The 42 days I dedicated to the process of deepening my connection with the divine turned out to be a time for me to get to know myself. This process has been incredible- both difficult and gracious. When I wrote my last post, I was in a moment of difficulty. What I wrote was what I was feeling in that moment. I know it may have sounded sad and discouraged… that’s how I was feeling in the moment. But the amazing thing about writing how I was feeling is that I allowed myself not to deny it. It was the truth for me in that moment and I allowed myself to live the truth in that moment. Yes, I was worried of what people would think when they read it but that’s ok. Being worried in that moment was truth, it was the reality of that moment. I also took some time to pause as I was writing, and a new reality presented itself. The poem I wrote came to me over a period of about 15 – 20 minutes. I didn’t plan to write a poem. When I called up on my true self in the moment, I stopped writing and sat for a few moments feeling my feelings. While I was doing that a thought came to mind. I wrote it, then I paused again to feel my feelings, another thought came to mind, and I wrote it. That poem came to me in the moment as I allowed myself to pause and feel my feelings.
This process of getting to know myself involves accepting myself as I am. This has meant, for the first time in my life, finding a sense of peace with my turmoil. It has meant realizing that the truth is what is in each moment and to wish it were different, to hide it, to pretend it’s different…to do anything but shine the light on it and give it space to be, is denying the truth, denying myself, and denying my life experience.
I’ve spent a lot of time not living my life. Instead, I’ve done things like try to live other people’s lives for them, lived in the past, lived in the future, and ignored the truth of my own life. No wonder I felt unfulfilled. For most of my life I have attracted struggle and suffering to myself because I have not been living in truth.
Truth is what is, before I interpret, judge, categorize, or manipulate in some way.
My process at the moment is recognizing the truth and accepting it. For me that means:
- becoming aware of my thoughts and meeting them with acceptance, curiosity, and inquiry instead of identifying with or attempting to deny or change them
- tuning in to my feelings and allowing them to run their course
- shining the light on my emotions and allowing them to run their course
- being aware of who/what I truly am- a part of the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe experiencing this physical body, a co-creator of my life, powerful and divine.
Something amazing that has occurred along the way is that abundant resources to help me learn have presented themselves. They have come in the form of books, courses, articles, websites, meditation techniques, new people in my life, and new challenges that have pushed me to face reality and expand my awareness of it. One after the other, after the other, these resources have flowed into my life. I’m so grateful for this abundance. I know now that living the truth welcomes abundance into my life. I have experienced this.
I also know that I am still getting to know myself and learning how to accept myself so I will still face difficulties. The difference is I am starting to welcome those difficulties as opportunities for growth, instead of as failure.
Well, I suppose that’s all for now.
Thanks for reading.
It’s difficult for me to allow myself to be free, confident, and serene. I impose rigid expectations on myself and when I don’t deliver, I feel the muscles in my face, neck, shoulders and lower back become tense. I clench my jaw. I feel my blood becoming acidic. It’s like I have a despot controlling my life from inside my own head. This despot tell me there are certain things that must be done each day and if I don’t do them then it will make me suffer.
When I don’t post in this blog, my despot punishes me. It’s taken something that’s creative, nourishing, and inspiring and turned it into something that dis-empowers and robs me of energy. I start to feel obligated. How does that happen? Sometimes I’m able to let it go and feel peace with my decision. Other times I’m unable. Last night I was unable. I got this idea in my mind that I had to post and if I didn’t it meant that I was a fraud, “un-dedicated”, not truly on a spiritual path…that somehow I was letting others down. Seriously, this is what my despot was telling me. It’s so dramatic!
Well, as you can see, I didn’t post last night. The real me is free and empowered and knows how to live a serene life. After a long day of staring at a computer, and a little relaxation, the real me decided to go to bed. However, the real me is still very subtle at the moment. The depot is loud and overbearing from years of having control. So, I went to bed last night feeling uneasy and I woke up this morning feeling anxious. I had a sense that I couldn’t be at peace unless I wrote this post. How crazy is that?
