Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Preparations

I am immensely grateful to have come to a place in my life where I truly desire to be happy instead of being right! I had to learn I liked the former rather than the latter through a long line of difficult and exhausting interactions that finally sunk in and made sense! This time of year, in particular, sensitivities run high…we’re tired, over-scheduled, over-worked and suffering from too many sources of input. It’s important to always pay attention to the state of our soul regardless of the day or the season. It’s important that our soul growth continue and the holidays are just the perfect time to try to practice some of the things you have learned.

No one can get your goat as quick as family can. We somehow think that because they are supposed to love us, they should behave more lovingly and respectfully but family isn’t always loving and respectful in the way that YOU think they should be. We’ve all got different views on how the world should be and you can find those that agree with you but that agreement still won’t make you right and still won’t get that family member to respect you the way you feel you should be respected. People are people and blood doesn’t always seem to be thicker than water. Just know that you have choices to make…simple things like deciding not to take anything personally when spoken by certain wounded family members out for the whole “misery loves company thing.” You can choose to fight back too but that is just really exhausting and not healthy for you and I strongly advise against it. You can decide to hide your goat better and vent with a friend after the family gathering is gone. You can decide to give up the goat(by give up the goat I mean don't give credence to insult or attempt at emotional injury by loving yourself enough to know it does not matter what anyone else says or thinks about you but you) and not be bothered by anything anyone says to you. You can also reset your expectations about how family should behave and realize they are just people and may not act as you believe they should.

Other things that you can do around the holidays and to prepare for family gatherings is to make sure you keep up your exercise routines, make time for walks, do your best to get rest and take timeouts to gain peace in the midst of preparations, ask for help and do your best to think really positive. This is the same advice to consider every day but especially around the holidays. If you are not tired or taxed to your limits you will be much better equipped to deal with challenging holiday preparations and tough familial exchanges should they occur. One very important thing to remember and it matters not one bit who you are talking to but YOU have the right to terminate ANY discussion or conversation that you find demeaning, insulting or that makes you uncomfortable. You are NOT a better family member for continuing any discussions that make you feel bad…just stop them as politely as you can…a simple, "I’d prefer not to discuss this further with you right now, let’s focus on the family gathering," is a polite and tactful way to head off a potential emotional blow up…oh, and the drinking…if you have challenging family members, monitor your alcohol consumption and if you have to, plan to leave before any challenging family members have consumed too much.

Enjoy time with family over the holidays but don’t forget that you do NOT have to compromise yourself in a very negative way just because it’s the holidays. Set boundaries for yourself and others, set goals for yourself and set your own expectations reasonably in order to head off challenging interactions. If you can make these preparations a key point of focus, you might just have a better time, be able to step out of or head off any uncomfortable discussions and find a way to just have a good time.

I hope your Thanksgiving Holiday is joyous, peaceful and filled with love! Blessings!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ego and Unintended Negative Energetic Impact

