21 Days, Day 3 – uh oh

“Oops, I did it again!” It’s astonishing really, how many times we make a decision, a declaration, such as, “this time I’m doing it, goddammit, as God is my witness, I’ll never (fill in the blank) again!” And then, uh oh, we do. “I’ll only be (fill in the blank) from now on!” And then, uh oh, we aren’t. I decided on Sunday, day before yesterday, again. I made a promise to myself.

And then yesterday, on Day 2, I got a bug, I felt a little sick. I woke up all puffy and achey. But because I’d made my declaration to myself, I ignored that I was actually feeling sick. “Nah, just temporary, you’re not sick, you just feel off, this is your battle, your challenge, push through it!”. And I went to class, my daily workout. This was just one little part of my declaration, my Grand Plan to be the person I dream of being, now. Then, though 95% of the time I feel great after moving my body in the way my former Dancer self used to, and it makes me stronger and more determined in my new decisions and declarations, this time, hmm, I still didn’t feel so good. Dammit! Why can’t I just keep going with my awesome self and go to my favorite cafe and write all day, on this precious day off, like I was planning to! Why am I sabotaging myself, again?

But that right there, assuming I’m sabotaging myself, that’s the pattern. I’m feeling great and then boom, some type of doubt or fear comes up. It’s either in the form of something on the outside happening that I have to stop everything and deal with, which then seemingly takes me off my path. Or more often than not, something on the inside happens. Like I feel sick, which translates to weak, which translates to “see, you can’t keep up that power, that strength you thought you had, this new life, new person you want to be, it’s just too hard, there’s too many things to overcome, I’ve spent too many years doing this over and over, I really don’t know if I can change in the fundamental, earth shattering way I will need to in order to change my life”.

All this comes from a belief that I’m sabotaging myself; which, on the one hand, on a surface level, on the level that my Little Me mind can recognize, I am. My Little Me mind has grown up and is at the stage where at least it can see my patterns of letting myself down. From a psychological perspective, it’s a pattern of believing I sabotage myself, of knowing that this is a pattern we all engage in, in one form or another. Sure, I can leave it at that, understand it, and try again.

But underneath that, is this. My soul, the Spirit that is me, the God that is me, is also whispering to Little Me, and they are having an ongoing conversation. Right now, the God that is me is speaking louder, thank heavens. “No, what you think is your sabotaging pattern is just Me speaking to you. You need not force yourself to do or be anything, you need not have to make it happen, you need not have to change, you need only to see that you already are worthy of all of it, perfect now, and I am giving you what Little Me sees as an obstacle, what Little Me sees as your sabotaging pattern. I take you beneath, to the underworld of doubt and fear, so you can see it for what it is, only that. They are just feelings, feelings that are part of what you chose to experience by coming to Earth. And when you feel it, you then come bounding out and up into your world with more clarity on the next right thing to do, with more strength and power than you actually had before I took you down there, more knowing that you are really Me.

I was, am and will be, giving you these moments, these gifts, every day until you reach the next dimension (the glorious secret I am keeping from you, the best surprise ever!), to have you feel everything there is to feel in this dimension. The more you feel, the more you experience the depths of doubt and fear and the heights of joy and love, the more you know that it is always changing. So, the less you fear the doubt and fear, and the less you attach to the love and joy. You see that you are creating all of it, to simply show you more. You see that doubt and fear and love and joy are equal in their ability to help you expand, which is the only reason you came here. The more you see this, the more love you can have for your doubt and fear, and for your human self. You can then say hello to the doubt and fear and know they are just your friends. They aren’t there to hurt you, they love you. And you learn to love them too. You wouldn’t be able to love them if you weren’t already Love, the more free you become, the more you see that you and I are One.”

So my lesson given to me today by my Creator, by the Creator that is me, is that no, getting sick and not working out, breaking my cleanse slightly last night by eating to push down the doubt and fear, feeling regret and shame this morning because of it, feeling I’ve fallen back yet again, is not my “sabotaging pattern” at all. It is meant for me, it is my gift to myself, because look, had I not gone on yet another dive into the underworld, whether in a few seconds or a few days or weeks, I wouldn’t have seen this truth. And I wouldn’t have written these very words.

