Thursday, September 9, 2010

You Choose

This past week and a half was crazy. I "Let Life Live Through Me," and all on the same day (two Mondays ago): 1) I was called for an interview for a grant writing position at a large healing and wellness nonprofit; 2) a former corporate co-worker asked for my number so she could talk with her boss about me writing business plans for them; 3) a former corporate employee of mine asked if I would provide consulting on her company's proposals; and 4) another former corporate co-worker called from a different company to see if I wanted to manage proposals for them. All on the same day.

That was Monday. And as Tuesday, Wednesday, etc., unfolded, I continued (and continue) to Live in the Moment, and Let Life Live Through Me. I haven't gotten too attached to any of the opportunities, though my mind plays the "I want this/I don't want this" game, and I've watched as the grant writing position seems to be the leader in the unfolding work category - it is happening quite easily and rapidly. This is how they say it would be.

There were two interviews for the grant writer position. The first went very well, yet the interviewer explained that the hours were sometimes exhausting, even unhealthy, and that the previous grant writer left because of the hours. The second interview was with the boss, and when I asked about long exhausting hours, he said "they try not to let it go that far" and then he changed the subject. Exhausting hours was how I ended up leaving my last job three years ago.

But that was the past. THIS is the present. So for me to dwell on the story of how I'd "been there done that" would be letting the past take over and instilling fear into what I'm experiencing Now. So I'm chosing presence, and in this state, I am aware of all possibilities, yet I'm not dwelling on or suffering through the negative ones. Instead, I am focusing on the creativity and potential of helping so many people. The position at this wellness center has incredible potential to allow creativity to flow through me into the healing programs. Helping people in whole-body wellness is something I've been interested in for four or five years, and this Grant Writer position arising at this health center is amazing - as if the Universe not only took some of my older ideas, but made them even better. It all makes sense as far as what feels good to me Now.

And, it feels like this is the direction I'm being prompted to go by the natural impulse of the Universe. Over the past three years, I've experienced a lot and learned a lot about who I am. I've removed layers of heavy issues within myself, so the ultiamte truth is, if this job doesn't match my energy, then I'll be moved into something else. It's important not to get attached to things - jobs, material things, people, places - because everything is impermanent in this world. That's another story entirely, and many people want to philosophize about how cold and callous that sounds, but it's not because of the love one holds for everything. It's sort of like "if you love it, let it go; if it was meant to come back to you, it will." And when it comes back after you let it go, isn't the love all the sweeter? Anyway, as I said, that's a different story.

For now, this is what "Letting Life Live Through Me" looks like as I move into something new that only looks like an old familiar face, but can be so much more. There are all these negative possbilities, and yet, the organization I'll be working for says the grant writers are the creators of the wellness programs - that there is the ability to allow my ideas to flow into what may end up helping hundres or thousands of people. To me, it is worth the peek into the abyss to see what the positive possibilities are, and to not stare at the dark, negative possibilities. Because when you think about negative stuff and talk about negative stuff, then you'll see loads of negative stuff come to you. And when you think about good stuff, talk about good stuff, and stare at good stuff, you'll see loads of good stuff come to you. It's a dual universe: Good, bad. You choose.

So now, the intent is to focus on the good stuff. And continue to Let Life Live Through Me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Finding Peace in Life

...Nine months later (, the gestation period of a human being!)

...I've been practicing letting life live through me. And no, I'm not pregnant!

Letting "life live through me" means trusting that if I do what I love and enjoy, and if I stay present and don't subscribe to fear, life will unfold in unpredictable and beautiful ways. Life will no longer be serious and hard, and the sense of wanting something else would subside, eventually going away. Leaving peace, contentment, and a subtle sense of happiness.

Over the past 9 months, I haven't been entirely sure "letting life live through me" would pay my bills and mortgage or bring peace to my life. Yet I have been "letting life live through me" now for longer than 9 months, and I'm paying the bills, though my busy mind often won't let me live in peace. But mind is another story, and I'll talk about it another time. For now, suffice to say that I have not been able to get a job, yet money does come - usually in unexpected ways. So, I am officially dedicating my life to finding out if by "letting life live through me" whether it will work or not. I'll post my experiences and the outcome here.

Will the things I end up "doing" while I'm "Being" (letting life live through me) work for someone else - make someone else happy? Probably not. Because you have different likes and dislikes than me. But if you follow the formula: Do what you enjoy doing, be present, don't "do" out of fear (i.e., if you take a job that will make you miserable, that is doing out of fear.) ... well, then you have the recipe for a peaceful life.

