Day 18 – … And This Means

For more info about this series please go to https://wordpress.com/post/catherinestrang.com/1455 This post takes 2-3 minutes to read and the exercise as long as you wish.

So today we dig a little deeper into My truth is… You may be wondering, why do this? What does stirring things up have to do with feeling peaceful? At our core is deep peace, unwavering stillness. What obscures this fact or truth is whatever is layered on top, by digging down through and releasing the layers of emotion, belief and old programming at the same time as seeking to experience moments of peace will bring you to that core aspect of Self. It’s not about being calm or having a particularly even temper, nor is it about being seemingly perfect. It is the ability to be that sense of peacefulness within, no matter what else may be going on in your life.

Back to the exercise, a few things can happen after doing the first part of this, you may have found yourself processing feelings that have been stirred up or you may have had the odd “Aha!” moment or more thoughts/beliefs may have surfaced. When this happens a lot of old assumptions will often simply dissolve on their own. When digging down to the root cause of an issue whether it’s through sinking through layers of feeling or by asking questions in a specific way, when we reach a layer of truth the truth or clarity itself is enough to clear what is there.

To continue with this particular exercise, the second part is to take what came out yesterday and any other thoughts that may have surfaced in the meantime and repeat out loud what you have written down. As mentioned yesterday a significant amount will look like rubbish as you view what’s there, what we are going to work with now are any thoughts that still have a charge. If there are a few pick the one with the most charge or most impact. Repeat this one out loud and then follow it with the statement “And this means”. I say statement instead of question as it infers that you already know the answer, kind of tricking the mind into pulling it out of the subconscious.

With the answer that arises take a moment for a deep breath in and out, this second part is a little more contemplative, more slow, and will often be more emotional – you may be rooting out the hidden thoughts behind certain emotional responses. Sometimes the first response is the root of the issue, sometimes there will be several layers. The way you can usually tell is through your reaction. This reaction would be strong emotion that needs release, a deep level of personal revelation, that “Aha!” moment. A shock as you realise something you may have been blind to, or the seeing of a deeply entrenched belief that may have shaped the way you live your life, or something else! So just keep repeating “and this means” (or whatever else seems appropriate by this time) until you seem to reach the core of something.

Another way you can deal with what arose from the “My truth is…” statements is to simply ask, “is this true”? Just use your intuition to know which way to go with this, usually the “is this true”? will just apply to concepts in the mental body that need unravelling. (Check out Byron Katie’s The Work for an excellent method for peeling apart what may be stuck in the mind, she takes the “is this true” question much further) The “and this means” is for when there is more emotion or for when you cannot let go of something. As I’ve mentioned before you cannot talk out an issue. If this is attempted without quite specific ways of questioning, the emotional energy often becomes more stuck, more deeply entrenched and causes problems further down the line.

If you have any questions or comments please drop me a line in the comments, I’m interested in your experiences with this!

Day 17 – My Truth Is…

For more info about this series please go to https://wordpress.com/post/catherinestrang.com/1455 This post takes 1-2 minutes to read and the exercise as long as you wish.

Today’s post on the theme of clearing the mind is a method for rooting out – or peeling back the layers – of thought on any given topic or issue, from wide topics to personal issues. It comes from a book called ”Loving Relationships” by Sondra Ray that I read many years ago and involves using the question, “My truth about (subject) is… You would continue to repeat this question about your chosen topic until there are no more answers or reactions. There are are of course even deeper ways of getting to the root of an issue such as the digging down method used in NLP and other therapies and this is what I would use in a therapy session. But the “My Truth Is” method is great for self help and also for making a start when you don’t know where to start!

To practice this exercise you would first pick the subject you wish to work on, whatever is bothering you. If it’s, for instance, relationships you could start global (“My truth about relationships is…”) then go into aspects such as “My truth about men/women is, then into whatever is personal to you. Use this exercise for anything; money, work, individual people, health, family, life and very specific details such as an emotion or single problem that is troubling you. Really, any concept, issue or event you can think of that you want to explore a little deeper or just empty your mind of.

Then take a pad of paper and write “My truth about (insert your topic) is…” at the top of the first sheet of paper and as you say this statement immediately write down your response. Continue to repeat this statement out loud and quickly jot down your responses until you dry up. If you come up blank write anything, it could be a sound you make, an emotion you feel or just write “I don’t know”. The trick is to force yourself to go into a kind of stream of consciousness mode and don’t accept a blank space. Most people will easily cover at least one sheet of paper with responses, so keep going!

