……and by mental, I mean what is the story we are telling ourselves. As I wander around the house seeing things that need to be done, I tell myself I don’t really want to do them. These are the exact same things I had all kinds of excuses for back in January and February…you know….the good old days.
Now because the “powers that be” have instituted new rules to keep me safe, I feel like I’m being disciplined. This is in no way a Pollyanna commentary that everything is just fine…there is a lot of suffering. But I am trying to just watch the back-of-my-mind running narration telling me that if this was my choice….a stay at home vacation….needed down time from the busyness, I would not be complaining at all. I would be breathing in the solitude…I would be enjoying the guiltless time to read a book, catch up on TV series I had recorded, settling in for an afternoon movie. It’s not like we are without any options for our leisure time.
Is it safe to say that the angst, anger, boredom in our required downtime is more the story we are telling ourselves than reality…saying “I can’t” rather than “I won’t”. Because of the fear of “catching” the virus and the uncertainty of available health care or for me….mortality, I choose to not have any physical association with others. But if that were not a fear… I have the choice …. like so many others are doing …. ignore the rules in order to satisfy immediate gratification. Theoretically this makes it my choice!
This may be activity day for the egoic voices in my head. This thought pattern was only the first 15 minutes of coffee in my hand, on the couch, waking up….buckle up!
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 think we learn fear…I really don’t think it’s just natural to be afraid of things, everything, hyper vigilant in our fear, smothering fear. I’m not a disciple of the past life-reincarnation theory. Actually I fall right in the center…some things I hear or experience have me on the right -maybe- side of it. Then I walk along one foot in front of the other thinking naw…don’t believe it…..and with that little tangent about my belief system…there are times that I wonder if my fears “could” be the result of past karma, past life experiences…noticing fur on the ground while looking for nuts and the next thing you know, the saber tooth tiger is chasing me toward my cave entrance.
I was born from, raised by and fought off the fear that seeped from my mother’s pores. As an example, when my first child was born, my mother was standing in my kitchen comforting the crying baby. When I walked into the room, she told me I should take the child to the doctor and have her tested for cyclic fibrosis because her skin tasted salty. My very first reaction was 0 to 60 rage…my mothers terror was always a recognizable shadow…always with her.
Which leads me right into taking your shoes off when you come in the house….inspired by a Facebook share bestowing the fear of what is on the bottom of the shoe…including a bacteria which can lead to nasty infections with symptoms raging from diarrhea to potentially fatal inflammation. OMG and here I was only worried about the China manufactured disease killing hundreds of thousands along with eating hamburger that has been in my fridge for three days….and number one on the list…the mental illness from which I suffer…the fear and disgust of other people’s bare feet…especially when those bare feet are visible to me in my house or close enough to me that I can recognize them as actual human unclothed feet.
It’s no wonder we are a society of fear, hate and discontent..we are afraid of everything. It is contagious and it is the most dangerous Illness of all!
Until next time…
For nearly two years, I (and now He and I) have been reading and discussing in a group setting the Paul Selig series of channeled books. I was new to the New Thought movement and new to the spiritual aspect of my life after many decades of trying to believe all of the religious dogma and rules I found in the Christian churches of my past. The more I was told how to live and what to think by other humans, I realized they were human and didn’t espouse the rules and judgements they were representing. It’s been a very long journey. That being said…..
I chose to join a Paul Selig study group. The choice stepping into the unknown using only my intuition. I was searching for a book group and had no idea where this author, Paul Selig, would take me. I have found the experience with the books and discussions in group have changed my life. He also joined the group a few months after I did…we did some catch up reading at home together to get him up to speed with the first, foundational book, “I am Word”. The group is now in the 4th book of the series. Beginning the first of the year, He and I decided to start the series again. We are reading aloud and discussing the books every morning. There are so many spiritual life lessons to reap from every chapter.
This morning we read this:
“We want you to imagine for a moment that your life, as you choose it, pictures outwardly all of those things you say you want. “I am feeling good about myself.” “My body is healthy.” “I am with the partner I desire.” “I am in the work I love” or “I am no longer working because I no longer need to support myself that way.” Create in your mind the image that you say you want from this level of consciousness that you are today. We want you to do this now. Imagine your perfect life and take a moment and decide that this is now available to you.”
The next paragraph explains that all of those things you in envision for yourself for the future…all of those things that came up when you imagined your perfect life…are the things that are not in your life right now. Those are the things that deserve our focus. Those are the desires we need to shoot for. Dumping all of the shoulds of our life. Stop doing what we have always done, following someone else’s rules perhaps the way we were taught, making decisions because other choices …. like living a bold life….cause fear…fear of the unknown?
I blog about this today because blogging helps cement the thoughts in my own mind especially when they ring my bell and become a huge wake up call for me. When I did the exercise and thought about the things I dream of doing or believe someday I will do……the things I’m not doing now. The main reason I’m not doing them now is the suggestion or the blueprint will require me to expand out of my comfort zone….it just seems ridiculous that I am holding myself back from being who I know I want to be because I’m afraid to take that baby step ahead.
I find my living in the moment mind amongst the rubble of life by simply realizing what is happening right now…at this moment full stop. Using this mind certainly does not happen easily in our instant gratification world. Simply, it is the mind that must be used to heal the angst and the pain we allow to control our lives every second of the day.
