Life with Presence - Stepping out of Control and Anxiety

Living in the present moment transcends all attachments to the past and the future. Living in the present moment allows you to respond to each and every moment as it presents. It cuts the ties to our emotional baggage that we carry with us from traumas and unpleasant experiences from the past. It cuts the ties to the fears and anxiety we hold about the future.

Time is a dimension we experience on Earth as a linear process. However in and of itself time does not exist. Everything that can happen, did happen, has happened now, in this very present moment. If you actually really think about it the only moment we can actually truly prove exists is now. Yesterday is only a collection of memories, tomorrow we cannot guarantee will come. To dwell and live in the fast or future actually makes us miss the very essence of life. 

Reactive patterns

An animal lives purely in the present moment. Take two ducks for example, they have a fight, and as they turn and swim away from each other, they shake, they shake off this excess energy they have built up in their body from the confrontation, and then they swim on, back into the presence of the moment.

We as humans have a much more difficult time releasing this excess energy, instead we dwell, our mind circles with thoughts, our emotions stir.  If we do not have a way of releasing and transcending what happened, then the experience becomes an unresolved emotion we store within.  So that next time we are in an experience that resembles that of which we have not resolved within our self, we become reactive. We react to the situation with our past emotional baggage and so it continues. This reactive pattern shows that we have lost our ability to stay present and act with our sovereignty. We are no longer able to respond to life as it presents.

Attachment

Buddha’s main teaching is that attachment is the root cause of all suffering. This may be attachment to certain outcomes, an image, a state of mind, material possessions etc. There is little we can guarantee in life, but one thing that we can guarantee is change. So you see the fallacy in attaching ourselves to things? Everything will change. This need to control the external in order for the internal to be satisfied is setting us up for disaster. Now I do need to make sure I distinguish between attachment and preferences. It is ok to have preferences in life – actually it is at our very core to creatively and uniquely express ourselves. Acknowledging our preferences is actually fundamental to our whole existence. However there is a huge difference between recognising that we prefer something and attaching onto something.  Attachment comes about when we hold on to something because it gives us identity or self worth. We define ourselves through this thing, and when this thing changes, and it is will, we suffer. To prefer something on the other hand, is if we have the thing we prefer then great, and if we don’t, then great also! As we are already complete as we are, there is nothing to lose, only to gain an alternative experience.  Attachment means we are not in the present moment.

Main purpose of the ego

The main purpose of the ego is to create direction. It allows us to set our internal compass in a certain direction based on our preferences for different life experience. What the ego is not designed to do is to work out all the details of how we are going to get to the place we want. This is left to our higher self, and is navigated through our intuition and gut feeling. Through this work it may seem like it’s the long way round or we are veering off track but in reality we are picking up the exact life experiences, aspects of ourselves that got left behind, tools and skills necessary to achieve the goal we have set.

When left to the ego, control, push, attachment, fear and self-sabotaging can often outplay stifling our ability to get to the place we want.  And if we do get to the place we want, which of course can be achieved this way, there will be a cost in terms of stress and degradation of our life energy. The alternative pathway is to set the intention of our goal, and then come back to the present moment and trust that the universe is conspiring to serve us. All we have to do is ask ourselves in the present moment ‘what is the most enjoyable thing I can do in this moment’ and go do it!

Let your passion in the present moment navigate you to exactly where you need to go. It may seem like you are ‘wasting time’ when your body wants to rest and restore when you have things to do. Take for example, your body says to rest but instead you push it to work. Your work will be inefficient as part of your being is not willing to step up. If you rest when your body says to rest and the moment your body says ‘yes lets do this’ you will be amazed at how much you can achieve in this space. It may take you only an hour to achieve what you would have otherwise achieved in a whole day when you weren’t in the ‘mood’. So in fact you will achieve more and gain time! When we navigate from the present moment, life flows, doorways open in divine timing, and the universe always delivers.        

