Friday, June 22, 2018

First 50 pages of Love Lust Enlightenment. Call if you want sex twice a day and awakened love

Twice A Day?
Yes
Sex
Gratitude
Divine/ Humorous “Forgiveness”

Who is this book for?
Anyone who wants a great and present and sexier life as they go about changing the world.
And realistically, this is mainly for couples, over fifty, who have twenty to forty minutes a day free from the demands of jobs and children, to actually turn toward each other and build an immensely beautiful, fun, sexier, honest and present and blissful relationship together.

And one of the things to begin to make your relationship better and better and better is to co-operate as you read this.
READ IT TOGETHER.
ALOUD.
ONE, TWO, THREE PAGES AT A TIME.
PASS THE BOOK BACK AND FORTH.
DISCUSS ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT COMES UP FOR YOU AS YOU ARE READING.

There isn’t a ton of things to do. 
AND there are new games/ exercises/ practices “things to do” every day. These are fun. These take real time.
What you put time and attention on is what is important to you. If you want a fabulous relationship you will need to play and learn and touch together a bit more each day,
This is NOT a book to read and mull over ‘getting around to’ later.
The now is our life.
The now is when the games take place.

One way to do this book is a twenty day rocket ship ride to a sexier, more present, happier and healthier life. A life that is making a difference in the Big Wide World.
There are fun/ challenging “games” each day. No more than three. Sometimes just one.
’Tis old wisdom and a pain in the ass, but to change…. you have to change. You do the same old thing and… same old results.
Right away in days one, two and three we’ve got saying and writing gratitudes.
We’ve got rubbing your own and your partner’s hand.
We’ve got laughing at how when we call another person some accusatory thing… selfish, say, or a bit grumpy… the same applies to us in small, or often large measure.

The games are about learning.
How did I learn these things?
Making mistakes.
Good fortune in finding this and that as a way out of my mistakes. Some magic here and there.
And the more I applied the magic, the better things got.
Experiencing increase luck and joy when I shift from the old crappy Chris to the new one who lived in the present and touched mindfully and knew the absolute necessity of getting real about my own imperfections.
And I have learned this: we are designed to learn. And we are designed to stay stuck. We’ve got a lot more choice than we usually realize.
Every “game” in this book is your chance to learn how to make choices that lead toward awakening and joy and sexiness and easy and lifelong learning.
Learning is trying out new things and noticing a difference.
Not just once and a while.
But every day.

Twice every day.

Why Twice a Day.
For sex and touch.
Touch is our birthright as mammals. If even a handshake or a hug, this is part of the food of a real human life.
Since this book is mainly for couples over fifty, and there is a myth that sex needs to dissolve then, I’m here to tell you as one enjoying sex two, three, four times a day at 73, this is not true.
This doesn’t need to be true for you.
Sex is a sweet remembrance of life at it’s most connected and pleasurable.
When done slowly and mindfully.
This is good for our souls and for the Earth. We need happy, connected, nourished people to make a difference.
There are ways toward this besides jumping into a friskiness you aren’t ready for yet.
Starting it day two, you’ll be holding hands. Caressing/ exploring/ massaging hands. Touching/ caressing/ exploring your partner’s face.

Why Twice a Day?
For Gratitude.
Without gratitude we wither.
We forget the glory of life.
We fall back into fear and complaining.
Because we need to nourish love with gratitude.

Why Twice a Day?
For humorous forgiveness.
Because one of the great obstacles to love is our habit, often very deep, of seeing the flaws and shortcomings and “you should change” aspects of our partner.
These “you should change” statements appear true, and they aren’t.
We need to undermine this main underminer of love. We need to un-do the blame and shame game and feeling hurt and going around with resentments in our mind and heart. We need to undo resentments and blaming to get back to love.

So, twice a day we nourish love by going to gratitude.
Twice a day we nourish love by undermining the main underminer of love.
Twice a day we connect via touch, letting the warm mammal in us do what it is meant to do: connect.

Let’s go for days one, two and three….
Weeeeee!



Day One: 
Improving Love right Away—
Gratitude 

On June 20, 2015, I walked half a block down my street in Austin, Texas, to meet a woman I knew and admired and liked, but with whom I thought I had no “romantic” expectations. I had met her a mere three months before, in March. She had moved to Austin in February. Now in June it was a gentle summer’s day, and we were going to meet for a lunch and “study” session. I was writing a book on radical listening. She was smart and kind and I wanted her input. Her name was Carol Williams then.
It’s Carol Elms now.

We thought we were meeting for an hour and a half. For lunch and a bit of her help on a book I was writing, the precursor to this one.
Twelve hours later, at one am, as I pried myself out the door, to walk the half block back to my home, we both were almost certain we’d met the future lifetime partner that had a day before seemed “almost impossible” to find. I’d written an “almost impossible goal” to find a fabulous woman within walking distance. And an “almost impossible goal” to find a lifetime partner at 70 years old. Carol had been praying for a life partner. And then… the miracle seemed to be happening.
And even with goals and prayers, without our both being immersed in gratitude I don’t think this “miracle” would have happened. Why?

We all thrive in gratitude…
On that night, and since then,  the practice of gratitude was a deeply embedded part of both our lives. Then, as now, I was writing in a “gratitude journal” at least twice, often three or four or five times, a day. Carol, on that miracle day, had a steady background prayer life, of which gratitude and thanks was a significant part. Now she has a gratitude journal, too. Will you soon get a gratitude journal? Only if you want transformation as deeply and easily as possible.
Don’t believe me, or anyone. Test drive gratitude right now.
Mini-game: Think of 3 things you are grateful for. Does something shift?
How does this work?

