Elemental Balancing Ritual Movement Month 20: Regret

Eros 5-26-14: As I navigate the Pluto cycle of my chart and the dark night of the soul it brings with it, I find that what matters most is how I approach the challenge I'm facing and that what movement teaches me isn't just how to move around a situation or through it, but how to move with it, and through that movement find resolution. This last weekend I made a mistake. I had the best of intentions, but how I approached the situation created some discomfort for other people. What it made me aware of is how I can sometimes get so fixated in what's in front of me that I lose the big picture perspective. I move with that realization and I make it part of the movement of my life so that I can learn from the mistake and apply it proactively to my life and interactions as well.

5-28-14 The latest Dresden Files book, Skin Game, just came out and I'm eagerly reading it now. It's one of my favorite fantasy series, in part because  love the whole occult detective angle the author explores. If I ever get back to writing fiction I'd want to write an occult detective series myself, though I don't know if I could do quite so good as Butcher does. I'm also reading a book on magic that I'm not sure I'll review. I find myself fundamentally disagreeing with pretty much everything the author shares and I feel that there's a lot of distorted information being shared. On the other hand I also consider that ultimately the person is sharing their perspective and I don't have to agree with it. It's just rare for me to disagree so much with what someone shares.

5-30-14 I finished the book I disagreed and decided not to read any of the other books by the author. I'm not going to name the person, but I definitely will not read any further as it would be a waste of my time. I think this is the first time I've come across material where its clear to me the material is distorted and that whatever the person is connected to is something I shouldn't have anything else to do with. I've read books by people I personally don't like and still found value in the books they wrote, but this is something else altogether. It's rare for me to feel this way about something I've encountered, but there it is.

5-31-14 Yesterday I had a fairly deep, intense meditation where I was present with the stress in my body and I saw that a lot of it was brought about by regret and I could feel those regrets pressing on my mind, creating tension, holding me back. I promised myself I wouldn't have regrets and yet I have them. It's hard to really sit with that and yet also liberating. I've decided that I need to focus more on my dissolving work and spend some time digging into those regrets. I don't expect it to be easy, but I think it will be rewarding once I've been able to let go of them.

6-1-14 In a conversation with Kat, we discussed my feelings of regret. I realize that what I regret is that 9 years ago I made a lot of decisions based on reaction and on someone else's schedule. I made those choices, so I'm responsible for them, but I regret I made them because I didn't honor myself at all in doing so. I made decisions that changed the direction of my life and I did it for the wrong reasons. That's no one else's fault or responsibility. It's my responsibility, but what I take from that is just how important it is to never let someone else's schedule dictate my choices and also how important it is to make decisions by design instead of reaction. I've made the majority of my decisions in this life by reaction. I know that by looking at the history of my life. I suspect most people live in the same way, but over the last few years I've learned to apply design awareness to my choices. I've started asking myself what really informs that decision. And so Id like to think that I'm learning how to make decisions from a place of awareness that examines the consequences of the decision and allows me to map out what I could or should do before I make that decision. As for the regret...I'm allowing myself to fully acknowledge it, be present with it and recognize it for what it is. I haven't done that before now...I don't think I was ready to. Now I am and that will help a lot as I meditate on it.

I took a trip down memory lane today reading old issues of Razor Smile and Konton Magazines. I remember writing articles for both magazines in the mid 2000's. It's sad to me that the magazines have been replaced for the most part by blogs. I like blogging, but writing for those magazines and getting the magazines in the mail was an experience. I feel some nostalgia for those times. It was a period of time where lots of people were writing and sharing ideas, then after 2006 it all feel to the wayside.

6-5-14 Today when I meditated on regret, I ended up meditating about my earliest romantic experiences with women. I allowed myself to feel the regret, but also really paid attention to it and realized that all of my regret is about the relationships in my life with women. I don't have regrets about anything else other then the ph.d program. Everything is around those relationships and so I just sat with that and meditated on it, recognizing underneath the regret were feelings of emptiness, of trying to get filled, of trying to be accepted, of looking for something in the wrong place. How much have I defined my life by my relationships? A lot. More than I'm comfortable with. So much of my sense of self has come from trying to connect with women in my life, in part I think, because of how I've tried to resolve in my mind and heart, my earliest experiences with my step mom. I feel that much of my focus on connecting with women has really been about trying to heal a wound no one else can heal, to find acceptance only I can.

