Years ago, when blogging first came into vogue, I remember thinking, “Oh my god–why would anyone want to expose their private lives to the world like that? It’s like letting anyone and everyone read your diary!” And, well, yeah. It is. The differences are 1) I’ve given everyone permission to do it, and 2) I can massage my words for five hours or five days until I’m ready to send them out into the Universe via the Internet.
I had no idea, though, how cathartic it can be. I mean, different people blog for different reasons. I’ve read a blog about Pacific Northwest native flora, a blog in which the author wrote of being date-raped, blogs about wine, blogs about beer, blogs about dogs. My favorite blogger–who recently published her first book, by the way–is a brilliant artist named Allie Brosh, who writes Hyperbole and a Half. She’s one of two authors whose writing consistently makes me laugh till I cry–or moby wine out my nose. (Bill Bryson is the other.) Another favorite blog is Danger Garden. Really, what’s not to love?
Since I posted last night about Dude, I’ve been feeling lighter. Clearer. More creative. Better, certainly, than I have the past few months. What could cause this?
Merriam-Wesbter defines catharsis as “the act or process of releasing a strong emotion (such as pity or fear) especially by expressing it in an art form.” Ooooh. Oh, quite. Please and thank you. Could I possibly be nudging myself into my Vortex of Attraction by sharing my personal life with anyone and everyone? Is that wrong? It sounds wrong to me. But how can it be wrong when it feels so good?
Sometimes I so desperately need to express myself, but I just don’t feel like talking to anyone–not Loving Husband, not parents, not Dude, not sister-in-law, not best friends. Bloga provides me that outlet. Expressing myself through this blog feels like talking to Happy Dog: I don’t necessarily need Bloga to say anything, only to listen.
Bloga doesn’t judge or interrupt or offer suggestions or try to make me feel better. I don’t mean to imply that Loving Husband, parents, Dude, sister-in-law or best friends judge or interrupt. They do offer suggestions and try to make me feel better, which is loving and compassionate, and I appreciate it. Sometimes.
But Bloga just is. And sometimes that’s all I need.
Life is seemingly boring after the events of Blog Week 1. However, I remind myself (and you) that I didn’t start MyTrueNorth2013 with the intention of a Bill Bryson-esque romp through Europe or a Stephen King-esque novel about a killer bat that invades peoples’ homes and flies off with their pets. I started it to write about things that make me think–which, with any luck, lead to big ah-hah moments (at best) or opportunities to enjoy feeling another small piece of the puzzle click into place (at the very least).
Which is why, despite an action-packed weekend into which my husband and I tried to fit a few too many events, including
• dinner, wine and two-fifths of the Brian Copeland Band at Emerson Vineyards (another perfect Willamette Valley evening)
• a dawn hot air balloon launch (sounds corny, but watching thirty or so hot air balloons launch makes my heart soar)
• more dinner, wine, live music and camping at Airlie Winery (it’s definitely not about the sleep)
• a three-hour nap (is three hours still considered a “nap?”) while husband worked Sunday afternoon
I’m choosing to write today about a guided meditation practice I attended at Love Yoga last night.
Meditation is one of those “talk the talk” things I mentioned last week, as in “How was your meditation, honey?” “Ooooh, I felt so centered. I think I really had a breakthrough.” I love the idea of meditation, and I love the insights it can and does bring when I do practice it. But I don’t do it nearly enough.
I have come to believe that meditation is one of the most valuable tools –if not the most valuable–we can have in our self-work toolbox. Though I can count the number of times I’ve done it on my fingers and toes, I can also say that I’ve had a pretty good-sized ah-hah moment just about every single time.
If this is truly the case, then, the next logical question would have to be, “Why in god’s name don’t you meditate every single day? Or three or five or ten times a day, for that matter?”
In a word, laziness. Also, admittedly, a sense of entitlement–by which I mean I think I should just have an amazing, joyful, happy, peaceful, prosperous, healthy life without working at it. In fact, I think we all should. I think every single person deserves to have a wonderful, happy, prosperous life, and it makes me sad that so few do.
Anyway, last night Melissa led us through four 15-minute meditations, during which we were free to be comfortable on our mats any way we chose. Guided meditation works much better for me, as I’m one of those people whose completely undisciplined mind needs that gentle direction and constant redirection from the never-ending hodgepodge of thoughts that I just can’t seem to stop.
Less than 24 hours later, I can’t remember exactly what she said, or how she led us through the meditations. However, more importantly, I do remember the ah-hah moment that resulted.
Louise Hay tells us in You Can Heal Your Life (Hay House, 1984) that
“We create every so-called illness in our body.”
Now, this may be hard to swallow. I know I find it hard to swallow. The personal responsibility placed on us by people like Louise Hay (not to mention non-physical entities like Abraham) seems patently unfair to me sometimes. OK, most of the time. But I guess I don’t have to like it for it to be true.
Hay’s book Heal Your Body (Hay House, 1984) contains a pretty comprehensive list of dis-eases and physical and emotional complaints along with their corresponding probable causes. I use this list frequently to try and figure out what the hell’s going on with me. The weird thing is, every single probable cause she lists for my physical or mental gripes is spot on.
During last night’s meditation, I found myself–as I very often do–thinking about the past and being saddened by my thoughts. (See last week’s post Will Someone Please Invent Time Travel, Already?) On the way home, I started wondering–as I also very often do–why my thoughts always seem to be so overwhelmingly focused on what has been, instead of on righthererightnow or what’s yet to come. And then I started thinking about what Louise Hay says about foot problems.
Without going into too much detail, I can tell you that one of the several physical ailments I suffer from (read “cause myself to suffer from”) is plantar fasciitis. I also have osteoarthritis in one of my big toes. Guess what Hay’s probably cause of foot problems is?
. . . . .
(I’m giving you time to guess.)
. . . . .
(Did you guess it?)
. . . . .
. . . . .
“Fear of the future and of not stepping forward in life.”
Didn’t I say she was spot on?
So I kept my train of thought chugging along its proverbial track and asked myself, “Couldn’t my obsession with the past and how I seem to miss the Good Old Days and all the houses I’ve lived in and and things I’ve done and enjoying time with my family and all my dead relatives and friends and pets and vacations I’ve been on and being a kid and riding my bike around the neighborhood and not having any of these hateful adult responsibilities more than I enjoy being righthererightnow and anticipating all the wonderful times still to come be construed as ‘fear of the future and of not stepping forward in life?'”
I think it could.
(You may want to go back and reread that paragraph. It actually does make sense, as well as seeming to be mostly grammatically correct.)
Louise tells us that new thought patterns–or positive affirmations–can heal and relax our body. For foot problems, her recommended affirmation goes like this:
“I move forward in life with joy and with ease. I stand in truth. I have spiritual understanding.”
Her step-by-step method to allow and encourage change is pretty straightforward:
1. Look up the mental cause. See if this could be true for you. If not, sit quietly and ask yourself, “What could be the thoughts in me that created this?”
2. Repeat to yourself, “I am willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that has created this condition.”
3. Repeat the new thought pattern to yourself several times.
4. Assume that you are already in the process of healing.
Whenever you think of the condition, repeat the steps.
Easy, right? It should be. But this is where Laziness rears its ugly head: it’s easier to be a mess and wallow in the past and be unhappy and complain and cry than it is to do the hard self-work. You really, reeeally have to want to change yourself and feel better and know that it’s worthwhile to do the work, or you’re just going to be stuck in that same rut forever.
I vacillate between desperately wanting to change and thinking, “Why bother?” After all, these patterns of thought have worked for me (more or less) for almost a half-century. Why should I bother now?
I’ll tell you why: because I’ve had glimpses of how good it can be. I know now how it feels to be in what Abraham-Hicks refers to as “the Vortex.” I recognize when I’m in there–and when I’m not, I want to be.
The most beautiful (and ironic) thing of all is that I love knowing I’m the only one responsible for all of it: how I feel, the good and bad things that happen to me–all the love, joy, fun, health, wealth, peace and serenity, or lack thereof, that I experience in my life. There’s no one and nothing else to blame when things go wrong, and only myself to celebrate when things go right. That’s not to say that I don’t feel immensely grateful: the Universe is a kind and generous place that works in concert with me and my thoughts. My parents have done more for me than I could ever express in words. And my Non-Physical Posse always has my back.
Today I choose to enjoy the Here and Now.
Procession photo courtesy Institute for Great Lakes Research, Bowling Green State University
Vortex photo courtesy Crestock.com