“Please Let Me Out” – Part 1

filing cabinetThis past Friday night I spoke to a group about the human experience. I was so struck by the need participants felt for getting away from their experience.

Unhappiness, upset, bad moments and genuine dislike for oneself can be an incredibly uncomfortable feeling. It is built into our nervous system to move away from that which makes pain. People who can’t feel physical pain end up with all kinds of physical damage. If you can’t feel the heat, you wouldn’t know you were burning.

But the mistake we have made in the mental health community is to treat thought as if it were “real.” Mental health care providers often speak to their patients as if the feelings, thoughts, memories or other human experiences are the same as being burned by a stove or being hit by a car.

While there is a physical component to our emotions – like energy impulses between neurons in the brain, or a cascade of other communicators such as hormones – you don’t have to know the details of this to notice that these cascades of events work in much the same way, no matter the subject matter. Imagining an event can cause the same cascade as actually living through it. Feeling excited comes from a cascade of chemicals and so does feeling sad. All of these patterns work in the same way; energy turns into form and we experience it.

Where we go from here is important. Traditional psychotherapy made every effort to get to the root of the upset, seeking problems from the past that could be the cause. There is a kind of logic to this if you think that memory is stored like a filing cabinet.

The dilemma with this approach is that neuroscience is finally giving us a look into the brain. It turns out memory does not work like a filling cabinet at all. You can’t go in and “get it” whole and intact. In fact, memory responds to your feelings in the moment. So if you are relaxed and enjoying yourself and you recall an incident from your life, your brain will pull together the memory differently than if you are angry and asked to remember the same memory. There is a simple reason for this, emotion impacts which part of the brain we have access too.

So where does all this new knowledge lead? It depends a lot on what you already think is true about being human. What you think determines how you feel about this information.

For me, I feel relieved. I get to live in my moment-to-moment experience and enjoy it. And when something happens that I don’t like, I get to watch the cascade of human emotions, knowing the chemicals are designed to work that way no matter what the subject matter is. As the feelings pass, because (note to self here) that’s what feelings do, I see more clearly, feel calmer, and see life simply.

What is the difference between you and me? I don’t think I am “in there.” I know my human experience is limited to this physical form. My spiritual feeling or access to wisdom is much larger than the highlighted regions of my brain or the cascading chemicals active at the moment.

Join us to explore the human experience and how understanding can release you from the box of your personal thinking. We design educational programs for just this purpose, bringing you freedom of mind. If you are interested in release from personal thinking and freedom of mind, read more here or contact us at info at divine play dot com or 434-218-9500.

One Spot Left

Jeanne Catherine smiling close upDuring an interview with Dicken Bettinger, he spoke about the experience of loss as something that can be suffered through or as something that can invite us into a deeper understanding of life.

This past Saturday night, as I snarled at my husband, (a descriptive exaggeration), for ‘letting me down again! And cooking dinner only for himself (insert not so nice words here),’ I was struck by the significance of what Dicken spoke about during our interview. After all, loss and grief don’t just happen when someone I love dies, loss and grief happen every day!

Whenever I struggle with the way I think things are supposed to be, when I suffer over how I think I should be treated, or when I speak with frustration or anger – any of these times I am choosing an experience to suffer through. For that moment, or for those series of moments, I am lost in the unhappy, hard place inside my own thinking, my own consciousness.

Later, when I slow down my busy mind, look to connect with myself or another human being, suddenly there are problems with the story I have told myself and a lot of good in the world still to experience.

There is one spot left in the relationship workshop this coming weekend. A woman told me she was afraid to sign up, afraid it would be too painful to think of her failed relationships.

I want you to know this workshop won’t be about what is wrong or what you have had to suffer. It is about what Dicken Bettinger put so eloquently in our radio interview: Human beings have the capacity to suffer through an experience or be enriched by it.

Whatever you choose is perfect. Please know, if you are considering grabbing the last spot, you are welcome! Love, Jeanne

Listen to Dicken Bettinger speaking about the simple humanity and the human potential to experience and thrive beyond great loss and grief: Embracing Grief Through Understanding

Join Dicken Bettinger right here in Charlottesville, VA for a Saturday and Sunday, March 14th and 15th, 2015: Quiet Mind, Loving Heart. Limited Scholarship available for those in need.

Relationship Tip 3 # The One Thing Worth Following

A Picture of The Milky Way in The Norther Hemisphere.