Of course most of what you write will be rubbish but this is the point, it takes the garbage out of the mind and onto the paper where you clearly see it. Once seen many of the thoughts simply dissolve. There is then a second part to this exercise that delves a little deeper into what remains, into what has a charge to it, a reaction.

It can be very useful to leave it for a day or two before coming back to what you have written as even more of what you wrote may have dissolved but more importantly, in the act of dredging up perhaps hidden thoughts, more may have percolated up in the hours since you first did the exercise. In the spirit of this I will post the second half of this exercise tomorrow. Meanwhile have fun seeing what may be buried in the subconscious!

Day 16 – Clearing The Mind

For more info about this series please go to https://wordpress.com/post/catherinestrang.com/1455 This post takes less than a minute to read and the meditation is 17 minutes long.

Today’s post is just a suggestion to sit in meditation with the intention of clearing the mind and bringing in a sense of peacefulness.You could do this through a favourite meditation of your own or with the meditation below.

This is the first meditation I recorded last year so it may not be the best quality! I am still getting used to doing this and experimenting with the sound quality and editing etc. So will continue to record new, free meditations for a while yet until I feel ready to perhaps devise an online course. I may do another audio aimed at clearing the mind and coming into a calm space this week.

CLEAR, CALM MIND MEDITATION

Day 15 – Step Away From The Thoughts!

For more info about this series please go to https://wordpress.com/post/catherinestrang.com/1455 This post takes 2-3 minutes to read and the meditation is 15 minutes long.

The next 7 posts are about the mind and the title is obviously, I hope, my attempt at humour…

Anyway, over the next week I will introduce the theme of exploring what’s beneath the surface of troubling thoughts and of bringing a sense of peacefulness to the mind. Today’s post is about engaging the witness part of our consciousness. Before that however I’d like to say a little about inner work and the processing of issues regarding mind, body and emotions. Our being, here on Earth, is made up of several bodies, the physical, emotional, mental, etheric and spiritual, whilst these all overlap and are interconnected – what we do to one will affect the others. There is still a certain degree of separation between the bodies (at least here in 3/4D – we need to be completely clear in all our bodies before all aspects merge and intertwine as one whole).

Dealing with the physical body requires light cleansing food and detoxification processes. With the emotional body we grow through mostly somatic processing of issues, that is through the feelings, feelings being either emotions, states, sensations, pain in the body or through body memories held in our cells. In the etheric we have the energy systems that will need clearing and balancing, in the spiritual we have vast stores of past life information, higher aspects of DNA holding genetic and past gene expressions, our connection/attachments to the collective unconscious, access to the Akashic and occasionally soul trauma and more… Regarding the mental body this is where we release the beliefs and programmes that shape our lives and bring the mind under our control – the mind was never meant to rule in the way it does now. It was always meant to be a simple tool we use in order to do whatever needs to be done in our everyday lives.

This is an extremely brief overview of a vast subject and in the spirit of this series being light and peaceful is all I will say here. I’m currently writing a book that will delve much more deeply into the process of all that needs to cleared and how to do this in order to embody the Ascension process the planet is going though. On an individual level this is about clearing each layer of our being until we know who we are and where we are going as one unified consciousness.

As far as the mental body is concerned a place to be that cuts through a lot of unnecessary drama and angst is to reside in the part of self that is the witness. The witness is the aspect of self, or consciousness, that resides beyond the “lower” mind, it is the first level of the ability to reconnect fully with higher self. From the first level of the witness we can go from here to an even higher aspect of Mind and from here begin to drop down into the consciousness of the sacred space of the heart – this is an exercise all on its own and one I will explore more in the future. Stepping back from the chatter of the mind and the drama of the external world can be infinitely peaceful. When we engage with this practice not just through the thinking mind but combined with a somatic sense of really stepping back into the wider consciousness of who we are it is possible to really feel the detachment from the outer self. This is not detachment in an ordinary psychological sense of unhealthy detachment from people or the world, rather it’s about detaching from, as I mentioned, the drama, of our repeating thought patterns and from the chaos of the world. We are then able to more intimately engage with the inner, or higher aspects of self.

One very simple way to do this is to practice the following, once practiced a few times it will be fairly easy to do in the moment when you find yourself caught up in stressful thoughts and events. Fix your attention on a point in front of you, the usual way you would look at something. Now feel as if you’re drawing your gaze back behind the eyes, This is different from the act of letting your eyes rest in peripheral vision, doing this is of course relaxing but there is an element of mild trance that is induced when we do this. When we draw our gaze back behind the eyes we are still alert and in touch with all that is going on, just not over engaged with it nor are we trancing out or escaping. Drawing the focus back we are drawing the attention into the pineal gland and in doing so becoming aware of the self in a more expansive way.

