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.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Non-attachment and manifesting.

How does non-attachment work? Is it manifesting?

In my head I am trying to figure out how manifestation fits in with non-attachment.
Manifestation is feeling, sensing, and visualising something that you desire, without figuring out how it is going to happen. And then believing or knowing that it will happen. Right?

Non-attachment is not really manifesting, because it also includes an acceptance of whatever the result is – whether the result is what you desire or whether it is not. It’s taking the first step towards a goal, not knowing what the next steps are, and not compromising
Sometimes we can think we are not-attached to a result and in our mind, we may not be. But underneath, there is something going on that has strings to the desired result. These strings can be deeply embedded and even unconscious. We may believe what we think (that we are not attached) because we haven’t delved deeper and may not see a reason to delve deeper.

I know there are times when I have taken a step towards a desired outcome and then thought “Whatever will be, will be”, thinking that I was unattached to the result. Thinking that I would accept whatever the result turned out to be. In hindsight, I was still attached to the outcome that I wanted. There were buried strings that created attachment to the result. I still wanted a particular outcome.

Recently, I experienced a situation of non-attachment. I was in a process of taking steps towards some work, which was going to be funded by a social service. Then came the tricky part of what do I charge. I was pleased that my mind quickly got past the perceived need to make it less than usual. And when questioned, I was able to give some options for looking at the hours in different ways, all of which still gave me my fee. Then I completely detached from it. So completely that I was aware that I neither wanted nor didn’t want the work.  I had no strings to wanting it at all. Very freeing. Then after a few days the email came that agreed to my fee.

It was not a technique to get what I wanted. It truly was a case of non-attachment to the result, either way.

Actually, that’s the second example I’ve experienced lately. Maybe I was just ready for this. Maybe I was free enough in myself so that I could be non-attached. I know, that in the past, I have tried to be non-attached to a result. And the trying seems to get in the way. Or else, I just had too many unconscious strings.

Are you aware of how you attach to desired results?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Do you aim to fix people?

How good are you at fixing other people? How good are you at fixing yourself?

How much of your talking or communicating time do you devote to this? Just take an observation of yourself and be honest. When someone tells you about their relationship problem, or about their family issue, or about their health, or about their fitness, do you immediately give ideas for what they can do? Do you make one particular suggestion – the one you consider the right one? Do you follow up with the reasons or with emotive words to encourage the person to do that particular idea?

Is it a human thing? To tell people what to do to improve their situation? To make suggestions? With or without options? Or is it just western society that does this? Or is it my family that have this pattern?

Anyway, I have been thinking of this lately. And I know that I perceive this as being controlled at times. It’s as if, when someone tells me a solution, whether worded as a suggestion or not, that I feel I am expected to follow that suggestion. It’s a “should” do!! Which might not be the case at all. Though I also sense at times, that the person definitely expects me to follow the suggestion.  I sense disapproval. But is this really the case or is it just my interpretation?

So there is that side of it.

 And the other side is….that I do it too.

You know, it’s a great opportunity for us to look at others behaviour or words, and then ask ourselves: How do I do that? Because if we notice it in others, you can guarantee that we do it too. And then we have a way to fix ourselves. Ah ha!! But maybe this is not fixing – words EH! Maybe it is developing, improving, growing? Take your pick about which word you use. 

And really, it is a gift. This is one way to grow our awareness of our patterns and behaviours and communications. And we do not have to try and fix ourselves. Purely by having the awareness, there will be opportunities to play it differently. It’s as if, an unconscious intention arises from the awareness. An intention to drop that pattern.

So I look forward to doing less making suggestions and more listening. I look forward to dropping that pattern. And the purpose? To live in truth. Awareness allows us to drop the conditioning of our earlier life and live from the truth of us.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Those bothersome emotions.

Feelings are annoying. 
Well, some of them are. It would be nice to feel happy all the time. Isn’t that what we really want? It’s so painful when hurt feelings arise. It’s so painful when sadness arises. It’s so painful when anger arises. What do we do with this feelings? Tell them to go away? Push them down? (Become depressed!) Ignore them? Ride over them with thoughts?

Sometimes we feel like we should feel this way and therefore don’t wish to get out of it. You know, those times when grief is here and it feels like a betrayal to the other person if we let go of grief. And feeling sorry for someone, sometimes feels like a should feeling…..we should feel sorry. Then guilt can arise because the feeling goes. Complicated eh????

It really is impossible to figure out the right thing to feel. So give up trying. O..oh! How does that feel? Like you are not responsible? Like you are not a good person? Oh gee!! Can’t win.

What if you could really honour yourself by feeling whatever arises in the moment, with no self-judgement about how that is, or whether it is right? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm   Well, that would be living in truth. But stuff gets in the way, doesn’t it? Stuff like the expectations we sense from others, and the expectations we have of ourselves. The blame we carry around for the things we think we can’t change. The emotions we have unconsciously held onto.

Actually, if you can trust yourself enough to welcome whatever feeling arises, this is the way to freedom. In our society, we so don’t honour feelings. We tend to criticise those who allow too much emotion, and especially if the emotion drives some undesirable action. And we fear emotion.

The secret, though, is to feel them in your body – no need to let them out, no need for the emotional energy to drive you to say things you don’t want to say, no need for emotions to be acted out in inappropriate behaviours, no need for them to stifle you. Just feel them wherever they show up in your body. And after that, if you wish to speak of them, then do, from the stillness that arrives after the feeling.
You can do it.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

What do you avoid?

Strategies we use to avoid.
Avoid what? Well, that is another question.
And a third question is: Do you embrace life fully? Is your life rich?
I don’t mean that you need to go off on adventures to embrace life fully. There is an internal adventure going on right now inside you. And by asking if your life is rich, I don’t mean money-wise, or love-wise, or experience-wise. These might be part of your life or they may not. They make no difference to whether your life is rich.
So to embrace life fully and to have a rich life, I suggest that we need to not avoid.
A big one for me is to avoid conflict. And criticism. And judgement. I know that these bring up feelings inside me that are uncomfortable. The feelings may be unworthiness and unloved……loneliness and hopelessness. Even despair with my mind telling me I can never get it right.
So recently I put myself into a situation where I might be judged. Intention – not to limit my life by avoiding potentially being thought of as not good enough to do a job. And I have been super aware of what was going on inside me. I was aware that other people see the situation differently from me. It depends on their understanding and expectations. So each time I wondered whether I was being judged, I had an internal conversation and really realised that I am probably not being judged. And then, even if I were, it actually didn’t mean that I am not good enough. It would be just one person’s interpretation of what was needed in that job. I can step out of the way and do what I think is appropriate, and not worry about what others think. In that situation anyway. (By the way, if someone said I was good, that is also a judgement and someone else may not think I am good. Or I might not.) Judgementless does not mean good judgements, it means doing what is true for you and the situation regardless. My parents used to tell me that my piano playing was good when I knew it was definitely not – too full of mistakes!
I suspect that not avoiding conflict, criticism and judgement will be a work in progress for me. A need to be vigilant, not about what other’s think or say, but about what I am feeling and how I interpret things.
So this has been my adventure recently, and it leads to living a more rich life.
What has been your adventure lately?