Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stop!!! In the name of Love...

Have you noticed lately the difference between 'what's happening' and 'what the mind says about what's happening'?
My favorite example of this is the story of a break up.. the mind says "He left me, it's terrible, I'm all alone, he never loved me, no one will ever love me.. " Another perspective is "man walking out door".
It is such a gift to start to notice the difference between what's actually happening and the commentary of the mind..

It can happen while driving.. a car is going slow, not turning right on a red light, or maybe you get cut off, the mind starts up, "that jerk, what is he doing, get out of my way, etc.. what is actually happening? cars driving, stopping, changing lanes... what is happening internally, perhaps there is agitation, frustration, anger as a result of the mental commentary... you could just notice the commentary and the internal reactivity to it..

It can happen with kids.. your child refuses to ________ (brush his teeth, buckle his seat belt, do her homework, stop fighting with a sibling, stop crying, listen and comply with a request, stop doing drugs, etc ). The mind chimes in... I hate this, I can't bare it anymore, this can not be, it's too hard, too painful, too scary... it must stop! There can be huge internal agitation that results from believing these thoughts, it is almost impossible to even be aware of what is actually happening with the mind screaming objection so loudly..

It can happen with your partner or with your family.. they won't do what they said they would do, won't show up, won't be affectionate, won't accept us, won't love us the way we want, won't make money or support us, treat us poorly, won't listen, won't talk, etc.. again the mind objects! This is unacceptable, this must change, this makes me feel very badly and I don't want that, I deserve better.

It can happen in business.. things don't work out, we lose money, respect, waste time, don't get promoted or raises, we get fired, we are treated poorly, people lie to us, rip us off, etc..
We complain, we tell our stories and others agree with us, that this is wrong, we fight back, we feel victimized, self pity sets in, this is bad the mind says, we feel bad, we think others are wrong.
Another perspective.. things work out as they do, we have the amount of money that we have, we are where we are, we don't work at that job anymore, people act as they do, they say what they say, etc..

It can happen with yourself, you make a mistake, you hurt someone, you commit a crime, you destroy your life with addiction, you cheat on your spouse and ruin your marriage, you abuse or neglect your children, you are riddled with fear and avoid or destroy your own life. Again the mind will say it would be better if _________ (this did not happen, we did not get caught, we had not done this or that). Another perspective is that this is what is, we face what we face, we avoid what we do, we show up as we do, don't as we don't..
It truth, we don' t really know what is good or bad (without the commentary of the mind, ideas of good and bad are merely a conditioned idea from the past).

In all of these situations, the mind sounds like a lawyer in a courtroom.. I object!! This should not be this way, this person should not be doing this, something else should be happening, that would be better, this is bad, I am bad, they are bad, this is wrong.

So often we don't even seem to notice that our reaction to people or situations is so beyond the current situation, our kids keep us awake at night, someone in our life won't comply with our request, our boss is critical or maybe not complimentary, we lose our job, our marriage ends, we feel like it is unbearable, like our very survival is in question.. it's so good to begin to see that we are reacting 'to our story about what is happening' not to 'what is actually happening'.
I fact we can't even see what is actually happening, cause our view is blocked by our story and our objection. The stories are like a roller coaster that we never get off of, until we do.
Then we think, wow that was crazy, what an insane ride, this ride of believing thoughts and following them, reacting, never really taking the time to sit quietly and pause and just notice what's actually happening a opposed to what the mind says about what is happening..

So the practice is to pause and look.. whenever that is available to us, as it is occurring, or as soon as you can. Stop and get off the roller coaster, sit in silence, pray and ask, show me the truth about what is actually here, can I be here, now with myself, can i just look? Once we can begin to see what is actually happening, we can notice that internally there is a quietness, we are not creating internal drama and crisis. This internal stillness and peacefulness is the space that we want to be informed from, where our guidance comes from, our sane responsiveness as opposed to the insane reactivity that flows from the fight/flight protective survival mind.

So what do you want? To continue to perpetuate the drama, to fight, protect yourself, make up stories, let them drag you around like a dog on a leash, to listen to the mind and it's craziness.. OR to rest in the heart, to observe the mental commentary but not believe it or follow it, to stop and pause and come back to yourself, to the awareness of the stillness, the warmth within, to be able to be here, to access calmness and clarity, to be present for yourself and for another, to love and be loved, to be an instrument of peace?