The Forgetting Returns (or so it thinks)

This blog thing is basically my journal right now. Is there something wrong with that? That’s a Little Me question. I don’t have the energy to care. Maybe my age is finally loaning me a favor, thank god. So I fell into the Dark Side again this past week, after having not gone there in quite awhile. I have been going through so many changes within myself that have allowed me to start writing more, meditate more consistently and for much longer than I ever have, and that has helped me to get more attuned to my heart and body and what they really need. I even stepped out and onto the stage of the big bad world to finally express it. I had been making great strides.

Then I had The Fall. The stress and pressure of taking care of my Mom, being her only support in almost every way, came to a head again when I had to spend another entire precious day off dealing with her needs. All of it, the financial pressure, her mental state, her constant and total reliance on me, just hit a boiling point. We got in a big argument and I spent the whole day crying off and on, between the shopping and phone calls and bickering.

We always make up and then it’s better again but this time it took so much out of me that the next two days I was utterly exhausted; cried some more from the stress of it, and my job situation, and my housemate, and underneath that, just wanting to have enough time and energy and clarity to sit down and write. This amounted to me feeling like I went from powerful and exuberant creator the previous week, to whimpering teenager with no confidence or motivation the next. Then I went to work and was so affected by other people’s energies, I came to the conclusion that “I just can’t handle doing this work anymore! I’ve got to change my life!”

But then, just now, it came to me again. Those people’s energies, and the job, only affect me that way when I’m in a doubting, fearful place about myself and my life. In that state, I’d be feeling that way about any job. On the other hand, when I’m trusting, knowing and doing what I need to do outside the work to feel good and excited about what is coming, the job doesn’t affect me at all. In fact, I sometimes enjoy it.

The Forgetting had started to overtake me again last week and Little Me only wanted to just escape, quit. But. I know that right now, that job is the most allowing of me to follow my path as any I could have at the moment. It does drain me often but not always. The thing is, I don’t have to let it. And it does allow for the freedom of saying yes or no to work. I’m not bound to any of it. Quitting and stressing more about money and having to start a whole new job right now would actually only add further stress to my life. It would postpone, yet again, my writing and speaking and being the person I want to be, am, NOW. Quitting would really be my self-sabotage pattern taking over, again.

The reason the job seems, seemed, so crappy, is that I didn’t feel I was strong enough. “I just can’t do it. The Forgetting is too powerful. I don’t like who I am when I’m there, I’m going to run away to the next thing!” That’s what it would be if I quit right now. I’d be running away from myself, not facing what I know I need to do in order to really change – Be my Glorious Goddess Self NOW. That means doing what it takes to treat myself how she deserves to be treated; to feel as her, now. I don’t have to wait for the right circumstances. If that’s what I believe, the right circumstances will never come.

I can do this.

Infinity Me and Little Me, sittin’ in a tree

Last night I got up on a stage, in front of a sold out crowd of 650 people, to tell my five minute story. Holy crap. It wasn’t awful, and it wasn’t great, perfect! That’s all I wanted to accomplish, as the only way I was able to have the nerves to do that in the first place was to keep reminding myself that failing is part of the path. And what would have been failing anyway? Panic attack and giving up? Maybe. But even that, at least I leapt! And that’s not a failure. Just doing it is the point, the only point that I decided would matter.

That, and that I just want to learn; thus, to grow. That’s all experience is really for.  Then the clincher, allow that growing to make us know that all we have to do is just Be anyway. We forget in all the doing and learning and growing that we already had it, we already are the answer to all of our questions. One question going into this was to simply find out more about myself. From that new knowledge, I continue to expand. So Being becomes simply allowing myself to continue with the next right step, instead of resisting that step with fear. And knowing what the right step is can only come from allowing myself to Be. What a paradox it all is! “And I love that” (-Kyle Cease).

So back to specifics, what I learned from last night. I learned that while waiting to see if my name would be called (contestants put their name in a hat, only ten get picked), I wasn’t as horribly nervous with the usual symptoms as I thought I’d be. In these situations, my heartbeat often betrays me. It feels like a gorilla in a cage, beating on my chest to get out. It makes my breath shallow and my voice loses it’s resonance. I feel like asking the person next to me, “do you see this thing?!” It’s so heavy and strong that I’m sure the protrusions must be visible on the outside.

