Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Awareness’ Category

In my last post, I discussed how we can rebuild our self-trust by making commitments to our goals and them chunking them down into bite-sized doable bits. In this post, I am going to address how our inner dialog and dynamic stirs emotions that impact our self-trust and discipline.

It takes discipline to meet your daily commitments to yourself, regardless of your emotions, regardless of circumstances. Do you notice that you have an adverse reaction to the word discipline? I know I used to. When I was growing up being disciplined was code for being punished.

So here is a little something that helped me reclaim that word in a powerful way. Consider being disciplined as being a “disciple of” something. If you are disciplined about getting into your artist studio every day, you are being a disciple of your art, your curiosity, your wonder, your integrity. When you think of it that way, does it help?

interesting image

Some of us, by nature and/or nurture, are more impacted by our emotions than others. Some people are able to “just do it,” as the Nike phrase goes. I tend to be emotionally based and have procrastinated more than once with “I don’t feel like it” or “I’m just not inspired right now.” If you operate from an emotional base, it can be challenging to get good traction with a new discipline or habit you want to build.

Your energy level might be low, perhaps you are physically depleted, both of which can contribute to your emotional state. In any case, it’s important to work with what you have. Start where you are.

Also, if you recognize that your current emotional state is due to low energy reserves or physical illness, be gentle with yourself and get curious about what your body needs from you and how you can nurture yourself to a better physical and energetic state. If you are in a state of grief over loss, experiencing trauma, terror or other deep emotional pain, again, please nurture yourself and get whatever help you need.

If you are in fairly stable energetic and physical states, and you are stalling out on your commitment to yourself, then look to the emotions conjured by your own internal dialog. These are more illusion than reality. They are driven by thoughts about the past or the future and they are the result of some way we are talking to ourselves.

Think of your emotions as an alchemy of thoughts and physical sensations. For example, I might feel my heart racing right before I go on stage and at the same time I am having a flurry of thoughts. If my thoughts are fear based, I am likely to experience my heart racing as stage fright. If my thoughts are thrill and adventure based, I am likely to experience my heart racing as excitement. In each case, the circumstances are the same, but how I interpret them is different.

Become the observer of your inner dialog.

As you state intentions, meet commitments and get into action, your fear and excitement buttons will get pressed. Your saboteur is suspicious of change and prefers status quo. A couple of ways it may show up as you embark on your new adventure are as a slave driver/bully or (on the other side of the coin) a complete enabler of all things slothful and indulgent.

Both set off a dynamic that can keep you entertained until the day you die, never having accomplished much of anything. Both of them erode your self-trust because you are in a battle with yourself. Let’s take a look at each.

Inner Slave Driver/bully: this is a critical and demanding voice. You are never doing enough, never working hard enough and what you produce is not good enough. Even when you have committed to something and met that commitment regularly, the slave driver will be on your case. There is more to do and do better, more to study and you do not have time for a break. Fun and recreation are not part of this picture. Play has no place and when you are working it has to feel hard and you have to feel miserable in order to get your merit badge for showing up. This is not love.

Inner Indulgent Enabler: this is the pendulum swing opposite of the slave driver that says things like: You’ve worked so hard you deserve a break or one more cookie won’t hurt anything, you’ve been so good anyway. This is not love.

Both voices run a volume continuum from whisper (which is hardly noticeable and so very sneaky) to an echoing scream. They are like drug pushers, if you believe a little of what they say to you, it is only a few more steps down a slippery slope to a lifetime of procrastination. They work you individually and as a team.

If you are prone to ongoing internal dialog with the slave driver, you are likely locked into a bully vs rebel dynamic. The slave driver bullies you, berates you and criticizes you. It can lead to a response like (my most familiar one) a rebel who says “screw you I will do what I want!” (in the name of freedom). It can also lead you to respond like a victim who curls up into a fetal ball, depressed and weary awaiting rescue.

If you are prone to listen to the inner enabler, you are likely to procrastinate by way of saying “mañana.” I need a break today, I don’t have enough energy right now, I lost my inspiration and it feels too hard to get it back. You will then go on and do something easy, like watch TV, go on Facebook, play video games, or do some other more menial task. This last one is clever as it is an indulgent response to the slave driver. “Heck, at least I am doing something on my list.”

