Blog 58 – Time
How do you relate to time? Are you a punctual person?
Our relationship with time is important. Some of us are more oriented to the clock. When someone prefers to use our Judging process in the outer world, then one often has a different relationship to time. One is more aware of Chronos – a sense of time from ancient Greece related to chronological or sequential time. As human beings we have evolved from the sundial to the grandfather clock to the pocket watch to the digital wristwatch. Perhaps, we just look at our iPhone for the time. People who prefer their Judging Function prefer to be timely and organized. They tend to like planning and being methodical.
People who prefer to use their Perceiving Function are more spontaneous and flexible. They seek to experience and understand life as opposed to wanting to control it. They are adaptive and change course. People who prefer their Perceiving Function are more aware of Kairos – another sense of time from ancient Greece that is related to “a time in between.” While Chronos is quantitative, Kairos is qualitative.
The term Kairos reflects an earlier sense of time before sundials or clocks. Originally, our sense of time as human beings came from the cycles of nature – summer, fall, winter, and spring. The length of a day changes throughout the year depending on the season. The weather often varies from season to season. Time is variable. Farmers plant in spring and reap in the summer. The length of the light during the day waxes and wanes. Our bodies change with the cycles of nature – a woman has a period.
Yet the clock has become an unquestioned assumption for many modern people. We have a mechanical counting which reflects a 24 hour day. Our digital time is different from the rhythms of nature. A day in late December is very different from a day in the middle of June in Kansas City, USA, or Johannesburg, South Africa as well as for most of the world. Before we developed clocks our sense of time was different – more natural.
We had a different consciousness: sometimes referred to as mythical consciousness. These ancient people were keenly aware of nature and its rhythms. They perceived time as more of a circle of death and rebirth. “The ancients are said to have perceived events as iterations of a cosmic eternal return and regeneration within a specific place, whereas we believe that events occur on an irreversible, linear timeline that is independent of place,” writes Glen Aparicio Parry.
Most of us just assume that this ancient perception of time is fairytale, but that linear time is real. We do not even consider the possibility that this ancient view of time has validity. “The idea that time and space exist as independent dimensions is a relatively recent development. For most of mankind’s existence, knowledge of time and space was dependent upon place, for it was closely tied to the observation of the natural cycles of celestial and earthly phenomena surrounding one’s homeland. Knowing when and how to hunt, gather, and eventually to plant food all depended upon a close monitoring of the recurring rhythms of a place. What we know as time and space were merged into place,” writes Glen Aparicio Parry.
Our present day view of historical time assumes that time is simply a mathematical abstraction. This belief came from Isaac Newton who asserted that there was an “absolute” time. He asserted that time was then divorced from space.
Much of our modern thought originates from ancient Greece. One needs to carefully tune in to recognize an opening of Kairos. This is the source of the expression, “Seize the Day!” Kairos is also associated with an ever moving wheel of fortune. “Kairos time lives somewhere between intervals of Kronos time,” writes Glen Aparicio Parry.
“An Indigenous sense of time, it seems to me, includes both Kronos and Kairos and then maybe something more. It is understood that all is in flux, that everything is always changing and that even natural rhythms must be closely monitored because they are not guaranteed to remain the same. Monitoring these natural rhythms and cycles helps to develop an intuitive awareness, an awareness that recognizes the opportune time to act within a given cycle. This awareness seamlessly takes into account as host of variables, which are not logical or able to be broken down or counted because they are far too numerous – but they are understood nonetheless at an intuitive level,” concludes Glen Aparicio Parry.
Please watch this video on the Whole Brain State by Dr. John Omaha:
Blog 59 – Original Thinking
“I have learned, and am still learning, to slow down my thinking processes in order to allow a deeper knowing to come through. I am learning that the most important thing we can do is listen – to each other and to the natural rhythms that surround us,” writes Glen Aparicio Parry.
Our thinking is not our own. We assume that our thoughts are generated from our brain. We assume that we as humans create our own thoughts. What if this was not reality?
Indigenous peoples believe that humans are connected to nature. Human beings and nature are one. When we separate people, animals, things, or events from nature, we are able to study them in a neat and tidy way. Yet when we obtain knowledge in this abstract way, the knowledge is no longer connected to the cycles and rhythms of the whole landscape. With the study of natural phenomenon, we emphasized our objectivity. We separate ourselves from the things that we are studying.
