Monday, November 26, 2018

Fear.


Did you ever read that book “Feel the fear and do it anyway”?  I did. I owned it for years but didn’t reread it. Nice idea. Nice concept but it just seemed so hard to feel fear and still do the thing that I thought was causing the fear.

I’m the sort of person who feels fear about just about anything. The fear can be very strong. It can actually be terror. Or sometimes a feeling of panic. It can stop me doing things. It can make me avoid things.

The bottom line is that for me, fear is triggered by many things – fear of getting it wrong, fear of making a mistake, fear of offending someone, fear of conflict, fear of disagreement, fear of not knowing what to do if an unexpected situation crops up, fear of not being liked or approved of, fear of criticism, fear of negative judgment, fear of not being independent, fear of asking for help, fear of not being good enough. Fear of fear.

What a block to living life freely!  You’d think that with this list, that I would be living a very narrow life. You’d think that I wouldn’t be doing anything. Well, I have to tell you something. It has not stopped me lately.

Over the last several years, I have done many things that I could have not done, if I had let the fear have its way. I have put myself into many situations where the fear was very loud and annoying.
How come? Why? Because the call of freedom from the essence of me has been stronger than the human feeling of fear. I have learned again, and again that my brain will continue to work even when fear is felt. That I can put myself into situations where I know that fear will show up, and I can still cope. I can allow the fear to be present and know that something deeper and stronger will guide me. Very reassuring. This reassurance gives me the ability and the strength to expand into the richness of life. It doesn’t mean that the fear goes away. Or that uncomfortableness goes away. It means that I honour myself enough that I refuse to let fear limit my life. As I write this, I think is this really true? Maybe I am limiting myself in ways I don’t know of!

And so I continue to work on and face the fear patterns of behaviour that I have learned in my childhood and that were reinforced in my adult life. I continue to inquire into them, to understand them more so that I can be more aware of them. So that, in that split second, I can make a different choice. A choice that is more supportive of freedom.

And there is a magical story about fear too. If I drop deep into it, and down through it, into the essence of my self, I find something very beautiful…………..

Friday, November 9, 2018

Judgement


Judgement.

After you have had an important conversation, do you go over it later? Do you remember the words you have used, and replay it, analysing and judging them? I used to do this everyday. I did not remember what the other person said necessarily, but I remembered what I had said. Then I would pull it apart, thinking whether it was the right thing to say, the kind thing to say. I would decide which words were right and which words were wrong – then I’d feel awful about the “wrong” words, or because I’d worded it in the wrong way.

Maybe you go over conversations in your head and judge the other persons words? It’s much the same really. When we are judging others, we are actually judging ourselves. Sometimes it’s a way of avoiding judging ourselves. It all gets tangled up.

Maybe you go over conversations or things people have said to you, and think how good they were?

Funny, we seem to treat negative judgements as judgements and positive judgements as okay. Even a positive judgement is a judgement. If you consider someone’s comments about you to be positive and they make you feel good – it’s still a judgement. If they say something negative about you or your work, it’s a judgement. Just because one lot of judgements make you feel good, doesn’t make them right. It’s just that you feel good and we all want to feel good, don’t we?

We hear criticism in someone’s words or even just in the tone of voice, and we feel judged. How is this? When someone gives you some feedback, what leads to this being a judgement – one that you don’t want? Or is it just their opinion, one which does not need to be taken on board personally by you.

What if we could listen to the criticism/feedback and leave out the judgement that it was a judgement.

Recently I was my own harsh judge. I sat under this judge and believed every damn thought I had. “I made a mess, I did more harm than good, I did it wrong, I am useless, I can’t trust myself, I’m hopeless, and so on.” Were these thoughts true? No, they weren’t. But the judge and the doubts were seriously overwhelming. Until I realised that I was believing my own thoughts, all of which were conjured up out of my own head, supported by my past.

In this way we create our own suffering. There is no need to believe the thoughts in your head. They are only thoughts, not wisdom.

The way to wisdom is to drop deeper than your thoughts and your emotions and find out what’s here.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Commitment


Recently I became aware of making a commitment to myself. It felt like a new thing to do. We can feel committed to do certain things, take certain actions, support certain groups, look after certain people. These commitments are all outside of oneself.

