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We can read inspiring books and go to wonderful workshops, have insights, experiences and shifts, but what really transforms our potential into potency is having a daily practice. When you do this, you will increase your capacity to access the subtle information within and around you, and be on your way to fulfilling your potential as a valuable cell within the body of life. Potency is a quality of relaxed attention, ready to act in alignment with our senses, body and environment right here, right now.

Free your imagination

Imagining is an act of faith, co-creating our world as we go. Because we are mostly out of the habit of using our imagination, we may need to practise using it, like practising a musical instrument or meditation, or building muscles. We can use imagination actively and passively.

To use your passive imagination

Allow yourself some space to drift off, daydream and imagine. Simply look out the window, stare into space, listen to music, lie down or go for a walk . . . Do nothing for a while. Let your mind wander, shift and wonder . . . This can be a rich time as thoughts arise and synthesize. (J.K. Rowling said the idea for Harry Potter arrived while she was on a train journey.)

Notice arising images. What catches your attention? Perhaps a memory, image, smell, song, visual image or impulse. Can you be curious about what this received imagery might mean for you? Include sensations, associations or feelings . . .  What do you “know”? 

To use your active imagination

Try imagining your day in advance. There is something about this that is helpful and eases movement between people, places and activities. When the imagination sets the path, the body follows easefully.

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Try imagining something you would like to happen, such as being in relationship with a partner or your business doing well. Can you see it, feel it, hear it, taste it, sense it? What does your heart desire? What would be different in your life and how would your life look and feel, if you had it?

Visionboards are a fun way to play and combine the active and passive imagination. Get a pile of old magazines, newspapers and wrapping paper. Browse through them, cutting out things that appeal to you without necessarily knowing why. Glue the images and words onto a piece of paper and observe what you have created. What have you revealed to yourself?

Co-create our world

Imagination is needed to imagine ourselves in the place of the other. It is a moral faculty. Can you imagine how your mother or father, grandfather or grandmother, boss, employee, client, son or daughter, enemy or partner might be feeling? Can you imagine, in the middle of an argument or conflict with someone, how they might be feeling? Can you imagine other people as being full of soul-beauty? Can you “see” their losses, griefs and challenges? Or visualize their openness, lovingness, potential and joys?

Imagine something now. It almost doesn’t matter what. Image it. Feel it. And let it go. Take action on images that arrive: follow the “clues” to call the person you thought of, understand the message of music in your mind, go to the place you keep seeing, or attend to what the sensation in your leg needs. Be awake to both experience and meaning.

Try imagining the world is animated, intelligent, sensual and relational. It is not just one solid, finished, fixed thing; it is constantly being created, in co-creation with us. This may at first feel awkward, but try imagining that what you usually think of as merely objects are actually imbued with a living intelligent sensuality. Try relating to objects in this way. This does not necessarily mean “talking” to them, but connecting with imagination, sensing how everything communicates in its own way. It’s a shift of attention to appreciate the “subtle” aliveness of the sofa you are sitting on, the wall opposite or the plants in the corner.

Can you imagine that the space that you usually think of as empty is full of life? Full of microbes, full of unrealized potential, full of presence, full of love? How does the air feel on your body as you sit or walk? Is it trying to tell you something?

Can you imagine the world as a radiant being, in direct communication and contact with you? For you, but not only for you. As an act of generosity and co-creation, together let us dream the world into being. We can access this, we can switch it on! We can respond!

Cultivate your attention

Cultivating attention, even for a short set period of time, develops our will, focus and peace.

Can you pay attention to that which is not usual for you? Do you always answer the phone with your right hand, always cross your left leg, clasp hands the same way? Try to do the opposite. It will be awkwardly unfamiliar at first, but persevere to rebalance yourself.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? Which qualities could be more developed? Experiment: for example, if you find it difficult to express aggression, try kick-boxing; if you think you’re not creative, try life drawing; if you are naturally flowing, try something structured like a partner dance; if you’re naturally structured, try a free-expression dance.

Allow yourself to experience it all

We don’t really “have” a phone, dress, car or house; what we really have is our experience of having them. Can you allow yourself to “have” your unique experience fully? Can you acknowledge what is here right now for you?

As a daily practice, allow yourself to acknowledge your discomfort as well as comfort, the yuck as well as the yum. Perhaps your left knee aches and you feel anxious without knowing why, or maybe your throat hurts or you are worried about a disagreement with a friend, or you feel disappointed or frustrated or angry at yourself for something . . .

If we can allow ourselves to accept ourselves and be as we are, potentiality opens up. Anything is possible. A kind of magic happens when you acknowledge what is, without pretending it is not. A surprising relaxation occurs and an opening up to a bigger sense of reality and self . . . Allowing integrates the various splits in our consciousness into one unified experience.

Can you allow your feeling body to be tremoring in response to the world around? What does your body contribute vibrationally to the sensate world? Is it discordant or harmonious music we are playing together?

Be receptive

Our body is a quivering antenna attuned to the vibration of truthfulness and integrity. We “know” when someone is telling us the truth and when someone is deceiving us. We feel it in our body. We feel when someone or something is “off” and when we are turned “on”, excited and open.

