Four Gateways to Unlock Suffering
What does it mean to be an integrated human?
As humans we are incredibly resilient creatures with hearts, longings, fears, anxiety, perseverance and experiences of strong emotions and pain. We are multi-faceted and complex and yet the path to our healing can be very simple. Simple in theory and yet the application may require us to focus and commit to a larger story of our unique self and the collective unfolding. It’s a warrior’s path to return to our wholeness and liberation.
This process is a deep inquiry into how our multi-faceted systems are both organized towards expressing our authentic self and away from this towards ideas of who we think we should, could or ought to be.
At a certain point in the journey it can be helpful to investigate what we learned in our formative years that has imprinted our system. How have these imprints guided us to replicate similar experiences and cycles because it’s familiar, even when it’s painful, feels lonely and contrary to what we desire? What imprints do we carry in our genetics from our ancestors and the lineages of humans and species that have come before us? What are we carrying from the collective whole?
Revealing your wisdom is the journey of returning and stilling rather than seeking to do more, proove more or be more. I guide fellow travelers to access your unique gateway into your inner authority and innate wisdom.
There are four gateways that I use as the foundation for the discovery process with clients; psychological, emotional, neurobiological and wisdom.
We enter the world through the influences of our families, schools, culture and relationships. We learn what parts of us are acceptable and what parts are not. As a result, two distinct processes occur which are primarily unconscious. We create internal roadmaps of which parts of us need to be exiled. And, we create multiple strategies to represent the persona or identities of whom we think we ‘should be’. Why do we create these false identities? There are many reasons, but one primary motivation is an innocent desire to protect against further experiences of not being seen, feeling lovable, good enough, safe, permission to be connected to ourselves and others without rejection or shame and so on.
Exploring the psychological unconscious patterns is a catalyst in two ways. One, it provides the opportunity to evoke our natural ability to reorganize back to our true authentic self. Secondly, it dissolves the needs to maintain these strategies, and limited identities, that create suffering and drive impulsive addictive behaviors of the mind. In a sense we return all these exiled parts back to the wholeness of our true nature and from this place healing naturally occurs.
Emotions & the Physical Body
Having strong emotions, physical pain, illness and communication from the body is all a natural expression of being a human being. We learn early about what emotions are welcome, safe and encouraged and what are not. These messages directly integrate with the identities we create as I mentioned before. All states of emotions come and go and this is quite natural. The dilemma stems from what we have learned about how to relate to our emotions and bodies. The emotions arise and then the mind interprets specific stories about what it means about others and ourselves.
Rather than allowing the waves of emotions to wash like a tide cresting into fullness and subsiding back to the calm sea we unconsciously block, fight, deny and reject the process. This is when we end up expressing emotions sideways and creating conflict internally and externally. Suppressed emotions can be a large contributor to health, physical pain and low energy issues. The mind, emotions and body are all operating together influencing one another at the most subtle and gross levels.
Human beings are an exquisitely evolving mammal species. Understanding what it means to be a mammal with a triune brain that holds conscious and unconscious patterns can be helpful in evoking more self-acceptance and relaxation into our uncomfortable experiences. Unlike most mammals, human beings have access to a third evolving aspect of the brain.
The first is the reptilian brain; located at the brain stem representing flight, freeze of fight. This is where our automatic physiological responses to survive are stored. Road rage is one form of modern reptilian brain in action!
In the center is the mammalian brain encoding our emotional expressions and need for touch, support and connection. This is seen so clearly in nature with wolves’ packs or monkey’s that prune one another and share affection as a common form of language. It’s a primal need. Many studies suggest that infants who are not touched at birth actually die. The human species needs touch and contact to thrive. We also need to feel accepted and seen when we feel strong emotions.
I watched a documentary years ago of a blue whale leisurely migrating with her calf in the Pacific Ocean when suddenly they were attacked by a Orca whale. Her baby destroyed in seconds and the filmmakers captured her grief through audio files. Her loss was devastating and her grief cries echoed with her for thousands of miles. She had the freedom to allow her raw emotion to be expressed and sequenced in a natural way. Many humans do not have this space and therefore many emotions get suppressed.
Finally the neo-cortex is the higher thinking brain that taps into a greater field of wisdom. This area provides creative expression, rational reasoning and the embodiment of our true self in action. We are operating in this part of our brain when we experience ‘the flow’ like athletes, artists or any of us receiving insights, intuition, guidance and creative expressions without effort.
Exploring how the brain operates at this very basic level can help us see how much we can’t control, like the beating of our heart, the panic that arises when we are asked to speak in a group or the fear that takes over when we feel threatened physically or emotionally. It’s natural. We haven’t done anything wrong, there is nothing to fix. Understanding our system’s relationship to stress, chaos and uncertainty can support our healing. We can learn that it’s not necessary to make these experiences go away but rather how to relate to them in a way that frees us.
As we peel the layers back around how we are innocently and unconsciously creating limited identifications of who we are there is a natural recognition that begins to occur reminding us that we are love, whole and perfect in our human messiness.
The redirection from identifying with the mind-emotional-psychological strategies towards the quiet presence and seat of our true self is where we find freedom. We learn that we don’t need to keep trying to resist or ‘get rid of these parts of ourselves’. The wisdom of our essential self knows that all is okay and there is nothing to trust or mistrust. There is a quiet presence that will meet us in every situation, state and experience with openness and love.
This journey is about revealing the truth of who we are beneath the unconscious patterns and strategies. We learn to cultivate a capacity to see through what is illusory and discipline ourselves to return our attention, over and over again, to what is true.
As we become aware of the cyclic patterns in our lives that create suffering, and we begin to consciously engage in choices that are aligned with our desire to thrive, we can find peace, trust and safety in our lives despite any outward appearances.
I guide people to walk the courageous path of re-integrating this truth into their relationships, families, communities, businesses, themselves and their view of the world and their place in it.