Slaying the dragon

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So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness

Chapter 11:  Slaying the dragon

Sharing my sexual fantasy kicked off a few weeks of us having probably the best sex of our relationship; and yet very soon after, we began exploring the idea of giving up sex altogether.

For a few weeks we allowed ourselves to get lost in fantasising and fucking.  And then we woke up.  We began to realise that sex is a way that we get lost, lose control, and lose our awareness, and fantasising whilst having sex is, or could be a kind of sex magic.  I resisted at first, thinking, how can something that feels so good be wrong?  But of course that is a ridiculous argument- look at bacon sandwiches.

Unthinkable that me, an earthy Taurean who loves to feel my bare feet on the ground, who loves walking, exercise and nature, who is totally wedded to the physical, who loves food, loves sex…  could give up sex.

It had been mentioned before, during our foray into Buddhism.  We had been talking about craving and how things fall away and John said, eventually even sex might just fall away.  I remember feeling very strange about that, as if it opened a door to a possibility I hadn’t considered before, forcing me to think the unthinkable.

I found it hard to imagine us giving up sex without some distance or withdrawal occurring; either because that’s the only way we’d be able to do it, or because that would be a consequence of us stopping having sex with each other.

Years before we even met, John had been into tantric sex, Tao, the idea that orgasm depletes your finite reserves of energy.

Why do this?  We’ve done everything else.  We’ve had enough sex to last a lifetime.  It’s like the lifestyle equivalent of when my hair had been every colour (orange, black, purple, red, pink, platinum…), the only place to go was natural.  Why not try the one thing we’ve never tried:  No sex.

I did feel better when I stopped fantasising- even straight away I noticed good things happening day to day, as if I was being rewarded for purifying my thoughts.

We went three weeks without an orgasm.  The effects were felt in terms of increased energy (John) and increased awareness (both of us).

We didn’t stop having sex, but we did limit it by setting certain days and by going as long as we could without having orgasms.  Having sex without the intention of orgasm changes things, and creates new ways of having sex and new ways of finishing.  Finding the moment to stop and then sitting or lying together as we let sexual excitement wash out.  Not using hands, not trying so hard.   Treating it more like giving a massage.  Accepting it as an experience complete in itself.

The experience of having sex and stepping back from orgasm, wanting to come but managing to stay conscious.  Like just having a lick of an ice cream when you want the whole thing or ordering a slice of chocolate cake and only eating one mouthful.  Like stepping right up to heaven and then walking away…  because you can.  Because you are strong enough.  Because you are so strong you are able to see this for what it is, an earthly desire that you can control.  And when you do control it, you feel powerful, you feel aware, you feel risen, separate, up above the earthly pleasures of the bed.  Why?  To teach us to walk away, not in a self harm/punishment way (although I can see how religions saw this and corrupted it) but to make us realise that…  We can walk away from everything.

In bed, got hot talking about sexual fantasy, up until then, had been conscious, lovely sex, then lost it, wanted to come, did come, and fell right back down, into the body, with energetic ties so thick they were almost visible: to sex, to my sexual parts, to John.  Bound, wanting to go back to it, like getting drunk one night and wanting to just go back to the pub again the next day because it’s just too hard to drag oneself out of it to somewhere else.  Like getting stoned and forgetting about the dishes.  I lost my awareness. 

So I figured I must be making progress, to notice these changes.

Erotica (Warning: Adult content, sexually explicit, may offend)

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So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness

Chapter 10:  Erotica 

 (Warning: Adult content, sexually explicit, may offend)

 

 

 Love letter 2017

 

The erotica story I had planned to write turns out not to be a story after all but an email to my husband.

I had planned to write a story about my ‘kink’ after we had spent a sex and drug fuelled weekend talking about our sexual fantasies.  ‘Don’t make it about me’ you said.  Which put me in a difficult position as I most definitely wanted the story to be about me and there is no way I would want to write about myself with anyone else.

In the story I had planned to write I tell you that my ultimate sexual fantasy is for you to meet and begin a sexual relationship with another woman, preferably someone much younger than me and for this relationship to develop into the long term.

