Monday, May 13, 2019

The Hoarder by Esther Veltheim

"We are our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.”

– Tom Robbins

When left to its own devices, the head brain becomes a compulsive hoarder. It accumulates and stockpiles learned information and stories, squirreling them away as if readying itself for a famine. The greater the head brain's hoard of learned information and stories, the more adept it is at steamrolling intuition and guarding against the heart. Like any addictive behavior, the head brain's compulsion to learn and cling escalates until pathology successfully masquerades as a necessity: hoarding becomes essential to living. That we call the age we live in "the information age" might be more telling than we realize.

Like any addiction, hoarding information and knee-jerk answering weaken the head brain. Its ability to discriminate and draw on its discretionary dimension suffer dramatically. Habitually satisfying its urges with a knowledge fix allows the head brain to close down to the unknown. Conversely, when the Three Brain Complex is dynamic, the gut brain informs and the heart brain anchors. Simply put, the Hoarder head brain is our struggle with our self.

When the head brain dominates, we look to external sources to inform us. And we look to external sources to anchor us. While we are in this dissociative state, the external is mistaken for our source of survival and also our greatest threat. Accumulating learned information to ensure answers are always at the ready is how the over-compensating head brain keeps us feeling safe. The head brain's primary conviction is that learned information is our greatest strength. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what that information is as long as it keeps us armed with answers.There is nothing wrong with the head brain. It is just doing its job relative to what needs to be done in the moment.

Self-inquiry questions all learned information, stories and our assumptions about them. This means that self-inquiry puts the head brain's addiction to hoarding and its entire stash of knowledge and stories under threat. A simple explanation of self-inquiry is the process of questioning all our assumptions. A simple place to begin self-inquiry might be to ask  “What do I know for sure?” This is a self-reflective question. It turns our focus inwards which immediately shifts the habit of looking for answers "out there." And whenever this shift in orientation happens, the mind temporarily calms. Over time, the practice of self-inquiry or self-reflection disrupts apathetic head brain habits. This is because self-reflection naturally engages the Three Brain Complex in a far more dynamic way.

If any of the preceding speaks to you, please join our Q&A and share your questions or your presence with us. Although I am calling this class a Q&A, my focus is not simply to answer your questions. My role is, primarily, to serve as a catalyst for the deepening of our own questioning process.

“There has to be another way!”

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Beautifully Designed

“The bodymind complex has been beautifully designed. No one system has full responsibility for all functions. This provides backup for when a system is failing, as well as multiple inputs to facilitate the ideal processing, and functioning, in any situation. For example, the meridian system can do most of the things that chakras can do, plus it does a lot more of the hands-on, day-to-day, operations of the body.” 

~ John Veltheim, taken from the Eastern Medicine course

Can Diagnosis Do More Harm Than Good?

Theoretically, the concept of diagnosis is a good one. It involves gathering a patient’s case history, their symptoms, lab results, and other diagnostic tests. In this way the patient’s illness is corroborated and named. The practitioner will then use this label to determine the treatment approach. The treatment could involve drugs, surgery, therapy, diet. Or, in the alternative therapies, acupuncture needles, herbs, homeopathic remedies, etc.

The flaw in this system is the limitation of the database you are drawing upon. In the case of traditional medicine, the database will involve physiological and structural evaluations that are very materialistically inclined. Even though reference is sometimes made to emotions and environmental stresses, these references are vague at best. Acupuncturists will also include the meridians in their evaluations and psychologists will include case history and environmental and emotional stress factors. The big problem lies in the fact the new physics is omitted from all of these preceding treatment models.

Diagnostic approaches preclude what the new physics has clearly demonstrated; that the bodymind is far more complex than the Cartesian model asserts. For a start, the energy dynamics of the bodymind are entangled with patterns of energy associated with the environment. People who are close to the patient or anyone who has an influence on the patient’s life, will bring about quantum entanglements. These entanglements will definitely influence the health of the person. A celebrity’s fan base, for example, constitutes a huge entanglement. Family, friends and even strangers who have powerful impact via the media can also present a quantum entanglement for the patient. Animals, plants, and electronic devices can also fall into the category of quantum entanglement. On top of this, the patient will also have stored emotional memories, attitudes and belief systems that are still affecting brain function, however well the patient thinks they have dealt with them. In short, when a patient’s health problems are narrowed down to a simplistic label, such as a stomach ulcer or breast cancer, a great injustice is being done to the patient. The limitations of your diagnostic database have omitted key elements that are crucial in addressing their ailment in a truly holistic way. Instead, a host of unique factors, contributing to and underpinning their symptom, are being ignored. When a patient’s health problems are diluted down and given a generic label, the subsequent treatment model will be equally generic.

This does not mean that the diagnostic model for arriving at a treatment protocol is always deficient. In many cases the treatment prescribed can actually be one that is in excess of what the bodymind complex actually requires. While healthcare modalities persist in using diagnosis as their medium, generic symptoms will remain the benchmark for treatment protocols. What this means is that patients will continue to be treated as if they are generic human beings. In essence, the diagnostic model ignores the uniqueness of each individual and the uniqueness and complexity of their individual health issues.

Healthcare modalities that fail to factor the new physics into their treatment models, continue to pigeon-hole their patients into categories of disease. This is why so many people label themselves “a cancer patient”, “a diabetic” etc. Patients are, essentially, being taught to identify as their symptoms. These labels describe only one element of a complex energy dynamic and entanglement happening within their bodymind. As was mentioned before, rigid attitudes and belief systems are quantum entanglements. When a patient adopts the identity of a symptom, they identify with a superficial aspect of their bodymind’s overall health. This new identity, “I am a cancer patient” or even, “I am a cancer survivor”, is highly detrimental. When a patient identifies with a symptom this attitude can constitute, in and of itself, a health problem.

When the bodymind’s own innate wisdom is left out of the treatment equation, more often than not, symptoms recur or transmute. To successfully address the total range of influences complicit in any disease, an understanding of the laws of quantum physics is essential. Healthcare modalities that do not use this database of information and laws are not practicing holistic medicine. They are performing first aid.

Schedule for Spring and Summer 2019

May 15, 22, 29 | Sarasota, Florida via LiveStream (12:00pm - 12:45pm)
Group Session Series: Gland Support - All 3
Details & Registration for all 3>>
Individual Registration for The Thyroid & Parathyroid, The Thymus & Immunity, or The Adrenals

June 5, 12, 19 | Sarasota, Florida via LiveStream (12:00pm - 12:45pm)
Group Session Series: Beliefs, the Senses and Stress
Details & Registration for all 3>>
Individual Registration for Five Senses, Belief Systems, Spiritual Stress

July 10 | Sarasota, Florida via LiveStream (12:00 - 1:30pm)
Online Instructor Update
Note: This free course is only available to active IBA Instructors.
(No registration required)

July 11 | Sarasota, Florida via LiveStream (12:00 - 1:30pm)
Online Member Update
Note: This free course is only available to active IBA Members.
(No registration required)

August 14, 21, 28 | Sarasota, Florida via LiveStream (12:00pm - 12:45pm)
Group Session Series: The Nervous System - All 3
Details & Registration for all 3 >>
Individual Registration for different parts of Nervous System

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Questioning and the Spiritual Process by Esther Veltheim

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."  

–Rainer Maria Rilke

Spiritual process. Ask twenty different people what these two little words signify for them and you will probably receive twenty different responses. But, chances are quite a few of these explanations will contain the term becoming enlightened.

Spiritual process. Becoming enlightened. Being a spiritual person. Most anyone involved in alternative healing or any kind of yoga will have come across such terminology or even regularly use these terms themselves.

The subject of spirituality can be highly seductive, daunting and confusing. After all, the language we have for the spiritual life is laden with connotations, and conflicting-seeming schools of thought abound.

One thing is pretty certain. If your goal is to become enlightened, the belief you lack something will dog you. The opposite may also be the case. If your goal is to become enlightened it is possible you are resigned to the idea there is something you need to be getting rid of before that can happen. Maybe the ego, the me, your thoughts. Maybe all of that.