But this time, not so much. Until of course, my name was actually called – #4 out of 10 storytellers. As I jumped out of my seat to walk to the stage, at least I had the relief of “thank god I didn’t have to suffer through to 10!”. But once I got to the microphone stand, whoo lord, there came the gorilla. I said “Hi” into the mic, and was acutely aware that I already felt breathless. So I took as much air in as I could, and turned my head to the left to exhale. I didn’t want to blanket that scared-shitless-breath onto the audience, they didn’t deserve that. Let the stupid air take it. “Screw you, air!”

I began. And like in similar past situations, I was not in my body. I was not calm, or in the moment. Little Me was slightly to the right of my body going “don’t forget that line! oh shit you forgot that line! omg now you have to make something up! this is sucking! they’re not laughing! this story is too intense, you’re making everyone uncomfortable!”. Meanwhile, Infinity Me was chuckling.

Infinity Me, my good buddy, has been talking to Little Me more lately. “You’re doing just fine, you always are, you’re so cute and funny when you freak out, I’m laughing, see?”. Little Me noticed but tried to ignore Infinity Me. “Whatever dude, they’re not, I’m dying up here!”. And lo and behold, I go completely blank. I am now somewhere between Little Me and Infinity Me. The next line has escaped me. I pause, and manage to play it off for a second, thinking “stay with me people, this is part of the brilliant drama of the piece!” Infinity Me then whispers, “just make something up, they won’t know the difference”. So, I obey. I keep going, while also aware I’ve skipped a whole paragraph somewhere. And now, the all important last line has escaped me. But Little Me is quiet. I don’t panic. Now I’m just noticing the fear instead of becoming it, and a variation of the line pops out that’s not half bad. Done!

As I walk off the stage, Little Me wakes up, “oh god that was awkward!”. I proceed to step down onto what looks like the steps, but it’s actually the speakers, just barely keeping myself from falling. “Omg how embarrasing!” A kind, elderly gentleman in the front row gets out of his seat to extend his hand. I recover graciously and walk a few rows back to sink into my own lonely seat, pretending to enjoy the next storyteller, “haha! see everyone, I’m so relaxed and don’t care that I’m so disappointed, haha!” When the story ended (“got a better score than me, of course!”), the nice man who helped me gets out of his seat and walks over to where I’m sitting. He reaches for my hand again and leans down to look me in the eye. “I really liked your story. It was genuine and sincere.” Well then. Of all the compliments I could have gotten, I’ll gladly take that one. His name is Ralph and I run into him later as I’m leaving. Tomorrow he’s going to Shakespeare in the Park. “It’s going to be so fun. Hope to see you at the next Slam!” Ok Ralph, if you say so.

When the final scores came in, I landed pretty square in the middle. The middle, between Little Me and Infinity Me, was where I was on stage. I played matchmaker. I don’t need to dump Little Me for Infinity Me after all. I want them to fall in love. Little Me deserves it, so does Ralph. Infinity Me just can’t help it.

 

 

What If

What If? Those two words alone hold within them all the power of the Universe. Oh hell, Infinity, Intuition, Source, God, Science or whatever blah blah blah. Again, I notice, I just added that quip because that was me being self conscious that you’d make an assumption about me because I used the word Universe. Yes, those types can be extremely annoying, and I’m certainly one of them some of the time. Amy Schumer did a brilliant and hilarious spoof  on that subject on her tv show. I’m also the opposite of that at other times, irritated as all get out at people who call themselves “conscious” and “spiritual” and have no sense of humor. I’d rather shoot the shit with the guy who bags my groceries at TJs. But my point being, I was already feeling the need to censor what I was saying in just the second sentence.

Act as If is the eager sister to What If. It also holds the power to create worlds, but What If is the Big Bang. What if…I truly write this thing like a journal and really didn’t give a crap about what “people” think? And Universe help me, who are these people again? Why does it matter and what’s the worst that could happen? Some of them would not like me. Great! I’m that much closer to my people then. Good riddance.

Why Not is the tipsy uncle to What If. Today, there is no answer to the tipsy uncle, it’s not a question anymore. Why Not has just become a statement. It is done. There is no reason to not. To not what? Tell the whole damn truth up in here. I simply remain with the question of What If? What if next week when I go up on that stage (if my name gets picked) and I fall flat on my face? Meaning, nobody laughs or utters a sound, I stutter, I blank out, I forget the most important parts, my heart does it’s usual beating out of my chest but this time everyone can actually see it. It’s so loud and so overpowering that it halts my voice and I can’t even speak properly, it causes me to be short of breath and I look like I might faint. Ah, that reminds me of what happened to Kyle Cease when he started having stage fright for the first time as a comedian, after fifteen or so years of doing it. It got so bad that he created this new fear about fainting on stage. “What if I could make myself faint on stage? What if I faint while taping my big Comedy Central special?”(paraphrasing). Sometimes, the worst fear leads to the deepest suffering, which in turn can lead to an awakening into a whole new way of living, a whole new identity.

I get that fear now, it just occurred to me, but it occurred to me in the best way. Because right now I’m actually trying to think of what’s the worst that could happen, taking it all the way to the the end, not freaking out and trying to figure out how to prevent that end. Because if I surrender to possibly failing the first time, the first many times, ok, so what? Failing, or even doing a meh job, would actually be just fine. The thing is, if I am great the first time, and the next time and just continue to be, the day will come eventually when I do fail in some way, and I’d have to deal with it then anyway. But it would probably be a much harsher pill to swallow.

I know this from experience. I was great at dancing and got all the lead roles easily when I was young. Then one day, I got fat, or fat by ballet’s standards. So to me, I’d failed. And it’s taken me years to come to terms with the self-doubt that created. All the attention was too soon, I wasn’t really ready for it.

What if I accepted that I likely will suck at this new thing at first, and that is A-Ok? Yay, I went through that and I’m still here and as God is my witness I’ll never go hungry again! I mean, as God is my witness I’ll never let failing stop me again! Scarlett O’Hara Redux. Because after that, if I do fall flat on my face, I now vow, in the words of Steely Dan, to go back, Jack and to DO IT AGAIN. That’s what I know is different. This time, I’ve decided beforehand that if the worst happens, it’s just fine and good and I’ll be learning something. The failing itself (I now know, not just speculate) will make me get better. So now I can relax. I can maybe even have fun. It is childhood, giving adulthood a hug and a kick in the ass. It is nature’s way. It is part of getting good at something, anything, but especially something important that holds a lot of meaning and purpose and fear. On the flip side, the actual purpose of the fear itself is to let us know we’re on the right track. The fear shows us our purpose. If I’m really scared of this thing, dammit, that means I know I have to do it.

So if I continue with this line of thinking, this also means that if I’m afraid of what people think, that means I have to say it. Ah yes, thanks Self. That may seem obvious to you, reader, but sometimes things just click at the right moment. And since I’m trying this whole “I really don’t care what you think” thing out, though I love you and want what’s best for you, please move on if this is turning you off. You’re actually just an aspect of myself that I don’t need anymore. So thanks for your disapproval, it’s made me who I am up to this moment, it’s your actual (imagined in my mind) disapproval that has helped me surpass needing it in the first place. “The circle of liiife!”

I got what I needed to know by putting fingers to keyboard, letting my real voice talk and wander, and it gave me the answer it needed, however simple. Sometimes you hear the same thing your whole life, but you’re hearing it only from a certain narrow perspective, then you hear it once from a new, wider and heightened perspective and it takes on total significance. I feel fear of being more honest, which simply means that’s what I’m supposed to say. Hmm, yes that feels true. But also there is a caveat, that isn’t actually always the case. Of course there’s plenty of things that if I said them, it actually wouldn’t be the best thing; for me. Maybe for someone else, but me is all I got. So, here’s where wisdom comes in, where all these years of practice listening to my heart gallups in to save the day.

All I can do is continue to listen for the truth, trust if something feels off, and either say it or don’t say it. The reason this time though, the deciding factor, shall be wisdom and knowing, not fear.