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Where ever you are is where you are. The circumstances and faces of God that you meet are there to help you be where you are and who you are.

The people, their state of being, the way they come to you are by no accident. You think they are by accident — fortunate or unfortunate.

They are Me .. my Dearest My Beloved.

The devils, the angels, the neutral, the angry, the happy, the disappointed and delighted faces … they are me … the timing of those faces that may only meet you at the precise time they do yet deliver different faces to others … they are Me.

You sometimes think it’s a conspiracy against just you … well in a way it is … but in a positive … loving and nurturing way for Me to teach and grow you … but quite actually it’s really you who are attracting those to you … because you are wise … love yourself … and seek to teach and grow yourself …

… and so yes in a way You are also Me … A lot of you probably doesn’t believe you are mostly soley responsible for delivering to yourself what has come to you.

So because you are doing it … for good reasons … that’s even moreso why it is no accident.

You are where you are exactly supposed to be, gifted to be — despite the fact you may not now like this gift you are being showered with very much at all.

Where you are is where you are (meant, gifted, created, enriched) to be.

Pierced Heart3So I sort of feel bad that I haven’t posted anything in a long time.  Like I have some obligation.  I mean from some of the positive feedback I had gotten in the past on this blog, I feel like because my blogging has gone so silent for very long that now I’m no longer meeting expectation, being a disappointment to some audience.  So for the many weeks that have past, I’ve found myself very busy in my day job, often with no time to write about something special that strikes me, and then when I have time not having the desire to write. So there is one aspect that pushes me to now post something, which is guilt, which is a “I should be”,  “I’ll lose some popularity” , “I’ll lose legitimacy” , “I’ll be a disappointment” kinds of feelings.  These are all roundabout ways of describing that I feel bad –> or as I have been coming to accept in these past few months –> an acknowledgment of an internal childhood bound belief that some part of me is Bad.

And what do I mean by Bad?  Is it like a  naughty boy who stole a piece of candy at the store, which one might describe as mildly bad.  Is it like being a very pushy and manipulative personality, which some might describe as bad, good or something in-between?  Is being Bad like being impolite and unfriendly, which could just be a judgement of the goodness/badness of a person who is shy and gentle.  So maybe these examples are at best examples of “sort of bad” gray areas of badness.  But what if we could somehow filter out the “not so bad parts” from these situations so we come to the small core of pure badness? What would that look like?

Imagine if I had a handful of “sort of bad” stuff.  This “sort of bad” stuff would be on the darker side of colors and not very dense.  And then I start filtering out the “non-bad” stuff from this mass.  And what remains gets darker and darker and more dense.  What remains are maybe a few grain sized kernels of pure badness and super dark beyond imagination.  And what would that be?  The essence of pure evil?  The driver of the worst imaginable maniacal serial killer/rapist/mass murderer?  Or something like a unfathomable demon far worse than what has ever been portrayed in the scariest ghost/monster movies?

With what I’ve come to realize is that this line of thinking of “Badness” is still quite external to the essence and core of Badness.  I’ve come to see that Bad is truly a judgement that we impose upon ourselves based upon beliefs and images that most of us would deny we have because it sounds too crazy (“crazy” is code for unbearable) to believe how “bad of a person” we think of ourselves as.

But the truth is in our lives we spend an immense amount of our energy, time and life force trying to counter, cover up, and hide this badness.  It’s in our actions and behavior to look better, and be better for others and to our self critical  view of ourselves.  We look in the mirror both literally and figuratively.  And when we look in the mirror it’s not that often to see the beautiful reflection of a wonderful beautiful being (partly because we might have been told that’s vain, and vain is Bad).  More likely we look to see all the shortcomings, doubts, pimples, scars, wrinkles and imperfections that we might have varying degrees of shame, embarrassment about –> all these lead to feelings of Bad.  And many of us as grown ups sort of get good of covering up those core feelings of Bad rather quickly so that we actually kind of numb them out and move on with important stuff in our lives like “earning a living”

–segway to a scene of a young me looking in the mirror: “Oh wow what a huge pimple.  I look bad.”

— my early inner critical voice: “Only a few can look pretty.   Come on grow up, toughen up.  You can’t be too sensitive if you’re going to grow up and be successful. It could be a lot worse. ” –> and the bad feeling is repressed.

But the thing I start to realize is that although feeling Bad is ultimately the result of my own inner judgement of myself as I witness myself being seen by other, the act of pushing past inner judgment may only just be repressing and storing away that Badness deep within me.  And these stored away Bad feelings are still moving me or trapping me in cycles of behavior that I although I may want to stop,  I can’t — no matter how much I believe it makes sense to stop.

Where it plays out most prominently for me is in establishing my boundaries.   So for example if I’m asked by someone to do a favor that I really don’t want to do, if I have that badness there in I’m more likely to say “yes” I can do that favor.  Because if I say “yes” my inner judge says “I’m nice, generous, selfless and Good,” but if I say “no” my inner judge might say “well then they won’t like you anymore, or they’ll talk behind your back about how I stuck-up or selfish or unfriendly” —-> translation “how I am in truth genuinely, is just a bad unloveable person”

And yes many of us may have heard encouraging words of wisdom like:

“No one can make you feel Inferior without your consent” 

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”  

But yet still internalizing the truth of the above quotes does not change how you feel.  And it’s because the power of “Bad” is not in the realm of wise thoughts.  While you can certainly start quieting some of those inner critic/judge voices with words of truth and wisdom like the above, the driving power of “Bad” is the very fact that it HURTS!

