Here is your FREE access to the second week of content and practices. As a paying member you will have access to weekly calls, a private Facebook group for engagement and questions and a full meditation library of prerecorded meditations to support your exploration.
You can go here at any time to join:
Each Day of the Week button above will scroll you down to the content for that day. Remember, this is a movement-based program and clicking on a link doesn’t qualify as doing the movement. 🙂 Do the movements. Have fun, be curious, and feel for the unexpected. Changing your world requires that something changes; make it you, make it now!
As often as you remember, take 30 seconds, and detail your physical sensations. What are you feeling and where are you feeling it? What are the qualities of those sensations?
The focus of Layer One is to get to know your body, the sensations present, and the methods you use to resist growth, happiness, success, and fulfillment.
The tools in this layer will help begin to reorient your central nervous system to prioritize sensation over thought. You will start with simple relaxation and breathing techniques and then throw in some sensation awareness. As you progress through the six weeks of this layer, you will learn techniques to release tension, lower emotional reactivity, and begin to get to know your subconscious patterns. The tools will help you stay energized, reduce stress, and lower your distractibility.
Continue to become more aware of your physical sensations. Try to feel a little more each time. Feel for sensations in different parts of your body.
The practices in this Layer will help you unwind and recharge. These simple practices are powerful and life-changing. You will feel more present, alive, and connected to your world and the people in it. You will learn to accept that habits are a decision, take personal responsibility, and set clear intentions to change, grow, and succeed.
These practices may seem simple the first couple of weeks. Please focus on consistency. Do the Sit and Unwind practice every day. Do it as you drive or wait in line at the bank. Make it work. Be determined, challenge yourself, and be sure to congratulate yourself every time you succeed.
See if you can feel the energy that exists behind the sensations. Experience your life-force as sensations.
In addition to the Sit and Unwind movement, try to do the Current30 from Layer Zero several times a day. It, more than anything else, will give you a better understanding of how your subconscious mind tries to trick you into feeling unsafe.
As you learn the ways to quiet and focus your mind with meditation and begin an exploration of simple breathing/awareness techniques, you will want to quit. These are powerful and aren’t complicated but you might find your subconscious mind trying to convince you otherwise. Resistance to doing the meditation is your subconscious mind in trying to stop you from changing, growing, and succeeding. Be determined.
Listen to your body and the sensations present in a new way; be passively aware of sensations. Try to feel without labeling the feelings.
One of the most valuable things you can do to help you make beneficial change is to be consistent. You are teaching your body and mind a new normal; both will resist. You are over-riding your existing habits with new habits. Your override will become your default as your systems adapt.
Habits are your inner Sméagol, your Anti-muse. To develop new habits, I like the visual of falling into a movement … you go about your day and when your “Sit and Unwind” alarm goes off (you did set alarms?), you start without making any sort of decision, judgment, or internal conversation, you fall into it.
Search for the components of each sensation. Everything you feel will have parts, layers, subtleties, and varying qualities. See what you can feel.
And as a reminder, this is a movement-based program. If your time is limited, do the weekly movement first (Sit and Unwind Meditation), the Daily focus second, and read the concepts when you can. If you can, read the entire week’s concepts on Sunday and then reread each day’s concepts as the week progresses.
Spend the next couple of weeks focusing on being consistent with the movements. Overcome your resistance and any excuses by allowing yourself to fall into the movements. Do them without contemplation. Allow yourself to experience a new way of being. Don’t think, do.
One of the biggest challenges to beneficial change is that you must overcome your resistance to modifying your default patterns, predispositions, and habits. Your subconscious mind rebels and balks at being asked to alter something it identifies as safe and familiar. Familiar is comfortable and comfortable is labelled as safe by your subconscious mind. Safe isn’t necessarily healthy, just familiar. You will read about this more in the future.
Here is something else to contemplate. There are not good habits and bad habits … habits have varying degrees of benefit and deficit. Every habit has room for improvement and limits us in some way. Every habit is good and bad.
