The Aliveness Experience: How fiercely alive are you?

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How Alive do you feel? Is your AQ or ALIVENESS QUOTIENT a 10? These were the questions raised by Sacred Hunger, a program I stumbled upon on the Internet.

They told me I could have more energy, more passion, feel more alive, and express my fiercely alive and authentic self in the world.

Wow, it sounded good. They talked about increasing your AQ through “Radical Self-Care”. They said that underneath compulsive behaviors such as binge eating, there is often a vibrant aliveness trapped in the eating patterns. This grabbed my attention. I do feel drained at my job and in other areas, I do use food to numb out, but is there really a way out? The first step is to take the Aliveness test:

Test Your Aliveness Quotient

Imagine yourself on a scale from 0 to 10 with 10 being the most alive you could be and 0 being the most dead you could be. What number would you rest at most of the time? Make an attempt at defining your Aliveness Quotient as it stands now in your life.

My AQ is: ________________.

Everything that stands between the above number and a 10 represent how you are NOT living in alignment with your Essence, because your Essence is your most authentic, alive Self and it wants to express itself in the world.

My AQ was close to a 5… not so good… I didn’t know what ESSENCE was exactly, but I signed up for the online course “Unleashing Authentic Aliveness”… I began receiving emailed lessons every Monday and joined Teleclasses (group classes on the phone).

Sacred Hunger’s founder is Jane Latimer, a psychotherapist and author, living in Portland, Oregon. Jane teaches that many of us our disconnected from our “ESSENCE”, the real Self that desires to express itself in the world. She states: “When we’re dreaming, our Essence is communicating with us. This ability to communicate with our Essence through our dreaming, and our fantasizing, was not encouraged in school frequently. We learned that fantasizing was ‘wrong’”. (Remember being told to stop daydreaming)? Essence is felt through the body as an expanded, open sensation of JOY.

How We Disconnect

We learn to disconnect in a number of ways.

  • The most popular and acceptable way is to live from our heads, not our hearts. We learn to put our feelings aside.
  • We numb out and become “nice.”
  • We sabotage our truth in order to be accepted and fit in.
  • We learn to accept not feeling good as “real.”

Well, I recognized myself here… I do accept a certain level of “blahness”. But how do I learn to connect more? The next lesson gave me “The Feelings Formula. They wanted me to notice when I felt bored, drained, disconnected, half-present or not very alive. Gulp… I discovered that I wasn’t feeling alive very much of the time. As I became more aware, I was more intolerant of boredom and negative conversations.

We used a technique called “The Sting Process”, which uses the discomfort we feel (the ‘sting’) as a leveraging tool to get us “out of the rut” and into the right path instead of staying stuck. Our feelings of discomfort are like “informants” telling us when we are out of alignment.

Aliveness Checklist

  1. What is presently draining my energy?
  2. What am I feeling angry about? Why am I feeling angry?
  3. What meaningless things in my life are taking up valuable space?
  4. What is my greatest yearning and longing?
  5. What needs to happen for me to connect with the vitality of that yearning and not be pulled off course?

This program advocates the self-strength to act with courage on our own behalf, to take actions that support the Self. It means learning to say, “No,” to the demands of an outside world that don’t mesh with our own aliveness. It means learning to say “Yes,” fiercely to our inner values and calling. It means developing strong boundaries, setting limits and courageously moving in the direction of our inner dictates.

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