The shape we’re in – pathology as an expression of tension

force and resononce
play to discover the impossible or work to enforce it?

It is the nature of words to divide for the purpose of comparison and valuation. Can these implied meanings ever match the nature from which we arise?  Does this create conflict and emotional turbulence, interfering with our cells ability to sense and adjust to the real situation at hand?

Force vs Resonance

How does the way we receive and process both energy and information determine the quality of our lives, relationships and actions?

In any one moment an organism can contract or relax. To simplify, let’s think of this as a YES of acceptance, permeability or even leakiness. Or a NO of contraction, tension, defence or even inflammation. We need both, for without movement and interaction, there is no life, and that’s a drag.

All of our sensory organs receive information by resonating with the frequency of the incoming data. Energy moves in waves, our senses receive These “waveforms”as either resonance, force or a combination of both.

When you push on a blade of grass, It moves away, little force is transferred to the roots or other blades of grass.
When you push on a twig, force is transferred to the branch, which will be moved by the twig.
Force is transferred to the degree that movement is not possible, to the degree that there is tension in the receiving tissues.
Movement contains information about the energy source, do we embody that information to the degree that we resonate with it?
Force appears to me as the energy of the source without the full information of its qualities.
If we squash a waves pitch, amplitude and frequency does it become a flatline?

Do we pass on (“passion”) information or force to the degree that we resonate, to the degree that our tissues resist or allow?

When we are tense, rather than ebb and flow, the force crashes into us and we loose balance. We receive the energy but not the information. This is like saying “No” to the possibility of life. We are constantly moving through the equilibrium of balance, swaying across the centreline, the closer to the centre we rest, the less energy we need. The easier it is for us to change direction as required.

When we match our base tension to the waveform we are receiving, accepting. We sway with the force, returning to center without losing balance. We feel the amplitude, pitch and frequency, we retain the information, allowing most of the force to pass. Is this a “Yes” to life?

When we apply constriction or opening to the capillaries, tubes and pumps of our tissues and organs, we begin to see how emotion effects health.

What if we imagine emotions as the feeling of our tissues responding and holding a “No”. What If we imagine our senses in the absence of opinions, assumptions, comparisons as a “Yes”.

We may start to see non-useful inflammation as the inability to resonate, in rejection of information do we absorb even more force. It may be that emotions are the feeling of turbulence created by applying memories rather than understanding to current events?

Ratios in the balance

*Omega 3 to Omega 6. Vitimin K2 to Vitiamin D3. Magnesium to Calcium. Potassium to Nitrogen, Insulin to Glucose, Acids to Alkalinity, amino acids to fats. The organisms that we are: must receive and balance ratios against the backdrop of what is actually happening. In thinking we send additional signalling, such as threat and support, pride and shame, confusion and assurance, allowing and resistance. We come to embody a shape that is formed by both our nutritional inputs and our base assumptions of who we are. Both food and thought shape our tissues, organs, bodies, societies and the biosphere.

* The author is being playful here, not exact or even accurate by any stretch of the imagination. The idea here is not to create fresh meanings, rather to explore the possibility of trusting action to arise from sensing life directly.

The author uses SUP coaching sessions to bring real life experience to the possibility of balance, to feeling gravity and the graceful application of force.

Head over Heals?

getting our heads in the right place helps us to use energy and sense our environment more accurately.
getting our heads in the right place helps us to use energy and sense our environment more accurately.

I find I can save energy by improving my balance, by simply getting my head in the right place. SUP training and land based body movements are great for getting my biology to start responding more to reality and less to  my stories about reality

By suspending my head from the occipital ridge, (back of the skull) I was wondering if the rest of my body would come to rest directly below my head. If I could allow my soft tissues to relax and allow alignment to return. To allow alignment to conform to gravity rather than to my 4+ decades of repeated body memory. Body memory that, much like facial expressions is highly emotional.

Deeper questions below: I removed half of them, as I was getting carried away again 

So what is it that causes my biology to embody a suboptimal posture? Why would I embody a shape that does not flow well with gravity?

Why would I take on a shape that conflicts with graceful movement?

If there is only one reality, from where does conflict arise?

If sensing is in fact resonating, what use is rigidity other than for applying force?

Does the shape we take on, reflect the stories we habitually use to cope with situations we find pleasant or threatening?

The idea of using movement for healing is probably older than drums. What I find interesting is the idea that removing assumptions is so powerful. That in fact: miss-information may pose a greater threat to the organisation of our organism than anything real.

