I doubt that there is any panacea that could cure this condition once and for all, since enlightenment, which can be understood as freedom from ego, is not a state but a process. Qi Dao offers you some methods that allow shifting from one way of being to another without fighting against the old pattern. If it used to serve you as your survival mechanism, who knows when it may came in handy once again? Integrating all potentially usable aspects of your being can be done without developing your identity on the basis of the beliefs forming any rigid pattern of holding tension.
If Holding Up is really ingrained into your sense of self, shifting out of this pattern of holding tension may feel threatening to the very existence of the personality you identify with. Nothing is more threatening to the ego than the realization that it is nothing but a bunch of empty phrases and stories without any real substance. As the word "persona" originates from the masks that ancient Greek actors wore on stage, I consider the ego to consist of two layers: the inner layer is your identity that constitutes the sum total of your beliefs and attitudes you identify with; the outer layer is your personality that you present to others hoping to receive their acceptance and attention. Both are two sides of the same coin, as it were, influencing and interfering with each other at the same time.
My philosophical paradigm suggests that the patterns of ego dynamics and internal conflicts can be perceived as the interference between these two images forming a hologram that you recreate moment by moment. Indeed, your ego is a pure figment of your imagination, a dream character in quest of lucidity. A consistent practice of reminding yourself and your practice partner(s) about the dream-like nature of existence is the most direct way to facilitate mutual spiritual awakening.
You can experiment with morphing your energy field upward by imagining yourself more important than others around you. I believe that self-importance is usually established through social interactions rather than natural instincts and senses. Can you imagine anyone interacting this way with a wild animal or a bird? Just imagine yourself Holding Up to a squirrel, thinking, "I'm more important than your Only when dealing with other humans may you feel the need to demonstrate superiority.
This sense of self-importance is often coupled with self-doubt, since there would be no reason for anyone to prove their power if they were totally sure about it. On the other hand, the very fact that this pattern of holding tension is sustained means that the full expression of the emotions associated with it is restricted (as you may remember, tension is frozen movement), revealing some degree of non-acceptance of these emotions in one s mind. In other words, one's current way of being does not match the dream of being somehow greater in one way or another.
The term lordosis comes from the observation of the postural characteristics particularly apparent among nobility. To experience the Holding Up pattern of tension, try to emulate a proud British Lord. Pull your chin up, shoulders down, lock your knees and increase the lumbar curve of your spine at the waist level. If you pay attention to the muscles you need to contract in order to create such changes in your body, you will notice tension in the back of the neck, under your shoulder blades, lower back, and hip flexors. This combination of tension can easily contribute to lordosis, also known as sway back - misalignment of the spine often responsible for lower back pain.
Another peculiar experience specific to Holding Up is tension in the ilio-costalis muscles participating in pulling the shoulders down. As their Latin name implies, these muscles connect the pelvis with the ribs. Although not reaching all the way to the shoulders, they are still involved in compensatory tension required for increasing the distance between the head and shoulders.
In addition to that, tension in the quadriceps usually causes overextension and locking of the knee joints when standing or even walking. If you try making a few steps while keeping your legs straight, you will experience a fair amount of shock in the joints of the knees, hips and throughout the entire length of the spine. If you constantly hurt all these joints with each and every step you take on earth, it would bring about various pains and aches usually blamed on such ailments as rheumatoid arthritis.
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