Sunday, April 28, 2019

That stuff called money!


How strong are your restrictive thoughts about money? 

Does it affect any thoughts you have about buying anything, about buying meals, about buying a coffee, about buying a book, or only about the big things – having enough to pay the rent or the rates or pay for car repairs. Do you stop yourself from buying small things for yourself because of this?
Can you cope with an irregular income or do you have a strong need to know what is coming in. Do you budget to the last few cents?

All of this is a human drive for survival – because money equals survival in our society these days. It’s to do with self-preservation – making sure you have enough for yourself. It’s a very basic drive, but people vary about how strong this drive is for them, and how anxious they become. Some people spend a lot of time thinking about money and worrying about it and complaining about it. There could be some panic lurking. Others are more trusting of money’s arrival.



For me, my self-preservation drive is being mightily challenged this year. And this is a good thing - a chance to face the fear, allow the fear, feel the fear. A life test. A opportunity for the fear to not limit my choices and not get in the way of decisions.

I am in the process of getting a house built on my piece of land and there have been many costs appearing that have nothing to do with the house and everything to do with council requirements. My internal process has been a roller coaster of fear leading towards acceptance of this moment – this moment being that of not knowing every cost. Having a general idea and knowing that extras seem to pop up from nowhere to challenge me. Having a council person tell me about costs that weren’t mentioned earlier. So that I face, again and again and again, the fear of not having enough. Doing the sums, knowing I don’t know all the costs, doing the sums again!!!

I was brought up in a frugal environment which created some reluctance to spend. Or, at least, created a voice on my shoulder, telling me I shouldn’t spend. And during my married life, not much spending happened and all monies were accounted for in detail. Since being on my own, I keep a more relaxed and general eye on money. And it feels good. Until the challenge of new house arrived to challenge me some more. Currently, it’s feeling ok. Not because I know all the costs, but because……well, just because….no logic.

What would it take for you to be more relaxed about money? 
And the answer is not more money!! You would find that if you have some frugality or scarcity beliefs about money, that it actually wouldn’t matter how much you had - the same internal stuff would still be there. 
So it might be time to inquire into this.


Friday, February 22, 2019

Doubts again!!



I’m an expert doubter. As soon as I have an idea, a million doubts arise. Sometimes these doubts feel like they are way in the distance and it is relatively easy to dismiss these. Sometimes they are closer and I hear them a bit clearer. I might even dwell on them for a few minutes. I might even consider them. Sometimes, they are really loud and demanding. This is when they feel very real, and I think I should take notice. Then my mind doubts whether I should take notice and goes into a spiral about how to decide which doubts are important. Surely some of them are actually important and I really should take notice!! Maybe I should even follow the doubts and where they lead to. If I don’t, what might happen? Oh, dear, what a turmoil.

BUT, are the seemingly real doubts the real ones? What is the difference between the far away doubts and the close doubts? Is my judgement of near or far doubts an indication of the importance, or not?

After I actually make a decision, many more doubts arise about what I have decided…… there are a million things that could go wrong, and I don’t want them to go wrong. Usually these doubts subside over time, unless something tells me that I made a wrong decision and a doubt was right!!!! Then I might start believing doubts.

What a mess! Is your mind like this?

And what underlies the doubts? What makes a difference to the closeness of the doubts?

Interesting question, eh! Because it’s likely that the closeness of the doubts is not a factual thing and not related to how seriously you should take them.

What underlies the doubts? It is easy to dismiss doubts as normal. And they are. But if you were to ask yourself about them, what do you discover?

I have discovered that the perpetrator of doubts is fear.

It’s uncomfortable always. And it can run lives. It can direct and control lives. Even when we don’t know that it is.

I do not want my life to be controlled by fear. Do you?

It’s limiting and restrictive.

Solution: Allow the fear to be felt in the body. In fact, welcome it, knowing that this is the way to freedom. It is not the way to having no fear. It is the way to the fear not controlling you. That’s right. Feel the fear in your body, welcome it, and in this you can relax with the fear, so that it does not stop you from doing what you want to do.

And so the question about doubts being far away or closer, is about how strong the fear is. Maybe!




Friday, February 8, 2019

When taking responsibility for one's life is a roller coaster.


When stepping up and taking responsibility for one’s life is a roller coaster!!

There are many ways to take responsibility for one’s life.

There is the day to day talking with others and being vigilant about saying what’s truthful to you, rather than what you think others want to hear.

There is planning what to do, so that it honours you, rather than just to make others happy. This does not preclude being kind. Compassion and taking kind action are flavours of love, which is the basis of real life. But taking kind action at the expense of yourself needs considering – that is, are you trying to make others happy because of an underlying need to avoid conflict…………or to feel approved of. Of course you can take kind action – be kind to yourself and be kind to others, but not a slave to being kind to others.

There is being honest and in line with your values. What do you believe is important for you and how you live your life.

There is deciding who you want to spend time with. Letting go of those expectations and spending time with people whose energy supports yours.

There is taking steps to follow what you really desire in life.

All those factors of taking responsibility can produce fear, when the mind comes up with doubts and different reasoning. There can be so many uncertainties and unknowns and waiting for one piece of information before proceeding with another step. Being present in each step supports you to relax. Our mind can buzz ahead and try and solve things before we know the information. Be present in each step. In each day. In each task.