Ego’s clash at times with such velocity it not only decimates the objects of collision but also creates a lot of collateral damage.  Have you ever been an innocent by-stander in a room of clashing ego’s?  The energy becomes negatively electric and toxic beyond compare.  Not only are the two objects of mass and velocity exploding into bits from impact but the shock wave passes through everyone even remotely near.  But most of this goes undetected, sadly.  Sure the hurt feelings and anger are readily apparent but the residue from the initial impact is not so easy to detect.  The ego does not know how to back down.  The ego sees a fight, takes offense and goes for the jugular.  The interesting thing I’ve noticed in life is that every single time someone has allowed themselves to become so engaged, at some level, they have deeply regretted it and if they didn’t, the soul still suffers from the lack of oxygen in the moment.  I’m referring to love.
 So, it’s safe to say we are all egotistical and in some ways narcissistic.  However, we do have a part of our mind (I like to actually call it soul consciousness – as do many others) that observes what is happening inside of the mind and watches detached.  These negative engagements of the ego register somewhere…even if unnoticed by the host or hosts.  I have to catch myself all the time.  I feel my ego engaged in the pit of my stomach.  I can feel when negative energy begins to stir because the vibration is off like a drum beating angrily and out of time.  It’s uncomfortable and once the energy vibrates like that for a time, there is no easy way out…only time and a whole lot of positive talk can counter-balance the negative energy reverberating throughout my being.  I don’t know why people want to put themselves through that.  I do my best to stop angry thoughts before they start.  I notice that the older I get, the less patience and tolerance I have for that type of behavior in me.  Not because it’s wrong but because it doesn’t feel good and its so unnecessary in most cases.
 Before the ego becomes fully engaged and ready for battle, we do have some twilight moments were we are not yet fully committed to the ego's darkness.  In those moments we can pull the initial thoughts back so they can gain no velocity, no foothold and the resulting initial negatively pulsating energy will quickly dissipate if and only if, you catch it, stop it and disengage.   Every human being has the right to disengage any discussion that begins to make them feel bad.  You can shut down the thoughts and stop responding to external agitation.  It takes less effort to do it on the front end than to deal with it once adrenaline begins to course roughly and uncomfortably through your veins and hurtful angry words are needlessly exchanged.  Now, having said that, there are those individuals that enjoy that rush…and I caution you if you are one of those…it’s not good for you…that kind of feeling of “alive” is like a short-lived high and is very negative in origin.  It is different than the rush of doing something good and satisfying or overcoming a life challenge or fear.  That is a completely different vibration.  One is low, off-beat and heavy and the other is a fast and smooth beating energy that is more uplifting and much longer lasting (not requiring a continual feed).  If you’re around a negative energy junky…just disengage, get away and don’t feed their addiction!
Our bodies can tell us so much if we pay attention.  Off topic a bit but for the sake of example, have you ever dated someone when you got that uncomfortable vibration in the pit of your stomach, a slight energy pull that really feels like a small physical pull…it’s that same feeling when you compromise yourself knowingly in some way…that energy feeling in the pit of your stomach is trying to tell you something.  If you’ve had that feeling and continued dating that person, how did it turn out for you?  I can tell you that every time I ignored that pull, I regretted it in a big way.  That tiny pull off-center was a precursor to major earth-shattering emotional things designed to pull me off my center by someone unwittingly extracting energy from me in a negative way.  Some of this is hard to explain until you’ve paid attention while experiencing it.  Once you’ve noticed that feeling, it is unmistakeable in the future.
 So, the whole point to this is not to highlight that the ego is wrong.  The point is that there are things, interactions and exchanges that are positive, uplifting and create that fast and smooth energy vibration and there are also those with a lower, heavier, off-beat and debilitating vibration that if you don’t pay attention to, you’re headed for a bad time.  Left unchecked these “bad time” experiences can collect in your energy field and lead to physical, mental and emotional maladies…depression, anxiety and general malaise.  It’s really worth paying attention to the state of your ego, keeping it under firm control, knowing when you’re out of control and disengaging so you can regain composure.  Its not rocket science.  It really just takes a very subtle awareness and focus to notice and a little effort to control your own thoughts and feelings.  My challenge for you if you are interested, as you run across people for the next few weeks and observe interactions positive and negative, see if you can notice any feelings around your solar plexus or navel area…what do those feelings feel like?  Are they heavy or light?  Do they pulse and how do they pulse?  Do you feel a vibration either fast or slow?  Pay attention to your body.  Notice if it is different when you are directly engaged versus a spectator in the room.  When you allow your ego to become engaged, you not only put yourself at risk but you risk impacting unintended victims.  Its just food for thought.  ~Blessings

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Scheme of Things

There are just those days that don’t end up the way you thought they might…things go wrong and then get even worse sometimes. If you get too wrapped up in outcomes at the outset, life is just not going to go very well for you from an internal emotional and intellectual perspective. Let’s face it, bad things just happen, troubling people and situations cross our paths and sometimes frequently at that. We can’t sit in a space of fear and frustration waiting for blue skies and sunshine when the road before you is long, dark and pouring down rain from ominous seeming storm clouds occasionally lit by frightening lightning. When the thunder rolls, and I assure you, it will—you have to find something in the moment to be grateful for and I’m not talking about material things. Those things are cool and all but don’t matter a hill of beans when you’re facing one of life’s many challenges.

So, what to do, what to do…hmmm, well, you can start by getting really peaceful. The peace is there with you always, you just have to reach in really deep sometimes to find it. One of the best ways to find it is to remember that no matter what drama or conflict you face…no matter what uncomfortable or difficult things you might have to do, you are not the outcomes…you are not the feelings…you are not doubt, fear or defeat. You, at heart, are love incarnate. Sounds hokey huh? It’s not, it’s the truth and it is not one of those provisional truths thrown around with artful and fancy words. No matter what thoughts the mind does think, no matter what expectations the ego worries about or things and situations the ego compares itself with, you are none of that. If you are none of that, what does it matter if the sky pours buckets of rain or lightning flashes? What does it matter of this project failed or that effort ended up in disharmony? What does matter is the state of your soul, the love in your heart and the light you allow to shine forth no matter what you go through.

