Melting the Ice of the Heart, Cooling the Inferno of the Soul

Dear Integral Meditators,

One of my main inspirations Ken Wilbur was once asked what the process of growing and evolving is like. He answered simply “You laugh more and you cry more”. I’ve found that to be true, and this midweek article is something of an exploration of that.

If you’re in Singapore and you fancy a taste of what it is like to me mindfully curious, do consider coming along to this Saturdays workshop: Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention it is a great foundation for exploring your wounds with kindness and replacing your negative minds with imaginative positivity!
I will also be sending out over the next couple of days information on an online meditation course on the Tree of Yoga. Look out for it!

Yours in the spirit of ice and fire,

Toby


Melting the Ice of the Heart, Cooling the Inferno of the Soul

Last week was one of those weeks where there was a lot of tension in my life professionally, personally and physically I found and felt myself to be under an unusual amount of pressure. As a meditation and stress transformation coach I know the signs that I am not coping too well with pressure, for example:

  • I could feel my body armoring itself from the psychological pressure by becoming physically tense
  • I could hear my language with my family becoming abbreviated and sometimes harsh
  • Listening to the inner conversation in my mind I could see how reactive it had become
  • My the centre of my chest or heart space felt like a place where I could not go , it felt inhabited by an energy that was not under my control

In short it felt like my body and soul had simultaneously turned into fire and ice, where there is the quality and heat of anger and frustration, together with the coldness and detachment that comes when you start to feel alienated from your reality through resentment and fear.

At this point I started to feel a little bit like I was having to start my mind-training all over again, like I had to re-learn to mindfully transform my stress. What was the quality that I found most helpful to negotiate my way out of what was happening and find meaning?

Curiosity.

That is to say I did not try and resist any of the things that I was experiencing, or try to change the person I was in that moment. Rather I just tried to become curious about myself and what I was going through, to be interested. To be curious carries a balance of the qualities of observing objectively with caring subjectively. As soon as I started to become mindfully curious about myself

  • I could feel a window for self compassion opening up in my heart
  • I could feel a deeper part of myself becoming present to what I was going through
  • I saw the inner dialog in my mind become slower, kinder, more relaxed
  • There seemed to be a space where a calm me could co-exist without conflict with the part of me that was wounded and upset
  • I felt the tangible presence of hope
  • Despite the feeling of emptiness in my heart I found myself smiling quietly to myself

So, the next time you feel in a fix and your soul is on fire whilst your heart has shut down, perhaps you can invite curiosity into the situation. Sit quietly, relax your judgemental mind and enquire of yourself

  • How are you?
  • What an interesting experience this is, let’s see what we can notice about what is going on
  • We may feel pretty terrible right now, but were still worth paying attention to in a caring way, let’s do that and see what happens

Allow your curiosity to lead the way toward self understanding and compassion.

PS: Curiosity is also a theme I explore in my recent article on Applying Mindful Curiosity to Your Relationships.
© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

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