6-7-14 I find it relevant that the yesallwomen conversation is occurring now as I do my work around regret. It helps me to situate that work within the cultural aspects of the movement, highlighting to me how much my own feelings are conditioned in part by how men have treated women. I know I've sometimes been guilty of behavior that's been disrespectful to women and reading the accounts in yesallwomen calls that into account and provides me a chance to recognize that behavior and put it into context with the regret work I've been doing. Today Kat and I discussed that work. She asked me if I felt regret about being with her or about the choices we've made as a couple in respect to our relationship. A reasonable question to ask. I told her I don't felt regret about being with her or our choices, but instead feel that what I'm working through with the regrets I'm working with is another layer of conditioning, reactions, and feelings about women in my life and my life choices that have lead to me live a reactive life, for the majority of my life. I don't want to live such a life, and yet I find the only way to change it necessarily involves working with those reactions and emotions I haven't fully acknowledged or accepted in myself.

6-10-14 I've been watching West Wing on Netflix. In one episode a character discusses his addiction issues. He acknowledges that although he hasn't had a drink or taken pills in 6 years, he's still an addict and admits he doesn't thinking of taking one drink, he thinks of taking ten drinks. It was an interesting statement about the nature of addiction and it made me think about how addiction takes away the enjoyment of something: the enjoyment of a drink, the enjoyment of sex, the enjoyment of anything else. Addiction is something else, trying to forget something, to fill something up, to numb the pain. It eats as you because no matter what you do, its temporary at best. And even if you do nothing, its still there. The only way you can deal with it is to do the work and face whatever it is you are using the addiction to mask.

6-15-14 In Born for Love the author discusses chameleons. Chameleons in this case refers to people who are trying to belong and as such change themselves to fit whoever they are around. When I read that, it reminded me a lot of myself. I've been a chameleon at times. Around the time I was reading that chapter, I was meditating on regret and I had a really deep, long meditation and in that meditation I was told, "Stop trying to be everything for everyone." Then I was shown a bunch of different moments in my life when I had tried to be what other people had wanted. From my step mom to my mom, to friendships and romantic relationships, I've always tried to fit myself into what the other person wanted, often making myself miserable as a result. I've learning, in my marriage with Kat, how not to do that so much, how to assert myself more, but I see how this ties into regret, specifically because in trying to fit myself into what I thought other people wanted, I gave away my sense of authenticity, my awareness of what I wanted, submerging it in the interests of trying to be something else.

6-16-14 In how The Mighty Fall, the author makes a point that I think is significant to dealing with regret. He notes we aren't imprisoned by our circumstances, or our setbacks, or our history, or our mistakes. Instead we are freed by our choices, and what brings us freedom is the ability to learn from our mistakes, to make a choice where we come back from our setbacks. Never give up on yourself, never give up on the ability to prevail, the belief in yourself, and never give up on your core values. I feel this is relevant to regret, because I think that regret can sabotage your belief in yourself. When I meditated today on regret, I felt that same place in body where the tension is, and I went deep once again and I dissolved some of it, coming away with a realization of how regret is still an attempt to fill something up. Reading what I did today helped me recognize the strength that my core values have brought me over the years, especially in how I have not given up on achieving what it is important to me. Whatever regrets have come up, I have not allowed them to drag me down.

6-19-14 I'm visiting the ocean right now. Seems appropriate to do so when doing dissolving work. Today's meditation continued focusing on regret. I feel that the area in my torso where the emotion of regret is found is becoming less tense as I do this work. It doesn't feel as blocked and I feel as well that I'm able to let go of what I've been holding onto for so long. It seems to me that part of dealing with regret boils down to taking responsibility for what you regret. And what I mean by that is that feeling regret doesn't necessarily involve taking responsibility. Taking responsibility means you acknowledge why you feel the regret and why you are letting it move you. In my case, regret has moved me a lot in life and I recognize that in a way I previously hadn't. This dissolving work is just the first step in my work with regret, the first step toward taking responsibility for it so it doesn't move my life in the way it has in the past.