All posts by Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Finding Harmonious Balance

Homeostasis!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

All systems seek homeostasis. There are countless permutations of homeostasis. For instance, if one part of a system rises to an extreme, other parts of the system compensate by moving to the opposite extreme to restore balance. A system of extremes, though a volatile and unstable balance, nonetheless can take possession of the world, as well as the human personality, with dire consequences.

Democratic governments have evolved systems of checks and balances to ensure stability of governance. Elected representatives bring their varied, opposing beliefs and individualistic concerns to their meeting halls and, ideally, attempt to harmonize their decisions for the greater good. Often, however, special interests seek to stockpile power to advance their agenda unsullied by a democratic process, which generally requires compromise.

Some issues, such as a threat to national security, evoke a primal unity that can advance a generalized acceptance of war. This falls under the category of nationalism.

The world is dangerously close to such an eventuality, particularly in a time of deluge of fake news, geared toward advancing special interests, especially for those who advocate war to eliminate unwanted parts of the world system.

These are like the times in world history where a savior is sought to bring a peaceful reconciliation of opposites and restoration of world stability. In modern terms, the world seeks a mature adult leader to restore order.

In the human personality, the adult self is the “savior” charged with bringing sustainable homeostasis within the system of the human psyche.

The adult self is the conscious president of the personality. The chakras of the human energy system are the major energy centers of the personality that reflect different needs within the self. Thus, for instance, the first chakra is the representative of core security and safety. The second chakra is concerned with procreation and continuance of the species. The third chakra is concerned with the power of individual needs and wants, the true coming of age of the human ego.

The fourth chakra is the meeting place of the spiritual self, where the individualistic ego is introduced to the truth of its place in the larger interconnected system of the greater self. The heart chakra teaches the ego right action for the needs of the greater whole.

The final three chakras are greater refinements of awakening to the transpersonal dimension of being and to life beyond the physical self.

The adult self is charged with managing the needs of the total self in space time, that is, daily human life. The adult self must bring to the meeting room the unique concerns of all the representatives of the various chakras. Decisions must be made, and checks and balances employed, to insure good management of energetic resources in the behavioral fulfillment of everyday life.

Unfortunately, the adult self must undergo much maturation before it arrives at the adult ability to govern for the greater good of the personality. Here, checks and balances appear in the form of psychosomatic symptoms, emotional and cognitive reactions, as well as dream experiences and synchronistic manifestations that bring influence upon the homeostatic balance of the personality.

A basic example: at the core chakra level, we must eat to survive. The second chakra, with its primal concern of mating, might negate the need to eat in order to attract a mate. The third chakra, in a state of grandiose entitlement, might insist upon unlimited treats. The fourth chakra might give the message that food is necessary in moderation, and hold out that a true mate would be attracted to a person who lovingly cares for the true needs of the whole body.

An immature adult self might find itself easy prey to the special interests of one or another chakra, resulting in either under or over eating. An adult self that has undergone the trials of the lower chakras, and reached the heart chakra, would be able to avail itself of the wisdom offered at the heart chakra. This would mean eating an enjoyable, moderate, truly needed meal.

Again, all systems must achieve homeostasis. Homeostasis could actually look like an indulgent attitude, compensated by severe somatic and emotional symptoms. The goal is to achieve harmonious homeostasis, which provides enduring sustainability. All individuals have the opportunity to be saviors of themselves, in their intent of achieving mature adulthood.

Let us intend that world leadership follow this example.

Pursuing the path to heart,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Finding Equanimity

Finding equanimity in nature…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The ability to remain consistently calm, in this time of incessant turbulence and rapid unpredictable bipolar shifts, is a cherished resource. Equanimity greets every moment with equal attention, appreciation, clarity and calm.

Buddhist practice embraces equanimity as the ultimate attitude needed for successful transition from human to infinite life. The ability to be present, to not sow a seed of reincarnation—by distraction or attachment—in the dying process, frees the energy body to evolve in its definitive journey beyond human life.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico also valued the relationship of equanimity and death. They reasoned that any moment in life could be one’s final moment, hence one should be fully present, alive, and equally appreciative of every moment in life, regardless of personal preferences.

The Shaman’s perspective is the ultimate Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all moments are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Shamans cultivate equanimity as a program for living, the Buddhists as the key in dying. Both cultivate an attitude of deep calm in approaching life’s greatest encounter—its final moment.

How can we cultivate equanimity?

The Shamans contribute an attitude shift. Each day they remind themselves, ” My name is ________, a being who is going to die.” Far from being a morbid ‘Good Morning, World,’ this use of death as an advisor heightens one’s awareness to be fully present and engaged in every moment of the day, regardless of the activity.

How often do we lament a Monday morning, or the end of a joyous encounter? Even worse, how often do we dread an encounter or work task, and pray for it to quickly end. The intent of equanimity is to be equally calm and present to each equal moment, regardless of its intensity.

The Buddhists contribute the practice of meditation to still the mind, a great perpetrator of non-equanimity known as worry. Yoga, with its Hindu roots, uses self-regulation of the body to achieve equanimity. The practice of pranayama breathing exercises greatly enhances voluntary control of the autonomic nervous system’s mobilizing defenses, in the face of real or imagined stress, a valuable tool to achieve equanimity.

Autogenic training and self-hypnosis are tools to deepen the conscious relationship between mind and body. When we give the body a specific instruction when in a deeply relaxed state, the subconscious begins to listen and override its genetic, archetypal, or habitual programs.

Thus, we can instruct every part of our body to remain deeply calm while we remain fully awake and present to all conditions. Jan and I recently discovered the gift of Dr. Eleanor Eggers, a 97-year-old  semiretired psychologist, who developed a simple website giving away the secrets of her life’s work. This is her contribution to the greater good.

Her website offers the autogenic phrases that Elmer and Alyce Green developed at the Menninger Foundation, for deep relaxation, as well as other resources from her long and fruitful career. We happily pass on her website link: Dr. Eleanor Eggers.

Though, at present, we may experience limitation in exacting needed changes to our chaotic world, we are all free, as Victor Frankl would say, to assume the attitude we will embody in our encounters with that world. Equanimity ranks highest in our approach to life, in and beyond this world.

May all beings find equanimity.

Peace,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Times of Disintegration

Tend to all facets of self to maintain homeostasis…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Classic stages of group development include differentiation followed by intimacy. Differentiation is also known as the storming stage, where group members vie for power and control. This would be an apt description for the disintegrative current state of the world.

As I sit writing this blog, I contemplate the recent mass shooting in Virginia Beach, located in my new home state of Virginia. Such occurrences are so commonplace in our time that by the time this blog is published, a few days from now, the attention of the world will have shifted to the next crisis. Survival in our time appears to require a numbing to the onslaught of daily crisis throughout the world.

This shooting, gun control issues aside, reflects an outbreak of a psychotic psychological virus that becomes activated, as the previous homeostasis in the world that contained these destructive energies is lost. These latent destructive energies are potentiated and invited to erupt through the fissures in our social networks.

Though these lethal outbreaks appear unrelated, they are all connected by an undercurrent of global psychosis, thinly contained by the governing world factions vying for control in this time of disintegration. 

When threatened, humans turn to an array of defense mechanisms to protect the ego from the disintegrative effects of danger. These include denial and rationalization. Denial helps us maintain ego integrity by keeping the danger at bay. Rationalization protects the ego, through the supremacy of reason, from the disintegrative collective psychosis blatantly erupting by the hour throughout the globe.

We need our defenses. But we do well to allow ourselves to acknowledge the greater truth of the disintegrative times we live in, with their potential lethal side effects. Ego does well to call upon its higher Self or High SOUL for guidance in these extraordinary times. Synchronicities and dreams often provide precognitive guidance that might be useful in everyday decision making. We should not be so quick to override an ominous feeling that suggests, for instance, that we change a plan we have made.

Of course, we want to be careful to not become paranoid and overly fearful of the world. However, a bit of rational paranoia might be appropriate in these times of instability. Most significantly, we should give due consideration to all signs and messages from the unconscious that seek to get our conscious attention. Why refuse such wisdom and support from within?

Traditionally, children turn to their parents for security and stabilization in times of threat. Likewise, citizens turn to their leaders. The uniqueness of our times is that the leaders are heralding the disintegrative phase, which further thins the fissures in the social safety network.

Beyond that, the technological age has provided easily accessible social network mediums to further entice and activate destructive torrents. The preponderance and power of outside influences can easily distract one from their inner partner and personal homeostasis, which is vital in these disintegrative times.

The good news is that every individual can proceed to the intimacy stage of group development, what the world needs now, through inner psychic hygiene. Every individual has the power to seal the border of the self from outside influence and focus on bringing their inner self into balance by listening to the various factions of the inner self and creating good governance of self, within and without.

This might mean deciding, for instance, to give up coffee to calm the body and mind, or be honest with self and friend about a relationship that is not working. I make no judgment about coffee, by the way, the example simply reflects any truth an individual must face.

Surrendering our attachment to illusion is the first step toward intimacy with self. Facing this monumental challenge alone is a contribution toward the new intimacy and cohesion the world so desperately needs.

Be empowered to reconcile the warring factions of self vying for control in these times of disintegration. Reconciliation in the truth of the heart is true citizenship in these changing times. Do your duty to self and country; focus on sustainable inner balance.

Just another citizen,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Beyond Belief

Shine a light on what’s bugging you…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

If a desired change is not happening, we must search for hidden influences. Often, the thoughts of others greatly limit what we allow ourselves to become. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico lived lives of virtual anonymity to avoid the expectations of others from limiting their freedom.

The socializing effect of our family of origin, as well as how we were seen and treated by peers, becomes encoded in our young psyches. These internalized definitions can unconsciously become hardwired beliefs that contradict our conscious intent.

Perhaps a sibling was assigned the role of the smart one. By default and comparison we become the not smart one. This can extend to creativity, athletic prowess, or physical designations such as the pretty, handsome, or overweight one. Again, these internalized beliefs become subconscious rules of how we manifest physically, cognitively, and emotionally.

Outside influences actually extend to our genetic coding, which exacts its own impact upon our personhood from the accumulated experiences of our ancient family line. How often do we feel powerless over the dictates of our genes?

It is not helpful to blame anyone for anything because in doing so we surrender our power and become victims. Thus, to blame our genes, our families, or our peers for our limitations is to agree to be limited. Far better to employ our energy in discovering how we limit ourselves by upholding an imposed belief about ourselves.

Anything is indeed possible, but only if we can locate and dismantle the limiting beliefs we have accumulated throughout our lifetime. One method to achieve this is in recapitulation. We might select a vignette from our history when someone judged us negatively.

As we perform the sweeping breath, moving the head from side to side while reliving the vignette, we breathe in our own energy and exhale the energy of the other person, freeing ourselves of the negative internalized judgment that has ruled us.

Another approach to override internalized beliefs is through the power of suggestion. Only this time the suggestion comes from the conscious self, not the influence of others. For suggestion to take root, we must first achieve a deep state of relaxation. Pranayama breathing and whole body relaxation foster this.

Just the fact that we can tell our bodies to relax, and then  experience it begin to happen, underscores the control we exact over manifesting our intent. Once deeply relaxed, we state clearly and succinctly our intention. Suggestions might be: body lose weight; body restore health; brain improve memory.

Trust that the body is fully capable of knowing how to accomplish the suggestion; it simply requires the command to do so. Do not attach to the outcome. Consistently repeat the relaxation and suggestion process.

Watch for synchronicities or life events that will bring to the surface encounters with limiting beliefs. Use recapitulation to untie the knot of your attachment to an old idea, as your energy is freed for the furthering of your intent. This might even take us into our remote ancestry where we disengage from a family myth that has haunted our intended fulfillment.

Beyond belief all things are possible. Free the self from the beliefs that bind you, as you discover your unlimited potential.

Beyond belief,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Time for Self-Regulation

Oppose the dominant energy of now… get heart centered and calm…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Unchecked impulse is the dominant energy of now. There are no signs of it letting up. None are immune from the impact of this energetic wave. Now is the time to turn inward and self-regulate.

It all boils down to intent. Intent manifests the word. Intent is the spirit of Yang (masculine energy) that attracts the Yin (feminine energy) of matter. When we tell the body to relax, it listens and releases according to instruction. But there are challenges.

Blocking beliefs are habitual instructions well-established in the body. If the entrenched belief is that “I am nervous,” the body will favor this established command and remain tense. This is understandable. A hardwired command may assert itself even in the face of a new order, “the body relaxes.” We must be patient and persevering when establishing new rules.

Perhaps the most challenging blocking belief is that “I don’t have the power to consciously alter things in my body.” Let this be the null hypothesis, that is, “my mind cannot change my body.” Let the hypothesis be: “anything is possible.” Next, set up the experiment.

Two times each day, calm the body with some form of progressive relaxation that focuses attention on all parts of the body, simultaneously giving the verbal message to relax. For example, notice the state of tension in your forehead, or shoulders and neck, and instruct the body to release the tension. Cover all sections of the body, head to toe.

Next, in a state of deeper calm, post-relaxation, tell the body, several times, the issue you expect it to address. A child who struggles with enuresis (bedwetting) might simply state: “body, wake me up when it’s time to pee.”  An adult with digestion issues might instruct the body to “comfortably digest the food you receive.” The conscious mind merely states its intent, the body will know what to do.

Remain persevering in this regimen for a month. Attach no expectations to the outcome. Keep the mind passive. Expectations have been proven, at the subatomic level, to bias matter. Better to remain scientific and simply see what happens. Do, however, calmly follow the daily protocol and note whatever you notice each day. The key here is patience and calm perseverance.

All issues in our lives register in our bodies as stress, which means an activation of our autonomic nervous system to fight, freeze, or flee to protect us. This hardwired reaction can be overridden with direct communication to the body that assures it that it is safe and okay to return to calm. Prove it with your personal experiment.

Too often, we insist that we must get to the root of the problem before we can get calm. The problem is, if we are activated, we will be unable to perform the mental operations needed to think clearly. The body funds survival over mental processing. The thinking brain is largely dormant, hence, ineffectual when we are triggered.

Once we become calm, we gain the clarity and brain power to understand the root of the trigger. As we process the trigger, we can continually return to calm by reminding the body to release its stress.

Outer stress resulting  from nature’s changes or political gamesmanship are surely on the rise. The opportunity here is to turn inward and access one’s personal intent to master outer challenge. All power lies within. Take up the challenge to hone your personal link to intent. Do the experiment. Let the outcome be your own proof.

Self-regulating,

Chuck