by Richard Boyd, Body Mind Psychotherapist, Energetics Institute, Perth, West Australia
In my companion article The Critical Need for a New Embodied Form of Leadership, I articulated the malaise of the narcissistic cult of "I/Me" which has come to dominate society and our collective leaders over the last 40 years. This self-grasping way of going about life has led us collectively to a precipice from where at the very least scientists agree that a severe degradation of the quality of life now awaits us. Some scientists and researchers make even more alarming predictions that imply a threat to the existence for large numbers of plants, animals, ecosystems and environments, including us humans as a species as well.
Other researchers point to economic and social collapses based on the effects of scarcity of resources such as clean food and water leading to wars, or social breakdown due to inequality in wealth and abuse of democracy by the elites. We simply cannot quantify the impact of what our decisions right now but the trends are unmistakable. Action is needed now to avert the worst of whatever is to come.
What action can I as the individual take in the face of this massive global crisis? As Eckhart Tolle stated in his books, "A New Earth", and "The Power of Now", each one of us owns not just our own personal reality, but from a bottom-up expression of change, our voice and our small ripple in the fabric of this interconnectedness of humanity and our planet, we can create the inertia and impetus for change. The collective leaders of business, government and societies have been seduced by power, status, and the trappings of a dysfunctional lifestyle where accountability and responsibility have been shirked, and rights have been enforced at the expense of others.
You and I can either remain victims and act powerless, which is the easy path of another form of Narcissism where I get to say "poor me", and rage uselessly at "The Machine", or I can empower myself with a new vision of myself, humanity and the future, and get about the hard work of being a change agent to this new future. We all have a choice in this. We are not powerless or victims, we only adopt that stance through our own various forms of materialistic laziness, or a different form of "I/Me" narcissistic rage at those who have what we covet but cannot have.
In my own Corporate Leadership practice, the "we/us" approach evolved from a sense of this understanding, and confronts the need to foster and introduce a new consciousness of leadership that is applicable at all levels of community and individuals, not just traditional leadership. This covers all types of organizations and community, and at the individual level as well. It is my argument that the old forms of leadership thought have been largely vested in the conceptual, front brain thinking forms of being, doing and speaking. Leadership thought has not addressed how to embody leadership consciousness into the person, so a person can literally "walk their talk", instead of the evidence that is increasingly seen of leaders giving "lip service" or "talking the talk", and then acting out or embodying different behaviours and values altogether, as the examples in my "Monkey and the Orange" article show.
Where I differ from many schools of leadership thought is that I take the word embodiment seriously. It is understood through neuroscience and medical science how many people live "in their heads", in a form of entrenched "fight or flight" mode of consciousness. This state has been shown to prevent the brain from learning, from activating centres of empathy, compassion and inclusivity, which prevents many of the higher ideals of leadership from being able to be engaged and sustained. Living like this is a form of survival consciousness which relates directly to the activation of the Sympathetic state of our Autonomic nervous system in our emotional Limbic brain segment. We know this commonly as "fight or flight" state of being and is anything other than sympathetic to the person enduring it.
Many people in our society, and many leaders live in this form of defensive stress and fear driven consciousness, which activates the emotional limbic brain processes, and can have a deleterious effect on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health of that person in the long term. This also sets up a person for the "monkey mind" form of "grasping" and acting for selfish reasons, but this grasping is not from a place of attachment in as much as it is from a grasping from a perceived state of survival. Let's examine how this survival based grasping dynamic works. It is a place of disconnection. It is also the key and the first step to reversing the trend of the grasping "I".
It is not surprising that we and our leaders start to live disconnected lives. In a sense we all do, courtesy of our technological society. Each one of us at some level is learning to live an increasingly disconnected life, disconnected from our fellow man, from our environment, and from our inner self.