Life is hard sometimes and if you walk any kind of spiritual path, don’t be surprised or disheartened when you run across conflict, confusion or conundrum. Don’t worry if you seem to do everything right and everything comes out wrong. The one thing you can count on in life is that every single thing that happens, happens for a reason. There is growth to be had and even pure garbage and waste can be transformed into fertilizer from which, can be grown the most beautiful and fragrant flowers. A lot of good can come from a lot of bad if you are just willing to look for it, trust this and be patient. All will be revealed in time and 2 years from now, I guarantee the heat and passion of whatever thoughts you hold right now will be replaced by something else even more intriguing for you.

I’ve had a rough couple months and a pretty tough day and at first I started getting caught up in outcomes but apparently I’ve been paying attention a little to my spiritual training. I am at peace even though I face yet another dilemma, I face yet another of life’s challenges. I can’t let it ruin my day and I have to remember that none of the things I have to contend with compare to the beauty and peace under this cloudy night sky. Yeah, I miss the stars but even though I can’t see them right now, I know they are there and they are shining brightly as they always are. These life challenges I face are just like clouds blocking my view…I know what’s really behind the clouds and what’s really going on behind the life lessons. I know me, I’ll face them and be fine-- I always am. So, there really is no need to worry or fear or get myself cross-threaded over insignificant things in the scheme of things! Life is good no matter what…whether good day or bad day…I do not change…I’m still standing here breathing, feeling the peace in the eye of a storm. And the storm, heck, it’s really just a sprinkle. I’ve seen worse and withstood it…I’ll be just fine. I know this because it’s a choice I’m making…to be at peace and I’m feeling my choice at a time I normally wouldn’t. I like that. I deeply appreciate this ability to reach above and beyond turmoil. I hope this ability stays with me the rest of my life.

Whatever it is that you face on your journey, you have one thing no one else has…YOU. You’ve got something else we all have and share…LOVE. You will be fine no matter what you do, say or think as long as you choose to be okay. I wish you much strength on your journey…I wish that you always find one shred of a presence of mind to know that you can tap into love and peace in every step that you take. The journey is the destination so enjoy every step. ~Blessings

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Firmer Footing

Cold and alone in the dark,
The chill and my twinkling friends,
The sky is black and vast,
I feel so very small.

I’ve too many thoughts just now,
All clamoring for conscious recognition.
I can almost touch them,
But like smoke, they scatter when I reach for them.

It’s been a long hard emotional journey,
Although life has been infinitely good.
The feeling of stasis overwhelms me,
I feel a drift in a torrential sea.

I stopped struggling some time ago,
And let myself sink below the surface.
I found the silence a comfort,
Even though I felt I couldn’t breathe.

Back to basics and appreciation,
The gossamer thread that holds my mind intact…
That keeps my heart from shattering,
That keeps my soul alive.

I can’t give up so keep swimming.
I keep treading water at times until I tire.
I let the waves crest and wash over me…
Here alone in the blackness.

Although overwhelmed I am hopeful.
I know the dawn is so near.
When the first rays touch my skin,
Enlightenment will crystallize my view.

Until then I’ll just be here…
I’ll breathe and just exist.
The sun will show me the shore is in reach,
And I know I’ll find light and firmer footing.

My Old Friend

I've felt your coming for quite some time now,
But I'm hard-pressed to articulate the specific reasons why.
Maybe it's just a collection of things.

So, my old friend...
Here you are back at more door.
I've no choice but to let you in,
To embrace you instead of running away.

It seems I've run from you for so long,
but now that I've stopped, I know that I can run no longer.
I wish you weren't here but at the same tiem, I'm glad you are.

I know I have to face the fact that,
To live life, I must welcome you...
Because, only through you...
Can I begin to heal and to walk in the light.

I'm beginning to understand your presence,
And why you've come to visit,
I feel your vast depths and intensity,
But, as frightening as you are to me I really think
I'm ready for you this time.

You see, I've learned how to face you...
After all of these years,
To acknowledge you, to feel you completely.

I know the only way I can survive is if I embrace you,
Hold you close and let your intensity overwhelm me,
Because when you are through with me...
I will heal, and you...the pain...will be gone
And I will once again be happy.

Excerpted from Ravenous Reflections - Poetry from the Heart, by Jaie Hart

Wasted Time or Lessons Learned?

