Monday, January 16, 2017
I had occasion to visit a local theme park a few days ago. Aside from letting my inner child out with much excitement, I made an unexpected discovery. I’ve never been one for amusement park rides or fast-moving roller-coasters that take you way up high away from the Earth’s normal pull on your being and let you free fall quickly back down. There is a feeling in it that I just never cared for. To describe it might sound strange or to some of you, not but its that tightening sensation at the core of my being during free fall that I just never ever liked. I don’t care for the feeling of gravity forces on me at any rate of speed. I guess I just never found any joy in it.
Well, upon my recent visit to the “Happiest place on Earth,” I went on one of those rides…not a big one or a fast one, mind you, but one with a bit of a drop. This time as I approached the few seconds before the drop I knew would be coming, instead of tensing up, I let go. I let go and let whatever would happen, happen. The rise in the darkness came and then the drop and I relaxed so fully into the experience of it I felt near out of body. Time slowed in my consciousness and I felt a very familiar sensation. It was nearly just like that moment in the void during my NDE (Near Death Experience) where there was no motion, no body to tense, no light, no anything but just me, my consciousness and a presence. Well, that is what I felt this time. I let go so fully without any concern. I found myself for mere seconds in a state where nothing in my life held any significance for me and that meant, there was nothing for me to fight against. In that moment "life" as I knew it didn’t hold significance because I knew whether I tensed up or relaxed, all was going to be as it was. It needed no interference from me focused or not and it would go on as it was meant to. It's hard to put the exact sentiment into words.
When I reached the bottom of the drop, my senses came back to me with the sounds of rushing water and the screaming of exhilaration from the children I traveled on the ride with (grown up ones too) and I just smiled from somewhere deep inside of my being. I knew what was coming, I knew I didn’t care for the feeling of gravity pulling me back to Earth but I enjoyed it truly for the first time in this life. Now, I’ll not be setting my sights on bigger and faster roller-coasters for that just isn’t my way. I don’t derive joy from getting a fix of my own adrenaline. Every day life does that enough for me, honestly. But, I did feel a sense of triumph. Not for making it through the amusement park ride but rather for a moment of letting go so completely that I felt myself disappear into a place of pure peace, quiet and freedom. I can’t explain it any better than that.
It was a perfect day in every other way but in this moment, I found the day to be extraordinary and it took the least amount of effort. It took only a split second decision to shift my focus from a point of resistance to a point of complete and total surrender and I have to tell you that it freed a part of my psyche in a way I can’t say I’ve enjoyed much in my life. Now, I don’t intend to run around the rest of my life extrapolating tiny moments of decision making to give myself a little buzz of triumph but I will hold gratitude for every moment that I am granted and have wits about me enough to recognize that in much of this life I am given a choice in terms of how I will experience something. That, to me, is an epic outcome to a simple and yet at times very complex, adventure…Life.
Copyright 2017, (photo and words), Jaie Hart
Thursday, December 15, 2016
The leak in my ceiling is like a gentle waterfall and as the hours go by, the paint bubbles to release some more. It’s almost like this place is filled with pent up emotion bubbling out and ready to fall. I’m home now waiting for the contractor to arrive. He’ll pull down the dry wall and the water will fall whichever way it wants to. It won’t have to find the seam from the last repair to try to worm it’s way out and about from behind the dry wall. So many metaphors spool up and race to reach my finger tips. I think I’ll just acknowledge them and flow more gently with the vibe of the day.
Things go wrong sometimes at the worst possible time. You can stress and worry about these things or you can just take things as they come, do what you can do and well, just breathe. I never in my life would have thought a leak coming through my ceiling would bring me peace. Really, I’ve already done everything I could possibly do and now I wait. I wait for help and assistance and listen to the tink, tink, tink as the water drips from the ceiling onto the cookie sheets I have strategically placed around my living room floor.
The floor is now getting wet and all I can do is shield the electronics I’m not able to move at this time. I’d take out the only semblance of norm we’ve been able to somewhat restore since the leak became apparent. I did take the opportunity to rearrange the furniture while everything was torn up. I’m trying to change up the energy a bit. Preliminarily, I’m happy but it needs some fine tuning. I’m also using the opportunity to throw away the clutter, get rid of a couple more big pieces of furniture that just no longer suit me. All the money I spent for this piece 10 years ago feeling like I was somebody because I could spend $900 on a beautiful desk. It was one of the first really nice things I bought for myself. I’m now going to give it away. I no longer need things of monetary value to feel okay. I find it easy to let go of things these days and become so much more curious now to wander through my motivations then.
