My Process

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.

Rosalynn

Day 37- Opening to Abundance- Part 2

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.

Rosalynn

Day 33- My Paradigm Shift

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.

Rosalynn

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.

Rosalynn

Day 30- Transforming My Sense of Failure

…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 🙂

Rosalynn

Day 29- Life As An Experiment

emerson

I was angry tonight. Really angry. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I took a walk then just sat on my bed with my eyes closed and did my best to focus on what it felt like in my body to be angry. Waves of tension swelled up and ebbed, mostly in my stomach. I had a lump in my throat. My brow was deeply furrowed. I sobbed off and on and tears dripped off of my nose and my chin. My nose got stuffed up and it was hard to breath deeply.

I kept consciously relaxing all the muscles in my body over and over again. That felt really good.

Angry, blaming, self-pitying, judgmental thoughts kept filling my mind. It was difficult not to get lost in them, in their comfort. It felt strange to take my focus off of my thoughts and put it on my body. It felt uncomfortable. unnatural. My thoughts kept calling me back. And I would almost get lost in them every time, but then I would shift my focus- over and over. I did this for about an hour. What an interesting new experiment!

As an aside, one interesting thing I’ve found is that everywhere I turn lately, I see things related to feeling feelings. It’s like I’m tuned into the “feeling feelings vibration” and more and more things about it keep turning up in my life. I like it.

Well, I guess that’s all for now.

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

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.

Rosalynn

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.

Rosalynn