chey being

Seeing what's inside again.


6 Comments

Pitfalls of the Seeker

I am currently reading Deepak Chopra’s, “The Book of Secrets.”  This excerpt stuck out to me today:

Pitfalls of the Seeker:
1. Knowing where you are going.
2. Struggling to get there.
3. Using someone else’s map.
4. Working to improve yourself.
5. Setting a time table.
6. Waiting for a miracle.

This is exactly where I have been lately, in a state of letting go, aka surrendering.  Which is probably why this resonated with me so much, but I just didn’t realize how important it was.  I did not even realize the shift that has occurred within me until I read these words.  I have read many “spiritual” books and have never heard this message put quite like this before.  So, I am feeling the need to break it down; here we go…

1.  Knowing where you are going.

quote-Tanith-Lee-i-never-know-where-i-am-going-195162

First reaction, I laughed.  Well…check mark for me because I have no clue where I am going!  Second, Holy Shit! I’m OK with that!  Usually, I am the one with the plan.  I always know where I am going and what I am doing.  And if I don’t, I am really stressed out and will find any ole distraction to fill in the space until I feel empty inside again and start the whole vicious cycle over.  I was in shock at the realization that I have been allowing myself to simply be…guided.  Ahhh…what a relief it has been.

2.  Struggling to get there.

life-is-a-struggle

 

 

 

 

 

 

My whole life I have had a deep seeded knowing that life is not meant to be a struggle.  Hard work sometimes, yes, but not a struggle.  Any time someone has told me, “Oh, that would be too hard,” or “That never happens,” I have felt the lie in those words.  It will be whatever I believe it to be.  We have the power to make things happen.  We have the incredible imagination to bring things to life.  We must allow the space for that to happen and most importantly, not be handcuffed to the outcome for it may not be exactly as we had expected, but it will be what we need.  It will be for the greater good of ourselves and others.  And in that is the lesson.  The lesson we need to move forward and grow.  If you believe life is a struggle, than that will be your life.

3. Using someone else’s map.

13486728uf

This means a few things to me.  A.) We don’t even try because someone else failed or told us not to do something because they knew a guy who knew a guy, who said it was really hard.  Yes…this happens all the time but they never fail to tell us that they really don’t know these people or if it is even true! It’s just a belief they picked up somewhere and have so graciously passed it on to you.  B.)  We do what out parents think we should do.  They not-so-gently persuade us into a life they think is best for us or a life they wish they had created themselves but didn’t.  Thankful my parents didn’t care much for what I did do, but they sure had a whole basket full of ideas about what I couldn’t do.

4. Working to improve yourself.

090600a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one seems more a play on words to me.  We are always trying to become a better version of ourselves, are we not?  I think the meaning here is that we must first accept ourselves as we are, in all our imperfections and we must continually do so.  Each time we fail or stumble, we must accept ourselves and not judge the experience.  I read somewhere recently that if you want to lose weight, you must first accept and love yourself where you are, not wait to love yourself when you achieve your goal weight.  This is what this means to me.  To be honest, I am not really where I want to be.  I hope to achieve so much more, but I am happy where I am right now and I am excited for the future.  That is a big step for me, for I am usually fearful of the future because it is unknown (I have recently learned the insanity in being afraid of an outcome that hasn’t even happened!).

5. Setting a time table.

lindsay-lohan-lindsay-lohan-i-want-to-get-married-before-im-30-and-id

Who needs that kind of pressure?  No thank you very much!  Maybe this makes me happy because it makes me feel off the hook as I progress into my forties and think on occasion, “What the hell have I done with my life?”  But really, I think it just reiterates all of the above, that we must let go of outcomes.  I think it is good to have goals and dreams, but I think it is then also good to release them.  Maybe there is even something greater than we could ever imagine in store for us and I don’t want to miss out on that!

6. Waiting for a miracle.

fearandmiracles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To me this means, ignoring what is already in front of you.  There are miracles all around but we miss them.  We discount them.  We belittle them.  And then we say we never receive them or that we are unlucky.  Miracles come in all shapes and sizes and this something I am learning every day.  I simple reminder will pop in my head just when I need it, and I will recognize and give thanks for it.  I somehow avoid a major car accident and I give thanks for it.  These are miracles.  This is something, someone watching out for me.  I’m not waiting but I will tell you, I am expecting because I believe, I listen, and I watch more and more every day.