Think of our lifestyles. Most of us live in comfortable homes from where we start and end our average day. In this cocoon, we now increasingly have insulation and air conditioning that serves to heat or cool our homes, such that the increasing environmental extremes go by unnoticed while we are inside the home. We jump into our cars or on public transport that also often has some sort of climate control. We can navigate our way to work without connecting to our environment or a fellow person in a number of ways. We retreat into a newspaper, into an iPod, into a daydream. No one talks, we all isolate ourselves and avoid eye contact beyond basic instructional contact with others.
Courtesy has been largely replaced by the word "predatory" inasmuch as contact with another is often about us having a self serving agenda to fulfill via another person. Many people simply "switch off" day to day, and go about life unconsciously, not aware of their feelings, thoughts, and environments around them. Like a mouse on a treadmill they simply run and focus on what's immediately in front of them, and never think to stop, or that they can and should stop.
Office workplaces have for some time been segmented into cubicles, offices, and workstation environments. Job roles have increasingly become more demanding with downsizing, and technology collaboration style tasks. Science now understands that our evolutionary Autonomic Nervous System(ANS), which controls us being in either a relaxed state, or a "fight or flight" state, sets us up in modern workplace environments to behave in "fight or flight" mode. Gareth .....(1986) in his book, "Images of Organisations", describes many workplaces as "psychic prisons" where stressed staff live in fear and feel dominated and helpless to effect real change to their own circumstance.
Modern technology is not well received by our brain and nervous system. Neuroscience now informs us that when we start to focus visually continually on computer screens, and use hand-eye co-ordination to type, or operate machinery, or concentrate in some way, sustaining these activities over time activates this Sympathetic ANS state. Many of us spend many hours each day on such activities. Our brain thinks these activities are like an outside threat, and reacts accordingly. Focusing on a computer screen, coordinating micro-movements on a keyboard with concentration, mimic primitive hyper-arousal triggers in our nervous system and brains. This activates and sustains the sympathetic state of the ANS.
Our brain evolved to help us survive threats from our environment. When our sense awareness organs relayed us information that a threat existed, we became anxious, and our breathing changed, with our diaphragm constricting to shallow the breathing. We then proceeded to become hyper aroused, our eyes and visual cortex part of the brain became alert, our arms and shoulders tensioned to either exert force to fight with the arms, flight with assistance of the arms, or freeze and stay still and tense. This bio-feedback loop increased the anxiety, created bodily tension, and put us into "our heads" to focus on the perceived threat till it passed. When the threat passed, the brain put our ANS into a relaxed or Parasympathetic state.
The key problem is that for many of us, our workplaces and homes activates this slide into a Sympathetic ANS state over the course of the day. We end up in "fight or flight" mode which also equates to "living in our heads". The key problem is then as follows. Evolution designed to exist primarily in the relaxed Parasympathetic ANS state. The Sympathetic "fight or flight" state was a burst mode function of our bodymind, which was designed to being operable for several hours or so at most, without creating knock-on effects for our bodymind later. Today people are primarily living in the burst mode "fight or flight" Sympathetic state, and either getting no, or only brief respite into the relaxed Parasympathetic nervous system state.
This has created a generation of people who now routinely "live in their heads" as a result of this. This practice is unsustainable for several reasons. Firstly when we live in a constant sympathetic nervous system state it starts to impact our bodily processes in a detrimental way. The chronic nature of this stance is reflected in the creation of hypertension, elevated blood pressure, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, and has been linked to the onset of both depression and chronic fatigue outcomes. Refer to my articles on Anxiety and on Depression on the Energetics Institute website for more about this set of dynamics.
The recent Global Financial Crisis(GFC) has only served to compound this trend. According to Meera Vijayan(2010),, a common problem in the GFC was organizations exploiting their workforce by trying to cut costs and increase work hours with lower pay. Staff found themselves quitting or getting sick due to being unable to cope with the increasing demands of their employers. Some were in a bind as they had fear of being retrenched, and the fear of not being able to get a new job during the GFC. Employees felt emotionally and physically drained, a declining passion for work, and feeling overwhelmed at the thought of going to work each morning.
