Feel It To Heal It (Part 1)

Do you see a pretty young lady or an ugly old hag? Whichever you see first, let her go now and switch to the other image. Take a moment…

(If you need some help, the eye of the old woman is the ear of the young woman who is looking away. The old woman’s mouth is the young woman’s necklace).

Even when instructed to switch perception, there is always an impasse, a pregnant pause before the new picture smashes its way to the forefront of your consciousness. Your eyeballs swivel and then Aha! — the flip happens. What you saw a moment ago as subject becomes object and vice versa. If you first saw the pretty young woman you now see the ugly old hag.

The Aha moment is intrinsically satisfying, delivering a brief thrill of happiness. Since feeling thrilled and happy is the whole point of being alive, we must learn to cultivate Aha moments.

Aha moments have two elements — the impasse (or gap) and the insight. The more you consciously elongate the impasse, the more likelihood of your having a penetrating insight. It’s in the gap between stimulus and response that the magic of insight is to be found.

The learning from material Aha moments:

1. You are Unconscious

How you interacted with the picture is how you interact with everything. The Gestalt switch shows that our perception is distorted and partial, since there is always at least one other way to see something. When we fixate on seeing from only first impressions, we slam the door on choice. We don’t even consider the possibility that we can choose to see something else. This is an unnecessary habit-of-mind that deadens our senses and exalts our ego. The habit makes junkies of us all.

We are addicted to the thoughts in our head and the reactions in our body. This means we are 99% zombie because over 99% of our thoughts and actions are unconscious and ingrained. When it comes to habitual ego-driven responses we could put Pavlov’s dogs to shame with our stimulus-response, press-my-buttons, off-I -go performances. These robotic behaviours force us to live in the past, or the ego. The ego is the wall between you and your unique present experience. Being unconsciously caught up in the same old, same old, you dull your senses to the point of atrophy, freeze-framing them. You become deadened to the only event that makes any sense — this moment that is alive for you right now. Oh yes, we are classically conditioned my slavering friends.

2. Gestalt shows how we automatically fill in the gaps in any object we see.

Not only do we get fixated on only one way of seeing something but, when given only partial information, we fill in the gaps with our old habits of mind. When presented with anything in the outside world, subconscious and automatic processes impel us to see it as a whole in order for our world to seem coherent and logical. This organization of what we see happens in a nano second, with no reflection, mainly in the left-brain hemisphere. Our ego doesn’t like to be kept waiting and the left heel-clicking brain is its slave. This slave brain is all about rapidly classifying experience and pigeonholing it. It takes a glance at something — a thought, an object, another person, runs it through its databases, finds a vague facsimile of that thing and promptly files the thing away, telling you it’s understood it, before belting on to the next thing.

But you haven’t understood a thing because you’ve glossed over whatever is arising in your life. When you prematurely dismiss your experience by classifying it before it even lands in your consciousness, you’re not connected, you’re out of step with life itself. You might as well not be having your experience because you’re dead to it. You are not attending to direct, present interaction with whatever or whoever is before you. Your ego has won again by drawing a dark veil between you and your current experience of life. Instead of being free to act, all you do is unconsciously re-act, meaning you’re constantly ‘living’ in the past. Entirely under the radar of awareness, you perceive an outline of some thing or some one and fill in the blanks to suit yourself. You’ve projected what you want to see, what you’ve always seen, onto what’s not, in reality, there. You’ve reacted without the tiniest gap in time to look again at the situation.

The only hope is to wake up!

Waking Up Practices

Let it sink in that there are multiple ways of seeing things. You are simply stuck in “your” way and that’s okay. No judgment, just a gentle awareness of what’s going on within you. Throughout the day, take one deep conscious breathe, look again and consider whatever is in front of you from as many angles as possible. Let go of thinking and just look, with fresh eyes as if you’ve never seen it before.

Decide to consciously direct your attention to this practice throughout the day. Where sincere attention goes, energy flows. Practice this and the gaps in stimulus-response will get wider, beginning to break your little ego apart. So get on the first rung of the ladder and mind the gap!

If you want more Gestalt switch thrills, they’re available on many websites like this one:

http://www.thedailytouch.com/victoriar/tricks-of-the-mind-illusions-explained/

The next rung of the ladder leads to the awareness of how brilliant the body is at delivering Aha moments.

Feel It To Heal It (2)

Feel.jpg

Throughout our lives we unconsciously recoil against the world. We tense and contract our bodies in an attempt to push it away, to isolate ourselves from the scary parts of life. In resisting our feelings, we deny them and swallow them back, causing layer upon layer to settle within us and then freeze over. These painful feelings have not been allowed to complete their Gestalt and flow naturally through us. Over the years these frozen wastelands constrict our bodies and shut down our life force. They become the painbody that we carry around with us.

We live in our heads and treat the body like an inconvenient appendage that has to be fed and watered. This is a very unloving way to live and causes a mind/body split in us that makes us feel very scattered and anxious. The loving thing to do is to begin to heal the split by giving your body some much-needed attention. The body houses great wisdom if we just tune into it. Then we discover where we’ve stashed our unwanted feelings and begin to feel them and then release them.

Some cultures have long acknowledged the operation of subtle energy systems within us. In India the chakra system describes swirling vortices of energy in different parts of the body that emit and receive their own frequency of vibration. When chakras are blocked with emotional debris, so is the free flow of vital energy through the system. Whatever is blocked physically is blocked energetically and vice versa. All parts of the body can be the site of Aha moments but the most common places are the throat, the solar plexus, the gut and the heart.
When you explore your own emotions, you find out where you store your painbody and learn to dissolve it:

“I have learned how to dissolve and evaporate the knots of fear and frustration in my solar plexus and head”
— (S.L. client)


The heart chakra’s value is universal love and when this channel is clear, mind and body are connected and transcended. Aha moments sensed in the heart can bring wholeness and peace:

“I feel it in my heart. It’s physical. I feel whole and at peace with myself. I’m not sure I can describe it any better than that”.
— (K. R. client)

It is from the heart that we come to know about love and how powerful it is. We can be whole-hearted about life only when we tune into the heart and feel for the passions and values that are most important to us. The most loving thing we can do for ourselves is to discover our unique life purpose, what is most deeply valuable for us to live a fulfilling life. And the heart is much stronger than the head, having its own ‘brain’ and an electromagnetic field about 60 times greater than the brain in amplitude. The heart’s energy permeates every cell in the body so it is a much more reliable guidance system than the thinking, monkey mind. So tune into your feelings – accept them, feel them, release the ones that cause you pain and get excited – get very excited - about the ones that serve your life purpose!


Exercise

Sit down and tune in to what’s happening inside. Think about what is deeply important to you at this juncture of your life. Draw a picture. Use words. Find metaphors.

Now write a list of your values and passions. Make sure they are your values and nobody else’s. As you contemplate each one, close your eyes and breathe it into your body. Check for feelings of excitement, motivation. Re-write your list in order of priority. Your body will tell you which values to prioritize.