The Power of Gratitude
Gratitude focuses our hearts and minds on what we like and love in life, what is going well in our life, what we are thankful for and want more of. Instead of wasting time and mental energy on worry or complaining, gratitude allows us to look at life from a peaceful and open heart. With an eager heart alert to what has gone well in the past, we are primed to be looking forward to more “good stuff” unfolding each day.
Nice, eh?
Modern research has shown what ancient wisdom has long suspected: the brain (and person) can be in either fear or gratitude.
Carol and I were tuned in to what we appreciated about our lives. This made it far easier to tune into what we could appreciate in the other person. And then, twelve hours after I’d walked in the door, we reluctantly dragged ourselves apart amazed that we might well have found the “almost impossible.”

Dear reader, let’s jump into action.
This book will have a lot of “games.” They are actions you take in real time.
They take time. They could/ should be fun.
They will change your life.
And so, the time you give yourself playing these transformative games, is your honoring your wish for a more loving and lusty and enlightened life. To get a different life you have to do different stuff. Might as well do games as the new stuff.

Like right now:

Day One: Love and Gratitude Game #1: SAYING GRATITUDES ALOUD
Notice how you are feeling now.
Say aloud five things you are grateful for. Feel your heart as you say these five.
Notice how you are feeling now.

If you are alone, jot down here a few reminder sentences on what shifted by saying five gratitudes aloud.
My notes on the differences I noticed….





If you do this with a partner, take turns saying the five things to each other, followed by a brief sharing of what difference saying aloud fine gratitudes made.

Really, do it now. This is not a book to “just read” and imagine “doing it” later. This is not a book of “good ideas” for you to give your “screwed up” friends. This is a transformation manual for those who want even more amazing life.
Which is you, right?
Therefore: if you have not yet played the game, do so: Say aloud five things you are grateful for, and be as present to your body and your voice and your heart as you can be while you do so.
And notice the difference. Core to this book is an understanding of real learning. Real learning is noticing a difference that makes a difference.
Real learning is noticing a difference that makes a difference.
Learning is not taking in anything by rote.
Learning is a shift that makes a difference. And being aware of the shift.

As I’ve said above, you can be grateful or you can be in fear. Can you feel a shift in you when you say gratitudes aloud? Let’s try an even more sure fire way of shifting our energy to being a happier and more loving person. Standing. Letting ourselves feel our more full bodies as we speak gratitudes.
Good. 
Let’s try again to notice a difference that makes a difference :

Day One : Love and Gratitude Game #2: STANDING GRATITUDES
Notice how you are feeling now.
Stand up. Best if you do this with your mate. If you have one.
Say: Hey, let’s do some standing gratitudes.
Then do them….

If there is a window available that has a view of Nature, please go there.
Or, if your life is such that walking out into Outside, to see nature, or going out to actually , Stand in Nature, so much the better.
Feel your body standing up.
Say aloud, five gratitudes. The same ones. New ones. If you can be watching Nature at the same time all the better.
Notice any difference.

If you are alone, jot down here a few reminder sentences on what shifted by saying five gratitudes aloud.
My notes on the differences I noticed….




As, before, if you do this with a mate, take turns. Go outside together if you can. Share the aloud gratitudes and share a bit on what difference that made.

When you do this, it’s such a nice excuse to be upright. It’s a nice excuse to realize: we are in a body much bigger than the thing above our necks. It’s a nice excuse to return to our hearts. It’s a nice excuse to realize this: life can be pretty wonderful.

Do you feel different after doing these two games?


Carol and I were actively involved in this gratitude business, as I’ve said. Her prayers, were real prayers, which meant they weren’t all of the “help me” type. They had a huge chunk of “Thank You.”
And as I’ve said, I was writing one, two, three times a day in a gratitude journal.

Now it’s time for today’s third gratitude game.
Write in a journal.
You might have a journal around, or even some half used one. Cross out the old title.
Label it the gratitude journal.
You’ll have lots and lots before you’re through.

Here we go.



It can take less than a minute, once you’ve found a piece of paper.
Eventually you’ll want a journal, a gratitude journal.
This will be something in which to start every day for the rest of your life.

Gratitude Game #3
Get a paper or a journal
Write five gratitudes or more.
Write slowly.
If a lined journal, leave a line between each line of writing
Write big and slow and feel your hand moving, and see the letters forming.
Read them over.
Good.

That’s it.
Find yourself soon a gratitude journal.


1. Write in a gratitude journal. Twice a day.

2. Say some gratitudes aloud with someone/ anyone each day.
Every day?
Yes. At least twice.


(There is the perceived not enough time problem when we want to change. That’a fancy disguise for good old fashioned resistance.
Just write your gratitudes twice a day.
Just say them aloud to a partner or to nature twice a day. Near the beginning and new the end make sense. And discover what’s fun, sweet and useful and delightful and even, what’s sexy, for you.


Day Two: Touch
We are mammals, touch is nourishing for us all
If sex is to get better and better ordinary touch is the place to start
Hands, faces, go slow
Mindful touch is a miracle gift to ourselves and to others
Touch


Touch.
We need touch.
We starve without touch. 
We are mammals.
If you don’t have a partner, try to hug two or three people a day.
If you can’t hug two or three people a day, hug a tree or two. Shake hands.
For couples, though, let’s start right away with hands:

Touching Hands Game #1: One hand touches/ caresses/ explores the other.
Set a timer. Three minutes. (Seems “long.” And, do you deserve three minutes of self-kindness?)
Use your non-dominant hand as the “giving hand.” 
Use your dominant hand as the “receiving hand.”
(E.g., if you are right handed, the left hand will caress/ touch/ explore the right hand. If left handed, your right hand will caress/ touch/ explore your left hand.)
For three minutes, go slowly, and explore one hand with the other.

THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF SACRED AND MINDFUL SEX.
Go for three minutes. Feel down to your feet as you caress. Feel your ribs and your breathing and your hands. Feel your neck and the air coming in and out of your nose.
Go so slowly that noticing yourself and the other at the same time becomes your whole world.
If you feel / “think” ( as the words in our heads that passes as thinking, but isn’t) you are wasting time, notice that. And come back to the present of being present to one hand with the other.

When it’s over, notice the difference in the two hands.
With a few notes, perhaps, right here…



PS: What is the receiving hand grateful for? What is the giving hand grateful for? You might add that to your gratitude journal.


If you have a partner doing this with their hands at the same time, share your awarenesses.


This is simple.
Except…. notice your resistance: do I have three minutes to be nice to myself?
Do you feel silly, to be being kind and loving to yourself?

Notice the gratitude of the hand receiving.
Notice the gratitude and learning of the hand giving.

Be alert: how well do you think this would help your connection to your partner?
If you don’t have a partner, notice how this might help you connect to a partner when you do have one. ( If you want that. )

And… if you do have a partner, this is a wonderful beginner’s step to having sex every day: You rub/ caress/ explore their hand for three minutes. They do the same for you.

Touching your Partner’s Hand, for three minutes:
The beginnings of Mindful and Fabulous Sex

One of the greatest shortfalls in normal, and often boring, and frequently avoided, sex, is that it almost entirely genital and is all supposed to be wham bam full speed almost instantly.
Very little, if any, time is devoted to letting one partner be the recipient, the receiver, the you-are-being-loved one.
This is tragic.  Non-reciprocal sex is hugely important.
Huh?
Non-reciprocal sex is hugely important.

How do I know that?
We have sex once or more a day, and one fuel that keeps that happening is a mindful sex practice that we allow / commit ourselves to almost every day.

Where did I learn this?
Later on the glories of Mindful Female Orgasm ( day thirteen).
For now, let’s go to the bliss of being the giver and the bliss of being the receiver of a three minute hand caress/ massage/ exploration.



the hand has not as many pleasure receptors, but it does have a huge number of wirings in our brain.
And, to “just” receive is something we are usually extremely limited in.

This is a way of pleasure and relaxation and telling our partner’s brains and inner being: you are important. You matter. I have time and willingness to be present to you in a very real and non-bullshit way.
This is good. Let’ do it…

Day Two: Touch game #2:
Partners Take 3 minute turns touching/ caressing/ exploring one of the other person’s hands.
That’s it.
The giver uses two hands.
Go slowly.
Be curious and exploratory.
Sense your body in all three levels as you give.
Listen to what you feel as you give.

Receiver: listen not just to what you are receiving in your hand, but to what is happening at all three levels of your body.

After the three minutes take a bit of a break with several deep deep breaths. 

Then go the other way, before talking.

Then another break.

And then share, how was this as a giver. How was this to be the receiver.

Here’s a crucial deal.
I’m going to say what your body and soul wants to hear: do this every day.
I’m going to say what your “I’m too busy” robot will hate to hear: do this every day.
I’m going to say something the stuck in your rut you will love and hate to hear: do this every day.

The brain: one use, to stay stuck in our patterns.
The brain, best use: discover what happens new and now when you do, try, open to, explore, something new.


Which means: you are depriving yourself of the joy of living with another person. 

(Why do we live together?
  1. the friendship of good talk, 
  2. the bliss of good sex, 
  3. the growth of woking through the crap all couples have)

So, for those in a relationship who want it fabulous or more fabulous, say gratitudes as you hold hands, Let’s make our third game a combination of the first day…. gratitude… and the second day, touch.

Touch game #3:
Set a timer for two minutes.
Share gratitudes back and forth, five at a time.

Then, for three minutes
Hold hands
Take turns saying five gratitudes.
Then listening to five gratitudes.
Back and forth.
Feeling the connection.
Hearing the gratitudes.

Feel the difference that sharing gratitudes makes when you hold hands.

Crucial to this book is learning. 
Learning is noticing a difference that makes a difference.

Touch makes a difference, right?

Bring this into your life.
Daily.
At least twice.
Hand caressing.
Gratitude sharing while hold hands.

There will be sexier versions of touch.
And..
These are always great to fall back onto.

How often?
Twice a day.

Why?
Try it twice a day and let your souls discover.




Day Three: Clearing the Way for “Enlightenment:”
We are all crazy/  
Don’t Believe Your Own Thinking

Here is some sad but true news: we are all crazy.
And…
Here’s is some liberating and amusing news: we are all crazy.
We love someone, and we obsess about how they need to change.
In spite of a lifetime of evidence, we imagine we are blameless and that any trouble is “Your fault.”
We call the kettle black: other people are selfish, or inconsiderate, or rude or any one of the traits that we drift (or plunge) into when we fall into our own moments of stress or forgetfulness or foolishness (or tiredness or assholeness).
Alas: We are so SURE that if so and so would just straighten up, all would be well in the world.
If they would just CHANGE all would be good again. Of course, that we might change our behavior or our thinking or out beliefs, this doesn’t occur to us.
Usually.

Usually is the kicker.
We aren’t perfect. We are all assholes sometimes.
And..
The sooner and the easier and the more humorously we can catch our fall into the “you are to blame, just fix yourself” mode, the sooner we can laugh and love and be free again.

Here are some games that could help, and really, it’s all about you and I and everyone on earth understanding the old maxim: To not forgive is the swallow the rat poison and hope the other person dies.