Our work is to tune in to the “violin” of our body-soul, to listen deeply to the music our body is revealing right now about the state of our immediate personal truth and our response to the external environment, as well as to the internal environment of ourselves.

All symptoms and disease are attempts by the Universe of Deliciousness to communicate with us, to get our attention, to correct our course of action. Disease often occurs after smaller symptoms (or accidents) have been repeatedly ignored.

Religion calls this form of communication the small still voice of the heart. It is about tuning in to hearing and heeding life through the unique ways in which we individually experience intuition, instinct and inspiration – which could be aural, visual, sensate, kinaesthetic, gustatory, olfactory or other. It is not necessarily an actual verbal message but a subtle, imaginal, delicate conveyance. It arises in hints and whispers, clues and hints, arising sensations and hunches, feelings and knowing . . .all of which encourage us to embrace our vulnerable and changeable humanity.

Our sensitivity is our strength, and listening to it is our daily navigation system. Our body tells us what is wise action for us in this moment. What does it mean for you when your shoulders ache or your gums bleed? Learn to understand how your body communicates with you.

Be appreciative

We begin to be appreciative by suspending our judgement of others as better or worse than us. When you meet someone, let the first thing that you think be: “I wish you happiness.” This is simple but can transform relationships. While it may be easy with friends and family, try it with those people you find challenging. This may be hard to do as you are tempted to judge, label and categorize them – yet you can still choose to wish them happiness . . .

We need to accept that each person is unique, and other people are different from us and from each other. Can we look across at a stranger on a train, a beggar on the street, someone in an expensive car, a person of different gender or sexuality, who has or doesn’t have children, and instead of projecting our inner criticism, hatred or desire onto them, look and accept them exactly as they are?

Consciously connect with someone unlike yourself. Can you acknowledge them human to human? Can you smile at someone who supports an opposing football team or whose clothes, speech and food are very different to yours? The person at work or down the street who really annoys you? Can you find something about them, even something small, that you can appreciate?

Remember a time when you felt really loved, appreciated, acknowledged. Perhaps by a parent, teacher, friend, lover or animal. Allow yourself to feel this in your body and heart. Do you feel more secure, relaxed and soft? Invite the sensations to grow bigger until you are encompassed in a big field of love. Then allow your feelings of warmth, openness and love to extend outwards to other people, recognizing that everyone has their burdens, which may not be obvious. Just like you, they are also doing their best . . .What creative step towards connection can you take?

Choose to see undivided wholeness, health and balance, and to stay neutral and not contribute to socially acceptable gossip, cliques and put-downs. Can we respect others, as also a part of the Big All? Can we feel the earth under our feet, trees and sky above, to also be a part of the Big All?

Moving through our day, can we consider all information present to be of real interest – from our head, heart and body, from within our own self and from the outside world?

Participate actively in the world

What is it that you would really like to see in the world? If you were to have your heart’s desire, what might it look like and feel like? Can you actively participate in its ongoing unfoldment?

This is not a manifestation exercise. This is not about wish or will fulfilment. It is about acknowledging the immensity of life, within which we all live. Not just “my life” but Life itself, within which I am.

Life is not just something that happens to us. It is something we co-create. It is as we think, pray, feel, understand, imagine and interact with it . . .  as we accept and engage with it.

Can you honour the wild sensual freedom in others and the earth, rocks, trees, rivers, as if they could hear us, as if this reciprocity were real and essential? Can you honour everything with praise, gratitude and consideration, with singing, dancing, touching and listening? Can you relate with the aliveness of absolutely everything?

When we imagine something, when we feel it, smell it, taste it, sense it in our body, we are activating something deep, deep, deep in the universe. We are consciously dreaming something into creation. We are in the Universe of Deliciousness. We feel lit up, switched on, turned on.

 How will you integrate all of this into your daily life? What do you choose to bring alive now?

Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved.
Printed with permission of the publisher.

Article Source:

BOOK: The Healing Power of Pleasure

The Healing Power of Pleasure: Seven Medicines for Rediscovering the Innate Joy of Being
by Julia Paulette Hollenbery

book cover of The Healing Power of Pleasure:by Julia Paulette HollenberyHidden just below the surface of ordinary day-to-day reality lies an abundance of pleasure and delight. By learning to look beyond your daily challenges, you can ease your stressed mind and body and rediscover the magic, mystery, sensuality, and joy that is possible in everyday life.

The Healing Power of Pleasure combines scientific fact with ancient spirituality, insight, humor, and poetry. This book presents an invitation to reawaken your body, realize the depth and web of relationships within which we live, and embrace the pleasure, power, and potency that arise when we look inward as well as confidently relate outward with the world around us.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Alsio available as a Kindle edition and as an Audiobook.

About the Author

photo of Julia Paulette HollenberyJulia Paulette Hollenbery is a bodyworker, therapist, mystic, healer, and facilitator. For more than 25 years she has guided countless clients into deep confidence and self-authority. Passionate about sharing her life-long love of the mystery, real sensual relationship, and the life of the body, Julia lives and works in London.

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