Saturday, August 6, 2016
What a strange and interesting time this seems to be in our world. I cannot begin to scratch the surface of all of the happenings of this world without wanting to brush it all away and dig right down deeply into the core of what seems to ail all of humanity. It seems to me, at the heart of all of our woes lies this insidious subtle and often blatantly active fear. Fear seems to be at the heart of everything going seemingly wrong today. But what on Earth can we do? Honestly, nothing. As weird, heartless or oblivious as that may seem, there isn’t really anything to fix “out there.”
If we want to get to the heart of what ails humanity at this time, we need look no further than our own backyards. For there, we will find a rich universe from which we may draw our own conclusions about where we are, and why we are and what we might do with significant impact. Translated simply – we can fix ourselves but we can’t really fix anyone or anything else. I’ve written often before of the path of understanding as the mechanism through which we can at least learn to hold compassion for ourselves and compassion for each other no matter what state or place we find ourselves in.
We are plagued with this life-preserving ability to compare, contrast and quickly discern all that is seemingly bad around us. It really does help us make decisions in a moment about what we should stick closer to and what we should move ourselves very far away from. But, what if we judge wrongly even in our own perception at a time where any form of truth is truly obscured? This would be the case in terms of undetected negative environmental psychology that truly dictates the bulk of our perception of our many experiences in this world. I’m learning of late that there just is no way for us to transcend our psychology. We cannot fix the core of who we are. We just aren’t able and besides that, there isn’t anything to fix. We can come to greater understanding of all that triggers us and if we can at least become aware of the fact that our thoughts, emotions and reactions in any given moment are just that – triggers – what an amazing and monumental leap on our own personal journey does that bring us. Better yet, diving into the deep and endless pool of those triggers to better understand, deeply love and infinitely appreciate our truest self is beyond amazing.
Our very lives these days are so interlaced with psychology, superficial understanding coupled with time honored traditions in human behavior that it is difficult at best to realize who is reacting versus who is intentionally responding to whatever it is they face in a moment. Reaction and response may seem like two things of the same core motivational essence but that couldn’t be any more over-simplified. I write much about this topic in so many different ways and in so many different perspectives. Why? Well, it is hard to discern the space we are reacting from in earnest. In mindfulness we learn that our human nature is to think thoughts incessantly, ascribe emotions to those thoughts and that triggers us into reaction. But, what if we truly could learn to allow all those thoughts and their associated emotions and just let them be without judging them or ascribing further insult to seeming injury?
Well, we can do that. But, if you want to do that in order to release yourself from states of too much worry, too much pain and too much unhappiness, you really need to learn what mindfulness is and you need to be open to embracing higher understanding. Again, translating simply – awareness through understanding is key to relieving you of all that mentally ails you. This you can do if only you opened your mind, heart and soul to it.
But on the other side of this very complex coin of human existence, we have a very rich, seemingly unreachable aspect of our being…some call it Spirit or Soul, some consider it mind or consciousness. The deeper aspects of our being begs greater understanding for there we can grasp the essence of the impetus for our manifestation in this frame, within this beautiful and endless seeming dream. We are, at best, what we most chose to be and how we most wish to embrace it – whatever “it” is. There is truly nothing to do to “fix” or save ourselves or each other from in life. Life is as it is and it is only our lack of understanding that drives us to our territorial desire for the many and varied manifestations of suffering hidden by our own design. When you understand you free yourselves a little and then a little more to move through this conscious dream awake and ever more aware. So, we need not worry so much about the state of things. It is better yet to remain ever curious, ever hopeful and ever compassionate with self and the whole of life. Take heart this dream – your life – has purpose. You matter. This dream matters. Take the lessons to heart and love yourselves even more deeply. Blessings for higher love and greater understanding.
© 2016 Jaie Hart
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Cool breeze invited in, darkness slowly turning to light, warm coffee in hand, Beethoven soothing the edges in the background and good morning star shine! It is so quiet in this moment. I just finished a little mindfulness meditation and that blanket of cool, calm presence is still with me. I appreciate deeply, moments such as these where I can truly step out of a stressful seeming life and embrace the calm stillness that can be found self-contained within my being. That’s a shock to me to think knowing the mountains of stress that I normally carry. But, I’m learning to set it down when I need to without running away in panic and fear.
My thoughts drift in and out of cohesiveness. A part reaches into the depths of all that is known and then unknown, another reaches into the past and yet another reaches into the future. All experience is contained here within me and all experience pulses seemingly outside as well. As above, so below, is it said in books from antiquity. What is within is also without as you gaze into the creative comparisons of celestial constellations and the human eye, the brain, our cells and more. Isn’t it curious how in that very moment you have a single desire to seek connections and then you find them everywhere? Is that desire seeking a new thought for something to grab hold of or is it merely a memory and a knowing of what truly already is?
The building blocks of light and life are so perfectly beautiful that it just doesn’t seem to matter. Within us there exists in any given moment a mass of violent destruction and also the moments of gentle renewal and beautiful creation. I look out into this world and I see the same. Dichotomy juxtaposed instantaneously with a thought, recognition of sorts at a level beyond my normal consciousness. I could while away the hours contemplating and deeply so but a little tug and the needy tendrils reaching into the ether come back, calm, peaceful ready and willing to be silently entertained as I watch the life teeming all around me. So, no thoughts are so craftily construct today with big questions and hinting at answers. I’ve said all that I needed to say for now and for a while I shall content myself with a tactile existence relishing the sensations of cool air, warm coffee and exhilarating notes tacked together so artfully. And breathe softly and deeply as the rays of our brilliant white-hot sun reach into and through a misty blanket of cooling low pressured clouds. That’s enough for this moment, for this absolutely perfect moment.
© 2016 Jaie Hart (photo from skymania.com)
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Constructive conflict is actually quite beneficial. If you choose to engage in it fully present and by engaging in it fully present I mean that you are not reacting on autopilot from some past egoic wounding, are not triggered and can listen and communicate effectively, you can actually use the conflict to build compassion and understanding for yourself, for others and gosh, for the world at large. So, let me explain something and I won’t go too deep because I’ve got other blog posts that deal with this – if you are triggered into reacting, that urge to bite back has nothing to do with the present but rather is a piece of you living in the past. You can’t win a present day battle (of sorts) while you are stuck in the past seething or grieving for something you can’t fully comprehend. Like a dog who has been hit with a shoe by a former abusive owner, in a new, loving and healthy environment, if the dog is still flinching when its owners put on their shoes, the poor doggie is still caught in the past and is not fully present and open to receiving the wonderful love and comfort her new owners have to give her. Likewise, if you are trapped in the past trying to deal with present day conflict, how on Earth are you ever going to be able to spot genuine love and constructive criticism that will help you in life? You won’t because you’ll be too closed off in pain to recognize it. So, the pause I speak of will give you a moment to disengage from the past, the triggers and the pain and give you an opportunity to see things fresh and clear in order to respond.
We are so very amazing that we will do anything to heal ourselves. Sometimes a current day battle was chosen by you unconsciously – you chose people in your present life similar to those in your past to help you see the wounding you still carry. You won’t be able to see that if you are caught up in the past emotion of it but you’ll feel that triggered response and if you disengage, you may see that trigger and have a moment to go back and ask yourself, what do I need to comfort THAT.? Then, you can ask about the present day conflict – what do I need now in this situation? Separating the past from the present can be difficult if you lack the awareness to see a trigger from an old wound versus uncomfortable conflict in your present day reality. Know this, everyone is reacting from the past at some level and when you separate your own past from someone else’s in a heated moment of conflict, you have the chance to rise above it for both of you. Now, you both have to be willing to go and if you are, much can be faced openly - you can take the opportunity to grow. But if you don’t pause and become aware of your own reaction, you won’t see the pain someone else is likely in when they’ve spoken up and taken action either physically or verbally to wreck your world in a moment.
You can choose not to react and begin to ask them questions to give yourself a better frame to work within as well. Simple questions like:
1. Who said or did X?
2. What do you mean exactly?
3. When did that occur?
4. Where did you see this?
5. Why do you say that or what makes you think that?
6. How do you think we can resolve this?
7. I need a moment to consider what you’ve said. Can we pick this up later today or tomorrow when cooler heads can prevail?
Rather than mounting an epic and justified defense and getting sucked into the drama, consider using these questions to help the other person clearly specify the real issue at the heart of the matter rather than assuming and reacting. Use the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How in an earnest way to understand the point of the other without making any assumptions. If you assume, you’ll just be projecting your psychology as they may be doing. So ask questions – what makes you say that? How do you come to this understanding? Why would you assume rather than ask me? The answers could provide you with some invaluable insight into your own behavior as well as the behavior of others. Be honorable and act with integrity here if you wish to grow. Pushing buttons is for the fearful and woefully wounded.
