Strive for balance in mind, body and spirit, allowing each to have its part but none too much. Moderation in all habits of mind, body and spirit will allow balance to be achieved. When any aspect is overdone or neglected the whole suffers. It’s a pretty simple concept to grasp but obviously a difficult task to achieve. That is why it can be the work of an entire lifetime, and a worthy endeavor indeed!
Remain contained and resolve inner issues within the self rather than project them onto others. It’s not enough to say you understand something when you really don’t, so take it inward and ponder it until you do understand it at a deeper level. When you assume without deeper contemplation you make the mistake of taking on another’s ideas. Better to avoid conflict by deeper contemplation within the Self, for the Self knows everything. You just have to go to the Inner Self to discover this.
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.
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.
Keep your intent strong. Mark your own words and abide by them. Hold yourself accountable, for only you are responsible for yourself, your decisions, and how far you go with your intentions. If you want something, you are perfectly capable of making it happen, step by step, holding your intent strong and not wavering from your path. With your intentions firmly stated, your will strong, and your focus forward, you will not fail. Intent!