We then shift the credit from nature to ourselves. We see the world as dead unless we are observing it. “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?”
When we observe nature, we are stopping it to measure it or take a photo of that instant. “When we stop the unfolding rhythms of nature, then we imagine that our projection of consciousness unto nature is the only motion occurring,” writes Glen Aparicio Parry.
We become inflated as human beings and assume powers over time and nature that we do not possess. We falsely assume that we have the power of divinity and claim it for our own. In the Western world, we ferociously move forward toward innovation and a belief that we are mastering nature. This progress has led to remarkable accomplishments. Yet with our achievements, we become blind to other cultures with ideas that may contradict our collective beliefs about nature and science.
If we let go of our excessive thinking and are more accepting, then we are able to gradually move toward inner peace. We are able to realize that our mental activity by itself with not solve our problems. Our constant thinking can create more problems than it solves.
If we are able to find a way to detach ourselves, we can experience happiness. Yet if we believe that acquiring cars, money, lovers, or approval will make us happy, then we will never find it. Happiness can be found in what is whole and complete inside of us. “Inside we possess original mind, the ground of being we all share,” writes Glen Aparicio Parry.
“The good news, however, is that we are approaching the end of the era of the rational mind as the predominant mode of consciousness. The beginning of the unfolding of an intuitive (and more feminine) way of knowing is upon us. Rational thought, frequently associated with masculine principle, will not go away, but it will no longer be our master. The emerging integral consciousness will include our physical, emotional, mental structures, and these will underlie a new more inclusive understanding (wherein the rational will be literally standing under the intuitive) . . . .we need to put aside the negativity and confusion of the past and remember our connections with all human beings and all creatures. . . A new day is upon us . . . the only way we can make the transition successfully is to wipe away our tears and walk hand in hand together with one mind and spirit. . . We need to recapture what it means to be fully human in order to usher in a new era of integral consciousness, in which the full spectrum of human potential is activated,” writes Glen Aparicio Parry.
PLease watch this video about Psych-K which is one way of achieving a whole brain state:
One of my favorite things to do with my mother, who was born in 1934 and turned 80 years old last year, is to go to the De Young Museum which is located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, USA. My mom loves to go to exhibits with art from all parts of the world. My mom and I as well as other friends have seen sculptures of sub-Saharan Africa, American artists, art of the Olmec people of ancient Mexico as well as European artists – Mattia Preti, Domenikos Theorokopolos (also known as El Greco), Claude Monet, James Mc Neil Whistler (the painter known for “Whistler’s Mother”), Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent Van Gogh – and modern artists, like Keith Haring and Jackson Pollock.
My mom had a series of strokes that began in 2006. These strokes made it very difficult for her to communicate at first. I later realized how much she was able to learn and understand when I took her to the De Young Museum. I asked her if she wanted to rent the device which would allow her to listen to a description of the art. My mom said, “Yes.”
I pushed my mom in her wheelchair through the exhibit as she listened with her headset. I would roll her to each painting, paying careful attention to what she said she wanted to see. At her request, we stopped at virtually every painting for 3 to 5 minutes. She listened to every recording – the entire recording – about the artists, the paintings, and the history of when the paintings were created. Often, we would enjoy a delightful gourmet lunch on the patio, looking out at Golden Gate Park. These visits were wonderful and have been some of my most joyful moments with my mom as we took the time to absorb great works of artistic masters.
Art has the capacity to transform us. Symbols are very powerful and can affect us deeply. A movie such as “Schindler’s List” or a painting, like the “Mona Lisa” moves many people very powerfully. A picture is worth a thousand words. Just one flash of an image can have a profound effect on our emotions and thoughts.
Silence is also very powerful. We are often afraid of solitude in our American culture. Our iPhone or television can drown out silence all day long, all year long. For a lifetime, we can be cut off from our interior life. We may wake up at 3:00 in the morning with an anxious dream – sweating.
In silence, we can find our compassion and creativity pouring through us. Once we thought we would never find creativity, then it comes through us like a burst of fire. The embers of creativity always lie within us smoldering. This creativity inside us is just waiting us to notice it and express it. Join Sue Renfrew in this video and learn how to meditate and contemplate about a painting, whether you are at an art exhibit in a Museum or anywhere else.
