Friday, May 16, 2008

Spiritual Lessons of the Environmental Crises - PT.2

--Feature: "The Conscious Life w/Dr.Jennifer Howard"--

In part one of Spiritual Lessons of the Environmental Crisis, I shared how science, psychology and spiritual studies have all shown that we are connected. This connection implies that the choices we make everyday have an affect not only on our lives but also on the lives of others, as well as the planet.

At the end of part one, the follow questions were posed: What are the choices you could make, large or small, which would reflect the concept that everything is connected? Notice those choices and see if you can put a few into action.

How was it? What did you notice? How have you noticed your choices changing?

It is possible to make choices that can change our lives. We can learn to make choices beyond our ordinary logical egoic bound mind and become conscious of the thoughts and feelings inside of us that might be driving these non-productive choices. Locked inside our unconscious are feelings and thoughts that are the engine motivating the choices, which sometimes come from our beliefs. Beliefs are our habitual assumed thoughts. Those unknown and unexamined beliefs can often contain some kind of feelings of fear that maybe we won’t have enough or be enough. From these beliefs, we separate ourselves from the whole world. We become us versus them rather than us and them. We know that on one level we are different from others and we are separate individuals. Yet we have a shared human experience. From this frightened stance, we say, “I need to use up all of this resource for my survival, or I won’t continue to exist.” Or maybe without being aware of it, we say “I need to be happy and doing this fearful grasping, possibly hurtful, action and behavior is the only way I can be.”

The way past our old survival brain is to explore and unearth our unknown feelings and thoughts. Acquiring this knowledge helps us make conscious choices. We learn from our internal investigations that we can take a step back. Take a deep breath. We can possibly see a larger picture than before. Perhaps we can survive and they can survive. Maybe we are able to tolerate those scary places inside of us and not always act from them. Maybe there is simply “enough” for all. We see our differences as well as our connection with others. We connect using all of ourselves … including our heart.

How do we claim ourselves and learn to live from the center of our being, our hearts? Through these investigations, we learn about our deeper self and how to bring it into the present moment. If we know ourselves deeply, we can develop healthy self-esteem. It then follows that we take care of our lives, the planet and others. We become inclusive and can act for the good of all.

This is a consciousness of the heart. This heart consciousness can be called an Intelligence of the Heart. This kind of intelligence is an integration of the body-mind-spirit. This heart intelligence is imbued with a larger sense of the world that includes our spiritual intelligence.

Spend this week noticing the energetic connection of your heart and your body, your heart and your emotions, your heart and your thoughts, your heart and your spirit. Take a few breaths into the physical area of your heart as well as the concept of your “heart.” Breathe into and activate this Intelligence of the Heart.

Next time we will take this even a step further.

Jennifer Howard, Ph.D. is an internationally known psychotherapist, Integrated Kabbalistic Healer®, life coach, educator, and author. She maintains private practices and is co-founder of the Healing Path Center with offices in New York City and Huntington, L.I., New York, as well as an extensive phone practice.

As a licensed psychotherapist, Dr. Howard brings together 24 years of experience, extensive training and expertise in mind-body psychology, meditation, and a variety of the healing arts. Dr. Howard has been frequently seen as an expert and featured guest, on national television shows including, The Maury Povich Show, Turning Point, America’s Talking, Rolanda, Charles Perez and others. Before becoming a psychotherapist, Howard was a professional actress and dancer. She is also the author of "Changes That Last", publication date to be announced.

For more information on Dr Howard, or to reach her directly, go to her SITE

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