The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I.F. and resolving dualities

My weight this morning: 170.8. I need to Jacuzzi more often, ‘cause I’m pushing my body pretty hard—FlowFit II, Kettlebells, and Silat work. Leaning out very very well.

Thoughts on I.F.:
Be VERY careful to eat well on Feast days. I find that if I’m not, I have two indicators: my lips begin to chap, and my fingernail cuticles split. I pay very close attention.

It is also quite predictable that people with real weight problems are going to hit a “mother load” of grief with I.F. For God’s sake, be sure you’re meditating and/or consulting a therapist. During this process. Here are some of the issues people have told me about:

1) Family pressure to eat
2) Massive guilt if you eat on Fasting days
3) Tendency not to eat enough on “Feast” days, leading to breaking fasts, and a self-destructive cycle.
4) Unexplained emotional jags.
5) Ravenous hunger. (Hoodia anyone? Also—you could always eat some fruit, or a little protein. The trick here is that when people succumb to the hunger, the subconscious then resorts to tactic #2, leading to a “why bother…” spiral.

In other words, whatever social pressures, habit patterns, emotional needs or whatever have been the PSYCHOLOGICAL component of the weight will rise up to bite your ass. The PHYSICAL components are certainly there (slow metabolism. Powerful hunger pangs) but for probably 99% of people with weight issues, these are less crippling than the emotional stuff.

My sleep pattern has remained pretty constant: I need about 6.5 hours of sleep a night, where I used to need 8-8.5. It’s very strange. I’ve been operating at a very high level of physical and creative output, as well, so clearly my body and psyche are getting more efficient at healing and recovery.

My routine is to work on martial arts/fitness stuff three days a week, and every other day is either Yoga or completely “off.” If I can’t get into the Bikram school, I do Ashtanga short forms at home. Got myself a portable yoga floor to put over my rug—need the support for my wrists.
This morning’s meditation was very clear. I’m enjoying the following:
1) Heartbeat meditation to occupy my kinesthetic channels.
2) Inhale: “I” Exhale “Am” (silently) to occupy my internal auditory channel
3) Visualize light running up and down my spine. Anchor the light at my anal sphincter and take it all the way up to the seventh chakra (as in “hold your head as if suspended by a string from above)
4) When the light is strong, rotate it out into a “Time Line” with my current year goal at the end. Here, I check to see if my values, beliefs and emotional anchors are aligned with my goals. If they are, everything “looks” smooth, and is an indication that my conscious and unconscious motivations are in alignment. If I “see” gaps, wrinkles, knots, etc., I know I have work to do.
5) If there is work to do, (and sometimes even if there isn’t) I will visualize “Stevie” my younger self, and ask him what he needs from me. Usually, he just wants to hold hands with me. He generally smiles and tells me to chill out. Occasionally, though, he gives me hell for some transgression.
The whole Jed McKenna thing has been so comforting, really. So: the end of the voyage is a return to the core energy, and a dissolution of ego. If I don’t take my ego too seriously, that sounds pretty cool—destruction of “self” but awakening to true “Is-ness.”
Imagine a plastic bag of salt water suspended in the middle of the ocean. The plastic tries to tell you that IT is you. And is in terror of being ruptured.
Well, that makes sense, especially since the entire “game” of earthly existence seems to be some kind of educational/evolutionary experience which we must play hard to get the most benefit from. Notice how language breaks down here? There is no “I” exist or play, and yet there are perspectives from which the “I” is strong indeed—and will shriek at us if we damage or threaten it. Oh, and there is no “us.”
Sigh. This is either hysterically funny, or confusing as hell.
The interesting thing is how it seems vital to be able to look at it both ways at the same time. Life is a splendid game, of no importance. We are intended to evolve, but there’s nothing really going on. “I” love, fear, strive, suffer, glory.
There is no “I.”
It would be enough to drive someone crazy if you aren’t flexible enough to get the joke.
You know the type often by their politics. Women or men or blacks or whites or liberals or conservatives or Democrats or Republicans who believe their side is “correct” and the other side simply “wrong.”
It’s sad. They literally can’t resolve dualities to see that people see the same mountain from different directions. Once you see that, it’s much easier to understand different philosophical or political perspectives: everyone wants to make the world what they think will be the most pleasant for THEM. Very few people are honest enough to admit that what is best for Them might be disadvantageous to perfectly good, nice people in another life situation.
Never underestimate the power of greed and fear to masquerade as morality and righteousness.
I think that every time you resolve one of these dualities, you get to jump up a logical level, rising up the Chakras: for instance, if you genuinely resolve the Me/You dichotomy at the Third Chakra (power) you get to enter the heartspace of “us” (Fourth Chakra, love.)

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