Tag Archive | Control

Plans

“The best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain
For promised joy.”
Robert Burns from the poem “To A Mouse”

The month of October was to be a feeling and writing month. The plan was to sit on the beach several days each week and record the changes in the ocean, the beach and the feel of it all as Fall settled into the coast. The idea originated with my love of the book The Outermost House in which Henry Beaton chronicles a year on the beach of Cape Cod (in the year 1928).

And so I began the first week in October first on the public part of the beach and another day on the beach in the residential section. That second day was extraordinarily beautiful: lots of sun and wind. The ocean was roiling and the windsurfers exuberant. There was a change in tone as the air seemed fresher and a quiet sense of calm and peace seemed to underlay all.

That day a herring gull stayed near my beach chair for a long time (there was only one other gull in sight). First he was on the right, left for awhile and then planted himself on my left. As I often do with birds and animals I carried on a conversation about the beauty of it all and asking questions I am sure. It was a strange moment of connecting yet so natural.

And then October 9, 2016 arrived and with it Hurricane Matthew apparently out to humble weather forecasters. At about 6:15 AM I was sitting in the living room writing in my journal when there was a tremendous crash and the house shook. Initially I was unsure what happened but ran to my mother’s room to make sure she was all right which she was. I realized I heard dripping in the dining room and ran around to find a huge hole in the roof with a tree on top. It was still dark out so the full damage was not visible yet.

If I did not know before I clearly know now the meaning of going into a state of shock. But wonderful next door neighbors quickly responded and held my hand and reminded me what to do even as the hurricane continued. In a whirlwind of activity buckets appeared to catch the rain, a tree company got enough of the tree off so that a tarp could be put on the dining room roof. The insurance company responded and the wheels of “taking care of things” began to roll.

So here we are more than two months later, after the house was condemned for living, after 6 weeks in a hotel, “settled” in an apartment 5 minutes from the house. The feel of life is still strange and the amazing thing is realizing how many things I thought were ingrained habits are forgotten. Almost daily something comes to mind. For example I began doing the Donna Eden Daily Energy Routine (highly recommend this to start to the day) this past summer. One day last week it popped into my mind and I realized I forgot all about it. Working out at the gym is one constant that probably helps me maintain sanity.

For me it is as though a way of life was lost and the new way is in the creation stage. That new way may be internal, external or both and in time whatever it is will be revealed I suppose. My main feeling about life right now is I am in limbo. Of course we are also heading into winter the time of rest and renewal. Maybe I will manage to participate in that. But what I realize is that plans are nice but that is all they are: “plans”. There is no guarantee of completion or even initiation. Attachment to outcomes of plans adds stress as that old “need to be in control” kicks in.

What keeps me going now are the moments that show up through Grace: turning and seeing a sunset that takes my breath away; hearing the sounds of the ocean; hugging my daughter; experiencing the beauty of the sky and more. Will I still plan? Of course I will but I believe I may not do as much of it and will try to remember to release attachment when I do. Learning to trust in moments popping up is my focus though.

Are you a planner? What happens when your plans get upset. What moments have you experienced today that fill you with joy?

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The Past Two Weeks

In the previous post I did not add the comment that because I/we are human vigilance is still required even when your heart recognizes the truth of freedom.  That was apparent over the last two weeks.  In trying to describe that time words come to mind such as irritating, humorous, exasperating, disappointing and surprising.  A full spectrum of emotions, feelings and thoughts arose and passed through.  And yet here I sit calm and at peace reflecting on it all.

The first week was a continued mix of peace and frustration.  Maybe it was similar to a state of shock as the realization (again) came of lack of control and what I saw as disrespect for my work and for me.  I kept reminding myself to watch and listen remembering the freedom at my center.  This meant frequently going into the silence even if only for two minutes.  The desire to walk out the door became quieter as I kept pulling myself back to center.

This past week I saw one door open and one close with mixed emotions.  It was all rather fascinating.  One day I met with the supervisor of the new job and discussed how she saw the work.  Wonder of wonders it involved exciting new learning opportunities in areas of interest to me as well as ways to use the knowledge and skills I already possess.  There are still unknowns but many possibilities to grow and shine.

The same day I learned the area I am moving from planned to use a vacant position to carry out many of my old duties as systems coordinator.  The next day I met with the assistant director who among other things indicated the job was mine if I wanted it.  I was able to voice my concerns about the whole process and felt something was just not right.  I did learn that several mangers voiced strong displeasure with my leaving and am very appreciative of that appreciation as I told several of them.

The next day something happened to push my buttons and I literally saw red for the first time in ages.  I was again ready to walk out on it all.  However, with the help of my supervisor reminding me to breathe and calling on imagery I use in this type of situation to let these feelings just flow over me I calmed down.  Then I just began to laugh.  I knew at that point that it was time to leave the toxic atmosphere and try my hand at something new.

What happened in this whole process?  I believe it goes back a year or more when I began a practice of consciously appreciating the financial prosperity, connections with people and the good, bad and ugly lessons learned in this job.  I told the Universe that I released the job and was ready to move on. Of course I had my idea that I needed to move to the ocean NOW!   About six months later I began to have thoughts of suggesting changes in the job and was encouraged to speak out.  When I proposed more of a training focus to the job my supervisor supported it and was a strong advocate.  My soul coach at some point advised me to just watch and be ready.

So it was several months later that I got the news the position was moving to the training division and initially reacted the old way with “How dare they not consult me” and on and on.  Then the Universe threw in some more humor when I was offered a position to stay in the old place even when it was work I no longer wanted to do.  My ego was stroked by folks telling me they did not want me to go.  Also, I work with so many good people in the current job and will miss working closely with some of them.  However, there will still be some contact. Through most of this last week I knew in my heart that I was being given a gift with the change.  It was all so easy.  Not only is there a new adventure to look forward to but in this process another piece of the puzzle of who I am – Freedom and Love – fell into place.

I understand now my soul coach encouraging me to speak up, stand in my truth and watch creation move. It took over a year (and in truth how quickly that time went by) but I look forward to at minimum more learning and making new connections and at maximum a great experience of playing in a new playground. Of course I will be ever vigilant.  I thank God and all the angels that are sent my way for providing what I need always and have faith that realizations of other dreams will float right into my life.

Are you comfortable with your voice?  Do you use it to inform your creation?  How patient are you?  Think about what you see as your playground.  Is there a way to expand it?

You Set It In Motion

Most of us are convinced over time by our minds and sense of survival that our lives are a product of forces seen and unseen and that what plays out is not in our control.  We walk through life blaming parents, families, teachers, government, fate, karma (and often this is so that we do not have to face the feeling of not being good enough) for our unhappiness.  There are times we forget our fears and allow ourselves (our true spirit) to be involved in life – learning, being creative, playing, working.  But often some bump in the road leads us to focus again on the problems others cause in our lives.  Anger or sadness spills over into our relationships as we try to figure out why our dreams do not become reality.

Not too long ago in a time of silence I had a vision.  I was inside a lighthouse (an important symbol for me) and my body began to expand until I became the lighthouse and the beacon of light above my head began to rotate.  Then I was no longer the lighthouse but walking away from it.  These words clearly came into my consciousness:  “You set it in motion”. Now there are several layers of meaning in this but it stopped me up short as I recognized I was being reminded that I am the creator of my life. I was also reminded that I am Light and responsible for what I do with the light. At that particular time, even with all I knew, I was in a funk about something and had slipped into that “no control” thinking.  Anger, sadness, depression all played for space in my mind.  But I knew clearly that truth of the message my higher self and Creation were sending me.

It took several days of embracing that, sitting in silence and allowing my higher self to take over.  The ego tried hard to convince me that yet again I was being discounted.  My mind filled with thoughts that there was no hope for the situation to change and the Universe was just not doing what it needed to do. (In my life I have had some LOUD conversations with the Universe regarding its lack of cooperation). My mind just nattered on and on.  Peace returned as I got quiet and allowed the negative feelings to just flow through.  I began to see the situation I was so upset about in a different way.  It was not about me at all and had no power to make me unhappy.  The situation did not change but I was able to see it differently and move on.

This experience brought several lessons or reminders of what I already know.  One is that I can still be quite a drama queen but love this human that I am.  Like or not I set in motion what I feel and what happens in my life.  I am responsible.  And another is to just STOP when my mind gets going.  This is a favorite word of Gangaji and sounds so simple but takes practice.  Most important for me is that images and visions will arise and when they do I must pay attention for they are gifts.

Are you blaming anyone including yourself for problems in your life?  Are you willing to take responsibility for your life?  What images or visions hold meaning for you?  What do they tell you about yourself and your life?

And Then There Was No Control

It was to be a Thanksgiving trip to visit my daughter and son-in-law in Los Angeles.  I arrived on a Friday night a little tired from the flight but not feeling unwell.  On the way to their home I had a bad nose bleed but I was used to it and shrugged it off.  The weekend went fine with shopping and sightseeing with my family.  Then I got up one morning began to feel weak and generally awful.  I remember lying on the couch with my teeth chattering as I was so cold.  Later in the day I felt better and did some things but that is the last I clearly remember until Thanksgiving evening.  My daughter told me that either I got dressed and let them take me to the UCLA hospital emergency room or they were calling 911.  Somehow I got dressed with the help of the angels and off we went.

 I remember very little of the next few days.  There are snippets of memory including a frantic expression on a resident’s face and my daughter asking what was wrong.  He told her he did not know as everything was off.  It “just happened” that a visiting consultant was there and once called in on my case quickly figured out a kidney stone was blocking the passage out of the kidney and sepsis set in as the poison filled my body.  I was rushed to surgery where the kidney stone was popped out of the urethra.  I began a recovery period that lasted three weeks in the hospital and three weeks as an outpatient before I returned home.

The first few days in the hospital are mostly a blur.  But I am eternally grateful to those in the hospital – doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides, food preparers, physical therapists, lab technicians – who took such wonderful care of me.  It was a time of turning all control over to others.  I could not even think beyond each moment!  The recovery was rocky and one of the things I remember is the young doctor coming in every morning to let me know how I was doing.  Each time she talked of improvement and then came back to say tests showed something else with wrong and a new protocol was started.  And each day my sweet daughter had to call family and friends to talk about something else that was wrong.  It must have been a horror for her as she spent her time working and visiting the hospital.  But what an advocate she was for me.  I recommend her highly for anyone who needs an advocateJ

So there I was with no control over anything as I depended on others to do almost everything for me.  My need to have “control” in my life led to a state of no control. I see now that Grace stepped in and saved my life. I did not realize that until I was an outpatient and the residents I saw kept exclaiming over how they did not understand how I was alive.  Each one asked me if I understood how sick I was when in the hospital. I also learned later that prayer constantly surrounded me from many family members and friends.

Is control an issue for you?    What do you believe you have no control over that you wish you did?  What is your experience with control in your life? What do you fear if you lose control?

Ignoring

For the first time in about 35 years I was not working.  I had an idea I could market myself as a consultant but that went nowhere as I put little energy into it.  Luckily I had investments that I could draw on to live.  With so much time on my hands I began to study again with familiar teachers.  By now I was so deep in the shadows I began a time of trying to figure out what was wrong with me that I could not “get” all this great knowledge being shared.  I can see myself literally shaking my head” yes” as I read about the addict archetype but not seeing I was living it with exercise.  Looking back I feel so much love for that part of me wallowing in such foolishness.

The worry continued about money.  Was it going to last and what if this and what if that?  In this place there was no room for accepting the miracle that money was there and the bills were getting paid.  The fear of not being enough flowed over into the fear of not having enough.

However, the pull in me to be, to live the life I came here for managed to peak through periodically.  Knowing I needed to be giving I volunteered to work with a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who was in an assisted living situation.  What a gift she was in my life.  She brought laughter and tears but one of the greatest lessons was experiencing living in the moment.

The other effort I made was testing the waters of attending church again.  I chose a Unity Church since several Unity ministers were teachers for me. The minute I walked in the love and light surrounded me.  It was almost too much. My attendance was irregular and I tried to keep a very low profile.

But I had “control” of exercising and eating and reveled in how thin I was ignoring signs that all was not well with my health.  The Universe kept trying to get my attention through every means including nose bleeds and shaking and lack of energy.

Do you see times in your life when the Universe, Creator, God tried to get your attention?  How did you respond?  What was the result?

Control

The frustration I experienced in work was partially due to a belief that I had no control over anything.  And so my ego decided that some control was in order.  A good part of my life I struggled with overweight and yoyo dieting.  But by this time I believed all that was behind me.  I began to be obsessed with exercising and eating very little.  I got thinner and thinner as the situation at work deteriorated.  My personal life and spiritual life got little attention.  There was little serious reading, study or anything else as there was not much energy beyond work and exercise.  Also, during this time my daughter moved to Los Angeles to start a new chapter in her life (something else beyond my control) which was the correct decision for her.

My doctor, personal trainer and family all expressed concern over my weight loss and kept telling me I was leaving myself with no reserves to support my body.  But I blocked that out in the euphoria of wearing such small sizes and feeling so light.  It felt wonderful to feel so light in my body and I fooled myself into thinking and believing that feeling that good could not be bad.

Somewhere in the midst of all this I lost two friends.  One dear friend with whom I had a soul connection died from cancer after a long battle.  The other friend shared my office.  She was a talented, creative woman so consumed with anger that it finally killed her in the form of a heart attack.  It was such a sad time and just confirmed how little control I had over life.

Finally all the emotions and feelings boiled over and I resigned from my job.  I fell back to the old habit of over thinking what I needed to do and impulsively making a decision without a real plan.  So there was no job, bills to pay and a general state of depression.  But I was “happily” thin.

Has there been an experience in your life that has left you believing you had no control?  How did you react?  How do you view the experience now?  What impulsive decisions have you made?  Where did they take you?