Flat Line

Energy and information
Flatline – Do we play, to discover the impossible or to force it?

Are all simple machines based on straight lines?

Is it possible to create a circle without straight lines? Is it not described by either: applying equal forces to a square or to one end  of a straight line?

Why is it that Nature abhors straight lines? are they not but waves under tension? Waves that have lost their informational component and are now pure force? Waves that are no longer resonating, but are now decimating?

Is force, the wave that no longer responds to its environment? Does it have great power, in the absence of its conformity? Is its strength based in non response ability? If so, what is it controlled by? Who is the author of the tension? What is it that they seek by disrupting the resonance that allows the continuum of nature?

Is not the straight line the fastest route to entropy?

What then is nature, the slowest way?

Was there ever another way?

Is the purpose of our play, to discover the impossible, or to force it?

7 – Almalgamate – Compassion, it isn’t what we think

Compassion

Our senses feed into a nervous system that is located within an organism we call the human body.

Our “mind” arises out of a combination of both the awareness of sensory data and in the meanings we apply to that data. The mind is a combination of real data and perception of real data, to access perception we reach into memory. Memories are stories about what happened last time we experienced a pattern of data. Often they are memories of memories of stories and not actually an optimal fit to the situation at hand.

It’s ok, I don’t know what the hell mind is either 🙂 and I will never know how YOU experience it. I respect, both your experiences and your stories about them. I am not here to invalidate you, only to understand myself so that I can act in ways that are more effective and respectful.

The fact that our nerve endings and sensory organs exist in a single body, has the tendency for mind to perceive itself AS that body. Our bodies are aging and will die, as an organism, we compete for energy and the fulfillment of our reproductive instincts.

Yet an organism, (depending on its level of complexity) is a collection of cells, tissues and organs that operate as a community. The community of the organism, operates within a local environment teaming with other communities of life-forms, that local environment exists within the biosphere. None of those parts can exist separate from the whole for very long.

What happens when the mind experiences sensory data from within and without the organism without reaching into memory? The amount of available attention increases, we stop making comparisons. We stop reaching into our memories and we stop imagining the future. Our world fills up with sensory data about what is happening right now. This is what we call “flow state”, in this state we can handle risk and mitigate danger better because we are alert without being inappropriately stressed, tense or flooded with adrenaline.

There is no future so there is no fear of what might happen. Without accessing memories, there is no past, so there is no expectation, no disappointment, no surprise and no opinion. No stories. Without the stories, there is no reactivity, we become free to choose a fresh action based upon real time data. In this state we are totally unpredictable. Perhaps most interestingly though is what happens to our minds.

In the absence of memories and stories of self, the mind stops identifying with the body and begins to identify itself with the flow of real time information. All that data streaming in from the environment, that environment that reaches into infinity in all directions, all that data that is constantly moving and unfolding in patterns of intricate interwoven complexity. All that data that represents both the flow of life out of death and so on. Of mass out of energy, of sound out of silence and light out of darkness and back again. It is vast, changing rapidly and beautiful beyond the telling. That is what the mind identifies with – just reality from the non fixed perspective of life flowing through and around our nervous system. We still benefit from knowledge and past experience, can even still have thoughts, but we do not get lost in them so easily, that is until we find self in them, through either advantage, desire or fear.

The more time we spend in flow states, the less we identify with our stories, our opinions and the memories of pain that they cover up. The more we identify with ourself as a unique expression of life itself, the less fear we have and the more we see our larger self, not only in others but in all things. This is how I currently see the possibility of compassion.

Compassion arises to the degree that we are prepared to feel the world through our senses, without our opinions there to protect us from the risk of pain and rejection. Without attaching ourselves to some concept in the hope that it will make us more valuable. For those choices reinforce the concept of self as a body that needs defending and improving, rather than temporarily residing in a body that is part of the flow of life through the biosphere.

So how is this useful? It’s not useful at all unless, you find a “safe” place to begin putting your awareness back into your body again, back into your senses. Each time a thought comes up, rather than feeding it, re-energizing it, return your most precious asset to your senses. Notice where you are tense, let it go, or just be with it. Your mind will go crazy at first, flooding you with impulses to eat, check Facebook, turn on Netflix, play a game. Even starting an argument or a new business is better than allowing the body to feel those places where we were hurt, where we still feel ashamed or where we feel threatened.

We never know when the body is going to die, the only thing we ever control is the quality of our now, the quality of the attention we give to each other and the tasks we choose to under-take.

That is enough for today.

Thank you so much.

