Our limiting belief systems and behaviors often have a long history. We may have deeply embedded neural pathways that seem to keep us in a 'loop'—sometimes getting inspired, changing for a bit, and then falling 'off the wagon' when stress arises, or the inspiration wears off.
For years, I tried numerous times to lose weight, quit smoking, struggled with low self esteem and feeling like I didn’t ‘fit in’ anywhere. I tried traditional therapy, affirmations and pretty much every ‘diet’ that came into my awareness, but nothing really ‘worked’, until I stumbled upon a Hawaiian Kahuna, who eventually became my teacher. Kahu Abraham Kawai’i taught a form of Ancient Lomi Lomi (Hawaiian Massage), which was far more than bodywork. His teachings facilitate a powerful re-calibration of our ‘Perceptive Field’—how we perceive ourselves and the world around us.
His wisdom, like many indigenous teachings, was founded on the idea that there is One stream of Life / Energy / Spirit that animates all things. The same Life, in different forms, is both moving the stars and beating our heart. Everything is connected to everything else. Kahu offered physical, mental, emotional and spiritual exercises to bring us more into conscious Relationship with this pure Life. His trainings changed the way I see myself and the world around me. My perception, energy levels, health & priorities all changed for the better. Most importantly, my embedded behaviors began to dissolve! I found myself approaching my everyday life from a totally different vantage point. Although I was doing the 'same things', I was having a totally different experience…….which meant I was living a totally different Life! As I allowed myself to step out of my old assumptions, a powerful doorway opened which reconnected me with a Vibrant essence I didn’t know I had, and a growing sense of freedom from the past.
Looking to Ancient Indigenous Wisdom, we may find new perspectives which can help us in our growth and evolution! As I learned from Kahu,’The Life Inside of us is Alive’. This is the foundation of this Ancient Indigenous Paradigm, and an opportunity to really, truly and deeply shift our limiting belief systems and behaviors.
Let yourself feel into these Ancient and Revolutionary ‘New Paradigm’ ideas to bring us back to Life. Enjoy the Journey!
1. Every Message in Our Body is About Healing
Old Paradigm: Ending Our Addictive Patterns.
Ancient Wisdom tells us that, not only is the life inside of us is alive, it is in constant communication with us. Busy with our mind's agenda, we are often not prepared to listen—especially when the message comes in the form of pain, sadness, fear, uncertainty, illness or old trauma. We have a tendency to want to escape into anything that will 'soften' our current experience. We want to get 'away' from ourselves just enough to avoid dealing with difficult thoughts, sensations, memories or emotions. These methods, no matter what they are, are usually toxic for us on some level. More importantly, they stifle communication from the Life in our bodies. The Life Force in us is always offering the truth. If something is hurting, it's asking for our attention. If our child had scraped her knee at the playground, would we shut the door on her and tell her to come back when she's not crying anymore? Of course not. Why then do we treat the living beings of our own trauma (large or small) this way? Ancient Wisdom guides us to bring these ‘inner children’ closer to us. Hold them close, and let them speak, unwind, become free, in the safety of our deeper listening.
Notice what you use as an escape route from difficult moments or feelings: Cigarettes? Alcohol? T.V.? Internet? Drugs? Sex? Food? Exercise? The first step in Listening more deeply to Life, is to recognize what we’re actually doing, without making it 'wrong'. The escape habits we have were formed for a reason, so we can honor them as valid. However, we can also decide that it's time to make a different choice. As we make the commitment to keep listening, we will get an opportunity to face parts of ourself that may have been banished from our world. As difficult as this seems, it has huge, lasting rewards. It's usually not as scary as it seems from the outside, but it does require a willingness to be fully honest, and to feel what we haven't allowed ourselves to feel in the past. Saying 'yes' to this process, in even the smallest way, can create a chain-reaction of healing, and move us towards ending the pattern of escape (which often manifests as addiction), forever!
Every message in our body is a message of healing.......listen!
2. Feeding Life.
Old Paradigm: Change Your Diet.
The human body is constantly in a state of regeneration. In the vicinity of 1.5 million of your skin cells have been shed and replaced since yesterday. (The details of our regenerative system have been explored in books like Quantum Healing by Deepak Chopra, which I highly recommend). As we eat, we are also affecting the Life Force energy, who's main purpose is to make sure we're having the best experience possible every day. Eating only to satisfy the taste buds or emotions feeds one or two aspects of ourselves. Eating to stay within a certain calorie count feeds another aspect. When we eat to feed our foundation—the Pure Regenerative Life inside of us—we make choices that ultimately benefit every aspect of our well-being. When we feed Life Itself, we unleash it’s vibrant energy in our system. We become a Force of Nature.
As the Living Being inside of us more and more becomes our priority, we will naturally look at our decisions from a different vantage point. As we begin to make different choices, we may get to see and feel what lies underneath destructive or addictive eating habits. At first, we may feel 'deprived' on some level, but as we keep choosing to come from a place that honors the Life inside of us, our preferences, as well as taste buds, naturally change. We can begin by noticing our 'automatic' choices and how they feel in the body. Checking in with your state of being 20 minutes to 1.5 hours after eating will give you a clue if what you just ingested was enhancing your vitality or putting you to sleep. As we practice eating with this awareness, our 'food intuition' tends to become stronger. We may end up making significant changes in diet, and, guided by our Life Force, feel better, and better and better!
