Friday, August 26, 2011

Telling the truth about what we really want

We always teach what we need to learn. I believe that. And I tend to write about telling the truth and knowing what you really want. That's what my book is about. So I was shocked to discover, a few days ago, that I haven't been telling the truth to myself about what I really want. At least not recently.

My realization started when a friend asked me if I would consider moving back to New York. No, was my immediate reply. But as we talked I realized that while I didn't miss New York, I missed its sophisticated elegance. I missed being in a large city that has great restaurants. I missed wearing nice clothes. I don't like funky. I feel that the little town I'm living in is too small--asphyxiatingly small. And I don't fit in. I'm not a hippy type. I like nice dresses and I still wear make up. Finally, I came to the realization that I don't belong in this cute little town. That's why my friend had asked the question about New York. She saw that I was like a fish out of water here as well.

To my chagrin, I realize that I've been doing what I detest: a spiritual bypass. I have been putting a positive spin on something that doesn't work for me. "Oh, this is such a cute town!" Yes, but I need to get out of it. "Oh, there's such a nice community!" Yes, but it's not my community. It's not my tribe. I don't fit in. I don't care for gardening, or composting, or living with others in a communal setting. Even if that's the spiritually correct thing to do, it's not what I want to do. I've been imposing outside values on myself. Who knew?

So I had to tell myself the truth first, before I tell you the truth. I'm not happy in this life style. I am longing for expansive horizons. I am longing to feel at home somewhere. And I have to let go of the new age beliefs that the world is ending in 2012, and that we need to be near a food source. We need to be where our heart is calling us. We need to be with our tribe. So my question to God lately is, Where is my tribe?

Or as the Course in Miracles would say: God, what would you have me do? Where would you have me go? What would you have me say? And to whom? Since I can't trust myself lately, I figure I'll put my trust in God and pay attention to the answers that come my way. What excites me and gives me joy? It's been a long time since I felt this way and I don't want to wait any longer.


Deb said...

One of the reasons we seek simple places (and simple lifestyles) is that such environments limit our choices. When there aren’t a lot of options, knowing your own mind comes more easily. The more complex the environment, or the factors in a decision, the harder it is to hear through the noise…and our impulse is to choose what is easiest, not necessarily what is right. Even when we know what the right thing to do is…we will often take the easier path (and inevitably fail). You may have been called to clear the debris from your path. That’s near impossible work for most people, but you’ve done it. Now make use of the simplicity and choose your true direction. Love you. Deb

Shandi said...

I believe that any decision we make
is "RIGHT" for us, and we'll know when it's not.

All we can do is continue to take
steps toward what attracts us. The
easier the path is, the more likely
we are to follow it. Why struggle
on a difficult path?

There will always be obstacles iour path, but it doesn't mean we're on
the wrong path, only that we need to investigate what seems to be needed at the time, and follow our

Anonymous said...

What the heck are these women talking about? They are trying to justify THEIR choices or what? Despina was writing about telling the truth to one's self, without trying to sugar coat and try to persuade one's self that they are happy . What "freaking noise" and " simple choices?" You ladies sound to me that you are both defensive about your life styles and doing exactly what Despina "discovered" she was doing herself. Take off your "rose lenses" and contain the spiritual "mumbo jumbo." Sorry, but you give such convoluted, flaky comments, that make my cynical, jaded head spin. Listen to what she is saying and compare it to what you are saying. Are you happy with your lives, reallly? If the answer is a real yes, God bless you. Otherwise do what she is doing, changing paths, because "lying" to her self got her deeper and deeper into unhapiness.

POPI and NINA said...


How do I become a member? I am a faithful follower and so is my 7yr. old daughter. We like your process of "riping" like the best grapes in a fine vineyard. You are becoming the "best wine" out there. I am so proud of you. I am so honored to be your friend.


Shandi said...

I'm glad to say that "jaded and cynical" is not my state of mind, nor am I "anonymous".

Knowing what's "right" for us isn't
always that easy. Our desires and feelings are the only guides we have. And they change over time.

I know that "happiness" is a feeling, and that changes with what's happening at the moment.

In this moment I am happy with my
choices. Next week I could make a choice that might make me "unhappy".

Ah, but the beauty is that I get to
make another choice!

Despina was only one person in a workshop that raised her hand when
asked "who's happy?". I hope she
can recall what was going on at that time.

If it was just the fact that she had a high paying job and felt secure, that's perfectly normal. That could make anyone feel happy,
for awhile.

Was she "lying" when she said she
felt happy? I don't think so.
In retrospect, she may believe that
she was lying to herself.

It's tougher to feel happy when we
are struggling to survive on food
stamps and MediCal, but we still have moments of joy when we pet our
cat or see something beautiful or
receive a gift of love and caring.

I know that my "baseline" feeling is happy, but I also know what it feels like to be way off center.

I hope that I can always be aware of my true feelings, even though at
times,it may be unpleasant.

Anonymous said...

Shandi, how much more "airy fairy" can you get? One minute you are happy the next one unhappy, tell us something that we do not know. What "path" are you following as of right now? What cult or seminar did you come out from? Are you married? Do you have kids, a significant other, plenty of male friends, besides the estrogen that you are surrounded by? What do you do for fun? Do you have work you enjoy? Somebody forgot to remind you this is planet EARTH. Sex, food, family, singing, partying, MONEY, are needed to be content. Happiness is a feeling, really? It is a state of being. You do not sound as if you are experiencing it often. Do not try to be spiritual and loving to me. Bring it on sister, let us see what you got, how much bitterenes and disappointment is being covered under those commments. You sound as if you are living a very "exciting" life. And yes, there is such a thing as "universal" measurement of somebody's contentment and you do not sound as if you have it. May be you are trying to convince yourself that you do? Think about it, my "philosophical, deep thinking" middle aged, boring friend. Meanwhile, try, if you can, some of the above solutions for balance in your life. Get a hunk to court you and bed you and then talk to me about happiness.

Despina Gurlides said...

Wow! Six comments! That's the most I've ever had on my blog. The funny thing is that I can see everyone's point.

I appreciate the passion and the honesty. It would be great if we could get to the point of disagreeing without attacking. That's a tough one. I'm still working on it...

Shandi said...

Anon, I'm not trying to convince you or Despina of anything. We've known each other for many years. She and I have given service together, and I have a lot of respect for her.

I don't frequent workshops or belong to any cult. I do volunteer work with animals and the mentally ill.
I trust myself above all, and hope that Despina will come to this place.

In the workshops I've given, I've found that most people don't trust themselves, and look to others for
direction. No one knows what best
for anyone else, but we can learn
from the decisions that others make.

Disappointment is part of life, but
bitterness doesn't have to be.

I'm glad that you've been stimulated by my comments, and that
this is the most comments that Despina has gotten!

You may read more of my philosophy
on You may find yourself getting even more worked up.

I leave you to your joyful
judgments, and universal measure of
contentment, along with your
"anonymous" being hiding out.

Let's hope Despina benefits from all of it.

So many times she has 0 comments
after pouring her heart out. I usually send a private email, but
this is so much more fun!

GUNTHER said...

Oh Shandi,
You are such an easy target for ridicule, it is not even worth my time.

My comments are joyful indeed, because they bring a lot of laughter to the people around me.

Unfortunately, I work for Mrs. Nissen's (Popi's) husband and she will admonish me for "attacking" you.

Giving , attending workshops, not trying to persuade us of how content you are with your mistakes!!! Come on, wake up, become really "enlightened" and stop attempting to hide behind Despina who "pours her heart out." She is just expressing her outlook in life, day by day, week by week, admitting finally that the life you "hippies" live, is for losers. She wants more out of life, as she always did. Loving and pampering her cats, watching the flowers grow, the sunset changing colors and yadda, yadda, not enough for Mrs. Nissen's friend.

Now you my friend "Mother Teresa," go and attend to your "saintly" duties with the handicaped, cohort with the rest of the rest of the desperate, lonely women out there and try the most difficult path to earn more karma points. Somebody has got to do it. The "ship for a normal life has sailed" for you ladies a long time ago.

Now let me go get "lectured" for ungentlemany contact by the boss's wife and then join them for the nightly festivities. She dances, you know, like a pro, knows how to party, great food, the best looking women on earth for us guys, in the best looking places and so on and so forth. I am 28, you see and feeling sorry for people like you.

Despina will find her tribe eventually. Meanwhile, she belongs with us and if Popi allows it, (Popi denies this privilege even to herself,) Despina will come where she belongs, in the land of the free, the accomplished, the happy and the land of the "lions," without lying to herself or anybody else.

Can you say the same, darling, "expired" on the shelf," Shandi, especially in the land of the beautiful and accomplished by the age of 30?

But, I am being mean. I wish you the best. As long as the land of illusions works for you and your friends, talking in circles, walking and clocking time on this earth, thinking you are leading a good, worthwhile life, who cares?

Goodby farewell, my unattractive, red, old hag. Take that picture out, please. Some of us puke easily.

Despina Gurlides said...

Enough! I like comments on my blog and even disagreements if they're respectful. But attacks are not OK. If this were my home and a friend was being attacked, I would do my best to stop it. So, Gunther, you have overstepped the boundaries.

I love your boss's wife, Mrs. Nissen, with all my heart despite the fact that we are very different. We accept each other and appreciate our differences, and laugh about them.

I love that she dances like a pro, that she has more energy than I ever had, that she is super-sexy and super-tough. She doesn't mind that I am a nerd (I'd rather read a book than party) and that I can be very airy fairy, to use her term.

It's about accepting others the way they are, and allowing everyone to be.Can we stop the war?

And if you attack me, know that your boss's wife will be displeased. I'm not too proud to use her help :-)

Shandi said...

Ah Gunther,
You are such a beautiful example of "enlightenment".

You say "it's not worth your time,
yet you are compelled to continue your tirade of attacks.
The thing you don't get is, that
what you think of me is "none of my

Hopefully when you puke at my picture, it will release some of
the toxic elements you hold, and
I'll know that even my image is
doing it's magic.

Thanks for sharing how wonderful you are. You have shown yourself to everyone who reads this. So,
they may join you in the attack.

I'd love to hear more from your
tribe. I do get pleasure from
provoking such responses. I wonder if they can even outdo you in verbal attacks.

Is this what your tribe stands for?
Attacking people who live differently than you do? Doesn't
seem very compassionate.

Putting your energy into ridicule
seems like such a waste, but it's
your way of showing how "enlightened" you are.

So, we're both getting what we want
by sharing who we are.

I'm finished with you now, and you
will be discarded like a used
tissue. Useful for a minute, then
tossed out, having served my purpose.

I refuse to give you anymore of my