Change, Mindfulness and Riding a Bicycle

Change, Mindfulness and Riding a Bicycle

By Julian Jaffe and Michelle Galbraith

Getting to Mindfulness: Calm, Aware, Purpose, Open-mind, and Willing

Do you feel that the inertia of life is pushing you along a path you don’t want or can’t see along? Change is happening all around you, technology is disrupting what you used to take for granted and you are unable to adapt? You know you need to do something, but can’t get off the ‘treadmill’ to find out? You think Mindfulness will help, but you can’t access it?

Here, we’ll use the descriptions of a bicycle and riding a bicycle to illustrate the nature of the understanding Mindfulness problems many people face.

If you were to ask someone to describe a bicycle they might pedantically say, “a vehicle consisting of two wheels held in a frame one behind the other, propelled by pedals and steered with handlebars attached to the front wheel” (oxforddictionaries.com).

And if you were to ask, “what is a bicycle and how do you use I?” —- you might get an answer more along the lines of, “it’s a two-wheeled vehicle which you’ll need to have strong enough legs to power and good enough balance to ride. You’ll need to learn how to balance and pedal while also steering, and this will take a bit of practice before you can do it comfortably.”

If you ask what Mindfulness is you’ll usually get answers along the lines of, “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” (mindful.org – Kabat-Zinn ) or “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”(Google definition).

But this is like the first description of a bicycle above – it doesn’t describe what mindfulness requires you to do to ‘ride’ it. For some people this is fine: they have enough of a grasp of the concepts to learn what Mindfulness is, with relative ease. Others don’t.

If we look at the elements of mindfulness that you’ll need to master it, things hopefully, get a lot clearer.

To practice mindfulness, we believe the following building blocks are necessary:

  • calmness and ability to accept change
  • awareness of, and in, yourself and what’s around you
  • purpose and objectives — why you are doing this, and what do you want to achieve
  • open-minded — able to see things from a potentially new and different perspective
  • willing and wanting, with conviction, to learn something that you don’t necessarily understand to start with

Some people have some of these capabilities already, so learning to re-purpose them for Mindfulness won’t be too difficult. But, what do you do if you don’t have these abilities? A lot of people just give up and get frustrated at their inability to benefit from what is widely described and accepted as being very beneficial to their well-being.

To address the inability of many to grasp Mindfulness, we go back to the basic, building blocks. We start with Willing and Wanting first, because without that you are not going to get very far.

Willing and Wanting

Why is this important? Because, without drive, surmounting the hurdles and blocks you’ll come across when you are learning, is going to be impossible. The best way of motivating yourself is first to understand why you want to do something and what it means to you — your Purpose. Then, what are you wishing to achieve and within what sort of (realistic) period — your Objectives. Realistically it’ll take at least 3 weeks if not 3 months to embed enduring changes in your mind and body (depending on the basis you are starting from). There are very few quick fixes in life, despite what the media and social pressures will have you think. Define your purpose, set your goals.

Open-minded

If you are not open minded, and these concepts are not within your current domain, how are you going to accept something that might well be a totally new concept for you? This may be a bigger hurdle than you might expect. We’ve taught several people who think that they are open minded and want to learn, but their prior training and mind-set doesn’t allow them to shift from their existing mental models. We understand why this happens and what this is, and show you how to adapt from old to new mental-models.

Calmness

Most people will have a pretty good idea of what calmness is, but not how to get there easily. It’s often easier to identify what it is not: it’s not tension, it’s not being wound-up, it’s not being angry, it’s not panicking, it’s not a buzzing brain. Calmness in Mindfulness is a prerequisite. If you are not already calm when you try to get into a Mindful state, you’ll need to be.

Here’s why, using an analogy from Zen practices: if you throw a stone into a pond with a lot of waves on the surface, you’ll not see the ripples from the stone on the water. But, if the water is calm, you’ll not only see the splash more clearly, you’ll also see the ripples and how they propagate across the pond surface. The purpose of body and mind calmness is to be able to differentiate between the signal (stone splash, ripples) and the noise (waves on the pond). Only once you are calm enough will you be able to feel and be aware of the signal — in this case, energy movement.

Awareness

Here, awareness is the perception of, and the ability to, tangibly feel sensations inside of your body and mind. Again, a strange and often unbelievable concept for many. We use several tools and techniques to introduce you to the feeling of moving energy within and around your body. Once you recognise the patterns of internal behaviour, the sensations become much more obvious.

You are likely to experience something very new and transformational once you can feel such energy movement. We’ve seen people laugh with joy and cry with disbelief when this happens. It is very empowering, yet also humbling. It can also be the start of a new journey of enlightenment: once you become aware of senses you were not aware of before; the pace can step up quickly. Most people are aware of their 5 main senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. But there are many, many more to discover – some claim that there are as many as 24 separate senses (a sense being something you have a sensor or detector for).

Having conducted many workshops and classes in Reiki, Moving Energy and the Moving Arts, we understand there is a need for a simple way for people to access the wonders that build up to Mindfulness. We will be conducting a few Awareness Through Your Senses Workshops around the principles outlined above.

If you self-identify with one or more of the following, this workshop is for you:

  • your read the whole of this blog, like it, but feel a certain worry about what you don’t yet know and want to find out more
  • you know that your mind and body are out-of-sync – and need to find out how to link them
  • You are unaware that you are unaware – but know you need to try something different
  • You are aware that you are unaware – but don’t know how to become aware
  • You know that you don’t know what awareness is and haven’t been able to find out how to become more aware
  • You know you need to change but you think you are too busy to find out how
  • You know you need to change but the inertia and momentum of what you currently do, stops you learning something new

Please contact: Julian (julianj@threnergy.com) or Michelle (michellegalbraith@me.com) for details of our workshops and joining instructions.

