Reading and thinking and letting go

I wrote a post a long time ago about wandering away from reading books on metaphysics some years before.  As I’ve been slowly reading through Sharon Salzberg’s wonderful new book,  Real Love:  The Art of Mindful Connection, savoring every word, I’ve been thinking about that old post and the stepping away.

I guess the first thing that occurred to me is this is the fourth time in less than a year that I’m posting about a book on metaphysics–two being about two of Elizabeth Lesser’s books, one about a Louise Hay tome–and this is the first time in many years I’ve read more than one such book in the space of three or four years.

In my early days “on the path” I read voraciously and the majority of my discretionary income was spent at Isis Rising, the metaphysical bookstore across the street from my apartment at the time.  From the mid-1980’s to the end of the 90’s I kept it up.  And then, I wandered away from reading much on the topic at all.

It was never really a decision to stop, but I realized at some point I already owned books with everything I needed to know.  More important, I realized one day I’d need to start living these principles and ideas if I wanted them to be effective and turned more toward practice than reading about practice.

When I took up yoga nidra 10 or 12 years ago I purposefully did the practice without doing any research or reading.  I let daily practice show me the effects of yoga nidra without needing to know the academic breakdown of how it works and what it does.  For someone who lived her first 40+ years from a place of mind and intellect, this represented a big shift.

Recently I’ve had a couple of sporadic debates going on with friends over whether you can think or will your way to mindfulness and/or higher consciousness.  After years of moving away from study and toward practice I am pretty well convinced you can’t just approach either from only a mental space.

Mulling all of this I realized that when I let go of the need to study I unconsciously also let go of control.  Now, does my mind still try to control a lot of stuff about this process?  Yup.  Probably always will.  But in moving toward the experience of doing rather than reading about, I stepped out of a mind space and into a space of letting the energy of practices and my intuition about practices lead me to healthier places and expanding consciousness.

With hindsight I can say that all that reading and willing and plotting and planning how to be more mindful or more spiritual was my mind/ego’s way of keeping some kind of control.  And to some degree it was also useful.  But the process of connecting with divinity or picking up on the flow of divine consciousness is, for me, one of letting go of control and surrendering to a higher wisdom.

Reading now connects to intuition for me.  I have more to say about intuition in the next post (or soon 🙂 ), but it plays an increasing role for me.  When it comes to books these days, I generally never look for books on spiritual topics.  But because of my interests I often look at blogs or web sites with info about new books and, if I feel a draw toward one, I check to see if the library has it or if there’s an inexpensive Kindle version.

These four books drew me and each case I felt profound gratitude for being guided to them and for following my “hit” that I needed to read them.  Each has been the perfect gem for the moment.  Sometimes reading a new book — especially by someone I’ve not read before (or not much) — brings me a fresh insight into an idea that didn’t resonate as much for me the first time I encountered it.  Anybody’s guess whether it’s the different words or a different me creating the new take 🙂

Reading and thinking and using the mind can be pivotal at certain moments on the path, so I’m not saying to try to avoid ever “being mental”.  I’m just saying, practice too.  I know, me and practice…  always harping…

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A glimpse of unwinding

The main reason I’ve been absent so much from blogging has been the unwinding face muscles.  Not just the unwinding itself, but the huge transition it’s creating have been diverting me from the keyboard.

So many people have been puzzled about what I mean by unwinding, I decided one day while it was in full yanking and tugging mode to grab my phone and record.  What you can see on the surface is really just the tip of the iceberg and I wish I could figure out how to describe the multitudes of things going on in the muscles underneath.

All the contortions are driven by what’s going on in the muscles and for the most part out of my control (I can clench down hard and force it to stop but that’s not something I can or want to do routinely, especially since it re-creates some of the knots and tension already released).  When this decides to start happening it just takes over.

The good news is my face, head and neck are becoming slowly but surely free of tension, clenching, pressure, etc.  Periodically significant pieces open and I feel a new level of “wow, my face can feel like this?”  Those moments are the blessing in all this that keeps me able to tolerate it.  Not to mention my eternal optimism 🙂

Nonetheless I thought it might help make the process clearer if I showed you.  Imagine this going on for hours a day — sometimes as much as 18 or all 24 — and perhaps you can see why I say it stops so much of my life.  Why I can’t sleep.  Why I’m so tired.  Why I often can’t concentrate to write or meditate…  I’m not anxious for this to wind up all over the place so in about a week I plan to take down the video and probably this post.

We Are the World Blogfest, May edition

Once again I’m late putting up my post for the We Are the World Blogfest.  I always love to hear tales of people with big hearts and I especially enjoy hearing about wealthy people who choose to give away large portions of their fortunes, so this story of a Norwegian billionaire giving a large part of his fortune to clean up the oceans warmed my heart:  http://www.sunnyskyz.com/good-news/2217/Norwegian-Billionaire-Gives-Away-His-Fortune-To-Help-Save-The-Oceans

Hosts for the blogfest:  Belinda Witzenhausen, Carol Walsh,Chrissie Parker, Damyanti Biswas, Emerald Barnes, Eric Lahti, Inderpreet Kaur UppalKate Powell, Lynn Hallbrooks, Mary Giese, Michelle Wallace, Peter Nena, Rich Weatherly, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Simon Falk, Susan Scott, Sylvia Stein, Sylvia McGrath

And the message is???

In this time of transition both for earth and in my life, I’ve been pretty silent on this blog.  Kind of hard to describe the fogginess that overtakes me every time I try to write up some thoughts…  A lot has been going on so I thought I’d do one of my catch-up pieces about this and that.

Pondering

I’m still pondering the “what am I here for?”, “what’s next?” questions that have been looming for quite some time.  I’ve been seeing how lots of seemingly unconnected steps along my journey are adding up to a greater whole for some time.  But lately I’m realizing it probably stretches on back to my politico college days and the studies I did on government and power (I’ll catch you up on that in a future post).  I still keep seeing a guide book on peaceful activism but I keep feeling there are more pieces to put together first and I’m prepared for change to march me in a different direction…

Body healing

The last few months have seen some significant, if slow, progress on the unwinding front.  The deep, deep places in my face that are opening now are connected to patterns throughout my body and the opening is leading to huge energy flows.  The huge runs of energy have a lot to do with my inability to pull together coherent thoughts and also interfere with sleeping.

I’m hearing that big energy shifts and downloads and weird physical things are happening for lots of folks as this is a big time of transition so I’m guessing it’s pushing my healing process along as well as impacting other levels of transformation.

This last weekend seemed to mark a moment of big shift.  On Friday I whacked my left elbow into the edge of a towel bar which has had it black and blue and, initially, swollen.  The next day, some spilled suntan oil in a store left me splatted on the ground, smashing my left knee and wrist as well as banging my left hip.  By Saturday night I had puffy, black and blue elbow, wrist and knee.

Having learned that it really helps to do the triggers of release work after an accident, I did a number of those exercises Saturday night.  I started experiencing pops and opening at way deeper levels than the accident could possibly have reached that quickly.  It reminded me of another fall, after which Body Patterning practitioner Hanna commented on picking up the feeling that I needed the fall to crack some things open. That’s exactly how this has felt.

Not only did things begin to open more deeply that night, but it has activated a lot of opening in those last, intertwined pieces in my face — the root stuff that has been slow and resistant to opening.  Now, I could do a lot of exploring about some message from particular places I injured (or look it up in Louise Hay 🙂 ) and I do find it interesting all the injuries were on the left (feminine) side, but I’m satisfied that cracking open was the point.

How long? how long?

Over the years I’ve often circled back to wondering why this healing process is taking SO long.  I first realized there were massive problems with my muscles and my health over 30 years ago.  I’ve practiced yoga, spent tens of thousands of dollars on body work, created a new exercise series for it and done countless of hours of energy practices not to mention the affirmations, prayers and visions…

While I’m aware there have been many lessons and I’ve learned a lot about my body I’d never have known without this long slow process, I’m again at a point of saying to the Universe, “Enough.  I’ve had enough.”  Way past the point of getting what benefit there could possibly be to 30+ total years and something like 12 years of just getting the muscles in my face and head sorted out.  Enough.  Not that saying “enough” seems to affect the Universe… 🙂

Love and Compassion

Meanwhile, still working at love and compassion and ever more convinced the answer for these times is to be love, be peace, be compassion.  I posted a Patricia Cota-Robles video a while back in which she leads a meditation basically for healing all humanity and bringing love to the world.  I’m posting it again below, just to make it easy if you’re interested.  I play it on my tablet as I go to sleep most every night and I love it.

Got to see Patricia in person at one of her free events last Sunday, which was SO lovely!  And I’ve been making my way slowly through a Ram Dass on line retreat involving videos from a real world workshop on transforming negative emotions.  Good stuff.

Still chanting as well as seeking out videos and workshops focused on the issues so dear to my heart.

 

We are the World, April version

Mahatma Gandhi and Sarojini Naidu during the S...

Mahatma Gandhi and Sarojini Naidu during the Salt Satyagraha of 1930 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I realized today I completely spaced out yesterday about posting for We are the World Blogfest, but I still wanted to add a piece.  Since I’m all about peaceful activism and finding new ways to accomplish change with love and compassion, I was pleased to read this piece in Positive News about a movement for Gentle Protest: https://www.positive.news/2017/society/26751/the-art-of-gentle-protest/

If you’d like to join in with your own post about something positive, add your link here

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Choosing happiness

Someone posted a clip of Mo Gawdat on Facebook (I have a habit of opening stuff like that in another tab and not viewing until later; then I don’t remember who pointed me there 🙂 ) and his message about happiness turned out to be so in line with things I’ve been thinking.

I particularly love the distinction he makes between fun and happiness — much like my thoughts about over-stimulation often being mistaken for joy.  Though there are longer videos in which he discusses this in greater depth, I purposely chose to use this short clip to make it easier for you to get the gist: