Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Much of the book was familiar because it discussed the same ideas that are in the Course in Miracles. However Joel Goldsmith wrote this book back in 1963 and the Course in Miracles wasn't written until the 1970s. It was comforting to me that the teachings of this enlightened Christian and of Christ (who is the teacher of the Course) were so similar.
Goldsmith discussed prayer in a way that made total sense to me. He said that God doesn't know about health and wealth and cars and relationships. God lives outside this material dream that we are dreaming. So praying for such material things is really a waste of energy, as God cannot hear such prayer. Besides it is pretty silly to turn God into a delivery man or a servant. And it's even sillier to make bargains with God, as if God is holding back our good unless we give Him something.
The only prayer that makes sense is to pray for God's Grace. That, He can bestow on us. And when we have God's Grace then everything else will fall into place.
This is related to my last post of not trying to manifest magically but for allowing God's miracles to come. Rather than ask God for a job that pays a certain amount of money, and a nice place to live, and a man to love, and health, I can just ask for God's Grace. And that Grace will lead me beyond a job that gives me money to an unlimited supply that comes directly from the Source. That Grace will lead me to my life's purpose. That Grace will lead me not just to a special relationship with a man but to unconditional love that I can't even fathom. That Grace will lead me not to a nice place to live but to my Home.
My prayer for all of us in this new year, my prayer for the world, is to have God's Grace.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
One of the many discussions that I had was with a business man (who is also a closet High Priest.) He was telling me about the fact that he could very easily manifest whatever he wanted to, but that he wasn't called to do that recently. My immediate response was that he had probably outgrown manifesting (as described in the many Abraham-Hicks books.) At least that has been my experience. While I can manifest what I want in a very magical way--that's how I got the job at the hi-tech company I have been working for the last four years--I no longer am called to do that. Rather than the magic of manifesting, I prefer to have the miracles that God creates--the mystical.
What's the difference? When I try to manifest something, I am the one in control. I start writing down what I intend to create, and to the extent that it is specific I am micromanaging God's plan. The truth is that my imagination is limited to my past experiences, where as God's plan for me is unlimited. The miracles that come into my life when I let go of control are beyond anything that I ever imagined.
So do I give up on my intentions? No, I just get to the bottom of what I truly desire--unconditional love, causeless joy, passionate purpose, unlimited abundance, vibrant health, peace--and I let God come up with the plan. Above all, my desire is for Self-realization, and God knows that too. So anything that comes my way will be supporting me on my path Home and will be bringing me closer to these true desires. I trust that.
Surprisingly the business man/High Priest knew exactly what I was talking about. He had attended a workshop where they talked about the three levels of creating:
- Creating from the physical level of going out there and doing the job. This is the brute force method that most people use, and it involves a lot of hard work. I haven't worked at this level in years as frankly I am pretty lazy.
- Manifesting from the magical place that Abraham-Hicks describe, writing about the things you want and feeling the excitement of having these. I have been working at this level for the last decade or so, and as a result I get things done very easily without much physical labor.
- Allowing the miracles to happen from a mystical place. Since I started working on the Course in Miracles, the last six months, I have been operating more and more from this place. As a result I am constantly surprised (usually in a pleasant way) by the people and circumstances that are showing up for me. As long as I trust and stay open, I am in a very joyful place of adventure as dreams that I didn't even know I had are realized.
If you are operating at the first level, please stop working so hard. It's time for magic and miracles...
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Miracles are abounding right now. I seem to just intend for something to happen and I am amazed at how quickly I see results. A few days ago I woke up thinking that I wanted some closure on a friendship with a man whom I've been writing about. The relationship is intense: intense love and intense anger show up when I'm with him. Each time we part I feel that it may be the last time I see him.
Well, I didn't like the way we parted and I decided that morning that I would go into meditation and have a "talk" with him on the inner planes. I closed my eyes, visualized a beach, and saw him walking in my direction. Before I had a chance to talk to him, I heard the phone ring. I let my machine pick it up and heard his voice. Oh, well, I thought to myself, I guess I'm meant to talk to him in person. I ended the meditation and picked up the phone.
He said he was busy running some errands when he had the feeling that I wanted to talk to him. So he called. I knew we had a strong connection but I was still amazed at this synchronicity. We had a great discussion where we both really listened to the other person. I felt my heart open. I told him that I would like to be able to have fun with him, without all this processing. "What are you doing today?" he asked me. Well, work has been very slow so I haven't been doing much. "I'm free" I replied. Neither one of us had any ideas about what fun thing we could do, but we decided to meet and figure it out.
As I was taking a shower, I thought to myself how wonderful it would be to just soak in hot water. Harbin Hot Springs! was my next thought. That's what I want to do with him. I want to go to Harbin. For those of you who don't know, Harbin Hot Springs is a small retreat place near Calistoga, in Sonoma. It's about an hour and a half from where I live. They have a warm pool (my favorite), a hot and cold plunge (his favorite), sauna, steam room, great dinners, a temple, you name it. You can just go for the day if you like, or stay over.
Next thing I knew we were soaking in the warm water, with the rain pouring down on us (it doesn't matter when you're already wet), relaxing. All the issues, arguments, problems slipped away as we stayed in the present moment with each other. The evening was beautiful in a surreal way, with hot mists coming up off the water as the rain came down. We lost track of time until we got hungry and it was time for dinner. The food was delicious. We had a great conversation with the woman next to us. On the way home, we sang Christmas carols badly, without remembering most of the words. We've never laughed so much together!
All in all, it was the best time we've ever had. And it all started with my intention to connect with him in meditation. Our thoughts do create our reality--big time. So this is the time to have good thoughts of love, peace, and joy. How else can we create this in our life?
Sunday, December 12, 2010
A couple of nights ago a friend came over. As he has done the last few times he's visited, he went on and on talking about himself. When he's going through an issue, he discusses that and how he is resolving it. When he is feeling good about himself, he talks about what he's going to do with his life. It's not a conversation, as that would involve me participating. It's more of a monologue.
So this last visit he was talking about how present he was with a stranger and how much his heart was opening. When I asked questions, he was impatient with me--almost angry--as he snapped his replies. When I tried to talk about what was going on with my life, he started playing with his phone. He wasn't interested and the wind left my sail. I found myself leaving him mentally. He was happily talking and all I had to do was smile and nod my head. But I don't seem to be able to do this for long. Finally I told him what I really thought. I wasn't experiencing his heart being open at all. I wasn't experiencing him being present with me. Did he save the good stuff for strangers?
He was silent for a while and then put his coat on and left. I was relieved. Ok, now it was time to look at my part. The first realization was easy: this is what I do. I go on and on about something that interests me and I'm not usually curious about what's going on with my friends. Hmmmm...He was showing me how I've been behaving. I was projecting onto him a trait that I needed to clear.
Then a day later I got to visit a shadow of mine: the Despina who believes that the woman's role is to sit quietly and be there for a man. The belief that was running is that women live to take care of men--physically, emotionally, whatever they need. This wasn't something conscious that was running. But how could I not have such a subconscious belief, given that my mother, grandmother, and all the women ancestors for thousands of years have been doing this? I won't go into the details of the visualization--though it was extensive and fun--but I made peace with this part of me. Hopefully I won't have any more painful meetings with men as this part has now been healed.
We shall see...
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Recently I learned a couple of visualization meditations that have really shifted me. In the last few weeks I've become a visualizing meditation junkie, for several reasons:
- For some reason my visualizing has become much stronger. I really see things when I close my eyes, as if I am there (well almost.)
