Negative Judgments- What am I afraid of?

Two roads download

I was upset about something the other day. I thought I had said something I shouldn’t have said to someone, and that because of that, another person was upset with me. I had no real proof of any of this…but my mind didn’t need proof, it just ran with it.

Then, finally I decided to question my thoughts on this topic. One of the amazing things I realized through doing The Work  on my thoughts  is how often I simply don’t question my thoughts at all. The majority of the time, my thoughts create a story in my mind that I believe unquestioningly, in all it’s twists and turns.

In this situation, my thoughts had been feeding me the story that so-and-so thinks I’m a blabber mouth, gossip- and I was convinced! It was so easy to believe it… but at the same time, it was emotionally and mentally painful and draining. That’s become the first sign that there’s something for me to work on. When something is that emotionally and mentally draining and I can feel my personal power fading at the hands of worry and stress, it’s a time to act.  These days, acting has meant inquiry. Instead of blindly accepting my thoughts, running from them, rejecting them, or repressing them, I go into them deeper than I ever have before to feel their full effect of me and on my life. When I do that they show me what I have yet to learn about the situation at hand. In this way, my thoughts are my teacher and they have been teaching me incredibly powerful and personal lessons.

What I have been learning about the situation I was describing above is that I have a belief that I fear people judging me negatively and I feel shame when people judge me negatively but I don’t know why. I’ve never questioned my fear or shame to see if it makes any sense. Why am I afraid of being judged negatively? I really have no idea! What’s the worst that could happen with people judging me negatively? I could end up losing all of my friends and living on my own somewhere away from everyone I know now. Well, guess what? Half of that situation is already true (almost)! I do live away from almost all of the people that I know… and what happened was that I met other people/friends. Fortunately, I also still have the friends I had before, but the point is that even the worst case scenario would probably turn out ok. So really, what is my fear all about?

It’s mostly about the discomfort I feel inside my own mind. Ok, so what happens if I stop having the thought that negative judgments are scary and shameful? What happens if someone is judging me and the thought never crosses my mind that I should be ashamed of or fear this person’s negative judgment? Here’s the scene: I do or say something that another person doesn’t agree with for some reason (to make writing about it easier-and avoid using he/she-let’s just say it’s she)  she thinks a judgmental thought and maybe she even makes a judgmental statement like “Why would you say something like that?” or “You really shouldn’t have done that.”

Now, this is the crossroads. There are 2 roads to go down. One road is stressful and one isn’t. Choosing the stressful road means believing my thoughts when they start to weave the mental story that I’m scared of what will happen now or I’m so ashamed that this person doesn’t like what I said or did.

However, if I pay no mind to that story, all I see in this situation is one person expressing her opinion about something the other person (me) did or said. And without the story of fear or shame, I can respond to that opinion from a place of calmness and clarity.

I can ask myself Why would I say something like that? Hmmm… I don’t know? Something like what? And I can respond to the person with honesty: “At the moment, I’m not sure why I would say something like that, but it’s a really good question. Let me think about it a little more.” Why would I say something like that?

Or if I know why I said it, I can tell her. Maybe I was confused or unconscious or tired or frustrated… whatever the case may be. In any event, I’m free to answer the person’s question in a calm, clear, honest way because my mind is calm and clear.

Or if I did something that the other person thinks I shouldn’t have done, that’s an opportunity for learning. I can ask the person why she thinks I shouldn’t have done what I did? Maybe when she explains why, I’ll agree. Or maybe I won’t and I can say so, because I’m calm and I have a clear mind. There’s no story in my mind creating a drama. The other person may have a drama in her mind, but how does that affect me? It doesn’t, unless I invite the drama into my own thoughts.

I can picture it in my mind: Two people facing one another. One person is filled with drama and emotion. It’s buzzing around and going crazy inside of that person. The other person is completely calm and clear. There’s no way for the drama and emotion buzzing around in the one person to jump into or affect the calm person unless the calm person starts the spark of it inside herself.

What inquiry is teaching me in this situation is that the non-stressful road exists and that there is an alternative to my story. I can be that calm, clear person. I never really saw these options before. It may not happen overnight (well, it definitely didn’t happen overnight) but that realization is a game changer. Once that realization is there the story starts to lose it’s power. The longer I keep the realization, or the more times I have it, the weaker the story gets. I can already feel that. It’s like the story is letting go of me, in a way…I’m still in the process, but I can feel it happening. Without struggle. With understanding, patience, and dedication to inquiry.

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 20- Things I Do Differently Now- Part II

Yesterday, I started making a list of things I do differently now that I’ve decided to focus on my spiritual reality. Here are a few more things:

4. When I go on a walk in nature, I talk out loud to the divine force(s) all around me. I feel especially connected to the divine vibration of life when I am surrounded by nature. I often speak as if I were speaking to a friend about all the amazing and beautiful things I see and experience, or I ask for guidance to enable me to connect with and learn from the natural world to my greatest potential. I speak the spontaneous insights and realizations that I have about life, I affirm my commitment to being present in the moment with an awareness of the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe and to continue along the path of knowledge of this force and of my true self. I ask for guidance in sharing what I experience on this path with others. I remind myself of what my true potential is on this path. That I am a co-creator and that I can create my life as I want it to be. I do all of this outloud (as long as there’s no one else on the path I’m on…which there usually isn’t :))

5. I do mini-ceremonies inviting Spirit into my life, inviting Spirit to fill my body and mind so that I may express it in my life.

6. I imagine my life as I would like it to be, realizing my full potential as a spiritual human being, and as often as I can, I live that perspective in my present moment. I act in accordance with the image I create with the confidence that this potential is my reality.

Why do I write about these strange and private things? I’m not really sure, yet. It may be for myself. To help me clarify the process. It may be to simply document the process. It may be to give some of what I am gaining to anyone who finds it useful or helpful. I’m not sure, yet. If I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

Reclaiming My Personal Power Through Letting Go

letting go

I worked on the farm today and that helped me to be in a different head-space. It’s much easier for me to be tuned into the divine when I’m outside in nature. It occurred to me that I depending on nature to help me feel a connection with the divine is depending on something outside of myself. I know I have all that I need within myself but I guess this is where I’m at at the moment.

I spent most of today turning my thoughts to the awareness that I was present with the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe, with divine love, harmony, truth, serenity, wisdom, abundance, prosperity…I reminded myself over and over that this is the actual truth and reality, that I don’t have to do anything to bring this about. I just have to be aware of it and accept it. I also called upon the wisdom, guidance, and insight of my own inner teacher to help me know how to live this truth.

Here’s something I’ve decided to take action on. There’s an attitude I have toward a situation that occurs on a regular basis and a related behavior that I know is very draining on me. I’m constantly giving away my power in this situation by losing a lot of energy and feeling helpless, stressed, and sorry for myself. And the situation is something that’s completely outside of myself yet I’ve been trying to control it- completely unsuccessfully. Today I decided I’ve had enough. I’m taking my power back by taking action in regard to the things that I do have control over- my thoughts, emotions, and actions. Every moment of life I have a choice to act in a conscious, mindful way to what comes onto my path or to react and allow myself to suffer needlessly. My pattern has been to invite the suffering in.

From this point forward, I choose to let go of this pattern and to let go of trying to control the situation. How to do this? In the book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle writes “How do you drop a piece of hot coal that you are holding in your hand? How do you drop some heavy useless baggage that you are carrying? By recognizing that you don’t want to suffer the pain or carry the burden anymore and then letting go of it.” It really is that simple. Not easy, but simple. I’m ready.

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

Day 4 My intent and Reservations about Going Public

My intent for this experience, this experiment, these 42 days, is to make a positive change in my life and put my life on a path that allows me to live fully and deeply, a path that allows me to share my talents and gifts in such a way that me and all those around me feel uplifted in some way or learn something along the way. My intent is to do something to ensure that life doesn’t drift away without meaning.

I must say, I really can’t decide whether this blog is something that I want to share with a larger community or if it’s something that I want to keep more private. Part of me feels uncomfortable sharing it because it exposes a side of me that is a work in progress that not many people have seen and it would make me feel vulnerable to make it public. I’m by no means an expert in anything religious or spiritual. I’ve studied a little and been an active member of a few religious/spiritual communities, but the majority of my information and/or knowledge is from reading books on a wide variety of topics related to religion and spirituality (also sometimes labelled self-help) and from what my own life has taught me. Because of this, things that I write may seem strange, naive, or mixed up…

…This uncertainty is me succumbing to my fears, and turning away from divine truth and love. Not my intent, but where I am at this very moment. I think the bottom line is, I’m not sure if my intentions for sharing are what I want them to be. I may not share until I can be confident that my intention is authentic and not egoic.

…blah, blah, blah…it took me so long to write the last 2 paragraphs…much longer than it’s taken me to write any of the other posts. I think since I’m writing I gave myself permission to over-think things and dwell a bit on the negative. It’s a habit for me to dwell on what I write. But that’s a change I want to make. I don’t want to dwell…on ANYTHING. Dwelling means getting stuck in the past and that’s not part of my intention. So, forget about what I just wrote. If I were thinking those thoughts, I’d be trying to replace them by acknowledging the presence of the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe in my life. So, maybe it’s best to do the opposite of anything that I feel naturally inclined to dwell on. Maybe not sharing is giving in to my ego because I think what I’m doing is so special…maybe what I’m doing is just…something that I’m doing. No need to fret about it. Somewhere inside I know that no one really cares what anyone else does.

No. Stop.

That’s me dwelling again and trying to intellectualize something that doesn’t need to be intellectualized.

My goal is to live life in a different way. I can feel the old me holding on for dear life, clawing at anything it can get its hands on to survive. It’s very strong and I don’t think this is the last I will hear from it…

So what has this crazy post accomplished? I don’t know and I’m not going to try to figure it out. I’m going to stop writing and keep bringing my mind back to the presence of the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe as my new reality and see where that leads me.

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

Hello world!

This is my very first post  and I’m excited to see where it leads 🙂 I started this blog because I’m not satisfied with my life and I plan to do something to change it. The something I plan to do is to dedicate the next 42 days of my life to being in regular communion with the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe. I plan to do that in this blog. Thinking about it, it seems a bit strange for me to do this in a blog but I guess that’s the world we live in. I was going to do it privately as a journal activity, but I decided I want to do it publicly and share what I experience with those who are interested, those who wonder what this change in focus can bring about, and those who may want to do the same but don’t think it’s possible.

I don’t know what will come about from this experience, but I’m looking forward to the journey. I think it may be one of the most important in my life.

Thanks for reading,

Rosalynn