New Castle News

Healthy Living: Lori Brothers

June 5, 2014

Lori Brothers: Blast off into inner space for a trip to self-discovery

NEW CASTLE — I finally got to see the movie “Gravity” starring Sandra Bullock.

The whole time I was watching the film I couldn’t help noticing this question roiling around in my brain:  “Who would want to go floating around in space like that?” Scary.

Now I know, all of you who have always had secret aspirations of becoming an astronaut are raising your hands. But have you seen the movie?

It takes a certain amount of courage and insanity to want to risk leaving the safety of gravity and exposing yourself to elements that do not support life. And it’s very limiting. You can’t dive into a pool of cool water or ski down a mountain. You just float around and try to hold on to your tools that inevitably keep floating away.

Then it occurred to me — there is a “sameness” for all the differences between outer space and where I prefer to go exploring, a place I call “inner space.”

The sameness between outer and inner space is their vastness. One is external and infinite, and the other is internal and infinite, but the expansiveness of space itself is the mystery and the allure of both.

In outer space, the only way you can go outside is if you put on a special suit. Then the whole time you’re floating around you have this hidden danger of floating off into oblivion, never to return. There is a survival issue here that makes this a “no” for me.

This is what makes inner space unique. Even though it may take even more courage than shooting up and out of the earth’s atmosphere, you can expand into your inner space no matter where you are or what you are doing or feeling.

Instead of getting lost, you become more familiar with inner space with regular delving and exploring. As you cultivate the habit of entering inner space, you get much better at understanding the conditions that you may encounter during each journey. This process becomes an avenue to improving your life at many levels.

Begin by deepening your breath and easing into a state of curiosity. Now start noticing whatever is most significant in your physical sensations, thoughts or emotions. You may discover places that start out feeling rockier than the surface of Mars or the moon. You may also discover smooth, polished, calm places. Peace is expansive, and a natural element of inner space you’ll come to value once you practice resting your attention on it regularly.

Outer space is reportedly really cold. Inner space follows the temperance or extremes of your own thoughts and feelings. You can develop and explore beautiful warmth. You may also experience the dank, darkness of a foul mood at times.

But for me, a day of harsh feelings is much better and informative that running out of oxygen and the downer of an empty jet pack leaving you stranded. Don’t you agree, George Clooney?

The most breath-taking moment of the movie is when Sandra Bullock blasts open the hatch of her escape pod and gets the full effect of  returning to earth’s atmosphere and gravity. For all of the lightness of outer space, the gravity of home was an emotional moment of deep appreciation. Bullock’s character was an excellent portrayal of “hitting home.”

Inner space is like that also. When you calculate the coordinates and venture into the unknown within you, you eventually have the opportunity to hit home. It’s my experience that there will never be anything more valuable to explore that the depths and expansiveness of myself.

Some people may ask, “Why would I ever waste time exploring my feelings?”  Maybe their attitude about inner space is as pre-determined as mine is about outer space. However, research shows that being able to experience, name and express what you are feeling is healing.

Good thing we humans are so diverse. The great news is that without leaving planet Earth, we actually can be both inner and outer without the help of NASA. Our personal experience is a wonderful gift with which we can better shape who we want to be, and what we want to have and do, based on the dynamic of feeling (inner) and taking positive action (outer).

 

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