Attunement: the consequences of substitution
I thought I’d begin this blog with a discussion about attunement. An experience this week demonstrated to me, yet again, how important it is both to attune to Self , and to what is happening in relationship to Self from moment to moment.
Attunement is a kind of awareness and attentiveness, a receptive way of being in which we are capable of being continuously aware of our inner state and body based consciousness, while simultaneously paying attention to what is arising in the environment around us. And from this state a seamless sense of right action arises and we move into what wants to happen next.
It is a placement of attention and body awareness that allows for a following/doing that fits harmoniously with what is felt inside and that is being called forth.
If one aspect of the awareness toward Self or toward “other” or the outer environment is distorted, thwarted, diluted or otherwise obstructed, we can among other things, wind up feeling frustrated, depleted or out of sync.
So my experience was this:
While sitting on my back porch drinking mango ceylon iced tea, I was talking with a friend about organizational methods and systems for achieving goals. He comment was that it appeared that one reason people failed to achieve important goals was not that they could not set up appropriate priorities towards the goal, but that they chose to do the priorities that they liked to do, and did not always do the items/tasks they did not want to do.
This rang a bell for me in terms of my own habits. I decided that the following day I would outline my priorities and commit to do what was ‘required’ regardless of what I felt like doing at that moment. The result was what I would call a crappy day. Even with the added push, my goals to complete certain priorities, like editing my blog and website content, were not fulfilled. I was exhausted and depleted by dinnertime.
At this point I took a few drops of Elm flower essence, a Bach Flower for the temporary feeling of being overwhelmed and exhausted by responsibilities. Within a few minutes my state shifted and I felt reconnected to that part of me that uses attunement for my source of direction and movement forward. With it came a feeling of relief and gratitude!
Looking back, I saw that I was forcing myself into a structure that while it was of my own choosing, was not in attunement to my Self at that momentor to the needs of the environment (time and place) I found myself in. And the friction had been palpable early on and only increased as the day had progressed.
I realized my whole rhythm had been compromised and my capacity for a body sensing attunement was seriously challenged. And attunement is a core skill I employ in my work with clients, as well as for my own wellbeing and balance.
By the time I finally went to sleep, I realized that what I had done was traded my more attuned way of approaching my day within a loose context of projects needing to be done for a more rational and “organized” approach to things. The problem is this approach left my feeling consciousness and inner sense of what to do when, or what not to do, out of the picture.
It almost felt like my cellular consciousness instantly began to react and respond to being overlooked or sidetracked or displaced. It was a very interesting experiment. The next day I returned to my more standard operating method and while my day unfolded in a way I could not have predicted, by the end of the day somehow I had completed the projects and felt peaceful, content and aligned.
I followed this with a quick check-in with the I Ching, asking what was important for me to know today, and received Hex 35, Line 1 in Julie Henderson’s The Somatic I Ching/ Yi Jing: Revealing Story, Training Mind which reads:
“You begin to progress and find yourself obstructed. Progress in this moment is to support your inner stability and wellbeing. By remaining free of reaction to these obstacles, you will be able to make the right moves when they dissolve, which they will.”
So, it’s been an interesting few days, with an old lesson re-learned. Next time I encounter an idea that has me questioning hard won truths about myself, I think I’ll just get up and refill our ice tea glasses.