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trisha hadley

Filtering by Category: Energy

Gradients. Change.

Arguably the hippest trend of 2015, gradients are everywhere. iPhone wallpapers, backgrounds or sidebars of every other (modern) website I visit, print advertisements at the muni stop. I'm into it, I am, but I keep wondering why this soft digital rainbow came into vogue.

I have some theories. Obviously.

1) Seeing a gradient feels like a sigh. Look at one. Then inhale, exhale and sigh. Doesn't that feel good? Mmmm.

2) Sunsets are nature's dynamic gradients. Everybody loves sunsets. Case in point.

3) People generally don't like change (I'm weird). Gradients are change, BUT are such a soft, gradual version of it that they invoke comfort and confidence and relaxation and creativity. Bonus points for changing the internal dialogue where people often feel anxious or stressed or scared.

4) Curiosity of the unknown. Where does each color begin or end or exist?!? Nobody knows, but that's half the fun.

5) People see what they want to see. Do you love cerulean but hate sky blue? Doubtful, but you probably like one more than the other, and seeing them both (and a bunch of other blues) allows you to subconsciously focus on what you like, making you happier to be seeing what you're seeing (read: buying what they're selling).

Theories, that's all. Any other ideas?

Dimension Musings

Disclosure: more questions than answers. Actually, all questions, no answers. Just some recent thoughts.

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We live in 3D. That is, 3 spacial dimensions. Length, width, height. The addition of time gives us spacetime, and a 4th dimension. M-theory, or string theory, posits multiple dimensions, up to 11. 10 spacial and 1 temporal. 

If time is the 4th dimension, and there are multiple spatial dimensions of which we are unaware, could there be multiple times? A sort of cosmic layering of times, but we are only aware of ours?

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If my eyes are adjusted to the light of my computer screen, everything around me is black. When I glance up, and my eyes adjust their focus, I can perceive objects in my room. Similarly we see the world in the daytime, and when night falls, we can then see the stars. From our nighttime observation, we infer they are always present, but we cannot see them in the daytime. It is only with the perceptive veil of light removed that they enter our awareness. It’s interesting, that light sometimes illuminates and other times it hides. (Or, perhaps, it's always doing both.) But, of course, we only see the stars because they emit light. What would happen if the stars ceased to shine? If we could remove their veil of light. Would something else remain? Of course this is just light and dark, the two sides to our reality of only one of our senses (albeit one we seem to trust more than others), sight, but what other layers of other senses remain that we have yet to dig deeper within? And moreso, what exists beyond the senses?

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It’s consciousness. Reality exists when we bring it into our consciousness. So the world exists as a continuum of each being's consciousness. An intricate web of awareness. 

What would happen if every person in the world were to go to sleep at the same time? Meditated? Focused their consciousness on a single entity? What would be created?

In what dimension?

Quantum Breathing (Do you exist?)

I wrote the words below one rainy afternoon for my site onebreath, as a means to convey my take on the power that can be found in mindful breathing. I wrote them based on experience, an amalgamation of my own mindfulness journey… but they are so much more than that.

 

A conscious breath can be as simple as a breath noticed. 

Noticing our breath brings us into the present moment. 

It allows for depth in the human experience.

It allows this moment to become reality.

 

Quantum mechanics suggest it actually creates reality. That nothing truly exists until it is noticed -- until it is conscious -- and before we noticed it, it ceased to exist as a breath, but was only a probability distribution. 

While that wasn't a whole lot of words, it's a relatively deep rabbit hole into which we've stepped. (Jumped? Did I nudge you?)

Let’s look at the double-slit experiment. A very famous experiment, indeed, that forever changed our understanding of the dual nature of light. Upon further inquiry (i.e. further experiments and an understanding of the photoelectric effect), it was elucidated that the photons of light behaved like waves when measured (and thus consciously noticed) on a screen located a short distance away from the slits and light source; they behaved like particles when detected (and thus consciously noticed) at the slits. The only difference in the experiments was the location (in space and time) of the measurement. Thus, conscious awareness of the light was the key variable. (See this lecture by Dr. Thomas Campbell for more detail on these concepts and experiments.)

