Opening to Life

How to meet your Core Self

Life is a mystery that as a species we try and try to learn the secrets of, but so far often fail to fully understand. You are an expression of that mystery. Therefore, although you may not intellectually understand the depths of what you are, nevertheless, you are that mystery discovering itself. By allowing the depths of your being to unfold, you move closer to knowing the mystery you are. You can take the first steps toward this by recognising that any beliefs you have about what you are, are incomplete. You do not know the full nature of your body, mind, or the universe, and therefore you do not know, even if you are very well educated, the full extent of what you are. To drop such preconceptions, opinions and beliefs is the first step. To stand before oneself naked of preconceptions is to begin the process of opening to your potential.

We can allow life to unfold us by recognising that our conscious identity has the tendency to believe it knows what it needs, what is true, and what is false. However, life on this planet has been around for millions of years and has a lot of unconscious information about how we are formed and what we are capable of.

The Simple Secret Is

Open all of yourself to the unknown and invisible force that Creates You – Life. 

That means dropping all you present expectations, beliefs and ideas – for you are allowing the unknown.

Life expresses as movement, feelings, hunger, sexual drive, awareness, along with the other fundamentals such as absorption and excretion, growth, self regulation (homeostasis), breathing, attempts to communicate and ability to respond. The baby in the womb makes spontaneous movements, which express its own core activity.  Life in the form of animals, without any self awareness, expresses in these ways. Recognising this shows us that it doesn’t take conscious will and self awareness to exist and live within the environment. In fact a fundamental of self regulation or LifeStream is that to remain healthy physically and psychologically we need to let go of our conscious personality regularly and allow Life to move us in its own spontaneous way. When we sleep our conscious needs and desires are surrendered. But Life still maintains all our systems without our conscious help. In fact while we sleep our conscious self is largely or totally unconscious, and while we dream our voluntary muscles are paralysed – therefore another will or motivating force moves our body. So we have a Conscious Will, and what I will call a Life Will. The first one we have experience of as we can move our arm or speak in everyday activities; but the second will takes over when we sleep.

At that time it creates dreams during which we move and even speak spontaneously without conscious volition. It is this deep core of self we need to open to often, allowing our infinite potential to express while we are awake and so conscious. It is that joining or union of our unconscious and conscious that is the enormous teacher, healer and grower.

Why Do We Need to Allow Life more Fully into our Lives?

Many of us do not know how to empty the trash/garbage we store within us just below our awareness. The effects of this are feelings of anxiety, unrest, depression and feeling lost. See Psychological Vomiting – Keyboard Condition – Pandora’s Box

An example of this is seen in this woman’s description:

Rita, a nurse who had been hospitalised with psychiatric problems, describes what happened to her when she let go of her ’self control’ in what at the time we called self-regulation, (SR), but now name LifeStream.

“In most every part of me I have felt energy stirring or moving since I started SR. I look different now. When I look in the mirror I see I am a different shape. I am much stronger than I was. I think this is because I am not wasting energy now. I am also less afraid of my feelings. I was a very passionate person and would get into arguments about everything. Now I can be more detached. I never thought I would be like that. Somehow ones energy gets re-organised in self regulation. You get rid of the stuff which is potentially destructive, and you are left with what is really a force for growth.

The process of SR seems so sensible to me. Having had a fairly good medical training the idea of homeostasis and energy being blocked, even though it may not be charted in Gray’s Anatomy, is very straightforward. It seems no more puzzling, although it’s mystical. The process is trying to do its work, whether we open to it or not in our body. It is quicker and easier if you give it the right conditions. Most of the time, almost deliberately we give it adverse conditions. All we need to do is take the concrete off so it can grow. This force seems to be there all the time.

When I started SR I wasn’t prepared for the violence of the feelings or the strength, immediacy and freshness of them, and the fact it was real.

Our society deals so much in second-hand experience. The immediacy of it really took my breath away. I am beginning to allow myself now a glimpse of what we often put down as so much religiosity.

I am allowing myself now, having had almost an overdose of grieving and anguish, to open up to the other extreme which I have never experienced very much, which is the sheer joy of living. The other day I found myself walking into the sea and shouting, ‘Hey sea, I love you’ and it really came up from my boots. We get stuck in the bad stuff and don’t let ourselves feel the good.

A couple of months back I went through, with M. the event of my son’s birth. It was thought he might not live and I had been super controlled from the nurses point of view. I hadn’t given way to anguish at the thought this child might not live. But when he was born healthy, what I wanted to do, much more than that, was to shriek with joy, and I hadn’t allowed that. We think so often, being a puritan society, it’s only the pain we have got to face, but it seems we have got to open those channels of joy too. It’s too easy to become hooked on the masochistic element. When I began to let myself experience joy in SR I even began to think I was no longer doing real self regulation because it was so pleasurable.”

What follows is a way to do this.

How do you open the door to your own real self?

Much of the time we edit or control what we allow ourselves to think or feel. Dropping this form of judgment, if only for short periods while you open to the mystery you are, is important. At first it may cause some concern because you are unblocking part of the flow, and it may start pushing out some of the attitudes, past experiences and habits that have been blocking your greater flow. Usually those things would have been cleansed in the normal LifeStream, but unconscious tensions and resistances prevent the healing. This is why we have to consciously take in hand the work of dropping our self-control for periods of time. See Control-No Control

One way of describing it is to say that you become the dance partner who is led. You dance with life every day anyway, but usually you want to make the decisions about what steps to take, what way to twirl, when to finish. Opening the door to the streaming life means that you open your body, your mind and your feelings to being guided by your partner, who has led the dance from the very beginning – Life.

Let’s imagine it. Here I am as the dance instructor, and you are standing with your partner, Life. So, is your body ready to move? Are your feelings and thoughts ready to enter fully into the dance? Are there points of view that you are keeping hold of and will not surrender to the dance? Can you move and be uplifted and thrown down? Are you ready to dance the drama of love, the darkness of pain, the sunlight of discovery? The dance is always creative. So can you let go of what you already know, what you have already done, and the moves already made, and let Life move you wonderfully into the unknown?

It may take an age for anything to show

Can you do that? Can you stand and drop your control and allow what arises spontaneously to flow through you? If you need help.

It Might Help To Use Ar Circling

This is a useful technique to learn the first stages of allowing your inner being to express spontaneously. It is a way of gradually loosening tensions and blockages. But must be practiced several times to really feel your way into it.

It is good to try a preparatory exercise first, one to give you a direct experience of spontaneous movement.

But it is good to get the feel of something that is easy to do first. A simple way you might be able to learn the beginnings of this it may help to first learn how to yawn spontaneously. You can do this by acting out a few yawns till they come spontaneously. Let them come and let the rest of your body join in if an urge to stretch comes. This is to learn how to recognise and allow your body and feelings to express spontaneously. When you can allow spontaneous yawns and stretches, then try the arm circling.

Spontaneous Arm Movement

This is a simple and enjoyable technique which gives a direct experience of spontaneous movement. You need to stand about a foot away from a wall, side on. Start with your right side. You are going to lift your right arm sideways, but because you are near the wall you will only manage to lift it part of the way. So when the back of your hand touches the wall, press it hard against the wall as if trying to complete the movement of lifting the arm. Using a reasonable amount of effort stay with the hand pressing against the wall for about twenty seconds. Then move so you face away from the wall, and with eyes closed relax your arm and be aware of what happens. Try it before reading on, and use the left arm afterwards.

For some people nothing happens. In which case I suggest you loosen your arms by consciously moving them to get your blood circulating, then try again.

What we have done is to attempt to make a movement. Because the wall prevented this, the body was not able to complete the movement you asked it to make. Therefore a muscular charge built up in the deltoid muscle. When you stepped away from the wall the arm, if relaxed, was then free to complete the movement. So possibly your arm rose from your side as if weightless, thus discharging its energy. Some people need several tries before they can find the right body feeling to allow the arm its movement. It is easy to prevent it moving because the impulse is quite a subtle one. The point of the exercise however, is to learn a relationship with oneself in which a subtle impulse can express. The movement the arm makes, and how it feels to experience an un-willed movement, is so similar to LifeStream we are thus provided with an experimental experience of the real thing. Therefore it is helpful either to practice the technique until you can do it, or use it a number of times to establish your relationship with the feeling of it. This sense of allowing movement can then be used in LifeStream itself.

Arm Circling Movement

For the next exercise you need sufficient floor space to move easily, or even lie full length if necessary. It also helps to have loose clothing.. You start by standing in the middle of your floor space, giving yourself time to explore what you feel and experience. Start by circling your arms. Take the arms above the head, down to the lower front of the body fairly slowly, with the arms fully extended, then upward crossing the front of the trunk. In the full movement the hands are then forming wide circles that cross the front of your body. This arm circling is simply to help you learn how to allow spontaneous movement. It is a way of working with the natural forces within you.

So, as you are circling your arms with eyes closed, bring your awareness to the shapes your hands are making in space. As you become aware of the shapes the hands are carving in space, watch what feelings you have as to how you would like to move. Give yourself permission to doodle, to make any sort of shapes your feelings or body incline you to. Allow any sort of posture or movement, as active or quiet as you like.

If they arise, allow sounds to accompany the movements, and allow whatever feelings accompany them. Hold the attitude that what you are doing doesn’t have to make sense. Nor does it have to comply with what other people might expect of you. Realise that you are allowing another part of yourself, perhaps a non verbal part, or a facet unknown to the rational mind, to express.

With a non critical watching attitude, relax and let your body and feeling sense direct what happens. There is no need to fiercely concentrate in order to wipe the mind clear of other influences. But you may need to relax the part of the mind that always needs to know beforehand what you are going to do.

This is not like creative dance, in which there may exist a need to produce something pleasing for others to watch. With this exercise you need an open area in which your inner being can make its own adjustments, and movement and feeling has a chance to express outside of rational criticism and demands of everyday life.

Give yourself at least fifteen minutes in which to explore what spontaneous movements and feelings emerge. Below is a summary of what may happen in this practice.

  1. Although the movements may at first appear haphazard and irrational, if you allow them to continue without criticism, they usually express – perhaps only over a period of several sessions – a particular theme or point.
  2. Like a dream, the theme or drama often symbolises your life situation, or something within you, such as the remaining emotions or attitudes from past experience, or a creative realisation. Or the movements may be expressive of the body’s own need to release energy or mobilise itself and its urges.
  3. There are obvious stages or depths to the experience. Movement is often the first. Feelings and fantasy can then combine with the movement. Only with a few people do they occur without each other. If met in the right way the movements, fantasy and sounds can lead to insight into what is being expressed. In other words the symbolic movements, if that is what they are, can give way to rational understanding. This is not because one has thought out a plausible explanation for what happens. It is because your critical, conscious mind has watched the spontaneous working of what usually only occurs in dreams while you are unconsciousness. This gives automatic feedback to the unconscious mind and it can speed up it processing and problem solving. A communication takes place between the unconscious and conscious mind.
  4. If what emerges is symbolic then it is help to ask the spontaneous process to clarify what it represents. The first time this happened to me I didn’t understand that the movements were symbols. I experienced creating a huge world which was so heavy it crushed me, pushing me to the floor and paralysed me. Slowly I gained strength, stood up and threw off the world. It was three months later, as I was describing the experience to a friend that realisation hit me like a wonderful insight. The world I had created was one made up of religious rules that in fact had made me ill trying to live them by controlling everything. The spontaneous Life Process in me had given me the strength to see them and cast them off.

Example of allowing the Spontaneous Life Process to Heal Us

Here is a woman’s experience that describes her experience.

“Perhaps two minutes passed when I felt a distinct twitching around my brow, which was repeated, and then it spread down my face, a downward pressing movement. My face was involved then in a big muscular movement, pressing down, seeming to flatten the face, and then spread down the body towards the feet. Gradually my whole body became involved in big waves of pressing movement which flowed down, lifting and tossing my legs, so that my heels were banging on the floor. Wave succeeded wave. I did as Tony said, and let it happen, using the skills to relax which I had learnt. I wasn’t afraid, although I couldn’t imagine what was happening to me. Instead I felt happy and elated, warmed through. I knew I had found something of great significance, but it was many months before I could put words to it. It remained an intriguing mystery, like a dropping away of chains, or a touching of promise, while I passed through the pain of divorce. I feel that my experience that day released considerable energy. It did not break my marriage – that would have happened anyway. But I received strength which I used for my needs at that time. Months later it came to me with the force of revelation, that I had been born that day.”

From the point of view of the meditation is a way of entering into the usually unconscious processes of the mind and working with them. Usually the only way you let go so fully and allow the spontaneous action of our inner nature is when we sleep and dream.

Because if you experience spontaneous movement you are on the beginning of an amazing experience, you may need further instruction. It is good to practice it once a week until you begin to understand and work with the action taking place in you.

See: LifeStreamPeople’s Experiences of LifeStream Practice of LifeStreamLife’s Little Secrets.

What this means is that for a given length of time, about 30 to 60 minutes once a week, you allow your body, feelings, voice, sexuality and mind be moved spontaneously, as happens in dreams. The arm circling exercise helps to learn this. But for a full description of how this process is always active in you but seldom allowed conscious expression, see Life’s Little Secrets.

It may take time for anything to happen. Here is a woman’s experience of that.

This may be linked with me because it happened when I had given up.  I stopped expecting anything to happen.  After three months of, to me, nothing happening, but my lying there for ninety minutes listening to other people making a noise.  But in the way a lot happened because my feelings and thoughts had changed considerably in those three months.  I had gone through fear, contempt, attempting to cut it down to size, saying it wasn’t a valid experience for people.  I was very much the outsider for a long time.  Then, when I had given up any hope something happening, it happened to me.

Animals, being the unselfconscious manifestation of how life expresses, when they are ill are spontaneously moved to seek or do things to help the healing process. Animals seek to survive, and learn in the process. Often they are informed by what we call intuition and instinct. But we have those possibilities also, but often muffle them by our conscious desires and thoughts. So open your mind and imagination to the mystery at your core. Let it unfold its wisdom to you intuitively or in images.

Opening to the LifeStream in this way starts the process during which you remember your origins. It is a time of letting the power that gives you Life flow more fully into awareness. It is a time you allow your potential and creativity to unfold. It is a time of cleansing and healing, equally as important as your daily wash. It is also a time when you open to allowing your hidden needs to be known and dealt with. In opening to the mystery you also become more conscious of being an integral part of the society and world you live in. You begin to feel your connection with the life of this planet and the universe that is the constant stage upon which you live your life.

It is helpful to remember, especially if what occurs for you in a session is a deeply felt experience, that it only occurs because you make an agreement with yourself to allow it. Therefore, although it is spontaneous and  unexpected, it is still an expression of your own will to allow. To stop the process you simply reverse your decision, thinking to yourself something like – During this session it was appropriate to allow myself freedom of movement fantasy and sound, but now I will again assume my usual social behaviour. This is my choice.

Come to the mystery at least several times each week — or daily if you can. Lots of people believe they do this in their prayers or meditation. But in most cases what is happening is that they still hold on to the almost unconscious attitude that this means being still, not making a noise, controlling their thoughts and emotions, blocking their sexual feelings and bodily movements. So their meditations are actually a form of interfering with the real flow. See: Mind and Movement

That Much Power Needs Understanding

Opening to the mystery is a powerful thing to do. It brings real change and growth. Opening to that sort of power needs to be understood, and there are certain skills and attitudes that can be of great value.

For many people, opening in the ways described leads to a period of cleansing. Negative emotions, residues of past trauma, physical problems, are brought to the surface to be dispelled. This is not a comfortable process. But it is one of the ways life works in us. When we eat something poisonous our healing process can lead to vomiting the poison from our system. When we breathe in dust we sneeze. So when we are harbouring painful destructive emotions or memories our healing process tries to discharge them. It takes a while to learn how to allow this to happen without feeling anxious.

It is one of the big human frailties that we blame someone else, or other people, for our feelings or situation. Accepting personal responsibility for your own state of mind, feelings or situation, is a huge step toward positive change in your life. Of course this is a big generalisation. Workers who are exploited by employers and paid inadequate wages, while employers cream off most of the profits, may be seen as justified in blaming their situation on the bosses. However, by not blaming, the employee may still realise it is up to them to do something about the situation. That was how human rights were fought for.

Be in a learning relationship with the mystery at your core. Question what arises. Ask what is meant. Be like a detective following clues. Many of the deepest parts of your nature emerge in stages as they unfold. Often your core self expresses in symbolic experiences as do dreams. That is the language of the unconscious. Do not be satisfied with the symbols. Question them during the process until you arrive at insights that give you understanding of how what is experienced links with your everyday life and situation.

Your physical growth took years. Your personal spiritual growth also takes time. Processes of growth in nature develop structures and organs as they move towards something. The plant develops stem and leaves before it opens its flower. So your own inner growth may need to develop things before it can manifest certain parts of you. The mystery is beyond imagination in its enormity. Some people have called it the Hugeness. Sometimes courage and strength need to be developed before you can be healed of certain things, or experience other dimensions of yourself.

The mystery of life that you are is paradoxical. You can never pin it down to being this or that one thing. It is both very personal — in fact manifesting as your own unique personality — and it is at the same time completely impersonal. By all means learn and define what you learn, but never believe you have found the complete truth. Being paradoxical, whatever truth you arrive at you can be sure the opposite is also true. Holding rigidly to beliefs prevents further learning.

Learn self observation. With the non-blaming approach, examine the way you respond to people and events. See what is behind the response. Notice what habits you have, and where they stem from. Learn to observe the constant and subtle play of feelings, thoughts and imagery that takes place within you.

At one point in the New Testament it says, “Where two or three people are gathered together in my name, there I am.” Whatever you might interpret that to mean, it is observable that when we open to Life in the company of one or more people who are also approaching that mystery in the same way, it enormously increases the power of what you experience. Even if there is just one person with you who honours the process of LifeStream, it can make an enormous difference to the depth and power of what you meet within.

To follow through on this see People’s Experience of LifeStream – Ox Herding – Meeting yourself


-Ingrid 2017-12-17 14:41:44

I had a dream that I have had before. I was crossing a busy four Lane intersection on foot, but my legs where giving in once I was getting to the end of each side of the intersections. I had on coming cars and Realized in my dream I could
Not make it through the last lane although I was trying to run as fast as I could. My legs where like painful so I saw myself drawing myself on my arms. I never got hit by the cars. Suddenly I am at the other side of the intersection trying to cross again, but the cars are once again faster than me.

-Tetiana Cymbal 2017-11-20 11:16:59

I really jive with the explanation of how one holds in enormous amounts of their own Energy…trusting oneself….allowing to express spontaneously without conscious intervention. I hold way too much self criticism which keeps me from embracing myself fully….
Any comnents or thoughts on this most critical topic?
Thank you

-Tinny Mokgadi 2017-01-24 17:44:57

wow this is the best advice ever wow

    -Tony Crisp 2017-01-25 11:51:20

    Thanks Tinny – You are a gift to your people.


-Michelle 2016-10-24 17:36:49

Found this interesting, keep having recurring dream that my college age son is young again and having a fever. Can you help me with this? It’s been intensely disturbing. And the past year I’ve been working on letting him “go” as I mostly raised him.
the other dream is usually a dance – I never went to HS dances wasn’t allowed …

    -Tony Crisp 2016-10-27 10:46:31

    Michelle – When you think about your son or a person you meet, you are only taking in your thoughts, impressions and feelings about them. Your thoughts and emotions are not them, simply your own feelings. So many people do not realise that they have an inner person equally as powerful as the external person you know. You have taken in millions of bits of memory, lessons learnt, life experiences along with all the feelings or problems met by meeting or living with them, and they are what makes you the person you are. The memories and experience we gather unconsciously change us and are not lost. It is part of you and is symbolised in dreams as a person or event. Such an inner person can appear in dreams because you still carry the memories or impressions of them, and so they influenced what you hold within you.

    Therefore what are your feelings, thoughts or worries about him – for he is a part of you. Here is an example of what I mean.

    Example: Sitting in a window box facing outwards, with Neal H and my son on my left. I felt very scared of falling and asked my son and Neal to climb back into the building. I felt too scared to move until they had shifted.

    When I explored the dream, I saw it related to my recent situation. Although I am now working for two magazines, the frequency of payment is much less than before. So, we are running out of money – my wife being out of work. I have felt very insecure and anxious during the last few days (the fear of falling). I thought of going back to my previous employment to work, that I see as trying to get back to the safety of the building behind me – in the past. The two boys are my younger self that is more vulnerable, the parts of me I am trying to grow – the window box with young plants in it.

    When I imagined doing that it was purely out of fear. In staying in the box though, I feel I am growing and opening to something positive entering my life. So, I feel the dream shows that my unconscious assessment of my situation is that if I trust the flow of events I will enter a new stage of growth and experience. I am going to try that.

    So, your dream of your son having a fever is probably a sign of a dramatic turning point, through great stress and emotion that in its intensity is burning out its own causes, and thus ridding you of the worries or insecurities that produced it.

    It may link with breaking through whatever held you back from dancing, for it is a way to express oneself more fully, and allowing your creativity or feelings.


Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved