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Oh, You Caught Me Learning

Oh, You Caught Me Learning

When you find your path,

you must not be afraid.

You need to have sufficient courage

to make mistakes.” 

– Paulo Coelho

I was talking to a music teacher, a client of mine, about her work with students who suffer from intense critical conditioning. She’s doing a great service by introducing self-kindness to them and teaching them to shift into holistic brain mode. By doing so, they are awakening the restorative parasympathetic nervous system, which invites more relaxed Presence and creativity.

When one of the teacher’s students made a mistake, she got so overwhelmed by her critical inner voice that she completely shut down. She could not play, she could only cry. The wise teacher had the student bring her awareness back to the center of her head. In Intuition Medicine®, the hypothalamus / the Meditation Sanctuary is a holistic brain center in between the ears in the center of the head.

Often we are more forward in our critical thinking part of our brain, the prefrontal neocortex. For matters of creativity or spiritual awareness, however, sitting back in the Meditation Sanctuary gives us access to more information from all our senses and allows us to be more responsive, while being Present. The hypothalamus is close to sensory nerve outputs, so we have access to all our ways of knowing, including intuition.

imagesHaving lots of practice sitting back in her Meditation Sanctuary, the music teacher herself had a joyful, whole brain, whole body experience performing recently. She was fully Present and available to the interplay that delights musicians and audience alike. She felt much more relaxed in her improvisations, the to and fro with her colleagues, and was deep in the sacred Play of it all. The critical voice calmly went along for the ride.

I remembered to tell the music teacher about this robotics contest years ago. All these engineers created complicated algorithms to send their robots through a maze the fastest. The winner from the Japanese team had just one simple program: when you bump into a wall, try a different direction.

If only we could be like that, course correct without the self-criticism. Spending more time in Meditation Sanctuary, or in some form of meditative practice, allows you to shift into relaxed, Present mode more quickly. Being kind to ourselves creates the space to make mistakes, take note without harsh judgment, and continue on our path.

Or, as my teacher Angeles Arrien would say if someone pointed out a mistake she made, “Oh, you caught me learning.” And we cannot grow or learn without making mistakes along the way. It’s only human. Let me know how you work with your critical inner voice. Would love to support your journey.

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Healing Quotes

“Don’t run away from grief, o soul
Look for the remedy inside the pain.
Because the rose came from the thorn
And the ruby came from a stone.”

– Rumi

“There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it.”

– Elizabeth A. Behnke

“The absolute tranquility is the present moment. Though it is at this moment, there is no limit to this moment, and therein is eternal delight.”

– Hui-Neng

“It’s time again. Tear up the violets and plant something more difficult to grow.”

– James Schuyler

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty YES to your adventure.”

– Joseph Campbell

“In order to be a good warrior, one has to feel this sad and tender heart.”

– Chogyam Trungpa

“Our only security is our ability to change.”

– John Lilly

“Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. So suffering must become love. That is the mystery.”

– Katherine Mansfield

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

– E. M. Forster

“Now is the moment, Here is the place of Liberation.”

– Alex Grey

“Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.”

– W. S. Merwin

“Grief is not a task to finish,
And move on,
But an element of yourself –
An alteration of your being.
A new way of seeing,
A new definition of self.”

– Barb Mather

“Joy moves always to new locations,
the ease of its flow never freezing.
A long winter’s tale is over. Now
with each spring day, a new story.”

– Rumi

“We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.”

– Bill Hicks

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them…life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”

– Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“The next message you need is always right where you are.”

– Ram Dass