Here’s the on-line instruction manual with directions for how to use this peaceful other mind: ask yourself what is happening right now…right this moment! Interpreted….If I’m not thinking and living the past while constantly being triggered to react to present moments by how I felt when…what someone said …. what someone did TO me… how I felt about the last conversation or the last person I encountered. Or the future…what I have to do today while at work…the stress of grocery shopping or meal preparation … how am I going to lose weight…OMG I have to do this or that. Nope…right now in this moment. In this once in a lifetime present moment, if the mental chatter stopped, if the stories we tell ourselves stopped, right now WITHOUT all of the fears we carry…with this breath I’m breathing is everything ok? Quite frankly, I am seldom able to live here in this moment all day long because, of course, I have figured out an excuse..I have 60 plus years of habitual thinking and over thinking to stop and like everyone else, I have that persistent, incessant talker sitting on my shoulder distracting me.
But what I have found is once I find the discipline to quiet my mind, I realize that my anxiety, my angst, my fears are not from things happening in the present. They are the thoughts of my past or fears of my perceived future. There is absolutely nothing I can do about the past…it’s done and gone unless I keep my version of it alive in my mind…and the future hasn’t happen…I really have no control of the future in spite of my obsessive thinking that I can control it.
A short exercise to bring my mind to a screeching halt is to STOP! Take 3 deep breaths and say to myself….3 things I see right now, 3 things I hear right now and reach out and touch three things I can feel right now. If I practice this every time I am aware of anxiety, irritation, dislike or fear, soon I realize that what is going on right this minute is just fine…is peaceful and this is where I’m going to live….but just like having a push ups goal, it takes practice.
The difference in the thought process and the decisions I make in my life are based solely on which brain I’m using. Oh….and I certainly don’t speak from a tone of arrogance here…I don’t share this because I always listen to the right brain…but I’m speaking from hours and hours of study….I eventually figure it out and know the difference in which brain I’m thinking WITH. Kind of comes down to my “knowing” brain just knows that I ended that last sentence with a preposition. As soon as I typed it, I knew it was going to be the last word in the sentence and I knew that grammatically there was “someone” out there who learned the old school rigid rules about prepositions and would think…she just ended that sentence in a preposition “tsk”.
….and then she/he might really examine my other sentences like…OMG she just started that sentence with and…then…same person might go back to a time in school when they learned about past participles or prepositions or to spelling tests and perhaps compare themselves to a sibling who could do difficult math in their head or remember when they used to get in trouble for day dreaming and by the time that whole thought process was over, this person felt like a total failure….all over a preposition trigger. This person who first noticed the idiot woman’s blog that ends her sentences in a preposition just triggered a lengthy egoic or “personal” mind process that left them feeling inferior or insecure and in all probability introduced a mindset of being snippy with someone..sent them to the kitchen to eat their insecurity away or had them ordering something on Amazon to make themselves feel better.
This is just one of the minds we think with. The mind of fear. After many years of driving accident free, one traffic accident-fender bender might have you afraid to drive on the interstate. Having a cancer diagnosis upon returning from a long trip out of the country might have you afraid to travel again, an early life of worry about not having money to feed the kids might have you fearing poverty even with a bank or mattress full of money. The egoic mind. The mind that you fear with, compare yourself to others with, feel insecure with…the mind that provides a free-of-charge little voice on your shoulder that chatters incessantly through out your day telling you that you are not ok.
There is another mind…
In my spiritual journey, I find there are so many topics, themes, opinions, beliefs that are universal among new thought books/authors, teachers and gurus. As I have drilled down on these topics, I have found that this stuff makes total sense as opposed to the fundamental beliefs of the preachers, teachers, opinionated male dominant hierarchy teachings that have been used to control the multitudes for thousands of years. The bottom line is that we…as in everything on this planet…are connected. Each human being is connected as one and is reliant on all of nature to keep the balance. Everything is connected.
All of our angst, feelings of superiority, insecurity and hate…everything that isn’t love…is fear. And fear comes from that little voice in our head that is constantly talking to us…we can call that little voice…the ego. All of our fear thoughts originate from stories we tell ourselves. I’m ugly, I don’t fit in because I have a big nose, I don’t like someone because they looked at me a certain way…on and on and on. These stories we tell ourselves are not the result of what someone has DONE to us but actually is that “something” buried deep within us. So we revolt. Often, those things about ourselves that we recognize and “don’t like” are exactly the behaviors in someone else that causes us to be locked and loaded when triggered into an angry response and behavior. A simple example…the friend who thinks they will be safe from everything by having rules for everything….built in protection…if I can control it with rules, it can’t hurt me. If this friends behavior crosses your invisible line of acceptance of your rules and he/she irritates you, is it because you have very fixed rules for the perception of safety and you are triggered. The friend that doesn’t wear makeup….do you judge her because you are insecure about the way you look and never leave the house unless embellished? Is she wrong or do you need to examine the insecurity within yourself that she triggers? In general we judge or dislike someone who brings out the insecurities we are hiding.
The illusion of the need to protect ourselves comes from a long history of experiences in our life that may have hurt our feelings, damage us physically/mentally and made us feel unsafe or not good enough. We attached emotion to those “things” and initiated protection alerts for our hearts. It all seems so complicated but is actually very simple. If it is not love based, it is fear based and we have the capacity to change the way we think.