6 – Allow – there is no flow in-tension

freemocean-blog6art

Key Take-Away – Flow states allow us to resonate with complex patterns of information in real time. Fear has a physical tension component that inhibits our ability to access our senses, pulling us out of the moment and back into the world of meanings and the desire to control.

Business is about trying to control the flow of goods and information, of things and motivation. We need to do this to pay for our lives, but controlling is very different from flowing.

Looking out on the mirror-like ocean this morning, I recall that, feeling alive (feeling life), happens from a place of receptivity, rather than control.

The reason the wise keep returning our attention to the possibility of “Acceptance” is that it allows our tissues to return to optimal tension. From this place we can avoid much conflict simply by conforming to our shared reality.

Today, I will hold back less, I will respect and trust you to “resonate or re-designate” how you spend the next few minutes.

Drunk people may fall a lot, but get hurt surprisingly little. That is because it is the sudden stop that hurts. Absorbing impact is expensive, allowing force to be expended elsewhere is usually preferable. Ocean swell is bounced against land and cancelled against itself, in so doing it turns rock into sand. If water is unable to transfer the energy, it would changes to a gas. Our bodies do not have that luxury, if we tense inappropriately, if we resist too much, we swell and become toxic.

Energy moves in waveforms. The properties of the waveform, pitch, frequency, magnitude, shape and trajectory, don’t just contain information, they are information. Since the measurable beginning, the matter of the universe is moving towards dis-order, scientists call this entropy. Life, however, moves in the opposite direction. Biodiversity, keeps energy in formation, in ever more complex  patterns of inter-relation.
Our bodies are made of organs, made of tissues, formed by cells. Each cell, (apart from red blood cells) contains DNA containing a range of possible expressions. Each cell has the ability to sense and react, but it operates as part of the larger community of the organism. The integrity of the organism depends on its ability to organize effectively. For this it requires fuel, spare parts and most of all, accurate information about where and how to acquire, synthesize and distribute that energy and those components.

You see – It’s always been the Information Age, but it’s moving fast, it’s flowing and it can only be accessed in real time. What we call knowledge is a snap-shot, a fragment, a tiny piece of a much larger pattern.

Social creatures, such as dogs and humans have access to something called “flow state”. It allows us to synchronize with a much larger bandwidth of changing data. To access flow state, we synch with our environment through our senses. To stay there, we cease to resist, we judge risk but do not over-react with pre-programmed fear responses. Our internal commands, move in synch with external patterns, we use energy with grace, our co-ordination and our communication move towards optimal.

This is what I was speaking of as “aliveness”, it’s the experience of being the flow of life, and yes, of death also. Energy can not be destroyed, but it can loose form, it can loose information, loose it’s place in the formation, move back towards separation.

Our highest calling is to resonate with the flow of life, to add the data contained in our unique perspective to the total. Flow is the “co” in communication. The senses of each individual add depth and complexity to our shared reality. If we pull back in fear, if we pollute the data of our senses with our opinions, the thread we add to the tapestry is tangled, the formation is mangled.
Sand dunes, like water are moved by the wind, as their bonds are supple, they embody the waveform, are shaped by the waveform, store the information of the waveform. We could say that the pattern of the dunes, contains sand particles that are “in formation”.

Tense or Allow, Flow or Resist, Move or be moved. When we tense we absorb energy but we alter the information, we impact the flow. We need not do this like a billiard ball that goes on to disrupt. Posture allows us to behave more like bamboo, more like a sea anemone.

If we can maintain our relative position but allow ourselves to be swayed like a sea anemone, we may filter what we require, energy, parts and information, without being cast adrift or breaking formation.

Of course I speak in metaphors. The idea of freemocean is to share understanding through experience, rather than control with ridged opinion. I aim to inspire you to experience your posture in real motion, rather than manipulate your position through stories and emotion.

Stand rigid on a board, or walk with stiff legs, notice how much your head moves and what that does to your focus. Now allow all below your eyes to sway, maintaining just enough tension to keep your head over your base of support. Experience the difference, notice how much energy each requires, how much impact your body must withstand.

Notice how tension effects your focus, and how your focus effects your tension. Your Focus determines the quality of your posture.  Your posture determines how well you use energy and how well you respond to data. Your ability to choose and maintain your direction is determined by your ability to hold your focus.

We are able to maintain our focus to the degree that we can release excessive tension. That is why our Attention is so precious, it determines the quality of our posture. Our posture determines how we are moved, how we receive energy, how we receive and transmit information. Fear pulls us out of flow, because it resists what might happen next. When we fear we try to control, when we flow, we receive more information about what is really unfolding.

