One of my favorite childhood TV shows in the 60’s was Leave it to Beaver, a sitcom about the perfect family, mom, dad and two children - everyone happy, functional, no strife, no trouble, just a blue sky show with pretend characters. It wasn’t reality. It was an ideal I longed for and believed I needed to be successful in life. All these ideals sat on my inner mantle for years until one by one they fell off, got lost, got forgotten or just plain rotted.
A mentor once told me if I’m feeling lost on my path, that’s good. It means I’m exactly where I am supposed to be. It’s confusing. The brain wants control. The heart wants freedom. If my mind is not in control and I am living in my heart, I can’t predict. I can’t set the chess pieces in the perfect position to predict how I am supposed to be.
What I can see is where my feet are – be present.
What I can feel is my truth.
What I can follow is my inner guidance.
Those are my three survivor tools.
The minute I step beyond my heart into the world of my mind, I get curious about the news and it hurts. I start listening to the fearful gossip and I’m pulled in to a chasm and start sinking. I start questioning my sanity and start believing I really am nuts. Maybe I should rant and rave about the chaos around me instead of practicing silence and calmness. It’s easy to find company by just stepping outside my door.
We are in bizarre times. Our world is broken open and the ugliness is flowing out for all of us to see. We are living in collective dirty laundry and slowly the clotheslines are being erected and the clean clothes are drying. The process is messy like life. We are learning we are all connected. What more proof do we need than to examine our heartache for what is happening around us. It all hurts.
Can I hang in there? Absolutely without a doubt. This meditative community is living proof I can. Through my life lessons I now trust I will not abandon myself again. I am not running away. My eyes are opened.
· I commit to show up every day with this meditation community.
· I commit by witnessing every person is a spiritual being in a human body
· I commit by taking responsibility for my actions and beliefs
· I commit by honoring myself with respect and kindness
· I commit by doing service for others
· I commit to participating in this movement of Oneness unfolding
· I commit to be present and keep my eyes on my own path and not compare or contrast.
· I commit to love, the strongest sustainable force of good in the Universe.
“We are living in a time of great severing and great healing. Healing is not possible without acknowledging what has been severed. And that is uncomfortable. The awakening and healing process is not smooth, it is not glamorous. Proper sustainable healing requires that we dive into the depths of the matter and find a way to wholeness. It requires that we resist running away and avoiding. Often it requires alchemizing. Alchemizing requires pressure, fire and often the facing of and walking through pain. To somehow be present to everything that it is unearthing without avoiding, ignoring, pretending, projecting or running away.” - Rebecca Campbell
“The world needs you cracked open. Not carefully stuck together. For many people, there comes a point where life has a way of knocking us over enough times that the pieces just have to fall on the floor. Try as we might with the super glue and blue tack, we eventually let it all come falling down. This is life’s way of rejiggling all the bits. Reshuffling the parts that were in the wrong place to start with. Especially now. At the time it can feel like you’re broken. But the truth is that you are actually more whole than you can possibly imagine. You are more whole and closer than you were before. And before long you will come to bless the things that cracked you open. Because just like Humpty Dumpty, regardless of all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, we are the only ones who can put ourselves together again. And you can. And you will. And it’s going to be glorious.” - Rebecca Campbell
(For instant guidance, go to Rebecca Campbell’s Instant Guidance Page)
I want to thank you for the reading. It was very powerful. I don’t know when I learned about tools. The major tool I learned growing up was the golden rule. And after many years of therapy, I learned I need tools to survive. I love the ones you picked about keeping your eyes on your feet. I used to live by the ocean where there was a bike path along the beach, and I would walk along it and began using it as a metaphor. I learned through the 12-step program to keep my eyes on my own feet. I don’t get caught up in other people’s problems and chaos. Do service, yes, and be supportive, but not give myself away to them, and not compare myself to them. Just keep my eyes on my own feet. I’m glad you brought that up.
The part that resonated with me is it is the brain that wants control and the heart that wants freedom. It’s good to differentiate. It’s like the other day (see Sept 22 blog) when someone’s heart wanted one thing and her head wanted another. And she regretted going with her head. That happened to me, too, when I went to the memorial service. I was free to go because I went with my heart. I’m glad I did.
The comparing -- I do that much too frequently. I could care less about material things, wanting what someone else has. It’s more about relationships, health. It’s a bad thing to do. I need to keep focusing on my own circumstances, doing the best I can do for me and my family. Also, one thing you said was I commit to service. I tie that into the work of Susan Jeffers. One of my ten affirmations is “I radiate love wherever I go.” I always do that with nature by talking to it. With Covid, I miss that, because I’m wearing a mask, my glasses fog up, and because of health issues, I want to be brief with people I am in contact with. Prior to Covid, so many times in stores, I would complement store employees, telling someone how pretty her hair is or acknowledge their patience, telling store managers how good an employee is. I miss that. It’s service, and now I can’t do it because of Covid. Thank you to everyone
Speaking of seeking out a manager to compliment someone, it definitely is hard to do in the current reality. Yesterday, I had my flu shot and the woman who gave it to me was very skilled and professional. I went through a little discomfort standing there so long, but I told the manager what a good job she did and I felt better.
Today, I’m going into work and I deal with an aggressive, challenging personality. It was suggested to me this morning to compliment this person and to say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” During the meditation, it came to me how would I like to feel afterwards? What is the outcome I want? Do I want to be worked up or do I want to feel calm afterwards? This person can talk loudly and aggressively. I don’t want that to affect me. I want to remain calm. So the tools you are all talking about are helpful. I didn’t learn any of this as a child. My inner child gets shut down when that happens. I’m trying to take care of her and use tools.
During the meditation, I was thinking of how I used to deal with people like that. I would have a low growl in my throat. I used it as an empowering growl. I felt better. I did it as I drove places and remembered the growl when I was with other people.
Someone said how she missed going out and acknowledging people. It reminded me of how, in Guinea, it’s part of the culture to acknowledge the person before anything is done. You can’t get anything done until you go through that, asking questions about how each other is, how families are, how work is. A whole list of salutations. Until you get that bond, don’t try to move forward with anything, until you’ve acknowledged them and they acknowledge you. If a transaction is moved on without salutations, it’s not going to be good. It’s also a way of safety. Because if you are in a dangerous situation and you haven’t acknowledged anyone around you, they don’t feel that need to help you. They are more invested in helping someone they know. I’m more invested in helping someone I know. I wanted to bring that home with me. I’m so used to saying “I want this, I want that.” Whenever I can, I try to catch myself and stop and ask, “How are you doing today? You guys are crazy busy.” I was in the pharmacy the other day and I told them I could wait. They were so grateful, it’s an acknowledgement “You saw me.” It’s a heart-to-heart connection. And I do it on the phone too, “How are you doing with all this?” And I get, “You’re the first person I’ve talked today who asked me that.” It makes a difference, mask or no mask. We can still do this.
Thank you for all the sharings. It’s incredible all our experiences. We have so much to offer, we all add to the collective pool. Take care of yourselves. Awareness is the key.