The Secret Art of Inviting Mindfulness

by Julian Jaffe and Michelle Galbraith

Our Changing World

The world is changing, especially where the component of relationship is concerned. Life now means there is a pressure to juggle multiple dynamics of how we interact with people and we need, as a species, to adapt the flexibility of mind to juggle this neurological pressure in life and in love.

Love means understanding, connection and communication. Nowadays, it’s not enough just to be there. Now, for relationships to work, having an idea of feelings is crucial.

Why is it all changing, and why so fast?

Technology…

Just Being There

Technology now provides much of the ‘just being there’ role in relationships.

Technology is also beginning to fulfil work roles, so employers no longer have to deal with employee politics.

And, technology is beginning to juggle our lives for us.

As technology takes over, and it will, new roles in life will become how much you can GIVE over and above what technology can DO. You need to learn how you can adjust quickly; to know when the mood has changed, and when you need to be flexible.

To have an edge in this technological world, humans are required to adapt fast by learning how how to communicate in an emotionally meaningful way, not just in an intellectual fashion. Welcome to embracing all of your senses; by using your feelings centre.

Reiki

Reiki is energy medicine – it draws on the life force that flows through all living things. It dissolves energy blocks in the body which have become slow moving or immobilised. Transference of this universal life force is used for well-being, to balance neurological and biological systems in the autonomic nervous system.

To share the story of a lady who had felt a pressure in her chest area for many months….   Her Doctor could find nothing wrong with her and suggested it was just her ‘age’ and lifestyle circumstances that were causing the symptoms of pressure, some anxiety, irritable digestion patterns and interrupted sleep. A low dose of anti depressants was prescribed and some anti acids for the digestion system. The medication did not work for this lady – it suppressed the symptoms for a time, but eventually other symptoms presented: break out of spots on the skin, low mood and little motivation.

She then sought a solution through natural means. A two hour session of Reiki was able to move the stuck energy in the lady’s chest area, and unlock suppressed emotion. All her symptoms then calmed down,  and her body was able to restore itself naturally. With Reiki we are shifting energy blocks. A person does not have to go into analysing any meaning for these blocks …. it is simply energy looking to be released.

Reflexology

Reflexology has its roots in energy medicine too – and modern day modality of the treatment is focused on the central nervous system. Its purpose is to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic systems.

Both Reiki and Reflexology are powerful modalities, not only for healing, but also for calming and relaxation. Giving your body and mind the ability to let go.

Threnergy – Mindful Connectivity

Threnergy Mindful Connectivity – is an approach that uses mental images or mind-models to picture energy nodes and energy movement around your body – and your mind!

The combination of the three disciplines of Reiki, Reflexology and Threnergy, has a powerful synergistic effect where the sum of the three approaches is far greater than the individual ones.

How to balance head and body – quickly and effectively

Mindfulness Definition: the mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting ones feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations; used as a therapeutic technique.

Mindfulness is a way to Be – it’s not born from consumerist wants of having stuff, it’s about knowing how to slow down, get in touch with your feelings and sensations in your body and being kind. When you do this, it allows the rest and digest components of the central nervous system to function (your parasympathetic system).   Mindfulness can relieve stress, improve focus and promote well-being.   And during the rapidly changing global climate, couldn’t we all use a bit more peace, love and understanding?

One of the obstacles people have with understanding and using Mindfulness is getting in touch with their body and mind sufficiently well to experience the positive effect of Mindfulness.   For many this is a struggle because unfamiliar feelings can create a mental stress and worry of being vulnerable.   What we don’t understand emotionally can create a fear, so we stuff the emotion back down into our psyche.   For example,  for some, social conditioning has meant that crying is perceived as weak and a negative emotion, which could put us at risk if we show it in the external world.

Julian and Michelle have worked together to find a way to combine the use of Reiki and Reflexology so you can more easily feel and identify your body’s energy points,  to connect to them, and to visualise them – Threnergy.

Approached this way, it’s much easier to understand and experience Mindfulness and to let go of inner concerns of being vulnerable.   In reality the experience is quite the opposite.   You feel more in control, more focused and more aware of how powerful your body is.

This multi sensorial approach leads you gently through the process of feeling your body’s innate power centres through to Mindfulness; something we call Guided Mindfulness.  The purpose is to use these energy centres to benefit both physical and mental components in our body and mind, and to know how to let go of stress triggers more quickly when they arise.

There are many articles extolling the virtues of Mindfulness: how it is good for reducing stress, how it helps put off the ageing process and how it helps make you feel better and happier.  Mindfulness changes the brain wave patterns in the brain enabling it to access the parasympathetic (rest and digest) system quickly. It is an active process whereby the subconscious autonomic state is brought into the conscious state.

Our approach gives you a way to feel, learn and assimilate Energy Movement and Mindfulness so that you can use it anytime you want or need to.

The Guided Mindfulness approach is:

  • Hands on Reiki/ Reflexology session to help you identify and feel your main energy points
  • Threnergy Energy Movement session to experience moving energy in your body and mind
  • Mindfulness session to understand and learn how to get to mindfulness through your new experience of moving energy.
  • Understanding how you can easily have control over your energy centres to direct your thoughts to be what you want them to be, irrespective of what is happening in your external environment.