Do we leave ourselves behind? Do we not value ourselves?

I made this commitment when I was deep inside myself. In the essence of myself. It felt like I was very deeply listening to myself and this commitment came from the depths of my being. Felt like the truth.

It felt like it came from a place that is underneath any stories of unworthiness. It felt like it came from a place deeper than my mind can envisage or imagine. It felt like I do not need to think about it at all. The commitment will be part of everything that I do, think, feel, speak, without consciously being aware of it.

When we commit to things outside of ourselves, what happens to us? Do we lose ourselves in the expectations of the group or people? Just wondering. Does this mean that we then spend time using our minds to figure out ways to support the commitment?

Just suppose that by deeply committing to ourselves…..a commitment grounded in love and truth…..that everything we then get involved in, will feel the effect of our personal commitment. How wonderful. So it means that our commitment actually includes everything that we thought we could be committed to. Maybe no need to make mind commitments. May just make one……to you.

The thing is, though………….

If you want to commit to yourself, this personal commitment is not something decided on by your mind. Your mind can and will change its mind!!

A true commitment to yourself needs to come from a deeper place in you. How will you get to that deeper place within you?


Monday, September 10, 2018

Are you your mind? Or your body? Or your emotions? Or more than these?


Under your mind and under your emotions.

Maybe you cannot see any point in getting under your mind and under your emotions. Maybe you think that you are your mind – that that’s who you are. Or do you think that you are your body? So if you consider that who you are is your mind, your body and your emotions, then you probably can’t see the relevance of getting under them.

I do. I can. Because I have experienced getting under them. During one of my mentoring sessions for the study course I am doing this year, I fell deeply into ………….the essence of me. I have been there before many times, but not this deep. This was so profound that I remained in the deliciousness of this moment for weeks. I remained in love. Not loving myself, not loving others, but in love. Not in love with someone, or even in love with life. In love. And even now, weeks later, I am aware of this.

Of course, I trip. Life brings up its challenges because that’s life. The other day I took some comments personally. It was so uncomfortable – for most of the day. I allowed the feelings to be here, to be felt until they dropped in a place where it was neither doubting nor positive. Very humbling.

But getting under the mind, gets under the doubts and the judgements and the analysing. Oh, what a relief.

So I invite you to attend one of my retreats. Not because I can give you anything that you don’t already have. But if you are willing there will be support to inquire into yourself and maybe find out who you are not, and maybe who you are.

There are 2 one day retreats coming up. The day is 10am until 3.30pm. One is in Christchurch (6th Oct) and one is in Paraparaumu (13th Oct). More information contact me. annette@theinnerpath.co.nz

Thursday, August 23, 2018

When you were a baby...........


What happened to you when you were little?

Were you fed as often and long as you wanted? Were your cries heard and responded too immediately? Did you have lots of cuddles? Were you held close a lot of the time? Did you develop a connection with a primary carer, and later on, the next important carer? Were you sung to, talked to, face-to-face?

If the answer is yes, then probably you developed trust in people, you developed trust that people would meet your needs, you developed an ability to be honest about what was going on for you, you developed an ability to give your love, you developed an ability to trust yourself.

It’s interesting how the first few weeks play a part in how you are as an adult. The first 3 years evolve the patterns and abilities that you have as an adult.

Life doesn’t run perfectly. Things happen in lives. These things alter how we develop. Our parents have their own imperfect patterns and ways of being that affect how much they can be available to growing babies and children. Accidents happen, hospitalisations happen, illnesses happen, relationships break up, shifting house happens, people die, emotional upheavals happen. For me, I had an older brother sick with Polio, when I was born, meaning that I had less attention, my needs were probably not met immediately, people around me were worried and tense. This affected me in many ways, including not being able to speak up for what I want or offer an opinion believing that I won’t be heard (because I wasn’t heard then) and I’m not of value.

But however your early life has affected you, whatever you blame for how you are, there is the possibility of change. 

You do not have to stay stuck in those old patterns.