Neither of these voices is helpful. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Their true intention is not to get the work done, but to avoid it.

Sometimes they are mirrored by those around you; a spouse, parent, even a coach. You can project your bully or indulgent voice on them. It is a way to blame others for your own internal battle.

Your best bet is to become familiar with these voices and realize that you are not the voices and you are not the emotional response you have to those voices.

Step away from the inner dialog and listen with your observer. What is the dynamic you see at play? Is it more slave driver and rebel? Is it slave driver and victim? Or is it more indulgent and enabling?

Can you see where they double-team you? An example would be: you are on the couch playing a game on your iPad. It started as a quick well-deserved break and has turned into a two hour marathon sponsored by your inner enabler. Now the indulgent voice gives way to your slave driver who berates you for being a couch potato, time waster, video game addict. You are being shamed and criticized. By whom? Yourself. You are not the couch potato and you are not a victim.

You are the author of these dramas, not the characters. As the author, you can direct and re-direct the script, but first you have to be aware that you are the author and it will be very helpful if you have an awareness of the kinds of things each of your characters says. What are their favorite strategies?

This is an assignment I give most of my clients who are beginning a coaching journey. What is your self-talk? How much of it do you even notice and how much do you just embody without question?

There is another voice that you will want to cultivate. It is a nurturing voice; one that has your best interest at heart and tells you the honest truth, never shames, but lovingly redirects. You might imagine a higher self, soul or grounded parent. This is love.

Many of us have difficulty finding this voice at first. We tend to equate it with the indulgent enabler.

I am reminded of something I saw years ago at the SD Wild Animal Park. A young Asian mother with her toddler who appeared to be a few months new to walking were ambling along the entry path. She let the toddler wander and be curious under her watchful eye. Whenever the toddler was headed toward potential trouble (off the path, in front of an oncoming crowd of people) she would gently redirect the child with her hand. No words were said, there was no grabbing, forcing, yelling, admonishing.

This is what it feels like to be guided by our nurturing voice. Every moment we can redirect ourselves, not with shame, shouting, guilt, force, but with a loving light touch that does not allow for self-pity, indulgence, waiting games. It is also a helpful voice for emotions and avoidance that arise when we get confused or don’t yet know how to do something. This voice can lovingly guide us to ask for help from someone who does know how.

In conclusion, what I will say is, most of our emotional responses to our commitments that lead to procrastination, inertia and depletion of our self-trust are actually responses to this internal dialog and drama to which we’ve allowed ourselves to become captive. While we may feel we are at the mercy of this dynamic, we are not. We are actually the creators and so, we can re-create.

What about these dynamics is familiar to you?

How will you gently re-direct yourself and re-create your life today?

If you would like some help with identifying your dynamic and getting off the emotionally run procrastination train, I invite you to consider coaching with me.

Next in this series, I will write about momentum.

Photos and words: Copyright©2015 Kathy J Loh
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

As I trouble over following my mother’s health directive to administer more pain medications to relieve her of the ongoing suffering bone cancer inflicts, I worry about whether or not she has said goodbye. Not so much to each of us, as we have all been saying goodbye for some time now. I wonder if she will have another chance to really take in the trees outside her window, and the blue sky. Will she ever hear bird-song again and does she need a spin in the wheelchair to enjoy that. I don’t need to ask myself if it matters to her. She is the one who first tutored me in its treasures. Perhaps she has been saying good bye for some time and we are just unaware of that. After all, she is already traveling in both worlds, here and beyond.

I realize some of this is a projection of my own needs and what I want. There is a post going around on Facebook of a forest ranger who was in hospice care and wanted to be in her beloved Nature again.  It never fails to move me. I know that deep call of nature and its healing resonance. If I were ill and could not go outside, I would want the sounds in my room, birdsong, ocean waves, breeze in the trees, whale calls.

Today, Earth Day, I am also thinking of another mother and, in both cases, what it means to say goodbye and how goodbye lives in relationship with hello.

Our earth, Pachamama, Gaia, is our mother and we are her children.

photo of dogwood copyright (c) KJLoh

Thinking how important it is to me to say goodbye, to her, I ask myself, “Have I said hello to Pachamama today? Have I honored her and thanked her, offered my respect?”

As I walked the woods pondering this, offering my gratitude to the trees in particular, I was greeted by more birdsong than I have heard since the approach of winter. I soaked it up, let it re-organize my cells. I regularly say “hello” out loud to the flowers, mushrooms, trees and many creatures I see on my walks and hikes. I wonder, having said hello so often, will it be easier or harder to, someday, say goodbye?

When I consider my own passing, I imagine having said hello more often, having received, really received the beauty and gift of this Earth, will make my goodbye more rich, and sad, yes, but very sweet. I wonder too, how often do I protect myself from a painful goodbye by withholding my hello? Do I imagine keeping my love and appreciation contained will somehow save me from deeper heartache?

If I have not said hello enough will I care enough to preserve the Earth and her creatures. Will I really know what it means to recycle, to conserve, to celebrate the biodiversity, to appreciate the bounty?

One of my teachers, Don Oscar Miro-Quesada, encourages us to honor Pachamama with song, ritual, dance, drumming. Yes, this is a profound and sacred way of saying hello.

And, please know, that if you are not inclined to perform ceremony or join a beach cleanup, your simple hello by way of true observation, connection and reception is more powerful and more healing than you might imagine.

You matter and you may be the only person to ever see that particular blossom, that dandelion seed in flight.

I invite you to join me, to celebrate our beautiful Earth mother, by taking a moment to say “hello” to her. Commune with a tree, take in the beauty of a wildflower, sit by a body of water in reflection. Listen to the birds singing. Stop, pause, if only for a minute, and say “Hello.”

Like beginnings and endings, hello and goodbye exist in the same moment, in a unity. We need to be aware of what we are unconsciously throwing away (and the many more painful goodbyes it may create) when we forget to say hello.

Pachamama, our beloved mother Earth, gives and gives. Your hello says “I see you and I appreciate you.” Say hello, not just today, but every day.

Copyright © April 22, 2015 Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Read Full Post »

 “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

On this auspicious Winter Solstice 12/21/12 I am writing to you from my new home on 2.5 acres in the sierra foothills. The snow is falling, the wind is blowing, trees are swaying while the most tenacious leaves and pine needles are hurling themselves to the ground.

I’ve only been here a dozen days and this is the third time it has snowed. Already, I am learning to dance with the rhythm of nature, even if sometimes that dancing has me feeling like being a whirling dervish. If the skies are clear, I work like a squirrel preparing for winter. I run errands, get things tarped, make sure I have enough gas for the generator, enough food in the pantry.

I try to be prepared and not scared and I have to admit, despite the inconvenience of it all, I am thoroughly enchanted by falling snow and the majesty of giant trees.

copyright (c) 2012 Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Winter Solstice is when we begin to see longer days and shorter nights, day by day, night by night.

This particular solstice has grabbed the attention of many as the marker for the big shift, the end of the world as we know it, new beginnings. Some say it is the end of an old paradigm and the beginning of a new paradigm in which we are the creators of our reality in a whole new way. Whatever it is and whatever you feel, it is an opportunity to set powerful intentions for living a life worthy of our beautiful souls and spirits.

Today is a good day to plant the seeds of those intentions and let them take hold and root underground before cultivating them on the surface. Winter is a time to go inward, to rest and revive and maybe even re-set our body, mind, spirit and heart. When the Spring Equinox arrives, we will see our seeds sprout and we can then get into action around them. Winter is more for being.

So we set our intentions as if they are tulip bulbs in the earth of our energetic being. This is a good time to check in with ourselves. Who are we being and who is it that we need to be to create, nurture and follow through on those intentions? What within us needs to be understood, nurtured, changed, or released to become the best gardener of those “bulbs?”

It might be the way we think about things, a mindset that no longer serves us. This might be revealed to us in our judgment of self and others. Listen to what you say to yourself as well as to others. Listen with wonder and curiosity.

It might be the way we are denying our feelings or using inauthentic tactics like guilt and blame to avoid feeling what our hearts want us to experience.

It might be the way we are holding ourselves separate from our bodies, in struggle and resistance, fighting, controlling, pushing our bodies rather than listening, loving and responding.

As we build fires to keep us warm on winter nights, we can ask ourselves how we are tending the fire of our spirit. Wither our passion, zest for life, appreciation and gratitude for the beauty that surrounds us and the beauty within us?

So yes, let this be the end of the world as you know it. The end of what no longer works, of trying to constrict and constrain yourself into short little days of being awakened while enduring long, long nights of default drifting.

Today is a good day to “release your history and dance into the Mystery” as my tag line says.

You are not your history. You are a unique and deeply important expression of a Great Mystery.

You matter.

You shine.

We want to see you in majestic full bloom!

Magical Solstice to you, my lovely readers!

Invitation: I am offering a year-long one-on-one guided journey for those who wish to have a transformative and healing experience. Curious? You can read more about it here: http://www.coachkathy.com/coachingprograms.html

copyright (c) December 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

 

Read Full Post »

“Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice” ~ Nora Roberts

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.” ~ Wolfgang Von Goethe

“Once you awaken, you still use the word “I”, but it will come from a much deeper place.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

The word magic comes from Magus or Magician. In Tarot, the Magus is the energy of all possibility, The Fool, brought into focus as a singular idea. The root of the word “mag” means “to do or make” and is also the root of imagine. In sacred geometry, 1 (the Magus) emerges from the center of unity (0 or fool).* It is the beginning of creation.

So, I make up, it is when the Cosmos first knows itself as separate from itself, in a way, through each of us as individuals. We are each the result of a singular focus out of all possibility. Following that, I make up that we are all both magic and magicians. We are all magicians on the frontiers of unfolding consciousness.  And yes, it might be said, we are all fools as well.

Last week, a client came to her call wanting to invoke more magic in her life. She is aware of the way I work with messages from the Mystery, which I relate to as the more real, and wants to experience more of that in her life; more winks and cosmic whispers, more enchantment. I left the call reflecting upon my own path to trusting the whispers and messages.

It’s an interesting path to journey. Most of us are delighted by synchronicity and momentarily pushed into our right brain by déjà vu. Somewhere along the line it becomes all to “woo woo” for most. We create for ourselves a false sense of security in what we can say is real.

“Mystics understand the roots of the Tao but not its branches; scientists understand its branches but not its roots. Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science; but man needs both.” ~ Fritjof Capra

What is real, what is illusion? What is true, what is false? What senses are we using to ascertain the difference?

copyright (c) March 2012 Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

We have senses that we think we can rely upon – taste, smell, sight, sound, touch. To see it is to believe it. But any good magician with their sleight of hand will have us believe we’ve seen a woman cut in half in a box with her legs still kicking and face still smiling. Can we rely upon our sight then?

We have senses that we think we can’t rely upon; most of which fall into what we call intuition, right brain, gut instinct, sixth sense. In a Lucid Living course on Trusting the Unseen: The Magic of Resonance Causation, we refer to them as unfamiliar senses (whereas the others mentioned above are our familiar senses). These have been, for most of us, shut down early on.

My own path of magic has been one of solitude, particularly in meditation and in nature. It has led me to trust my unfamiliar senses and to discover that the world around me is speaking to me, co-creating with me, dreaming (with) me all the time. All I have to do is notice and be willing to dwell in the inquiry of being both the dreamer and the dreamed.

Some might say I am deceiving myself. I might be. You see, I figure I have an option of deceiving myself in an infinite number ways and so I choose to focus on a path of Enchantment and Beauty.  I choose to resonate in the key of Love. I’m no model of perfection. I am a fool and a magician walking the path.

Others choose to deceive themselves by thinking that they can find a way to control “reality” and that war might be one of the answers. They see themselves as separate from all others, as victims, and live in a state of us-against-them scarcity. They rely upon the tools of blame, shame, manipulation, pity. I’m familiar with these. I’ve used them plenty myself, but to little end other than a whole lot of suffering.

