2014 Week 1 A new Journey on a familiar path

I am so excited.  I read the first week material and my heart leapt with joy.  I know this!   Oh, I forgot this piece and I haven’t done one thing in a while but I know that its true.  I remember being confused the first time through this..  Now I’m excited because I know what happens next, I know that these are the keys that really work.  I am honored and humbled that my dearest friends have joined me on this journey.  I’m excited to see it thru their eyes.  I am truly blessed.  Our lives will never be the same!

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Week 24 I had a break through…

I had a massive break through last week. Now the conflict of having my defenses up and keeping my heart wide open has been mediated to a quiet place of inner peace. When my fear rises up, my heart comes to the rescue and gently loves the fear until quells into the peacefulness of silence. Sometimes is takes a long time and sometimes it only takes a moment to reassure that little girl inside me that she safe and that I’ll take care of her and most of all, how much I love her. That all we all really need, to is to love and be loved.

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Week 23 It’s suppose to be easy…..

This week is suppose to be easy! All I have to do is accept everything and everyone including myself as we are in this moment. I have to taking responsibility for my situation and for all the events that I see as problems. I do not blame anyone or anything for my situation including myself. I know that every problem is an opportunity in disguise and I take this moment and transform it into a great benefit. And finally, defenselessness. I relinquish the need to defend my point of view and I remain open to all points of view without being rigidly attached to any one of them. In short:
I apply the the Law of Least Effort by living each day with these three things.
1. Acceptance
2. Responsibility
3. Defenselessness

Ok, acceptance, that makes sense to me. Responsibility for everyone and everything, I know too well, but to take responsibility without blame is a huge relief! I can finally set that burden down after all these years and transform it into a treasure! Wow, I feel so much lighter!!! So what stopped me stone cold in my tracks? Defenselessness!! I have spent my whole life defending myself, protecting myself. It is so engrained in me that I defend myself before I am even conscious of what I am doing or saying. I apologies before I even know what I’ve done wrong. (I must have done something if he/she is upset with me.) Now I need to relinquish the need to defend my point of view!?! My whole world just went tilt! So where do I begin? I know this is huge for me, as tears are streaming down my face. I’m scared, can I be that vulnerable? What would happen if I left my heart wide open? Oh I take myself much too seriously. What if I just take it one day and one step at a time? What if like the Mary Oliver poem, I am destined to save the only life I can save, my own.

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

By Mary Oliver

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Week 22a Houston, we have a problem…

I spent 48 hrs in silence this past weekend. Or at least I did my best. What I learned was fascinating to me. I needed to go to the grocery store and when I couldn’t find what I needed, I had to asked for help without words. The clerk was so helpful and I noticed that she treated me so very differently. She thought I was handicap and went out of her way for me. Then I went to the produce area and the clerk arranging produce smiled and greeted me with a “hello” I responded with “hello” before I could even think about it. My subconscious mind took over and without a thought. My eyes found hers, I smiled and joy filled every fiber of my being and I returned a very warm hello back. I was on complete autopilot and I watch my unconscious competence take over for me. I love meeting and greeting people. It’s what I do where ever I go. So I went to the check out line and firmly told myself that I was in Silence!!! I got up to the register and the clerk asked me “How are you today, did you find everything you need?” Problem was, she didn’t look up from the register and my groceries. I couldn’t respond out loud and I watched her closed down and she never looked up at me. She thought I was unfriendly. I so desperately wanted her to look at me so I could smile and connect but instead she did the whole transaction without looking at me. It drove me crazy. But she went on to the next person, so I had to leave. I interfaced with 3 different people and had three totally different experiences. I learned how much I am on autopilot and that I do things that are completely under the control of my unconscious mind. I also notice that while I am good at being in silence internally during my mediation, I was shocked at the ongoing dialogue with myself as I went about the errands I had to do. Wow, if I’m creating my own reality with my thoughts and my thoughts are on autopilot or commenting on the world around me without supervision. Well, Houston, we have a problem. I have been totally unaware of what I have been creating. I have been great at doing my homework and my practices. It is the in-between time that I need to bring my attention to and focus on what I want in each moment. Yes, my negative self talk is down to a minimum and I am quick to redirect as soon as I become aware of it. In the middle of the night when fear creeps in, I am working hard to remember to say my affirmation “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy” over and over again. It does help quiet the fear. So, how do I stay focused in the in-between time? It all comes back to the same thing I’ve been learning this whole class. It is all about being present in every moment. What is right in front of me? What am I thinking? What am I creating? Who do I want to be?

