Elemental Balancing Ritual Stillness Month 12: Control

Stillness 9-27-15 I had some important realizations this weekend that have helped me to put some behavior into the right context. Sometimes you need to have a conversation that provides a different frame of reference, because that reference provides the necessary context for you to make informed choices and decisions. Or it helps you understand a point of view that doesn't come to you naturally. I'm also practicing a lot of stillness in all of this realization, holding space with my feelings, without getting attached to them. Projections become regrets, which hold you back from really being present with the moment you are in. Stilling the self allows for the acknowledgement, but also the letting go of those projections and attachments, so they don't become regrets.

9-28-15 I've observed before that I have a tendency to realize an issue and react to it. I sat with that further today in meditation and I recognized how I haven't honored myself or the people important to me because I've been too quick to act. While recognizing an issue and doing nothing about isn't healthy, nor is quickly reacting to it. So I'm really just sitting with what I'm feeling and taking my time with it. I don't need to have a quick solution. I need to have a response that is considered and fully allows me to make a change that actually is helpful because it considers everyone involved. I don't think I've ever given myself time to heal and consider what has happened in the relationships I've been in. I've jumped from relationship to relationship and repeated at least some of the mistakes, because I didn't give myself time to heal and learn from my experiences. This time with stillness has helped me to finally recognize this about myself and I'm just sitting with it because I've never done that before.

10-3-15 In Awakening the Luminous Mind, the author talks about stillness as being able to be present with emptiness. As I read about stillness as a refuge for the body, and how it allows the person to experience the state of emptiness as a changelessness, it helped me appreciate stillness in a different way. I felt like something unfolded in me and I was able to go deeper into the stillness than I had before. I was able to experience it as a refuge. This deeper experience made me realize that I need to spend more time with stillness and my inner contacts seem to agree. It's one of those experiences where the consistent work piles up to produce a realization that in turn takes you even deeper into the work.

10-4-15 Woke up this morning reflecting on control in my life and what a weird relationship I have with it. When I was growing up, my parents raised in a simultaneously strict and free environment. I could go off and do whatever I wanted, with little to no oversight, and yet they could also be very strict with me. For example they didn't care if I wandered around the neighborhood, but if I wanted to play video games, I was strongly encouraged not to and frequently grounded so I couldn't (and yet I could wander around). What this really told me is that as long as I wasn't in their space, they didn't care what I did or din't do. To some degree this pattern has replicated itself in my romantic relationships, where I've been with partners who've tried to control me in some ways and in other ways haven't cared what I did, as long as I wasn't in their space. What I've always resented is the feeling of someone trying to control me in one particular way or another and as a result I'll fight back and sabotage the relationship, much like I did with my parents. I would find ways to undermine their control over me, but I never directly communicated with them about my issues with their parenting because I was a child and also because I'd have gotten punished as opposed to communicated with. The problem is that the pattern carried into adulthood and into my relationships so that instead of communicating openly with my partners, I would end up sabotaging them in some form or manner. I think if I had communicated better, I'd have likely either had healthier relationships or gotten out of them a lot earlier than I did. That said at least I can recognize the pattern and do something about it now.

10-9-15 You have control of your behavior. You may feel like you don't...you may feel you are at the mercy of some of your behavior, but if you do the internal work and dig down far enough you'll recognize that you do have control and that you do have reasons for doing whatever you are doing. Perhaps you aren't consciously in touch, but that can be remedied. The real question is what do you do when you figure out why you are doing certain behaviors? At that point you definitely have control and its up to you to make choices you can live with, as well as accept consequences for.

Another thought related to the above. Internal conflict is both a distraction and a recognition of some sorts. It's a distraction because its something you are focused on, trying to resolve, but its also a recognition that if you get your act together, you'll be dynamic.

On yet another note...I will likely never be one of the cool kids of the occult. I have over the years watched with fascination who is "in" and who isn't and I am definitely not in, by any stretch. I've always been on the outskirts, and I've learned I just have to make my own space, my own community, and if I do that eventually people find their way to me. Feels that way with pop culture magic. Eleven years ago it wasn't cool. Now I see more people writing about it, doing it, etc., and I imagine it'll continue to become more accepted as more people about it and try it. The cool kids don't innovate. The innovators are the people on the outskirts doing something other people won't do because it's not "in." You stick with what's in and there won't be much change or evolution of a discipline. You have to be willing to go outside what's conventional and take a risk. You won't be a cool kid...you'll get a lot of flak or just people not getting what you do until suddenly they do get it, but you've already moved on, because the outskirts have moved as well.

10-14-15 When I observe other people who have some degree of fame or presence, what I also inevitably observe is the silent partner, the person who supports the celebrity of the family. I've also noticed that if you put two people together who have some degree of fame, inevitably there is a clash of some sort because there is a competition then. It's an interesting phenomenon to observe, and at the same time I also notice that if each person is a celebrity, but in a different sphere than the other then it can work out quite well because you can take turns supporting each other.

10-15-15 When you are feeling frustration around an issue, it can be useful to spend some time with it, instead of just venting it. It's not easy to feel and work through, but what it can reveal are deeper issues being covered up or glossed over when you vent about the surface level symptom. In my case, I'm feeling some frustration around finances and recognizing that some of it actually has to do with how I handle money and also recognizing certain patterns of behavior that have occurred across relationships, which indicates that at least part of the issue is me and my relationship with money. So I'm going to spend some more time with this feeling and really dig into it. I know in doing so, I'm doing the right thing, because I'm choosing to really get clear on what the problem is.

10-17-15 Today as I walked, I thought about how I'm responsible for the choices in my life. I can blame other people for choices I've made, but if I'm honest with myself, they aren't responsible...I am. I'm responsible because I chose to be in that relationship instead of making the choice to leave. Or I'm responsible for the lack of communication on my part. And I'm responsible for not making a choice because of whatever other circumstances are at work in my life that persuade me not to. Of course I'm also responsible for the good choices I've made, and I need to remember that just as much as taking responsibility for the mistakes.

I also thought about dying alone after reading an article on the Death of George Bell. It made me realize how important social connections are and why I'm glad I have people in my life and why I want to keep those people in my life.

10-20-15 Today is the last day I'm 38. I was thinking the other day that I'm reaching the point in my life where sometime in the next two decades I will hit my probable halfway mark of life. I won't know when it is, and yet it will come and after that I will have less time ahead of me. If that seems a bit morbid, it is, and yet at the same it is also freeing. This life will eventually end and I or something of me anyway will transition on to somewhere else.

I've recently started reading Quabalistic Concepts by William G. Gray. As I was reading it, a thought came to mind: The Infinity of Nothing Reveals the Possibility of Everything." It's really appropriate for me to be reading this book because Gray talks about becoming nothing, about stilling yourself and as a result really coming face to face with your inner identity. The state of nothing he discusses is similar to the state of stillness I experience in doing Zhine. There is a fundamental recognition that before you can do something, you need to go back to the beginning, become nothing in order to discover something.

10-21-15 I'm 39. My thirties have been tumultuous at times, but also more stable than other times of my life. I think this last year of being in my thirties will be a great one. I'm finally getting a handle on some issues I've worked with before. I see these cycles in my life where I work on them and get to a place and then pause and then continue and work further, each time making progress. I'm glad I'm sticking with stillness for another year. I feel that I'm just starting to get to a deeper place with it that warrants further in depth work. When you do this work...really do it, it will take you some deep places and you've got it the time it deserves, so you can learn and grow. Happy birthday to me!