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!
Driving into my garage Friday after work, I caught my mind in the middle of a story. Its favorite activity. I reminded myself (verbally, out loud, again) that that was a world all encompassed within the eight inches between my ears. I noticed my perspective shift to size that space compared to my garage, then my front yard, my street and on out. Yet that interior world was so compelling and seductive, I almost slipped back into it.
I started watering the pots of flowers on my front porch (90-degree temperatures require daily heavy watering). I noticed the white geraniums and remembered an Avatar tool the intent of which is to intensify your attention on an object. I put all of my attention on the flowers. I noticed attributes of the flowers I hadn’t before: the amount of buds, the bend of a stem, the browning flowers past bloom, the spicy smell, the curves of the leaves, the different stages of each bloom, and more. Not only was I no longer in my head dancing with that story, but I couldn’t even remember what the story was. Bliss…
This is such an easy practice tool to do in the summer. There’s so much blooming and changing quickly. I stopped the car on the way home from errands Saturday morning just to notice the grasses and flowers (weeds?) on the side of the road. What a huge variety! What a joy it is to focus on everything around me and not my little idea of me.
Listening to a podcast this weekend, I heard the teacher (Geneen Roth) say, “There is nothing to fix. You are not broken.”
Immediately, I felt my throat clamp and my chest fold in on itself. I stopped the recording and stayed with the feeling.
It hurt like a son-of-a-gun.
I said out loud, “I am not broken.” I didn’t believe it.
I said out loud, “I am broken.” I believed it and it still hurt.
I had the thought, “What would I say to anyone else I heard voice that?”
I would respond, “You are the antithesis of broken. You are a complex, adaptive, luminous being. You created this belief as a way to maintain your sanity and safety.”
I knew I would completely believe that for the other person, but not for me.
Then, I remembered the Avatar® Rat List® exercise, in which the student deliberately creates charged beliefs. I’ve learned a lot when I’ve been willing to experience the belief fully. As I debated whether to do “I am broken,” or to flip it around to “I am not broken,” I flashed on a lecture Harry gave at Wizards®. I’ll paraphrase:
An old monk greeted a novice on her first day at the monastery. He took her into a large room filled with other monks. They called her names like Stupid! Dumbass! Ugly! They screamed she would never be able to do a good job! She was worthless! She didn’t fool anyone – she was a bad, bad person!
As they left the room, the novice shook and started to cry. The old monk leaned down and whispered into her ear, “Do not concern yourself with what they say. It is just their job to criticize.”
He took the novice down the hall and into another room filled with more monks. They smiled and called out to her, Oh, how smart and beautiful you are! You are a wonderous talent! You will do everything so well; you are such a good person!
The novice beamed as she felt much, much better now. The old monk leaned down and whispered into her ear, “Do not concern yourself with what they say. It is just their job to praise.”
I got it then. (I love the really fast ah-ha!!)
It’s not real. Neither belief is real. I don’t need to explore my “broken-ness” or my “whole-ness.” I don’t need to affirm that “I am amazing.” Neither one is real, no matter what they feel like or how much pain/glory I feel. It doesn’t solve anything to focus on creating the so-called positive one any more than dwelling on the so-called negative one. Besides, which is which?
They’re just thoughts. It’s their job.
Until this last Saturday I wouldn’t have thought being an Avatar could be just another way I use to be “right.” Surprise! Turns out it was pretty easy to slip into the “I’m more enlightened than you” costume. It’s the wizard hat that makes it so stylishly compelling.
I realize that there are a lot of intellectual aspects to awareness and consciousness that are completely engaging and entertaining.
NOTHING IN THE UNIVERSE IS AS ENTERTAINING TO MY MIND AS MY MIND.
Knowledge of the mechanics of consciousness easily masquerades as experiential awareness. The litmus test is instantaneous: am I in appreciation? Am I in feel?
Frequently during the past few days I’ve noticed how quickly I slip into judgment or how easily I let one of the voice/identities take over me. I’m practicing with, “Whoa! Get back here,” and “Stay here,” etc. Being. Here. Now.
It’s been a good four days.
“Once you have made the commitment to free yourself of the scared person inside…” – Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself.
When I read that line, I had a physical reaction. Sound rushed in my ears, my throat constricted, my heart sped up.
Almost my whole life, the story I told myself of who I am, is really not who I am. I thought I was a mean-angry person at the core, and I had been working for several years on letting her go. She was just the gate-guard for the scared person.
Preparing to write this, I had a glimmer of thought that letting the mean-angry identity run my life, while protecting me, has had limited potential. It always had to keep an eye on the prime mission of hiding and protecting the scared person.
Letting myself fully experience being frightened or being a scared person showed me a different person. A person I am actually more compassionate with than the mean-angry girl. This fear is not of anything that I’d label “animal fear.” Nothing is going to kill me or maim me. This is fear of ego and identity-self. An existential fear is the best way I can label it.
It took a great willingness for me to experience that resisted identity. It doesn’t matter whether it comes unbidden or I set out deliberately to create and experience it. Only by experiencing it fully can I know that (a) it will not kill me (b) it is a creation just like everything else.
What’s after that fear is experienced though is a “self” so wide and great and all encompassing it’s not explainable.
Setting aside time to process allows me to know what it feels like, so when I encounter the leading edge of the feeling during the day, I allow myself to feel it. The funny thing is I expected allowing myself to feel fear to look like I was cowering in the corner all day. Not at all the case. It’s also not obvious to others what I’m doing, except that I am not covering something up.
I have more compassion right now for those who let their frightened self out for all to see. It is still a bit repugnant for me to view – more opportunity there! A big thank you to the Avatar tools for enabling me to experience these feelings safely and without judgment.