in the thought system that has created a sense of lack. We can move into the still part of our innermost space within, that place where Wisdom speaks. In this quiet space, we can use the mind for contemplation rather than for generating "thought". This is the wise use of mind. We can ask deep questions and allow the "answer" to arise from the depths of our Being-ness, That which is beyond the mind yet expresses through the mind.
We might ask:
- What is the relationship between my degree of openness, a sense of lack and my outlook on Life?
- How does my outlook affect the flow of opportunity?
We can "wait", bypass the immediate "answer" the egoic or thinking mind offers and just sit in the un-knowing awhile. We can focus our attention on our breathing, slowly witnessing the in-breath, the out-breath and just watch "being-breathed". Our breathing will deepen and our bodies will shift into open expansion. We become attuned to the Present Moment. What arises will come from the Truth of Who We Are beyond our conditioning. The content that comes through our mind will ring true and we will feel a vibration of alive peace. We will Know that what we "hear" can be trusted when peace is present and there is a feeling of unconditional love which cannot directly be explained.
Two physical side-effects of trauma, wounding or emotional suffering are a heightened nervous system primed for fight-flight-freeze and a hyper-vigilant approach to life events. Pete Walker, author of Complex PTSD: from Surviving to Thriving says we become "stuck in an adrenalized state...the sympathetic nervous system is locked 'on'... cannot toggle into the relaxation function of the parasympathetic nervous system."
When we anticipate conflict or danger, our muscles contract in readiness to run, hide or duck out of harm's way.
Laurence Heller, PhD mentions in Healing Developmental Trauma, the S.A.M System, "Sympathetic-Adrenaline-Medullary System... increases the level of tension in muscles, constrict blood vessels, divert blood away from the viscera...necessary for survival should there be injury."
How might the imprint of our past suffering be branding our current outlook on life? How might it skew our discernment of the availability of opportunities? How might it cancel our natural anticipation of Life's abundance as incoming opportunities?
If we remember the last time we felt defensive, what mind patterns do we notice? Is there a sense of shutting down or closing off? Is there withdrawal? Is there avoidance, denial or retaliatory counter-offense? Are there ingrained assumptions such as "something bad is going to happen"; "this is not going to turn out well"; "nothing works out for me"; "may as well not even try"; "if I delay long enough it'll go away"; "this pre-emptive strike will keep me safe". How might negative prediction patterns affect our ability to recognize opportunities riding on the wave-crest of this present moment?
This type of contemplation is not the squirrel-cage thinking mind which generates suffering. This type of deep questioning is bringing the squirrely-ness of egoic mind to freedom, the freedom from suffering. Bringing the conditioned mind to the Light of Awareness allows the power of Awakening to dissolve past pain. Is there pain in this present moment or is there a pressure that we can't put our finger on? Emotional pain, moving from the unconscious up through the subconscious to arrive in conscious awareness is a journey. It is a vibratory energy that sometimes cannot be named nor explained until it breaks open within our conscious attention. It may be uncomfortable pressure, but the pain is "remebered", through memory, of a past time in a past situation. We can bring that painful energy into the present moment to be dissolved within the direct experience of our Beingness, in stillness, in silence.
Just for today, when we notice a negative prediction, we can set it gently aside with an understanding the past where pain has been experienced, is gone. This moment - is fresh and new. We can step into experimental openness.
We might let go of the old habit of scanning for signals of danger. We might venture one step forward with alert, active readiness to recognize and reeive opportunity: the dawning of revelation, the inspirational insight to fuel creativity, the realization of an overlooked ancillary income stream...however opportunity might "dress itself" for Its meeting with us.
Might the very action of "active opening" offer opportunity's helicopter-circling a landing pad?
For those of us facing health challenges, holistic medicine teaches that our outlook, our approach and degree of receptivity and our ability to release stress has a direct influence and impact on our bodily tissues, organs, lymphatic and endocrine systems affecting hormonal balance, blood pressure, digestion and metabolic process, all physiological processing.
Others of us may face financial hardship, relationship difficulties, emotional/mental disturbance, behavioral imbalance, addiction, crises of faith and any other rebalancing and integration of the mind, emotion, and physical bodies.
Psycho-neuro-endocrinology, the branch of science that studies the relationship between the endocrine system, the nervous system and psychology recognizes that psychological stress impairs wound healing. Dr. Gabor Mate, a Hungarian-Canadian physician with special interest in trauma's potential lifelong impacts on physical and mental health mentions, "the word for healing comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for wholeness and the essential nature of trauma is that it’s a loss of wholeness. It’s the impact of what happened and how that’s manifesting as a disconnect right now in our lives. How can we reconnect with wholeness? A proper understanding of trauma actually says, ‘This happened inside me, it’s with me in the present, and because it’s with me in the present, I can do something about it'." https://drgabormate.com/
I would suggest an interpretation that trauma is the ego's reaction to unconscious human conditioning. Pain, unrecognized and misunderstood goes "underground" until it can be dealt with later, with greater skill, so that we may survive our present circumstances. What happened, happened within the Wholeness That I Am. In this present, although the situation has gone, the energetic residue of pain still resides within me and it's coming up to be released, so that I might remember my Wholeness, which has never gone, but has been covered over by the thoughts from pain. To "do something about it", is to bring the suffering to Stillness. To allow the Peace that I Am to enfold and dissolve past pain.
For those of us who are spiritually-inclined, we might remember the teachings of wise ones who've transcended human suffering. Matthew 6:34 "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for. the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."
A Course in Miracles: " The sudden expansion of awareness takes place with your desire, for it is the irresistible appeal the holy instant holds. It calls to you to be yourself, within its safe embrace. There are the laws of limit lifted for you, to welcome you to openness of mind and freedom." Every flower opens to the sun in perfect readiness. Might today be our day of readiness to open to unimagined opportunities?
Matthew 6:8 "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him."
Eckhart Tolle: "The ego is an insubstantial phantom which cannot prevail against the power of Presence".
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