- For another reason, I am pleasantly surprised by what happens. It's become clear that I am not in control of this visualization. It seems to have a life of its own. Places show up that I couldn't imagine (well, I guess I could imagine them since they show up, but you know what I mean.) People show up whom I didn't expect. I feel their energy. I see things about them that I had forgotten. I wrote about this when I "met" my father, who passed away years ago, in one of my first visualization journeys.
- Finally, issues really seem to heal. I experience forgiveness and love. I lighten up. The outside world shifts too. It's pretty amazing.
The Universe seems to support me in continuing this solo visualization healing journey. A few days ago I bought a book called The Temples of Light: An Initiatory Journey into the Heart Teachings of the Egyptian Mystery Schools. As if my own visualizations weren't enough, this book leads me through 13 mysteries in Ancient Egypt via, you guessed it, visualizations.
Now my dreams are starting to contribute to this healing journey. Yesterday I dreamt about diamond engagement rings. I was then transported to a different year. "What year is this?", I asked in my dream. "It's 1973" was the reply. I woke up wondering what happened in 1973. Oh, I was engaged and had received a diamond ring. The engagement lasted five years because I couldn't get myself to marry him. I finally broke it off because I really wasn't in love with him. But on some level it seems that there hadn't been closure.
I proceeded to go into meditation and met my ex fiance on a beach. I gave him back his ring. I also gave him back his heart. I apologized for not loving him. When he was gone, I wasn't done. My first husband showed up. Oh, I needed to clean this mess up too. Then my second husband showed up. There were more men waiting for an apology. Ugh! I had forgotten how much suffering I had created in my 20s and 30s. Well, it was time to clean it all up, as the past has a way of seeping into the present and continuing to make a mess.
Thank God I have a tool for making amends in the visualization, as there is no way I would be able to find these men--nor would I want to.
No worry about my getting lost in these other dimensions though. My computer and hi-tech analytical job get me back in my left brain logic pretty quickly. I must admit, it's a bit strange having one foot in each world.
Monday, December 6, 2010
On the receiving end the lesson for me seems to be that it is disempowering to go to someone else seeking help. It's not that I haven't asked for help in the past. I have asked and I have been supported by some wonderful healers, psychics, and teachers. It just seems that these days the only true healing happens when I do it myself. I need to have the realizations on my own. I cannot stand someone else force feeding me their advice. Teachers are only worthwhile for me if they can give me tools that I can use myself. So teaching me how to do my own visualizations works; a psychic visualizing something for me doesn't. Being present with me while I explore a question works; someone else giving me the answer does not work.
On the giving end, I seem to be walking the razor's edge when offering advice. A few days ago a friend was telling me about his money issues, and I blurted out that he needed to look at his shadow. The problem was an internal one, not an external one. (This of course is true about everything.) This led him to have a huge realization that really shifted things for him. This discussion was still on my mind and I sent him an email today sharing some thoughts. That didn't go over well. He felt I betrayed his trust.
It seems to be a really tricky thing, when to talk and when not to. You can't make rules about never giving advice but my guess is that for me, I need to start erring on the side of not offering any advice. I also need to err on the side of not asking for advice as I usually wind up angry at the person giving it.
Rescuers get slaughtered, was a phrase in a book that I read recently. That is the truth. If you try to save somebody they will wind up getting angry with you. If someone tries to save you, you will wind up getting angry at them. Better that we all focus on saving ourselves.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
There were very specific, complicated instructions about what the medallion needed to be like. It needed a flaming sword in the middle. Ok, I get that. Archangel Michael has a sword. It needed a sun in the center. Around the perimeter a secret prayer had to be written in Enochian, which is apparently the language of the angels. Hmmm... I thought I knew of all the new agey things out there. Here was something I hadn't heard about. There needed to be an invocation in this Enochian language. Uh, I don't think so. This was getting way too complicated and was seeming more and more like magic.
As she talked I googled "Enochian prayer." Yep, there it was--the language of the angels. Prayers showed up in Enochian that were satanic, addressing Lucifer and other such beings that I had no interest in meeting. I stopped her and told her what I was finding. My friend is not gullible--quite the opposite. But she is quite psychic and she is open minded and the man who was the source of this information had been accurate. Magicians do have powers, but all powers do not come from God.
Magic, to me, is about being in control. It's about controling the forces so that I get what I want. It involves rituals that can get complicated and that can be dangerous, as you never know what forces you are going to bring into your life. The Course in Miracles is clear about giving up magic so that you can experience miracles. Miracles come when you surrender control and allow God to give you His gifts. I myself am a pretty good magician and can manifest things when I want them. But these days I am choosing to let God lead the way, as I find that what shows up is much better than anything I could ever conjure up.
The Course has brought me back to Jesus Christ as a true Teacher. I have read that Archangel Michael works with Christ, and that's fine with me. When I need to communicate with either of them I close my eyes, go into a quick meditation, invite them in, and talk to them. It's pretty simple. No angelic languages are needed. English works just fine. Silence works even better, as it is the language of the heart.
Monday, November 29, 2010
At the end of the book (p. 257) Auriela writes:
One day spent in total joy, doing the things you love best--a day on the beach, for example, walking for miles on the wet sand, picking up shells, kicking the foamy waves with your toes...coming home to a good meal, a wonderful book...and falling asleep, exhausted and happy by nine o'clock in the evening...a day like this, spent without a worry in the world, has done more for the world at large than if you had spent all day writing letters of protest to your senator, focusing on all the wrongs that need to be righted.
This hit home for me because I had such a day on Saturday. It wasn't that I did anything out of the ordinary. It was just that I only did what I wanted and enjoyed every minute of it. I picked up a friend at noon and we headed down to Larkspur. I had a hair cut appointment there and my friend and I hadn't been to southern Marin in a while. I parked the car and noticed that we had time to stop at my favorite cafe, Rulli's. I ordered a latte and she had a hot cocoa with whipped cream. We shared an incredible dessert made with cream and berries. We chatted and watched the people go by.
I left her to walk down the block for my haircut. It was a good haircut and I felt pampered. My friend met me there and we headed further south to the Corte Madera shopping center. I was looking for corduroy legging/pants and there they were in Nordstrom's--in all sizes and colors. We spent some time trying them on and each bought a couple of pairs. Then we walked by all the stores decorated for Christmas and wound up at Macy's. We each found something we didn't expect at a very good price and left feeling happy and abundant.
After a few more errands we wound up in my favorite restaurant in San Rafael, The Royal Thai. Not only was the food delicious, they had my favorite dessert: mango with coconut sticky rice. I was in heaven. We laughed and chatted and both felt that we had started the holiday season in a very festive way. There was nothing super-exciting about this day, but we enjoyed every minute of it and felt grateful. It was one day spent in total joy.
Now for those of you who have read other posts in this blog, such as the one stating that the world I see holds nothing that I want, this post may seem a contradiction. All the things that brought me joy on Saturday were worldly. And it is a contradiction, though both are true. I love worldly things and this world holds nothing that I want. This is known as a paradox. I'll write more about that in another post.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Which brings me to something that has been on my mind for a while: watering down what I write in order to be understood and to remain acceptable to the mainstream. My dear friend who reads my column religiously has asked me to write so that everyone can understand it. Sometimes my posts are very clear to her. They are simple and touch her heart. Sometimes they are confusing. I've struggled with this for a while but have come to the conclusion that I need to write whatever is coming up for me without censoring it. Some of the things that come up for me are far out, as I am not afraid to go into deep dark places in my psyche that others have not yet traversed.
For example this last week I have become in touch with a deep sense of self-hatred. Self-hatred is the main ingredient of every ego and of all suffering. But this is not a light topic and is not discussed in "normal" circles. However we all feel self-hatred. Some people are aware of how much they hate themselves and how unworthy they feel. For others like me, who are arrogant, it is more difficult to get in touch with our self-hatred because it is projected out to everyone else.
