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.