Tuesday, August 22, 2017

For Better or Worse...

Earlier today, I added a post called, "Balancing Acts".  If you're interested in reading it, you can certainly scroll back or CLICK HERE.  In it, I outlined a general path for my own personal growth and how I wanted to develop changes in my life.  I talk about finding and maintaining balance and some of my general thoughts on the subject.

I think though that some of the language was misconstrued as an attack or a passive aggressive jab.  That was not my intention and I apologize to anyone who felt as though I was directing my words at them.  The people I vaguely mentioned know my feelings very clearly and there is no need for guessing or self-blame.  If you read what I wrote and wonder, "Is he talking about me?" and there hasn't been previous correspondence about it, in all likelihood, it wasn't about you.  The folks who I wrote about know it was about them, as I made my thoughts known to them.

So... in the words of a beloved friend, "Snap out of it!"  Insert silly face emoji here.

Instead of reading between the lines, enjoy the fresh night air, make something, or try and understand yourself better.  I encourage you to write about your own thoughts and feelings.  My posts are my way of ordering my thoughts and writing through my thought processes.  For me, it helps tremendously.  Sometimes that strikes a note with others and may inspire them, but mostly my writing is for myself.  I am not a guru or a life coach.  I don't pretend to know in-depth about psychology or about how others should best lead their lives.  I am exploring my own path and trying to work through my own issues.

I'm reminded of a Golden Girls episode where they find Rose's diary and Blanche and Dorthy think that she's writing terrible things about them, when in actuality, she was writing about the pigs she raised.  Hijinks ensue as they get to the bottom of it.  Rose is hurt because of the invasion of privacy and the lack of trust that her friends have in her.  In the end, they make up and everything is all better.

I know the show is just a comedy from the 80's, but there are life lessons there.  I think one of them is that one shouldn't assume the worst.  If we are friends, please think better of me.  Please trust me and know that my life includes many, many, many people and that if we have a connection, I will always make my thoughts and feelings known.  For better or worse, I speak my mind.  And you never know... I could be writing about pigs!

As for what follows now, while I'm acknowledging the misunderstandings and apologizing for unintentionally hurting anyone, I'm going to chalk it up as Mercury being retrograde.  This isn't to diminish or marginalize any concern that might have been brought to my attention.  But Mercury going retrograde is the poster child for miscommunications, delays, and hurt feelings!  What I've found is that if you fight against these things, it only gets worse.  The frustration grows.  But if you speak from the heart, try not to let things get to you, approach things with humor and humility, and move forward with purpose and an attempt at clarity... well, the damage is lessened.

Balancing Acts...

As I try to cultivate a more mindful existence, in-tune with the experiences of my life, I notice the reoccurring theme of balance.  I see how when things are balanced, I feel more connected with the moment and more insightful.  This isn't to say that I experience GRAND revelations or some otherworldly perceptions, it feels just "more right".  It feels like the coincidences and random happenings of life seem to align and the pattern that connects these seemingly arbitrary acts of chance coalesce and make sense.  Maybe not complete and total sense, but more sense than otherwise.  However, when there's an imbalance, everything sort of careens into chaos.  In most cases, it's nothing too dramatic, but they are the everyday frustrations that seem to pollute any kind of mental peace or wellbeing.  The little pebbles in the shoe seem to add up until they feel so much bigger and larger and more imposing than they really are.  Because really, most of the things that I fret over are very little indeed.

Much of maintaining balance is how I deal with things and in essence, my own personality traits.  Sometimes when there's a problem in the world, I look inside myself to see why it is a problem.  The world is a mirror to the self.

I struggle a lot with my relationships in life.  Part of me wants to be the fun-loving, popular kid surrounded by friends and at the heart of all the bustle.  The other part of me is more quiet, contemplative, and prone to solitude, existing on the edges and away from the crowd.  I have to admit that I am growing ever more towards enjoying isolation.  I find it harder and harder to "deal" with people nowadays.  I get this sensation that they want more of my time and energy than I am willing to give... and there becomes a struggle.  Maybe because I realize that I don't have the boundless energy of youth and that I feel the consequences of being depleted and feel them profoundly.  Sometimes people try to pressure me and try to emotionally manipulate me and control me.  I get it.  They may not be actively and intentionally doing it, but it's there.  Each of us has that hunger for more energy and we go to where we think we can find it.  Sometimes that's in another person.  Sometimes it is from a compulsion or a passion.  Sometimes it's from a physical place or a way of life.

As I become more mindful of these situations, I realize that part of this is my own fault.  I can't say that it is someone else's issues.  We all have issues.  The source though of my own struggles is myself.  I've created these psycho dramas where I put myself out there, as far as I can, and then run the other direction and hide.  It's a seesaw.  It's an imbalance.  I put myself in situations where I create dependency and expectation.  I put myself in roles where I am a source of energy and then I am shocked when people come to me for that energy that I offer.  And when I say "energy" it comes in many forms – it could be time, emotional receptiveness, mental headspace, or even physical objects that are imbued with my intention.

So it comes back around to... how to deal with the imbalances?

I wrote a little bit about my intentions on Facebook about seeking a level zero, completing all the outstanding projects and promises, and then sort of work from an even place of existence.  Also, not creating situations where there is a perpetual cycle of overextending myself or offering more than I have to give at any given moment.  I often use what I am capable of as a form of energetic currency, and I am finding that it's a higher price than I am willing to pay on most days.  It wears me down and makes me feel exhausted.  It's okay to say, "No, thank you."  For so long, I was conditioned to say yes to everything and while that served its purpose, it also created an imbalance.  I have to remind myself to say yes to the things that make my heart sing and say no to the things that do not speak to me, moving me by intuition and a higher guidance and alignment.  So the current goal is getting back to zero, where my commitments are maintained and not allowed to go too far one way or the other.

I think another important thing for me is establishing boundaries, both mental and physical.  I've put myself in a situation where people can contact me so easily and that ease of connection allows more people freedom to attempt to engage in this energy exchange.  I've been trying to channel my communications and engage in exchanges only when I feel ready to, instead of when others feel ready to.  And it has been met with struggle.  When you offer easy access and then pull away, there is friction and frustration.  Sometimes people get mad, thinking that I am ignoring them or not wanting to interact.  That's not always true.  For me, I need to communicate in the ways that do not constantly impede on the flow of my energy.  For instance, when I sit down to finish a project and then my phone lights up with notifications, instead of allowing the energy from the Universe to connect to my head, my heart, and hand and then to the act of creation, the notifications are distracting me from this.  Instead of focusing, I worry over if I've offended someone or if they are mad at me that I am not fast enough or did what they wanted to their satisfaction and then I freeze up.  I get tired by this constant EXTRA expenditure of energy, this control drama that repeats so often because I allow it to.  I've attempted to course-correct by becoming a hermit in some ways.  I don't leave the house and limit my social interactions.  This was mostly borne from feeling emotionally wiped out from the constant expelling of energy and wanting to create a private, safe space where I didn't give any energy away.  While this has been good in some ways, it has also been bad in others.  Again, it comes back to finding balance. The idea is to get back to zero, where there is not an imbalance, where there are meaningful exchanges of energy and everyone can feel that equilibrium and equality.

Of course, like most balancing acts, it looks easier than it really is.  A tightrope walker looks so graceful and effortless, but that wasn't always the case.  Their sublime relaxed composure, in the face of staggering heights and dizzying consequences, was carefully cultivated.  Balancing acts are all about active and conscious participation, and hopefully after purposeful and mindful practice, that effort becomes second nature and flows easily and beautifully.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Little Garden...

I don't really have time for a garden.  But... still... I try to grow one.  A garden is a reminder of the miracles of life that surround us and a lesson in caring for something other than yourself.  It's also a chance to slow down and give over to the sheer act of physical labor.  Hauling water and pulling weeds don't give much room to mull over the state of the country or the doldrums of adulting.  Even if thoughts of such things cross your mind, they seem like small matters compared to the task at hand.  A garden is also a lesson in patience and reward.  If you mind your garden and care for the plants, keeping them watered, fed, and free from competition, riches will emerge like shining jewels – a single tomato, brighter and more intense than any ruby or glowing garnet.  A small treasure that tastes of sunshine and summer soon gone.

Like most things worth doing, if you give of yourself and your time, nurturing it with love and tender devotion, it too will nourish you.  If you give, you will get back.

The lessons aren't always easy ones or entertaining.  We are made to remember that sometimes, no matter how much we love and water, pick, pluck, prune, and coddle... some things just aren't meant to be.  A garden, like life, is all about taking chances.  Will the weather be good?  Will a blight take hold?  Will slugs, ants, and other insects take notice?  Sometimes our best efforts just aren't enough or are too much, for a heavy hand can be just as bad as a negligent one.  We are taught in the language of leaves and stems, roots and flowers, that life is a balancing act and that it is fleeting and we must rejoice in the harvest when we can!

I don't really have time for a garden, but... still... I try, because it is a quiet teacher and what it offers to learn is important and well worth the time and effort.  A little garden is a teacher with big lessons.