Ayurveda Classes This Fall

Turn Around

Western medicine dissects, differentiates, and separates illness into more and more finite detail. While there is amazing good that comes from this, it forces us to specialize and master all those details in order to be helpful. Ayurveda seeks to find the same answers to health via the core vibrational essences. This perspective is completely opposite in that it looks for primary or foundational unbalances that are the root causes instead of focusing on all the branching details at the leaf. This opposing perspective does many good things, but for our purposes the most important is that it makes health accessible to our understanding. By understanding primary root energies and focusing on ways to keep those few things in balance we can take back control of our health.

Join Us

We are offering day long immersion classes in ayurveda as well as an Advanced Topics single night class this fall at both the CBY (Colby) and WAU (Wausau) locations. If the idea of learning a completely different health philosophy or more about the mind/body/spirit connection then make some time to join us. This class is very informative and packed full with ideas that will change the way you think and live.

You can call our reception desk to schedule at 715.316.0040

Day Long Immersion

 

 

Ayurveda & The Gut

 

 

This Ayurvedic Life: Fear – Where it resides and how to manage it.

This Ayurvedic Life: Fear

Fear is associated with constricting energy and also with the primal vibrational essence that is called Vata. Read along or watch the video for more insight into what this means as well as for some tips on how to cope and mitigate these emotions that close us off and cause so much suffering for us.

In Ayurveda there are three primary body type’s: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. We will discuss what these are and go into more detail in future blog posts. However I will give you a crash course of what Vata is: AIR (Wind) + ETHER (Space), Qualities that reflect Wind and Space. They are generally very creative, imagination runs wild, very energetic, and have many projects going on at once.

Transcription With Details

If we use what we know about Vata, where the energies of Vata are associated with the body (every bodily movement), and where the physical manifestation of fear is at the given time, then we can follow the trail backwards to find the root cause. Using manipulations, i.e. Massage Therapy, Yoga, Stretching, Meditation, and other opposing fear activities, we can open up body parts that are constricted physically and emotionally. This will help minimize our body’s susceptibility to fear and our body’s concentration of primal fear energy association. So, with all of that said we can now discuss the three things that one can work on specifically to help with fear.

Three Specific Actions that Calm Fear

The first one, the easiest one, is the Hamstrings. Who knew right?! The hamstrings are associated with energy and fear. Very often we are told that tension is everywhere in our body. When we get afraid we curl up, we turtle up, but we don’t think about our leg muscles. So, how would we help the hamstrings? Stretching, forward bending would be a go to; it will cool any aggravated energy but will also open up the hamstrings, which is a concentrated area for fear energy. If you can get rid of the fear energy by stretching you can reduce your impulse to be afraid.

Next, is the idea of ‘turtling up.’ If someone shouted out, “There’s a ball coming, duck!” What would you do? Most would recede their head downwards and hunch their shoulders up, while covering their head. That causes a restriction and a constriction through the pectorals, multiple neck muscles, and holding of the breath. These constrictions that are taking place are associated with fear. The way to break that after the ball fell safely, not hitting anyone, is to sit like a Captain in a Captain’s chair, if you will; or when standing, your shoulders are back and not up by your ears, chest out, head up, not slouching, be confident. All of these things are associated with the opposite of a fearful personality, a fearful posture. While sitting, use the Captain analogy with your arms extended outwards from your body for five minutes and that will help reduce the fear. Doing this expands opens the chest, the heart, and the lungs.

The third area of constriction and of fear is a little more esoteric and may not be for everybody. The area of the body that holds Vata energy strongly, maybe the most strongly of all, is the colon. Our colon does many jobs for our body, one of which is drying out stools. Dryness is one of the primary qualities of Vata, and an area that focuses on creating dryness in our body is an area that is always susceptible to having too much Vata energy. Too much dryness magnifies Vata, and with that comes too much energy that correlates with fear.  We can remove the emotion of fear by removing the associated energetic principles in the colon that are excessive and unnecessary. By countering too much dryness with proper lubrication we can remove our susceptibility to fear. Anything that we end up doing to allow the colon to be more effective in its healthy function will probably help with fear as well.

You are probably wondering how to do this. Well, in Ayurveda they do a small oil retention enema called a basti. Its a simple 2 oz enema held for 20 minutes, so its not too intense, and it powerfully lubricates and promotes healthy colon function. For the less adventurous, they also recommend certain herbs to lubricate the colon, such as licorice root. Licorice tea is made from licorice root that would be a helpful thing to have in your cabinet if you find yourself fearful a lot and having issues with dryness in your GI tract and colon.

