Authenticity – Nov 23

This blog is dedicated to three powerful teachers: Medicina natural las plantas, Vipassana & Bolad’s Kitchen

If there is no peace in the minds of individuals, how can there be peace in the world? Make peace in your own mind first.  ~ S.N. Goenka

quiet ocean.jpg

?¿?Authenticity?¿?

Whew.  I am so immersed in this process that I spiral about, within a space, neither-here-nor-there, and grow impatient with authenticity.  🙂

What is this space: neither-here-nor-there?  This, my dear, is the veld.  

Where is the space?  It is the uncultivated land where my domesticated self meets my wild soul…the land where possibility lives and transformation occurs.

veld 875x300

I once feared the veld because there is nothing concrete for me to hold, the veld is an uncultivated seedbed of possibilities, where I, if I choose, am the gardener: cultivate, seed, water, tend and sprout into view.


Seedbed Of Fear

A seedbed of possibilities.  Infinite possibilities!  But what if I, the gardener, am negligent in my tending?  What is possible then?

A fair number of friends spoke to me this week about their addiction to busy-ness.  One friend in particular sadly-mused about their frenetic days, constantly moving from one activity to another to another, and only superficially experiencing their self, others and the world.

fame fortune glamour

Busy-ness is a well-known escape from ourselves but there is an often overlooked aspect of busy-ness that few realize, and this aspect has direct consequences on authenticity, for busy-ness spirals us farther and farther away from ourselves.

First, busy-ness allows only a superficial experience; second, superficiality creates a neglectful gardener; third, neglect fuels the growth of fear; fourth, we busy-ness away from our growing fear; fifth, neglect; sixth, fear; seven eight nine ten…away we spiral.

It was fatal to be afraid of any skulking thought, the more I looked the other way the wilder grew my ideas of its terror.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

terror on the wall

Tending fear is terrifying for me, but far better than the alternative, which is a fantastically bizarre and over-blown perception of them.  But not all my fears are the mean, dark ones that jump out and bully me.  

Upon looking closely into the back of my mind, I find…

…a confusion of feelings and fragmentary images.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

fragment.jpg

Why this fragmentary confusion?  Are some fears reluctant to be known?  If so, why?

<<insert your best guess here!>>

And I will insert my experiential-guess here.  

Having had a few years of experience in this arena – this chasing down fragments and confusion – I realize that my fears fragment and hide from me because, in order to address them properly – know of them and seek to resolve them – I need to initiate a change in my life, a change which terrifies me more than living with the fear.  

scardey cat.jpg

As bizarre as it sounds, healthy change can seem far worse than continually living in fear.  Daily, I witness beautiful people remain in the ‘safety of their known fears’ – their status-quo – due to the aggrandizement of their fears.

{Dysfunctional relationships.  Harmful employment.  Toxic habits of body/mind.  Etc.}

Fortunately, most of our fears are not nearly as terrifying as we fear…

hands over face

…as soon as I caught the idea I could see what it was…so that the emotion that first surrounded it…became so absurd…[and] once I would look it in the face it shrank into everyday size and shape.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

I encourage you to pause for a moment and consider fear as an important destination on this journey. <<no destination in life is permanent, all are mere stepping stones…except ONE 🙂 >>


Oh my, Oh my!

Since I am neither-here-nor-there, may I pause to remind myself that this journey is an art, and art is beyond words…

van gogh.jpg

…art is creation and discovery, plus fabulous yellow boots! 😉

I remind myself of art because I once tried to intellectualize myself into being the person I wish I was; Oh my, oh my!  😦

I had been very much inclined to intellectualize my wants…[to] decide that jealousy was not a noble notion and then imagine that this was enough to prevent…it.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

UGH.  When my intellect willfully controls my journey, I allow…

…the most impossible situations [to] develop…[and am] surprised to find [myself]…suddenly gushing out hatred.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

vomiting hatred.jpg

My…needs…[were] striving to make themselves known…[and,] if denied by an arrogant intellect, had power to take revenge in quite unguessed-at ways.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


Blind Thinking

I share a few tidbits on blind thinking as a reminder that to see oneself clearly, to know oneself beyond our mental illusions, is a tricky endeavor…but not impossible!

Endless self-deceptions were of course possible…  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

woman in red blindfold.jpg

This is a fascinating juncture in the author’s journey – as well as my own – because we find ourselves spiraling back upon the conundrum I spoke of in an earlier blog; how do I untangle my thoughts when I cannot see them clearly?

Blind thinking appeared to be incapable of taking an all-around view of any situation…showed a tendency to distort facts…bolt to extremes…[and] beyond the power…to recognize a middle way.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

And the farther along I meander into this journey, the more I see my own shortcomings.

…whenever I managed to turn round upon my thought and catch it red-handed I was not at all sure of finding that amount of common sense which I had fondly supposed myself to possess.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

This lack of common sense does not deter the author.  Nor myself!  


Mythological Me

This darling little book, still perched upon my knees, suddenly lurches when the author jumps back in time and revisits old drawings.  There is one specific drawing that the author feels pulled toward, one she drew with great emotion, but did not understand why at the time.  

The author recalls drawing a dragon, and that this image was a powerful antidote to her struggle at a rigid boarding school whose rules were difficult for her.  Following are her remembered-thoughts:

My dragon became a picture of my own faults, something I hated, something to be pinned up on the wall and spur on to struggle against them…  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

dragon eating man
(not author’s drawing…click to view actual artist)

I sit quite still in fascination, re-reading the final words in her quote because I too have done this many times: struggle against my own faults.  

If I struggle long and hard enough, against myself, will that change the things I hate about myself?  Sadly, I know the answer from many years of struggle; plus I have watched many people suffer as they do the same.  

tug of war with self.jpg

<<i detest this struggle with our inner selves, it does not work and causes great pain, yet, as a society, we seem obsessed with inadequacy, ‘never enough, never enough’…i have my beliefs on why…for another day>>

It was not until ten years later that I had my first vague impulse to give concrete expression to my fears by letting my thoughts run freely in written words.   ~ A Life Of One’s Own

Through these writings about the ‘dragon drawing,’ the author begins to discover an aspect of her self, her needs, which does not belong to the intellect.

I had only to scratch the surface of my thinking in order to slip through to mythological levels…an idea could be both itself and several other things at the same time…it was only through the imaginative symbols…that they could first express…my true needs.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

dragon eating lion.jpg
Leonardo da Vinci

I too discover – generally long after the fact 🙂 – that the very dragon to whom I attribute my faults, the dragon I attempt to slay, is not my adversary but my heroine in disguise; i.e. a deep need that I misunderstand, or perhaps belittle and dismiss.

Please, allow me to be redundant and state this again.  My perceived adversary – all that I believe is wrong about myself – is often my heroine, my hero, my guide, my divine lover.

divinity feminine.jpg

Let us return to the book perched upon my knees.  At this point, the author’s free-flow writings cover distances too complex and in-depth for me to explain, but sufficeth to say, she falls into the rabbit-hole of herself and discovers that…

…the ‘back of my mind’ thoughts…were not in the form of words…[and] nearly always metaphorical…like a dream which eludes you…seeking expression…they could find only an indirect and symbolic language in which to clothe themselves.   ~ A Life Of One’s Own

The mystery of mythology has long been at odds with my rational, analytical, scientific mind; and since mythology does not fit into an intellectual box, I dismiss it.

As such, my life is black&white, and I do not recognize the loss.  All I know is what my mind tells me: “I am not religious and need no mythology. Nor am I ignorant like indigenous peoples. Nor do I seek anything which is not factual. Nor do I believe in fanciful notions. Everything can be explained. Period. Mythology is for the inane.”

scientificmethod.jpg

I like Control.  Rational, Analytical, Scientific, Control.  ~ me  

Upon seeing how rigid my need for control was, plus my fear-driven view of mythology, I became curious about the underlying resistance within myself.  So, I began a lengthy endeavor; I spent many years studying with multiple teachers from various backgrounds, spiraling into the mystery of ‘mythology & control.’

<<i always work toward an inner-destination from many angles, as i am likely to trick myself into never arriving – i circle like buzzards into myself 🙂 >> 

buzzards

My various studies took me on many journeys, each of which eventually led me into the veld, where my domesticated self met my wild soul and spoke through metaphorical dreams and symbolic languages such as art, dance, song.

As I released my need to control/factualize life, a sense of wonder, innocence and love of the mysterious grew.  This was a release of my perceived notion of control, and a willingness to fully embrace the unknowable, uncontrollable, unfathomable.  

It is in this new space, this veld, that I tended the seeds which now blossom as my divine and sacred love for Mother as Nature, as my unbounded gratitude for my children, as my joy for unsolvable mysteries, as a Love that has no bonds and knows no bounds, as awe for the conundrum that I am far greater than my mind and nothing more than mere flesh.

mystery of life.jpg

The symbolic language of mythology, the language of my sacred realm, was once so foreign to me that I could not comprehend a single word, now I experience it fluently.  And no, I did not lose my analytical, scientific me.  Instead, my life is enriched by the mythological, the mysterious and the unfathomably complex.  

All of which, I lovingly embrace. ♥♥♥

<<i hope you are ingesting, digesting, composting, seeding, watering, tending, and sprouting your own authenticity!>>


THOUGHTFUL

fortune telling present

  • Do I have an inclination to believe I have both a domesticated self and a wild soul?
    • If yes, do I understand how the two communicate differently? And to each other?
  • Am I addicted to busy-ness?
    • If yes, what fear(s) am I running from? (not enough, not worthy, if only, when when when, need control, etc)
  • Am I aware of my big, bad-ass, scary fears?
  • Am I aware of my reluctant, fragmented fears?
    • If no, are there ways for me to familiarize myself with them?
  • Am I more afraid of change than status-quo?
  • Have I looked at a fear and found it was less terrifying than perceived?
  • Is there art in the way I live my daily life? (do I create beauty in the way I clean house, buy groceries, cook, drive…or am I status-quo?)
  • Have I struggled against myself, forced myself to be someone I was not?
    • If yes, how did that feel?  Was the outcome harmful to myself/ others?
  • Am I aware that self-deception is a possibility?
    • If yes, am I able to catch myself my watching for habitual reactions in life?
  • Do I understand the power of metaphors to speak between the domesticated and wild?  <<this questions assumes i sense both are alive in me>>
  • How strong is my need to control, science, analyze, rationale life?
    • If very strong, is there more I may experience in life, beyond ‘facts’?
  • Do I believe in a sacred or divine energy?  <<not entity>>
    • If yes, how is it different from normal and everyday? Is there an indescribable quality?

meditation of love
All blessings and tinkling bells of honey to your heart.

 

 

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