When the war in our mind ends, peace emerges.
When we co-founded Emotional CPR (eCPR), I put my very best thinking into the project as a way of embodying how I envisioned relationships and how every person could learn how to support another person through an emotional crisis. eCPR has evolved over the years and so have I. I have a new insight and an invitation I would like to share.
First, however, I want to briefly review the features of dialogue which are essential to embody if one is to practice eCPR. These features, more elaborated, are in the eCPR workbook. In dialogue: 1) We use our authentic voice, meaning we speak from our heart, our vital center; 2) We listen from a neutral place free from preconceived notions and any resistance, and use curious inquiry to listen for meaning beneath the words; 3a) We practice deeply respecting each person and look forthe richness of their life experience, which feeds their vital center, and know they have something to teach us; 3b) Wesee the value in thoughts and behaviors different from our own; 4) We share our voice so others may understand, and suspend our beliefs as dialogue is neither debate nor an effort to convince anyone of anything; 5) We allow ourselves to feel another person’s emotions and their experience, and share ours to encourage an emotional dialogue; and 6) We understand that we are all equal and every person has something to offer, leaving status, power and privilege outside of the dialogue.
I am on a panel presentation June 22, 2017 (http://bit.ly/2rVYkgE), which has inspired me to ariculate my new learning beyond recovery and outside the ‘mental health’ education-and-advocacy bubble. The title of my presentation is Intentional Wellness, Nurturing the Soul and Conscious Self-Evolution,
A significant part of my intentional wellness journey has been learning to believe completely in myself. This includes, among other beliefs, being grounded in the wisdom and the discoveries of my life’s journey. To that end, I think of the caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly.
The caterpillar tries to kill what it perceives as “foreign” cells invading the chrysalis, but it can’t. The caterpillar does not know that these foreign entities are the imaginal cells through which the caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly.
Do we as humans have imaginal cells? Do I have a destiny that I am not yet aware of?
The newest chapter in my journey of liberation is nurturing the soul. I am breaking open and letting go of attachments—including old, habitual ways of thinking—so that new learning and wisdom can emerge. All I need to do is go into stillness to find answers or the direction I will walk. I am learning that I make shifts not through my thoughts but through my feelings, my body, my intuition. I am experiencing expanded awareness, which I don’t yet have words to explain. This process, however, allows inner knowing to emerge and opens possibilities for cooperative relationships and creating the emerging future—together.
I have found that as a result of deeply embodying the practice of dialogue with others, our hearts and minds fuse and there is a deepening awareness of the light of our consciousness, which evolves us forward. The grace lifts us to transcend our cultural conditioning.
I have also found that a commitment to my liberation journey means that I recognize that the extent to which I get emotionally hooked on what someone is expressing reflects the extent to which I am not free—that my thinking is stuck on a particular belief or ideology that I have not thoroughly examined and let go. In other words, it is a blind spot—a good indicator of where I have some internal cleaning up to do.
The more deeply I listen, the more I connect to myself and to others and gain a larger understanding of our shared journey. The invitation for everyone is to transcend our social conditioning and see other ways of thinking and being in the world as valid and good—and that means that more possibilities open up. Our heart and mind expand; our perceptual barriers dissolve. We see life more clearly. We co-create a new paradigm, a new way of thinking and being with one another, and we open up to a deeper source of creative intelligence. In this fertile ground of openness, we think more clearly and therefore can more effectively co-create the communities we want. In my mind, that is a peaceful, cooperative society.
Like the caterpillar, the script of my conscious self-evolution is coded within me. To read it I place my attention on the highest frequency of my being and bring my Whole Self into harmony with that frequency. I strive to live my life in such a way that I both lift myself and lift others. My own experiential evolution is the energy that evokes others and flows through me with the fire of the force of life itself. I can feel the metamorphosis taking place (Barbara Marx Hubbard, 2011).
This sounds great but what does it mean more concretely?
I will use eCPR as an example of the process. When two people go together into the deep, dark and vulnerable space led by the person in emotional crisis but with a supporter who embodies the dialogue process mentioned above, a new way of perceiving the unfolding situation or process emerges. New insights and resources are revealed which allows not only a resolution of the crisis but inherently creates an opening for the person, who now perceives reality more clearly, to make changes in her life in order to live more aligned with her deepest values and intentions. When we get underneath what we have been taught to believe about ourselves and our relationship to the world we tap into a deeper level of creative intelligence which in turn allows us to think clearer and behave in ways that move us in the direction of the life we are creating.
One does not need to go through a crisis to find a new way of perceiving challenges and finding innovative solutions. Leading edge work is being done using a model developed by the Presencing Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which proposes a framework and methodology for understanding and practicing a learning cycle. They state that most learning methodologies focus on learning form the past while they focus on learning from the future as it emerges. In order to do this one must suspend the voices of judgment, cynicism and fear and connect with a sense of appreciation and wonder, opening up a new space of exploration and inquiry. They have a specific protocol for this process which they use to facilitate over 25,000 participants from 161 countries on an experiential learning journey. The phases of the protocol are used by groups of people working on solving a wide variety of community problems.
My intention is to create a group to work on federal mental health policy issues but that is not really part of this blog!
In closing, I submit that a new style of leadership is spreading. It will engage and energize people through taping into innate wisdom, integrity and transparency with high levels of trust and positive energy and embodying mindful listening and other emerging practices. This is a very exciting opportunity to co-create the future together; it is a big invitation.
The more deeply I let go of attachments and explore the unlimited potential of the human mind/body/spirit the more I see peace emerging on the horizon. I am so grateful to be alive today and to be part of this unfolding process.