Now consider the cost of excessive and inappropriate fear. You see now why   stories are so powerful, they determine formation, by altering how we receive information. We live in a world where we rarely interact with nature directly, everything is controlled. The more we control, the less we are free to flow.

Freedom is appropriate tension, it arises from returning focus to our senses, allowing our posture to move with gracefully with the forces at play.

Loss of focus, loss of posture, ignorance of connection, reinforces the embodiment of fear, this is when information becomes inflammation.

Freedom is proportional to situational awareness. The toys we rent, sell and buy are bio-feedback devices, that can be used to bring greater awareness to focus and posture in the forgiving and dynamic environment of ocean and wetlands. Water is a great teacher of flow.

 

 

3 – Adaptation – lets get together

adaption

So the key take-away here is: Belief’s act like instincts, changing our actions and the way we communicate, we are free to the degree that we can choose. Belief robs us of choice, and keeps us in damage control within our relationships.

Where we have been and where we are going

In “aliveness” I discussed why feeling fully alive enables greater wellness and enjoyment of life. In “attunement” I covered how we learn to relate to each other and where it goes wrong. In this post I will touch on why our biology evolved in a way that made stories so powerful.

Biological Advantage

According to Historian, Yuval Noah Harari, from about 70,000 years ago, Sapiens began to gain an advantage over other species (including other species of humans) by working in larger groups. This was made possible by our ability for more nuanced communications. Yuval, suspects that the ability to gossip about each other’s behavior increased the levels of trust and predictability. In this way, “stories” enabled us to work together in groups larger than our own direct experience of each member could enable.

Stories also gave us the ability to share and remember more detailed information, beyond what was available in the present moment. We began to pass information about past events that were likely to repeat and create harvesting and survival strategies for the future. As soon as we can accurately predict what is likely to happen we can use energy more effectively, by being prepared.

Non verbal cues speak loudly

The words we choose form only a small portion of our overall communication. We only use a small portion of our brains to process words. Voice tone, pitch, and timing can change the context of words. Non verbal cues including body language, eye contact, blink rate and of course facial expressions make up a great part of the messages we send and receive.
We are also very sensitive to detecting the tension in other peoples bodies, stiffening, was always a precursor to potential danger. When all the signals a person is sending line up congruently, it is more likely they will act predictably.

Learned Behavior

The high tide will leave shells, seeds and organic matter in a nice concentrated line that attracts crabs, birds and other creatures. When we know that we can harvest very effectively by just showing up at the right time. We can save energy. It is normal for species to develop both biological systems and behaviors adapted to new possibilities in their environments.

What was unique for Homo sapiens was our ability to hold a concept in our minds that was free of any external signals, (evidence). We could create ideas or pictures in our minds that did not have to conform with the reality of that moment. We could remember what had been and guess what was going to happen. This helped us to further develop specialized skills and talents that increased our value as individual members within our tribes.

Skill or Instinct

Our survival and chance to reproduce was enhanced by the value of our specialized roles within these tribes. The concepts we held in our minds gave us a biological advantage while the repetition of skilled actions formed new procedural memories, (those actions that we can do automatically).

Procedural memories are not the only things we can do automatically, when we receive signals of a potential threat, our bodies automatically tense, produce adrenaline, divert blood flow to our skeletal muscles and prepare us for a life threatening situation. This happens in the old part of our nervous system which is hard wired to produce fast responses, it happens before we have a chance to override or cancel the reaction.

Language enabled us to pass detailed stories, which when adopted as beliefs, also cause us to react automatically. Depending on how much emotion was assigned to them, stories allowed us to update our natural instincts.

Humans became adapt at both developing refined motor skills and at formulating powerfuly motivating stories.  How those stories affect our automatic nervous system will be the topic of the next post – Information Biology.

Research notes: Much of this is my own conjecture, and as such, will change along with my experiences. The amazing work of Yuval Noah Harari, gave me the insights and the confidence to present it this way.

4 – Assimilate – Information Biology

image

So the key take-away here is: All life is enabled by the transfer and utilization of energy. Contraction and defensiveness is supposed to be temporary, as it limits growth and creates stagnation, (higher entropy). Expnansion and receptiveness enable greater situational awareness, allowing for more effective use of energy. Beliefs that cause us to react in predictable ways often cause us to restrict the way that energy and information move through our bodies. We call this stress, it not only kills our cells, it keeps us acting out our learned fear management strategies. Freedom is about choice and it is not possible from a place of fear.

