Midterms coming up and I pull the Stress card…noooo. Something is wrong with this blog, it won’t type sarcasm. This man is exactlyhow I felt at the beginning of the week, except I’m smiling my way through it. The monkey? My neck, its my proverbial “monkey on my back.” He’s my sort of my ‘bad timing’ friend but also my wake up alarm call. Pay attention, you’re not paying attention!! Hey Hey pay attention?!?!
How many times have you or someone you know been completely overloaded, with too many projects, too many “balls in the air”, and suddenly come down with the flu, or taken a fall and ended up in crutches? Stress visits us all the time, we can use it as a powerful motivator or we create an idea in our head that nothing will happen without us, especially in the way we want. Perfectionists are particular vulnerable to this, I can attest to this being a recovering perfectionist myself. What the sun will rise whether or not I set my alarm?!?!
Clean the house, cook food, write a blog, connect with others, study, work, plan trip home…many of the times, multiples of these all at the same time. So then… I took a fall, I hurt my neck, and now taking part in self care, I’ve taken a step back. The house will get messy, the studies won’t be perfect, and I can’t keep up with everything. My body has told me “enough, pay attention around you and slow down!” Go for a walk, buy some flowers, cuddle with the dog…anything ‘unimportant’ will do just fine. Anything to get me out of that monkey’s reach!
Photo Credit: OSHO Zen
What a beautiful day to be studying outside!! I just can’t help but appreciate the beauty of nature and the human body while being surrounded by so much growth and love.
As a nurse, and as an individual whom deeply explores her own mind this has always been a very important concept to me. “Physician heal thyself”-Soren Dahl, I like to think of it more as “Healer heal thyself” mainly because of its very deep root in “Know thyself.” To be able to delve deep into ones self is to know where one is weak and where one needs to heal. For to heal others and to know other, you need to first know yourself.
This card shows us that to heal we must be vulnerable and open to the love that others and ourselves have to offer. When we are healing we are no longer hiding from ourselves and others. In this attitude of openness and acceptance we can be healed and in turn help others also to be healthy and whole.
Many of the times we carry our wounds or are ready to be wounded, just waiting on the brink for anything to happen. Be aware of your wounds, don’t help it grow, let it be healed.
So I’m going to try something, please join me if you like, for 24 hours try total acceptance. No stories, no wounding. Someone insults you? Don’t react and see what happens. From one thing to another, see when you react out of habit and when you don’t react out of habit. Is there a pattern? Is there a story you are telling yourself about your wounding?
I am reminded by the people surrounding me, the meditation I sink into, and the medicine I study, how powerful vulnerability can be. I used to fear the word, thinking it meant weak and/or leaving yourself open to be hurt. This video changed everything and it was one of the many things that have lead me to this path I’m on today.
The next glance will be without one back.
The next step will be without hesitation.
The next breath without a word.
The next thought will be with complete clarity.
Your mind chatters, my mind chatters. Where do you find that place to rest, where the chatter subsides? Even if it is just for a moment.
At times, being ‘in the gap’ between thoughts can be scary a little unnerving. I sometimes find myself with nothing to hold on to, no sense of direction or the possibilities that lie ahead. And thats the point when there in nothing to hang on to, no direction to say where you HAVE to go, or what choice you HAVE to make. In that moment of nothing everything is possible. Between the inhale and exhale is stillness, the transition into the next. At that moment of stillness anything is possible, out of nothing anything can come into being. It is potential, absolute potential.
Where does the lack of no-thingness cause despair or worry in your life? Where or how do you find the no-thingness in your life?
Credit: OSHO Zen
Meditation is my first answer, but even as I sat here tonight preparing to write the mind chattered away. It wasn’t the actual act of meditating that caused the silence or the will of the mind. It was finding the stillness in between the thoughts and breath, and sinking into those that the stillness became longer and longer.
Dancing I can find the no-thingness. The pause and stillness that define one movement from the next. The silence in between the the tones that create the rhythm and beats of the music.
This is were I find Shunyata, nothingness.
OK one of the tools I’ve been using is the OSHO Zen Deck. For those of you unfamiliar with what the concept of Zen is I’ll give you a brief watered down version at the end. I’ve found these card very helpful in my morning meditations and to become more present in my everyday life. I want to start pulling a weekly card and place it here, not only for me to reflect on but my readers as well. It may be nothing more than “oh thats a new way to look at it” or it might inspire you to look at yourself or your world differently.
So here’s the first card, Inner Voice, perfect considering my post yesterday was all about that “Finding my Voice”
“The Inner Voice speaks not in words but in the wordless language of the heart…There are times in our lives when too many voices seem to be pulling us this way and that. Our very confusion in such situations is a reminder to seek silence and centering within. Only then are we able to hear our truth.”
Where in your life is are too many voices or labels or opinions pulling you this way or that? In what ways do you find your voice and your truth? Please feel free to comment below with your wisdom and reflections.
I find a lot of time I put too many labels on myself. A lot of them to do with my perceived body image, “Oh I’m too curvy to pull that off” or “no one wants to stare at this butt when I’m trying to rock climb” LOL little mischievous voices can be so vain! Where do I find my truth? On the cushion meditating, in the wood hiking, and something I need to make a priority with my time…dance. When I dance I feel connected, I feel me…so more dancing!
I am not a Zen Master or even aspire to be one but I do find the teachings a very simple and freeing way to think about and explore life. I use the Osho Zen Tarot Deck not to predict the future or look into the past but as a reflection on life and my perceptions around it. So a very simple definition of Zen. Living fully and authentically in the present moment to make each instant of one’s life a peak experience. Zen can bring us face to face with our true original nature, undefiled by cultural conditioning and painful neurotic tendencies.
I have found my voice. For those that know me this will make you laugh for I always seem to be talking or laughing or both. But for those that know me and my darkest parts, the places I feel scared, I hope you feel as relieved as I do. You see I can talk and talk and connect deeply with people, I can shoot the shit about guns or flowers or tea or beer. I find that I can relate to people easily and conversation, most times, comes naturally for me. That voice is tuned and ready to go, I’m not even talking about passion or a belief in an idea. Ideas come left and right, and passion? Well I have some to spare, would you like some? Or should I say my passion has me wandering again, would you like to come along?
This lost voice though has been afraid to come out and I didn’t realize why until I started to think about this blog. Mind you not even the writing of it because just the thought made my gut clench and my throat dry up. You see I can speak in front of people all day long (I may be nervous grant it) because I know in a way I’m good at it. I also am comforted by the fact that most people only remember about 50% of what they hear, so I have that in my favor. Writing it down though where others can read it, then read it again, then refer to it when they show their friends, then laugh at it, then laugh at it again when the whole high school reads it!!! Oh its the 9th grade note passing incident all over again!
So an idea can get stuck in your head and when its stuck there it can continue to grow and become bigger and scarier. So I examined it, I looked at why I was so scared to write these teeny little blog entries. What it came down to, was I afraid I didn’t know what I was talking about. That people would tell me I was wrong, stupid, dumb ,ect. The funny thing is….this blog’s focus isn’t strictly on facts or figures, its my experience. And who knows better about that then me? Those people out there that would tell me those negative things anyway…well ok they can say that, but it doesn’t take away from this.
The stepping into claiming my voice, claiming my experience as my own and not the result of something outside of myself. Forming my thoughts, emotions, and experience into words, something more permanent; to either reflect on, or inspire, or just to release the passion and ideas in my head. Its not so scary now, I realize what the fear is and why. That fear seems smaller now and I feel much louder than before.