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Bringing the Mind Spa to you (Virtually)
You are already familiar with our guided Altered State Journeys using the beautiful Neuma Lounge at the Mind Spa. During the last lockdown in LA, I started receiving requests for virtual guided journeys. Here’s the thing. When Nelson and I learned to experience heightened states of consciousness decades ago, we did it applying techniques the old-fashioned way. I must have been around 12 or so when I had my first one. I was meditating for a couple of hours that night, in lotus position, in my childhood bedroom in a small town in Sri Lanka. All of a sudden, I started feeling like I was expanding like a balloon and I soon found myself at the ceiling, looking down at everything. I was seeing colors and felt like floating. Nelson has a similar story. When he was 16, in Florida, he was dabbling with self-hypnosis and lucid dreams when he had his first substance-free "trip." Over the years, we learned many techniques to induce Altered States - all without the use of substances. We continue to use several altered state techniques to this day to help us manage stress, thrive in our lives and our work in engineering and architecture. In fact, we got the idea for Neuma Being when Manori was in an altered state right before falling asleep after a day long hike, in Colorado, back in 2016. These techniques and our experiences inspired us to design and prototype the Neuma Lounge. While the lounge is the fastest way to get to these states (in as little as 20 mins!), we discovered the techniques themselves are powerful enough to reap many benefits. Connect to your creativity to find inspiration Reduce the risk of stress and burnout Experience deeper relaxation Feel Rejuvenated Deeper connection to yourself and your environment Reduce Anxiety and Discomfort Cognitive Shifts Authentic Bliss & Gratitude Enhanced Focus Connect more dots / Creative Problem-Solving ... and the list goes on. One of our clients Mallorie is seen here doing a Virtual Mind Spa Journey When you book a Virtual Mind Spa Journey, you will get to have a discussion about what you are looking to achieve. Then, based on that we will curate a guided journey for you. With detailed instructions, you never feel like you are left to figure things out on your own. One of our beta testers described these journeys as meditation but x10 and without frustration. The guided instructions are layered with some beautiful soundscapes. Manori designed these journeys with the intention of optimizing the experience with a specific outcome in mind. Learn to dive deep into your subconscious and
tap into the creative, healing and transformative power within. Sign-up for the Virtual Mind Spa today and discover an accessible, affordable way to continue your personal wellness journey. Click Here to Book Your Journey Now Blessings! Manori
Not another New Year Resolution
Happy New Year!!! With 2020 safely behind us, we are all very excited and optimistic about 2021. We all want to take the good and put away the bad and the ugly that came with 2020 and make a better year out of 2021. One of the most common tools used in setting off in the New Year is establishing New Year Resolutions. It often involves making a list of things one wants to achieve or a set of goals. I’ve found it to be more productive to set intentions, instead. What you are doing is setting up a set of commitments and a general theme that is lived everyday, instead of focusing on a specific achievement in the future. Intentions typically revolve around the relationship with yourself and others around you. As Nelson beautifully put it: "intentions are built on your values." So this year, I decided to share a little bit about setting intentions that can help you set the tone for the year ahead. Start with your values - When I was talking to Nelson a few months ago, I asked him to define the biggest difference between principles and values. I always found these two to be intrinsically connected. He defined them this way: "Principles are what you believe in, your philosophy in life. But, your choices show what you truly value. Values are what shows through your action and behavior". For example, these are some of my values - meaningful relationships, community empowerment, pursuit of knowledge. When you know what is important to you, you can use that as the foundation to build your life, you plans and activities. Your values can show how coherent you are to your philosophy in life. It's a matter of integrity to your core. Commitment - I found it to be the most useful to frame my intentions as a commitment. Commitments are great because they are agreements that you make with yourself. Making a commitment requires you to know what you want and how far you are willing to go for it. For example, one of the intentions I set for myself this year is "I commit to showing up as I am, imperfect and compassionate towards myself." Last year, I confronted my need for control and perfection in a huge way, and I learned so much. So this year, continuing to accept my imperfect self is on the top of the list. It was very rewarding to go through that growth crisis very much. Here are a few tips for coming up with good commitments: Chose an active verb - a few examples: Align, ignite, develop, grow, awaken, appreciate, own, cherish, change, value, love, manifest, receive, birth. As you can see, I chose "commit" as my action verb in the intention I shared with you. Ownership - rather than setting up the intention to "let go of unhealthy relationships" frame it as "I commit to setting healthy boundaries." Progressive tense and make it dynamic - adding "ing". This indicated your ongoing commitment. Example: I commit to showing up ... What is it that you want to confront? A challenge or a something you wish to overcome, or grow. This is essentially skipping on the steps of what you will do to get there, but keeping an open mind for things to emerge, so you can learn unexpected and new things. Frameworks are great, but sometimes they can be limiting. So not having a framework of how to confront or overcome, but rather focusing on the outcome leaves space for beautiful thing to emerge. Positive reinforcement - Frame them as positives instead of negatives. You are choosing to put the energy on the positive outcome as opposed to the negative cause. So, take away the energy from what you don't want, and put your energy into what you really want. Example: "I commit to my whole health and healing" (Positive framing) vs. "I commit to stop eating things that I know are bad for my health" (Negative framing). The Formula - Daniel Knickerbocker came up with a great formula in writing commitments. "I commit to ________ing in/as ________" , instead of I want to, I hope to, etc. Very powerful. Because you are making an agreement with yourself and the tone is compassionate. One of my mentors, Suzy Batiz says in her ALIVE OS course to print out or write down these commitments and have them displayed in many places that you will see as you go about your day. The idea is to continue to engage with these intentions and continue to pour energy to them. Nelson and I wish you and your loved ones a very healthy 2021, filled with abundance! xx Manori PS: If you are looking for a little help to reset your path and get more clarity on how to flourish and thrive in your life, we have a new training program that can be done online now or in-person, when the lockdown is lifted. Book a discovery call to see how we can help you thrive
In honor of this time of gratitude - Challenging a belief: Lack of time
Happy Thanksgiving! 2020, in it's weird signature fashion, presented us with a Thanksgiving Day here in the US that kept many of us from surrounding ourselves with loved ones. It's been a bit hard. But it has also given us an opportunity to reflect upon what we already have and normally take for granted. For me, this Thanksgiving reflection consisted of a marvelous journey I have taken these past two months. I wanted to share that with you. Somewhere in September and October I realized that the one thing I complain about all the time is how I don't have enough time to do all that I have to do. I want to share how interrogated that belief and reframed my mind about it. When I have this "scarcity of time" mindset, it first shows up as stress and anxiety. I carry around this burden that I have so much to do on my mind. I become anxious, irritable and quite easily overwhelmed. Then, it begins to show up on my physical body. My body begins to show signs of stress as shoulder pains, tight back or knots, and tightness at the back of my neck. I begin to get frustrated. That feeds into the anxiety, and then I unleash the self-judgement and begin to compare myself to everyone and everything. It becomes a vicious cycle and I begin to spiral down. If I am not aware and don't take action, this can lead to burnout. I also noticed that my behavior relating to this belief mostly shows up when I am a little unaligned with my authentic self. Something feels a bit off, and it makes me a little uncomfortable. Now, I have learned to look for various cues that show up in myself - mind, body, energy. So, when it happened in September, I knew it was time to confront it and it was prime time to do something about it. I chronicled my journey in confronting that belief and getting to the bottom of it in three IGTV posts. The first step was identifying that I have a belief that I don't have enough time to do all that I have to do. Let's unpack that statement. "I don't have enough time." In fact, I have the same amount of time as everyone else. We all have 24 hours a day, no more, no less. That part of the statement shows some really interesting information. Is there a hint of inflated sense of self-importance? I am more important that everyone else that I deserve more time? Is there a sense of rebellion against the natural order of the space time continuum? No, universe! You shall not tell me how much time I have in a day and how much I chose to do. What exactly is "enough" time? Enough time to do everything or enough time to do everything perfectly? What exactly even is enough? When do I decide it is enough? How much is enough? Let's look at "... enough time to do all that I have to do" What are all these things that have to be DONE? Why do I HAVE to do all these things? WHO says I have to do them? Who says I have to do them ALL? How does "doing-them-all" aligns with my short term goals? How do they align with my long term goals? If they are not, then why am I doing them? How much time - proportionately - am I spending on those? What things can I delegate, outsource or simply not do? And how WELL do they have to be done? So, you see, there are a lot of problems with that statement. I realized I have been looking at it all wrong. So I questioned if this is coming from a mindset of scarcity of time, what would abundance of time look like? I had a real hard time wrapping my head around what would "abundance of time" look like. It was unlike anything else that I've reframed my mindset on before. When I think about abundance of anything else, it is thinking of expansion - of joy, love, health or wealth, etc. But, time is THE ultimate finite resource. We experience it linearly. It is fleeting. What is lost is gone forever. Everyone, very democratically and equally, has 24 hours in a day - unless you are on a different planet with a different rotational period around its own axis and the orbit around the sun. So, I spent a few days just pondering this. It was quite an enjoyable mental exercise actually. It required me to weave between philosophy, science, and emotions. I ended up having a lot of appreciation for the human idea and the experience of time. My mind was pretty blown about the constructs we have created about time. Then, I arrived at how this lack of time is actually to do with time management; to be precise, task management. I couldn't help but to proceeded to really interrogate the concept of “time management” and went on a philosophical exercise. The term "time management" gives this false sense of comfort that we can actually control time. But if you actually think about it, it's how we manage our lives and our tasks within the 24 hours of the day, CHOOSING how much time we decide to allocate to every task. Then, I looked at ways how I already HAVE abundance of time - I have the freedom to whatever I want to do, whenever I want - because of the job I created for myself. That is huge. So, I do already have A LOT of abundance of time. Then, I was confronted with 2 important and deep questions: Am I using the idea of "having to do all of these things" as an excuse to hide from some truths? What are my absolute priorities and what tasks should I get rid of completely based on my priorities? That lead me to a deep dive into where my need to do all these things come from and ended up with: I need to do all these things to feel good enough if I do all these things then I can control the outcome I am overcompensating for my feeling of inadequacy and feeling like an imposter by trying to do many thing, all at the same time - and I wanted to do all of these perfectly I am consciously choosing the need for perfection getting in the way of good enough Wanting to do all of these things is a form of perfection itself I am doing so many things to keep myself busy from deeply engaging with myself I also noticed how by keeping my schedule way too packed, I was not allowing myself any "visionary" time that is critical for this startup I am just starting.