A recent Australian study showed many employees having lost their passion for their jobs, their belief in themselves and their employers. Mental toughness or resilience has collapsed in the workforce notes management Consultancy group RogenSi(2010), via their Global Mindset Index. Another finding was 26 per cent of the workforce had symptoms that correlate to those identified by the World Health Organisation as being indicative of depression.
RogenSi(2010) also noted that employees should not play victims to this situation, but instead make the necessary behavioural changes and empower themselves to stay healthy and perform better via working smarter not harder. It is conceptually good advice but practically it's unfortunately near impossible to maintain one's resilience over longer periods of time in the face of an ongoing set of stressful dynamics in the workplace.
Our brain processes have a part to play in this. The Amygdala, which is a walnut sized dedicated piece of brain, has a primary function in the creation and sustainment of a sympathetic nervous system state. It also affects the Hypothalamus/Pituitary/Adrenal glands which are more commonly known as the "HPA Axis". These glands produce key hormones in burst mode as required but when they are required to keep producing these hormones on a long term continuous basis it results in these glands suffering a form of burnout. The medical conditions of adrenal burnout, over-active thyroid, pituitary fatigue, and some forms of migraine headaches are examples of this demand on the HPA Axis.
Conversely the Hypothalamus also suppresses some key hormones in this same way under these same conditions. The key mood chemicals such as Serotonin and Dopamine, plus some key feel-good endorphin chemicals are all suppressed when a person is in Sympathetic Nervous system mode. Long term suppression of each of these chemicals in the body has a causal link to Depression. The class of depression medication known as SSRI drugs, tells this story. SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Re-uptake inhibitor. Simply put this means the person taking this medication is not producing enough Serotonin, and so one way to compensate for this is to stop the body's natural absorption of the Serotonin from the bloodstream( the re-uptake process). Refer to my article on Depression for more information.
The other downside is the impacted body then negatively affects our moods, emotions, concentration, cognition or thinking processes, which all form part of what needs to be operating well in the home and work environment for a person to function and be able to cope and be part of a team. The body and mind work together, not apart, and both show the effects of living from the Sympathetic Nervous system state for too long.
In my Corporate Consulting Practice, I have adapted from the various bodymind traditions of somatic therapy, yoga, mindfulness, meditation, biology, neuroscience, and the bioenergetic understanding of the body and mind, to create a tailored range of exercises which address and intervene into the bodymind. These exercises result in the creation of a relaxed and beneficial parasympathetic state, as well as taking a person from "out of their head". This delivers them into a truly embodied state where the person is present and primarily free from distracting thoughts and anxieties. I use these techniques in organizations with both the leadership team, and the worker base, to underpin the recovery from the above mentioned body and mental states off ill-health, and to embody the person in a relaxed state.
When I run executive Emotional Intelligence programmes in the workplace, and conduct training of various sorts with teams and employees, I see the evidence of this "fight or flight" syndrome right before my eyes. You cannot but notice the worn out faces, the fidgeting, the sleep deprivation, the glazed over depressive eyes, and the lack of ability to take in what is being taught or mentored. This is the effects of "fight or flight" mode in action.
In fact I believe many of the traditional leadership programmes and cultural transformation programmes fail due to the bodymind state of the persons attending their courses. If you take a leader or worker into a day or several day long course that these programmes typically offer, and they are in a chronic sympathetic nervous system state of bodymind, it is now wonder that one struggles to learn. Why? It's our evolutionary design at play.
The following can happen to staff attending courses in this state. Evolution set us up so that when we are in the sympathetic nervous system state, the Hypothalamus will send hormones and chemicals into the frontal cortex, or "front brain", to restrict blood flow. This is meant to force the blood backwards into the limbic or "middle brain" where the emotional centres of or brain operates, and from where the "flight or fight" mechanism in us operates.