I’m an observer by my very nature. I watch everything with a keen eye towards understanding and appreciation. When you are looking at everything with an open mind, there isn’t a lot that you miss. I’ve seen some amazing places that others would think non-descript, not spectacular nor even worth a minute. But I’ll tell you, nothing is more beautiful, precious or amazing than standing in the middle of a forest, leaves spread on the ground as an amazing colorful carpet, looking up seeing the sunlight etch it’s way to the ground lighting the water molecules in the mist as the sun warms cold and wet ground. It’s breath taking. There is also simple beauty in the little things, brightly colored Japanese beetles, deep purple and red pansies or magenta colored petunias. Flowers always seem to hold this simple beauty that amazingly powerful and yet is truly a gentle explosion of creation, an example of mastering its elements and bringing forth beauty, fragrance and peace in its presence…and then, there are human beings walking the planet—some appreciative of all life has to offer, bringing balance, objectivity and gratitude for all that is and there are others whose role or sole job in life is to show us the absence of peace and tranquility.

I’ve watched the distorted angry faces of those craving love, not getting it the way they want and so punishing everyone around them. I’ve seen the turmoil in their eyes as they spin ever out of control lashing out at the world and everyone around them ever the victims of this or of that, never once standing up to take accountability for their own hand in their own undoing. They are no greater or lesser than anyone else on the planet but yet they feel so small inside that the only pleasure and satisfaction they derive in life is watching those they supposedly care for to learn what is treasured with the sole intent of filing that information away to pull out and use as some sort of emotionally deadly weapon in the future that might serve them. Its hard to stand in the presence of such people, see what they really mean as they hurl hurtful words they intend to use to destroy you for possessing something they cannot in their present frame—self love. Misery does indeed love company. As hurtful and frustrating as finding yourself in the presence of wounded people can be, I assure you that you have choices in what you take in, you have choices in what you believe might be true coming from the mouths of the mortally emotionally wounded and you have choices in terms of what you will tolerate in your presence.

Fighting back with these individuals is such a huge waste of time. Let them spill forth their toxic poisonous hurtful words…truth is, the fact that they speak them in such vile fashion truly only hurts them and shows the world that inside they are like angry wounded children or animals unable and unwilling to set themselves free with self love. It is not unloving to walk away from them. It would be unloving to stand there and feel bad about the things that they say. They need and want power to feel good but if you give them nothing, they will tire and go away frustrated and unfulfilled, for the most part. If you love an individual like this, know that standing there and taking their abuse actually only feeds their sick and twisted addiction to pain and adrenaline they hold dearer than you. I say, you must love yourself more…love yourself enough to say “No,” I do not tolerate this toxic poison being thrown at me… “No,” I will not allow you to extract sympathy from me at the cost of my very own soul and self love… “No,” I will not stand in your presence any longer despite who you are to me and your position in my life. For certain wounded people, no position is so sacred that you must stand there and take abuse from a wounded person. If they are willing to get help, point to the light whatever that might be and step back and let them go to it on their own. If they are unwilling, you may need to employ tough love and remove yourself or them from your sphere of every day life.

Life here is not meant to be conflict free. Understand that. Conflict is intended to teach you important life lessons and sometimes that lesson is merely knowing that you cannot walk another’s path for them and you cannot carry them by complacency or enabling behavior. You do not necessarily have to call them out but you can refuse to engage in the games that they play, you can decide to just say no to them and yes to you, yes to peace and yes to serenity. This time of year in particular, these types of difficulties come to mind for so many. There are those “so called” well meaning family members that take great pleasure (it seems) in poking at all of your weak spots or exposing you in some uncomfortable way. When you take offense, you hand over your power to these individuals. So, get real. If you have weak parts, don’t fear exposure. We all have weak spots. When someone likes to push your buttons due to those weak spots, just own them and say “so-what” or “and?” or “thanks for taking my inventory for me, I can take it from here.” And think nothing else of it. Those with the deepest most cluttered inventory of emotional "stuff” they ought to take care of actually spend more time focused on the inventory of others. Its called denial and avoidance. Its easier, when you are undercover weak, to point out how weak everyone else is. Know this and stand up and own your stuff no matter who calls you out and if they call you out wrongly, there is definitely no need to react because that has nothing to do with you.