Love to hear your feedback about how this is working for you.. much love JoAnne

Monday, December 20, 2010

love brings up everything...

I had a recent conversation with a friend who is back in the dating scene after being married for many years. She expressed lots of feelings about new relationships and dating, the bottom line that was up for her.. She doesn't want to hurt anyone.
We began a dialogue about being hurt, hurting about hurting others, being accused of hurting others, how to resolve our hurts from the past...
I understand feeling hurt, as far back as i can remember I have felt hurt by others. I'd have to say that others rarely play the role that I've assigned them. I've had a steady stream of not feeling important, not feeling valued, not being a priority, not being seen, heard, cherished. There is a whole belief system about not being enough, not having enough, things not being good enough, bottom line, lack..
The result of believing this stream of thought is hurt... deep hurt.. Because I've felt it for so long, it has history, momentum and often especially in childhood, it was more than I could handle, I didn't have the skills to resolve it. What I've learned is that when we feel something that is too much, when we feel overwhelmed, we often project it, in an attempt to lessen our burden, on to another, it's their fault!
I also know about blame, blame is what we do when we can't take responsibility or we can't deal with how we feel, we lay it on someone else. I've found myself lately in loads of blame and hurt and fear. I've been fighting to keep my marriage alive for years- trying everything, separation, moving, breaking up, open relationship, etc.. This is after 8 years of doing relationship workshops and this is where I land.. in a cesspool of hurt, blame and anger.
Also recently another very close friend has expressed how I have hurt them, spoken unkindly, been sharp toned and critical, not valued our deep connection and relationship, I was told that if I continued in this way this friend would not be in my life. They did not want to be hurt by me.
This is what we often do in relationships, if the other person does not play the role that we want them to, if they don't love us, support us, take care of us, be loyal, be truthful, show up as we want... we withdraw, we criticize them, threaten to leave them, punish them, or yell at them.
We feel hurt (and we can't bare it) so we blame, we tell ourselves that the other person or the situation has to change in order for us to be ok. We believe that they have caused our hurt, they are the cause and eventually we hate them for it or we leave them. Often we are angry at ourselves for not taking better care of ourselves, not standing up for ourselves, we turn on ourselves because we can't seem to resolve the hurt within.
It certainly seems like relationships reveal where we are unresolved, they show us what we needed to address internally and give us a chance to find resolve within.
However if we don't realize this, we think that what others do causes our pain, our hurt, if only they'd change, then we'd be alright. This is where we stay so long as we are unable to resolve this internally, we blame, we criticize, we condemn and what is unresolved within us, stays unresolved, unmet.

As I spoke to my friend I heard myself say.. well lets take a look at hurt. It is entirely subjective, what is devastating for one person is not for another, depends on our past, our conditioning, our beliefs. One person may find your habits intollerable while another thinks they are funny. We may be hurt by present circumstances or sometimes the past arises and we are reacting to something unresolved within us, having little to do with what is happening now. It can get all jumbled together and it can be difficult to seperate it out.

So maybe we have a choice... we can move with unconscious reactivity, blame, create drama, leave, be right... or we can stop and notice.. wow I'm triggered, there is something happening here for me.. and we can get curious.. maybe I can just BE here, notice what's here for me, notice what's happening in my body, notice tension or holding or heaviness in my body, wonder if I can just allow that? Is it ok that this is here now? or is it not ok?
I often notice that it's not ok, I don't want to feel anxious, stressed, terror, tense, rejected, fear..
It's not ok with me.. and here is the cause of the suffering... so wonder if I could just be here, feel what's here, allow what's here to be here...
This is a practice that can help us to find internal resolve for our past. It begins with taking the time each day to sit quietly, to pause, to be still. To begin to notice what is actually happening here and now so that we can begin to sort out are we even here or are we immersed in the past?

Once we begin to notice what's here, we can ask is it ok for this to be here, if it is ok, we could just notice that, sink into it, beginning to come more and more into the awareness of being here, allowing what's here to be here, noticing how sensations, emotions, experiences move through and naturally releases.
If we notice that whatever is here is not ok, not ok to feel the fear, the anger, the pain, often this is not ok.. I can notice that too, and back off a bit, taking it slow, noticing if there is tenderness here to meet this fear, this wound, the tension.
If I can sit with feeling hurt or fear of hurting others, if I can sit with fear, judgment, pain, if I can just notice these as sensations in the body when they arise, I can be present with myself, I can be here, this is what I really want - to be here, to not be fighting with myself, at war with myself, at war with others, keeping the war going.

So I can ask myself.. what do I want? how do I want to BE with myself? How do I want to care for myself? Can I notice what's here, what arises? Can I be here? Is there tenderness here? Can I let the tenderness touch against these wounds in me, the fear, the hurt? Can I stop and be still with myself and just be here?

Would love to hear how this is working for you.. much love JoAnne

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I can see clearly now..

Finally there is a tapping into the internal GPS system.. ahhhh the map, clear directions, this is the way home, follow the map, turn right here, keep going.. skillful navigation, clear seeing.. such a relief..
Recently there has been the experience of feeling very lost, confused, frustrated, the mind striving to make sense of the intense unraveling that has been happening in my life... things not working out, the core areas of relationships and finances in a state of disarray..
So much mental looping, lost in thoughts, judgments, concluding, scenarios, the mind is like a fog machine that appears to obscure reality. There has been an overall panic, flailing, an inability to land, come to rest, an inability to trust in the unfolding.
There has been this clinging, like a baby monkey clings to it's mothers back to external form, to people, relationships, structures.. and yet with all the desire to cling that the fear of falling compels ... the forms continue to fall away..
Truth communicated to me very clearly this last weekend.. relax my darling, just relax..
let everything move through you, be porous and let it all move through, no need to hold on to anything, it all comes to pass. I felt that I was held so tenderly, huge constructs of fear fell away.. trust your breath, come back to your heart, pray and ask for guidance.. ask to be shown, let your whole life be a prayer..
I have this little stone in my hand, I squeeze it.. no more getting lost in experiences.. no more indulgence in the positive ones, no more avoiding or running from the tough ones.. just sit here in the love, love everything that's here, let it pass through, nothing can actually touch you, there is this that is untouched, rest here.. No more losing sight of the what is actually happening here, the journey home, the return to our true nature, coming back into the realization that we never actually left, walking this road that actually goes nowhere, no more forgetting..
I saw that I've been holding on to a relationship out of fear... just a simple misunderstanding, I thought that this full expression that I am wanted to express in that relationship.. but the expansion is within, not in the without.. it is not about clinging to any person, the work is always within.. be the love, love everything that arises here, all reactivity- fear, feeling lost, frustration, whatever it is, let it land, love it home, be with it.. all I really want is to be here!
I think I want him to do this, them to do that, this to work out this way or that.. even thinking I want to see clearly.. underneath it all, I just want to BE here, I want to be here, at rest, recognize that I am this hereness, not a something..
So the fear is falling away as I remember.. all I want is to Be what I am, here, present, in that there is a strong awareness that everything that is needed is here, it's all here, everything. This that maintains and sustains this life has access to everything .. it's all here within.. stay here, look here, not out there, it's not out there.. enough with the looking out there.. it's here!
The love is here, the guidance is here, no more doubting.. no more wandering off.. getting lost.. come home to yourself.. stay present, whatever you need is here, relax, relax, relax..
Such clear guidance, thank you thank you..
As i sit I notice intense holding in the body.. the body is always trying to keep up, it's processing unresolved stuff, and it's holding on, not releasing.. so again I sit... I hear the voice again.. gentle tender darling.. it's happening.. relax, relax.. no need to panic..
It's just like when I am dealing with my kids.. they are resisting, refusing, usually I would stay calm for a time and then become frustrated, feel like i ran out of gas and eventually get angry.. the voice in my head said, NO, I object! this should not be!
After sitting with myself so patiently for hours.. trusting that release happens when it does, not before, we see when we see, we let go when we do, nothing we can do to make it happen, forcing, being violent with ourselves or others, does not work, it actually delays the process..
I am now finding that I can relax as I talk with my kids, patiently continuing to repeat my request, staying in my heart, staying in the love.. continuing to love myself.. and eventually it lets go, something moves.. the issue resolves.. it releases..
This is really all about finding the light within.. then helping others to find the light..
It's all about falling in love with mySelf, being the love.. letting it express fully through me..
So beautiful.. so grateful.. thank you divine mother for your guidance, for bringing me home.. what a long long road to nowhere..