Category: Aha moments
Day 35- Opening to Abundance- Part 1
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.
Day 32- A Difficult Story that Ends with Gratitude
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.
Day 27 and 28- Truly Allowing and Accepting Feelings (I wasn’t doing it before)
When I am perfectly clear, what is is what I want. – Byron Katie
I started this journey expecting to go on a certain path, in a certain direction. I had expectations. I started heading in the direction of my expectations and for a little while the path was nice and wide and clear. However, somewhere along the way, the path I started off on didn’t feel right to me. So I drifted into a nearby wild field. What often happens with I enter a wild field is that I am surprised by the reality of the experience. Fields that appear soft and lush from afar are often filled with sharp grasses and uneven ground, by thorns and other things that prick me or scrape me. Then there are the bugs and plants that cause me to itch. But that’s the reality, the true experience. Expectations are meaningless. And so with this experience.
Anyway, in this field that I’m in now, I can’t see a path, really. Now, it’s up to me go my own way, to simply keep moving forward and trust in the process of life and experience what happens one step and one moment at a time. Who needs a path? My path is: I am where I am in each moment and I accept that. When I experience what’s happening along this journey intellectually I keep thinking “Now I don’t know if I’m going in the right way”, because I think there’s a right way. Oh, thinking mind, oh false-self..always trying to make my world and experience smaller…
Enough metaphors, though. I had a realization today as I was doing a meditation for feeling feelings. I was introduced to it after reading F(eelings as the Medicine) (A-Z #6) about the alchemy of feeling, in a blog I’ve been following called The Invitation. Here’s my realization: Feelings are not thoughts! Oh my gosh, what a revelation! I know it sounds obvious but I’ve spent a lifetime thinking that my thoughts were my feelings. I’ve been playing out all these mental dramas and stories and thinking those were my feelings. They’re not! Feelings are feelings! Feelings are energy that moves through my body, if I allow it to. If my mind starts to take over by judging the feelings and therefore rejecting, repressing, or clinging to them, the feelings aren’t allowed to move through my body. They get stuck and I get all blocked up and stuck in my mind. I don’t want to be stuck in my mind anymore! I want to be free and open to all the ideas in the universe!
Truly allowing and accepting my feelings means not getting caught up in a story or a drama. It means not forcing the feelings to go away. It means not having the need to name the feelings or to ask anything of the feelings (all mental activities) It means being open, aware, present and patient.
So far, in this journey, I have spent a lot of time replacing negative thoughts with more positive thoughts, mantras, or affirmations because I have been afraid of experiencing the feelings that come with these thoughts. Now I can see that I don’t have to be afraid of the feelings. My thoughts are a separate topic, though. I’m a little unsure at the moment if replacing the thoughts in the way I was doing it, is what I will continue to do. Maybe it will feel right. I’m not sure. Right now, I’m going to focus on feeling my feelings and see where that leads me.
By the way, at the beginning of this email, I eluded to having certain expectations about this journey. I’ll explain what they were. I expected to be finding ways to connect more with the divine and to experience the divine in the world around me. I expected that I would be talking about experiencing the divine while watching the sun set or experiencing the divine in other people, or expressing the divine to other people. I didn’t expect to be focusing on my thoughts and feelings. Unconsciously, I thought focusing on my thoughts and feelings was in a different realm. A realm of self-improvement that was not directly connected with inviting the presence of the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe into my life. The experience I’m having in this moment feels so personal and somehow not divine…That, however is a thought of the mind. It’s a judgement. In reality, experiencing what is happening in this moment is divine! Somehow, connecting with the reality in each moment is connecting with the divine…
Thanks for reading.
Day 26- Learning How to “Be”
Oh, the unraveling of the false self…Learning to “be” whatever I am in each moment, truly accepting every aspect of my experience of the moment- I don’t think I’ve ever done that. There are so many layers of rejection and refusal of myself and my experience, for one reason or another. And how can I truly feel the presence of the divine if I am so often busy rejecting who I am and my true experience of the moment, which is an activity of the mind (my false self)? Always doing, doing, doing. Never being. What a distraction. If my mind is creating and shaping my experience, I’m not truly able to connect with the divine source/force within or all around me. So, I suppose this is another starting point. I feel a very vague sense of direction. I feel for the first time that I am catching a glimpse of what exists underneath all of the layers of false self. It feels elusive at the moment, kind of like a mist that I can’t really see or touch. I feel it though.
I read this article yesterday and it was very helpful: Freedom From Suffering: Feeling Feelings
Thanks for reading.
