12-26-13: I'm reading Magician's End by Raymond Feist. He's one of my favorite fantasy authors, in part because he manages to offer some intriguing metaphysical considerations. Any case, in this book, at one point one of the characters encounters a lover who is long dead, which stirs up emotions for him and he remembers something said to him: "Feelings don't make sense, but they can drive us, and that's what you have to understand most of all. People will often do imponderable things because of how they feel, not because of what they think." I read that and I agree. People do what they do moreso because of the feelings that drive them than what they think. We can fool ourselves into believing we make choices for purely rational reasons, but the truth is we really don't. We make choices driven by our emotions and then rationalize those choices afterwards. I've always been a person driven by my emotions and I recognize that and accept it as part of being human. The choices I make are always informed by emotions and I know that consciously recognizing those emotions is important for really being in touch with movement, but also being in touch with what informs the motives for making a given choice.
12-29-13: As I've been meditating further on drive, I've been considering how different emotions drive people. Fear, hatred, love, happiness...all of these emotions drive people and others as well. There's no one emotion that drives everyone, and if anything I think it's usually a mixture of emotions and they change due to various situations. It makes me appreciate how important it is to be aware of your emotions, aware of what drives you and why it drives you. There's no right or wrong answer, but knowing what emotions are driving you can do a lot to help you move consciously instead of unconsciously.
1-1-2014: New Years is always a funny time for me. It feels liminal and yet it doesn't. For me the year starts and ends on my birthday. So it's a new year...and whatever that means. There's a sense of renewal and new movement, but its illusory. One month, one day, could be as good as any other to mark the change of a year. That said January 1st does mark the anniversary of Kat and I's marriage and we are married 3 years now. In February it'll be 4 years since we met.
1-6-14: The last couple of days have been heavy. Kat helped me with something that no one else has ever been able to help me with, that no one else has ever really been able to handle. She helped me with my emptiness. Deep down, when you really get into the deepest movement, the underlying motive for everything I do, it's all about the emptiness, all about that feeling at the center of my being, that gnawing, gaping emptiness, that cutting edge of zero bleeding me out. And while, in the last few years, I've come to a better place with it than I had before, it's still something that I live with. The other night Kat brought up a tough subject for both of us and as we discussed it at length, I ultimately pointed her to that feeling of emptiness and how much it drives me, how much tension there is in dealing with it, how much it hurts to feel it everyday. Later on we did a meditation around it and she helped me realize the origin of it.
Before I was even born, but when my mom was pregnant, she was going through a very hard period of life. She was depressed, and she had a virus, which actually ended up partially blinding her in one of her eyes. She was also dealing with my dad's philandering. Kat mentioned to me that an unborn fetus ends up soaking up a lot more than just the food the mom provides, but also the emotions, energy etc. I'm going to actually look up some of that information, because I think it could explain a lot about that feeling of emptiness. We also discussed my first memory, which is a memory where my mom gave me to my dad in an airport. I was about one and they were both angry at each other and I was crying a lot. I actually have a dream of that event where I vividly remember it. Kat thinks that also contributed to my feeling of emptiness and me trying to find ways to fill it up via love.
It's a lot to process, and yet I feel that what she pointed out makes a lot of sense. I have felt this sense of emptiness for as long as I can recall. I want to do some research on this, and I'll undoubtedly share what I discover, but Kat said something else I've taken to heart, which is that I can take this feeling of emptiness and make it into an ally that helps me connect with other people. She described some of her own work around that and I've seen it first hand. I know I can do this and I feel it is an integral part of my work with movement.
1-10-14 The other day, my friend Erik pointed something out to me that made sense when I heard it, but hearing it made me recognize it consciously. He said that I'm the type of person who has to agree to the boundaries that I have in my life. That if I don't have that agreement then I resist those boundaries. And he's right. I've never been one to accept other peoples' boundaries lightly. When I was a child and was told what I couldn't do, I went and did it. One of the reasons I'm self-employed is because I like to work on my own terms. I've always been driven by a need to establish my own boundaries and rules. And yet, in thinking about what Erik has said, I also realize that sometimes I have agreed to boundaries presented to me by other people. What's gotten that agreement to occur has really been more of a consensual agreement than anything else. We came to the agreement together. If we didn't come to the agreement together, then it was a boundary imposed on me and that's what I take issue with. I want to be brought in on any boundary I'm going to live with. This realization helps me recognize that drive for freedom and for consensual agreement as something essential to who I am and to my sense of happiness.
I told Kat today that I was ready to let her love me. That probably seems odd, but in some ways I've always kept a part of myself locked away from anyone, and not allowed that part to be open to being loved. That part is the emptiness and as such its not really a surprise that I've had such an antagonistic relationship with it. I'm not sure how to love or accept it, and I say that even after having worked with it extensively. I don't expect that Kat loving that part is the solution, but I feel it's part of the solution to making peace with that part of myself.
