There are so many irrational fears that run through my head on a moment by moment millisecond basis it's amazing that I am out and walking about at all. I used to be a bit condescending towards a friend who was a germaphobe or others who are afraid of travel or dirt and germs or spiders and snakes... I'm not afraid of natural things... people scare the shit out of me... apparently only because I CARE... the opposite of what I tell myself... that I DON'T care. How fucked up is that?!! If I REALLY didn't care then I wouldn't be so frightened.
I have to give myself some serious kudos that I am able to demonstrate the level of bravery that has gotten me though my life to date. The continued bravery is necessary for the most mundane day to day experiences and like cleaning house, the last layer of shit is the most revealing when it's finally lifted or cleared away.
And like so many other things... I am perfectly in sync and flow. I am ready to know and clear on my boundaries... many of them. I have learned to pause and check in and listen carefully before I respond or react. I couldn't face my internal judge until I was willing to stand up for something. I couldn't stand up for anything until I made some choices and took time to tune into my internal stations.
Now I can fiercely stand and kindly communicate my preferences. I can speak my fears if only to whisper them to myself. Wow that is BRAVE since I'm the harshest censor of all! Well done!
Peeling the onion as a metaphor for life... I'm done with it. It always kinda pissed me off... the never ending-ness of it and today I discovered a replacement that is just as appropriate and much more inspiring. I finished the 12 week course in the Artist's Way and not until the Epilogue does the image on the cover click!
Artist's Way Epilogue - Julia Cameron
"What I conjure now is a mountain of Himalayan proportions with a path winding upward to its height. That path, a spiral path, is how I think of the Artist's Way. As we pursue climbing it, we circle back on the same views, over and over, at slightly different altitudes. 'I've been here before,' we think, hitting a spell of drought. And, in a sense, we have been. The road is never straight. Growth is a spiral process, doubling back on itself, reassessing and regrouping.
As artists, our progress is often dogged by rough terrain or storms. A fog may obscure the distance we have covered or the progress we have made toward our goal. While the occasional dazzling vista may grace us, it is really best to proceed a step at a time, focusing on the path beneath our feet as much of the heights still before us. The Artist's Way is a spiritual journey, a pilgrimage home to the self..."
The timeliness of this image is mind blowing! Truly! As I prepare for a poetry reading event I've been reviewing my journals from the 70's 80's and 90's. As usual I've found it disturbing how wise I was and how I seemed to forget lessons and insights so readily; disturbing and borderline depressing, actually. So depressing in fact I had taken solace in a recent On Being segment regarding depression... The Soul In Depression.
I was comforted beyond expression when I read the passage above this morning and understood, from a different perspective (altitude) we will experience the same views over and over and this is fine and normal. Progress, as I understand it does not apply to this pilgrimage. What a relief!
It's useful to discover and recover and identify the past and look at it only so long. The saying goes the past is in the rear view mirror but if you keep staring at it you'll run the car off the road. So... whatever the relationship was I'm choosing a different future.
How to begin? I don't consider myself very adept at developing relationships. I have, however, learned in the last few years a few things. Time is important. Dedicated - uninterrupted time to be with the other and listen and share. This builds intimacy, shared experiences, memories, relate-able events and moments to draw on for future reference.
That's all. That's were to begin. A body date, I'll call it something interesting and fun and set aside the time... not to exercise, specifically... more to come, stay tuned.
I wrote a poem recently the first ever.... where I express some appreciation for my physical being. The Temple.... it's on the poetry page. My body is an amazing "machine"... with more wisdom in the cells in my little finger than any doctor... let's see them grow a finger nail or heal a cut. I appreciate the knowledge and wisdom right under my nose... I'm intimidated by getting to know more about it and communicate with it. Obviously there are billions of dollars of products and services designed to assist me in the pursuit. No thanks... for now. Wow! (see ads below)
I also had a little wake up call and realized that my body has also tortured me and almost killed me. If I hadn't been paying attention, I WOULD BE DEAD... I escaped Melanoma with a couple of surgeries when I was 20 something. If I had listened to the first dermatologist I saw, I would be no longer among the living right now. Right now my knee is being weird and my elbow is pissy. It's more like a relationship of tolerance and annoyance, frustration and cohabitation out of necessity than a partnership or friendship... or love relationship.
Two additional thoughts... I'm NOT COMPLAINING... I could be riddled with some bizarre ailment or disease that consumes my every energy or even a large percentage of my time and money. I respect and honor those among us who have challenges in these areas! I'm just noticing my love hate --- awakening relationship with my physical being.
