Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Body Work - The Shape of Things to Come

As our civilization gradually moves towards more effective, resilient and sustainable strategies for living, from level of macro-economics right down to every individual's daily life, the human body is finally re-assuming its proper place.

Where once we assumed all intelligence was between your ears, we now have compelling evidence that intelligence is "non-local", distributed throughout your body.  Whereas much of psychology has been based on the idea that your emotions reside in your head, a myriad of successful healing modalities are demonstrating that emotional energies are also located throughout your body.  

Bottom line?  If you want to master your emotions and your thought processes, with all the benefits that come from that (better health, deeper relationships, more happiness, etc.), then you really have to...

...Get out of your head and into your body!!

How do you do that?  Well, there are certain practices that do an extraordinary job of facilitating this journey for you.  Body-work, as we're using the term here, is all about reintegrating mind and body. 

You're no doubt pretty familiar with things like Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Hatha Yoga because I talk about them all the time.  And those are all superb forms of body work.  However...

They're not the only ones.  Here are some other body work modalities you may be able to find locally and that may help you personally:

The Feldenkrais Method

Feldenkrais is a journey to rediscovering your balance, coordination and flexibility, useful for everyone from athletes to senior citizens.

The Alexander Technique

This one focuses initially on your posture and provides you with superior strategies for effective movement.


Rolfing is essentially a massage technique that targets the fascia layer, forming a kind of bridge between Chiropractic's focus on bone and Massage Therapy's focus on muscle.

Authentic Movement

This unusual method is completely spontaneous and improvisational, a kind of moving meditation without a script.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

PMR teaches you how to relieve stress by alternately tensing and relaxing muscles in a kind of bio-feedback context.

In the near future I hope to be able to share with you some even more cutting edge body work methods we're currently working on here at Global Resilience Solutions.  These will build on what you've seen in Rock Solid Tranquility, but be even more advanced, just as easy to learn and even easier to implement in your daily life.  

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger 

Thursday, 21 July 2011

A Spiritual Short-Cut to Emotional Tranquility, Less Stress and More Happiness

Please note: the following post contains a spiritual practice that you should only attempt if you are relatively stable emotionally, self-aware and not under psychiatric care.

Also, remember to join us for tonight's Spiritual Life 1: Foundations teleseminar / webinar at:
As you already know, we'll be examining the meaning of that nebulous phrase, "spiritual life", in my upcoming teleseminar series on the subject.  Whatever it means to you personally, though, there's little doubt you're interested improving your emotional life and increasing your subjective feeling of well-being.  

And that's a key point because it shows us that whatever spiritual life may mean to each of us, one common denominator is that it is somehow intimately related to our emotional being and, through that, to our very core as human beings.  

So what can you do TODAY to calm your mind, settle your emotions, shed your stress and remain increasingly tranquil no matter what's going on around you?  Well, there is one simple practice you could adopt that will do all this for you.  In its best articulated form, it's a Tibetan Buddhist practice, although elements of the ancient Christian mystical tradition and later Taoism both have equivalents.  Please note that you don't have to be a Buddhist to practice this - the results speak for themselves.

The Practice

Choose a day to start your practice.  It should be an ordinary weekday with nothing too unusual happening.  Here's what you'll do:

  1. When you wake up, sit up for a few minutes in a meditative posture and focus on your breathing to calm your mind.

  2. Once your mind is as calm as it will get, say to yourself, "Everything I encounter today is simply a projection of my mind.  Pleasant or unpleasant, everything I experience is no more real or substantial than a dream.  If someone acts in a way that is hurtful to me, I can simply remember this is just a projection of my mind so that a negative emotional reaction on my part would make no sense.  If something wonderful happens, I can simply remember that pleasant and unpleasant occurrences are always alternating, so there's no point in getting too excited."

  3. As you take your shower, just say to yourself, "Here I am, washing this dream body with this dream soap."  And when you're getting your breakfast, realize you're pouring dream coffee into a dream mug.

  4. As you go through your day, remind yourself continually that what you experience is a product of your mind.  And remind yourself that the more positive your emotional state now, and the more positively you can affect the state of other people, the more you are planting the seeds of positive experiences for yourself in the future.