Day 16- On Moving Forward and Not Being Stuck Anymore
I don’t think I will go back to living life the way I was living it before I started this experience. Although putting my awareness on the present moment and my connection with the divine in the present moment, over and over again, is quite mentally tiring, it’s getting easier. It’s begun to feel more natural. I think I would feel a serious lack if I stopped doing it.
I’ve become very aware of my thoughts over the past couple of weeks. What a bunch of negative messages I’ve been sending to myself for most of my life! No wonder I’ve felt stuck in a rut.
During the past 5 years, or so, I’ve been trying to figure out how to move my life forward in a meaningful way. I’ve felt like I worked hard in my outer and inner worlds, but my hard work never seemed to get me anywhere, except to places where I worked hard again. A lot of times I’ve felt like I was journeying up a steep mountain, putting in so much effort. But when I reached a pinnacle, I would look back and see that what had seemed like a mountain, was really a plateau. I wasn’t reaching new heights, at all!
Today I understand more what has been keeping me stuck. All the efforts I’ve been making have been misplaced. I’ve been so concerned with doing good things because I’ve felt inside that I wasn’t good enough. In other words, I’ve been trying to make myself “good” by doing “good” things. How could I possibly feel fulfilled if I was denying my own inherent goodness? I have been busy doing things and waiting for approval from others to confirm my worth. How obviously misguided, but I haven’t been able to see it. Intellectually, I could tell myself or anyone else that it’s not productive to gauge my self-worth on the opinions of others; that seeking approval from others will only lead to suffering. However, since that state of being has been all I’ve known for so long, in my mind I couldn’t perceive any other way being. I didn’t have a perspective on how I was living because my thoughts were doing such an amazing job of keeping me programmed to do the same thing over and over again, while at the same time I began to want different results. Insane? I believe so.
Most of my life I have sought approval of others and I have gotten very good at getting it. So good, that my mind tricked me into believing that approval from others was one of the most satisfying things I could experience and one of the most important things to strive for. This is where a large part of my efforts have gone and why my life has seemed to plateau. It wasn’t until two weeks ago when I started giving my regular thoughts less and less time in my mind that I began to see the reality of my current experience more clearly, and where it fell short. Through continually bringing my awareness to the divine, I have begun to experience what it’s like to be filled with the divinity of my own being and to experience my own power, which I have been so generously giving away to others for so many years.
That’s not to say that I regret or reject the experiences that I’ve had throughout my life. So many of my experiences have been amazing! I’ve learned so much, shared beautiful moments with people along the way, and I believe that I have made positive contributions to the world. What I’m realizing now is that doing those things to prove my goodness to myself and to the world was never going to fulfill me. The direction I’ve been going in over the past 2 weeks has fulfilled me in ways that I’ve never experienced before. I know this is the start of a new life and I look forward to exposing more and more of my old thought patterns to the divine light of truth so that I can transform their energy into something much more meaningful to myself and the world.
Thanks for reading.
The Most Powerful Thing I’ve Heard in While
Someone told me a story today about a woman who was doing a shamanic apprenticeship in Peru. One aspect of this apprenticeship was taking Ayahuasca. During her Ayahuasca journeys, she always asked to speak with God. Finally, one time she had the opportunity. What God said was that she was the perfect daughter. That everything that she had ever done was perfect- what she had considered good and what she had considered bad. It made no difference to God.
When I heard this story, it resonated with me in such a deep way that I immediately felt a sense of relief and freedom. It was as if a long held burden had suddenly been lifted. As if a question I have been holding inside myself was finally answered through this woman in Peru, through time and space, through this story. I felt the truth of the words and I believed them. For the first time ever.
Thanks for reading.
Nothing of great import
I had a rough spell today. It’s a bit disheartening but I think the worst is over. Part of me feels like it’s a setback but another part knows it simply par for the course.
I’m not sure what else to write about it. I could tell the story of what happened. I could explain what I learned from it. I could explain which negative emotions I felt and why…none of that really feels important at the moment though. I don’t feel passionate about writing about any of those things. Maybe there is nothing more to say about it. I had a minor breakdown, it sucked, but I got through it, and now I choose to keep moving forward instead of analyzing the shit out of it, which I completely intended to do when I started writing this post.
I feel like this is a small victory.
…Is that it? Am I done writing about it? …Yes, I think so! Incredible.
Thanks for reading.
Day 2 (Part 2) and Day 3
Yesterday I worked all day on the farm and when I got home our internet was giving us trouble. I could barely log in to my work email account to check some important messages. It took me about an hour to do that. By the time I was done, I was wiped out and ready for bed. Usually, I would have stressed about that, feeling obliged to write a post for day 2, but I was able to let go of that with the realization of the truth that it would cause me unnecessary suffering.
