Contractions: Dissolving These Little Inner Fists With Gentle Attention and Loving Kindness

At some point in our lives, most of us unconsciously developed contractions, which are like blocked energies occurring in the head, throat, chest/heart area, stomach, pelvic area or root area. These contractions can feel very dense and sluggish and can actually drain our energy. They served as a way to protect us from vulnerable situations, powerfully negative emotions, feelings of unsafety and various other events in our lives. Our bodies seem to record threats from our external cues and contract in the face of those threats, creating what feels like a lifelong contraction in one or more of these areas. If you notice what happens to the human body in a crisis situation, like the collapse of a building or a bomb, you’ll see that the body automatically contracts inward to protect itself. The head goes down, the legs come up towards the head, the stomach muscles contract. The body automatically coils up in self-protection. The same seems to happen when we are faced with perceived psychological threats, rejection or trauma from childhood, albeit in a more unconscious way. Even if the body doesn’t visibly contract, the contractions are formed. For some of us, addictions develop as a way to further cope with this buried pain. By medicating these areas, we get to continue to not have to feel these buried emotions. But addictions are only temporary fixes. They cover up the pain. They don’t deal with the underlying issues.

A friend once said, “There is really no need to rest with and feel these bodily energies – the real work is just in questioning thoughts or just being present.” I beg to differ. Even once I questioned a lot of thoughts, and experienced an abiding presence, the contractions were still there, creating all sorts of havoc in my life – from addiction to reactions to threats that weren’t in fact real. The body seems to have its own say in the matter. And yes, thoughts can be questioned and can dissolve away, creating a more spacious, peaceful and fully present experience. But until these contractions open and dissolve, there is likely to be suffering, addiction, anxiety and/or depression to some degree.

What helped me was to consider these contractions like little fists that coil up in the face of stressful situations throughout the day. For example, when faced with a situation where I needed to speak up, but could not, the throat would feel blocked. When feeling stressed at work around a deadline, the stomach would clench. Relationship stress often brought a contraction in the heart area. Situations around safety, survival or money resulted in a flaring up of the stomach and the root contraction, near the bottom of the groin and lower back.

Once these contractions were seen like little fists, just gently bringing thought-free attention to them in the moment they began to contract was very helpful, and very loving. For years, I was highly unconscious of these little fists. They were essentially ignored. I was in my head mostly. But bringing awareness to these little fists whenever they contracted was a loving gesture. I remember spending hours each night, before sleep, resting attention very gently in those areas where contraction was felt. This felt like the most loving thing I had ever done – to care enough to pay attention to these little fists. Paying attention, along with the Living Inquiries, conscious breathing, some Tong Ren and Acupuncture, was really all that was needed to dissolve these little fists. It took time. Some contractions didn’t dissolve for months, or even years. Infinite patience was part of the love. To be infinitely patient is not to wait in time or forever, with the idea of some future moment when everything will dissolve. It is to rest right now with whatever is there.

To rest without expectation that anything will happen is truly a peaceful and loving way to work with these little fists. I often work with clients at the Center on these contractions. They want a quick fix. They want them to dissolve immediately. This is a natural inclination. We live in a culture where we are taught to look for quick fixes. But these contractions were often formed long ago and solidified through years of unconsciousness. They usually don’t dissolve right away for that reason. And whenever we are applying pressure to the contractions as a way to dissolve them, they often just stay contracted. Infinite patience, loving kindness and paying attention directly is just the right medicine.

If you are interested in learning how to work with contractions more skillfully, contact the Kiloby Center for Recovery at info@kilobycenter.com.

"Working with Dan has been nothing short of transformational. His open heart, honesty about his personal experience and permission to be real and not hide have helped me unlock those qualities in myself. And that has been a total game changer. I've been truly blessed, not only to have him as my KI Facilitator, but also as my mentor. Without a doubt, working with him has helped me to show up authentically, helped sharpen my tools and made me a better facilitator than I would've been on my own. I can't recommend him enough."
Darby Totten
Certified KI Facilitator

Dan McLintock is a Certified Facilitator, Trainer and the Co-Developer of the Kiloby Inquiries method/approach the New Model of Recovery along w Scott Kiloby. 

A Jacksonville, Florida native, Dan graduated Flagler College in 2004 with B.A. in Theatre Arts and English Literature and has played music professionally in bands for over 20 years. But his true passion lies in sharing the context, possibility and practicality of healing, awakening and release. 

Dan has worked one-on-one with clients in and out of the Kiloby Center since 2017 and has an unconditionally loving and earnest approach to healing trauma, dissolving the drivers of addiction/suffering and unhooking long-held toxic beliefs about ourselves, others and the world at large. 

He’s also worked intensively, side-by-side with Scott Kiloby for the past three years to develop the transformative tools of the Kiloby Inquiries as well as the principles and approach of the “New Model of Recovery” rooted in unconditional love and non-judgment. Much of this approach was borne out of Scott and Dan’s work with each other on their own personal traumas as well as their work with clients at the Kiloby Center. 

Scott and Dan have simplified, demystified and condensed some of the principles and practices of eastern/non-dual spirituality into an easily accessible set of tools most anyone can understand, learn and utilize to free themselves from their own suffering. 

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What is a Clarity Call?

A clarity call is a free 30-minute introductory call with a Certified KI Facilitator. During a clarity call, you can ask any questions you have about KI and see whether a particular facilitator is a good fit for you.

To book a clarity call, select your preferred facilitator (hover over their picture and click the “Meet” button). Then, enter your email and click “Book Your Call.” From there, you’ll be able to select your preferred date and time and schedule your clarity call (please double-check your time zone before booking).

