Category: Practice Tools

Reference Points

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Days Without Pirate Attack:

Saturday I received a text from a friend showing me a picture of his new son.  Baby was, of course, adorable with that “Where the heck… What the heck…” look on his face common to newborns.

This friend has a lovely family with a wife, step-daughter, and two sons.  This is not at all my idea of him! My idea of him is stuck from over twenty years ago.  In my head he is still the person I would call a “rake.”  Some admiration, some judgment.  Sticky identity. Hmmm.

But enough about him.  What does this have to do with me?

This is actually a good question.

What does it say about me, my identity, that keeps him stuck?  What is my identity that holds him in his?  When I say “his” I mean my idea of him.  Probably not his own idea of himself or anyone else’s idea of him.

If you want to drive to Denver, you need to know where you’re starting from to plan your route accurately.  If you think you might be lost, you need to stop and find some reference points.

Where am I to still see him that way?  That’s what popped into my head last Saturday as we texted back and forth, and I looked at a new human being with half of his DNA.

I knew it would be necessary for me to un-stick my identity of me from back then to allow his to be current.  I’ve been running through some attributes to see what felt most solid.

Immature: mature
Entrepreneur: job
Gadabout: traveled only a little
Infatuated: pragmatic
Went around curves really fast: too scared to do that
Worked hard to change: afraid I haven’t changed at all

…. oh. Only matters how it feels, not whether or not it’s true.

More work to do, if I can be brave enough to do it.

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Shortest Dharma Talk

from my Zen Page-a-Day® calendar this week:

“”I have arrived, I am home”is the shortest Dharma Talk I have ever given. “I have arrived, I am home” means “I don’t want to run anymore.” You need that insight in order to be truly established in the here and now, and to embrace life with all its wonders.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

This is one of go-to poems when I am doing a walking meditation.  I loved seeing it come up on the calendar with a little more insight to it.

 

 

 

How am I doing that?

mirrorThis post is about our reflections.  Those wonderful people who hold up the gorgeous, polished mirror for us every day.

This morning I listened to a friend talk about how her low self-esteem and how her family enforced the idea that she was never good enough.  I thought, “It’s sad that her parents gave her that belief, but it’s even sadder that she still believes it.”  I wanted to ask why she still bought into that.  (Ironic that I was invalidating her, too.)

I realized then that she was a reflection.  How do I do that?  How do I spout decades-old beliefs about myself as if a) they were true or b) I couldn’t change them to whatever I wanted?

I know how the mind works and its pre-disposition to the negative, to the habit, and to the usual pattern.  BUT, if I do some simple math and accounting and add up the time for all of the “bad” things I’ve done and have been done to me, they maybe add up to one day (with some contingency) total.  But let’s say one day.  Now comparing this one day to the over 22,630 days I have lived up until now, why would I add one more second to that side of the ledger?  Why?  More importantly, why would I be the one doing it?

Time to shift my attention.  Thanks, Reflector.

 

Why don’t I remember this?

“When you remember you are the ocean, you’re not afraid of the waves.”  Tara Brach

I might paraphrase and say, “…you’re not afraid of the size of the waves.”  Or I might change my point-of-view and wonder why I am not laughing and riding the waves.

I know her point is to remind me that I am source.  I am the ocean and the waves are only experiences of “me.”

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More About Shifting Point-of-View

At some point this past weekend I heard a phrase that struck me so much I told my phone to remind me of it. “Humans advance when they remove themselves from the center of the universe.”  Sadly, I didn’t note who said it or what podcast I was listening to when I heard it.  Apologies to the speaker.

I thought that if that’s true, it would apply at the micro/personal level, too: I can advance [only] when I remove myself from the center of the universe.

This morning a quote from Cheri Huber landed in my email.

“Disidentifying and stepping back enough to see the difference between the human being and the ego-identity is critical to “saving” the human being.” – Cheri Huber

I remember reading a similar idea — that the ego-identity will kill the host to be right.  As anyone who in a twelve-step program knows.

I practiced widening back after encountering these quotes. (I am doing it now!).  I shifted my viewpoint to my higher self.  Then I shift it to “minding the edges.”  Minding the Edges is an Avatar ReSurfacing tool.

I say, “This is weird.”  Saying that is a way to ‘create what I am experiencing.’ Try that one!

Cycles – In an Updraft

Today is a new moon.  It is also a new year in the Chinese calendar. The western calendar’s new year is barely under way.  I’ve noticed all of these and ascribed value to them as I feel that I am on a new part of the cycle.  No matter what the label, I do believe our lives move in cycles.  My proof for that belief is that we humans are living beings, on a living planet, with other living beings and they all go through cycles.  We are a part of that, so we are not exempt. Honoring all parts of that cycle, though, are challenging for me.

In late summer, a group of hawks seemed to be stalking me (in a good way). Yesterday afternoon, leaving my house, I saw this Cooper’s Hawk hawk_visitorliterally at my front door. In my group of allies, I have a hawk to remind me to “float a while and use your tools.” In some cultures a hawk is a messenger.

I know I did spiritual work differently in 2016 and that may be a part of the updraft I’m feeling.  In the last part of the year, I used a coach, am more than half way through working the twelve steps, and had an Avatar Master move to my neighborhood. The first two required work and a big shift for me. I like to think the third was a gift from the other two.

All that work has given me great insights, but the one most valuable is… Ask for help. Find or create allies and ask them for help whenever you feel even the slightest inkling of unknown. Asking for help allows the helper to experience feeling useful and able to give of themselves.  Ask non-humans for help. There is wisdom all around you; you just have to be willing to ask for help.