There are always so much more that we can discuss and can always go into more detail about our topics but it is nice that you know have some understanding, if you didn’t before, on the three parts of the body that are more subjected to fear energy and where it resides. Also, you now have some tips on how you can take specific action to open those places up and create a lack, or removal of the vibration that causes fear energy. If you are interested more in learning about different techniques of the Ayurvedic Life check out our Ayurvedic classes at Back To Bliss.

What Is Hypnotherapy?

Have you ever tried to change a habit or behavior just to have it resurface? This happens because our conscious willpower, typically, can’t compete with the power of our subconscious mind, which is known to be where many of our behaviors, emotions, attitudes, and motivations are rooted. Every trauma, emotion, and feeling we experience from birth until this current moment is stored in our subconscious mind.

Hypnotherapy allows us to access our subconscious mind and can be a very effective tool to help one resolve or release inner conflicts that may be getting in the way of their success, health, and happiness. However, it is not magic. Serious participation and the want and willingness to change must be present from the one who is seeking to resolve an issue or unwanted habit. Four keys to maximizing one’s own success, as a hypnotherapy client, are:

  1. Firmly believe that the issue or habit can be resolved or released.
  2. Being able to imagine one’s self as living successfully with the resolution or free from the current issue or habit.
  3. Participate for you, because you want to change.
  4. Expect one’s own success.

As a hypnotherapy client, one is allowing the hypnotherapist to use techniques to guide and help them to go into a deep state of relaxation, so that inner conflicts related to an issue or habit can be resolved, between the conscious and subconscious minds, by positive suggestions being given to the client by the hypnotherapist, which helps bring about the desired change.

 

 

Appointments

If you are interested in seeing Nicole for hypnotherapy she is available at our Colby location no and also at our Wausau location on Friday’s starting mid October. Please call 715.316.0040 to begin.

 

Impatient? Bach Flower Remedies can help

Welcome To A New Modality

Congratulations on taking an interest in emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness. Bach Flower Remedies are an amazing therapy type, or modality, that works on this level our being to profound effect. There is a lot to talk about and be interested in with these great remedies. They are gentle without typical drug interactions or side effects. They work well for a large demographic of ages and emotional needs, and most of all, they are greatly effective.

A Little Bach-Ground

Dr. Edward Bach (1886 – 1936) was very instrumental in educating the public in the remedies that reach the vibrational level of yourself to help in the healing process of emotions. In other words, think of a piece of music or art that really moves you from the core. Your reaction has deep emotional and subconscious tones that resonate through you. These ‘vibrations’ are the level on which Bach Flower Remedies work within your system. “They do not work because of the chemical composition of the liquid, but because of the life forces derived from the plant and contained in the water-based mixture…” Bach (p. 7).

A Deeper Look

Very often when things are new, it’s hard to truly understand them without experiencing them. So here are the details on Impatiens, which was the first flower that Dr. Bach produced in remedy form.

Who should consider Impatiens? Dr. Bach says that:

“Ones who are impatient, irritable, nervous and quick to judge on a subject matter with negative appeal.” Impatiens helps with frustration towards others who are not ‘being fast enough’ for our liking.

Josiah talks a little bit about this remedy below. Details on how these remedies are made and used can be found in our upcoming class.

Learn More

Join us for a detailed examination of all the original Remedies developed by Dr. Bach. We will discuss how the remedies are used, mixed, and made in detail. By the end of this class series, you should understand how to create your own mixes and evaluate flowers for friends, family, and yourself.

References:

Kaminski, P. & Katz, R. (2000). Flower Essence Repertory: A Comprehensive Guide to North American and English Flower Essences for Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being. Nevada City, CA: The Flower Essence Society.

 

 

 

Bach Flowers: Remedies for Emotional Balance

Anxiety, depression, judgment, impatience.  These are just a few of the unbalanced emotional spaces we can fall into. Bach Flowers give us a holistic and gentle way to resolve these negative emotions at a deep soul level. And not just deep clinical emotional unbalances. Bach Flower Remedies are great for us to use just to keep tendencies of unbalance from becoming problematic at larger levels.

Bach Flowers work at a vibrational level, which is an excellent method for transmitting deep emotional and subtle information. They work without drug interactions and are completely safe for children. In fact, since they work on a very subtle level, they are great for helping children process emotions which they don’t have words to process intellectually.