I suppose I’ll finish up posting about day 2…although that seems so long ago now. There were a couple of key things that happened that afternoon and evening. I’ll cut right to the chase. Since one of the things I am choosing to focus on in my life is divine harmony, I was able to see the ways this plays out more clearly. Example one: I was driving around the city looking for the location to meet up with a friend who is going to sell me a car. It was really hot. I didn’t really know where I was going. I had a vague idea but didn’t want to be driving around in circles for an hour and stopping to ask directions from people on the street, as I have been known to do. Instead, I went in the general direction of where I thought I had to go, saying to myself “My life abounds with divine harmony and good fortune” (I don’t know where good fortune plays into divine existence, but I throw it in there because it has a positive effect on my mental state). This is very different from the stress and frustration that I would usually feel. Finally I turned left onto what I thought was a road but turned out to be a parking lot. I began to have a sense of dismay as I was turning around to go out, when all of a sudden a car pulled in right next to me. I though “Why is this car pulling up so close to me”. It turns out it was my friend! He saw me pull into the parking lot and followed me in.
Example two: I had spent a good portion of the last couple of days doing my best not to worry about when I was going to get a response to a certain text message that I had sent. The message was to confirm an important happening in my life. I had done well not letting it take over my thoughts that day, since I was able to replace my fears about it with thoughts of the reality of divine harmony and good fortune that is all around me. When I got home that evening the response finally arrived. It said exactly what I hoped it would say! The noteworthy thing about this experience was that in that moment, something inside of me shifted. I felt incredibly confident that my life actually does abound in divine harmony! I felt a sense of serenity and joy that was real! I was so grateful.
One important realization from day 2: I realized that the work that I do can be/is my give-away. It’s not something I have to do for money. It’s something that I’m good at and that helps other people. I realized more than ever yesterday how grateful I was to be able to give this gift. So when I had to make a decision about doing a quick project at 9:30 at night, I was happy to do it because it energized me to know I could help in this way.
Now I’ll recap day 3. Working all day on the farm. Before I describe what I think is the most important occurrence from my experience yesterday, here’s some background. When I work on the farm I often don’t speak for hours because most of my co-workers only speak Portuguese. This means I spend a lot of time in my own head-space. Yesterday, despite all of the work I’ve been doing over the past couple of days, I got stuck on a very negative thought. Somehow thoughts about something I did over a year ago got into my head and I found myself regretting my actions. I was overcome by shame and guilt. I felt horrible! This went on for quite a while before I eventually caught myself. When I did, I had to do something to get off of that negative vibration. I needed to replace it with something of a positive vibration. I created my own mantra: “My life abounds with the truth of the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe and my thoughts are divine.” At first, repeating this in my head felt pointless. I still felt horrible and questioned whether just thinking these words could actually change this. The words felt like empty words at first. But I continued even though it felt futile. After about 10 to 15 minutes of repeating this mantra in my head I finally felt as if my mood was changing. I started to feel the meaning behind the words. Somewhere deep in my being I knew the truth about the situation I had been stressing about. The truth was that it didn’t matter anymore and that I could rise above it- that it was ok to rise above it instead of punish myself for it. Regardless of if I had done something wrong or not, all was forgiven….or maybe there was never anything to forgive. Anyway, the mantra I was repeating brought the feeling of this reality to my awareness and I knew it was true. I could feel it. The second half of the mantra reminded me that in every moment I have to make a choice to keep my thoughts on the divine and I was finally able to do it because I didn’t give in to the negativity. I continued with my mantra for most of the afternoon but was careful to not do it mindlessly. There were times that I realized I was saying the mantra but thinking about something else. That doesn’t work. So I slowed down and pondered each of the words for a moment so that I took in their meaning again. I was so grateful for the power I felt from this experience.
I’ll end this somewhat long post with a quote that I came upon about 3 days ago. It’s something that encouraged me to do this 42 day journey.
“The day is now ended. Our lives are shorter. Let us look carefully. What have we done? With all our hearts, let us be diligent, engaging in the practice of mindfulness. Let us live deeply, free from afflictions, aware of impermanence so that life does not drift away with out meaning.” – Thich Nhat Haan, The Energy Prayer.
When I read this the other day I was disheartened because I felt like for most of my life I had done nothing, that I had not lived deeply. Now, I feel differently. I feel like for the past 3 days I have finally begun to live deeply and with meaning.
Thanks for reading.