Valerie Vinger is a thriving survivor of life’s painful challenges and growth opportunities. She has worked with 12-step programs and is currently a 13-year stage-III cancer survivor. Her cancer recovery journey started with the traditional “cut, poison, burn” approach but eventually led her down a natural path to healing her body, her pain and suffering, and her buried emotions.

Valerie first stumbled upon Scott Kiloby at a workshop of his in Boulder, Colorado in 2012, which she says is one of the most transformative experiences she’s ever had. She is filled with gratitude for the person she has become through her journey with cancer recovery and with the Inquiries, which she describes as “coming home to myself.” She loves working with people who are ready for relief from their pain and suffering.

Julianne Eanniello is a Certified Trainer and Facilitator of both the Kiloby Inquiries and the Unfindability Inquiries (formerly called the Living Inquiries). She is also a Certified TRE Practitioner, and the developer of the somatic movement process called Natural Flow Movement. She works with clients all over the world on virtually any topic, including spiritual seeking, stress, anxiety, depression, pain and health related issues, traumatic experiences, repression, relationship issues, and general unhappiness with ourselves and our lives. She does this through online sessions, deepening courses, workshops and facilitator certification training.

About Julianne:

For most of my life I’ve wondered who I am and why I am here. As I was growing up, no one else seemed to be talking about these things, or even thinking about them, so I buried it deep inside and tried my best to fit in the way I was “supposed” to, all the while feeling like there was something desperately wrong with me and that I needed to fix it.

In my early thirties, the death of a young relative left me feeling hopeless and helpless, wondering what is the point of life if we’re all just going to die anyway? This launched me on a search. I didn’t even know what I was looking for, I just knew that there was a longing – a desperate longing for something that actually made sense about life. I learned several alternative spiritual and healing techniques. I meditated. I read books and watched videos. I eventually learned of non-duality teachings, and I read more books, watched more videos, and even sat with several ‘awakened’ teachers. Yet I was still searching, something still felt missing. I was looking for the key that would unlock the mystery of me and of life.

In my early forties, I developed a chronic health condition that left me unable to work for several years, and most days barely able to get out of bed due to extreme fatigue, brain fog and pain. I lost my banking job, and eventually lost my home. I saw a multitude of doctors to try to find out what was wrong with me, and used every tool in my metaphysical and alternative medicine toolkit to try to heal myself. My seeking became even more intense, and I was looking for a way to escape my pain.

In 2009, I met Scott Kiloby. Since I started working with him and doing the Living Inquiries, the seeking for enlightenment has stopped, and the question of ‘who am I’ is no longer relevant. My victim stories around my health started falling away. Once I started looking at my experience through inquiry, everything changed. I stopped chasing something ‘out there.’ I no longer seek some future state of happiness or peace. This is not to say that I don’t have problems, or ever experience pain. Quite the contrary. I still use the inquiries regularly, and now there is much less avoidance or resistance to what I’m experiencing. I experience more and more freedom in the present moment, exactly as it appears.

Having trained with Scott, I was one of the first to be certified as a Senior Living Inquiries Facilitator and Trainer in early 2012. In 2014, I moved to CA and became a business partner with Scott at The Kiloby Center for Recovery, where we worked with people suffering from addiction, anxiety, depression and more for the next 8 years.

I can’t imagine my life without these inquiries. They saved me from myself. If you are still suffering, searching, longing… I encourage you to give this a try.

As a young child I saw a picture of Jesus gazing lovingly at some children around his feet. I immediately longed for the unconditional love I saw in his gaze. At the same time, I was being read fairy tales, like Cinderella, and came to believe that romantic love would satisfy that longing for love.

So, I married my handsome prince at age 19. But then, by age 29, I found myself alone, as a single mother, with four young children. I was devastated and convinced that something was terribly wrong with me, to have ended up in such a predicament. 

I had learned to love and please others, but not how to love and respect myself. I was a “good girl,” and repressed my urges to have my own needs acknowledged and met. A wise teacher later told me, “We need to love everyone, including ourselves.” This was an amazing revelation for me!

Learning to meditate helped immensely to bring moments of peace, while I was sitting still, though I was still being triggered regularly in my relationships. Finally, the Kiloby Inquiries taught me how to turn my attention inside in daily life – towards the trapped thoughts and emotions I’d been running from – so that I could face and release them. It was like some tender, lost children began coming home, to take their rightful place in my inner world. 

I am honored and excited to be able to facilitate these wonderful inquiries for others.

Sumitra lives on the Hawaiian island of Kauai with some of her family. She has four grown children and six grandchildren. For many years she lived and worked in a yoga retreat community in California, and has taught yoga, meditation and Compassionate Communication in addition to facilitating the tools of the Kiloby Inquiries (since 2013).

Sumitra also loves working with couples and others with relationship challenges in a simple (though not always easy) deep listening practice that allows each person to be truly heard and acknowledged.

Alina is a certified KI facilitator & a founder of Presence Alchemy – An advance mindfulness platform dedicated to liberating suffering & limiting core beliefs through Kiloby Inquiries & non-dual awareness. Presence Alchemy was born eight years into Alina’s embodiment journey of an inner shift from ego to wakefulness. Alina works one-on-one with clients, hosts online intensives and training, and organizes local retreats & workshops.
Alec Rodrigues has been certified to facilitate inquiry since 2015 and brings a keen sense of intuition to his work. He believes that in connection, the deepest healing takes place, that the mirror of relationship is the best crucible for transformation. Through rest and inquiry, Alec has found the empowerment to meet others authentically and stop running so damn fast from the seeming “ordinariness” of life.

He currently lives in Washington state with his girlfriend and works as a training assistant for the KI Personal Mentorship Program, where he empowers enrollees by teaching them the KI tools.