The power of “Bad” is one on in the same as the “pain” that we feel when feel we haven’t done enough, we should have been, we could have been, wish we were, feel guilty, and in more or less ways can’t show ourselves to others and especially to those that seem to matter the most in our lives.  And for most of us we think the pain is just a “dull” pain, not to be compared with say a broken leg, a major physical wound,  or major burn injuries.  But what I’ve come to believe is that the pain of “Bad” is actually quite incredibly intense, it’s just “dull” because life affords us so  many ways to avoid getting close to the pain of those parts of us that we deeply feel are “Badness”.  Many of those ways are just getting lost in work,  constantly moving on, earning more money, or spending money on things to distract you from having to fall into feeling exposed and starting to feel that “Badness”.

Lately I see this interplay in how it has moved  me to work longer and longer hours at my workplace, for fear of being late on a project.  My critical adult might cast reasons why this is justified, making up a horrific story like “if you are late than this other big mega-dollar project will be late and you’ll be at fault, and this other multi-billion dollar plan will be messed up all because of you.  You boss, your bosses boss, your bosses, bosses boss will be so so so angry with you.  So if you right now decide to take it easy and go on vacation and dare “have fun!” while your project is in the depths of chaos …. oooh …  You will look SO BAD”  You will be in BIG TROUBLE!. “ –> This is the edge and intensity of BADness.  And to avoid that edge and intensity I will be compelled into giving up my boundary and may work longer hours to make up for taking vacation, work weekends or put off vacation, or even if I do go on vacation feel really guilty about it and not have that much fun or even feel miserable.

And if I were to visualize and draw a picture how how the Pain of his Badness feels I see something that looks like my heart and when I feel the Badness it’s like a sharp knife jabbing me with sharp intense pain into my heart.  So then if let’s say I’m in a disagreement with a loved one and I say “no” to something and they’d rather I have said “yes”, when that Badness is there for me in relationship I will feel guilt, I will feel pain, which I will try the best to ignore, keep busy and numb out as best I can, but the truth is that often it will  drain me, it will feel like asking myself  hold my breath for more than 2 minutes (honestly I don’t know if I could actually hold my breath anywhere near that long).  And like the pain of holding your breath for as long as possible you might initially consider it a dull pain, but with time you realize it’s actually a very great pain that is ultimately the very essence of what pain means –> the belief and fear that you are imminently dying, being destroyed, or being annihilated into nothingness.

Your Badness, those purified dark grains of badness I described earlier, are those intense entry ways into the parts of you, you really don’t want to be seen because you believe if others and possibly you truly saw the depth and entirety of those parts of you would be rejected, outcasted, possibly put into jail with your mug face plastered in shame on the front pages of of newspapers, unloved, unworthy of living –> just plain Bad.  And that kind of Badness, despite how much you can effectively deny it, is very very very painful.  So painful that you dare not come close to feeling it and so it you don’t feel it.  And in your not feeling it moves the way you behave, it moves you into those cycles you wish you didn’t fall into, because it’s those very cycles that are your means to not feel your “Badness” as best you can, so that you can remain as “Good” as possible and as least “Bad” as possible.

 

WilsonMuffingSome time ago I had the opportunity to work with a client in association with my Brennan Healing Science Schooling.  At this particular session my client was rather frantic.  My client’s life seemed to be in a state of overwhelming upheaval and I was sort of being looked at for “magical” healing to bring about resolution.  At first this was daunting for me.  I initially felt this urge to “pull it together” and act like the “all knowing and all is well healer”  But, I knew “pulling it together” would only bring superficial help.  Instead I resorted to grounding and being in the present.  Without pretending to rise above the overwhelmingness of the situation, I sort of dropped below it all.  Even more important I set my intention on holding the space of ordinariness, even at the risk of being just an ordinary “non healer” human being.

And you know what?   Suddenly, it was like me, the client and the room got really quiet as we clicked into the zone of the present.  We didn’t have to rise above the chaos, because at the moment we were just concentrating on the ordinariness and nothing specialness of the moment.  Within the precious space of every moment the room was quiet and we could hear maybe birds outside or a passing car.  In this space it wouldn’t matter if we learned of impending doom the next day or some recent glorious victory.  The grass doesn’t care.  The bugs on the ground don’t care.  The dirt doesn’t care.  The sky doesn’t care.  The air doesn’t care.  The crack in the wall doesn’t care.  No matter what happens to you, what you become or don’t become, they will still be there just the same, the same way the would have always been, nothing special, just ordinary life ticking away steadfastly like the seconds on a clock.