So what does this list mean to me?  Surrender.  How am I surrendering at this very moment?  Well, normally I would re-read a post about 20 times before publishing.  Worrying about type-o’s, writing something stupid, and maybe even offending someone. Maybe even censoring myself in a way.  Well, I am not doing that today…me the perfectionist…is being not-so-perfect and I am really perfectly happy with that.

 


Leave a comment

Silence

I love being under water.  The weightlessness.  All sounds fade away.  My entire body is being touched all at once by the softness of the water.  It’s such a strange feeling because when you are fully submerged, you don’t feel wet.  It’s just comfort, like a warm cozy blanket.  The few seconds of time that I am able to hold my breath are magnified because I feel completely present, completely at peace.  All problems or cares cease to exist.  Even though I may fear what is in the water or that I may step on something unknown, the feeling of being within the water is enough for me to take my chances.  It is one of my favorite experiences.

This place reminds me of my childhood and the creek and lake that are in my old neighborhood.  I spent so many summers swimming in that lake.  I’ll never forget that I always had to keep moving or the fish would bite if I stood still for too long.  My mother called me a fish because I would stay underwater for what seemed like an impossible amount of time for my little lungs.  Like a ribbon in the wind, I would glide through the water just above the sand for as long as I could stand it.  This was my escape from all my fears, an escape into what felt like a dream world.  I could allow all my thoughts to come out in the silence.  No one could see me there under the greenish-brown water.

I remember traversing the creeks on the other side of the subdivision.  I always felt like it was undiscovered country.  I would fearlessly walk through the creeks to explore the other side.  It was so exciting and dangerous, or at least it felt like it at the time. When my mother and I hike in the mountains out West, I still feel that playfulness I had as a child.  The two of us encourage one another to overcome our fears and head into the unknown.  Decades later, it makes me happy to still carry those feelings and even more so when I let them out to play.

These were my thoughts as I walked along the wooden pathway.  The water here is frozen and covered in hard, crunchy snow, yet something made me think of summer and what it’s like to play in the water.  Everything is very still.  Unmoving.  Quiet.  And eerie in a way.  The dark tunnel only amplifies the eeriness.  It is a far cry from the splashes and squeals of summertime.  My footsteps on the cold bridge now sound off their echo.  The noise within the hollowness is a bit of a comfort now.  It’s funny how silence can be scary at times.  Like there is nothing to ground us, nothing to make us know that we exist.  Or maybe it is the fear of our mind being left to its own devices.  If there is no noise, no distractions, we may hear something we do not want to hear.  We may have to listen.  Listen to what we already know but thus far have been successful at tuning it out.

Yes, that is what I am feeling.  That is why this quietness frightens me.  I don’t want to be by myself.  I don’t want to listen with a clear head.  It will require action.  It will mean that I know and I can’t take that back.  My steps begin to slow down.  I do not want to come out into the open.  What was once spooky and dark has now become a safe haven.  I am hidden here.  It is like being under the water and no one can see me.  I stop.  It feels like a stand-off now.  Something out of the Wild West!  How did I come to this?  I was just thinking of happy childhood memories and now I am frozen in place.  I know I am only facing myself.  I know it is a more peaceful self.  A happier self.  Yet it is truly frightening.

I begin to pace now from side to side.  It is colder here in the shade and I feel the need to move.  There is an anxiety building in my chest and I am finding it hard to breathe.  I start to talk to myself.  I tell my self to calm down, that everything is OK.  I force myself to take some deep breaths.  Just then, as if whispered in my ear, I hear that I am safe.  I am safe.  These words come to me as a knowing.  I already know that.  I laugh a bit and smile.  Of course, I am always safe for it’s just me.  My soul, my guiding light that only ever wants what is best for me.  The one that wants me to stop and listen more often.  The one that tirelessly tries to show me and lead me towards my highest good.  The wave of fear has left me now.

I take a deep breath and walk into the light.  I will stand there and I will listen in the silence.

 

Photo courtesy of D. Campbell.


2 Comments

The Invitation

A continuation from A Book Is All It Took.

I could not believe that my pithy email had been read by a real live person and that they were reaching out to me!  I called the woman back who had left the message.  She simply said that the author would like to have me on his radio show that evening and I could talk about anything I wanted.  I remember her being very kind with a great warmth in her voice.  Of course, I agreed with barely suppressed excitement.  I know when I hung up that I took a few deep breaths to allow the reality of it to register and then I skipped around the room doing a long forgotten happy dance.  I had no idea what to expect but I was so unbelievably desperate for help that this chance, this opportunity, had me jumping out of my skin with hope.  Pure hope.

It was time for a change.  Something had to change.

I remember telling James and hearing his lack of enthusiasm.  We never really agreed on spiritual or religious beliefs and I am pretty sure he thought this author was a whack job.  James was a non-practicing-but-for-holidays Jew and I was a church-soured ex-Christian.  Although his reaction was not surprising, it did hurt.  I am not sure if he was afraid that I would be led to leave him or what.  This and the proceeding events were something we were to never really discuss.  I did find out years later that he had listened to me on the radio.  He never told me that and I wish I knew why.  I have often wondered if he felt responsible for my pain and suffering and if it was easier for him to ignore it.  I wanted him to be happy for me but thankfully my own enthusiasm was enough not to care what he thought.

I wanted to make my scheduled call in private and uninterrupted, so I made up some lie to get out of the house where I could then call from my car.  I did not tell my husband at this point as I did not want him to hear anything; I needed to speak freely and openly.  I arrived at my intended destination, a parking lot, and waited.  I was so nervous that I began to think this wasn’t really going to happen, that it was all a hoax of some sort.  When I finally made the call and it was busy, my fears deepened.  This had to happen was all I could think.  After the second or third try I made it through.

The author told me that he had two guests in his studio that would be joining us.  He then asked me what was on my mind and well, I just blurted it all out without any reservations or fear.  I said that I had been having a long-term affair…It was killing me…I hated living a lie…I was having unexplainable pain…I was in constant fear of being horribly sick.  I said them as if they were two separate issues.  1.  I don’t know how to leave my lover and 2. Somebody heal me because I’m going to kill myself!  In my mind, at this point, they were two separate issues.  Even though I knew the stress of the affair was taking a toll on me, it did not occur to me to address the issue causing the stress.  I only thought to deal with the symptoms.  In fact, my health issues were all I had mentioned in my email.  I honestly had a mental block with my relationships because I did not know what to do.  I was in some sick, twisted state of limbo.  I couldn’t leave James no matter how many times I tried and I couldn’t leave my husband, so I did nothing.  As hard as it is to believe, even to myself now, neither of my options were remotely fathomable to me at this time.

The author asked the guests to respond first.  My first thoughts were that I couldn’t believe how nice and understanding they all were.  Internally, I felt like such a low-life for admitting my affair that I suppose I expected to be shamed and judged in some way, but it was quite the opposite.  They truly only had love and compassion in their voices.   After a brief back and forth, one of the guests asked me to sit quietly and go within.  What?!?  I slowly began to freak out.  I could feel my heart rate skyrocketing.  I was so wound up with expectations that there was no way I was going to have some calm, zen-like internal moment with myself.  All I could think was that this was not helping me and that my big chance of getting any help was diminishing by the second.  She asked me how I was feeling after a few moments and I told her that I wasn’t feeling anything.  I think the author sensed the sheer panic arising in my voice.  He told me that I needed to deal with these issues before I gave myself a real disease.  He said he was having a week long retreat in the next month and asked if I would like to come; he wanted to speak with me further.  All I had to do was get myself there and he would take care of the rest.

Oh…my…God!

The author told me off air that he would have someone give me a phone number to call later that evening to make the arrangements.  I could not believe my good fortune.  I had gone from panic to elation in a matter of minutes.  We hung up and I sat in my car and cried.  I wept uncontrollably because I could not believe that someone cared enough about me to offer help like that.  I didn’t feel deserving.  I was the woman who walked around with the big scarlet letter on her chest.  I deserved to be stoned at the altar.  I deserved all the sideways glances.  I deserved the venom of judgement.  But not this night.  This night I was greeted with love and compassion.  I was offered a hand to bring me out of the darkness and I was ready.  I was ready for anything.

Up next:  The Retreat

You can find my story from the beginning under the category, My Conscious Journey To Divorce.


10 Comments

It was easy there.

Just days ago, I was on a trip like no other trip.  It was not a vacation where we run to and fro collecting as many sites and experiences as possible, but rather an exploration and awakening of my soul.  A meditation retreat.  A place where I found safe haven, love and life-long friends.  It was easy there.  I shut myself off from phones, computers, television and family.  I could breathe unencumbered by daily chores, work, family distractions and most importantly, my own go-to forms of distractions and excuses.  I was cared for by loving people making my food and providing me with a clean room to rest.  I was guided by mentors who graciously shared their knowledge as they were born to do.  We were all handed this bounty of love on a beautiful silver platter, there for the taking.  Of course, we all partook.  We all made commitments.  We all created intentions.  We all faced our past, our heartaches, and our fears.  And we all resided in a place of pure love.

It was easy there.

As our time came to a close we began to gear up.  There was work to be done.  There was commitments to uphold.  Not to the outside world, but within ourselves.  I ebbed and flowed between the excitement of a child with a new toy to be explored, to a passenger on a crashing plane bracing for impact.  I was scared.  I was fearful that I would fail.  I was fearful that my life would suck me back in to its numbing chaos.  Even with my fears bouncing off the walls of my mind, I felt a knowing that I had turned a corner and there was no going back.  On our last day together, a beautiful soul whispered in my ear, “I keep hearing, ‘Keep going, keep going.'”  It was what I needed.  It was precious fuel for my tank in case I began to run on fumes.

So here I am, days later.  Back home.  Back to the reality I have created.  I was not granted a warm welcome.  I was denied a welcoming of love and happiness. I look out the window now and it is snowing.  Much different than the rains of Costa Rica that washed away the heavy heat.  I don’t mind it.  I don’t mind the weather greeting my journey home with freezing temperatures.  It is all beautiful.  But I do mind the way my husband, the one who is supposed to love me unconditionally, greeted me.  Since my feet have landed onto US soil, I have been hailed upon by his insecurities.  He would not grant me his love and happiness until he felt secure in our relationship.  Only after an argument, only after him blowing off my feelings of disappointment in his reaction, did he try to turn around and express his happiness for me.  He does not hear me.  He does not listen to my pain.  He had flowers and a sweet card for me.  It meant nothing.  I wanted to laugh hysterically.  I could literally feel their emptiness for there was no love behind them.

So this has been my experience upon arriving home.  A barrage of insinuating and ridiculous questions.  A “love you” one minute, and anger the next.  My head is spinning.  As if on a hyper-speed roller coaster, I am desperately trying to reach up and grabbed my head, grab my heart and hold on for dear life.  Hold on to all I have experienced.  Hold on to all the love I was so freely given.  Hold on to the self that I am.

My throat has been sore since the day I arrived home.  I looked it up in Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life.  It states, “Holding in angry words.  Feeling unable to express the self.”  Yeah.  That pretty much sums it up.  Her book also says that the throat is where change takes place.  Whether it be resisting change, going through change or simply trying to change.  I am a bit of each, I suppose.  I am resisting dealing with my husband.  I am definitely going through changes within and it is a taking its toll.  It is work.  It is work waking up early to meditate.  It is work to calm the mind, set aside all the busyness and write from my heart.  However, I know it will get easier.  I know every little piece, every little crevice of my life will be better for it and so I continue on this path.

I feel I am gearing up.  Gearing up for battle?  I don’t know, but I do know I am not prepared to act on  my marriage right now.  I am not strong enough to go through a divorce again in this moment.  I need to build an internal army that will keep me strong, protect me, shield me and most importantly, guide me.  I am OK with this.  I will know when the time is right; I will feel it in my gut.  It will be loud and clear.  I have been there before and I will recognize it when it is time.  Now is time for me.  Now is time for me to grow in my awareness.  Time to look at everything with a renewed curiosity.  Time to connect with God, Source, the Universe, My Higher Self, call it what you like.  I have been away too long.  It is time to look beyond the veil, return home and…

“Keep going, keep going.”


4 Comments

Fear Becomes Me, Part Two

[Here in my little not-so-private space, I have ever-so-slowly been sharing my story of divorce.  Part One left off with my husband’s discovery of my affair and my struggles with the stress of it all.]

I have spent a good amount of time on the St. Clair river.  Enormous freighters frequently pass through its deep blue water in a deceivingly effortless motion.  When the sun is shining on the wide river, the water is a transparent turquoise to rival any Caribbean sea.  The ships and boats that pass through create waves that bounce back and forth between the shores of the US and Canada.  They have nowhere to go thus creating huge waves in every direction with no rhyme or reason.  These menacing waves however, are no match for the giant metal barges.  At the front of the ships, the water swells to the big bullies in a continuous mound of crystal blue.  On most days, it can not win the fight.

This is how I felt back then, in a constant state of defense.  I was the water, feeling hopelessly pushed around with no control.  I was not deciding my fate, I was letting the situation rule my every move.

After years of secrets, there should have been some form of relief when my husband found out.  I’ve always heard that most people, deep down, want to be caught.  This seems ridiculous at first, but when thinking about the stress of it all, I can really begin to understand it.  However, there was no relief; the stress simply turned to, “How am I going to make this mess work?”  That is the only thought that crossed my mind.  I did not even think about divorce.  There was no love left, no anything left, but divorce did not cross my mind.  I had to continue to live a lie.  I had stopped the affair (for ever, I thought), but the mirage of being happy needed to continue.

So easily, I let my mind trick and suppress my soul.   I think sometimes that my very being had grown tired of me ignoring its warnings and just went into a deep dark corner where it waited in silence.

My mind continued to tell me that I could somehow make this work.  That I could somehow live a life with a man I did not want to be with.  It was around this time that the stress began take a toll on my body.   It began with numbness in my arms and legs,  then into the side of my face, followed by pins and needles in the hands and feet, and unexplainable pain in my arm.

One day early on, I was so afraid I was having a heart attack that I went to the ER.  The nurse there asked if MS ran in my family.  No, I said, but that simple little question set in motion 8 plus years of living in constant fear.  I was sent into full-out panic mode!  I went home and began reading all about MS on the internet.  Yeah, I know (now), BIG mistake!  I have to preface this story by saying that I am somewhat of a hypochondriac and this did not help my situation.

I began to breath fear.  I could not escape the worry that I may have some debilitating disease.  It consumed…every…thought. 

If I thought I was in hell before, this was a whole new kind of hell.  My life quickly became caught in a revolving door of doctors, specialists, herbalists, acupuncturists, psychics, you name it.  If I thought they could help me, I was going to try it.  The craziest part of all of this was that every test (and I had a lot of them), came back negative!  No one had any idea what was wrong with me.  Yet, I continued to search out new and better doctors.  I was happy with each negative test for about two minutes; they did nothing to suppress my fear because I still felt awful.  I would only think, “What if it just hasn’t shown up yet?”  It became my belief that somewhere, somehow, I was going to find the antidote to whatever the hell was wrong with me.

I had even succumbed to trying several anti-depressants.  Emphasis on the word, succombed, because I also have a fear of taking prescriptions.  I had so much anxiety about taking the drugs that it made me feel worse.  I also had so many side-effects to the drugs that were not working anyway, that I finally gave up.  I was going to have to suffer all on my own.

I was a tangled mess of desperation and fear.  I would have slaughtered a pig and painted myself with its blood if I thought it would heal me.

Sadly, actually pathetically, I never believed or thought that the massive amount of stress I was under had anything to do with my symptoms.  I never thought that my very life was becoming dependent on getting out of my current situation.

Up next:  A Book Is All It Took

This post is the continuation of my story and journey to divorce.   You can find my story from the beginning under the category, My Conscious Journey to Divorce.

 


Leave a comment

How are you going to go out?

The Secret Of Life.

This short little video above is about life, but instead, it really made me think about death.  As a young child I had an abnormal fear of death.  I remember several occasions when I was very young, laying awake at night in a layer of sweat worrying about dying.  These episodes subsided as I grew up because like most people, I became quite adapt at shutting out topics I didn’t want to think about.

As the years have past, I am not sure if I have done well avoiding the topic or if it is simply something most of us think about but rarely talk about.  Each decade of my life that passes, I seem to think about it more.  It’s there looming of course, and becoming ever more a clearer reality.

index

OK, I really am not wanting to write some depressing post…no, seriously!  In fact, this post is about letting go of the fear of death and the fear of LIFE.  In the video, there is a line, “The fear of death is completely obsurd because if you’re dead you got nothing to worry about, so you’ll be alright.”  It sounds stupid simple but it makes a good point.  When I really stop and think about it, I am more afraid of being in pain and/or suffering than not existing on this planet.  The whole non-existing thing well, depending on your beliefs, it just might be the most amazing thing ever.

I am grateful that I no longer have mini panic attacks over dying.  Maybe it comes with maturity, maybe it comes with being less fearful in life, or maybe it just comes when you’re plain worn out from life.  I am grateful for the fact that the older I get, the more I let go of fear, the more I want to do whatever the hell I want to do!  Amen to Bucket Lists!  I wish to God that I would have felt this way 20 years ago, but…no regrets.  Perhaps, this is exactly what I came here to experience.  Whatever the reason for my transformation, I now fear not living more than I fear death.
images

What is important is only this very moment.  What are you going to do with this very moment?  Life isn’t about the drama, the temporary problems, or even that traffic jam that we overreact to (You know who you are!!).  Life is about that feeling you get when your child gives you the biggest hug for no reason, it’s about walking barefoot in the grass, it’s about making someone’s day, and it’s about whatever makes you STOP and feelhearsmell…or taste.

It’s so easy to romanticize, but it really does come down to a choice.  Your choice.  It’s not about “If that didn’t,” or “When that happens.”  It’s about right now, changing your focus, changing your perspective and letting go of the security blanket that is really having the opposite effect.  Sure, we all get down, make excuses ad nauseum, have bad days, or have bad things happen, but the difference is how long we stay in that bad place.  It’s like my writing right now, the longer I am “too busy” to write, the harder it is to get back to what I love.

index

Now, how are you going to go out?


8 Comments

When what is, is enough.

How often do we talk about something we are really happy about and then in the same breath we complain about something else?  How often do our wheels spin on all our problems and “To do” lists instead of what is going great?  How often do we celebrate the good things, compared to complaining about the bad?

I’ve been feeling pretty good on a large front lately.  At the beginning of the year, I quit my stay-at-home job with the family business to pursue writing and to teach Pilates.  I had grown to hate the isolation of working at home…alone…in front of a computer, day in and day out.  It was a tough decision to let go of control and add the financial burden of a new employee, but I have never looked back.  Last month I completed my training and threw myself out (more like crept out with trepidation) into the world looking for work (Also the reason for my long absence from WP).  I had not searched for a job in over 20 years!  Within two weeks, the work poured in and it’s still coming from unexpected places and situations.

index

So, yes, I have been on a nice high the past few weeks from accomplishing my goal.  But then…I thought, what about my marriage?  My marriage is falling apart.  The high began to fade.  I am no longer distracted from my marriage woes.  It was a fun few weeks to pour my soul into something and forget my other reality.  As I began to stress about the status of my marriage, I began to get very angry at this dark cloud that was ruining my good mood.  I began to get angry that I was allowing it to ruin my good mood.  How does one stay happy, or even calm, when there is a big tiger in the room that must be addressed?

index

I just want to be happy.  How many times a minute is that phrase uttered around the world?  Too many.  Through all my highs and lows, I came to realize that there may always be something that is not right. Something that drags us down.  Something that causes great sadness.  Some tough decision that must be made.  I think it takes practice to change our focus, to change our perspective.  That is life and how we grow and evolve into better human beings.  I know I am a much calmer person since I have had the realization that good things usually come from bad in the end.  There is always enough should I choose to believe there is.  And if I am never happy with “what is,” I will never be happy, period.

While I still feel the dark cloud looming, I must learn to be an observer.  Yes, it’s there.  So what?