Danielle LaPorte: Visualization: Loosening Your Mind Shackles

After the gym today I walked by a boutique pharmacy (Pharmaca) and saw a book in the window that caught attracted my attention.

The book was called, The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with The Soul. I took note of the author’s name and after a barefoot walk on the beach to watch the sunset, I looked her up on facebook and found her page.

While browsing her most recent posts, I came across a short visualization exercise she posted that looked interesting and I went ahead and pressed play, closed my eyes and followed along.

Needless to say, I felt it worthy of sharing here.

It’s only about 9 minutes long, but it went by in a flash and I look forward to repeating it. Enjoy:

Danielle LaPorte: Visualization: Loosening your mind shackles

“Infuse your sensitivities with courage, and while you’re there tell fear to fuck right the fuck off.” – Danielle LaPorte

Meditations Session One: On Stories and The Waking Dream, Self-Worth, and Happiness

Update: 11/5/2014

I’ve just published a new entry on story and personal mythology, which this compliments excellently – enjoy.


Technically, these are the second set of notes originated through my newfound journey into meditation. The first were published in my entry: Transcendental Realizations.

Per my previous post, I am going to attempt to make a habit of transcribing the handwritten notes written at the end of each meditative experience into sessions which I will publish here. The only caveats being that I am unsure whether or not my future meditations will maintain the same transcendent quality as the initial experiences – and additionally, whether the act of publishing the notes itself will somehow hinder my ability to achieve the same egolessness required to produce them. But I’m excited at the prospect of being able to continue this journey and incorporate these experiences into the journey that is 7Saturdays.

Note: Everything within bold text (section headlines included) or parenthesis (except for the squiggly kind) and brackets was added at the time of this publication to organize / clarify and or add afterthought to the notes at the time of publishing.

Attl: Typing these up as I watch Cloud Atlas, one of my favorite movies.

Stories and The Waking Dream.

  • We’re all just acting out the stories we tell ourselves. (The way we justify our feelings based on the stories we tell ourselves about the past [how we are interpreting life])
  • Find out what your waking dream is (Your relationship to the present moment [your behavior] based on your attachments [feelings and beliefs] from past experiences.) and change it.
  • There are no other limits than that waking dream which we call reality and the degree to which we let the reality (the waking dream) of others influence our own (waking dream). (We get to decide whether we respond [by operating from our stories] or react [by operating from their stories] to others.)
  • If we’re not taking action towards the future we want, we’ll end up with the future we think we deserve.
  • If we look back at the past we’ll tend to see that we’ve created for ourselves what we felt we deserved at the time, based on the stories we told ourselves.
  • When someone says you create your reality, this is the essence of what they are talking about – everything is story (waking dream).
  • To rewrite your story you have to go into the soul and step out of the narrative of your conscious mind {thoughts} (the present) and step into your true power as a creator (where there is no past, present, or future, only the stories that guide you – these you must rewrite).

Reinterpreting Our Stories

  • This inner work is about creating a new story in which we create a new and more healthy, forgiving, accepting understanding of the past using our present relationship with reality to let go. Then the past no longer has the same power over our future.
  • (Reinterpreting our understanding of the past (our stories) to change the roots of our beliefs and feelings requires us to use both the positive experiences we’ve had in life and our vision for the future experiences we desire to establish more rational and empowering beliefs and feelings, which will then shape the waking dream we desire.)

Letting Go of the Past

  • Letting go of the past is about forgiving yourself and others (for the past) for the way you’ve felt (you feel about the past).
  • Holding onto the past is about the emotional reaction we have to it. We can only release ourselves from that reaction once we’ve forgiven ourselves for our feelings and let go of our attachment to them.
  • We must resolve the past attachments that are preventing us from feeling good enough about our future self.

Questions About The Past

  • What beliefs from the past are holding you back from feeling worthy?
  • What fears do you have that are stopping you from feeling fully deserving of your desires. (?)
  • (Q:) What events in the past cause those fears, and how can we forgive and let go. (?) (A:) By reinterpreting our understanding of them (the events in the past that cause our fears) with more rational and empowering beliefs based on the positive experiences we’ve had in life.
  • What experiences are those beliefs rooted in and how can we reinterpret our stories of them from a healthier, more rational perspective? (See: Reinterpreting Our Stories).

