Looking outside the box. Think differently, unconventionally or from new perspective.
Drawing from negative space. When drawing, you need to forget the “name” of objects and what you think you “know” about them and simply see them as shapes among groups of interlocking shapes.
My “A Course in Miracles“ Lesson today is there is another way of looking at the world. The idea is to shift your perception of the world in both its outer and inner aspects. Apply this idea the instant you are aware of distress. Close your eyes and think of your life…be aware of your thoughts …. the things that right now…this moment…are causing you stress or anger and repeat THERE IS ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT THE WORLD.
Today’s lesson follows…I am not a victim of the world I see and I have invented the world I see.
It all has to do with our own perspective and the daily choices we make …. in our own heads…of what we see, think and feel!
We picked up our taxes this morning….the fact that we both had to be there to pick them up irritated me to no end especially since we have nothing else to do. On the way up to this “other town”, I was able to bring forth all of the angst and non angst of my 46 year “filing tax history” and how much better it always was. The one that really stuck in my craw which made me feel the best to bitch about was the fact that in years past, our attorney would do our taxes, file our taxes, mail the paper copies to us and I would send him a check. It really felt so good to be justified in my anger.
We also discussed the fact that a brand new convenience store is going in at an intersection near us. He mentioned how it will be difficult to get in and out of this convenience store because of the amount of traffic on the highway. We did feel a little better when we realized that there was a stop light at one of the egress routes but we have heard people bitching that you have to sit at that light for 10 minutes. Which we haven’t experienced but it sure felt good to feel justified in our beliefs.
Then there’s last year. The Missouri D0T had to close the main highway between us and civilization aka Lee’s Summit for a month so they could dig it up, regrade and resurface. This meant, for me, I had to go one of several different routes to get to those frequent destinations. This month long inconvenience nearly ruined my life.
…and then I realized how low my vibrations were this morning. Living in the past, talking about all of these insignificant events like they were happening now was a symptom of choosing irritation and hatred over calm and gratitude. It was not until I honed in on my thought process and how I was feeling that I realized how long I had just spent feeling angry and feeling like a victim. I will not let this seep into anymore of my day. So…a minute of deep breathing and positive, grateful affirmation.
When I write blogs, I love to get into that place where the words just have a life of their own. When I write, thoughts and words just merge into their own lanes so when I go back to read it for typos….I’m even surprised. Like today’s title….to save my life. I thought WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? Oh ya…from my mother in the 1960’s!
I am embarrassed to think about how much time I have spent binge watching TV in the last few years. The old TV show, Closer, which rolled right into Major Crimes when Brenda aka Kyra Sedgwick left the show was the biggie. He and I watched episodes back to back for months. I thought about the show when I wasn’t watching it..I was consumed. Reruns of Boston Legal was before that. Let’s just say I have a binge history and I’m just not comfortable spilling the details of my varied, crazy, ridiculous addictions *cough Dog The Bounty Hunter.
Now, in the midst of sheltering at home due to the pandemic, I can find NOTHING that grabs my interest on TV. In the back of my mind I want something to sink my teeth into…instead I’ve been spending time online reading articles, I’m reading books, I’m zooming with Unity groups, I’m keeping up with Family with a daily continuous message thread and FaceTime. I’m walking everyday and I’m sleeping like a baby!
I’ve given some lip service about how I think this pandemic could change me, society, the world. Cleaning us up ecologically, forcing us to embrace the “quieting”. We can read, do projects, express ourselves in our hobbies, get out into nature and actually see, feel and hear it. Listen to ourselves in the solitude without the life distractions. When negative thoughts enter, I’m working to stop them when they darken doorway. I am what I think. Negative thoughts will run right into each other in the hallway of fear and panic. Catch them…stop them…I started saying STOP outloud, then I can focus on what is happening right here right now. Ive found it is just as possible to develop positive habits of thinking as it was negative habits of thinking!
I woke up around 5 this morning, chatted with a bestie on line, tried to read a book which I’m not finding fascinating but I feel it does enhance my language skills since I’m not talking very much. There are a few big words in it which I hope I would pronounce correctly due to the fact reading written words is much different than wrapping your tongue around them. I knew the book could not satisfy me like a good sunrise on a clear day….and then I thought…I can be at the grocery store when it opens at 7 and avoid all of the angst of people.
It was freeking depressing. There were a few cars in the lot and every person in there other than cashiers were my age and older….and everyone looking like they did exactly what I did. Grabbed clothes hanging on the end of the bed and off to the store. Depressing…because I could feel it and see it in their faces. It was a totally different experience than a trip to the store during the heart of the day or after 5 pm.
There were no smiles, no nodding of the head. They slowed down on approach and actually stopped. I considered turning my cart around and going the other way so they would be more comfortable…but I realized this would not work looking at the big picture.
I tried to avoid everyone the best I could. I kept a smile on my face, love in my eyes and blessed everyone in the confines of my life in that moment. With the frequently blasted death sentence of the corona virus, older folks are genuinely scared and we need to respect that and love them with everything we have.
We…He and I….have been making our way through the Paul Selig series of books for a couple of years by taking advantage of book studies (Spirit Groups) on Thursday nights. In that group we have advanced to the Book of Mastery which is kicking my butt. He and I have also started the series over and are reading it together at 10 each morning. Some mornings we don’t get a lot read because we end up in conversation. It probably doesn’t need to be stated that either/or is ok. We are learning a lot from each other and about each other.
Last week I highlighted these paragraphs in the second book of the series, Love and Creation.
Now this has to do with constructs and self-identification, and this is important to understand. You have been told who you were ever since you were born. And you have been told what you looked like compared to other people, how you ranked on a scale of success or worth through external things; you have chosen to abide by these things as if they were real because you have moved into accordance with them, indoctrinated into them, and gone into agreement with them.
“Of course I am this, I am told I am this.” Well listen, everybody, you’ve been listening to who you were as described by others since you were old enough to comprehend the idea that you were this thing that you were told. So why not rally around this?
Because I’ve already read the Love and Creation Book and the succeeding book, Knowing and Worth, I’m learning how to work through these life domestications. It’s listening to my inner self, learning and accepting what I’m hearing and then making choices every day to heal myself! Sometimes it’s hard not to revisit when the monkey mind takes over..but I’m finding that having a “personal method” of quieting the monkeys helps me to remain in my knowing of myself.
Last year when I had foot surgery, I remember laying in bed with my foot propped. Often out of my ever loving mind thanks to pharmaceuticals. Attempting to have some understanding of the book I had been wanting to read. Watching the same episode of a recorded show several times because I could NOT keep my eyes open or my brain awake in order to have any type of comprehension! “What did he say?”
Soon I was up clomping about with my big black boot….and soon I was wanting to sit around and read and watch movies and I thought …wow I wish I could go back to bed and veg without guilt….of course I didn’t…I planned for the next day, the next week, the next meeting, thinking about the forecast for tomorrow, griping about future events…thinking and worrying about everything I had to do….so much thinking….
Fast forward a year. Here I am in my theoretical bed again. This time there is no planning into the future because I have no idea when the future will begin. I have very few choices. Decision revolve around my eating schedule and remembering if I brushed my teeth?!?!
I am living in a place of acceptance because my only real choice is what I’m doing right now. As uncertainty and unsettled feelings present themselves, I know I need to let them wash over me and then watch them recede. The waves will continue to come, sometimes noisily crashing. But what I have right now is the solitude, the silence and the gift of this moment to learn a new way of living my life.
It feels so weird to not need to check my phone calendar to see what time I should set an alarm for the next morning…. To not have anything on my calendar in general. Our Monday evening book club met on line last night and we began as we always do with a check in. So far everyone seems to be finding their water line…floating in the nothingness and seeking a new normal. I felt so much comfort realizing that everyone was feeling the screeching halt from a lifetime of getting ‘Er done. I FELT our friend, Carol’s, rapid acceptance…they are bringing wood in for a fire, she is doing her spiritual work and she finally has the time to read the books that have been stacking up.
I am actually feeling some comfort today. There’s nothing I have to do…there is only what I want to do…that thought is so foreign in my mind. I committed this morning to use the skills I’ve been practicing to think about life differently. Each moment is a gift that we live in that moment. We have no control…or our normal perceived control over anything. All I have to do is Be. Be in this moment with a gratitude in my heart.
