Friday, December 30, 2011

Dare to Be Extraordinary

I have come to realize that how I feel about things influences my thoughts in ways that are very important to be conscious of. I think I am becoming aware of ways I hold myself back by how I feel or what I believe, but I don‘t quite see them clearly.

I am currently looking for work and have been for a while. I have been shifting my career focus and things had been working out well, giving me the impression that I am doing what’s right for myself, but things seem to have changed. Though I still enjoy the work and continue to look in my desired area, things are not flowing as they have in the past and I am beginning to feel quite stuck. If I look closely I can feel that I have shifted. Somewhere along the way I stopped taking for granted that this was the right thing for me, and I stopped moving forward blindly and blissfully.

A few of months ago I started to ask myself bigger questions again. I started wondering what the point was. I started asking myself why I am on the planet. I started waking up to the fact that, although my work is enjoyable, it does not satisfy me to a significant degree. The words “dare to be extraordinary” entered my consciousness and would not leave. I tried to convince myself that I could be extraordinary in my work but, although that is certainly true, the dare does not nullify the quest to find the point.

During this seemingly huge transition I am looking for activities that resonate with something inside me, so that I can feel some relief from the intense dissatisfaction that permeates my being. I keep trying to move forward, to identify the things that are out of sync and to right them so that I can continue to move forward. I seek to understand myself, how I think and why I do things the way I do, and I try to understand my experience and my energy in a way that builds cohesion. I sometimes have a perspective on my life from which I am whole. When I don’t see it, I can still feel that it exists, but from my current vantage point I still see fragments.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Quantum Leaps

I have had the sense for a number of months that things are out of balance. As I look for the causes I find that, essentially, I have not been true to myself. I thought I had taken the right path and I thought I was doing the right things. I made very conscious decisions; however, it seems that I did not know everything I needed to know, and now a change of tack is required. It is not my desire to turn my life upside down, nor am I convinced it needs to happen that way, but a shift is taking place that is changing my perception of what’s important. With this change in focus that seems to be taking place, I hope to rediscover balance. In the meantime, I find myself in a bit of a fog most of the time. Where I am headed and what I need to do seems nebulous.

Sometimes clarity comes in a flash. I could be doing anything, or nothing, and I will have a complete experience - of my future, or my full potential - in a fraction of a second (or sometimes a joyous few seconds), with images, a full spectrum of sensations and emotions, as if I am already there. It
s as though my consciousness is telling me about decisions I have already made but am unaware of. Perhaps previous decisions have led me down a path where, at least some of the time, there are no more decisions. Maybe its just a view of the inevitable.

Regardless, when it’s been a while since I have had one of those experiences, I end up feeling more than a little rudderless. Patience may be a virtue, but its not one of mine, so I do my best to breathe and focus on more immediate needs and responsibilities, to be as aware as possible of what I am doing so that I dont miss anything or make a huge mistake by doing or not doing something, or being so clued out that my life passes by without my engagement. I passed the first half of my life feeling as though life is something that happened to me. I don’t want that anymore.

I have presented myself with a series of career challenges to see what will happen. I set myself in motion on this path a few years ago with a little faith, and a lot of possibility. Now there is no faith, there is no belief, there is just the path. I take the step forward because there is no other direction. I progress because there is no failure; its as simple as that. Of course I don’t always feel this way. On a regular basis, I get caught up in the day-to-day drama of things not going my way, underlying even that, it’s still there.


Today’s post is a journal entry from a year ago. I seem to be in a cycle; these are not the sentiments I held this summer, but every paragraph, except the last, is one I could have written (and probably have rewritten) in the past month. The last paragraph feels like a message from my future self. Although I think I am beginning to find my way (again), I feel no certainty and, although that may be the direction I am headed, it’s the voice of a future self… from the past.

Oh yeah, time doesn’t exist.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Domino Effect

It is my experience that when one thing in life changes, other things (and people) are forced to changed in some way. From this I have come to believe that change/growth is transition that causes a lot of pain and results in loss, and although I wonder if it really has to be that way, I cannot comprehend how it could be different. The most I can do at this point is suspect that it could be different and that my experience is not what everyone experiences.

This belief is part of what makes my current process, which I know is changing me on a fundamental level, so difficult. Though there are many things I want to change and am working toward, I don’t really want my life to change drastically. Particularly with regard to the people in my life that I hold dear, I am trying take it slowly so that I can make my decisions consciously as much as possible. My attitudes are changing and it is not my desire to keep quiet about it, but I do find myself holding back when I am among people whom I believe hold differing views, or whom I am quite certain, just won’t get me. This is not good for me. Though a harsh and controversial approach to communicating is not going to bode well, and I know I can be tactful, there is still risk involved. In some respects I feel like a bit of a square peg. My environment hasn’t changed, but I am no longer round.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What is fun?

What exactly is fun?  A few months ago it crossed my mind that I really don’t know what it is. The question keeps coming up and I am still not sure. I clearly distinguish it from enjoyment because enjoyment often comes about from a release of tension, or stress, or from a chat with a good friend. Fun cannot be the absence of misery; it must something on its own. It’s not enjoyment and it is not contentment, but what is it?! I know I don’t have very much of it or I would probably be able to figure it out. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Growing Happiness

It seems to me that being true to oneself is a requirement…or perhaps the requirement to living happiness. I can see that there are aspects of my life that are not an accurate representation of myself and where creative expression does not seem possible or where the creative expression I manage is not satisfying, and in these areas I am dissatisfied. There’s a lot of good, but also a lot of dissatisfaction, which leads to tension, which leads to breathing poorly, which leads to limited thinking, which leads to feeling stuck, which breeds more dissatisfaction.  Thoughts reflect the breath and vice versa. (shallow breathing = lack of focus and stressful thoughts, while deep breathing = grounded, calm thoughts) My breathing reflects my thought, but by consciously changing by breathing I can change the way I think, so I do things that change my breathing - fitness activities mostly, but sometimes breathing exercises too. Without that I fear that I would find no space for possibility, and without possibility I, quite literally, do not want to live.

So, I can keep myself in possibility (for the most part) but it’s time to grow some happiness again. I am very focussed on the things in my life that need to change, and things are happening slowly, as they probably should, but I am impatient and in need of some measurable progress.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Resistance and Integration

I regularly experience resistance, as I am sure we all do. I regularly find myself in or put myself in  challenging situations, so I have fairly well developed skills in managing change, but managing change in day-to-day life is not (at least to me) the same as managing fundamental changes in myself. I can recognize change (at least after a while), but I naturally compartmentalize. Integrating different aspects of myself into a unified whole so that I can, for instance, be known by different people as basically the same person is a challenge. It requires a deliberate act to introduce different aspects of my character to people who may be unaware of what that particular self does in the world, how she thinks, or the types of relationships she prefers. I find myself outside of my comfort zone almost every day. It would certainly be easier to be just one me, but I find that older relationships seem to expect an older version of me…or maybe an older version of me I need to stay the same, so the people who know that me get that me. I don’t exactly know for sure. But back to the point.

I don’t think I have much resistance to changing, but integrating the changes? That certainly seems to be another story. The idea of doing so creates a lot of tension. It seems to me that the tension comes from not being true to myself, and this is a huge energy drain. It’s no wonder I have not been as energetic as I usually am. At the beginning of the summer I set out to integrate. I didn’t know what I was getting into at the time, but it is becoming clearer. I basically need to out myself.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Living V. Being Alive

Since I was a kid I have thought a lot about living versus having a life, or living versus being truly alive. I think my earliest memory of this an articulated thought was at around 12, when I realized my father was sort of living dead (no offence Dad; I found my peace). Walking around, seemingly alert, yet virtually (if not completely) disengaged from life and the things that bring life, such as joy and love. Zombies are cool now but, still, I imagine that being a zombie is not such great gig.

Anyway, in revisiting unfinished business on yet another level, I have come to realize that I am trying to learn how to be alive. In what I will now refer to as my life as a material girl (fun, yet seriously) I though I had it figured out. Set objectives, plan the work and work the plan. (I could probably write Getting Things Done for dummies… or for procrastinators, as the case may be….Or maybe Planning for Perpetual Dreamers.) I was figuring it out, I was building a career, I took some nice vacations, I was having a good time, and then it started again. The thoughts of there being more to life that stuff. Certainly there is more to life than stuff. Pride in accomplishment is important, finding work that you like is crucial, but glimpses of emptiness started making me anxious. SERIOUSLY anxious! Like the kind of anxious you get when you look at the decisions you made a decade ago, you realize the chain of events that led you to where you are and you think, “Oh Fuck! Now what?!” Not that I had made bad decisions (thankfully), but when I made them, I didn’t know I would flash back this self that wants fulfillment on an (as yet) incomprehensible level. I thought I had found what I was looking for. I had good relationships, good work, love and fun. What else is there? Almost everybody I know is, or seems to be, satisfied with that. There is no yearning beyond that…at least for them. For me, it seems that there is another level to fulfillment that I don’t yet understand. I have often thought that I over-complicate things and that life is simple if I make it so. After much effort, and a good period of time where I had myself convinced, it is clear to me that there is more. Although some appreciate where I am coming from, I think few really get me. I thought I had succeeded in becoming a normal person, but once again I find myself well outside the norm.

I wish to feel alive, as I once did as a material girl…only probably better. I am going through the motions of life, but it’s tiring in a way that living a lie can be. I sense that fulfillment will be found when I wake up to something I am currently too afraid to admit to myself; I don’t know for sure, but it’s a strong feeling. I am no stranger to change / transition. I have woken up to things before, let things go, suffered loss and moved forward knowing that the next version of myself would be a better one… but this particular realization is elusive. Perhaps I am not yet ready, or perhaps I don’t yet see how I get in my own way.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Psychologists don't have it all figured out.

“Psychologists say we should have a number of major, long-range goals to have a healthy, fulfilling life. In addition, we need some medium-range goals with specific dates in mind for achieving them.” My questions for psychologists are these. “What’s the point? Accomplishment for accomplishment’s sake? If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, how would it matter what I have accomplished?” To say I don’t value my accomplishments would be a lie, but there is a sort of emptiness to them as well. I am one person on a planet of 7 billion other people. What’s the point? It’s not really my question, but that’s as close as I can get. My question is so much bigger than that, I don’t even know how to put it into words.

I work hard to pump money into my material existence and I am left with a lack of meaning. The pervasive question is Whats the point? This has been my question for a very long time. Although I thought I had figured out how to be happy, it seems that I am missing something. The question is still there. This is not a whiney helpless sort of whats the point?, it is a true quest to discover why am I on the planet. I set goals, I have good accomplishments, I like my work, I have good support, great people and lots of love in my life, but I am still looking for something.

The above mentioned psychologists may have it figured out for most people, but there are some pretty significant cracks in the plan, into which I am sure I am not the only one who has fallen. Who are the guides for the rest of us?


Thursday, November 24, 2011


Mindfulness is a recurring theme in my life. For quite a while I have thought I was being drawn into formal practice, but now I am not so sure. I appreciate the peace that yoga and subsequent meditations bring, but even after a good 6 months of exploration, I am still dabbling. Sometimes I welcome a state of surrender and I feel good, sometimes I do not does not. I know enough about my self and my experience to know that thoughts are just thoughts - they are not reality. Reality exists apart from thought. I see it; I experience it and yet, it seems that I don’t know what to do with my knowledge / experience, perhaps because there is something I have not yet figured out. I don’t know.

Often I watch my thoughts spiral…sometimes up, sometimes out of control. I generally interfere and redirect before the crash and burn, but sometimes I can’t and the crash and burn is bad. Sometimes I can’t, I crash and burn and recover right away. It requires logic, discipline and focus to get myself back on track, but sometimes I can do it very quickly. It’s a bizarre state. It feels as though my brain is fucking with me. 25 minutes ago there was nothing good in my life, and that was my reality. Now I
feel okay and this seems real. I know on many levels that my thoughts are not reality, yet I do not know what exactly is real.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Right Thought

I used to think I could cork the energy drains of my life by focussing on what I have that is good and right in my life. Although this skill has been very important in helping me feel good on a day-to-day basis, and it has helped me change my entire outlook on life, and probably my brain chemistry as well… there is more to it than that. Focussing on what is going well certainly helps invite other things to go well, but there’s a whole lot to be said for underlying beliefs about oneself and one’s life - things that lie so deep you might not even be aware that they exist.

I have been taking stock of a couple of different aspects of my life. First, work has not gone the way that I had planned. I had gotten pretty far along with the plan and then it got derailed. The derailment makes no sense and came out of the blue and has left me wondering what I did to make that happen. It is likely that I did nothing. It seems quite likely that there’s still something I need to deal with - that I am not quite ready to have what I want - that obtaining what I have worked toward would create a rift between who I think I am / what I think I am capable of and who I really am / what I am really capable of. I sense that I am holding myself back, but I can’t quite see the mechanism by which I do it. My emotional reactions in a couple of situations have certainly governed my behaviour, so this is a good place to start in terms of figuring out what is going on.

Next, it has become very clear to me that is has no been safe for me to be who I am and to express my true self in my family. That is probably why I was so eager to get away when I was younger. There is nothing like the freedom of a new context to become a new person. So, here I am, many years later, and I have realized that the context I have created for myself is really good. I have adopted new people as my family, been equally adopted by them and I have build a context of love and support that I have sought for a very long time. It is still a work in progress, but there are no fundamental flaws in what I have.

Finally, my relationship is certainly not flawless, but I have someone who seems very responsive to me. The clearer I get with myself about what I want the more she comes to embody those characteristics or support me. I haven’t even said much out loud because there are things I am not ready to deal with in my current state of mind, but things are going well. There is a direct relationship between the life I am choosing and the changes occurring at home. It’s interesting to watch.