So… on we go…

This chapter is a chance to begin to practice this dance of jumping out of our old stuck perspective and realizing that we have the major say in our own misery.
Actually: it’s more severe than that: almost all our first world suffering (emotional vs starving or our houses being bombed or our lives in violence) is an inside job.
Who makes us miserable, when we are?
We do.
We are miserable because we believe our own thinking.

Ugh.
And..
Yippie.
Since we cause this suffering, we can “un-cause” it. How?
Stopping believing our thinking.

Sounds too simple.
It is.
Read on…

A real life story when I discovered my assholeness….
Here’s a little story about a nice “turn around” with a fourteen year old that I was certain was being the “Stupid/ bad/ selfish” one. In my stupid (and suffering) state, I was quite clear: she needed to change.

This story takes place in Sonoma, around 2000, in the summer. I’d gotten over the trauma of a gal named Sally Ann running off with a man named Joe, and had stopped believing my own thinking that no one else great would show up in my life.
And then Celeste did. A perky yoga teacher, who shared gardening and bike riding and a general love of nature with me.
We grew fonder and fonder of one another, and then couldn’t restrain ourselves to two residences. So I came to spend the night with her.
Off in a huff went Lara, her fourteen year old daughter. Her father and Celeste had been unhappy for many years and had been apart for almost a year, and that didn’t matter to her: she didn’t want her Mom living with her new guy.
There I was.
Off she went. In a huff. In the middle of the night. Big drama. Big show.
And she’s fourteen, right? She’s a pain in the ass, nasty to her Mom, the whole usual teenage thing.
And me in all my wisdom, decide to get all twisted about her being “selfish.”
Which I could make a great case for; after all wasn’t she throwing hissy fit after hissy fit? (I.e. acting 14).
And then a pleasant and slightly stunning light bulb went on: I was the selfish one.
Why?
When Lara threw her hissy fits, it upset her mom, and so Celeste and I had less fun.
This upset MY selfish wish to have great times, all the time, with Celeste.
Ha!
I was a hypocrite (this has been discovered since, many times) and that was funny and a relief. She was selfish. I was selfish. So be it.

And guess what? Once my mind got clear, our relationship got clear. Like this:
One day she was over visiting us and I decided to tell her my discovery about me being the “selfish” one.
What teenager doesn’t want to hear an adult admit that they are an ass?
She lightened up and when I left to go to a garden I was caring for, she shouted out after me, “Goodbye, Selfish Chris.”
We were friends ever after, including some very interesting times when Celeste and I had amicably decided to part and Celeste super quickly found the husband that was just right for her.

And you?
And me?
First we can remember that this is such a common occurrence that there is a folk phrase: WHEN I STICK OUT ONE FINGER IN ACCUSATION, THREE FINGERS ARE POINTING BACK AT ME.
Second, we can make a game of this, of course.

Don’t Believe Your Thinking Game #1: One finger out, three back.
Think of someone you’ve got a nice juicy one word condemnation for. Selfish. Lazy. Avoidant. Whatever.
Be accusative: point your hand, one finger out at some imaginary them. Let yourself be all crunched in and tight breathed when you believe this story.
Then
Stand straighter. Wiggle your body a little. Look at some nature if you can. And then….
JUMP to a new spot, and pick one of the fingers that is pointing toward you. Smile and discover one way, this is you, too.
JUMP to another freedom spot, and pick another finger pointing back toward you. Smile, breathe deeply and find one more way this is you.
Alas, three fingers pointing back. JUMP a third time, and feel the third finger pointing back and find, alas, one more way this is YOU TOO. Yep. YOU TOO.
You and the other: imperfect humans. Damn! or, Goody!



Now make sure you did that.
It’s not something we usually like to do.
It’s something we are very glad, once we’ve done it.
And … and the eating crow part, the admitting our own flaw part, is usually not popular.
At first. 


Here’s a not believing our own thinking game / reframe, that’a little easier to pull off, and hence can be part of our daily strategy.
When: only when we are unhappy.
You mean we can “un-do” our unhappiness?
Find out…..



Don’t Believe Your Own Thinking Game #2: Jump to Gratitude

This is a learning game. They all are.

Stand on some spot that you’ll call and feel as the “blame spot.” Once there, think more consciously the blame thoughts you are already thinking about some other “bad/ imperfect/ to blame/ yucky” person in your life.
Their is almost always a SHOULD or SHOULDN’T attached to your story about them.
GET INTO IT. FEEL YOURSELF SLUMP OVER AND TIGHTEN YOUR BODY AND CRUNCH DOWN ON YOUR BREATHING WHEN YOU THINK THE BLAME/ SHOULD/ SHOULDN’T  THOUGHTS.
Then, relax a bit.
Stand up straighter.
Look at something real, preferably nature outside.
Take a deep breath.
Wiggle your body from fingers to toes.
And then…..
Now JUMP, really, Jump to another spot, and in that spot say aloud six gratitudes.
Three gratitudes for life in general.
Three gratitudes/ appreciations for the “bad/ yucky” person.
Feel what happens to your body, mind, heart, soul and breathing as you do then.
NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE. = LEARNING.

Then SLINK back to the blame spot, and have those crappy thoughts, and notice: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE WHEN YOU choose the crappy thoughts and ….. what crappy feelings and body sensations and breathing result from your attachment to this belief system?

And take the deep breath, and wiggle and straighten to a fuller you and once more jump again to the six gratitudes. Three about life. Three about the other.
And feel the differences, which is to say: learn. 

This isn’t bullshitting.
This is core to a good life.
We can choose the blame spot, and ….. happens.
We can choose/ jump to the gratitude and appreciation spot and … happens.

Notice: this isn’t being “good.”
This is being smart/ wise/ kind to ourselves.