And in that space or ordinariness strangely there is something extraordinarily magical about it.  In that space I’m taken back to moments as a child, possibly even as an infant where my only job during the day was to stare aimlessly up out of my crib watching life slowly unfold.  As a child I could remember many boring, lazy, summer days that seemed to last forever.  I remember daydreaming.  I remember imagining the carpet pile was forest or the wrinkles on my bed were mountains, or the bathwater in the tub was an ocean.  This was all happening while my parents might have been worried about paying bills, worried about losing their jobs, worried about my asthma attacks, and even arguing with each other.  In the midst of all that adult worry I was quite occupied in dropping into the ordinariness of mundane everyday simple thinks like the air, sun, dirt, cracks in the wall, carpet pile, and wrinkled blankets.  There was no stress.  At times it might have felt boring.  But in that boredom was huge expansive space for wonderment, creativity and fun.

So I found this space rather potent for my client and rather potent for myself.  Yet it’s all so rather ordinary.  But the fact that this ordinary was so potent struck me as so extraordinary.  And there’s this knowing within that has registered in my heart, that the most special and extraordinariness one might seek will ultimately turn out to be the courageous act of simply dropping all masks, and defenses, dare to do nothing, accomplish nothing, dare simply being nobody special, just the ordinary you.  To actually believe that the holding of the state of the pure and simple you is so so so unbelievably extraordinary.

So I’m now more often reminded and drawn to holding the magical space of being ordinary.  It feels so real.  It feels so doable.  It puts me at ease.  And it assures me of my great worth for simply existing. I even feel this element of eurphoria and that “touching the source” sensation tickling in the center of my heart. 🙂

I started to think about how many parents seek to give their children a better life than them.  They seek to make the best for their children.  That thinking then turns into they want the best for their children, which also sometimes turns into they expect their children to fulfill what’s best for them.

As kids we may get fed “positive” information about “you can become anything you want to be”  or the “the sky is the limit” or “there is nothing you can’t do”.  But you know it is all still quietly saying “we expect the best from you”  or “you are not enough … if you just sit on your butt”  And into adults we mirror back these messages upon each other reinforcing this belief as the template for future children to grow into.

So last night I paused to realize how I’ve been lax in taking proper care of my eyes by leaving in my extended wear contacts in too long for so many times.  When I do that my eyes may start to get red and tender.  And I have a valid concern that over time if I continually disregard proper contact lens care, like I’ve often done, I will get a bad eye infection and risk losing my eyesight.  I mean generally many adults by their 40’s start to need glasses to read, and by their 60s start getting cataracts, so why am I only making it harder for the long term health of my eyes? I start getting scared at the prospect of losing my vision and I remove my contacts.  But I guess I’m not that scared because it doesn’t take too long before the next time I’ve left my contacts in for longer than recommended.  When that happens I notice that I’m mostly feeling too busy and distracted and almost hear myself saying “Wait … after I finish responding to this email … or I’m so tired … I’ll do it in the morning”  I mean whats another day?

And a month ago I got a warning from my dentist to please start flossing as I’m losing gum, some bone, and each dental cleaning is only going to be more painful if I continue to ignore flossing.  So on the first day back from my dentist I’m vigilant, but within days, I start thinking the pain ain’t so bad and besides I’m to busy trying to get better by “keeping on time” “saving more money” “planning for personal improvemnt” “make more money” …. blah blah blah  I notice clearly this sensation of: “This flossing is such a pain … it’s so inconvenient … I just don’t have the patience!”  It is only maybe 10 minutes of hygiene … yet there’s this jittery hurried force within me that makes anything that can’t be done in a few blinks of the eye too long and burdensome, that even the real possibility of losing my teeth just doesn’t motivate me to fully embrace the intent of caring for myself.

At best I only have a mixed set of priorities like: “I need to finish my taxes first, I need to exercise more to lose weight, I need to complete that communications project REAL SOON for work!,  I need to prepare for my Wednesday meeting, I want to form that monthly meditation group, I need to build a social network of friends, I need to figure out how to reduce my mortgage payments, I need to spend time to figure out which lawn mower to buy, I need to fix the basement door, I need to figure out how to hang the pictures in the basement nicely, I need to get more shelves setup for storage, I need to figure out what kind of fencing to consider buying, I want to explore replacing some of our door locks with wireless remote door locks, I want to hire an interior decorator, I need to save up money to be able to afford interior decorating, my dogs ears are infected … I don’t care for my dog as well as I used to … I need to take better care of my dog so she lives longer, Oh no I need to drop my weight to keep my blood pressure healthy … I should meditate more … I should start excercising more  … I wish I looked better … I should start excercising … I’m want to look better … I wish my home looked nicer … I wish other people naturally liked  me more … I long to be more popular  … I need to improve my ability to socialize.”

I take a breather to step back from this confusion. I try to prioritize and I conclude that: “I need to get my finances straightened by finishing my taxes first, or start submitting my medical bills for reimbursement or shopping around for those speakers to accessorize my large screen TV, I need to exercise more to lose weight, I need to complete that communications project REAL SOON for work!,  I need to prepare for my Wednesday meeting, I want to form that monthly meditation group, I need to build a social network of friends, I need to figure out how to reduce my mortgage payments …” AND ON AND ON AND ON going all over the place in scattered directions.

All this melee of thoughts and actions end up placing me in about 60% of my time in mental paralysis as I trying to shift back and forth the direction of my life, never quite yet ready to actually move.  And what’s at the root of all this confusion has nothing to do with time management or getting my priorities straight.  WHAT’S AT THE ROOT OF ALL THIS IS THE BELIEF I’M NOT ENOUGH.

