The Surrender Experiment

Michael Singer has written a book entitled: “The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life’s Perfection.” Michael Singer is also the author of the best selling, “Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself.” Interesting that both are his personal story about his “Journey” and I have recently written about the process of living, “the Journey,” as more important than the outcome. But that is not what this blog is about.

In his recent book, Michael writes about “Surrender” to what life and Guidance throws at you. He describes many acts of Surrender as he moves through his life to become a multi-millionaire, meditating hippy. It is a true story and I loved reading it. BUT, some people are willing to actually take the next step and to clear their mind of Judgements and surrender to what Guidance throws at them. My friend and mentor, Rodger Ruge, and I engaged in this experiment. In our own way, we are taking what presents itself (from “Guidance”) and then agreeing to work on these projects to the best we can do. Rodger has taken on healing our first responders, law enforcement personnel, emergency services, and military to assist our “Heroes” to maintain health and wellness and to minimize the impact o PTSD on their lives. His project, “HeroTalk,” offers great service for our Vets and law enforcement Heroes. I have taken on this project called Masters of the Journey (there is that word again) to build a supportive community around consciousness development. Recently, I seem to be taking on another Guidance driven role of “Healer.”

Rodger and I both agree that the surrender to these projects is amazing, nurturing for our souls, and a challenge which we do not understand where this will lead us in our lives. This commitment feels great and, of course, challenging. Are you open and available to act on guidance? Are you willing to find life satisfaction even if you are moving into a very different life focus and direction? Read Michael Singer’s book and consider releasing judgement so you can surrender to your adventure of the lifetime. Perhaps, you think that this is not possible for you RIGHT NOW. But, this will open doors for you to consider how to be happier in your life!

If you think that this does not apply to you or that you would never follow a path less travelled, then you missed your adolescence, romance, adventure travel, and many things which create the “stories” which give your life depth and substance. If so, I am wishing that some day you live your life instead of watching from the couch or the sidelines! YES, that is a Judgement, but I hope it gets you motivated to jump in and swim with more of the beauties life has to offer. YOU deserve it. WE need YOU!

Secret, but not a spoiler, Michael Singer pushes meditation to quiet the mind and to reduce the strength of “Judgement.” You can “Say Yes” to life and find satisfaction in completely life course changing ways. This perspective is wonderful.

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Helping Our Heroes with PTSD

I am told that in the United States there are 18 Million potential heroes. Yes, 18,000,000 men and women who are actively, or retired from, positions, where their primary work involves saving or protecting the citizens of this country. Included in this group are people you know, the Police personnel, Firefighters, Emergency Medical Responders, Correctional Officers, Active Military, and retired veterans of the these services. They all have stories to tell regarding their service and the heroic actions they have taken or witnessed in the course of their work. Many of these heroes have been affected physically or emotionally by their activities. Most will not discuss the emotional scars that they bare from traumatic events in which they participated. If they can talk about the traumatic events, it is usually with co-workers that they trust because “civilians would not really understand.”

Acknowledgement of their service can make the difference between healing from their emotional scars or following a much more negative pathway. Did you know that our police heroes have an extremely higher rate of death by suicide than the civilian population? Divorce is higher, as is, early death (statistics say 10 years less than the “normal” population.) Historically, returning Vietnam veterans were treated to often harsh welcomes when they returned from service in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Those who had family and community support, appreciation, and acknowledgement fared much better with their mental and emotional rehabilitation.

Currently, a stream of military personnel are returning from long tours of duty in the Middle East. Their healthy re-integration is tested by the existing systems and our society will bear the costs of long term physical and mental health challenges. Amongst these returnees, we see National Guard personnel who are returning to their civilian jobs and lives.

We even have a new class of warriors who work at war during their day and go home to their families at night. Technology now allows for pilots to fly “drones” over enemy targets from computers in our country. There are times when these drones release weapons that destroy targets and kill or injure people on the ground. These pilots are not buffered with re-integration processes and may return home to their families at the end of their shifts. These are NOT video games. These are real weapons and real warfare conducted from home (bases.) How do we assist these warriors with their emotional and psychological issues?

We need to view training differently as we prepare our heroes for their professional duties. We need to act preventively and train our heroes how to minimize the impact of PTSD from the traumatic experiences that they participate in. These heroes are too important to our society to let them “break down.” We need to support and assist them in ways that have not been widely used in the past.

Honor, celebrate, support, and reach out to our heroes. Our police personnel, our fire personnel, our Emergency Medical service personnel, our active military personnel, and our veterans deserve much better recognition and service than they often receive.

In the future, we hope to reach out and serve heroes throughout the world by offering training programs for professionals who have PTSD clients and who may offer better services by learning some of the new behavioral techniques for lessening PTSD.

“There are loyal hearts, there are spirits brave, there are souls that are pure and true, then give to the world the best you have, And the best will come back to you.” By Madeline Bridges.
Let’s strive to give our heroes our best!

Contact me for more details regarding professional involvement in this network to support our heroes. The Stress Education center at www.dstress.com

No matter what your opinion regarding the military personnel, police and law enforcement professionals, and other emergency service providers, we are all in this together and need to reach out and support ALL people.

Being Present: Key to Mindfulness

Have you ever suffered from anxiety, fear, or major stress? If so, then the chances are good that the fear or anxiety were born out of an experience from the past, as a learned response, or from fears of some future unknown or uncontrollable event. Throughout our lives we suffer great or small traumas and our body learns to respond to similar scenarios as if we were having PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) reactions. In deed, we may have mini-PTSD responses to fearful or difficult events even if these past events were not life threatening. Most importantly, if we ruminate on past events then we are not totally “present” in our bodies, in present time. Our bodies will then attempt to make us “present” by dragging us back into the present moment with an irritating, if not worse, symptom like an anxiety attack. This symptom is not necessarily the enemy, but it is a warning sign that we are not paying attention to our bodies, in the present moment.

Fear of the unknown or the uncertainty of what can happen in the future will also trigger a symptom of fear or anxiety. Since we can not predict the future with 100% accuracy, our flight-fight response can be triggered and physical or emotional symptoms can be exacerbated. When we lose track of the present moment, our body can force us to consider the present in rude ways.

Conversely, at the heart of every stress or anxiety management technique are simple activities designed to bring us back into our bodies in the present moment and in a “positive way.” One strong example is the request to take a deep slow breath and to feel the cool air as you inhale and the warm breath as you exhale. This simple, but powerful, request asks that you release thoughts regarding the past or expectations of the future and to feel the subtle difference of a slow inhale and exhale. This act of Mindfulness can back you away from your fear or anxiety especially when this has been rehearsed enough to become a habituated pattern.

Being Present or practicing Mindfulness is easier said than done, but the concept is not difficult to understand and with practice not too difficult to learn. Being prepared to “let go” of fear, anxiety, or traumatic thoughts can be very useful and can succeed when the skill of “Being Present” has become a positive habit.

Other techniques for mindfulness would include feeling: muscles relaxing, heart rate slowing, hands and feet warming, stomach tension releasing, and sensations of slowing down of distracting thoughts. Techniques which can lead to this state of mind and body, when practiced, include: Meditations, Autogenic Training, Progressive Relaxations, Visualizations/Imagery, forms of Self-Hypnosis, Breathing techniques, Yoga/Stretching, biofeedback training, and other types of focusing and observations. The secret is to find the one that works best for you, master it, and then use it preventively on a regular basis.

Information at the Stress Education Center’s website wwww.dstress.com may prove helpful to you.