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)
Saturday, August 27, 2016
The Earth has turned past that point at which we enjoy the vibrant fiery display of colorful light bending and brightening along the horizon. Cerulean blue skies are gently fading still. The sea breeze has picked up and I can hear wind chimes tinkling in the distance. They bring a pleasant emphasis to the end of a beautifully temperate summer day. One breath and a glance around me and I notice the silence and stillness is palpable as people have already returned to their dwellings and settled in for the night. I let my outward glance linger a little longer and notice the beautiful trees outside my window swaying in the breeze while singing a song that sounds like a beautifully rushing river. The rustling leaves I somehow feel stirring something deep within my soul and I think to myself that this moment could not be any more perfect.
I’ve slowed down in my writing quite a bit lately, for months actually and it has been intentional. I've been blogging for more than eight years and have rarely had a shortage of things to say or thoughts to think. But my life experiences these past many years have left me with so much to contemplate and process offline that I finally took the time to pause a bit more. As I think about it, it seems funny to me that with all of those years of writing and time spent reflecting I still feel as if I have barely scratched the surface and at any moment this amazing something is just going to come rushing up and out of me and that'll be it for me. I'll be spent! I've been too busy to reflect in a way I might have liked because I took out a very big life lesson plan and my, has it been all too easy to be overly focused there. I think after so many years of reflection quite openly, I’ve needed to focus more on the present. Not just being in it but learning to breathe it in, accept it as it is, remain okay with all that I have created and learn to appreciate all the things tangible and intangible in this life that I can touch or that touches me. I needed to sit more quietly and to just feel.
So, one of my many journeys has ended over the past couple of years and I’ve had to slow down to process it and really come to terms with all I’ve learned. The discoveries have been beautifully eye-opening and well, completely mind bending. I’m left with a much emptier bag of beliefs from the point at which my conscious spiritual journey began almost 30 years ago. I don’t have as many questions as I once had for they have been readily answered. I did not have the benefit of a single wise and gentle elder who guided me specifically. No. I walked through every possible lesson I could with the best of intent and fell to my knees often in agony for what I did not see until it was upon me. But then again, as the tears stopped falling, this infinite well of gratitude opened up within me and I began to understand much of what I was truly searching for. Many thanks, as always, to the hundreds of teachers who crossed my path with a word, a smile, an emotion, a drama or quiet acknowledgement. I sincerely thank every one of you.
As I shook away the last vestiges of torn beliefs and worn out stories, I started to reflect a little more relying on the only source I truly had at my disposal. That source was my own consciousness. I had to learn to sit with just my thoughts, my anxieties, my fears, my worries, my inadequacies, my pathological never-ending-seeming blind spots and the lingering effects of my environmental psychology as well as the after-effects of everyone else’s. What did I learn? The next book will explain much of it but suffice it to say that I learned letting go was all that was needed and that meant letting go of belief, of hopes, of dreams, of desires all born of the desires of a version of me that is now a bit of a stranger to me. I guess I just needed something to hold onto as we all do. That is no easy thing although I tap it out as if it were trivial. I guess as we age we all have our defining moments to consider and reconsider again and again to make sure we’ve gleaned enough of life’s important lessons in order that we might continue more meaningfully. Am I done yet? Oh Heavens no...not even close.
My goal now is dealing with the emptiness that I have created unconsciously and yet so meticulously and with so much faith. I’m letting go of everything I thought I should have been, could have been or would have been and embracing the reality of who I am even though I’m not yet, despite near 50 years now on this Earth, certain of who precisely that is. And the funny thing is I’m okay with a little mystery in my life. In general, I can feel what I need to know and I’m satisfied with that. I’m happy at my core to know and understand the beauty of every single thing I’ve created as I have made my way through life this far. A prior frame of my thought process would have had me writhing in agony over the imperfect execution of much of my journey up until this point. But something snapped a few years back and it's not that I stopped caring but that I suddenly realized the futility of the prior impetus for my own motion and resulting perceptions.
My mind grows curious again about what comes next but there is much less urgency to it, there is no fear of not finding it and no worry now that I’ll miss it. I’ve learned so far that we truly have everything we really need at the moment we need it most. For now that need I have truly is just to be, to exist, to continue to experience with eyes wide open not in expectation but with an eagerness to participate and to choose to embrace what comes my way. What other choice have I really? Well, I suppose I could become all fearful and worried or delude myself with some quest of great mystical or magical importance. But I’ve learned the secrets are by far more simple than that. No complex constructs are necessary to feel, to breathe, to watch as the sun climbs to the center of the sky and makes it way all the way across again. It is so simple to recognize that unmistakable light in a child’s eyes or calm peace of your pet, the chaos of loving family life and the oh so important day job of course. It is all really perfect and beautiful. Just don’t over do it on the seriousness part. There is a gentleness in the energy around you when you open your heart to your own well of compassion and let it spill out all around you in every direction.
I came into this world facing a vast chasm of inherent dichotomy and striving so hard to reconcile it to perfection not realizing this world of opposites and everything within it was already perfect and not needing reconciling. The traces of the many illusions I once held begins to leave me a little more and I take more time in the dark of the night to open my eyes to nothing for in the nothing I perceive lies everything that matters, the peace, the love, the compassion, the beautiful energy of All That Is and all of the universe only one tiny subtle feeling away. And all of this came crashing into my mind as I drove home from work last night. I looked up at the sky watching the blue fade into the brightness of the beginning of sunset and I realized what I could not see was there none-the-less and how I was moving at a set speed, while the Earth turned and rotated around our sun as our Milky Way Galaxy spiraled itself out amongst the other stars and galaxies into the beautiful dark matter that surrounds every drop of light. I felt it then, infinity and it took my breath away. I paused all other thought in that very moment and waited patiently for my breath to find me. As it did, I smiled from somewhere so deeply inside, the light and the energy I felt rivaled that of our beautiful sun. The traffic light in the near distance turned red. I slowed to a stop resolute, comforted on the edge of everything not at all okay. With perfect calm, I lifted my hand and I turned up the radio. I left my thoughts of the infinite universe trailing behind me as I turned to the nearest human in the car to my left and smiled with a deeply profound sense of appreciation for all of humanity. Life is so very tenuous and still we strive. I let the thoughts finally rest and made my last turn. I finally made it home.
© 2016 Jaie Hart (photo/words)
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)