The Past and Fear

  • Fear is rooted in past attachments {feelings / beliefs}, outcomes and experiences.
  • It doesn’t serve us to base our present relationship with life on our fears. (Hence, why we need to reinterpret our stories.)

Questions About The Future

  • What do you need to to do to create that you deserve the future you want {dreams}. (?)
  • What do you need to be doing each day to create both inner peace – present centered actions – {gym, meditate, writing, walking} with (and) future centered actions {(i.e.,) work, goal setting, planning}?
  • Which activities are beneficial to both (inner peace and the future) {meditation, inner-work, self-reflection, introspection, breathing, and envisioning}?
  • Which activities, habits are counter to both (inner peace and the future) / unhealthy {self-pity, getting caught up in past emotional traps, self-destructive behaviors} (?)
  • Which needs of yours cause the needs that you have (<- recursive thinking, or unintentional sentence error…hmm) that trigger those unhealthy / self-destructive behaviors. (?)
  • What inner work do you need to do on yourself to address your unhealthy needs?
  • What desired emotional states are driving those unhealthy needs. (?)
  • What beliefs of yours do you have that are driving your needs for those emotional states. (?) {i.e., if I am loved then I am worthy.}
  • What stories are behind those beliefs?
  • What inner work do you need to do on those beliefs to transform them into healthy / empowering beliefs. (?)
  • How can you reinterpret them (your stories about the past) to more accurately reflect the reality you want for your future. (?)
  • The stories you tell yourself are going to determine the stories your children tell.
  • What stories did your parents tell themselves (The feelings and beliefs they had that originated from their outcomes and experiences in life) that you need to let go of (i.e., stop responding to life from their stories). (?)

Self Worth

  • Being happy with what you have is about being happy with who you are.
  • We accept the love and the life we feel we deserve.
  • If we want something we must believe we are worthy of it.
  • We believe we can achieve the things we think we are worthy of.
  • Feeling worthy of a thing (love, success, a goal) is about feeling good enough for it.
  • The inner work of building a new relationship with the past is the key to building a new relationship with yourself.
  • Carry yourself so that your esteem is worthy of your dreams and then your actions will be.
  • Self worth ultimately requires nothing more than self-love. Build abundant self-love and you will have no problem feeling worthy of abundance in life.
  • (All of the above can be worked on by doing the inner work of reinterpreting our stories.)

Happiness

  • Separating feelings (soul based, self-aware stories) from thoughts (conscious mind, outer world, unconscious stories) is one of the most empowering skills you can develop… to learn to feel from the soul (inner world) is to access the divine wisdom of the soul’s ability to perceive the world from a loving and unattached (unattached from the thoughts, ego, and outcomes of the outer world) perspective. This is the key to happiness.
  • (Examining and reinterpreting the underlying stories that shape our beliefs is essential to growing the compassionate self-awareness we need to operate from soul based / self-aware stories.)

Note: If you’re still not sold on why you need to reinterpret your stories, read my entry: The Power to Change Your Life.

My Budding Romance with Meditation

Meditation has recently become a central part of my existence, and I’m in love.

I started writing about it in Transcendental Realizations and as a follow-up entry I published A Cocktail for The Soul, which encompassed simple instructions for my current favorite meditation technique.

Using the same technique detailed in the latter entry, I’ve enjoyed truly phenomenal experiences. Some of which I am not brave enough to detail – but needless to say, they have been mind blowing.

Having an experience where you can access something that feels like a higher consciousness is akin to losing your mental virginity. And truth be told, I didn’t expect that; however, I did do a lot of research and I entered into it very well prepared.

Prior to this year, my ‘meditation / transcendence’ experience was comprised primarily of the following:

In no particular order of importance:

  • The rare Yoga session where I felt a breakthrough.
  • The rare introspective walk with the right combination of sunset, solitude, and moving music (I recently wept watching the sunset while listening to this mix.)
  • Using my Heartmath Institute Inner Balance Sensor to meditate using the quick coherence technique. (This “taught” me how to breath and get into coherence and has been wonderful. I still use it when I meditate, but when using the aforementioned “Soul Cocktail” technique I don’t follow the breath pacer and use it primarily to gauge the quality of my heart / breath balance.) Wonderful gift / great purchase by the way, and you can also practice heart coherence techniques without the sensor but it really helps. Here’s a great video on coherence that got me into this.
  • The rare sensual embrace which love lent a certain spiritual quality to.  (Can’t give you any advice here – but I expect heart coherence has something to do with it.)
  • The rare night looking up into the dark above my bed and getting deep into the right balance of thinking and feeling. (This is kind of hard to explain, but I would describe it as the combination of gratitude and wonder.)
  • The rare kind of workout that gives you an almost spiritual endorphin high.

However the problem for me with each of these transcendent experiences is that I could not easily recreate them each time – hence why they were ‘rare’. Often a walk is just a walk…etc.

I’m expecting that as I continue to grow spiritually the frequency with which those activities are peak experiences for me will improve. I’ve already started to notice this – for instance: when I wept watching the sunset I had meditated for two hours that afternoon. I’m also expecting that as I grow more and become more attuned to myself and educated about things like heart coherence, I’ll be able to better understand the exact physical, mental, and spiritual factors that influence peak experience and thus be able to get into those states with more frequency and ease. So, I would summarize these two statements in saying that as I become more practiced and knowledgeable I’ll become more capable of these transient moments of self-actualization. Unfortunately, since having a peak experience with the above listed activities can be a hit or a miss, I’m not doing them with the same frequency I would be if they were transcendent / peak experiences each time.

I’m a big believer that we do things in order to change our emotional states; we are naturally inclined to pursue ways of changing our state. The downside is that many of us never learn healthy and empowering ways of accomplishing this and as a result we end up using things like television, food, sex, and alcohol to change the way we feel. When those things become so central to our coping in life that we become addicted to them – even something like sex or working out can be unhealthy.

For people who don’t pursue powerful and healthy ways of changing their emotional state, their peak experiences are extremely rare. They may happen while traveling or sometimes they even happen incidentally and we don’t even realize what it was – we were just watching the sunset when this powerful sense of awe overcame us.

Some people are on a pursuit of peak experience and they don’t even realize exactly what it is they are chasing – these are the people who describe themselves as “adventurers” or “adrenaline junkies”. I’m inclined to go so far as to include self described “hopeless romantics”, or people with “a sense of wanderlust” (I have personal experience with both). Side-note: people often say they suffer from wanderlust – I think people should start saying “I suffer from being a hopeless romantic”. (<- this entire paragraph is a piece of shit structurally and grammatically – but I don’t feel like rewriting it.)

In hindsight, I feel that my wanderlust and hopeless romanticism both stemmed from emotional needs relating to peak experience. Once you’ve transcended everyday consciousness in an Oxytocin releasing way, it’s hard to go back. And while both my wanderlust and my hopeless romanticism helped me to create myself they never helped me to find myself.

As digital nomad Mark Manson puts it:

They say that people who suffer from wanderlust are in a perpetual state of either looking for something that doesn’t exist, or running from something they can never get away from. My experience tells me it’s not a question of either/or but rather a statement of both and how much.

For me my wanderlust and hopeless romanticism were attempts to alter my relationship to the world and to fundamentally change the way I felt about myself.

However the problem with both is that you’re placing the fulfillment of extremely important needs far outside of your own control. So, while there may be those moments of peak experience in a new city, or that time in the relationship that felt like a dream, you ultimately run the risk of finding yourself back in your home city or single again. Then it’s back to the emptiness and the need to continue searching. You’ll find ‘the one’ or you’ll find the ‘right city’ that ‘finally feels like home’. But in the end, no one else can save you from yourself, and wherever you go, there you are.

Were it not for the incredible meditative experiences I’ve recently had and the higher consciousness insights I’ve garnered through them, I would never have come to see any of this. I’d still feel empty and lost. Not that I don’t have my moments, but through meditative self-exploration I’ve become aware of the underlying mechanics of my conscious thinking and I’ve started doing inner work on the needs I need to fulfill for myself (internal fulfillment).

I never expected that this part of the journey (meditation) would be so powerful and enjoyable. Prior to my recent experience I viewed meditation as the kind of thing addicts (i.e., Robert Downey Jr.), zen hippies (i.e., Jeff Bridges), or overachievers did. And since my initial ideas about meditation were that you had to sit in an uncomfortable position in silence for an hour chastising yourself for every thought that entered your mind, my first attempts were forgettable to say the least.

Conversely, it’s been a life altering experience now that I am using an approach to meditation that works for me. I don’t think I’ll ever give it up. It’s been more beneficial than therapy; although, I definitely do utilize the knowledge I’ve gained in therapy in my self-inquisition and in the expansion of my self-awareness.

I must state that it wasn’t by accident that I’ve uncovered such powerful insights about myself through meditation. I’ve been doing inner work and searching for solutions to the conundrums I’ve faced in my life. I’ve realized that growth is the only way to keep up with change and it’s central to my personal philosophy that I work on growing to be the best version of myself I can be – for myself and for others. It’s not easy to stare into yourself and work on the recurring themes and stories in your life. It takes courage. But you have the courage within you, and much more to be found should you embark on the journey.

The impetus for writing this came from my experiences meditating yesterday: I meditated twice within a 24 hour period, and both instances were (damn, I can’t even find the right adjective) powerful beyond what I had expected – but equal to what I had hoped was possible. I followed my own instructions, as described in the A Cocktail For the Soul method, forming my own intent prior and commencing writing immediately after.

It was a wonderful surprise to discover that I entered into a similar (but less powerful) state as the state I was in during my Transcendental Realizations experience. As a result of this, when all was said and done, I had filled a few pages of my notebook with some fucking wonderful chicken scratch (it’s a language only I can decipher).

Based on the fact that this blog is the closest thing I have to a legacy and writing here has been central to my growth and identity, I am going to start blogging (G-d I loathe that word to describe my writing) – ahem, publishing my meditations. Not that I think myself a modern day Marcus Aurelius, but as Meditations was, these writings have also been directed solely at myself and not obscured by consciousness or ego.

I obviously am not going to behave like some stoic Sarah Jessica Parker – where I just meditate, hop on my laptop, and start blogging snarky self-advice. No. I’m going to continue doing as I’ve done and chicken scratching it after meditating, and then wait until I feel ready to revisit it – whether that’s the next day or the next week – and then I’m going to type it in an organized manner here.

If I feel that for any reason this practice is inhibiting my abilities or drawing my ego into a realm it doesn’t belong, I’m going to discontinue it immediately.

Currently there are a couple other topics I am excited to write about (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Defence Mechanisms) as well as some poetry I want to write, so things are going to continue as normal for me, but I would love nothing more than to have a long and organic relationship with this higher consciousness or soul-centered egolessness in which I am able to continue the growth and discovery that meditation has provided me with thus far. And if I can publish it too, wonderful.

I am not sure what is possible or what will be, but I am willing to go for it.

A Cocktail for The Soul

I just published what is unequivocally one of the most important entries this blog will ever have, Transcendental Realizations.

While I did offer up the caveat that I am not a meditation teacher or a spiritual guide – and this isn’t the exact process I used, I would be doing present and future readers a huge disservice if I didn’t also publish this entry, detailing one of my favorite meditation practices.

I was never great at meditating (until recently) and present day doctors would label me ADHD; however, I’m incredibly thankful this particular practice has become an important part of my life as before I would have had a drink to silence my mind, whereas now I enjoy a cocktail for the soul! – Meditation. (50 times more satisfying).

The Cocktail for Your Soul

Note: After the 55 min mark when the low brain waves begin is when I transcended.

My tips for meditating are:

  1. Drink some water, get comfortable, safely light a candle if you wish.
  2. Outline the goals which drive you to meditate. Is the goal an exploration of emotional states? spiritual enlightenment? Inner Peace? Or insights from a higher consciousness? Spend at least a few minutes in introspective reflection outlining the objectives of the meditation prior to meditating. Typically I select an area I need to improve on or something I know is bothering me. Sometimes it’s just that I’m feeling like shit. And it’s 100% okay to not have a goal, you don’t need one.
  3. Follow the guided meditation (Complete youtube embedded above for FREE, also avail for purchase at: Mind Silence, Stepping into Stillness by Paul Santisi) Note: Phenomenal program.
  4. Optional: Deep, slow, and relatively-effortless breaths that expand the stomach are a great addition – but not necessary if you are just beginning. Play with breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth and doing what feels natural.
  5. Keep white paper and a pen with blue ink next to you to write after you meditate. You might be surprised at what you can access.

Transcendental Realizations

I had an experience recently that opened my eyes to a kind of transcendence of the self. Some call it self-realization, ego-death or awakening. It’s difficult to even write about because it was not a conscious, reality based experience. In fact I’ve been waiting to publish this because I wanted to give myself time to internalize it before typing up my notes. I also plan on meditating on each of these for further insights and internalization.

I would say this was unequivocally one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I’m not kidding when I say that many of these realizations opened up life for me in ways that I never dreamed would be possible.

That being said, I’m not a meditation teacher or a spiritual guide, and I’m not going to advise you on how to achieve this yourself. Each person’s path is different and what’s right for one person is not right for another. But I want to share the realizations I had as a result of this experience and organize them so I can return to these powerful truths.

Remember, this information came to me in a state that was outside of my normal waking consciousness. Take each bit of information with either a grain of salt or a gold ingot depending on whether or not it speaks to your soul. And no, there were no recreational drugs involved. This was a meditative, solo, soul-seeking journey designed to help me break through the conscious and subconscious barriers that were keeping me grounded in a reality I didn’t like.

The notes that follow were written in my notebook directly after this transcendental journey (which I meditated for over an hour before beginning to prepare for and to sow the mental seeds for the questions I wanted answers to). Note: Everything within bold text or parenthesis was added at the time of this publication to organize / clarify.

Inner Peace (Presence) & Fear

  • Inner peace = presence.
  • There is inner peace. It’s really special. It’s nowhere to reach because it’s inside of you; you must go to it.
  • It’s more powerful than fear.
  • To escape fear return to presence.
  • My biggest fear is being scared and lonely and not knowing what to do.
  • There is no dark place within you. You do not go there, you only create dark energy if you allow yourself to become it.
  • There is no future / then. There is only presence. And it’s not present, but presence. Not a place, but the ritual of living in the now.
  • You can find love and inner peace in a hopeless place.
  • We can only BE in the present/presence.

Inner & Outer Reality

  • The inner and the outer reality are really two different things. You can be a master to the inner or a slave to the outer.
  • The outer world is false.
  • The soul perceives. We’ve just been taught to believe that the outer world is true. It’s not real vs. fake, (inner and outer) but true vs. false.
  • Personality can be the construct of the outer or the reality of the inner.
  • Doubt is stupid  <- Outer.
  • Ask if what you are feeling is outer or inner. All worry / fear is outer.

Love / Reality

  • Love is the only real thing. It’s in everything.
  • Beauty isn’t real. Only the truth is beautiful / Pure love.
  • We’re all connected, but we’re connected only by love. Our different realities separate us.
  • We all create our own realities. We cannot allow ourselves to get sucked into the reality of another. I am the creator of my reality.

Moments & Memories

  • Memories are like the cool side of the pillow. Use them that way – for good.
  • Beautiful moments won’t last forever. Enjoy them.

Happiness

  • Doing something cannot make us happy, only we can make happiness. It’s the universe’s illogical truth.

Inner Voice / Thoughts

  • All the ‘voices’ in you (i.e., the cynic, the bummer, the achiever), you created them and you shape them. (Interesting addition to the quote: “The way you speak to your children becomes their inner voice”.)

Appearance / Behavior

  • The way we present ourselves (appearance) is a choice merely to make us feel good based on how we feel the outer world perceives us.
  • Behavior is how we react to the present.

Opportunity

  • When a door opens in life, you mustn’t be afraid to enter it or you will never enter it. (This is a great compliment to the Benjamin Button quote: “Our lives are defined by opportunities; even the ones we miss.“)

The Body: Pain & Relaxation

  • Tenseness is held in the body. (relax the body)
  • Pain in the body represents body held / world held (outer reality?) pain. It is not inside of you (inner reality?).

Creating & Achieving  (Trusting For The Future)

  • Reality is just something you create.
  • The future is only as uncertain as our present action is allowing it to be. Shape it all.
  • (Q: How do you make decisions?) (A:) You decide / make decisions based on what you want the future outcome to be.
  • (Q: How do you decide what you want your future outcome to be?) (A:) YOU DESIGN IT.
  • (Q: How do you design it?) (A:) You cultivate your tastes, explore, imagine, self-inquiry. DISCOVER.
  • (How do you know if something is the right thing, in terms of life designing?) You know what you like.
  • Realization will come when you need it. (The fairy godmother of the soul ;)

Update: For anyone interested in their own transcendental journey, I’m not recommending you should load the universe into a cannon aim at brain and fire – but a Cocktail for The Soul is a great jumping off point and was a huge part of the experience for me.