Learn about the original flowers developed by Dr. Bach as well as the seven major veins of mental anguish he categorized.  Flowers such as Holly which helps people process jealousy will be discussed so you can learn how to help the emotional balance of your family. We will discuss all of the original Bach flower remedies along with how to use them. 

4 weekly classes will run Sundays from 3:30-5pm beginning on Feb 26th. Fee is $20 without book and $40 with book. Class will be casual with tea and discussion.

 

Your First Meditation – So’Hum

So, you want to give this meditation thing a shot?

We have put together a short program to give you a taste of what meditation actually is. The truth is that meditation is an internal experience that is hard to convey through the media we typically use. Meditation is about tapping into an internal experience of peace and stillness and we simply can’t show that to you in an instagram picture or via a youtube video, sound byte, book, etc.

So, if you want to know what meditation is, you have to do it. And even then, the journey of regularly practicing meditation continues to give you a deeper and deeper set of experiences as you go. These experiences help you gain access to that part of you which is beyond words, ego, and day to day consciousness. It’s like a wrapped present. You won’t know whats inside until you open it, and even after you open it, there is another present inside the first box. Each package can be unwrapped through more practice.

Getting motivated

At first we want to meditate for a variety of reasons. Impulses pulled from the cacophony of media that we have absorbed over the years. It’s cool, mystical, healthy, etc….  To be reading this page, you need to have been interested enough to click here, and that says some great things about your motivation.

Our goal is to dive right in to get you an experience of the peace which meditation can bring so that you have something stronger to keep you motivated. Because, the bottom line is, you need to carve out the time and energy to do the practice or you won’t get any results at all. That tread mill in the basement covered in cobwebs is really helpful, eh?

As a final piece of motivation, let me say from 15 years of experience as a professional and practitioner in the wide wacky world of wellness and spirituality. Meditation is the single most powerful tool to wellness I have ever found. Single most powerful doesn’t mean best for everyone, nor does it mean the only thing we should do. However, it does mean that it has my full confidence to be beneficial for everyone as a lifetime practice of wellness. Trust me. You will never be sorry that you spent some time learning to meditate.

Meditation is incredibly simple

When we talk about meditation, we have grand ideas of inner peace or life changing epiphanies. Magic, mysticism, and a lot of other myths surround it. But, the truth is that the details of performing meditation are incredibly simple. In a word, its just the practice of focus. Focusing your mind on a single thought, word, sound, picture, etc…. However, the practice of maintianing that focus is where the real work of meditation is found.  Thats it.

Once we know that we can gain a tremendously positive experience from focusing our mind through meditation and sit down to do it a bit, we have the experience of obstacles. And here is where we gain a tremendous about of benefit as well.  Why does my body hurt after sitting still for five minutes? What can I do to sit longer? Why do I get so mad when I sit for meditation? What causes that? What part of my mind keeps thinking this is stupid when I know I feel great every time I do it? Which parts of my mind are involved in that internal conflict?

As obstacles come up, we can add a whole host of practices that help us work on different aspects of health and wellness. What a great thing!

Lets do it!

Listen to the audio link below to be guided through the details of your first meditation. Then, try it by yourself for 3 minutes in silence.

The very first meditation takes three minutes. It is called So’Hum meditation because those are the words that you use to focus on while you breathe. They are used because they are the actual sounds that the breath makes when you sit with your head neck and truck straight and breathe through your nose.  The sound So echoes as you inhale. Hum as you exhale. Take a moment to close your eyes and listen to the differences in the sound as you breathe smoothly in and out through your nose.

By keeping your posture upright you keep things aligned. Obstacle removed!

By breathing in and out through your nose, you help slow down the breath to keep you calm and help with focus. Obstacles removed!

By slowing down your breath so it is gentle and peaceful, you help to keep your nervous system peaceful too. Obstacle removed!

By closing your eyes you help to remove distracting stimulation from the outside, allowing you to focus. Obstacle removed!

Now, set a timer for 3 minutes or count for 25 full exhales as you breathe. Sing the sounds So and Hum along with the complete inhalations and exhalations so that they match time.

Do it now! Go.

You did it!

You just had an experience of meditation. Congrats, you are further along than most people. However, you have just scratched the surface of a massive iceburg. Even with such a simple and short practice most people feel calmer afterwards. They feel emotionally and mentally more at peace; more at ease in general. Sometimes headaches disappear and other dis – eases are lessened.