“Your focus is your reality,” says Yoda. What we put our attention on has an enormous impact on our life. It seems that now things are competing for our attention more than ever. We can sit watching television with over 1000 channels available. Then, I can pick up my iPhone and look at my email, Facebook, news from thousands of sources, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and much more. All this distraction is important to the quality of our lives.
What is attention? The word, attention, originates in the Latin word, attendere. This means to reach toward, connecting us with the world, shaping and defining. Our attention works like a muscle. If we sit on the couch and do nothing, our muscles get weaker and do not grow; they atrophy. If we get off the couch and play soccer, we build muscle. Over time our legs can get big and very strong.
We live in an era when we receive many messages every day, by text, email, Facebook, or iPhone (voice). According the Nielson, the average American teen sends 3,339 text every month. Ninety four percent of American teens go online daily. Twenty-four percent go online “almost constantly.”
“Children today are more attuned to machines and less to people than has ever been true in human history,” writes Daniel Goleman. Each time a child talk with someone or watching others have a conversation, they are impacted. The social and emotional circuitry of a child’s brain is influenced by these social interactions all day long – at home, school, athletic practice, music rehearsal, or work.
One can see teens often watching movies while they are on their iPhones. They split their attention between two or more things at once. Unfortunately, our attention is a narrow and fixed pipeline. Our attention is not stretchable. If we split our attention, we are required to switch our attention from one thing to another thing and back again. This switching of attention drains our energy. We have more difficulty focusing in a concentrated way.
Our online lifestyle is shaping our physical brains. Children and teenagers are also playing many digital games on iPad, laptop computer, television, and iPhone. Around 8 percent of children and teens between 8 and 18 appear to be addicted to computer games. When we study the brains of these young people addicted to computer games, we see that their brains appear in some ways similar to alcoholics and drug abusers.
Our ability to relate well to others is very important in our success at work as well as our quality of life. In order to form healthy relationships with others, we need to build rapport. It is a process of give and take. We talk and exchange ideas. The better we communicate, the more solid the relationship. When I have good attention, I am able to focus on what you are saying.
Yet we are constantly bombarded with messages, emails, posts on Facebook, YouTube videos, and texts. At a romantic dinner out, we are too often diverted from connecting with one other. I am amazed how often, I see people on their iPhones at an expensive restaurant. Yet everywhere we are tempted by the call of our mobile devise. We must be reminded by commercials and billboards, do not text and drive. Even though, we can die because of our distraction, we choose to risk our life and the lives of others to text while driving!
Distraction has become a great problem in our social interaction. In Silicon Valley, where I live, companies have workplaces have banned laptop computers, iPhones, and tablet computers from company meetings.
When we develop our ability to focus, we are steady in a crisis. When we experience the fear or frustration that comes during times of stress, we are able to stay focused on what is important. Students inevitably will experience difficulties during a semester. Yet some students are able to do their homework and concentrate on their exams. Others find many ways to avoid what is important, because they are upset.
At a party, often you can see how focus works. Some people can carry on a conversation with music at a high volume, focusing on the words of the person with whom they are talking. Another person may be overwhelmed with all the distractions around them – music, people, and things – unable to focus in on listening to the person with whom they are having a conversation.
This ability to focus is a hidden key to our doing things well. It is our ability to focus that enables us to find our way when we experience emotional crisis, relationships challenges, or whatever problems what life presents to us.
Have you ever been carried away with a mood? We can be swept away with our emotions and thoughts. A mood can come over us, and we may look back and think, “I just wasn’t myself today.”
One way to think about these emotional storms is that there is a psychological benefit to these reactions. Carl Jung identified the animus and anima as parts of ourselves that erupt and interfere with our relationships and work. A woman has an animus, and a man has an anima. June Singer writes that “anima and animus are those unconscious part of ourselves that carry the mystery of sex which is not ours.”
How we identify with our masculine gender role or feminine gender role can vary greatly from one culture to another. It is obvious that there are – in fact – differences between men and woman. Whether these differences are more psychological or physical is debatable as well as complex. Yet it is obvious that men and women are different.
