Seeing with new eyes

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” -Albert Einstein

 

It’s a new year, a new month, a new day and a new moment.

new-years-resolution-ideas

Seems everything is screaming at me to take advantage and start anew. The HGTV commercial, my inbox full of messages from various inspirational authors I think I want to be like and even my phone, in its untimely death yesterday demanding a replacement.

A new beginning?

Is it really possible to stop being a creatively lazy, emotional eater who often overworks herself until her body gets the flu? (Happened three times in 2012, one would think I’d learn!)

While there are a million things I’d like to change about my life, I admit I am halted in my efforts to lose weight, practice guitar, drink less wine, act bold at the bar towards the individual with shining eyes… due to my ever-familiar ever-critical internal voice.

A companion for as long as I can remember, we’ve traveled abroad together, despite my illusions that It would remain at home. We’ve dirtied seemingly pure relationships due to a belief in my unworthiness. We’ve experienced moments of beautiful creative expression only to render them meaningless, locking them away in the coffers of my heart.

inner cirtiticWe judge, we spite, we say truly nasty things about abilities only imagined. The struggle with this voice, with this doubt, with this fear, is what keeps my life a roller-coaster of bumps called “disappointment” and highs called “expectations” that only lead back to valleys called “not-good-enoughness.”

But then there are the moments outside the roller-coaster.

And I see with new eyes that I’ve mistaken expectation for hope. I’ve been so focused on bumps and valleys that I forgot about Purpose. That my practice in seeing beyond the physical (which is all my spiritual practice of meditation, journalling and yoga is) redefines the ride completely. No longer is life a struggle because I have to drive alone for 9-hours with a three-year-old or leave the grocery store without groceries because my account is overdrawn or sleep alone when I dream of it being otherwise. My practice gives me the ability to step away from the bump and expectation and recognize the million of things that are going right for me in that moment.

  • I’m breathing well. I’m safe.
  • I have a community around me to support me.
  • I am grateful my son is healthy and beautiful and joyful.
  • And I too can choose to be healthy, and beautiful and joy-filled.

I don’t think annual resolutions work for me because it gives my critical voice opportunity to say: “Ha! You see, you weren’t very nice to that homeless man. You’re not a good spiritual person this year! Ha hahaha!”

So instead I try to commit to a daily practice, encouraging sometimes moment-to-moment redefinitions. It’s not something I do everyday. It’s not something that always looks the same all the time. But whether it’s 5 minutes or 50 minutes, the same intention is there: To be willing to change.

willingness

It takes WILLINGNESS to choose again. It takes WILLINGNESS to counter that internal voice with an example of kindness. It takes WILLINGNESS to step out of the rollar-coaster and see the ride for what it is. This is my commitment to myself this year and every year, to be willing to take a moment and remind myself of what I’m grateful for, what I appreciate, what I can do well.

One has to be willing to see with new eyes the exquisite mysteries of this beautiful life. For that is where true peace lives.

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Matrix, Abraham-Hicks & Conciousness

I promised a friend a few months ago I would send her a list of some of my favorite spiritual books. I’ve resisted the request and only recently asked myself why. The honest response was another question, which didn’t help clarify the underlying reasons. Don’t you hate it when logical requests are undermined by your own thinking? So I’m writing this post as an explanation of my tardiness and including some of the resources that have been transformative in my journey.

Why do I have to be this spiritual?

I started this blog as a way to share some of the small moments of peace that arise in my life, wanting to expand the definition of what peace was about, beyond the absence of conflict. As I  experience peace as balance, calm, serenity, gratitude and contentment, I am constantly reminded of how fleeting these moments are. My journey continues to be a roller coaster ride of dips and hills, highs and lows, moments ‘in the vortex‘ and many more spent out of balance, riding the trains of dis-ease and fear. But even in the lowest of lows while I excavate the ancient caves of my own conciousness, there is always this annoying small voice that reminds me that I’m making this all up. All the meaning is meaningless, as all experience is reduced only to choice. Remember that scene in Matrix, when Smith asks Neo why he keeps fighting?

This scene is the most profound in the entire trilogy. Most people don’t think about why they live life as they do, relying on others to make decisions for them about philosophy, social behavior, political and economic persuasions. I too float along these currents based on the cultural views I was born into or resonated with over time. However, unlike most people I’ve interacted with in my 3 decades on this planet, that annoying whisper reminds me that at the heart of every decision was a choice. Which means every behavior is calculated reaction based on a value system I agreed to. In this way my spiritual journey has become a constant process of  self-examination. A huge microscope into my internal decision-making. It’s freakin’ exhausting sometimes. And other times it’s simply awe-inspiring.

So now I realize why I hesitated, because folks should know what they’re getting themselves into if they begin this journey. It can be challenging and lonely, because once you break through the illusion that life is about consumerism and pleasuring the body in order to create a tiny circle of control over your life …. outwards experiences pale in comparison to the grandeur of the intersection of mind and spirit.

moving_toward_the_consciousness

When I healed myself of epilepsy, I made a promise to pay attention. To stay attentive to the why. To will myself to continue the exploration. And it also means trusting that others will cross paths with me to mature that understanding with perfectly timed opportunity for practice. So this is what the day holds, another chance to choose.

…maybe this time I’ll choose something a little more aligned with peace.

What will you choose?