Never Judge

Contemplate the following story. There was a man who owned a horse. One day the horse ran away. His neighbours came over and said, oh that’s such bad news that you lost your horse. The man shrugged his shoulders and replied ‘maybe’.  The following day the horse returned, but he came with a whole herd of horses. His neighbours came over and said, oh what great turn of events that now you have many horses! The man shrugged his shoulders and replied ‘maybe’. The following day his son came over and tried to break in one of the horses. The son was thrown from the horse and broke his leg. Again the man’s neighbours came over and said, I am so sorry to hear the bad news about your son, how unfortunate. Again the man shrugged his shoulders and replied ‘maybe’. The following day, the military came by to recruit soldiers for the army. Because his son had broken his leg he was not required to serve. And so the story goes on…

It is only the ego that judges a situation as good or bad, whether we celebrate or we suffer. Transcending our judgement around all life experiences will free us up to participate in the flow of life with more presence and acceptance. Our mind cannot always comprehend and analyse in a logical way why situations are presenting and how they are conspiring to serve us. Because it does not have this capacity to understand we may as well release our grip in trying to control our life. If we transcend our judgement we can transcend our suffering and come more into the present moment. All in life is conspiring to help us to awaken and become more conscious and fully present.

There is no rush to the end. No need to put our life off now and work hard so that we can relax later. This is a fallacy. If you cannot be present, in flow and content with life now, I guarantee you, you will not be this in the future, regardless of what you ‘have’. Living life in the present means transcending attachment and judgment and releasing control. In the presence the peace you are looking for is waiting to be found. 

Is it me or society?

We see depression and anxiety as something that is wrong with us, that we are broken or incomplete or that we are not good enough. We don't receive true joy from the way we are living - working our 9-5pm job, paying bills, paying mortgages, relationships that never go beyond the superficial... We take medication or we self-medicate with addictions and substances so that we no longer feel the pain. We dampen this aspect of ourselves so that we can fit in and participate in society and carry on in our lives.

But what if depression and anxiety instead means that rather than us being incomplete or broken, it is a product of a flawed and outdated society - a society that favours money over humans, taste over the protection of other sentient beings, logic over emotions, order over creativity, a one world globalisation over the celebration of differences, competition over harmony, separation over community...a society that is blindly clearing the forests, polluting our air and waterways, contaminating our food, mining the oceans of all life... disconnecting to our own life supporting system. 

Depression means that we are dwelling in the past and anxiety means that we are thinking too much of the future.  They are both escaping the present moment. What are we not facing in the present moment? The key is to discover what it is you would prefer, what is your true longing and calling. To be honest and to really question and create the space to receive and listen.

I believe the people who suffer from anxiety and depression are the exact people who when they learn to accept their differences and stand in their power are the ones that are going to change the world.

Many clients I see in my clinic who suffer from anxiety and depression are the ones who feel the most, the empaths. They have a more sensitive radar to something not being quite right.  But then they close in on themselves - thoughts of fear, doubt and self worth kick in and paralyse them from actually stepping up and speaking their truth.  

The pain they feel is a result of the separation from what they are doing to what their heart desires. The greater the pain, the greater the hearts calling or desire for something more, something different. Is your life a product of conditioning and society or have you dug deeper into the depths of your soul and questioned what is it that you want underneath it all? It is ok to be different, it is ok to not agree. We are perfect and complete, the system is broken and outdated. The earth needs us more then ever to step up now and pave a new way with our unique expressions of who we are.. 

Looking to fall in love? Manifest the dream partner? But what are you really seeking?

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Does love ever come from outside of ourselves?  We all believe in duality which creates the perception that people are separate.  Separation is the foundation of our entire existence.  We have separate bodies, minds, memories and backgrounds. Separation creates the feelings of fear, loneliness, suspicion and alienation that come with being totally isolated. This part of you calls upon love to solve its pain. Do we really believe that the perfect person that ticks all our boxes is waiting out there for you - or more importantly is the question - do you believe this will fulfil you with the love that you desire? This is a common myth, but the reality is quite different. The somebody that is waiting for you is always a reflection of yourself. Out of the loneliness, all of us seek a source of love that will fill up the lack we have inside.  There are certain truths that can be drawn:

You can never receive more love than you are prepared to receive

You cannot give more love than you have to give

The love reflected from another person has its source in your own heart

There are two types of love - one is unconditional and the other love is conditional (the romantic love that we are more familiar with in society).  Unconditional love is the love that is experienced with another when two independent people have opened up to their own inner healing journey.  The love they receive from another is matched to the love they feel for themselves.  This type of love is expansive, growing, evolving, healing and unconditional.  Its the type of love that recognises that all that outplays in a relationship is a reflection of the explored or not-yet-explored subconscious aspects of self. For each rising challenge or issue is seen as an opportunity to explore ourselves a little deeper and heal the otherwise hidden aspects of self. It is a relationship of mutual and supportive growth and healing for each others highest potential. 