These differences show up in our dreams and fantasies. The anima shows up in a man’s dreams as an image of a woman, whereas the animus shows up in a woman as an image of a man. This is because the anima and animus are related to what is the opposite of our conscious attitude. When we mature, we develop the opposite attitude to what we cling to in our youth. “Men have dared to discover their vulnerability and their feeling side, while women – more confident now of their strengths – are beginning to take risks which would have frightened them before,” writes June Singer.
Animus is defined as a “usually prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will” or a “strong feeling of dislike or hatred.” Aminus is the masculine form of the word soul in latin. Yet the animus is not as much masculinity repressed as it is the unconscious other that a woman is prevented from being in her daily life. The part of herself that is furthest from her waking life is what makes up a woman’s animus.
Carl Jung describes the animus as a strange passivity. “In the depths of the woman’s being, the animus whispers: ‘You are hopeless. What’s the use of trying? There is no point in doing anything. Life will never change for the better.’”
When a woman is able to separate herself from her animus, she is able to see that part of herself objectively. She is able to be detached and just notice these negative thoughts and feelings. She does not fall into the false belief that these thoughts are her thoughts. When she simply observes these thoughts and realizes that her response to them makes all the difference, she is able to main a healthy detachment.
A woman’s animus assists her in becoming a complete person by shifting repressed energy into active and creative pursuits. The animus does have negative qualities such as “brutality, recklessness, empty talk, and silent, obstinate evil ideas.” Yet the animus also has a positive and valuable side. The animus can “build a bridge to the Self through creative activity.”
For a man, the anima, represents his unconscious feminine other. The anima symbolically represents the eternal feminine. For a woman, the animus represents her unconscious masculine. Conversely, the animus stands for the eternal masculine. Robert Johnson writes that the “anima and the animus function most effectively for us as mediators between the conscious and unconscious parts of personality.”
When one learns to work with the animus or anima, one discovers a certain kind of genius within oneself. Please watch is short video by Judith Peterson on the animus and learn how to work with this energy to improve how you feel, behave, and feel:
Some of the symptoms of depression include low energy, irritability, sadness, physical pain, low self-esteem, self-criticism, hopelessness, crying, and changes in eating and sleeping. The source of these symptoms can be biological, psychological, social or spiritual. One can suffer from low blood sugar or a low level of testosterone. Our beliefs can contribute to symptoms of depression. A bad marriage can lead to these symptoms. We may be in a spiritual crisis, lacking meaning in our life. As we transition from one set of beliefs about reality to another set of beliefs, we often feel loss.
When we experience loss, consciously experiencing and expressing our sadness enables us to integrate the loss. Expressing anger is also a part of the process of grieving loss. When we resist our feelings, we may feel numb. When people experience depression, they often describe their bodies as feeling numb. Often we avoid consciously experiencing our emotions and expressing them, when we fear being overwhelmed by them. When we fear being overwhelmed by emotions, we find ways to block our feelings. Often, these are not conscious choices to not feel.
Most often, we learned early in our lives to control our feelings by developing defenses. We may breathe in a shallow way and tighten our muscles to resist emotions. These defenses to consciously experiencing our sadness or anger can lead to depressive symptoms.
Unfortunately, feeling depressed is pretty awful. Depression is not good for our physical health. We can learn to express our feelings. One way to do this is with another person who is comfortable with emotion and affirms your experience of your emotions. In this way, we have a corrective emotional experience which enables us to learn to consciously experience and express our feelings.
Music is an outstanding way to consciously experience feelings. “When the time comes that you’re ready to begin facing your emotions, music that speaks to your heart can help you begin to release your pain,” writes Maureen Draper.
I can pick music which enables me to cry. The process of crying enables me to move forward with my grief and integrate the reality of my life without my beloved. When I hear a John Denver song, I often think of my dad. We can associate certain songs or musicians with a loved one who has passed on. Maureen writes: “Music that reminds you of a loved one brings to the surface whatever may not have been finished or unsaid between you.”
Art of all kinds, be it paintings, poems, stories, film or music, can evoke emotion. Great art reaches us emotionally, and we vicariously experience something important to us. This is why we can be so drawn to a certain author or musician. The beauty of art can move us in countless ways. We can cry with awe when listen to Adagio with Strings by Barber. We may experience exhilaration or hope when listening to Mozart or the Beatles.
Listening to music can be profoundly comforting. The music from our childhood can bring us feelings of being protected and nurtured by our parents as a child. I can remember the song, “Puff the Magic Dragon” from my childhood. Many songs from this era remind me of the emotions of my childhood.
When we are alone with our grief in the middle of the night, music can help us feel the comfort of being in our mother’s arms as a child. Music from early in a relationship with our husband or wife can bring up the emotions of falling in love, which are very healthy for our bodies.
We can use music to – in a sense – move backward in time to recapture hidden emotions and memories. Some may wish to feel the feeling of safety by imagining being held by the divine during our darkest hour of pain. Music can remind us of this kind of love.
Perhaps, finding the core of who we are is the most powerful dynamic to resolving depressive symptoms. Music is a powerful elixir to find the essence of our self. Please watch this video by pianist and author, Maureen Draper, about music and depression:
Can we effect how fast or slowly our body ages? Our thoughts, feelings, and behavior effect the aging of our body. One way we can observe the process of aging is by looking at reproduction of our cells. Our cells reproduce themselves using our DNA as a blueprint. When the DNA does not function properly during the division of cells, the cells that are reproduced are subpar. This is part of the process of aging in our bodies.
Telomeres are involved with our DNA reproduction intimately. Telomeres are the protective caps that are at the ends of chromosomes. The length of telomeres are related to our longevity. When we are depressed or exposed to chronic stress, our telomeres tend to be shorter. When we worry about things that appear threatening, then our telomeres tend to be shorter. When we run out of telomere, the assumption is that we get diseases and age.
When we have stressful experiences inside our pregnant mother (in utero), then our telomeres are shortened. When we experience verbal or physical abuse as a child, our telomeres are shortened as well. Domestic Violence is another factor than shortens our telomeres. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is something that shortens telomeres. When we do not receive the needed nutrients in what we eat and drink, then our telomeres are shortened as well. The loss of love also will tend to shorten our telomeres.
The science of Epigenetics offers us hope. Epi means above. We are recognizing the vital significance of what happens above the gene. Our genes are only a blueprint of our cells. The surface area of our cells are what determines the health of a cell. The signals that are received at the surface area of the cell determine whether the cell thrives or not. If the cell receives signals that the environment is toxic, then the cell will prepare to defend itself. If the cell receives signal that the environment is nurturing, then the cell will prepare to thrive. Our thoughts, feelings, food, and beverages are the signals that our cells receive. What we eat and drink as well as our thoughts and feelings will determine the health of our bodies. We have a choice.
When we practice mindfulness, our telomeres tend to be longer. Telomerase are enzymes that can lengthen telomeres that are shortened. Even when telomeres are shortened to a critical length, telomerase promote the longevity of a cell. Telomerase can lengthen our lives. What controls these enzymes called telomerase?
When we focus on what is positive in our lives, it helps produce telomerase. “Accentuate the Positive” is an old song sung by Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers. It helps to focus on what is working in our life. Another thing that increases the enzyme of telomerase is self-love. The feeling of love for yourself is a critical factor in our health. When we exercise, we increase our telomerase. When we are happy, our telomerase is increased. When we engage in service, it increases our telomerase. Service are actions we take for the benefit of others. Altruism is healthy. When we express gratitude, it stimulates that production of the enzyme telomerase. Good nutrition also can produce telomerase, such as the fish oil – Omega 3 – found in Salmon. Mindfulness can also produce telomerase. These are the practices that can increase the length of our life. Bruce Lipton says that our life spans can increase significantly from 80 to 90 years.
Please watch this video from Elizabeth Schindler about Food and Love and consider that your future is in your own hands:
An important part of psychological well-being is healthy self-soothing. Being able to calm yourself down is important. When someone feels too much anger, he may yell, curse, or hit someone else. Acting out our emotions destructively is one consequence of poor emotional regulation. Another way of dealing with painful emotions is to try to numb ourselves with alcohol or other drugs. Many problems result from our inability to regulate our feelings well.
