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…………….

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Restrictions



Sometimes circumstances can be wonderful for a while and then over time they feel restricting. It’s interesting how our perception can change.

For example, the partner that I was with a couple of years ago, is someone who loves to do things to help people. This felt wonderful to me….at first and for a while. Over time my perception of this changed and I started to feel restricted. Too much helping me, physically and verbally, meant that my personal value felt lessened and life felt restricted. Of course this was entirely my interpretation.

Many things can feel restricting. It does depend on how we see things. And maybe if we change how we see things inside ourselves, then it won’t feel restricting.

Lack of money can feel restricting.

Living accommodation can feel restricting.

A job can feel restricting.

A relationship can feel restricting.

Lack of ideas of what to do can feel restricting.

Any circumstances can feel restricting.

It’s not necessarily what the circumstances are. Another person in the same circumstances may feel differently.  So what is it really? Because following on from there, the question is whether we take action about the circumstances. How do we decide whether it’s just our interpretation or whether we need to change the situation? (relationship, job, living place, etc)

How do we get a clear answer from the jumble of thoughts that go back and forth?

If you are feeling confused about your circumstances and whether to take action, that this is a good sign. You might ask how...............It’s because the confusion is a mind condition. Confusion is not an emotion, but…………it means that the mind might be getting near to giving up and realising that figuring out isn’t working. This then allows the emotion to come through and be felt. Why would you want to feel emotion? Because it will be emotion that is the pain of the situation.
So stop and feel. You might feel trapped and under that there could be irritation, frustration, anger, worthlessness.  This is no big deal. Just feel whatever is here without getting into thoughts of why. Bring your awareness to the feeling and acknowledge it. Funnily enough it will then dissolve, especially if you stay in the moment.

And in continuing to stay in this moment, the right action will be revealed for you.

Stillness in the moment has all the answers.





Monday, June 25, 2018

Are you satisfied?


Are you satisfied?
Are you unconsciously searching?
Do you go off in tangents looking for….…….? You might not know what!

Someone said to me recently, that they never felt satisfied with their life. That it seems to be a pattern for them. A concern because its keeps them moving away from uncomfortable situations, or towards something perceived as better, or just trying this and that.

I remember a time when someone said that to me…….”You’re never satisfied”. It did stop me in my tracks for a second or two. And I asked myself….”Am I or am I not?” Since obviously I have remembered that comment, there must have been some impact. What I thought at the time was…..isn’t it okay to not be satisfied? Isn’t that how we grow?

I’m guessing that there are different levels or parts to this being satisfied. We can feel satisfied and still want to change and grow. Satisfaction does not mean stagnation. Satisfaction does not mean avoiding any chance to expand and grow. Satisfaction might mean acceptance of circumstances just now, in this moment, without precluding being open to possibilities.

Dissatisfaction with life could mean that the person is on a mission to discover the meaning of life, to discover themselves, to find out who they really are. Dissatisfaction can provide the energy to expand, to open up and shift thinking. A person could find themselves trying different modalities, going for readings, starting practises to help fix themselves. Do you?

Dissatisfaction can turn into a search. A search for what? Maybe a search for someone to tell you the mysteries of life. Or who you really are? Maybe you want to be told. You might decide to believe what someone else says.

Or, you could turn this around. Instead of going on a search outside, why not go on a search inside you. How? As humans, we just pile up the knowledge, the emotions, and the wrong beliefs about ourselves all our lives….…….all on top of who we really are.  It’s a matter of getting underneath all that stuff and then you can discover your self. You can discover the part of you that is unchanging. The part of you that is you.

For me, stopping the external search has revealed what I am not. It has given me multiple experiences of the truth of me. Am I satisfied with my life? Yes. 
And I continue to be vigilant for the patterns and behaviours that are not the real me. So that, in the moment, I can choose differently. I can choose truth.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Power of the thinking Mind.



Our minds are working all the time. It’s very useful that they are really. We need our minds to keep working. So let’s appreciate our brains and minds.

But how is it, for someone when what they see is not what is actually there. One of my jobs is working with children with learning difficulties and I am really aware of how frustrating it must be when what you see is not what’s there. For example, if you are learning maths and read the number as 42 when really it is 24. (How many numbers can be reversed?) So how does one learn when what one sees is that confusing   - well not confusing to start with, because the child thinks it’s okay and it becomes confusing when the answer doesn’t work out. Or reading words and see “was” as “saw”?  How does one make sense of the sentence? See the possibility of growing feeling of failure? Then the strategies to avoid this feeling? The strategies of avoiding being a failure? Be a clown, act silly, become labelled as disruptive?

