FAST WISDOM™ NEWSLETTER
by Lonner Holden
Welcome to Fast Wisdom™, the newsletter of my Holden Healing Studio practice. Each issue explores a theme of living approached in the context of healing. A simple Jin Shin Juytsu® Healing Hands Self-Care exercise, as well as a Restorative Nature Practice™ activity to practice which relate to the newsletter theme of the month is included. Nutrition and health tips too, so you can live a happier and more vital life infused with well-being, improved health and more effective and empowered recovery.
Life Letters: The Art of Affirming Relationship
Nourishment . Empathy . Dreaming . Resolution
When I was young, my mother would read Robert Frost poems to me. Just her, I and the wash of poetic images. I wrote my first poem when I was seven years old and have been writing ever since.
This deep nourishment of my soul had a profound influence on the direction my life took. The paradigm in which I craft my values, make decisions about what I do, what I give and what I receive have all been influenced by this childhood ritual. Something in my day must include an appreciation for at least one poetic image. A sunset, a stranger’s expression, colors and shapes of groceries on the store shelf, a bird on a branch, the thought of a loved one. Everything must be free to be seen as having metaphorical or aesthetic meaning.
So I am writing a letter to my mother thanking her for her influence, and a letter to Robert Frost for his.
I call these “Life Letters” because of their special acknowledgement to the other for their exceptional contribution to my awareness, growth, exploration of possibility and connection to my soul and, therefore, a life more soulfully lived.
It does not matter if the individual is still living - both my mother and the Poet Laureate have long since passed - nor does it matter that I knew them personally. I never had any direct contact with Robert Frost, but he was to this young boy as a wise and caring mentor. The nourishment he offered significantly supported my path to becoming a whole person (a work in progress). His magnetism will always affect my compass.
In his book, “The Poetics of Space” Gaston Bachelard explores the effect of the poetic image on the human psyche postulating that the poetic image affects us because of its unique capacity to awaken a kind of empathy so we experience the poetic image as if we wrote the poem ourselves.
I like Bachelard’s hypothesis because sensitivity to others in our lives is a kind of empathy and when they affect us deeply enough to powerfully influence our path, we are allowing ourselves to be kind of dreamed into that possibility that they represent for us. Our creative sensitivity is aroused. And when that redirects us from the habitual down a more enlivening path we become more whole. The governing voices inside of us are more in agreement; our values and actions are in greater alignment. We feel nurtured and become more nurturing to others, passing it forward, so to speak.
Physiologically we are an inter-relational and interdependent system of pure communal relationships concerned only for the other organ or system’s well-being. Our health is dependent on a kind of systemic empathy purring along until some interruption like an injury, pathogen, excess stress or immune imbalance eventually violates the smooth communication between organ, musculoskeletal, nervous, lymphatic, etc. systems and systemic self-protection warning lights go off. We call this having symptoms. All of a sudden we don’t feel quite so nourished. There is a disconnect in the relationships.
In Jin Shin Jyutsu we enhance what is working well so it can be mobilized to go to the aid of what is in need. Jin Shin Jyutsu renews and restores the “empathy” between system relationships and so renews and restores nurturance. Empathy that restores the impulse to move towards wholeness is at the heart of resolution, of change.
It is now well-known in neuropsychology that gratitude has positive physiological benefits. As we express greater connection and richer relationships outside of us, we actuate greater connection and richer physiological functioning in the relationships inside of us. A Life Letter in the external world is reflected as increased bodily functioning in the internal world.
The introduction of a catalyst into one’s heart, mind or body that awakens lasting awareness of new possibility can be a moment of awe in nature, a singing child across the street, that one book, sermon or performance. Perhaps a neighbor who stepped in at a time of duress, a teacher who saw something in you and made that extra time, a relative’s timely advice, a friend’s quiet nod when you realized you didn’t have to struggle that way anymore so you could put down that sword - or finally pick it up.
We all know those moments that inspired us or significant other who has been by our side for years making our fuller expression possible. They live inside of us like poetic images dreaming us into a more fulfilled life. From these relationships our deeper voice and purpose came more alive in the world. We lost some limitation because of their effect on us. We gained more confidence, generosity, forgiveness, respect; became more courageous, authentic. We came to love life more because we loved ourselves more.
In her beautiful short video, Jessica Xilo, B.A. Candidate in Science, Technology and Society at Stanford University (Class of 2016) expresses this eloquently:
So who in your life has had the most memorable effect on you loving yourself? Who and/or what remarkable moment presented you with Frost’s image as your own:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Write that or those moments or person(s) "that made all the difference" a Life Letter now. You may have been waiting to for some time.
- What are pivotal moments in my life?
- Who and/or what was the catalyst then?
- How was my life direction positively affected?
- When I think of this event or person, what sensations do I feel in my body?
- What emotions do I feel?
- How have I influenced others in a life-affirming way as a result of this person or event’s influence on my values and decisions?
- How have you responded to others thanking you for your positive influence on them?
- Have you fully accepted their acknowledgment of you as a gift in their lives?
- Write a letter to each event and/or person expressing the role they played in the development of your passions, values and choices and sense of fulfillment in your life.
- Read them aloud to a trusted individual.
- Exercise discretion in whether to send them or not to living individuals.
JIN SHIN JYUTSU® HEALING HANDS SELF-CARE:
- Gently but firmly wrap your left hands around the center of your right upper arm (thumb on the inside, fingers on the outside) while touching the inside of your left thigh a few inches above the left knee. Maintain for 5 - 20 minutes, or however long feels comfortable.
- Reverse for the other side.
- This harmonizes the relationship between all 12 organ function energies on both sides of the body.
- Hold each ring finger firmly, but gently (no squeezing required) 5 - 20 minutes each.
- This enhances the primary flow of nurturing intelligence in the body.
More Info »
RESTORATIVE NATURE PRACTICE™:
- Observe and identify the nurturing relationship between three life forms in your garden, in the woods on a hike.
- What life affirming affect has the drought had on these particular life forms?
- How have you had a life affirming influence on something in nature - nursing back to health an injured bird? Clearing Scotch Broom from your neighborhood?
More Info »
NEXT MONTH: The Heart: Weak Alone, Invincible in Community
Organic raw leafy green vegetables are laden with nourishing minerals, vitamins, probiotics, enzymes and proteins. Juices and salads with oil & vinegar dressing are easy to digest and provide more nourishment pound for pound than any other food source.
January 27; February 3,10, 17, 24; March 3 (6 Tuesdays) : Healing Hands Self-Care series, San Rafael
January 24: Restorative Nature Practice™, Marin County
January 25: Marin County Tracking Club, Point Reyes (www.prts.me/mtc.html)
January 30,31, February 1,2: Intensive: Jin Shin Jyutsu, San Rafael
February 7: Bird Language Leaders Workshop, San Francisco
February 21: Restorative Nature Practice, Marin County
February 22: Marin County Tracking Club, Point Reyes
See events on calendar »
* October: Into the Wild Journey: Grand Canyon (http://intothewildjourneys.com)
© 2015 Lonner Holden