In the 1920s, Erwin Schrödinger postulated a further explanation for these interesting observations. He claimed that the light did not exist before measurement except as a probability distribution. (As Dr. Campbell stresses, this does not mean that the photon exists somewhere and we don't know where, but that it does not exist as a particle, only as a probability distribution.) Before it exists, it behaves like a wave with a probability distribution. After is exists, it behaves like a particle with a direct path. Its existence is dependent upon it being measured. This concept became foundational for quantum mechanics.

Let's reiterate in other words one more time: the implications of these experiments show that photons of light do not exist as particles until consciously observed. Before this, they exist only as probability distributions (i.e. they could exist, but do not yet).

So is it possible that never noticing your life -- your breath -- means that you never truly live? Not in the 'live-everyday-to-the-fullest'/carpe diem/YOLO mentality, but in the literal, scientific, quantum mechanic sense. Are you not alive if you fail to notice it? Is a conscious breath the only kind of real breath? Does a reality not exist until you create itI would argue yes. 

Create wisely. Begin by noticing.

Unity + Consciousness

Jan 2014

black + white. light + darkness. consonance + dissonance. creation + destruction.

These may seem more like balance, or counterbalance, and maybe they are. But today, for me, in this moment, they are unity.

Everyone is always talking about resolutions and intentions this time of year. What should I give up? What in my life needs to change? This can actually be a very therapeutic practice, and for that I am grateful, but often the hype far outshines the willpower for many. In a yoga class during my recent trip to NYC, the instructor prompted us to set an intention for 2014. What came to mind?  Unity. Why? At the moment, I had no idea.

I suppose I still have no clue as I have sat here for the past 15 minutes staring at my computer screen. But it's been on my mind. A lot. 

 

Today

3 months pass. (Coincidence?) I thought I had deleted this post due to my writer's block, but here it is. And yes, I have goosebumps. I love everything about these videos: science, spirituality, meditation, consciousness.

It's life. At it's amazing, abstract core.

"Everything in the universe has a common source. So if we look at things at the deepest possible level, we ultimately discover one unified universal reality. Of which you're a wave. Of which I'm a wave. We're all just the different vibrational frequencies. The natural reverberant frequencies of this one universal unified field. Our whole universe is just a symphony. The various harmonics and fundamentals and overtones of one universal field, one universal ocean, of consciousness in motion." - John Hagelin, PhD

Check out the videos here and here

So much more to come on this. I just have to (consciously) learn it first.

CAM Series: Acupuncture

The 1st in a series of posts on CAM topics. My MS degree focused on the integration of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into the Western healthcare system; here I share my thoughts. See this post for some background on the biopsychosocial model as it's related to all things CAM.

Acupuncture is one of the major therapeutic components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). One of the most common methods involves placing extremely thin needles in various parts of the body to manipulate the flow of qi, or the body's life force energy, which according to TCM theory gets blocked or out of balance, causing any array of symptoms. 

Yes, I've had acupuncture a number of times (and currently still receive treatments). Yes, I have worked at a TCM wellness clinic. You already know about my master's program all about CAM. Does this make me an expert? No. Do I have insights and connections based on my education and experiences? I think I do.

The first, and often most challenging, hurdle to clear when understanding acupuncture via the Western thought process is the concept of qi or the idea of energy imbalances. If you're having trouble with the latter, see my post on energy and why it is also the foundation of the scientific theory we know and love in the West.

Qi is a difficult concept. There really is no exact translation but it might be thought of as "life force energy" -- which usually doesn't translate in meaning much better than the Chinese character. If you are familiar with Ayurveda, you might think of it like prana. If you are not, I like to think of qi as a specific energetic fingerprint that sustains me. The summation of all the physical and mental processes that are simultaneously occurring in my body, brain, being. (Heart beating, blood circulating, water balance, lymph movement, nerve conduction, respiration + all of the less characterized processes such as thoughts, emotions, and other somewhat esoteric elements.) When this is happening at a near optimal state, I feel healthy, balanced, and invigorated. When it's not, I may be tired or sick. Why does this happen? Possibly an outside pathogen, extended period of ignorance or neglect, or an intense emotional experience or trauma. And what exactly happens? Qi is thought to flow through the body in meridians (pathways); an imbalance might be an excess or deficiency of qi in a certain area or a blockage of its flow. 

A staple in many alternative modalities is the body's innate ability to heal itself; acupuncture is no different. The needles that an acupuncturist uses guide the body toward salutogenesis. But how, you ask? The needle acts as a conduit connecting you to the universe, allowing you to tap into its energy and giving you the power to heal. But how, you ask? Right? Sounds a little loco. Or maybe not at all...

You see, when you start to wrap your head around the whole energy concept you may start to see connections. 

Think about about a simple circuit. Different metals conduct electricity to a different capacity. For example, silver has a lower resistance than copper or aluminum, and will as such function in the circuit to a differing effect. In the same manner (maybe) there are different kinds of acupuncture needles. Gold, silver, or copper can be used by the acupuncturist to evoke a different response in a patient. So you might think of the needle as a conduit of energy in relation to the metal used to conduct electricity in a circuit.

One therapeutic means in acupuncture is via the circulatory system. For example, muscle tightness or constriction is an excess of cold and is treated by adding heat, i.e. by bringing blood flow to the affected area. Straightforward enough, right? Now take this thought process a step further. Blood circulating through our bodies is a form of energy movement. You can think of it as governed by the laws of fluid dynamics, or perhaps electromagnetic flux. Either way, energy is moving, flowing, changing.

And maybe, just maybe, those metallic needles had something to do with the way it did.

 

 

Energy Musings

All we are is energy.

This concept has resonated with me for quite some time. Lately it's taken on a whole new meaning.

All we are is energy. Think about it.

Our whole body is made up of cells, living via metabolic processes, sustained by ATP, its very own energy currency. The currency is in the form of molecular bonds that when broken or formed facilitate a transfer of energy allowing the cell to do, to grow, replicate, move. To live. Without this we would be nonexistent. At least not alive.

The entire universe is made up of energy. The sun shines on the earth. At its minuscule levels, tiny particles of mass, atoms, vibrate at certain frequencies. e = mc^2. Mass is energy according to Einstein's famous equation. And all this universal energy is constantly in flux, every instant different than the last, time marching on, allowing change. (Causing change?) New arrangements of energy. Continually.

So there we have it. Energy surrounds us. It makes us. It is us. It provides a framework for our reality.

In comes the role of environment.

Clearly, with this integral part energy plays in our lives -- it is our lives. It is life. -- it's not a huge extrapolation to understand that the energy in our surroundings affects us. Our environment constantly bombards us with stimulation. Some of it we are aware of, the vast majority of it we are not, but that doesn't mean that our brains are not taking it in, interpreting it on a subconscious level. Whether conscious or not, our environments play a vital role in our current state. One could argue they actually create our current state.

Consider the environment of a spa. A soft gray or blue color scheme, harmonious music in the air with hint of lavender scent as you sip your chamomile tea. All of these facilitate relaxation. You're probably more relaxed just reading these words and imagining their realization. The same could be said for the environment of a burning building, busy airport, family dinner. All of these states are brought about by the energy of the environment.

We can use these concepts to our advantage by being particularly conscious of the energy surrounding us and the environment in which we submerse ourselves. From the color of the clothes you choose to don to the scent in your car to the lighting in your bedroom, so many elements converge to create your state of being. You know the feeling you have when you're wearing a new outfit that you particularly love? That's not a coincidence. That is you creating something great in your day. In your life.

Do that more often.

Background image by Sebastian Glasl.