1-11-14 One of the things I've realized recently is how much a person's wounds can end up wounding someone else. You are wounded and you are living your life trying to work that wound out or acting it, and other people around you get wounded because of it. I know I have wounded people in my life with my wounds and I also know they have wounded me with their wounds. I suppose its just part of living life, but when you own your wounds and actively work on healing them and coming to some peace and resolution its good to let other people help you with it. You don't have to be alone with your wound or try to heal it on your own. For so long I've felt alone, but I realize that much of that loneliness has been self-imposed by myself. At the same time part of owning your wound is recognizing how you've wounded other people with it. I feel like I've recognized it multiple times, in all honesty, but that each time I've recognized it, I've developed a deeper understanding of the wound that I lacked before.
1-15-14 I've been doing some thinking about the neurotransmitters and hormones behind that feeling of emptiness I experience. I've been meaning to get back to that work for sometime, but this provides further motivation, because when I feel empty, I know what it feels like on a physiological level as well as an energetic level. And if I pay attention that feeling, then I can take appropriate actions, such as exercising, which does a lot to change the physiological experience in my body each time I exercise.
1-17-14 I've recently started doing a more intensive version of Tae Bo. I've alternated between the original Tae Bo exercise and the new one, but I'm noticing that the original exercise doesn't require the same amount of effort anymore. There is still some effort, but it comes pretty easy, whereas the other is a stretch, but is also starting to get a bit easier. At some point, I see myself phasing the original version out for the more intensive one and then adding another, even more intensive version to that one. There's momentum in all of that and I feel excited to have hit this place where I am feeling able to push myself harder and as a result doing more intensive exercise. Movement, once resistance is tipped, becomes much easier with the right momentum behind it.
I went to a Venus ritual conducted by my friend Erik Roth and a person he was co-leading the ritual. They did a good job with the ritual and explanations . At one point there was a pathworking to meet your inner Venus, your anima really. In my case, it was a tall, steely eyed, dominant woman, with dark hair a subtle, sensual strength to her, my inner woman, and I felt her engage me and tell me that I could draw on her support with the work I was doing around emptiness, but also in any other area of my life. I've always felt in touch with my feminine self, but meeting her in this way was really intriguing in its own right.
1-18-14 I'm reading Born for Love: Why Empathy is Endangered and Essential. The first chapter talks quite a bit about the way babies learn and the bonding experiences they have as babies with their mothers and how essential this bonding behavior is because of what it teaches children about love and empathy. And I realize, given what I know about my very early childhood that I didn't really receive the essential bonding I must have needed. I don't believe I was even with my mother by the time I was 1 and even if I was, from the stories I've been told it was a very chaotic period of life for her and I was a very unhappy baby at that time. And what does all that have to do with love and empathy? From what I can tell this early time is so essential that it plays a significant role in how a person handles love, gives love, etc., and also plays a role in how empathetic a person is. So I wonder then how this has or hasn't effected me. Certainly when I look at the emptiness and my relationship with love, I am struck by how much I am driven to find something to occupy or fill up that sense of emptiness and how my experiences with love have been less about being present with someone and more about filling that sense of emptiness. Being present seems to me to be more about feeling a sense of empathy and connection...wanting to know how the other person feels as opposed to just wanting something from the person. Being present is something I'm still figuring out, and truth to tell I think that if you have a well developed sense of empathy its easier to be present with yourself and consequently with other people as well. Still I'm willing to learn all this and I'm not backing away from the need for it. I'd like to think it could help me be a better person as a result.
1-20-14 I've been meditating a lot on what I read the other day and my reaction to it. I've come to the conclusion that I've never really been present with myself or any other person. When I look at my life in general, let alone relationships with other people, I'm struck by how I'm always focused on the next thing, person, projects, etc. as opposed to really being present with wherever I'm at and whoever I'm with. To some degree, with Kat, I've learned to become more present, but even so I still find that I'm not really present with myself. Part of it definitely goes back to some of those early life experiences, but part of it also is something within western culture...we haven't been taught how to sit still with ourselves, how to just be. Each day, when I do Zhine meditation, I'm struck by how this meditation is probably one of the hardest for me because it involves just being as opposed to thinking or doing or anything else.
This month has been about drive and I think I've learned a lot about what drives me. I'd like to change what drives me though or learn to work with it differently than I have. I feel that the experiences I'm having as I work with the element of movement and navigate my astrological dark night of the soul are providing a path toward such work. I feel tumultuous and stormy, and yet I also see sunlight peeking through, realizations coming, and an inner sense of self emerging that has more clarity than I have previously ever had.