At the root of all those beliefs about control and perfection was a second tier belief that "If I am perfect I will be safe". It came up in a therapy session that I operate with a foundation I set up so long ago in my life, I made a secret deal with the universe that if I was perfect I will be safe. I will speak about that in a separate post. I am still working my way through it.
I made a bunch of radical changes after roughly the 10 days of chewing through this belief. And spent another few weeks implementing some changes. I forced myself to take a mini sabbatical from work. I decided I am going to prioritize how I take on tasks, in a way that I can maintain MY integrity and maintain the integrity of the commitment I made to myself in my self-growth. I decided to reduce the number of clients I see a week and I raised my session prices. These were all required to align with my authentic self, value my worth and honor myself and the company we are building. If I am not honoring myself, as the CEO, I am not able to honor the beautiful things that emerge for this company. There is a lot of value on sitting with an idea and letting it simmer and cook for a while. The tail end of this very productive exercise of interrogating my relationship to the beliefs around time, coincided with me starting Suzy Batiz's Alive Abundance course in End October. There, I started doing Byron Katie's Four Questions method to interrogate all of my beliefs. A lot has emerged from that. I will share those findings with you in a new post soon. Stay safe during this holiday season, connect with your loved ones virtually. And invest some time in your personal growth! Much love, Manori PS: Give a gift of self discovery to yourself and / or yourself + a loved one. We have a fantastic holiday sale we kicked off this week. Click on the links below to buy gift vouchers Neuma Mind Spa Experience: Holiday promo price $100 (Regular $135) Neuma Mind Spa Experience for two: Holiday promo price $180 (Regular $225) Virtual Neuma Mind Spa Experience: Holiday promo price $90 (Regular $110)
Pilot Study results are here!!!
The pandemic disrupted EVERYTHING! It felt like everything came to a complete stop. But of course, it didn't! Because that's the nature of being. Mother nature had a much needed break and had an opportunity to bounce back. Humans slowly but surely adapted to this new reality and find new ways of being. The resilience and grit on display has been very promising. Our plans for Neuma Being were also thrown off track for a little bit and we pivoted and we are persisting through the pandemic. Gladly between the second wave and the third wave of the pandemic (or are we still in the same first wave? 🧐), we were able to start and finish our pilot study we were hoping to do in March-May. We will soon release a white paper outlining the results of a pilot study of 85 users that were surveyed on their Neuma Mind Spa experience, featuring a guided altered states journey and the Neuma Lounge technology. The white paper summarizes our findings and the scientific benefits of mindful altered states and common sensations associated with them. © 2020, NEUMASCAPE STUDIO, INC. All rights reserved Photography - Emi Kitawaki / Model - Rachel Labovitch The results were overwhelmingly positive! They exceeded our expectations based on the assumptions we made in starting this journey. An astounding 98% reported feeling better than upon arrival after their time at the Mind Spa — with 89% describing themselves as more “relaxed” and 94% as more "tranquil" as well as “alert, focused, or aware.” A sense of being recharged or re-energized was reported by 83% of users. This stress, fatigue and burnout relief does not immediately dissipate, either. Follow-ups revealed that 80% of users continued to feel more relaxed, tranquil, and recharged over the next one to three days. When asked about their experience, the results were almost unanimously positive with 78% reporting “loving” the experience. In addition: 93% would like to repeat the experience 97% would recommend the experience to a friend 81% would like to have a Neuma Lounge at work and 76% would like to have one at home In their own words, participants described the Neuma Lounge experience as “relaxation without intoxication,” "dry flotation," a “contactless massage,” and even “needle-free acupuncture.” The result was a quick, easy and affordable altered state, often resulting in a “cognitive shift” that users carried within themselves for days. Additionally, 98% said their overall experience was “novel” and unlike anything they had engaged with before. The most common sensations reported by Neuma Lounge users correlate with those associated with altered states like hypnogogia, lucid dreams, and out-of-body experiences. Altered states can provide creative inspirations, insights, breakthroughs, and an improve a sense of overall well-being. These were some of the sensations reported: © 2020, NEUMASCAPE STUDIO, INC. All rights reserved These results have confirmed the effectiveness of the Neuma Being approach and the need for the Neuma App, for a range of Neuma Lounge units, and more Neuma Mind Spas around the world. Contact Neuma Being to receive a copy of the white paper, email <email@example.com> If you would like to find out more about Neuma Mind Spa Experiences, click here to read and compare what each experience suits you best. *Note - We are taking a very limited number of in-person appointments every week during this pandemic spike. We don't have any walk in appointments until further notice.
An Entrepreneurial Journey
I was in the middle of a snotty cry when one of my dear friends suggested to me that I document my process. After considering it for a few hours, I've decided to document this in a public forum such as this blog because I think and hope it will help somebody walking this path too. In 2018, Nelson and I set off on a journey to starting a well-being tech startup. I don't have previous experience in startup or tech - well, not the kind of technical expertise that is required to be a technical founder of a startup. However, I am resourceful, I know amazing people, I am keen to learn what I don't know, and I am capable of getting things done. So I designed our beautiful Neuma Lounge (a.k.a. The Cymatix) and with my amazing crew, we built our first prototype. In that process of building it, a beautiful synchronicity occurred and we were inspired to create Neuma Mind Spa - (our first pivot) - a concept store where you can take the Cymatix for a "test flight" and try our catalogue of Mindfulness Tech gadgets. (See what I did there with the “flight”? 😉 - Yes, you can take off or launch to an out-of-body experience from the Cymatix 😁) We did a few soft launch events to unveil the Cymatix in Nov / Dec of 2019 and opened the doors to Neuma Mind Spa in January. We were just beginning our pilot testing program when the pandemic hit. So we had to adapt. We has to change our game plan in a situation where we really didn't know how long the pandemic would last and how it would affect what comes next, etc. Our first priority was to figure out how to keep the business afloat until we can figure out an alternate plan. You see, Neuma Being is a well-being business. We started this because we want to help improve our world. With so many pressing crises all around us, we knew one of the bigger impact areas was to empower change-makers who care and create for the world. We support each of them to align with the most authentic self, in other words, to establish a deeper connection with Self: for calm, energy, creativity, insight and transformation. Our experience has been that in the process of aligning yourself with your authentic self, you discover or rekindle your passions, your desires, and your mission / purpose: a huge part of well-being. When you align with your authentic self, you establish deeper and more meaningful relationships with your environment and your community. In your most authentic expression you are able to tap into the subconscious creative genius within you. A sense of purpose contributes to your well-being. Side bar - notice how these aspects - mission / purpose, accomplishments, relationships - are identified in Maslow's hierarchy of needs as Self-fulfillment needs and Psychological needs at the top tiers. So, why I am telling you all of this?! Very early in the game, I recognized that a lot of startup founders work like crazy and do unbelievable sacrifices to realize their vision for their startup. And we too have made some crazy sacrifices over the course of the 2 years on this journey. Yet, I did NOT resonate with working crazy long hours non-stop to realize that dream. I was inspired to design the Cymatix, because I was stressed out and getting burned out at my old Architecture gig. I wanted to create technology and environments that support people in their well-being and align with the self. It felt divergent, incoherent or not in a state of integrity for me to lead a startup in well-being, if I can't maintain that well-being myself. How can the leader be stressed and burned out while showing others how not to be stressed and burnt out? When I am stressed and / or burnout, I don't operate at my highest self. My judgement and thinking becomes a bit cloudy. I am not my normal happy, optimistic, and positive self. I am irritable. My past behavior in operating out of fear or scarcity comes up. My insecurities and self doubt bubbles up. So these are all signs I have learnt to tell if I am pushing myself just a little bit too much. When that happens, I know I am actually doing a disservice to this project I am working on. So, I step back. What do you do when you have so many hats you have to wear, so many roles to play, limited time and limited resources, and running against the clock? This is the point where I'm at right now. Our startup has grown too much to operate with one full-time employee (me) and a couple of part-time employees/contractors. There's so much that we need to do in order to get to the next level and grow. But, it's the egg or the chicken scenario. I need people to delegate to do some of the various tasks and roles I'm playing, so that we can grow and serve more people and build traction and revenue. Yet, we need more resources to be able to hire more people. So, in short, I need more resources, so we can hire more people, so we can serve more people, so we generate more funds to do all those things. 😳 I feel a bit stuck in this situation. And yesterday I was snotty crying - like ugly crying with tears and snot all over my face - and there was a very interesting synchronicity. I get on instagram and the first post I see is by my mentor Suzy Batiz, where she talks about being stuck and how to overcome that. I sent her a message asked her "I’m finding it difficult to anchor myself to find the flow of energy" and she very wisely said "Sit with that question. Be patient and let the answer come to you. Invite the answer in rather than seeking it.” I'm going to tell you a little secret about me. I have a problem with control. Seeking is an active pursuit of an answer. This is a way of trying to claim control and this is my normal mode of operation. Last two years, I learned the power of emergence so what Suzy is advising me to do is to get out of my own way and allow for something to emerge. I am going to do just that now. This post, hopefully will become a part of a series of posts, where I document my journey. I hope in the process of doing so, I help a fellow budding entrepreneur. So stay with me, and stay tuned. I will share with you what emerges next! With love, Manori
Creativity, Authentic Self, and Transformation walked into a bar...