What’s real? If we think it is something finite, then we forget that we are conscious creators. We hand off the responsibility for consciously co-creating our evolution. If we are each a unique expression of one unified Source, then we are the scouts on the frontier reporting back on the experience.

We are in dreamtime, but if we are not consciously and responsibly so, then we are not free.

This is why I think it’s important to become as present to the now moment as possible, because there is no future that does not come out of now. Our choice in this moment is the cause of the effect we experience in our future. When that future arrives whether it is the next hour, next day, next year, it arrives as now. To be free is to move with the current. But it is not to be the victim of the current.

“We may be floating on Tao, but there is nothing wrong with steering. If Tao is like a river, it is certainly good to know where the rocks are.”  Deng Ming-Dao

That is why I talk about “dancing into the Mystery” – it is a way of expressing what I see in my imagination as the experience of living in the present moment, so awake as to be open to every pivotal moment and make conscious choices; claiming full responsibility (ability to respond) and authority (being the author of my life). In other words, I cannot blame the rock for my inability (or my unwillingness) to see it. I do claim responsibility and authority for living in the question, not becoming overly attached to the answers with which I play and recognizing when I have.

I’ve deceived myself in so many ways and every day, more is revealed to me.

Again, what is real?

Is the glass half empty? Is the glass half full? Is the glass an illusion?

What is the way in which you have chosen to deceive yourself?

Whatever your method of deception, it is having an impact on us all.

What magic will you create?

Please enjoy this TED talk by Marco Tempest. I watched it this morning and it inspired me to write this post. It’s entertaining and may fill in some blanks where I’ve made assumptions.

Notes:

*For more on Tarot, I highly recommend Tarot of the Spirit by Pamela Eakins

** For more on magic and resonance, I highly recommend courses with Leza Danly and Jeanine Mancusi at Lucid Living. 

Copyright © March 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Read Full Post »

“Your matter matters.” Tantra Maat

You matter!

Why? How do I know?

No matter what you do, who you are to others, where you live, it comes down to one thing:

You matter because you are here. (And you are here, because you matter.)

We are are the frontier extension of source energy that is ever expanding. We are the pioneers, the messengers and the creators.

We matter, you and I. (The emphasis being on and, because it is not about or, or even about more than, less than.)

Maybe, if we allowed ourselves to embody that, everything else would fall into alignment.

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked by a reader of TIME magazine,

“What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?” This is his answer.

copyright(c) March 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved (except video)

Read Full Post »

“As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Nelson Mandela

I notice as I begin to write this post, that it is high noon. I’m reminded of Westerns in which the moment of confrontation is scheduled for high noon.

I have felt myself to be traveling toward high noon. The confrontation is not with any outer circumstance or individual. It is within me. It is that moment when my personality squares up with my soul and says “draw pahrdner!” It is the moment when my mind steps aside in deference to my heart.  It is the portal to a new way of being that can’t be known, but only glimpsed, from this side of the door jamb.

But wait…let’s rewrite the script here.  I think I’ll write it as me riding off into the sunset at the beck and call of soul.

I’m not interested in fighting. Fighting, especially with the negative ego, is the ultimate detour. I’m interested in being an enchanted wanderer in the Great Mystery.

I’ve not posted much here recently, and I’ve had plenty of passion and ideas about what to write. Passion and inspiration are moving through me so quickly that I find myself living those unwritten posts and moving on before I ever get near the computer.  Some of it gets disseminated in my journals, my emails to friends and comments on other people’s blogs. The rest is simply digested.

It used to be that I kept track of every inspiration, every whisper or sign from the Universe that it is friendly and helpful. I wanted to remember the magic, hold on to it forever. Now I’m inundated with messages and it’s all too much to hold; spilling over. Trying to accumulate to remember is another distraction. True remembrance is re-membering; embodying

I have a suspicion many of you have been feeling something similar; an apparent acceleration (or shrinking) of time. I say apparent because the reality of linear time is questionable and so it follows that acceleration would also be an illusion. What if it is about the speed of soul and we are beginning to feel that vibration? I suspect that we will find ourselves soothing our physical bodies by slowing down to speed up; meaning becoming more deeply present to the infinite here and now in order to attune to (or even survive) the new frequencies.

Still, here we are…moments past the actual time of the Super Moon (2:10 pm EDT), hours away from the Spring Equinox tomorrow (March 20 7:21 pm EDT) praying for Japan, praying for the ocean, praying for ourselves.

copyright(c) March 2011, Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

Do you see the dancer in the shadow to the right?

This equinox finds us at a different kind of high noon. We are precariously unbalanced and in great need of realignment. Fear begins to shut down our physical systems. We begin to show symptoms in pain, illness, depression, confusion. We can meet our fear at high-noon and stare it down, hope to God/dess to have the fastest draw, or we can let our fear live out its own story in some other reality while we ride off into the sunset of Love, guided by our hearts.

This riding off into the sunset is not an ending. It is a beginning. It is accomplished in the simplest of steps and awarenesses:

Where is your attention?

To what are you giving your energy?

What do you tell yourself about you?

When you are thinking, who is thinking and who is listening?

Where is the Love? (hint: all around you)

What does it take to open to receive Love even in the face of fear?

How can you extend any amount of Love if you are not opening to receive it?

What will soothe your physical body so that you feel safe?  (hint: it’s the small things)

What in your space and activities is more noise and distraction than beauty and clarity?

What will you do about that? (in the name of Love)

Here’s an example of soothing by way of something I created for myself in an improvisatory moment last night.

I’d been feeling very out of sorts. I had a stiff neck (from exercising my frozen shoulder) and I was feeling some kind of heaviness in my head. My blood pressure felt low. I was also sick and tired of all the rain and dankness in my place. I was miserably cold. I decided to take a bath to get warm.

I set up the bath with the usual candle and bath amenities and I set Pandora to my Hawaiian slack key channel. I immersed myself and let the water work its magic. I let my arms float and make hula movements in the water. I found myself in the warm waters of Manele Bay where the dolphins swim.

I sang along with the instrumental music in Hawaiian style, making up words that sound Hawaiian but are actually nonsense. The amount of challenge presented by singing with harmonies that were unknown to me was just right. As I sang, I pictured Lanikai Beach. My mind drifted to the memory of a game I’d played with Jeff Jacobson and other Lucid Living friends. We made up words and phrases in fake Hawaiian sound-alike language.  In my imagination, while soaking in the tub, I created a reality in which I was having a great time with these friends. Jeff’s wonderful playful energy was with me in that moment. I laughed and sang and laughed some more. I got downright silly.

copyright (c) Oct 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Lanikai, Oahu, HI

By the time I got out of the tub, my entire system had been re-set. I had created community and fun and my heart was filled with joy, love and playfulness. Love was present and I was present to Love.

Question: was it real?

Answer: Did I experience it?

Now I ask you, as you consider riding off into the sunset at high noon: if we create our reality, what reality do we want to create? One of fear and constriction?  One of Love and expansion? (And yes, there are many more choices and we include it all, but I have a notion that Love and expansion are more inclusive than fear and constriction.)

Even if you don’t believe you create it all, you can at least think about your capacity to be at choice with how you will be with the reality you perceive.

My bath time wonderland last night was my oxygen mask. The one I put on before I can help others; the one that enables me to spill over with joy and Love – the same joy and love that powers my prayers and visions for Japan, for Christchurch, for Chile, for Haiti, for Libya, for New Orleans, for polar bears and arctic ice floes.

Tragedy, chaos and destruction in the world do not preclude laughter and play, they demand it.

So, I invite you to leave your fear standing alone in the dusty, empty center of some ghost town and ride off into the sunset of your new reality on a laughing and singing on a horse called Love. It must be high noon somewhere and the world needs laughter and prayers from hearts spilling over with Love and joy.

Here’s a soundtrack for your ride (Led (Ledward) Kaapana):

PS: How about some hope? Lucid Living is offering a workshop: Anchoring New Hope: Sacred Ceremonies for a New World. Click HERE for more info.

Copyright © March 2011, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Read Full Post »

I have a frozen shoulder, otherwise known as adhesive capsulitis. This means, I can’t raise the arm attached to that shoulder much higher than the shoulder itself. It makes things like sweeping, washing my hair, putting on pullover tops and the like challenging or nearly impossible without pain. I’m to avoid pain. Nice directive and one for which I need little reminding.