I am very aware that the entire realm of possibility exists right now and that I choose what will exist by how I think. There are some things I need to deal with but to do so now, with the wrong focus, would most likely bring the wrong outcome. There is more to it than the “power of positive thinking”; that’s a very superficial way of looking at it. A lot of mindfulness is required in order to identify and address the subtle. I can concoct all positive thoughts I want, but if I feel like crap and am preoccupied or worried about things, it’s the preoccupations and worries that will manifest. I have experienced the Buddhist concept of right thought, it a whole new light.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Balance and Change

It has been a while since I last posted. I have no excuse except to say that I feel as though I have been in a time warp. I seems to me that many things are not as they appear to be and I find the mental energy required to get through a day leaves me with little left for other things. I think I am processing and will find some balance, but I am not quite sure what balance is these days.

There have been a couple of minor incidents of late that have got me to thinking on the recurring theme of balance - physical, mental or psychological. I could probably include spiritual balance there too, but I am not sure where I am going with this yet. One of those incidents was receiving a message from a friend who is stressed out about a convergence of things that is creating some shit in her life. All I could think to do was to reassure her that shit happens and will pass, and to remind her to breathe. If I am not breathing well, then I am tense. Tension = rigidity and rigidity keeps everything exactly as it is...which is the opposite of what I want.  Perhaps breathing is the key. 
There are yogis all over the world saying, Duh!, (if in fact yogis would do that), but I had just never really thought if it that way until I said it. I know it; and I do it, but I had never really thought about it.

This led me to the thought that it is virtually impossible for me to sustain physical balance when I am inflexible, and then I had the thought that balance occurs in a state of change. I say it was a thought, but that seems small. If I say it was a flash of insight, its probably more accurate, but it sounds a little out there. Maybe its just a realization. Anyway, I get these a lot and then they are gone. I am not sure if I fully understand them, if they change me in any way, or even if they even make sense because I rarely articulate them.

Back to balance. Of course it can be more complex than just the balance between opposites, but this is the one that interests me today. Does imbalance = rigidity? If we stay within our comfort zones, can we also be in balance? When I am within my comfort zone I feel good for a while. When I have that feeling, it seems to me that it is a feeling of balance.

Then I get a feeling of disquiet, be it boredom or restlessness, and I want to change something, start a new project, meet some new people etc. Then I get a little stressed out trying to pay attention to the things that are important, and eventually find balance again with whatever new element I have incorporated into my life. Basically, at this point I am re-establishing my comfort zone. If that is the case then I have suddenly equated balance with comfort, which might be a mistake.

What if the comfort zone is not balance? We can only change and grow when we move outside of our comfort zones and try new things. If you consider any two extremes there is a point between them where you find balance - the location of a fulcrum to stabilize a lever or the middle ground in a negotiation. If we accept that this is true, dont we also have to accept that a personal state of balance is to live on the edge of our comfort zones - right on the line where old and comfortable merges with new and exciting (or frightening, depending on your view of things)? If this is the case, as it seems to be, then balance is embodied in change and growth. I think I am getting closer to finding the point where the transition occurs. I think the swings of the pendulum are less extreme than they use to be. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rabbit Holes and Matrices

I was happy when my day-to-day experience of my consciousness was a string of thoughts going through my head. I have meditated, I have had a number spontaneous peak experiences and it is fair to say that I did not do very well with them. The experiences themselves were indescribably beautiful, but the contrast between that intensity of peace and connectedness and my mundane life was more than I could handle, so I shut them down. This disturbed me as well, but 5 minutes of bliss did not make me happier during the days or weeks in between where I had to live on the planet with all the unpleasantries of life…and there were many. It was more or less a survival tactic that allowed me to live in the world and to eventually feel connected to people, to work and to myself. I had a really good time for a decade and then it started again, not in the same way, but that state of consciousness is back. I watch my thoughts and I can sense the time/spaces in between. Sometimes I can reside there for brief periods and watch my thoughts arise. It makes me happy and unhappy at the same time.

I used to really respect and value transition times for their potential. The time between this and that - whatever I am transitioning from and to - is pure potential. I can create a whole new reality if Iwant.  I can reinvent myself; I can create anything I want just by holding the type of thoughts that motivate action. Then I started noticing that transitions are not just the events there is a transition from this week to the next, from day to the next, from this place to the next, from this moment to the next. Because there is a transition from this moment to the next, it means that I have access to PURE potential all the time. I spent last summer playing with thoughts, holding ideas and intentions for long periods of time, creating and recreating them to see what would happen and those ideas, situations and states of being did manifest. It was an experiment that helped me to understand what I have been doing in my ongoing reinvention of self, and seemingly opened the door to bigger things. Even if I had known what I would be teaching myself, I would have done it; but seriously, I should have guessed this would happen.   Selective awareness I guess.

So, here I am, anytime I stop to ‘think’ about it I am in full recognition of my access to pure creative potential between this moment and the next, between this thought and the next. All things are created in the time before thought and there is no difference between me and full potential. In those moments there is no “I” to speak of. There is no distinction between me, someone else or anything else. I am limitless … and then I flip back out, like a fish on the beach, flopping around, wondering what the hell I am supposed to do with that. I know I can do anything I want to do, but it seems to me that that sort of realization should come with a purpose or sense of purpose… or at least a fucking handbook. I guess I should have taken the blue pill.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Living in a Box

Is it true that we can only accomplish what we find to be believable? Do we only try the things we think we can do?

What if we can do more? What if the mind can do more? What if we aren't limited to creating only what we can comprehend or think we deserve? It seems to me that there is more. I can feel it. There's something in the relationship between doing the right things and doing things right. Sometimes small acts have an exponentially large impact. There‘s not rationalizing it; it just happens… I don’t yet see how, but maybe I will see more about that later.

Failures hurt. Do they hurt because they hurt? Do they hurt because they cause damage?…or do they hurt because they cause change?

Maybe we imagine to the degree to which we can handle change.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Energy Part 3

Energy flows. That’s just what it does. I have learned that if it is not flowing, it is because I have created barriers. Like water, it will move around obstacles, find the cracks or build up pressure until something pops and when the pressure builds up, it can get pretty painful.

Energy flows. This, I think, has become one of the guiding principles of my life. Learning how to leave it alone/get out of the way was/is quite a challenge because I have to understand everything. I always have to know why…which is probably making my life more difficult than it needs to be, but perhaps I will figure out how to simplify that later. The point is how to leave it alone and let it be. There’s not dealing with things and then there’s letting them be. Things are what they are for a reason and when I can respect that it becomes a lot easier for me to change my reactions, my perceptions and my focus. Doing that involves some respect, patience, a lot of compassion - three plates that are not always spinning at the same time…and by ‘not always’ I mean rarely.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Does thought cause?

I am thinking about looking for work. I need to do it soon, but for a long time I just haven't  been able to focus on what I want in terms of career growth. Though I know, in general, I dont expect to get what I want by accident, so I need to find some focus before I begin. I probably wont have to sustain it for a long time, but my experience indicates that it is necessary.

Used to think that making things happen my life was about understanding causal relationships. The consequences of my actions. Now I am not so sure. It doesnt seem causal anymore. Before thought there is pure potential. It seems to me that its not so much that the act of thinking that creates reality as much as that the act of thinking is creating. Thats it. There is nothing else; you think/create and it is, not sequentially but simultaneously. There is no causal relationship.

It also seems to me that it is not my awareness of something that makes something exist or not exist. If I am unaware of something about myself or my life then for me it does not exist, but for someone else it could... as plain as day and perhaps be very annoying. My awareness of something does not determine its existence, only my experience of it. If that is true then there is no causal relationship. I think / create and then I either experience it or I dontpartly depending on whether I create consciously or not. Is it then my belief that brings it into my realm of experience? Does it need to be believable? Do I make it believable by consciously creating and then establishing the steps I need to take?

Lately, I have had the feeling that I have set the bar too low. Part of me believes that these are the steps I need to take, but that I can take them fairly quickly. Then I look at the steps and question the necessity of some of them, and I wonder why, at particular stages, I did not imagine more for myself.
Part of me also believes that the big things take longer and take more energy. What if that is not true?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Love and Relationships

I have spent a lot of time thinking about love, the nature, or perhaps substance, of love, the different types of love etc. It seems to me that love is just love. There is no special form reserved for some people over others. There are certainly different ways of expressing love, but that doesnt change the sense, or the sensation.

It does seem to me that there are different types of resonance though. When I look at my relationships, it is as though I send out a signal that echoes back to me at different frequencies and those frequencies determine the depth of that relationship. That is not to say that it determines the nature of the relationship because, to me, that happens by choice. I have chosen intimate relationships with people whom have echoed a rather superficial signal, and I have chosen relationships with people that were much more superficial even though they reflected a much more dynamic and multifaceted signal.

It depends a lot on energy, and how much I have to put into a relationship and whether or not I am looking for something in particular. Sometimes life gets a little out of balance and the energy someone brings can even things out and take the edge off of a level of incongruity that can arise, making life a little easier to handle.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life à la carte

It seems to me that we create our lives in every respect. As disturbing as that can be, and as disturbing as that was for me, as it came with the awareness of a huge responsibility and a good dose of guilt, it is pretty incredible too. Once I got past seeing the burden, I started to get glimpses of the entire realm of possibility. It is life à la carte; I have figured out that I can have what I want, when I want it! The catch seems to be that some of the items are like lots at an auction. You get what you want but you also get some things you don’t want. Perhaps this is, in part, a function of not fully envisioning what I draw into my life, but often it seems to be part of whatever lesson I need to learn. It can be unpleasant, but growing pains are.

But, I digress. I think that one of the reasons it was, and still can be, such a challenge for me is that accepting the possibility that I can be different involves accepting change. I have gotten quite good at accepting change when things are shit, but when things are going well it is not so easy. Why would I bother when things are going well? Because I have to. Things change. Everything changes. Change is probably the only constant in life, and even when everything is going well, things change. Accepting the realm of possibility means allowing things to flow in and out of my life. Hanging on to something, even if it is something good, means

1. It hurts more when it goes away

2. I have not allowed my life to get even better, and

3. I have focused my energy on the small picture and have not prepared myself for the next (good) thing to happen.

Basically, in this state, change happens to me and loss falls into the range somewhere between painful and shocking; I am at the whims of others and at the mercy of the forces in my life that I do not understand. However, whether I understand them or not, I have the recurring experience of discovering that I have more control than I give myself credit for. Creating is not just within my power, it is my responsibility. Even if I don’t take on the responsibility and consciously create, I still create. There is no escaping it. Inaction and inattention have just as much of an impact as action and attention, the difference being that I find myself one step behind and reacting instead of initiating. It is the difference between never knowing what to expect vs. things turning out to be what I expect.

I have realized that all things begin in the time before thought. Everything comes from somewhere. Thoughts seem to be the point of creation, but it begs the question as to where thoughts come from. I can’t say that I know, but I can glimpse that space before thought. Thoughts don’t just happen, we create or choose them from the entire realm of possibility. That space contains or is all things and nothing at all. It is pure consciousness, pure energy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I am in transition these days. It’s a familiar state, but I find that this time I don’t know what to do. I have known for a while that I have some unfinished business, but I have not really been able to identify much of it, and what I have been able to identify I have been unable to process. As a result, the baggage is getting heavy. Emotions used to come and go; their ebb and flow imbuing me with life, but it seems that in the last little while some things have come and not gone making me heavier and less alive. I decided to look for a therapist. I have known that I should for quite a while but, in the past it has not been an easy process to find someone who knows how to get past talking ‘about’ things to get to the heart of the issue. I don’t know why after 10 years I can no longer do this on my own, but whatever. Maybe there’s something I am just not supposed to do on my own.

So, here I am, lacking a sense of my future self and wondering if that’s why I am stalled. I am also not really sure that I know who I am right now - another good reason to stall out. Have I not been paying attention? Has enough changed to totally disorient me? Is it just my way of telling myself to sort things out before moving ahead in the wrong direction?

Although the state of transition is familiar, I don’t really feel familiar. As much as there are things that I know about myself and I have confidence in my ability to figure things out, I feel as though I don’t really know who I am. My tendency used to be to look for familiar, but that is not only extremely difficult, it means stagnating. In my quest to feel more alive it didn’t really work. In the absence of the familiar, it is easier to reinvent myself. However, in order to do that, things need to change; which things are still to be determined, but there will be change, and with that comes pain. I don’t like it but it doesn’t scare me anymore. I used to think pain was destructive, but once I started paying more attention to the bigger picture, I realized that it was actually transformative. What worries me now is doing it wrong, making bad decisions. Whatever I change about myself will affect all of my relationships. It is not my desire to affect them badly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I have been in multiple situations of late where I have expressed gratitude for things that friends have done for me. The general reaction is that it is not necessary to say ‘thank you’ to a friend - that some how it is understood. Perhaps the reaction is a way of saying that what was offered was offered was offered unconditionally. 

Apart from not wanting to express or appear to express a sort of taking advantage of someone, it seems to me that expressions of gratitude define relationships. It’s not just about saying ’thank you’, it’s about finding creative and meaningful ways to do it. There are things that people do and ways that people are that affect us deeply and sometimes even change us. That these people exist and that these events occur is one thing, but recognizing them is a whole other level of experience.  Expressions of gratitude are a way of honouring them. It seems to me that an expression gratitude is in part for the receiver, but that mostly it is for the giver; it changes us on a fundamental level. It is an expression of respect and love that makes us better for having done it. I also think that it is impossible for us to achieve our potential as human beings without it. I understand that among my best friends there are things that sometimes go unsaid that are understood, but words have power. What we say and what we don’t say defines our relationships.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I am not the composite of the impressions I give other people because I listen to them, because of how I relate to them, how I interact socially, because of the job I have or where I live or who my partner is. It is interesting to hear what impression others have of me, but it is not who I am.

My identity comes from somewhere else.  I am not sure where, but it's not from an external source. A series of identity crises has stripped away all of the things that seemed to make up who I was - school, work, friends etc. and as I lost each of them them, I had to redefine myself. If I am not a student, who am I? If I am not doing something I like to do - if I work only for money, who am I? If I am not a social person with a lot of friends, who am I? If I am wrongly perceived to be a person who (fill in the blank)... Is that who I am? It is who I am to that person, but should I do anything about it? Should I care? How much energy do I tie up in what other people think about me?