Of course, as I write, I feel that my despot doesn’t want me to write about this. It doesn’t want me to acknowledge what I’m feeling. Bringing this feeling into the open to shine light on it changes the balance of power. If I accept this feeling then the power is back in my court. If I hide it or ignore it, it becomes more powerful and my true self is shadowed over.
Now, as I write, in this moment, fear is washing over me. I feel my heart constricted and my stomach uneasy. All the new things that have been happening in my life are being rejected by this despot or false self. I want to ignore it and pretend like everything is ok because my false self tells me if I don’t pretend everything is ok then it means that this journey I’m on hasn’t worked. That I’ve failed. That I haven’t made any progress.
Today is day 42. The last day of this “experiment”. Shouldn’t I be feeling accomplished and telling the world what an amazing and inspiring experience this has been? In the moment I feel like I did something wrong. I don’t feel inspired. I feel scared that nothing has changed, that everything I have written in this blog is meaningless. Have I only imagined a different way of being? At the moment I feel no different than I did 43 days ago.
Maybe nothing has changed. I feel tense. Something within me doesn’t want to accept this. Something within me wants something different than the truth of what I feel in this moment. Something within me wants to label this moment as “wrong”.
That’s not my true self.
I call upon my true self in this moment. I call upon the divinity within myself. I call upon love and acceptance to be with me. To help me to open up instead of close down. To help me experience this moment as it truly is. To be and not to judge. To let go of the story and the drama and just feel.
To be. To simply be. Not to pretend. To accept. To feel free. To love what is. Not to change. To go deeper into a silent place where there are no words. A place of stillness and acceptance. where the storm on the surface can be weathered. where thoughts have no power. The necessity of pausing. to find this place within. that can only be found if I slow down. and allow myself to be 100% present. in the truth of this moment. the truth that can’t be changed. the truth that is. To find this place within that knows and feels the truth. where there is no past. where there is no future. that is not afraid. and to settle into it’s sweet serenity.
I feel a little better… and the journey continues…
Thanks for reading.
I started this 42 day journey because I wanted to change my life. I wasn’t happy. I felt stuck.
The past 38 days have been incredibly impactful and things in my life have begun to shift in meaningful ways. I no longer feel stuck. I feel my life moving forward in the direction that I want it to go. The most interesting thing about this is now that I’ve gotten my life unstuck, now that I feel the momentum, I recognize my own resistance to this momentum. I wanted change, but I recognize now how uncomfortable change can feel- even though it’s wonderful, it’s uncomfortable. Changes in life are scary and uncertain. It’s been difficult at times to accept the changes, even though I know they’re what I asked for. Sometimes I have to remind myself “This is what you’ve been asking for,” while my old self feels the fear and pain of dying. I have to move through that fear and pain (mental, emotional, even sometimes physical) before I realize that on the other side of it I’m still here. This process and the feeling that I survived, gives me energy and strength to keep on opening up and accepting new things into my life- because they keep coming!
What I know now so clearly is that opportunities to change will always be available for me but I have to be open to them. Also, in order to change, first there has to be acceptance. I think my primary job is acceptance. Once I accept what is, the change comes to me…and my job is still acceptance. It’s like acceptance creates a vacuum that brings in more life to accept!
Thanks for reading.
What is abundance? Here’s a basic google definition: abundance- a very large quantity of something.
My last post talked about abundance in terms of wealth, but abundance can relate to anything in life. So I have been pondering, is my life abundant in other areas or does my lack mentality affect more than just my attitude about wealth? Honestly, I think it’s a mixed bag.
One thing I have always felt an abundance of is love. I was raised in an environment of love created by my family and my friends. This is one of the things I am most grateful for in my life. Many people I have met throughout my life have complained about family life or complained about not having true friendships in their lives. I’ve heard people’s stories of dread at the thought of spending time with family or stories of “friends” who have stabbed them in the back, time and time again. I have never experienced these things in my life. When I think of my family and friends my heart feels like it could burst with love and tears often come to my eyes, as they are now…
Another area in which I have experienced abundance of is adventure. Here’s what google says about that: adventure- an unusual and exciting or daring experience. (yes, I like to look words up in the dictionary) I have had so many of these types of experiences. From living in a village in Niger, Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer, to jumping off of the tops of waterfalls and cliffs into the waters below. From running almost all the way across the United States, to climbing mountains in Cameroon. Oh, and then there’s being deported from Brazil, spending the first 5 years of my life living in Belize, taking a trip to Costa Rica with a group of students from the school where I was a teacher, sleeping in the sand dunes of the Sahara, and at 14,000+ feet in the mountains of Tibet… there’s more I could mention, but I’ll stop here. These experiences have taught me so much about myself and life and, again, my heart swells with gratitude for these experiences.
Thinking about what I have just written about, I start to become perplexed as to why I often don’t feel like my life abounds in abundance… but I don’t. This what this 42 days has been about. It has been about my desire to awaken to the abundance of life so that I feel it rushing through my veins. I want to feel fully alive and open to all the divine abundance in the universe. All the love, all the prosperity, all the learning, all the feeling, all the joy, all the freedom, all the serenity, all the harmony, all the knowledge…
As I write this, I realize that being open to the abundance of the universe means being open to life itself… How to be open to life itself? Be open to each moment that life presents. Be open to accepting it. Be open to feeling it. Be open to experiencing it fully and humanly. This doesn’t mean picking and choosing what to be open to. It means remaining open and not shutting down. We have the opportunity to do this in every single moment that we experience. And strangely, it doesn’t mean that we will never shut down. But even when we shut down, we have the opportunity to open up to that shutting down (if that makes sense). We can open up and allow everything in every moment. Open up and allow things that seem to go against the truth of divine abundance. Open up to everything, the entirety of life as a human being, in all it’s pain and suffering and joy and love and everything in between. Just remain open and never shut down completely.
Last night my lack mentality was being pushed to it’s limits in the area of money. As I have opened up more in this area, I have been faced with opportunities to open even further. But my limitations are being tested and this is incredibly uncomfortable. Last night I had to make some choices about money. Choices that could have a profound effect on my life. I really struggled. As I was living this experience, I could feel myself wanting to shut down. I was tired and I felt weak. There was so much pressure all around me, it felt stifling. I didn’t want that type of energy to be there, but it was. I felt the feelings in my body, which grounded me a bit and allowed me to keep in mind that what was happening was a good thing, but my emotions were still very powerful. I allowed myself to go through what I was going through. I wanted to be completely open to what I was being faced with and to be more serene, but I wasn’t. In the end, I did push past my limits but it wasn’t pretty or graceful.
Even though I felt my world as small and limiting last night, I have the opportunity to open up to the truth of that experience today. Today, I choose not to feel bad about how I handled it. I choose not to punish myself. At this moment, if I want to live in truth and suffer less (which I do) it means accepting and allowing my experience last night, without wishing it were different. There’s no way to change it now! There is no right or wrong. There is just being open, accepting, and allowing. That is the openness that lets abundance in and creates freedom. It’s small steps and the journey will last a lifetime…
Thanks for reading.
Ok, it’s time… I’ve been avoiding mentioning a certain topic. Not on purpose. I didn’t realize until I started typing just now why I’ve been avoiding it, but it just hit me. The topic is money and abundance. What just hit me is that the reason I’ve avoided mentioning it is because of my lack mentality.
My mind has made up other reasons, though. My mind has been telling me that it would be inappropriate to talk about my money situation publicly. It’s also been telling me that I shouldn’t talk about it because I don’t have anything important to say. I can see through the charade more now though. My mind is a complete manipulator…it’s becoming more and more obvious.
Here’s the real reason I’ve avoided mentioning the topic of money and abundance. It’s because of the power I’ve given my lack mentality and the aversion my lack mentality has of dying. My lack mentality caused me to be uncomfortable with this topic. My lack mentality wants me to think that money and abundance are none of my business. It wants me to believe I know anything about it. It wants me to be ashamed of admitting my struggles and admitting I’m not where I want to be. My lack mentality wants me to feel powerless in regard to money. And like the do-gooder I am, I have complied.
Things are changing now, though. I can literally feel something shifting within me as I write. I feel differently. I feel more open about it. I feel more confident! I understand why my lack mentality didn’t want me to talk about money. It’s because talking about it is freeing. This freedom is a death to the lack mentality.
I’ve been reading a book called You Were Born Rich, by Bob Proctor (you can get a free copy here if you’re interested). Reading this is something my mind has told me I should be ashamed about. I don’t have to listen to my mind’s advice, though. I choose not to now. Anyway…one of the first things Bob says about money in this book is that money is a servant. Money is here to serve us, not the other way around. I have felt like a servant to money all of my life. I have given away incredible amounts of my power to money and I have allowed it to control me. I have so identified with my lack mentality that to a certain degree I have believed it was me. Whenever I felt unhappy or stressed about money, my thoughts always settled on the conviction that “No matter how hard I try I will never be wealthy I will always be lack.”
So, why are things shifting for me? Probably for many reasons. I don’t know if I know anything for sure, but I feel it has a least a little to do with these 3 things:
- Awakening to the truth that abundance and prosperity are part of divinity, not selfish, shallow desires.
- Awakening to the truth that I am powerful and I am creative and I have the power to create my life the way I want it to be.
- Awakening a part of myself that somehow has been able to take action in the direction of abundance and prosperity. Thus proving to my doubting mind, in little ways, that lack doesn’t define me. And gaining more confidence with every little step in the direction of abundance and prosperity.
It’s been little steps. Up to now, so little that I barely felt anything was changing. But all of a sudden I feel it. I am so grateful.
Thanks for reading.
My activities on this journey have more or an inward focus lately. At the beginning, as I mentioned in this post a couple of days ago, everything I was doing was very expressive. I was praying out loud and noticing things in the world around me and reaching out to the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe…My actions were also a bit more aggressive. I felt like I was waging a war on my mind and my thoughts. I felt like I had to exert my control or else I would never be able to change. I thought that forcing positive thoughts into my mind was going to bring about the changes I desired in my life. I felt like I had to change so many things in my life because I was doing everything wrong. I didn’t like who I was sometimes and I thought my behavior at times was unacceptable. So I wanted to use force to change myself, and change quickly… and hopefully people would start noticing that something was different about me.
There came a point, however, that all that activity and the struggles didn’t appeal to me anymore. I started to feel like I was slacking or losing my motivation and focus. I was questioning if I was motivated enough to be on this path and why I had lost my the passion that I had in the first couple of weeks. Why did that feel so unsustainable?
As I reflect on all of that, maybe I did lose some motivation for a while. For a while, I was just going through my day. I didn’t pause to pray every 30 minutes like I did when I first started. There was something more peaceful about my state, though. I started to be more in the moment while I was going through my day and my comprehensive To Do List wasn’t weighing me down by putting out constant reminders of everything I have to do between now and the end of next year. It felt good to be able to go about my business without a million other things on my mind.
Then, little by little, a new focus started to grow. This one was quieter. It started after a night that I experienced a lot of anger (that was day 21) and I started looking online for ways to address it. That’s when I started reading about the difference between emotions and feelings and about feeling feelings and the alchemy of feelings. Then all of a sudden, every where I turned there was something about feeling feelings and accepting everything about myself, no matter what it was. When this happened I felt my energy return a bit. I was motivated again to experience this new way of being. From that point on, there has been a subtlety about my focus.
I have been reaching out less… I have been looking in more. There’s less praying and more feeling and accepting. Sometimes it doesn’t feel “right” to pray less and reach out less. Then again, where do my ideas of right and wrong come from? From an uncreative, dogmatic mind? my false self? Recently someone said to me that it’s a good idea to question what is considered right and wrong in the mind of others and even in my own mind! Now that throws everything all topsy turvy! I know that’s what needs to be done, though.
So, here I am today. Being myself and accepting myself. I am becoming aware that connecting with myself is connecting with the divine and I instead of reaching out, I am reaching in. And instead of praying out loud, I am beginning to experience the silence within.
Thanks for reading.
