Monday, November 29, 2010

One day spent in total joy...

I just finished reading a book called The Power of the Possible by Auriela McCarthy ( I really enjoyed it and recommend it for both its insights on relationships and acceptance--something that I am working on these days--and for the enjoyable story telling which is inspiring.

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

Projecting our self-hatred onto others

I have a dear friend who reads my blog every day. She looks forward to it and questions why I haven't written if I skip a few days. She and a few other friends have inspired me to write more frequently. I don't feel that I am writing just for myself; I feel that I am writing to them as well. By the way, I was delighted to find that I have one follower whom I don't even know (see left underneath my picture.) She inspired me to add a "followers" section to my blog. If you do in fact follow my blog I'd love to know who you are. Then again if you are too embarrassed to let it be known publicly that you follow my blog, I also totally understand that.

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

Getting paid to do what you love. What a concept!

For several years psychics have been telling me that my life's path involves counseling people one-on-one. When I first heard this, it felt right to me. That's what I love to do. Over the 20 years that I have been on what I consider my "spiritual" journey, and with the hundreds of books that I have read, I have a clarity that can support other people. But how do I start a counseling career when my resume is all about my MBA and data analysis?

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

Gratitude on this Thanksgiving Day

What else is there to write about on Thanksgiving Day but gratitude? I woke up thinking about all the good things that happened in my life this year for which I am grateful. There were many. But what I also realized is that I was grateful for all the "bad" things that happened in my life, as they were leading to more healing, more honesty, more joy, and more freedom.

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

Grace at the feet of an Indian Saint

Yesterday I spent the day at Ammachi's ashram in San Ramon. Amma ( is known as the hugging saint and comes to the Bay Area twice a year to hold public meetings. Thousands of people go to this ashram, and to others around the world, to get hugged by her. Her hug offers a spiritual transmission that helps people in whatever way is best for them. The immediate impact of her hug for me was being in an altered state. I couldn't drive back home last night; luckily my girlfriend could. However the long term impact of her hugs is life changing: Healing happens in relationships; Anything that doesn't serve is removed; Emotional pain is healed. Each time the experience is very different and always very personal.

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

Watching the world shift around me, as I shift

In the previous post, I wrote about forgiving my father and realizing that he really loved me and did his best to take care of me. It's amazing how much impact this has had in my life, just the last few days. For one, I don't feel the constant anger running underneath the polite exterior. I feel more relaxed, more easy going, more willing to forgive others. The world is not a place where you get abandoned. Rather the world is a place where you are loved. We all have wounds and we all make mistakes, but we are doing our best. The only way to be happy is to forgive each other.

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

Healing through forgiveness

God knows I've done enough spiritual work in the last couple of decades to make up for many lifetimes: channeling, shamanic, goddess, satsang, and now the Course in Miracles. The progression makes total sense to me. The shamanic work connected me to nature after living most of my life in the concrete jungle of New York. The goddess work connected me to the Feminine, after spending my adulthood in the business world trying to be a man. Satsang taught me about freedom after being a slave to the corporate world and to this culture, following all the rules that were imposed on me externally. And now the Course in Miracles is teaching me about forgiveness, something that is alien to my nature and yet necessary if I want to create a Heaven on Earth.

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 (, 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

Agreeing to disagree

I have a very good friend who is as spiritually inclined as I am, but in many ways we are total opposites. I am quick to anger while she rarely gets angry. She tends to get sad, while I almost never do. Even the way we look is kind of opposite. She has glowing silver hair (when she's not shaving it off or dying it pink) and I have jet black hair (OK, I used to have jet black hair. I now color it.) And yet we can totally disagree on many topics and have fun doing it, without the disagreement affecting our relationship. I'd like to say that this is because I'm so evolved, but the truth is that she has the capacity to stay loving no matter what.

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

Meeting the fear of death

Unlike this past weekend which was filled with events, today was a quiet day. I really didn't have work to do, or any meetings, or any errands to run, or anyone to meet. I should have been happy about having this freedom, yes? Well, no. I woke up feeling fear. It was an energy that was running through my body and so I just sat with it. I realized that all my busyness was helping me mask this fear, which is a fear of survival. Really, all fear if you dig deep enough is fear of death.

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

There is something to be said about experiencing life

I wanted to write in my blog today, but couldn't find something that I was processing. The weather is gorgeous: sunny and 80 degrees. I went to the Farmer's market. Chestnuts have finally arrived and I'm boiling them as I write this to make my favorite dish. So I thought to myself, maybe I'll just write about how nice it is to experience life without analyzing it. While most "normal" people do that, I have gone to the opposite extreme of overanalysizing everything. It seems that the car is always in the garage being worked on, and it never gets to go on a drive.

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

Offering people what they want and not what we want

The last few days I am realizing that I tend to offer gifts that I would like to receive, but that others don't necessarily want. Rather than being helpful, I am upsetting them, or confusing them, or really, when I come down to it, trying to control them. Of course that doesn't go well. Not only do they not appreciate such gifts, our relationships go down hill. Especially if they don't have the courage to speak their truth and let me know what's going on.

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

11/11 Meditating for 11 minutes at 11:11 pm Eastern Standard Time

Today is a big day in the metaphysical calendar. No, not Veteran's day. It's November 11, or 11/11, which is a powerful number. There is a meditation that is happening worldwide at 11:11 pm Eastern Standard time, or 8:11 pm Pacific time, for 11 minutes, to heal the planet. If you have time just close your eyes for 11 minutes and visualize a healed planet with clean water, clean air, green, and peaceful, or whatever comes to your mind. Visualize yourself happy too, however that shows up for you.

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

Don't throw out your demons; you may be throwing out the best part of you.

This was the advice I heard from a dance instructor today. Be careful before you get rid of your demons, because they may have the best part of you. You don't want to get rid of your demons, you want to transform them.

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

The moon and our moods

Have you noticed how, usually when you're upset and going throught stuff, that most of your friends are too? That's been my experience. There seem to be energies that are affecting us all in some way. One of these energies, I noticed, is the moon. When there is a new moon (like yesterday, November 6) I usually go through some kind of hell. And so do most people I know.

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

Taking responsibility for our wounds

Last night I went to bed still feeling angry at a friend who I felt abandoned me. I picked up the Course in Miracles book and opened it at random. It fell on a section that talked about not making your brother guilty as that only serves to keep you in hell. The text went on and on, and finally I said, "OK. I get it. I have to stop making my friend guilty for triggering my abandonment wounds. He's not perfect and neither am I. I triggered his stuff and he went running for the hills. He in turn triggered my stuff about men always abandoning me. I can't make him responsible for my wounds."

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

Doing what you want and not what you should.

I've probably written about this before, but I was telling a friend that I do not support her in doing what others expect her to do or what she thinks she should. I only support her in following her heart and doing whatever gives her joy. She told me it was a relief to hear that she didn't have to do what she should. Relief. That's how I felt too when I finally understood that being happy and excited about doing something is the indication that I need to do it. On the contrary, telling myself that I should do something, is an indication for me not to do it.

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.