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Power of "The Witness"

Have you ever noticed that when you are going through some kind of change in your life (especially self-initiated), your inner critic starts working overtime in your mind? If you had a particularly critical parent, caregiver, older sibling, teacher, peer or other influential voice growing up, this voice will be amplified. If you've ever done therapeutic parts work (also known as Internal Family System or IFS), you may know this inner critic or inner bully as a "protector part".

*One of my favorite embodied approaches to parts work is the act of "Dancing the Characters of the Ego Theatre" as taught by Gabrielle Roth, the creator of 5 Rhythms Dance in her book Maps to Ecstasy.

I am not a psychologist or a 5 rhythms facilitator, but I am a healing artist and coach who has been utterly fascinated by the sociological implications on individual psychology since I first learned about this topic in high school. As I mentioned in my last email, my conscious spiritual journey took flight in 2012/2013 and ran parallel to my studies in Psychology & Sociology in college. Eventually I started to see that spirituality and psychology were interconnected in a specific & mysterious yet obvious way.

In Psychology 101 (or maybe in sports practice) students are taught about the process of conditioning. Training something until we affect lasting change to it, whether that be to our psyche or to a muscle. I believe that the conditioning process can illusify (I think I just made that word up, but I love it) a soul from its original, essential, authentic alignment and expression. And in my book we can hardly talk about spirituality without talking about soul.

A soul doesn't know criticism. Perhaps I could argue that it knows refinement in an organic, evolutionary sense. But it knows not the criticism or degradation that is often playing in our heads. That is learned and often passed down for many generations from living in a state of competition, fear & survival. Collaboration is the antidote to competition and though most of us may be centuries and miles away from our larger tribes of origin, our very species is designed for collaboration. Even if it's challenging at times to see a collaborative way forward, the imprint is embedded deep within our DNA waiting to be remembered. We get a taste of it everyday we experience teamwork.

When I am feeling disconnected from or in competition with the world around me, I am usually feeling disconnected from myself.

"As within, so without."

When I hear my inner critic or inner bully tearing me apart in my mental chatter, my conditioned, default-mode-network of reacting is to either

a) feel completely convinced that it's true and submit to it's domination

b) try to drown it out with loud music or shifting my attention elsewhere or

c) criticize the critic and get into a never-ending perpetuating cycle of self-deprecation.

However, from my training as a healing facilitator & coach, and from a deep place inside me that holds a whisper of remembrance for a different time, I know that the spiritually aligned response is none of these.

It is to witness myself and listen with presence and love.

Like witnessing a child overcome with overwhelm and lashing out, can I see the innocence of my experience as an emotional pulse hiding beneath analytical reasoning? If so, then I can collaborate with myself by giving every single part of me a seat at my inner table, at the throne of my heart. Who sits at the head of the table? The true Self, who is merely a Witness grounded in unconditional love and acceptance, who basks in the present moment in awe of the very miracle of aliveness. A wise woman so incredibly comfortable in the stillness while the rest of the inner and outer world rotates around me like planets in divinely disorganized orbits.

.: Three . Deep . Breaths :.

I have learned through science and witness that the inner protectors gets louder during times of change because the nervous system perceives anything unfamiliar as unsafe. Key work beings PERCEIVES, which indicates the threat it senses can often be an illusion. This also means that if you had an unsafe past, it will perceive unsafety as safety - merely because it's familiar. If you had a past of feeling the best social response by blending in but your soul came to stand out, to live in alignment with your soul you will be faced with the challenge of expanding your window of tolerance little by little, of building up your sense of inner safety, disarming your protectors, to arrive on your true path. Is this making sense?

The nervous system operates on patterns from the past, “default mode networks”, which generate our thoughts and affect our actions and behaviors. When I am empowered with this knowledge and I remember to use it, I feel an incredible transformative alchemical wizardry occurring within me. I feel the mystical experience of layers blossoming open, one petal at a time, bringing me closer to my core essence, my soul.

This is my dream, desire, vision, manifestation for the world. That no matter how society and xyz other forces try to homogenize us, our souls calling us home to our true selves will always be louder. That we'll follow the breadcrumbs of our curiosities, and that our species and our world will grow more and more colorful that the idea of putting us in boxes will be laughable.

Welcome to the Radiant, Revolutionized Renaissance.

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