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I can not think of the title yet but I promised to write everyday from now on. I do not even know if anyone is reading or not. Even if no one reads now, someone may read 10 years from now. It surely is not private. Almost like masturbating or having sex in a public place. The possibility of being caught with your pants down in an intimate moment.. And here I think is the same as I am sharing my thoughts without filter..or trying to anyway. And I know the more I write the more the filter will disappear and the fear of being caught naked will turn into more of an excitement. So if you are reading without making yourself known “Hi there”. Hopefully you are in for a treat.
Do you ever get into situations where someone you care about or like gets into an out of nowhere argument with you that is not even a big deal for you and does not drop it or end it despite your efforts of diffusing the situation? They go on and on and whatever you say they are almost locked into a loop and can not stop themselves. They almost resemble this angry dog that has a piece of something that they locked their teeth on and they are foaming in the mouth and will not let it go and will attack anyone or anything that seems like will take the thing away from the grasp of their teeth. Challenging everyone in their sphere with the object in their mouth, growling..
I am sure we all faced this, as funny as the it seems with the dog analogy, and we kept feeding the loop by trying to either diffuse or challenge. I am sure we also have been that person who could not drop a topic or issue and kept going on and on and on and I know I am guilty of it sometimes…
Yesterday I was faced with this on a text rally: well thanks to technology now fights are carried out on texts mostly: that came out of left field and from a new friend that I did not want to get into a conflict with as I liked her a lot But is it not like that always? I wish conflicts would only happen with people we do not like or better yet we have no feelings about, that we are neutral with. Then we could just walk away. Shake it off. But they usually happen with people we are emotionally invested in. And depending on how emotionally healthy we are in that moment either we start joining this crazy dance and we sink our teeth into something too and growl back and it gets into a duet of crazy or we try to calm or to diffuse..sometimes feeling guilty we caused it or being hurt about it that it was done to us.
I was not too invested in this person and the topic to me was inconsequential. So I just said OK to her and asked her to drop the topic. Well that did it. Now there was an avalanche of new texts where the first one came out of.. To each I responded trying to reason or calm down. Well it did not go down well at all.
Then today I woke up and I thought another friendship bites the dust. I was not sad about it but kind of not so great either. As I was having my daily chat with mom when I told her about this she insinuated that sometimes I get into a loop too going on and on about something. That made me think…What if the person on the receiving end just said “Yes”. Nothing else.. Not soothing, not arguing, not diffusing and challenging or questioning.. Just allowing. Just “Yes”.
I will try this next time. I invite you to do the same and see what happens. Sometimes all we need is someone to allow us to just be. So YES.
I can not say I am familiar with the actual term. What I mean is reinventing oneself, starting over.. Like, scratch and clean slate then restart.. Just like a fern.. Do you have one? Or have you observed one lately? I am not so good with plants but my fern, knock on wood, has survived me. It is almost indestructible. I forget it for days and weeks or a month even, then I give it a bit of water.. Please do not throw away your fern even if all the leaves are dry and looking dead. Before you know it, from the dead leaves it shoots a green sprout and green leaves start again.. Green live parts attached to the dead.. It resurrects.. I think it is dead, but it does not know that. So any chance it gets, there it is, in its glory, more beautiful than ever.
Can we do the same? Most of the time even if we are not physically dead or near death we accept others beliefs about us and give up on our life or our possibilities. We think it is already too late for that or this or we are not talented enough or resourceful enough or even equipped with enough knowledge or we are too far gone and there is no hope.. Or even sometimes we let others tell us “Oh that is absurd now.. You should have thought about that years ago” We believe we are too old for it or too young for it, not smart enough, not tall enough, not pretty enough and not rich enough or even not poor enough.. we may even be not skinny enough or not fat enough..maybe we are not connected enough or even desperate enough..how about not hungry enough or not passionate enough..my favorite not ambitious enough or not organized enough..
Haven’t you had enough of this… And what if the whole world thought you were not enough a lot of things.. Just like sometimes I think my fern is dead and I want to cut down all the dead leaves only to see it coming through, showing up for itself once again, we too. any of us and all of us have the capacity to ignore all the “not enough”s and rise once more from our own ashes and show up in the world as our beautifully alive authentic and unique selves and stand up for our own right to be present on our own terms each moment. And with that new understanding life is beautiful again and inspiring without limits. Anything is possible anytime by anyone and everyone..
Let us say yes to celebrating the moment in which all is possible..
I find myself trying to change things back to what they were or what I want them to be.. Sometimes to not rock the boat and sometimes from nostalgia.
