Suppression of Natural Responses

Album cover by LA DANSE DU CHIEN

“As a child I learned to suppress my entirely natural responses to the injuries inflicted on me, responses like rage, anger, fear and pain. Otherwise I would have been punished.” –Dr. Alice Miller

Writing out my response is hindered by the inherent feeling of ‘I’m going to be punished, maybe murdered this time”. Of course I don’t fully form these thoughts but my body does. My body has been in a constant state of panic for over 35 years.

I can recall the most brutal and horrific situations of my childhood but most of it is veiled. All the royal freak-outs I would have as a teenager and adult were uncontrollable, sometimes ending with violence. I thought they happened because there was something wrong with me. No emotion for weeks and months then an explosion in Solar Flare proportions of mass anger, rage, fear, anxiety and sadness would hit. There is no talking this force down. The whole while the intelligence within me has been shut. Dulling of the mind and instant memory loss. The physical heart and chest feel like you are slowly pushing a fiery hot point through. My entire body hurts.

I need to be able to respond to my injuries in an appropriate way. I need to engage with my emotions in a kind and safe environment, so that I can take my bearings from the feelings I actually have, rather than fearing them.

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Positive thinking is a self-enhanced bias

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”well-being came from unrealistic views of reality.”

“Narcissistic overconfidence crosses a line, says Dr.Twenge, and taints those things improved by a skosh of confidence. Over that line, you become less concerned with the well being of others, more materialistic, and obsessed with status in addition to losing all the restraint normally preventing you from tragically overestimating your ability to manage or even survive risky situations.” –David McRaney ‘You Can Beat Your Brain’

Positive thinking is an illusion brought to you by your mind. It is a false safety net for when tragedy strikes. I have heard colleagues way to often pushing their students to ‘think positive’ when they have no concept or knowledge of the illusion they are pushing down the throats of students. Isn’t this the same as religion or politicians pushing illusions upon the masses? In my opinion, yes.

This illusion is what keeps us from giving up under trauma, abuse and tragedy. Is it possible to take on this knowledge of the mind’s illusion as an individual and stop following leader’s illusions? Can we become aware of this false reality and not let it turn us into narcissistic driven ugly humans?

Children can not escape their own parents

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“Children can not escape their own parents. Blindness makes it possible to survive. This leads to repetition of cycles of cruelty.

To break through this vicious cycle we need to understand that so-called love cannot survive abuse, deception, and exploitation without seeking new victims. And if it requires new victims, it is no longer love but at best the longing for love. Only unflinching realization of one’s own past reality, of what really happened can break through the chain of abuse. If I know and can feel what my parents did to me when I was totally defenseless, I no longer need victims to befog my awareness.” -Alice Miller

I was able to catch myself early on and realise the cycles that I had the capacity of repeating with others. At the same time I turned the cruelty inwards. I have spent years repeating the misery within myself. “You are a failure. I love you, but don’t like you. You will never be anything. You don’t have the intelligence to survive. You are too fat.” Even up until recently I would still feel anxiety over not being supported, cared for, nurtured or protected. This misery has been in my speech, my thoughts, my actions; everything I would do was a reaction to the misery that was put there by my parents.

I was able to escape physically; put the Pacific Ocean between us. The blood family still haunted their own miserable echo in my mind. It was not until I completely cut off all contact that the true healing began. When I could finally separate my personal thoughts from the parents, awareness came flooding in to decimate my mind. Awareness of behaviours and patterns. I practiced blindness to survive.

I don’t want to be in a high stress survival mode. I can feel what the parents did to me and I am not defenceless anymore!

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Patterns of the mind

Patterns of the mind

Anthony Grim Hall originally posted this photo.

The mind/brain is like a muscle, you have to work it, feed it and guide it. It’s not something that is just there on top of your shoulders. The mind can take you to your goals or it can make you miserable. Most of us humans don’t even have the awareness that our minds have been controlled since birth by parents, society, culture, traditions, advertising agencies and governments. Take your mind back and use it! It is yours to wield. Not for some institutionalised organisation to use for their benefit.

The mind forms behaviours and habits. All it takes is one unchecked thought to start the rewiring process; for positive change or for oppression. In reality it seems like many humans are allowing this seemingly uncontrollable mental rants control their lives. Patterns are started by thought. It is those patterns that cause human suffering.

Guiding the mind to a more aware state begins on the mat. Each day we begin by inhaling reaching our arms up, exhale forward bend. Is it possible to just listen and observe what the mind does with out acting on it? Can we replace thoughts of wanting a quick return to thoughts of mindless patience, nurturing care and gratitude to thy self?

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Develop Awareness

Develop Awareness

“As we reach deeper states of awareness, we will be able to detect subtler and subtler sensations or vibrations of greater rapidity, arising and passing with greater speed. In these deep states, our mind will become so calm, so tranquil, so pure, that we will immediately recognise any impurity accompanying the agitated state and make the choice to refrain from reacting adversely. It becomes clear to us that we can’t harm anybody without first defiling ourselves with emotions like hate or anger or lust. If we do this, we will come to an experiential understanding of the deep truth of impermanence. As we observe sensations without reacting to them, the impurities in our minds lose strength.” -Tricycle Teachings, Body in Practice

Sensations are not black and white. If you can not feel, hear or smell, that does not mean it’s not there or it doesn’t exist. Our senses act like filters for the brain and nerve center so they don’t burn out like a fuse. When we can train the mind to focus on one situation at a time it becomes quiet. When the mind is under control we can handle the little glimpses of what’s hiding behind the senses.

We can sense the sound vibration through out a valley when lightning cracks open the sky. For me this awareness of subtle sensations comes through like a memory. When thunder sound waves ripple through the earth, I can feel them coming. It’s not a physical body feel at first. It comes through like a remembering of a thought or an emotion.

An agitated mind equals misery. There is no way around the misery if the mind is agitated. For most of us the emotion comes on or the miserable thoughts start to come and we don’t even know why it is happening or how. We don’t have that awareness. For most, we express anger, fear or emotional sadness when the mind is agitated and that’s as far as we get. There is a whole Universe filled with joy we just need to be willing to take responsibility for getting it. No one else will give you happiness. You can share a moment with someone but it is truly up to you to bring joy into your daily life.

You don’t have to call it meditation. Mental exercises, concentration games or sitting is the same as meditation. Change your mind about it, sit and be with yourself and make a change toward your happiness.

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Awareness and consciousness

Awareness and consciousness.

Awareness and consciousness

“The perception stored away in the body of an unwanted child is a repressed perception, but it is nonetheless accurate for that: “They want to kill me. I’m in mortal danger.” This perception can vanish from the adult mind once it has become conscious. Then the former emotion (fear, anxiety, stress) will turn into a memory that says: “I was in danger before but I am not any longer.” Normally, such a conscious memory is either proceeded or accompanied by the experience of the old emotions and by feelings of grief” –Alice Miller The Body Never Lies

Some of us are not allowed our own understanding as children. This leads to anxiety, fear and unnecessary stress as we age. As individual adults we have the power to take control of our own thoughts and emotions to be a more centered human living without the painful anxiety. Awareness and consciousness can be achieved through repetition; a practice. The action can be simple as sitting for 5 minutes or synchronized movement and breath for 3 hours.

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