Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stand in Your Power

Lately I’ve come to realize I haven’t been standing in my power. I haven’t been owning my abilities and have been selling myself short. I’m afraid of the future, the “what ifs” because I haven’t been recognizing myself as a key player, and instead have been viewing myself as a victim, as someone who has to take and accept whatever happens. And because I’ve been cultivating a victim mentality, I live in fear of what may happen.

I don’t know if that made any sense, but I think a good metaphor is being afraid of riding a bus driven by a drunken maniac. I do NOT want to be on that bus and I am ridiculously afraid of riding it. What I forget is that I have a choice as to whether or not I step foot on the bus. Owning my power means remembering I have a choice, means remembering things are not definite, not a given, not guaranteed.

It's such a powerful moment in the "Lord of the Rings" when Gandalf declares, "You shall not pass!"
I guess what I’m encouraging here is remembering our part to play in events and circumstances. When we’re feeling afraid, to say, “Wait, I have options here!” The idea that I have no choice; that I’m saddled with an unpleasant event I cannot affect is what really freaks me out.

If I could, I’d like us to do an exercise where we access our inner power. Please stand up with your feet shoulder width apart, arms relaxed by your side, eyes closed. Feel your energy go into the earth, grounding yourself. Now imagine the energy coming back up through your feet and let it settle in the trunk of your body. For me, I feel the energy the most in my heart and my stomach. Now let that energy radiate out like rays of sunshine throughout your body. You are standing in your power.

When we’re empowered people we’re like Gandalf declaring, “You shall not pass!” I can only speak for myself, but when I’m empowered I feel safe, I feel at peace, OK with whatever’s to come because I know I can handle it. I trust myself and my abilities and I really believe like I wrote last week that I am my own best friend.

My intention is to feel this way more and more frequently and to remind myself I don’t need to feel afraid of the future, of the what if’s, of the things that are out of my control because I am a powerful person who can confront whatever I’m faced with. And I have that dream for you too.

I dream of a world where we own our power. A world where we’re in our bodies fully present. A world where we remember we always have other options. A world where we remember we are capable beings who can handle whatever life throws at them. A world where we are our own heroes.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My One True Friend

Last week after group meditation we read a discourse that said God/brahma/the universe/Spirit, whatever name you have, is our one true friend. That all others will come into and out of our lives but that loving entity will always be there. Was there when we were born and will be there when we die. This is a concept I have some trouble with because I want my one true friend to be a person. I want a person in my life who I can count on, who’s reliable, who will always be there for me when I need, but I’m finding out it’s impossible to have one person who can fill that role all the time.

This week I’ve had hella problems with my plumbing. Like, the toilet only sort of flushes and my shower is clogged and spews dirt. (Please don’t disabuse me of the notion that what’s on my shower floor is not dirt. I don’t want to think of it as anything else.) I called the plumber a bajillion times and have been unimpressed by the company’s reliability. The plumber was supposed to come at 9:30 a.m. on Monday and didn’t show up until 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday. And even then he didn’t do anything!

What I like about this image is to me it seems to be a mix of the physical and the spiritual.
Here’s the miracle in all of this. Even though the plumber has been unreliable, not showing up when he said he would, not following through, I’ve still been taken care of because my higher power is my one true friend. Clearly, I couldn’t stay in my cottage because I couldn’t use my toilet or take a shower! Even before all of this started, my good friends asked if I’d like to catsit for them in the city, to which I agreed. Interesting timing that just as my cottage became unlivable, an opportunity came up for me to live somewhere else.

When I reflected on that, I felt a deep sense of gratitude and understanding that my higher power IS my one true friend because even though all these people were being unreliable and not responsive, the universe arranged things so I would still be taken care of.

The addendum to all this is I called the plumber again yesterday because the problem still wasn’t fixed, even though they told me it would be, and they came out and did their thing. I say “they” because the issue was not easily solved and required a team of people. When they left, my inner child had a freak out because the toilet still wasn’t flushing! The adult in me had the notion to turn the water knob near the toilet and sure enough, the toilet tank started filling, which solved the problem. In that moment, I was reminded not only is my higher power my best friend but I am my best friend. I don’t need other people to be reliable, responsible, or jump in to rescue me because I am fully capable of taking care of myself. The combination of me plus my higher power means I have the greatest best friend I could ever ask for.

I dream of a world where we realize we don’t need one person we can rely on because we can rely on higher power. A world where we also remember we do a great job taking care of ourselves. A world where we relax, trust, and take things easy because we know we will always have one true friend.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Space for Someone Else

I am very much the kind of person that when I see a problem I want to jump in and fix it. I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and assume if I don’t take care of something, it won’t get done. I’m reminded this week that actually, if I don’t do something, I leave space for someone else to take care of it.

This notion has come up several times this week. I’ll give a small example. On Friday night, I walked by my neighbor’s apartment and I noticed her curtains were open. Through the curtains I saw candles burning and she wasn’t home. Me, being who I am right now, freaked out and started envisioning her place burning down, and then my cottage burning down because I’m her neighbor. I thought about knocking on her door, or calling the manager, or the fire department, or somebody because this needed to be taken care of RIGHT NOW.

wind blown hair
I aspire to be like the woman in this photo -- at ease, relaxing, while someone else drives.
My intuition said, “Hold up sugar. You don’t need to rush to her aid.” I didn’t quite believe this (my fear impulse can be VERY strong), so I went outside again to make sure I still saw candles burning. When I did, her cat skittered by, which reminded me he hadn’t been fed yet or put back inside, so I knew someone else would see the candles and take care of it when they checked on the cat. Sure enough, half an hour later, her curtain was drawn and then her lights went out so the whole drama that I concocted resolved itself without me having to lift a finger.

I forget this lesson regularly, that other people can manage the affairs of life. I forget that by me always jumping in, always coming to the rescue, I’m depriving someone else of their chance to step up. I guess what I’m saying is I don’t always have to be in charge, I don’t always have to be the leader, I don’t always have to volunteer to organize. If I don’t, someone else will. That’s not to say I need to go to the other extreme and always allow other people to step up, but I can start to have more balance. I can take the middle road and recognize some things will get taken care of, even if it’s not by me.

I dream of a world where we understand we don’t always have to take care of everything. A world where we let other people step up as need be. A world where we realize we don’t have to be in charge all of the time. A world where we give space for someone else.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Leave the Past Behind

This may seem like another New Year’s resolution-y blogpost, but I promise it’s not. Especially because I operate under the belief a new year, a new day – even a new you – can start at any time.

What’s been coming up for me a lot (regardless that it’s a new year) is the notion of leaving the past behind. I’m noticing many thought patterns, beliefs, and even friendships are falling by the wayside as they become outdated. Part of this is because I’m still going through my Saturn return, meaning I’m shedding the things that do not work for me in anticipation of the person I’m becoming and will be for the next phase of my life. The other part is because I’m doing a lot of work on myself, so of course things cannot remain the same.

Leave the past behind
Leave your past behind like this person left behind his/her shoes.
However, that does not mean the process isn’t painful. A piece of me wants to keep things as they are, have nothing change, keep the status quo because it’s comfortable. That’s not the case so I’m in discomfort. As my friend B says, I’m experiencing growing pains (ain’t that the truth!).

I bring this up because I think it’s important to honor the process, to acknowledge change is hard and it’s painful and nobody said we’d enjoy it, but it’s oh so necessary.

I had an amazing astrology reading after Christmas that provided a lot of clarity. It was incredibly validating because the astrologer said, “Oh yes, the last three years have been awful for you, I can see that reflected in your chart, and here’s a little explanation as to why.” But he also reminded me my friendships fading into the background, my business endeavors falling flat, all of the disappointments I’ve experienced, have ultimately been for my own good. Certain people in my life are reflective of old patterns and now as I’m growing into a stronger person, into the person I’d like to be, there is strife and those friendships are no longer working.

As I go through this growing process, it’s important for me to remember not everything is falling apart, not every friendship is in jeopardy and not every person is going to fade into the shadows. And in fact, I’m going to make new friends, new people are coming into my life who are supportive of the person I’m becoming, and that’s something to cherish even though the pruning process is distressing.

I’m not perfect at leaving the past behind (hello! I think this blog shows that!), but now, especially given the context of what’s going on with me astrologically, I can more readily accept the changes and leave the past where it belongs. One of the more touching moments for me this past week was on New Year’s Day when my yoga and meditation organization asked me to read a passage. Here is a particularly potent excerpt:

While advancing from the distant past, humanity has reached the end of a dark period; a new year's dawn is about to break in its history. Humanity will have to move forward still further, and in this path of their movement, there is no pause, no rest -- no punctuation mark with comma, colon, or semicolon. They must move ever forward. Indeed, they are moving and they will continue to move, for movement is the very essence of life, the living proof of its vital existence. Those who stop in the middle of their movement have lost the very characteristic or dharma of life. -- P.R. Sarkar (Shrii Shrii Anandamurti), A Few Problems Solved Part 5

I dream of a world where we keep moving forward because we understand we must. A world where we know change may be painful but oftentimes it’s for our own good. A world we let go of what no longer serves us even if it’s uncomfortable. A world where we understand sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to leave the past behind.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.