I realized recently that I have been projecting all my self hatred onto a friend who is very similar to me. The friendship ended because admitedly I wasn't a loving friend. I kept trying to fix all the things that were wrong with her. The good news from this painful mess is that I got to see that all the issues that I had with my friend were my own issues.
Check it out for yourselves. Pick a person whom you despise. If you don't despise anyone, then just pick a person who really irritates you. Write down all their faults--why you can't stand being with them. Don't hold anything back. When you feel done go back and read everything you wrote. My guess is that you have all the qualities that you hate in that person. You are projecting your own self-hatred onto them. (The good news is that when you admire someone else, you are also projecting your "good" qualities onto them.)
If this doesn't make sense to everyone reading this post, that's cool. It might not make sense to you consciously, but it might make sense to you on a different level. If this makes sense to you, so much the better. Seeing how we project the qualities we don't like onto others becomes a step away from victimhood. Instead of blaming the people out there for causing us misery, we can take responsibility for our own stuff. And once we take responsibility for our stuff, we can begin to heal it. That is the good news.
Friday, November 26, 2010
What I have found is that when something is meant to be, it will happen organically. If I'm suppose to be a counselor then somehow events will occur without my having to do much. And that seems to be the case. A while ago a friend who does massages offered me a trade: a counseling session for a massage. I took it gladly as she is a wonderful masseuse. And I got to help her with her issue, which truly I would have done for free.
This week another friend asked me if I would do counseling with him. He had checked out other counselors on the internet and found that their qualifications weren't better than mine. Plus he had attended one of my workshops and felt he had learned something. So today we had our first phone session together. For me this session was not work. It was a joy to listen to him and support him. His sending me a check is gravy--much needed gravy. But I still can't believe that someone paid me to do something I love.
That's been my prayer: to no longer have to "work" but instead to support myself by doing what I love, which is supporting others on their life's path. I think this is the beginning of the answer to my prayer.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
For example, this year my main contract with the hi-tech company that I've been working for ended. For almost four years this contract provided me with plenty of money. I knew that I could pay my bills and then some. I felt secure. However I also had started feeling bored and passionless. I was tired of sitting in front of my computer doing excel spreadsheets.
The contract ending freed me up. I had time to spend with a girlfriend who visited me. I started traveling a little. I started taking dancing lessons. I started writing in my blog more frequently. Each day started holding new surprises instead of the same old, same old. While I can't say that I am secure financially right now, there are many exciting opportunities showing up for me: working for other companies, editing cool books, training, doing one-on-one counseling. I am especially excited about the counseling, as that is where my heart is. The idea of not having all my eggs in one basket, and working on several different things is very appealing. And this could not have happened without that secure full-time contract ending.
Another example is that I had some serious disagreements with friends which were painful to both me and them. But these disagreements cleared the air and transformed the old relationships making them more honest and bringing acceptance. This happened with several friendships. However one friendship ended and I am grateful for that too. I got to see what I needed to heal and found someone to help me with that. I also realized that we both needed to go our separate ways, as we were not helping each other. I feel gratitude at this point. The friendships that remained, transformed and became more honest and loving. The one that ended brought much needed relief to both of us.
I could go on, but you get the drift. Even the things that we are not happy about, bring gifts. And for that I am grateful
Monday, November 22, 2010
Yesterday my visit to Amma was about healing relationships. I wasn't surprised when a male friend I haven't spoken to in a few weeks because of discord between us, showed up and sat in front of me. He didn't see me but I could see him from the balcony where I was sitting. I meditated on his face and asked to heal this relationship with ease and grace. After about 20 minutes of my meditating he looked up at the balcony and saw me. He smiled. Later on we ran into each other outside. We hugged and started walking towards the cafeteria.
Over two cups of hot steaming chai, we sat across from each other.
"I'm tired of fighting this war," I said. "I want to lay my sword down. What is it you want from me?"
He didn't say a word but in my mind I received an immediate response: Acceptance.
Of course. I had to admit to myself that I never really accepted him as he is. I was always trying to improve him. He wasn't healed enough, awake enough, sophisticated enough. You name it; he wasn't enough of it.
"You want acceptance from me," I stated. He flinched in agreement.
"OK" I heard myself say, "I need to offer you acceptance. I apologize for all the mean things I have called you." I went on and listed a bunch of terms I will not list here.
"None of the things I called you are true. They were my own projections. I take back the shame I placed at your feet. I apologize for abandoning you over and over and over again. I have abandoned you many more times than you have abandoned me. That too is a projection. I apologize for being disappointed in you because you couldn't meet all the expectations I had..."
The apology went on and on, coming from a very deep humbling place which I usually don't access. He listened silently, his eyes tearing. When I finally finished, he hugged me. This too was a hug by grace of the Indian Saint. We then went our separate ways, as we each had come with friends.
Last night as I lay in bed, still feeling the energy of the day, he called and left a message on my voice mail: "Thank you for sharing today. I really appreciate it. I hope we can drop the swords and the knives and there's no more wars, just love and appreciation for each other. That's what I want. Thanks a lot for being open, vulnerable, and honest. I will do my best not to cause any suffering and pain--unnecessary suffering and pain. Thank you so much, sweet heart."
My lesson today for the Course of Miracles is:
By grace I live. By grace I am released.
By grace I give. By grace I will release.
By the grace of Amma I released my friend. And is so doing, I released my self.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
What's even more interesting, is how things have really shifted in my outer world. It seems that my own unforgiveness and disconnection from my father was blocking many more things than just my relationship with men. That was obvious. But it's all connected. So the last 24 hours I have watched in amazement as a window of opportunity has opened, and many, many good things are coming through.
For one, I was accepted to go to a workshop in January, Donald Epstein's Ultimatum, which is the best thing I can imagine going to. I'm so excited about this! Another thing, I've been trying to figure out if I should move to downsize since my income has downsized significantly. A very good friend, who is also considering moving, sent me a listing for a rental in Healdsburg that we could share together. It's a beautiful home and we both feel that living there would be a gift. I'm so excited about this too! A third thing, I got a call from a friend in Salt Lake City who wants to move forward having me be part of his training program. I'm really excited about this as well! I've spent the last day making travel arrangements to Denver, then adding Salt Lake City. Things are moving in a way that feels joyful, adventurous, and on purpose.
I know that the way to get things to happen is by doing internal processing not by pounding the pavement to make things happen in the world. But somehow it never ceases to amaze me when the whole outside world that seems so real shifts because of some healing work that I did. My thoughts and feelings absolutely create my world. I really get it. Thank God, as that makes me a powerful co-creator with God, instead of a victim.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I don't really need to know how to forgive. All I have to do is have the intention that I want to forgive and pray for help. Help is showing up in many ways. I have found a wonderful counselor, Auriela McCarthy (http://www.aurielamccarthy.com/), who is helping me heal my anger and learn to forgive. I knew she was the right person to help me when I met her. She seemed to be living what I needed to learn. Her energy is soft not dogmatic. She is kind and compassionate. She consistently reminds me that I need to be kind and compassionate to myself, before I can do that for anyone else.
On Monday she guided me through a meditation where I met my father and healed issues around shame and feeling abandoned by him. I saw him and felt his energy. I'd forgotten that he wore straw hats and that he had a red and silver pen attached to his shirt pocket, with which he solved crossword puzzles. That was the main memory of him: solving crossword puzzles on the couch and not having time for me. He was old. The adult I am understands. But the inner child has continued to feel abandoned by him, recreating this painful abandonment in all my relationships with men.
