by Philippe Isler
Have you ever seen an eagle hunt? Floating in slow, lazy, overlapping circles that gradually and consistently shift over, so that it is systematically scanning a huge area from ‘way up. Coasting, round and round, seemingly without effort, appearing as if it isn’t even moving, or even doing anything to stay up there, let alone move in such a controlled pattern.
The other day I watched an eagle that was already hundreds of feet up do this, but at one point, instead of continuing to move sideways over the ground, it began rising higher and higher, in the same circling motion. At first, I could see it clearly: its white head, and the kind of elongated “M” form of its wings. But as it rose higher and higher it was less and less defined, until it was so high, all I could see was a speck, a little black bar, say the size of an ant.
I was blown away. The eagle had risen to these dizzying heights without seeming to make any effort, without seeming to do...
Many people I work with need to learn self-care, but as soon as we start talking about how to put that into practice, they start feeling uneasy, worried that doing the things they need to do means they will be “selfish”.
That, in itself, is a red flag, a signal that actually confirms that you need to work on this. Why? Because your worry tells you that you don’t know the difference between what is healthy self-care and what isn’t. Your worry is based in what we call “all-or-nothing thinking”: “If I take care of myself then I am being selfish.” That clearly doesn’t make sense, does it? One way to evaluate this is to think of someone you care about, someone who you would want to be healthy and happy. Ask yourself: “Would I consider him/her selfish if they did this?” If the answer is no, then the same should apply to you; it is only reasonable to want yourself to be happy and healthy as well.
Your worry also tells you a...
Most of my posts in this series have been about dealing with different types and aspects of stress related to Covid 19 and the disruptions it has caused. In my last blog post - Growth From Crisis Part 1 - I asked the question: how do you grow from a situation of crisis and disruption, rather than just manage it?
Covid 19 or, more specifically, the societal responses that this pandemic has necessitated, has forced change into all of our lives. It has been disruptive in specific and unique ways for each person, forcing some specific changes and creating specific challenges. Maybe you enjoyed some of the changes it caused in your life, such as a slower pace, more time for yourself, more time with family, more time to engage in activities you enjoy, or being more relaxed. Maybe you're doing a lot of things that you never had time to do before. On the other hand, maybe you haven't enjoyed the...
A little over two weeks ago I was preparing notes for my next video blog post. The theme was “Growth from Crisis”, focusing on using the conditions of the Covid crisis to actually nourish your personal growth.
That week, though, George Floyd was murdered and rapidly, another, much older pandemic exploded once again into full view, demanding to be acknowledged and dealt with: the pandemic of racism and systemic injustice.
“Growth from Crisis” could also be said to be the theme emerging from the majority of demonstrators and (knowledgeable) commentators. The call to learn and grow and change for the better. Between all the disruption around Covid, and all the social disruption of demonstrations against violence and violence against demonstrators, it may feel like there is too much disruption happening, too much to process, to look at engaging in conscious, intentional personal change right now, but this is exactly the right time.
As I have mentioned in...
I don't know about you, but as we look and move forward in re-opening businesses and re-engaging in more social contact, part of me wants to rush forward and just go back to "business as usual" while part wants to hold back and make sure it is safe, because there are so many unknowns. In the space between the two, I am experiencing a mix of feelings: hope and anticipation; questions and concerns; a sense of loss when I recognize that it won't be normal life.
This video, and the accompanying guided meditation, is about adjusting to this reality and being well within yourself, in the midst of ongoing unknowns, uncertainties, changes and losses.
If you have watched my video on using Heart Energy Meditation for Collective Covid Stress, you might remember that I said that opening up heart energy helps to calm stress, anxiety and feelings of depression; helps you to think more positively and rationally, be happier, and make better decisions. I also mentioned that gratitude is one feeling that opens up your heart energy.
Focusing on the feeling of gratitude is a beneficial practice at all times, and even more so when you are feeling down, stressed or anxious. These feelings are, in essence, the opposite of gratitude. They cause you to close in on yourself, to narrow the scope of your thoughts, feelings and outlook, and to think more negatively. Gratitude helps you to open up and to feel better, as well as to open up in your thinking and your outlook. You are not just thinking positive thoughts when you focus on gratitude: you are stopping to acknowledge what is good in your life, all the things...
This Covid 19 situation of self-isolation and lock-down, unknown risks and unknown futures, can result in all sorts of different layers and dimensions of stress. These have only been exacerbated by the recent mass shooting, at least here in Nova Scotia.
In my last video I talked about "Collective Covid Stress". I this one I talk about underlying feelings you may have of powerlessness, danger, and insecurity, in the face of both these situations.
This video also comes with an audio download, to teach you another tool you can use to manage any types of stress responses, and negative thoughts or feelings. If you have already experienced this in your work with me you will catch on quickly. If you haven't, it may be a little more of a stretch, but give it a chance; it is super effective.
I normally would spend a whole day teaching this for self-help, and three days teaching it to professional, but I have tried to teach you a condensed version and give you this audio you can use...
In this video I talk about an aspect of the stress we are all feeling that is ever-present - the collective stress energy - and how to reduce that particular type of stress feeling. After you watch the video, download the guided meditation that accompanies it.
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Whatever your own experience is, the Covid lock-down, isolation and social and physical distancing invites us all to live more consciously.
We are all having a wide range of experiences with relation to the current situation of shut-downs, isolation and physical distancing. Some of us are working from home; some of us are still going to work; and some of us are not working at all. Some are experiencing financial insecurity, some are not. Some people are happy to be forced to stay home and get a much-needed break, or to enjoy a slower pace of life, or more family time; some people are having a hard time being restricted in their movements and being unable to carry on with life-as-usual. Some people are feeling highly stressed and anxious about the risks to health and safety - and financial security - and some are not.
Regardless of how you are feeling, what you are feeling, and how that evolves as this situation unfolds, the golden opportunity here is to be more conscious of exactly...
It is very challenging on a day-to-day basis to remain aware that I am not my thoughts, I am not my feelings, I am not my history and I am not my story. The experience of this human life is so captivating – in all senses of the word. Captivating in the sense of wonderful experiences; captivating in the sense of holding our focus; captivating in the sense of holding us hostage. We are held hostage by the sensory information registered in our bodies and by our thoughts. We are held captive by the meanings we put to things and to events, to the unfolding stories that we ourselves are creating.
As Michael Singer describes in The Untethered Soul this is like getting so engrossed in a movie that we forget there is an "I", a consciousness that is actually sitting there watching the movie. Practising presence is about sustaining your awareness of the "I", the Self that is conscious of having this experience of this human life.
This is about practising presence as a way...