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Posted By Opening the Heart

Conflict,Stress,Suffering

Not a terribly inviting title for a blog post, but let's face it, Conflict, Stress and Suffering show up in most everyone's life - sometimes on a 'full time' basis.

"CSS" and the bodily tightening and negative emotions that invariably accompany this uncomfortable condition arise from the desire for 'things to be different from how they are.'

Right now in my own life I can quickly identify four (at least) instances. 1) I wish I got to spend more one on one sharing time with my daughter. 2) I would like not to have to work during my summer vacation. 3) I would like to be wealthy enough to not to have to work during my summer vacation. 4) I want my 67 year old body to function as painlessly as my 37 year old body used to do. The list could go on.

The question arises: 'How can I let go of "CSS" and fall into a happier, more peaceful, more empathic state of being?'

The answer, of course, is to let go of the desire 'for things to be different from how they are.'

"Easier said than done!" you might reply - especially if your desire is to be free of a troubling illness, depression or addiction.

My own experience tells me that the only way to free the heart of thirsting for things to be different is to look at the heart - to allow the heart to speak its own truth. When I look closely I discover the underlying feeling of loneliness behind my wanting to spend more one on one time with my daughter. If I look closer still I discover the deep sadness of disconnectedness that has colored so many of my relationships. When I open myself more deeply to the underside of my wish for an ageless body I discover fear - fear of debilitating illness, fear of death.

The sadness and the fear are emotions I am carrying. They are heavy! Unacknowledged and unexpressed they remain a constant burden that manifests as Conflict, Stress and Suffering.

Our society contains few opportunities for the safe and welcomed flow of feelings such as sadness, fear and anger, so they remain bottled up inside, frequently leading to physical disease.

I am thankful that my life has led me to teachers (Buddha, Osho, Lau Tzu, Jesus, Dalai Lama and my Opening the Heart Workshop colleagues) who have helped me understand this process. I am also enormously grateful to have found a place at Opening the Heart where I can safely access and release the scary feelings that underpin my clinging to 'how I want things to be different.'

So, whether you are a regular reader here, or someone who is visiting for the first time, I really encourage you to take advantage of what The Opening the Heart Workshop has to offer: a safe, supportive and healing environment for letting go of "CSS."

I hope to see many of you at Kripalu next weekend.

May all beings be free of Conflict, Stress and Suffering.

Peter


 
Posted By Opening the Heart

I call this time of the year 'the season of left-overs'. Over the last week I have watched pounds of left-over food being crammed into plastic containers and zip-lock bags. I have seen guests assaulted by generous hosts pleading them to take home outsize portions of stuffing, roast vegetables, wilting salad and squashed dessert. I'm sure that much of the hesitantly accepted  bounty  ends up in the back of over-stuffed refrigerators, eventually going moldy and starting to smell really bad.
No, this is not a diatribe against our culture's propensity for self indulgence. Instead, it is the source of a helpful metaphor.
How it feels to be you in the present moment is largely based on the agglomerating left-overs of your life's experiences. Traces of experience that have not been fully processed and integrated linger in actual physical form and at a cellular level in our body and nervous system. Modern advances in neuroscience and technology have made it possible to map how experiences continue to modify the physical make up of the brain well into our mature years.
As they affect the growth, function and connection of neurons in the brain, unprocessed negative or traumatic experiences  become stored 'left-overs'  that radically determine how we respond to all kind of situations in our current life.
If "how it feels to be you" in your current life is mostly anxious, regularly depressed, seriously addicted, or constantly stressed,  you could benefit from checking for 'left overs'.
The good news that has emerged in the last ten or so years is that it is quite possible to 'change our brain'. What this means is that it is entirely possible to clean out the left-overs of undigested prior experience.
The Opening the Heart Workshop™ approach has long recognized  the lingering  power of the moldy leftovers of past negative experience. It is also our experience that these leftovers can be uncovered and discarded with appropriate therapeutic interventions and infusions of loving kindness. These actions can literally re-wire the brain so that new experiences do not automatically trigger ingrained reactions to past events and circumstances.
As you deal with food left-overs this holiday season take a moment to check for the sometimes not so obvious "left-overs" lurking at the back of your "inner refrigerator".

Happy Holiday Season!

Sounds True, Inc.