A Picture of The Milky Way in The Northern Hemisphere.

My daughter wanted a telescope for Christmas. It was caught in the slow mail and she patiently checked for boxes every day. When it finally arrived, the whole family bundled up and trooped outside. It was literally freezing, but there we all were, waiting for turns to look through this child-sized telescope.

It became evident pretty quickly that our imaginations were way beyond what was possible to see. At first I thought it must be the telescope: too small, not powerful enough. But then I remembered that in Galileo’s time, telescopes were prolific. Common people could buy them and take a close look at the moon.

Yet, here we were, with likely a much more powerful home telescope than in the 1600’s – and we couldn’t see anything.

So on the third Friday of January, my husband and I took our daughter to the public night at UVA observatory. We looked through a much stronger telescope (designed in the 1800s). The guide said they no longer use this powerful telescope because the light pollution has gotten so bad.

I grew up in NYC, where we already had serious light pollution issues. The first time I saw the milky way was in Africa. I will never forget that night. Driving into the middle of a preserve in Kenya, turning out the lights and looking up through the roofless jeep at the most breath taking view of the universe – so much bigger than all of us. It was like god put an ocean of stars in the sky. I felt so small and yet so integral. I thought,”Oh, the milky way is only on this side of the earth. It must be invisible to the northern hemisphere.”

Little did I know then that our northern night lights point upwards and fill the sky, making it impossible to see the milky way. The starry ocean is hidden behind clouds of light.

I always thought this was an unsolvable problem, but in actuality there is a simple solution: create lighting which points at the ground instead of at the sky. This high efficiency lighting is built with shielding so the light can meet all our needs, creating less need for electricity and less light pollution.

If we make some small changes around our homes and office, then when our children could look up at the sky, they would see a truly awe-inspiring sight, in all its brilliance.

What does this have to do with the Three Principles? Well it is surprisingly simple. When you wake up from the committee in your head telling you what you should do and how you should do it, suddenly there is a deep well of wisdom, which, it turns out, is always present, and available to everyone, and surprisingly simple.

For me, there is a simple solution, make the changes I can make and share the simplicity of wisdom with others.

Inner Wisdom? Now that is something worth following!

Ready to free your mind? Jeanne Catherine is providing an affordable foundation weekend right here in Charlottesville. Learn how to enjoy life, appreciate relationships and live simply – through understanding and ease – no matter what. Foundational Weekend Information.

Or Join Dr.Dicken Bettinger, March 14th and 15th for a phenomenal opportunity to quiet your mind and change every thing without changing a thing. Save Your Spot.

Relationship Tip #2: Decency?

imagesCultivate your sense of decency.

Use the word that works for you, but don’t go for extreme bliss. If you want to change your kids, impress on your boss the importance of your ideas, or simply wish you could get some help with the dishes, begin with the simple step of cultivating your sense of well-being or, as Tenzin Thosam stated on a recent radio interview, “your sense of decency.”

How do you do this? Keep it simple. If you hear yourself saying to your kids, “It’s time to clean your room” and you feel like an ogre – that’s not it. If you are saying to your loved one, “Why on earth did you leave the coats and shoes on the floor?” and you feel like poking his eyes out – that’s not it either. Or if you quietly say to the idiot who messed up your big project at work “No, no it’s just fine” – still missing it!

The simple truth is that our sense of decency will define our experience of ourselves. And we innocently dislike the pushy, snide, sarcastic ogre we can become. So we innocently dislike ourselves. But even more surprising, when we stop attempting to enforce our will and expectations, when we discover the beauty of following a feeling of well being, the most amazing thing happens – people are happy to help. People respond to a feeling of decency; the specifics of the request are pretty irrelevant.

A feeling of decency can happen in the most surprising moments, even under extreme circumstances. It doesn’t mean people can get away with terrible things. It means, keep it simple and speak from your feeling of decency – the impact will surprise you!

If you have a surprising story about your feeling of decency or feeling of well being and where it took you – I would love to hear it! Share it here.

And Join me on the radio show (international access!) on Monday, January 19th, as I am joined by Dicken Bettinger talking about Embracing Grief. If you are in Charlottesville at noon on Monday, join us live at Divine Play at 313 2nd St SE, Suite 208. Elsewhere, visit this site and click the Listen Live link at 9 am Pacific, noon Eastern, 5 pm UK.

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