Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October 13, 2010

“As spiritual energies living out a human existence, transformation has its seed in our deep longing to be whole. It is something which we hope will strip away the stagnant, unworkable, or merely unsatisfying. We want what is outworn to be demolished, making way for a new expression of our being, one that truly brings us joy, one that gives us the courage to make sweeping changes because the reward is so great.” Spotted Eagle

I got up this morning and read the quote above and then on it's heels this:

"I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be." Albert Einstein

And also this:

"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein

The entire past year for me has been a process of losing and emptying out. Getting rid of anything that no longer served me and who I want to be. It has been a year of much loss. There were things I purposely walked away from like my family of origin. And then there were the unforeseen changes, like the loss of all the pets John and I had before having our kids. I have some memory of what the summer last year felt like and how hard it was to keep choosing to destroy old aspects of my life.

I am just beginning to see the new aspects of my character emerge, the non-conditioned authentic parts. I am watching my opinions become secondary to understanding what other people are sharing. It is an interesting and often eye popping experience. It is not anything I am doing. Not exactly.

The conscious act of choosing to be present, especially to what I am feeling in any moment, is sometimes grueling. To me presence is about paying attention to all life has to offer. So while I have been more present to the joy, love, peace, serenity, and all the other good stuff in my life, I have also chosen to be present when the unpleasant stuff rears its head and asks to be acknowledged. This means that I have been more in touch with pain, grief, loss, and anger than at any other time in my life. The odd thing about that is that at the same time I have been in close contact with these emotions, I have been to a large degree able to not act them out. And, unlike other times in my life when I felt "like I had arrived" there is no sense of that. There is a strong sense that what I am choosing is an arduous practice that requires moment to moment vigilance and that feels good to me.

So I began the day pondering the words I quoted and then went through the day with a desire to maintain that contact with the moment to moment of what was real and while this is not always a pleasant or wonderful experience, it has become very fulfilling for me.

While I pondered the above I sat with Little Whisker who I have nicknamed my "reading buddy". He enjoys curling up on my lap in the morning and staying there as long as I will let him. Today I read the rest of a book I needed to finish for the seminar I am going to next week. It is called My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. I have enjoyed the book thoroughly and have learned more about the wiring in my brain than ever before.

Jill Bolte Taylor had a massive stroke that destroyed connections in her brain, while she was a neuro-anatomist studying the brain. The book is about her stroke and then her recovery. Today I read that the wiring in your brain is only able to hold on to any emotion for 90 seconds. That within that 90 seconds if you can let it wash over you and do only what is necessary for the situation emotions such as anger and grief will flow over and away. Of course if the emotion is one you want to hold on to, you can choose to do so by connecting in to other areas of the brain. You can essentially choose to run the loops you want to run and consciously choose to end the ones you don't.

The girls for their part have spent the day doing their stuff. More Sonic, some Scooby Doo. Then we all went to the swimming pool. I noticed something interesting. I was feeling a little less grounded than normal- not sure exactly why. I noticed that in order to maintain the tone I wanted to with my kids it was necessary for me to move away from parents who were not honoring their kids. I had never made that conscious choice before and all of a sudden it occurred to me that I could move away and just by being away from what I did not want in my life I could change the tone for us. In the past I think I have gotten carried away by the parenting of other people, either by becoming judgemental or by becoming like them. I love the idea that there are more options out there and that by remaining open and acknowledging what I am feeling about what is around me that I can just shift away.

So here we are. John has to work late because he has a lot of work to finish up before he is Mr. Mom next week. I for my part have a presentation to write, packing to do, kids to prep as much as possible, and honestly I think there is much growth to come from this experience for all of us and all our relationships. While reading on a list this morning someone had posted a statement, "Home is a feeling". This is one of the pieces of my leaving that has been causing me some anxiety. To me that feeling involves the closeness of my family. I am realizing that I have some work to do in the next couple of days analyzing what is going to make my week away from my family not grueling. There has to be a place *in* me that is home too.

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