Welcoming circle – introductions. Standing, morning awakening to loosen up the body and get the breath moving.
We begin with this radical idea: the body holds our experiences and our feelings; breath reveals them. Breath has transformational power and gives us emotional strength. Body mind and spirit become aligned through breathing.
Throughout the next two days, we will step through 8 segments using breathing and bodywork to reveal old beliefs and integrate new concepts. We will move from unconsciousness to freedom, and along the way, you will pick up techniques that will serve you for the rest of your life.
WELCOME TO THE UNCONSCIOUS
If you want to change your life, get in touch with your internal self
When young, we buried shame, fear and pain, deep in our body. Consequently, bad thoughts were born. We often take comfort in these bad thoughts.
Beliefs are a response to life experiences and unspoken rules. They are born in childhood and are carried through our lives unless we question. A negative belief must be recognized, observed, owned and dismantled.
It is said that most of us have 10,000 negative thoughts a day. We attract into our life what we think about. The practice of observing our thoughts is a critical first step to change.
Exercise: Becoming Aware
Sitting in a circle everyone will be asked to share answers to one of the following:
Insight: In becoming more aware of self, we find
Lying down, scan the body to notice where your body creates tension and consciously relax those areas.
The reason questions are important
Many believe that our unconscious is ruling 90% of our actions. If this statistic is even directionally correct, it explains why when we look closely at relationships etc., we find that we repeat similar patterns of behavior. We haven’t learned from our experiences, because we are on autopilot with our unconscious driving our actions and reactions. Because we haven’t asked questions or perhaps we aren’t asking the hard questions, we continue to make the same mistakes.
In questioning, investigating the undercurrents of seminal events in our lives, we are able to begin to live more consciously.
Just as our spirit may speak to us in the unconscious dream state, disturbing events in our lives may also be spirit trying to reach us. In this exercise, we will ask ourselves provocative questions in an effort to get to the root of unconscious patterns.
Exercise: Ask Why Journaling
Write about seminal events in your life that have haunted you. Then write “why – why do they haunt me?” And finally, write why you think it happened.
Insight: Come back into the circle. Share with the group. Have you uncovered a pattern or a core issue that may be driving events in your life?
Diaphragmatic breathing. The diaphragm is the organ of inspiration and expiration. Use the inspiration of your diaphragm to assist you in finding answers.
INTO THE FIRE
Deal with it.
Examining our questions and answers brings us face-to-face with our life events and choices. We can choose to work through painful memories, relationships or situations, or we can avoid. Avoidance and lack of questioning allows the unconscious mind to continue on its path of repeating cycles.
When we go “into the fire” we do so thoughtfully, carefully, like taking thorns off of a rose stem. We objectively examine the situation, our role, their role. We consider motives, histories and mistakes. We discard the voice of judgment and work to articulate our feelings and points of view in a way that is insightful.
Looking at our most private and disturbing memories is critical to growing. What we often find are false understandings of self and our world.
Conversations that we don’t want to have are a great place to begin the hard work. When you step into this fire, prepare to be vulnerable. If you come from a place of love, you will find more strength & power.
Exercise: Conversations We Don’t Want to Have
Partner, imagine you have another opportunity to express yourself fully at a time when you held back, shut down or lashed out.
All participants are doing this exercise in partnership simultaneously.
Insight: In expressing ourselves in difficult situations with ease and clarity we learn to own ourselves.
Sharing – 10 mins.
Write – 5 mins
Ujjayi breath, ocean breath, wind breath. We use Ujjayi breath for strength.
THE JOURNEY OUT
Transitioning to a New way of Thinking
We have just faced our deepest fears. We have looked at our stories with compassion like a movie watcher who empathizes with all characters in a complex scene. Now we need to find our own unique truth, our most authentic self.
There are clues to who we are all around us every day, but we are not looking for them, so we never see them. In ancient tradition of many indigenous people, every encounter with animals held meaning. Understanding the symbolism of animals is quite revealing! When an animal shows up in your life, it is a mirror of your energy… of what you are learning or what you need to learn.