I’m so much happier, I think - letting go. I’m simplifying my life as much as I can. I’m down grading, releasing, breathing more comfortably and making plans to get rid of some more. So much have I physically carried with me for all of these years. Honestly, I’m going to empty my garage without opening the boxes. I’ll donate what I recall as usable, recycle what I can and then just enjoy the space with no need to fill it. I suddenly feel so grown up, content and happy. Life isn’t about attaining material things as much as we think it is. At some point you realize you didn’t really even want half of the stuff you bought for a quick fix of ego-joy. It pales greatly in comparison to acceptance of self, love of what is, as it is and just being.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m as sentimental as the day is long and have small trinkets from family and my partner all around the house that make me smile. It isn’t the things that matter but the sentiment behind them. If I lost them all tomorrow, I’d carry the memory of the sentiments and just count myself blessed. I glance up at the ceiling and see yet another bulge in the paint as big as the palm of my hand. At any moment, it is going to break and more water will be tumbling down. I’ve prepared - another cookie sheet is at the ready to catch the mini deluge. I don’t know why I’m calm right now but I like it. My home is chaotic at the moment with everything being removed from the room where the water is gently coming down. I’m not feeling chaotic. If that bulge gets much bigger, I may opt for a pot…hmmm. Not necessary, I now hear dual tink, tink, tinks as the water is now making it through the other leaking spot in the ceiling. Only another hour to go until help arrives and we’ll hopefully have the leak found this time, staging for repairs of the source and after-math of it and then repairing the ceiling and drying the floors. Who knows how long it will take. But I’ve got the day off today to manage it and the frame of mind to handle it. I guess that is just good enough.
Water is an amazing substance, I must say. I wholly admire its tenacity to move and flow. I might appreciate it more where it falling from the sky instead of my ceiling but, well, this is what I’ve got to contend with today. So, I’m off to it. Whatever you face in your day, whatever inconvenience or frustration you encounter, just do what you can do. Make sure you take some time to breathe, step back and view the situation as if it were on a TV screen. Let it be as it is, let you be as you are and know that you are up to the task and if not, ask for help and be grateful when it arrives. Blessings of great peace, calm and understanding for your journey.
© 2016 Jaie Hart
Saturday, October 22, 2016
The political climate of late has put so much negative energy out into the ether that it is just hard to breathe sometimes. I think that we humans are just competitive by our very natures and so easily succumb to the tasks at hand (winning at all costs) that we forget that there is a cost. I remember once sitting in a meeting a very long time ago. In that meeting tempers flared to the point that the sparks of anger were not only heard but energetically felt in the room that suddenly became so thick and heavy. Several people seemed to be doing their best to just disappear, one was desperately trying to intervene and return focus and equilibrium, some seemed to be relishing in the conflict on the side of one or the other of the seemingly warring factions and then there was me, feeling the collateral damage of the continuing conflict as a silent empath in the room. I held an energetic space in that moment. I just imagined sending out peaceful energy, drawing from the light of the universe, pulling it in, concentrating as much as I could and blanketing all within ear-shot and energetic reach with calm focused peace.
It didn’t stop the conflict. The egos continued to clash for pole position in front of the others. The peacemaker continued her efforts and as the minutes wore on she was joined by others and we all joined in as a majority then and suggested that the two warring factions would need to discuss their conflict offline rather than continuing to derail the meeting and preventing the rest of the group from moving forward with its respective set goals and well, the meeting agenda. Begrudgingly the two political warriors capitulated outwardly but I could still feel the divisive negativity of their energy. Gosh was it thick and awful being in that room. At one point, I could take it no further so I excused myself a moment. I needed air; I needed to put some distance between me and that energy. I took a short lap around the floor of the building slowly and purposefully. I intended to waste 5 minutes of meeting time to just discharge some of that negative energy my sponge-like being seemed to soak in over-much. I turned the corner to return to the meeting. I imagined myself in a huge impenetrable bubble that no energy could enter and imagined any stray energy that tried would just bounce off and head on out to space. I took a deep breath and re-entered the room composed and hopeful.
