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Archive for the ‘Curiosity’ Category

Years ago, I had a breast lump aspirated and had to wait a few days for the results. Those days grew my compassion as I wandered about the grocery store and streets of town wondering what kind of news others might have recently received that had them seem so disconnected or disgruntled. I remember saying to myself, “You never know who just got a frightening diagnosis, word of someone’s death, or lost their job.”

My results were benign and I was greatly relieved. With the relief came a loss of memory, for compassion. Some of it stuck, but the frustration I felt with others on the road, in the shopping aisles returned. Old habits die hard I guess, but they do eventually die if we persist.

It’s also true that we never know who just received great news and is celebrating. When I am not feeling so great I can wonder about another’s happiness and even envy it some. Compassion teaches me to hold both the joy and the sorrow in the same cup.

Lately, I’ve been feeling compassion in a way that has me realize why I’ve found it so difficult to be with in the past. It’s not particularly comfortable.

I cried the other day as I watched a woman standing on a traffic island receive money from a stranger passing by in a car. She checked the bill several times, pocketed it and shuffled wearily back to her position.  I wondered about her, what journey she’d been on, what brought her to this point. It’s so much easier to judge than be curious. To be curious, to wonder, includes feeling into what might be happening over there. I don’t like feeling that. It hurts.

I cried yesterday when I saw a young guy being clueless and projected that he was not well educated, not particularly conscious (I don’t really know) and I thought of the world and humanity. I cried for the human condition. We try. We really try. I don’t like thinking about it. I don’t like how it feels. It hurts.

I cried today when a Jerusalem Cricket gave up the ghost. Spider bite? Age? I don’t know. All I know is that it hurt me to watch it wiggle all of its parts as its brain gave its final hard-wired instructions. I don’t like death. I don’t like losing people. I don’t like thinking about losses that will come. It hurts.

I’ve built a lot of protection between me and the pain I feel in the world. I’ve got rules, assumptions, avoidance techniques and no lack of judgment that create a wall around my heart. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that it hurts so much to feel it. And, feel it I must, beginning with my own stuffed-down emotions. As the heart cracks open, the ability to be with a full spectrum of emotions grows and I can still cry, but I don’t make it into another brick in my protective wall.

(If you are interested in growing your emotional capacity, keep an eye on Lucid Living. They are up to some amazing work and I’ve grown tremendously from my experiences with them.)

Karen Caterson (who writes a fun blog, by the way) shared this on Facebook today. I hope you’ll take the time to watch it and that it touches your heart as it touched mine.

Copyright (c) November 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Dawdling unrule #1 is to travel in un-straight lines; in squiggly-wiggly lines.

Dawdling is about the journey rather than the destination.

It’s free-form travel: the scenic route.

It’s the flight of the butterfly dancing from flower to flower in the least efficient manner. They appear to be fascinated with their amazing new wings. I imagine them thinking “Look at my beautiful wings. How did I get these? Look at me dancing. Oh, there’s a pretty flower, yummy. Ooh that sun feels good. Think I’ll stretch out my wings for a good sun-soak.”

"ah" (Kathy Loh)

"ah" (Kathy Loh)

Dawdling is hither-thither travel. The beginning and end points are where we start and where we are when we decide we’ve arrived.  When I dawdle, I dream, I float, I stop, I backtrack, I am curious and I investigate for no good reason other than because I am attracted.

It’s not that there is no destination. It’s just that the destination does not overshadow the journey.

OK, let’s just say it…We can live life in the fast lane, super efficient, always focused on the destination and, in the end, we will be able to say we were, well, efficient and productive.

We are all headed toward the same final destination. I don’t know about you, but a straight line to death is not appealing to me. If I’m going there anyway, I’d just as soon enjoy the journey. I want to exercise my wings, take in the sweet nectar of life and soak up the warmth of the sun. I want to stop and spend time with you, with the tree, with the lizard on the porch.

There’s straight line efficiency and there’s energy efficiency, my energy.

My energy is depleted by fast-track living and busy-ness competitions. I am happy to lose that game. To those who embrace that mode of life-travel, I say “You win! You can be busier than me. Knock yourself out, because you will.”

My energy is restored when I dawdle. I feel alive and I have a deep desire to know that when I reach that final destination common to us all, I fully engaged with life along the way.

It’s just too darn beautiful here to miss out on that.

We are all too beautiful to miss out on each other.

If you are not sure how to dawdle, find a butterfly and follow it for awhile. I guarantee you, the butterfly will teach you all about it.

Dawdling is the path of Love and Love is the Great Mystery.

Will you dance with me there?

 Copyright(c) June 2009, Kathy Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Something is up for me, something around form and here is where I get the inform-ation about that. (See earlier post on Information)

In January, I attended a Tarot Pilgrimage for 2009 with Pamela Eakins. We pulled cards for each month of the year. My card for May is One of Earth (Form).

I am currently doing a 10 Powers Tarot journey with Pamela and this week the card we are working with is One of Earth (Form).

Pamela did a reading for me regarding my heart’s desire (wouldn’t you like to know what that is – I’m not telling) and the middle card was One of Earth (Form).

One of the questions posed by that card is what wants to be manifest into form now? What I read said the card is telling me to stop thinking about things and do them NOW.