Sometimes family members can be abusive in subtle (or overt) ways. If you’re holding out hope for the perfectly family get togethers and there are those people in your family, you need to adjust your expectations. You do get to decide what you react to and what you don’t. I always love the blank, silent stare when someone is taking my inventory. I say nothing at all until they get tired and walk away. Keep your power within you by not being fearful that someone may expose you or see your weakness. If I reacted to the hurtful things I’ve had said about me or to me, I’d be one angry and vengeful person. But I learned something spending all this time observing things. Sometimes human interaction is all smoke and mirrors. Folks will focus on your behavior to disguise their own…some are so deluded they even attack you for exhibiting behavior you never have once in your life but they do every day. It’s infuriating if you are expecting unhealthy individuals to behave as healthy ones.

So, hmmmm, holidays…go, enjoy, rise above the drama and conflict…see conflict for what it is…namely, an opportunity to truly see yourself and your reactions or a way to understand how someone else reacts. Be self-aware of your failings in life and own them, work on them to better yourself and when someone else attempts to expose you, you will retain your power during such an exchange. You might also attempt to hold compassion and just sit yourself in a higher place of your soul rather than your ego. Your ego always reacts but you can observe that reaction and if you can observe that reaction, there is a separate consciousness within you that can act to master those urges to react in an unhealthy way for you. Watch your thoughts, hear them but know you are not them. You are love. Surround yourself with people of like mind to your best ability and for those who are different, respect the differences, seek to understand what you might learn from that individual or individuals and know that you can always retain your power by staying balanced, centered and full of self-love. Treat yourselves gently over the coming Holidays. Enjoy family and friends immensely. Be grateful to be alive and living in a world that holds so much beauty if you’ll only be open to seeing it and know that lessons are never a waste of time. ~Blessings

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ego Games

Driving to work yesterday, gorgeous fall sunny morning, radio playing my favorite tune…when suddenly the red car just ahead of me changes lanes without signaling way too short in front of white car…white car nearly takes off my front fender trying to get into my lane just so he can do the same thing to red car.  I watched in awe and I was so sad.  One careless move, for reasons unknown…assumed to be personal and retaliation ensued and then the game continued for about 2 miles and then I lost them in the sun.  It made me so sad to see this.  I can’t tell you how much.  Retaliation and vengeance are so unnecessary, not to mention the harm that might have come to innocent bystanders just to prove an egotistical point.  Wasted time.

Later in the day, in the zone, communications humming right along and I hear it…the sound of someone’s obviously wounded ego taking pleasure in a small way in someone else’s pain.  The pleasure in noticing someone else’s pain was painful for me to hear and witness.  I shook my head silently and looked at the floor.  Sometimes it is so hard to be here at this time and witness the unnecessary pain inflicted again and again and again.  I wish we could all just heal our stuff, find the love within and learn to see situations for what they are, stop making assumptions, stop getting even.  No one’s actions can minimize you in any way.  This is no provisional truth!

I went to sleep last night thinking about this, feeling so sad about this, feeling sort of troubled by this.  But it isn’t anything new.  I witnessed it all of my life.  For the better part of my life I engaged in it in lots of ways but that was before I knew…once I learned, I stopped that for the most part some time ago (thoughts still occur but actions cannot).  The more I got in touch with my Higher self, the less it became necessary for me to save face or to take insults personally.  But I am still learning, I am still growing. 

Today, I watched it again…sitting at a light, another white car first in line at the light.  The light turns green but he doesn’t move.  The black car laid on the horn in seconds and I shook my head as I watched the white car driving 25 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone to get even.  Again, what a waste of time that was…a temporary high, an insult taken personally…impatience – YES…distracted—YES but insults???None! 

Today I thought of these things driving home.  Still a bit troubled…I understand its all about life lessons.  I had to learn in time but its hard to watch others mired in this go-no-where purely egotistical behavior…I missed my turn just lost in my thoughts.  I’ve never done this before.  I usually turn too soon but this time I missed my turn and went right on by.   I drove to the next street and turned right, made another right and a left and I was right back on track.  I got close to the intersection right near my house and then I saw it…a horrible three-car accident had just happened a few minutes before (likely at the time I would have been there had I not been distracted and missed my turn)…the chills, electric, ran across my skin as I watched 3 cars destroyed, wounded people, a wounded animal, a light post on the ground, shattered glass, car parts strewn about and people rushing to try to assist.

The world is a tough place but ultimately I guess  I’m grateful to be here at this time, I’m glad that I notice the things that I notice and the way that I notice them and I’m really grateful for my life’s lessons.  What are yours?  Are you paying attention? ~Blessings