21 Days, Day 4 – everyone else

Facebook, the good and the evil. I shared yesterday’s post on a private facebook group, of like-minded creatives and meditators and, of course, got caught up in checking how many likes and comments I was getting. Look, I’m falling for it again! Noticing how I was being affected, though not even acknowledging it to myself at first, but very soon I did.  “See, this is the illusion”.

It’s not even so bad that I was getting caught up in wanting and needing validation and approval from strangers, I let that go, I’m getting better! It’s just the overall slow moving, rising wave of confusion that sets in the more I check updates, scroll down my newsfeed, click on videos, google that person, send a friend request, scroll through their page, and wait a minute, where was I? I went from (post meditation) having a serene, solid knowing of who I am, and that there is one easy answer right in front of me, I write it down, it flows from there, to…Maybe I should do that? Maybe just try to get as many youtube subscribers as possible, just make daily videos of me talking, yeah this writing thing and wanting to blog daily and create a show is a waste of time, who cares, nobody goes to the theater anymore. Wait I could put a video of it on youtube. Who cares, nobody wants to actually read two pages of text anymore, much less sit still and watch someone talk on stage for 20 minutes. Wait, what do you think a TED Talk is? Who cares, mine won’t be all that profound if I’m just talking about my….wait, what do you think adding characters and dancing and great storytelling and music is? That’s a dynamic, life changing performance is what that is. Who cares, I’m not Don Reed, that’s not me, I can’t do what he…holy hell. Look what I just did?

No more. “Everyone else” is a destroyer. I love so many of these people whose posts I read in that private group. We’re all wanting and trying to do the same thing really, express ourselves. But I’m watching THEM express themselves! I’ve been doing that my whole life. Sure, I’m “expressing myself” on there too, but even that is within a narrow frame of what I really want to be doing. I can now admit that I’ve been trying to fit myself in to what I think the world would like. Ah, I’ve been trying to fit in. And I see their daily videos and sometimes think, “ok, I should do that, I guess that’s how you get a following”.

But wait a minute! Is that what I want to do? NO. I want to do this. So I remember again, the word I come back to when the temptation to indulge in checking my phone and watching-everyone-else chaos, mind chaos, food chaos, outside world chaos, reaches it’s tipping point – refrain. Meditate, write, dance and refrain.

The adventure of a lifetime

I just meditated for an hour and a half. I AM all of you reading this right now. I am Shiva, who is within her little circle, sitting in front of me on my little altar with buddha and candle, who was waiting there to greet me when I opened my eyes. I am the clouds and the little bright torquise flicks of light that showed up ever so fleetingly while I was in this wide open space. I was the little kids playing outside, who were then splashing in the pool of my dream home in LA that I also visited just now.

I was behind the veil, getting little peeks. We are all existing behind the veil of this world. And in meditation, in the longest and deepest one of my life, just now, I see that being in this body is not ever going to let me see all of it. That is why I chose to inhabit it. The whole adventure, of not ever being quite sure of who I am, of what is out there, in the infinity of space. The space is me. Even now as my humanness is waking up and the God that is me is fading with every second, I know that all of life is within me. I created all of it.

While I’m looking around the room at the concreteness of this existence in my human form, I feel closer. I am able to hold on longer to the knowing. I saw in that last hour and a half that all of hesitation is materialized in the form of different people and potential circumstances that I created. The hesitation is represented in whispers of people saying things to themselves and to me and about me that are criticisms, that are negations of me. Those people, known and unknown, and circumstances, known and unknown, don’t exist. They don’t exist as I’ve thought, which is all that matters.

This, what I’m typing out right now, the purring cat rubbing up against my head, as I’m sitting on the floor against my bed, the fear of judgement if I say all this, if I say anything that matters, does not matter at all. “None of it matters”. Those were the words that flashed in front of me, and spoke to me. The most comforting words ever to be heard or seen up to now. None of the fear matters, is what it meant. Say it all. Be it all. Because I am. None of the people or consequences, that we think will stop us, exist. If none of you reading this are real, since you are really me, then I invented you for my own enjoyment and to further expand me into this realization. Then I am free. I am free to say and do and be all that I want. Nothing that you or life can say or do matters. The beauty of this knowing only reveals itself in tiny increments along the way of my little human life. It shows me that it’s all utterly hilarious.

