Saturday, December 22, 2018
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
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
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
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
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, August 23, 2018
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
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
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
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 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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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?
Sunday, March 11, 2018
How well do you know yourself?
What do you have to know to know yourself?
Is it about how good you are at doing things? Or what knowledge you have? Or what makes you angry? Or knowing how you react to authority? Or knowing you don’t like a certain type of person? Or thinking you are sensitive? Or knowing what sort of music you like? Or knowing that you can’t do particular things?
Maybe you answered yes to some of these, and could add some more!
What if, right now, you consider changing the word “know” to “believe”. So that you believe that something makes you angry, you believe that you are sensitive, you believe that you are clumsy, you believe that you are good (or not good) at something. What happens to how you view yourself, if you change this word? Or are you saying, of course you know things about yourself? And they are true and right. That it’s not about believing….its knowing. Knowing is stronger, right?
Just as an experiment, try out the believing way of wording what you know about yourself. Just for a moment be flexible and relax the knowing about yourself.
So the next step is to think that because a belief is not as strong as knowing, then you can change it. AND YES, YOU CAN.
As an experiment, focus on one thing that you know about yourself. It might be that you know that you can’t cook. Change it to you believe that you can’t cook. Can you see that then there is an opportunity to change your belief. Because it’s not set in concrete. Maybe you believe that you are not good enough. Change this too! Maybe you believe that you will never be fit. Change this too. You can! You really don’t know anything absolutely.
Anything is possible. We become restricted by what we believe about ourselves. We are doing this to ourselves……….it’s just old stuff that we took on board when younger. Look at it freshly. Do you still want this belief? Does it help you at all? When we become aware of any old belief then we can let it fall away. And try out a new belief.
I can cook.I am good enough….of course I am.
I can do it.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Anger! Anger! Anger! Anger! Anger!!
You don’t feel it, do you?
It wouldn’t be right to feel it, would it?
What would happen if you did feel it?
No, no, no, it’s just a little frustration!
Go away frustration. Now just stuff down. Suppress it. Depress it. And be vigilant for it popping up again. What an effort it is, being vigilant. What an effort it is, controlling the fear of the anger (oops, frustration!) coming again.
Or maybe it’s resentment. That’s okay. It can bubble away just out of sight. That can be controlled.
Or maybe it’s restlessness. That’s okay. Just annoying.
Or tenseness in the body. That’s okay. Take a pill to relax. Take another to make sure the depressed feelings stay down.
Really!! Honestly, life can be so much easier than this.
It takes effort to keep those feelings under control. It takes effort to depress those feelings.
And it’s all driven by fear. Fear of what might happen if anger is allowed. Fear of what is even deeper than the fear.
I remember once upon a time, when I didn’t feel any feelings – well none that I was afraid of. My body got more and more tense. Then my digestive system didn’t work well. I was irritable inside and out. Then I got “depressed”. I searched for help. Eventually I found the journey method and did the training. I learned to allow myself to feel. Not always pleasant, in the short term but definitely fantastic in the longer term. Because feelings dissolve. When they are welcomed, they are felt and then go. Amazing, eh. We get so scared that the feeling is going to hang around that we make it hang around by putting effort into not feeling it. Funny logic!!
And this is even without our minds getting involved. You know, those thoughts that try to analyse why the feeling is there. Oh, must be because of what that person said, or what they did. And then the thinking goes round in circles and keeps the feeling there.
So, when a feeling arises, notice it. And feel it in your body. Maybe be a bit curious about where it is in your body.
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Who are you?A person, a mother, a father, a son, a daughter, a sister, a brother, a gardener, a worker, a grandma, a grandad, a speaker, a writer, a provider, a helper, a homeowner.......................the list could go on and on. And if all this was taken away, what would be left? Underneath all these roles that you play, who are you really? Because the above list is not who you are......they are roles you carry out. We place so much importance on these roles that we forget what is inside. Our mind takes over and directs our life with reasons and doubts. Very effectively.
And then if the question about who we are arises, we try to figure it out with our mind. Doesn't work. If our mind could give a clear answer, then it already would have. But it hasn't. So we distract ourselves with thinking about our roles.
And does this matter?? Not at all.
Life will go on anyway, just as it does.
You can decide to enjoy figuring out life with your mind, if you want to. Or you can not try to figure life out. You get to choose.
But sometimes a yearning arises. Like a tender feeling from deep within. (I can feel it now, as i write this). A yearning to be true to the very deepest part of you. A yearning to live life from this deeper place of truth and love. A yearning to step outside of the conditioning that you have experienced in your younger years. The conditioning may be experienced as restrictions. It may be experienced as suffering. If you listen to this yearning, it will guide you. Open to this tender yearning.
Monday, January 29, 2018
Us woman carry a whole raft of unconscious beliefs about sex and love. And I’m sure that men do too. These have been passed down from parents (either or both mum and dad) and from grandparents. Think back to your grandparents day or your great grandparents day, and let your mind wander about in the confusion of what was going on inside your grandmother. She probably had a quite narrow role to play back then – to do with being a mum, doing the household chores and looking after the comforts of her husband. “The way to a man’s heart is through food (and sex)”. She may not have been aware of choices for herself. She may have had no say about her life. I wonder how she really felt inside herself.
For me, I took on my mother’s beliefs. My purpose in life was to get married, have children, look after my husband no matter how angry and controlling he was. In fact, being controlled and being loved kinda blended together. One was dependent on the other. There were beliefs such as: I have to be good to be valued and loved, I have to do as I am told to be loved, I cannot disagree, I as a person, are not important, it is bad to enjoy sex, my body is not nice, and certainly not for pleasure.
So these beliefs created confusion and restrictions. I’m guessing that grandparents and great grandparents also felt confusion and restrictions at some level. Some people may have been aware of it and others unaware. The confusion may have caused some behaviours to occur, that caused a conflict inside, or a conflict outside, or disapproval, or judgement (of self or by others). Maybe the confusion just had to break out at times.
How are you in relationship? Are you dependent on your other or better half? Do you feel that you are not yourself within the relationship? That you are entwined within the relationship and the other person. Who are you?
How do you feel about your sexuality? There are many deep down beliefs about sex and sexuality that will be affecting you. And this is an area that you may not feel comfortable exploring. Because…..it has been a taboo subject for so long. Even as far as thinking goes, let alone talking!!
What if you were to be light with life? What if you were to suspend judgements of self and of others? What if you were to value yourself? What if you were to BE LOVE --- loving yourself, loving others, acting from love, loving life. To be love, means to live in freedom from restricting beliefs and judgements, and connect with people in truth. How might you feel about sex and partner-love then?
Thursday, January 18, 2018
From yucky feelings to peaceful and happy feelings.
How? Well, I can only suppose that it’s because my intention was to feel whatever was coming up. I refused to distract myself by reading or watching movies or anything else. I wanted to be free of the stuff and the only way was to welcome the feelings.
On Saturday I ran an Inner Path one day retreat. As part of the introductions I asked people to close their eyes and let arise a couple of things that they would like to share with the others about themselves. I had thought that I should think of what I want to say….this is my usual way…I don’t want to get caught out not knowing what to say!! However, I had not thought about what to say, so I had to completely follow my own instructions. I went first and the words came straight out of my mouth, with me having no idea of what was going to come out. What I said was “My passion is to live in truth and to support others to live in truth”. So there it is. In words. My purpose. Yahoo!
Since then, this has developed into ideas and possibilities. Another Inner Path day with a theme of LOVE and to make a labyrinth that is shaped like a heart. 3rd March.
Someone mentioned that I could run regular sessions at my home for people to experience the solar plexus quartz singing bowl. Mind gets busy – really, do I want to commit to a regular thing? YES. I do not need to be rigid about it so let that go. So a fortnightly session of Qi gong, meditation and quartz singing bowl. Email me if you would like to be notified of when it is. It will be at Paraparaumu Beach so maybe not possible for south island people or others who don’t live round here.
Continue with my own spiritual deepening. YES. Attending 2 retreats in Auckland in February. The first one is with Gangaji and Eli Jaxon-Bear, and the next weekend is with Eli and Jared Franks on the Enneagram. This will support me to allow my truth to shine effortlessly and support me to support others.
The Inner Path day unfolded according the group of people there. I had a flexible plan. I criticised myself afterwards as I analysed the day. Until I realised that I was not even remembering each part clearly. Fantastic. This was then, that I got at a deeper level, that the day is playing out through me and not because I am in control of the day. Everyone gave lovely positive feedback. Let me believe it. It was a day that was perfect for everyone.
Saturday, January 6, 2018
The gift of this time of the year can be that we slow down. By that I mean, that after Christmas we can be in holiday mode. Once the organising is done, then what? Do you bury yourself in a book or watch movies? These are great for relaxing and also great for avoiding internal stuff. Maybe you go walking. Maybe you play with the children in a more carefree way than usual. Or maybe you carry on being busy, just in a different way. Do you find it hard to slow down? Do you find it hard to let go of work mode? That’s a clue that you probably need to experience some time for yourself. Sitting in nature can be an experience of allowing yourself to stop. Sometimes the mind wants to keep being busy. Allow the mind to think and be light with the thoughts. Allow yourself to dream lazily and after a while the most amazing refreshing ideas can pop up.
Being in this holiday time can also mean that old emotions come to the surface. Previously they were controlled and covered over by all the work and responsibilities of life. The routines of daily life can cover up so much. So this time can be a gift. Personally I’ve had some old stuff arise. Could be entirely a story that it’s old stuff actually. How would I know? Can I believe my analysis? So really it’s a case of allowing whatever crops up. Anyway for me, the stuff had to do with being fed up with life and feeling directionless. I remember this feeling from my teenage years and also from a few years before finding The Journey. On both those occasions I buried myself in historical romantic novels. Not so this time. My intention is to feel this stuff, because I want to be free of it. The only way out, is in! My mind, and other people, say with understanding, that I have gone through so many changes in the last 3 and a half years – 3 house shifts, 3 town shifts, left my husband of 42 years, left my job of 25 years, had another job for 2 years, was in a relationship for 18 months, left that, now live on own, getting to know different people. Yes, that’s enough. I guess, however, my expectation is that I have tools to cope with all of this. And they have been very useful. And right now, they are still useful. One of these, is the ability to observe myself – to know that this that is happening does not affect who I really am. I didn’t have this skill those other times. As well, an opportunity arose for me to have a Life’s Purpose Journey Process. What an opening to layers of emotion and then through the dark void to the beauty and stillness inside. I am so grateful for this work. #thejourneymethod