Experiment with this and see how you find it – I would be very interested in your experiences.

Below is a guided meditation through expanding the sense of self in order to be the witness of the human self .

THE WITNESS MEDITATION

Day 14 – Consistent Practice

For more info about this series please go to https://wordpress.com/post/catherinestrang.com/1455 This post takes 1-2 minutes to read and the exercise is of your choice.

If you meditate regularly or simply perform some form of relaxing exercise or ritual on a daily basis you will be aware of the positive impact this has within yourself and in your life. This daily practice does not have to be long, nor does it need specialist equipment but most of all perhaps it does not need to be dependant on something else happening first. Such as “when this project is finished I will…”, or when I feel a bit more settled I will start…”.

So this last post of the section on heart, body and emotions is just an encouragement to find a little time, or more time, to relax and check in with what’s going on inside. This can make the difference between health and ill-health, knowing you’re the master of your mind versus a breakdown or mental health issues, productivity versus chaos, calm versus catastrophe thinking.

Resolve to start now. Even if it is a minute here and there to regroup your thoughts. Or the classic mindful practice of a 2 second pause between activities, this is as simple as; “I am leaving this screen, now I go to prepare dinner”. Or a few minutes before bed, sit in silence, take long breaths, contemplate then let go of the day.

Listen to soothing meditations with positive language or positive affirmations as you go to sleep. Use travelling time to listen to anything you find uplifting or relaxing.

Use walking as a meditation or make an evening bath a sacred event with uplifting music.

Or begin that meditation practice, set a timer for five minutes only and then, if you have the time, see if you can extend the length of the meditation. Even doing this twice a week will make a difference. It can be a meditation or an emotional release exercise – whatever you feel drawn to or is needed.

So todays suggestion is to do something that makes you feel relaxed or nurtured. If you wish to listen to one of the meditations from this series so far I have included them below.

HEARTMATH MEDITATION
PEACEFUL JOURNEY THROUGH THE SENSES
DEALING WITH OVERWHELM AND DISTRESS
LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION

Day 13 – Gratitude

For more info about this series please go to https://wordpress.com/post/catherinestrang.com/1455 This post takes about 2 minutes to read and the exercise as long as you wish.

Few inner activities lift our spirits in the profound way that gratitude does. The practice of gratitude is one of grace; it will bring into your life, manifest, more of what you are grateful for. As it’s a heart based practice this activity of drawing towards us what we are grateful for becomes one that is more closely aligned with the true Self, more in line with higher spiritual intentions of being for the benefit of all.

Still on the subject of manifestation, if what we are desiring is not in our highest interests or part of our divine plan then obviously we will either not bring that to us or if we do it does not last or manifest in a way that is balanced or easy. This is not meant as a judgement – our natural divine state is one of absolute and opulent abundance, our higher self, guides etc want the very best for us. However we are here on Earth by our own choice and for specific reasons with a specific plan and experiences we need to experience and issues to deal with and would no doubt be a bit frustrated if we went far off track!

The lack of information on this aspect of manifestation in most New Age circles is something I occasionally find frustrating and explains why so many feel thwarted in their desires and with lives often the complete opposite of what it is they are trying to attract. I’m not exempt from this either. I became a lot more peaceful and life seemed to flow more easily when I simply gave up having material goals and intentions etc. However I know it’s time to make changes again so am focussing intention in this regard – in a different way this time, though I’m so used to not doing this now I forget a lot of the time!

So todays suggestion, in the same vein as Day 1, is to drop all striving and wishing for today and simply focus on gratitude. There are several ways to do this, there is of course the gratitude journal, taking a beautiful journal just for this purpose and writing down a few things you are grateful for every day. This may not appeal to you but I found when I did this, despite only doing it for a few months, it set in motion a subconscious habit of being a lot more grateful for my life, I just naturally found gratitude rising more and more. So if you are having difficulty finding enough things to be grateful for this formal process may help.

You may already find it easy to express gratitude as you go about your day and so could just ramp this up a little more and see where that takes you

For today’s exercise I suggest that the HeartMath Meditation is revisited with the energy/feeling of gratitude- on your own or guided, I have included the audio below if you prefer to be guided. To take this a little further than before, really feel that you are inside the heart, that there is a sacred space in here you can inhabit and fill with gratitude. Once here go through each area of your life and state what you are grateful for; as you make each statement and are feeling the gratitude, and whatever else arises, breathe this deeply into your heart then through and around your body. If a negative feeling comes up breathe through this with gratitude for the opportunity to release that feeling.