This stays in your mind as it stays in mine.  You think about it.  You meet someone, or notice someone.  It comes into your mind.  You become friends.  You become closer.  Eventually, sexual attraction and sex comes up.  We talk.  We had already discussed that having sex with another person once certainly wouldn’t break us up.

You have sex with her for the first time.  I accept it really easily, you really enjoy it and you like her a lot, so we agree that it doesn’t have to stop there.

You have sex with her again.  And again, and again.  I want you to do it as much as possible to help it sink in: the quicker I realise this is where we are, the better.

A routine of sorts ensues: you see her when I am at work, you tend to have at least two days off in the week so you can see her without it really affecting me.  You have a friend to hang out with, who also happens to be a very attractive young woman who you have sex with.

We talk a lot.  I get used to you talking about your relationship with her.  You get used to being able to talk to me about your new relationship.  I process feelings of fear and jealousy by doing yoga, writing, internet support and speaking with you.  Each new stage we negotiate brings us closer.

You buy her jewellery.  You tell Dan and the kids about her.  From the very beginning, I looked forward to it being that established.

I experience some exquisite highs (loss of control, submission) and some lows (pain, jealousy).  When I need intense closeness with you (sexual or emotional), I ask for you to piss in my mouth.  I ask you if you want to see her.  I appreciate you seeing her.  I am grateful, loving and appreciative.

You don’t deliberately say, suck my cock it’s got her on it, it’s more that we’re both relaxed about whether it has or it hasn’t.  If we want to have sex when you come home after being with her we do.  You know there’s no need for you to shower before coming home- after all, there are no secrets.  We don’t have any rules about what you can and can’t do.  I trust you.  You are a free spirit and so is your cock.

That was the story I had planned to write.  But I am so bored with myself for planning every little thing out!  In real life, if we did it, I wouldn’t make any plans.  The only plan would be that from now on you can do whatever you want.  I’d want the rest to be a surprise.

I have fantasised about you having sex with another woman for years.

Yet every time there had been a flicker of a possibility, I jumped on it and put it out.  I sincerely apologise to you for that.  You met a woman with great tits and into NLP and spirituality on a train.   You struck up a friendship with L and she went on and on about how amazing you were, how attractive.  And more recently, X.  I’m sorry.   But I didn’t know anything then.

I thought that feeling jealous meant that I didn’t or couldn’t want to do it in real life.  But reading on the internet, they all feel jealous, that seems to be part of it; and jealousy isn’t about the act itself, it’s about fear and insecurity.  If you have no fear or insecurity, you have no real jealousy.

I know it looks as though I had it all planned out, but that’s only because I imagined it, explored it, worked through it and wrote about it, all to get me to this point.

At this point it could go several ways.

Maybe nothing will happen and we’ll just talk about it in bed.  Like at Christmas, me on all fours, you fucking me with your fingers, me saying Oh my God, I’m sorry, there must be something wrong with me, I can’t help it, I just get so turned on by It.  You saying: It’s okay, it’s hot, I like it. 

Maybe you’ll  explore apps (there are several designed specifically for people in open relationships, or for people to hook up with people in open relationships, meaning that the women know from the start what they are getting themselves into.)  Maybe you’ll go totally crazy and take us on a sexual and emotional rollercoaster ride.

Or maybe you might, just might, next time you meet someone and you make a connection, you might just think about it…  let the idea sit…  let whatever happens, happens. 

I finish the email and press send.  A whole day of knicker-soaking anticipation consumes me.  I don’t expect a long reply, I know you how much you hate typing.  But when your message comes, it takes my breath away.

‘Ok.’

Therapeutic writing

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So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness

Chapter 9:  Therapeutic writing

Why bother? 

  • To find what is interesting about my life, past and present
  • To add interest and purpose to my life via the writing of it
  • To see patterns or a purpose via the process of reflection, noticing and writing
  • To work out solutions or
  • To document solutions/changes/resolutions as they occur and develop
  • To overcome depression and anxiety
  • To make peace with the past

I am increasing realising that it takes lateral thinking to interpret the signs from the universe.  My mum gave me a children’s book she had found when moving house.  She said, you liked this, I mean you really liked it, that’s why I am asking you if you want it.  So I took it and read it and tried to remember it, but I just couldn’t.  But a year later I realise, it wasn’t about remembering the book, it was the message I needed to remember.  The book was about doing drawings that came to life, drawings that came true…  So it was about me being reminded that the act of writing can influence the future, like magic, writing literally spells for me.