Being enough isn’t simply a mental affirmation of “I am enough” it is the courage to dare be present in what ever situation arises and allowing myself to sit in that great discomfort of feeling inadequate, incompetent, ashamed, bad, of being a disappointment, of looking wierd and of being awkward.  I recognize I’m terrified of spending too much time with various close people in my life because I fear them discovering how inadequate or awkward I am … and so all these scattered urges to do all the things I need to do to make me better are just part of a large web of accomplishments I feel I must complete to make myself feel enough.

Yet ironically the path to enoughness starts with the awareness of mind and courage of spirit to simply be present in my feelings of not enoughness and resist doing anything to hide, fix or correct myself.  Because there is nothing to fix.  The only thing to fix is the belief there is something to fix.

Can I dare say how I truly feel to another person even if I might disappoint them or they might reject me.  I hear voices in me echos with words like  “gee … that Wilson … we thought he had so much potential … but boy what a disappointment … I mean he looked like he was so with it on top of things … but now look at him … I certainly don’t want to caught hanging around him ”  These are my own internal voices waiting for me to paint them on the face of any willing person I bump into so they can bring them to life and validate my belief that I’m not quite good enough to be present with any other person.  I mean I can maybe be partially present, by being proper, politically correct, and hopefully finding in-common topic to chit chat about. But I’m always going to be guarding and masking some part of me that I’m dreadfully terrified of being exposed.

And so lately at least I’ve been awakened to my own chaos.  But even more important I’ve been willing to take time to sit in it and feel the great discomfort and dissatisfaction and not run, numb, or distract so quickly.  For each action of running, numbing or distraction might only turn into another item on my list of things I need or want to do.  Dare I come see you in my simpleness of just me.  I am truly very ordinary.  I’ve gotten a lot of schooling and even got a couple of degrees, yet in the end no matter who you are, even if at times I might have felt “better” than you I actually felt insecure in your presence.  I’m so insecure that I might need to use those degrees and other accomplishments as crutches and masks to distract you and myself so that hopefully none of us notices how terrified I am to reveal myself without the cover of those accomplishments.  Because underneath those accomplishments you might just see who I really am.

My parents encouraged me to be an “extraordinary” person.  I am now finding that achieving extraordinary things is at most only “doing” extraordinary things.  But if all you strive is to “DO” the extraordinary you’ll never actually BE extraordinary as you’ll keep striving to accomplish more and yet still feeling not feeling enough.  BEING extraordinary is different than DOING extraordinary.

BEING extraordinary, I mean TRULY EXTRAORDINARY is the courage to dare simply BE ordinary.  To simply be just as you are how ever you are at this moment.  Not trying to be a better person, because you already are that better person where ever you are at this moment.  You are perfect just as you are.  Yes indeed you are ordinary — the ordinary you.  But your ordinary you is extraordinary.  And even more if you have the courage to DARE just be who you are … no masks … no running … no cover ups …  that would indeed BE EXTRAORDINARY.

Very few people can simply BE ENOUGH.   If I could more and more practice SIMPLY BEING present in the moment especially during the times I feel NOT ENOUGH …  If I could endure a few times the storm of my critical inner voices while being present in my NOT ENOUGHNESS, I might just discover that those storms won’t make my world end.  If I dare weather the storms of my inner critiques, if I can allow myself to I reveal those parts of me I truly believe are not enough, I might just discover I really am enough. This is how the courageous act of being present in my not enoughness can lead to my goal of enoughness.  If I could do this … I would be able to be present in being just ordinary … and that would indeed be EXTRAORDINARY.  And then I’d always have the time to take better care of myself because there wouldn’t be anything else that needed doing.  And that would feel so fantastic, wonderful and great. 🙂

 

 

I feel kind of disappointed with myself for not having blogged for so long.  There have been several points in the past couple of months that I could have blogged about something, but I instead chose to record it in my journal so that maybe I could get a better handle on it.  But more times than not I never even wrote in my journal.  I chose to write nothing because the act of writing my thoughts interferes with the thought process itself.  So dear reader … how few of you that may actually be out there, I apologize for not writing very much.  I apologize for ferreting some my own things for myself and not for you the reader to witness.  So here is my checkin for what’s been happening in the past couple of months.

I had been much more aware of a physical pain in my physical heart. If anything I would have described as a noticeable weakness or vulnerability in the center of my heart.  But more recently the condition was exacerbated when I went to a Taiko drumming workshop.  After 5 minutes of drumming I was stunned.  my arms were a little achy, but I was breathing hard, and my heart muscles were sore!  I had always attributed such a sensation to my heart getting a good work out.  But for only 5 minutes of beating on a drum, something that is overall less taxing then running hard on a treadmill, I was kind of disturbed. I thought “I’m really out of shape.”  But it wasn’t the “I’m going to look overweight, fat and flabby” kind of out of shape.  No this time it felt more like “I’m going to get a heart attack and die” kind of out of shape.  I’m not being sarcastic.  I’m nearing 46 and its always been around the late 40s and early 50s that relatives in my family have suffered from some kind of life threatening cardiac related disorder and so the risk factor is very real for me.