We’ve already experienced the power of gratitude.
And we’ve made it explicit that learning is noticing a difference that makes a difference.
Here we are jumping to a different spot, to have a gratitude based outlook on reality.
And experiencing the difference.
And… we can always slink back, temporarily, to the grumpy/ blame spot.

Gratitude, and we get one result.
Blame and should/ shouldn’t and we get another.
And some part of us can experience deeply this sad and brutal truth: where we put our attention determines our inner “weather.”
Which means: we can chose happiness or suffering.
In the mere jumping to a different view of the world.
A game worth playing. Any time we are miserable with a bunch of should or shouldn’t accusations in our minds.

This third game seems like a smokescreen.
It’s not really.
It’s just that we have so darned much trouble letting go of our “story” when we are stuck in it.
Tomorrow we’ll begin a lifelong commitment to being present.
Today we’ll “do” this being present from a slightly different angle: what’s left when we give up our story?
Don’t worry about that explanation yet. 
Just try this:


Don’t Believe Your Own Thinking Game #3:
Pick two spots.
One: where you believe your own thinking.
Two: where you don’t believe your own thinking
Go to spot one. Stand there and let any “should” or “shouldn’t” belief in your mind about some other person drive you to suffering.
Jump to the “DON’T BELIEVE” spot.
There simply don’t believe your own thinking. You don’t have to believe any sort of opposite or positive thinking.
Just abandon the thinking that is committed to the should or shouldn’t.
Again: try out the believing the story spot.
And jump again to the not believing the story spot.

So, in one spot…. So and so should appreciate me more.
In the DON’T BELIEVE SPOT, being free one way of another. Neither that they should appreciate you more, nor that they shouldn’t. Just seeing the world as: this is the way it is.
Please don’t fall into the platitude of “It is what it is,” which is always true, and almost always carries a resigned or cynical or pretend freedom attitude.
Think more like a novelist: this person doesn’t appreciate me. How would life be for me if I didn’t believe that?
Take the approach of curiosity. See what happens. 
Who am I when I believe the story?
Who or what am I when I don’t believe the story?

Transformation Continues:
Day Four: Being Present
As a way to love being in your body
As a way to love, even more, touching your partner.
And being touched.
As a way to “forgive” with much more ease than usual

Day Five: Real Learning will Set you free
Noticing differences that make a difference: touch, body fun, learning

Day Six: Return to Nature
As least twice a day

The next three days are more delights to improve sex.
And Ways to approach life to keep it fresh and new.
And an obvious nourishment that is with us so much more than we usually realize.


Day Four: Enlightenment is now
BEING PRESENT

At any moment we can come back into the present.

Like now?
Yes.
And now?
Yes.
And Now?
Yes.
This is one of the miracles of now: it’s always here. No waiting. No standing in line. No required uniform, age, health status, money requirements. You are always you. Always now.
What’s that like?
Experience your now, now, the you of being alive right now. What do you notice?

What difference does that make?

This is one of the most significant differences we can notice in life: what happens when we shift to “waking up” to our experience of this moment in this moment.

Let’s give ourselves, right away a present of the present game that roots us in our body. 


When I was young, sports and being outdoors and swimming and the usual fun of life was my unknown way of being present. By “unknown,” I mean that I wasn’t “trying” to be present, but that this just came naturally to the territory of being a child.
This, of course, is why we like to be around the young so much: they are present and they are delighted to be present and they remind us how good and easy this world can be.

Later, sex came along, and had a somewhat thrilling way of being present and of connecting to another person. It was a balance to over-studying and a life where I was pretty hooked on thinking that my thinking and my getting grades and the whole “what are you going to do with your life” game where who I really was.

Then, a breakthrough of a somewhat sloppy form came along, but maybe it’s the only way that could have worked for an over-intellectual lunk head like me.
Walking across the plaza at Stanford one fall afternoon in 1965, a friend casually asked me: Do you want some acid?
Acid, of course, was LSD, and this was before it was either a big deal in the save the world way, or a big deal in the Bad Trips will Drive you Crazy way.
So, I said yes, not really sure what I was getting into.
And a couple of weeks later, with a guide who had “done” this before, we “dropped” and listened to the Loving Spoonful.
And nothing happened.
And he said, don’t worry.
And nothing happened.
And he said, it’s coming.
And nothing happened.
And then the world opened, and the music was from heaven and everything from the apartment was in heaven, and when we took a walk all the street lights and trees and plants and people walking around, everything was perfect and some beautiful part of “God,” whatever “God” was.
I didn’t think about “God” in those days, before this, but that night God seemed at the core of everything and everything seemed God, and everything was beautiful and nothing could be explained and that was just fine.
And God was very much the feeling that his musical note, right now, was perfect, and this street lamp, right now, was perfect, and this cloud pattern in the sky, right now, was perfect. Everything seemed equally divine. There was no waiting for something “better” to happen.
Everything was “best.”

This seemed like a whole new world. The world where everything was perfect just as it was. Later, I’ve found that every mystic of every religious stripe experiences the world this way: it’s all God, it’s all beautiful, even if so called “painful,” and it’s all perfect.
And a couple of times more, listening to Beethoven and the heaven of his music, or wandering around East Palo Alto and seeing the beauty of every rose and tree and wet weed grass.
And once, this perfection and beauty spilled into a feast of gratitude: for Beethoven, for the musicians, for the orchestra, for the recording, for the tape recorder, for the electricity coming into the tape recorder, for the dynamo in the mountains that generated the electricity, for the discovery of creating electricity

And then something else helped, another piece of luck and expansion of what the mystery of life was all about. It turned out “the now” was always here, not just in a magical drug experience.  It was a book! A friend (same one who’d “tripped” with me the first time) had invited me to a study group, in which we dove into a rather intricate book on Gestalt Therapy. Some fancy theory, exciting of course, and then the “real deal:”  some very straight ahead “exercises.” 
Action to take.
Not just words explaining other words.
This was their games as if were.
The first game was this:  “For three minutes, simply start every sentence with “Now I am aware…” and finish it with the truth of  what you are aware of. Skip thoughts. Skip emotional explorations. (Later on that). Just sensations and observations without commentary or judgment in the present.

And so let’s start today, taking advantage of this miracle of the present: 
No waiting around. You can do this right now.
No “right place” to be. You can do this wherever you are, right now. 


Awareness Game #1:  “Now I am Aware.”
Set a timer for two minutes. (If no timer with you, you being lucky/ smart enough to be away from the Great Distraction of a smart phone… just guess two minutes)
Start a series of sentences with “Now I am aware….”
Say them aloud, or very quietly if whatever place you are in demands that.
No judging or commentary, just the facts.
Do it and see what happens.

If you have a partner around, do this together, taking turns listening to each other explore the would of “now I am aware…” And then then share what you noticed doing this. 
If you are doing this alone, jot down here, or it an “observations journal” what you noticed and liked about doing this.





You might even have a gratitude or two the occurs to you from this time in the present. If so, write them in your gratitude journal.

Let’s make this a little more vital.
Most people, when they finally do get out of all their inner chatter, and actually into the present, are still mainly above the neck.
What we see and what we hear is vastly important to our species. 
And …
And…. ten percent of the weight of our body is in our head. 
There is more.
WE ARE FULL BODIED CREATURES.
WE HAVE ARMS
LEGS
HANDS
FEET
TOES
FINGERS
SPINES
RIBS 
BELLIES 
PELVIS
HIPS 
KNEES
AND MORE.

There is a wonderful saying I’ve brought into my teaching and learning lexicon in the last several years.
The saying is this: NO BODY = NOBODY.
This is a saying from a Chinese energy system, a five thousand year old Chinese energy system that I’ll recommend in day seven as one of your ten possible “super-power liberation & happiness” pathways. This system has been brought to the West by a Western MD and surgeon, Dr Barry Morguelan, who practices in LA, lectures around the world, and teaches training seminars in Austin, Texas, detailing many aspects of this 5000 year old system. His amazing website is EnergyForSuccess.org. Go there for breathing exercises, amazing blogs, interviews with people such as Tony Robins and Dave Aspery, courses you might take advantage of.
The “About” tab has some great opening introduction to how “Dr. B,” as we call him, discovered and deeper into this system. The Blogs have shortened forms of various of his three hour lectures. The products page is somewhat endless, but there is almost always a great deal on a “breathing exercise” which is a guided visualization that helps deepen and reset your “energy” to a more happy and healing and younger and effective “vibration.”
It’s all a bit mysterious.
Oh, well.

And back to the joy of being present in our body, in this now, this moment. This real body in which we are conducting our life. Either we know we are “here,” or we don’t.

NO BODY = NOBODY. Mull this over for a bit, without “thinking” about it.

A sly and easy to remember reminder that when we are lost in our heads, forgetting that big list of all the body below our neck, then there is no one really home.

If you want to be somebody in Your Body, here is a great way to wake up to how much of us there is.
The game will be to say now I am aware in three layers.
Like this.

Life is Being Present Game #2: Three Layers of “Now I am Aware.
Set a timer for two minutes, or guess it.
State one “Now I am aware….”
And pick something below your waist:
The feet or toes. Where they are. What they feel. What is the sensation of them.
Legs, pelvis, ankle, knee, hips.

Middle layer:
State the next, “Now I am aware…”
And pick something above your waist and below your neck.
Belly, breathing, ribs, arms, fingers, hands, stomach, spine, elbows, wrists.
Sensation, shape, what they are touching, heat of cold.
(No complaining. No judging. Just the facts: My left hand is resting on my left knee and feels the material of my pants.)

Top layer.
Now state a “Now I am aware…” that comes from the head layer.
Neck, skull, face, tongue, breath coming in and out your nose or mouth, smile or not, what your eyes see, your ears hear, your nose smells. 

Then go back down to the bottom layer, “Now I am aware….”
Then the middle, “Now I am aware….”
Then the top layer, “Now I am aware…”

And back again, always starting closer to the Earth, around and around, visiting and aware-ing into your life and body right now in your full and amazing fullness. 








The next game turns this into a game of connection and deepening. The third pathway of liberation is TOUCH. Touch is the foundation of lust. Touch is crucial to being a mammal.
Touch is a way to be present in one of its most simple and safe forms. If it’s simple enough.
And this is plenty simple: just holding hands.
With a partner: great.
With a good friend: great.
With a child or parent: great. 

Here is another game towards the delight of sex twice a day or more.
Sex often gets waylaid in being so oriented to the genitals. We will actually improve this a little later with a non-reciprocal stroking of the woman’s clitoris, but even here, the goal will be for both to be aware, in the moment, of the effects of this THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE BODY.

For starters though, for making out, for hugging, for just laying in bed naked together and exulting in whatever touch is happening, the practice of awareness throughout your whole body is immense.

Let’s start at a very simple level: touch plus awareness in three levels.

