Layer Five, Week Four – Sunday


Sunday’s Focus

Spend the day identifying generally how balanced you feel in any given moment. You are assessing your overall balance. Don’t delve into how or to what degree you are unbalanced, just notice your level of balance.

Sunday’s Concepts

As a quick review, balance exists when the energy in your mental, emotional, physical, subtle, and environmental bodies are equal and when the energy in the seven components of balance are equal (the seven components being focus, stability, speed, strength, flexibility, endurance, and the vitally important rejuvenation).

Maintaining a fluid, vital, and healthy balance is an incredibly complex and infinitely variable collaboration between energy, bodies, and components. Each of the bodies possess all the components, each body influences the other bodies, and each component affects all the other components.

It requires a relationship with and attention to each of the parts. A balancing of vitality, opportunity, and awareness.

Layer Five, Week Four – Monday

Monday’s Focus

See if you can feel the interconnectedness of the bodies. Feel for circumstances where one body influences another. A simple example is when you feel emotions in your body (butterflies in your stomach. Another might be when you step on a toy and look for someone to blame.

Monday’s Concepts

An unbalanced component will affect not only every other component but also each of the bodies. And similarly, an unbalanced body will affect not only every other body but also every component. Imagine all the bodies and all the components connected to each other by strings. If you are math geek like me, the formula for finding the number of strings is n*(n-1)/2. So, with 7 components and 5 bodies, it would take 66 strings to connect all of them to each other. That is a lot of interconnected parts to keep balanced. Here is a yantra (graphic), if that helps.

The takeaway is that everything influences everything else. Changing one changes all. In terms of your capacity, when you use more mental energy than your mental body can replenish, it pulls energy from your other bodies. That is why you feel so physically exhausted and emotionally drained after doing your taxes or arguing with your teenager.

Everything influences everything else. Think of something you were really looking forward to, say, Disneyland as a child. You start thinking and get mentally excited.

Balance is challenging because your bodies and components are constantly changing their size, configuration, and momentum. Their influence will also change if they are sharing a trajectory, at non-parallel trajectories, or in opposing trajectories. If the strings are moving in the same direction, it will be easier for both. If they are moving in different directions but still connected, there will be constant tension. If the strings are moving in opposite directions, the tension will be the greatest and unrelenting.

Here is that same idea replacing the strings with a married couple designing their dream house: If they are moving in the same direction (they both want to have two children and raise them in a boxy Tudor), it will be much easier to plan. If they are moving in different directions (Tudor vs. Craftsman) but still connected to the idea of two kids, they will have constant tension but progress will be possible. If they are moving in opposite directions (Tudor/Craftsman, Two kids/No kids but maybe a dog), the tension will be the greatest and unrelenting. In the final scenario, every interaction will be hindered by that underlying tension including things like what to have for dinner, what TV show to watch, and whether to be kind, intimate, or playful.

And with an idea for a new business: If my business idea is in-line with the values, ideas, and trajectories for the rest of my life, it will be easier (a vegan starting an organic farm). If I try to start this business and it isn’t in-line with some of the other aspects of my life (a vegan starting a dairy farm), I will have constant tension. If this new venture and my life are moving in opposite directions (a vegan opening a butcher shop), the tension will be the greatest and unrelenting.

Layer Five, Week Four – Tuesday

Tuesday’s Focus

Give some consideration today to where your greatest strength lies. What are you proud of, where do you excel, and how do you set yourself apart from the crowd?

Tuesday’s Concepts

Here is something that may seem strange and hard to accept: what you see as your greatest strength is almost certainly your biggest area of imbalance. Here is why: you fall into your strengths because they require the least amount of effort and because they are the most habitual things you do.

Anything you do more often than other things becomes an imbalance. If you sit with your left leg crossed over your right every time, your tissues will adapt asymmetrically. If you start a new job and always say hello to the same three people and ignore everyone else, your relationships at work will become imbalanced quickly. If you are very proud of your biceps and can curl heavy weights, you probably work them more than your triceps and probably way more than your calves, adductors, or low back. You also probably train for strength more than flexibility. You sacrifice balance for strength and allure.

If you think it is really important to be blunt, truthful, and exacting … you are probably going to have a difficult time being kind, tolerant, and empathetic. There is nothing wrong with being blunt, truthful, and exacting but if you want to be balanced you will want to give equal value to being kind, tolerant, and empathetic. Balance would be finding ways to be concise with kindness, precise with tolerance, and truthful with empathy.


Layer Five, Week Four – Wednesday

Wednesday’s Focus

After you have identified your greatest strength, look at the areas at the other end of the spectrum. Which component is your biggest challenge?

Wednesday’s Concepts

Equilibrium (balance) happens when you strengthen the weaker links of your chain. Begin by identifying your greatest strengths and then looking for ways to enhance your strengths in your other, weaker, areas.