A friend told me a while ago that she tries to talk to people about what she is going through - about how unhappy she is about work - for instance - and the response is a general lack of comprehension because she has done some great things or that she has been an inspiration to someone. Not surprisingly, she was so frustrated by these responses. When you try to express to someone what you are going through, the last thing you want to hear is that you are not person the 'listener' thinks you are - perhaps the person they need you to be. The people who listen because they want to know who are are real gems.

It takes a lot of courage to figure out who you are and to do the things that are in harmony with your self. Those outward expressions, as they change, throw people off, upset people...sometimes enough to make them leave. Not everyone accepts change. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Is it all illusion?

The material world does not exist. How many times have I read that? How many times have I heard that? How many times have I not understood that? Of course it exists! Didn’t I slip on last two stairs of my apartment and hit the door? The stairs seem pretty real, as does the door! Did I just take an non-existent elevator to a non-existent job? No, of course not!

Today I think I got it.  If I function on a concrete material level, then that's all there is. Life happens, things happen to me. C'est la vie, blah blah blah. I don't do that very much any more.

The material is just a manifestation of our thoughts. I’ve heard it; I’ve read it, but the more time I spend with my own thoughts, the more I understand the reality of that and how it works. The more I clarify my thoughts and think deliberately, the more I see the creative relationship of energy and substance and the more time I spend, and want to spend engaged in that way. I go to work to the job I imagined for myself, the stairs I wiped out on are my stairs because I saw that apartment and decided I would live there long before it was available; I earn the salary I expected to earn. I was aware of the thoughts I had about these things before I obtained them and then suddenly they were mine.

It seems to me that the material world does exist, but not as pre-established forms or events that happen to us. It should not be taken so seriously! It is not what it seems!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Energy and Values

I don’t think it is possible to figure out who we are without addressing our values because it took me a while to get a handle on what the term ‘values’ actually meant. I couldn’t quite get my head around the idea that people have values. However, the idea that people value things made sense. For me this is the difference between determining what I think my values are as compared to what they actually are. I figured out what I valued by taking a look at how I spend my time. It was very easy for me to say that I value my health, but really I didn’t. Other than the basics of physical health, I did nothing to ensure that I would be a sane, balanced and happy person. As a result, I also lost my physical health. I guess sometimes you have to hit bottom before you really wake up. Anyway, once I started looking at what I was actually doing, it became very clear...painfully clear at times. Once I started realizing what I was doing I could make some changes. The approach is not unlike budgeting; you prioritize your spending and make decisions based on what is most important.

Determining what is going on right now is a matter of looking at how I spend my time. Saying that I value, my relationship with a particular person, for example, does not make it so. If I don't spend meaningful time with him/her then in reality, that relationship is not what I value, regardless of how much I say I want it. Desires are not values.

Anyway, these are the sorts of conflicts that seem to drain energy. I found myself exhausted and I didn’t know why (and neither did my doctor). To me, there are only a few things that make up the foundation of health and, once those things are in place, everything else falls into place as well. That is not to say that it is easy; it is not. It is easier now because the process is more a part of who I am, but it is still challenging because when I decide I want something, I start to change how I do things, which disrupts the status quo. Although I generally like that, the people in our lives can expect us to be a certain way...and they can become quite upset when we change how we do the things they expect us to do. It can involve some challenging decisions and always involves letting go of something. The emotional side is....dynamic, but it is part of what makes me feel alive.

It seems that coordinating my actions with my values turned out to be perhaps the highest form of integrity, and the result is energy.  I am not sure if energy is freed up from the lack of internal conflict or if there is something in the process that generates energy. Sometimes it sure seems like both.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Between impossible and rare

I need to talk more. It was actually a good 8 months ago that I realized that, but I guess I thought I could carry on and not really worry about it. The trouble is that when I realize something, I cant NOT deal with it. I can let it go for a while, find the right time etc., but all out ignoring it?no. I need to talk more. There are things I just dont talk about. From day-to-day I feel an incongruity; things are out of sync, and I feel my energy drain like water from a leaky bucket.

As my brain comes back to life for the summer, my emotions are difficult to control. Its not that I am moody, I just feel everything with such intensity that it can be difficult to handle and tiring, partly because I try to hide it. I sometimes feel over stimulated because there is so much going on around me that I notice. I am not sure its the sort of thing that people would really understand, even if I could explain it. 

The sort of misunderstandings that occur can be difficult. Some people listen carefully and apologize for not experiencing things in the same way and not really being able to relate. They are interested and engage on a meaningful level even though they dont really get it. I love these people. Others are harder to deal with. I guess its human nature to try to minimize the incomprehensible to something comprehensible and within our own realm of experience, but it is not helpful for me, and it is hard to tolerate. These are the people who seem to listen for a couple of key words, then they transplant those words into their own context and talk about their experience at length, as if it is the same as yours. Sometimes I just want to talk, but these people are impossible, …while the others are rare. Between impossible and rare, there are few opportunities for a good exploratory conversation.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

From reaction to action

I wrote this a while ago, but it has recurring relevance. Periodically, life seems out of sync and things don’t go the way I want or expect. Getting back on track is not rocket science, but it seems that I need reminders from time to time. I enjoy finding notes from what seems like both a past self and a future self. I have memories and at the same time I am not there yet…


If you focus your energy on what you want, you will get it. That is not to say that there are no things beyond our control: things certainly happen in our lives and to other people that can affect us deeply. Focus on what you want that is directly within our realm of influence. As you do this, you will realize how big your realm of influence is.

Make a list of what you want - even little things. The list will change and evolve over time because it is an organic process. For each item, make a list of the things you need to do and perhaps the things you need to do to do those things - overcoming obstacles, learning new things, etc.

Then live your day focused on what you want.  It's like business. All efforts need to be focused toward business goals or the energy is wasted.

If you feel like you are spinning, you will stop. Your sense of direction will pull you to where you need to be; just focus… and when you catch yourself unfocused, just re-focus. It's skill development. Don't kick yourself for fucking it up, just go back to it. You can't do it wrong, just re-focus and in so doing you move from a reactive state to an active state.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Seasonal Engagement

I am slowly realizing what happens to me in the summer. I have spoken, for a couple of years now, about how my brain comes back to life in the spring and have joked that sometimes I can feel my neurons firing. It’s an intense feeling.

When I drift into the spiritual realm, which I need to do and sometimes have little control over, the result is that I cannot function on a concrete mundane level. I can’t concentrate, I can barely hold a conversation on something I know something about, I can’t socialize, and the need to do any of those things makes me anxious. Recently, I have been aware that sometimes I cannot function in French. It has been a challenge and I thought that establishing a routine would sort that out but it has not. When I get that anxiety, I cannot produce or understand French very well. I have been calling it a fog because that is what it feels like. Apart from the anxiety I am emotionally... raw, for lack of a better word. In that state I can only be in that state. I am aware of too many things about other people’s stress levels and emotional states, I see the world differently than I normally do, and I interact on an energetic level. I get that every moment is a moment of pure potential and it bothers me to waste time doing things that seem not to matter. I have been feeling for a while that I need more meaningful connections with people and I think this is why. I need a level of intensity that matters.