This Spiritual Practice Has Several Advantages...

  1. It reminds us that nothing we see or experience in our world exists in the same way that our senses suggest to us.  For example, all "material reality" is largely empty space and fields of energy.  There is no solid "matter" at all.  As Einstein once said, "Reality is an illusion... albeit a very convincing one."

  2. It quickly severs the link between what happens to us and our habitual emotional responses, thus building our inner freedom.

  3. It allows us to maintain a much calmer emotional life while at the same time building positive emotional content throughout the day.
  4. In other words, events will no longer control how we feel.

  5. We naturally find ourselves in the "place of the observer" - one of the principal goals of meditation and of deep prayer.

  6. We find ourselves happier, with less stress and a lot more joy, all for very little effort.
Is there a catch?  Just one: this is a discipline and a practice - it doesn't work unless you do it.  One hint for you before you start - take it easy and begin with few expectations.  It's pretty common near the beginning to feel a sense of "Wow! This is SO cool!!" and then, a day or two later, to feel, "Damn, this is harder than I thought!"  

No worries, though.  That's all totally natural.  Just give it a try and feel free to share what you discover by commenting on this post or dropping us a line.  Enjoy!!
~ Dr. Symeon Rodger :-)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The 5-Step Process to Getting Clear on What You Really WANT

Few things are as important to your personal resilience as identifying your overall direction in life, getting clear on who you are, where you're going and what you really want.  Yet many are those who bumble ahead without first paying their dues at this toll house of life... and they pay for it down the road with confusion, uncertainty and unhappiness.

So this first step is critical.  And contrary to what some think, this is not about making a list of neat things to have.  This is not like making your Christmas list!  It’s not about making a list of every little thing you might like to have.  Would I like an electric back-scratcher?  Well, if someone offered it to me I suppose I wouldn’t turn it down.  But if no one offers it to me I’m unlikely even to think about it for years, if at all.  This isn’t even about getting all the stuff you really want.  This is about first and foremost finding out who you are.

The Critical "How To" Steps

First, make a list of everything you've been really interested in during your life.  Write that down.  You can use an ordinary piece of paper, a journal or a word processing program to do this – it doesn’t matter.  But it does matter that you do it in writing!   It’s good to ask other people who know you well if you’ve missed something.  Ask your parents, peers, siblings, or anyone who knows you well.  You should take a couple of days to do this.  Start today.  Then come back to it once a day for a couple of days.  After this and ONLY after this, go on to step 2…

Second, make a list of everything you've been really good at during your whole life.  Someone once wrote to me claiming he had been totally mediocre at everything his whole life.  I’m sorry, but I think there are probably some self-esteem issues there that are obscuring the truth, because  everybody I know has lots of talents, irrespective of their level of intellectual sophistication, their education, or any other factor.

Do the same thing here – take a couple of days.  Ask those who know you well.  Now comes the hard part…

Third , look for patterns.  You try to answer the question "why"?  Almost everyone skips the third step - big mistake!  The third step is harder to do, and there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer.  It's a voyage self-discovery.  This is not simply an intellectual process – it’s a process of feeling, of emotion, of the heart.  You can't force this process, so just let the answers come to you.  If anything does come up, write it down.  If you really don't see any connections, any unifying themes, don't worry and just move on to the next step.

Fourth, find out what really inspires you.  You see, it is not enough to know what you want.  It is not even enough to know what you're really interested in or what you’re very talented at.  What you need to know here is what overriding purpose inspires you deeply.  There could be more than one.  What turns your crank, what floats your boat?

You may have a huge interest in aircraft.  Any idea why?  Maybe you are a natural comedian.  Do you know what it is about comedy that turns you on?  What can you work on or think about for hours and lose all track of time?  What purpose, issue, field of endeavor or question fills you with inspiration and energy, so much so that you feel like you’re carried on a wave?