When we are born, we rely on our mother (or primary caregivers) to calm down. Our brain is designed to rely on interactions with others to find balance and adjust to surrounding circumstances. Early in life, infants need connections to caregivers in order to develop healthy brain function. The interactions between the child and parent enable the child to achieve balance or regulation within her own mind. Interactions with caregivers allow the child’s brain to develop the structures necessary to move from emotional regulation with a parent to more independent forms of emotional regulation.
When children who are infants, toddlers, and preschoolers experience healthy emotional regulation in their relationships with their mom, they become school children who are seen by peers and teachers as likeable. These children also perform well in school, show good social skills, and act in ways that build their relationships with others. But children with poor emotion socialization have difficulty in peer relationships, have trouble in school, and are at risk for emotional problems such as anxiety and depression during their childhood. These effects persist into adulthood.
Children need environments, like home and school, where they can be emotionally expressive. Children need parents who express their emotions, but do not overwhelm their children. A mother’s emotions have a powerful influence on her child’s emotional development. Children benefit when mothers talk about their own emotions. When their children are emotional, mothers who avoid yelling and punishing and provide positive responses to their children, enable their children understand their emotions better. Children also need their emotions to be accepted. When children are raised in an environment where they learn to explore their own emotions, and they learn to make connections between their emotional experience and events they see. They are able to understand their emotions in various situations.
After they reach school age, children who assess and process emotional information will in turn respond more appropriately to others and have skills that promote their own emotion self-soothing. The more emotional intelligence that children have, the greater their empathy they have with peers. These children also behave in ways that promote relationships, and they are more popular. The children who can identify their emotions and who self-sooth them well are seen as more likable and more prosocial in relationships with their peers. These early emotional experiences are a foundation for emotional intelligence.
When we are feeling highly emotional, we are in a state of emotional imbalance. An event with the people or events around us can trigger an emotional reaction. These emotional reactions are made more likely by past experiences that created vulnerabilities within the individual. These vulnerabilities are embedded in our memory and directly influence our thoughts, feelings, and choices.
Our emotions and affect influence what we see and hear. Our perceptions can be changed by the affect being experienced by the perceiver. “An affect oriented clinician can help a client more accurately perceive his environments by teaching him (Affect Management Skills Training) AMST skills to regulate his affect,” writes Dr. John Omaha.
The development of affect regulation, enables the emergence of a strong sense of self. When one has poor sense of self, he will not be able to self-soothe well. An adult with a strong sense of self is able to manage disturbing events and respond quickly to stressful demands. She will be able to remain self-aware during a disturbing event. This optimally functioning adult will be flexible, highly skillful, and self-aware in the area of emotions and affect. She will genuinely and with authority increase positive emotions, like joy, and calm negative emotions, like shame. This has been called a self-reflective function. Self-soothing with be accomplished by making use of inner images of safety, soothing, validation, and affirmation. The optimally functioning adult will not use alcohol, other drugs, food, sex, relationship, or work to numb out emotions. They will manifest vitality and will pursue the goals she sets for herself with energy and persistence. Please watch this video and learn about healthy emotional regulation from Dr. John Omaha:
Sometimes change can come by surprise. We can unexpectedly find that we experience a profound and lasting change. This phenomenon was studied by Dr. William Miller and Janet C’de Baca. They called these experiences, quantum change. The term quantum change is both from the expression quantum leap and the unpredictability inherent in quantum mechanics. In some ways, this quantum change is hard to clarify.
Yet here are the common elements that they found by interviewing many people who experienced this rapid type of change. A quantum change is a memorable experience where the details stand out in the mind of the person who experiences it; they remember it well. The experience is almost always perceived as positive and beneficial. It is pleasant, if not joyful. Quantum change is surprising – not something that we make happen. Quantum changes are permanent transformations, “a one-way door which there is no going back,” write Dr. William Miller and Janet C’de Baca.
One Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge is drawn into events beyond his control behind the locked doors of his home. In the story by Charles Dickens, the character Scrooge believes that something extraordinary is happening to him. It is surprising. These events effect Mr. Scrooge internally – not external, real events. Even though the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future are disturbing to Scrooge, he has a sense that there is loving kindness behind these mysterious events. Scrooge is a profoundly changed man after this quantum change.