In this meditation I felt my father's love and I remembered my love for him. I forgave him for not being the father that I wanted him to be. The anger dissipated. I called my mother and, as I thought, she still had his red and silver pen. She mailed it to me along with a picture that she found when she was looking for the pen. She felt that my father wanted me to have his picture. It is on my desk as I write this. I look at it and feel love for this man who did his best to raise me and take care of me. I no longer feel angry. I have forgiven him.
Tonight Auriela is giving a workshop on forgiveness which I will attend. Forgiving my father is huge, but just the tip of an iceburg. The Course in Miracles is clear that the only way out of a hellish life is to forgive. And I am clear that I am going to turn my life into Heaven on Earth. Eons of suffering is enough. It's time to heal.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Yesterday was a case in point. We met for lunch and she showed me her notes for a workshop she was giving. I agreed with her views up until the point where she said that her thoughts and feelings made up her authentic self. Well, I totally disagreed with that! My thoughts and feelings are not who I am. Neither is my body. My friend values her body as equal to her spirit. I do not. After all, my body will be gone in 60 years tops. Who I am is eternal.
We also disagree on what spirituality is. For me, the goal of spirituality is enlightenment, waking up from the dream that this world is. For her it is being loving and improving life on Earth. She takes issue with the fact that I consider this world to be a dream. I take issue with the fact that she doesn't think there is anything beyond this world.
Of course we do manage to keep an open mind and hear what the other person is trying to say. I understand that her point is to not minimize the body and make it wrong. I don't do that. I like to take care of my body, and God knows I like to have nice things. Hell, while I'm still in the dream I want it to be a good dream, not a nightmare. I think she understands what I'm saying, though we will never convince each other to shift perspectives. But what I like about our discussions is that she gets excited about the differences in our view of the world and God, and wants to tape them. Rather than need to be right, she has a curiosity for my views. This makes for an alive conversation.
Later last night she held a small workshop in my living room. Since this was her workshop, I made a concerted effort to not intrude. But when she told one of the attendees to do a positive affirmation around a feeling she had of incompetence, I had to chime in. My advice was not to do a positive affirmation. It was to dive in and feel the pain of this belief that she is carrying, so that she could heal it. A disagreement followed which to my surprise the attendees of the workshop enjoyed. They felt that we were both making good points and they found the different opinions energizing and providing more food for thought.
Rather than being angry, my friend was glad that I chimed in with my different opinion.
We are now thinking that we could create a good radio talk show, offering our divergent opinions and advice. Who knows? Regardless, agreeing to disagree is making life much more interesting.
Monday, November 15, 2010
I get it. I understand why people keep going and going and going. I understand why they are workaholics, or why they keep socializing, or why they keep busy with hobbies. It's so that they don't meet this fear of death. Now I'm not saying that everything we do is to avoid fear. There are things that we love to do, that make our heart sing, that make us lose the sense of time, that fill us with joy. These things come from our soul and are the only way of truly escaping this fear of death.
But the busyness that does not provide that kind of joy--the back to back appointments, driving the kids from one thing to another, attending one social event after the other, helping one friend after the other, or even reading one book after the other (that would be me)--these things do not offer us true joy. These things are an avoidance of what is really running the show. Like a hamster we keep going, thinking that we are going somewhere, but in reality just spinning our wheels.
At some point we get stopped. We lose our jobs, or we get sick, or our marriage ends, and we finally have to face the bogeyman. We have to face the fear that we are not who we think we are. This is necessary so that we can finally find out who we really are, which is so much more than we can imagine. The gate to freedom is guarded by death and terror, my teacher used to say. My experience has proven this to be true.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
So this weekend I took the car out of the garage and have just been driving it around (literally and metaphorically.) Friday I was in San Francisco meeting colleagues for drinks. The sun was setting as I drove over the Golden Gate bridge, then along the Embarcadero. I didn't remember the last time I was in San Fransisco, even though I live only an hour away. Having drinks and chatting about "non-spiritual" topics was totally cool. I met a beautiful woman whom I worked with long distance, and she told me about her blog. It's funny and it's about being a single mom and raising two boys. How refreshing, I thought. I want to read it.
Then I left the San Fransisco bar and went to Marin to a samba lesson. The other students were advanced and the teachers taught many steps at once. My dancing partner and I are beginners. We couldn't get it. My first response was to go home, but my dancing partner wouldn't give up. After the lesson there was a dance party. Very nice older men asked me to dance, and were happy to show me the steps to the cha cha, fox trot, etc. What kindness and patience, I thought. Hmmm... Maybe this is part of being spiritual.
Saturday I was invited to a Cheers type bar in Sonoma by a girlfriend. A week ago she reconnected with her high school boyfriend. They hadn't seen each other in over thirty years and it was love at first sight (well, maybe not first sight since they were in love when they were teenagers.) I was invited to the bar to meet her new boyfriend. Well, I'm skeptical about fast relationships (or any relationships with the opposite sex for that matter) but I put aside my skepticism and went. I hadn't seen her in months and it was wonderful to see her so happy. They look good together. I can see it. And I enjoyed sitting outside for hours, shooting the breeze, eating a lot of good Greek food (the owners of the bar are Greek, so that was an added bonus), and meeting a bunch of other people.
Dancing, drinking, eating, chatting about superficial things, people falling in love. Maybe I've been too fast to let this world go. It's not that I've given up on transcending it. It's just that I'm here now, so I may as well enjoy it.
Well, I have to go check on my chestnuts...
Friday, November 12, 2010
This morning I had a call from a friend. I had sent her a couple of "spiritual" cards from the Osho Zen Tarot deck that really spoke to me. She was confused. She didn't understand them and didn't really care to. Her world view is very different from mine. Mine is internal; her's is external. She likes to go out and experience life without having to understand it. There's a lot to be said about that. I promised not to send her any more Osho cards.
Another example. For months I've been taking care of my neighbor's cat. My neighbor works long hours and I offered to let her cat in and out of the house. I love cats and I work from home, so I was happy to do it. Even though it was a bit time-consuming, I thought it was helpful and I would have loved someone doing that for me when I was working outside my home. But I realized recently that this "help" was not appreciated. I was getting too involved and my guess is that my neighbor was feeling controlled. I'm not sure about this, as we haven't spoken. She just asked me to not worry about her cat and took the spare key away.
While her lack of communication upset me, this was a good wake-up call. I do not want to intrude on someone's space. And I need to be clear about where I focus my time and energy. If someone asks me for help, I can decide if I wish to help. But I will be very careful about offering help that has not been requested. The golden rule of "doing unto others what you would have them do unto you" needs to be replaced by the platinum rule: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.
Just because we like something doesn't mean that others will. Before we offer it to them, let's make sure that it's something that they actually want and would enjoy. If we're attached to their receiving our "gift" then we need to look at our own agenda and see what is really going on. Underneath our "generosity" is probably a wound that we need to heal.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
They are looking for a million people to join and participate in this meditation. Do I believe that a million people focusing on a healed planet can make a difference? You betcha. It can make much more of a difference than a lot of angry people going out and trying to change the world by making things happen. It's the difference between going to the film projector to change a movie you don't like, and going to the screen and attacking the figures you see there. It's all an internal job.
I wasn't very busy today so I sat outside, in the beautiful autumn weather, and meditated for a long time. I actually lost track of time. When I "came to" I was much more peaceful. I looked at the tree next to me and saw it glowing and moving closer to me. I actually felt a connection with the tree. Very cool! I thought to myself. And the only drug involved was a piece of chocolate.