Open yourself to an Animal Visualization, which may bring forth your power animal – the animal whose characteristics mimic yours. This is a spot on way of being introduced to your most authentic self. Trust the process.
There is a symbolic meaning of the animal (or animals) that comes to your mind within this exercise. You will find the qualities and characteristics of the animal are indeed describing your truest self. And you may begin looking at yourself with different eyes.
Exercise: Animal Visualization
Sharing – 10-15 mins.
Write – 5 mins..
Stand up for 3 deep inhalations and exhalations using the motion of a yogic sun salutation to bring the work to your heart and give thanks to yourself for the effort.
Welcoming circle. Standing and setting an intention for the day. Yogic positions to open the heart in preparation for the day.
TURNING POINT / TIPPING POINT
As you begin to see yourself with new eyes, so will you see many things a new. Stay present, without judgment and allow the voice of intuition to guide you. We often think of life is a journey. Keep in mind a journey can be an active adventure or a passive disaster. You choose.
Many think that our interior life is just that, interior, off limits to the external world. But the truth is, we can’t keep our interior life under wraps forever. Sooner or later, our beautiful tapestry or rats nest of disparate threads are revealed. The action needed to beautify our interior life is forgiveness. Forgiveness creates internal peace and outward beauty.
We begin with compassion. We recognize that those who hurt us or disappointed us were hurt or disappointed by someone too. Just like us, they were babies that innocently absorbed feelings and ideas from those around them. The difference is simply that they remained in the darkness. They were not aware that there is a different way to live.
Exercise: Forgiveness Meditation by Stephen Levine. Provide handout
Roll down the grounding exercise.
OUT OF DARKNESS
We have investigated aspects of our unconscious, looked for patterns in our behavior, confronted ourselves in relationship to others, glimpsed characteristics of our nature and have meditated on forgiveness.
Now it’s time to move forward, out of darkness. Continuing to solidify the understanding of who you are is critical and requires vigilance. One way we may better understand ourselves is by looking at your heroes. We are attracted to heroes because they have qualities or values that we ourselves hold. We may not be able to paint like the Masters, but we may have their eye for beauty, their ability to illicit emotion in their art or their commitment to representing the totality of what they saw.
Exercise: Trying on a New Skin
Kalabata (breath of fire) is used to awaken your fire..
A NEW BEGINNING
Seeing Life’s Beauty
We have begun to move forward, to think a bit differently, to see a bit more of ourselves.
The sages tell us that our belief systems, our perspective, inform our experiences. Every moment can be a new beginning. The Law of Attraction, while not a complete roadmap to manifesting the life you want, brings our attention to the impact our thoughts have on the circumstances of our lives.
With each thought, belief, expectation, we send energy out which operates like a boomerang. We want to ground ourselves in positive thoughts beliefs and expectations. When we live in gratitude, we raise our vibration and turbo charge our energy boomerang machine.
We were born to thrive with the same ability as the entire natural world. As thinking, creative beings, we can create our feelings, not just experience them. So we take the time to appreciate our path, our gifts, our health, the people in our lives, the art and artists that inspire us, the nature surrounding us and the changes that are happening within us.
Read from pg 145 of the book.
Three part breathing to gently expand the appreciation.
Freedom from Suffering
Our final step in personal transformation is finding a lasting freedom. That freedom is found in the realization that modern science and ancient traditional beliefs are aligning. They are proving that we and nature and the Universe are all one and that our thoughts are creating reality.
The Masters, those who learned to live in their truth, created their freedom and give us hope that we can too. Once we realize that our choices matter and have an effect beyond the earth, we see that freedom is a conscious choice. And we see why it is important that our choices reflect what is in our best interest, because that is in the interest of humanity and the planet.
We can choose to live in joy. Living in our joy solidifies our power and delivers freedom. We will use a sense memory exercise to help align and reinforce positive memories and feelings with physical senses – a wonderful way to bring together you mind/body /spirit.
Exercise: Your Joy
Nodisudi (alternate nostril breathing) integrates the right and left brain, calming the nervous system and bringing peace into the body.
Lynn closes the circle with final words.