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Week 22…The storm before the quiet…

This week we were asked to spend 48 hours in silence. I was excited about it and looking forward to this up coming weekend. Suddenly my life became a whirlwind of activity. Major events in all areas of my life suddenly rushed in and emotions that I have worked so hard to reframe knocked me off my center. I found myself overwhelmed, how could I take this weekend off and be silent? I have calls to make, and people to see, and problems to address, and friends in crisis. It is like a storm raging around me and in me. As I rush to make my blog post, I realized that what I need to do is to step into the eye of the storm and find that quiet place inside me. Like the eye of a hurricane, there is peace and quiet in the center. There is also time to observe and to see things from a different perspective. So I am take a deep breath and trusting that everything will be ok….

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Week 21 I finally found it…..

I have had a roller coaster of emotions these past few weeks. My whole world has changed and I find myself the elder in my family. How did that happen. I’m too young to be the elder! I found myself looking outside myself for the wisdom and loving support that is now no longer there… I finally found it,…. inside myself. In the quiet moments and in my meditations the love and wisdom comes thru in soft whispers. Do it now, …. go to the ocean, ……time to rest.

This week we were looking at how to use negative emotions in positive ways.

UNWORTHY….When I was young and someone told me I couldn’t do something because I was a girl, my response was “I’ll Show YOU” and I used it to achieve what I wanted to do. Now that I am older, I realized that we are all original gifts no where else duplicated and we all are precious gifts not to be compared.

FEAR….I was surprised when I learned that the other side of fear is confidence. It total makes sense but I had never thought of it that way before. So when I found myself afraid, I reminded myself, what I needed was confidence that I could do or handle what ever was in front of me. Just thinking about that is a shape shifting moment for me.

ANGER…Yesterday,I let the anger of another person happen without taking it personally. I stayed in observer and sent him love and noticed that my old pattern of ” I must have done something wrong and what can I do to fix this.” wanted to respond but was relieved when I chose not to. My reaction helped this person defuse and since he was upset about something I had no control over it was over very soon. I don’t have to run and hide when anger shows up. I just need to be the observer and send love.

What I am learning is to stay in my heart and trust myself. The wisdom is inside of me and all I have to do is go into the silence and listen.

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Week 20 Can I really create the life I want?…

Can we really create the life we want? Do my thoughts really create my reality? In our class we are learning about the power of thought and imagining what we want in our lives in our meditations.

My Aunt Dodie had a brain tumor that left her bed ridden for the past two years. Yet, she always had a smile and welcomed you with happy stories of her life. As her illness progressed, she moved into her imagination and would tell you all about her day and the people she went to visit and the walks with her dog she took. Her life continued as it had when she was living in her little house. She didn’t let the bed stop her or bring her down. She just did what she always did. She focus on something positive and when you asked her how she was, she always said “Fine” with a happy smile.

Friday I went to my Aunt Dodie’s funeral. Everyone there spoke of her smiles and her joy. Everyone there was focused on how happy she always was and how loved she was. As one of the quilt club members said “Everyone got so excited and happy when Dodie walk in the room”. It was the most upbeat and inspiring funeral I have ever been to.

My Aunt Dodie created the life she wanted. She didn’t let circumstances get in her way, not even spending her last two years in bed. She found the silver lining in everything. My Aunt Dodie is the answer to my question. I can choose what I focus my thoughts on and I can create the life I want! I can only hope that someday people will say that I lived my life with love and joy, like my Aunt Dodie.

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