The first step that we always need to take on the path to wellbeing is to accurately identify what it is that is standing in our way. This process is a difficult one to undertake alone, as for many, the symptoms that they may now be exhibiting may well be a mutation of their original issue. For example, what starts off as fear, through the process of defending and denying, can often show itself as anger. If we only address this anger, without tracing it back to its original source of fear, we are only ever addressing the symptom, leaving the root cause free to continue to control our thoughts, perceptions, moods and behaviours.
Through the process of NOSE we can begin to identify the source of our dysfunction as we look back over our lives and develop an understanding of what has brought us to this place of dis-ease. Once we have correctly named our demons, blocks and shortcomings it is important that we have the courage to “own” or take responsibility for these aspects of ourselves that only serve to hold us back from being the best we can be. If we can begin to do this with an honest and open mind, and a heart full of kindness and compassion we have now set ourselves on the path where forgiveness, surrender and empowerment are within our grasp.
Having gone through the process of naming and owning, it becomes important for us to understand that the thing that most lowers our spirit is the tug of war between our bodies and our minds. Now that we are clearing away the layers of justification, denial, pretence and blame, and have identified our blocks, we need to discover how we have led our bodies to becoming one of our biggest obstacles, and how we can go about turning this around. The journey through NOSE has set us on the path towards self-love, but it will be a long and uphill battle to get there, if we don’t now address the needs of our body. The body, because of cell intelligence, records the evidence of our actions, not of our intentions. This record of evidence influences the patterns and processes within the body. It is so important that we understand that for optimum health we must consistently, over a sustained period of time provide our body with:
90 nutrients per day (60 minerals 16 vitamins 11 amino acids 3 EFAs)
Diverse and balanced diet
Sufficient restorative sleep
Exercise, strengthening and toning
Body work (bowen technique, massage, osteopathy)
A body that is deficient in this type of care and attention exists in panic mode desperately trying to obtain what it needs for survival. Our mind might be aspiring to great things, intending to create a life of peace and positivity, but unless our body is consistently having its own needs met, these affirmations and intentions will fall on stony ground. The process that we have begun, of addressing our issues, and feeding our minds with positive thoughts of self-love will only be undermined if our body is not consistently receiving the benefits and evidence of our positive attention. Once the body is in a place of mistrust it will work against our endeavours as its only concern is to have its own needs met even if this is to the detriment of everything else we are trying to do. The truth is that the body is not seeking to sabotage our efforts but its primary driver is survival and so anything that threatens that it will battle against.
In this stage of our journey, what we are beginning to understand is that if we want to achieve our goals, we must work on gently and compassionately persuading the body to trust our intentions and work with us. The only way the body can do this is if we can persuade it that it no longer needs to fight for its survival. And the only way that we can achieve this is to prove, through the evidence of our actions, that from now on, we will always address the needs of our body, freeing it up to do the work it was always meant to be doing, that is helping us on the road to creating a life of substance, positivity, love and meaning. When our body is free to focus on propelling us forward, it does this with a strength and intensity that creates miracles.
It is important to understand that when we begin addressing the needs of our body, we are also addressing the needs of our environment. Our body is our first and most intimate environment, and this extends outwards then to the environment around us.
Now that we have identified what it is that is holding us back, and begun to understand how to go about changing our body from our greatest obstacle to our greatest ally we need to investigate how the mind and our perceptions are keeping us stuck and limiting our clarity, awareness and potential. (Bearing in mind the fact that the greatest threat to our spirit and wellbeing is the tug of war between mind and body this is an essential next step).