Measurement before management

In previous blogs I claimed that our base drive was to feel safe, and that we felt most alive only after this was achieved. To feel connected, we need to feel the way something other than self responds to us. We are the most receptive to sensation when we can relax. We relax to the degree that we felt safe and valuable within our “groups”. The way we learnt to transmit and read signals defines how we come to see ourselves in these groups. I endeavored to explain why, these signals, when triggered by stories, can influence our actions at the level of our instincts. In this post, I will look once again at the role of signals. There is a tendency to think of mind as seperate from body, as though we can use one to control the other. Far from being fragmented,  the way our biology interacts, expands outwards through ecologies and into economies.

Getting organized, cells before cell-phones

The basic roles of protection, accumulation, energy production, reproduction and organization all exist in single cell organisms. In multi-cellular organisms these functions can be delegated to specialized cells or groups of cells.  As the complexity of the organism increases, cells become tissues, and tissues become organs.

The more funky a creature gets,  the more advanced the intercellular communication that is required. Cells start to develop specifically to create, modify and transmit signals. The most advanced of these cells being the neurons that work in neural networks. Systems of neural networks become brains which work together with the endocrine system to send electrical and chemical, (such as hormones and neurotransmitters) communications throughout our bodies.

For all our complexity, we still need to push food, air and water, through the tubes and spaces of our bodies, we must still harvest and use energy effectively if we are to survive and reproduce. We must interact with each other and other species sustainably if we are to maintain an environment that continues to support complex life. Its still all about energy and accurate data transmissions, which I would like to take a closer look at in a latter post – “Swelling mistakes”

Mind Space

 

When the Noise becomes the Signal

To remain safe, effective and competitive a life form requires real time data from its surroundings. It must match its internal organization to the dangers and opportunities that are currently present. We know that organisms have the ability to learn from experience and, (to varying degrees) can imagine or forecast benefits of acting or investing energy in new ways.

The development of an advanced pre-frontal cortex allowed humans to form groups, assign specialized tasks and work together towards achieving common goals. More importantly, it enabled us to create stories that implied powerful concepts of advantage and fear. Those who behaved one way we’re sure to benefit and those who did not, well, they were in a different group anyway.

This ability to co-ordinate into large groups and delay instant gratification led us to create civilizations and develop technologies. We went from harvesting our food directly from nature, to trading it for goods and services with other humans.

Humans went from being organisms that required information about events in their environment (so that they could feed and breed), to organisms that needed to be able to influence the perception of others, while selecting which perceptions were safe to embody for themselves. To a large degree we left the realm of experiencing nature directly, to experiencing the reactions of other people and altering our actions to match.

Perception and Values

We learned to trade goods and services for energy, pleasure and survival. This new twist on the old reality shifted our survival focus. From the repeating patterns in nature, to the emerging themes in our cultures. Perception became nine-tenths of reality, because what was perceived by the group to be valuable, became valued. Increasing the perception of value, in some cases, became more profitable than increasing inherent value. To anchor these valuations at the level of the instinct, below the rational mind is to create a habitual market. As humans became the source of energy, new harvesting strategies were needed.

Freedom in Focus

I am guessing that most of you will of long ago realized that freedom is about choice, and that you can only choose that which you can see as a choice. Focus determines what we see, and what we hold in our “vision”.  There is competition, not just for our attention, but for our belief. Our belief’s guide our emotional responses, our internal signaling, our biology. Mind and body are inseparable, which is why focused movement is such a powerful tool for releasing non-useful stories. We will get to that oneday…

We can maintain our freedom to choose, to the degree that we can maintain our focus. Yet we find ourselves slipping off, into replaying past events or imagined futures, without choosing to. To understand freedom, or at least to save a great deal of energy, understanding the role of stories and of self valuation may be helpful.

Research notes

For an in depth look into how life’s quest for biological advantage drives the evolution of our cultures, I recommend reading chapter 2 of “Self comes to mind” by Professor Antonio Damasio. Without his 30+ years experience and wonderful insight, this concept would still be circling in my head looking for a way out. He has nailed it, magnificently.

Perhaps less obvious, though also helpful, was the explanation of military strategist John Boyd’s work on the OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide Act) by Brett and Kate McKay offering a western look into strategic processing, (an interesting counterpart to Sun Tzu’s Art of War and Moyomoto Musashi’s book of 5 rings). Without time bobbing around on my SUP, and helping others to “re-inhabit” their bodies more fully, on the water, this would be less clear.