I went to the latin cafe for the same breakfast with cafe con leche and fried eggs and bacon. Coffee was warm not hot and the cuban toast did not have the same perfect amount of butter and crispness.. I kept comparing with that image of the previous perfect experience and trying to change the experience. All the while missing the new experience and enjoying it. How crazy, as I was having the calories for no reason.. Then I thought maybe the coffee and the toast were the same and it was I that was not. Then I recalled what used to be my motto. “You can not bathe in the same water twice”
What is it that makes us value the familiar so much? Even if the familiar is not pleasant; or even good for us, like fireflies to light we tend to get attracted to the feelings and circumstances that are comfortable and familiar like an old pajama or blanket. That is why most of the time we experience the same experiences good or bad over and over and feel only a few familiar feelings over and over most of our lives.
So if we are stuck in the depressed and sad or miserable that is comfortable. We choose more things that make us stay in that energy and chose people who are sharing the same. If we are stuck in anger which is actually a higher energy level, if you can believe it, we find more to be angry about and invite more people in our sphere who keep us in that mode. What about guilt about the anger and about all the things we think we failed at or people we failed.. So why do we hang on.?
When ever I go down the stairs I hold on to the railings very tight.. Fear of falling If I were to trip though I doubt holding to the rails will protect me. When I drive in the highway I clench my hands around the steering wheel as if, if I loosen my grip the car will go out of control and crash. How about never being able to ski downhill. What does that require? Doing the opposite of what we are urged to do. Just letting go.. Easier said than done.
Years ago I was in a Tony Robbins retreat in Hawaii. The reason I chose that particular event was that it entailed climbing a 50 foot pole and jumping off of it. And I was deadly afraid of things like that. Physical things. To my surprise I climbed to the pole up to the last step with 25-50 people encouraging me (I was the first in the group as I did not want to have a chance to change my mind). All my life I knew how to climb stairs. On that last step I thought I would not make it. For what seemed to be hours I stood there, one foot on the top of the pole and one foot on the step below not knowing how I got there in the first place and what had to happen to put that one step up and be done with it. It took a lot of coaxing from the coach and the crowd for me to finally let go of hanging on and lift my right foot from the metal peg on the pole onto the top of the pole. I was amazed how simple and easy it was once I decided to let go of the fear and old stories of how I could not do it. Once I got out-of-the-way of myself I believe I noticed then that it was actually the easiest step of all.
Fear of uncertainty and change locks us in experiencing life as if we are in the reruns of the movie “ Groundhog Day ” living the same day over and over again. But just like the movie, one small change that might seem insignificant in the moment can unlock the spell. One tiny step into the unfamiliar, we actually dive into a more enriched life with all the spectrum of emotions.
I have not written in this blog like I initially set out to do every day. And the more days it was the more difficult it became to step in and write. People who I knew who expected to see something everyday.. well let us say that their comments about me not fulfilling my end of the bargain did not help at all. I was failing my goal. But is it not that way always? All of us are actually more critical of ourselves than anyone else. We never let ourselves off the hook. We beat ourselves up all the time. And then wonder why we are stuck. I accept that I may have failed to follow course for several days. And who cares. I am back and I may do it again and disappear. That is life. As long as I own it, learn from it and let it go as an experience all is well. I am open to all of life and all changes it brings. Good and/or bad. No judgements..
Maybe next step is skiing…
I was feeling rather good about myself and great about my relationship with people around me, then bam..it happened! I was confronted with a situation where someone I cared about who I had given in my mind a helpful information had a disappointment about the service they received and were irate about it. Have you ever had one of these moments where you are totally caught off guard and someone is complaining about something or someone you recommended? Not just complaining but fuming. What is your first thought?
My first thought in a situation like that would be to feel guilty as if I had caused the upset intentionally and try to have the other party absolve me. Unless and until this was done and it rarely is, I used to wear this badge of guilt and all the weight of it until it totally transformed my relationship with the other person involved and not in a good way and effecting all the other relationships as well. I would not only feel guilty but also like a victim of injustice as I had only tried to help. I would go back and forth between guilt and resentment as I had been wronged unjustly and always felt I had to be in an apologetic tone and give in to all the demands of the people involved, no matter how unreasonable, just to be absolved by them.
As a matter of fact, I thought it was my duty to make sure no one was unhappy or angry or upset or even sick around me as I was responsible for them being OK. I remember going to the movies with friends and if the movie was not a good one or they did not like it I felt I had to make up for it somehow.. Or a restaurant I suggested did not have great food..no relief for me until I see they are enjoying it. Who made me the undertaker of their happiness or enjoyment or any of their feelings or states? Does that not seem tiresome? No wonder I did not want to be around people or socialize. Who would? It was hard enough to cater to customers and take on all their feelings and states why would I even want friends or acquaintances? Too much work.. The thought of having lots of people in my life felt like such a burden that the thought of them made me want to sleep. Who wouldn’t?
As I was into Day3 of my Yes Project and my heart was open and I was in a high, bam, my biggest issue knocked on my door.. Anger and upset of someone I cared about and my first response was trying to have him say something to absolve me.. That certainly did not work. Have you ever tried that with someone who is at the heat of their anger and righteousness.. they want to blame everyone.. You can not get off the hook so easy!
What about anger and hint of blame makes us go back to 5 years old children and trying to be forgiven and soothed. It makes one see where it all goes back to.. Wanting to please mommy, well maybe daddy, who ever was the dominant character who was not so generous with praises or approval. But who can blame them.. They most probably learned it from their parents. And now decades later we recreate the same scenario with whoever we come in contact with.
Well I decided to not be afraid and said Yes to the anger and upset I witnessed.. I let it be there. I allowed the person to experience it. I did not take it on although I was tempted to. I caught myself wondering what I should do to make up for their upset. Then I realized, not my monkey…
I decided to be an observer but not to interfere. Allow and give permission for others to feel whatever they are feeling and not try to make it better. As it is not my job and it is not up to me. They have their journey and I have mine. We walk side by side but separately. Each our own course. Each responsible of our own. What a relief!!
Look forward to being with people again.. Try it, take the load off; you will like it too.
I felt great all day yesterday and I kept thinking is this for real.. I have not laughed that much in the last year. I felt like I have woken up from a sleep or a trance that I have been living the last 10 years or so. I was finally having a glimpse of myself again. But could I trust that? Was that a temporary thing or could that last? Was it going to be the same when I wake up in the morning..
As I was enjoying the Salvador Dali Exhibition at the Moore Gallery having said “yes” to it, I could not be sure. But it sure felt great. Even during the two-hour ride back a 2 mile stretch, thanks to the Heat Game, I was over the moon. I even came up with another idea for a blog that cracked me up. I hardly could sleep as ideas kept coming to me without trying. I fell asleep in between burst of laughter.
Then, I woke up… I had not slept much so I had a headache and felt sick. I wanted to say “yes” to the headache and bid it adieux but after I could get rid of it I would look for it to see if it was gone and lo and behold back it was like a bad penny. I was thinking: this is the Day 2 of my “Yes Project” and I want to be high and energetic and cheery and now this headache and sickness is getting in the way. Without realizing it, I was pretending to accept the headache and the feelings of fatigue but resenting it as I was treating it as a failure of my project that I had just started.
Finally, I gave in to the demands of my body as it knew what was needed and surrendered to rest and sleep. And I realized this is a journey and a long one, not a sprint.. And no matter what happens I need to say “yes” to the present and what it presents and experience it, as the present is all I have to experience at the present. It sounds like a riddle, but think about it, you can only live the present and feel it; whether pain or laughter or love or even stuff you do not specifically like. One can only experience and grow from experiences of the present. The past is the past and salute to it as it brought us to the present and future, it is exciting and we can look forward to it and get impatient and try to live in it; but that would be just day dreaming and missing the day that really counts. Today!! Good or bad that is all we have. What if we only lived in the present? We only experienced today and lived in the day as if it is the first and the last day of our lives. No baggage from yesterday and stories of yesterday; not even the joys and sorrows or achievements or disappointments. No expectations. Wake up like a baby and anything and everything is possible and does not matter what happened all the days before. And also live like it is the last day. No “I will do it tomorrow” as tomorrow does not exist in today and tomorrow will never come. What more will we do today; how much more will we communicate today; how much will we love today if it was the only day, the last day to do and be? OMG..
I was just about going to bed thinking: I am missing my Day 2 of my journal and I have nothing to say; as I have not done any exciting “Yes”s. But to say “yes” to sitting down to write anyway I learned a great lesson. Thank you today, Yes to you. You have been a little quiet and dull and maybe a little bit of a low after yesterday’s high but who says there was a competition. And if the only thing I have is the Present, Thank you…And Yes to you my Present Day as it is truly a present.
See you all tomorrow, well actually the next Present Day. Enjoy the one you are in, in its entirety. I know I will.