While I don't believe that meditation is the path to enlightenment, I am starting to see the value of meditating once in a while. As long as it is not used as a way to escape the world, or the uncomfortable feelings we have, meditation can be useful. Of course, when your whole life has become a meditation--when you can be in a meditative state while your girlfriend is yelling at you--then you have probably achieved enlightenment, or are very close to it. But that state is reached by staying present in the world and telling the truth, not by running to your guru or to your hill or to your meditation pillow when you are not happy with the circumstances of your life.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Well, the demon I have been dealing with lately is anger, bordering on rage. I am angry at the male friend who I feel has been disrespectful to me and to the Feminine which he professes to honor. I am angry that he uses what I call "spiritual speak" to defend his actions. "This is who I am," he says, in reply to my hurt feelings of abandonment. "Oh, yeah? Well who you are is a shit!" is my answer, right before I hang up the phone.
I am angry at my neighbor who left her cat out all day today while she went to work, without food or water, in the rain. She used to have a spare key which I used to let her cat in when he cried to go home. All of a sudden she took the key away with no explanation, and I am trying to figure out what is really going on underneath her constant smile. But she won't be honest with me, and the poor cat is suffering.
Frankly, I don't know what to do with this anger, which feels like a demon. It takes over and I find that I want to exclude all these people from my life. Even though I have felt love for them in the past, they are now persona non grata, and my deepest desire is to never see them again. How does love switch to hate? How do I get rid of the anger and bring peace back in my life?
It was a relief to hear the dance instructor say that I shouldn't get rid of this angry demon. It actually does contain a really good part of me. It's the part that is clear, that has a great bullshit detector, and that knows when someone isn't telling me the truth. It's the part that cuts through the politically correct crap and the pleasantries, and gets real. It's the part that shakes things up so that a relationship will either be based in truth and be more intimate, or it will go away because it is too superficial. This anger demon gives me the energy and the courage to make changes in my life very quickly. It serves, and I should not be so quick to get rid of it.
Now if only I could transform it to something calmer that does not attack first and ask questions later...Any suggestions?
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I noticed this pattern a while ago. It seemed that every month (and no it's not about it being that time of the month) I started feeling sad or angry or abandoned. Some issue would come up and I would go into some deep dark vortex thinking that I would never come out of it. But in a few days I would come out of it and feel sane again. That period of insanity coincided with the new moon. I started reading about it and found that this was not news to the women who follow the goddess. They understand the impact that the different phases of the moon have on people and they hold rituals to the moon.
Scientifically, it's known that the moon affects the tides. Well, since we are made up mostly of water, it makes sense that the moon would affect us as well. Hence the word "lunatic".
So my guess is that most people reading this post have had a tough week. For me abandonment issues have come up, in addition to sadness and anger. It's been a potpourri of not fun emotions. Several of my friends had serious work issues and survival fears come up for them. But take heart. The moon is starting to wax, and you should be feeling much better if not today, in the next few days.
So what to do about this? Personally I do not worship the moon the way the women who are into the goddess do. I see the moon as a disruptive force. From my perspective the thing to do is to check your calendar when you are feeling like you've entered into your own private hell. If it's a new moon, don't take the hell so seriously. In a few days it will be over and you will feel sane again. Give yourself and your friends some slack when you all seem to be insane. Support each other. I found that being there for my friends helped me forget my own issues.
Really. We are unlimited beings. Let's not give our power away to something as silly as the moon.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
So I got out of bed and texted him a message apologizing for my anger and pretty much repeating the above. He texted me a curt response. No problem. I can't be responsible for his reaction. But I can take responsibility for my own issues. My abandonment issues go way back. He didn't create them as I've only been hanging out with him for a few years. So rather than play the victim role and make him the villain, I need to see that I have issues that need healing. Oh, here it is again. My abandonment issue. I thought I dealt with it. I guess there is more healing for me to do.
A girlfriend told me today that she was going to spend time comforting her housemate who was treated poorly by a co-worker. My girlfriend felt angry at the co-worker for hurting her housemate's feelings and I understand that. But I wonder if making the co-worker the bad guy really supports her friend or if it makes her a victim. Rather than put the focus on him and what he did wrong, it would serve to look at the issues that she needs to heal.
We are grown-ups in our 40s, 50s, and 60s, still carrying wounds from childhood. Other people just trigger these wounds. Rather than blame the triggers, it's time for all of us to grow up and take responsibility for healing our stuff. Don't you think?
Monday, November 1, 2010
For example, I should call the person back who left me a message on my voice mail. When I tell myself this it means that I am tired and I don't feel like talking to this person, but I will return the phone call out of obligation. If I do return the phone call, it will be a boring conversation because I won't really be present. Better to wait until I really want to return the phone call. If I don't want to return the phone call at all, then I need to ask myself why this person is in my life.
Not doing what I think I should applies to small things, like whether I return a phone call or attend a party, as well as large things, whether I choose to have children or not, marry, take a job, etc. I never wanted children. Hell, I didn't even play with dolls when I was little. Having children because I thought I should would have been a disaster, for both me and those poor kids. It didn't matter if society expected me to, or my parents wanted grandchildren (they didn't care), or what my husband wanted. (Before I agreed to get married I was clear with my boyfriend that I didn't want children.) All that mattered was that the idea of having children left me cold with a knot in my stomach.
The same is true about work. Should you become a lawyer or a doctor because your parents expect you to, or because this was your father's career? I don't think so. If what you really want is to be an artist, you will be unhappy being a lawyer, no matter how much money you make. Trust me. I got my MBA not because I loved business, but because it was a practical degree that I thought I should get. Now, thirty years later, I'm trying to transition into something that I actually enjoy doing. Well, it's never too late.
But better to save ourselves time and energy, and every time we hear ourselves say "I should..." stop for a moment and reconsider. Chances are we'll be much happier if we don't.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Rather than being her friend and just listening, I found myself being a "spiritual teacher" and telling her how she was creating this dramatic story and how she could change it. After we hung up I realized that I hadn't really been as present with her as I would have liked. Instead I imposed on her my thoughts about what she should or shouldn't do. My intentions were good. I want her to be happy. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
It's one thing to write in my blog about my own experiences and the lessons that I am learning. It's another thing to impose these lessons on others, because I really don't know what is best for everyone else. Hell, more often than not I don't know what is best for me. So sharing my experience is fine. Thinking that I know and preaching to others is not OK. My lesson may not be someone else's lesson. We all do not need the same thing. If I say something and it resonates, I am happy that I have supported you. But more often than not, I imagine you might read what I am saying and think, What the hell is she talking about? If that happens I invite you to comment on my blog and ask me your question. I promise I will answer.
Living in California, and in a spiritual subculture for over a decade, I may use language that is perfectly clear to my friends but not to someone in the Mid-West who has not been immersed in the teachings I have. Even my friend who understands me more than others, reads my blog religiously, and can relate to most of my posts, doesn't always understand what I am trying to say. What seems clear to me may not seem clear to others. But it's hard for me to gauge this without feedback.
So I invite anyone who has a question to write it in the comments. And I ask forgiveness from my friend for preaching to her rather than just being her friend when she called to talk about her pain.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
It would be a ride in the park if meeting death was about meeting vampires, ghosts, or zombies. The "meeting death" that spiritual teachers talk about is much scarier than that. It invites us to stop all the running around and the busyness, and face our deepest fears. It invites us to let go of the attachments that are causing us suffering. It invites us to acknowledge and accept our losses and to move on. It invites us to let go of our identities--the masks that we present to the world--so that we can discover who we really are.
My "meeting death" this Halloween season has to do with the loss of what I thought was my secure position with the hi-tech company I've been working for. I have had to face my survival fears. What if I can't get more work? How will I live? Where will I live? Etc., etc.