This election reminded me of that meeting. There are those in outright conflict willing to battle with anyone, anything and everything that moves on any side of the candidates’ platforms, there are those who absolutely relish in the conflict for the energy put out no matter how destructive and then there are those peace makers running around trying to make peace with their friends, family and even on social media. But you know, there is another faction beyond the peacekeepers. There are those who hold space. They hold space of energy clearing (and yes that is really a thing) to remove unproductive aspects such as fear that darkens the potential progress that conflict can bring. You won’t see them at the table relishing in the conflict, or trying to change it outwardly, they may speak up now and then somewhat softly and do their level best to hold a space where others are not so fearfully impacted while they learn from this conflict. They’ll reach for the high road and pull it down a bit so others can more easily traverse the road, the weeks, days and hours until the mass of the conflict starts to dissipate.
This isn’t limited to the presidential candidacy. They intend to do their work for whatever conflict they encounter in their lives or in the ether as needed. Do they make a difference? I think they do and I notice them, I can feel them and I am with them energetically, mindfully and physically with all of my heart and soul. They’ll see this conflict through with logic, calm peace and tranquility like a mother’s gentle brushing of the hair from the eyes of a small child upset. It’s really quite beautiful to witness and to feel. They may not seem to obviously change the world but to the energetically sensitive, we’ll know the power they truly hold. So, today my thoughts and energy go out to the collective in peace for the sake of harmony, tranquility and growth from this conflict. My hopes and prayers contain love, understanding and compassion for all seeing and feeling the conflict for what it is – not something to hate, despise or add more negative energy to but something to understand and maybe appreciate if even from a safe energetic distance.
In allowing the world to be as it is, I do not need to change what I see, I do not need to engage in battle to fight those I think are wrong because they do not see as I see or believe as I do. In allowing the world to be as it is, I can thrive because I seek understanding, I strive to see more and more through the eyes of love and I live for every beautiful precious and precarious moment of life that we all share. I’m glad to be here in good times and bad and although sometimes I think we’ve had moments as the human race I might be prouder, my judgment is not needed and my energetic responsibility is to take comfort in the knowing that all will be well regardless of races, opinions, conflicts and platforms. This is how I choose to see it – well, safe, globally triumphant and compassionately fine. I send you blessings for your journey dear ones. Take comfort in your being for you are blessed beyond compare no matter where you sit or what you see or even do to contribute either positively or sometimes even negatively. You will learn and grow and do miraculous things no matter who wins or loses. Keep striving. Keep living. Add to the collective from the heart as much as possible and you will make a difference. You are amazing. Keep being amazing!
© 2016 Jaie Hart (photo/words)
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Seemingly unsettled somewhere deep in my bones, I cannot help but wish for a greater space of silence and stillness to just be. Unfortunately, it seems this deeper desire competes with an unconscious one to become so busy, there is no time to think or just be. Reality speaks in busied tones these days with too much to do and not near enough time to do it in. Couple this with some unreasonable and unseasonable bouts of pain related to repetitive motion injury and gosh, life has become a bit challenging of late. Were it not for the ability to slip into mindfulness and watch the play accepting and yet disconnected from the reactionary urges, I’d probably be quite mad about now.
The sky only begins to lighten the tiniest bit and my coffee sends up tiny swirls of steam into the cool coming in from my open window. I used to want to figure everything out. I’ve spent hours and hours in contemplation, writing as I go for some strange reason. May it is that I have this hope that others who stumble upon my words will either know they are not alone in their noticings while they live or maybe I’ll run across someone who has already figured out what calls from seemingly, the center of my soul. If I stop that thought I habitually think right there and ask myself to explain, I wonder what might come through. So, let’s give it a whirl and see what happens.
So, my soul, most trusted essence of everything that makes me, me, what is it with this dichotomy of feeling both stasis and a continuing curiosity to figure things out? What have you got to say or, maybe, what is it that you seek in this moment?
