– Heartwood Path Waypoint 19 –
Develop The State Of Mind Needed To Become An Effective EartHeart Or Life Coach
Ethics demands that humanity develop a state of consciousness that is energetically higher than ordinary and, therefore, enables the people of the world to perceive and respond to the plight of the planet. We need, for example, to be able to do what Thick Nhat Hanh says we ought to do: “to hear within ourselves the sounds of the earth crying” (George, 1995, p.16). We also need to reverse, in the words of the Dalai Lama, “the gradual breakdown of the fragile ecosystems that support us” (George, 1995, p.16).
Without such a collective purpose to deepen our consciousness, humanity will end up “tinkering with symptoms endlessly” (George, 1995, p.21). Unless we develop a higher collective consciousness, humanity will focus too much on technological solutions because it it will not be able perceive that technology is part of the problem. We need a spawning of a wide and deep interest in inner personal work because it is within the inner world of humans––the birthplace of greed, addiction, and confusion––that our outer planetary problems begin.
Writes George: “If the earth is as it is because we are as we are, then nothing less than the transformation of human beings on this planet will begin to correct (the ecological problem)” (George, 1995, p.21). “Until this distorted dream of a technological paradise,” writes George, “is replaced by a more viable dream of a mutually enhancing human presence within an integral Earth Community, no effective healing will take place, for the dream drives the action. In the larger cultural context the dream becomes the myth that both guides and drives the action” (1995, p.160).
Important as a viable dream is, equally important is a rarely used but well known and respected approach to the seeking of higher consciousness. That important technique is living as often as possible in the present. Being in the present is sometimes referred to as experiencing “flow” –– a psychological state that allows one to ignore hunger, discomfort, and fatigue as one seems to flow along in an engrossing experience. This “complete absorption in what one does” as Mihaly Csikszentmilhali is quoted to say (Lyubomirsky, 2007, p. 181), is fulfilling, pleasurable, and “provides a natural high that, unlike artificial highs or pure hedonistic pleasures, is a positive, productive, and controllable experience that does not cause guilt, shame, or other damage to self or the society at large” (2007, p. 182).
Given the benefits of experiencing flow, it is acceptable to set your goals high, as long as you enjoy the struggle of achieving them. The next activity will help you enter into this beneficial state of “flow.” Keep the techniques in mind as you read about the origin of the Heartwood Path. I unwittingly entered into this state of flow frequently during years I spent researching, writing, and experiencing the activities presented here.
The Heartwood Path stands as a testament to the benefits of flow. Here’s how to increase some for yourself:
If this is not a day when you prefer to spend time in nature without an agenda, do the following activity:
HumaNatureConnect Activity: Increasing Flow. With pen and Journal in hand, go to an attractive natural area and, in a spirit of appreciation, look around you to find something that is attractive to you. Once you find an aspect of nature that is attractive to you continuously for at least ten seconds, think of how your experiences are what you allow yourself to perceive. You can increase your flow by being open to new experiences, learning throughout your lifetime, and protecting your leisure time. With the optimal functioning you receive by being with your attractive natural being in nature, think about and then write down ways to bring more flow into you life. If you have difficulty, assume the essence of your attractive natural being, and, as it, perceive and communicate ways to get out of your “ruts,” if any, and ways to keep your flow experiences from becoming addictive. Perhaps a personal example will help you with this activity: I can recall a time when I sat near a large palm tree on the beach and I imagined that it was telling me to spend more time quietly listening to the soft sounds in nature as a way to enter into flow, to restore myself, and to improve my creativity. I imagined that this palm tree was reminding me to practice a sort of yoga of sound in wild places but to be careful not to overdo it because doing so would make the harsher sounds of the city overly irritating.
Record your notes from this and every activity in your Heartwood Path Activity Log, which can be opened by clicking here.
Natural Systems Reflection Process
For best results, write down your impressions of this activity in your journal using as many of the following components as you see fit, afterwards, share your interpretations with others.
The Heartwood Path Exchange:
Swap Your Ideas, Impressions, Photos, And News With Others
Your input is vital. Enjoy sharing!
Heartwood Path Axioms: