The Grace Cultivation Process 2.0

The Grace Cultivation Process 2.0

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Over the years I have developed my own self reflective process based on a global exploration of mental health innovation. This is a personal process that I wanted to share for those that may be interested in. I want to be clear that I am not a qualified practitioner in this field and anything that you do with this is at your own risk. In many ways, it is a framework that joins the dots between dozens of healing modalities and highlights an overall process of why they work. It isn’t a direct prescription. It is a provocation for you to spend time developing your own process that works for you. All of my experiences and commitment to a personal awareness-raising process have really helped me live with much more ease and grace than I used to feel in my past. I hope you gain some benefit from it.

The Grace Cultivation Process is a self-reflective process that uses the challenges of the outside world as a data-gathering exercise to find the areas in life that prevent us from living in a graceful way. It is also a simple way of processing the challenges of life in a way that they can be transcended in the future. It is also a way of making every challenge we face a deeply purposeful and meaningful experience.

Watching For The 6 Triggers:

Be mindful of the 6 triggers and start to think about how and when they occur. 5 of these are from the Buddhist tradition and the 6 is something that was discovered at the neuroscience facility Biocybernaut (where much of the early learning from this overall process came from).

  1. Sensory desire: the particular type of wanting that seeks happiness through the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and physical feeling.
  2. Ill-will: thoughts of wanting to reject, feelings of anger, hostility, resentment, hatred and bitterness.
  3. Sloth-torpor: heaviness of body and dullness of mind that drag one down into disabling inertia and thick depression.
  4. Restlessness-worry: the inability to calm the mind.
  5. Doubt: lack of conviction or trust.
  6. Forgetfulness: The deliberate or unconscious forgetting or suppressing of memories and events.

The Trigger List:

It is important to capture triggers as and when they happen or as part of an end of day reflection. Try and write down as many instances when one of the 6 triggers occurs and the circumstances in which the trigger occurs. Maintaining a list on your smartphone or notebook is essential for having an ‘inner work’ list on meaningful challenges that impact your day to day life.

End of Day Reflections:

It isn’t always easy to capture all the times when we have moved away from grace. We often lose ourselves for long periods of time to one of the 6 triggers. We often live in these states semi-permanently and/or are suppressing their existence in some way by distracting ourselves from the present reality. Some of the triggers are easier than others to capture.

To have compassion not consciously capturing a loss of graceful presence when it occurs it is good to have an end of day reflective process to look at what the primary challenges happened in the day with a view to gathering data for ‘inner work’ in the future.

At the end of every day ask yourself the following questions and document the results.

What buttons/triggers of mine were pushed today?
When and how was I triggered?
What did I externalise that I could have internalised? (Blame my response on the situation rather than seeing the way you responded as an issue for you.)
When were the moments that I lost my centre?
When were the moments I struggled to accept what is?

Trigger Buddies

It is often really difficult to see our own behaviours. Find some willing people that know you well and see you often and ask them which of the triggers they see and when. We can often have no idea that they are occurring until someone lets us know. Be mindful that having others talk about the times you are triggering because that can itself be a very triggering process! From that point of view pay attention to the set and setting of when conversations like this occur. Feeling safe and secure and in a high state is again key to be able to have a conversation like this.

Doing The Work

We all have different ways and preferences for doing inner work. There are so many weird and wonderful ways people can process our triggers in a meaningful way. The challenge is to create the right environment to be able to get the root cause and to be able to deal with the root cause so that the trigger no longer occurs in the future. Ultimately you need to find a way that will work for you.

Raising the state

When you are ready to process your triggers, find a way to be in a high state. The higher the state the easier it will be to find the wisdom to let go of what needs to be let go of. The darker the memory or the bigger the fear the higher the state that you need to be in to be able to digest it. Think of those moments or methods where life feels blissful and carefree. It could be as part of your meditation practice or daily prayer. It may be by going to a beautiful place in nature or even some beautiful music. It could be using a ‘state raising’ substance like Raw Cacao, Cannabis or even something like MDMA (In places where this is legal). It could be in biofeedback meditation (like Biocybernaut), hypnotherapy, shamanic ceremony or your preferred healing practice. Ultimately the more you can find a way that works for you to get out of your head and into your heart then the easier it will be to process these triggers once and for all. The first experiences are often the hardest and in some ways need the most ‘support’ is required. You may wish to do this on retreat or when away from the world in some way. As you start to trust the process then you will be able to go through it with ever-increasing ease in order to ultimately deal with the challenges you face as and when they occur.

Prioritising The Work

With the challenges of daily life, we often build a very long trigger list very quickly. Whilst many of these triggers may be part of consistent patterns it can be hard to think about which ones are going to provide the most breakthrough in the least time. You may prioritise your work by asking your subconscious some questions:

What am I ready to let go of today?
What behaviour/trigger is the greatest barrier for me living a graceful life?
What am I not seeing that I am ready to see?
Which is the most important trigger for me to be working on right now?

Again, using a high state to gain this wisdom is preferable. Allowing the answers to come through you rather than thinking about them is going to get you closer to the answers you need. The egoic mind will try and avoid the most challenging triggers. Also, be mindful that it can be easier to work on less challenging things first to get used to the process. Ultimately trial and error is a good thing when increasing awareness. If you are afraid or frustrated about failing or that you can’t do something then that is another trigger for you to explore in more depth.

Digesting Undigested Life Experiences

There are many moments in our younger lives where we didn’t have the skills and experience to process the world in the way we would today. In the first 7 years, in particular, our subconscious mind develops many of the automated patterns and responses that we live by today. Unless reprocessed trauma and/or undigested life experiences can remain with us forever heavily influencing our current interpretation of the world and the decisions that we make. This is a process that helps you to go back and reinterpret those experiences in order to transform the subconscious algorithms that we are running our life by. If you reinterpret the deep memories locked in your subconscious then you will over time start to see the world and live in the world in a very different way.

The Long and Detailed Method for Digesting Undigested Life Experiences:

This is a long and detailed process for finding and reinterpreting old memories.

  1. Identifying the root cause
  • Go to the trigger.
  • Try and feel the emotion associated that triggers as much as possible.
  • Ask yourself the question – where exactly do I feel that trigger in my body?
  • Try to amplify that feeling as much as possible.
  • Ask yourself the question – when was the very first memory of me feeling that trigger? (There can often be resistance to this as these memories are often hidden and shut down. Ultimately it isn’t something that you try to recall by thinking. It is something that you allow to come to you through the memory of the feeling. If you find yourself thinking too much and struggling to have a memory come back to you then the state of consciousness you are in is probably not in high enough state to surface what needs to surface.)
  • To make it easier on yourself to recall the memory you may ask yourself a question like – Is there an age or a number that comes through that this feeling is associated with? Most triggers have a link to our childhood where much or our subconscious patterns are formed.
  • Another question might be – Who do I sense was with me when this feeling first occurred? Ultimately is a trial and error enquiry that will trigger the recall of a memory associated with a feeling.
  • When the memory comes back to check in with your subconscious and ask – is this the very first memory? The first memory is the root so it is important to get right to it in order to release as much of the trigger pattern as possible.
  1. Letting go of the trigger.
  • When you have identified the original moment or memory that created the subconscious trigger pattern then you can start the work of reinterpreting the memory.
  • The objective is to get to the point of deep and unconditional forgiveness or all people (including yourself), beings (such as a God) and circumstances. Fundamentally we may already have the wisdom available to us today to reprocess it. A young child has a radically difficult interpretation of what an older adult might have.
  • Helpful questions for forgiving someone else might be. What happened to them in their life for them to be like that?
  • Helpful questions for forgiving yourself might be. If you were giving someone else advice right now at that age what would you say to them?
  • Forgiving someone else is not a process that is for them. It is something for you to release yourself from the continuing pattern. Likewise forgiving yourself is something you do so you can cause less harm to others in the world in your day to day life.
  • There are many forgiveness prayers or rituals like the Hawaiian Hoʻoponopono prayer that can help with this. Ultimately find a way that works for you to consistently find forgiveness in others and yourself.
  • Remember there is nothing that an open heart can’t fully forgive and find compassion for. Deep compassion is at the very source of cultivating a graceful life. This is where the high states come in and where the egoic mind really doesn’t help. If you can’t forgive someone or something then it is because you haven’t found a state of consciousness that is high enough. There is an Einstein quote ‘No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.’ If you can’t shift the perception enough to find the wisdom then shift the level of consciousness that you are in. The deeper the trauma or the more difficult the memory is to digest the more support is needed to find the insight and wisdom to move beyond it.
  • This is not a process that is about denying what has happened in the past. It is a process that is about finding peace with the past in order to live peacefully today.
  • The work is seen as complete when you can no longer feel the ‘trapped energy/emotion’ in your body. Using the question – Where can I feel this in my body? – should give rise to a response. I can no longer feel this. If you are clear then you are ready for the next trigger. If there is still something there then continue with the enquiry until you can let it all go.
  • A good book to research more on how to let go would be Letting Go: The Pathway to Surrender by David Hawkins.

The Short Version of The Method for Digesting Undigested Life Experiences

Ultimately when you have done this a number of times and successfully get the process you should be able to design yourself a short process that allows you to unlock and reinterpret memories in a simple way. It could be something simple like this:

1: Where do I feel this trigger in my body?
2: When was the first time I felt this feeling?
3: How can I relive this moment with the wisdom of today?

Expanding through the branches

If you have reprocessed a big root cause and life-defining memory then it is very possible that this has influenced many actions and circumstances that you have encountered in your life. Sometimes it can feel like thousands and thousands of situations need to be digested properly as a result of the new awareness that you are cultivating. The idea is to ask your body and/or subconscious to go through and relive and reinterpret all of the instances that have been influenced by that root cause event. It doesn’t need to take long. It just needs you to understand and be compassionate with yourself of the scale and magnitude that a single event can have on your life and to at least bring to your awareness those moments.

Integration

One of the reasons why the early uses of a process like this are best done with a lot of space is that it can often influence your life in a big way. When we start to understand how much we have lived our life as a result of the experiences we have it can often be quite disconcerting to reflect on our future from a significantly different world view to that which we had before. From that point of view integrating the new awareness can take anything from minutes to years depending on how much of our life we have to change to get on course. The important thing to remember is that there should be no rush. If lots of triggers start to surface as a result of the experience then it is often better to start working on those triggers rather than to make too many changes too quickly.

Often after some deep reprogramming, you will want to sleep. That is a good sign as sleep is the way our subconscious likes to reorder itself every day. Other than that the idea is to ground as much as possible until life feels settled again. For some that may come through meditation practice and for others, it may come from spending a lot of time in nature. Individuals that go through transformation can often feel like lobsters with a new shell. It is a period where we can feel soft and vulnerable and doubt and uncertainty can occur (see trigger list!). The more you spend time grounding the faster this will pass. In some ways, you can be learning to walk in the world again and that can take a little getting used to at first.

A word of warning. The ego likes to strike back after big breakthroughs. Ultimately it is doing its job of trying to protect you and will sometimes throw a lot back at you in the days after those major breakthroughs. At this time it is important to be extremely vigilant to the triggers that are occurring. Keep running the process and grounding as much as you can. It can be as simple as acknowledging the good work of the ego for it to pass. Thank it for trying to protect you and tell it that you are grateful for all the work it does. That can be enough. If it isn’t then your new interpretation of life has found a whole new load of great new work on the past for you to do.

I hope you enjoy the process and the long walk to a more graceful and peaceful life.

This is a living document that I like to continually update as I get more feedback from others. If you have some experiences to share on how this worked for you or how you would change or update the process please let me know at getintouch@marcwinn.com

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