My meeting death also has to do with the loss of a relationship that has been loving, intense, and painful. This relationship has died over and over, but has been reborn like the phoenix rising out of the ashes, because we keep coming back and telling the truth. But this time I think the death may be final.
Losing a job or a relationship are two major losses, but death can show up in many ways--sickness, aging and loss of beauty, losing our home, losing friends, actual death--pretty much the loss of anything that we have been attached to and through which we have lived our life. While painful in the moment, this death is calling us Home to freedom, to joy, to more love, to being who we really are.
If we really tell the truth, what ever we are losing has been causing us pain. The job was probably boring or stressful, and we were just doing it for the money. The relationship was probably disempowering, painful, or abusive. What ever we are losing is for our own good, as it is freeing us up to have something new come into our life.
There can be no rebirth without death, and this is a time of death.
Friday, October 29, 2010
I've been praying for a miracle to guide me. What am I suppose to do? Should I look for work? Should I move? No answer has been showing up, so I haven't been doing anything. Unlike our culture's edict that says "Do something! Beat the pavement. Don't just sit there!", my knowing says "Just sit there. When the time is right you will know what to do, and it will be easy."
Well, it just occurred to me this morning that little miracles are showing up without my doing anything. I will be fine financially despite the fact that I will be working only 5 hours a week for the hi-tech company that has supported me the last four years. All I have to do is stay open.
Last week the woman who sub-contracts me out to the company I have been working for, told me that she has part-time work for me for another large hi-tech company. It's not a lot of work; right now just 25 hours or so for November and December. It won't solve my economic situation, but it will help. And it will put me in front of another really good client and open up possibilities for more work.
Yesterday, a friend sent me an email asking if it was OK that he recommended me to an author to edit her book. Is it OK? I love editing. And while that alone won't resolve my financial situation, along with my 5 hours a week here, and another 5 hours a week there, it will help.
This morning, my accountant (and friend) who lives in Utah called me to ask if I was interested in working for him 4-5 hours a week, as a manager of a training program. This is the job I was considering when I thought I would move to Salt Lake City, but a much more scaled down version of it that I can manage. Of course I will consider it.
I see what's going on here. God is not sending me one big job or the lottery to solve my money issues. He is sending me a lot of small jobs that together will solve it. I will no longer have all my eggs in one basket, thinking that the hi-tech company I was working for is the source of my abundance. I will no longer be owned by any one. I will have freedom to live my life and choose what I want to do.
I finally really get that the the source of my abundance is not any one company or any one person, but the Source of all. The source of my abundance is God, and I will never be laid off from That!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
This was a tongue in cheek presentation of an unfortunate truth. It showed that the world, with all its power struggles, can be boiled down to the ghetto world of pimps and 'hos. Pimps are the people in control who use the 'hos: the CEOs, the politicians, the kings, the husbands, etc. 'Hos on the other hand are the people who get used: the employees of corporations, the citizens, the subjects, the wives. Think about the word "Human Resources". It confirms this fact that employees are resources to be used up, hence 'hos.
Of course the energy between pimps and 'hos in our world is much more subtle and sophisticated than the the energy between a pimp and his 'ho in the ghetto world. A pimp will slap his 'ho around if she doesn't produce for him. Employees will just get fired or their contract ended, which will leave them unsure if they can survive. Same difference.
I experienced this pimp/'ho energy last night with the same friend who invited me to the dinner. I invited him to dinner at my house. He showed up and barely acknowledged me. He went right to the TV and asked me where the remote controls were. He watched TV as I prepared dinner. When dinner was ready, it was clear that he preferred to stay in front of the TV, so I gave him his food and ate alone in the dining room. I felt no appreciation, no connection, no love, no concern for an issue I was experiencing. Just a sense of entitlement to get his needs met. This from a man who professes to be guided by the "Mother" and who supposedly sees women as goddesses. Last night I did not feel like a goddess in his presence; I felt like a 'ho.
This pimp/'ho archetype is painful, whether it is played out by spouses, lovers, friends, or employees and employers. I don't want to live in a world of pimps and 'hos.
The Course in Miracles lesson for today is: Beyond this world there is a world I want. Indeed.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Well, actually I can. There have been times when I felt that life wasn't worth living and would have welcomed death. But fortunately I'm too much of a coward to actually do more than wish myself dead. I imagine most people wish they were dead at some point, but no one talks about it. Most people are going around with a smiling face acting as if they have their act together, trying to hide their suffering from the world. We think we're the only ones who are suffering and that there is something wrong with us. The truth is most of the world is suffering.
To me the statement from the Course in Miracles--This world I see holds nothing that I want--is telling us to not be attached to anything in this world, as all things are temporary and eventually will lead to suffering. Are you attached to your romantic partner and think you can't live without him or her? Well, you're setting yourself up for suffering, because eventually your partner will leave or die. Are you attached to your beautiful house? You're setting yourself up for suffering because you might lose it when you can't pay the mortgage or if it burns down. Are you attached to your job? At some point you won't be able to do it, or someone will show up who will replace you. You get the idea. Anything you are attached to in this world will keep you in this world of suffering.
So what can get us out of hell and into heaven? Committing suicide won't do it, for sure. There is no heaven waiting for the tormented soul who leaves this world violently. What can get us out of hell and into heaven is the desire for things that do not belong to this world, but belong to eternity: the desire for freedom, truth, love (not to be confused with lust/need), peace, joy. So next time you think there is something in this world that you cannot live without, look deeper and see what it is you really desire. My guess is that your deepest desire will be for freedom, truth, love, peace, or joy.
Monday, October 25, 2010
I've been focusing on earning a living and not so much on living. This was clear to me as I attended the conference and saw people filled with passion over their work. There was a physicist who was able to clearly explain the theory of oneness through physics and equations. I actually understood what he was saying. And he was funny! Also I sat as my friend, who got me into the conference, gave a talk that helped the audience experience the oneness that the physicist and enlightened teachers talk about. My friend was doing his life's work, supporting awakening, and he was connected with everyone and having a great time. The contrast between how he is in the world and how I am was a major catalyst that brought me to a feeling of loneliness.
I haven't been participating with life. I haven't been offering my gifts, no matter how meager I deem them to be. I haven't been having fun. I haven't been connecting with people. After being broke for years and living in a spiritual community that fell apart, I asked to be left alone to earn money. And I got exactly what I asked for. It made me happy for a few years, but now I need to ask for something else. I need to ask for a life where I offer my true gifts (communication not data analysis) in support of awakening. I need to ask for a life that is filled with people--students, teachers, friends, a life partner, a community--and with love. I need to ask for a healing of this deep sense of loneliness which can only happen by living a fulfilling life.
Forget the "I need" to ask. This is what I am asking for: a life of joy, of purpose, of love, of connection. Is that too much to ask? No. This is our inheritance from our Father and Mother. The problem isn't that we ask for too much. The problem is that we ask for too little.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I remember a friend complaining about her husband a while ago. She was explaining how he didn't appreciate all the work that she was doing around the house. "Is it too much to ask for a little appreciation??" she asked me. "Well," was my response, "Do you appreciate what your husband does for you?" "No way!" was her immediate answer. She later shifted into a softer place of appreciating him and their relationship improved. You can't bully someone into appreciating you. But usually if you appreciate them, they wind up appreciating you as well. It's pretty simple.
I was very angry with a friend a few days ago, whom I felt abandoned me at an event we went to. My immediate reaction was to leave him and never speak to him again. That would show him! Then the witness part of me chimed in. So you are abandoning him because he abandoned you? Does that make any sense? This is how the war continues.