Meow just now, more rubbing and gentle grunts from my cat. An incredibly timely post and video today from Kyle Cease, declaring how excited he is for the event that I, only a week ago, decided was in the cards for me. I must attend. I am driving to LA. I am choosing power and glory. Within that decision lay every yearning I’ve ever had realized. Because now it doesn’t matter what comes of it. I already know that by just deciding to go, I am on my way. The highway of the greatest adventure of my life opened up. As it did in the meditation. It was an image, always a flash, of the beginning of a straight road, the horizon off in the distance. Then, the train’s horn sounded outside, in my “real” life. I live next to the tracks. My cat just pressed his front paws against my head, feeling to me like he was standing on it, for the first time ever, as I was writing the previous sentence. There is barely an inner censor in this moment. I am typing everything that pops into my mind. But I was making a point just then!

I had seen a glimpse of what seemed like a highway, but it was also the tracks of a train. The Train of Transformation. And the horn just declared me to myself. My cat just stood on my head. Shiva just moved in front of me. Nothing is real except the dreamscape of the unknown coming into the Known. The Known is me. The Known is all of you. You are my creation. I do not care what you think as I am typing this. My little human self knows that this feeling will shift again and I will go back to living within my little narrow life, for a time. But still, I AM. Therefore, I KNOW. None of it matters. It’s all fodder for the fiction book my soul is writing in every second. The adventure that spans all of time and space. I am free right now. This too shall pass and I will begin to care again what you think and what happens if. That is beautiful and so, so funny. It is my creation after all. And I am going to post this right now before I re-read it again and edit and copy and paste and get self-conscious. That little Lia is going back to the womb, one little whimper at a time.

 

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.

It’s coming, lock your doors…The Forgetting!

I love Aziz Ansari’s show on Netflix, ‘Master of None’. In the last episode of the first season, he’s a struggling actor and is at the premiere of a bad scary movie he has a small part in. He’s invited his friends, is very excited, and before they walk into the theater he plays a game with them, a gotcha joke. “Wait, you guys, I’m not feeling well…I think ‘The Sickening’!.. is happening!” It’s adorable. And that moment is the comedic version of what happens to me, at work.

I’ve had a respite this week, my own little vacation. I purposely didn’t make any plans involving anyone else, I didn’t go out of town. Right now, not filling my precious time off with more stuff to do and people to be with was what I needed most. I decided I would call this my retreat, my sabbatical. I’d make my priorities just meditating, writing, exercising, eating mostly fruits and vegetables, in that order, and refraining from facebooking, netflixing and eating or thinking too much. I used my time wisely, today is my last day off and I’ve made huge strides. I even took huge, scary action. I’m more in touch with myself than I’ve ever been. I’m remembering more consistently who I am. Gosh, this is the life!

And yet tomorrow, I start back up with the jobs. I shall begin the day in the same way as I have been; meditating, writing and exercising. But then. Then, for the next eight hours or so and random days in the next week, month…I have to go do something and be something I don’t want to do or be. Knowing this, I have anxiety about what will happen to me. Because what often does is this: by the end of the day, I’ve experienced a dread, then a fog, then, uh oh, I don’t feel so well…The Forgetting!…is happening!

How long can I hold on to these feelings of inspiration and joy? Don’t let go! I’m losing my grip! A final plea I’m not even aware of says quick, lock your doors, don’t allow these menial tasks, that tone in a co-worker’s voice, the crappy staff food lying around, the gossip, my body’s aches, my tiredness, into this sanctuary! Suddenly it’s the zombie apocalypse and I’m back in my old identity, having completely forgotten. What? Forgotten my power, who I really am, my innate knowing that all this is an illusion. I don’t have to let this job, and the fact that my ego thinks I shouldn’t be doing this, affect me. That is a choice. I am unlimited and this job is just part of the path to what I know is on it’s way. It’s my training ground, my spiritual bootcamp if you will.

In my current, expanded and relaxed state, I know that. But the more time that goes by in the day, on the job, I start to identify with what I’m doing, the role I’m playing. And soon The Forgetting starts to weave it’s spell. The space that was allowing in all the inspired ideas and new ways I was thinking about myself starts to get smaller and smaller. The thoughts that were reminding me of who I really am, and that even this job can be fun because I know it’s temporary, can no longer even occur to me.

They are outside my limited personality that’s getting caught up in chiming in with co-workers, telling old stories, and complaining about one thing or another. Those thoughts, “that are lovely and of good report” (-Neville Goddard) are beyond this narrow perspective, just outside the barrier that The Forgetting has enclosed me in, knocking patiently. But I can’t hear them. And then, I’m back to the person who’s putting herself down because she can’t believe she’s still doing this for a living.