More and more I find that my previous spiritual experiences are not things that are likely to occur anymore. I started drinking, not a lot but regularly, to keep them under control. That seems to work, but as I cut back I now find a deepening of my day-to-day experience; it is as though I no longer need the extremes - that it is more of a steady gravitational pull. I function on another level almost every day now. I used to have peak experiences that I did not know how to integrate into my life. The aftermath disturbed me greatly as I could not deal with how stark and meaningless my life felt afterward. There was certainly no deluding myself. Now, instead, I find my experience becoming richer in general. I came to terms with the peak experiences but I didn’t exactly welcome them. Now that my life is changing, I need to find a way to welcome them. The only way I know how to do that is to integrate those experiences into my life. The only way I know how to do that is to talk about the world as I experience it....which is hard because most people don’t know that side of me. Actually, nobody knows that side of me. A few people know it exists, but they don’t know that me because I don‘t talk about it. A number of months ago I realized that I have virtually stopped talking to people on a meaningful level. I am not totally sure what happened, but I remember finding it frustrating to share my experience with people; it was extremely rare to find someone receptive, never mind someone who understood. As a result, I think I fragmented. I have learned how to relate on a concrete level, which I could not do before, and I have integrated my emotions into my life, which is good. However the spiritual side of my experience rarely leaves my head, the realm of my personal experience. That side of me is so much a secret that I cannot articulate what I feel or how I experience things. I stopped talking and then forgot to talk, or maybe forgot how. Sometimes there is so much going on that I don’t know where to begin. Maybe I just need to grab threads and see where they go. If I am going to move forward, I need to figure out how to integrate my full experience into my life. Not everyone has to know or understand, but I need to start with a few.

I find this is very stressful.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Energy Part 2

This spring I was quite drained. The main cells were charged, but the day-to-day cells were consistently empty. I can do this for a while, but I will run into trouble if I keep it up. Fortunately the sun came out a couple of weeks ago and we had some glimpses of summer. Now I have more energy than I know what to do with, and I have to find an outlet. I have started cycling more. I set an objective of 2500km for the season and, even with all the rain and sometimes wind, I am on track to meet my target. I also hope to do some hiking, but I also need a project. My contract ended almost three weeks ago and I have not found something to replace it. I oscillate between wanting the time off and wanting to work. I certainly have the energy to work, so I guess I should get out there and find something. If , when I find something I decide I need more time, I can negotiate my start date. They need to staff the job I had, and I am being considered for it, but time will tell. I would really like for that to happen, but there are not guarantees. I would like a guarantee for a change….

Energy is a funny thing. When I have a lot of it and no obligations, it eats away at me to varying degrees. I work at physical expression, creative expression, career development and trust, but it’s pretty rare that I have all the plates spinning at the same time. I put a lot of energy into keeping the plates spinning. Maybe everybody does. I have realized (again?) in the last week or so, that I really don’t know what life is like for other people. I only ever see the surface…events, activities, disruptions, challenges…. But what goes on under the surface actions, reactions and emotions. Sometimes I feel like the only person who wants to know about that. I am sure I am not, and I can take an educated guess as to why I think that, but for now it is my reality. My questions are sometimes about how I feel and why, but more often my questions are about who I am, why my life seems to be a completely different life when something I perceive as negative happens to me. I wonder why sometimes it affects me deeply enough that, although I remember my ‘other life’, I have not deep connection with it, while other times those events are little more than a ripple on the pond.

I know how to get my other life back; I know how I developed it in the first place, and I know how I maintain it, so I am not worried. However painful this is now - walking the line between functional and not quite depressed - I find myself trying to stay in it, rather than transform it. I keep sensing that I have unfinished business. This is an older self. I wonder if there is something here for me to find. I am also wondering if I need some help. Keep wondering and I keep not looking. I am not willing to make random enquiries, but perhaps if I ask around I can find someone suitable…

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Virtually unruffled

A few weeks ago I lost my job. Not that it is really lost; I know exactly where it is. It’s just not mine anymore.

I was told on the Thursday, rather unceremoniously, that the Friday would be my last day. It sounds worse than it is in reality. It was the end of my contract. I was promised and short extension which would bridge the gap between the end of my contract employment and the beginning of my probable permanent employment. It seemed virtually flawless, but things never are, so here I wait for news one way or the other. The results of the interview have not been published yet and the variables are considerable, thus the quest begins anew. I am a little concerned that economic situation is not the best, but other people find work, so I will just have to be one of them.

A friend told me, when I shared the news, that she admires me. We are in a similar situation in terms of our skills and employment and she finds it quite something that I always manage to have something on the go, I have work when I need it and that my plan A is backed up with plan B and C. She also commented on my ability to overcome obstacles, to not be overcome with discouragement and that I always seem to know what to do. I would like to know more about what she perceives, but it seems simple to me. Putting all my eggs in one basket is NOT a good idea, so I don’t. I have to take care of myself because nobody else is going to do it. I keep suggesting to people that they take care of themselves first because when you don’t things get pretty fucked up. For me there are some things that are not negotiable. If there is something I need to do, I will do it. ‘How’ is somewhat negotiable, and I try to work out the space, particularly with the people in my life, but whether or not I do what I need to do is not negotiable at all…. And the perception of ‘need’ is not open for discussion either. It is my perception. I listen to what others say, particularly because they provide insight into what I have to give up in order to get what I need, but in the end the decision is mine, I don’t make them lightly, I live with my decisions and I apologize for my mistakes.

So, here I am, unemployed again, though I prefer to refer to it as ‘between contracts’ because unemployed always sounds to me like a mix of desperate and destitute. I have done this enough to know that I am neither. Anyway, that Thursday was a bit of a shock to the system. I felt fired. Fired is not a good feeling. But that was the end of the day and by lunch on Friday I had realized that it was not personal, that they still wanted me to fill the position and that this was a glitch. Communication obviously sucks there since both my manager and director looked duly whipped when apologizing to me, but I want the job anyway. I was not mistreated by anyone on my team; they were just the bearers of bad new and were as much surprised by it as I was.

Back to the aforementioned friend (SB) and how I always seem to land on my feet. She has not known me that long, but it has been true for the last 4 years or so. I went from feeling fired on Thursday to kind of sad on Friday to out of sorts on the weekend and then basically okay. I have had the feeling since Friday that this is no big deal. Part of me is upset and worried about the material things like paycheques and bill payments, but most of me is not really affected by this at all. I feel calm and after a short rest and some time to get my priorities in line, I will be back out there to make something happen for myself. The only doubt I have is governmental and budgetary. Perhaps it is going to be harder than I think. I don’t know if this is me understanding what is to come on a deeper level, or if it is a worry that just distracts me from what I need to do. I can’t really do anything about it, so will not focus on what I can do and move forward as if the economy is not an issue. If it turns out to be an issue, at least I will have done everything I could do.  Is this admirable? I just do what I need to do.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


One of my biggest energy drains occurs when I am in conflict with myself. It seems to me that we build our lives and realize that many of the things we have engaged in do not have value that we thought they would. They lack that ‘something’ that brings meaning and fulfilment. 
I look at my life and want it to be an expression of myself - the things, the things I do and my accomplishments. When life wasn't - when it was something that happened to me (or so I thought) - I was deeply unhappy. Until I understood more about who I was, I couldn't find a way of being that felt congruent. It makes sense; congruency is relative. If I don’t have a starting point (me) there is nothing for something else to be congruent with. The simplest things can be the hardest to realize. It always starts with me; this life is mine to fashion in my own vision and the more I discover about myself, the better it gets.