Getting to the heart of conflict is meaningful and eye-opening work. Reacting to the assumptions, name-calling and the negative aspects of conflict is just draining. There is another side that you need to be aware of too. For some, they cannot get themselves out of the past and will continue to engage in behavior you may find attacking, demeaning, unsupportive or belittling. Realize something right this moment – that IS THEIR PSYCHOLOGY and it has nothing to do with you. Through asking questions, you can determine what it is you are truly dealing with and then you can make choices that are best for you – quietly and gently respond rather than reacting spooled up with emotion. You may have to decide if this is habitual behavior from someone who won’t get themselves some help or if this is actually a cry for help or understanding. You need your wits about you because I will tell you – the zombie apocalypse has nothing to do with half dead people walking around seeking brainzzzz….giggles. The zombies, in my mind, are poor human souls mired in the illusion of a very painful past. They don’t need brainzzzz, (e.g., a battle) they need love and understanding, they need a gentle awakening and much kindness and care. In their zombie state, it will be hard to get through. If you become very strong and learn not to react to their drama and wish to respond to it and feel you can live with it without become drenched in their psychology or reinforcing your own, knock yourself out – that is admirable. If you can’t, set a boundary and make new choices. Heck, if you’re the zombie – hey, we’ve all been there and that’s okay. There is a way out that doesn’t equate to continually engaging in the same arguments day after day and getting the same results. You can love yourselves free of the past, get yourselves some psychological assistance and beginning living today.
The bottom line:
· You are responsible for your triggers and that isn’t about blame, it is about understanding and learning to hold self-compassion.
· When you are triggered, it is the past knocking at your door. You do get to decide whether or not you will open it or keep it the door open.
· To resolve the past conflict, get present and clear so you can truly see the present conflict. The two are very likely intertwined but you'll need to be clear and present to resolve the present conflict first and then the understanding it brings may help you resolve the conflict of the past or at least reconcile your thoughts on it.
· Be willing to inquire rather than assume and that will get you closer to the truth about you and about the other party.
· You don’t have to engage in the psychology and drama of others. You can walk away without doing battle with the emotionally wounded.
· You can love yourself enough to allow yourself to be calm and present.
· Being calm and present allows you to show love and respect not only to yourself, but others as well.
© Jaie Hart (photo/words)
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Crystalline shards of champagne colored light pierced the Earth and the mists of a gray sky slips silently into a pure sea of cerulean blue. Trance-like I was struck by the awe and beauty in the midst of a very ordinary morning drive. Curious, there was a human form still and prone on the sidewalk. Draped she was, in black and red coat and now very crumpled hat near a walker now crashed against a wall just beyond the sidewalk. My heart slipped into a less bright space at the tragic sight. A lone policeman entered my vision, obviously called to her rescue, thank goodness. Sigh and swift breath in and the trees caught my attention again as I flowed with the traffic along the road like a metal moving stream. Black car weaves in and out of the lines while blue car swerves to miss something in the way. The pavement sparkles in morning’s first light in between dancing shadows looming large still as we all go.
In unison we move oblivious to each other and I find that ever more curious still. There is such diversity crashing into the breath of one single moment here but no one seems to notice it. It seems sometimes I stand like a still figure in the frame of a slow motion movie where all is swirling, moving and chaotic. I breathe in slowly and then let go. I follow the dance of dark and light in some chain-reaction motion and commotion that never seems to stop and then I wonder how it is I could feel so distant wrapped in a warm cocoon of silence as all around me stirs. It must be the achievement of my 86th day of meditation without break that allows me now to step out of the stream and witness from both within and without. Every more curiouser my consciousness grows
What an interesting sensation this space between heartbeats,; between breaths and choice? Would that I could stay here but I know myself all too well. In just a moment here or there an emotion will sweep in undetected until it is by far too late and I’ll slip out of this quiet space and flow again in the stream of life looking back and remembering the silent stillness of the conscious pause I was some how able to take. I’ll be glad for the moment’s peaceful pause and the infinite strength and peace that it brought me. Life is chaotic, agitating, invigorating and ultimately wonderful. We just need to continually remain open to the unexpected. Maybe decide to allow new experiences and ever greater compassion to set into our souls along with an ever increasing capacity for understanding what is with a keen awareness that does not resist the flow.
I pause again now as my thoughts wish to settle into the warm sunny dance of these beautiful rays of morning light. It’s just another day in an extraordinary moment of an ordinary life.
© 2016 Jaie Hart (photo/words)
Monday, May 30, 2016
I do not wish to be known by the things that vex me most and so I write about the things I aspire to achieve, the states I aspire to reach and the frames of reference I most wish to hold in this world. As I cut a path through lavender fields of Jacaranda blossoms on the way to work yesterday, I realized that I had not written in quite a while. I’ve not gone out to take pictures, drawn, painted or taken an aware stroll in nature. My life has not been about those things of late. So, what have they been about some might wonder? I would say, “Experience and the perceptions of my experiences in the absence of judgment.” Following a period of just being with my thoughts, just being with my perceptions without any desire to change anything, well, it changed everything.