Let that sink in. Just once, and just for three minutes! And you had these results….  Now think about how powerful a regular habit of that experience would be. How much longer you would hold onto the experience of peace and calm throughout your day if you did it regularly.

Did we get you motivated? Because the truth is that meditation time often needs to be carved into your busy schedule. Our mind throws up excuses like weeds in order to avoid being trained and disciplined. Can you be one of the few that commit to maintaining the practice? It takes work and effort, just like every wellness practice. But I hope you enjoyed the sweet taste of what it can bring enough to try again tomorrow.

Next Step

The next steps involve broadening our understanding of why and how meditation works. We will fill in some holes in our technique. In general we will expound and explain more helpful hints to make the practice easier, deeper, and keep us motivated to keep doing the work. Look for a small series of blog posts and audio clips to help keep the momentum rolling.

See you then!

Working With Addiction: Redefining The Word

Addiction can be a source of deep misery. You can name the big life destroying ones pretty easily: gambling, alcohol, and all the various chemicals.  However, we very often don’t have a framework of reference to speak about the process of how addictions form. What we are missing is more detail about that process so we can become proactive in our own lives and nip addictions in the bud before they grow out of control.

The discussion on addiction is primarily one of habits and the loss of our self control to those habits. A quick scan through all of the online dictionaries defining addiction will find descriptive words such as need, disease, compulsion, and dependence. However, addiction should never be considered a static condition, but part of a continuum of how intensely a habit has control over us. In this vein, by changing our focus from simply defining addiction to seeing addiction as part of a process we can gain enough understanding to make decisions for greater health and happiness.

The model of a continuum grades habits by the strength of momentum and intensity they hold over us. From the least to the greatest momentum they are: subtle impressions, actions, habits, addictions, and compulsions. And while we don’t have time to define all of the subtle changes as a habit moves from each point to the next, it is important for us to define the edges of the addiction phase. A habit becomes an addiction when we think about that habit even when we are not doing it.  Its that simple. The point on the continuum that begins an addiction is when the pull begins to take us away from what we are currently doing.  Habits are just actions we do regularly while addictions pull us away from the present moment. Addictions become compulsions when we no longer have the willpower to stop ourselves from doing them. Even if we hate it, or want to stop, or feel guilty about doing it, our habits have taken on such a devastatingly large momentum that we cannot stop them. Compulsion is a very devastating space that hurts us because of this loss of control, but also because the compulsion propels towards its own goals and disregards all the rest.

Caution: We all have addictions, habits, actions and probably a few compulsions. By using the model of a continuum I hope that it is easier for us all to own a few more of our skeletons.

Remember: All habits flow along this continuum. Coming to know yourself and your habits before they become addictions is a powerful tool for health and happiness.

 

 

 

Reflective Analysis: Understanding the Theory

One of the tenants of holistic health states that we are whole.  We are one unit, all together, with all of our specialized functions and diverse aspects of mind/body/spirit connecting and overlapping. However, the ‘whole’ of us is complicated beyond the capacity for us to know completely.  It’s much like astronomers telling us that there is a unique galaxy in the heavens for every grain of sand on a beach.  How can we possibly comprehend such vastness or complexity within ourselves? Well, the good news is that, just as we really don’t need to know the nature of the 75th galaxy to the right of mars, we can get by without all the overwhelming details of our own physiology and mind. While we don’t need to know all the details, it is helpful to know enough about our inner complexities to stay healthy and to keep us in harmony with our nature. But even that much requires methods of analysis that summarize our complexities and give us insights into our health that are accessible. One such method of summarization is called reflective analysis.

So what does this reflection idea really mean? It’s pretty simple. You are one whole unit. What happens to any part of you, happens to all of you.  If an emotional stress happens to you, say you have angry words with someone, then that emotional event sends changes through all of you.  And while the anger may originate as an emotion, it quickly becomes a physiological response: hormones released and increased heart rate etc…. Those words sit in your mind causing reactive thoughts and associations that change our future behaviors. Thus, I can find the emotional stress of the fight reflected throughout all of you – in your physical body, in your emotional space, and in your thoughts. You are one complete whole and thus the altercation happened to all parts of you.

Reflective analysis takes a cumulative snapshot of all the things happening to you and allows us to see reflections of those events in one part of the body. For example, by mastering the details of how different stresses send reflections onto your tongue, you can use tongue analysis to gain insight into the state of your health. The physical appearance of your tongue can tell you about the state of your organs.  You can see the health of your organs if you study what the reflections mean! This makes deep insights about our health as accessible as sticking your tongue out and looking into the mirror.

