Tag Archives: naropa

Through this universal Life Energy, we can connect in a positive, accepting, loving way.

This is just one of the many ideas of Virginia Satir’s Transformational Systematic Therapy. The idea of her workings to me are something I strongly believe in.I have a firm stance that at human is made of matter(body) and energy (brain) coupled with a sense of spirit. 

So why do some therapies not address the spirit, or vital energies and life forces?  As one of the only living animals on this earth that can ponder what happens after life, it makes sense to take care of this energy source while it is alive. 

Satir has an in-depth therapy system that has worked across the world and for the past 70 years. Below lists basics concepts I like to live by and hope to understand more in-depth for the benefit of my life and clients.

1. Human beings are all unique manifestations of the same Universal Life Force. Through this universal Life Energy, we can connect in a positive, accepting, loving way. 2. Human processes are universal; all human beings experience themselves through doing, thinking, feeling, expecting, yearning and spiritual connection. Therefore, these human processes can be accessed and changed regardless of different environments, cultures, and circumstances.

3. People are basically good. At their core, essential level of Life Energy, people are naturally positive. They need to find this internal treasure to connect with and validate their own self-worth.

4. People all have the internal resources they need in order to cope successfully with whatever situations life provides and to grow through them. All necessary internal resources reside within, even those that people may have learned to judge in a negative way or those that are as yet undiscovered.

5. The “problem” is not the problem; how people cope with their problem is the problem. How seriously the person experiences the problem through the meanings they make, their worries and their copings, impacts on how great a problem it becomes for them.

6. The symptom is the subconscious solution to the problem, even if it creates dysfunctional patterns. It is the result of the person’s attempt to survive the pain of their problem. Although the person’s perceived problem needs to be heard and validated, therapeutic change needs to work on wholesome solutions from the person’s Life Energy and yearnings.

7. Therapy needs to focus on health and possibilities instead of problems and pathology. Life Energy is naturally positively directional and therapy needs to tap into the natural process of human growth in a positive direction. 8. Change is always possible. Even if

8. Change is always possible. Even if external change is limited, internal change is still possible. We can learn to be consciously responsible for and decide how we will live on our insides, even when the outside cannot change.

9. We cannot change past events; we can only change the impact that the past events have had on us. It is possible to resolve impacts from the past in order to live with more positive energy and be free of old hurts, angers, fears and negative messages in the present.

10. People do the best they can at any moment in time. Even when they have done very negative or destructive things, it is the best coping that they were capable of at that moment in time and is a reflection of their level of self-worth. Therefore, there is no reason to blame them for their past failures. Helping them experience their positively directional Life Energy will help them make new choices for the present and future.

11. Feelings belong to us. We all have them and can learn to be in charge of them. We can be responsible for them and make choices about them. We can listen to the positive life message from our feelings and give ourselves the validation we need. We can choose to let go of feelings that create negative energies and events and replace them with acceptance, appreciation, forgiveness, love and peace.

12. Wholeness, growth and evolution are natural human processes and, therefore, need to be the focus of any therapeutic change. Transformational change comes from the level of Life Energy and is a part of natural human growth and evolution. It means that people are becoming more of their true, spiritual Selves rather than their reactive, survival systems.

13. The therapist’s use of Self is the greatest therapeutic tool that the therapist has to create the conditions to facilitate positively directional, transformational change. Therapists who experience their own positively directional Life Energy are able to provide clients with therapeutic relationships based on care, acceptance and new possibilities. The therapist often experiences the positive nature of the client’s Life Energy even before the client does and connects with the client at that level.

14. Hope is a significant component or ingredient for change to take place. When the therapist experiences the positive nature of the client’s true Self, hope becomes a tangible aspect of the therapeutic process and guides the way towards change.

(Aspects taken from a briefing by Dr. John Banmen, RPsych, RMFT & Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA, RCC)

Fear

A simple meditation for being with your fears

Sometimes high up in the forest, I find a rock to perch upon. Sometimes, I read, other times I meditate but when I want to come back to reality and lose my fears of the future; I do this.

I find the highest rock. I find an area that seems comfortable to me, I stand tall and close my eyes. I stand there until I completely forget where I am, losing time and space. Gaining a fleeting feeling as if I am hovering above the earth.

rtable to me, I stand tall and close my eyes. I stand there until I completely forget where I am, losing time and space. Gaining a fleeting feeling as if I am hovering above the earth.