The human condition is that we as individuals in this world have to MAKE things happen. And it does work, at a price. It brings with it exhaustion, illness, disease, depression, fear, and a deep unhappiness. A not-enoughness.

My experiment is to stop "making things happen," and to begin to Allow Life To Live Through Me. This is not a religion or a philosophy. It is simply Being in this world.

The biggest myth around Being is that if you stop making things happen, you aren't contributing. That if you are simply Being, you'll be sitting in a cave or on a couch, drooling (as Byron Katie says), letting life pass you by and not contributing to the world at all. NO! In fact, it is quite the opposite. Becuse when you are in the moment, you are compelled to take action in the things that you enjoy. You are compelled to go "do" things, but you aren't seeking an identity in them, you're having fun and enjoying them, and you come to realize over time that it's not you doing them, it's life moving through you. It's living at a level and in a way that most humans don't know how to live. All animals and plants do, but not 99% of humans.

Humans are the only living beings on this planet that cannot simply Be. We have to DO (make things happen) all the time, and we believe if we don't DO, we are failures, we aren't "towing the load" or carrying our burden. What a crock. And how sad that 90+ % of our society subscribes to this belief. And so when we experiment with Being, the rest of the world tends to watch us with curiosity, like they're staring at a morbid car crash as they drive by. It's so compelling to look, because won't I see mayhem? Maybe some blood?

And they wonder, Will it work? It's rather like a fairy tale. So they watch and wonder. And instead of blood, life looks very quiet and tranquil. Because when you are Being and taking action from that place of Being Present, you discover you don't need the social standing or money or impressive car and house. And yet life is giving you all you need, and even things you no longer think you need. You become the very thing that will make you a success in their eyes. And by the time you become their version of a success, none of the material things (house, car, Prada purse) and social standing will matter. Because you ... because I ... will have found peace in life.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Awakening Up

I woke up this morning without me.

You know you're getting somewhere when you're no longer there.


I woke up and for a moment I was spacious consciousness. It was the first time I've ever noticed it or been aware of it, though I can't say that it hasn't happened before. Maybe it did, and I just didn't know what it was.

...because it was only a few days ago that I learned from Eckhart Tolle that when you wake up in the morning there is a moment or fraction of a moment in which you are your true self - in other words, there is no ego and no "stories of me." You are the spacious consciousness that is who you really are.

Then Tolle says when you notice that you are who you truly are, go into your inner being and feel the aliveness inside your body. Be alert and still and aware, and maintain that for a few minutes before you get up.

So naturally, I sat straight up in bed: "Wow! That was me being conscious! Hey! It happened! Wasn't that cool!?"

And so began the next story of me. "The Story of Katie Waking up With Spacious Consciousness" ... hey, look what I accomplished (ego, ego, ego ...)


And that is good too. Baby steps. I'll practice being aware of my inner body as much as I can throughout this day, and I look forward to being without me when I wake up tomorrow.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What are you doing?

I have found the way to happiness. It's so damn elusive. So damn hard to get a fix on. But I've found another snow-covered sign post on the Path of the Way to Happiness...
(also known as POWh! Haha! Sorry, you'd have to come from the world of government contracting to appreciate some of my madness.)

"If there is no joy, ease or lightness in what you are doing, it does not necessarily mean that you need to change what you are doing. It may be sufficient to change the how. "How" is always more important than "what." See if you can give much more attention to the doing than to the result that you want to achieve through it." -Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

So I tried this, and within seconds - Wow !! I felt so much lighter, more peaceful ... better!

He then says, "As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease."

As soon as you honor what you are doing in the present moment - and not the outcome, and not fretting over the past, or worrying about the future - as soon as you honor what you are doing in the moment, all else slips away, quality comes into that space of pesence, quality comes into what you are doing, and then life really begins to flow...
And that's what I was witnessing in myself in that moment.

What I had been "doing" was trying to feel better through listing positive things around me. This is something I have done very successfully over the last month (Abraham-Hicks exercise). And yet over the past few days I hit a "reality" slump - a backsliding of the positive momentum forward. I couldn't seem to get the feeling-good stuff going again.

So this morning as soon as I read this, I set the open book down on the table in front of me and gave more attention to noticing positive things around me, noticing any positive feelings within me. Noticing what I liked in the world. Noticing how much I loved my life. This isn't some airy-fairy bullshit, I mean I was REALLY focusing my attention and not worrying or thinking about anything else! And it worked.

