We are one quarter through 2021. And, this is month three for my year of Wellbeing. There was so much new year hope in January. February rang in still like a possibility, but perhaps distant. March is an island unto itself.
We are just passing through the passageway of spring. Here in the northern hemisphere, everywhere around us, from the weather to the trees and flowers, we are receiving the message: Grow! Burst! Be Free!
This is also the time when small buds however struggle and push their sharp little edges to come through the cold, fallow earth.
I feel both those pulls: the excitement for new possibilities and a kind of aching dullness at the same time, pushing for renewal.
I was so excited in January by the idea of experimenting with wellbeing for a whole year! Now, with March nearly complete, I am asking myself:
“What was I thinking?”
That’s a good question!
I was originally inspired by learning of the research Jeffery Martin who has studied “Fundamental Wellbeing” for over a decade and has helped people transition into it. Having this blog to come back to, month after month for all of 2021, is such a beautiful way to revisit his teachings.
Because, Martin has discovered there are certain practices that bring wellbeing about fairly predictably.
Firstly, let’s revisit his definition. “Persistent wellbeing” is an ongoing experience, not a temporary one. It is not the state a “happy person” would necessarily be in. Martin defines fundamental wellbeing as something more “peaceful” and “contented.”
Martin tells us that when you look deeply into your core, there is an absence of that common nagging dissatisfaction that “something” is not quite right. What is there instead, no matter the outer circumstances, is a deep, fundamental sense that everything, at the deepest level, is fine.
The transition to fundamental wellbeing can start with an evaporation of that edgy sense of dissatisfaction, including freedom from the endless stream of negative thoughts.
Rating how loud that negative voice is inside of you generally, can be one way to discern where you are on that continuum. To those with fundamental wellbeing, the voices are fairly quiet and most of the time. These people possess distance and awareness. Or if the voices are present, they don’t have the emotional hooks that can draw the best of us! Instead, things arise and they go.
I would say I know that place of strength, but don’t dwell there permanently – yet! If I focus on my breath and intentionally connect with that stream of goodness inside me, I am there. I feel my identity expand as I root down into this place of Source Energy and feel the space around my heart start to come alive. That is the place of fundamental wellbeing!
This dwelling place is known by many names such as the “aware” self or “witness consciousness.” Michael Singer took a whole book to explain it, and as he says in the Untethered Soul: “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.”
Another important aspect of Martin’s research reveals some who live in fundamental wellbeing, can experience non-separation between themselves and other phenomena outside of themselves. They slip into oneness with the all. I have these experiences at times, most often when I am in deep meditation, but it can happen in nature, when playing music, when hugging a favourite tree along my morning walking path!
As I sit here typing to you, I am feeling the effects of that small break, focusing on my breathing and finding my still point inside, my connecting with the unified field and that greater sense of self.
Can you feel it?
A new thought easily arises for me in this spacious space, located at times inside my heart space. The new thought is – how about an experiment for this month? Want to?
It would involve setting one’s alarm to go off several times a day (you pick how often). I like to set my alarm throughout the day, not every day, but many days. I often choose 4 or 5 times. The purpose it to remind me to be present.
This month, my alarm will go off, I’m going to intentionally reconnect to that witness self – that larger sense of self.
What say you?