What happens when we peel of layers of learned behavior? 🌟 You can access you most authentic self 🌟 This learned behavior or programming tells us how we should or shouldn’t think, talk, or acting. We are shaped by how our families, cultures, education systems tell us how we should think, talk, or take action. So, we build these layers of personae on top of who we really are, and we start embodying those. Sometimes, we are really even ashamed of who we really are or what we really want to do. However, Creativity has a lot to do with authentic expression. So, every time we numb our true selves and ignore that authentic voice, we go a little farther away from who we really are and from that true expression that’s critical for creativity. There are many things you can do to access and tap into the most authentic self. The most effective and sustainable methods require you to peel off these programmed or learned behavior layers and shed them. Here are some tools that are useful in identifying and peeling off those layers: Mindfulness & heightened states - I regularly supplement my therapy work with Mindfulness and heightened state practices. This allows me the much needed introspection and understand my inner mechanisms. Not only do mindfulness and heightened state practices increase clarity of thought, focus, and help improve relaxation, they can also provide the energy balance that is required to maintain the integrity of one's self. Therapy - It was not until I started therapy that I made progress by leaps and bounds. I have found out that working with licensed professionals is not only great from my mental health but it also supports me tremendously in my personal development. All the aspects that I noticed in myself through mindfulness and heightened state practices were able to be addressed properly through therapy. I went to a therapist first to address some of the trauma and mental well-being. Through working with him, I learned a lot about myself and continue to uncover so many of my patterns of behavior and thinking and use it in my personal growth. Support group - A group of supportive individuals, even strangers, who are committed to uplift each other and hold space for growth to occur can be a powerful tool in this progress. Realizing that I was not alone in going through some of these issues was a big step for me. It gave me the courage to do something about it. These peers also showed me that I can address these challenges in a healthy way, without passing judgement on myself. That judgement can add a layer of unnecessary pressure that makes it even harder to do this transformative work. It feels much easier to do this hard work in a group than trying to do them alone. Mentor or Coach - Having A mentor or a coach can be also be a great source of support through your journey. You can lean on their expertise and experience to give you clues to navigate through this journey. They can often lead you to explore deep within and ask the right questions to look for answers within. My long time mentors Nanci & Wagner offer energy mentoring and training. You can book them here. My new mentor Suzy Batiz has a kick-ass 8 week mentoring program that helped me reconcile a lot of stuff with business and life. I am currently doing the program for the second time. You can join the wait list for the next round here Articulation / Journal - This was an unexpected discovery for me. I only started journaling recently but it has become a very potent tool in self analysis and awareness. The act of writing down requires me to articulate and this is one of the important steps in beginning the healing work. I use a 4 step method in this process as articulated in this diagram: Nelson and I have been working on this for nearly 2 decades now. Both of us independently started our consciousness journeys in our teens without being fully aware this is what we are doing. By our early twenties we had become aware of the raw potential of these mindfulness and heightened state practices but it was not until the last decade that we have fully come to harness the absolute raw power of these practices and the states. So, when we created Neuma Being, we wanted to be absolutely sure that we are hand picking and curating practices that have been the most effective for in being our most authentic selves. And it has been such a rewarding and wholesome journey to create these products and experiences to empower others to tap into their authentic selves. When you start your transformation journey using our ecosystem, we are empowering you to peel of the old programming and uncover the real you. Through this, we hope you use your authentic expression to connect deeply with our world. Together we will uplift our communities and improve our world. If you want to start your transformation journey and don't even know where to begin, well you have come to the right place. Book a FREE 15 minute discovery call with Manori. You can ask questions and find out how we can support you in your transformation in manifesting in your most authentic self. ⭐️ Click here to book your discovery call today! ⭐️ xx Manori
Taking care of plants and animals as a method of self-care
For millennia, humans have turned to gardening as a way of stress relief. Some cultures such as Japan have terms like forest bathing to describe spending much time immersed in nature. But in urban environments, garden spaces are limited and apartments are too small and modern lifestyles make us all too alien to nature. Nelson and I have always lived in apartments since we married and never had the fortune of having a garden to cultivate and grow. My parents, on the other hand, have a large garden full of tropical plants and trees ranging from fruits to vegetables, flowers to spices. Both my parents are gifted with green thumbs. But I used to be the opposite. Plants would come to reside with me to meet their certain deaths.
In 2007-08, I took one of the most life changing courses I have ever taken. The IAC (International Academy of Consciousness) was offering a 1 year course called "Goal: Intrusionlessness". In this course, we had an opportunity to dive deep into ourselves, and identify aspects that are limiting us or holding us back. At this point in time, I didn't have the healthiest relationship with myself. I was stuck at a point of not exactly liking myself for who I was. We had two instructors for the course Nanci Trivellato and Wagner Alegretti. And Nanci was my personal mentor. During one of the personal energetic mentoring sessions, she shared with me a tip to improve my relationship with myself. She said to take care of a plant and to focus on something other than myself. I can't remember if we explicitly discussed the outcomes, but I now understand that this has allowed me to bond with something deeply, therefore allowing for a greater connection to self. There are countless studies such as this one that explores the many possible benefits of gardening and green space on mental and physical health. Some benefits of interacting with plants and nature are: Stress reduction and relief Boost creativity Improves physical health - Boost immune system, lower blood pressure, exercise and physical activity involved with gardening or being in nature Improve your connection to earth and nature. Grounding. Improve your connection to yourself Delight - let us not forget how delight is an underrated basic human need. 13 years fast forward to present, I am a mom of over 50 indoor plants of varying sizes, a cat, and I am also nurturing many meaningful relationships with family and friends. Over the past decade, I have established a great rapport with plants. I hardly let plants die at my hands. Now, I take so much pleasure in connecting with them, intuitively navigating how to take care of them, and helping them thrive. I also propagate and distribute plants among my friends now. Nelson says "not only your plans have plans, your plants have plans" Connecting with plants has allowed me to try to pay attention to their very subtle yet unique "energy". Their life force or chi is distinctly different from ours. I have learnt to tune into the minutiae of even the tiniest plants that I steward, it has facilitated a sort of a precision with even my own energies. This has allowed me to notice the subtle shifts in my mood or my energy. Also I became aware of how plants began to thrive when I cared for them, gave them love and paid attention to them. And something shifted in me and clicked when I realized "what if I nurture and care for myself?! Will I thrive the way these plants are?" - that was such an aha moment. I just had to care for myself the same way I cared for my plants - with love, kindness, and attention. I wouldn't credit all of the progress I made with improving myself to taking care of a few plants. But I definitely give them credit for giving me a beautiful urban oasis that I love to be in, that welcomes visitors to Neuma Mind Spa and where I can create, recharge AND live the most aligned version of myself. Also they have most certainly helped me connect with myself better in some way or form. Try taking care of a plant today and see what shifts happen within and around you. - Manori
PS: I came across this wonderful resource that has a lot of information about forest bathing. I recommend you read some of it.
Industries Turning to Subconscious Creativity Tech & Techniques
Getting high, without drugs Increasingly, we hear stories about innovators tapping into altered states for creative inspiration and relaxation. Micro-dosing substances like LSD is a thinly veiled secret in Silicon Valley. Steve Jobs’ formative experiences with mind-altering are the stuff of legend. However, such substances could have unpredictable effects, at least in some cases. They are neither a desirable nor viable option for many, such as utilities and construction personnel. Instead, there is a rising trend of creatives turning to mindful techniques and even technology to facilitate altered states. Lucid dreams happen when we realize that we are dreaming while still dreaming and allow us to simulate real-life situations and to let our mind run wild in a sort of internally-generated virtual reality. In a sense, our own mind is a type of Internal Reality (IR) tech that can complement other types of Extended Reality (XR) like Augmented Reality (AR). Research suggests that lucid dreamers tend to score better in creative problem-solving tasks, demonstrating greater predisposition for insight. Research suggests that people who practice mindfulness have more cognitive flexibility, are able to see beyond what they’ve already done, and are better at solving problems requiring insight. Hence, it is clear how altered and mindful states can be helpful for the incubation and insight stages of the creative process: they help develop non-conceptual awareness, going beyond the autopilot, observing things as if seeing them for the first time. Research indicates that people are open to original ideas after a brief meditation practice. The emotional resilience benefits of mindfulness can help us advocate for change, as well. Mindfulness can facilitate more balanced decisions, moderating fight-or-flight reactions, making us less reactive to potential change. Teams can amplify the effect. Numerous inventions, discoveries and works of art have sprung out altered states. For example, the periodic table of elements, Google, Tesla’s A/C motor, Ramanujan’s theta math functions, some of Salvador Dali’s paintings, and H.P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon have been credited in part to dreams. Both natural techniques and designed technologies promote the type of “body-mostly-asleep, mind-somewhat-awake” state that tends to accompany these curious states of mind. We should not be surprised to find more and more companies training their employees to have lucid dreams, hypnagogia, and out-of-body experiences, an altered state that has been correlated with lower pain levels. Manori Sumanasinghe, a lifelong meditation and lucid sleep practitioner and architecture graduate, has made a bet in this space with the Neuma Mind Spa & Showroom, in L.A.’s Chinatown. The Sri Lankan-American’s startup features workshops and technologies like the Cymatix recliner, which uses sound and vibration oscillatory patterns that mimic ancient practices. The Cymatix aims to facilitate deep relaxation with partial wakefulness in as little as 25 minutes. The Neuma Mind Spa also features technologies like the Muse brain-sensing headband, one of several “transformative technologies” emerging to facilitate mindfulness, well-being and creativity. Manori aims to design well-being tech spaces like this one in companies, co-working spaces, airports, spas, hospitals, malls, and more. At the Neuma Mind Spa, you can enjoy 25 or 50 minutes of quiet stillness and tech and techniques to reach heightened restful states: by yourself or with a partner. Gift certificates are available and sessions will resume when local authorities determine it is safer. Don’t live near one? Access resources online with the Neuma Being membership program. Adapted from article by Nelson Abreu on Zpryme, an energy industry media and event agency.
Shhh... Awaken your creativity with quiet stillness
In silence’s calm surrounds, we discover the power of imagination and throw open the gates to creativity. – Picasso Many people are finding themselves bored during the COVID-19 isolation. Some feel tempted to drown that feeling with endless streaming of online entertainment, social media, gaming — or by staying constantly busy. Contemporary life has glorified being busy. What if we are missing out on something important, by drowning our boredom reflexively? First of all, boredom may be a sign that you are ready for new inspiration or project. Think back to the moments when some of your best ideas have surfaced. Chances are these were quiet, contemplative moments: while staring out the window in a train, while in the shower, or during a long walk. Letting your mind wander is crucial for creativity. From time to time, embrace the tedium or Bertrand Russell’s fructifying boredom. When we need generative, divergent thinking, we tend to do better after boring activities. If we need to closely examine a problem and produce a concise, effective solution (convergent thinking), we tend to do better after mind-numbing activities. Our brain has the ability to operate in various modes. We can allow altered modes to manifest, by going beyond the normal waking state and unconscious sleep. Some of the world’s top innovators and successful leaders schedule time to just contemplate, tapping into memory, observations, knowledge, experiences, imagination and allowing for novel connections to surface as those light bulb moments. Will you? Excerpt from article by Nelson Abreu on Zpryme, an energy industry media and event agency.
Community Kick-off Event - rescheduled!
Community is a major pillar of the Neuma Being ecosystem. In light of the recent events, set of by the brutal murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and countless other African Americans in various communities, we would like postpone the celebratory kick-off events scheduled for this weekend. Our new community event launch date is set to Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 2pm Los Angeles (Pacific) time (Saturday June 13 @ 4pm Central / 5pm Eastern / 10pm London / Sunday June 14 @ 5am China / 7am Australia) We want to allow this weekend for our community members to heal and support the Black Lives Matter human rights movement. Here are some activities we will be doing to facilitate this: Education: We invite you to expand your empathy for the communities affected by systemic racism. We wrote a new post in our blog that you can read here. We've shared some tools such as Campaign Zero: a data driven organization looking at statistics that impact the African American and other Minority communities about policing, and these toolkits by BLM-LA. We will continue to share resources in our Instagram stories and posts. Keep an eye out for additional blog posts. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to explore themes of interconnection and interdependence, social justice, empathy, etc. Wellness meditation: Manori will do a few live online guided mindfulness sessions over the weekend. We invite you to participate in them. In these wellbeing mindfulness sessions, we will focus of extending our healing intentions to the affected communities. Session 1: Saturday 9am Los Angeles (Pacific) time / 11am Central / 12pm Eastern / 5 pm London / 9:30pm India Session 2: Saturday 6pm Los Angeles (Pacific) time / 8pm Central / 9pm Eastern / Sunday 6:30am India / Sunday 11am Australia Free Wellness Somatic Awareness Mindfulness Sessions: If you are an African American individual or know a friend seeking support with energy healing during this period, please let us know. We will be happy to donate a session to support their healing. To receive a link to the mediation or receive a wellness session, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information. We strongly believe that the interconnected and interdependent nature of our existence require us to examine where we stand with social justice and equality. Without these basic human rights met, for every single human being alive regardless of race or origin, we cannot move forward and grow as a society. We urge you to take a moment to examine the countless ways we have been blessed with good fortune or "wealth", be it social, spiritual, or financial. This "wealth" is a privilege that movements such as Black Lives Matter are fighting for their historically disadvantaged communities. At Neuma Being, Manori & Nelson stand behind these ideologies and pledge to uplift the hardest-hit communities. We continue to add new content to the community section in the website. We have a few new interesting interviews with Nelson and Manori posted in the Audio + Video Archive. Please feel free to check them out here
Why inequality is a collective challenge
When we started Neuma Being, I wanted community to be a major pillar in this ecosystem. I keep bringing the conversation back to how we are all interconnected and we don't grow alone. Here, I seek to articulate this point in light of current events. It's been a week since the brutal event that led to George Floyd's and Tony McDade's deaths. We didn't even have time to process the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor's when these happened. Countless other lives have been taken too soon in the name of "law and order," by a system designed to marginalize the lives of too many for too long. In response, communities countrywide have been taking to the streets to protest. Some of these protests have turned violent (in several cases, appearing to be instigated by pepole from outside the protests). Less than a mile away from where we live here in Downtown LA, riots have erupted and businesses and residences have been vandalized and looted. Even CA Governor concedes, the protesters are not to be blamed for systemic issues. We have collectively failed the African American community. The backdrop of this latest round of protests and the riots is that the whole world was already under a lot of pressure with the pandemic. Most cities were under lockdown for nearly two months and, as of today, over 371,000 people have lost their lives to COVID-19. In the US alone, at least 1.85 million people have been infected with COVID-19. Reports have been coming about the disproportionate impact the pandemic and economic downturn has had on African American communities. According to this document from the CDC "current data suggest a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups." Further more, "among COVID-19 deaths for which race and ethnicity data were available, New York City identified death rates among Black/African American persons (92.3 deaths per 100,000 population) and Hispanic/Latino persons (74.3) that were substantially higher than that of white (45.2) or Asian (34.5) persons." It is not a surprise that the African American community, already heavily effected by the pandemic, probably burdened disproportionately by unemployment due to pandemic, was been pushed to the edge by such flagrant acts of murder. If a person is suffering in a community, it will impact the well-being of that specific individual. In some cases, it may lead to health implications that arise from suffering, loss or absence of delight and happiness, stress and lack due to financial and economical implications, loss of creativity and productivity. Long-term suffering causes chronic stress and burnout. In my previous post about rest, I discuss the effects of stress and burnout, as also illustrated in this diagram, below. Now, think about this affects the immediate circle around marginalized individuals who suffer similar conditions. This may lead to a domino effect, impacting the well-being of the larger community, not unlike a viral epidemic. Roughly 13% of the US is Black, but this community carries an oversized share of poverty, incarceration, illness and more due to systemic oppression and bias that spans centuries - along with the suffering, pain, fear, and hurt that came with it. The stress and burnout these communities experience is unfathomable to others. A large group of people in our communities are hurting. We have failed to address it properly for so long, perhaps because it's "their" problem. Protests and riots make it feel like it's "our problem." If we are truly One People, then it was always our problem. So what do we do about this? How do we come together to address this problem impacting all of us? To begin with, there are a few things we all can do: Immediate solutions: Participate in a peaceful protest or support those who are peacefully protesting Sign petitions Donate to a fund that support bail, supporting black-owned businesses, and supporting the communities impacted by tragedies. Example: Black Lives Matter Los Angeles Chapter Short - midterm solutions: Educate ourselves and improve our understanding about the social injustice facing various communities, expand knowledge about "otherness" Donate to a cause that supports the advancement of African American Communities Support Black businesses Become an ally and an advocate for true reform I've seen so many resources compiling information on how you can step up right now. Some of my favorite resources are Campaign Zero, Black Lives Matter LA Toolkits, the Obama Foundation's anguish and action page. Long term solutions: Research shows that learning and memory can be enhanced with mindfulness practices. Beyond that, Nelson and I are of strong conviction that paradigm shifts are needed to make meaningful changes to systemic problems. We believe that empathy is the key to finding equilibrium in society. Transformative, heightened restful states can result in expansions of consciousness which help us feel connected to others. Our understanding about what it is to be human takes us to a place that sees beyond otherness concepts like skin color or national origin. It can provide us with the opportunity to realize the significance of our action in the larger scheme of things, despite our ever-so-tiny presence in this vast universe. We believe that cognitive shifts and expansion of awareness are the foundation that can facilitate transformation, learning and education. This is the work we develop at Neuma Being. It is important to us, as a brand new company, that we continue to establish an inclusive social agenda. This is why we stand with all of our brothers and sisters, regardless of skin color, race or other characteristics, to realize this dream of a better tomorrow without racial or social injustice. We want for future generations to grow up without the fear and horror of the traumas perpetuated today. This is why, at this moment, we stand with our fellow Humans of the Black community, to help them have their voices heard, help them heal and achieve the necessary changes. As a tribute to our black brothers and sisters, I wrote this small verse last week as protests began to unfold. Verse by Manori May 30, 2020 I invite you to join us in solidarity with our communities, and expand our knowledge so all can be treated with the dignity they deserve as human beings. I leave you with this thought.... If you had immense power to change the world for the better (money, influence, time, and all other resources needed), what would you do, today? Probably, you do not have all of these resources, yet, what concrete action can you take right now to move things in the right direction and improve the world around you? ~ Manori PS 1: If you are someone or you know someone impacted by these ongoing social injustice against the black communities, please reach out. We are here for you, be in for a chat as an ally, or a healing session with out neuro-bio tech!
Embrace the Boredom for Creativity and Well-Being
In silence’s calm surrounds, we discover the power of imagination and throw open the gates to creativity. – Picasso Many people are finding themselves bored during the COVID-19 isolation. Some feel tempted to drown that feeling with endless streaming of online entertainment, social media, gaming — or by staying constantly busy. Contemporary life has glorified being busy. What if we are missing out on something important, by drowning our boredom reflexively? First of all, boredom may be a sign that you are ready for new inspiration or project. Think back to the moments when some of your best ideas have surfaced. Chances are these were quiet, contemplative moments: while staring out the window in a train, while in the shower, or during a long walk. Letting your mind wander is crucial for creativity. From time to time, embrace the tedium or Bertrand Russell’s fructifying boredom. When we need generative, divergent thinking, we tend to do better after boring activities. If we need to closely examine a problem and produce a concise, effective solution (convergent thinking), we tend to do better after mind-numbing activities. Our brain has the ability to operate in various modes. We can allow altered modes to manifest, by going beyond the normal waking state and unconscious sleep. Some of the world’s top innovators and successful leaders schedule time to just contemplate, tapping into memory, observations, knowledge, experiences, imagination and allowing for novel connections to surface as those light bulb moments. Will you? At the Neuma Mind Spa, you can enjoy 25 or 50 minutes of quiet stillness and tech and techniques to reach heightened restful states: by yourself or with a partner. Gift certificates are available and sessions will resume when local authorities determine it is safer. Don’t live near one? Access resources online with the Neuma Being membership program. Adapted from article by Nelson Abreu on Zpryme, an energy industry media and event agency. Photo Credit: Jeswin Thomas from Pexels