As adults, how often does this happen for us, in different ways. Do we see things as they are, or is what we see, veiled by some idea we have in our head.
As adults, how often do we think we hear someone say something, and then find out later that that is not what they said? That we interpreted what they said into something else.

Are you aware of this, in you? Or is it too much like being a failure?

I had a realisation along these lines the other day. I was reminded of someone I worked with a several years ago, and this lead to a memory of how she was and what she said. Then, into the gap while thinking, dropped the realisation. I remember that she told me to do things, that she was bossy. I remember the specific commands. But what I got now though, was that maybe she was asking me to do things and I interpreted what she said as telling.         Oh, s…t. You mean I have been carrying round the uncomfortable memory that she told me what to do, when actually she was asking if I wanted to. That I was carrying round the uncomfortable feeling of being bossed, when actually she was asking. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. You know, I think I may have interpreted other people as commanding me to do something when they weren’t really. Maybe I had a veil of sensitivity to this sort of asking, having experienced something early in my life which created a mind job of interpreting questions as commands.

And this sort of thing can lead to an inability to say no, to a sense of having to do what someone asks you to do. I certainly felt that I had to do what this person asked. What do you reckon?

Funny things, minds. Have a look at what yours is doing.


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Being Still. Being Present.


Being Still. Being Present. Being Here. Being Quiet. Being in Truth.

These being states might be a spiritual goal of yours. They certainly are for me.
It’s funny though, because we can’t make ourselves be this way. We can’t even practise these skills. Even meditation doesn’t do it. Meditation is a practice of meditation, not of being still and quiet and being in truth. Unless it’s a walking meditation, it’s about the body being still regardless of how painful the body gets – and then its willpower!

Being still inside is a different thing altogether. Because it’s not about the body being still, it’s about a stillness inside, even when the body is moving in daily tasks, even when the brain is engaged in whatever it needs to do. I feel excited when I write this. Why? Because I have felt it. This stillness that is here inside me, even when life goes on. It feels so magical.

And sometimes illusive!! Those times when I suddenly realise that the stillness

is not here, I catch myself in awareness. And in the catching, I go still. Usually.

When my mind is busy and at the same time, not focused, that’s when the stillness isn’t present. I caught myself the other day when someone rang me just when I was about to call someone on skype. The phone call was unexpected. I thought that I listened well, but later I realised that I had not been totally present and certainly not still inside myself. Half my self was elsewhere concerned about the skype call. I felt rather disgusted with myself about this. However, a few days later a similar situation occurred and I was able to be still and present in the moment, in each moment. 

I often remind myself of a lesson that I learned on Mt Arunachala in India – just one step. Not one step at a time, because this implies that there will be a further step so it is slightly looking into the future. But just this step. Just this moment. Being still.
The more we bring ourselves to this moment, the more we can.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Energy and thoughts



I have been puzzling about what people mean when they talk about energy. Not the physical body stuff – that understandable to me. But the unseen type.  People talk about the energy in a room, or the energy in a location.
Then this morning it came to me – there is some sort of concept about energy. Some sort of intellectual definition. Some sort of mind idea of energy. People feel something and this is the label. So what if, when someone says that sort of comment to me, I were to ask them some questions. Like – how do you feel that inside you? Or - Is there a body sensation that goes with that for you? Or – What are the thoughts in your mind that tell you about it? Then, there could be a conversation about it that could be enlightening for me.
The place where I’m at with spirituality has nothing (in my mind) to do with spiritualism. And maybe nothing to do with energy. It feels much more in line with life, for me to look inwards. My mind is so capable of thinking all sorts of doubts and questions about daily life, and also very capable of all sorts of thoughts and questions about all the activity that seems to be going on (on facebook at least!) regarding the meaning of life, the questions one might have and how to get there! Wherever there is!! Isn’t it simpler to stay right here in this moment? Isn’t it simpler to just be here? And your mind might question whether anything that is simple can be right. What would it give you to stay present in the moment??? It gives me plenty – relaxation, trust, focus, stillness, beingness, wholeness, belonging, nothingness and the essence of me.
There are layers to being present in the moment:
There is the mind focus on the task at hand
It could be feeling whatever emotion arises
It could be allowing the mind to be quiet, and not visiting thoughts of past and future.
Maybe dropping deeper into something that is under the thoughts and emotions.
Or feeling an inner stillness while concurrently welcoming any thoughts and emotions lightly.
Thoughts can take us on a journey in many different directions and can easily get into a tangle. What if we allowed ourselves the wisdom of knowing that thoughts come and go. They are not permanent. We can play with them. We can introduce a different thought and see how it affects the other thought. We have control over whether we follow that thought or not. And it’s only another thought that tells us that that is difficult to do!!!!
Have fun with thoughts.