5 – Appropriate – The graceful use of energy

Grace - no fear, no self,
Fear is the enemy of grace. To return focus awareness into the senses, accept what is, be grateful for aliveness and allow happiness to arise.

Key Take-away: We spend much of our lives earning money that we will spend trying to change the way we feel. Many of the feelings we have are not fully relevant to the situation at hand, yet often we find we have responded to them anyway. These negative feedback loops are stored in our body tissues as tension. Thinking in terms of energy and nature may be helpful for understanding why focused movement allows us to access  and release these patterns. The more of our body we bring awareness to, the more alive we feel. When we are less reactive, we are more creative and playful, nicer to ourselves and each other.

Life is very much about energy, using it effectively means getting more, using it efficiently means needing less. In nature, energy is stored in fats and starches,(sugars are more of a low value lure), in societies, we store energy as money and assets. We meet our food, shelter, entertainment, social, education and medication needs with money. This keeps us removed from thinking of energy in terms of nature, (where else could it originate?). In this post I will look at energy in terms of movement. Words won’t make you move better, but I hope they will bring a greater depth and quality to your movement training, or just getting around.

Drive to Survive or Allow to Thrive

The world of organisms is composed of a diverse multitude of creatures, living, reproducing and yes, eating each other in a complex network of relationships. They have common drives, yet many ways of achieving them.

Organisms must get enough food to live, grow and reproduce. In the search for resources and breeding partners, both cooperation and competition dominate their existence.  Success is measured in the acquisition, storage and expression of energy. In so called higher life forms, we begin to recognize qualities beyond survival and reproduction. Such as creative expression and understanding, the ultimate being compassion, which is seeing the self in all things. This recognition of connection, arises naturally in the absence of fear.

Graceful or lunch

Predators such as lions and wolves will test a herd to select the prey which is least able to utilize energy, that being, the very young, the old and the sick. This selection process both saves the predators own energy and ensures that only the prey that are best adapted to their environment survive for breeding. It also keeps herds moving, preventing over-grazing and feeding the bacteria in the soil.

The best use of energy is the perfect application of tension to a body’s tissues, (or just cells for the little guys) at the ideal moment. The appropriate application of force for optimal outcomes is what we recognize as physical gracefulness. An engineer may think of this in terms of increased mechanical efficiency through optimal mechanical advantage together with minimal friction.

To move gracefully, we must release excess tension, to stand on a narrow SUP on moving water, we must allow the board to move beneath us. To maintain balance, we must surrender some of our desire to control. To keep our heads over our base of support, we simply allow our bodies to be supple, this requires releasing non-useful tension, also known as stress, also known as fear.

Fear is the enemy of grace

Squeeze and repeat

Organisms are composed of single or multiple cells, and in larger instances, tissues and organs arranged in a way that gathers food, processes it and expels the waste. This is done by contraction and relaxation to harvest and move gasses, solids and liquids from process to process, (in larger organisms these wave like contractions are known as peristalsis). Energy moves in waves, in water you can see them and play with them. You can attune to them.

Each contraction uses energy to the degree that force is required. Residual tension in the organism is wasteful and interferes with the process of movement. So the ability for the organism to relax is as important as its ability to contract. That goes for propelling substances, limbs or entire “bodies”.

Tension transfers force, softness absorbs it. There is information in waveforms also, when we are soft we may feel it, when we are tense we alter it, like a rock in a stream creating turbulence, we destroy the signal. When we resonate with a waveform or signal we gain its information. In this way movement makes us smarter, while tension keeps us in the dark and fearful.

Energy, the currency of life

Residual tension also wastes energy by keeping substances trapped where they are more likely to be oxidized and cause damage to their surroundings. In the case of capillaries, insulin and PUFA 6 acids are more likely to cause damage. In the case of joints, over-compression reduces circulation and leads to inflammation of tendon sheaths and damage to the articular cartilage, (the shiny end of your bones).

Contraction and relaxation are necessary for respiration, food acquisition, digestion and expulsion. Also for changing location and reproduction. In the animal kingdom, movement is life, the currency of life is energy, only the most effective at acquiring and using it will survive and pass on their genes. In higher life forms, it’s all about the quality of consciousness, fear and dellusion, create tension and turbulence. Understanding flows out of acceptance, abundance flows  out of recognizing synergies. Freedom arises out of reliquinshing control.

Our nervous system is the electrical wiring with the brain computer sitting on top, our heart is pumping our blood, loaded with hormones oxygen and spare parts. These systems are our communications and supply lines, when they are inflamed, restricted or out of alignment we are not just using energy very poorly, we are waiting to be eaten.

