If you’re looking outside yourself for answers and certainty right now, it’s time to slow down and consider your approach.
In this era of chaos, it can be tempting to seek guidance externally. It’s comfortable to our sense of security if we know that someone has an answer we can count on.
Even though many of us justifiably have a suspicion or mistrust for authority, we also have a deep longing for secure attachment. It points back to our powerless state as babies and children who relied on our caregivers to meet our needs (which of course, doesn’t always go well).
Consider though, that the healthy attachment we might be really looking for is the loving attachment and trust in our Self and the more than human world.
I believe there is a perfect opportunity now to cultivate this attachment. To be the ones we are looking for.
Amidst the many social constructs and conditions dissolving, there is a salient existential question emerging.
“Who am I, really?”
What if you take this time to look within? Make a practice of knowing yourself intimately in each moment. You just might discover your unique map for living by your own Inner Guidance.
“Even if you are in a stress or trauma response, it is vitally important to devote some of your energy and attention to resourcing yourself and developing your Inner Guidance.”
Committed inner work doesn’t necessarily come easy in these times for everyone.
All of us are experiencing a range of polarities and tension in some way.
There are aspects of what’s happening now that are overwhelming, and downright threatening to some of our global inhabitants.
I do not deny the magnitude of the trauma that is getting stirred for many.
Yet, even if you are in a stress or trauma response, it is vitally important to devote some of your energy and attention to resourcing yourself and developing your Inner Guidance.
Once established, Inner Guidance is something no one can take away.
As a Somatic Psychedelic Therapist who works with trauma and unusual states of consciousness, I have a few beneficial perspectives to offer as you commit to strengthening your Inner Guidance. I hope these fundamental principles and practices are helpful to you in living both an interconnected and Self-directed life amidst uncertain times.
Principle #1 Honor your Rhythm on Your Time.
- When you step outside of the rhythm of the world’s cycle of productivity, there’s more opportunity to feel into your natural rhythms. Find the optimal time for you, and know how you operate. What does time feel like when you’re stressed vs. numb vs. calm? There’s a tremendous opportunity right now to reframe your prior relationship with productivity.
- You may find that as you slow down to attune with your own rhythms, you actually speed up your capacity for learning and creativity. Bend time as you tune into each moment and allow it to linger. Notice if you’re attempting to fill your time or rush through. What’s underneath this pattern? How present can you be with savoring the here and now?
Principle #2 Let your Body and Breath take the lead
- Our bodies have built-in mechanisms that are natural timekeepers. Drop into your breath to notice the temperature and tempo of respiration. Feel yourself breathing from every cell. Can you allow yourself to expand and contract with the flow of your breath?
- Follow tension and flow with intention. What does the tension in your neck and jaw have to say? Listen. What is needed next? Follow your body’s impulses. Let the tension and energy move through you. Be moved. Ride the waves of pleasure as they show up, or grief. Shake off the accumulated stress and fear. Get on your hands, knees, and belly. Growl. Live into your animal body and primal nature. Whatever is happening around you and inside you, can you feel it and let it move, however subtle or wild?
- Yes, establish or maintain body-based practices. Yoga, biking, dance, hikes, breathwork, and any form of play are resilience builders. Body movement and exercise helps build immunity and discharge excess stress. Rest is equally important. Can you trust what your body needs right now?
Principle #3 Shift into Holotropic Perception.
- Moving from a narrow mental-focused perception into a full body-mind-heart knowing will naturally expand your capacity to see and feel more, with less distortion. Holotropic means “moving toward wholeness” and the more of your faculties you engage, the more holotropic you become.
- Holotropic perception includes a willingness and an ability to look into your disowned parts and protective strategies. These are shadowy habits and ways of acting out that get programmed for self-protection. When embraced with curiosity and an attitude of acceptance, it is possible to free yourself from the slavery of habitual looping and know you have multiple options. You gain more mastery and sovereignty when you feel whole.
- Expanded perception permits more space to follow your Inner Guidance. When you are acting from an integrated Self rather than fragmented parts, you are more likely to take action that is aligned with authenticity. How would it feel to make choices from your whole Self, rather than your wounded parts?
Principle #4 Engage your Creativity in every moment.
- Becoming integrated allows you to be resourceful, and trust that everything you have right now is enough to sustain you. When you are resourceful and trusting of your wholeness, your creativity can flourish. There isn’t a perceived deficiency you are trying to fill through consumption (of information, material goods, psychedelic experiences, etc.) Inhabiting your natural-born creative capacities enables you to step off the wheel of “not enough”-ness and and redirect this energy towards something more effortless and generative.
- Come back to the basics. Who you are at your Essence is what drives your creative process, not the labels and identities you’ve assumed. When you cultivate your livelihood in a manner that is truly aligned with your Self, you become less susceptible to the destructive opinions and systems of the outer world.
- With a strong creative core of resilience, your Inner Guidance becomes trustable. Expressing your resilience through voice and song, music and dance, words and art, are just a few possibilities. So are planting a garden, clearing your closet, or tending finances. Creativity is not separate from the act of everyday living. It is an ability to slow down, feel the life force that wants to move through you, and get out of your own way. Creativity is Life Force is Creativity. Each moment has potential.
Chaos is an essential aspect of natural order.
Chaos is messy and beautiful all at once. Create. Sustain. Dissolve.
The creative arc of humanity at this time is calling forth our dissolution (or dis-illusion) so we can burn away the dross that weighs us down individually and collectively.
In All Our Relations.
Whatever your current circumstances, I invite you to put a pause on your surroundings and tune into these Inner Guidance principles and practices in service of becoming a sovereign and masterful Creator of your own life in harmony with the life of all.