The Relief of Suffering – Phase One Practices
The resulting consciousness for any animal experiencing threat is suffering. When a predator hunts prey, the prey is suffering. How could its experience be considered anything less? When humans overproduce stress chemicals, the result is the same. We suffer. The issue for humans is that we are painfully aware of our suffering.
Whether you consciously recognize your suffering or not, you do have some level of awareness that life is not how you want it to be. This is advantageous. Having the ability first to recognize our states of consciousness and then modify them is vital to experiencing the bliss you deserve.
When we alter our brain function to no longer perceive past or even current events as threats, we alter not only the consciousness the threat created but the effects that consciousness has on our overall health and well-being. And the good news is, we can do this not over decades or even years but in just weeks to months, and we can do it by investing just twenty minutes per day.
Even better, by addressing the mechanism instead of the symptom, there is no need to address past trauma or process emotion. If we alter the amygdala, those events fall into history and become unrelated to our current experience.
In Phase One of the Inspired Evolution Project, we aim to help you understand your life experience as a side effect of brain function. Then, we educate you on the brain functions that organically pull you from these fight-or-flight responses into states of rest-and-digest.
Moving from fight-or-flight to rest-and-digest is a commonly understood shift in brain function. Most of us know how to relieve suffering. Opportunities to learn coping mechanisms are readily available from your doctor, therapist, or a plethora of options on the internet. So, for many of you, this is familiar information. Still, it is essential information and is the first phase of our practice.
While it is just the beginning, and you may already know how to do it, please remember it is vital. When we can both identify and then willfully move from a state of fight-or-flight to rest-and-digest, we establish the foundation to access the brain’s higher functions. One step must follow the other. From there, we can move forward and access more advanced skills that will help us evolve to no longer experience life as an up-and-down roller coaster of events. We will see what it means to live vibrant and thriving every day.
If you are new to Phase One information, don’t worry. As long as you apply the practices, you’ll experience equal results. The most significant issue we all face in this early work is that the brain believes the things it thinks. As a result, some of you may not feel that a better life is possible for you, or you may believe you’ve already tried and gained the most you can. Conditions may seem too inherent to overcome, or you may cleave to the right to have your feelings. Confirmation biases will get in your way, but we must ask ourselves as we approach significant change, “Is our anger, fear, or pain worth dying for, or are we willing to feel better?”
The question may sound harsh, but most life experiences arrive at this simple choice. If we are unhappy, it is part of a trigger, and that trigger is wreaking havoc on our bodies. So whether we believe a good life is possible or not, it must become worth it to at least try.
There are questions I ask of all my one-on-one clients. If your process could make life a little better every day, would you commit to it? What if today is the worst you will ever feel, or what if your best days could get even better? Could you commit to just twenty minutes a day if tomorrow would be a little better for it, and the day after that better again, and so on?
If you are willing to commit to your practice for at least twenty minutes every day, your life will improve. If you do it and do it accurately, I guarantee it will work. Even in the most extreme cases, this method works with the predictability of all biological responses. It will respond with the same certainty as the breath in your lungs or blood coursing through your veins. If you work to strengthen a muscle, it will get stronger. This fundamental principle is why I stress the importance of taking each step.
A massive movement is currently happening in the realm of self-realization and self-healing. However, the lion’s share of programs focus on thought, perception, or emotion. To take this approach is to treat the symptoms and not the original cause. Unfortunately, treating symptoms can involve years of practice that do little to improve our overall state of well-being.
We must remember that thinking and even implicit feelings are not involved in the chemical reaction process except as a byproduct of the trigger. As I stated, our experiences result from sensory stimuli, not the thoughts, feelings, or emotions we have after we are triggered.
Taking a different approach opens us to faster, more permanent healing. It is time for us to learn a whole new mechanism beyond just surviving. It is time we learn to thrive. Therefore, this practice is not a practice of consciousness. Instead, it is a lesson in anatomy, biology, and physical exercises for the brain that result in better consciousness.