This focusing of attention automatically stopped me from worrying about whether I was feeling good or not. And in that immediate moment that I focused my attention on what I was doing, I was brought back to being peaceful and happy.
Ahhh. God, I love life!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Renewable, Sustainable Summer

It's been months!

And here's what I've been up to.

Built a chicken coop disguised as a cute garden shed...

Here's what it looks like now that it's 90% done ... still have some interior design going on.

You can also see the fence and posts behind the coop .... that is an ongoing project nearing completion. We used logs for posts, and dug 25 post holes (thank you chicken coop forman, Mr. Eric, who will be getting free eggs for the rest of his natural life.).

Also been doing the vegetable gardening as you can see a few rows in the above photo. Beets, brocolli, Brussell sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery (oo, can I do it alphabetical?!), fennel, Swiss chard, tomatoes, dill (oops, out of order), basil (ah!), kholrabi, yellow squash, cucumbers, and zucchini. Oh, yes, and one leek. (Huh. I should pull that and see how it did!)

Then a few weeks ago, drove the 6 hours to Chena Hot Springs to soak in the mineral waters. The hills surrounding Fairbanks and the Chena Valley are known as Golden Valley. They literally roll with gold. Fitting, since this was one of the major gold rush sites. I got to Chena just at the tail-end of fall...

In the above picture, you can see steam coming out of the rocked-off area known as the "lake," where resort-goers can soak in the steamy mineral waters. It felt so good!

Chena Hot Springs hosts a generator that creates electricity from the geothermal activity at the springs. With the help of a refrigerant-type liquid that boils at something like 150 degrees F (the temp of the hot springs is 165 degrees F), this generator is capable of supplying the electricity to the community of Chena Hot Springs. They also heat the buildings with in-floor hot water from the hot springs, and it's absolutely lovely!
There are 60-some people who live and work at Chena year-round, and though I don't know the number of buildings, it is no small project. The progressive renewable, sustainable technology they use has finally been getting recognition at a national level in the past 5 years.
Also, being the avid gardener I am, and also intrigued by growing my own veggies and poultry, I was in love with their year-round hot-spring heated green house that produces the most flavorful and delicious tomatoes I have ever had from a restaurant.
This little prow-faced log cabin, below, is the "aurorium," a hot-springs-warmed viewing place that sits on a hill overlooking the valley. Realize that aurora show up best in very cold weather, and that at Chena, the temperatures easily dip to -20 degrees F in winter, and at least once per year, will go as low as -60 degrees F. Chena draws a huge clientel in winter specifically there to see the northern lights. The resort even has an "aurora watch" list that guests can get on to receive a call in the middle of the night to alert you to aurora activity.
OK, well my essay on "What I did this summer" turned into a brochure on Chena Hot Springs, but truthfully, it's a very cool place and definitely worth checking out if you ever get to my neck of the woods!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Peaceful as a Monk - er, Borg?

Some people worry that if they become "awakend" or "enlightened", they will become so peaceful, and so still and quiet, that they will be bland, lifeless and lack emotion. They think they will lose those very emotional qualities that make them who they are. They are afraid they will no longer be passionate, creative, or different than any other "peaceful" monk-like awakened people.

I can understand this, because at one time I entertained this thought too. I worried that some of the more fun stuff, like flirting, sex, and snow machining wouldn't appear very "enlighted," and so it'd all have to go. But I laugh at this old belief now, because it just isn't so, not from my experience. And most of the awakened spiritul masters who are alive in this day and age are deeply and happily in love, and many are married ... and according to them, having great sex!

From my experience, since starting my own awakening just a few years ago, I have had more beautiful, passionate feelings and expressions, stonger and clearer discoveries and epiphanies, than I ever did in the 40 years prior. They only get more frequent and more profound as I become more of who I really am, as I let go of old fears and the need to judge myself and others.
The difference between me then and now - and what this whole "awakening" thing is about - is that I am simply becoming aware of those negative emotions that no longer serve me: anger, fear, stress, and thoughts that arise from judgments and criticism. When I recognize a negative thought, I just notice it as a thought, and the negative feelings that go with it, like anger, stress, grief, or fear, dissolve.