To figure this out to the degree I have (I certainly don’t have it all figured out), the questions were simple (as in ‘uncomplicated’ not as in ‘easy’). Who am I, and how do I define myself? As I stripped away the layers of body, activities, behaviours, emotions, baggage, relationships, etc., I found my self in the time before thought. I found that my self is actually a state of peace and certainty. That took a while, but what helped me find me was focusing on the things that made me feel good - part of a job, specific types of interactions and certain activities. I analyzed, reorganized and looked for new ways to do things so that I would feel happier, more fulfilled by how I spend my time. In doing so, I had more energy. This is on my mind today because I have a friend whom I think might be on the brink of burn-out. She is very resilient, resourceful, determined and hard-working, but sometimes to her own detriment. She is starting to talk about seeing a cycle, but there is more to than that... but there are many things you should not say to someone until they provide some indicator that they are ready hear, and maybe see things from another perspective. Even then, it is sometimes better to let people do their own thing….as a result, I have a lot on my mind.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Seeking Creates Duality

Reminder: Seeking creates duality. What comes into being is a state of not having versus having. How do I find without seeking? The full realm of potential exists in each moment, so I accept that it already exists and I explore it as fully and consciously as I can. This, in the past, has led to some painful awakenings about myself and the state of my life. There has been some clear and painful contrast between the life I have and the life I want, and I have had to come to terms with these. But there has been clear progression.

Coming to terms with things can be a challenge. It seems to me that it begins with acceptance. When I cannot accept what is, I live in a state of denial, which is that old duality thing again. This can

I cannot always feel the painful heaviness I carry. If I cannot feel it, then does it exist? There are certain things I can do, certain states of mind that bring it about. I have been avoiding them. Knowing I limit myself to my comfort zone bothers me, so I poke around and try to get a sense of the parameters while I discover how to access it and prepare myself psychologically to deal it. More duality; comfort zone versus clearly NOT comfort zone. How do I deal with that? Do I need to find acceptance of this thing that makes me feel everything at once? This THING which is clearly separate from ME. How does that work? I have created so many other conditions of my life, by conscious choice. I understand free will and how it works, whether I am paying attention or not. So here is this Thing. What state of mind was I in when I created it and then hid it away, so I would only be able to see it peripherally under very specific circumstances? And why? What purpose does it serve and of what purpose is its concealment? I did not do it on purpose. It is certainly pre-Purpose.
t be real because I want it to be xyz, so I will convince myself it IS xyz.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Time Before Thought

All creation begins at the time before thought! I get it now. I do not know where it comes from, but I get it. I pretty much got it before, but now I understand on another levelless of a concrete, cause and effect kind of understanding.

What exactly is the time before thought? I am not sure; intention perhaps. A combination of energy, light, and direction. For me it is a full body sensation. Not only do I feel it everywhere, I feel complete and as though I can create anything. It is a magical state I feel blessed to experience almost any time I choose.

In the time before thought there is only full potential. A beautiful and sometimes frightening state where I am free to express my thoughts as reality. It is clear to me that the manifestation of a specific reality comes from my thoughts. I can see how I create everything in my life. What you put your energy into multiplies! Our thoughts guide (perhaps dictate is a better word) our actions as well as drawing to us all of the things that fit with what we believe about ourselves and the world. 

I was chatting with a friend a couple of weeks ago about my new job and how much I like it. I was describing my research project and I suddenly realized that I had felt this feeling before. Everything seemed familiar because I created it. I consciously imagined it into existence. It is exactly what I imagined while cycling this summer. The type of work, the feeling I have at work, the environment, the potential I have there is everything I played out in my head a couple of months ago. I have been giggling to myself at my good fortune and quietly waiting for the honeymoon to end, but now I am thinking that maybe it wont end because that wasnt part of my plan. This job is either one of a couple of jobs I have been looking for - both in the type of work and the degree of permanence - or it will lead to it. I am working in an area that is in need of creative driven people and I have recently begun networking with a bunch of people who are doing what I am doing or are decision-makers in the field. If this employer does not pan out, I will almost certainly find another through the contacts I am building. It is very exciting to watch things follow a consciously predetermined path.

Anyway, I see I just made it concrete and cause-effect. I will work on language that works…as frustrating as that is.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Relationships are challenging sometimes. I have had my moments of despair and in the past (relationship) I looked for an out. It was not a good relationship for me and it was necessary for me to leave, but now I am in a not so new relationship and I am looking for another way. I don’t want to look for an out. I don’t want to consider that as an option unless all other options have been exhausted. To help prevent going down that road at all I have changed my approach to my partner and I have chosen to accept her for who she is. Some days I do better at it than others but, in doing so, I envision my future with her. It’s as simple as that. I know that there are always things that piss me off if I look for them. They do not constitute serious issues, but if I spend everyday pissed off, it will be enough to make me wonder what I am doing. So, I don’t bother. I just stopped thinking about life with out her and we are better. She talks a bit more, and we are more connected. Things are far from perfect, but I do not see that those things add up to anything significant. My life with her is good, and perhaps I can make it better.

 It is also possible that I can take the same approach with other elements of my life. I can pursue a formal practice and envision my life with all of the elements that have become important to me; elements that express who I am and relationships that define the person I have become. There is self beyond the ego, but in the day-to-day world, ego is present. Should my life not express that? I confess that I am attached to it, but maybe I can let it go and it will not change fundamentally in quality. I know nothing! But perhaps by taking it slow, I can watch what happens, not get freaked out, and make good decisions along the way.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I know nothing

I gave up the formal practice of mindfulness to have a 'normal' life.   I learned how to socially engage. I learned how to emotionally engage. I learned that life, as it is, is a combination of little things and that my thoughts and actions now build tomorrow. I know how it works and I can see it in action from day-to-day. Its a power over my life that I once thought would be magical. Now I have it, it is growing; I see the mechanism, and it is clearly not magic, but it feels like magic still. Insight meditation has changed how I live. Although I gave it up in a formal sense, it permeates my life and is far from gone.

I am clearly being drawn back to a formal practice, perhaps because I have accomplished what I set out to do, and it is simply time to return. I dont know. What I do know is that I am putting up a lot of resistance. I can focus. I do it from time to time to prove to myself that I can do it, but I don't, as a rule, adopt the sort of focus/commitment it requires. I chose a different path because I was not able to address emotional issues through this process. Now I know that it is possible and that I did not have the right teacher, but the resistance is still there. I think I dont want to give up what I have. I think I believe that a formal practice will not enrich my life, but change it back to what it was. I think that taking this road will force me to renege on some commitments I have made. I think it will change me enough that I will no longer fit into this life that I like and that I spent a lot of time and energy creating. I think a lot, but I know nothing.

