Elemental Balancing Ritual Stillness Month 17: Boundaries

sigil 2-26-16 I meditated about fulfillment today. One of the challenges I've had in my life is recognizing that fulfillment doesn't come from external sources, but rather from within. You can try and fill your life up with people, and things and adventures, but if you aren't fulfilled all any of that will do is make you feel empty. There are still days where I struggle with my feeling of fulfillment and there are other days where I feel fulfilled. My stillness work has lead me to greater fulfillment, because I've focused on being with myself and whatever I'm feeling instead of doing. Doing has always been the distraction for me.

2-29-16 I went away to RJ. Stewart's and Anastacia's weekend spiritual intensive with Kat. It was a powerful experience. I'm letting things settle and I'm sure that what I've experienced will show up in my other writing, but for this particular post there were a few of things of note that happened, which I've been processing in relationship to my stillness work.

The first is that I got a chance to tell R. J. my regard for him and how I consider him to be my spiritual mentor. I have never given another person such regard, for in general I consider most practitioners to be my peers, but I feel like he is part of a spiritual lineage that I identify with him and I feel rather fortunate to have the chance to learn directly from him. I may not always agree with his perspective, but I have a lot of respect for him and I'm glad to call him a spiritual mentor and also identify with the spiritual lineage that he is a teacher of. During the weekend I ended up receiving a spiritual transmission from him (beyond the class) and I felt honored to have that acknowledgement as well as aware of the responsibility that goes with it.

The second is that Kat and I got into a conversation on the way home about some things that happened when we first got together and at a certain she expressed that she felt it was hard to express and process her feelings, because mine would end up becoming the center of the focus. When she said that it reminded me of something I read the other day on a Facebook post where a woman expressed that she wanted her classes to men, but was worried that they would make the classes about their experience, instead of honoring the focus of the class. Hearing Kat express a similar sentiment made me recognize how I wasn't holding presence with her, so I acknowledged what she said and asked her to express what she needed to and made sure that I kept quiet and listened. It's something I'm going to keep working on, in myself, because while I want to be heard, I also want to make sure I am listening.

The third is that I've been meditating further on fulfillment and my relationship with it. As I've noted before, I've sent much of my life looking externally for fulfillment. It's never worked and in doing the stillness work, I've been able to more fully come to grips with that. What stillness consistently teaches me is that embracing the unrest, as opposed to expressing it, is the key to achieve a place of deep connection with myself and with the world and universe at large. As simple as that sounds, there are days where its really hard, but in keeping at it I find it getting easier.

3-6-16 I've always felt a sense of dissatisfaction, for as long as I can remember. That dissatisfaction has driven me and driven my dysfunctions. I was sitting with that today and also with just the pain I've caused other people because of my issues. So often people get fixated on their issues and how those issues effect them, but they don't always recognize how their issues effect other people in their lives. And the only way to find out is to ask someone how have I hurt you and then listen as best as possible without reaction. When you can do that, then you've taken on another level of responsibility for your issues because you now know how they affect other people.

As a follow-up to that. When you can hold space with someone you've wronged, that's when healing for both of you can happen. And it needs to happen or you hold on to anger and resentment and that doesn't do you any good. Sometimes the very act of acknowledging the harm you caused also opens the door to getting acknowledged on your end.

3-8-16 I learned a lesson about stillness and reaction today. When you are put into a position of being between a rock and a hard place, the temptation to react is huge. You're in a very uncomfortable position and you want to get out of it, but the answer isn't to react, but instead to really sit with the discomfort until you come to a place of proactive awareness or a means of reacting minimally. You may find that a reaction is all that can happen, but if that's the case, make it into something that gives you power. Make it into something that truly represents you and at the same time make sure that what it really does is speak for your values and truth, instead of someone else's.

Sometimes, as well, making a brief statement is all you need to make. It's briefness may speak for itself.

My friend Kelli recently pointed out that I've had a number of situations come up where I've had to draw boundaries and it's true. Since November, in one form or another I've had to make some boundary calls. It makes me wonder if that's another aspect of Eligos, especially as it relates to his relationship with time.

3-14-16 Today I'm sitting with some anger and sadness over a recent situation. I was going to present at a conference in April, but I backed out because one of the other people was promoting racism. That person is now gone on from the event, which is good, but this whole situation just bothers me. What I'm sad about really is that this was the last event I had scheduled for this year. I am not, so far as I know, presenting anywhere else this year. And that's my choice. I took a deliberate stand on conventions and presenters and if one of the consequences is that I don't present somewhere, that's my consequence to live with and I am living with it. I'll get over it eventually, especially because my asymmetrical strategy is bearing fruit, but you still sit with that realization of a choice and it hits you hardest when you realize you've hit that place of no return. I guess I already hit that place, but maybe its the fact that I know I'm not going to go out of my way to present...that the only way I know I'll present is if I'm contacted and people express that they want me and are willing to invest in me. I know it's a smart and good move, but it still hits when you purposely choose to take a step.

It's another lesson in patience. I'm learning all these different ways I need to be patient and that is its own challenge in stillness work, especially in a "I want it now" world of Western commercial culture. I'm actually quite good at being patient. I had to wait many years before I could move in with my mom, when I was a kid. I had to be patient then, because a kid wasn't considered to know enough about what I wanted (never mind that I wanted to live with my mom a lot earlier than when I got to). This is just another type of patience. I'm being patient on multiple fronts and working my process and through it all taking every reaction, every emotion and stilling it so that it can all be redirected in a way that's useful. That's a significant part of how stillness work happens.

3-20-16 Another interesting aspect about boundaries (I wrote a post about Eligos and boundaries recently) is realizing when boundaries need to be created or enforced because too much growth is just as bad as not enough growth. Knowing when to say we need to slow down or stop at least for now is important. Respecting that boundary can make a significant difference in a person's life, a community, and so much else. In its own way its another form of stillness.