We're not driven so much by what we intellectually know, but rather by what we've learned to link pain and pleasure to in our nervous systems. —Tony Robbins

As a culture, we have worked decades to build an intellectual argument for every single thing we feel is important in life. We believe it 100%. But until our nervous system agrees, we don't know it.

We were separated during the pandemic. Now we are able to come back together. But in some ways our bodies are still "back there," waiting until it's safe to come out.

It's easier to convince our body that we're unsafe than safe.

This is not a problem, but it is important information. It tells us that we are going to have to be patient with ourselves in coming back together.

This is a snapshot of a bigger, life-long, scenario:

Things happened in my childhood which, now that I'm an adult, I can reason away. "It wasn't the way I saw it back then." "It all turned out okay, so I'm fine." And I decide to continue my life, despite a nagging, growing feeling that something is still wrong. This feeling, if not attended to, eventually manifests as pain. This pain can be another opportunity to reason things away... Or, it can be an opportunity to take notice. To slow down and listen.

I'm not suggesting that we should live in the past. What I am suggesting is that it is not healthy to skip the process due to an intellectual reasoning which says "everything is fine."

Everything is not fine if our mind says it's fine but our body disagrees. We need to find harmony. We can find harmony by slowing down in order to allow our body to catch up with our mind.

Similar to the way that it was hard for me to slow down this morning to hear about my daughter's (very long) description a dream she had last night, it can be difficult for us to slow down to listen to ourself. Slowing down requires patience.

Patience takes practice.

We cannot give what we do not have. If I want to be able to give patience to my daughter, I must first learn to give it to myself.

I'm out of practice.

But there will be many opportunities today to practice! Most of us will be tempted to let these opportunities slip by. We'll decide we're too busy — that there isn't enough time. That is a lie.

Today is a great day to practice giving patient attention to myself. To listen to the child within when he asks for attention.

It may very well be safe where you are today. It probably is. You may be near to friends and family today. You probably are. But these wonderful truths can be experienced so much more deeply if we slow down enough to allow our nervous system to know it.

A great place to start is our senses:

Look up. What do you see that tells you that you are safe in this moment? Can you stay here for a moment to really let it in?
Listen. What do you hear that tells you that you are safe? Can you let go of the inner chatter and just give this sound the stage for a moment?
Taste. Smell. Touch. Same exploration.
Give yourself a moment right now to do this. Like giving your child a moment of attention. He/She has something to share with you. You do not have to be too busy for this.

As you give this to yourself, do you notice anything shift in your body?

If you believe in God — even simply that God exists — can you feel the possibility of God's loving involvement in this process with you?

I believe that cool, clean, healing water is ready to rush through your entire being — your past and present, old wounds and anxieties, hopes and longings — clearing the channels within you, enabling deeper connection in your life, and increasing your capacity to live fully here and now.

Today is a great day to practice giving attention where it is most needed.

Giving Attention

Today is a great day to practice