Feed the Living Being that you Are!
3. Move As One.
Old Paradigm: Exercise More.
If we approach moving—any movement, including ‘exercise’—recognizing the foundation of Life in each cell, we can transform our awareness, strength, flexibility and general health. We can begin by ‘Moving as one. By this I mean approaching movement as if each cell were a 'person', and everyone was completing the movement together. This perspective automatically opens a subtle channel of listening in the body. I'm not really suggesting that we pay attention to each of our 10-100 trillion cells individually, but that we open an avenue of communication, so that we actually feel more of ourselves as we move. So often in exercise, we become goal oriented and make ourselves go through whatever stress or pain we need to, in order to achieve our goal. Many times we won't pay attention to a warning signal until we're injured. Moving as One will bring more awareness, decrease the possibility of injury and increase the benefit we receive from the movement. The simple intention to include our cellular beings in any movement will enervate parts of our body that may have been neglected.
Again, when we greet Life, Life greets us. If we elicit the cooperation of our cells, they will respond in kind. Don't we all respond much more positively to someone who knocks on our door and introduces themselves, than someone who bashes our door down? This principle is true throughout Life. Indigenous practice has us acknowledging, honoring Life, and asking permission for any way in which we want to interact. Adopting this way of relating to all living things can bring us experiences we might call Miracles, for the simple fact that it is beyond our understanding. Similarly, the Life in our body will perform Miracles of strength, vitality, health and well-being, if we approach it in full respect for the Conscious Life that it is.
Move as One Being!
Old Paradigm: Breathe.
Breathing is our primary link to Life. We can last for quite a while without food, maybe a few days without water, but only minutes at the most without taking a breath. Breathing ignites the Life Force of the body, brings in new information and releases toxins. It is our most vital and urgent connection with Life.
Take a few deep breaths right now. How does that feel? Do you feel more relaxed perhaps? More awake? Hungry? Our authentic breath is often a doorway to our true state of being. It's amazing how much we hold our breath throughout the day, cutting ourselves off from our Life Force, our feelings, needs and our vital energy. We often hold our breath when we're thinking or concentrating. When we’re lost in our thoughts, we can almost forget we have a body. Try setting aside time each morning to just be still and breathe, and notice how this impacts your state of being throughout the day. Any breathing practice that you prefer will be a great start. I'll offer you this one in stream of this Ancient Lineage. It’s very simple: Just close your eyes, breathe in a full and relaxed way, and let your mind be soft. As you breathe, see if you can listen to your breathing as if it were a creature. See if you can listen just with your sensations, and not with your mind. In other words, identification and analysis is not necessary. Feel the shape, movement, weight, rhythm & texture of your breath, as well as any part of your body, thought, image or emotion involved in this breathing. Keep relaxing any part of your body you notice beginning to tense up. Listen on more and more subtle levels, and notice if the breath or sensations change. Listen like you were taking in a vibrant sunset, with no sense to be made of it, and no predictions of how it's going to look or feel a moment later. Start with 5 minutes and work your way up to 20! Breathing like this expands Life Force, unlocks stuck channels in the body and most importantly, introduces us to our Breath as a Being. Try this practice every day—even for a short amount of time—for one week, and notice what changes in your body and awareness.
5. Live in Wonder
Old Paradigm: Practice Gratitude.
When we begin to experience everything around us and everything inside of us as Alive—really like our extended Family—we begin to move through the world with a sense of Discovery. We begin to notice rhythms, textures, tensions, colors, spaces and experiences that we may not have noticed before. The world of our awareness suddenly gets much bigger. As we Listen, instead of moving somewhat blindly in ways we 'already know', we will find ourselves inhabiting new landscapes. Jumping out of bed each morning, excited about what I might discover today, with these sensibilities, offers me a life of perpetual wonder. My priorities have changed from 'making sure everything is the way I want it so I can be happy', to listening to my body, emotions, circumstances and sensations, and meeting it all as fully as I can, without agenda. Life meeting Life in many different forms, has become the foundation of Living in Wonder. In this context 'Gratitude' is almost too small a word. I am simultaneously Humbled, Awe-Struck, Enlivened and yes, Grateful for the opportunity to meet this moment in more and more fullness.
Living in Wonder feels like saying a huge 'Yes' to Life. Yes I'm willing to discover what I don't know. Yes, I'm willing to Listen. Yes, I'm as fully Here Now as I can be. Yes, I recognize Life as Alive in me and all around me. The magic that occurs in the midst of all this, is that Life says a huge 'Yes' right back.
Say Yes to Wonder!
Even though science has broken us down to 'anatomy and physiology', we humans actually exist as a synergistic whole, both inside of us and as an integral part of the cosmos. The Ancients of Hawai’i and other indigenous cultures, recognized that changing or adjusting any aspect of our inter-connected Being, affects the whole. As we shift our attention towards the consciousness of Life, perhaps in some of the ways suggested above, we open the possibility of transformational change in seemingly unrelated areas of our life, body, perceptions and Spirit. Our evolution in turn touches all those we encounter. This Ancient Paradigm gives us the opportunity to transform on foundational levels, and step into a new way of being, benefitting all of humanity. Wishing you an ever expanding Life of Wonder.