All I think about is this:

Do I trust myself deeply? Decisions, actions, future, past.

I trust myself deeply, decisions, actions, future, past all happened because I trust myself deeply.

I go through this until I mean exactly what I say.
Knowing that the universe provides always. Every time I close my eyes, I know I trust myself & the universe.

What am I going through:

Lately, I have been doing this often as my path to graduate school begins very soon. I look at where this beautiful life journey has brought me. In the beginning, I was upset I did not take this journey sooner, then I feared if it would be worth the money and as the time to descend to Boulder; I can’t help but think of how I will once again be leaving a home I just created for myself. I will be out of my element, standing out as me, the girl from California among a class of 40 other students from mostly the east coast. I have not been in a classroom since I graduated in 2012 from Fresno State. I will be asked to write & then I will be critiqued on my writing. I love to write but I fear, like so many times in the past, it just won’t be good enough. Will my conservative, liberal thoughts not be accepted by my peers? Do I realllllly want to do this? When I am feeling scared, alone or just not me, I can’t hop in the car to see the people who make me feel the best. The universe always provides, ALWAYS provides what it is & exactly what you need, the faith in me for that is deep. So while these fears are so apparent, my meditation has always gotten me to let go of these fears.

So I meditate like this

Knowing that the universe provides always. Every time I close my eyes, I know I trust myself & the universe.

Why yoga?

Why yoga?

Why yoga?

Why yoga?

This took me a while to contemplate because there are so many reasons why!

Because I don’t think I ever knew who I truly was. I started yoga as a way to clear my mind after I first started my 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM job (who willingly does that to themselves?) and had recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I read an article online that Bikram Yoga could rebalance my hormones, so I bought my first Groupon and was on my way. I did 20 out of the 30 days of class and saw my life radically transform, after staring at myself half naked in a hot room full of 40 other people, I started to see my body for what it is. I was able to concentrate more and my depressive habits began to subside. As I deepened my practice going from studio to studio throughout California I noticed that I no longer felt the need to drink heavily in social situations and could actually articulate my thoughts with confidence. I no longer found the need to get stoned or chain smoke when I was anxious I just met the mat.

When I finally did my 200-hour teacher training at Purusha, I learned about the Siddhis and how yoga can cleanse you of the siddhis. Yoga cleansed my life without me even knowing it. I HAD TO WHOLEHEARTEDLY BELIEVE THAT YOGA SAVED ME. Through yoga, I not only found my voice but discovered exactly who I am and what I am meant to be. That’s why yoga.

That’s why; yoga.

Yoga chose me, I did not choose yoga.

21 days of meditation – How I shine my light

There are many different ways to devote yourself to living. In my experience I there are so many different beliefs and to me, none of them are wrong. My life is a culmination of various religion, I have thirst; to connect with the unknown and  so I continue to create myself into a devoted human to the earth through various tools. I am a spiritual person who wishes to engage and learn about the various thoughts and beliefs to construct my own.

So on my path of becoming a better person for this world, I have decided to meditate on the 21 meditations of  the Buddha dharma. There are many principles which fall into the Buddhist construct such as Samsara, the fact that the mind is endless (karma/reincarnation) and that our thoughts can be controlled by ourselves.

In the Buddhist belief, this will bring me from an ordinary small being to that of a special small being and then a middling beings a great being and then an enlightened being. “These 21 meditation’s is the actual method for making this progress”(The New Mediation Handbook).

By doing so I hope to increase my personal vitality, to emanate happiness and finding calming peace inside of me. Each day I will recite a prayer to protect and connect me with higher senses, I will then read a contemplation and begin my meditation.

I invite you to follow along my journey of enlightenment by following along!

Regrets

In I believe there are two regrets we may hold, there is the should have/could haves and the why did I’s and I did not mean to. If we live our lives to our truest intention, our regrets will soon dissipate and become less frequent. We will not get knots in our tummy as we reflect on the past, we will not need to alter our memories or create defenses to make ourselves feel better, we will simply begin to live a life that is so according to our truest form, there will be no what ifs, should haves or  doubt.

Sometimes this is easier said than done. A mother denying past interactions with her child, a father completely fine with skipping his child’s college graduation, a young woman uneasy about taking a trip to travel the world, a student fearful of debt.

