True inner freedom arises from self-connection. Without self-connection, we're mostly acting from habits, and those habits do not necessarily attend to our own needs. Here's a practice you can explore in your daily life to deepen your relationship with yourself, and experience true choice and inner freedom.
Understanding how our brains operate in relation to power, privilege and status is important if we wish to build a world that works for all. This article gives an overview of the brain tendencies we have in relationship to groups, and provides remedies to counteract the automatic labor-saving devices of our human brains (which often prevent us from seeing the fullness of others, and our own, humanity).
After acknowledging the impact others have on us, you can ask yourself "What am I telling myself?" and "If that’s true, what am I afraid will happen?". The more present, gentle and compassionate you can be with the underlying feelings, the faster you can move through your trigger. Then you're more likely to respond in ways that feel, kind, responsible, intelligent and aligned for you.
We can choose our stories of interpretation, and how to respond. And while stories of self-sufficiency can (to a degree) give us more influence over our own lives, they don't erase oppression, war, nor climate change. When stories omit a lens that includes impacts of interdependence, oppression, and structural inequities, stories can also keep us disconnected and blocked from compassion for self and others -- and perpetuating an oppressive status quo. However, with this lens we can make greater compassion and collective liberation possible. Even as the outcome is unknown.
For this practice assume that reactivity is arising any time you are distracted and not enjoying something. Practice throughout the day by focusing your attention for a few moments on something specific that you find pleasing. Notice the sensation of joy or pleasure in your body, and hold attention there longer than usual. This interrupts tension and contraction. Keep remembering to do this. When you go too long without directing your attention in this way, the practice becomes less accessible.
An anchor awakens parts of you that can access a bigger perspective. Also, it can reduce your reactivity, increase conscious relating, and support self-compassion. An anchor helps you get a little bit bigger than the reactivity you are experiencing so that you can access a wiser discernment. It is simple, and can be done anytime and anywhere. Learn to direct your attention to develop your anchor in self-empathy.
What would happen if you considered that time is a concept, and that it doesn't rule your life? What would it mean to make all choices based on needs and not on time? Do you obey the external rhythm of the clock over and above the internal rhythm of your life energy? This is an invitation into more responsibility, awareness, honesty, choice and freedom.
When Anita's sister reveals that the Ku Klux Klan broke into her home and dragged her out into a field towards a burning cross, Anita's commitment to nonviolence is challenged. Here, Miki highlights practices and lessons from her story of inner struggle -- including an insight about how, even in extreme polarization, our freedom and healing is wrapped up in others' freedom and healing.
When we have an inner conflict, how can we bring ourselves closer where we want to be? Miki explains about how we can deepen our self understanding in a way that can transform our own reactivity, urges, and false either/or views -- so that we can bring in more presence, choice, and options.
As we head towards impending collapse the relative ease, comfort and freedom of the global north will be harder to maintain. Because of growing anxiety including from people with systemic power, we can anticipate increasing attempts at authoritarian control over the population. We can see what's occurring now as dry run practice for what's coming soon. What may help us: finding choice, knowing when to choose death, and walking towards community and life.