The predators waiting for us are disease, politicians and salespeople.  The things that make us tense, inflamed and mal-aligned are what I call – “swelling mistakes” and the biggest one is fear. Our egos have worked out clever ways of making sure we never face the real source of our fears directly, that is why we use names like “stress” instead. Everyone is under pressure, everyone has stress, but nobody has fear, only the weak  or victimized are scared, right? Puh! I am shitting myself 🙂

Research Notes: Most of this comes to me, while working with students on the water. Looking at the way they move, where there eyes go, how their body follows their head and their head follows their focus. The moment they loose concentration, (opinions are triggered) their eyes wander and they fall. Conversely, when they un-tense, hold focus and allow their bodies to move with the rhythm in the water, they take off. They begin to un-wind. It’s a joy to facilitate and I am sure I learn much more than they do.

2 – Attunement – learning the interface

Attunement - the dance of life

The key take-away here is: We begin learning our key beliefs about how safe we are, how valuable we are, and which strategies and communication techniques alleviate and manage fear from the moment sensations begin. Feelings of pain and fear strengthen the sensation of self as seperate and in danger. Feelings of acceptance and curiosity strengthen the sensation of self as connected, safe and valuable. Which do you suppose feels more playful and creative? Events in our lives tilt us more towards fear or towards expansiveness. Healing is about learning to create a lifestyle that reinforces safe connections. Attunement is a life-long quest to communicate without fear and neediness.

 

In the first blog I talked about aliveness, connection and worthiness. In this post I briefly discuss trauma and how processing sub-optimal experiences affects the way we communicate and the choices we make.

Over time, resistance to the feelings in our own bodies alters our body language, our posture, and our faces. Apart from driving how we spend our income and much of the free time we do get, I suspect it is the most overlooked cause of inflammation and disease. Which makes it worth understanding.

When we are less “reactive” it is easier to remain focused on the things that we are good at. Those things that make us feel alive, valuable and included. Our behavior is affected by the signals we receive from each other. We begin learning how to send and interpret those signals from when we are in the womb. Without a healing practice, we tend to become less receptive yet more “touchy” as we get older. Out most creative work is often done in our younger years.
I suspect that we store resistance to life, (fear covered by opinions) as tension in our bodies, which is why a practice of conscious un-winding, like Yoga, helps us to remain kind and effective members of our families and communities.
My personal favorite is SUP and animal type movements with body weight exercises. Eat right and repetitive motion such as “cardio” is un-nessecary.

 Getting with the program

Attunement is the name that arose from the work of the psychiatrist John Bowlby and his contemporary Donald Winnicot in the 1940’s. It describes a process that happens between newborns and their primary caretaker.

Newborns begin learning about safe and appropriate action and communication by making sounds; actions and gestures, building neural connections that mirror their caretaker. It is also when the baby begins building a “felt sense” of self. Attunement begins in the womb, and when it happens “normally”, forms the foundations for an adult who will grow up to feel safe and be well integrated into their community.

Attunement is where we begin to build our sense of self as being part of a group or tribe. It is where our nervous system first starts creating the automated responses that will shape our lives.

As we grow from baby, to child through our teenage years and into adult hood, the chances of us integrating healthily decrease with each exposure to a traumatic experience.

Contrary to popular belief, (part of the John Wayne legacy) it is not something we can tough out, instead we tend to suppress or avoid the triggers. Suppressing causes us to loose the higher emotions along with the low ones. This tends to kill our feelings of aliveness and effect our on going attunement.

Being Defensive

Automatic responses can save us from injury or death. Fight and flight reactions are given priority over other bodily functions. When something happens that over-loads our ability to understand and assimilate, when we are overwhelmed by an experience, we experience trauma and it becomes wired into our future.

Trauma’s from the past, when re-triggered, create physical reactions that range from subtle uneasiness to complete shutdown.
The key thing here, is that the experience of trauma changes both our internal and external communications. Experiencing trauma is part of ordinary life, we usually only address it when the dysfunction it creates becomes unbearable for those around us.

Healing Trauma with Focused Movement

Traumas may trigger thoughts, images and even flashbacks; but they are stored in the body. They exist because they have become part of our autonomic nervous system, below and before our prefrontal cortex. It seems that focusing on movement can reset those pathways and re-map how we are wired. There are many modalities for re-attuning ourselves. If we can understand their core principles, we may be able to develop extremely powerful, yet simple routines for returning to full aliveness.

