Tag Archives: central nervous system

Chuck’s Place: Tell Your Body What To Do

Image by Jan Ketchel

I would like to say that, yes, it is that simple. By telling your heart to beat slower, it will beat slower. By telling your blood pressure to flow more calmly, it will flow more calmly. By telling your breathing to calm down, it will calm down. By telling your body to relax, it will relax.

And though I know from personal experience that these things are true, I  also know that our internal programming, largely molded by our social conditioning and education, tells us that such things are not possible.

The rational mind either rejects such a simplistic possibility and refuses to do it or makes half-hearted attempts a couple of times and proves its absurdity.

If we allow our accepted beliefs to control our actions without honestly testing out possibilities beyond those beliefs, we will be slow to evolve. Evolution requires that we allow life to progress through its changes. If we grasp too tightly to old beliefs without testing new possibilities we create roadblocks to our own growth and evolution.

The true scientist is not offended when the outcome of an experiment disproves the stated hypothesis. To the contrary, there is the thrill of the discovery of a new truth. Science, at its purest, is a lover of truth. Beliefs that refuse to yield to an unprejudiced experiment are no lovers of true science.

It is true that many of our cognitive, emotional and behavioral actions happen outside the control of consciousness. Our subconscious minds are the home of the programs that automatically operate our physical and mental systems.

We should be quite thankful that the subconscious automatically shoulders the directing of these systems. Imagine if we had to tell ourselves to breathe every breath we inhale throughout the day! We’d have little energy and focus to do any other activity. Yet, it is a fact that at times, when we do assume conscious control of our breathing, it can have a deeply calming effect upon our body and state of mind.

The science behind the efficacy of conscious self-regulation can be traced to the pioneering research of German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz in what he called autogenic training. The marvels of hypnosis were in deep display in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. No one could deny that the subconscious mind could be influenced to vastly change the condition of the body.

What Schultz advanced was the possibility of a direct relationship between the conscious mind and the state of the body. Rather than put the conscious mind to sleep in a state of trance and then have the subconscious controlled by the suggestions of the hypnotist, in autogenic training the conscious mind is fully awake, talking with conviction to the body and the underlying subconscious, consciously directing physical changes.

The mind, at the level of the ego, the chief navigator of daily life, can decide at any time to direct thinking and behavior. This means volitionally, with conscious intent, interrupting and overriding the currently active program operating from the center of the subconscious mind.

With calm, unbiased perseverance, one can discover, for themselves, the power they have to directly influence the state of their central nervous system. Of course there are many other ways to influence this relationship, such as through the use of medications, whose chemicals exert direct influence over the automatic programs running the body.

Energy therapies such as acupuncture also directly impact the energy channels in the body, by overriding subconscious programs causing energy blockages. Massage therapy deals with the relaxing and redistributing of energy at the level of the densest concentrations of energy, the physical body.

All these methods have their benefits and may be helpful to creating harmony within the CNS. Statements made directly to the body empower an individual to directly impact their state of being. Of course, one should always investigate the reason behind an uncomfortable body condition, as there may be a message behind it to the psyche from the body, asking it to change a dysfunctional behavior or to investigate some deeper issue.

Nonetheless, even that kind of investigation requires a calm state of being to allow for clear mental processing. For this, the simple directive from the conscious mind, telling the heart to beat slower, may prove extremely useful.

Try it. See what happens. Be a true scientist.

My heart beats slower,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Heart Beats to the Intensity of Activation

Heart centeredness…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

 We live in a time that many have identified as one of quickening. The impact of such fevered evolutionary activity on the central nervous system (CNS) is quite palpable in the form of heightened anxiety and quickened escalation to panic. The heart beats to this intensity of activation. 

Underneath the energetic impact of our times is our innate temperament. The genetics which inform the inborn settings of our CNS greatly impact our innate resilience to stress. Thus, an inheritance of ancestral trauma can program our CNS to approach life with constant   vigilance. The heart beats to this intensity of activation.

In addition to inheritance is the impact of many experiences post-conception that are regulated by the subconscious mind. To assure survival and balance the subconscious might split off and store these unprocessed experiences in the body and shadow regions of the psyche. These splintered complexes form autonomous mini-psyches that occasionally are triggered and disrupt ego functioning. The heart beats to the intensity of  their activation.

Whether the source of activation be engrained habit or triggered complex is immaterial, the result manifests physically in the tempo of the beating heart. The challenge is to reset the CNS in order to find calm.

Psychopharmocology approaches this task with chemicals that both enhance or block the influence of hormones and neurotransmitters, whereby exerting regulation upon the CNS and the beating of the heart. This might be viewed as a material intervention to influence the physical body and, secondarily, the mind or spirit, which finds peace in a calmed body.

Heart centered breathing brings consciousness directly to the heart and can reset its rhythm to homogenize with the pace of the breath. Focus upon the breath also screens out activating thoughts through mindful presence with the heart center. Yogic pranayama breathing, as a regular practice, develops greater conscious control over the CNS. 

When we breathe with awareness the mind shuts off thinking. Conscious breathing is the mind exerting direct influence over the CNS. Psychotherapy offers another integrated mind body approach to CNS regulation through the processing of complexes and strengthening of control of the mind over itself.

Meditation and neurofeedback address CNS regulation at the most subtle dimension. In the stillness of inner focus one encounters the impact of complexes and habits, each vying for attention with stories and feelings, and notices their impact upon the heart. Release of attachment to these stories and feelings, while traveling deeper into the quiet dimensions of the soul, brings the CNS to utter calm. Sustained practice affords everyday life a modicum of detachment from the storm and stress of life in human form.