People’s religious or spiritual backgrounds influence the way one interprets quantum change. The study by Dr. William Miller and Janet C’de Baca interviewed people from a variety of religious backgrounds as well as those not affiliated with any religion and non-believers. About one third of the time, the person experiencing the quantum change prays when it happens. For some of these people, it was the first prayer they had offered in years or even ever at all. The single most common act that came before the quantum change was prayer.
The most common people who experience quantum change are desperately unhappy for a significant period of time and see no way out through their own actions. Please watch this video by Judith Peterson, LMFT about using sacred images when we are in crisis:
In 1981, my father asked me to meet him at Baskin Robbins ice cream store, near my mom’s apartment where I lived. He bought me ice cream, probably a Banana Royale with Pistachio ice cream, hot fudge, and bananas and whip cream. As I ate my ice cream, my dad told me he had cancer. I was on 18 years old and did not expect such adult news. A few days later, I was playing football with friends. I began talking with my friend Chris about traveling to Los Angeles to see the Monday Night game preseason game between New England and Los Angeles Rams. By 7:00pm, we were at the airport and waiting for our airplane. We checked into the Newporter, a resort, in Orange County. I let my sadness carry me all the way to Southern California. I remembered in the middle of the trip that my father was having exploratory surgery. I called home and heard he was ok.
When the doctors at Kaiser Permanente hospital surgically opened up my father’s body, they could see that cancer was riddled throughout his lymphatic system. His doctors simply closed up the incision and told my father that had six months to live. I cherish the time I had to spend with him until his death on June 10, 1984.
I had four people close to me die from April 1984 until August 1985. My response to all of these tragedies was to avoid my sadness. Later in my life, I had to learn to do the work of grief. Sadness has an important function in the grieving process. Grief turns us inward. We can lose energy, concentration, experience sleep changes, lose motivation and experience changes in our appetite.
Grief not only has to do with death, but also with the ending of relationships of all kinds, including marriages. Daniel Goleman writes, “The main purpose for sadness is to help adjust to a significant loss, such as the death of someone close or a major disappointment. Sadness brings a drop in energy and enthusiasm for life’s activities, particular diversions and pleasures, and, as it deepens and approaches depression, slows the body’s metabolism. This loss of energy may well have kept saddened – and vulnerable – early humans close to home, where they were safer.”
Whenever you love someone and you are no longer able to spend time with them, you naturally feel pain. Yet there is a difference between the pain as a result of loss and the suffering as a result of false beliefs and avoidance. David Kessler said, “One of the biggest problems is that you might try to push aside or ignore your feelings. You judge them as too little or too much. You carry a lot of bottled up emotions, and anger is often one that is suppressed. In order for it to heal, however, it must be released. We’re not speaking only about anger associated with death, but about anytime we feel anger. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, the renowned grief expert who identified the Five Stages of Grief, said we could feel anger, let it pass through us, and be done with it in a few minutes. She went on to say that any anger we feel over 15 minutes is old anger.”
What is the journey to healthy grief and eventually to resolution? I have learned to lean into the sadness as well as other emotions. By acknowledging and consciously experiencing the sadness, we can let go. Our loses need to be integrated psychologically. Grief enables us to update our consciousness with reality. The current loss reveals other losses – not integrated – that lie beneath. Grieving can take time. Eventually, we can remember the wonderful parts of the past and not experience the pain. Janet Childs who works for the Centre for Living with Dying, in Santa Clara, California, USA, said “grieving is like the ocean tides. The grief can come and go. Some days can be harder than others.”
We all experience grief differently. When I am grieving, it really helps to let myself be. I like to pay attention to my body and follow my inclinations. When I am able to minimize my obligations, I am free to follow my inclinations. As long as it is not self-destructive, I indulge myself. If I am tired, I sleep. If I am hungry, I eat. If I just stare off into space, it is ok.
Having empathic and accepting people to listen are invaluable. It helps to have a few good listeners – too not overburden any one person.
During a loss, We may discover that our thoughts are negative. When we break up a relationship, we may think “I will always be alone.” “Why do bad things always happen to me?”
Sadness can be subtle. It is very important and its power as well as the power of all other emotions should not be underestimated. Daniel Goleman writes that sadness is “grief, sorrow, cheerlessness, gloom, melancholy, self-pity, loneliness, dejection, despair, and when pathological, severe depression.” Please watch this video on how to cope when things fall apart: