For us not against us

Last night I dreamt I had a plane ticket and I lost it.  Then I found out someone had stolen my passport photo and I could not use my passport.  I looked up the meaning of this in dream dictionaries and it said that I feel out of control with my life.  Have you ever felt out of control with your life?

Experts tell us hat we really can’t control life, that it is an illusion.  The only thing we can control is ourself.  Even then when we go to sleep our subconscious takes over in our dreams.  How much of our  behaviour is programmed in childhood and then set.   Unless we take the time to examine our reactions we end up assuming it is the other person who has the problem.

My father used to believe that the world was out to get him. What if I grew up relating to the world as an adversary?

I do have a choice now, to look at what I want to believe about the world and the people that surround me.

I choose to believe that the universe conspires for me, not against me.

swimming upstream

Today we sat by the Breckenridge river, at the french bakery here in town. As the days of september get shorter and cooler brook trout and brown trout attempt to go upstream to spawn.

We sat and watched the brown trout in the stream, as the water rushed downhill.  There were two culverts dumping water into lower lying land.  We watched fish trying to jump up to higher ground, going against the rushing water.  They attempted to leap the 5 ft gap.

Their jumps seemed like futile attempts, but they kept trying. These fish were my teachers today…I asked myself:

How much energy do I put into futile endeavours?

How much energy do I put into swimming upstream?   For example trying to do it my way rather than surrender and trust the universe.

Everything flows downstream….I have been swimming upstream all my life, resisting the flow, resisting life.  Letting my mind and ego run the show until it no longer works.

Now is the time to let go and flow.

The heart loves silence

Have you slowed down enough to listen?  Where can you slow down enough to make space for the silent whisper of your heart?

There is so much silence here in the mountains.  On our daily hikes we have found secret meadows for a picnic, and spots where we can dip our feet into the cold mountain streams.

I have taken to meditating by the mountain stream.  The rushing water creates a background of pink noise that you can zone out to.  I imagine sending my energy and stress down to the earth and into the stream.  I invite the pine tree energy and the cosmic sky above to flow universal energy in through the top of my head, and mingle with the earth energy.  I can smell the pine trees, I can hear the running water.  I am sitting on the moist earth after a night of rain.  Running these two energies through my body clears out any “cobwebs” or stuck energy that I have picked up thought the day.

My two dogs sit beside me, drawn by the energy.  What a privilege to be here in the mountains at this time, insulated from the chaos in the rest of the US.

You can always find stillness inside if you slow down enough to listen. I would love to hear what is your place that allows you to get to still inside?

The Healer

I went to a Deva Primal concert in Boulder.   It was amazing.  She asked us to turn to someone beside us and chant to each other.  I chanted with a women whose eyes were clear, and  her heart was open.

In the break we chatted.  I told her she had such a great spirit. I asked if she was a healer.  She said “I don’t call myself that.”  I asked what do you do?  She said she did Reiki.  I said “so you are a healer”.   She said “if I use that word healer it implies that the person lying on the table is broken.  I don’t see my clients as broken.  I see them as whole.  What I do is bring through the I am energy, to help them remember their wholeness.”

I really appreciated this conversation.  It made me think how often I hold someone as broken in my mind? Are we not limiting the other person by how we hold them energetically?  If I think of someone as broken, am I helping them break out of their box?  Or am I energetically joining with them, to reinforce what is not working.

How often do we hold ourselves as broken, focusing on our own deficits.  When we do this we are energetically reinforcing the walls around heart.

What if we started connecting to our wholeness internally.  Consciously connecting to the part of us that is already is complete a few times a day.  How would my life change?  How would the world change, if we all spend time each day, connecting to our existing wholeness rather than focus on what needs fixing.

 

 

domestic bliss

Today we drove to Silverthorne and went to look at BBQ’s for our mountain home.  Standing kissing in the seasonal section I said out loud “I feel so married”.  I ment this in a good way.  Here we were buying house hold items together.  We had moved passed the dating, to the going steady, to domestic bliss.  How did that happen so fast?  We also looked at deck chairs.  At first my fiance pulled out plastic Adirondack chairs.  I had to disclose that I hate plastic chairs as they always look cheap and dirty.  We settled on woven outdoor wide chairs and a side table.   We even bought potting soil!

Those of you who are in longterm relationships are used to this.  For me it has been a long long long time of being single and buying furniture for one.  Now we are a family with our two dogs.  I had a mixed feeling of bliss, excitement and relief!

It finally hit me, I was no longer alone, no longer solely responsible, we can share in everything and we can accomplish more together.

On our way back  to Breckenridge with our SUV full, we stopped for a romantic walk by Lake Dillon. The ice melting in the 60 degree sunlight-8,000 ft in the mountains we walked along the beach, stopping to kiss.  I love this area in Spring, a time of hope, a time of renewal, a time of new beginnings.

digital detox

*When was the last time you went 48 hours without responding to email, checking Facebook, answering your phone, or being over-stimulated by external media?

*Have you given yourself the space and time you need to reflect, decompress or relax?

*Are you feeling burned out, tired, addicted to your social media, or simply need a new perspective on life?

*Do you find yourself reaching for your phone or device in any moment of down-time?

*Do you interrupt conversations or lose track of time to meaningless online activity?

*Do you sleep, eat and use the bathroom with your phone?

*Do you need space to reassess an important business move, give your mind time to rest, or just want a break from the tethered life?

*Is your personal health declining or interpersonal relationships suffering from the imbalance in attention you give to your screens or work?

I went to a workshop with the talented Amy Lieberman, integrative health life coach (www.amylieberman.com).  She spoke about going on a digital detox diet, (disconnect to reconnect).  Turning off the pings and dings on your devices to reduce stress.

“Research shows that many of us feel so tied down by technology that we can’t let a single message or email slip by without responding to it immediately, or feeling a sense of anxiety. The cultural pressures to constantly check messages and to stay up to speed on the latest blogs or news media often lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed and frustrated without time to breathe.  Unplugging for just one day can give some users mental and physical withdraw symptoms” (digital detox.org)

 

My fiance takes his phone everywhere.  When we watch a movie he puts his phone, the remote and his glasses in his crotch while we watch the movie, just in case he will need them.  I admit we like to stop and chat in movies, and google facts about actors in the movie, like how old they are now, who are they married to, what other movies they have done.

He used to bring his phone to bed when we were dating, and when the notification would go off, he would sit bolt upright in bed.  He has two phones, a work phone and a personal phone and carry them both everywhere, pulling them both out simultaniously like a gunslinger doing a quickdraw. He even takes his phone with him to the bathroom so he can play backgammon to facilitate his movements.

What would digital detox look like at our house?  First I would love to lie in bed and not hear pings in the living room on three possible phone.  I would love all notifications turned off by 8pm. In fact vibrate would be a great setting.  Who says when someone texts that we have to respond immediately?

I would like no phones in the bedroom period.  I fantasize having one room in the house with no digital devices, tv or phones.  Perhaps books and a meditation altar.

Recently I have decided to take digital detox breaks, for me this means going out without my phone, or switching it off.  Tonight we went for happy hour, when my fiance went to the bathroom I reached to check my phone, and then I realised that I had consciously left it at home.  After a quick pang of anxiety–  I looked out the window and noticed the purple crocus and tips of daffodils peeking through the alpine soil and took a deep breath.

*If you are ruled by your devices, or have fear of missing out (FOMO) try small steps to digitally detox, work with a coach or go on a digital detox retreat offered by digitaldetox.org.

 

The surrender experiment

How much do you resist showing up fully for life?

I am reading an interesting book called the Surrender Experiment. Michael Singer (author of the Untethered Soul). Mr. Singer describes how he decided to surrender to whatever presented in his life for one year and not evaluate what was showing up.  But rather to say yes to what comes into his life, despite any internal resistance.  His goal was to rid himself of internal resistance and go with the flow of life.    When something good or bad shows up in our life,  do we evaluate it based on our preferences in our mind of what we like or dislike?  Do we then we decide our action based on our mind’s preferences. 

The whole premise of the surrender experiment is to accept everything that takes place in your life, good or bad, and say yes to it. 

As I read this book I contemplated what a radical experiment this would be to undertake in my life.  How much of my time and energy is spent resisting life and evaluating what shows up, in order to compare it against my mind’s preference for what I was expecting to show up.  

So what has shown up in my life so far that was not planned?  Two wonderful dogs, a wonderful American man I met at a retreat, a home in the Colorado mountains at 10,000 ft.   Being financially dependent and emotional dependnt on this American man as I am not legally allowed to work (ie surrender control).  What would happen if I said an internal YES  rather than dwelling on where I should  be in my life at this age.  What if I defined success by my ability to surrender to what is present in my life.  To fully show up?

How do I  surrender completely to the experiences in front of me?

How often do I hang onto self concepts  that limit me and set expectations within myself about what I let into my life. What concepts am I holding onto that limit what I let into my life?  Can I surrender my fixed concepts of myself like the author did. Self concepts and labels such as independent woman, grieving widow, college teacher.  Do I let these concepts unconsciously define me?  The more I hang onto the past self concepts that no longer apply here in the present, do I limit the unknown, or mysteries that are waiting to flow into my life.

Michael Singer made the “commitment to surrender to life’s flow even if he didn’t understand what was happening.”

Through the surrender experiment he started out on 10 acres wanting to be alone and practice his meditation in the woods.  By saying yes to what life presented he ended up with a multi-millon dollar business developed on his land, he built a temple dedicated to yoga and meditation, and had a permanent  spiritual community  that was established on his land called the Temple of the Universe that has existed since 1975.   In his book he said “ I know perfectly well that I didn’t do it.  The best I can say is that I let go of myself, and allowed what was meant to be-to be.”  

How can I do that? How can I fully surrender to life?  How have I opted out of life, or not fully shown up to what is present in my life today? How have my attempts to control and direct my life from my mind’s preferences interrupted my true purpose?