And then there are all the spiritual pathways one can take. And then there are all the different explanations about them.

And then there is what you feel inside. Maybe a deep frustration; a yearning; a sense of "This can't be it!?"; "There has to be more!"; "What is life all about!?" ...

A long preamble and maybe you are all ready to stop reading. But, if you relate to anything here, you are not alone. Spirituality is a subject that has baffled, intrigued, seduced, challenged, and driven people to the edge of madness, probably ever since it first came about. It is for this reason that we wanted to devote our first open Q&A to this subject. More importantly, it is because spirituality is such a confounding subject, that we want our Q&A's focus to be on the questions themselves.

There are so many wonderful teachings and teachers in the world who inspire and catalyze us on our spiritual journeys. In terms of the myriad, John's Soul's Journey course addressed some of the various schools of thought. He also imparted practical applications for BodyTalk and the Life Sciences that you can use to support yourself and your clients on this journey.

The much beloved and renowned mythologist and master story teller, Joseph Campbell, called our spiritual journey the Hero's Journey. And, surely, no better word can apply than hero to describe any of us journeying through this human life. Nothing is certain, nothing is predictable, nothing is sure. Even if we do not think of ourselves on a spiritual journey, just being human means we are engaged in a heroic journey.

For John and me, that is what the spiritual life signifies; the adventure of exploring what it is to be human and live this human life as fully as possible.

As you might know, there are four main paths of Yoga--Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga. These are spiritual pathways used by those undertaking the spiritual journey. Each one is differently suited to a particular temperament and approach to life.

Of the four pathways, Jnana--the path of knowledge--is considered the most simple and the most direct method of cutting through our misconceptions about self. As the word simple is the antithesis of easy, this pathway is traditionally the one less traveled.

Why jnana yoga is considered difficult and not suited to everyone is because it requires a sharp intellect; one that has the capacity to cut through self-misconceptions. To this end, jnana yoga might well be called the yoga of questioning. It is not that those involved in the other yogas do not pose questions, on the contrary. But the practitioner of jnana explores the questions themselves in a way that other pathways do not. It is the path of discrimination; seeking to differentiate as clearly as possible the real from the unreal.

How might this apply to you or even interest you?

Living in the Information Age as we are, never have human beings been exposed to such a flood of information. Any of us with a computer or smart phone or TV is open to being bombarded with information on an almost constant basis. Much of this information seems compelling, seductive even. Images, words, sounds, teachings, advertising ... and the list goes on and on and on.

The benefits are many, but the dangers are equally numerous. The human system's ability to adapt to this new way of living is being tested in every moment. Much of the time we are even unaware of the multitude of stressful electrical intrusions our systems are absorbing.

As is so often the case when our systems are stressed, we do what is easiest for us. We want immediate relief, and concern for the long-term consequences falls by the wayside. One of the most common coping methods we have in the Information Age is ASSUMING. With so much information coming at us it is just easier to take most of it in and save ourselves time.

In other words, never has there been a time when human beings are more in need of honing the ability to question. Never has there been a time when our life as human beings has been more in need of examining. Not because dark and difficult ages have not existed before. On the contrary, all the preceding ages also required tremendous human adaptation; the types of human adaptations that have brought us into this age, facing floods and floods of information.

Surely, there has never been a time more pressing than this to learn the art of discrimination. And to this end, we need to learn the art of questioning. As small children, direct, simple, logical questions came easily to us. This means that it is in our nature to question directly, simply and logically. Somewhere along the way, we just became out of touch with this brilliant ability. Between childhood and adulthood, intellect became an almost dirty word to many of us. We forget that clear thinking and clear questioning was once something we were really good at. It came naturally. This means it is an inborn gift none of us are deprived of. We simply need to avail ourselves of it.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Osho

"Knowledge destroys wonder, destroys the capacity to feel awe. It makes you capable of explaining away everything. It takes away all poetry from life. It takes away all meaning from life. The knowledgeable person is never surprised by anything because he can explain everything. But no explanation is true for they don't explain anything at all. The mystery remains. The mystery is infinite."

