What A Difference 

Friends, meditation should be mandatory at schools and workplaces.  And homes.  And at stoplights.

I spent nearly two days pulling at various strings, seeing what pulled free from the snarl of emotions I had going on, and within twenty minutes of stilling my mind, of going to my ‘zone’, the light switched on.  And that’s kind of what it was like.  Like a dark, scary, abandoned lot, and when I followed the right thought, it tripped some mental breaker, and suddenly, the entire incident was illuminated in a completely different light (pun half-intended), and much of my angst drained away.

There’s still plenty of work to be done, but now that the immediate painful emotional response has ebbed, the work can progress at a much faster rate.

I feel so much better.  

I had allowed my energy to become extremely out of whack regarding several people, then went and spend 8 hours with them.  In the middle of an intense transition period for me.

I remember in the past few weeks thinking, ‘whew, at least that crazy whirlwind of emotional growth has slowed some’, not realizing that it was the drag of my own whack-a-doodle energy that had slowed my momentum down, not the Universe.  The insights and understanding never slow down, the signal never slows down.  We only drift in and out of range of the ‘station’.

The instant I quieted my mind and reached for the ‘signal’, it was right there, quick as it ever was.  My transition, my growth, has not slowed at all.  I merely took a time-out in order to focus more clearly on this particular lesson.

I have areas in my life where I am too focused on the reciprocity of my affection.  I need the reassurance, the atta-girls, and the open affection in order to feel safe enough to open up to people, but I’m too defensive, insecure, and slow to get my bearings around new people, because I always have to take the time to get to know them before I decide whether they are ‘trustworthy’ of my affections… whether they ‘deserve’ my friendship, my smiles, my kind words, my attention, the effort it takes to learn their names… not because I thought that I was better than they were, but because I only had a finite amount of (very hard won) affection to give, so I had to be choosy with my love.  With those I let in.  With those I was willing to be vulnerable to; because I thought that, because I felt much more pain from the wounds of those closest to me, that they had caused me the most harm.  But I was harming myself.

With my thoughts.

With my words.

With my actions.

I used those closest to me as the source of all of the negative thoughts I was creating about myself.

I am unlovable.

I am ugly.

I am a terrible person.

We use all of these outside circumstances as excuses to beat up on ourselves.  To feel bad.  To feel pain and hurt and misery… but we only have to feel the pain for as long as we need to, be it hours, seconds, or days.  The instant we make the choice to love, to begin making our way back to love, and we quiet our minds and seek within, the answer will come.

Recommended Media

I’d like to take a few moments to share some of my reading list with you.  Some books and videos etc. that have helped propel me forward in my own personal journey.

I will try to put them into some semblance of order, but really, if you read/watch something that doesn’t resonate, set it aside and try it again in a few weeks or months.

I’ve been ‘studying’ myself for decades.  Lots of time alone leaves lots of time to mull life over.  Some of these things I ran across years back, and it made absolutely zero sense.  But now, it’s clear as day.

As of the writing of this post, I’m not an affiliate of anything.  This blog isn’t monetized at all, so I get nothing if you decide to buy anything on this list (but hey, I’ll take donations, if you’re feeling grateful…)

Kyle Cease‘I Hope I Screw This Up’ (and if you buy it online [I came across it through an FB ad] it comes with access to a 2 hour video of his 2-day seminar titled, “The Limitation Game”).  The book is basically ‘stream of consciousness’ style (sort of like a lot of my posts) so, if you do well with that type of writing, you will enjoy the book… but the video is AWESOME. (Update from Mr. Cease’s staff:“…we don’t have a public link for you to share; however, anyone who does have a book is certainly welcome to get their own login details to access the film by completing Step 2 here: www.kylecease.com/book

If anyone has any problems registering, they’re also welcome to email us here with a picture of their receipt, and we’ll be happy to send them access.)

Gay Hendricks, PhD – ‘Learning to Love Yourself’ (I recommend getting the bundle, for the additional workbook).  I love, love, love, this book, and if I had to only recommend you buy one thing, it would be this bundle (or just the book, if you prefer). The link to the bundle I found.  (Update from G.H. Staff: unfortunately, all they did was send me affiliate stuff, which I have no desire to do at this time.  I believe I paid $26 or $29 for my bundle.)  I was disappointed that there was such a lack of personal response, and typical form letter crap when trying to connect, but they were quick to reply, and I didn’t try to press further, so perhaps there is more ‘personal attention’ when pressed past initial contact.  But the book is incredible either way (if you ignore the duplicate paragraph a ways into the book).

Esther/Abraham Hicks – YouTube videos, definitely.  I’ve not yet read any of the books, because the YouTube videos keep coming for free.  This link will take you to lots of ad-free videos (not my channel- in fact, I don’t know this person at all, but I am grateful for their kindness in keeping ads out of the videos!).  The Abraham Hicks website can be found here

 The Bible – weird, right?  Since I started this blog with such a big to-do about how I no longer identify as ‘Christian’, in the traditional sense.  Oddly enough, when I re-read the Bible with the understanding that God is love, and Jesus was trying to show us that, and free us from our ‘unloving-ness’… it’s been really awesome (and enjoyable) to read!  I recommend this one waaayyy down the path, though.  If you read it and start feeling bad, put it down.  Your mind isn’t processing it with love.

***

I hope you enjoyed this list.  If you have read/watched/listened to any of these, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and any recommendations you may have!

I plan to add to this list over time… and may convert the information to a static blog page later, for ease of use.

Enjoy!

Hey! Leggo my… Ego?

My title was an attempt at humor I’m not sure will go over well, and I’m not sure of Eggo waffles are even a thing anywhere else but for now, it stays.

Poor Ego.  She’s derided, pushed aside, ignored, transcended, and killed… but yet… she perseveres.  

No matter what we do, we can’t ‘kill’ the ego, not permanently.  Short of death, and presumably a coma, we can barely quiet it down.

Like most humans, we find something new, and analyze it to death, then judge it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, then proceed from there.  We discovered we have this… ‘aspect’ of ourselves, discovered that it is the apparent ‘source’ of our negativity, the aspect of ourselves which is OUT of alignment with God, the Universe, Source Energy… and immediately decide it’s a bad thing, needing to be quieted or transcended or even killed!

How awful!

Ego… she’s not perfect, not by any means, but if it wasn’t for her, there is no ‘contrast’.  Humanity wouldn’t evolve, we wouldn’t grow, we wouldn’t reach for the stars… because we would survive, and we would be content, and we would be pure love and light and happiness.  Without the part of myself that is doggedly focused on me and my personal well-being and survival, my Ego, I wouldn’t survive, because I’d be too busy singing Kumbaya to remember to eat, and I’d probably end up starving to death!

Ego is the power behind your drive, your ambition, your creativity even.  What is creativity, other than the initiative to create externally that which we feel we lack internally?  Or that which we feel others lack, and would appreciate?  Ego drives all of that.

It’s DISsatisfaction that has driven human beings to invent, create, imagine, dream, grow, evolve, and expand.  Turmoil inspires change.  Most people don’t carry an umbrella on a sunny day.  We only change our habits, our routines, when change we dislike occurs within our environment.  If we have no Ego, no self-centered ‘compass’, we have no ‘self’ with which to DISLIKE anything on behalf of.

The problem isn’t our EGOs, the problem is where we focus the attention of our egos.

We allow our undisciplined Ego (well-intentioned sprout that she is) to just focus her attention anywhere!  Your ‘inner child’ isn’t some fragile, breakable thing you have to treat with kid gloves all the time.  Yeah, at first, while you’re figuring things out, you should be gentle.  You’re not so much disciplining a wayward child, you’re taming a wild beast.  A beast that has been left to its own devices for many years.  And now you think you’re just going to stroll in, point to a chair, and expect it to sit quietly?   

You guys know how I love my analogies, so if you will indulge me (well… if I will indulge myself, really, because by the time you read these words, your choice in the matter has pretty much been decided…)…

An animal is born ‘free’ whether it is born in the wild or born in captivity.  Without the awareness of ‘different’ ways of being, most animals will be completely unaware that another state of being even exists.  

If you read my blog, you’ve probably read other books, articles etc. along the same lines, so you have probably run across the story about how elephants are tied to sturdy rope as a baby, when they are not strong enough to break it, and even once they’re big and strong and could snap the rope with little effort, the rope will still hold the elephant in place, because it learned it couldn’t break the rope as a baby, so it doesn’t consider testing it once it’s an adult, and strong enough to snap the rope with little effort.

We humans are the same way.  We are taught from an early age not to cause trouble.  Not to question the rules, just to accept them and meekly obey them, until they put us in the ground, with the gold star on our gravestone that says “She never broke the rope”.

What a shitty epitaph. 

I think I’d rather mine read:

She broke their ropes, so they put her in chains.  She broke their chains, so they put her in a cell.  She escaped their cell, and set as many as she could free.

Don’t try to ‘kill’ your ego.  It’s our most precious gift.  Train it.  Break the rope, and let your spirit soar.

When you free your mind (ego) from the bonds it has been constrained with since childhood, when you tame it and train it to help you, instead of hinder you, life as you know it will change, forever.

And it is awesome.

When Is Love Not Love?

Love isn’t love when it hurts.  Love doesn’t hurt.  Deep down, you know what love feels like.  Acceptance.  Peace.  Joy.   Exhilaration.  Not pain and suffering.

If you’re in pain, you’re not in love.

If it’s annoying you, you’re not loving it.

If it outrages you, you’re not loving it.

If you’re not loving it, you’re not loving it.

Period.

Newsflash: That’s okay.

There’s no one saying you have to look at things you don’t like and force yourself to love them.  You can’t, and Continue reading “When Is Love Not Love?”

Stop Fighting, Start Loving (Part 2)

If you missed Part 1, you can go back and read it here.

How much more would you enjoy your life if nothing around you had to change in order for you to feel good and be happy?

I’m not saying every moment would be fluffy bunnies and rainbows, but any moment you want, whether you like what’s going on around you or not, the choice to be happy is yours, you just have to choose to accept the current circumstances… and make the decision to be happy, to Be More Loving, with no regard to circumstances whatsoever.

In choosing to Be More Loving, I didn’t magically stumble onto the secret to ‘happily ever after’ in the sense that I would never have problems or issues crop up in my life that make me unhappy or that I consider unpleasant to deal with.  What it meant was that I have available to me, at any time I so choose, an ‘easy button’ for Life. Continue reading “Stop Fighting, Start Loving (Part 2)”

Stop Fighting, Start Loving

This is the first part of a two-part post, part 2 of this post can be found here.

Poets and singers have been writing and singing about it, painters have been painting it, and human beings all over the world are making it, 24-hours a day… but what is ‘love’ to you?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what it means to you to give love? To be loved, as an adult?

Many of us have a long, laundry-list of what love is not, but how long is your list of what love IS?

I don’t know about you, but it’s much easier for me to be something, than to not be something.  It’s easier to be kind, than to not be mean.  It’s easier to be calm than not to panic.  It’s easier to be more understanding than to not be  frustrated, to think about what makes me happy, rather than not think about what’s making me angry.  Which is a long-winded way of saying:  Continue reading “Stop Fighting, Start Loving”

A Closer Look At Failure

What is failure?

Who decides whether we have, indeed, failed?

Who wrote your definitions of success and failure?

Was it you?  Was it your parents?  Your teachers?  Your priest?  Your wife?  Or perhaps the ethereal ‘they’ of society at large?

If it isn’t your own voice you hear calling you a success or a failure, first of all, you’re on the wrong channel, and you need to do some tuning on your dial.  If it’s your mom’s voice telling you you’re an idiot because you spilled something, tell that thought to fuck off while you clean up the mess, and ask yourself whether creating the mess makes you a success or a failure. Continue reading “A Closer Look At Failure”

What Do You Feel?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what you’re feeling?  Not how you’re feeling, but what you’re feeling?

If you’re like me, you probably never stopped, as an adult, to question the labels you gave certain feelings as a child.  Tonight, I had a major realization, that somehow, as a child, I mislabeled the combination of desire and anxiety as FEAR, then I cleverly disguised fear as ‘aversion’, or the opposite of desire!

I spent my entire life believing that there wasn’t anything I wanted to do!  I thought I lacked desire, but the truth is, I didn’t understand that the feelings I was having… THAT’S WHAT MEANINGFUL DESIRE FEELS LIKE!  The meaningful desires, the important desires, they’re SUPPOSED to be a little scary, a little challenging… they’re supposed to make you GROW! Continue reading “What Do You Feel?”

Another Little Word

My last post was about changing one little word in your vocabulary.  About changing ‘have to’ (or ‘need to’) to ‘get to’.  I challenged you to spend a day, or even a week, ‘getting to’ do all the things you used to ‘have to’ do.    I do hope you tried it, because it really does make a huge difference in how you FEEL about the thing you are doing (or are about to do).  The second reason I hope you played that little game along with me is because you may need the experience of actually noticing how you feel about something, really understanding how changing one little word in your daily speech can have such an effect on how you feel about that thing, and be willing to test that theory a little farther.

So, if this article, and the ‘game’ I offer at the end, seems a little far-fetched, or a little bit out there for you, go back to my last post, read it, and try that game first.  Then come back here and try this one!

Now, on to the fun! Continue reading “Another Little Word”

One Little Word

So, I’ve been absent the past week or two, but I hope you all are doing well!

Today, I wanted to make a little post about the way we speak, and the subtle, but powerful, way it affects us.  Earlier this week I was pondering the human condition, as I often do, and had another of my realizations. 

“I have to go to the store.”

A simple sentence.  Say it to yourself as if you do need to go to the store, and really take a moment to FEEL how it makes you feel.  Was there a weight, in your shoulders or perhaps your solar plexus, when you said it?  It will be a different feeling for everyone, but if you focus, you will feel a reaction.  Now, depending on  where you are, and how much of your day has passed, you will usually find that the thought is immediately followed by other thoughts, such as,

“I have to find my purse/car keys.”

“I have to take a shower.”

“I have to get dressed.”

“I have to make a grocery list.”

Each of these thoughts carries its own weight with it, the weight of a thing that must be done, and then the weight of all of the other things that must be done in order to do the first thing.  But now, I’d like you to shake off all those thoughts, and try this sentence:

“I get to go to the store.”

Do you feel the difference one little word makes?  You may feel a ‘lightening’ feeling, but most often, what you feel is actually the absence of weight.  When you ‘have to’ go to the store, you can immediately feel the weight that settles on/in your body, but when you change one little word, when you ‘get to’ go to the store, you have turned an obligation into an opportunity. 

An opportunity to get out of the house.

An opportunity to feel gratitude that you even have a store to go to, a place where all of your needs can be taken care of.  Eggs without chickens!  Milk without cows!  Wow!

Remember when you were a little kid? Very rarely did you ‘have to’ go to the store… you GOT to go to the store.

We ‘have to’ do the things we don’t want to do.  We have to do our taxes.  We have to do our laundry.  We have to cook dinner or wash the clothes.  

We have to go to work.

But when we get to do these things, suddenly, it’s easier to find gratitude in our day.  It’s easier to actually do them, because it’s no longer a chore to be avoided, but an opportunity to be explored.  An opportunity for fun, or an opportunity to feel gratitude… opportunities are more FUN than obligations.  

We are less resistant to opportunities than we are to obligations.

As you read the following list, pay close attention to your feelings.  Note by how you FEEL, whether the item is a ‘have to’ or a ‘get to’.  (And there’s no ‘right’ way to feel, either… if you discover ‘have to’ feelings in an area where you thought you felt ‘get to’ feelings, or should feel ‘get to’ feelings… don’t worry, because the first step to getting your feelings where you want them to be is realizing where they actually are!)

Have To or Get To?

  • go to work
  • pay bills
  • go to school
  • cook dinner
  • go to the store
  • talk to my spouse
  • talk to my children
  • wash dishes
  • go to the fair
  • call my mother
  • call my father
  • meet friends for drinks
  • read
  • vacuum
  • go to sleep
  • be intimate with my partner
  • watch the news
  • go to the movies
  • be around people
  • leave the house

As you can see, everything we do has a (usually) automatic ‘feeling’ which we have assigned it, and the nature of our thoughts dictates whether we ‘have to’ do it, or whether we ‘get to’ do it.

Think about it… how many things in your life do you have to do, versus the amount of things you get to do?  We fill our days with ‘have to’ after ‘have to’… by simply naming them ‘have to’s, and everything related to the first ‘have to’, every step required to achieve it, has now become a ‘have to’, too.  If you ‘have to’ go to the store, you now ‘have to’ get dressed, drive there, wait in line, pay, come home, put your purchases away…. have to, have to, have to.  But if you ‘get to’ go to the store, your day is suddenly full of opportunity, not resistance. 

If you have children, or if you have spent any time at all around them, this concepts is SO easy to see in action.  Think of your child when they ‘get to’ go to the store… how they behave, their mood, etc.  Now, think of your child when they ‘have to’ go to the store with you… their attitude changes drastically, they begave poorly, they have temper tantrums, they are impatient and whiney and you probably just plead with the Universe to allow you to get in and out quickly.  Same store, same kids, different attitude.  The opportunity, or the obligation.

I believe that so many of us are spending our days, trapped on a hamster wheel of ‘have to’… so we are cranky when we drive, we are impatient in line, we are short tempered with our loved ones… we spend nearly our entire day caught up in our ‘have to’ life, like children forced into the car on Saturday morning, ‘having to’ go to the store and miss our cartoons.

My challenge to you, should you choose to accept, is to spend one day (one week, for the truly daring among you) saying ‘get to’ in place of ‘have to’ (and ‘need to’!).  You may find it helpful you to keep a little notebook, and jot down everything you consciously switch… you might be surprised at how much of your life you have developed an attitude of obligation, rather than adventure, about.

As a bonus, make a quick list of three to five things you ‘have to’ do, on a regular basis, and attempt to feel gratitude for them (not just listing things you know you should be grateful for, but actually feeling gratitude)… THEN, repeat the process, but change your words to ‘get to’, and try again to feel gratitude for the things on the list.  Wow, right?  You can feel the absence of a big chunk of resistance, can’t you? 

One little word!

I’d love to hear from you, your thoughts on the topic and your results from the ‘assignment’!