If you’re a Christian or former or lapsed Christian, have you ever wondered whether meditating was possible without using practices from other religions or traditions?
It can be tempting to think we need a plan, outline, or strategy for everything. But do we? These poems and reflections aim to jar a few screws loose from the best-fashioned plans.
In this article I wanted to share some ways that stress has manifested itself physiologically for me and some tools that you can use to become more aware of stress and its effects on your body.
It’s important to accept the mind-body connection – the idea that your state of mind can affect how you feel physically, and vice versa. If your body is not relaxed, the same is likely for your mind. For several decades, clinical studies have shown that interventions like relaxation, visualization, and meditation can improve various physical conditions like healing after a heart attack or battling insomnia.
Men often get criticized for not being in touch with their emotions. “Men live from the neck up,” the American poet Robert Bly said in Bill Moyer’s 1990 PBS series, “A Gathering of Men” (highly recommended; more on Bly and Moyers in a future post). Or perhaps: men live from the neck up and the waist down. For some reason all this reminds me of the bad guy, T-1000, in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991). Near the end of the film, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character shoots T-1000 in the belly with a shotgun and leaves a gaping, metal-rimmed hole. Being a man, it’s like that – life’s downers can rip gaping holes in our emotional cores, yet we hardly know the wounds exist. Let alone how to heal them.
…If you want to do some emotional weightlifting, there are two pieces: cultivating your awareness of feelings, and expanding your vocabulary. First you need to know how you feel. Then can you practice talking about it.