I cannot begin to pull you into the journey I have taken these last many months of existence in my frame. It would be too difficult, too boring and at the same time, too unbelievable. I may even be a bit premature in my venturing out of my voluntary silence and solitude of sorts. But, none-the-less, I am here – we are all here just living, loving, learning, leaving and starting over and over again in the minutes we weave into the days, weeks and years of our lives.
Some observations of late and conclusions I have temporarily arrived at is that I can no longer write and tell you what is right, what is wrong, what is blue, yellow, red or purple. I cannot tell you precisely what I have experienced because to do so I would have to commit to believing that any of it happened the way I perceived it. Truth be told, I’m not really sure what the truth is any more about anything. In some ways, I suppose, a tiny break in my former reality is where I’ve been while continuing to exist, work and function within it. That is quite a strange experience, I must say but an incredibly valuable one. I have lost myself in sensation, the richness, the aliveness, the beingness for no other reason than I could. I have not changed and yet, I cannot say that I have not completely gone and left everything that was me behind me, or, well, maybe I have recovered a more authentic version? What I find today is there are many things I once feared, that I fear no longer. There are things I never thought of before that I now think of and realize that no matter how bright I am, I can never reach the nth of the nuances my mind craves to reach. I just can’t “brain-that” or try to any more. A part of my once very blind optimism has disintegrated not into reality but rather into an extreme sense of presence that I can claim neither as realism nor optimism any longer. I like idealism but that isn’t reality either. I rather prefer a new space or frame and that is one of neutrality, joyful, benign and calming neutrality.
I tire of those who require me to choose a side, choose Democrat or Republican, choose dark or light, choose in or out; define yourself by labels? No. I no longer wish to. Whether I do or not I’ll be judged by the perception of others and even that judgment has no bearing on my perception of reality. It may color my experience lonely or full but what is that any way? Why is it important? Do we not already place an over abundance of importance on things that don’t really add to the totality of the whole of existence with any true significance? I do not wish to settle for the superficiality of existence any more and I also do not wish to let this psychological core of my existence drive me into behaviors or actions I’ll just have to later suffer until I gain the lessons great from which I may learn and prosper or succeed in life in some way. What if there is no “succeeding” and what if we are already quite prosperous in our ability to take breath, exist, dream, sleep, wake, enjoy a morsel or beverage or the rays of the sun dancing on the rooftops followed by starlight chasing away the chill of the night?
As I said, it is possible I am a bit premature in my venturing back into the world of writing and blogging. More time yet may be needed to just sink into the newness of sensation, satisfactory existence, beautiful and blissful neutrality, balance and equanimity. I don’t know. I may publish this even if it is difficult to follow because it is real and it is me right now. I’m happy and sad, I’m elated and mad. I love this life immensely and I shall no longer fear it. I want to really live it. The time I have spent sorting through my thoughts and tapping them out like mad on these keys may or may not be coming to somewhat of a close. Perhaps it is just a momentary transformation. We are continually transforming in every breath and step that we take into a newness of being we know not the true origins of and that is just simply okay. It doesn’t matter. Past lives, do not matter. Future lives do not matter. Who you’ve been matters not, who you’ve planned to become matters not. What really matters is this one moment that you are in – how do you feel – what do you feel? Can you find any form of gratitude in that? If you can – good for you. Step one and done. Life is amazing, let us never forget this. The boring drudgery of the day in and day out can dull your senses to the point of sheer madness and senselessness. It’s okay. Just let it be. Breathe in and out and feel the unique essence of your body, your energy, your presence right here and now. Maybe, there is nothing else and maybe that is perfect. The search truly is over. The new frontier is where we’ve always been and will ever long be. Not knowing is the cause and acceptance is the key. Blessings for your perfect journey.
© 2016 Jaie Hart (photo and words)
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Life is a journey comprised of millions of little journeys we take with our minds and hearts and every day one of those journeys ends in some way. They end because greater realization of the life lesson; the purpose behind that journey has somehow been completely fulfilled and the journey just ends in that very second the lesson dawns.
So, for a very long time (call me a slow learner if you like – I like to think I just savored the journey), I have been on a spiritual quest of sorts to understand my place and space in this universe; the gravity from alternative realities (aka illusions, beliefs, etc.). Somewhere inside of me a rebel was born and I naturally bristle against any kind or form of system. Oh, I can play within them, but I don’t like them. Inauthentically, I will play within them out of curiosity or necessity. Maybe that isn’t so inauthentic after all. Maybe I need to right my own thinking there for ease of the tension that line of thinking creates for what is tense shall surely break.
The New Age movement (a system of sorts) called to me in my early twenties and I researched and explored a good number of things. Life presented me with no shortage of miraculous things to contemplate in my travels through time/space in this reality I liken to a dream; a somewhat lucid one. Were I entirely awake in the dream, it and all of you would disappear. And a part of me lets go further with the very thought and I begin to move away from one system of many.
So, philosophy then knocked on my door and all that I learned suddenly didn’t matter any more. I argued myself into a place where I felt something indefinable but somewhat familiar in an eerie way there are no words to define. There is a timelessness to the feeling and if you sit within it ever longer, you realize that timelessness is beyond words, it is alive, conscious, and infinite. And, better yet, you are intricately connected to it – you are it. Oh the realization then dawns unconsciously at first when the urges to explore begin to cease and curiosity becomes “whatever happens is fine” and everything that used to get a rise out of you begins to relax and smooth out around the ages. Maybe it doesn't feel that way all of the time but enough for you to notice that there is something much bigger than the small-minded thinking you’ve held onto your whole life.
If you allow this notion to unravel further (and for each it unravels differently), you realize there is no spiritual quest – you are both the quest and the questor – the beginning of it and the end of it; the single constant observing the entirety of your life through eyes you claim belong to you and ears you claim belong to you and a body you call your own and demand so much from and yet take for granted. It’s truly a beautiful vehicle that contains a complex mix of consciousness, stratified by egotistical views, compassionate and expansive views and perfectly functioning systems layered precisely to maintain a constant state of homeostasis despite environmental effects.
Did you ever wonder about any of this? For years I did but the spiritual quest or journey is over for me suddenly, I find and I liken it to the feeling of air flight just after take off when you achieve initial altitude and rocketing skyward and then there is that moment when the engines cut a bit and it feels a little weightlessness before a direction is set and the plain moves gently towards it. I found that part – that stopping of rapid movement and the slowing of effort into this weightlessness of letting go of yearning. I rest now so peacefully in the expansive conscious knowing that the wait and quest for spiritual answers are over. And now I breathe content to be as I AM.
© 2016, Jaie Hart (photo/words)
Saturday, February 6, 2016
So many people in this world want to save people from themselves. This is an honorable intention, no doubt. But what if we realized that suffering was truly optional and that our intention to save people from themselves would actually result in robbing others from an experience they are choosing to experience? What if instead, we took a look at our own desire to save and understand what is truly at the core of that desire? What if we truly got very curious and asked ourselves about the belief or judgments we may be unconsciously holding that might cause us to want to play the hero?
Playing any role is fine, so understand that I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble or to come off as lacking compassion. I’ve just learned lately to see things differently. So, I’ve written before about Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion. Of the three, I would always choose compassion. Compassion allows everyone and everything to be as they are or as it is, without requiring change; without judgment of good or bad. Compassion just loves and allows, it seeks understanding, it knows with full awareness that there is nothing really wrong with anything.
That might be a huge stretch for many to grasp and that is okay. I might even take some heat for these thoughts by those who might judge me callous. I’d say, okay, if that is how you wish to see me through your own psychological filters, fine. It changes nothing in my world, it does not change my love for humanity or the compassion I hold for all in my soul. What it would do is help me understand better all the thoughts and feelings of my fellow human beings. It is okay to feel and to have emotion. It is all just an experience. All experience is on the same continuum and only differs by the various degrees with which an experience is perceived by the wonderful individuals who perceive.
You see, part of what makes this world and humanity so amazing is the varied perceptions of the whole. These perspectives are the mosaic of the projection of life as we know it. If you pull out pieces of the mosaic indicating that the mosaic is incomplete because this piece or that displeases you or brings you discomfort, you could be missing the point of the entirety of the picture. It’s okay because even that is perfect no matter how imperfect or perfect it might be perceived by some. Everything is okay as it is. Do what you must or what you feel compelled to do but if you want real growth in life, you first must desire to understand your own motivation. For understanding the self, leads to understanding of the whole of humanity, of existence, of life in its true state of perfect projection.
So, what do you want to do today? Do it with all of your heart. Be as authentically you as you can and realize that not everything is precisely as it seems. This understanding creates great compassion. The more loving of self and authentic you become in your quest within, the more you realize not one soul is alone here, all suffer to some degree and you may even come to understand and appreciate your own suffering as more than some infinitely uncomfortable experience or bad hand in life. You may come to understand your own beauty and perfection and then view all of humanity through this new and truly divine filter you have created in your curious investigations.
Just some food for thought.
© 2016 Jaie Hart (photo/words)