Moving Forward

July 2, 2010

At times I get stuck in a pattern of belief that my mind can derive the bottom-line truth in a given situation.  Yet my brain is just a measuring device for the sensory messages it receives from my body.  The body sends messages that are interpreted by the mind through the senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste.  The mind takes these bits of information makes a conclusion, and then asks us to do something about it.  The spirit uses different points of reference to calculate the best way to move forward.  Our intuitive guidance system taps into a non-physical knowledge that can also lead us safely through life experiences. 

Last weekend I was climbing Mt Yale, a 14,000 foot summit in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  Hiking at altitude creates sensations in my body that are interpreted by my brain as repetitive signals to “stop, turn back.”  The lack of oxygen and steep terrain challenge my lungs, muscles and circulatory system with forms of resistance that feel life threatening.  I hike at high-altitude to experience a sense of mind or over matter, to somehow prove my mind wrong by overriding its interpretations with a higher truth.  I know I can do it.  I know I will survive. 

On the ascent I can briefly distract my mind with the sight of aspen and pine trees, the sound of the gushing glacier-melt creek, the smell of wildflowers and conversations with my friend.  Yet the distraction is always temporary as my mind continues to want to regain control of the situation.  Hiking Mt Yale I was conscious of my spirit experiencing the hike.  When my body began to feel exhausted and my vision was a bit dulled, to the point where I didn’t see every rock on the trail, instead of feeling fearful that I would stumble, I noticed my spirit was guiding me.  I saw with clarity the parallel existence of how my mind interprets its experience beside how my spirit interprets the experience.  Both are equally capable of providing guidance that keeps me safe.  The difference is that when I’m listening to my spirit it is not concerned about reaching the summit or measuring the energy left in my physical body relative to what is required to get me to where I need to go.  My spirit is present in the moment.  My spirit says, “I am moving forward.  I will keep moving forward.  I want to move forward.”  

Mind-body measurement of our experience is 100% in the physical/material realm.  The challenge is that the mind does not know how to interpret intuitive information.  If the message it’s receiving from the body contradicts intuitive guidance the mind goes to battle with spirit and tries to override the spiritual knowing in an act of physical self-preservation.  The mind does not know how to interpret the emotional indicators beyond the physical sensations they generate, pain or pleasure. 

Next time you notice that your mental and spiritual guidance are in conflict, acknowledge both the indicators from your physical body experience and what you know intuitively.  Let this awareness of the source of data help break gridlock that can keep you stuck.  The mind is not the final truth.  It is one source of information available to you.  Intuition offers insight that can help us move forward when the mind is resistant.

  • v. scott thompson says:

    Relying on the mind alone is like relying on sight or taste alone. Your other senses can smell things You cant see, hear a battle or a party around a corner, and feel something crawling up Your back. You can likewise become tuned to see things that appear on no camera that can give You important clues about what to do in a situation that is not as clear in deeper reality as it first appears. A situation may not feel or smell right, or might feel and smell very right… And no one else there might sense this. This is intuition at work, and it is essential to safety, well being and progress.

  • blakerivers says:

    Fascinating. I agree very much with this post. However, I am struggling right now to model the relationship between mind and spirit in a philosophical framework. I’m also trying to understand non-physicality.

    • Natalie says:

      I’ve been in a place of really celebrating the physical aspect of my mind-body experience. While the spirit has always facinated me and got my focus, in recent years I’ve grown exceptionally grateful for the body and all it allows me to know.

      • blakerivers says:

        Well, that’s good. It’s been more of the opposite for me in the last couple years. Injuries have rendered me unable to participate in certain activities that normally bring me great happiness and purpose. The pain and lack of motivation that resulted was very unpleasant. I found that too much of my joy was derived in the physical attributes of my life, and when those physical activities were taken away, I was hurt. I now fear that at any time something could happen to me that might forever take away my physical functionality. Where would I be then? So I am trying to let go of such forms in my life. Maybe my injuries were a warning: that I was too dependent on physical satisfaction.
        What do you think?

    • Natalie says:

      I hear you. When the body limits our vision and desire to experience life, it’s painful in more than a physical sense. So much release can occur in our spiritual journey through physical movement, even the gentle type… I often am amazed at how much power a 15-minute walk with my dog has to presence me to the moment. All experiences are teachers but hopefully they create a path of expansion and greater opening rather than retraction. We always have that choice. Namaste.

  • v. scott thompson says:

    As long as I live in a body that responds to my will at al I will dance and experience physicality. If I need to wrap my knee and dance gently, I will dance. If I must sit and rock my head to the music to be comfortable, then my head will dance. If all I can do is lie on the floor and lift one arm to move it to the music, then my arm shall be as my whole body and I will dance. 4e I cannot move my mwn body at all, and must be carried into the dance, my Spirit shall ride along with the motions of friends as I watch them movimg… Feel my/their being and joy, their smiles, laughter, touch of their hands, kisses and the warmth and sweet fragrance of their breath and bodies… And I will dance. When I die and only the Will to Love remains of me, my energy will be present as Ancestor for those who wish it, and when their will is to Be Danced by Spirit, I will Dance with them, in them and through them. There is no ending to Love; we are The Dancer, and neither time, nor hurt, nor death can abate.

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