There is nothing that I seek for I only witness the goings on of this world connected and then disconnected simultaneously. This is no thing that I need – no thing that I want, I just am. The dissatisfaction you feel is connected to regret, this sense of wasted time which is a very skewed perception of what you think it is that you see, have seen and will see but none of that truly means anything more than your meandering mind desiring to flex it’s muscle so-to-speak. Let the mind roam, it will do no harm and through it, if you pay close attention to the feelings the process brings you, you may become aware of the things at your core – namely experiences and your judgmental perceptions of the experiencer that will call to your attention. Within that attention you embody the whole and all of its component parts. You can analyze with clarity each of the parts but you will be unable to calculate them into the whole. A drop in the ocean cannot adequately define the whole of the ocean as it hasn’t the ability to see past itself in a see of same creation.
You can let your mind roam over the memories and years and concern yourself with your perception of time or you can move through it without such care except for that you most wish to focus upon. We have no needs but to understand satisfaction, harmony, alignment; imperfect perfection. The seeming dichotomies you face are not divisive but rather parts of a clock that perhaps move in different directions and yet the whole of the thing keeps perfect time. No intervention is needed unless the clock that is your dream or life is the kind that needs winding or a battery. Maybe you merely are in need of recharging and that is actually the center core issue that is your impetus for curiosity at this time. Sometimes life is very simple and you merely over-think it.
So, now, slipping back into my normal thought process reigning in the mind to view what I’ve just written seems to make sense to me. I understand and an automatic deep breath comes in and out freely as I read my way through sentences written without specific thought or direction. The sky lights more and now the trees outside have returned in silhouette form to punctuate the darkness with outlines against the faint but expanding light. The skies are gray yet this morning but the sun rises even if I can’t see. Some say life is meaningless, others say there is nothing more meaningful than life. What is it I believe? I think, in this moment, my belief doesn’t matter. Whether I dispute it or give it more energy to query, everything will be as it is. Curiosity or complacency are on the same spectrum as is every other type or category of desire, emotion, even impetus. I think I found satisfaction in a tiny little moment of freedom gained from letting it all go. Maybe this series of random thoughts will make more sense as the day progresses. Maybe they won’t. Either way, still I breathe and still I hope and still I live.
Whatever it is you think should be will be. Whatever it is you desire you will pursue. There is nothing that you will do to prevent your own growth and progress on this journey that is your dream, your life in this place and space in time. Be still and listen, be still and know, be still and take comfort.
© 2016 Jaie Hart (photo/words)
Saturday, October 8, 2016
I went for a walk to let my mind take a break from work concerns and a rather large project I wish was going better. I noticed immediately the rich blue color painted across the sky. It is just different in the fall, a deeper blue. The Earth’s position in relation to the sun can create unimaginable beauty across the globe. My senses stretched further out to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. How wonderful it is that our bright burning orb sends beautiful warmth out into space. Combine that with our global positioning and the resulting motion of the air and Earth related temperatures and we have weather to contend with in various parts. We don’t think much of the mechanics of it but it is complex and yet so very wonderful.
Our global concerns could be removed from us quite instantly and all we know and all we’ve understood could be rendered meaningless in one tiny shift of the construct and pattern of our universal existence here. We don’t think about that. In a way, why should we? Some of us might become quite fearful were we to fully realize how tenuous and fragile life on Earth truly was. It’s best, I suppose to concern ourselves with keeping up with the Joneses, the Kardashians or whatever else we feel is really important. No. I don’t believe that. Not for a minute although I do greatly respect all life, the Kardashians, the Joneses and all others across this planet. At times I do wish I could concern myself with only trivial things but in this moment it is those trivial things I most desire to take a break from. So, I wander on foot and let my mind meander. Then I notice that the view is different as I arrive at a little thinking spot outside my office. The skyline – wait, there is a skyline? Sadly, they’ve cut down all the big and beautiful leafy green trees. When did that happen? I wonder.
No matter. They are gone now and I sit here mourning the loss of them. They were big and beautiful and the city I work in does a really good job at maintaining a really good volume of beautiful trees. Our life depends on them in so many ways but we take them for granted much until when on a hot sunny afternoon we should find ourselves fortunate to relax into the heat relieving shade of the trees. My mind reaches out into space again thinking about the heat zone of our beautiful glowing sun. At night you see the remnants of so many others. Some of which are no longer even with us and yet their light continues to shine across the light years. In fact, as we look at a nighttime sky, we’re looking into the past in a way. The length of time it takes for light to travel to us here on Earth means that light could be long gone and we won’t know it – not yet. I’m grateful for those big beautiful stars both those here and those gone for the beautiful light, heat and life they have promoted across the whole of space. Space. Space. It’s more than that little bar on the keyboard you know. Such a beautiful word it is, especially when you’re moving furniture, you need to get out of a crowd or you want to lie on your back at night and gaze upward for a huge drink of epic peace.