The reality of our virus consciousness is we can be pissed off, we can believe this should not affect “me”, we can go on trying to live the same life we lived before we heard of Coronavirus, we can rip our insides out being internally hateful and angry, we can refuse to trust the government, we are free to read and believe all of the conspiracy theorists to bolster our negative attitudes, we can weep for lost opportunities, we can be devastated by the loss of loved ones and inconsolable because we can’t send them off into “whatever you believe next is” the way we believe we should. But the bottom line is. It has us. We have very few real choices!
This feels wrong! We aren’t use to discipline, we aren’t use to the loneliness, we aren’t use to having to follow someone else’s rules with our private lives. Here in the US, most of us have the American Dream mentality. If we work hard, we will succeed. We can do anything we put our mind to. But that is being taken away from us….just for a little while….just until we are safe…..safer.
There is no doubt, individually, we are going to come out of this with monumental issues….all of those things that you are worrying about right now…some of them may actually be difficult to deal with.
But will we love more abundantly, Will our time out make us appreciate the little things, Will we hug others with heart bursting love and Will we come together as humans on earth helping each other, freely giving our time, energy and love to one another just because we will see how much it is needed and appreciated and generosity will be stylish?
I am already seeing it out there…”out there” outside of where I shelter. The neighbors are checking on each other, able neighbors are offering resources, time and energy to help each other. In between the angst on social media, there is love. We are starting to step up for each other…it’s actually kind of beautiful!
This is our lesson.
Back when I was all up into organized religion, I was ever reminded that whenever doubt crept in about what I was suppose to believe, that meant I didn’t believe enough. I totally bought it. I bought it because I already had a perfect score in domestication. My parents probably did the best they could bringing up little Nina by passing their own rigid rules and “because I said so” “never cross the line”. AND if you do cross the line or if you don’t live up to expectations then you are not a good girl. What is wrong with you.
So, of course, I internalized how bad I was, how different I was because I didn’t get it…didn’t believe at face value what everyone expected me to believe. I just didn’t have the faith that everyone else had, something was off with me, WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?
As I entered my middle age years, I stepped out…I quietly rebelled. I followed rules even when they made no sense. But, I Started gently balking the system. In my head I fought like a ninja to change the rules. For the most part I was polite and strategic and realized in my work and in my family and among friends that if I could put enough evidence out there that change was actually their idea, I succeeded. That’s when I realized I was manipulative. I had learned the art of manipulation.
It all came together for me when I put two and two together and figured out organized “religion”. That’s when I started seeing the flashing lights over the pulpit spelled out — Do as I Say, Not what I Do. That’s when I figured out that the rules and laws and the “interpretation” of the holy book was the way organized religion supervised the running of private lives. That’s when, ding ding, I realized that just because someone says it, just because someone else believes it, just because it’s someone else’s rule does not mean I have to believe it. And the BEST PART ….. I don’t continue day to day with the voices of doubt, the feelings of not being good enough. There is nothing wrong with me. I have choices. I am able to live by intuition. I am able recognize when something feels right and something feels wrong. I am learning to love everyone. I recognize that we are all the same but we haven’t all taken the same road to discovery.
Ding, ding. It’s really all okay until we think it is not ok.
I went to visit a girlfriend and her husband last night. They lived on a Canal with lots of activity and the husband teared up because he didn’t have a boat for the canal and his wife was upset because she couldn’t visit her brother and sister. I took the wife with me and as we walked through an outdoor area in another country, we met up with a bestie from high school who was there with her family? Entourage? She took us back to her home on a canal. Beautiful place with all of the accoutrements of wealthy living. At first I was overwhelmed and envious but as I spent time at the mansion on the canal, I realized I wouldn’t be able to stand the noise and activity and wanted to move on.
But I needed to make contact with my dad (deceased for 19 years). I had dyed my hair dark…he didn’t seem happy to see me…he was verbally short and very distant with me and I decided he was just depressed..it wasn’t because of me.
I woke up.
Are we untethered when we sleep. Do we actually go places in our dreams…there is no time elements in our dreams. Are life concerns brought to us as we dream in order to work out fears or difficulties we live in our wake states. Should we interpret dreams by the emotions they bring out in us. I say YES to all of them! I don’t believe we can go to a book that gives us a word or event that will interpret the dream for everyone in every situation. But, I strongly believe we would be remiss if we believed that dreams are just an insignificant download of insanity when we sleep.
And what do you think?