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 literally 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.
An Avatar acquaintance popped up from a couple years missing and triggered memories of what my life was like when I practiced those tools consistently and I had others with the same skills to meet with and practice. My own recollection of the time was that everything was much smoother, I was happier (i.e., not as angry all the time), and change manifested ‘magically’ [sic].
This is really what my intention is for the next year. Do the practice – daily. I brush my teeth every day. I had to learn that, and now I can’t imagine starting the day without doing it. I make my bed every day. I tried once to leave it unmade and go to work. I made it a few blocks, but was so uncomfortable, I turned back home and make the bed.
I believe this is the key — I need to notice my discomfort and associate the relief with the
tools to practice. Rather than wait for the magical-thinking day of January 1st, I started today. I did two practices. They feel creaky and rusty, but they open up. They are opening me up. I can feel the ice cracking in my chest as I do the exercise Releasing Fixed Attention using a plant in my sunroom.
I’m persisting in bringing myself back into today; I keep slipping into next week when I potentially have jury duty — wondering what it will be like? Where will I park? How will I get lunch? Can I work while I’m sitting there? Should I work while I’m sitting there? It’s a great opportunity to practice awareness exercises, especially the Avatar Compassion Exercise.
This week I started doing a Vipassana-like query of myself after each meal and answering myself. It’s been interesting. When I am done with the meal I ask myself, “Are you full?” I answer back (so far every time has been affirmative), “I am full.” I ask myself then, “Are you satisfied?” I’ve been able to answer, “I am satisfied.” I focus my attention on my stomach, throat, mouth, and then go out from there to see how my body feels. I end with “What else are you feeling?” These answers have been all different.
No matter whether the answer to the last question has been a ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ response, I have been able to keep an observer viewpoint while feeling that feeling. It’s been informative and keeping me from the desire to eat compulsively. For this current meal. It’s been good.
If you live in the temperate zones, you are probably feeling the same way I am. Happy the giant snow piles are nearly all melted and the temps are dancing around the high 50’s and low 60’s. I’m itching to open windows and clean up the yard. I enjoy weeding and find it meditative — that will be here soon.
Spring is my best reminder of the cyclical nature of life, whether at the macro-planet level or micro-me level. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded that moods cycle for whatever reason throughout the day and the week. I will frequently have no idea why at any particular moment the feelings in my body and the spastic voice in my head are screaming, “Run away, run away!!” There’s no logical reason, and I’m learning that it just doesn’t matter.
In practice, to notice the feeling, label it, appreciate it (thanks, Avatar tools) and stay in observer view is the most powerful way to get through them. Say, “This is weird,” right at first shifts me to an observer quickly.
Sounds simple. It is. I just have to get over myself.
Check out my Poetiosity post today, too, and get in the mood for April – Poetry Month.