When you find a habit you believe is beneficial, ask yourself how it could be more beneficial. There will always be a more beneficial way. I was hiking every day for a couple of hours. It was a beneficial habit, much better than not hiking. I realized, I wasn’t anywhere near my optimal fitness level, so I started to run. Running feels much more beneficial than hiking. It challenges me to be determined, focused, and tolerant.
If you believe you have a bad habit, ask yourself what purpose it is serving. How does it feel like it is benefiting you? What stories are you telling yourself to continue doing it? Years ago, I used to stop at Jack-in-the-Box and get myself a large Diet Coke on the way to the office. It was a distraction from what I thought awaited me when I got to the office. Once I understood my non-beneficial motivations, I made a different choice.
As you go through your day, begin to feel for the transitions from one set of feelings (sensations) to another. What changes as you go from home to work, from one interaction to another? What sensations seem to build or lessen?
The information in this Layer will help you connect with and explore the sensations you feel. Sensations are your experience of energy moving. Sensations are the indicators of change. They highlight transitions from one thing to another, movement.
Habits are a recurring set of movements that you prioritize over other options.
Feeling movement as it is happening will allow you to course-correct sooner. As an example, you get tension headaches because you have muscular tension, usually in your neck, shoulders, and jaw. When you can feel your muscles just beginning to transition from relaxed to tense and then choose to do something to reestablish relaxed, you will never have another tension headache. No tension, no tension headache.
Tension headaches are a habit, a sequence of events that recur. Change the sequence, change the outcome.
Sit and Unwind – Layer One, Level One
Step 1 – Sit comfortably in a chair, floor, or sofa. If you are in a chair, don’t rest your elbows on anything, let them hang. Posture is important but secondary to being relaxed. Take a Current30 (Spend 30 seconds being aware of your current situation, environment, disposition, and sensations)
Step 2 – Begin Exhaust/Purge Breathing – Inhale deeply and exhale with mild force. As you inhale encourage yourself to relax. As you exhale, feel yourself venting tension. Continue for 60 seconds focusing on relaxing your face, neck, and shoulders.
Step 3 – Sequential Relaxation – Normal but deep breathing. As the name implies, begin relaxing consciously relaxing your body as you breathe. Relax your feet, then your calves, thighs, hips, and low belly. Relax your hands, forearms, and upper arms/shoulders. Relax your abdomen, diaphragm, chest, neck, and head. The key here is to move from one body part to the next focusing your attention and intention on each. This might take your three or four minutes initially but after some practice it can be done in two.
Step 4 – Take another Current30
Why it Matters – This is foundational, we will build on it. We are asking you to begin getting to know your body, where you are tense and where/what you can relax. Done consistently, this will highlight your increasing ability to sense your current state in an ever more subtle way. When you become more aware, you will have more information that you can use to make better choices.
Everyday Usability – This meditation is a learning tool to help you relax, slow your mind, and soften. It is a fantastic practice to use anytime you are feeling overwhelmed or overwrought. It will reduce your stress, lower your blood pressure, and help you put things into perspective.
Progression – The next level of Sit and Unwind will build on your ability to be physically aware by giving you tools to become emotionally aware.
Step 1 – Take 30 seconds and make a sensorial inventory of your internal and external environment. What do you see, feel, hear, smell and taste? What are you aware of mentally and emotionally? What are the qualities of your “right now”?
Step 2 – Do this often.
Step 3 – Every time you do it, try to feel something new, something additional and something unexpected.
Why it Matters – This is the single most powerful tool you will ever have to rebalance, optimize your energy, and verify what is actually present.
Everyday Usability – This exercise will show you that you are never angry, afraid, sad or any other label. You are a set of sensations. How you value them is a choice you will learn how to make.
Progression – The progression here is endless. The more you do this and the more your focus and subtle awareness grows, the more you will feel, sense and understand. You will get deeper, more present, and empathetic.