I did more research on the internet on the topic of heart fatigue.  The general answer was there was no such thing as heart muscles getting fatigued and tired.  Heart muscles should be capable of working forever.  If a heart muscle starts to feel fatigue heart damage is considered.  And the idea of heart damage did resonate with me.  But just the same there still exists the general voice that exists that the goal of an aerobic exercise is to make your heart work harder to make it stronger.  So some level of heart fatigue would seem to be a good thing.

So I concluded that I was out of shape and needed to get back into some minimum level of aerobic exercise.  So the day after I went Taiko drumming I went out on a short run around a local school track. I recall finishing the run with a slight asthmatic reaction to the cold outdoor weather combined with possibly some air pollen. Then I came back home and within an hour both my eyes were swollen and blown out red with an extreme allergic reaction.  It was very severe and frightening.  But I bring this up because I somehow want to connect this to my heart’s condition.

The center of my heart was feeling a definite and profound ache.  And as I write this blog entry it’s now becoming clearer that something there really wanted my attention.  My deep attention. Not just a general feeling, but many hours of deep, careful and precise attention.  I felt my heart tissue was indeed damaged, in fact slightly perforated so that it was steadily hemorrhaging blood.

So I spent a couple of hours trying to carefully and accurately draw how my heart was feeling and drawing how the blood was hemorrhaging.  I was very attentive on accurately drawing how it felt.  Below is my drawing.

Drawing of how my heart sort of feels physically

And then after a day, you know what? …  the bleeding sensation went away!  The physical soreness, fatigue and ache in my heart went away. Not sure what more to say, except that the true healing is not in the attempts to fix something, but more just with that feeling, and honoring of that that feeling with an expression of art.

 

 

 

So since my last blog entry in January I’ve been to the Barbara Brennan School of Healing two more times.  One of the key things I’m discovering about this school is that in many ways it’s indirectly making you a better healer.  What I mean is that the primary goal and activity of the school it turns out is often very little to do with any clients you deal with, but more about how you the healer will grow and heal yourself.  It’s like the basic principle is that if you can heal yourself and become really clear of life blocking issues, then clients in your mere presence will heal.

And so my times spent at one week long sessions at the Miami, Florida school location have clearly been about how to heal Wilson.  That means how to embrace all that life has to offer: the pleasurable stuff and the painful stuff.  And it also means how to express all that you have to offer: the kind stuff and also the nasty dark side of ourselves. In the end it’s all good.

So this past week I volunteered to put my guts out for my classmates and teachers to see.  They all got to push and prod my psyche until I was like a 5 year old little boy, super shy and scared standing in the middle of the room, yet at the same time the keep-it-together adult at times popping back in to suppress any hurt.  For me it was an exhausting 1.5 hour session of me really trying to resolve why I get socially anxious at times, yet then suddenly want lots of social contact.  I was hoping to uncover a long suppressed hurt and to cry it out, but in the end it was sort of a dissatisfying nothing.  But where it did end is in me understanding and knowing my child hood wound that didn’t so much express itself in tears but more in emotional numbness, in an area where I feel awkward and just don’t know how I feel.  Almost like I disappear, lose my attention and then suddenly regain my attention to possibly realize I just went unconscious into some day dream.

So this past weekend I started to adjust to taking the risk to not put in many unpaid hours of extra work for my employer.  And by Sunday evening the guilt started to hit me and I started to freak out a bit.  I started to try grounding exercises to enhance my level of contact with the “real” physical world and it almost seemed that if you pinched me I would no longer feel the pinch.  Then I watched this movie “Souce Code” which mostly takes place in the dreams of a fatally injured character.   And then I really started to drift into the sensation of a virtual world.

And then I truly felt the most separated from my body.  It was like I was a stranger watching a movie and physical sensations of my body going out of sync with what my body was actually physically touching.  It felt a bit that I was truly going crazy, maybe a bit like the main character in the movie “Black Swan”

The next morning this dissociation went further and on the drive to work, I felt as if the skin was burning off my face, hands and arms.  It was a bit painful, but I knew the relief that I sought would be found if I could restablish physical contact with myself.

And so in the end I’m trying to follow general guidelines from the school, by trying as much as possible to avoid drinking any alcohol.  In general alcohol is something I’d take to numb ovewhelming discomfort and pain.  But this time I’ve really exercised self will to avoid alcohol to numb any fears or pains and just allow myself to fall into the scariest and most painful part.

So despite this frustrating realization that I might start to become dependant on drinking coffee, I’m at least aware of how I hide and protect myself from what I fear by trying to have someone else stand up for me. I’m now conscious of the clarity that sensing nothing brings to the table.  So in this setting it doesn’t matter if you have prior “professional” yoga, meditation or energy work.  It only matters how authentic people are about how they feel and how they feel other people perceive them.

I’m dissociating lots now, but it’s OK. It’s too be expected and i’s all OK.

