One of my favorite things to do in the mornings, after meditating and doing my spiritual study, is to check my Facebook memories feed. It gives me a snap shot of my life in years past. This is very helpful because I don’t remember the past. Not really. I remember it in very general terms, but specifics are gone. I once had a friend tell me this was because I live so much in the moment that once that moment is gone, it is truly gone. I believe this ability is a gift. I work with so many people who remember the past like it was yesterday, and base their current lives on it, which leads to limitation. I much prefer not being able to remember the past, because I can dive into each new experience with childlike vision and very little fear. Except when PTS (I refuse to call it a disorder. There is absolutely nothing disordered about fearful reactions to shit happening) hits. The kicker there is that I still don’t remember much of the past, but my body remembers it, and anxiety kicks in, and it is very difficult to replace that anxiety with calm. PTS is quite inconvenient. But I discovered something about that PTS, and that discovery came about as a result of a question a prayer partner once asked me. I discovered that when I am tired, it is as if I’ve left a door open for that PTS to sneak in and take over. So the key is to stay in balance and be well rested. And I am lucky because in addition to not remembering the past much, I’m also disciplined. I go to bed at the same general time every evening, and get up at the same general time every morning. And on those nights when sleep is a bit elusive, I allow myself to sleep in. I get up every morning and do the same thing: I meditate, contemplate and study. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. Such a disciplined spiritual practice is another gift. I say it’s a gift, but really, it wasn’t given to me. I developed it. It just feels like a gift now. The other thing in my life that is truly a gift is my intensity. Yes, I realize this intensity scares people and they tend to go away behind that fear. I’m ok with that, because that intensity has served to allow me to be extraordinarily successful at any endeavor I undertake. I take a deep dive into everything I do, whether it is cooking or gardening or a career. Skimming the surface of anything simply isn’t on my list of things to do. I was reminded of all of this as I reviewed my memories for today. Going backwards, there are springtime activities, ministerial activities, school activities, photography activities. With horseback riding interspersed throughout. A nice little snapshot. And then there is today. As people are settling in to sheltering in place, I am beginning to witness in my work all sorts of feelings: boredom, anxiety, confusion, anger. And then there are the ones who are gleefully taking advantage of the time. They are getting projects done around the house and beginning to experience what it is like to not be rushing around all the time doing stuff. They are beginning to experience what it is like to simply be, rather than to do. I believe this to be another gift. Beingness is, or can be, a foundation from which we move forward into the world doing. If we begin with beingness, we then discover who we be as people. We discover what our feelings are. We discover what the trend of our thinking is, whether it is positive or negative. We discover whether that is acceptable to us, and begin to wonder if we can change it if it isn’t. We might even begin to discover what our values and beliefs are. And change those if we wish. Because really, this time is an unprecedented opportunity for us to cultivate a nice little practice of contemplation and inner exploration, to get to know ourselves, and our Selves. We have the opportunity to change the world right now. Because we have the opportunity to change ourselves, and that is where change begins. So the affirmation for today is this: Today I gratefully accept the gift of being rather than doing, and I experience peace and calm as a result.
NUTS: Not Understanding True Self
Sometimes in life we base who and what we are on old outdated beliefs which were implanted in us by society, or by parental units, or simply by our own perceptions at the time. And sometimes, who and what we are changes...but we never change those old outdated beliefs, and so we live a life filled with fear and uncertainty. We are tired, out of balance, we don't take good care of ourselves and we feel ashamed, guilty or not quite right.
We are NUTS.
The opposite of NUTS is SANE: Self Aware Now Enjoy
When we become self aware, we can enjoy life. But only if our behavior matches our beliefs. But self awareness is the first step.
How to do that? There are so many helpful processes out there, ranging from the 12 steps to Byron Katie's The Work, to the Ladder of Inference to Fear to Faith. Which one you use depends on which one you resonate with. For example, I did not resonate at all with The Work, but I found the Ladder of Inference to be very helpful.
In future posts I will say a bit more about each of these processes, but for now, I hope you will find a way to experience SANE in your life, not NUTS. And if you want some help, I've got a full calendar of workshops and classes coming up to facilitate SANE. The next one is this Tuesday, March 14. See details and register in the store below.
I made a decision long ago to not die an unlived life. Growing up, I watched some of the people I cared about in my life limit themselves. Their favorite phrases seemed to be, "I can't do that!" And they were always coming up with reasons why they couldn't do that. It affected everything from driving at night to achieving wonderful things to simply having peace in life. ...continue reading "Do Not Die an Unlived Life"
I hear it all the time: I know my truth and I am taking a stand for it! Setting boundaries! Expressing my truth!
I think that's wonderful. And, I am moved to insert a "yes....and...." here.
Because if we are doing our jobs in terms of maintaining and developing self awareness, our truth is going to change. And sometimes, what we think is our truth might just be, well, something else. How many times have you declared your truth, only to discover later that it really wasn't your truth, but simply a defense mechanism?
How do we know the difference?
Here are some tips: ...continue reading "5 tips to Know your Truth"