Saturday, September 13, 2008

When circumstances get you down

When circumstances
get you down,
perceived or real,
continue on.
Do not go back to error.
When the fog clears,
you will discover
the good that was done.

I wrote these words of inspiration last May when reading Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health. This last week has been full of overwhelmingly negative circumstances. Fires to put out almost daily. Stresses to pull my monkey mind thinking into the gutter of "poor me", pity potty, "why does this keep happening"... well, you get the drift. All real life circumstances, dramas, and situations that really need to be handled by me.

So, there's been a war going on... mentally floundering in the soup of negativity.... versus letting go and letting God be God in my life. I'm humbled to say I've been a flounderer. (Spell check says that's not a word.... but it was for me!) Just turn it over. Sounds simple. Let go and let God. Well, I'm trying, it's just that.......(fill in the blank!)!!!

OK, the bus stops here! My mantra in my meditation this morning was (breathing in) "God grant me the Serenity" (breathing out) "to accept YOU in my life". duh! 15 minutes past so quickly.... monkey mind shut down.... just some glorious colors and fresh morning air to pervade my thoughts... "God grant me the serenity to accept You in my life"...

When I came out of meditation I was led back to my journaling of last May....
When circumstances get you down ... well a big percentage of mine are perceived cluttered complexities of the "real" life fires, duties and responsibilities that are to be done by me. I'm thinking my perceptions have greatly distorted the realities. Surely, my "problems" are no different today than last month, last year, etc. But it's the way I hold them in my consciousness that determines their hold on me.

Do not go back to error.
In other words, keep focused on the goal of Divine Consciousness. Keep my 12 Step commitments. Keep my eyes on the promises. Use the traditions as my guide. What you fight, fights back: so give up the fight! And trust! So I surrender to God "God, grant me the serenity to accept you in my life". That is the only light I need to focus my thoughts on. For when the smoky fog of cluttered circumstances and overwhelm loosen their hold on me... I will discover the good that was done.

Ahhh.... thank you God. The fog lifts, veils of illusion evaporate, and I can see more clearly now.

About my OA journey.... it's been so many years that I've lived an unbalanced life. Esteeming saints and martyrs I've slid into my own pattern of misguided sacrifice and over-work. I've always handled negative events by thinking I'll just work even harder, give up a little more of myself to pour my attention and activities into solving the current problematic situation. So, I'd give up time to pray, meditate, study and write; I'd avoid eating breakfast and lunch; I'd allow clutter and stuff to pile up around me as I try to work from within the consciousness of overwhelm.

Well, of course I'd feel drained, that I've sacrificed for naught. So 5pm rolls around and then medication that will soften the edgy anxiety is a nice, huge, glass of wine, followed by a tripple portion dinner. (After all, I was so busy all day I hardly ate at all!) Eating and drinking so much, so late at night, gave way to a restless, miserable night, where I'd often make more promises to myself that tomorrow will be different. After all, I can control things, I can make what ever needs to happen, happen. Tomorrow I will work harder, longer, take on more responsibilities.... whatever it takes to MAKE things go right.

Ugh... I don't even like thinking about that mindset. Yet, it's been my dysfunctional code of operation for years and years. All the time thinking that I had control... and if I just work harder.

Ah... the 12 Step program (OA-90) has me eating weighed and measured meals, three times a day. Calling my dear sponsor every morning to commit to those meals. Meditating, reading and writing BEFORE I boot up my computer. Such a simple precept. My monkey mind wants to mess it up and complicate it so things will feel familiar. Yipes!

It is so simple. I will not go back to "error".

I am so thankful for this awareness.

When circumstances get you down, perceived or real, continue on.
Do not go back to error. When the fog clears,
you will discover the good that was done.

Monday, September 8, 2008

"The Audacity to Perceive"

Ahh... a nice day off yesterday! But first... I get to report I've had a SEVEN STAR week! Each day that I've been loyal to my OA-90 food plan, I've given myself a STAR. Childish? maybe, but the accumulation of the stars and the right brained activity of actually drawing the star and doodling a bit, really is a pleasant reward. I've never eaten so many veggies before! While it has been a challenge to have enough variety in the house/fridge, my body is just feeling better. And, the food plan allows for plenty of quantity, so I'm feeling full and satisfied, and actually hungry at meal times.

The most wonderful feeling is to be able to watch TV at night and not feel the munchies! My habbits have been to eat late, and eat allot! often 8-12 oz of protein with a little salad, and of course, some wine.... a thing of the past now! A great REWARD is the deep sleep I'm getting after eating balanced meals! And some interesting dreams too.

Somehow, organizing my meals into weighed and measured, committed meals, has played out in my regular day to day life as well. I seem to have more time, be more organized somehow. This week, I'm really going to watch my time management to see just where it all goes, and hopefully to direct more into decluttering my environment and actually creating art.

So, yesterday I took some time off to spend with Brit. We attended the Church of the Inner Light in Santa Cruz/Aptos.... and we were both blown away by the amazing music and the hugely inspiring talk! "The Audacity to Perceive". Rev Deborah Johnson moves about the platform and talks without notes! Serendipity! I had to write down this quote: Pain pushes and Vision Pulls.

In OA-90 it is the pain that gets us into the room, onto the plan, and it's the VISION of living a healthy, happy, fuller life that pulls us along. One of the affirmations reads: "I have the audacity to challenge paradigms that do not support my divinity"... My divinity is about walking my talk.... living a life that is God centered, calling forth Divine Light to be my guide throughout the day in ever action.

Paradigm: stress/anxiety over perceived lack of finances: I became rather stressed last week concerning finances.... after meditation I turned everything over to God and asked that I be aware, moment to moment, that my actions are coming from my God-Center. Somehow, the stress and anxiety lifted, and I was able to perform and do the work that needs to be done by me, in a timely and orderly, and relaxed way! I've even had time to read more, study more, and journal more! Amazing.... and I am grateful.

Spending time with Brit was delicious! so much talking and sharing. We saw "Momma Mia" to finish off a wonderful day! I am so profoundly and richly rewarded with this amazing young woman!

Well, I could write on about other paradigms I'm ready to evaporate, but my day is about balance and it is time to move onto my next function.

I love writing here, and allowing Spirit to unfold. And I am eternally grateful! Thank you God!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thoughts on Meditaion from "My Stroke of Insight"

Whew.... time flies by so quickly! We returned home from a wonderful week away and geared right up to get ready for school, plus I had to work the last four days of August in my shop. I love the shop, but there is always catch up after being away for any length of time! Took over a week just to unpack my suitcase. But life is good, that these are my problems. I am thankful.

Been squeezing in some great reading! Just finished "My Stroke of Insight" by Jill Bolte Taylor... an amazing story of a brain scientist who witnessed her own brain shutting down as she had a stroke in her late 30's. The story was one thing, very interesting and inspiring, plus there was an education on the working of our brains. But the spiritual message of the story was clearly profound.

Meditation comes hard to me... the formal, sit down, quiet the mind, and become One. My mind is always chattering away, thinking about the day, inspiring about the future. Jill talks about the separation of the right and left brain functions:

My left hemisphere is preoccupied with details and runs my life on a tight schedule.

my right hemisphere is all about right here, right now. It bounces around with unbridled enthusiasm and does not have a care in the world.

So, there is this duality of thinking and staying organized, and the reality of bliss and joy from not containing thoughts, just being. Somehow, picturing the two separate functions, separate sides of my brain, creates another dynamic. My peaceful state of mind does not have to come up through all the chaos of my thoughts, my thoughts just need to be gently set aside. I've always pictured the mind as a giant ice burg, the surface being our conscious life and then below the surface our thoughts, and below that our deepest connection to the Unified Field of Divine Love, God. So, when I sit in mediation, it takes great effort to allow that quiet state to penetrate upward through the mess of thinking.

I think that by beginning meditation time with right-brain thoughts, art, music, nature, and just allowing myself to set aside organization, duties, "shoulds" etc, it will open the delectable door to deeper connections.

She also said:
“our minds are highly sophisticated “seek and ye shall find” instruments. We are designed to focus in on whatever we are looking for. If I seek red in the world then I will find it everywhere.

So, with the right (brain) preparation, right (brain) thinking, and right (brain) FOCUS, I can allow myself to slip more gently into deeper states of consciousness.

And, I'll finish this post with one more of Jill's thoughts:
The first thing I do to experience my inner peace is to remember that I am part of a greater structure – an eternal flow of energy and molecules from which I cannot be separated. Knowing that I am part of the cosmic flow makes me feel innately safe and experience my life as heaven on earth.

I am so thankful for the insights! Thank you Mother, Father, God, Divine Light.

PS I welcome any comments about your experience with meditation.