I needed a couple of days to cool off, but I emailed him today as we have dinner plans. When he called me back, I found myself talking to him as if nothing had happened. Oh, right. He's not the enemy; he's a friend who is going through some stuff on his own. Guess what? He's not always open-hearted, but he is most of the time. How many times have I shut down my heart to him?
So whatever we feel is missing in our life, let's focus on giving that to others. It will come back to us multiplied. I promise.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
My friend has a 6 year old daughter (forgive me Nina if I made you younger than you are. Perhaps you are 6.5 years old?) She found her daughter yesterday trying to write a comment on my blog. The little girl was frustrated because she didn't have an email address and couldn't write her comment. So my friend left me Nina's comment on my voice mail. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard:
I believe in miracles. My mom is a miracle walking. I walk with Jesus everyday. I held his hand and I asked for a miracle, when my mommy was leaving this world but I wanted her to stay. He breathed air into her lungs and she is here. I believe that she will be here to see me grow up because I asked for another miracle. He will grant it to me because I believe He will. I believe He will reward you with a miracle because you believe in miracles.
The only thing people have to do is open the door. There is a whole world full of miracles there. Jesus is the keeper of the flame and grants miracles left and right. We just do not see them.
God said to his Son and all of us: You can change your mind anytime. I'm not changing my mind. I believe in miracles and I always will. Because I walk with Jesus and the angels and the fairies and all of our guides.
I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe in miracles. For me, for you, for anybody who is open-hearted and open-minded to accept them. I accept them. I'm grateful for them. And I shall be expecting them all the time because they happen.
I will pray for your miracle to appear soon. It will. You will see.
I know that it's hard to believe that a 6+ year old wrote this. I can tell you that I didn't write it; I don't write with so much heart and faith. I have read that the children being born this decade are enlightened masters who will guide us to a world which is a Heaven on Earth. This letter makes me believe.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
A good friend who reads my blog told me about an argument she had with a doctor over what I wrote in my previous post. The nice doctor seemed to go ballistic because he doesn't agree with what I'm writing. I understand not agreeing with something, but what I don't understand is the anger and hatred that goes with it. Something must be threatened to elicit such a response. That something must be their reality, or view of the world.
We all live in our own worlds. There is no such thing as Reality with a capital "R". Well there is, but those of us who are not enlightened saints don't experience Reality. We experience reality, with a lower case "r". This is the reality that comes from our beliefs. If we believe that people are not trustworthy, untrustworthy people will show up in our lives. If we believe that all men have affairs, then we will constantly be finding men who have affairs. And so on, and so on. We can all give examples to prove our point as we live in a world that is determined from our own beliefs.
If you don't like something in your life, check out what your beliefs are. That's the good news. It's much easier to change your own beliefs than to change the world. Or for a metaphor, if you don't like the movie that's playing you go to the projector and change the film. You do not go to the screen and fight with the images. Since we are all making up the story we live in, why not make up a story that has a happy ending?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
So today's lesson is about sickness. We think that sickness is caused by germs, viruses, bacteria, etc. but it's not. Sickness is a defense against the truth, the Course in Miracles states. In other words we make ourselves sick because we don't want to face the truth of who we are and what we want. If we faced these truths we would most likely need to change our lives radically--possible leave our jobs or our relationships. These changes are too scary and so we choose to get sick instead, to keep our world from changing.
Better to stay in the world we know, even if we're unhappy. That's how most of us think. It takes courage to take a leap of faith and go into the unknown, even if the known has made us miserable. But these days if we don't make a change the suffering keeps increasing until we are in so much pain that we have to move.
According to the Course in order to be healthy we need to:
- Stop attacking others, even in our thoughts. If we attack, the attack comes back to us and attacks our bodies.
- Stop judging others, as this is just another form of attack
- Stop making plans to keep ourselves safe from an uncertain future. This last requirement surprised me. Even though I know that "God laughs when he hears about our plans" I didn't realize that this focus on being secure in the future was a source of illness.
I have to say that my experience confirms the above. Last year I was very sick, losing my hair, and barely had energy to do anything. It was a time when I was being attacked on this blog, I was attacking, I was judging others, and I was working more hours than I cared to for a secure future. These days I am feeling much better. I have energy and the hair is finally growing back. People ask me how I got better. I can tell you it wasn't supplements; I tried and can't stomach them.
So all I can think of is that the Course in Miracles is actually working. I've been focusing on forgiveness, I've stopped attacking and judging (OK, not totally but much less) and I am living with uncertainty without making plans to fix it. This is working for me. Though I am not as comfortable as I used to be, I feel much more alive. Did I mention that I have a dancing partner and plan to take dance lessons once a week? Last year I could barely stand. So all in all, I have to say that life is good.
Monday, October 18, 2010
One thing that I have learned is to not take action if I am afraid, unsure, unclear, or doubtful. Nothing good ever comes of that. One of the first things I heard my spiritual teacher say years ago, is "If you don't know what to do, if you are thinking "Should I do this or should I do that?, then don't do anything. When it's time to move the decision will be clear." When I first heard these words I felt such a sense of relief. Whew! I could relax until I knew what I needed to do.
I have followed this advice since, and it's one of the hardest things I've done. Our culture doesn't support us doing nothing, especially in a crisis. Our culture cries out: Do anything! Just move! Don't just sit there! What horrible advice. It results in a lot of energy wasted and inevitably the wrong decision being made. If you hang in there at some point there will be clarity and you will know exactly what to do. And it will flow, and it will be easy. I know this from personal experience, though sometimes I forget it when fear starts showing its ugly head.
This morning the Course in Miracles reminded me that I don't need to plan my future:
A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done, and then proceeds to do it. (p253)
What would the world look like if we stopped our frantic busyness and only did things when we were clear that it was time to do them? Life would flow much more gracefully and we would be much happier. I promise.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
This was an obvious but important realization for me. I know that my beliefs are always reflected back to me. When I'm angry or upset, I've usually hit on a belief that doesn't serve me--that doesn't serve my living a joyful life. The psychic's comment helped me realize that I've been holding the belief that I need to be perfect so that I can be in partnership with a man.
For years I thought that if I only looked beautiful enough--if I had the perfect body, the perfect hair, the perfect clothes, the perfect makeup--then Mr. Right would show up. Well, for a while I looked pretty good but nothing happened. At this age if meeting my partner depends on looks, it just ain't gonna happen. But I no longer think that's the key.
More recently I thought that if I was only enlightened enough--if my heart was open enough, if I was kind enough, if I was loving enough, if I never got angry--then Mr. Spiritual Right would show up. Well, I'm never going to be enlightened enough. I'm never going to be unconditionally loving all the time. I'm going to get angry some times. So I don't think that's the key either.
I have met women who are happy in loving, exclusive, long-term, committed partnerships. I can tell you that they do not look like they walked out of Vogue magazine. Nor do they look like enlightened gurus.
It's all about the beliefs you hold about yourself and your self worth. What if I'm worthy of love just because I am? What if I don't have to work hard to be worthy of love? What if I believe that love is available now to all of us imperfect beings? What if I just relax and enjoy the ride, and see if someone shows up who happens to like fiery Greek women who are fairly intelligent, communicate well, tell the truth, and look pretty good for their age?
Well, regardless of whether or not Mr. Right shows up, I know that I'm going to be a whole lot happier being myself rather than working hard to become perfect. How exhausting is that?
Thursday, October 14, 2010
An "opportunity" showed up recently in the same company (thank God this company is huge) for some reporting (yes, that's what I do to earn a living.) At first I was excited. Then I had a meeting and learned more details. This was a project that would be very time-consuming. The amount of money offered would have probably made my hourly rate a quarter of what it is now. I told the client, in a very polite way, that I really couldn't work on this project for that fee. It's not likely that she will be able to get more money in the budget.
A friend who was visiting me was surprised. "Aren't you afraid to let this project go? It's not a lot of money but it's something" she said. Well, I refuse to be motivated by fear. No matter how worried I am, if something is offered that makes my stomach feel tight, I say "no, thank you." It's not that I'm not afraid at times. The idea of not being able to pay my bills is not appealing. But I know that any decision made from a place of fear will back fire. I can guarantee that.
So what do I do when the world is falling apart around me and I'm worried and I don't know what to do? I do nothing. I don't move until it is clear what I need to do. And clarity always comes in time.
Something will show up that will be inspiring or at the very least will feel good. I trust that because I know that I am not meant to suffer just to survive. And if nothing else shows up in this company, then I can let go with gratitude for the 3+ years that I enjoyed working there and for the abundance that this company provided. If nothing else shows up then I am meant to have an adventure.
Stay tuned... I promise to write more frequently.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Before my contract ended I was working 25 hours a week. Over the three years my work week had been reduced from 35 hours to 30 hours and finally had plateaued at 25 hours. Of course my income had decreased as the hours decreased, but I was able to downsize each time, and found that I really enjoyed having more free time. Now 25 hours a week probably doesn't seem like much time to work, for most people. But sitting in front of a computer for 25 hours seems like a long time to me.
The truth is I would like to be retired but I am 1) too young and 2) not a good investor and therefore do not have the means. When the contract ended, I had a vision of a gilded cage with the door open. The bird was standing by the open door wondering if it could fly. Then I was offered an opportunity to interview for a couple of positions that required 40 hours of work per week. I saw the door of the gilded cage slam shut and the bird trapped inside. I chose not to interview for the full-time positions. I wanted to work fewer hours, not more, and I needed to trust that some how that would happen.
And I got what I wanted. Eventually the company agreed to buy three reports from me a month for a nice sum of money. And then another part-time job showed up for 10 hours a week. While I am earning about a third less, I now have a LOT of free time. I'm not expected to be at my computer four days a week. I can produce my reports on my own time, and don't attend many meetings any more. I don't have the stress of filling the 25 hours a week, when there isn't enough work. I couldn't have asked for more freedom.
True I have had to cut down on some extra expenses. But I am enjoying all the possibilities that come with free time: I can work out regularly; I can visit friends; I can write in this blog; I can revisit promoting my book; I can take long trips. The sky is the limit. The bird can come into the gilded cage when it wants, but the door is wide open and it can fly when it feels like it.
I am happier now than I was a few months ago. I just needed to be clear about what I wanted, not settle, and trust that somehow it would happen. That's easier said than done.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
- I've been having a smoothie every morning, made with coconut milk, strawberries (organic of course) and a chocolate protein powder (recommended by my nutritionist). But I've had kidney stones in the past, and read that nuts, chocolate and strawberries are among the worst foods to eat as they have the most oxylate. Is coconut a nut? Yes, kind of. Whoops. Maybe that smoothie wasn't the best thing for me.
- I've been trying to not have dairy, so in addition to smoothies made with coconut milk, I've been eating ice cream made with coconut milk. I looked at the frozen desserts section in Whole Foods today, and there were more "ice creams" made with coconut milk than with milk. Yep, too much coconut for my own good.
- Oh, wait. I've been trying to not eat gluten (I don't know why, it seems to be the thing to do) and so most of the cookies and crackers I've been eating are made with almond flour and/or coconut flour. Yep, there's my friend the coconut again. Do you think we were made to eat so much coconut? Especially if we don't come from the tropics? Not to mention that besides the kidney issue, I think I'm allergic to nuts. Not to mention that most almonds are irradiated.
- I'm also thinking that my kidneys can't process the 27 or so pills I've been taking a day--all really good supplements but way more than anything I've taken in the past.
It seems to me the more I try to improve my health, the worst I feel:
- I tried taking zeolite to detoxify, after a friend told me what a wonderful product it was. I only took one drop, even though the bottle said to take 7, and was vomiting for a day.
- I tried going on a vegetarian raw food diet--a diet that the same friend is following and discusses with the same passion that I discuss spirituality. I tried the raw food diet for four days, and started feeling weaker and weaker. By the fourth day I couldn't walk well and wound up falling on the sidewalk. I also couldn't think well. I stared at an excel spreadsheet that I normally could work on with my eyes closed, and couldn't figure out what I was suppose to do, as my brain seemed to be in a fog. Finally I went to a nearby Thai restaurant, had salmon and rice, and came home feeling stronger and able to complete the excel spreadsheet.
- I tried not eating red meat for a couple of years. Soon after I lost a lot of my hair and was told by another friend that she started losing hair when she stopped eating red meat. Is there a connection? I don't know but it wasn't just the hair loss, I didn't feel as strong and was told that I was protein deficient. I started eating steak again and feel much better now.
As I was standing in Whole Foods today, in front of the frozen desserts section, a woman standing next to me told me that she liked to have a sweet a day. That was her one vice. She ate well (lots of fruits and veggies), she exercised, and she would start working on cutting out sugar from her diet. Oh, have the ice cream, I thought to myself. Geesh, we've gone too far.
I think I'll start paying more attention to what comes out of my mouth, rather than what goes into it. I think I'll just let my poor body be, and not try to impose on it my ideas of what it should or shouldn't have. I think I'll just lighten up as the more I focus on "doing the right thing" the worst I feel.
Yesterday I went to a nice Italian restaurant with a friend. We both had the steak which was delicious. We had some wine and split a dessert that was out of this world. We enjoyed everything, laughed, and then went to the movies. I didn't think about being healthy once. And I wound up feeling much better than I have felt in weeks.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
I didn't have time to process this, as I rushed out the door after our phone call to go to the dentist. Laying on the dentist's chair for two hours, with my mouth open and 2 shots of Novocain on either side of my mouth, I had plenty of time to contemplate. My first thought was: Well, this isn't turning out to be a fun day. But then I realized that it didn't feel like a bad day either. It just felt as if God had stopped me and was changing my direction.
Having been through this before--no job, not much money, and needing to move--I was surprised to find that I wasn't panicked and terrified about how I was going to survive, as I had been in the past. I kept checking in. Really? I'm OK? I'm peaceful? I'm kind of excited about having a new adventure? What a different way of being!
I came home and emailed my other colleagues who had also lost their jobs. I wanted to know if they were OK and if they needed someone to talk to. I was concerned about my manager's feelings, as I know that this was difficult for her as well. And of course I was feeling a bit uncomfortable not knowing what I'm going to do. But I realized that I had brought this on myself.
In reading the Course in Miracles, I told God that I was willing to be a blank screen and he could play whatever movie he wanted on it. I've been controlling and directing my own life for many decades and it hasn't brought me total happiness. So what the hell? I might as well turn it over to God.
Also, the night before I had been talking to a friend who had been in a bicycle accident and was home recuperating for a month now. She was telling me that she felt she was on retreat, as she couldn't read, check emails, watch TV, or even think too much. She was literally sitting there watching the flowers grow, and having spiritual realizations. I was shocked to find myself envying her. I was in the midst of quarterly business reviews, juggling several projects, and feeling much tension in my environment.
Needless to say, my manager's phone call had the affect of stopping me in my tracks. I still need to do the quarterly business reviews, but I am detached. I turned my life over to God, and He obviously has other plans for me. So my intention is to spend this weekend meditating so that I can tune in to some guidance. Where do I move? What do I do to pay the bills? What is my work? It's clear that I'm not writing the script of my life. Thank God for that, as He seems to be much better at it than I am.