Simply exercising has benefits. What really empowers movement, is focus in a state of acceptance, especially in situations that require balance and reward optimal posture. I will be exploring this in depth, these early blogs are background information so that we understand the challenges to freedom.

 

Waxing lyrical

The ocean can never replace your mother, but she is moving to the heat of our sun, and the beat of our moon. From the gravity of heavenly bodies to a passing cloud, myriad forces form coherent lines. To be cancelled in turbulence against the constraints of distant shores. Both oxygenating the sea and allowing the possibility of stillness and serenity to return.

Research notes:
Trauma is a vast subject and a rather intimate one to discuss. I can not do it justice in a few paragraphs, nor am I qualified to. Bessel van der Kolt MD, in his book, “The body Keeps the Score” presents the most comprehensive overview that I have read so far. Peter Levine also has an understanding built on a wealth of experience. Both of these doctors continue to study, try new things and publish their findings. Freemocean is not about trauma, it is about receiving clean data from nature, so that we may use energy more effectively.

1 – Aliveness – we can’t think happy, but we can feel it.

Freemocean - focused high quality movements that challenge our balance and our opinions

Happiness, Aliveness and Connection

The key take-away here is: The main drive of a human is to feel safe, the way we feel safe is to feel valuable, attention from others alleviates the fear of not being safe by making us feel valuable, but it is short lived. When we do feel safe, then we may notice the startling beauty of the world in the unique way that only you can experience. Expressing your unique perspective fearlessly is what you are here for, doing so allows others to relax. You see where this goes?

The greater part of our happiness revolves around feeling valuable and worthy of connection to our tribes, (families, social groups, co-workers etc.)
The quest for worthiness, lead’s us to try and, do more, have more, be more, produce and sell more. This may leave us  feeling ashamed when we fail, smug when we succeed, but rarely contented.

While watching our daughter when, she was a toddler, I wondered what our natural state was, before we tried to improve it.  She could dance, skip, jump and twirl, but had way too much energy, to simply walk. She was not always happy, but she was fully alive.

As we go through life, we experience rude shocks and gather strong opinions about all sorts of things. Both of which give rise to uncomfortable emotions. In suppressing or avoiding these inner sensations, we loose our aliveness. I will explore this briefly over the next posts.

We seek connection to our families, friends and co-workers, to be appreciated for who we are and what we do. Being able to offer value helps us to find acceptance mirrored back to us, in the words, faces and body language of those we respect. We may experience this sense of worthiness; to the degree we believe we deserve it.

I have caught myself, and I have seen others seeking attention, so many times, but what is it we are looking for? Impressive deeds, tireless work, service to others or simple obedience, may win the respect of the tribe. Even then, we still may not allow ourselves to relax and feel worthy of receiving validation and the connection that seams to go with it.

Perhaps the experience of connection is the feeling of aliveness? (Notice I said feeling? “thinkings” can never be validated experientially)  Maybe it has less to do with our achievements, of what other people think, and everything to do with the way we allow ourselves to feel and accept what is happening in and around us. The way we receive, perceive and respond to the signals from our environment determines how free we are to feel alive. It is hard to feel anything when we are tense. Could it be, that we experience aliveness to the degree that we allow connection, to feel the good, the great the not so hot.

To avoid inflammation, accept information

We are organisms comprised of trillions of interacting cells, all operating in a richly bio-diverse environment. Our nervous systems require accurate and timely information from our environment to keep us functioning effectively. That information comes to us through our 5 senses; our stories about what that information may give rise to emotions. These emotions send signals outwards to those around us and inwards to the automatic parts of our nervous systems. This communication determines how both other people and our own bodies respond. Not only to what is happening, but also to the meanings we make about what is happening.

I used to think that diet and environmental toxins were the dominant factors causing inflammation. Now I am starting to wonder it if it is in fact the stories we carry, that create and maintain habitual levels of restriction in our bodies.

The internal communication, (between our cells, organs and organs systems) and our external communication, between individuals, families, cultures and economies, determines our health. When looked at through the lens of nature, processing information healthily, may bridge the gaps between ecology and economy. Exploring the way we perceive and how that makes us feel, is a journey, not so much to improve ourselves, but rather in coming to know ourselves as we are.

Freemocean is not so much about acquiring, but more about letting go of that which is stopping flow, creating inflammation and blocking our aliveness.

Focusing on movements that challenge our balance and test our posture allows us to revisit and release some of this sub-optimal base-line tension. Thankfully it is a subtractive process, it is an allowing. For in accepting what is, we begin releasing our stories and our tensions. The less there is to defend, the more aliveness returns.