Sunday, February 25, 2018
Looking For a Way Out ?
There must be hundreds of people out there who, like me, have been thinking ‘What happened to me? I used to have a wicked sense of humour, be relaxed, loving even.’
I used to see the good in people and I learnt, for certain, that understanding and empathy brought out the good in others, healed even. There was a time I would confidently ask, what is this physical pain a person is going through and I would get an answer, trust it and clear it. I understood the nature of reality as all connected and infinitely resolvable.
But, crashing in, with all that awareness came 'calls to action' and distraction in the form of money worries, bad treatment at council level, disastrous decisions at government level, ignorance and exploitation at industry level. Along with that came the need to DO SOMETHING in 3D to help those that are suffering.
This, I think, is the way that we have become pools of consciousness, muddied by clarified upsets. We have fallen for the idea, afresh, that something tangible has to happen, changes on the outside.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I haven’t had much success trying to persuade people to be kinder, less racist, speciesist, sexist, reactive or more harmless, gentle or humble. It might be that people don’t want to see traces of these things in themselves; seeing them as prejudices and weaknesses, respectively. Alternatively, it might be that I’m better at writing about the WHY and the HOW than the WHAT.
So, Why Be Kind?
1) Because it is a key part of our original human nature. Remember it, it has been too long forgotten.
2) Because everyone you meet is just a reflection of a part of you - that might have to be dealt with firmly but still with compassion, if you want to keep yourself an integrated whole.
3) Because being kind and thoughtful of others dispels anxiety about your own life.
That is how I first discovered this way forward, through empathy and mindfulness. Lying awake in bed, stressing about the range of story lines running in my life at the time. I was, as they say, ‘beside myself with worry’ and therefore not present in any useful way to help myself.
Something told me to get stuck into a larger picture. I thought of each member of my family and what life might be like for them. I wished them well or for a miracle, whichever I felt they needed. Then I thought of homeless people, then animals in farms and labs, then people who were sick and scared, etc. After a while, I drifted off, more aware of my safety and wellbeing and therefore with a new perspective.
I realized that I was doing more than ‘thinking’ of others. There was a quality of applying myself, wishing the best with all my heart, fully acknowledging their difficulties and recognizing the equal value of their life to mine. It is not that we are all equally porns in some political game, we are all equally gifted. Just think, if each, only apparently individual, person stopped their massive energy quota from spiraling around, in an ever-decreasing circle and so also stopped the inevitable implosion of thoughts that reinforce a sense of powerlessness and INSTEAD, sent their energy out on a daily basis, looking for miracles for people, animals and environments in trouble? What a power that wave of magic, resolution, good will and collective knowledge would carry.
Most people like to think that their thoughts are fine, it’s everyone else’s that are incomprehensible! On closer inspection, some might be able to concede that some negativity has got in, in the shape of fear and judgment, if not fully engaging in name calling and wishing people dead, specifically!!
I was caught in an oscillation between personally painful stories and anger at the pain inflicted on others. I suspect a lot of people would agree that only a few minutes every day are consciously spent in peaceful well wishing. Now to get our other 23 and a half hours up to standard.
I know that gratefulness is often talked about but I currently think that if you practice it (by which I mean, list things you could be grateful for every day, even if you don’t feel particularly grateful at the time) it can become the filter through which you actually SEE life. That is because you have to LOOK for things to be glad of. This is the very opposite of, say, a health and safety inspector, who has trained themselves to look for all the potential hazards and accidents waiting to happen. With gratitude, you train yourself to look for and eventually quickly see, the blessings in a situation and the real gifts of your surroundings.
The process has a progression to it which is: Gratitude, increased appreciation, change of focus from lack and resistance to occasional, then predominant, gladness, felt in your body. The cascade of gladness becomes more easily triggered and drenches every cell in the body. Thoughts become less entrenched and imagination flows beyond what is to what could be. A vision is formed.
Top 10 things I’m grateful for:
1) A loaf of homemade bread not successful enough to sell at the café so unexpectedly available for my own breakfast.
2) An avocado has simultaneously ripened to perfection and I find oil, apple cider vinegar and mustard for my favourite vinaigrette and some leaves of home grown lettuce.
3) I have a community of friends and one top favourite came at once to help me get a rug on Magic for the cold snap to come.
4) There was time for tea, to taste-test the raw banoffi pie, to light the stove, to put the world to rights, to help get the 40kg of coal out of the car at last and for her to remind and encourage me to write and share ideas. She thinks more and more people are starting to see things like I do.
5) I find the stove is still on this morning and it kicks off again with a few sticks.
6) The dogs don’t chase the cyclists.
7) It is warm enough to sit for an hour on the doorstep with my dressing gown hood as a sun visor.
8) I am warm, healthy and getting back on form, spiritually ahd physically. I can do the splits. I have always seen them as the physical representation of mental freedom and flexibility: ie The belief that I may be wrong and I may be right, about things as I go along, but either way, I’m going to trust myself to participate in the dance of life and to trust others as well.
9) I’m so glad of the Plaza at Paulstown with their soya cappuccinos and free wifi. It’s far enough away from Harmony Hall not to trash the frequencies I’m chanelling here but seriously handy, being in the nearest village!
10) Best of all, I feel I’m back and that my frame of mind and heart are positive and sustainable. I’m off to thank nature in person and any other dimensions of life I come into contact with. Which might be quite a few!
All the best, Fx