Week 12-Fresh Eyes

There has been a good and difficult process taking place as I align with my purpose in life.  Understanding who I am and what I want in life is causing changes to manifest all around me.  My priorities are becoming crystal clear and my path is becoming easier to see. Unhealthy and inauthentic people are self selecting out of my life and I’m drawn to truly loving and supportive relationships with the people who really want good things for me. While these growing pains aren’t easy, they aren’t debilitating the way they could be if I wasn’t moving towards a free and vital life. My DMP is changing to align more clearly with my PPN’s.  It’s starting to look more cohesive and clear.  More like me.

I’m visiting my dad in Florida this week.  His eightieth birthday is in 2 days. It’s been a good respite from my daily responsibilities and an opportunity to reconnect with my family. I’ve realized how high my stress level has been and the warm sunny weather has been so rejuvenating to my spirit. I can see the simplicity and beauty in the keys for week 12 and feel closer to truly internalizing this knowledge. The past 12 weeks of this class have felt like treading water with ankle weights on. I’ve learned a lot about who and what I’ve been allowing to create drag in my life and I look forward to “walking unencumbered” through the remaining weeks.

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Week 11-Waking Up

In the past couple weeks, I’ve been considering whether to change my DMP and PPN’s.  I’ve made the decision to do a rewrite.  It’s not that the outcomes are drastically different, but a fog has cleared and I am more present to what I truly want and why I want it.  The keys this week are a little off for me.  They smell too much like “prosperity gospel.” I understand the philosophy and the underlying truth resonates with me, but when Haanel writes of “those fortunate natures” in #21, he loses me.  I don’t know one person who fits that description.  I know people who work really hard to present themselves as effortlessly successful in all things and hide anything that falls short.  I know of organizations that promote the idea that if you always think and do the right thing, the difficulties of the weak and faithless won’t touch you.  This is spiritual elitism and it ignores the complexity of our interrelationship with each other, our ecosystems, and our planet.  I know that the ease and prosperity of my life is built on a foundation of exploitation and greed.  The land I live on is not my people’s land.  I am a citizen of a conquering nation. The clothes I wear, the gas in my car, the gold in my electronics are dripping in blood.  The prosperity of my home state of Minnesota is at the cost of the pollution of our land and rivers.  My county has had one of the highest cancer rates in the country due to our proximity to the Koch brothers refinery, 3M, and a nuclear plant.  There has been a generational wealth created for the people who benefited (and continue to benefit from these places) and a lot of them sit in church and thank God for blessing them and their children.  I don’t want to contribute to a culture that celebrates healing and success and diminishes the reality of those who are not finding the cure or the financial breakthrough they earnestly desire. We are not children. We can hold space for the complexity of cause and effect. That being said, there is also beauty in these words and I am practicing stating clearly “whatsoever things” I earnestly desire with confident expectation and firm demand. I just won’t do it with my eyes closed.

Week 10-Visualize

I’ve lived in my imagination most of my life.  As a child, daydreaming and imaginative play were my life.  As I grew older, living vicariously through the characters in novels was my obsession.  I could feel and experience life in any time or place in the universe through written words.  The bigger the book or the longer the series, the better!  The visualization exercise for this week is child’s play for me.  I see it.  Plain as day.

The challenge has always been the connection.  I haven’t been able to complete the circuit.  Yet.

Creative projects, digging in deep to a design project.   These things bring me closer.  They energize me and inspire me to create more.  Yoga and sex create opportunities for integration of body, mind, and spirit. They fortify me and help me to deepen my connection to life.

I think in terms of color and movement and feeling.  Vibrations. Light. Shadow.  When I need to communicate my feelings, I have to translate the color and images into words and they fall flat out of my mouth.  Logic looks like structures, outlines, sequences, patterns.  When I begin a project, I have to go all the way to the beginning of the sequence.  I need to build or rebuild the foundation and then set all the dominoes in their place. When my heart is heavy, thinking through a problem becomes nauseating. Navigating life is sometimes overwhelming to me.  The old patterns are strong, retreat has always been my response to distress. When I retreat, I reject connection. This is the essential struggle for me.

Harmony. Living in harmony. Leaning in when I’m distressed.  Lean into what? Whom? I feel like I’ve run the gamut on that one and come up empty-handed. I’m reading the keys.  Translating them into sequences, patterns, vibrations.  What does it feel like to live these words. What does it look like to be in harmony?  What does it mean to be heart-broken or disappointed and still be confident in your expectations?

The parable of the two wolves is rarely told in its entirety.  When the elder answers the child’s question about which wolf survives, the common end to the story is “the one you feed.”  The end that is rarely told and resonates with me is.  You must feed both wolves.  If we don’t learn how to love and care for (feed) our shadow selves, the dark wolf will grow hungry and desperate.  We must love the darkness for it shows us the stars.

I continue to sit.  To exercise. I’m practicing the law of relaxation.  I can’t yet imagine how my future self-will integrate adversity and continue to thrive, but I believe it is possible and the answers will come as I continue to focus. Growing intuitively towards the light. Earnest desire, confident expectation, and firm demand.

Week 9- Just Imagine…

This week my mental diet created some major cravings for mean and nasty thoughts.  Life has a plentiful supply of challenges for me to show me exactly how toxic my mind is.  Old resentments, that I didn’t think I gave much attention to, have been a constant under the surface poisoning my mind like a slow underground leak of toxic chemicals into an aquifer.  I’ve given it thought, brought my mental awareness to it.  I visualized letting the hate out of my veins.  There is an endless supply, it doesn’t run out.  That’s how darkness works.  It’s voracious.

“I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.”

I want to experience the connection.  There are moments of real happiness that are beginning to knit together into a better life.  My focus is getting stronger.  I’m not interested in situations that won’t bring me closer to truth.  I hear the discord in the words that aren’t grounded in truth.  Like a roller coaster pulling so hard to reach the apex, I feel closer and closer to the tipping point.  I’m nervous and excited for the rest of the wild ride.

Week 8-No Trespassers

My love for procrastination is dying a fast and uneventful death.  It’s just gone.  I’m still making choices about how I want to spend my time, but I skip right over the resistance and the mental anguish.  Without giving it thought, the thing is done.  Television hasn’t been a big time consumer for me for awhile.  I work evenings or I’m supporting my children at their activities.  There are a few shows that I really like to watch, but I can set them aside for sick days or snow days.  An occasional movie with my love is a nice way to spend the evening together after a busy Saturday at work.  I’m careful about who and what I give my time to.  I had a meltdown/tantrum a month ago, because I wasn’t taking responsibility for myself and managing my time and energy.  Since then, I’ve brought more awareness to my boundaries.  The only person I’m really willing to go the extra mile for is myself.  I give lovingly and authentically to others, but I need the extra right now.  I’m thriving on it.  I’m not closed off to new connections, but I’m “keeping the door shut…to every element that seeks admittance with no definite helpful end in view.”  That is a big paradigm shift.  In the past, being loving meant being available and willing to give at a moments notice.  I had become dispirited by the deficit that had accumulated in my relationships.  I realize that not only were my actions and expectations unsustainable, but I had attracted a lot of selfish people.  My life feels full and the relationships that I invest in feel healthy.  I feel good about going to my job, because I see it for what it is and I “no longer expect reciprocity from the channels I enrich.”  I have bigger plans.  I’m entering the flow.  Everyday things are happening to confirm my path, broaden my perspective, and see more clearly.  I have more to say, but that’s enough for now.

Peace-

Jodi

Week 7-Mental Diet Challenge

In my profession, it is a big part of my job to be welcoming, friendly and positive.  I work as a hairstylist and spend the majority of my very busy days getting to know people, checking in with repeat clients, listening, offering support, and helping people to look and feel their best.  There isn’t space or time for negativity.  I work alongside a crew of smart, talented and considerate women.  There are challenging situations that come up, mostly to do with the way the business is managed, that require me to rise above my own negative judgments.  I have moments of frustration and annoyance in the rest of my life, but nothing in my day to day that especially taxes me. However, when I get in my car to drive home I allow any repressed negativity to rise to the surface.  I curse at other drivers and entertain myself with all the awful and witty things I can say to describe their inferior driving. I walk through my life with an underlying sense of entitlement and superiority and when I am “forced” to confront other peoples frustrating behavior, I take some kind of personal offense.

Gross.

There are also times in relationships where my old relational blueprint comes to the surface and I find myself reacting to negative associations and thoughts that have little or nothing to do with the present situation.  These are more challenging to reprogram for me.  The “road rage” issue feels easier to change, be aware of, practice compassion.  The relational part feels integrated into the core of who I am. Emotional reactions that are so strong and overwhelming.  Feelings triggered so unexpectedly.

I keep restarting.  Two weeks feels like a huge mountain to climb.  Like most diets, it has to be a permanent lifestyle change, not a short term effort.  All I have is the rest of my life.  I’ll keep bringing awareness to this.  Keep shining light on it.  Keep practicing.  If these two weeks stretch out over the remainder of my life, I will still be better for it.

Week 3: The Clearing Fog

“Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem for the human soul, for those whose cast of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay.”
-Regeneration, Pat Barker

The growth process is strange and for some reason it surprises me that there is always an element of destruction.  In my 41 years, I have learned a mode of survival that has allowed me to survive, but I haven’t come close to thriving or reaching my true potential.  The deconstruction of the underlying beliefs and the intentional replacing of them with a new mode of operation is no small task.  It feels overwhelming.  Using unused and uncoordinated muscles.  Awkward.  Vulnerable.  I realize that when things feel this uncomfortable, I am right where I need to be and my energy needs to go into the work.  Trusting the process.  Small efforts made regularly will pay off.  The mountain will move.