Finally, repetitive mantra, prayer or intention directly instructs the subconscious, the mind body center that automatically controls the CNS.

With sustained practice these programs can be altered through conscious effort. Of course, deep resetting of the CNS will take time and may require a combination of the practices outlined above.

And though the heart will always beat to the intensity of its activation, activation can be greatly transformed through mental practice. And mind you, all mental practice issues from the province of the soul. 

Soulfully,

Chuck

 

Soulbyte for Friday August 27, 2021

Let not the trials of life overwhelm you but instead find your calmness by breathing into your heart center, opening the door and letting the calmness that resides there permeate your being. This calmness is naturally present and it sits in wait, yearning for the day that it may be of service, for it knows no other desire except to find its place within you. Once this calmness is discovered let it be activated daily and you will find your life not only bearable but joyous, for your heart center is not only a place of calmness but of love as well, and this too you will experience once you open the door.

Sending you love,
The Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Soulbyte for Monday August 2, 2021

Let yourself be guided by nature to find your way to stillness, calmness, and a heart centered path where not only you flourish but all others do as well. It’s not that hard to get calm and remain calm. Practice how nature gets calm; the winds die down, the storms cease, the waters lie still, the critters sing their natural songs of life. Let all within you do the same so that nature becomes you and you become it. In this manner let yourself be guided to remain calm as much as possible. It will do you good.

Sending you love,
The Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Chuck’s Place: Go Deeper Into Calm

Nestle in calmness…
– Photo by J. E. Ketchel

The mass shootings of now grate upon our collective heart, nerves and gut, agitating our intent for calm and spiritual advancement in ourselves and our world. Our reactions range from outrage to utter despondency, true depression of spirit.

In the midst of WWI, in 1915, psychic researcher Frederic Myers, who had physically died in 1901, channelled to Juliet Goodenow the following perspective on the forces at play in the Great War, from his removed subtle perch in the next dimension:

“Germany is suffering today, in consequence of her having accepted as truth the writings of misguided theorists, involving the world in a conflict of opinion. Materialists have accomplished this tragic result through the materialistic belief of the nation… Nations that overdevelop materialistic ideas lose the necessary spiritual balance to retain sufficient equilibrium.” (Letters to Juliet: Is there Life after Death? p. 18)

Certainly, if we fast-forward to WWII, Germany fully materialized its theories of human perfection through actualizing laboratory procedures of purification via human extinction. The Holocaust became the ultimate material realization of misguided and misapplied spirit.

The passion of misguided beliefs achieving materialization are the tragic sparks we witness daily on our current world stage. The equilibrium we require for stability is extremely tenuous. How might an individual, but a cell of this living world soul, contribute to needed balance, both within and without?

All have direct access to the inner workings of their central nervous system. The subtlest thought or vibration registers in the nerves of the body, activating automatic reactions and responses. The speed and network of this subconscious activity is far more rapid than the deliberate analytic workings of the conscious mind.

As a result of these hidden mind/body processes, we might find ourselves seized with passion, or equally mired in sullen mood for unseen or unreflected reasons. These unconscious operations take hold of our state of physical charge and swoosh us along like dried leaves in a powerful wind. Collectively these winds generate the human clashes of now.

True, there are forces, seen and unseen, that strategically seek to provoke such disarray; all are not the meeting of non-premeditated intents. However, intended or random, we, as individuals, have the power to assume control of our central nervous systems.

In fact, this is critical to our greatest challenge in life, as we all must release our physical bodies at our time of death. Critical to optimal transition is the ability to completely relax, let go, and go with the flow of body to spirit. Resistance or refusal at this stage fixates one’s journey in an alternative illusory life, necessary to be completed before the real journey can be successfully resumed.

Thus, now, while fully alive as souls in physical body partnership, through focus upon our physical body, which constantly registers and reacts to spirit commands—conscious and unconscious—we can deepen our spirit’s calm and take command of our soul’s journey in this life and beyond.

The practice is quite simple, yet like all skills of value, requires patience and perseverance for optimal development. We begin by turning our awareness, which is a function of our spirit, to the state of tension in the physical body. We will notice if our heart rate is elevated, if our jaws are clenched, if our breathing is restricted, if our throats are constricted, if our belly is tight, if our perineum is tense, if pain or numbness is registering in some organ or appendage of the body.

With conviction and intention, we suggest to the body to go deeper into calm as we consciously release the tension in the body, taking it down a notch in calmness. With our breath in exhalation, we ask the body to take it down to another level of calm. We repeat this several times, as we reset and take command of the state of relaxation in the body.

Notice how another spirit, the internal dialogue, begins to initiate its interpretations, judgments, negative beliefs and stories, and how they stir the body to resume a tense state. Don’t engage in arguing with this cognitive activity. Instead, use it as a trigger to go deeper into calm.

In fact, begin to use all explosions of emotion and physical threat as triggers to go deeper into calm. Fear not that this will ill-prepare you to respond to danger. Every seasoned martial artist knows that the best strategy for encounter is the clarity afforded by deep calm. Certainly, the greatest opponent of all, death itself, is best managed in utter calm.

From the place of deep calm, you contribute calm and clarity to the collective world’s nervous system, contributing soothing balance to stabilize it in such tumultuous times.

Regardless of eruption upon the planetary surface, go deeper into calm. This is the Spirit that will materialize true equilibrium in our world. 

Go deeper into calm,

Chuck