Fifth, do this exercise: take the lists of your interests, talents and the connections between them and imagine jobs you would be totally jazzed about havingYou can make them up.  For instance, if you’re the aircraft lover, imagine someone offering you the job of looking after the aircraft of the world’s largest aviation museum… with a huge budget for new acquisitions that you decide on!

Take your time and just imagine different jobs you could have related to your passionate interests.  REMEMBER: these jobs don’t have to be real.  Don’t let your cursed sense of reality get in the way – just have fun with this. 

The Temptations
After studying and experiencing various types of mindset work over the years, it seems to me there are some fundamental traps to avoid:

  1. Worrying about your doubts.  The antidote is to go and do the things that will bring you results.  Usually these are activities that are just outside your comfort zone but, once you start doing them, they feel SO right.  Also, realize that doubt is a natural stage when you're about to do something new and different.  Just don't let it paralyze you ;-)
  2. Sweating about not having clarity.   The antidote is to take action on the small things you are clear about.  And realize you can't force clarity.  All you can do is continually stay inspired and let the answers come.
  3. Thinking "I'm not passionate about anything."  That's because you've let the fire go out.  I've studied martial arts for years and years, but if I don't keep up with what's going on, if I don't read, study and practice, I lose that inspiration pretty quickly.  So no matter what you're interested in, you pretty much have to toss logs on the fire of your inspiration.  That fire won't feed itself - you have to do that!  

If you follow this process and avoid these traps, you'll be amazed at how much more clarity you have on your life within a matter of weeks.  Now go for it!
~ Dr. Symeon Rodger :-)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Get Happier and Healthier by Doing This One Thing...

"The best of all medicines is resting and _______."

~ Benjamin Franklin

Hi everyone,

Care to fill in the blank in today's quotation? 

Read on to find the answer...

A recent study has shown that _______ causes you to secrete more of a hormone called GHRELIN, which has a few interesting side effects...

- It gives you energy
- Makes you more action-oriented
- Makes you more sociable
- and better able to overcome obstacles

Okay, I know.  You're saying, "Where can I get me some of this stuff?!" 

Relax - your body makes it.  Your stomach makes most of it and some extra comes from your kidneys, your hypothalamus and pituitary glands. 
Ghrelin has a notable anti-depressive effect and generally makes people much HAPPIER.

Of course, your system makes more of it when you're _______.

That might be part of the reason people practicing authentic ancient spiritual traditions are about the happiest folks you'll ever meet.  At least, that was certainly my experience of the Orthodox Christian monks of Mt. Athos in Greece. 

And they're certainly well known for their _______.

SO WHAT IS _______ ALREADY??!!

It's fasting.  The practice of going without food or sometimes food and drink for a certain defined period.  It's long been known that fasting kick-starts the body's cleansing reaction, causing you to release toxins.

And fasting it SIGNIFICANTLY contributes to longevity.  (If you want to live a long time, try not only eating a BETTER diet, but also eating LESS).  Some recent experiments with mice determined that cutting down the little rodent's food intake contributed to lengthening his lifespan by 30% or more and keeping him healthy at the same time.  For a human, that would mean the difference between a life plagued with health problems and coming to an abrupt end around age 80 versus a longer, disease-free life of closer to 106 years.  Sound good to you?

Fasting is also critically important to any REAL spiritual life.  By the way, that doesn't mean that ALL religious fasting is helpful spiritually, it just means truly spiritual people practice fasting.  There's a difference!  

Now, though, the evidence also suggests that fasting has a very positive, mood-altering side effect as well.  Again, this applies to INTELLIGENT fasting, practiced in MODERATION.  Don't succumb to the silly logic that if a little fasting makes happy, a ton of fasting will make you the happiest person on earth.  Wrong! 

So if you're aiming for personal resilience in your life, fasting will be an indispensable practice for you.  It will improve your mood, giving you the emotional resources to cope with the ups and downs of life.  It will help you detoxify, keeping you healthier.  And it will greatly facilitate your spiritual practices, such as prayer and meditation.  


Then the best way to start is to ease yourself into it.

You can try spending a morning with nothing more than pure water, for example.  Then - and this is REALLY important - take note of how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate fasting into your life is to set aside one day per week for it and then do a detoxification cleanse 2-4 times per year.  For your one day per week, you could start off, for example, by something as simple as drinking only pure water in the morning and then having only liquids (nutritious smoothies, for example) for the rest of the day.  

So, why not set aside a day to avoid this...

... in order to enjoy this?

 Believe me, your digestive system will be thanking you big time!

There are lots of varieties of fasting and we can't get into the details here, but you get the general idea.  

When regular fasting becomes part of your life, you'll LOOK FORWARD to it, knowing how great it makes you feel.

Remember to smile when you fast ;-)

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Monday, 4 July 2011

Hard to Believe These Dinosaurs Still Exist...


A few months back, my daughter mentioned to me that one of her friends would never even entertain the possibility that God or anything "spiritual" might be real because "it's not scientific".  

"What?" I replied, taken aback.  "Sounds like her mind is stuck in the '70s... and she wasn't born until the '90s!  You should tell her that her 'science' is a bit out of date."  

Truly, I'm always a little stunned when I run into someone who believes atheism is scientific.  Of course, I'm just as gobsmacked when an otherwise intelligent person informs me - as one did recently - that he considers alternative medicine to be nonsense and "witchcraft" and that he is happy to follow the advice of his allopathic MD exclusively.  "Well, that's your funeral," I thought.   

All these encounters remind me a little of my dear old dad who - and no, this is one hundred percent true - could never keep straight the difference between yoga and yogurt!!  To be fair, though, dad grew up in a much different time and was always open-minded enough to admit defeat if you could present him with irrefutable evidence.  After all, he was a lawyer!  

So what do you say to someone who's essentially stuck in the mechanistic worldview of the Newtonian Physics and can't break out of that paradigm?  What do you say when they accuse you of being unscientific, gullible, "new age" or plain stupid?

Here are some simple suggestions for you.  Just remember, what resonates with each person is unique, so be prepared to adjust your words accordingly ;-)

Helping to Open Their Minds

First, know why you want to engage them in conversation at all.  For me, it stems from the fact that the study of human resilience, which is the study of maximizing human potential, demands an absolutely unbiased, evidence-based and therefore scientific approach to understanding the nature of reality itself.  It's quite clear that if we allow ourselves to be slaves to preconceived notions and comfortable ideologies, we are not doing that.  

Second, remember there are four stages to any scientific discovery - 1. It's dismissed as rubbish, 2. It's persecuted as heresy, 3. "There may be something to this" and 4. "It's absolutely true and we thought of it first".

Knowing that's the case, consider the following short video, where Dr. William Tiller, professor emeritus of Stanford University, explains why some people, including scientists, just can't handle new information that challenges their assumptions:

Third, if they're talking about anything spiritual, you can inform them that the original versions of most of the great spiritual traditions espoused a scientific method based on using the human mind-body organism as the instrument of observation.  So, if they're really as scientific as they claim, they should logically be prepared to do one of two things: a) engage in the spiritual experiments these traditions have outlined in order to prove or disprove their claims, or b) admit their ignorance on the subject.  

To help you with this, you should read the short article on "True Skepticism" on Dr. Gary Schwartz' website here.  

(Also, feel free to share your copy of my book, The 5 Pillars of Life, with them should they want a more detailed explanation, or send them to the Global Resilience Solutions website to get their own). 

Fourth, be prepared to share with them some of the latest scientific evidence on human potential, including experiments in such things as distance healing, research into the human energy system, scientific validation for methods used in energy psychology, such as EFT, and more.

To get started, you can have a look at the works of:

  • Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (UK biologist who has pioneered the theory of morphic / morphogenetic fields)
  • Dr. William Tiller (Renowned US physicist studying subtle energy fields)
  • Cyndi Dale (US author who has done extensive research into energy medicine across cultures)
  • Dr. Gary Schwartz (Doctor of psychology, medicine and surgery at the University of Arizona and a researcher into the spiritual side of psychology)
There are lots of others, of course, so I'm not pretending that's a complete list by any means.  Hopefully, though, all this will help you more than hold your own the next time your run into someone who "didn't get the memo"! 

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger