Our attention is the most precious, powerful creative essence on Earth. Whatever has our attention has our energy.
Think for just a moment about what in your life holds your attention, and therefore your creative energy.
Are the things that have your attention life-giving? Do they support your peace and feelings of harmony in your body? Do they make you feel whole and free? Are you living with clarity and feeling aligned with a purpose that is fulfilling? Or maybe what has your attention makes you fragmented and disconnected? Maybe you feel sustained stress? Does it make you feel fearful and disconnected?
We could argue that this is a very challenging time to be human. There are unprecedented demands for our attention.
And we could argue that it’s a time of great potential and possibility.
Many of us don’t want to carry on the current path. Never mind what’s happening outside our body in our culture and time, we don’t want to carry on this way within our body. We want to transcend our current conditions, feel more alive, improve our well-being, enjoy nurturing relationships with others.
We want to create a more beautiful reality from a greater level of consciousness. And maybe we don’t articulate it in this way, but we hold that feeling in our body, that wanting.
In stress, it can be so hard to figure out how to elevate our perspective enough to create from a greater level of mind.
Nearly 10 years ago a series of events happened in my life that demanded I evaluate the trajectory I was on:
- My mind was a mess of grief from my father passing and a bundle of stress and anxiety around my responsibilities.
- My emotions were all over the place and ruling my life with a boiling-just-under-the-surface level of frustration and anger.
- My physical body was taking a hit, being worn out with repetitive, hard labor and manifesting mysterious issues in my stomach, heart and throat that no blood test, EKG, or imagining could identify or define.
- I was losing interest in my profession, which I had a passion for in many ways but in which I was growing lonely, bored and restless.
- My relationship with my business partner and mother (who was and is one of my greatest friends and teachers) was strained and stuck.
- I had a plaguing sensation, a dissatisfied feeling that there must be more to life.
At that time my spiritual practice was disintegrating. I was practicing a religious tradition that felt incongruent with my heart: it taught me I was essentially flawed, sinful and unworthy but also made in the image of God, and I didn’t think those two concepts could co-exist in the same space, within the same (my) body. And anyway, that religious institution was crumbling under its own weight due to its own wildly harmful, dreadfully misaligned, hypocritical, shadowy conduct.
All of these events happened simultaneously but across the span of a few years, playing out as things do when they dawn and build over time. It all took a toll on mind, body and soul.
Previously I had relied on my analytical thinking to figure things out and I told myself this situation was no different: “Figure it out Diana, think your way through this,” I demanded.
Applying more work, more force, even bulling my way through things had always worked in the past and I figured this was no different.
But then something unexpected happened.
In my turmoil, I figured I could soothe and fix myself through meditation, which to me meant that day after day I twisted my body up in what I called “the pretzel pose” (what normal people call the lotus pose) and tried to breathe deeply and shut up my mind. I thought it was about technique, and that I just had to figure it out, based on what other people had done and what they typically instructed.
Then one day as I sat there wrapped in pretzel pose, I perceived the subtlest quiet uttering as my felt my body speak. That’s just the best way to say it: I felt my body speak. This to me was a novel sensation. Looking back now I can see that up until that time in my life I had suffocated my body’s subtle feedback loops, it’s quiet and powerful communication system that is in place to self-regulate order and harmony in our life. I believed my body to be and I treated my body like a draft horse that could pull through anything and everything through sheer willpower.
Blinders on. Head down. Focused. Muscling through. Forging forward.
That day, my body told me to lay down, and that for me the pretzel pose was non-sense and uncomfortable. It made no sense to willingly endure pain in pursuit of enlightenment—pain was a signal meant to que avoidance.
Honestly, it was like my body said to my brain, “For the love of God, Diana, just lay down and get out of our way.”
I love my body so much for that day and I love my brain for decoding its message.
I laid down on my living room floor and propped my knees with pillows from my couch. I was more than a tad bit fed up with typical meditation instruction like “just let the thoughts float across your mind like clouds across the sky.”
That wasn’t helpful to me because there were so many thoughts in my head the sky was totally overcast, a thick mat of grey clouds with no blue sky, no white fluffy clouds in sight.
Viewing meditation as something that happened in my head hadn’t served me.
I remember thinking as I lay down that day, “What if meditation means use my whole body, not my head?”
I shifted my awareness down into my body and let go of the idea that I was trying to not think.
I let my attention roam around in my feet and legs first, just noticing the space they occupied as I lay there on the floor. I felt my hips and back in contact with the floor and let my awareness float around the space my abdomen and chest took up in the space of my living room. I felt for where my arms were, their weight and then just feeling for the space they took up.
I just lay there feeling down into my body and forgetting about my brain.
I let myself drift into a semi-sleepy state and kept noticing the space of my body, taking it all in at once. Soon I lost track of where my body was in space, and my mind couldn’t really tell the difference between the space of my body and the space around my body.
I didn’t really know what I was feeling for but I had the urge to “listen with my whole body.” I didn’t know what I was listening for so I just paid attention, listening for sensations and movement. Before long I felt a tingling at my right side, in the space between my lowest right rib and my hip bone.
At first it felt like a non-physical energy tickle-itch down in my body and at the same time up in my head, in my minds eye, I could see the minute nerve endings down there wiggling around, excited, aroused.
It might sound a little strange, but the best way to put it is that my cells felt happy, like they were anticipating something.
“This feels good, so why not go with it?” I thought.
I held my attention on the tickling-itch sensation, trying to notice it more. The more attention I gave it the more it grew. It was building and expanding and soon I felt like something outside of me was sending electrical signals to me and all I knew was it felt good.
It felt like three-dimensional goose bumps, the kind you get on your arms and back when someone tells you a story of a heart-moving coincidence or something exciting, thrilling, extraordinary or supernatural, only it was flowing like a sine wave throughout my whole body.
Suddenly I realized something was happening TO me. I had noticed it but I wasn’t making it happen, it was happening to me. The niggling good feeling blasted a sudden shot of what only can be described as gorgeous bliss through my body. I had no control over it as it branched out, running down my left leg and shooting across my chest and up the right side of my neck and filling my head and brain with what felt like spaciousness and light.
This bliss like an elixir of energy: joy, love and harmony all bundled into one. It was branching out through my body in a way that created the image in my mind’s eye of a tree’s root system as I realized the energy was like a low-grade electricity, “lighting up” my nerves and I could feel the precise structure of my intricate nervous system which I had never previously given a moment’s thought to.
It was like I was being mapped by the energy of some extraordinary force that was outside of but also within me.
I just noticed kept my attention on it and hung on for the ride as pulsing waves of bliss gently washed through my body from right to left with amplitudes that ebbed and flowed in delicious wave after wave.
Under my belief system at the time, it took some presence of mind to hold on to the feeling and not to freak out, evaluate or judge as the extraordinary event unfolded. Through my disordered, fear-based thinking at the time I wondered if something possessive was over taking me, but the more I felt and observed the sensations, the more I noticed the waves, the more I paid attention to it the more impossible it seemed that anything that felt so good could be even remotely bad.
It was the energy of life giving me more life!
It was like a non-physical energy massage that was subtle, gentle, powerful, loving, intelligent, knowing and transformative.
And there was this gorgeous sense of the familiar although I’d never experienced anything like it: like this was something inherently natural, a natural state of being that I had forgotten but should remember.
In just a few incredibly beautiful minutes pure energy itself was teaching me what I was looking for through meditation. Listening to my inner directive to lay down, I opened up the energetic pathways in my physical body. Mentally I had become the observer, awareness itself. I transcended the story of who Diana is, what she was reaching for and struggling against.
I had just forgotten all that and paid attention to something else.
Through intense focus paying attention to space, not my physical body, not thought, I had stumbled upon the present moment and when I held my attention in that experience as an objective observer. And I became united with, unified with, coherent with the energy around me.
And the only thing around me (and it’s within and around each of us) was the bliss of life itself.
I was able to obtain information from it. That information surprised me. It made me feel known and loved in all of creation. It had always been present, I just had never tuned into that aspect reality.
I know I said in my previous blog that I’d share what I’ve learned about energy anatomy, but for some reason all this came out first. I’ll do that next time and here’s why it’s mission-critical for our healing:
We all have an innate energetic guidance system that processes the energy and information of our life empowers us to direct our life in love. Historically this system is called the Chakra system, but I think of it as a process and call it the Anatomy of Self-Love, because it is always:
- Directing us to take the most life-giving actions, doing the most good and least harm
- Helping us decide which people, which conditions, which jobs, which environments are most life-giving to us
- Self-organizing and self-regulating our energy to maintain a state of harmony and balance
- Grounding us in the here-and-now
- Helping us transcend awareness into our multidimensional Self, which is Divine Love itself
- And so much more!
This information has been known for millenia, but is now being validated, defined and understood by the sciences of neurology, endocrinology, cardioneurology, epigenetics and quantum physics.
When you know this anatomy, when you feel into it and into the energy within and around your body, you feel into how magnificent you are. If you want to create a first-hand experience of knowing more about this, consider attending one of my upcoming Yoga Nidra healing meditation retreats. For more information see here.
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