From my experience, when we awaken, you become even more disecrning in your thoughts, and tend to simply think higher, more positive thoughts. There is room in this world of awakening for growth, change, expansion, and even desire. It is hardly a state of being tedious or dull or "the same" as others. And just like a finger print on a finger, we're all different, and we all choose different thoughts no matter how enlightened we are - and there are millions of thoughts! Just because we choose to awaken doesn't mean we choose to never think a thought or choose to never make decisions.

The thing that most awakened people do choose, tends to be those thoughts that are positive. And so, no, you don't see stress, fear, anger, annoyance, judgment and frustration. And then again, sometimes fearful thoughts do arise, but the awakened person just notices them, and in that noticing, they are dispelled.

This Q&A came from the Eckhart Tolle website, and I delight in the Borg metaphor and it's turnaround.

October 8th, 2008 by Eckhart Tolle

Dear Eckhart,
Do people really have the ability to choose? As an enlightened being, do you feel that your will and the will of God is the same? I worry that I will become like the Borg on Star Trek, just part of one collective. Thanks for your time, Eckhart.

Dear Gregory,
You are already a Borg. You have already been assimilated. As long as you are unconscious (spiritually speaking), you ARE part of the collective, and the belief that your thoughts are “your” thoughts is an illusion, an illusory personal identity. Both the content and structure of your mind (i.e. what you think and how you think) are forms of conditioning. You don’t think: thinking happens to you. You are being thought by the collective mind. So it’s not a question of not being assimilated into the collective, but stepping out of the collective dream of unconscious thinking, that is to say stop being a Borg.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Flying Books

A few weeks ago a book was knocked off my window shelf by a set of blinds that couldn't have possibly moved unless someone had deliberately altered them.

No one had been in the room, and the blinds are in perfect condition - no way to malfunction. I like to "debunk" these sorts of occurances, probably a throw-back to being raised by a family who refused to be duped into anything. But no matter what I did, I could not recreate the scenario.

And yet ... this sort of thing has happened to me before. Even with the same book shelf. It was last spring and I had submitted an article to Edgar Cayce's magazine Venture Inward. The editor had contacted me and liked the article and photos, but after I sent the final pictures, she just suddenly stopped communicating. I thought perhaps she had a change of heart, yet she wasn't returning my emails. It didn't make sense because in the publishing world, 'no' is the most common word, followed closely by "go" and "away." Ultimately, it's just not a big deal to say "Thanks, but not this time."

Then one afternoon, after a week or so of no communication with the editor, I was making my bed lost in thought about whether Venture Inward's spam filter may be just a little too strong, when a book fell off this same window ledge. It was Edgar Cayce's biography, There Is a River. At that moment, I just knew that I could stop worrying about the article, and that everything would be fine. I wasn't even sure why or what would happen, I just knew I could let it all go. So I did. Then two months later, the editor contacted me, saying her daughter had had a life-threatening illness and she had spent the summer nursing her back to health. She wanted me to know the article would be published in the November/December issue.

So I knew better than to believe that a set of perfectly-functioning blinds would adjust themselves, knocking off a book sitting on this flat, deep shelf, for no reason.

The book was "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. I bought this book for the large chart near the back that shows what illnesses are caused by certain thoughts and negative emotions. Never thought about actually reading it. I've never considered myself unhealthy and firmly believe that if I dwell on my "owies" I will only get more owies. But now I knew it was time to give it a read.

I began to read it about a week after it came off the shelf. I can hardly put it down. It is as if it is filling in the missing pieces of the puzzle. It's rewording concepts I already knew to make them more clear and understandable at a deeper level.

This is an excerpt that has allowed me to accept my current path fully; it has validated that what I'm doing in life is exactly what I should be doing. It may not be profound to anyone else, but it has changed the way I look at my life, my situation, and the way I look at myself.

The emphasis is added by Louise Hay:

"When people come to me with a problem, I don't care what it is - poor health, lack of money, unfulfilling relationships, or stifled creativity - there is only one thing I ever work on, and that is LOVING THE SELF.

"I find that when we really love and accept and APPROVE OF OURSELVES EXACTLY AS WE ARE, then everything in life works. It's as if little miracles are everywhere. Our health improves, we attract more money, our relationships become much more fulfilling, and we begin to express ourselves in creatively fulfilling ways. All this seems to happen without our even trying.

"...accepting, will create organization in your mind, create more loving relationships in your life, attract a new job and a new and better place to live, and even enable your body weight to normalize."

That's just the beginning. I'm in.