As intentions are useful perhaps you could begin this exercise with the intention of feeling peaceful and relaxed.

HEARTMATH MEDITATION

Day 12 – Loving Kindness

For more info about this series please go to https://wordpress.com/post/catherinestrang.com/1455 This post takes 2-3 mins to read and the meditation is 19 minutes long.

Yesterday was the end of Random Acts of Kindness Week 2021, this first started in 1995 as a Random Acts of Kindness Day in Denver and has now grown globally to become an entire week each February. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has a website with many wonderful ideas and suggestions for acts of kindness, please go here: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas

Being kind has extensive, varied and proven benefits; if you’ve been on the receiving end of kindness you will know the difference this makes to your day and perhaps to your life. That act of kindness can have an exponential effect, inspiring the receiver to be kind and so it could go on. Also of course there’s the difference in feeling and energy of both the recipient and the giver, for this to be potent the act of kindness needs to be felt, needs to be genuine. If you are not feeling kind towards the other person either perform this act for someone else or better still change your internal state towards a more loving one – you will feel better!

One rapid way to do this is to practice the Buddhist exercise of Loving Kindness, which is one of blessing another with good intentions. This not only brings about a rapid, internal state change but does register in some way with the recipient. The only way to prove this for yourself is to do it. And do it regularly. This can be performed as a meditation that need not take up more than five minutes or it can be performed as you are out walking or travelling – I have changed my state from one of irritation, judgement or dwelling unfavourably upon someone I felt wronged by many times whilst out walking by using this method. For me it’s become an easy and relaxing act of self discipline to bring lower consciousness ways of thinking into a higher or more coherent mindset.

If you find yourself struggling to know just what to bless the other person with then think about what you wish for yourself and send that to the other. For instance if you wish to feel happier then bless the other with endless joy. If you wish to be more prosperous bless the other with opulent abundance. If you wish to feel peaceful bless the other with deep peace and unwavering stillness. Do this especially if you have a problem with this person…

If you read Day 10’s post on the effect of stress upon the body I can assure you that this practice of Loving Kindness is one of the most rapid ways of using thought and intention to change the biochemical state of the body. HeartMath breathing is another rapid method but this one employing feelings and physiology – the two combined in a fifteen minute meditation are an extremely potent combination for health and heightened well-being – and you’re making a difference to the world.

So if you are struggling to forgive someone, let go of a past relationship you feel a victim of, feel irritated or judgemental or want to practice kindness but don’t feel disposed towards actually being kind, then practice the following. Included below is a Loving Kindness recording I made last year as a way of easing into this practice in a relaxing way.

I hope you enjoy the meditation and of course I wish you peace, health and happiness!

LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION

Day 11 – Releasing Stress

For more info about this series please go to https://wordpress.com/post/catherinestrang.com/1455

Today’s post is a guided journey through stress, overwhelm and difficult emotions that I recorded last year in response to the distress and fear many people were experiencing. The first part is how to release painful feelings and the second part is about accepting positives through visualisation and affirmations.

RELEASING AND DEALING WITH OVERWHELM AND DISTRESS

Day 10 – Stress, Fear and the Body

Body. Mind. Emotions. Behaviour.

For more info about this post please go to https://wordpress.com/post/catherinestrang.com/1455 This post takes about 4 mins to read.

Most people are now aware of the fight or flight stress response and the fact that something or other happens in the body when this response is engaged! However I don’t think many people are really aware of the extent to which this response affects us and how much ill health, including mental health issues, could be prevented, with a little more care towards the self.

Stress is now recognised as the main contributor to disease and by stress I mean “a strain upon the system”. This strain could be personal events, emotional stress, overwhelm about deadlines, relentless home, personal or work pressures, physical discomfort caused by work or lifestyle or simply just a lack of movement and of course poor diet and deficient nutrition.

What Exactly is Fight Or Flight and its role in Stress?

The theory of “fight or flight” was established in 1932 (yes we’ve known about this for almost a century!) by Walter Cannon and refers to the cascade of biochemical/hormonal reactions that takes place when we react to what we perceive as a threat. I mentioned in an earlier post that fear is primarily a physiological reaction to a thought and not specifically an emotion. It can however be accompanied by many emotions so can often be difficult to isolate as fear alone.

When we perceive an immediate threat to our well-being we react in the same way that any mammal would, the difference with humans though is that the mind interferes. In the animal kingdom the animal, when frightened, will react by running, fighting or shaking until the hormones and chemicals have dissipated and been excreted. As any one of these reactions is deemed embarrassing or socially unacceptable we instead tend to bottle it up and that cascade of biochemical reactions, when stress is frequent or prolonged, will continue to wreak havoc in the body.