It’s now been a few months since I’ve last posted. This
blog has to some extent lost it’s way. I’ve been recording much of
my struggles in a private journal off line. And so I’m not sure why
I’m writing now, except to maybe keep the faith in this sensation
I’ve called the source. Lately I’ve been exposed to the training
and teachings of the Barbara Brennan School if Healing. Some of the
things I’ve gained so far are what it feels like to be in utter awe
of human simplicity, belongingness, a greater ability to feel
thankful/privileged and personal healing. None of the Healings have
approached touching the Source. But then there is an aspect of the
school’s philosophy that might question my touching the source as
being Schizoid in nature. I mean when I had touched the Source all
pain was gone and I was in bliss and ecstasy. I miss that, and in
fact it’s been so long now I’m almost forgetting the feeling. The
schools nature is much about being here. Stop drifting off in a
happier and safer place. Don’t close your eyes. Dare to keep your
eyes open, dare keep in the present and face your fears, pains, and
turmoils all the way thru. But also accept that you will falter,
and blink, and in fact it’s also in the faltering that you grow.
And don’t be surprised when bad situations don’t turn out to be as
bad as you fear. So lately this principle of keeping my eyes open
has been tough. I am so much more aware of my emotions than I’ve
ever been before in my life. And I’m in agony! I am so tempted to
binge drink Vodka and just knock out my consciousness. It’s just
that I know alcohol is only temporary and binge drinking is
damaging to your body. And the bigger thing is I want to stay true
to the Schools philosophy of staying in my body, staying in contact
with here, now and icky reality. It’s just that I feel so bad! I
kind of wish I were dead. But I’m here and able to write about it.
Excuse me now while I pause to reconnect to the fading ambers of
that sensation of touching the Source.

So the days leading up to this past Sunday’s meditation were rather nerve racking for me.  I was being pulled from two directions.  If less people showed up there would in a way be less pressure on me to lead.  I mean if no one showed up then I can just sit there calmly in silence by myself.  But then there was a big part of me that would feel devastated that no one would want to show up.

In the purist sense if I’m leading a meditation then it’s about me meditating and being in the moment whatever the environment.  It’s all about being. So if one person shows up then it’s about being in the energy of this one person and in a way customizing the meditation to that one person.  If thirty people show up then its about sensing the energy of thirty people and carefully moving the meditation so that everyone can best follow.  All the while including myself.

But in the past few days I have not been that “purist”.  I’ve been more that insecure person hurt if I perceived “no one likes me” or scared if too many people “like me a lot and now expect much from me”.  But I guess the fear of being liked to much is just that you can’t believe people would like you for just who you are as opposed to some amazing feat or mood you established in some fortunate coincidence that will never be repeated.  The fear is that you can now only disappoint people and they will quickly lose interest and “run away” from you.

So when I did my first Self Love Meditation back in January those who attended raved about their experiences.  The setting was intimate and the emotions were high during that meditation.  Those who attended then spread the word to others who couldn’t make it and then I got messages mentioning regret they didn’t make it and that they wanted to know when I would host another meditation because they definitely wanted to make it.  Some were even asking if I had a recording of my meditation and I did.  Some mentioned I should create my own workshop of meditations and if I did they’d be eager to attend.  So here’s the downside of this, my self-esteem really rose, I tried to keep my expectations at bay, but in the end it’s so hard not to let your ego creep out of the bag just a little.

Within days after my January Self Love meditation I got an invitation from the author of Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul to host a meditation for him.  That was the one I just did yesterday, Sunday.  Riding on this wave of enthusiasm I hosted yet another meditation on February, a Fear Meditation.  I was more nervous then ever at the Fear meditation but overall it went well. But at the Fear meditation I started to feel my first pangs of insecurity.  Because many of those who raved about the January Self Love mediation, somehow seemed to cool off and were all somehow too busy to attend my meditation.  So then I even contacted some of those who didn’t show up for my February meditation and they all mentioned that they were too tired, anxious or busy to make it.  I started to wonder maybe the idea of a Fear Meditation scared people away, or maybe everyone was only interested in experiencing the Self Love Meditation.

So when the notice went out that I was hosting yet another Meditation, I started to feel the shock of dead silence.  No one responded.  There was zero interest in attending my Self Love Meditation.  Even the sponsor of the mediation group couldn’t make it (was busy with work).  And it seemed that once the sponsor couldn’t make it all the interest died in my Self Love Meditation.  But everyone seemed to rave about the Self Love Meditation. So either that was some fluke because of the state of mind of the people, or I did something to piss everyone off so they specifically want me to fail and just go away. And a few days prior to my meditation another person was hosting a meditation.  That person seemed to downplay any expectations on his meditation, but somehow he got very good attendance, in fact from all the people who ignored my meditation.

There was one small spark though.  A new member who had never met me before signed up for my Self Love Meditation.  So on Friday morning, the day before my meditation, there was one person from the hosting meditation group interested in attending my meditation.  The author of the Chicken Soup book informed me he was bringing some 8 guests along with him.  I had asked my brother to come with one guest.  So without the meditation group we had a sizeable quorum, but it still bothered me why there was so particularly weak interest in my meditation.  But I was glad to have that one person from the meditation group attend.  At least he would be eager to attend my meditation, appreciate it, then go home and several hours later decide to hate me and never want to come again to another of my meditations.

But on Friday afternoon I felt the final blow to my wounds.  The sponsor of the meditation group posted a sort of impromptu notice of a new mediation to be hosted the next day Sunday.  He was going to play a recording of meditation he’s done several times before.  This is a meditation I believe you can download for free from the internet. And within minutes that solitary person who was planning on attending my Self Love Meditation pulled out and quickly signed on for listening to that recording of a meditation.  So he’d rather drive to a father off location, and listen to a meditation he could listen to anytime on from the internet instead of driving closer to listen to a live Self Love Meditation that is customized to the moment and can be heard no where else.  Ouch!

So Friday evening and early Saturday I was definitely emotionally challenged.  I really started to doubt myself.  Why the heck was I fooling myself about leading meditations. So what that I’ve spent may 20 years of my live struggling and writing a book on spirituality, leading a few classes on spirituality, and creating a bunch of self healing exercises, in the end it was maybe all baloney. I should just concentrate on the important stuff like working hard, make lots of money, buy lots of material things and toys to hide my misery.  And if that doesn’t work quit my life and disappear to some remote 3rd world.  Ahhh!

Emotionally, I wanted to cancel the meditation.  But I had made a commitment.  So I went there a bit low in energy, but was glad to at least have my wife there.  My brother and his friend showed up.  I showed up at the Brandywine Library room. It was warm, sunny and there were other people and the energy felt better.  I was a couple minutes late to my own meditation!  But there was no rush, so that was good.  I set up a my own wireless microphone system thinking that the acoustics of a large meeting room would be much worse than in our small living room at home, especially because I tend to have a soft quite voice.

So what I can say about this Self Love Meditation is that it is a bit different from the one I lead in January. In some ways I think I’ve improved the technique of it a bit.  The microphone definitely helped a lot. I added a new element.  I know the words I said were different.  And yes once again some people did have tears only more subdued because it was a brighter more public setting.  The meditation was about 15 minutes longer than the first.  I was only expecting 30 minutes, the Chicken Soup author had told people it would be 45 minutes, and to my surprise it was actually about 45 minutes.  Usually there’s about 10 minutes of silence after I finish with the “after glow” of calmness that you sort of feel.

When I heard the feedback coming to me my self-esteem started to recover … a lot.  I then asked everyone if I could lead yet one more exercise.  This was a mix of a body work exercise and meditation.  I was a mixture of Chakra Toning meditation and a principal I picked up in a Feldenkrais seminar. This one took almost another 30 minutes.  And I think everyone appreciated experiencing this.

Another person who is part of another meditation/yoga group was now asking when is the next time I’m hosting.  This felt good because it was validation from someone whose already got a regular mode meditation now genuinely valuing what I had to offer.

So overall I’m happy.  I’m still digesting these past couple of weeks leading up to the meditation.  I’m not sure when my next mediation will be.

So on Friday I managed to lead my first successful meditation.  It was just Eric, Virginia and myself.  It lasted only about 10 minutes and was sort of interrupted a bit as Eric was coughing a lot and had to excuse himself a bit to calm down his coughing.  Despite this fact I felt more confidence come within in me as I moved thru the meditation.  I finally felt confidence in leading a mediation this Wednesday.  I don’t know quite what path my meditation will take, but I know it will turn out fine, and in fact very well.

I have been starting to notice more frequently this tightening or tremoring feeling in my torso more often.  It’s partly nervousness I guess, but I think it’s more so my body just resonating on a true path as I’ve had this feeling when I was feeling completely safe but just simply on a roll of many realizations and insights.

This morning I’ve really started to notice a different aspect of the Source.  Now I start to listen to the Source.  And when I listen to the Source talk to me, I then start to feel the Source.  But I can’t quite say the Source is speaking words to me.  It mostly speaks feelings to me, but then the words start to fly off the feelings.  The best I can describe what’s happening is like when psychologists talk about the mental tapes that we play in our heads.  For many of us we unconsciously play over and over again these negative voices in our head that criticize us for fear of looking awkward, or stupid.  There are words that no one loves us, or that we are not doing enough, or why can’t we stop doing things we don’t want to do.  We beat ourselves up often.  So when the Source speaks it sort of speaks on the same level as these unconsciously played mental tapes.  It speaks softly and clearly to replace these mental tapes with positive, encouraging, praising, reassuring and loving tapes.

For the moment I’m feeling this state that the Source is capable of loving me more than me.   It can give me love where I am not strong enough to give myself the love that I need. And when I listen I start to feel nurtured and I start to want to serve the Source.  I don’t think I’ve been asked by the Source to do anything other than just more or less put one foot in front of the other and don’t get down on myself.  I had been encouraged to go serve in the Emmanuel Dining room because that is what I wanted to do but not much more.  I’ve been encouraged to go forward with this meditation on Wednesday and don’t be scared because it is will all be good.  I don’t have to quite my job and become a missionary, I just need for now just to listen to the soothing song of the Source and then just feel the love and feel good about myself.

So I finally got myself to serve at the Emmanuel Dining Room in Wilmington, Delaware.  I got back that feeling and desire to serve, but it probably wasn’t as strong as it was a week ago.  What I felt was that it was important to serve because something from this would give me strength to continue the next step.  As to what the next step was I didn’t know but one thing seemed clear that this was a needed step.  It’s like when someone tells you the answer will appear when it is time.  Oh geez.

The Emmanuel Dining Room is a real nice setup for anyone interested in volunteering.  It’s very informal.  You call up the Dining Room ahead of time to just find out the times they are open and then you just show up.  There are no commitments or expectations.  If you’re there great, speak up and ask for direction in what to do and just pitch in.  If you’re not there we never expected you anyway.  On the day I served there were more than enough helping hands.  My impression is that they generally never run short on help, so mostly volunteering is more about what it gives to those who volunteer and not so much about what it gives to the hungry who eat there.

When I go there it was a bit intimidating because it was located in a semi-rough part of Wilmington.  The place was located close to a major road, but then again there have been drug related crimes including shootings in this area, somewhat rare, but it’s happened near this area.  I was unable to find a parking spot next to the major road so I had to park a block away.  The fact that I was parked near a major church didn’t seem to help that much.  The fact that it was raining and miserable outside did help, because I believe bad weather tends to deter outdoor activity, including criminal activity.

When I entered the dining room there was an immediate energy shift. The best adjective I could use to describe this was: “hard core”.  You cold smell the body order of unbathed homeless, but it wasn’t too strong. The room was smallish, capable of seating maybe 30 diners maximum at a time.  You could imagine this being a prison camp cafeteria being run by some local tribal leaders.  It was “hard core” because you could definitely sense that the people here, the volunteers or the diners have frequently brushed with are have been part of some “hard core” activity like maybe drug dealing, car theft and robbery. However, just the same you also felt this deep reverence and respect for humanity.  There was definitely an air of respect, orderliness and compassion for all in this room.

If you enter the Emmanuel Dining Room, you will be accepted, you will be promptly seated and you will be served immediately.  You’ll get plenty of water to drink, and additionally maybe some additional bread rolls and tiny desserts.  If you wear a hat, please take it off before eating.  You don’t have to eat what you are served but remember there are no second servings allowed here.  When you are done you’re expected to carry your used plate, cup and silverware to one of the volunteers, but it’s not required.  It’s just that it’s respectful behavior if you do. But just the same we’ve got plenty of volunteers ready and willing to help you because it’s respectful behavior if they do.

Things are loosely managed at this place.  You start off asking what you should do and then you start looking for wherever help is needed.  Few words of direction are said, you just read the situation and look at the flow of things and just fit in.  As a newbie volunteer you’ll just carry plates of food from the kitchen window to a seated diner.  Initially it gets busy for the first 5 minutes as you shuttle back and forth between the kitchen and the dining tables. But then you reach this slightly awkward stage where there’s maybe five volunteers trying to decide who is going to feed the single new diner who just entered the door.  So then you the volunteers try to be polite in allowing each volunteer a turn to serve.  Everyone eagerly wants to be doing something, as it feels like a privilege to know that you are doing something good, that each plate you get to place before a diner is yet another “atta boy” for you.

The portion sizes are maybe equivalent to a Nutrisystem diet dinner with dessert.  If you manage to scarf up extra bread rolls or mini-dessert items then you get more.  Today for lunch it was two hot dogs, a scoop of baked beans and a small dessert (like half a banana). If I was hungry I’d scarf all that stuff down in a few minutes which many did.  But I was surprised at the many who didn’t.  Another person walked in and then walked out because they were now serving ham and he refused to eat pork.  I saw several cases of mostly filled plates being thrown away!  But then I saw cases where some people gave others the food they didn’t like.  I saw another man stash his hot dogs in a plastic cup as if to ration his meager portion for later in the day when he was back on the streets!  You see the Emmanuel Dining room is opened for only 1 hour a day.  On week days they only serve breakfast in the morning, and on weekends it’s lunch only. So you had better make the best of your stay here because you may not eat again until the next day.  I saw another couple trying to stash extra rolls and into a plastic bag for later.  With things like the dinner rolls and the mini dessert items there was no formal rule on the maximum you could take.  Finally, I saw one diner having a plate of food turned away.  The person directing the diners recognized his face before; this person was trying to get a second serving of food.  The person was allowed to sit down but he was told respectfully as possible that he couldn’t get any more food.  There was no more commotion as no one could blame the person for trying, but these were the rules.

As I served I felt there times I could almost cry.  I wasn’t sure though if it was because of sympathy for some of these diners or because of the joy of being able to serve.  There was a fair amount of food that diners threw away, and at least one of kids of the diners had owned an iPod nano.  So one at times could question how bad off really were some of these people or how much benefit we were providing to them.  But once again for me it was more about what it did for me.

At the Emmanuel Dining Room there are times that you have one hungry person and a dozen people ready and able to serve that person.  So it’s a privilege to be the one that serves that one hungry person.  There are plenty of helping hands here.  There is no desperate need for you help.  You are there to help because you expect to be given the chance to help and feel good about this.  The veteran volunteer workers recognize this and so they tend to sit back more and let you eagerly have at it and do the work you want.

I will come back here again to help and to receive, to learn how to feel honored to serve, to learn how it’s a great privilege to be served or to serve in this place. To receive the gift of relearning how to be compassionate and respectful.  And all the while acknowledge your own feelings be it pity, criticalness, fear, confusion or whatever was on your mind before coming here.

I will come back here again.

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