It is time to look at our awareness and investigate from which aspect of consciousness we operate in the world. This is where The Three Aspects of Consciousness is invaluable in helping us to understand our position/perceptions. Perhaps we are stuck in the aspect of “self”, which is where many of us find ourselves. This is hardly surprising considering how our sense of self is initially defined and developed in relation to our environment and the messages we receive from those around us. To be rigidly stuck in self greatly reduces our awareness and leaves us at best seeing only 90 degrees of the whole picture. It leaves us feeling defensive and blinkered as we walk through life justifying, blaming and only able to see life and others from our narrow, restrictive point of view. When unhealthily fixed in self, it is an unhappy, vulnerable and fearful place to operate from where we are quick to anger in defence of our positions.
On the other hand we may discover that we are stuck in “other”. If this is the case we find ourselves at risk of losing our sense of self altogether as we bend over backwards, desperate to receive approval and validation from others, often to the detriment of our own wellbeing. When we are unhealthily rooted in other we can only neglect our self as we live our lives, and define ourselves through those around us. Again, if we are stuck in this aspect of awareness we are only able to see at the most 90 degrees of the whole picture. It is also an unhappy, vulnerable and fearful place as time and time again we neglect our own needs and lose a sense of who we really are. To depend on others for our sense of self worth can only serve to leave us feeling fearful and vulnerable.
It is at this point in our journey that we learn that whilst it is unhealthy to be shackled in either of these aspects of consciousness, if we can develop the desire and ability to move fluidly between both, there are boundless opportunities for love, joy and peace ahead of us. Self becomes a position where we are mindful of caring for ourselves but never at the expense of someone else’s wellbeing. We are anchored in the knowledge that we are confidently and successfully imbibing what we need to be the best that can be. We then no longer need to justify, blame or defend as we have learnt how to become happy in our own skins. We free ourselves up to step fluidly into other and see ourselves and the world from another perspective. We do this with kindness and compassion whilst never losing sight of our self in the process. This is a position of empathy that offers us great warmth, kindness, insight and awareness. When we are able to move fluidly between these aspects we can extend our total awareness, with the right practices (see The Three Aspects of Consciousness diagram), to 270 degrees of the whole.
When we have developed ourselves and our practices to a point where we are enjoying the benefits and beauty of living in both self and other we can begin to see our world through the eyes of the lovingly detached position. This aspect of consciousness will offer us the missing 90 degrees and enables us to see life with divine clarity and beauty as we expand our circle of awareness and ‘look in’ on life with love, kindness and compassion. This is a position that offers us incredible clarity, honesty and insight. Having stepped out of the position of self and other we have no agenda but to see the truth and we do this with kindness and love. The truth becomes readily available to us because in this moment we have let go of any of the limitations or bias of self and other and are genuinely and honestly looking for only what is true. With the increased awareness that self, other and the lovingly detached positions offer us, we then have a much better understanding of those things that are blocking our way forward.
Up to this point we have worked on naming and owning our demons and taking compassionate responsibility for where we have found ourselves in life. We’ve also understood that the ultimate relationship to repair is the one between the mind and the body and as a result we have looked at how to persuade the body to work with us rather than against us. This allows us to better expand our minds and awareness, which heavily impacts on our wellbeing and potential. ‘All You Need to Know’ is the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle, where having increased our knowledge and understanding, we learn how to make them work for us rather than against us.
This is where we deeply realise that knowledge on its own is not enough to propel us forward but when it is combined with consistent application and patience we are guaranteed to reach our destination. Although we have been encouraged to apply the knowledge we have developed as we’ve gone through our journey, we may well find that the issues we are still struggling to overcome are in the areas where we have not fully understood the necessity and power of application. We need to re-evaluate our level of understanding, realising that if we truly understood, we would be readily turning all our knowledge into action. It is this understanding and willingness to take a leap of faith that will lead us forward to reach our full potential. Hope this helps you to better plot your own progress.
Lisa began her journey in a very dark place; frightened, alone, desolate and in pain. After a journey of great honesty and courage she found her way back to herself, back to the light. Since then she has spent many years helping others find their way home. She is a sterling example of the power of the human spirit and it’s ability to transcend tragedy.
Also see: The Reach Approach in a Nutshell