Let the fear be present here too. The effort in trying to stop feeling the fear is tiring. Let yourself feel it. It won’t destroy you. It’s the mind talk that produces more fear and then your mind thinks it can’t cope. Feel the fear in your body and as you focus on where in your body it is, your mind can subside.

Life is too precious to allow the fear to stop you doing what is right for you and what you really want to do.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Responsibility


Lately, I sense a greater awareness of living my life being totally responsible for myself. This is not actually a mind decision. No logic involved. It arose in me before Christmas. It arose inside me, probably because of the experience that I had at the Leela School in December, where I experienced dying by dropping deep into the worst possible emotions. And then into a situation of there being no me, no I, and just plain no nothing. But such peace and knowing and openness with no limits.

Quite likely, you think you are already being responsible for yourself. And I’m sure this is true. However there are ways of being aware of yourself that can deepen the responsibility. You might be thinking that you are as you are, because of the family that you were born into, or the town/country that you grew up in, or the friends you had or have. But really, is this not blaming others and other things for how you are. Aren’t you being a victim?

What if you could step out of the upbringing influences?

What if you could stop blaming others for the way you are?

What if you had to stop this?

What would you be left with?

And how could you then be responsible for you?

For me, there was a friend that I hadn’t heard from for a while, so instead of wondering what’s going on, I invited her to dinner – I took a step out of my usual pattern of waiting. I instigated contact which is not something I always do.

I am super aware of my response to other people. Am I being influenced ……maybe because I don’t want to disagree? Am I wanting them to approve or am I being responsible for what truth is saying inside me? Am I taking others comments personally or am I in an expansive place that welcomes all comments as an expression of them, rather than meaning anything about me.

Recently I decided that I would take a step towards something I want. I realised that I don’t have to fit into a concept of what someone my age would do or not do. I can act instead of feeling limited and confined. And I don’t have to work it all out. I can do each step in truth and openness. And it is truly astonishing, really truly astonishing, how things are aligning and happening.

It seems that taking a deeper responsibility for my life is remarkably freeing.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Loneliness over Christmas.


Have you been lonely over Christmas and New Years? 

What did you do about it? Did you take action? Did you feel the feelings? Did they pass? You and only you, are responsible for your day. Our mind can try and rationalise. Our mind can also blame other people for it. Our minds can make wishes. Minds can go round in circles and minds cannot figure everything out.

You can wallow in the loneliness. Or you can really feel it, which is different to wallowing. Wallowing implies moving around in it, using stories in the head to increase the wallow and feeling sorry for oneself!!!

Feeling it, means allowing the feeling, the pure feeling, without the story in the head telling you why you feel that way. And by allowing the feeling, it can dissolve. Another feeling may replace it. It may even be a worse feeling, but trust yourself in feeling it, as it too, will dissolve. Unless, of course, you start wallowing, in which case, it will hang around.

You and only you, are responsible for your self.  It is no good, wanting other people to do things to help you feel better. It’s no good expecting others to provide you with anything.  You are the one who knows what you want, others don’t. This is your opportunity. Be responsible and act for yourself. You can. Take that first little step. (Or go out for coffee!) When you face this, any feelings that pop up can be felt, even if uncomfortable – this is being honest with yourself. It’s what is here, so allow. It feels good to be honest.

In allowing you will notice that there is a growing expansiveness. So allow even more. Try to stop the feelings and your whole being constricts and tightens. In allowing, it’s like the whole universe opens for you.  In allowing, possibilities arise. Then it’s time for choice. Trust your heart rather than your head. Follow a possibility. Lightly. Step out of your usual patterns. Take that little step, while not knowing where it leads, while not knowing what the second step will be, while being present in this moment.


And see the magic unfold.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Emptiness


It’s a strange thing to feel empty. For me it means, having a quiet mind …….no analysing, doubting, judging or repetitive thoughts going on. And no emotions being felt. It is beautiful and peaceful.

On the course that I was part of recently, I had the experience of falling deeply into emptiness. It was so empty, so still, so expansive, so everything. I felt so held, not as me, Annette, but as whatever I am at the beginning.

Strange stuff, eh! Yet we are not our emotions. We are not our thoughts. We are not our way of behaving. We are not who we believe we are.  You do know that. There is something much deeper, much more, that is us. This, whatever it is, does not move….does not change…….and can guide you to live life in truth.

And in reading this, you may be doubting – it is normal. It’s what minds do. It’s the way our brains are configured and how the neurons fire in there. It’s up to you to make the choice – do you believe that doubt? Is it worth spending time following that thought and doubt? Trouble is, when we try to stop that thought, it persists. So it’s not about trying to stop thoughts. It’s about a choice in that split second before the trying.

Maybe you think that if you feel empty, you will be nothing. There may be some connection between busyness in your head and feeling worthy. There may be some connection between doing and being worthy. You can look into this and check it out. You may think, that if you are empty how can you live life or be in control. All sorts of thoughts can arise. And if they stop for a moment – what’s here in this moment?

For me, there is a greater awareness that I am totally responsible for my life. I might think that I am a product of my upbringing. I might attempt to blame the circumstances for how I am. But really, I am totally, freshly responsible for my life in every moment. I thought I was before!! Now I am freshly responsible.
How about you?


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…………..