These are all people who have made decisions or will make decisions that can greatly impact their own well being or the well being of someone who greatly seeks their love.

The why did I’s and I did not mean to

Overcoming uncomfortable past memories can be one of the hardest things to do. This is often why many are unable to sit down with their thoughts and meditate. They are so uncomfortable that they make excuses as to why they should not or how they simply cannot. These people often addicts and abusers will recreate uncomfortable memories to better suit them, denying any past wrong doing. For instance, both a mother and a father engaged in unhealthy drug habits. After a divorce, the father openly admits and accepts his drug addiction, accepting help and acknowledging to his children that he was wrong. He lives each following moment more intently with open love and gratitude. His children admire his strength in his ability to accept the things he cannot change. This father smiles deeply knowing that the past is the past and every day he wakes he can be a better person than the day before.

For instance, both a mother and a father engaged in unhealthy drug habits. After a divorce, the father openly admits and accepts his drug addiction, accepting help and acknowledging to his children that he was wrong. He lives each following moment more intently with open love and gratitude. His children admire his strength in his ability to accept the things he cannot change. This father smiles deeply knowing that the past is the past and every day he wakes he can be a better person than the day before. The mother,however, hides her addiction. Placing all the blame on the father, when asked why she left it, much of it was to do with the drugs. While no longer together, the mother continues her drug use, apparent to the child. If asked about it anger is presented by the mother, she refuses to admit wrongdoing. This is unhealthy regret. The child see’s her mother’s weakness and notices a pattern. All her mother’s unpleasant past actions are recreated to be untrue or completely ignored. The mother calls the child a liar, places blame on others or just ends conversations. People who do this are the ones who need to meditate the most, to sit down face to face with times where you were not your truest self and say to each memory:

Breathing in, I acknowledge this memory to not be my truest self.

Breathing out, I accept that this is not the real me.

Breathing in, I am strong for knowing my weakness.

Breathing out, I acknowledge my strength.

At first, this may be uncomfortable, this is where the growth begins. These unpleasant memories will no longer create ill feelings within you. Cultivating seeds of acceptance within yourself, as others who love you have already done.

The could have would haves

Controversially, there a the young women faced with the opportunity to go to Africa on a whim to see her boyfriend for two months having just begun the job of her dreams. A trip of a lifetime with the love of her life, will her work accept her request to work remotely? Will she have enough money to travel comfortably? Should she not go now and go at a later time when she is more financial endowed and has prepared for a two-month safari? If she does not go, will there be another chance?

Will this be something she regrets for the rest of her life?

This is a life decision, it involves a major financial burden, it strains your work situation and lovers life. If the answer to the last question is yes, GO. There will be more feelings of uncomfortable doubt in the future that overcoming that would be very hard to do. However, accepting things you cannot currently change is the biggest gesture of

However, accepting things you cannot currently change is the biggest gesture of maturity. If your work is perplexed by you asking for two months remote having just begun, contemplating your long term life with your short term life is something worth pondering heavily. If it pains you to let go, create a plan both financially and career wise, so that when you cannot go, you know it is okay because you have a plan to go in X months or X years with X amount of money.

An exercise one  would be to imagine their life without this opportunity being presented.

What does it look like? Where are you? Who are you with? What would happen?

Then again to imagine taking the trip now?

What does it look like? Where are you? Who are you with? What would happen?

Then again imagine yourself not taking the trip?

What does it look like? Where are you? Who are you with? What would happen?

Notice if you find yourself taking the leaps because you are scared of losing a person in your life, or not taking a leap because you are scared of losing an opportunity. If it is true love, a trip will not matter, if it is the right opportunity, it will be presented again.

If it is true love, a trip will not matter, if it is the right opportunity, it will be presented again. Do what feels right and cultivates a seed for happiness in your future.

Then there is the girl who is scared of going to grad school because of money. After many years of debating on a major life investment, she took the leap to apply. Planning on going she begins to deeply doubt herself as the time to attend comes. Knowing that she needs to do this the only thing holding her back is the fear of being poor for the majority of her life.

Each day she awakens, she writes 5 truths she knows about herself. She imagines her journey ahead of her, noticing the now, the future and the end. Each day the story and her truth changes, but one this stays consistent, her aspiration to help others so she knows it will all be worth it.

After visualizing, she breathes.

Breathing in, I know my true path.

Breathing out, I know this journey is my truest path.

Breathing in, I accept my path with gratitude.

Breathing out, I am confident in myself.

If all else fails, remember: its never too late to re-do your future <3.

Loosening the Knots of Anger Through Mindfulness Practice – Lion’s Roar

via Loosening the Knots of Anger Through Mindfulness Practice – Lion’s Roar

This article is beautifully written. If you are struggling with understanding what exactly mindfulness is or how you can share it with yourself and others, Lion’s Roar will assist you!

Check it out, its worth the read.

My Grad school interview at Naropa

Some say that when you are meant to be in the right place at the right time you will feel nothing. No angst, no pain, no bliss, no excitement, you just are. I landed in Denver walked off the gateway and had this complacent feeling. There was nowhere else I needed to be but here, right now, feeling this.

What a feeling to have, as if time stopped, I could actually feel myself living in the exact present millisecond, there was no noise, I was me.

 

Soon I found my Mother who I was so happy to have come with me to check out my potential digs. We arrived at Naropa University just in time for a campus-wide meet and greet. We listened to the dean speak, heard a speaker talk and attended a sit in class. We thought we would be watching a class happen, but instead, we were in a class actively participating. Basically, I brought my mother to my first day of school at Naropa, it was awesome.  This is a highly contemplative environment, group discussion, no actual desks and high energy teachers. It would be as if I were going to yoga school all day, but instead of learning yoga, I am learning about psychology and meditation.

One more time, I am learning about psychology and meditation, all day.

I love the way this sounds, my heart is fluttering as I type.

<Breathe>

Saturday I arrived at Naropa for my interviews SIN mother (I was actually bummed about this {disclaimer: not a momma’s girl, more on this topic later}). We sat & chatted with others, then was welcomed by the dean and with our peer group were hustled off into different directions. Somatics were in full on dance mode, Mindfulness group which I was in went to meditation and the Buddhist & wilderness people went off somewhere else.

In meditation, the room was perfectly lit, we were asked to breathe with our eyes open, which is something I have not been doing recently but something I will begin to practice again. This is so we can take this awareness into the waking state.

Group interview was interesting, 7 peers, 2 Naropa staff who later interviewed me in person. I rocked the in-person interview & feel I really bonded with my  interviewer. I am totally looking her up and Marcia to send them well deserved cards of gratitude & maybe even potentially my resume 😀 (a girl gotta eat).

I finish the day & my mother picks me up from school.

Let me repeat cause that sounds weird, MY MOTHER PICKED ME UP FROM SCHOOL.

She is the hardest working lady I know, being a teacher in another school district, meant she was not able to do this, my heart was always ecstatic when she did pick me up or took me somewhere on weekdays.

We went out to dinner downtown & I got to see how simply wonderful Boulder is & the people who live there.

My heart belongs there, where time is slow and people say hello to one another, not scared for their life upon approaching strangers.

Now I sit and wait for the call.

Nervousness.

It has been a belief of mine that nerves are disguised as excitement. Before competing, before interviews, before anything I am anticipating: EXCITEMENT. This is what I tell myself,  I never think of failure. It has never been an option. See there is no failing, only an opportunity to learn. But lately, this isn’t true. I am scared shitless, I am nervous.

See, I have spent the past 9 months living in San Francisco, close to my family & surrounded by people I truly have made deep connections with. Finally, I am surrounding myself with wonderful people who foster beauty in every aspect of my life. There are so many wonderful people that want to be friends with me!

So everything I have been building, my strong wholesome root. My career, my family, my friends; will all change if I am to go to graduate school at Naropa. This scares me, my root chakra feels as if it will break. I take each moment I have here with great gratitude, hoping to make the most out of each moment.

I am nervous, my interview for Naropa is next Saturday. I really can’t remember my essay, what transformation is or what mindfulness really truly means. For the first time, I am going to be questioned about my knowledge of Mindful thinking in a professional environment. I will be tasked with talking to other peers about my knowledge of Mindfulness. I have never done this before. I am nervous because I don’t know what will happen.

As I write this, I sit here and thinking  I shoudl be excited. I am excited, excited for a new endeavor. A chance to learn, a chance to grow, a chance to pursue a dream.

If I continue to live my life with love and embody my intention, when I leave to pursue my true intention, I will feel no qualms. It will be fine, becuase I will be where I need to be.