So many things my mind seems to long for and yet in the middle of the day I cannot let it fully roam. If I did, I might not want to return to work and then the paycheck won’t come and my roof will disappear. This would not be a good thing. But a break away from the media, the presidential dramas, the hatred of opposition, the ignorance of us versus them and my project. It doesn’t matter any of it really. What matters in this moment is this big bright beautiful sun, this delicious blue sky and the sea breeze that flows up from the south about now. The trees that are left, the green blades of grass covering the rough and uneven ground, and the life teeming everywhere I can conceivably focus my attention – THAT is what matters. My phone quietly vibrates in my hands with a meeting reminder. I take a deep breath in and hold it a few seconds longer than normal. I feel the space between my thoughts and try with all my might to mark the memory of it and then I rise to return to that big white building most appropriately signed. I feel the heat of the sun almost doubled as I walk into a direct reflection of the sun on the ground. I open the door so grateful for that big project and all the amazing people I’m working with on it. And I realize I found a space of peace in an otherwise ordinary day. It is the best kind of day.
© 2016 Jaie Hart
Saturday, September 17, 2016
This morning I watched the full moon set in a clear sky just as it transitioned from the black of night into the beautiful blue of the day. Not long after, I watched the sun rise and brighten the silhouettes of the trees outside my window. The clouds moved in and the gray skies added such a beautiful contrast for the Crepe Myrtle tree outside and the green Sycamore leaves that soon will fall. In my mind I walked back through the memories of my experiences of life on planet Earth this past week. For whatever reason, the anxiety and fear generally felt all week was still overwhelming. As a soul that leans heavily towards the empathic, you learn after some time and experience what is your “stuff” versus what belongs to others in terms of energy and emotion. This week the sensation from outside felt like it was coming from within. But it was only this morning I realized the fullness of what I felt was not entirely mine at all. Much of it truly had nothing to do with me. I’m just feeling more lately and I find that interesting.
Anxiety and fear are great messengers if you understand their purpose and the fullness of the message these two sensations in particular can bring. Both are of the same source truly. I don’t really care much for the reasons why, the source or what lead to the feelings. I only know that I cannot carry things that are not mine to carry. I woke up this morning with the remnants of the sensations from my week – the lingering energy and I thought, “Wow, really? Why on Earth would you carry this?” I got up realizing that it wouldn’t help to beat myself up for my own sensitivity that left me feeling slightly less than awesome as my first thought for the day the moment I opened my eyes. So, I cleared it all away in a little shower-meditation. You literally just visualize letting the water pull away all of the negativity. It is truly an amazing thing to do after a week of high-stress!
When I came down stairs and saw the moonlight spilling down to wash my patio in a beautiful silvery glow, I paused and just took in the beauty of that gorgeous orb seemingly hanging in the sky to punctuate a beautiful and serene moment. I made some coffee and engaged in some mindfulness meditation to allow the rest of my week’s experience to drop back into the background with my full and complete acceptance of it. My realization of what I was feeling and the true origins helped me feel more peaceful, more understanding and much less anxious. I’m going to allow myself to just feel as I feel, be as I am and stop the fear that rises with these thoughts. Even that fear is a beautiful messenger. For me in truth, it is a worry that I am not handling all that is before me “perfectly.” “What a silly fear,” I think now by the light of day. What does it matter if I am not perfect? I am not here for that. None of us are here to be perfect. We are here to be who we are and to learn to see, understand and allow others to be as they are. The challenge comes in when others lay their expectations on you and think or even secretly demand that you should react to their expectations for no other reason than they have them. I learned this week that sometimes you just have to say “No." The “No” may have repercussions and that just really isn’t your problem.