As a leader, if you know that you are great at creating workflows, procedures, and systems and that is where you generally focus; begin looking for ways to connect deeply with your team, find ways to collaborate playfully, and start actively listening.

I love to bake bread. Bread baking is as exacting as I want to make it. The more exacting (masterful) I am at controlling the variables, the better and more consistent my loaves will be. As I look at my degree of mastery there are two places that I can significantly improve. The first is shaping the loaves. I have a general idea and couple of hundred loaves under my belt (figuratively and literally), but I don’t feel like I am intimate with the process. I get by. The second area where I can improve is cleaning up after each step. I generally only allow myself enough time to complete the step (mix, fold, shape, bake) and don’t factor in the time required to clean up. I arrange my schedule so that I don’t have time to clean up. It is a pattern and a habit. My thoughts and feelings about not cleaning up unbalance me. They influence every step. When I am mixing, I am not as focused as I could be because part of my attention is on the clean-up. When clean-up becomes a strength (and it will), I will be better at every other step.

If your greatest strengths in your relationships are loyalty, commitment, and patience you might try adding in equal amounts of affection, playfulness, and transparent communication. Relationships are a great testing ground for balance.

When you look at your relationships, ask yourself what your levels of equality are regarding how much you support and challenge the other’s success, who the energy flows from and to, and your levels of defensiveness, judgment, and indifference. Challenge your patterns, identify your blind spots, and exercise your weaknesses.


Layer Five, Week Four – Thursday

Thursday’s Focus

Contemplate and identify your most developed component from this list, generally (focus, stability, speed, strength, flexibility, endurance, and rejuvenation). Which of your bodies (physical, mental, emotional, energetic, or environmental) feels the strongest?

Thursday’s Concepts

Let’s look at some possibilities for where your most developed component abides.

If your greatest strength, the thing you value the most about yourself, is your flexibility, I can guarantee you that you lack equal amounts of strength. Too flexible in relationships usually leads to being taken advantage of and exerting more energy than you get back. Flexibility can lead to justification, codependence, and unhealthy collusion. Excessive physical flexibility will ensure instability and lower speed potential. Excess physical flexibility will eventually lead to decreases in elasticity, which lowers your stability and increases your potential for injury. Strong emotional flexibility can lead to a rollercoasting of emotions and/or a lack of emotional depth.

Here’s an interesting one, can you imagine having too much rejuvenation? Prioritizing rejuvenation will limit your adaptation response and subsequent growth, development, and success. If you stop running as soon as you begin to fatigue so that you can rejuvenate, you probably won’t run very far. If you step away from a challenge when it gets challenging, success will be a challenge. If you stop yourself from fully expressing your emotions because you are afraid of overwhelm, suffering, or pain; your life will be static, stagnant, and listless.

People with rigid beliefs have excess stability in their lives. They lack flexibility. Their beliefs also lack strength because their stability lacks a stable foundation. And counter-intuitively, they lack focus. Since they are so involved in their rigidity, that is where they focus. If most of their focus is on a belief, they won’t have anything left over for the actuality of the present moment. They will also lack speed. Before every thought, emotion, or action can commence, it must be reflected against their rigid belief. Imagine having to ask three different people if it is okay before you do, think, or feel anything.


Layer Five, Week Two – Friday

Friday’s Focus

Think about each of your bodies (physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and environmental) and assign your most developed component in each.

Friday’s Concepts

When you balance your strengths, several things will happen:

The first is that your stress levels will lower in every area of your life. When you are out of balance, your compensations increase. As one component or body loses balance, it pulls every other body and component out of balance. That transition increases the tension and fear throughout your system. The static level of stress and overwhelm you feel is the result of your imbalances. As you regain balance, stress and tension are naturally reduced. As your systems adapt to being balanced, they adapt to being tension and stress free.

Second, the stress level of the people around you will decrease because they aren’t being triggered by your imbalance(s). Your imbalances exude fear, tension, and overwhelm. Your fears will have a demand attached that something or someone in your environment be different in some way. Your demands (that it or they help you stay balanced) make them defensive. When they are defensive, they increase their static tension (they get ready to fight, flight, or freeze). When you enter a room as a balanced person, their defenses aren’t alerted and their system doesn’t identify you as a threat … and it relaxes.

Third, your situational awareness will increase. It will be much easier for you to discern the actuality of any given situation when you aren’t biased toward the imbalance of your greatest strength. Your strength is a filter with which you see, label, and judge the world. When balanced, filtering isn’t necessary and all that energy is available to increase your presence.

If I am obsessed with my physical strength, I constantly scan my environment looking to see, label, and judge what is strong and what is weak. I constantly look for reactions in others that may signal whether they see me as macho man or an also ran. As you can imagine, that burns a ton of energy and takes up most of my capacity to relate to the world. When I acknowledge that strength isn’t any more important that the other six components, I stop assessing relative strengths and begin to assess the totality of the world and the people in it.