Being Present Game #3—- Touching your Partner’s Face
Being aware of three levels
Set the timer for five minutes.
Stroke, caress, explore, massage your partner’s face for three minutes.
Each person keep awareness:
One, at the point of contact
Two: in all three layers of the body… below the waist, and in the middle layer, and at the top, the face level, where there will be a lot of awareness
For the one touched.
But each person: the toucher, too, notice bottom, middle and top level as you caress/ massage/ explore

Then shift and go five minutes the other way
Again both people noticing all three levels

When done, just rest and breathe a bit.
Then: 
TALK A BIT, SHARE A BIT HOW VALUABLE EVEN THIS SMALL AMOUNT OF SLOWING DOWN FEELS TO YOU AND YOUR LIFE.

This can now be one of your two touching options each day.
Will this lead to better sex?
Find out.
Will this lead to more sex?
Find out.
Will this lead us out of the misery of no body = nobody? 
Yes.
An Overview: Ten Liberation and Happiness Pathways

One: Gratitude opens the door to Love

Two: Touch begins the road to fabulous sex

Three: Don’t Believe Your Own Thinking starts to set you Free

Four: Being Present in our Bodies, is our chance to experience the Real World

Five: Real Learning = Trying out and Noticing Differences; Brain Plasticity at almost any moment

Six: Nature is a path to God that is far more available than we usually realize

Seven: “The Energy” / Flow/ The Glory of God… this is Life at it’s Core, waiting for us

Eight: Twice a Day: Gratitude, Touch/Kiss/ Sex , Meditate… you deserve it

Nine: Happy, Healthy Good Food: Paleo, Raw, Joy and Health

Ten: Save the World

Day Five: Waking up via Learning: 
Real Learning = Trying out and Noticing Differences; 
My lucky pathway: Gurdjieff work and the Feldenkrais Method®
Brain Plasticity at almost any moment

Try this: interlace your fingers.
Do it slowly.
Then fast.
Then fast several times.

Notice that you’ll always put the same set of fingers on top, the same thumb on top, same index finger, all the way down to the same pinkie on top. It’s either a right over left thing, or a left over right.
This may seem like a right / left hand thing, but it isn’t. I’ve met enough people of both the left and right hand persuasions who did it one way or the other to realize: somewhere along the line we pick a grove, and we just stick with it.
This is one function of the brain: to find a habit, and keep it up.

Whatever grove you’ve created in your brain with this movement has become so well worn, that it takes some doing/ thinking/ awareness/ slowing down to create the opposite and non-habitual interlocking.
This seems like perhaps a “waste” of our time, except that it’s such a simple way to physically and directly realize an obvious truth: if we want to get out of SOS (same old stuff; same old sh..), it might take some awareness and slowly down and actual discovery mentality to find a new path.

So, let’s try with the hand interlacing thing….

Change Your Life by Changing your Movement Game #1
Interlace your fingers the habitual way.
Look at and feel how this is.
Now, take your hands apart and come together SLOWLY, and
Interlace your fingers the non-habitual way. If the left thumb and forefinger are usually on top, do the right set.
If the right thumb and forefinger are usually on top, do the left set.
When you have your hands in the non-habitual mode, wiggle them around together and feel how “odd” and “unusual” this feels.
Even though this feels “off,” your brain is learning by noticing the difference of this “off.” 
“Off” = different = new = strange.
= Learning.
Ha ha ha.

Real learning doesn’t need you to be able to describe this difference.
Most physical learning is deeper and more subtle than words can ever express.


Let’s play a game that helps make this more clear and more fun, and then I’ll share with you my good fortune at having learned the Feldenkrais Method®, from which this clarity about “learning to learn” derived.

Here’s the game:
Learning to Learn by noticing differences (in movement ) game #2: Skip newly
First, experience the habitual:  skip in the usual way, right/right and then left/ left.
Do that for awhile.
Smile while you do it, because most likely you haven’t skipped for awhile.
Now, create 
New pattern #1: Skip twice on your right foot and three times on your left.
Then go back to “normal.”
Then back to twice right/ three times left.

New pattern #2: Skip twice left and three times right.
Back to normal.
Back to the twice left/ three right.

New Pattern #3: Skip three times each side
Back to normal
Back to three times each side

New pattern #4: Skip 4 left and 3 right
Back to normal
Now, 4 right and 3 left

And you can now play with just about any pattern that comes to you.
Notice how each “wakes you up”
Notice how fun this is.

BEYOND NOTICING. REALIZE. THIS IS REAL LEARNING.
And realize this: you now have many neurological pathways you didn’t have before you started this game.
Smile and sense your whole body and your emotional and spiritual being as well.
What difference do you notice?

And what does this tell us about being human?
And what does this tell us about life?

We can change.
And we need to change to change.
That’s what all these games are about.

And, let’s go back to the baby stage.
They have no crawling or walking or talking program.
That’s all learned.
How?
Trying out things.
Ba ba ba ma ma ma
Noticing differences.
Right hand pushes. Left hand pushes.
Noticing differences.
Hands touch face, hands touch feet.
Noticing differences.
Rolling to belly, rolling back to the back.
Noticing differences.

This is a simple game, and a huge game and many will be reluctant because you have to get off your chair, but so be it….

Moving in new ways to explore our brain / body/ movement game #3:
Lay on the floor on your back.
Roll to your belly.
Roll back.
Do this slower and notice what you can notice about how you do this.

Now, with awareness, try these three ways:
Rolling from back to belly leading with your head and eyes.

Two: Rolling from back to belly and back again leading with your ribs and shoulders.

Three: Rolling from back to belly and back again leading with your pelvis and legs.

They all work.
They are all very different.

Do this a couple of times a day and guess what else will improve?
Yep.
Your sex.

Movement is huge to the human brain.
Learning new and more interesting movement is a way to improve skills like golf and musicianship.
It’s also a way to move toward a younger brain.
This is all part of the genius of what Moshe Feldenkrais created for the world, in his life from 1904 to 1984.

So. What is the Feldenkrais Method®?

