The Body As A Spiritual Path

That’s an interview from about a year and a half ago with Reggie Ray and Renate McNay on meditating with the body, consciousness and the spiritual path through the body.

It’s gold. Watch it. And pay attention to the sensations in your body as you do.

I grew up in a culture in which we took for granted the imposition of our thinking, the absolute primacy of a “God-given” morality over our bodies.

In other words, the body was mostly bad, something to be fought, something to be fundamentally DISTRUSTED. The body could and would lead us astray. The heart desperately wicked, inherently wrong. The genitals, especially the genitals, organs of sinful temptation, full of shame. Downright indecent!

The past few years of my life I’ve increasingly followed a path of embodiment, of keeping my awareness IN my body–First through noticing aches and pains in my body and tightness in the muscles around my eyes, straining to see more, to see something different…

In college my vision was -3.50 diopters at one point. Now I use -1.50 glasses when I’m driving. And it keeps getting clearer. I’m in much less of a rush now, too, to see more clearly than I do right now, most of the time. We can talk about that if you’d like.

The pain in my left knee… I started to see a traditional chiropractor for that and had some results. The x-rays showed results. I didn’t feel much different though.

Then I started to see a Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) chiropractor in Charlotte, NC. (There might be one in your city, so look it up!) That’s when I started to FEEL different.

I started feeling the sensations in my body, going more fully into them, and especially at first, I was terrified.

I thought, no, I KNEW!: “If I let myself feel this sadness, I’ll be lost in it forever. I’ll never come back.”

But I was tired and out of other options, so I let myself feel it.

And it sucked. Ugh, it sucked.

It was such deep, infinite sadness.

And then something magical happened.

After about 8-10 minutes, I stopped crying and I started to return to a more balanced emotional state, except, something was different now.

I felt lighter.

I felt freer.

My body… the sensations in my body were different. It was like there was more space. I could breathe more deeply.

Wow!

So I kept going back.

I’ve been seeing different NSA practitioners now for about 4 years (because I’ve moved cities a few times.)

I’ve released icebergs worth of frozen energy from my body, frozen trauma and tension.

Sometimes it comes off in chunks, just like chunks calving off an iceberg or glacier.

Sometimes it’s little pieces that come off. Sometimes I’m not sure if much is happening at all, but I keep going because it’s a practice and my body lets go when it’s ready.

Then, about a year and a half ago, I found Orgasmic Meditation.

Whoa!

Talk about a catalyst.

As long as I practice, that is.

Since finding OM and the OM community, I’ve learned so much about showing up as who I really am. I feel more. I know more. I am more aware of what I want, and I’m more trusting that things will all work out. I surrender more, to what life is asking of me.

The sexual energy is a powerful energy, the creative force.

We can try to repress it, to control it, to ignore it… but mostly then it will come out in funky or harmful ways.

The best way to discover what lies in the darkness is to shine a light into it, to explore it, to approach it perhaps with a healthy dose of caution, but for godsakes, at least to investigate.

That’s my path, anyway.

I want to be free. I want to be fully ALIVE. I want to FEEL fully ALIVE. I want to know what it is to be fully human and operate at the limits of my capacities.

That’s my spiritual path.

To find my edges and lean into them.

And all my edges show up in my body.

I meditate with my body every day now, whether it’s OM or some of the embodiment practices from Dharma Ocean. In fact, I look forward to it! What will I discover today? What will be different? What will I learn? What will I let go of?

So here are a couple questions for you:

What is your relationship to your body?

Do you want more freedom in your body, more peace, more joy and connection, more energy, more structural stability, more of that feeling when you just feel like you?

Well, you can have all that, and much more. And I can help you with some of that navigation. I can help you remember some of the things you already know, if you’d like.

Love,

Aaron

P.S. What are your dreams and what challenges are in the way of having them? Would you like a free powerful 1-1 coaching session? Drop me a line at aaron@reallifeconnectioncoach.com

Lessons I’ve Learned From Depression

Sometimes I feel more like the Fake Death Disconnection Wannabe-Coach than the Real Life Connection Coach.

Sometimes I want to curl up into a ball, fall asleep and never wake up. Sometimes I’ll spend days or even weeks at a time dipping in and out of self-destructive and suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, and purposelessness.

Depression takes me down, down, down, so deep into an abyss. When I’m in it, it feels like nothing really matters. It can be sunshiny and beautiful outside, but all I see is gray.

So I’d like to share a few lessons I’ve learned and tools that have personally helped me through it.

#1: Asking the question: What really matters to me?

This question brings me back to my heart. What do I CARE about? Sometimes it seems like there is breathtakingly little I still care about, but I search and search because I know that if I’m still alive then there must be SOMETHING keeping me here.

This is super, super important, because it gets me in touch with my heart. What we care about lives in our hearts. The words care and core are practically the same word. The latin root word cor means heart (as in the word courage), and although it might not be scientifically etymologically correct, for me these words are close enough to make a connection.

I get depressed when I’m out of touch with what I care about (what’s in my HEART)–when I’m not prioritizing what I care about. For better or worse, when I’m not acting on what is most important to me, I feel sad, depressed, angry, and overall just “down.”

For the past few weeks I have not been prioritizing going out to meetups and networking and meeting people to talk to about my coaching business! My coaching business and, more deeply, helping people feel more ALIVE, energized and WHOLE is one of my deepest passions right now, and, thankfully, my heart won’t let me quit on this.

This leads me to the second thing that’s helped me out a LOT:

#2: Allowing myself to feel depressed/down/angry/sad and sharing it with close, trusted friends, life coaches and healers.

It feels a little risky to me posting this blog and video because I’m admitting I sometimes feel deeply, hopelessly depressed. What if some government organization uses this as evidence that they need to forcibly medicate me (against my will) and inject chemicals into me that numb my mind and spirit?!? That’s a genuine fear for me, probably the biggest one. I’m also afraid I’ll be misunderstood, or that people will run away from me, or that I’ll be shunned and isolated because I have problems.

Here’s the deal with that though. Depression, sadness, being “down” is NOT a problem, it’s a GIFT.

I imagine someone reading this might be thinking “How can depression possibly be a fucking gift, man? I mean, COME ON!!!”

See, if I never got depressed and sad and down, then I would be fine doing the things I’ve always done, not ever getting closer to growing my life coaching business. I would be ok to let my health and friendships and finances decay, because after all, if I’m feeling AWESOME ABOUT EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, why would I want anything different?!?

What’s important to understand is that the “down” emotions are your friends.

They don’t feel like our friends when we’re emotionally unskillful, but they ARE our friends.

Working with our emotions is a SKILL. It’s a skill I’ve gotten better and better at, by practicing and practicing and practicing, and being patient and meditating…

The basic skill is to BE WITH our emotions.

We often spend MASSIVE energy avoiding, fighting, minimizing or rationalizing our emotions, instead of just being with them.

When we become more skillful at this, we can often allow our emotions to move through us much more quickly.

Now, “quickly” is relative, because sometimes it feels like FOREVER when we’re in the thick of it.

For me, what helps me “let it go” (which translated into more practical terms is: allow it to move) is spending time feeling it, and, especially, feeling it and becoming intimate with that emotion in the presence of someone I love who loves me/cares about me, and who is skillful enough to simply listen to me and ask curious, compassionate, patient questions until I can “go over the edge” and feel the depth, the pain, the tormented part of myself I’d been freezing in my body.

That’s what we’re habituated to, by the way. We’re habituated to FREEZING the emotions in our system, generally speaking. And that’s what creates more fear and more pain, is this contracting, this wall, this blockade we create, often automatically, because we don’t feel safe to actually feel the depth of what we’re feeling.

When we fight with reality, it takes a massive amount of energy, and in the end, reality still wins.

Here’s another helpful principle: The emotion is NOT telling the whole story. It’s telling part of the story.

In the moment, the emotion can often feel so fucking painful that it feels like it IS everything, that the emotion is the only thing that has ever or will ever exist.

The emotion can feel like it will suffocate us, drown us, kill us and leave our body to hang out to die.

That’s why we run. We’re not ready to die.

But what is amazing, and so fucking rewarding is that we don’t die. In fact, a little part of our ego dies (our ego being who we think we are vs who we actually are), and we get to discover a greater depth and width and height of Being we never previously knew.

And we learn how to have these “little deaths” over and over again.

We get better at dying these little deaths, which ironically, counter-intuitively, and with so much pleasurable surprise allows us to be MORE FULLY ALIVE THAN WE EVER IMAGINED POSSIBLE.

Being fully ALIVE is just a little bit more nuanced than it might appear to be on the surface because being fully ALIVE means feeling the UP and the DOWN. We don’t get one without the other.

LIFE includes DEATH, and when we celebrate ALL THAT IS, we discover reality and we begin to align with the Infinite Soul.

Being fully ALIVE is worth dying for.

And I’m here to listen if you’d like to talk.

I believe that the world is dying to be ALIVE, and being ALIVE starts by discovering the great mystery of who we really are and what we really care about.

I’d love to be a part of your discovery, so drop me a line if you’re open to chat about your life, to get fucking REAL, drop the bullshit, and experience MORE.

Let’s be more fully ALIVE!

Love,

Aaron

A Few Words On Freedom

Life coaching2
No man or woman owns us. We own ourselves. We do not own each other.
I re-read the USA Declaration of Independence yesterday and broke down in tears when I got to the end. I care about freedom so much, and I hate so much how our freedoms are being taken away, bit by bit, by those who would force us to comply with their ideologies. Coercion, the initiation of force by one over another in order to elicit non-consensual compliance, that is where immorality begins. We must be vigilant to protect ourselves and the world against this type of evil.
When we become so arrogant as to force others to comply with our own ideologies, when we know what is best for others and MAKE THEM COMPLY–whether they agree or not–we are overstepping our bounds.
The good news is, that in the end, the truth always wins. It doesn’t look like we think it will look, but a castle with a foundation built on deceit, lies, fear and the forcing of compliance, that structure will always crumble in the end.
Fear is not the enemy, unless we run from it. Fear is simply the darkness into which we are called to shine the light of truth. Fear is that ever-expanding circumference around the brilliant orb of our being which calls us to expand into our glory and be that much more fully ALIVE.
Love,
Aaron