The frontal cortex or "front brain" which run our logical and analytical thinking processes, and which are those most required in our technological based workplaces, basically start to shutdown, and so we lose our focus and concentration on mental processes and in learning situations. This was good for us in our evolutionary past when this shutdown our distracting mental mind chatter and thoughts, and instead empowered and brought us into the instinctual, emotional, and reactive "fight or flight" mode. We survived the threat, then returned to a relaxed parasympathetic state where the frontal cortex brain came back on-line, and we got on with life.
Today we find many executives and workers coming into daily work, and into such activities like the development programmes in this survival state, and they struggle to take on new learning, struggle to focus, or concentrate for any period of time. Their rational and analytical "front brain" is offline, and so many attendees operate from a fidgety, emotional space where they struggle to assimilate the knowledge, and emotionally "buy-in" to the stated aims of what is being targeted.
They are in a primitive survival mode where ideas like company vision, culture, strategy and forward thinking ideas just cannot be taken on. They either use the time in such courses to "have a break" and rest, or they go back into a "fight or flight" work environment and consign their handouts to a bookshelf forever, and without any long term memory knowledge of what was just taught, and without the necessary emotional buy-in needed to embed that knowledge in their bodymind behaviours or thinking.
The same is true of any new idea or impulse or initiative to effect change that a person may initially set an intention to adopt. One of the biggest impediments I foresee in people collectively making changes to the way we live on this planet comes from many living in this primitive survival mode of the sympathetic ANS. This way of living is emotional, reactive, defensive and cautionary. This is not fertile ground for the adoption of strategic or visionary thinking, or for being able to make life changing decisions about oneself and one's life. I have seen many good ideas and initiatives come and go at the personal level, group level, and community level due to the critical mass of members living in this survival state and not being able to embody change.
The adherents get started with enthusiasm and good intentions but then falter and go back to unconscious and reactive old ways of being and behaving. The body and mind can only nurture and sustain voluntary change from the place of a relaxed parasympathetic nervous system. This is important to note as it is the common sabotage that affects most people who start new life affirming changes to their way of being and doing. Changes started from the "fight or flight" entrenched mode of living life are most likely doomed to failure. This is true of workplace programmes, starting a diet, getting fit, or adopting a powerful Sacred Activism life-change that I will talk about shortly.
In organizations, trainers and coaches need to work with this inbuilt part of our human condition, and have an effective approach to working with such audiences in a way that first switches a person from sympathetic to the parasympathetic state of being. This is one of my differentiation points in how I work with individuals, teams and organizations.
Many CEO's and Directors live constantly from this "fight or flight" mode. In this mode a form of self preservation dominates the thinking. Critically, and as outlined in my article "The Monkey and the Orange", this is the place from where many self serving behaviours and abuses originate in all of us, but when done at the societal leadership, or CEO level of organizations, the impact on employees, shareholders, public, environment and society can be significant, depending on the nature of the organization, and its economic reach.
Part of the way forward with a new embodied form of leadership, we must be able to get our collective leadership out of "fight or flight" if change is to be taken on, old behaviours retired, and a new way of being is to be embedded and auctioned.
Continuing our look at a typical work day in our society, when a person leaves the workplace, which in itself is becoming later and later in the day for many, the person is typically stressed or anxious, and "in their heads". A return journey home, or to the pub, or the gym, will typically mirror the morning going to work ritual, with the same cutoff measures in place(e.g. iPod), numbing out oneself to the self, others, and the environment.
It is part of our innate human condition for a stressed person to typically have impulses to cope with their sympathetic nervous system state. The ritual of drinking alcohol after work, or working out at the gym to burn off stress are both examples of how this can be attempted. Others include splitting off into one's own world of the internet, the iPod, reading a book, meditating, as well as doing any other activities or substances from an addictive approach. Not all these mechanisms are unhealthy in themselves, but they can become so with the approach taken to engaging with them.
