Following up on the last blog, I'd say the other key point was that I realized that my perceived identity is really the source of most mental stress. I realized that in my experience I was either defending identity or stressed about my own existence, etc. But with the practices of meditation, yoga, sound therapy and really just pure relaxation, I found that I could settle into the present moment. I was not then in a space of needing to be x, y , or z, but just to be who I AM. I found that when I rest in that I AM space, in the present moment, I noticed a freedom from the stress of "identity". By "identity" I basically mean needing to live up to any version of myself in order to please anyone else. In the present moment, I am free from identity (or ego) because when I'm truly in that moment, I am just pure awareness. When I'm truly in the present moment, the mind is not even able to calculate a future and a past, have thoughts...think of how I want to be seen by others...or anything else.. There really is not time for that type of mental calculation in the NOW, there is just a pure awareness of "what is". In the purity of that moment, I found that I was no longer experiencing life through the lens of my mind.
In the "now" moment, I feel I am also connected to pure Love. Why? Because I am totally content and present in the moment. Isn't that what falling in love is like?.. Totally present, and totally content, when you're with that someone who sees your value (and you theirs), you don't want to be anywhere else. What we're really doing, I believe, is connecting to the love within ourself. In that moment, it's easy to feel that you are being loved and that someone else can see you for who you are...because they're fully present with you and not wrapped up in their own story lines and dramas of their identity...and you are fully present with them.
In a way this "presence" is what it's like when we're experiencing love with another person. When we're experiencing that special someone for the first time, we're experiencing pure contentment in the present moment. We're not thinking about anything else, but just being with them, and experiencing them and feeling their openness and joy to experience us too. In that experience, we're able to find that peace in the present moment through another person's view.. or, at least, our view of their view, and our admiration of them. In fact, I think the Love we feel IS "presence". We can feel that within ourselves, or share with anyone else.
Truly, though, the love that is felt is all happening within each of us, so rather than getting attached and dependent on another person outside of us, I think we can learn to cultivate and focus on that source of Love from within.. and then share it.. freely.
What do I mean when I say the Love is all occurring within me? (each person). Well, we interpret things through our nervous system. We interpret facial expressions, touch, voice patterns etc, and then we assign value to those based on what we think they mean and then create a corresponding physiological response. Now, I know that's not very sexy or romantic, but the truth is we are creating it all within our own body. So, in a very real way all of those perceptions and corresponding physical responses are based on my own inner world....my relationship to myself. So, if I truly Love myself as I am, then I am much more free to interpret things accurately, and not see the reactions of others as reflecting on "me".
So, in my the path to changing my perceptions, I have realized that I have had to both look inward and outward. It's important for me to look inward to notice my mental perceptions and then to notice the physiological sensations of my outward perceptions that correspond with those.
Then, I ask myself:
How do I need to alter my mental perceptions in order to change my physiological reactions?
(and sometimes it's my actions or the situation that needs to change)
If I notice that my view of a person or a situation is causing stress or tension, then I have to notice the stress and then notice how changing my mental state can change the stress.
It really is up to me, individually to do an inventory of my perceptions and reactions (in each moment), to navigate a space of greater ease and allow the life force to flow. Also, trying to not to create tension by creating mental blocks and tension through the body. I have noticed it's important to open those blocks of tension and stress and allow the life force to flow. That unobstructed "flow" happens by removing suppression and really raising awareness and allowing myself to be fully integrated, conscious and subconscious. (completely in the NOW).
(..more on the "how" of opening and exploring the subconscious, releasing suppression etc.. next.)
Just a personal note: There is nothing new under the sun. I am just attempting to present info. here that has helped me. I hope to present it in a clear way based on my experience with anxiety which was a spiritual, psychological and emotional awakening for me. In retrospect of this experience I have been reading as much as I could to come to a deeper and more grounded understanding of this seemingly mystical thing that happened to me (so that I could share it with you). I'm not a doctor or a scientist. Please know this is only my experience. Yours will obviously be different, but since my experience was so similar to others I've talked to, I am hoping this may be helpful or useful to you in some way. It's also a way that I hope to share the love with you. That is my purpose here.