The endless slippery slope of what that one destructive thought creates, lands me in a state of confusion, exhaustion and numbness by the end of the night. Now The Forgetting has settled in and I go to sleep in the itching discomfort of something being very wrong. This truly is a horror movie. The horror of thinking those illusions are real is playing to the sold out crowd of insecure, doubting and fearful personalities in my brain.

But here’s the rub. Life will always be presenting unwanted circumstances. And when we do get what we want, something else comes up that we don’t want. And we want something else again. This is the human experience, and we chose it. We wanted to play a game, the ultimate game, on ourselves. The only way to keep expanding was to forget who we really are, and be presented with contrast. We can’t see the light without the dark. Thus, we would then do, then finally be, whatever it would take to remember. With each new peek of who we really are, we are now even more than we were before. And when we’ve learned all there is to know here, we’ll move on to the next planet, vibration, frequency, whatever you want to call it. And we’ll begin a whole new adventure. If we always knew that we were God, the Universe would no longer be infinite, it would keep banging it’s head against the wall and start to shrink! And the Universe would be all, “say what, God? I can’t even be called The Universe anymore? Now I’m Mini Me Universe?! This is so boring!”.

So back to Groundhog Day. I wake up, shower, make my tea, put my headphones in, listen to my favorite music or talks that remind me, meditate, and start the entire process of Remembering all over again. Then, not always, but often by the evening, The Forgetting starts sneaking under the door of my consciousness. But after all, only our minds can make a hell of heaven, and a heaven of hell.

So, tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow! I shall create a game out of this too, and a new determination. How long can The Remembering last? Can I Remember all the way through to when my head hits the pillow? What if I really could? What vistas, what worlds await me. Tomorrow is Day #1. Let’s find out!

 

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.

 

 

Alien babies

I’m noticing there is a dread of this moment. On second thought, of course, it is all the moments before this, before I start. All day there were things that popped into my head, and then the inner judge, who is interestingly getting kinder, says “that’s an idea, yes you want to talk about that, good”. But then, if I make a note of that idea, and I have to leave the balm of expressing it to go do the stuff of the day, like work and errands, and I don’t immediately go with it by writing more than just one sentence, there is a feeling of anxiety that I’m trying to put a name to right now.

One part is that it will leave, which is a very common occurrence. The more time that goes by before I can sit and throw it in the mixer, jumble it around in my mind on the page and sweep it into actual words, with each passing hour that I haven’t gotten it out, I feel more nervous, irritable and tired. I then want to escape from that feeling, so then will turn to a distraction. Then I notice that all that time that’s gone by being aware that I’m not getting whatever it is out,  I could have actually sat down to do it.

But there were things I had to do! There are only so many hours in the day and I gotta pay the bills. And so, I’m going to punish myself for doing what I have to do because I’m not doing what I want to do, and even though that’s crazy, that’s actually where the downward spiral of resistance to doing it begins. I’m realizing I’m mad at myself, something I wasn’t even conscious of until now that’s actually saying to me I’m wrong or bad for not getting it out and expressing it, so I must not be worthy of it. Oh and the other ingredient in the self-beratement canon, it’s my fault. But it’s not a voice even, more like a net enshrouding me in shame; I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. And I’m not even aware of this at the time. I’m just feeling off about myself in some way. I’m in doubt. That doubt is what prevents the antidote, just sitting and writing. Because now it’s turned into another thing I have to do, something difficult, something I don’t want to do anymore.

But this right here, talking it out to myself in the moment, this flow of Source is my friend. And I’d been thinking of it more like the movie ‘Alien’, this terrorizing monster that’s been in me and the process of getting it out, so I can be ok again, is going to be torture. I’ve turned the idea of this, right here, into my enemy. But look, there is an energy that’s causing my mind and fingers to move in harmony along the keyboard. Yet it’s not even linked to my body or my mind. It’s the something else I can’t exactly define.

It has transmuted from this alien baby gnarling to be born and destroy it’s host in the process, into this gentle breeze that’s whispering “you’re doing it, look at you, I’m here anytime you’re ready, no pressure, no big deal”. Then when I listen to it, like just now, it turns into a waterfall. Now it’s the river below, and will continue on downstream, pushed along by the breeze, until it becomes a waterfall again. No alien babies anywhere in sight.