Two years ago at this time, I had recently completed an amazing adventure. August 15, 2013 was the last day of a 5 month, 3,000+ mile journey that I made running most of the way across the United States from CA to CT. In Norwalk, CT that day, as I ran into the ocean, I was so happy and relieved to be finished, but I was also suffering immensely. While I was definitely in physical pain, it’s not the physical pain that was really bothering me. It was the mental and emotional pain that was causing the majority of my suffering (and probably causing my physical pain, too). Let me explain. The reason I was suffering so greatly was because I spent the majority of the 5 months on the road denying my own reality and rejecting my feelings and at the end of the 5 months instead of feeling the excitement of what I had accomplished, I mostly felt the weight of what I hadn’t.
You see, by the time I had run to Missouri, I was in a great deal of physical pain. So much so that it was too painful to run. However, instead of accepting this and allowing myself to live this truth, I denied it and secretly hitchhiked and rode in buses and taxis for about 120 miles. I didn’t tell anyone until about 5 or 6 months later when I realized if I didn’t tell the truth, the lie was going to eat me up inside for the rest of my life.
I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last 2 years processing this experience and trying to figure out what lesson I was meant to learn from it. I have wanted to place the blame for my actions outside of myself and it would be easy to do that. However, the more I learn about life, the greater awareness I have that no one else is ever to blame for my how I feel and the decisions I make.
In the blog post I wrote announcing what I had done I said one of the reasons I did it was that “I was so consumed with my goal that I was willing to lie to keep up appearances.” Re-reading that today, I realize that that’s not really the truth. I wasn’t really consumed with my goal. Not finishing when I said I was going to finish wouldn’t really have bothered me all that much. Really what I was consumed with was the story, the drama I had created in my head that rejected the reality of my situation. From day 1 of that experience I was completely unwilling to accept how I was feeling and because of that I created a world of suffering for myself. If I had accepted my feelings and allowed myself to be whatever I was in each moment, I would have made completely different decisions.
As I write about this experience today, I find myself wondering why I’m doing so. Why bring this up?… It’s because I haven’t fully allowed myself to be at peace with what happened. I’m still reliving it in ways and it’s blocking me from truly being in a place of acceptance and power. This experience is part of my journey today because I haven’t allowed it to move through me. I’ve wanted to deny it and I still wish it hadn’t happened the way it did. I have intellectually been trying to figure it out, always wondering “Why?” and thinking I had to learn something from it before I could let it go and that since I was still holding on to it, I must not have learned the deep, profound lesson, yet. In doing all of these things, I have held onto it, instead of letting it run its course.
Today, what I realize is that I don’t have to think about it anymore. There’s nothing to figure out. When a thought of the experience comes to my mind, I’ll change my focus from thinking to feeling and I’ll allow myself to feel whatever feeling arises as a result of the thought. I’ll let the thought be there, too, but I won’t give it my attention. I will feel and be and see where that leads.
The lesson, I know now, is about self acceptance. I have had an opportunity to implement that lesson for as many moments as there have been since the experience happened. But since I haven’t done it, the experience keeps presenting itself and I keep re-living it. The thing is, I really didn’t know what self acceptance meant until these past few days. I didn’t have an inkling of what self acceptance is. Now I have an inkling. I’m so grateful to be where I am in this moment.
Thanks for reading.
Thinking about where I am right now in this journey, some might say I haven’t accomplished much. Some might say that I have nothing to offer anyone else because I’m still so stuck myself. I have doubted whether there is any point to sharing my experience because I don’t know if writing about it can benefit anyone but myself…I don’t claim that what I write is “right”, in fact there’s a good chance that what I say could lead people astray, since I’m so unclear of so many things. I don’t claim to be able to offer anything that can help anyone else. This is just my experience. And today this is what is coming to my mind as I sit here at the keyboard, so I’m writing it.
As I think back on my experience so far, I’ve been through a bunch of phases. Here are some that come to mind. There are definitely more. Some that I haven’t written about at all:
1. Marvelling at the fact that I can be in communion with the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe at any moment and getting to know what this feels like.
2. Refusing to allow negative thoughts and fear to occupy space in my head thus realizing that there is a different reality possible.