Perhaps it's an age conversation... it is, after all, very FUCKING impossible to ignore HOT FLASHES... and tender private parts and belly fat. The fact is, aside from standard human maintenance, two surgeries, two broken bones and a diet/exercise binge every 10-15 years I never even gave my body a second thought. Sex was the only really pleasurable experience... I've never been into any type of consistent exercise program... (once in NYC for 6 months).
I'm open to creating a daily dialog. Meditation does make that easier to play with. And apparently muscles quickly go down hill after 50 if you don't fucking exercise... Eating and the amount of food and the things I like to eat are certainly also more at issue and changing. Anyhow... just noticing and curious where my inner guide will go from here. A rock solid loving relationship or the ongoing mutual toleration... time will tell. I am pretty sure I'm not on track to be a yoga guru... just sayin'.
I'm not recommending either of the systems/products below... just pointing them out as mentioned in the intro paragraph. It's a thing... so I'm just basically behind the eight ball and still totally not unique at all... just sayin'...
The only time I've ever had to appear in court is regarding a traffic ticket. And except for an unfortunate incident with an expired license when I was 18, even those court experiences were voluntary. Allow me to take this moment to stress how incredibly grateful I am that this is the case (in point) in my life. I, of course, have intentionally avoided any incidents that would require a court appearance of any kind... at any cost... but I also acknowledge that there is some luck and fate and fucking kismet/karma involved as well. So officially, for the records... thank you Universe and I'm knocking on wood as I say this.
I have a friend who is a family attorney. She also chooses to go to court. It's her job. Wow... just wow...
I had an opportunity to observe a hearing...? not sure if that's the word... an appearance? in family court in Ballston Spa NY. The outcome was a settlement. I found the process interesting... it reminded me of the extensive contract negotiations I participated in with NYC/Board of Education and School Link Tech in my last corporate project. There's a bit of paper with lots of words... my project contract was easily 100 times longer and more detailed than the situation yesterday... but either way... there is paper with words describing acceptable behaviors of humans and delivery of goods and services. There are timelines and schedules laid out in detail and contingencies in the event that life intervenes (shit happens) and things don't fall out as expected and it's no ones' "fault." There are even some penalties described in the event of "breech"... All very run of the mill really, business as usual...
Except... the parties involved yesterday needed the lawyers to even finalize the details of the words on paper. The parties were not mutually agreeable enough to be reasonable.... (all that nasty water under many nasty bridges, seriously nasty shit flowing). There was also a judge involved to make it official and enforceable. I didn't have to deal with that with business contracts. Finally there was a lot of emotion involved and the direct welfare of children. While my business contracts had a daily impact on children, thousands of them, it was lunch or breakfast time at school... not who they went home to after school or helped them with their homework or tucked them in at night.
So this is just where I'm at right here in this moment in time... but I walked away grateful that I never married and had children. I have no idea what the divorce rate is currently but I get the feeling that it's not good... and wow people can be real pricks and pistols. Especially, it seems, the ones who used to be passionately and "forever" in love with each other.
Oh, and, I totally admire the people like my friend the family attorney, the judges and guards and court reporters who try there best day in and day out to help stressed out emotional people be reasonable and civil to each other...
So to bring this full circle and explain the image I included today... It's good to keep shit in fucking perspective. I am grateful for an incredibly huge number of things. I'm not a refugee with NOTHING - fleeing for my life from my own government. My best friend didn't die yesterday.... little things. Thanks & Knocking!
Lately I feel as though I'm constantly unpacking and processing and evaluating thoughts and ideas and feelings. I've intentionally decided to reduce my exposure to more stimulation in order to sit with what I already have spinning around. The world at large seems to conspire against my intention. I keep stumbling into rooms full of boxes, old and new, that need to be processed, unpacked and sorted (metaphorically and physically).
I feel as though I have to be on guard and have shields raised constantly to protect my quiet time of contemplation. My plans, my friends, my family, my obligations (real and imagined) my expectations (real and imagined) and all sorts of visual and physical queues interrupt and distract the crap out of me.
Time-warp... Like helping a client to downsize and pack for a move... the stuff of thoughts is scattered throughout the house. I find in the attic things that belong in the basement and while going through the kitchen - toiletries appear. These "mis-placed" items sit in a holding area with a label. In limbo yet identified. Once they rejoin their specific area of mutual interest or use they have to be integrated - duplicates removed, expiration dates considered, overall appearance and condition weighed. All sorts of mental gymnastics ensue. It is complicated and can be hard work if it's not guided by some process and FREE of DISTRACTIONS. It takes courage and the freedom to make mistakes and lots of time to walk away then revisit and reconsider.
I have, I think, the core principles and practices which will allow me to establish a new way of being and living with food and my body and exercise... I think all the ingredients have been found around the house, sorted and labeled. They may even be free of limbo in the basement or attic and are living in the same room of the house. They just need to be unpacked, integrated and prioritized and assessed the last steps before re-packing them neatly for a move. Here's where the metaphor gets complicated compared to life. I AM moving and wondering if I should wait to go through this thought process... but I'm not inclined to wait any longer... so it will - it may change once I've moved. It will be disrupted and re-placed into a new environment.
Perhaps this is just "what's meant to be..." (no surprise). As I process, unpack and pack on this end and live for several months with the decisions and epiphanies. I will have learned a huddle of new distinctions and gained new insights for the "final" unpacking in June.
If you are confused... that's ok, me too, that's why I write it out (over and over). I'll sort and label, process, move and unpack inside this house (my mind) many times before thoughts are ready for the actual final pack and move experience (the "miracle" the switch flipping).
The final "unpacking" is a different animal altogether - it happens to be an entirely new beginning, unknown, magical and off in the future some distance at the moment not really under consideration.... =) HA! That does help clear it up!? =) It's all frighteningly fucking ironic considering what I once did for a living.
From: your true home - the everyday wisdom of thich nhat hanh
Habit energy is pushing us; it pushes us to do things without our being aware. Sometimes we do something without knowing we're doing it. Even when we don't want to do something, we still do it. Sometimes we say, "I didn't want to do it, but it's stronger than me, it pushed me." So that is a seed, a habit energy, which may have come from many generations in the past.
We have inherited a lot. With mindfulness, we can become aware of the habit energy that has been passes down to us. We might see that our parents or grandparents were also very weak in ways similar to us. We can be aware, without judgement, that our negative habits come from these ancestral roots. We can SMILE at our shortcomings, at our habit energy. With awareness, we have a choice: we can act another way. We can end the cycle of suffering right now.
The Miraculous Smile
In our face there are dozens of muscles, and when we're angry or afraid, those muscles hold a lot of tension. But if we know to BREATHE in and be AWARE of them, and BREATHE OUT and SMILE to them, we can help them release the tension. Our face can be completely different after one-in-breath and out-breath. A smile can bring a miracle.
It's probably no accident that these two entries are facing pages in the book. This is perhaps the best advice I've received regarding life in quite some time! My "resistance" isn't a fatal flaw or a death bell it's just habit energy I inherited. Nice! Thank you Universe!
I attended a Northeast Regional AA Service Assembly last weekend... my first big AA conference. It was a three hour drive and I drove and roomed with a woman, Christine, that I met at the monthly District meeting. There were over 1000 people in attendance from 11 states (ME, VT, DE, NH, MA, CT, NY, NJ, RI, MD & PA). It still boggles my mind how many states are crammed in close together... the perspective of a Colorado native.
I was in observation mode. I had no idea what to expect. The program was not available until we arrived. (That was about the only evaluation comment I had - "An agenda online in advance would have been helpful.) I also have to separate out, my experience with Christine, for now and comment on the conference. I want to be alone, now that it's over and I'm home. I really don't enjoy being around so many people at once... even sober (myself and the others). When people ask how it was... (I'm still processing...) interesting is about all I can come up with. So... let's take a look at "interesting" and go from there.
1. engaging or exciting and holding the attention or curiosity.
2. arousing a feeling of interest
The definition of interest goes on and on... all good things. The word is actually a PERFECT match to my feelings, (minus any negative implied cultural association). I was going to delete the "example sentences" to save room... silly me! the examples are helpful and I changed them to match my situation.
1. the feeling of a person whose attention, concern, or curiosity is particularly engaged by something: She has a great interest in the workings of AA.
2. something that concerns, involves, draws the attention of, or arouses the curiosity of a person: Her interests are sobriety and growth through participation in AA.
3. power of exciting such concern, involvement, etc.; quality of being interesting: AA issues of great interest.
4. concern; importance: experiences of a higher power are a matter of primary interest.
5. a business, cause, or the like in which a person has a share, concern, responsibility, etc.
6. a share, right, or title in the ownership of property, in a commercial or financial undertaking, or the like: He bought half an interest in the store.
7. a participation in or concern for a cause, advantage, responsibility, etc.
