Breathe into Solar Plexus, Stimulate your Immune System

Our Solar Plexus is what scientists call our 2nd or Abdominal Brain.

Why is it So Important, Why Breathe Deeply into It? 

1st, what is it?

  1. Big cluster of nerves-tissues lining the esophagus, stomach, small intestine
  2. Forms main circuit of our nervous system, 100 MM neurons, connects directly to brain
  3. But, it is Independent of brain, thinks on its own:  90% of all info goes from gut to brain, not brain to gut

How Breathing into it Reboots your Body’s Health:

  1. By Stretching abdomen/stomach muscles, an electrical signal sent that slows of heart rate, cortex firings
  2. This Activates parasympathic (relaxation) nervous system, activates glands/hormone secretion

What Changes, Improves?

  1. Fires Up Immune System—by waking up the Thymus gland
  1. Greek word ‘Thymos’ means ‘life energy’
    1. Stimulates production of T cells
  • Release Toxins—70% of all toxins leave body via breath
  • Slow Aging Process and Regulate-Improve bone density
  1. Releasing hormones like Serotonin HGH, DHEA (steroid decreases cholesterol, heart disease)
    1. Scientists shown Alzheimer patients ½ the levels of DHEA
  • Increases sense of happiness via secretion of Serotonin in the gut
  1. 90% of this neurochemical is in stomach, not brain
    1. Serotonin is body’s Happiness drug
    1. All Anti-depressants (Valium, Xanax) and psychedelics designed to chemically active this natural elixir
    1. Do it with your Breath!

Listening By Yourself: A WFH Mindfulness Exercise

So often it’s, “don’t try this at home”.  But now, try this “at home” simple exercise.

Take 4 and a half minutes, see below.  I call it Listening By Yourself (LBY). 

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

Blaise Pascal

One of Western civilization’s greatest minds agrees that sitting alone will alter your life. Blaise Pascal, who in 1642 was not only one of the first inventors of the calculator, but who also has a law, theorem, and coefficient named after him, was adamant about why humans struggled and how to address our challenges. His advice and solution are unequivocal. They form the basis of this book and my life’s work.  He said, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

  • Close your eyes with your back straight right now, please, while sitting in a chair, both feet firmly on the ground.  Do not let your back rest against the back of the chair, sit toward the front
  • “Keep you back straight but soft, your shoulders square but relaxed” is a common refrain.  Lightly stomp your feet on the floor a few times, just so they remind you they are there
  • This is it.  This is the pole position.  Anything else is fluff. 
  • Now, as you sit in this simple position, back straight and eyes closed, please now take your attention, take your closed eyes and lower their focus onto and into your heart and chest
  • This is where all the action is
  • Imagine right now that instead of using your head and brain to think your thoughts and ruminate on your plans, regrets and pangs of resentment, that you now do all this thinking inside your chest and heart
  • In other words, imagine your brain was actually in your chest for the next few minutes
  • So, here you are, just sitting quietly with your eyes closed.  Well done
  • If you did just this for the next 15 minutes, you would have done a lot
  • But let’s do a bit more
  • Now that your brain is quietly sitting in your chest next to your heart, see and imagine that all your thoughts are rubbing against and being heard and felt by your heart.  It is as if your thoughts are being poured and filtered by your heart
  • Now imagine that each time you take a normal breath in through your nose, this inhaled air now travels into your chest, heart, and brain, filling them to capacity with air
  • It is as if your heart and brain, bedfellows right now, are balloons and with each inhale they expand, and as you exhale through the mouth, they contract
  • Keep inhaling into the nose slow and steadily, holding the breath at the top of the inhale, and then blow out the breath through the mouth upon exhalation.  Long breath out like blowing out a candle, as long as possible
  • You could count these breaths and do 10, or not count them.  Does not matter
  • After a minute or two simply forget about your breath, let it go.  You found it, now let it go
  • Now, with the breath left behind, just keep sitting and do one more thing:  Simply listen to your heart and the back of your neck
  • Sounds weird I know, but simply keep listening to the front and back of your heart, and the front and back of your neck
  • Imagine you took speakers from your car or computer and attached them to the front of your heart and back of your neck. 
  • This will help you listen better.  Just listen for as long as you can 

This is the oldest exercise known to man.  No need to clear the mind, escape or avoid thoughts, chant, focus on breath or a mantra, become one, find or look for a divinity.  Just listen and wait.  Wait for what?  (From Chapter 1, The Space in Between by Bill O’Herron, getting published)

Just keep going, you’ll find out.  At some point, today, tomorrow, 5 years from now, a memory, sensation, feeling, some remembrance from an event or 4th grade, a sadness or joy will surface from inside your emotions and enter your adult, rational awareness. 

This memory and feeling has information that it wants to share with your adult self, something the adult self has probably been unconsciously trying to avoid.  It is simply a reunion, a coming together of your current thoughts and old joys and regrets stored in an event or memory of a person from a time seemingly deep in the past. 

Your emotions do not work in linear time like your rational self.  Your emotions do not know or care if you are 10 years old or 40.  They are still there waiting for you to feel them again so that they can share their pain, joy, wisdom and meaning.  As soon as you go in and allow an emotion to be released, it will show you why it wanted to be released. 

Answers to the Test

Fact

All true knowledge of the world, our world, our life, where we want to go and who we want or do not want to be, is gained through the part of ourselves that most of us spend the least amount of time working on, studying, or exploring.

Ironically, this part of ourselves that we spend the least amount of time working on, is also the only thing in the world that we can control.  Everything else we only have partial domain over!

Think of this as well:  there is a global shortage or deficit in being able to manage and understand this part of self.  “Only 36% of people when tested are able to accurately identify” these things in their life (Bradberry, T. Emotional Intelligence 2.0).

The Challenge

We are not working on, nor can we identify the only thing that we can control in our life.  That is the challenge.

We are constantly looking in the wrong direction for life direction, as we stare at our phone or computer or into the TV searching to experience something more, something meaningful, and something different than what we already have or that our parents had/have.

We want more but cannot seem to find it. 

Answer

All the answers to the test though, so to speak, live in the place we find and access when we close our eyes, period.

Everything real and meaningful lives inside our inner experience, not what we learn, see, hear, or taste from the outside world. 

Our emotions, feelings, intuition, longings, joy and sadness, all things that we cannot physically touch, are what drive and animate our entire life and our experience of it.

Driving Force Behind Everything

Robert Monroe, one of the greatest thinkers and explorers of human consciousness, and the founder of the Monroe Institute, reminds us of the reality of our feelings and emotions:

  • There has “not been a single major act in human history not driven or inspired by emotion” (Monroe, R., Far Journeys)
  • “Emotion is key to and driving force underlying every thought and action in human existence” (Monroe, R., Far Journeys)
  • “Every moment of existence we are a seething brew of emotional response to both internal and external stimuli” (Monroe, R., Far Journeys)

John Bradshaw agrees and reminds us that “our emotions are our most fundamental power” (Homecoming).

A good movie, a meaningful relationship, receiving a clever text or meme, the exhaustion and boredom of staring at Instagram, or traveling to a new city are all, only, outside stimuli or events that temporarily affect how we feel. 

We have to come back to our deepest emotions, sensibilities, and core inner experiences to fully understand though what we want and where we want to go.  We must simmer in our inner world in order to find our place and meaning in the outer world. 

Challenge, Again

The challenge is that we are not intimately familiar with our emotions, do not trust that they hold the answers to anything or store any meaningful insights. 

Our rational mind, our adult attention, blocks and is skeptical about this inner world, these perceptions and emotions that stir within. 

We have been saturated with outside stimuli for years, soaked in the lives and words and images of other people, other generations, so we do not even know at times what we feel.  We look to other’s experiences at the expense of our own inner landscape.

The reason we do not feel whole, complete, and sated, and why we keep plunging into our phones and TV’s is because we seek truths but cannot find them.  We keep using our senses (eyes, ears, mouth, etc.) and our rational mind. 

Without tuning into our inner world of emotions, we are only using ½ of our resources, ½ of the tools that we are imbued with.

We are at war inside, our thoughts battling our feelings.  All that is logical and analytical in us becoming undone by everything irrational, impulsive, and impassioned.

Your relationships and life experience reflect this war in you. “There is a sub-war between left and right brainers”, between our emotion-based right brain and our logic-infused left brain” (Monroe, R. Ultimate Journey).

I call it Half Syndrome.  Without this other ½, we will never know, never get to the bottom of our life:

  • Without the wisdom of our feelings, “we are only partially successful using an incorrect standard of measurement” (Far Journey)
  • The “reality that lies behind sensory perception and beyond the cogitations of the rationalizing mind, can only be grasped by intuition—awakening the intuitive knowing” (Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi)
  • “But ordinary people, unprepared in their receptivity, are not able either to comprehend or to practice the deeper wisdom-truths” (Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi)
  • “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own soul….who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes” (Carl Jung)

Final Answer, Sit…Please

The only way to access this inner world of your feelings is to sit quietly, to close your eyes, sit in a chair or cushion, and begin the long, slow, powerful trek into the heart of your life, which is that muscle inside your rib cage:

  • Sitting quietly by yourself is an ancient exercise
  • It is also the healthiest thing you can do
  • Sitting “relaxes the heart and strengthens the mind’s ability to connect symbols and meaning” (Jaffe, E. Meditate on It, smithsonian.com)

One of science’s greatest minds, Blaise Pascal, a man who invented the mechanical calculator and who has a law, theorem, and coefficient solving matrix (triangle) named after him, said this about sitting: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”.

Our ancestors some 250,000 years ago meditated alone and sat in groups in prayer, song, and dance in order to better understand issues, determine outcomes, and improve physical and psychological health.

Deeper Possibilities

They understood and recognized the power of balancing the physical constructs of their community with the less knowable, non-physical elements (growing cycles, weather and migratory patterns, etc.) that guided and informed their lives.

  • “Ritualistic gatherings sharpened mental focus” (Jaffe, E. Meditate on It) and provided this balance
  • Meditation also reduces the noise level and changes the functioning of nervous system’s ability to handle stress
  • You and your life will become more efficient, creating deeper possibility (Sannella, L. The Kundalini Experience)
  • Modern researchers have even found that several areas in the brains of meditators, notably areas associated with attention, are actually thicker than in the brains of non-meditators (Sara Lazar, Harvard University)

Bill O’Herron, March 15th, 2020

Excerpts from NetWorkWise 9/4/19 press release, on launch of Bill’s 2nd podcast:

Since all we can control in our entire life is how we feel, nothing else, he urges clients to take their often unruly reactions, that others trigger, and bring them back to your cave, mediation cushion, and therapeutic work so that you can fully understand the roots and lessons of any anger, joy, or frustrations.  Joseph Campbell encourages us to do just that, “the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”.

As mentioned above, Bill critically touts and echoes the findings of Harvard’s 75-year longitudinal Grant Study: “the study’s most important finding is that the only thing that matters in life is relationships” 

“What the research showed is there’s nothing more important in life than relationships,” O’Herron said of this study on the podcast Conversations with Connors.  The health of the community, self, our success and the well-being of our children, everything comes down to relationships, period. 

With regard to relationship building, O’Herron says that in order to really connect with and learn about someone else, the two key ingredients are empathy and vulnerability. 

Vulnerability in this context means a willingness to risk sharing more about oneself.  When we share our experiences, we make it easier for others to share theirs.  It is a natural mammalian response, and this is where professional bonds emerge as a common ground is found.  Take the risk to share more first. 

“When you start hearing somebody talk about their vulnerability and their sense of rawness and just what life experiences they have had, it can trigger your desire to share,” O’Herron told Adam Connors.  “It might not always do it, but that’s one way to start.  But just being candid and vulnerable, it’s amazing.  People start to respond.”

He goes on to say that the only way to truly empathize with another is to empathize with yourself. 

“Mammals have this natural need to be empathetic and to relate,” O’Herron said. “The problem is we’re not relating to self. It’s hard to relate to others. It all comes back to self.”  Our logic-based, adult attention resists our deeper, childhood-based reactions.  We spend a ton of time avoiding this part of self he says. Why?  Simple.  Because there is fear, pain, and longing in there.   

But to embrace these parts is to become wiser, more patient, and less unconscious.  “The truly great and valuable lessons we learn in life are learned through pain. That’s why they call it ‘growing pains’ (Cancer, Schmancer).