My life right now is as good as I thought it could get, and in some ways it is better

 .and I didnt really know I could do it. Through trial an error, and collecting little bits of wisdom, I figured it out. I was determined to figure it out, but determination hadnt gotten me much when I set out on this path, so I dont think I really knew I would figure it out. Maybe thats why it feels like magic, and sometimes I am truly stunned. Perhaps I need to come to terms with this first.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Unfinished Business

I am having another rough day. Its not awful, but my focus sucks. I am clearly preoccupied and have been for a couple of days, which coincides exactly with my visit with S. My attention keeps wandering back to this feeling I have in the pit of my stomach. Yesterday I was a mix of angry and sad, and today is seems just sad. She is on sick leave and having been in her shoes (completely burned out and unable to work for an extended period of time), I have offered her my time. She seems to have little support and that is not a good place to be. I got through it, and although I learned a lot, doing it alone is painful, time consuming and often disheartening. I just dont think anyone should have to do that. I have time, energy and experience, so I have offered that.

Anyway, since we met a number of months ago and I have become more aware of what she is dealing with, I have been wondering if I got through everything. In the last few months I have suspected that the answer is no. Yesterday I realized that the answer is a definitive NO. I have unfinished business. She talked about how I am the only person who goes out of their way, to check in and just listen. She was quite emotional and said that she does not go there on her own and that nobody sees her like that. The parallels between her experience and my own make me realize(again) that the realm of human experience is quite limited. She is angry, frustrated and lonely and I remember that too well. As she spoke to me about how she feels, I found myself angry and sad. My reaction was visceral and it stuck with me. Having a visceral reaction is quite normal for me, but that it sticks is not usual. There is clearly something I need to work out.

Over the last few months, I have been focused more on my spiritual growth, the idea of meditating (I havent really done much, so really just the idea) thinking about the feeling I used to have, which is one of the reasons I stopped meditating, and how similar that feeling was that I had on my trip up Pink Lake hill last summer and how much that disturbed and frightened me. And then theres my existential crisis of last summer where I felt different parts of me waking up that I didnt want to wake upor maybe wasnt prepared to have them wake up, and how this summer I made a decision to go there, if need be. It feels like all different dimensions of the same thing. Its a recurring feeling of heaviness that comes in varying degrees and seems to be a mixture of so many emotions that when I have it, I dont know how I feel. There arent very many instances when I dont know how I feel. I have it on my bike when I do hills, I wake up with a mild version of it sometimes, and I have it when I meditate, which leads me to believe that I have access to it when my brain shuts down; when I find a state where I am not engaged in thought. Thinking about it makes it harder to see and feel, as though it is something I can only see from my peripheral vision. And now, for the first time that I am aware of (I think), I can feel it after speaking with someone. I feel a mixture of anger and sadness which fades the more I think about it, so I am trying to just watch it. I am trying to understand it, but perhaps that is not the way to go.

I have been looking through my journals for my first experience of being completely open to everything, what I said about it and how I felt afterward. It fucked me up. As I read I am realizing that it didnt happen that way. It wasnt sudden; there are a lot of factors that led up to those experiences. I struggled with my sensitivity to other people and how they feel, but had a series of more subtle experiences of peace that I seemed to do pretty well with. This all happened pretty much after I stopped meditating, and somehow it seems I have been coasting on that momentum ever since. I thought that by choosing a normal concrete life I would somehow put that other side to sleep, but that has not been the case. When I realized last year that it was, indeed, not the case, I made a conscious decision to drink regularly, which worked for a while, but I am being pulled again. I am not sitting formally, but I am not sure I need to. My alcohol intake is going down, my awareness of myself is changing and I find myself more engaged in the world, my activities and the people in my life. Some days it is really intense. I feel so much love. I dont know what to do with all of that energy. Its very odd to have this in winter, but this winter I had lasted for quite a while. I could feel part of my brain shutting down for the season, it got hard to concentrate, I was happy to stay home, I had less energy and was happy to be alone most of the time. At the same time, I wanted to connect. I wanted to spend time with people. I wanted to go out and have fun, but I had a hard time making it happen. As a result, I accepted invitations when I could and put in as much effort as I could to make contact. For a while it was an interesting winter. I dont know how to stop that part of my brain from shutting down, but there is a whole other part that did not shut down for quite a while - it wasn't until January I think.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Coming to Life in Spring

As spring sets in, I feel parts of my brain coming back to life. I am more alert, better able to concentrate, generally happier, and more in-tune with myself and what’s going on around me. Seasonal Affective Disorder has been quite a curse for a good portion of my life, but now it is a rather interesting process to watch. Winter is difficult and long, but I am no longer depressed, and my partner tells me that my moods are stable. I am not particularly motivated, and things I need to concentrate on take quite a bit longer to complete, but I have come to accept that that is just the winter me. The last two winters have been much clearer for me. I have sustained a level of connectedness to myself and my friends and family that I have not done before. I still gripe, but it’s just annoyance at my lack of energy and focus.

This spring I am realizing that this past winter was actually a relief, and perhaps a period of rest. I got a break from my continued awareness of how I feel, how others feel, from the intensity with which I literally vibrate all summer and from my continued awareness that each moment is pure potential. I joke that I can feel my synapses firing, but I can certainly feel something…all the time! The last couple of years I have had a bit of an existential crisis (if, indeed, they can come in ‘bits’). As I feel myself wake up, I have experiences that are out of the ordinary. Mysticism as a concept is not new to me, and I have had my share of experiences as well. These are not quite those, but they remind me of that intensity of beauty, peace and certainty… and the aftermath of those experiences, which, for me, has been emotionally devastating. I have read a lot of stuff on mysticism, the numinous, experiences of insight, enlightenment, blissful states, you name it …. looking for one mention of anything but bliss, but all anyone talks about is how wonderful the experience is. Not to discount the experience itself, but when you are tossed back into mundane reality, the harsh realities of life can be brutal;  the contrast can be unbearable. I still have no idea how the average person integrates an experience like that.

After dealing with that a couple of times, I figured out that I could stop them. I was overwrought with guilt about that for a while, but it was easier to deal with that than the alternative, and having a sense of control made me less worried about when the next one might come. They stopped for a while and a couple of years ago, I had what I thought were preliminary experiences. I freaked out, was in a virtually paralyzed state of anxiety for a few weeks, I could hardly speak, and I isolated myself to such a degree that my partner thought I was planning to leave. Note to self: When you find yourself in a state of anxious paralysis and you can’t put a sentence together, tell your partner as much about what is going on as you can formulate.

As I came to terms with the fact that I might have more peak experiences, I remembered that I could stop them. Guilt and emotional suffering not withstanding, when stuck between a rock and a hard place, at least the rock is identifiable. I started to relax and nothing extreme occurred. It was spring, it felt like the switch was tripped and I was charged with an electrical current, but life remained fairly normal by my definition. I have not had a peak experience, now, in about 10 years, but I am beginning to wonder if that’s because my life is changing. I see more beauty than I have ever seen before, I am frequently overwhelmed with love, and with an ever deepening sense of peace has come a connection to my life and those in it that is beyond description. Not bad for a kid that spent the first 30 years of life depressed and feeling like life is just out of control. I use to wonder what the point was. I wondered daily why I even woke up. The point isn’t a point at all. It’s so big I couldn’t see it for looking. It is…..