Tag Archives: living in the moment

Taking Others Personally.

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Every couple of months or so, I contemplate de activating my Facebook account.  After spending a good amount of time paying attention to the various kinds of posts there, it feels like it would be self loving to take a break. Just tune out, and tune in to myself instead for a few days, weeks, whatever feels good to me.

 

However, the stuff that seems to impact me the most is not the political, commercial, provocative posts that I see there; I seem pretty immune to them these days, feeling secure in my own positions and opinions, and allowing others to have their own. What seems to impact me the most, as I do the one fingered scroll through on my Iphone, is friends on there.  I see pictures of friends, having fun times with other friends, attending or hosting parties, traveling, and I feel a pang of disappointment.  A feeling of being left out.  I feel like when it comes to friends, I don’t matter to many.

 

Please, read on before you feel sorry for me; this is not to elicit sympathy for myself.  It is a tremendous learning ground for me, and I am grateful.  But at first glance, when I see friends of mine having fun with others, I don’t just think that I am happy for them that they are happy.  I feel left out, left behind.  I don’t take it out on them; I take it out on ME.  What is wrong with ME?  Aren’t I fun enough?  Inspiring enough? Why don’t they call me to go out, to have tea, to come over for a movie?  Why not ME???? I take the entire “exchange” personally.  And, that is the kicker for me; there is no exchange; there is no rejection.  It just is what is.

 

I have been reading the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz for a couple of years now, over and over again, and one of those agreements is to not take ANYTHING personally. Now, I have put it into action quite successfully and gratefully in my world over and over again, in relationship to my work; my family; and various friends. But then, I always get another opportunity to try the lesson on for size again, just to seal the deal. So, this is another time for that.  

 

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I certainly do not feel one bit peaceful when I take others personally.  I feel frustrated, confused, rejected, sad, and angry. I feel like I am not enough in some way, shape or form. I feel like I want to be seen and acknowledged and it just isn’t happening in the way that I would like. I take an image from a social media outlet and think that means I know all that there is to a story. Because that is all it ever is, really.  Just a story.  Just a story that I tell myself and then come to believe as the truth.  

 

The thing is, I always get to decide how I want to believe things to be.  And, the lessons that I get to learn in all of this, are vital and substantial for my expansion and evolution. I am learning deeply about letting go; letting things and people be just as they are. When I do that, I accept more and judge less. Another lesson that I get to learn is that NOTHING in this world, not one thing, that is going on with another person, ever has anything to do with me.  Even when it does, it doesn’t. This one of the four agreements is the one that I struggle with the most, yet gives me the most peace within when I ascribe to it.

 

And ultimately, that is the real win for me, is to come back to a place of Peace, always and as often as possible.  When I am feeling peaceful, I am amazed that I could ever want to choose something other than Peace. Yet I do, day after day after day.  And, then, gratefully, I get to remember, day after day after day, that Peace is the choice that I prefer, and it is always available to me.  That I can pick it up, and hold it closely, as often and consistently as I desire.  That I am beautiful, bright, of value and worth.  That I am full of Love, Light, and Purpose. That all those that are meant to come in and out of my world are nothing short of blessings, and that I get to honor them as such, without putting limits, rules and expectations upon them.  I get to let them be their beautiful selves, and celebrate the Self that I am in every moment.

 

I am forever grateful to be able to keep growing, learning, and Being in the brightest, most brilliant way that I can imagine to Be.

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Karma Yoga.

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Reading Eckhart Tolle, or listening to him while I ride in my car, always brings me such insight and revelation.  It seems like even though I have listened to the audiobook a few times through now, each time I hear something new and different.  This week has been no exception.

 

This week was a particularly powerful one in terms of cracking open some old, closed off beliefs and letting them go.  I feel so expanded from where I was just a few days ago, and therefore the light that I am allowing to pour in, and out of me, is extraordinary.  One of the powerful thoughts for me this week was about letting go of outcomes.

 

I have grown up as a human being believing deeply in how things will turn out for me.  That seems most common around expectations, when I have a belief that I want a person to act in a certain way, and my almost assured disappointment every time, because the person does not live up to my expectations.  I set up that person, and myself, every single time.  However, the other area that is an expanded version of personal expectations, is having a dream or goal in my future and doing what I think I need to do to work toward that dream or goal.

 

The problem isn’t in the dream or goal itself, mind you.  It is perfectly okay to desire to have something come into your life and to aspire to it, or at least, get excited about it.  The problem for me is in living out my moments as merely steps to that goal, doing things just for the outcome.  For me to view the work that I do merely as a means to an end- whether that be for the weekend, the paycheck or both- makes it not very fulfilling and pretty tedious.  So, my focus has been on NOT focusing on the fruits of my labor.

 

In his book “The Power of Now”, Eckhart Tolle talks about the saying “karma yoga”, which means, to be in the moment, and live your life, without regard for the outcome.  In other words, to live your life without being focused on the goal, the fruits of your labor.  To just live your life as is, in every moment, as fully as possible.  And, because of that presence, the “fruits” will come of their own accord.  Great stuff, but challenging for me on most days.

 

Yet, I have to say, it brings pure satisfaction to my life.  On the days, and in the moments, in which I am as present as possible, rather than in it in order to get somewhere else, I feel so satisfied.  When I meet with a client out in the community, and I listen to them as a fellow human being, and not as a mental health diagnosis that I have to “help” or “fix”, I feel so inspired and hopeful.  When I keep releasing myself from guilt about not doing this or that, as planned, I have more fun and embrace my spontaneity.  I love myself more deeply and judge myself, and others, less.