When I was about 55, I was in “pretty good” shape for my age. I had not lived a sedentary life. I’d been inspirited to get involved in daily action of carpentry and garden design and garden creating (no maintenance of other people’s gardens, thanks) as part of the Gurdjieff work. This I’ll talk about more in the advanced chapter on awareness in the present.
For now just let me say that this “work” had given me the enthusiasm and the incentive to shift from a mainly intellectual worker to a physical one: carpentry and landscape/ garden creation. 
I’d loved this, loved solving real problems, loved being outside most of the day, loved working with a more full me.
And aches and pains had come along with this.
I remember being up on a ladder, cutting a hole in a house to put in this very fun round window, when my back went out. Before I’d heard about this, but really didn’t believe in it. Now, I could barely move.
Hmm. This is a real problem.
But I’d had a suspicion of a real solution ready at hand.

Since this was taking place in the Bay Area, and my always having an amazing set of luck in finding the most amazing pathways to healing and awakening, I’d come across, years before,  the Feldenkrais Method®, a method of slow movement that re-taught the body how to move and by discovering new and easier and more fun and less stuck pathways, almost always helped with neck, back or shoulder pain.
So I skidadled down to a local class and within about four hour long “floor lessons” in a group, the slow movement and variation being such that it help back issues and neck issues and knees issues and a host of others, and my back pain was gone. This was in my early forties and I’m back to work, going slower and more clear on the hip foot shoulder back connection, and feeling better than ever.
So for years after that I’d been telling anyone with a neck, back or shoulder (or hip, or knee, almost any body issue) to “go see a Feldenkrais person.”
And then…….

At fifty five my girlfriend at the time, the above mentioned yoga teacher Celeste, was handed a postcard a friend of hers had received about a weekend workshop in the Feldenkrais Method®. (The luck thing: a card, second hand).
We went.
I was expecting some nice body relaxation.
I came home feeling as if I was twelve years old.
The workshop had been a “teaser” for a four year training.
What better could I do at that stage of my life? Sign me up.

This work was far more fun and profound than I could ever have imagined. Over and over we started movements that seemed more or less impossible (bringing your foot to your face while sitting on the floor), and then slowly, not by effort, but by variation and slowing down and resting between and using awareness and learning instead of effort, again and again, we all of us, no matter what level, made huge and fun progress. (The foot to the face one is in the amazing and not so easy book by Moshe Feldenkrais called Awareness Through Movement. At the end of about a half hour of slow and varied movements, one foot comes to your face or far far nearer. Then: you IMAGINE all these movements on the other side for about ten minutes. What happens? Foot over there comes far far nearer your face. The learning ability of our body/ brain is enormous. )
The Feldenkrais® training was four years. Not full time. Four years of eight weeks worth a year.  Three weeks in the winter. Five in the summer.

And then I was a practitioner of one of the most amazing transformative tools on the planet. As Moshe said: “I don’t teach, and you learn.”
What is learning?
Noticing differences that make a difference.

And who was Moshe Feldenkrais?
An amazing man, who’d started out determined to discover life on his/ its own terms. Sick of rigid Jewish life in Poland, he’d walked to Palestine when he was fourteen, in 1918. At first alone and then more and more joined.
He made a life there as a day laborer, going to night school, and quickly discovering his ability to tutor others in any subject.
But this was Jews vs Arabs, and the British liked to stir up the conflict.
Arabs, as part of their traditional dress, included knives in their attire. Jews didn’t.
This made the street conflicts rough for the Jews.
Moshe witnessed himself and his friends getting their asses kicked when they tried the level of jujitsu they had taught themselves.
He invented a move to take advantage of the natural startle hands to the face reaction when a knife is coming toward your head. Turned this reaction into a judo-like move to disarm and better the knife welder.
Included this in a book, written in Hebrew for self-defense.
Had to leave Palestine because the British weren’t fond of such books.
Went to the Sorbonne in Paris, toward a PhD in science and physics.
Met the founder of judo in Paris, showed him the book, got set up at the first European teacher of judo.

So here is Moshe, smart and studying physics with Madam Cure among others.
Physically brilliant as a judo teacher.
And… he wrecks his knees being an over vigorous soccer player.
Goes to a doc.
Who says, “We can operate, but there’s a fifty-fifty chance of you being crippled.”
Moshe: “I’m a scientist. I can flip a coin for fifty-fifty.”

He lays down on the floor and re-discovers how someone with almost worthless knees could function well in the physical world.
Discovered in his re-discoveries : ribs, toes, spine, neck, breathing, learning how to learn.
On and on.
His discoveries cure him, and become obvious as highly valuable to musicians and injured folk and special needs children and anyone with brain injury, and anyone high level who wants to go to higher.

(The Feldenkrais site: http://Feldenkrais.com. The site of an advanced student of his, with whom I studied another four years, http://AnatBanielMethod.com)
Our website, Carol and mine:  http://BecomeMoreAmazing.com  . This Feldenkrais® work is one way. Our coaching is another. Getting present to the enlightened moment of now, is another. Sex every day is another. 
In fact: every pathways of this book: your ticket to become more amazing.)

In his seventies, Moshe had worthless knees, the kneecaps of which could rotate almost directly to the side. And, with careful awareness he could not only walk and dance and teach, but throw far younger men in judo. Oh, well. That’s Moshe.
His gift to us all: understanding what real learning is.
Create little differences.
Go about them with less speed and less force and vastly more awareness.
Increase awareness.
Increase function.
Re-learn how to learn.

If this is getting to sound theoretical: go skip again in new patterns.
Roll over noticing how different it is when you lead with your hips/ pelvis and legs.

Smile.

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