~ Osho

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Prevalence of Complex PTSD by Esther Veltheim

"Post Truamatic Stress, from a neurological standpoint, is not a dis-order. It is a re-ordering of your neural networks and pathways and your sensory pathways, so that you can survive in a really dangerous situation."

– Janet Seahorn, PhD, author of Tears of a Warrior

When many of us think of PTSD, we often imagine a single, severely traumatic event (war, accident, rape etc.). This event can still have several incidences, but they tend to be put under the one umbrella even though we may need to address the specific components. However, as practitioners, we will more often need to address Complex PTSD also known as C-PTSD. This particular stress disorder generally results from prolonged and repetitive trauma. It frequently involves abuse or abandonment by a family member or caregiver in a situation where the power dynamic is skewed.

Unfortunately, violent and mentally or emotionally abusive relationships are just as prevalent as they have ever been, but they are often kept very hushed and can even go unrecognized by the victims. The following experiences and situations can easily leave a person with C-PTSD symptoms:

  • Physically and mentally abusive relationships from childhood
  • Mentally or emotionally abusive marriages/partnerships (E.g. repeated infidelity)
  • Being bullied at school (leading to child suicide and more gun use in schools)
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Being bullied or abused by parents (alcoholic parents, drug abuse, or parents with mental disorders); being bullied by other children (siblings, school mates)
  • Being gaslighted by a partner or parent
  • Sexual abuse--incest, rape, etc.
  • Environmental--living in a hostile environment (E.g. where there are gangs, etc.)

The profound damage gaslighting causes is only beginning to be acknowledged. If you are unfamiliar with the term gaslighting, it involves psychological manipulation that causes the victim to doubt their own memory, their own perception and their own sanity.

Gaslighting is experienced more among women, but is certainly not limited to them. Although gaslighting is sometimes accompanied by physical abuse, the abuser usually confines their attacks to the psychological realm. They lie pathologically and consistently, in the process deeply convincing themselves that their own distorted reality is truth, the only truth. That truth is lies and lies are the truth is the state of mind the gaslighter projects upon their prey and all those who surround them.

The depths of self-doubt and helplessness catalyzed by gaslighting can feel psychologically paralyzing. The most basic acts of self-preservation are being eroded and the idea of escaping the abuse can appear increasingly impossible.

One of the goals of gaslighting is to draw the other so strongly into their web of lies as to totally convince them "you are the crazy one!"  Another is to ensure the projection takes hold. To this end, they isolate their prey by convincing all who will listen that she or he is "mentally unstable," "mentally fragile," "has lost all grasp on reality" or is "crazy." The more devastating and persistent the attacks are, the stronger the gaslighter's own psychological wall becomes. To others they can appear powerful and charismatic. To their prey, what was once something endearing and charming is now seen for the fa├žade it is; a wall that feels increasingly isolating. The perpetrator wants their prey to live out for them everything they are unwilling to face within themselves.

Because there is no physical damage as evidence and proof that these abusive attacks have taken place, the effects of gaslighting can be far more long lasting and pervasive than those of overt physical abuse. Consequently, many victims and survivors remain oblivious to the fact that what they are experiencing is Complex PTSD.

To read this brief description of gaslighting is, possibly, to realize that it is a term that not only describes the dynamic within a personal relationship. On the world stages, authoritarians are master gaslighters. From not only a psychological but also a philosophical standpoint, the concept of gaslighting has much to teach us about human nature and its transformation. Wherever there is gaslighting, our Savior/Martyr (or Disabler/Enabler) archetypes are invoking a spell. Because these two archetypes are universal and not individual, whether we are overtly affected by gaslighting or not, there is much we can learn from studying its dynamic. Because gaslighting is, essentially, abuse administered through distortion of the truth, it is very possible more of us are inured to gaslighting than we realize. This makes it equally possible that by shedding a steady light on gaslighting and acknowledging its prevalence, we can break its spell.