3. Reaching out to the divine and inviting the divine into the reality of my life, moment to moment.
4. Becoming acutely aware of certain blocks to my spiritual growth.
5. Becoming aware that I have to accept those blocks instead of rejecting them or trying to change them.
6. Becoming aware of the difference between doing and being.
7. Becoming aware of the difference between emotions and feelings.
8. Becoming aware of what being in the moment and accepting myself in each moment feels like.
9. Practicing being in the moment and truly accepting myself.
So, this is where I am. Outwardly, it seems like nothing has changed because I’ve only just begun to actually accept myself the way I am and just begun to become aware that I don’t need to change anything to find divinity in my world. I’ve just started to explore the depths of presence within myself, just started to awaken to the truth that can only be found by accepting things exactly as they are and allowing them to be- and the freedom that that creates.
I am no different on the outside. I don’t think that anyone in my presence would feel me radiating divine love or serenity, or anything divine (although I pray that I can express divine energy in all that I do). I have been emotional and negative and all the things that some may say prove that I have gained nothing out of this experience. But I know that I have. It’s the beginnings of self-awareness and self-acceptance. It’s just the beginning. I’m being honest. It’s also honest to say that self-acceptance feels like a whole new world to me inside. Inside I’m exploring uncharted territory. I know with out a doubt that the most important thing I can do in this moment is to experience myself just as I am without wanting to change myself and without caring what anyone else thinks. I have never know that so clearly. I have never known so clearly that I am divine, that I am perfect, and that rejecting or trying to change myself is rejecting divinity in my life. Mentally, I haven’t stopped rejecting or thinking I have to change myself but there is now a little bit of myself that knows who it really is (just a little bit). Otherwise I would have never allowed myself to write this post.
Thanks for reading.
…whatever your battle is, instead of thinking of how bad and weak you feel, you need to take action. You must take action.- Sira Masetti.
I was tempted today to think I had failed on my path. I was so emotional last night and this morning and I couldn’t seem to snap out of it. The quote above is from this post about failure, in a blog called the theseeds4life. I read it last night after my wave of anger started to subside a bit. When I read it, it hit me that I could use the momentum from the anger that I was feeling to propel me in the direction I want to go. Although it took quite a while for the anger to pass through me, now that it has, I feel renewed. I feel a new surge of energy that has sharpened my focus again and what I experienced over the past 24 hours doesn’t feel like a failure anymore, but a release, that has filled me with renewed vigor.
What was different about this emotional breakdown? I did my best to allow it to happen and to put my attention on the feelings in my body. However, there were multiple moments during which I was completely overwhelmed by my emotions and wallowing in self pity or blame (instead of feeling the feelings in my body). The main difference is that I let myself come out of the experience naturally. I didn’t force myself to cheer up prematurely.
The feeling of putting a smile on my face when I feel tied up in knots inside is one that I know well. It’s true what they say, that if you physically smile, even when you don’t feel especially happy, you will cheer up. I’ve done it. But the first 10 minutes, or so, can be seriously painful…in a very strange way. Like my body is rejecting the action. Most times after a while of forcing a smile I do feel better. In the past it’s felt like a victory- forcing myself to be happy. I see that with a different perspective now.
I’ve never before grasped how important it is to just allow myself to be, in whatever way, shape, form that presents itself. “Self improvement” has been a strong focus of mine. I was always ready to do whatever it took! Tell me what to do- meditate, run, fast on juice, read books, go to a seminar…whatever it was I was willing! I felt like I was well on the road to mastering “doing”. The problem was, it didn’t feel like it was getting me anywhere! Not where I wanted to be.
Here’s a quote that describes my life for about the past 15 years: “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” That busy person was me and I could get it done, whatever it was. This new way of doing things is completely different, though because it’s not doing, it’s being. It’s so subtle a thing that it can easily get lost amidst all the busy-ness of the world going on around me. It really requires a quieting down and a slowing down that I definitely don’t feel that I am anywhere close to mastering yet. But that is my path. I can feel it.
Thanks for reading 🙂