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Every moment offers us the gift of transformation.  We can choose to respond to life by tightening up, hardening, resisting or we can choose to soften, relax into the moment.  The first doesn’t seem like a real choice.  Our bodies naturally tend to tighten when a blow comes at us.  It seems only natural to protect against harmful infiltration.  Softening into the moment feels wrong, silly, stupid. 

Dealing with trauma often seems to me the ideal training ground for personal and spiritual transformation.  We are buffeted by internal and external activation every day.  We have no where to flee to get away from incoming danger,  Our internal world is more akin to a pinball machine than the usual image of a calm, relaxed monastic experience.

One of the people in the SEOC shared this quote from Pema Chodron who writes,  “We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us.  We always have this choice.” 

What do  you think?

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from the movie Avatar

What a way to start out the New Year — or this new decade — by seeing Avatar.

I saw it on New Year’s Eve. It completely opened up my world. It was like I popped by head outside the Cosmic Egg (a la Joseph Chilton Pearce) into a rich, vibrant, dynamic world that was utterly captivating and hard to leave.

This morning still entralled in the movie world I realized how important a vibrant imagination is in healing a trauma history.

As long as we’re caught in the painful world of our trauma we continue to re-enact and relive that pain. What if we create an imaginal alternative that becomes as real and life like? When we do that, as my attachment teacher Daniel Brown, PhD ( suggests, we create new internal representations, a new world, in which to live. We shift our perception, shift our experience and free ourselves up.

This is what Jake Sully did when he entered his Avatar’s world. It was many times more vibrant, multiple times more powerfully compelling. It captures with is intense devotion to detail and rich, luminous content.

Now what if we did the same with our inner world? What if we created with such compelling detail the world in which we want, or wanted, to live? Where we are loved – in exactly the way we want to be loved. Where someone is exquisitely attuned to us so when we are hurt they know instantly what we need.

This repairs the fundamental structures of attachment and allows us to deal with the everyday, real life complications of interaction with greater ease and fluidity.

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