The other type of love is conditional and is often confused with real love.  This type of love is based on fear.  Fear of isolation, loneliness, loss and separateness. It is the love that seeks completeness by finding aspects in others to complete ourselves.  This kind of relationship often involves co-dependencies, for example, ones own self image or happiness is dependent upon the other person.  This type of love is constrictive, suppressive, blaming and unfulfilling in the long term.

The person we will attract into our lives will be perfectly matched to us in the sense that they will reflect back at ourselves our own hidden fears and aspects of self needing healing. The way to stay in pure unconditional love is simply by remaining conscious of all that unfolds - by taking self-responsibily for all that happens in a relationship and using this as an opportunity for growth.  We should also remember the truth that we can only receive love as much as we love ourselves or another way put, we can only know another as deep as we know ourselves. We can only attract a partner that matches our own vibration.  So we need to focus our attention on healing ourselves - bring ourselves in alignment with our highest potential, unconditionally love and respect ourselves, heal our fears and worries and stop seeking external love to complete ourselves.  This is the only way to open the door to the love that we truly desire and are worthy of.  

Many of us have written lists of the qualities we want in another partner in the hope to manifest the perfect lover.  But what if holding this image in our minds is what is actually keeping love away.  It sounds like a paradox but letting go has to be the first step in finding someone to love you, because love is never an image.  Love does not depend upon external values at all, but the love we have for ourselves. 

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The Energetics of nutrition - what is igniting and fuelling your zest for life?

One of the things in nutrition that I believe is so fundamentally overlooked is our foods energetic nature.  Food is one of the most intimate activities that we can partake in - literally we are what we eat! The food we consume is the fuel that our body runs on, it is the material and building blocks that we break down and then reassemble to make our physical body.  We are our food, and our food is us! No doubt about it!.  

We have lost our ability to see the subtle energetics and matrix of food, and largely base our food choices on the way it physically looks.  That is, if it is brightly coloured, big, plump and juicy then it must be full of nutrition.

We do not see with our eyes the toxic pesticide and insecticide residues left behind on our fruit and vegetables.  We do not see with our eyes the effects of years of selection for particular traits in plant species at the expense of others.  We do not see with our eyes the effects of the direct genetic modification of our food (that is taking genetic material from one species and injecting into another, in the case where nature would never permit naturally for this to occur e.g. genes from a pig into a plant). We do not see with our eyes the resulting depletion of life force and energy of our food due to our farming practices, cooking methods and food choices. We do not see any of this.  

Interestingly though our wild animal friends may still have this innate ability.

ABC online reports that animals at Copenhagen Zoo are going ape over organic bananas and other fruits, rejecting traditional foods left in their cages according to zookeepers.

For one reason or another, the tapirs and chimpanzees are choosing organically grown bananas over the others. Maybe they are able to instinctively tell the difference and their choice is not at all random. The chimpanzees are able to tell the difference between the organic and the regular fruit. If we give them organic and traditional bananas, they systematically choose the organic bananas, which they eat with the skin on. But they peel the traditional bananas before eating them.

— Zoo Keeper Niels Melchiorsen told the magazine Oekologisk Jordbrug (Organic Agriculture).

And here is another example that has been going vial on the internet and Facebook lately:

Paul Fonder was curious to see what kind of corn squirrels would favour.  Last fall, Fonder conducted an experiment in his South Dakota backyard. He built a squirrel feeder and put genetically modified corn fresh from a neighbor’s field on one post and one-year-old organic corn on the other.

You would expect squirrels to prefer fresh corn over corn that’s a year old, but that’s not what happened.

— Paul Fonder

Fonder repeated the experiment five times, using different varieties of organic and GM corn.  Each time, he got the same results.

