Sunday, August 4, 2013

We Are ALL One

We are all the same inside. This has been coming up a lot for me. First it was something I started to realize on my own and would repeat silently in my head while I was out in public, each time I made eye contact with someone. It came up again in my session with Mojan (one of the many, many coincidences between what I've been working with and what she told me). And again just in the last couple days in a book I've been reading. It is, in fact, the sutra I'm supposed to use for meditation today.
What I just realized about this, though, is that I usually use this to help me when I'm trying to relate to (or simply understand on a very basic level) people who seem very different from me.  But as I was scrolling through Instagram just now, discovering new people through the images they post and their captions is endlessly fascinating (sometimes), I came across a photo stream that was just beautiful. Lot's of nature in many countries and then some personal shots including images of 'work'. The guy I'm referring to right now is a baker or a chef and posted a few photos of delicious looking pies he made. Really beautiful looking pies (and beautiful photos). And suddenly I realized what I've been missing out on with this: not only am I the same inside as all these random people who I have trouble relating to (and am not particularly interested in, to be perfectly honest) but I am also the same inside as all these people I am intrigued by, who appear to have beautiful lives, make beautiful work and travel to beautiful places. We are the same too! And in realizing that, I also realized that all this while I've been thinking that I am not like them. Something about them is above and beyond me because my life doesn't seem to look like that yet. 'Yet' is the key!
I am freshly inspired.

Friday, August 2, 2013

I noticed earlier in the last few weeks some physical feelings that seemed related to how I respond to my own emotions. Most notably I noticed a shift in my posture and the difference between 'open' and 'closing/closed' in my chest. I've been reading The Places That Scare You A Guide To Fearlessness in Difficult Times by Pema Chodron recently -strongly suggested by Mojan- and it's very good but as with much 'required' reading I've been having a little trouble sticking with it, it's feeling a touch repetitive.
What's stayed with me most from it is the concept of feeling the feelings I'm having without allowing them to 'harden' me (reacting by slamming everything closed). The idea is to allow whatever I'm feeling and let it soften me instead. It's odd but I never quite understood what she meant by that and at the same time it immediately became quite easy to do. The more I've done it, the better I've felt and there now seems to be a new kind of space inside me. I feel lighter. It's like space that's been cleared to hold happiness and courage.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

