The whole “chore” of washing sheets (it’s not like I had to use a washboard in the stream) and remaking the bed became a mindful experience for me. Instead of focusing on the facts associated with this chore, I was shockingly finished and walking out of the room without thinking “why am I the only one who knows how to wash sheets in this house”. This takes nothing away from all of the things He does on a daily basis…it’s merely an historical triggered reaction.
Right after I rejected the common habit of yelling down and asking him to help me so I don’t have to walk around the bed myself 4 times, I recognized that this was another facet of the poor-me trigger I had learned so well. The good news is while putting the pillow cases on, I realized that I really did have a valid reason for not making my bed everyday because seriously, how does the bed go about breathing and airing out when covered with sheets, blankets and comforter all day. You are welcome…you may use it!
As I was walking around the bed on an unexpected trip (making it 6 times) to measure the distance of the top sheet to the bottom of the mattress on each side, I realized that every time we make the bed together, he gives me a reading of the sheet level to the mattress on his side…and, of course, this irritates me. Because it is an historical triggered reaction to those times when we slept in a small bed with smaller sheets and every time someone turned over, it could mean one person lost the sheet. As the victim in my own story, it was always me!
So, I share this insight as encouragement for bed makers out there to use the experience as a calming, counseling session with yourself. Finding gratitude in the mundane daily activities….even making the bed…..CAN be a spiritually enlightening experience……
Or at least I think its Friday…quite frankly, I really have no idea what day it is anymore. COVID quarantine on the heels of retirement joined together with a personality that was always busy living my job and filling my day’s off with sanity recovery, chores and rules. One would think having no rules, no need for sanity and time on ones hands, one might do all of those things I complained I couldn’t get done while I was working. I frequently go to bed and have stress filled organizing dreams because I don’t really want to go to bed…I have things I want to do… I work harder in my dreams that I do during any other time of the day.
Some might say these unstructured days are good for the soul and I don’t argue that point. The difference is when I fail to do the things I want to do because I have an overactive mind and the glimpse of something shiny has me googling, shopping and looking for books to read on Amazon or scanning Twitter and Facebook, watching YouTube videos and in the blink of an eye clicking on my next second of unstructured entertainment.
Today while doing the recommended “homework-exercises” from my Heartmath.com class from Saturday mornings, I was able to go within using a technique “Heart Math Point 0”. Asking my heart “What clearing for a mental, emotional or physical healing would be fulfilling to invest my energy at this time”. Writing down my hearts intention became this blog post. I will endeavor to go within and listen to myself on a daily basis. Listen within to quiet the monkey mind and fill my day with intentional joy rather than being controlled by the next sparkling thing that passes before my eyes into my ego mind.
I’m a long time student of “TRYING” to give up enough fear per day to allow me to release opinions, judgement and those things I have no control over. A few years ago I embraced the fact that I really have no “control” over anything. Thinking we have the ability to control everything is an illusion. Might as well order a “safety cape” which can be purchased online for $9.99.
Judgements….we make judgements on how people look, their gender, their eating habits, their living habits, their ancestors, what car they drive, how they drive, how often they mow their grass, how they parent their children, why they don’t paint their house, how many children they have, how their children behave, their marital status, their sexual identification. Not leaving out the judgements on why people have ill health, “I knew this was going to happen to them!” I saw this coming because they….. I believe first we must become aware that we are making judgements. And how often in our day we are feeling safe and satisfied because we know “they” are wrong. Doing this work, I’ve often asked myself why does it feel so good to be right? Why does it feel so good to elevate myself to a higher position of knowing what’s right for everyone else in my own thinking?
Is this a learned behavior from our parents, our grandparents, our politicians, our teachers….in other words are we adopting our attitudes and judgements from someone else and often don’t even know why we judge or hold tight to “our” beliefs the way we do? Or are these judgements born out of fear….we are afraid…we judge other as some type of control maneuver that protects our physical bodies…our mental health…or the kicker we don’t even know what we are afraid of but what “they” are doing just cannot be right.
It’s a struggle!! But, moment by moment we need to be aware of our fear thoughts and judgements and heal ourselves from the inside out!
Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness or the enduring fear that there is something wrong with me. Allowing authenticity and vulnerability to surface is actually an indication of knowing who I am and making no apologies for who I am. In fact, by being authentic, I save myself that inner discomfort that someone outside of me can define me!
By working through some (childhood into adulthood) triggers in my life, I know I have often hidden who I am with defensive behavior by going on the attack before I am attacked. We live our life assuming that everyone but me has it all together. We see the weakness in someone else which feeds our ego and that sense of being superior bolsters our self esteem by searching and/or finding vulnerability in others…. manifesting unkind words/actions or irrational anger.
By healing the victim mentality within ourselves and by understanding that nothing outside of ourselves has anything to do with our divine nature allows us to be genuine and authentic in our relationships. One moment, one interaction at a time!
The bottom line for me is the quote from the pen of the Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better”
I think the real question we need to ask each other and ask ourselves is this…..wherever we are in chronological age, do we have the same moral compass, the same opinions about other humans, race, sex, love and war that we did even a decade ago. How often and what exactly is the process for changing our opinions?
Without rules or an agenda today, my mind entertained me with questions and “answer” periods which seemed more like flashes of understanding. While I don’t really apologize for opinions I have honored through the decades of my life….they are illusions, anyway….thoughts and illusions of how I saw things based on how I showed up in each moment. These thoughts and illusions have changed often and each new declaration of opinion has been a barometer of my life…often liberating and somewhat painful.