Take the "gym junkie" as an example. Exercise is a great way to get into the body and get fit, lose weight, and burn off stress and anxiety. However the "payoff" from getting all the good endorphins and feel good effect can become addictive. A person in this state may start to feel anxious if they cannot get their daily "fix" of the gym, and so may get irritable, and worry about their momentum of fitness unduly, and start to fixate on this aspect of their life. It leads to the same stress and anxiety that it was designed to cure in the first place!!
People working out in this obsessive and driven manner, often ignore repetitive strain or injury warning signs in their muscles or body, and continue in a fashion that is not healthy. If they then suffer a resulting injury that prevents their regular attendance at the gym, they lapse into a form of addictive withdrawal with depressive symptoms. We start to make the healthy become the unhealthy.
By the end of an average persons day, any one of us can have unknowingly reinforced the split between our body and mind, and be further entrenched in living in our heads, through all the dynamics mentioned above. Domestic relationships are often affected by this setup. Where a relationship exists where one adult works, while the other stays at home, probably doing child raising tasks, one starts to see the home based partner complaining of the withdrawn and distant nature of their working partner, who comes home in survival mode, and just wants to shutdown and allow their bodymind some respite. This is a common conflict dynamic that presents in couples therapy.
The working partner's ability to give emotional, physical or communicative energy and contact to their partner or their children is impaired. If they use an addictive substance as a coping mechanism when they get home, it further deepens the divide between everyone concerned, and further isolates the person in the addiction. Many executives and stressed organizational workers face this crisis in their home life, resulting in a worsening dynamic where their work life is hell, and their home life is falling apart over time. This engenders a sense of helplessness in the person concerned, often driving them deeper into their addictions, and creating a sense of there being no place left in their life where there is safety, support or a place to rest, relax and feel understood.
This is often the basis for either acting out of imagined sanctuaries of relief, such as extra-marital affairs, or of desperate actions such as corporate crime, or gambling, in order to create a solution to leave their hellish existence. The type of greedy "I/me" grasping, as documented with the excesses of senior corporate figures, and organizational cultures, often has its roots from this secondary, more personalized survival form of grasping. The two cannot be separated or treated in isolation. Usually the behaviours we see at either the team or corporate level, all stem from individual personal stressors driving dysfunctional behaviours, and it all falls apart at some stage, with devastating consequences for all concerned.
If one looks at the recent headlines of former David Jones CEO Mark McInnes, one sees alleged behaviours with a staff member, Kristy Fraser-Kirk, that have ruined his career. What compels a highly driven CEO, in the very stressful and competitive world of retailing, to send out a series of text messages to the complainant, pleading for mercy, and acknowledging a need to apologise and come to a compensatory arrangement for some as yet unproven misdemeanor?(Curtin:2010). What makes the most successful and brightest of some of our business and societal leaders act out alleged behaviours or omissions that lead to later loss of status, employment reputation and career, with much regret? What blind spots exist that show a lack of the very intelligence and decision making that no doubt got them to the top in the first place?
In many of these cases I suspect that the stressed nature of our leaders lives create the basis for their acting out behaviours that lead to ruin in their own and others lives. I personally recognize both the need for the individual stressed state of a person to be firstly addressed, before the secondary entrenched "I/me" narcissistic behaviours in our society can be tackled head-on. However the two must be addressed simultaneously in many cases before effective headway can be made with leaders, workers, and the overall corporate and societal cultural change.
The first step forward for creating a new form of effective leadership that will contain much of the damaging behaviors and excesses of our leaders, as well as in each one of us, is dealing with our "fight or flight" natures. I believe that we each will stay stuck in our old habitual ways of dealing with life via the few and primitive emotional brain options, that living in "flight or fight" gives us, regardless of what "new information" we throw at people. People are resistant to change while in this survival state.
The first step in the way forward for grassroots change is for people to learn the techniques of using the body to coax the ANS to come out of the "fight and flight" state, on a daily basis. It is both an imperative and a discipline that each of us will need to embrace. It is no good thinking "I will leave it up to my neighbor" or someone else to do. Global change can only take root at the personal level.
Our collective leaders are stuck in a state or way of being that resists change, and the evidence shows a form of denial is occurring around their need to model change and drive change from the top. The few who do or try to do so are swamped by the old collective group of the "I/me" self serving leaders. Scientists and researchers state categorically that with the current crisis, we do not have the option of allowing a slow gradual cultural change in leadership to permeate and trickle down over a couple of hundred years, which is historically the basis for widespread change within societies.
It is not enough that there is a new movement of change agents of consciousness in organizations such as myself, trying to effect the top-down change. It is true that I and others successfully work with the individual and their bodymind reality, not just their psychology or personality. We work first on preparing a person for embodied change, and then on embodying the change within the persons reality using both traditional techniques and proven methods of embodying emotional intelligence and leadership traits in key organizational staff. This approach is unfortunately still not reaching enough affected people quickly enough.
This must happen and is happening where organizations are opening up to Spiritual Intelligence, Community ethics, and driving best practice within the organization. However it is also simply too little, too late to rely on this alone to create the "tipping point" of consciousness change that we really need right through society. Change must happen from both top-down and bottom-up, and no one is immune or can exempt themselves from being part of the change needed. More than ever the old saying "You are either part of the problem or part of the solution" rings true. Every person on the planet has a part to play in the revolution that is needed.
If we are able to get a significant number of motivated people out of their addictive and self-grasping "I/me" mode of consciousness, then we can start to take-on ideas and prepare for change. But what sort of change and by which vehicle of change. Looking around society and across the spectrum of conscious spiritual, business and other forms of leadership at this time in history, I notice the emerging grassroots movement of "Sacred Activism" emerging in our crisis at this time.
Sacred Activism came partly out of the awareness born out of Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" book, and Al Gore's timely wakeup call documentary "An Inconvenient Truth". Sacred Activism is primarily a vehicle and a rallying call to transforming humanity and saving ourselves and our planet. It is about a wake-up call that has at its roots an internal change we must all make within ourself if changes required are to flow through to the "out there". Andrew Harvey is the architect and rallying point for Sacred Activism. Andrew is grounded in spiritual research and writing, teaching, poetry and passionate leader in assisting humanity in stepping out of the "I/me" narcissistic philosophy of current times.
Andrew promotes seven laws of Sacred Activism which have the potential to assist in the transformation of the world. Each law has love and compassion at its heart, and indeed represents embodied parasympathetic ANS principles which are an antidote to the narcissistic "I/me" living in the head based culture we live in. The seven laws outline how to open ourselves up to our own compassionate natures and the kindness within, letting go of pain, and living consciously in the world. Once we live consciously, and are grounded and present moment to moment, we will not be able to turn away from the tragedy unfolding around us before our eyes, and we will be motivated to act for healing the world.
In Sacred Activism one learns how to find your spiritual identity and adopt a practice that awakens and nurtures it. One learns how to deal with negative states such as anger and how to transform the anger and the victim state into positive and empowering energy that can be harnessed into a common global cause for change. In this way we naturally stop living from the small selfish and defensive world of the "I/me" and start to live from the "us/we" consciousness. This is exactly what I have been promoting in my own way for some time. Andrew Harvey well describes this reality and framework of approaching planet change.
There are those in society who seek answers and look for guidance. Increasingly they go down blind alleys of self development where they meet spruikers of "I/me" narcissistic consciousness. These well meaning searchers get told their own self development and their spiritual path somehow lies on the road of self enrichment, self power, and self godhood. This is just one more aspect of the culture of narcissism which has been slowly killing us and our planet.
The sellers and promoters of "personal power", "self optimization", "self enrichment", "wealth creation", and "manifesting your dreams" are often typically appealing to the narcissistic and entrenched "I/me" natures of people. My experience is that many narcissistic personalities run and promote these deceptive psycho-babble programs. The mantra to manifest money, wealth, power and perfect love partners, are all the external glittering baubles that age-old mystics and genuine spiritual paths all warn us are empty, blind alleyways of the ego, and destructive.