The first step is to become aware of the patterns and ways of behaving or speaking. This does not mean analysing and working out why you are as you are. Your mind would have a field day but would also not be able to work it out clearly, because it’s impossible. Then you are just wasting time going round and round. (I know, I’ve done it) It means noticing. Notice your response to what someone says. Notice if you feel offended. Notice what other feelings arise. Do nothing with them. Just notice.

Try the experiment of noticing. Over time you may find that there is a slowing down inside you, as you take the time to notice. And then, there may be a tiny gap – a space in which a choice will arise – the choice to play the same old response or pattern, the choice to flip your way of looking at something, the choice to open to a different judgement, the choice to trust an inner wisdom, the choice to allow your kindest self to emerge.

Notice. Slow down.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Doubt



This stuff seems to be in my head rather a lot, so thought I’d have a go at inquiring into what it really is. Or if you are a professional person, the word might be “unpack”. In other words, have a discussion about the topic and see what can be resolved or decided on.
Doubt seems to be an endless stream of questions that come from all angles regarding something I am thinking of doing. Or something I am thinking of buying (those shoes!). They arrive quickly or at odd moments and disrupt a peace that I might be experiencing. Maybe I’ve had a great idea pop into my mind and it’s feeling really nice and positive. Then the doubts begin. They go round and round, many of them ridiculous, but still my mind produces them. Here’s an example; someone asked me via email if I run one day retreats in Christchurch. And of course, I told her that I used to hold them there when lived there, up until 4 years ago. Anyway, the seed of the idea was planted and I had the idea that I could hold a retreat in Christchurch again – and I’m picturing the venue and the people. Until – oh no – how do I get people to come, do I fly or drive (can take my crystal bowls if drive), takes more time of I drive, but having a car there would be useful, could I really be the person running a day retreat as I would like to, what do I need to think about to run it, better get onto it if I want to book flights or ferry, do I have the courage to drive down, would be great to drive…………………………..

Do you get into these sorts of tizz? For me it can happen about the smallest thing. I go along in life for a while trusting, being open, following ideas, and then suddenly the doubts arise. The questioning thoughts pop up too much. Analysing ideas. Producing dubiousness and hesitation. Even after I’ve followed an idea or bought an item of clothing, the doubts arise afterwards as well.

Maybe you think that doubts should be listened to? That they are helping you be careful in life? That they are protecting you from failure? That they are keeping you from conflict? That they are keeping you safe? Mmmmmmmmm

Or are they limiting you?

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Anxiety.



What is it? Do you have it? Ever? Often? All the time?

The word is used increasingly these days. It has become a BIG thing. Like Depression, a big thing. Scary thing – like so many things in this world today.  Actually, I feel cross about the use of this word. It seems to me that it has become more than it ever should be. It’s as if, by creating this label that it becomes so big that it is not treatable. It’s a generalised word that is not specific in what it means. Like depression.

I’m not denying the suffering of the people. I’m saying that the concept of anxiety has escalated into a label that feels scary to people and then includes expectations and negative possibilities which feel hard to get out of. This applies to many diagnoses.
Then what happens, is that people blame the label for what is happening. It’s a cop-out. Rather than actually exploring what is going on for the individual. It’s not honest, because it shifts the reasons for behaviour to an outside source. Even though we know anxiety in something inside a person, using this label (like any label on a person) suggests that the cause is outside and therefore, there is nothing to be done. A label can also mean that there are generalised symptoms that everyone with that label has, when in actual fact, everyone is different.

When I explore this with a person, I want to get specific about what is going on. Usually there is an emotion (fear) and worry (thoughts). So when we look at these, we are looking at something that can be explored further, and delved into. Without judgement and without labels. In examining the thoughts and emotions and the circumstances, it is amazing how the pattern becomes clearer, which leads to a way out. By going in, we can find our way out.

Now, I might just be playing with words, but this is what I see happening in our society. Anxiety is feeling anxious, and under that is probably fear. Then the thoughts go round and round worrying about possibilities and creating more fear. Let deal with all this fear in an honest way. Let’s inquire into it. Let’s face it, up front. So that you don’t buy into having your life restricted by an outside definition of….that word.

By the way, often we can get determined to control………….

There is a simpler way…………….