It was driving me a little nuts. I had this sense of urgency. I mean the same card in 3 different readings converging at the same point…surely I must do something now! I found myself pacing agitatedly and asking, “but what? ” And I’m not talking I-don’t-have-a-clue-what, but which what? If you’ve ever had that problem you are familiar with the train wreck that follows.

Then, this morning while meditating on the card, something shifted. I saw NOW from a different angle. I saw that everything before NOW was THEN. (I know, duh) Every good idea, theory or creative expression from before is no longer an inspiration for form in the now. Things have changed. I have changed. So I ask myself: What is it that wants to happen now, because this is no longer then?

You are probably wondering when the Cheshire cat and the Mad Hatter appear…

In that moment of insight, I was released from the past and able to breathe into freedom, to catch a glimpse of what true freedom is.

Oak Sunset (K Loh)

Oak Sunset (K Loh)

I look at the oaks outside my window. When they were acorns full of potential there were many possibilities for what they would look like 10 or 20 years later. As they grew, environmental factors determined which way the branches would grow, which branches would become strong and which would fall away. With each passing moment, the options for what was once possible become redirected by virtue of what has happened so far. The infinite possibilities inherent in the acorn, are fewer.  And at every moment there is a question of what now, or which way now?

This is a simple illustration of being aware that we will have to hold our plans lightly.

I have a garage full of what could be called branches; boxes of music from my piano teaching years, synthesizer setups and computers for a learning lab I used in my studio. I have two windsurfers, sails, skis, mountain bike and tons of miscellaneous stuff in boxes including books. They all represent something from my past, some way in which I identified myself, some role I played or world in which I belonged. Some hold a higher potential of being part of my NOW than others.

Those that are part of my now are the branches that are still connected to my trunk. The ones that have some potential, but are not really present for me are connected, but have lost leaves. Others are branches that have fallen away and need to be cleaned up, recycled back into the community where they will nourish others.

The breath of freedom I received was in knowing that all the things and ideas from the past were what wanted to happen then and I had a great track record of bringing them into form. If I spend all my time herding the past, I will miss what it is that wants to happen now.

Focusing upon what wants to happen now, I lean into faith and I listen to the whispers of my soul and the times in which I live. Becoming present, I participate in creating as much as preserving. I do not lose my past. I am my past. I am a composition of all I have ever seen, done, said, thought, felt. That’s what  makes each of us, in this big pool of one-ness, so unique.  And all that I am contributes in that unique way to what I am up to now. I am informed by all those old ideas, doings and ways of being, but I don’t have to be chained to them, drained by them or beholding to them.

So when I ask the question – “what will I manifest into form now?” I no longer feel an urgency to pick an answer. I find it strangely pleasant to live in the question and while I’m living there (or should I say here), I become very creative and forms begin to make themselves  tangible through me.

How about you?

What comes up for you around all the stuff (internal and external) you have hanging around from the past?

How does it potentially help you navigate uncertain times whether in your own life or in our economic climate in general?

What wants to happen, through you,  now?

copyright(c) Kathy Loh, April 2009, all rights reserved

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Today, I’m sharing with you a very simple and effective way to become more aware, more conscious, reduce stress and guess what….it doesn’t have to be hard!

Stop

Breathe

Notice

Go ahead and try it right now.

Stop:  whatever you are doing and be still

Breathe: let your belly be soft and your back straight so as to give the airways a chance to expand and breathe in and out easily.

Notice: Allow yourself to be curious, from a childlike state of not-knowing and non-judgment.

What do you notice about how your body feels (including your breathing)?

What do you notice about your thoughts? Are they charged, pressured, focused, scattered, whiney, empowering?

What do you notice about your feelings? Are you being with your feelings? Are you repressing them? Are you wondering what it is to feel?

What do you notice about your spirit? Is it present, absent, patient, impatient?

What do you notice about your environment?

Check in with your senses: what do you hear, see, feel (as in touch), taste, smell and sense (intuitively)?

You don’t need to ask yourself all of these questions and you will come up with some of your own. They are all designed to bring awareness to the present moment, by way of body, mind, spirit and heart.

Remember to remain curious and simply notice without passing judgment.

It takes a minute or two to do this. It is meant to be done many times throughout the day. Call it mini-meditation (which you can expand into longer sittings whenever you want).

It’s easy and it’s meant to be easy. Living consciously is a natural state and we are masters at resisting it.

Curiosity is one of the keys to playing in the mystery.

You might be wondering, “How do I remember to do this practice?”

There are a number of ways to remember to stop, breathe and notice. Here are a few suggestions:

Set your cell phone/ watch alarm or a computer beep to go off at various intervals.

Put sticky notes in prominent places like a mirror, dashboard, computer screen (create a pop-up or wall paper reminder) – Be sure to move them around since notes that are in the same place all the time become a part of the scenery and become invisible to us.

Have an awareness buddy and design an arrangement where you call or tap each other at moments to remind you to do this practice on the spot.

Bonus

Once you have become familiar with this practice, you can add the next step – shift

If you want to change the way you are talking to yourself, holding your body (generally with tension), the pace at which you are moving or even open more to your authentic emotions and raise them to a higher level on a vibrational scale, you have a better chance of shifting them after you notice what they are by default.

I’ll write more about that in a future post.

As I stop and breathe, I notice what a beautiful day it is and that I’d really love to go out for a walk right now. It’s Earth Day after all!  Meet you on the pathway…………

all photos and words copyright(c) April 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved
Forest Path (K Loh)

Mystery Path (K Loh)

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