[Let me take a moment to announce to everyone, especially the mid-life women out there, if you feel pain in your shoulder and it doesn’t go away for weeks on end, get it checked out. It is easier to take care of early in the game. Once it adheres, the recovery can be a long one. Natural recovery (without intervention) can take 2 to 4 years. Much of what I’ve read says it is likely hormone related. I would have liked to have known about all of this prior to the adhesion, so consider this my public service warning to all you ladies out there.]

As for me, I felt it last fall, before I went to Hawaii, but I figured it was just another of those aches that goes away if you just give it a little time. While I was in Hawaii, it loosened up as I swam in the warm waters of Lanai. But then, I suspect everything feels better in Hawaii.

There are details of the journey, whom I saw and what they recommended, but where this post really begins is the night after I got a cortisone shot in my shoulder.  Agony was my teacher.

The pain was the worst I’d felt since I broke my foot.  I experienced wave after wave of pain and no position made it better.  There was no break, no breather from the misery.  I walked around my house saying “and this is supposed to make me feel better? Are you kidding me? WTF!”  I began to wonder how people with chronic pain manage and my compassion for those people went up exponentially.

When I went to bed,  I put on the Reiki Whale music I listen to every night and tried finding the least painful position to lay in. At first, I resisted, as in, I tried to go to sleep despite the pain, trying to ignore the pain and listen to the music. That didn’t work.

Finally, I decided to work with it rather than against it. I repeatedly said “You are a part of me. You are a part of my wholeness.” Then I went deeper into the pain with curiosity; wanting to know more about this part of me. I found myself being with its rhythm, riding its wave. Somewhere in that ride, I drifted off. When I awoke, the pain was gone.

That morning, with my focus no longer captive to waves of pain in my arm, I noticed that my big toe joint hurt, my left shoulder was also unhappy and there was a kind of kink in my groin. These typical morning aches and pains felt heavenly in comparison to the previous night’s waves.

I took the contemplation of wholeness to my morning meditation. What was the pain teaching me?  I thought of all the ways I have separated from myself in resistance to pain; physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual pain, mental pain. Whenever I resist, I am saying, you are not me, you are the enemy.

Then I became aware of all the ways I’ve separated from myself by berating myself. Every time I have found myself wrong, imperfect, flawed in some way, I’ve disowned a piece of me and created separation.  I became aware of the ways I’ve colluded with others who have foisted their own pain on me in the form of disrespect and abuse.

When I am not experiencing myself as whole, I feel broken and feeling broken I chase after whatever I think will fix me. Thus, I’ve set up a cycle of separation and pain.

In my meditation I welcomed it all back, all of it and all of me. I sent messages and vibrations of love to all of me, the whole me with everything included.

Now, the me who is already (and always was) beautiful has an opportunity to catch up to the me that has been chasing after perfection.

Beauty is not perfection.

I said to myself: This is where I not only “see what is,” I accept. I surrender. I stop chasing. Now I can begin again from Love.

As I sat with those thoughts, I noticed little complaints from various parts of my body as if to ask “me too?” “Yes, knee, you too.” And as quickly as it came, the throbbing in the knee vanished.

The prior night’s pain brought me into my body and would not let me escape. Being in my body had me be aware of what it needs. It forces me to listen and that’s all the body wants, for me to be present and listen.

I became aware that if I am self-loathing in any dark little corner of myself, I hold myself separate from me, from others, from life, from God / Goddess / All that is.  This loving wholeness, embracing it all, is the antidote to self-loathing. Rather than focusing on how I am not perfect and all the things that need fixing, which has me not like myself until those things are fixed, I am turning my attention to being whole. I’m loving the whole me inclusively and my body, mind, spirit and heart can all feel safe and loved, rather than marginalized and disowned.

If I want to be heard and seen, best to begin by seeing and hearing myself.

And so, I am re-membering the disowned parts and I am remembering who I really am.

And you, dear reader, what pains you and how is it related to separation?

copyright (c) February 2011, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: