present moment

What You Can Learn From Being Alone

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You are not who you think you are… no one is. With no distractions, when you are truly alone with yourself, who are you?

And how can you find this out? Be alone. When I went on my big kayak trip last summer, I really started to feel like I was truly being myself on the 4th day. Something in me shifted. I became… genuine. Not in the way we usually mean genuine, more like I stopped the charade, dropped the pretenses. Why would I have pretenses with myself? I don’t know. All I know is that I felt a shift. Try spending at least 3 or 4 days completely alone, with no outside contact of any kind. You’ll get closer to meeting your true self.

But why bother? Why “meet myself?” Well, an interesting thing happens when you spend time by yourself — when you really connect with yourself and your intuition — and then reestablish contact with those closest to you (boy/girlfriend, husband/wife, etc). At the moment you see him/her, you will feel another shift. This time it is the shift that occurs when you put the persona or pretenses back on, and when you do so, if you pay attention, you can learn a great deal about yourself and your relationships.

That’s all I really want to say about that. I don’t want to give you ideas about what you might feel. You will get an insight, I promise, if you stay in the present.

Single flower

I’ve been on my own all weekend. My husband is away on a wilderness skidoo Ranger exercise, so I’ve been on my own since Friday morning. And I feel different. I can, once again, tell that a pretense has fallen away. It’s a good feeling! I wonder if I am enjoying it so much because I am an introvert and I’m not getting enough time alone? It is strange — I feel comfortable when Darren is around, yet when I am alone, I feel totally at ease. I’m getting lots of insight about why this is, but I don’t want to share it and spoil or taint whatever insight you might get into your relationships.

Let’s just say that you can’t truly be yourself with another person until you know who your true self is.

Note: I realize that many of you can’t just take 3 or 4 days off to perform this experiment. You can try a shorter period of time — 1 day might be enough. You can try imagining or meditating being alone, if there is no other way. You don’t have to go out into the wilderness as I did, but getting away from your usual scene would be helpful — going on a trip, even if it isn’t very far away — and avoiding television or other media. Then, be very alert to how you feel when you reconnect with your significant other.

If anyone else has ever experienced a similar shift, I’d love to hear about it! Leave comments!

Related Posts: Identity Crisis of a Magical Pixie

Abraham-Hicks clip that rocked my world about relationships

Love What You Do

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Do you love what you do? Almost everyone has times when they don’t love or enjoy what they have to do… but when you feel like this the majority of the time, what can you do?

Whenever you become aware that you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing, when you “own” your unhappiness, ask yourself these two questions:

1. Why am I doing it then? If you’re doing it out of obligation, why? Who are you putting before yourself? If you’re doing it out of fear — for example, you’re afraid you won’t be able to pay the bills otherwise — why? Face your fears and see if they have a leg to stand on. They probably don’t. Can you simply stop doing it? Can you replace what you don’t enjoy with something you do?

You might think the next question is “why do I hate it so much?” or “how can I stop doing it?” but it isn’t. You can analyze why you hate the thing so much, but that isn’t really helpful. You can fantasize about how you could stop doing it — so many people do this about jobs they hate! — but that’s not very productive either. So… in case there are things you can’t get out of doing, the second question is this:

2. How can I enjoy it? Have I lost touch with the present moment so much that I simply hate everything? Am I just annoyed with life? What can I do to help myself enjoy this thing? Maybe I need some time off, period. Maybe I need some alone time. Maybe I need to do more fun things. Maybe I need to remember what’s important in life. Have I lost sight of the million things I have to be grateful for? Why am I resisting my situation? Can I make this work into play? If yes, then great! If no, then you really should figure out how to do something you enjoy instead.

In our society, it’s pretty much accepted that we all have to do things we don’t like. It’s considered normal. Well, it isn’t. We should be able to live happy lives, enjoying everything we do… that’s how it should be. If you’re unhappy, it’s not a bad thing — it will lead you to make changes and grow. All your experiences and feelings are good and ultimately they serve you one way or another, but why not be happy now!

Do what feels right or good; don’t do what doesn’t feel right or good. Your feelings are your compass. Abraham has lots to say about this, so I hope you enjoy these videos!

And here’s a nice short one! Enjoy!

Emotional Jellyfish

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I should warn you straight off — I am very tired from midnight shifts and should be in bed sleeping, but I have been wanting to blog and for whatever reason, I felt the urge to do it right now!

I think there are two basic ways to approach the world, in particular, when it comes to emotional issues. When someone you care about has to talk to you about something uncomfortable, or one of you has hurt the other, you can take one of two stances: become a tank, or become a jellyfish. Let me explain.

You can choose to become a tank (as in, indestructible vehicle of war, not vessel for holding liquids!). You can choose to put up your strongest armour so that you are completely un-touchable, un-hurtable, impermeable, etc. Nothing the other person says will sink in, and you have the ultimate in defenses. You also, if you choose to, can go on the offensive; you can hurl the weapons of hurtful words, bring up past issues, or simply bulldoze over the other person by totally disrespecting them, making decisions for them as if they were a child, or making huge, gigantic assumptions about them so you don’t have to really get to know them. And you can thrive in your denial and ignorance — after all, your view is only out one small window in one small direction. This is what it means to be a tank.

jellyfishOr you can choose to be a jellyfish. You can be free-floating, allowing the emotional situation to surround you, and be in it. You aren’t defensive in any way, simply accept what the other person says, while taking in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water (the spirit the words are said in). You aren’t mortally wounded by what the other person says or does, it sort of just bounces off you. But you are not in denial either, and have incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what it means to be a jellyfish.

Now you may be thinking “ah-ha! Jellyfish have tentacles that sting, how come you haven’t talked about that?!?” Well, yes, they do. But these are used to kill their food, and if you’re eating someone close to you, you need more help than my simple analogy can give! :)  Or, we could say that even jellyfish have some form of defense, and also propulsion, so if you need to leave a situation that’s continually hurtful to you, to survive, do it. But you don’t actually have to be a tank to do it. You can be a jellyfish, and be in the reality of your situation, even if it’s something traumatic, and you will not die from it, but be stronger. Denial clouds your thinking, and it’s much better to just breathe deeply, stay present, and realize that you are surrounded and supported by a loving spiritual environment, like warm ocean waters. Get in the flow, breathe.

This analogy can work for life, work, or any conflict, difficult situation or relationship. Be a jellyfish, not a tank. You get to choose!

For an excellent podcast on the truth, denial and awareness, see Steve Pavlina’s page. Thanks, everybody.

Related posts: Letting Go and Trusting | Balancing Act

Ocean

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Sorry I haven’t blogged in a few days… I’ve been off having adventures, of course! My sweetheart came up to visit me – a total surprise! – so that was awesome! We had an adventure in the mud – it’s amazingly sticky and yet slippery at the same time! We went for a drive, and I accidentally ended up on a mud road, got stuck and had to be pulled back to gravel. Tons of fun… and tons of mosquitos (not part of the fun)! At one point, I was skidding as though on ice, but it was mud! Weird! :) That was Friday night. Then Saturday/Sunday, we went to Hay River, to see the Alexandra Falls, and check out the Great Slave Lake (both of which I had seen but he had not). They are both awesome, and I am always drawn back to reality and the moment, and anchored. Thus was this poem inspired:

Ocean

To sit beside the ocean,
To hear the crashing waves,
See them crest,
See them curl…
To feel the wind in my hair
and know that I am alive,
Living fully in this moment.
I feel the ocean’s pulse,
I see it dance,
Feel it breathe.

I find an ocean
In a lake,
Waterfall,
Sunset or sunrise –
In any moment
When I to reconnect
With who I really am.

Infinity, Eternity

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I gaze up at infinity

In the clear blue sky.

And in the crisp, starry night,

I hear infinity cry.

Expansive, unreachable, unimaginable.

But I find eternity

In every conscious moment,

As infinity collapses down

To this very moment.

Time stops… I engulf it…

And I abide in eternity.

Right Brain, Left Brain

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I’ve been listening to some of Oprah’s Soul Series Webcasts, and the latest one I finished is of a brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, who suffered a massive stroke but somehow remained conscious throughout and has memories of her whole experience. She’s written a book about it, called My Stroke of Insight, which I’m going to order at some point.
It’s so interesting! Her left brain was affected, and one of the first things to change was her perception of the world – her senses became hyper-sensitive to the point where regular room noise was overwhelmingly painful. Because her language centre was affected, she couldn’t understand any noises as words and even lost her internal mental voice that thinks in words, too. So communicating was out of the question. Besides that, her perception of her body went all out of whack. Not like many people’s distorted body view, thinking they are ugly when they aren’t. This was about the boundaries of her body – she had no perception of where her body began or ended. This is something I had never really thought about, so it intrigued me. She felt boundless, humungous, like she spanned the entire universe. That gets me thinking about how much of my reality is just a perception – what my brain thinks is true. If my brain worked differently, or certain parts were damaged, I wouldn’t be who I am. So I am the sum of my parts, but only as my brain sees it.
So can I change what my brain thinks? Of course! A new idea is just a new thought away! So lately, I’ve been trying to imagine how Jill Bolte Taylor felt when she was boundless. I am trying to shut down my left brain a little, analyze the world less, slow down the language centre, and use my big-picture right brain. And I think it’s working – I have had inklings of being connected to the universe, just feeling things, not trying to understand or analyze things. I think I am going to keep doing this throughout July and I’ll let you know how this experiment goes!
The other thing I want to keep doing more and more is living in the moment. Sometimes I get frustrated, frazzled, or feel rushed (I am working a new second job, and am getting quite busy!) and I realize that I feel that way because I’m not staying in the present. I am trying to rush through it to get to some “better” moment, somewhere I need to be, would rather be, or something I need to do. Not good! I end up getting overwhelmed, and lately I realize that I am breathing very shallowly and have all sorts of tension in my body. I guess that’s what happens when we try to time travel! :) But as soon as I remember to be present in the moment, I feel much better and the anxiety fades. So that is my focus for July… it’s going to be a great month!