8. a number or group of persons, or a party, financially interested in the same business, industry, or enterprise: the banking interest
To be continued...
I just posted a journal entry from March 2001... 17 years ago. It's worth reading, I guess, if you want perspective on what I'm going to write today. It's not complicated... I am basically frustrated and seem to be stuck in a loop. The drug of choice, the blocking tool changes or has changed in the last 4 years from alcohol to cigarettes and food to only food. Reading the entry for that date and a few after that... I wrote myself...
"Addiction is what you do to feel safe."
I still don't feel safe, apparently. Or, being a bit more kind to myself. I'm in fucking recovery and working on feeling safer and safer every day. I don't think I'm afraid to be happy. Maybe I am afraid to express my potential... it scares me because it's uncomfortable and unfamilar. Unknown!
Clarity has such an odd way of presenting itself. Rather bit by bit and puzzle piece followed by a piece from a different puzzle entirely. Fabulous really. The one consistent thing is change and the unexpected unpredictable nature of it all I suppose.
I came to notice recently how utterly god damn pissed off I was - at myself - for blatantly and repeatedly ignoring every plan that I devised to manage my eating. Day after day new plan... blow it... new plan... nope blunder... a twist to yet another new plan... BIG fumble, Cresent Gate (a run in with a package of cresent rolls, salami and pepper jack... Yum!).
The anger came later, upon weigh in time and reflection and with significant indigent frustrated pissed off-ness. Fuck you! Really! You have no respect!! What the fuck?! Why bother!? I am not nice to myself, true, but I also totally disrespect myself over and over. Jeez!
This reminds me... dejavu-ness... of trying to stop drinking and quit smoking. There were repeated eerie moments of virtual amnesia, yes, also familiar. No thought let alone argument or discussion. Day after day, plan after plan the same thing happened around the same time of day... the witching hour... 3pm. Once the plan was compromised all bets were off. How many times just in the last six months have I been oh so certain that I had finally figured it out? Apparent breakthrough after epiphany and still not working.
The Artist's way describes the situation as creative blocks. Week 10 - Dangers of the Trail. Shit! She describes my relationship to food exactly. But I never really thought of it as an expression of fear... avoidance... resistance, perhaps, sabotage for sure. I don't have the time or energy to go through the whole logical sequence right now. I'm not sure I care or that it matters really. It feels like just another pseudo milestone. I wont' know until I know for a couple of days strung together. Right now I have a new view... a new appreciation of faith in free falling. The anxiety and out of control-ness is fuel...
"As we become aware of our blocking devices... the blocks will no longer work effectively. Over time, we will try - perhaps slowly at first and erratically to RIDE OUT THE ANXIETY and see WHERE WE EMERGE. Anxiety is fuel...
"Anger is fuel. Anger is meant to be listened to. Anger points the way not just the finger..."
"The object of all this blocking is to alleviate FEAR. We turn to our drug of choice to block our creativity whenever we experience the anxiety of our inner emptiness. It is always FEAR - often disguised but ALWAYS there...
She doesn't say it but I know that I need to BREATHE along with my SURRENDER and PAUSE to fucking WONDER! Take a moment to consider my silent, sneaky, motives or fears or whatever the fuck is going on. AGAIN... STILL... Perhaps I will experience this scenario that she describes in the book:
Try: using the anxiety!
Feel: I just did it! I didn't block! I used the anxiety and moved ahead! OMG, I am excited!
That would be awesome... I'm creating using the anger and anxiety and mindlessness to move me forward. Good luck! Thanks! =)
I'm submitting some of my poetry for consideration for an upcoming poetry month event. I need to write a 2-3 minute "bit" about why I write poetry. So here we go.
I started out saying to myself... because... I "need" to. When I started to break that down by looking up the definition of need more useful words presented: necessity, requisite, urgent, requirement... still not quite hitting the proverbial nail... I do crave and long for something from poetry. I realized it's the ability to express a way of self declaration and intimate vulnerable way to reveal myself. This concise communication of my thoughts, experiences and feelings has always just flowed forth. There is an element of growth and processing and learning as well. Elements of my experience are solidified, truths revealed as well as the awareness of mysteries ongoing. Tools and perspectives are made available to me through my own self expression and review. There is an archival aspect as well. That the seeds may be thrown up and recorded so that they may be noticed and identified and planted years later. I am constantly surprised by the relevance I find re-reading things hours, days or years even decades later.
So I write to express, to reveal, to grow and to record. Always this pursuit has been for myself by myself and never shared. Only recently have I chosen to be more vulnerable by making it available to the world through my website. Now through this event and possibly through an open mike night... I'm living the dream. Why not share it!
People who know me have probably been waiting for this day to come. The day that Laurie Anne McCauley finally fucking figures out that life IS HARD! I just finished a Courage & Renewal Cohort retreat. I'm sitting in the library at the Bishop Booth Conference Center in Burlington, VT all alone. I stayed an extra night precisely to write and process what may be the most meaningful recent breakthrough. So settle in... I'm in a beautiful place and not in a hurry with a lot to sort through.
I have experienced things as easy that others have undyingly described as hard. Quitting smoking is the example I'll use. I rankle when people say it. Especially people who never smoked or quit smoking. "That's so,.,, HARD... Wasn't that the HARDEST thing ever?" and on and on. It pisses me off actually, (which should be a nod that there's something there for me to examine further.) My experience of not smoking is EASY... there is no desire to smoke,,, there is no temptation... no longing... no internal battle. The obsession has lifted. The process of quitting was annoying and required a lot of creativity, persistence and perseverance.... but that doesn't register as HARD... just tenacious endurance and necessity.
So maybe in my definition of Hard, I'm grasping at pins or smoke or something.,, oh straws, I'm grasping at straws... (that's a weird saying for Grant & Martha.) Anyway, you get the picture. It's fucked up and apparently I have been resisting anything that seems hard and just not doing it... Shit! Hello!?!
I can usually tweak my perspective, point of view, attitude and head space to convince myself that things are not "hard" but if it really is hard I simply avoid it. I don't think that's surrendering so guess what...? I'm surrendering my avoidance of things I perceive as hard. Or scary for that matter... but let's stick with hard for now. (See how I want to make it more and harder so I can avoid it!! I'll save scary surrender for another day.) I am REALLY attached to things being easy. I just realized I am really PROUD of the fact that things are easy for me, especially if others think it's hard. If it's not easy then it's not meant to happen or be or it's completely going to remove me from the "flow." Talk about convincing... I have no idea where it came from or how it protects me or why but I am adamantly secured to the concept of Ease and Grace in all things always. You can find blog posts about the untruth of "No Pain No Gain" and other rants about how unfair it is that the suffering is directly proportional to the gains realized. The fact that we are in a paradoxical, relative reality... I'm still fighting it!! Silly but true.
The situation with food and eating and adjusting my "in the moment" attitude is fucking hard, dammit! There's nothing easy about it. The fact that I have been wanting and waiting for it to be easy is, apparently, part of the fuel that fires it's continuation. There is no obsession to be lifted in this dilemma. There is a huge shift and complete 180 in thinking about time and logevity and food and self care. Things I have never really considered before without judgement or rules or fear or embarrassment or expectations.... without loads and piles and mountains of fucking baggage I didn't even know was there.
Here's the source of the breakthrough.... I have for my life written poetry, my entire life. It has been easy. So far there has been nothing hard about writing poetry. Anything that appeared as hard I promptly and completely evaded and deflected. It is and was always about and for me and only me. A form of self expression that I seldom shared or even felt the inclination to share. I also realize now that sharing risked vulnerability and judgement and all kinds of nasty possible feelings so it was easier to just keep it to myself. I also could harbor delusions of grandeur and live in certainty that all my poems would absolutely be discovered, monumental and wise once I am dead. Once again much easier to live in the fantasy world than actually expose myself to the light of day and see the truth may not be what I imagined. Excellent plan!! It's worked for me for decades! Yeah!
The breakthrough.... I'm getting there! Reading other poets just started a year ago when I started coming to the Courage and Renewal retreats. The last time I read poetry other than mine was when I was very young. It provided much need clarity, perspective and inspired me to write and that was enough. Now I'm noticing the positive, enlightening impact that poetry still has on me and I wonder if there is something in my poetry that others may benefit from. I know I have talent... raw talent... and here's the rub... honing the rawness is HARD! I perceive it as WORK... (new word alert...) to acuminate the natural ability I have to put forth time and effort and think hard and listen to people who may know more than I do... I have to be vulnerable and brave and kind to myself. SHIT!! And I have to practice over and over... another core belief that needs to shift... repetitive practice, repetitive anything is boring and boring is Hard and Hard is to be avoided at all costs. Here it is... the universe presented a teacher for me for poetry. When the student is ready and all that jive... and I had the courage to ask for help. And I had the courage to accept that there may be "hard work" involved AND... AND that that is OK!
The breakthrough is so fucking simple... I'm just growing up. That's all! This involves work and collaboration and reconciling my fantasies and my feelings and my being with the world I'm living in and the people around me. Not loosing but finding myself whole in that reality and figuring out what the fuck I want to do when I grow up! Damn!
So everything is OK.... even when it's not OK and it is apparently true that HARD is also OK. Surrendering or getting over or around or under my resistance to "HARD" is just the next step. Onward & upward... Ho!
So much to say so much procrastination blocking me. I just read through Week 8 of the Artist's Way and decided to "just do it" and post today.
I have nothing in particular but loads in general to share. I'm sitting at Kru coffee wasting time until I go to an eye doctor's appointment in 1/2 hour. I stopped in here when it first opened and didn't care for the coffee. I still don't, apparently it hasn't gotten more tasty overtime. I am glad to see that the place is busy and it is only 2 minutes (literally) from my appointment.
I've experienced a time of funk... that would make a great posting name... (so I changed it! NICE>>>) the "days of funk" "funkified and treading life..." many variations pop to the surface... ha ha... I'm not sure the cause of the funkification... but it has slowly passed and I am returning to some sense of normal optimism and gratitude. I found that even my stand by mediation practice is powerless in the face of funkdom. Meditation actually made it worse because of the disappointment that it didn't work to actually free me from it. I had to adjust my expectations from freedom or enlightened probing to endurance and perseverance.... that SUCKED!!
Apparently time and possibly valtrex are the only known sources of relief. The full blood blue eclipse moon is making it's appearance tonight... wonder if that had something to do with it? Who fucking knows.
Any who. I have decided that now the stomach virus, holiday frenetics and house buying highs are mellowing out or passed I am floundering for specific purpose and homesick for structure and routine. I can do something about that... my sleeping routine has returned to something resembling "normal" and I could see myself attending the morning AA meeting again regularly.
I discovered at a meeting today that a surprising number of my favorite and most enduringly useful quotes can be found in the text of step 10 in the 12 and 12.
Isn't there some age old saying that there is safety in numbers? I would disagree with that on a gut level. I much prefer to be alone or perhaps with one other person. This does beg the question of what is "safety" and when do you feel safe.
Here is the definition....
adjective, safer, safest.
1. secure from liability to harm, injury, danger, or risk: a safe place.
2. free from hurt, injury, danger, or risk: to arrive safe and sound.
3. involving little or no risk of mishap, error, etc.: a safe estimate.
4. dependable or trustworthy: a safe guide.
5. careful to avoid danger or controversy: a safe player; a safe play.
I actually think that the synonyms are more telling and thought provoking.
intact guarded out of danger
I've added this little.... -----> READ MORE button to make it easier to comment... try it.
The practice of pausing is paying off. I actually find myself in a moment of decision checking in with my "inner teacher" or "higher power." I've been so surprised to hear, frequently, "It doesn't matter." This puts me in my place and helps considerably with my humility. I had this unreasonable expectation that with synchronicity and God winks everywhere... EVERY decision I made/make led down a magical path to a perfect outcome. Yikes, that's pressure!
"It doesn't matter." Is the answer to many questions... Should I call so and so? Should I go to this AA meeting or that one? Should I email or write or meditate now? Should I buy this or that? Should I say something or stay still? The level of gravity of the questions is a reflection of the solitude, ease and simplicity of my life. YEAH! I've totally earned this effortlessness!
Who me, pretentious? A tiny bit pompous and grandiose? What? No! SLAP! Amazing how simple and unemotional the response in my mind appears, smooth and quiet, "it really DOESN'T matter... AND it's OK!"
Occasionally I will get, if I continue to listen for just a moment longer... "but... It would be fun to..."
the suggestion is sometimes obvious and sometimes out of left field. Awesomeness....
When meditating the last few days I've been present to a lack of self confidence and the presence of a gray smoke-like saboteur. That's putting it nicely. The "piggy" of the Never Binge Again era seemed to return and rebel and fight and resist the "cage" prescribed for it. I proceeded to notice a very intense nasty feeling of not just a saboteur but real self HATRED... active and swirling and curious.
PAUSE "It doesn't matter... but you may want to ALLOW it, EXPLORE it..." Really, that seems scary and odd. Shouldn't I try to whisk it away with some happy color or ignore it and hope it goes away of it's own volition?
PAUSE... OH>>>> so here's a chance to practice what I fucking learned and actually ALLOW & EXPLORE...? OK... it's OK! The hatred is, of course, just fear I discovered. The fear is grounded in not feeling safe, for me. Understandable, completely, life is after all inherently NOT SAFE... right!?
So as an exercise yesterday I went around all day saying to myself "I AM SAFE" or "YOU ARE SAFE"... every spare open space of thought. I paused to remind myself that I am safe. That is all. No long diatribe or explanation. And how does that feel? Does that apply right now? To this english muffin? to this car ride? to this song on the radio? to this feeling or that comment?
I'll continue this today and report back... ultimately "It doesn't matter... because no matter what, I AM SAFE!" Shit!
Let's be clear.... spiritual game happening! So much for my piece of mind so instantly annoyed by the fact that I just purchased Conversations with God Book 1 on Kindle found the quotes I wont in the Kindle reader and I can't copy and paste them here!! So I'll wait until I get home and have the book in front of me to type in the goodies...
My first inclination was to call it an interpreter switch. In the shower the idea of an interface came up and seemed to fit as well. I have, officially, sustained an internal interface upgrade. I'm currently breaking it in and getting used to it. Still reverting to the old way I did things, occasionally, for sure.
In the past I may have called it an epiphany, but that feels like it provides the idea of a fleeting or a passing thing (ephemeral) and this is a permanent situation.
Now the challenging bit... explaining what the fuck I'm talking about. So... I'll start where it started with a poem that came to me while I was meditating this morning... I won't transcribe the whole thing just enough to get the idea across...
Race away, QUICKLY!!
No discomfort allowed, RUN!
Here it comes, doubt, uncertainty
Hunger, sadness... Run!
Kill it off!
Don't stand still
If you pause,
It will surely catch you!
Don't get attached
Don't show your belly
They'll tear you to pieces
It's quite ordinary!
Don't pause, meditate or pray!
And for heaven's sake don't stay
In one place!
Keep it goin' it's safer that way!
Don't care at all
You'll only get hurt
Run away, QUICK!
There's more but that's plenty to get the gist (yes, GIST... cool, look it up!) of it. What I realized was this was my old interface talking. Everything that happened was viewed through that filter. Every thought, action, outside happening was regarded through that "interpreter" / "filter" / "interface".... Now I'm free to regard, consider, feel, everything on a moment by moment basis. Awareness of the interface was triggered by something Shirley said a couple weeks ago about it being "OK to feel hungry" which expanded into it's OK to feel uncomfortable from the book Binge No More... I've also been aware of the constant underlying, background urge to be in a hurry all the time since we got the new house. That underlying always present buzzing fearfulness... ick!
So, welcome to a whole new world where none of that is necessary... life is safe, serene, enjoyable and I am free. The new interface also address the constant fear of not being perfectly efficient and time and effort saving... another long term constant hack!
In nearly every published version of Anne Frank's diary, each diary entry begins with "Dear Kitty." However, this was not always true in Anne's original written diary.
In Anne's first, red-and-white-checkered notebook, Anne sometimes wrote to other names such as "Pop," "Phien," "Emmy," "Marianne," "Jetty," "Loutje," "Conny," and "Jackie." These names appeared on entries dating from September 25, 1942, until November 13, 1942.
It is believed that Anne took these names from characters found in a series of popular Dutch books written by Cissy van Marxveldt, which featured a strong-willed heroine (Joop ter Heul). Another character in these books, Kitty Francken, is believed to have been the inspiration for the "Dear Kitty" on most of Anne's diary entries.
Anne Frank's diary was all I needed as inspiration. When I first started my diary it was a typical teenage diatribe of boy crushes and family drama... victumhood and roller skating... roof climbing and the complete injustice of being alive. I'm sure I wasn't unique in my experiences. I am grateful that I was able to endure and learn from them using a journal as a tool and making my innter teacher availble in that fashion.
Over the holidays I happened upon a chakra wall hanging. I love the images and prayers for each one. I share them here so I will have access anywhere any time.
Base Chakra: I am connected with the energy of Mother Earth. My body, mind and spirit are grounded, centered and pure.
Sacral Chakra: I love all dimensions of myself. I delight in weaving the creative tapestry that is my life!
Solar Plexus: My will & divine Will are one. I am connected to the abundant flow of the Universe. I easily manifest my dreams
Heart Chakra: My heart is open to receive the energy of LOVE. I radiate this essence. I walk my path with ease & grace.
Throat Chakra: I am aligned with my highest truth. I communicate this with love & honor. My words echo softly within the Universe.
Third Eye: My mind is OPEN to new visions. I expand my awareness through my HIGHER self.
Crown Chakra: I am connected to the Divine Source of the Universe. I am Light! I trust!
