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.
Physical distancing is opportunity to creatively to meet your needs in new ways. In this containment, with very few cues from others and the environment you now have a rare opportunity with less external distraction to rethink what's truly supportive -- and make significant changes to the less noticable habits of mind, standards and "should's". Applying questions and noticing certain symptoms can support. Read on for more.
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.
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.
From Obedience and Shame to Freedom and Belonging: Transforming Patriarchal Paradigms of Child-Rearing in the Age of Global Warming
What will it take to reclaim our fundamental relatedness with all things alive, surrender our attempts to control nature, and find a way of living that averts or mitigates the worst possible catastrophes awaiting us while it's still possible?
In June, 1996, I had an epiphany. In a motel room in Indiana, the night before returning home from a solo camping trip in Michigan and Canada, I discovered how much I had lost in my life because of so fiercely protecting myself. Up until that day, bringing forth my vulnerable self was to be avoided at all costs, which kept me numb much of the time, disconnected from myself and from much of life. Alone in my room, I cried, I talked out loud, and I finally exclaimed to myself that I wanted to reclaim every last bit of my vulnerability, just like I had it as a child.
In the "obnoxious stage" we care for our needs in a way that doesn't respect others' needs. In the "emotional liberation" stage we fully care for others' needs as much as our own—while being free of fear, guilt, shame, or obligation. Often NVC training teaches us how to achieve the latter stage without the former. For greater compassion we can be more rigorous in how we talk about “responsibility", impacts and interdependence.
Blame can become a terrible habit – one that’s extremely costly both personally, socially and culturally. When you play The Blame Game there are usually only losers. Nobody wins, not really. Learn how to move out of blame into peace – whether it involves others, yourself or situations.
Arnina Kashtan works with a course participant to explore the question, "What am I Willing to Pay for My Freedom?" Arnina leads her in a process of self-inquiry to identify some the factors that leave her bound to conditioned behaviors, offering a path to freedom.