Raising Indigos

by Margaret KeaysOriginally published in Wake Up World (Feb 2020) Indigos are children (and adults) with an expanded sensory perception. Their unique ability to “see through the veil” has been either romanticized or feared, resulting in a general misperception of their nature. I wish to offer a different, grounded perspective …

Working with Triggers

When you are feeling triggered by someone, it’s most likely not because of their behavior, but because of your own unresolved emotional material. If you allow for this possibility you’ve done half of the work. The other half consists of letting yourself be with the difficult feelings. The key is …

Inhabit Your Experience

“Within yourself there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” – Herman Hesse wrote in his novel as he contemplated consciousness. It is a lovely sentiment, but it may be surprisingly challenging to reconnect with the inner stillness in this productivity-obsessed era. Our society seems to highly value perpetual motion and accomplishing more in less time. It discounts the non-doing that allows for gathering of the necessary inner resources. I’m afraid, we are slowly depleting ourselves as a society. When depleted, we may begin to diminish our capacity to feel and to enjoy life.

THE KEY TO HAPPINESS LIES IN NON-DOING

My explorations of stillness led me to uncover deep layers of escapism, restlessness, and the toughest of all, guilt. Once uncovered and deeply felt these sensations begin to feel unreal as if they were totally made up and for a tiny moment I exist completely outside of my personality. This ongoing discovery process is non-linear. It bears resemblance to taking a boat towards the middle of the lake. The destination is not a precise point in space, yet you know when you’ve arrived. As Alan Watts pointed out, “we don’t become still by attempting to be still, but by leaving the mind alone”, for it is an exercise in non-doing. It is simple, but it is not easy as the conditioned mind wants to strive to achieve the new goal. Here is how it is usually happening for me:

  • Create time for yourself away from distraction and step out from your current reality. Sit still and follow your breath.
  • Orient awareness from center outwards to meet the inner sensations and watch what wants to transpire. Let the qualities unravel just the way they are. Let them affect you. Observe the sensations without judging. Surrender.
  • Do not label the sensations, just feel into your internal “weather patterns”. When you are trying to describe something, you become removed from it. Let the feelings be, let them come, don’t welcome anything, don’t avoid anything.
  • The qualities are the expressions of you and you just need to provide space for them to be. Ride it out for a little bit and then let it go.

IT TAKES COURAGE

Being present with stillness may initially open up a rawness in you. It can take you to a place of longing and temporary unrest, as it tears through years of suppression. It takes courage to step away from the doing and into the uncharted territory of vulnerability. Just hold the gates wide open and allow the sensations to arise, observe, feel, acknowledge, let go as best you can. Sometimes, painful memories may remind you of the unresolved pain. You may even feel stuck. Just hold the space for the sensations. How would you express what you are feeling without projecting at others?

INHABIT YOUR EXPERIENCE, FEEL THE MAGIC

Paradoxically, the emotional (and physical) pain is a sign of vitality, for if we are traumatized we do not have the luxury of feeling, not even the pain. As Friedrich Nietzshe memorably put it: a fulfilling life requires embracing rather than running from difficulties.  Own your experience, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The pain will eventually subside after it’s expressed and if you allow the stillness long enough, the magic will begin to unfold.

Few days ago I received an email from a friend and in it he said “the window of opportunity is now”. This one sentence struck me and I realized on a deeper level that there is a tremendous potential in every single moment. In every littlest now there is an invitation to reconnect with the soul through stillness, an opportunity to inhabit the experience. And when you do reconnect with the deepest sense of self, it may seem like the moment is expanding to infinity, the sensual perception is heightened and all seems exactly as it should be. From that place, you will see our purpose more clearly and love the world more deeply.

Be still and know, my friends.

In all the mountains,

Stillness;

In the treetops

Not a breath of wind.

The birds are silent in the woods.

Just wait: soon enough

You will be quiet too.

~ Robert Hass, “After Goethe” from Time and Materials

Assisting a Child with Trauma Release

One day my son came back home with a massive scrape on his knee resulting from a bike fall. My initial focus was to clean up the wound and support his calm state. After about an hour, when all seemed to be “under control” I’ve noticed his body going through light tremors and felt his nervous system discharging (I’m a craniosacral therapist so I sense other’s somatic responses). He also felt cold and queasy.It is of huge importance to not dismiss these signs.

A child can be traumatized by seemingly benign events and is capable of covering it up as to not cause trouble to mom and dad. Always watch their body, look for slight tremors, jumpiness, queasiness. Here are steps you might want to follow:

1. Tend to your own feelings – acknowledge all that’s going on emotionally within you and establish internal sense of balance.

2. Provide quiet and still environment – this means no additional NS stimulation. If the child experiences shivers, cover them with blanket (this reaction can be observed when the initial adrenaline level goes down)

3. Create space for your child to rest – creating a safe space is the KEY to tending to trauma. Without the safety, the body will not get into its natural release process. Do not offer excessive patting or rocking as it might interfere with the child’s natural responses. Create stillness with your presence (find a part of you that is still, unmovable and expand it)

4. Gently guide the child’s attention to his/her somatic experience – start with “what are you feeling in your body?” and see where he/she’ll lead with that. Allow for moments of silence between the questions. It’s the time for your child to connect with their body, speech is just helpful in directing the attention.

5. Validate your child’s somatic feelings – be awesomely ok with all they’re expressing. If you feel their body going into the tremor, encourage the feelings of safety. I find the best position for that is to let them lie down with legs bent and feet together. This helps the psoas release. The shaking can be quite major, we’re talking of movements as wide as 4 inch radius. That is awesome. After some shaking they may feel tired. Encourage them to rest.

Follow up with checking in on how are they emotionally. SHAKING is a healthy and desirable response during which the nervous system is allowed to release the emotional shock from the body and be done with it for good. This is very important, because when tending to trauma right away, you’re preventing it from getting entrenched. Remember, even small events can be traumatic to a child. Always watch what their body is communicating to you.

  • Based on my craniosacral experience and the go-to trauma book “Waking The Tiger” by Peter A. Levine.

We are Fluid Bodies

Our bodies are composed of 75% water, similar to the makeup of the earth surface – 70% water 30% land. We are used to experiencing our body as a solid structure made out of separate parts, divided into systems. But when you take a look at the cellular world it …

A Beautiful Concept of the Breath of Life

Imagine a flute. That flute represents you.

As the breath passes through the instrument it generates a sound that is unique to you. Is it harmonious and clear or do you hear some discord and irregularities in your expression? Perhaps you’ve already mastered the lower tones and wish to move to the higher scales? 

The first step is to orient inwards and listen. What do you hear? The second step is to get to know your instrument and find the obstacles that prevent you from playing the available range. You may need to learn to settle deeper into an embodied presence (heal the body), and/or release the trauma and emotional self-sabotage (emotional healing), and/or learn your karmic lessons (heal the soul).

The Breath of Life is a pure energy that animates us. It is up to each one of us to master the instrument we’ve been given.

The Breath of Life is a universal concept that predates ancient Egypt. It permeated most spiritual traditions and appears in many cultures under different names. Its most recognized visual representation is the Egyptian Ankh (also known as the Key of Life).

Be still and know

“Within yourself there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”, Herman Hesse wrote in his novel as he contemplated consciousness and the best way to approach understanding  reality. It is a lovely sentiment, but it may be surprisingly challenging to …

Merging with the Horizon

Why does looking at the ocean (or any large body of water) make us feel so peaceful and quiet inside? In fact, I already feel softer, more expanded at the mere thought of it… Maybe because, as our awareness widens towards the horizon, it begins to resonate with our internal …