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I’ve been walking on edge for the past week feeling off. Simple tasks become laborious. There’s something bugging me and I don’t know what. I’ve given myself permission not to know. In the past, I have labeled these off feelings from stuff happening around me, but I know better now. I’m still not grasping my edginess, but one thing I know. Whether I understand or not, it moves forward and resolves eventually.

I read my body, observe my choices and reactions. I know when I react with fear, something has triggered my bigness. I review the past few days for a conversation or an activity that expanded my energy and find the culprit. I reacted to putting myself out there.

I’ve been clenching my teeth while sleeping which to me is the epitome of a juxtaposition. I am sleeping and tight. In hindsight the clenching has been going on over a week and I’ve ignored it. Yesterday morning, upon waking, I couldn’t.

I still don’t have answers but I believe they have something to do with my energy expanding. I feel through my life day to day. This meditation practice opens my heart every day and then I openly share my words and feelings. For over 300 days, I am definitely beyond boot camp into the fine-tuning part.

My energy is changing. I get scared. I give myself permission to continue and allow it to happen. I am safe. I can’t write when my heart is closed. I recognize the closed sign when I can’t function. This is the way I am, and I’m working on not pointing my bullying finger and announcing “failure”.

Yesterday, I allowed myself to let go, to cry, to sleep, to just be where I am, how I am without labeling. I let out all the tears; let out all the pain; let out all the fears, and exhaust my grip on my journey.

This silent meditation practice is a journey. I observe repeating patterns. I open, expand, soar, pull back, regroup, open, expand, soar, pull back regroup. Each time the stories differ but the patterns are the same. It all becomes familiar when I let go and regroup.

My interview is this week with the KPFK radio host from Los Angeles. I thought I was through my fear. Writing this morning helps me see I’ve found my hot spot.

Journaling is a wonderful practice because it allows my inside voice to be heard. I deserve to be heard no matter what I feel. I deserve to be listened to and who best to offer such respect and love? Myself!

The older I get, the stronger I am convinced life is about becoming my own best friend, a lover of my own heart, an advocate, a life coach, a problem solver, a great listener, a nurturer and the list lengthens as I experience life.

I’m learning to identify the parts of me that don’t support me and eventually they too join my support team. The grumbling faces and dark thoughts are all born out of fear for my well-being.

I’ve become a champion observer of me. I’m behind the two-way mirror watching my behaviors and reactions. I am not my ego. I am my Higher Self actively parenting my ego towards acceptance, respect, kindness, patience, understanding and love. I have the best teacher I could ask for. When in doubt, I turn towards an even higher authority. A Higher Power beyond my Higher Self. We’re all working on this project together.

Willing to experience aloneness,

I discover connection everywhere;

Turning to face my fear,

I meet the warrior who lives within;

Opening to my loss,

I gain the embrace of the universe;

Surrendering into emptiness,

I find fullness without end.

Each condition I flee from pursues me,

Each condition I welcome transforms me

And becomes itself transformed

Into its radiant jewel-like essence.

I bow to the one who has made it so,

Who has crafted this Master Game.

To play it is purest delight;

To honor its form--true devotion.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • As always, I love what you write. I learn from it. The thing that struck me, when you were talking about all the parts, I have ups and downs, and anxiety. I don’t always recognize what that anxiety is and where it’s from. But when you said born out of fear for my well-being, I thought about all the times I’ve resisted looking at something. All the times I’ve panicked. During the meditation, what came up for me was acceptance, just let it through and recognize that all the parts are there with my well-being, so just accept that. Thank you.

  • It’s hard to admit I have anxiety, but it’s part of who I am. If I deny it, it keeps banging on the door. It is who I am.

  • Thank you. In your reading today, what struck me was when you were reacting in fear and something was attacking your bigness. I’ve signed up for a course on painting Tara, the female Buddha. I haven’t started yet. I have the canvas, easel. I have to clean out the room. I was watching a movie where an autistic man was going to paint a big wall and he takes a little brush and dabs and says that’s not right. The director comes and takes a huge brush and dips it in the paint and says ‘sometimes the first step is the hardest’ and he goes whack across the canvas. I feel that I am having trouble with that fear of bigness. I’m full of ideas. Like I want to write my own fairytale. Are there workshops on that? Should I give one? The same with painting. Should I get a T-shirt and put it on it? I keep doing this and never do the first step. Am I being manic? Am I hiding my bigness? It would be so wonderful to get past that first step. I can’t imagine the explosion that would be.

  • Maybe that word explosion is throwing you off, it sounds really huge.

  • Maybe it’s too huge. I admire you all so much, you’ve accomplished so much. But it doesn’t matter because that’s not me. It doesn’t matter to compare. Am I holding my bigness back or…I don’t know.

  • It helps to become an observer. The observer can observe holding back. And maybe allow the observer hold the hand of the holder-backer and push through. Like diving off a diving board.

  • Remember the motto of Nike “just do it!”

  • When I am channeling with spirit, the hardest part for me is to utter the first word. It’s like my lips are sewn shut and I cannot speak, but I know that as soon as I utter that first word, everything flows. It is true. Just grunt it out and then the dam breaks and out it flows. I think it’s helpful to not figure it out but just do it.

  • I think about doing watercolors. I took the class and I was scared to death, scared sh**less. I believed I could never do artwork and I feel like a beginner. When we started our class of all seniors, the instructor asked how many have had experience with art. Everyone raised their hand. And then she asked how many of them were good. No one raised their hand. Everyone in the class felt they could not paint, and yet they were all signed up for the class. I realize we are all afraid of something on the other side of the door. All we have to do is open the door. The fact that everyone had fear helped me through my fear. One of the things I most like about your readings is your honesty. I see and feel the divine in this group every morning, sometimes I see it in me and it feels good. We are all in this together and we are all helping each other open doors. There is a sweetness to it. I think we just have to hold each other and hold ourselves as we break the barrier of trusting whatever it is that is coming up next or what we want to do or don’t want to do.

  • I was thinking about the concept of scared sh**less. It reminded me of the birth of my second child. At 7 months, I had a contraction and then another one. I was on the phone trying to get the doctor and had to run to the bathroom. Everything in me came out, and in that moment, knowing female anatomy and the birth process, I knew that baby was coming. My body was preparing for labor. Everything else shuts down as the body focuses on delivering a baby. So when one is scared sh**less, that’s an indication to us to remove all other distractions and unnecessary things and focus on what is really important for us. I remember when I was about to move, alone, by myself, and I was scared sh**less. I started telling myself that when I felt the fear, that I was excited. The feelings are very similar. Until I literally convinced myself that I was excited and the fear was gone. Thank you for the reminder.

  • What a great way to reframe scared sh**less to being excited.

  • I’m going to reframe. Today I'm not scared—I'm EXCITED!

  • When I was actively ill with fibromyalgia, I had a mentor who was into training the mind. She told me to rename fibromyalgia. I was in agony and I said I couldn’t. She persisted and asked me what I was experiencing. I said muscle cramps. She said, okay, you are having muscle cramps. So I renamed the disease and it took the sting out of what fibromyalgia meant. Reframing. It’s a form of self-hypnosis.

  • I really appreciated your reading today, it spoke directly to me. I’ve been buoyed up listening to this discussion. People have spoken so richly and I am absorbing it and it’s precious. Thank you to everyone for building on this. Renaming fear as excitement is so important because to me, that’s what it is, just turned in a different direction. It’s that you haven’t worked it out. It’s stuck in you as fear, but it is all that energy in us that is moving us towards something. If we can feel it and move with it instead of work against it, that’s so important. The other thing is the notion of being our own best friend. It’s such a work in progress. I’m thinking about the art project. When I want to do something and create something, it’s such a process from the beginning and it takes whatever time it takes. But I have to start. Ultimately, for me, it’s about all the expectations I lay on myself as to what this is going to mean for me and I haven’t even tasted it, I’ve only heard about it.

  • Thank you. As a writer, to let go of my anxiety, the first thing I tell myself is to let go of product. I always start my writing process with the words ‘I can’t do this.’ I write that over and over again, “I can’t do this, I’m a lousy writer.” Until I tire the critical editor out and then I get to work. I let go of the idea of product and focus on the exploration. Everything needs a first draft which is usually lousy. But you can’t get a second draft or final draft until you have that first draft. I always tell myself I’m working on this really lousy first draft because it’s a process. I give myself permission to be really bad. It really helps.

  • In engineering, we have a term CRADLE TO GRAVE when we are involved in a design throughout the entire process. Respecting and supporting the entire process.

  • The reading reminded me of something the minister at the Center for Spiritual Living said. He talked about the process of a flower, going from bud to a bloom to a blossom and then it falls apart. And then there’s a bud, bloom, blossom, and it falls apart. It’s a cycle, a process. When I am willing to accept that process, that things come and go, with everything, then it’s easier to accept life on life’s terms.

  • All the above that everyone has said – without judgment.

  • A total life is not a first draft. A first draft is taking a step and falling down and getting up. The second step is the second draft. We learn as we go. I can just hear myself say ‘my first draft is my life, when do I get my second draft.’ I’m not going to do that to myself.

  • Thank you. These words are going to help me go into my interview. I really appreciate my cooperation in writing and your listening and the sharing the presence and the trust all around. It is so rich. This community is so rich. Thank you so much. I hope you all have a wonderful day as we take our steps forward in our excitement.

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