Do you think that it’s possible the squirrels might be on to something here? Is there something beyond the limited physical impression that they can detect and understand that we cannot? 

cornkin.png

According to quantum physics neither ourselves, nor anything on our planet is not made of matter.  We are not fixed, physical, material beings, rather the smallest particles of our body are in fact discrete packets of energy.  We are energy, our food is energy - so what type of energy and vital life force are you consuming?  

All life on earth is surrounded by its own electromagnetic field.  And the development of Kirlian Photography can give us photographic evidence of this (David Wolfe's book Eating for Beauty for more on this stunning photography).  Kirlian photographs capture the electromagnetic radiation patterns emitted by objects across a wide spectrum of electromagnetic energy.  These energy patterns are not visible to the naked human eye.  

From the images below we can see the intense, vibrant, electromagnetic and luminescent patterns found in organic foods compared to non-organic foods and raw foods compared to cooked foods: 

From Left to Right: OrGanic Grown Orange compared to a commercially grown orange (Kirlian Image)

Left to right: raw broccoli compared to a cooked broccoli

Left to Right: Raw Tomato compared to a slightly cooked tomato

 

Perhaps our wild animal friends can see the aura of vibrant energy that emanates from foods? Perhaps it is an energetic subtly that we lost at a young age as we became more dense and focused on the physicality of life?  

If we are essentially made up of energy at the smallest particulate matter as we know it, then surely the quality and quantity of life force energy of the food that we eat is of paramount importance- not only for the health of our physical body but also the quality of our thoughts, our energy levels and our emotions. What is igniting and fuelling your zest for life? Are you eating for health or disease?    

Breaking the Cortisol Addiction Pattern

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These days we are living in a fast paced society – a system that is ordered, structured and time bound.  Such a society is not necessarily harmonious with our natural state of being that seeks not to be bound but to naturally flow and create in the present moment.  Modern society is characteristic of technology overload, long working hours, high impact exercise programs, high media coverage of negative world events and deadlines.  Our bodies were not designed for such a fast paced and fear based society and this can invoke a natural state of fight/flight survival response.

Cortisol and Adrenalin are great for running away from a Saber Toothed Tiger but what about for everyday living?

Our body’s initial response to a stressor is the release of adrenalin however if the stressor is not removed from our life then our body starts releasing the hormone cortisol. Cortisol and Adrenaline are great hormones to have on our side, say if you were being chased by a Saber Tooted Tiger and needed to run for your life. These hormones are favorable when produced over a short period of time in the face of immediate danger. 

For example these hormones will send our blood away from our vital organs to our extremities such as our arms and legs to get them ready to run or fight, it will slow down our digestive system (no time to digest when you are trying to run!), cause us to crave more easily digestible and quick energy source foods such as simple carbohydrates and sugars and it will suppress our immune system, decreasing inflammation and our ability to heal (no time to heal or feel pain when you are trying to run for your life!).  Unlike the situation with the Saber Toothed tiger whereby our stress response ceases once we have escaped the tiger, our fast paced modern society puts us in a state of ongoing stress and flight/flight mode.

Here are some suggestions to help you break the cycle:

1.   Restorative rather than high impact exercise such as yoga or Qi Gong.

2.     Get Creative. Try painting, dancing around the living room, drawing, writing or gardening (my favorite!) - anything that lets your mind wander and dream a little. 

3.     Meditate, breathe more, dream a little (or a lot)

4.     Listen to that inner voice – what is it calling for you to act on? What are you ignoring? Are you acting on your passion in each and every moment?

5.     Stop for a moment and ask yourself- are you putting yourself first – are you really living for yourself?

6.     Get out into nature (away from traffic jams, mobile phones, wi-fi and commercial news programs)

7.     Love someone or something deeply and with your whole being

8.     Remember most importantly, stress does not arise from your environment, but rather stress comes from HOW you interpret and respond to your environment. 

 

 

So what are some signs that you may be living life in flight/fight mode? 

1.     Regular backache, muscular pains and headaches

2.     Disturbed sleeping patterns

3.     Gaining Weight (especially around the tummy and hips) even when eating well and exercising regularly

4.     Repetitive colds and flus

5.     Sugar cravings

6.     Low/ Null and Void Sex Drive

7.     Gut discomfort

8.     Feelings of anxiety

9.     Feelings of sadness 

If you ticked a couple of these then you are likely to be living a cortisol addition pattern.