What Does Happen in the Body?

Various glands are activated to release hormones that prioritise the muscles, heart, lungs and brain – basically the organs we need in order to take immediate and massive action. The liver will then release glucose into the bloodstream for increased energy. More oxygen and an increased flow of blood for the muscles are needed so the breath becomes more rapid, the heart rate speeds up and blood pressure rises. The increase in anxiety is felt (and is necessary if action is needed) due to the release of adrenaline, which is needed to increase the heart rate. In a professional athlete or a performer on stage in front of thousands this reaction is useful!

It’s not useful if you are being undermined on a daily basis, reacting to a domestic situation without resolution or realising how low the bank account is getting…

The stress chemicals circulate in the body for 2 to 3 days before being excreted so if we are experiencing stress on a daily basis they build up with little release. As many people have an underlying level of fear, anxiety or stress and can end up on a hair trigger of reactivity the bio-chemicals build up and go no-where, gradually undermining the various systems and organs of the body. So that first adrenaline rush that cleared the head now becomes foggy thinking and mental fatigue, the geared up for action muscles turn into chronic tension, the overworked adrenals can turn into just feeling tired all the time. We can end with heart complications, high blood pressure and breathing issues, liver problems and increased blood sugar levels.

But what about the systems that get switched off during a fear spike? This can be just as lethal. The main ones are the digestive and immune system; as these systems are not needed for immediate physical action they either temporarily shut down or simply have less energy to work efficiently. The result of this breakdown in efficiency is poor immunity to infections and various digestive issues. As conditions such as IBS are on the rise it’s easy to see that stress is a major issue in the West. Another organ that works less efficiently is the skin, our circulation during a stress reaction is pulled towards the muscles and heart as skin function is not a priority, with the result that skin conditions can erupt or simply show up as an unhealthy or slightly deadined pallor.

Exercise

The reason exercise is so highly recommended for stress is that it satisfies the need for action. It also uses up or burns through the biochemical reactions the body has undergone, allowing the body to return to homeostasis. One of the most healthy things to do for yourself after a stressful day is to walk. I believe driving everywhere contributes to stress levels as there’s so little time spent just walking. If you’ve had an awful day at work, leave the car and walk home if possible, or at least partially walk home. It might seem like it takes up too much time but not really when you factor in the cost of poor health.

The freeze response

I cannot write about fight or flight without mentioning the third component to this which is termed the ‘freeze’ response. It is of course what most of us tend to do and why all the the hormones and chemicals that have been released have no immediate outlet. There are three aspects to the freeze response and while most of us will visit all three, we will tend to dominate in one area.

The Three Aspects of the Freeze Response

Dissociation – This is where we bury what we feel, present a calm face to the world and fool ourselves into believing that we’re okay, we can cope. How do you know this is you? Tight, tense muscles, health issues that seem to come out of nowhere, even though you take care of yourself, exhaustion and feeling that life is just sort of okay, not really bad but certainly not great.

Flooding – This is where we tend to be very emotional and overreact to things others seem to take in their stride. Emotions and our “stories” about whatever bothers us tend to be on a repeating loop with no resolution. Some may think that excessive emoting is a form of release but in actuality the tendency to ‘flood’ will be on one or two repeating emotional themes, a repetitive negativity or over dramatisation, never going to a deeper layer below or getting to the core of the issue.

Distraction – This is probably what most of us have mastered in the modern world! Food, alcohol, smoking, TV, social media, shopping, OCD-like behaviour etc., etc… Similar to dissociation, but we are now stuffing the feelings down with less than healthy substances or behaviours.

Today’s post is just to digest the above information and ask yourself where you could be a little kinder to yourself and lessen the load on your body. Tomorrow I will post a guided and fairly relaxing meditation on releasing uncomfortable feelings.

Day 9 – Continuing HeartMath Breathing

For more info about this series please go here https://wordpress.com/post/catherinestrang.com/1455

Today’s post is simply a suggestion to continue the HeartMath Breathing – either as a formal meditation (I have included the downloadable meditation from yesterday) or through bringing the attention into the heart for a few breaths throughout your day.

If you wish to delve a lot more deeply into this topic there is a wealth of information to be found on the HeartMath site, including a free e-book that covers the medical science aspect in more detail. If interested go here https://www.heartmath.org/research/science-of-the-heart/heart-brain-communication/

Stay peaceful!