For a recovering people pleaser such as me, I can admit that I wince when I have to say “No” sometimes still. My life’s experiences have taught me that quite often your “No” is followed by much conflict and heavy duty sales tactics by others to try and turn your “No” into their desired “Yes.” But something happens as you age in this realm. You start to gain wisdom and you realize that no amount of people pleasing will insure you against someone else’s displeasure. When you realize fully that another’s displeasure has nothing to do with you, you stop a really negative process from perpetuating itself into oblivion. You stop taking on the pain of others and chose to throw off their pain and just stand in your own light. This is not a painful process really and if you stand firmly and confidently enough in your own light, you begin to see the truth of this. When you say “No” to something, there are no shortages of people or situations that will rail against the “No.” Too bad I say. Sometimes the “No” is about self-preservation, it is about your own peace, tranquility and happiness and sometimes you just have to choose your own happiness over someone else’s and still be okay. It isn’t easy but truly, with practice it feels like the only thing you can do from the point in your life you begin to understand why standing in your own light is the most important thing you can do in your life.
So, I come back now to less heavy thoughts and the precious beauty of my surrounds. I’m grateful this week for all of the conflict I felt, for all of the emotions I encountered, the stress and anxiety even. For these things have taught me to be open and curious about what is going on inside of me despite all of the noise outside of me within my environment. I am responsible for myself and my thoughts and feelings. I am understanding and compassionate towards the thoughts and feelings of others and I bear no shame in standing up for myself and my own needs. Come what may from it, I’m happier in this moment for all of my experiences. I’m grateful in this moment for every soul I’ve encountered this week along with everything done and said. It’s been fine week on planet Earth and I’ve many things to consider about all that I’ve learned. A new perspective dawns and I’m glad. I don’t know where it will lead but I’m sure it’ll be great!
© 2016 Jaie Hart
Saturday, September 3, 2016
The sun is only just creeping up to the horizon and a strong breeze blows outside my window. To hear the wind rustling the leaves in the giant Sycamore tree outside my window with a warm cup of coffee in hand is just one of those moments I am truly grateful for. To have a moment of stillness in the cool and dark, wind chimes making beautiful music, it seems as if I’ve left all of the cares of my world behind.
The days are so warm still and yet the nights begin to cool a bit. I love the changing time – those moments when Summer begins to move gently into Autumn. All the remnants of those childhood memories and feelings of excitement for the new school year, Fall activities, Halloween, Thanksgiving – I can feel them just around the corner and it makes me smile. I’m more than grown up now but I still hold within me that child-like wonder for all those moments I’ve lived up until now during this beautiful time of year.
In meditation this morning I felt a great peace unlike anything I’ve felt in months. It feels almost as if I’ve been running and running some made race to get to some unknown place and only now have reached the top of the latest hill climbed. I’ve slowed my pace now in this moment and am really just very much enjoying the view – this moment – this now. Another strong gust of sea air blows in through the open window and I feel so calm and peaceful still. This song of the morning has been so beautiful and so very sweet. It is a calm reverence that washes over me as I sit here in silence embracing the fullness of a collection of very simple moments spent ever so present.
These moments are rare in a very busy life but something within me wishes to slow down now in every respect and appreciate all of the moments with a deeper reverence and even more gratitude. What ever this is – a call from my soul maybe – I’m stopping and I’m listening. I do not wish to spend the rest of my days in a blur of activity without tasting each precious moment of life. It is so fragile, so fleeting and I do no longer wish to take even one second for granted. I don’t know what that means for my every day-work-a-day life. Maybe it is that I just allow this gentle shift within to take over – to take hold and breathe more. Maybe i learn better what it means to openly take what comes just as it is with ever deepening gratitude just for the gift of presence.
The light comes now and with it gentle gray skies. Wind rustles the leaves a bit more loudly now and I can see the bright pink blooms of the Crape Myrtle tree that also thankfully lives right outside my window. Such contrast exists in the vibrant pink blooms against the newly lit gray sky. It is really beautiful. I’m going to savor this day, every moment of it. I think I may go to the park this morning for a nice walk in the coolness before the sun chases away the more temperate air. I don’t want to miss another moment of this life and wish instead to gain greater appreciation every day for everything for the rest of my life. It is a fine goal - this...appreciation and gratitude. These things deepen the calm and peace within the soul. That is what I need most just now. I treasure this moment as I do all others and I hope to carry the undertones of this as the symphony of life plays on. I wish you all a steady stream of beautiful moments - the kind that lets you know gratitude always.
© 2016 Jaie Hart (photo/words)