Qualitative Shift into Thriving
“… living from open-hearted awareness is a palpable experience – and therefore learnable and teachable.
… wellbeing is not found by calming the mind, changing our thoughts, or adjusting our attitudes, but by actually shifting into a level of mind that is already calm & alert.” Loch Kelly
“… at the core, everyone contains … their ‘true Self’ or ‘core Self’ (which) has the clarity of perspective and other qualities needed to lead effectively. When the Self is fully differentiated … people universally experience a similar state. They describe feeling ‘centered,’ a state of calm well-being and lightheartedness. They feel confident, free, and open-hearted. They describe ‘being in the present’ (ie just experiencing with no thinking). They lose their sense of separateness and feel an exhilarating connection to or merger with the universe. This state is similar to what people describe when they meditate.” Richard C. Schwartz
Rather than thriving at a qualitatively higher, wisdom level of consciousness, the vast majority of us struggle at a primitive survival level. This level is also a distinct felt experience: chronic stress, some deep lows, the rare high, & vast amounts of Freud's "ordinary unhappiness" - fear, worry, anxiety, sadness & boredom. Many of us struggle, based on the alarming incidence of anxiety, depression, history of trauma, PTSD,substance abuse, other addictions, eating disorders, burnouts, suicides etc.
“Instead of using meditation only to enjoy brief periods of relief & stress reduction, you can learn how to develop a stable stage of honest, clear, compassionate expression and how to awaken to your full potential as a human being.”
Loch Kelly. “Shift into Freedom. The Science and Practice of Open-hearted Awareness.” Sounds True, 2015.
Some of us may have experienced so much trauma that we would greatly benefit from psychotherapy, in addition to meditation practice. It might help us to reflect on whether our time is spent mostly engaged in "exploration, play, & cooperation" - OR - mostly "managing feelings of fear & abandonment”?
Bessel Van Der Kolk. “The Body Keeps the Score. Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.” Penguin Books, 2015.
A basic premise of Loch Kelly's work as well as Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) "is that people have an innate drive toward and wisdom about their own health. They not only try to maintain steady states and react to feedback; they also strive toward creativity and intimacy. They come fully equipped to lead harmonious internal and external lives. From that basic premise, it follows that when people have chronic problems, these inner resources and wisdom are not being fully accessed. Elements in the systems in which they are embedded or that are embedded within them are constraining their access to these resources. IFS therapy is designed to help people find and release these constraints.”
Richard C. Schwartz. “Internal Family Systems Therapy.” The Guilford Press, 1995.
Katie Hoffman "This is the Maiden all Forlorn" www.katiehoffman.com