Layer Five, Week Two – Saturday

Saturday’s Focus

Think about each of your bodies (physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and environmental) and assign your least developed component in each.

Saturday’s Concepts

Your second most prominent imbalance is your blind spot; something you ignore, try to not notice or that you label as injured, broken, or insufficient. The yeah, but region; that area, relationship, feeling, habit, or appendage that you make excuses for. Each of your bodies and every component will have one or more blind spots. Go through the twelve bodies and components and see if you can identify your largest offenders. Here are a few examples.

Physically your blind spot is some nagging injury, cosmetic imperfection, unaddressed weakness, or neglected range of motion. Most nagging injuries persist because they are not given sufficient rehabilitation. You don’t move, massage, treat, rest, stretch, or strengthen them as a priority. The challenge with blind spots in general and nagging injuries specifically is that all the other parts of your life or body must compensate by working harder.

Your focus blind spot is probably that you are focusing on your distractions or giving too much energy, time, and attention to things that aren’t priorities. If you focus on past injustices; current opportunities will be much harder to detect. If you are hyper-focused on your looks, your will have much less energy to be happy, playful, and outgoing. If you are focused on right and wrong, you will miss all the middle ground.

The benefit in identifying your blind spots is that you will begin to be aware of all the opportunities you have been missing. You will also see where you have predetermined (and limited) your future course of actions to avoid the blind spots. You will increase your range of motion, emotion, and conceivability. You will be more readily accepted, admired, and acknowledged. Your influence will grow because others won’t judge you as oblivious to some aspect of their being.

Next week, we will talk about what you believe to be your greatest weakness …


Recruit and Entrain

Step 1 – Stand with your feet hip width apart. Take a few deep breaths and do a Current30.

Step 2 – Slowly begin to bounce by bending your knees.

Step 3 – As you bounce, try to feel the weight equally in both feet and balanced between the front and back of your foot.

Step 4 – Play with shifting your weight from front to back and side to side to confirm where you feel balanced and what balanced feel like.

Step 5 – Continue to bounce and feel the balance up through your legs. Feel for balanced lower legs, knees, and upper legs.

Step 6 – Feel for balanced hips and the balance between your low belly and low back.

Step 7 – Connect to the balance between the front and back of your core and the front and back of your ribs

Step 8 – Connect your sternum with your thoracic (upper back) vertebrae. Connect your right and left lungs.

Step 9 – Balance your shoulders, arms, and hands.

Step 10 – Balance your head by pulling in your chin and leveling your head.

Step 11 – Take a break, if necessary, and then begin again from where you left off.

Step 12 – End this movement by feeling your entire body as a balanced unit. Feel your body and its sensation globally

Why it Matters – This movement will begin the process of balance discernment. It will help you feel balance locally, sequentially, and globally. As you get better at feeling balanced; it will be easier to identify the transition to unbalanced.

Everyday Usability – This Kriya can be used in every situation to ascertain and regain your balance. Need to get your ducks in a row in a hurry? Find a quiet spot out of sight of any potential hecklers and do this for two or three minutes. Do this if you are completely frazzled, annoyed, distracted, or confused. It will help to calm and center you.

Progression – Gradually try to soften your bounce and still feel your relative balance. Next, feel your symmetrical balance without bouncing. Finally, feel for your asymmetrical balance (feel the balance between your right foot and left elbow, left knee and right jaw, stomach and liver, solar plexus and right ear, etc.)

One Less Step

Step 1 – Find a comfortable seat.

Step 2 – Take a physical, mental, environmental, and emotional inventory.

Step 3 – Allow yourself to settle, your mind to quiet, and wait until some emotion or story bubbles up.

Step 4 – When some quality or sensation arises or you find yourself ruminating, see if you can release its energy.

Step 5 – Feel for your emotional tension or the compressed energy of emotions and allow them to disperse into your energy field.

Step 6 – As a doorway, identify an area of physical tension and feel for the emotional or energetic component that lives within.

Step 7 –  As things bubble up, try to allow them to soften and disperse into your energy field.

Step 8 –  You are creating an emotional focus, feeling without thinking.

Step 9 –  Sit, quiet your mind, feel, identify, and release.

Step 10 – One of your goals will be to increase your mastery at focusing your mind on one thing (what you are feeling).

Why it Matters –  This powerful Kriya is a gateway to the flow state. Being in the flow state (Samadhi, Nirvana, Ecstasy) is the ability to instantaneously feel and metabolize the energy in and around you. This feel and release movement is the first step.

Everyday Usability – Every image, belief, judgment, and label you have has a set of sensations that you have co-opted. Feeling something that isn’t serving you like anger, frustration, jealousy, or confusion? Feel and release it. Worried, stressed, or overwhelmed? It really is as easy as letting it go.

Progression –  Practice, get better, and learn to release faster and more fully. This is magic.

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