This is the stuff that meditations are made of for me. I have to say also I appreciate the freedom to speak my truth without fear. I have noticed my thoughts reacting to the last post with apologies. I don't need to apologize to anyone ever regarding my beliefs or experiences. I acknowledge this and focus on gratitude... David Rast... on OnBeing Grateful.
Each year my questioning seems to grow with no real answers or resolution. What the fuck are holiday feelings suppose to feel like? So far I know about this... for me:
What you may notice is missing from my list is anything to do with family or community in general. I have never relied or been drawn to create or participate in any type of gathering. I usually go because it's expected, if at all.
I've been grasping for a happy holiday feeling, even thinking way back to holidays when I was young. There was frequently some level of discomfort and underlying tension. The fact that family members don't all get along is fucking intensely obvious and raw. Since I've stopped drinking, powering through social gatherings is usually a chore. If there are people that I see only once per year that I respect and care about, that's great and nice... but I don't like to "vie" for their attention or try to share a conversation... I HATE small talk! I guess I need practice still, talking to more than one person at a time. See previous blog entries...
To make it more palatable and fun I may have to start taking my camera again to entertain myself and feel a tiny bit useful. I've tried to pass the time and fit in by helping clean up and been discouraged or flatly denied... odd...
So this is all feels a bit sad I guess and depressing a little. But not really, for me it's just the way it is. It's nice to get clarity around my expectations and be aware of the source and actual level of merriment-i-tude. I am, then, again, as usual, alone in my experience and the power to create and enjoy it.
Enjoy the music, decor, cooking, cards, food, smells & gifts to the fullest =)
Bring the camera to all gatherings
I just realized I didn't even mention church or Christ's birth... not a factor, see previous post on My Creed... and Happy Hanukkha
PS. All loving acts of service, giving and fellowship are things I create day by day all year long.
In the summer of my 21st year on this planet I took the opportunity to lay down Catholicism for numerous reasons I need not elaborate on at this time. I do recall that the concept of original sin, in particular, became untenable to me... that all persons are BORN evil and need some "other" ceremony or church to become "sinless" and worthy of eternal life. I happened to be on a summer job at Villanova University and LeHigh near Philadelphia at the time of this epiphany. I remember walking through the library at Villanova, wandering among the stacks..... stopping, pulling a random book off a shelf and opening to this arbitrary page and passage
"Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Ezra Stiles, 9 March 1790, in John Bigelow, ed., The Works of Benjamin Franklin, at 12:185-86 (New York: Putnam’s, 1904) (paragraphing edited and bullets added for readability).
You desire to know something of my religion. It is the first time I have been questioned upon it. But I cannot take your curiosity amiss, and shall endeavor in a few words to gratify it.
Here is my creed.
As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire,
A friend asked me today if I could summarize my beliefs. My thought were immediately drawn back to these words and this experience 32+ years ago... I can recall the day, the light streaming in, the dust motes floating, a creaking floor, solitude and reading the words above with a calm and serene confidence and peace that I had never really felt regarding god and religion in my life to that point. Nice mental road trip!
Happy Holidays.... and for more interesting reading on Ben Franklin and his religious beliefs... check out... http://benjaminfranklinbio.com/benjamin-franklin-on-religion/145/
I have come across, accidentally of course, the solution, finally to my eating and weight management journey. Yes, it's true! I'm not sure what I was doing when I stumbled across it but I ended up downloading an audio book called "Never Binge Again" by Glen Livingston. I listened to the whole book once and then started again and I love it. I'm not wild about the voice talent but the actual content is fucking perfect! I was done with Dr. Matt's plan it was just to restrictive and didn't jive with my natural hunger cycles. It also didn't ever allow for bread or pasta... ever and took too much time and thought on a daily fucking basis! Seriously I have time, but it was crazy unless I wanted to eat fake, protein shakes constantly.
This book's philosophy and methods totally resonate with me! What I found most interesting:
Born & raised by a workaholic - still recovering!
I decided back in November 2015 to make my poetry available and journal online. I'm not exactly sure what "blogging" means but I am quite sure this is an online journal. Feel free to read on with an aire of open minded curiosity. At no time do I intend to offend, judge or pretend to know anything really, I'm just an observer and explorer, as we all are. Feel free to "boldly go" through my observations and perhaps it will spark or inspire. Comments are off because I don't want to be worried about political correctness when I'm writing. I'm not thinking about "you." I'm just writing because it feels "right". Feel free to enjoy or surf on.
Fibber McGee's closet!