Some parts of our bodies are better at showing reflections than others. Thus, systems of analysis were only developed for those body parts that impart information easily. Next week we will explore some details of tongue and facial analysis to give more specific examples of how reflections are used.

Three Remedies For the Dying

No matter how good our doctors, our diet or our wellness plans are, our bodies will fail us and will one day expire.  As our bodies fail, there can be much pain and discomfort. There can be a dulling of the mind as well as deep emotional strain. Here are three lesser known holistic remedies for the dying that work with us at all three levels: mind, body, and spirit.  Each of these creates connection between the physical process of dying and the deeper mental/ emotional parts of us; allowing greater peace throughout the entire process.

1: Angel’s Trumpet Bach Flower Remedy – Back Flower Remedies are oral remedies that carry emotional intelligence via vibration. They are given in water and taken orally to help all manner of emotional and mental issues. This remedy has the key word of surrender.  This Remedy is good for the entire family whenever there is resistance and denial of the impending transition. It allows the experience of ‘surrendering to death’ to flow more smoothly by helping us to see death as a more spiritual process.  By expanding our perspective we see death as a part of the full process of life and thereby accept the need to surrender to it.   A great deal of emotional distress can be alleviated with this remedy.

2: Homeopathic Arsenicum Album – Arsenicum is indicated when symptoms are ‘worse at night’ and whenever the thought, ‘I’m going to die,’ is present.  It is indicated when there is both vomiting and diarrhea concurrently and the mucus membranes are inflamed. In hospice settings, all of these symptoms are common and this remedy can be considered whenever any of them are present. The more of these symptoms that are present, the more strongly arsenicum can be helpful.

However, arsenicum has a more profound and important use. When given in very high potency, 1-10M, during the last few hours of life, it offers tremendous peace to the person as they pass. One of its key notes is the ability to help us process fearful thoughts about dying. Its helpfulness holds true even with the intense fears that can be present when death is truly near.

Caution: Working with any homeopathic remedy of high potency should be done with supervision by a professional.

3: Massage For Hospice – Gentle touch can be very palliative; easing stress, anxiety, and pain.  Patients report better sleep, clearer minds, and are more capable of processing their stresses after even the gentlest of massage.  While all of these things are a normal part of the massage experience, they are incredibly valuable for hospice patients and their families. Massage releases the distractions of pain and stress from body and conveys compassion in a profound way. These benefits are received even by those who have an impaired ability to communicate.

Remember: Death is a part of life that you will eventually face.  Processing the stresses, emotions, and changes that it brings is vital to staying well.

 

Ego Pt. 3: The Four Aspects Of Your Mind

We have been talking about the Ego, but did you know that there are other aspects of the human mind? Maintaining a balanced working relationship between all four major aspects is important to our happiness and success in life.

The first aspect of mind is the clerk.  The clerk handles all of the secretarial work.  It has no major opinions or agenda and acts a bit robotically to file, sort, and recall information.  When our clerk begins to fail us we can’t remember details, we lose words or forget to keep appointments.  A healthy clerk keeps us sharp and effecient.

The second aspect of mind is the unconscious mind.   It is referred to as the repository and the metaphor of a vast ocean is commonly used to describe it.  This storehouse of sensory data can be accessed by the clerk.  It also sends impulses and impressions out on its own that can influence our dreams and our thoughts.  The unconscious is powerful, immense, and misunderstood.  Both repeitition and strong emotion increase the power of unconscious impulses.  Working with our addictions, habits, and desires helps to slow down the power of these impressions so that they don’t overwhelm us and carry us away into unhelpful directions.

The third aspect of mind is our ego, the self-appointed boss. We have already covered how our loud, bold, and myopic ego can get itself into trouble.  At its core, ego’s perspective is what creates all of those problems.  Ego sits facing the physical world.  Its self identifications are all based on sensory data alone, and not on our deeper self.

The fourth aspect of our mind is the mystic, or the enlightened mind.  This is the part of our mind that is thought of as being able to listen to our deeper intuitive impulses.  Where ego faces solely forward, listening to the physical world, the mystic listens to both our senses and our more subtle, more connected, self.  The personality of the mystic is one of queit as opposed to the ego’s bluster.  Thus it is said that the soft voice of wisdom coming from our mystic is often overshadowed and overridden by the rowdy voice of ego.

What does it mean?  Happiness and wellness are better achieved via a healthy relationship between all four aspects of our mind.  With all four players working effeciently and as a team, we can accomplish our life’s purpose with grace.  Looking for details on how to nourish and strengthen each aspect of mind?  There are more details than we can get into today.  However, the best practice for nourishing all four aspects of mind together is meditation.  If you would like to learn more about meditation, ask someone who practices regularly or join one of our yoga classes or meditation groups.

Ego Pt. 1: The I Maker

Ego can be described as self identity.  It is the “I maker.”  Its job is to deferentiate between you and the not you.  For many people the ego is taken in negative light.  However, the ego plays very necessary roles in our psyche.  Like all things, when it is misunderstood and allowed to fall into negative patterns, it can be a cause of significant  misery and illness for us.

Here are two negative patterns that an unchecked ego can fall into.  First is a broad one, called false identification.  Here ego identifys itself with a label or an event.  I am an accountant, I am a badger fan, etc….  While many of these identifications can be helpful to us as we move through life, there are many ways that this identification can create serious problems for us.

A second tendency of ego is that it doesn’t care about positive or negative self image, all it cares about is strengthening its own self identifications.  What this means is that as long as ego sees itself as more unique, then ego doesn’t care if you are a good or bad person.  Its job is to be the “I Maker” and that is ALL that it cares about.  Thus many people say they are the “worst person in the world” at something.

If we allow ego to dominate our mind unchecked, then our self identity can begin to become negative.  This can happen easily if we allow ourselves to falsely identify with a negative incidence.  One example could be when you lied to a friend.  Then ego continues to identify with that event and bolster its unique strong image of itself by labeling itself as the most horrible lying friend in the world.

Many people come to me saying, I want to be well.  They are told to do a stretch or change something in their lifestyle.  They say, “Ugg, I can’t!  It’s just something I’m not willing to do.”  That resistence is coming from their ego.  We can all limit the carbs in our diet if that is truly what we need to do.  Our ego fights it and fights it, not because its best for our health, but because it is best for our ego.  The resistence to doing the right stretches is simply ego clinging to its self identifications.

If we think about this a little bit, I am sure you will come to realize that there are hundreds of times in your recent past where internal resistence has held you back or self identity has determined your course of action.  This is especially true when we need to do something for our health that we don’t like or don’t identify with.  “You want me to eat vegetables?”

Next week we will talk about practices that help soften ego’s dominance over our habits.

Ego Pt. 2: Identifying Ego’s Influence

The first practice in preventing ego from dominating our thoughts is to identify when our thoughts are stemming from our ego.  The good news is that there are several cues that can bring awareness to when this is happening.

Ego speaks in two primary terms:  I like/dislike and I am /am not.   It uses these terms to bolster its self identity. For our purposes, we want to use these two sets of terms as red flags.  “I like spaghetti,” is an ego driven thought.  RED FLAG.  “I am a better person than that,” is an ego driven thought.  RED FLAG.  Any time that a thought includes either of these two primary “I making” terms you know that it is clouded by our ego.  By first developing a habit of witnessing these red flag thoughts we can come to realize how often our ego is directing our thoughts.

Gaining awareness of how we reaction to ego driven thoughts is our next level of practice.  It is startling to realize how strongly they affect our behavior.  To begin, it is easiest to focus on how you react when your ego’s desire is thwarted. When you dislike something, but have to do it anyway, there is very often some sort of little tantrum our ego creates to avoid its ‘I dislikes.’ We all know what a child’s tantrum looks like; floor pounding, pouting, and yelling.  What does your “tantrum” look like? Do you run from any situation that you dislike? Do you throw up walls of attitude like disdain, fear, or arrogance?  Often we project anger outwards onto external people or things to avoid doing what we dislike.

When you get real with yourself, you can find that we all have behaviors that stem from our ‘I dislike” and “I am not” driven thoughts.  I am not saying that all of these thoughts or habit patterns are negative, but by having an honest conversation with yourself, you can access some negative habit patterns that may be keeping you from getting healthier.

If you get good at following the thread of thoughts and behaviors you can move onwards to the likes and positive ego boosting thoughts.  Do this after you have spent some time with the negatives because they are a little harder to catch.  There is a little less intensity and drama because ego is getting what it wants.

The main point of these two contemplation practices revolve around the idea that ego isn’t the only part of our mind, nor is ego’s opinion as important as it insists.  Once we can identify something as stemming from ego, then we can begin to place checks and balances on our ego’s dominance over our thoughts and habits.  What other parts of our mind are there?  We will dig into that next.