Instincts are created by emotions, how to break free?

Focus is the door to our senses, quality movement takes us through
Thinking circles back to our beliefs. Sensing can keep us free from reactive behaviour. Focus is the door, quality movement takes me through it.

Emotions are the programming language for our instincts.

They give texture to the stories we see and hear, tricking our bodies into storing them as though they are real experiences.

The reasons we make up to justify our behaviour are downstream products from our deep-seated assumptions.

Those beliefs decide how we react and how well we focus on the things we want.

Instincts save us, they also act like viruses that take over our operating systems. They can come from rich experiences such as in learning a skill. Or formed from our perceptions of something that happened. Perceptions are stories, and the emotional part tricks our nervous system into storing them as skills.

Emotions are electro-chemical events that change our biology, they  increase our nutritional and sleep requirements as well our need for attention.

My expectations and the way I perceive what happens are shaped by my beliefs. When  my perception does not match my expectation, I have inner turmoil. That conflict is the emotional charge being replayed.  The tension and energy build up created is unbearable and leads to hasty and often addictive behavior.

There are positive emotions as well. Good feelings de-contract the stored tensions that cause us to act defensively.

Gratitude is powerful medicine that we make ourselves.

Gratitude is the deep accpetance of present circumstances.  The idea that we owe something to someone outside of ourselves is often just a guilt trip. What is valuable is the energy saved, of course we should be mindful of those who enrich our lives.

To focus on our purpose, we have to debug our instincts. Beliefs are very difficult to remove once they exist at the automatic level. They are then part of our flight and fight responses and take precedence over rational actions.

To gracefully steer our nervous-system and blood chemistry is difficult. It pays to re-set our base-line tension using daily focused breathing and movement practices.

Focus is the Doorway

Both the Automatic and Conscious parts of our biology control our breathing. By slowing or pausing our breath we override the bodies fear and pain responses. We change our relationship to them when we allow these sensations to be.

With practice this becomes powerful, as Wim Hoff shows by near naked mountain climbing and ice submersion.

The main reason for regaining or retaining control is so we can spend more of our lives doing what we choose and saying what we mean the way we intended.

No point working 40+ hours a week for 40+ years to waste most of that money on things we did not need  to buy

Focus is our birth right, stories that use emotion to trick us into forming instincts that create automatic inappropriate defensive reactions – don’t just rob us of our lives and turn us into reactive addicts – they keep us isolated and threatened.

Focus is the way out – breathing and conscious movement takes us through the doorway. But you can’t think through it, you have to step, its an action.

Hope this resonates? it is difficult to put into words – I will persist in  breathing and moving and sharing what I find.

To your freedom!

Spinal Hack – break in formation

break in-formation, allowing biology to con-from to gravity.

Balance demands focus

Instead of letting my mind wonder while trying to burn calories. I use a nutrient dense diet and use movements that demand that I pay close attention to my posture.

By training in un balanced situations, such as on Stand Up Paddle Boards and body weight games, I learn to keep my head aligned over the base of my support.

This requires that my total focus be anchored in the signals streaming into the nervous system. My body follows my head, which follows my eyes, which follows my thoughts. In other words if I think I fall.

Trillions of human and bacterial cells work together to form my tissues and organ systems. I am pretty sure that did not happen just so they could listen and respond to replays of my last argument.

More likely, they want the vital environmental data so that they can allocate energy and resources gracefully.

Getting my head I the right place.

Simply by leaning your head forward you can feel the weight shift to the balls of your feet, notice also how this affects tension in the back of the neck and pulling into the sides of knee joints.

SUP training is fantastic, as the energy moving through the water continually shifts the ideal place for our hips to be. In order for our heads to remain situated over our feet, we sway, we embody the wave-form that is moving through the water. We un-wind, just as the ocean is “un winding”.

Conforming to the effects of the sun and the moon on water is a great healthy way to reset our base tension levels. The more tense we are the less we can feel, and the more likely we are to operate from reactive programs.

Do not try the experiment in the photo, without the advice and supervision of a chiropractor. I use the rings and my feet to gradually increase the load on my occipital ridge, de-compressing the vertebra and allowing my body to soften and “swing” back underneath my head.

Wellness remains a possibility and a choice to the degree that we understand, through direct experience, the relationships that run through biology in real time.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.