Embodied mindfulness tools for the gifted journey
Enlightenment is intimacy with all things.
― Dōgen Zenji
GMC approaches to mindfulness have been developed over many years of gifted- and 2e-specific experience and are centered on right relationship ― a path of becoming conscious, transforming and engaging in our gifted lives with respect, responsibility and reciprocity. This journey is a slow, sustained practice of compassionate attention that is counter-intuitive to our busy, fast-thinking minds and the dominant culture. It calls for skills and approaches that take into account our uncommon intensity/sensitivity, complexity and entelechy. It calls us to come back into our bodies and the deepest parts of our gifted nature that we've forgotten ― the remembrance of our soul nature. This is how our LACE, FLOW and Compassionate Alchemy approaches have come into being...
lace & flow
LACE and FLOW are the core frameworks that guide our practice at the GMC. Together, they support us in engaging in the deep self-inquiry and embodiment required for the journey of positive disintegration toward integrated wholeness of gifted being. They cultivate embodied mindfulness ― an encompassing awareness that includes mind and body, rational and non-rational, conscious and unconscious, personal and transpersonal aspects of our gifted being, and that extends into our everyday lives.
L.A.C.E. is an acronym for the 4 mindfulness skills* we focus on cultivating at the GMC. While skills are abilities typically related to performance, LACE skills, when working together, are concerned with integrated gifted presence...
Lovingkindness - the foundational ethic of spiritual practice is cultivating an embodied capacity for meeting our gifted selves, others and life itself with wise kindness and compassion. It is the deep respect and acceptance of right relationship.
Attention - with minds, bodies and hearts that are pulled in myriad directions, agency of attention is the responsibility we learn to take to choose where and when we want our focus to go. This is the most fundamental skill.
Clarity - with the multi-layered complexity of our gifted ecologies, clarity is the cultivation of "in-sight" that enables us to detect, discern and gain wisdom into the nuances and depths, the ebbs and flows, of our sensory experience.
Equanimity - the embodied capacity to maintain inner steadiness and spaciousness amidst intense experience, whether pleasurable or painful, without grasping, resisting, fighting, trying to fix or change it. This skill is essential for allowing a reciprocity of energy flow within and between us.
*This framework was inspired by the work of Shinzen Young
F.L.O.W. is a practice that guides us in cultivating the 4 capacities of LACE. It supports us in moving beyond the gifted tendency to get caught up in complex thought patterns into an embodied presence that is grounded, spacious and compassionate, restoring our relationship with the natural rhythms of life. Over time, it engenders an authentic, sustainable experience and expression ― a flow ― of gifted being that extends into the fabric of our life.
Find a groundedness of attention and being. Practice begins with re-sourcing in the body and the earth ― the ground of our reality. In steadying our intense, highly sensitive mind-body through embeddedness in the physical world, we're better able to access the deeper realms of our gifted being.
Look, listen & feel deeply into sensory experience within and across the mind-body landscape. Here, we shift our attention from the thinking-mediated content of our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations to the unmediated contours of our direct experience. We tune in and bear witness to the flow of these energies, their colors, shapes, textures, dynamics, spatial patterns, and intensities, as well as their associations within and between each other. With practice, this enables deeper ways of knowing and understanding our gifted experience.
Open awareness of mind and body to what is arising without grasping or resisting. Many gifted and 2e people have learned (unconsciously) to existentially grip, clinging to intellectual pursuits, achievement and other expressions that are valued in our culture and repressing the parts of themselves deemed "too much", non-rational and non-productive. Becoming conscious of our inner gripping and beginning to open to the fullness of our gifted experience engenders a spaciousness for the release and flow of our life force energy.
Welcome your gifted experience and self with care and compassion. Here, we give our gifted selves the compassionate attention we need and deserve, remembering the inherent beauty and dignity of our being within the family of all things. This embodied, compassionate attention becomes the ground of our gifted presence.
If you are interested in learning more about the 4 LACE skills as they relate to the gifted experience, GMC founder Kelly Pryde wrote about them in detail here. If you would like to cultivate LACE & FLOW in your own life as a gifted or 2e person, you can sign up for our 6-week gifted mindfulness foundations program or inquire about joining our community of practice for gifted women.
Compassionate Alchemy (CA) is an embodied transformative practice with roots in Buddhist psychology, C.G. Jung's Active Imagination and entelechial giftedness. Gifted people tend to be very good at gaining intellectual insight into their experience, yet often find themselves stuck when mental, and even emotional, processing go as far as they can. This can be debilitating for those with gifted entelechy who are intensely drawn toward transformation and wholeness of being.
Complete insight that engenders deeper levels of wholeness and life-forward energy is an embodied process that also needs to be experienced somatically and imaginally in a compassionate container in order to be integrated. Compassion here refers to the mindful capacity to meet painful truth with the intention of restoring wholeness, and alchemy refers to the process of transforming unmetabolized material into a new, more refined form. Thus, the CA approach supports gifted adults in creating a mindful, compassionate container and working with their inner experience in a holistic way that engenders the transformation of uncomfortable, unrefined material into something meaningful and life-forward.
The CA approach is introduced in our 6-week Gifted Mindfulness Foundations course and explored in-depth in our Mindful of Gifted Anger (& Rage) workshop.