Today is the winter solstice, marking the beginning of another cycle of Our Raw Material (ORM), meaning that some people have been waiting until right now to start trying it. It makes sense. We have been broadly taught that we must begin at the beginning of a thing, and rarely are we encouraged to approach it in any other manner. This is demonstrated by the puzzled looks we get when we tell people you can start ORM at any time, during any week—that beginning in the middle or the end of ORM is equally satisfying and effective as starting at Week One. Diving right in might seem confusing at first, but becomes a lot more clear with your first few breaths into the simple, powerful material. These 12 Pillars provide essential human support, which means they are subjects we already spend time thinking about at some level. ORM enhances those fleeting thoughts by providing common framework and personal order to the complicated mental spaces that we each occupy, uniquely within ourselves.
Our Raw Material is a natural, universal thought pattern, designed so that we might function more cohesively as individuals, while acknowledging that we are all part of a larger tapestry. This is an invitation to participate, just by adding thoughts about each week's pillar to your daily life. You don’t even have to ‘find the time’ to do it - just your intentional thought is enough to be doing it!
Having recently topped 8 billion humans in the world, our opinions and beliefs are varied and sometimes diametrically opposite from each other, presenting an increasing challenge to communication and establishing common ground. This supportive, shared structure gives us each the opportunity to know ourselves more deeply, which allows us to feel more solid and self-assured, thereby reducing our penchant to enter into conflict without extreme provocation. Our curiosity and imagination get to operate ahead of our judgment, shame and blame. From there, we are more able to sense the freedom that comes from living in our own Wholeness. Being able to look objectively at the parts we don’t think we like, and recognize their value (or their purpose) gives larger meaning to everything we do, pulling us from the edge of emotional pitfalls and spiraling thoughts.
Each of the 12 Pillars serves a different part of our lives, drawing us into increased emotional, spiritual, mental and physical awareness. This added attention toward how you navigate them creates ongoing self-understanding as you become more able to connect the dots for many of your outstanding questions. Synchronicities and coincidences ramp up in your environment as your awareness increases, and you simply feel more alive, more connected and more WHOLE. With more energy, better sleep, less anxiety and less stress, your passions are able to move front and center, showing you what life feels like outside of ‘the daily grind’ we’ve each come to expect and anticipate for ourselves.
The rest of this blog is a short synopsis of each Pillar, moving backwards from Wholeness to Mentors, in an attempt to shake up the notion of ‘perfect order’ and grab ahold of the perspective that ‘natural order’ delivers. When we are able to observe our lives, at the same time we are actively living them, we become prepared to deal with whatever happens as it comes up, so we don’t spend any time in fear or worry. Our idea of ’perfect’ becomes something attainable and sustainable as we relax into our experiences. We no longer fear “getting our hopes up” because we know the more thought we put towards a thing, the more likely it is to happen!
Wholeness (Week 12): Our Pure
We will all experience hurt feelings and we will all create hurt feelings in others. We will all be made to feel defensive and we will all cause others to feel defensive. We may not intend it, but it will happen. ‘Wholeness’ breaks down and removes defenses, blame, and especially shame, as our previously judged parts receive our acceptance, our understanding, and eventually, our love. Once we find that whole compassion for ourselves, we spontaneously begin to extend it to our environment in new ways.
Aligning with Intention (Week 11): Our Follow-Through
Deciding what we want can be tough without a method of easy discernment. Our intentions are as varied as our thoughts, since they are initially led by our emotions. We have so many intentional thoughts in a day that we can’t possibly see them all through. This is our creative process offering snippets of our options. A reviseable personal mission statement grounds our focus.
Resources (Week 10): Our Abilities/Our Esoteric Knowledge/Our Extra Stuff
“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.” - Ghandi
Source yourself: What do you have in abundance? What do you have that could be shared? Goods and services are always needed, but being a good listener or offering a smile can be equally as valuable to the right person, in the right moment. Likewise, how do we gather what we need to align our own intentions?
Intention (Week 9): Our Desires
Fact: Our thoughts move much faster than our physical bodies. Fact: Our emotions drive our thoughts. Even if we don’t value emotions, we train our brains to avoid them, bypassing their best use–to help us realize what we actually value! Watching our daily dose of personal intentions seriously supports our ability to feel good at the end of the day, no matter what has happened!
Conflict (Week 8): Our Triggers
How do you handle/not handle conflict? What are your go-to behaviors? What types of things make you defensive? Whether we hit it head-on or head for the hills, certain conflicts are unavoidable. They are always an opportunity for rapid growth, so walking in with a clear set of values and intentions is the fastest path to resolution; if resolution is possible. Conflict can be sticky, making it easy to settle in our physical bodies. Our breath is the best tool at our disposal for clearing conflict
Values and Ideals (Week 7): Our Priorities
Writing a list of what you value might feel silly at first, but there is something about watching your priorities reorder on the page that is magical. Armed with the knowledge of what is truly important in your life right now, every decision becomes easier and you spend virtually no time ‘feeling bad’ about a hard choice. And the Ideal Playground? My favorite place in the world! Flex your imagination and use your mental creativity to manifest your ideals for yourself and everything around you.
Listening (Week 6): Our Inner Guidance
Are you aware of what you listen to on a regular basis? Who and what gets your listening attention and who/what do you tune out? How about that personal algorithm? How does the world supply information to you, personally - and what type of information is it? Is your ‘news’ mostly positive or negative? Your inner guidance (soul energy) doesn’t judge you. Any other voice you are hearing is your protective ego.
Emotions (Week 5): Our Feelings
Can you identify your go-to emotions? Which ones do you share and which do you try to keep hidden? Can you attach a physical feeling to your intellectual definition of each emotion? At ORM we take our uncomfortable emotions to the edge of the ocean, letting the feeling rise up and recede with the tides–a passing moment that moves through us, not a thing to hide somewhere in our bodies and avoid its triggers. Our emotions are the things that move us easily through our lives–if we let them!
Ignorance (Week 4): Our Safety
Try to imagine everything there is to know in the entire world. Of everything there is to know, what percentage do you, personally, know? What is our concept of what makes us safe? Does it really? What possibilities are we missing as we rely on our own intellect to determine everyone else’s ‘truth’.
Food (Week 3): Our Nurturing
How have you been nurtured in life? Emotionally, Spiritually, Mentally, Physically
What is your current relationship with food? What does food represent to you? Have your basic needs always been met? Where do you see a lack of nurturing in the world? Where in your life do you feel the most ‘fed’?
Music (Week 2): Our Aspirations
Do you feel a connection to something outside yourself? What clouds the way? What beliefs about the world have always seemed true to you? When have you felt intuitively connected? Do you pay attention to the rhythm of your breath in different circumstances?
Mentors (Week 1): Our Origins
Who are the people that shaped your thoughts and feelings about yourself and the world we live in? What characters from books, movies or ‘celebrity’ have affected how you operate as a person. What statements from your tormentors stick in your mind and repeat negativity in your ear? Whose voices do you hear echoing in your head? Mentors Week helps us find objectivity while we view ourselves at, not as the center of our universe.
It’s December 22 as I wrap up this blog, even though it was my intention to finish it yesterday, on the actual solstice. It was important to me because it was the first day of this ORM cycle and I liked the ‘perfect’ timing of posting on the 21st. I was fully on track to make it happen–until all 3 of my adult daughters wanted to come over and watch a Marvel movie last night. My value list reordered in an instant!. Let’s be clear: I haven’t wrapped a single present, I missed a class last night, we’re having crazy weather, and I’m not mad at any of it. Even though I’m not technically ‘ready’ for the next few days, my holiday is already off to a Marvel-ous start :)