With the pace of my life picking up lately I've been around a lot more people in the last week than I had been for a while and it became a kind of accidental empath experiment. Most of my interactions with people are one on one -at the salon, driving the gypsy cab (not really, but yeah, kind of), etc. though occasionally I'll find myself with a small group. Either way, having recently had so much time on my own and with the changed attitude of accepting and embracing that "down" time, I realized more deeply than ever just how it feels to be me. So following this lovely down time and thrown in again with all these people I suddenly realize so much more clearly just how chaotic it sometimes feels for me to be around others. Their energy whirling around me and sinking into my own until it's all soaked together and I feel indistinct and sometimes straight crazy.
At the same time, I seem to be finding more and more magical community and am realizing both my potential and also my needs. Although I'm not sure I'll ever be well enough attuned to be able to clearly interpret what I feel (as empath/intuitives do for the purpose of healing others) I'd like to at least be able to maintain feeling like me when I'm around a large group or even just one person with really strong energy, some of those people are really great and I would enjoy them so much more if I didn't feel like a tornado was whipping through me. So I recently looked around and found some energy training exercises for empaths. As meditation seems to be the be all end all to everything I shouldn't be surprised that this is again a big part of the exercises -which is good since I already do this and which is perhaps why it has become so much easier for me to discern when someone's energy is whipping through me like a tornado- but some were a little different and surprisingly simple.
The first of the two I remember best is to focus on how much noise or energy inside me is "others", measure it like it's a volume knob from 1 to 10. Then focus on how much is my own in the same way. Once I know where I am and where "others" is I focus on turning "others" down to 0 and me up to 10. It's so simple, yet so brilliant.
The other is to get into a meditative state and imagine that with each breath my energy expands creating a larger and larger field around me until it fills the room. This one is also brilliant and I identified with it right away as when I'm feeling my worst I do feel like my personal energetic space is totally deflated and I can't seem to gather the strength to fill it back up.
It's been kind of an exciting experience for me to get closer to understanding this part of myself and I'm really excited to work with it and see how I develop and what I decide to do with it. I have to say, nightmare though it's been, I'm glad to be who I am and have this experience of life.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Two nights ago a coyote came into my backyard and killed my cat. I have to say I've been really impressed with the way I'm dealing with it and I just realized why.
When it happened I was wracked with guilt. I allowed her to stay out all night whenever she wanted. She was an old cat who had developed persistent health problems. She had been very healthy until fairly recently and had always been a mellow cat, not a fighter or hunter or even very adventurous. She never even left our yard. She simply loved to be outside during the summer, like so many of us do. Enjoying the sunshine before it's too hot and then later the nice cool evenings. I'm the same, I get it, it's a beautiful season until the heat becomes too much. Who would ever want to live inside all their lives? Sounds awful.
I know a lot of people who feel the same way, about their cats I mean. They know there's a chance of danger (cars, wild animals, even the pets of others) but they want to give their cat a whole and happy life.
Sad things happen. At first I was comforted that at least she was in one piece. (Which came after the strange horror/relief that at least she had been left in my yard where I could find her and know this for certain.) I didn't have to try to convince myself for a week or a month that she hadn't just wandered off or being left maimed and suffering somewhere I could never find her, not wanting to really face the most likely truth. So in a way this tragedy happened in the best possible way.
I also knew that she wouldn't have to suffer being more and more sickly and more and more yucky trips to the vet. And that she had had a good life and been very happy in the time leading up to her death. She had felt free and brave enough to stay out all night. This is a cat who used to hide under the bed whenever a stranger was around. But who had finally gotten so comfortable and tough with my bigger dog that she had swatted at his butt the other day, totally provoking him, and then gave him a disgusted look when he protested. I like that my cat was so happy and comfortable doing what she pleased, what a great role model to have. I'm very sad that she's gone but I'm going to be proud of her and myself for being willing to brave the risks.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

One of the greatest lessons I've worked through over the last few years -quite a few, actually, if I think all the way back to the earlier, uglier lessons that sparked the transformation of the lesson- is understanding the magnitude of the concept that what I believe in creates my life.
It sounds like such a simple thing. Overall, big picture you can be thinking, 'I'm going to have a happy and adventurous life' but if you're lacking the details as to what that means to you it can be really challenging to keep believing that statement. For years I didn't really know what I wanted to be when I grew up, I truly still don't but am much more open to the journey now rather than focusing on a set destination. One of the things I've learned had been that sometimes you set your sites on a destination and it either doesn't work out for you at all (you never get there and feel like a failure), you get there but there are many detours along the way, you get there and it's not what you wanted after all. The variations can go on infinitely. That's the beauty of the details you can't know but that doesn't mean that you can be more specific than 'happy and adventurous'.
Lately I've been focusing a lot on synchronicity. It seems every time something catches my attention more and more supporting coincidences follow until I've drawn something entirely new into my life.
It's only recently, really, that I've drawn into my life people and events that support my more fully embracing this part of myself and allowing myself to express it more openly and more often. The beauty of individualized faith, I've found, is just how individualized it is. No two people believe in exactly the same things in exactly the same way. It's made for me feeling awkward sometimes. I was taught as a child conflicting points of view in regard to religion and beliefs but most of them shared an element of judgement. I'm working it out these days and learning a lot more tolerance for  views that are dramatically different from my own.
I'm also kind of coming back to astrology a little more these days and embracing it and learning how to work it into my current spiritual puzzle (what a great expression of Neptune in Pisces transiting the first house, yes?).