I’m not really sure where to go with this thought process right now. I wonder if the answer is looking deep within ourselves individually and as a society in order to uncover what has made us angry, intolerant and hateful. When did we forsake humanity for selfishness and fear of “the other guy”? When did it happen in our personal timeline….when did fear become the prevailing emotion? Where, when and how does it stop?
I’m learning to opt out of participating in human drama whether it be in my own head or participating with all of my senses with everyone else here on earth. This has actually brought me some peace of mind during the pandemic as I have removed myself from politics. I read the headlines in order keep up on what is going on in the country? What I am finding is when I actually “click” on the occasional news story nothing has changed from the last time I clicked. There is only fear-generating expressions of opinions!
Each fall, members of Unity Village Chapel read the same book….individually, then many of us join together in small groups to discuss the book. This one, Embracing Uncertainty Chapter 3, had me overwhelmed with insight. Thus the cut and paste project I worked on last night. It was a very effective way to concentrate on energetic phrases from the chapter to cement them on my heart and in my soul.
“Expectations create attachments…a hope something turns out a certain way”
Often we are unable to let go of our expectation….
“Expectations carry disappointments rigidity, anger, impatience and obsession”
“The moment expectations appear in the form of hope, desire or a wish, close your eyes, take out the imaginary scissors to cut the cord of expectation. Release it like a balloon drifting away from you.”
I totally subscribe to the law of mind action. The key idea — that human beings create their experiences by the activity of their thinking. Simply put..if we think sad thoughts, we experience sadness. If we think happy thoughts we experience happiness. I think we can fill in the blanks with the emotions we often feel and the fact that we draw those things to us. I also believe the theory that the short temper and irritation we feel toward others is a mirror effect….if we examine our reactions to others, we most likely will see a reflection of the personal behaviors and traits we find offensive to match similar fears and traits in our own behaviors.
Similarly, I’ve found some mental relief by not watching, reading or hearing the news. Going from being a news junkie every waking moments and feeling panic, anger and hatefulness seemed to be drawing things to me which caused similar reactions. I was actually starting to feel gloom and doom all of the time. I was afraid! I finally figured it out. Savvy reporters know how to write a good 1st paragraph to keep us coming back with one new fear after another. It’s part of the news gathering and writing process and I chose to take back my power.
Instead I have recently been drawn to the smooth and passionate, soul soothing voice of Andrea Bocelli. I have never been drawn to this genre before but my soul knew what I needed to hear. I’m not suggesting that everyone start listening to Bocelli music…I am suggesting that turning up the music and allowing the tunes, the voices, the passion be the backdrop of your day and allow some music to replace the chatter and soothe the soul!
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.
We all have those experiences with another human that have hurt our feelings, made us feel angry, royally pissed off, sad, knocked off center, unappreciated, embarrassed. For some of us, it fed our belief that we aren’t good enough, smart enough, skinny enough….We attached an emotion to that experience and added dislike, hate, anger, irritation to our list of how we feel about someone….or physical feelings of nausea, headache, stomach pain as a result of the emotional pain we felt.
We start when we are young…I remember being on an elementary school field trip to the Science Center in the 60’s. I was wearing a green and yellow cotton straight dress with a matching belt…a girl in my class told me she didn’t like the color and hated the belt. From that moment on I watched my reflection in the windows we passed and realized in my adolescent mind that she didn’t like the belt because in the window reflection, it made me “look fat”. I took the belt off and after that day refused to wear the dress again. It began a life long habit of body shaming myself and being judgmental of others because I had been emotionally injured in 5th grade.
At this point and age, I realize that I’ve accumulated a lot of emotional garbage and damage and each time I react by saying something hurtful, thinking judgmental thoughts or by being unkind, I’m only really just reliving the experience I had in elementary school when someone didn’t like the belt on my green and yellow dress. I’ve found that these judgmental thoughts, the jealous comments, the unkind words that come out of my mouth are just a result of a story I tell myself about something that happened in my past that I relive again and again….not the actual event but how that event made me feel. I know that by shutting down that non-stop voice narrating my life from behind the scenes, I am a nicer, kinder more loving person.
Because of my upbringing which I can sum up as do what you are told, no need to have a mind of your own because this is what you believe and this is what you will do, it took me a long time to realize that I was going to begin stepping out in my own direction. I still followed rules and, for the most part, laws, but I learned through experience that if you continue doing what you’ve always done and think with the same mind you used before, then you will have the exact same outcome. BUT…if you pay attention to nuances (which I now call intuition), speak with respect, do your homework and intelligently defend your case, then sometimes rules will be changed. I also learned that if the rules don’t change, you can either suck it up and follow the rules which MAY be the appropriate behavior or more likely for me, I would get mad…scream and holler in my head …. then organize like- minded individuals and go at it again…. being sure to attach some negative emotion to it so that in 20 or more years later, similar emotions about similar situations can rise up and before you know it you are overwhelmed in anger and hatred and vengeance which will probably be overblown for the situation…ie:road rage. There are many years and many experiences that have occurred before which exploded this workable problem into a full blown battle in your head. When they rise up, you will be reacting and responding the way you did 20 or more years ago to a completely different situation….the cycle just continues throughout life.
What did I just read or hear the other day..something to the effect….you can’t fix a problem with the same mind that created it.
My opinion as to the answer is not going to come from me in a 3 paragraph blog, or quite frankly, from me at all…I’m learning and all I can really share is what got me from there to where I am now sharing my thoughts on my blog, but I will credit the PRACTICE of meditation, the book Mastery of Self by Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr…his daddy wrote the Four Agreements, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer or A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.