Saturday, July 6, 2019
A new job, a new house, temporary living arrangements, living on own after leaving a relationship, selling my house, buying a piece of land…..……I’ve done all of those in the last 3 years. Stepping into the unknown??
Sure these things were all new and unknown. Before that, Christchurch earthquakes, leaving my husband of 42 years, leaving a job I had been in for 25 years, shifting to another part of the country. Quite a series of changes actually over the past few years. And they all triggered emotions and awareness of patterns of behaviour.
It’s been an ongoing process of exploring the unknown and how I am with it.
The other day, I felt like I was floating in a deep unknown place. Freely in freedom. Perfectly safe. Totally supported. Totally knowing. Rather nice.
So you might ask what was happening to get to this. Well, it was nothing like the above mentioned happenings….nothing that the experts would say is a major stressful experience. It was a simple old pattern of mine of feeling scared of meeting new people. So, I was going to visit a Dad and his child regarding possible teaching of the child. And I could have said, that’s stupid to feel scared about that. I’ve done this lots of times. But scared I did feel. It was bubbling for a couple of days before. But somewhere in the couple of hours before I left home, I was aware that I was making a choice (below mind level) that I would go on the visit, without going over what I would say, without thinking of what I should say, without running possible scenarios over in my head, without working it out beforehand. That I would be open and present in the moment. That I would not know how the visit would go. That I would just meet each moment as it arrived. ………….And, it unfolded beautifully, with me being relaxed all the time. Time stopped in each moment. There was plenty of time in each moment. Afterwards I felt like I was completely in an unknown space and yet completely knowing. Amazing, eh! Very good actually.
The unknown can be scary. Because we like to know. We like to have an idea of what is ahead. Some of us more than others. Knowing gives us security and safety……well so we think. But does it also narrow down our choices. Does it limit our freedom? Does it restrict us?
What would it be like for you to allow yourself to be in an unknown place?
Friday, June 14, 2019
What do you reckon about dying?
What will it be like?
Have you been in the presence of someone who dies? Was it an effort to die? Or easy?
Personally, do you dread it? Do you fear it? Do you distract yourself with busyness so you don’t have to face those feelings?
So many questions? And another, do your beliefs about life and death make a difference to how you feel about it inside. If you are really honest, do your beliefs make a difference? Of so, how?
Or coming at this topic from a different angle………….can you totally accept each moment of life as it is? So that when death is happening there is total acceptance of just that moment. That moment of going into the unknown? And it is unknown because your mind can’t know, and you are going to leave your thinking mind behind
When I held my nearly 4 week old baby in my arms as she died, it felt so natural as she just drained away to leave her body.
When I sat beside my mother as she died, it felt simple and natural.
Some months ago I had an experience of dying. No, not a physical near death experience as some people have had. I was in a situation of increasing emotions of worthlessness, over a few days. Fortunately, I was attending a retreat where there were people to support me. Someone sat beside me. The worthlessness got stronger and stronger, and then turned into the emotion of self-hatred. This also got stronger and stronger until it was totally engulfing. Then total blackness. Even though it was total blackness, even blacker spears arrived, many of them, aimed at me, penetrating me. As they did their job, I felt myself draining away. Who was this “I” that felt myself draining away? As I drained away, I found myself in a place……well, it wasn’t a place actually. But what was it? I don’t know. It was nothing. But really it was even less than nothing…..it was complete emptiness. Words can’t describe it but it felt beautiful. It felt true. It felt like everything all together.
So has this prepared me for dying? I don’t know. There is no way to know.
But nevertheless, the emptiness is with me always. Which sounds like nothing and yet it is everything at the same time. Everything in life and of life. A state of love, and stillness and eternity.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Be still in this moment, this second.
Just for this second. You can do that. Just for a second............ It’s enough. When I stop for just a second, I notice that this interrupts whatever pattern is running. It’s a chance for a new beginning. It’s a chance for everything past, including the second before, to be cut off, stopped. It’s a chance for renewal.
Can you do it? Or do you find that you cling to what happened the second before, as if you might fall off a cliff if you don’t. Do you cling to something in the past because it’s the reason you are like you are, and you won’t know who you are if you let go.
I often ask myself, “What am I aware of now?” and in that moment, what I am aware of is things like sensations in my body, the sun or wind on my skin, my breathing, noises around me, maybe an emotion arising, a stillness inside me. This question is a signal for me to stop and be aware of this moment.
In this moment, under the sensations, nothing is here. No past. No future. Just this. Nothing. And your mind might jump in with a thought........"why would you want to be nothing?"....or……”Why would I want to stay in a place of nothing?”…………….which is the ego self trying to sabotage you being still. And, really................, why would you want to be still?
Because it feels like love. It is love. It’s not your mind. It's not an emotion. It's real love.
Sometimes this nothing feels like emptiness, sometimes it feels like bliss, sometimes it feels like peace.
Do you want this?
In this place, there is no stress. There is no suffering – just in that moment. And if there is no stress and no suffering in this moment, why not any time. I know, our minds tell us that as soon as we get into living our normal life, there it will be again – that stress. But does it have to be? Why does it have to be?
Do you want stress? Or do you want peace and stillness?
Sunday, April 28, 2019
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
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 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
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.