If there’s nothing I want to change and nothing I need help with, or if I’m simply integrating new insights, growth and awareness, then I won’t be writing.  I will go in and out of writing and day to day life.  Like going underneath the water to look at the fish, and up again to breathe and feel the sun on my face.

It’s a science experiment, it’s a memoir, its personal therapy, and for others, maybe it’s at least validating if not actual self help…

…Take a fearless moral inventory, as they say in AA.  I am such a shameless student that I even looked up online to see if there is a template you can download for doing this.*  But all I really need is this, my fingers tapping on my keyboard…

*There is, of course

 Orlando:  The writing, the looking, the process of writing, leads to something else, and it is the something else that it is all about.

The tingly feeling when you feel like you are writing your life into existence, or delving into your subconscious:  It’s all about the present moment- although that is fleeting.  Past, present and future all exist at the same time and the ‘aim’ if there is one, is to integrate them into a whole.  Into the present moment  (I accidentally wrote, integrate them in the present moment, which is also true).

Ok, so this is how the magic happens:  At the end of a piece about the past, I intend to type the word boring but mistype it.  (After all these years I’ve never gotten good at typing and I think too fast for my fingers so that when I pause for breath every paragraph is littered with red lines.)  I click on the misspelt boring and the word ‘bemiring’ comes up.  I didn’t know what it meant so I looked it up on the online dictionary- and it wasn’t there.  Just as had happened before (documented in my previous book).  But just as had happened before, the ‘word of the day’ on the dictionary home page was something significant- sticking out in bright red this time:  Goth*.  Just as I’d been back in the past.  Reminding me that it’s the Fairytale Past.  It has no more relevance than if it had never existed.  I am so far away from someone who sits around thinking about the end of the world and death (not in a gloomy kind of way anyway).  Teaching me that funny spell checks and the word of the day are spells that work for me.  As I write this my fingers are tingling, they are writing by themselves, my eyes are pricking, the inside of my nose is tingling.

And lastly, and most importantly:  if I hadn’t stopped writing, I wouldn’t have been able to write this.

*goth:  a type of rock music that often has words expressing ideas about death or the end of the world

Self help

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So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness

Chapter 8:  Self help

There’s a big book by Christopher Booker called The Seven Basic Plots.  I bought it when it came out in hardback, very unusual for me, for £20, but I didn’t actually start reading it until about twenty years later.  Even then (now) I only read enough to get me here before I left it and moved onto something else.  (This is the same way I have treated religions, spiritual practices, etc etc.)  The idea is that there are seven basic types of story that are repeated in all genres and all over the world.  These stories seem to appear even in cultures that have no apparent links with each other, via the collective consciousness or archetype explained by Jung.  Once upon a time there was a…  and then one day, something happened.  A hero, a villain, obstacles, things getting worse to crisis point and then an untangling, a resolution.

It struck me that I could work out which plot I am in and then as a result identify where I want to go and what to do next.  I could look for characters and work out what questions to ask to illuminate my journey.  Maybe my plot is The Quest, or Voyage and ReturnCertain conditions have to be met before any story can come to a fully resolved ending.

I googled therapeutic writing and found a study that found that participants’  mood went up as the agency in their storytelling went up; and they were connected; and the writing came first!  They wrote a story in which the protagonist had more agency in their lives, and then their lives picked up!

Of course, we have free will, so we can choose.  More than likely, we will see several plots or possible plots within our lives.  The expression losing the plot.  Had I lost the plot both metaphorically and literally?  I had stopped writing for a year.  Christopher Booker took 34 years to write plots…  Maybe I was just sharpening my axe?* Which plot am I on?  We’ll see whether or not I finish this book… and what else will I do?  I can decide….

*One of the psychologists (Beth) at work told me this lovely story:  When she was in the middle of doing her PhD she had got herself exhausted and super stressed and was taking it out on the house, frantically cleaning and about to set about vacuuming.  Her boyfriend, concerned, tried to get her to stop and have a rest.  At first she refused, but then he wrapped his arms around her, walked her to the sofa, got her to sit down, put a blanket over her and said I’m going to tell you a story:  Once upon a time there were two woodcutters.  One chopped wood all day without a break, and even though he began to tire and his axe got blunt and he was hungry and thirsty, he did not stop chopping wood until night fell.  The other wood cutter chopped until it was lunchtime, and then stopped to eat a lunch of bread and cheese, and took time to sharpen his axe and to rest his tired muscles.  After his lunch he returned to his work until night fell.  Which woodcutter do you think ended up chopping the biggest pile of wood?  Beth, her boyfriend said, you need to sharpen your axe.

I am my own obstacles.  I am the villain of my story**.  ‘Normal’ society is too; it constrains us, other people constrain us…  and what makes people like this is the lives we live, what we do to ourselves, everyone individualised, worrying…  It’s not obvious like if we were living under ISIS occupation, rather it’s a quiet suffering that goes on and on.

**The amount of things I do to myself, even now, to knock me off my path, or just to spoil my present moment:  beating myself up for not having painted the entire kitchen this weekend, getting so far into something on YouTube that it completely freaked me out, not eating properly, getting over tired.  (However, I also know how to fix all those things and so today I cooked a super nutritious vegan feast, had a nap in the afternoon, unsubscribed from a YouTube channel, and painted a bit of the ceiling and was happy with that.  And wrote this, of course.)

On Writing

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So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness

Chapter 7:  On Writing

Named after the really great book by Stephen King On Writing (I can’t actually read any of his books because I don’t like reading anything scary, but I love this book about the writing process.

 

The last time my mood got really low was during a period of stress at work, a minor distance from my husband, and loneliness in my female friendships.  On top of that, I had stopped writing.  At the time, I didn’t care, I didn’t even put it down as a hobby when I filled out an application form.  Instead I put singing!*  I spent the day alone watching Boyhood (real time film about families and growing up that shows just how fast it all goes).  It showed the good bits and the mistakes and got me thinking of all the things I could have done differently.  I called a few friends, they were all busy or unavailable.  I panicked:  should I go back to counselling?  Was I depressed?  Or was I, as I suddenly realised, just a writer who had stopped writing?  My fingers tingled, and I began to write…

*I moved and had to find a new yoga class.  The yoga teacher introduced me to someone who lived in my new town.  That person invited me to join a pop up singing group.  I was blissed out after yoga and agreed.  I thought maybe it was about me getting rid of my inhibitions.  It did do that, but it led onto something much more important.  The singing group woman also invited me to a book club and gave me the names of the two books they were reading.  I went to the library, it was closed, I went to the book shop, it only had one of the two books in- Orlando.  I made my excuses about the book club but I read Orlando.  It was better, much better for me than the singing; seeming to unlock my writing, focus and structure, and if I had to pay my dues in advance by wearing a silly hat and singing out of tune in public then it was a fair price.

The fact that I got so low over a film shows how fragile my state of being was and how sensitive I was that a film could put me in that place, and how this new found neutrality is quite literally a life saver, that now I can run over a baby rabbit on the way to work and barely give it a second thought.**

**If you are like I was, and find even reading that upsetting, let me ease you by saying:  It ran out in front of me as I was driving along a main road, hurtling across the middle.  I put on my brakes- I didn’t slam them, but nor did I check in my rear view mirror either, so that evens out the me-rabbit balance, but I felt it go under the front driver wheel.  I wondered afterwards, would it have been better not to have braked?  If I had been going slightly faster, would I have gone past it, or at least would the front wheels have gone past it?  An old boyfriend of mine told me that animals have better instincts than us and it is best not to brake as they will have judged it.  So are all the dead animals and birds at the side of the roads not as I always thought, due to people driving too fast, or animals and birds walking , running or flying unavoidably out in front of you, but are actually the result of caring drivers slamming on their brakes?  Probably not.  I think he was mainly referring to deer, as he had hit one a few years previously, driving through Thetford Forest.  It had run out, no way to stop it.  He said they made eye contact as it hit the windscreen.  That was my Vietnam, he used to say.  I don’t know if baby rabbits are as capable as grown deer of judging speeds and distances of traffic on main roads.  Apparently they don’t even know what to eat, they just eat anything and everything and it’s just luck or trial and error if they survive.  So it’s not that I didn’t give running over a baby rabbit a second thought, it’s just that I decided not to get upset about it.

The Fairytale Past

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So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness

Chapter 6:  The Fairytale Past

Maybe it wasn’t that bad after all.  Maybe I had a lot more agency that I have previously admitted:  because to be honest, a bit of me had realised, realised even at the time, that I did.  I knew I was different, and even in the midst of being humiliated by their I-bet-you-get-all-your-clothes-from-jumble-sales taunts, I felt superior.  I made no effort to fit in.  I remember that time as friendless, and yet it turns out I did have a friend after all:  Miranda, who also went on to become a healer and a yoga person.  I met her again recently at a yoga class, she recognised me and said we used to sit beside the tennis courts and talk, and when we went up to high school and I went to boarding school she was devastated.  I didn’t think I had any friends, I said.  Well you did, she said, you had me.

And then I remembered that at junior school I used to stay in at break times with a boy called Keith and work on our stories that we’d been doing in class because we didn’t want to stop writing.  I used to choose to stay indoors and write, instead of going out to play.  So nothing’s changed then, in forty years.

I lived through all that, experienced it all and so I can travel back there to that 1970’s school play ground and take a fresh look.  No time machine required, because my body was there, wasn’t it?  Its imprints are in my body, passed from cell to cell like batons in a relay race.

And later, now I return to my past, to myself with illumination

 I sometimes wonder if we as we are now make up our pasts- because they don’t really exist do they, except in our minds.  Why is it that we talk about them?  To make ourselves seem more substantial?   Like John telling people he’s been to India, or me telling people I’ve lived in New Zealand for a year- except last time I met new people I didn’t and just presented myself as I am right now.  As my friend Jane said, it is feelings and how you are that are important.

Wouldn’t we look at ourselves as we are now and make up our pasts exactly as they are?  Me with the Albion Fayres, him with the hard drinking family that made him teetotal and the craziness that made him such a survivor.  Do we look at what we are now and make up a back story that explains it, that offers us an explanation?  (Me:  Sexual appetite and promiscuity= sexual abuse.  Social awkwardness= bullied at school)

What if you were brave enough to offer yourself up (to others and to yourself) without explanation or apology?   What if you were brave enough to live with yourself as you are now- no back story, no past, just living right now in this now moment, this now place?

Don’t do it Di

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So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness

Chapter 5: Don’t do it Di

Eleven years old.  In the back of my mum’s Morris thousand van on our way to school, via picking up two children my mum got paid to do the school run for.   My school had given out Charles and Diana Royal Wedding bookmarks.  I had written ‘Don’t do it Di’ on all of mine.  My mum and her friends, i.e. all the people I socialised with in my home life as I mainly hung around with adults, all thought Diana was a vulnerable young woman who was being taken as a breeder, and that it was sick, not romantic in any way.  However, this was not a view shared by most of the population of England in 1981 and when the two children my mum took to school were about to get into the car, my mum said ‘don’t let them see those’ (the written on bookmarks).  There was no sense of any shame or it being a dirty little secret of ours; it was simply that these naive, brainwashed children wouldn’t be able to cope.

I inhabited a different world to that of my peers.  At boarding school in 1982, me telling my disbelieving, ridiculing dorm about female circumcision (FGM used to be called that), them saying ‘girls can’t be circumcised Rachel’.  They didn’t even know about nuclear weapons, The Bomb.  ‘What, is there just one bomb Rachel?’  Oblivious, their parents obviously told them nothing, while I was getting out at weekends on false pretences to go on CND demonstrations, getting a coach from Norfolk, eating sandwiches, marching to Hyde Park.  Having surreal calm nightmares of being out in the garden, holding hands in a circle, waiting to be evaporated, hoping the end would be quick.  Thinking of, even though I knew the government advice of the Protect and Survive pamphlet which was delivered to every home was pointless (CND did their own version, Protest and Survive), I still wondered late at night, should we stockpile, should we make a shelter in the cellar? But how long would it last, and what about all our friends?  Wouldn’t it be better to all go together?  We were so close to the American airbases- prime targets.

Thirteen years old.  Walking to Greenham Common as part of the Star March, a women’s march, one of many from all round the country.  In Luton the locals drove round and round in between our tents whilst were in bed inside them.  There’s still a photo on my mum’s wall of me and a young punk woman called Rosie sitting in front of the Greenham Common fence.

At boarding school, lots of RAF children there.  The headmaster used to call us after breakfast if we had any post, one day a fat packet of Animal Aid leaflets came for me.  He said, ‘What’s that confounded girl up to now?!’  I gave out graphic photos of monkey head transplants to my peers.  Nothing’s changed really, I just pretend to fit in, that’s all.

The Process by Which It Happens

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So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness

Chapter 4:  The Process by Which It Happens

 

I am not aiming for balance, or a balanced life, oh no, Elizabeth Gilbert says you cannot do that and I largely concur.  I am aiming for a happy life subject to circumstances and a ‘spiritual’ life whatever the circumstances, indeed friction helps me grow.  I am glad to be developing and all my life is helping me to do that (all my life as in all that’s going on in my life right now and all my life as in past, present and future).  I fully know I may concentrate on one part sometimes and other parts other times and that life will show me what to do next.

Money:  ‘Studying’ (aka obsessively binge watching) Shameless USA, reading about the Buy Nothing movement, hibernating, in order to get my finances under control.  I didn’t set out to watch Shameless in order to do this, but I am sure it helped.  Spend as little as possible.  Who needs money when you’ve got words.  Not being flippant about people who don’t have money for food, I just mean that I can cope with staying in etc because I have this to do.

Work:  I got locked in my pattern again:  I take on too much, get too tired, or in this case, there just was too much happening (lots of people leaving/off sick); me pretending to everyone including myself that it is okay and not accessing support.  I end up feeling burned out, thinking I have to meet the every emotional, professional, advisory and every other need of everyone in my team whilst also doing a good job for my patients, other dept. duties, answering emails, thinking up new stuff, keeping one step ahead, keeping everyone happy… all of which is obviously ludicrously impossible.

The next thing that happens is that I start to get self conscious and paranoid, worrying about what everyone thinks of me, wondering if anything I do is any good, wishing I could start over again and be different- stop being shy, communicate better, stop avoiding the strong senior managers because I’m intimidated.  I avoid criticism, I am scared of it so I avoid people, and that just makes everything worse…

To contradict what I just wrote, I have actually in many ways been more relaxed at work.   I have stopped to chat.  I have worked slowly.  I have left things undone.  I have chosen the fun things and put off the boring ones.  I have cancelled things to make my week manageable.  I have noticed that I usually go around on full pelt (resenting others who stop to chat!) and the busier I get, the more I take on; working up to the last minute so I am always late and stressed, as if I don’t deserve to take it easy and sit calmly in a room waiting for a meeting to start (I have done this at least once recently!).  It’s going to be an adjustment…

So although tonight’s writing mission was mainly about dealing with work stress, and was more about writing as therapy than writing, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to finish this book:  Don’t get distracted by the idea that you should be so ‘spiritual’ as to be above wanting or needing to do anything.  This might be idealised as sitting on top of a mountain meditating but in practice becomes eating oven chips and cold baked beans and watching rubbish on Netflix*.  A creative mind is like a border collie, remember…

(*There is really great stuff on Netflix but it is definitely possible to waste time on it as well.)

So what would a fully integrated self look like anyway?

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So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness

Chapter 3:  So what would a fully integrated self look like anyway?

So all this work, all this reflection, all this personal development…

I think a lot about integration; about needing to integrate the everyday and the ‘spiritual’*.  To integrate everything I have learned, my past and my present.  But what is it that I am trying to do?  Where am I trying to get to?  So I asked myself, what would my fully integrated self look like?  (And thereby, track backwards and work out how I would get there)

*I have gone off that word, but more on that later.

I have a- I don’t like the word brainstorm and I like the phrase ‘thought shower’ even less.  So let’s say I have a look into the fantasy looking glass, a loose limbed daydream about all the possibilities… 

What would my fully integrated self look like?

An acceptable weight, fit-ish but soft.  (In The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold writes: It was the 1970s, aerobics was barely even a word, women and girls were meant to be soft, not hard.)

Nice hair.  Make an appointment, and remake one for 2-3 months afterwards, instead of being locked into this rather childish habit of putting it off so that it ‘notices’ which actually means letting my hair look rubbish before I have it done.

No makeup.  Or Clinique counter assistant chosen makeup.

Confident at work, doing a good job without being stressed out of my mind.

Ok with money (‘You deserve it’, ‘No, you deserve to be debt free’).

Relaxed about housework and day to day life/chores etc.

Regularly exploring the outer frontiers and having fun with my husband.

Writing or thinking about writing whilst being aware that it is the process not the product, because when I’m thinking about writing, I’m thinking about life.  Or ‘at peace with how I do my writing’ but I don’t know if that’s possible- the tension and the analysis is all part of it, I feel.

A wardrobe I don’t have to think about.  Everything I need- spare track pants, for example, that don’t trail on the floor, aren’t broken, that I like, that fit nicely and that feel nice, because I chose cotton and I tried them on first.

Do it right first time so I don’t have to think about this stuff day to day, so that I can spend my time and energy on:  Being conscious of a ‘spiritual’ dimension to life; to love, to be here, to live, to face everything fully awake.

When nothing’s happening, to have a silent(-ish) mind.

All the above allows the below.  Getting it together enables me, frees me, makes me strong enough, available enough, un-distracted enough and energetic enough to be what I want to be:  A facilitator, a safe harbour, a healer.  A person God would send to someone praying for help.

To the edge of the aeroplane’s wing

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So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness

Chapter 2:  To the edge of the aeroplane’s wing

 

Sitting meditating:

Feeling roots coming up from the earth and wrapping themselves around me.  At the same time the bones and muscles of my body turning themselves into vines.  My whole body feeling more plant-like than animal-like.

And in my mind, beyond thoughts, I see a bird’s wing, at its edges iridescent rainbow layered feathers.  And out beyond the edges of the bird’s wing, beyond everything, lies the sleek white edge of an aeroplane’s wing.  And beyond that:  nothing.  And then, the why, the what:  There is only the moment, you sitting there in the room- the wing enclosing all of it- and beyond it, nothing.

I had come up through the mind, through and beyond thoughts, not even interested in looking at the thoughts on the way;  the past just a collection of thoughts after all, like a tangled ball of wool.  If you are okay now what does it matter what happened in the past.  Memories just seemed like a clump of thoughts, irrelevant, as I went beyond all that to the clean white surface of the aeroplane’s wing…

We are more than thoughts, and I passed through the complex workings of the mind to:  Nothing.  A bird’s wing closed around the experience, around me, around John, underneath the rainbow feathers a network of bones, complex and strong.  Could fly but chooses not to, chooses to encircle, to be a protector instead.  Bird’s wing chooses not to fly.  Chooses to settle here. 

You are a facilitator.  Wanting to facilitate John for a change (he is usually the one who supports me as I work through stuff in my head).  In life:  you are a facilitator.  Make life easier, and more peaceful.  All I want is to be in touch with this:  my spiritual side.  I don’t need to be or to do anything.  We come here to remind our self who we really are, and then we go back to the day to day.  Neither place is better or worse; it’s cyclical, in and out, like social-alone-together-apart.

 

Since then my mind has been much quieter.  Cracks let the light in.  A certain amount of friction, strife, variety and challenge creates learning, and keeps me ‘spiritual’.  I am a safe harbour.

I have moved away from throwing myself too much into being something to make up for being me not being enough.  I don’t need to go around ‘being a healer’ although I do healing and I like doing it, but I have a tendency to over schedule.  And I feel there is something more than me just rushing around being me at work.  There’s Me.

Rather than being a collection of labels or skills, being very open and flexible is nice.  A facilitator.  A safe harbour.  Can do healing.  Enjoys exploring the mind and ‘spirituality’.  Tries to eat a mainly vegan diet.  Complex and strong.  Like nailing jelly to a wall, but describing self in an open way is nice…