More consumption, more wealth, more power comes at a price of others. Forget the new-age ramblings and deceptions of universal abundance, secrets and powers which we can all have without impact on others via the argument that the universe is infinitely abundant. In a material world we consume and do so in an environment of interconnectedness where biodiversity, environmental systems, fellow humans, animals, plants all take a hit, even if we cannot directly point to it directly at the point of consumption.
Narcissistic indulgences run through all New Age constructs and explanations about the primacy of us as godheads, and our indulgent rights to "have it all". Paths which are focused on consumeristic and materialistic ends are simply part of the old paradigm of the planet which is unsustainable, and as the GFC showed us, what is not in truth eventually collapses. If the goal of everyone is happiness then materialistic paths lead nowhere to that end, beyond satisfying certain survival and external environment needs.
The great 8th century Tibetan Buddhist Bodhisattva(Saint), wrote a great discourse called The Bodhisattvas Way of Life. In this great poem or discourse he wrote:
All the joy the world contains
Has come through wishing happiness for others;
All the misery the world contains
Hs come through wanting pleasure for oneself.
The Sacred Activism model shows us this deception and understands how more and more materialistic consumption and accumulation is part of the problem and not part of the solution. Anyone can step into the new "us/we" paradigm of consciousness espoused by Sacred Activism. When we connect to the sacred intent by helping others, whether it be volunteering at a homeless shelter for a couple of hours per week, or sponsoring an eco-project, we contribute to the healing and the shift in global consciousness that must happen. When you can see the sacred in all things, then no action, no gesture is too small, as the divine is never small, insignificant or unaware.
Many people ask me as their coach, counselor, mentor, psychotherapist and friend "How do I make my life meaningful?". This question always bubbles to the surface of consciousness from the place of emptiness and confusion in living a life that is no longer satisfying. The big plasma television sets, the performance cars, the big house, the beautiful partner, the impressive senior job, all eventually no longer glitter or hold our happiness. This prompts a deeper questioning about life.
We are starting to realize the "out there" can no longer distract us from the emptiness and neglect of "in there" which is inside me. The typical narcissistic idol that I have constructed around myself with the externalizing and compensating of my low self esteem via external objects as a prop, a mask and defence against my inner self hatred, sadness or deadness within myself no longer works. It's time for change and to face myself, and find out what's real and what's illusory.
I can think of no better way for people facing this gnawing within themselves, this questioning of their life, to pick up a copy of Andrew Harvey's book, "The Hope". If you read this book and take the advice as personal, as a gift from a friend, you will find meaning in it for you, your loved ones, and for a way of approaching life in the midst of this troubled time of crisis and transition on the planet.
Contact Richard Boyd to find out more how he can help you to help us all in this most critical stage of our planets evolution. Richard works as a life and executive coach, a counselor, bodymind psychotherapist, and researcher into bodymind and spiritual topics.
Richard passionately believes in the Sacred Activism approach, and adds his observance of the need for many people to work within themselves to detoxify from the stress of modern technological living. His advice here on resetting our own ANS from a stressed Sympathetic state into a Parasympathetic state, via biodynamic exercise, meditation and relaxation principles, and Mindfulness strategies, forms part of his work with corporate and private individual clients.
Good luck in your quest and in your life.
- Vijayan Meera; "Workers Suffer GFC Blues", The Australian Newspaper, Sept 18-19 2010, Page 10.
- Curtin Jennie; "Don't Ruin My Life, DJs Boss Begged Accuser", The West Australian Newspaper, Friday Oct 1, Page 3.
- The Bodhisattvas Way of Life, Shanti Deva, Tharpa Publications,2002.
- The Hope - A Guide to Sacred Activism, Harvey Andrew, 2009, Hay House Inc..
- The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle,2004, Hodder Headline Australia.
- A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle,2005, Michael Joseph- an imprint of Penguin Books.