 

Of course, I get lots of opportunities to practice, every single day.  And it is not about perfection.   Yet the results that I keep getting, just by remembering as often as possible, to be present, and to catch and accept when I am not, are astounding.  I feel so much more alive, connected to those around me.  I can’t see what happens next.

 

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Down the Rabbit Hole.

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Tomorrow, I have the opportunity to doing something really spontaneous and fun. It is something that I have been wanting to do for some time now, and the opportunity to make it happen came up, and I am going with it. However, the desire to be spontaneous is conflicting with my desire to feel guilty about not going to work.

Guilt is a tricky little devil for me. If there is a hint of me viewing my actions as selfish, not fair to others or frivolous, I want to somehow believe that it is not okay for me to do it. The more that I ruminate on it, it seems the worse that it gets. I want to chastise myself, believing that I am putting my desires ahead of others, and that it will have a negative impact on them. That to do something for myself is deeply self centered and wrong.

It is kind of like going down a rabbit hole, metaphorically speaking. When I am feeling deep guilt about something, my thoughts about myself seem to get darker and darker, like I am not only a selfish person, but one that should come up with a better reason to disappoint someone else; that things can’t possibly get done without me around, that I have no right to just have fun, just for the fun of it. Instead of seeing the innocence and light about a choice, I keep going to a deeper, darker place.

The great part is, I ALWAYS have a choice. Guilt is not something put upon me; I don’t FALL down the rabbit hole, I jump in. I choose to feel deep guilt about my actions and how it might impact others. However, I also can choose to feel really empowered when I have to say something difficult to someone; to look upon the other person with love, compassion and honesty; and to remember that I deserve, as much as anyone else, to have fun and freedom in my world. And sometimes, fun and freedom aren’t an integral part of my schedule. I get to feel deserving instead of loathing; embracing instead of dreading.

I get to choose to jump down into the rabbit hole, and I get to climb the ladder, as fast as I remember, to get back out, too.

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Warning: All Structures are Unstable.

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I continue to have insights the more that I read, or listen, to Eckhart Tolle. His words do much to remind me of staying in the present moment, and the benefit of leaving things as they are, without judgment. It helps me through days that seem difficult.

Most recently, I also was reminded while listening about the truth of impermanence. There is nothing permanent here. He told a story of walking with a friend in the woods, and coming across a building with the sign “Warning: All Structures are Unstable”. It certainly spoke of the building that they observed there, but also to something deeper as well; that we all are of a temporary nature.

Whether we are talking about our own eventual death, a conflict with someone that we care about, about our current financial state or any other situation that brings about upset feelings in us. All structures are unstable, impermanent, only here for a brief time. We seek and seek and we never find, because we are looking for something, or someone, that fills the void that we think is our lives.

The truth is, if all is impermanent, and all structures truly unstable, than all we can do is accept things as they are, and live fully in the present moment. Doing so is not always easy, mind you. I must remind myself many times daily about what I need to do in order to be at peace and remember that this moment is all that I ever have.

There is so much in our world that tries to show us otherwise; that we can live on and on, that health or beauty or money or belongings can last almost infinitely. And, realizing and remembering the real truth is not discouraging for me, but enlightening. If I remember the truth of only having this very moment, and that all things are impermanent, unstable and almost fleeting, my appreciation for them deepens.

I have come to have greater respect and love for those things and people in my life that are important to me, because I know that it could be just for today, just for this moment. I know that all I have is right now, and I want to make the most of it, while I am in this world and living in this beautiful dream. I want to savor every moment.

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Yesterday, Tomorrow, and the Here and Now.

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I am getting married in eight days. It is a day that I have been waiting for, in one way, my whole life. Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a beautiful, big, amazing wedding. In my adult years, I often thought about it as well, but wasn’t sure if actually getting married was going to be a right afforded to me. I also wasn’t sure if I would meet the partner that would be the one I would marry. Then, all of that changed when I met Brenda, and she asked me to marry her. And now, here I am.

As excited as I am, I keep projecting to the future, to what will be next week. Who is coming. What I will look like in my dress, what Brenda will look like. If the weather will be good. If we will have enough food, drink for everyone. I am constantly living in the future, waiting for tomorrow.

In the last few months, I have been reading a lot, and listening a lot, to Eckhart Tolle, who is all about the present moment. What that has helped me with in the last months is being more present, not living my life away waiting for a future moment. Or, not living in the past either. Of the two, my choice in my life has always been projecting toward the future. Planning for this or that, getting excited about something coming up, or more often than that, having excessive worry about something that hasn’t happened yet.

To be present, we need to be willing to be in the here and now, and release any concern with what might have been in the past. We also need to not project into the future. Our ego, our self that we think that we are, forms its identity by who we are and what we have done, or what it is we think we will do in the future. And, it stays strong by creating resentment, regret or guilt about the past, and dread or anticipation or expectation of the future. The ego makes us believe that our true selves live in those realms, and are made up of what we do, an identity that is based on things or events.

Living in the present moment has been much more fulfilling to me. Even though I have great things that are coming in my life, and even though I have never been a person to live with a lot of regret, living in the right now reminds me that right now is really all I’ve got. That this moment is really the only one that exists, even though the past and future seem so real. So, even though marrying my sweetheart is a dream come true, I miss a lot of my life if I only live for that, and not all of the meantimes.

I am such a blessed, contented person. I feel so fulfilled and complete. And, to remain present to all that I have right here and right now, I am in bliss.

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