Elemental Balancing Ritual Stillness month 15: Respect

Stillness 12-24-15 Writing those two open letters to the Pagan convention organizers has taken a weight off of me that I've carried for a long time. I'm glad I did it, regardless of what happens as a result. My meditations this last week have been a little scattered, but that's usually the case when you're dealing with something on your mind. I've been continuing to read and work through Awakening the Luminous Mind and some of the focus has been on the mind being empty. In doing the stillness work I've had moments where I've achieved a state of deep stillness and awareness without conceptual thought...and other times I've just had thoughts and emotions buzzing away in my mind. When you do this kind of internal work, both experiences can be valuable for different reasons. The thoughts and emotions can be that pain identity that needs to be experienced letting you know its there and that deep stillness can be that rich state of connection to everything that has no obstruction or block in place and is sublime in its experience. Acceptance of both experiences is essential. Focusing on trying to reach one experiences creates an attachment that actually pushes you further away. In a sense you just have to be willing to go with the experience you've got in the moment and see where it leads you.

12-27-15 Today I sat with feelings of fear, resentment, and shame around money and specifically spending money when it comes to kids. In sitting with it, inevitably what came up was my own experiences as a kid being transferred onto the current situation. While its fair to say that a lot of my basic needs were met, what I did encounter was that if I wanted something, I needed to earn it (which I think is reasonable) but when I got it would often be taken from me shortly after, because I'd be grounded for whatever stupid reason was the latest one. I also learned to be very thrifty because I would be told we can't afford that, which has its good and bad sides. So here I was today sitting with these feelings that had come up and recognizing how much those feelings contribute to my issues around money. I'm always trying not to spend it on anything not essential (according to me) but conversely also sometimes spending it on me. It's a weird dynamic, a double standard really and I don't like that either. So I sat with these emotions today and just felt them as they dissolved into stillness and I'll keep working with them so that I can resolve these issues. I think it'll lead to an even better relationship with my wife and kids, and also money, because I'm certain that some of this is sabotaging all of the above relationships.

1-1-2016 I came up with a collage for 2016, based on the theme of Respect. The last few months have involved a process of starting to respect myself in ways I never had before. Not surprisingly, this also extends to respecting other people more. There have been occasions in my life where I'e loathed myself and once a while I still feel that way, like when I recognize how I've hurt someone important to me in my life. Yet I also have something different than what I had before, a sense of certainty about myself, a conscious holding of space that I've worked hard to establish. That holding of space is carrying me forward into the work around respect I'm doing.

1-2-16 I've been reading the Outlander series as my brain candy reading. It's a good series, but one thing which stands out to me is how jealousy and possessiveness are treated in a favorable light. I have experienced bother emotions and what I've come away with is how much they're attachments. I think it's natural to feel jealous or possessiveness, but if its unexamined, it can become a fixation, an obsession. At the same time, its worth noting that sometimes what a person wants is to feel like they have a place with someone else. Will this person keep me? Will this person be committed to me? Jealousy and possessiveness is a kind of response. What I've learned with my own experience is just how important it is to be present with what I'm feeling so that if I choose to do something I'm not just reacting, but really figuring out what's informing my feelings so I can come at the situation from the right place.

1-5-16 I feel so happy and excited, so alive with possibility. Part of this is because of the Thrill class I'm taking, which is already helping me make changes in how I run my businesses. I'm respecting myself in a way I never have before, but more than that I'm stepping boldly into my identity and making it part of who and what I offer to anyone who wants to work with me. I've already made just a few changes and one of my businesses is taking off in a way it never had before. This is going to be a year of change and transformation, but I've already invited that in with the King's ride and I plan to go a lot further, with my businesses and my magical practice. This is the year of Respect and I'm taking it all the way to the top!

1-6-16 Today I signed up with the local recreation center so I can use their swimming pool. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that'll be good for for my joints. The irony is I haven't liked swimming for a long time due to being forced to take swimming lessons and go the swimming pool everyday when I was 14...seems like an opportunity to do some internal work around that. Plus it'll help me get to a healthier place with my body. I feel like doing this will allow me to connect with another part of myself that needs some healing and respect...do something that challenges me to go deeper.

1-7-16 I went swimming today for the first time. I can really feel it in my body, after the fact, but I actually kind of did enjoy it. This is me taking swimming back for myself so I can enjoy it again.

1-9-16 I started reading Magic Simplified by Draja Mickaharic. One of the very first things he says that is that desire is the first step to Manifestation, but that the other steps are more important. In considering what he wrote, I agree. Desire is a start, but means nothing without additional steps. It's potential, but potential becomes nothing without doing something to provide it form. As always I find Draja's work insightful, in no small part because of how practical it really is and also how simple it is. Simplicity is elegance with anything.

1-12-16 Sometimes you get hit with a moment of realization and it hits you hard. for me it was looking at the schedules of several conventions and realizing that after this year I may not be back at those conventions. A moment of panic and fear rose up and then I stilled myself and asked myself what the consequences were and they really weren't that bad or significantly different than what I'm already dealing with. I suppose as well that one of the reasons I'm feeling this way is because I'm making some big changes in everything I'm doing and it's a little overwhelming. Yet I know the end result will be worth it, for my sense of respect and my overall success. Winds will rise, rain will fall, storms will blow...stay the course to what is true for you.

1-15-16 Even though I'm working with the element of stillness, it really doesn't feel that way this month. There's lots of movement going on and I'm ok with that...it just makes me realize how you can't be still forever...inevitably you'll be moved and you'll need to move...and discover balance with all of that. Something else I've realized. I am not a conformist and I should take that desire not to conform and infuse it in all of my businesses. When I do that, it's part of what makes me come to life.

1-19-16 I'm working through some feelings of anger right now. Anger at all the times I was told what I could do or couldn't do, who I could be or couldn't be. All the times someone tried to control me, what I learned was to bury my anger and at the same time use it to subvert the people trying to control me. I couldn't express my anger directly, so I sabotaged them in whatever way I could...and that pattern has stayed in my life, showing up in other relationships. I see it now and I own it. It's a pattern I no longer need to keep in my life. It makes me both sad and angry. Sad that this pattern has been in my life so long and angry that it even came about in the first place when it didn't need to be. I just needed them to believe in me, instead of trying to control me. I just needed to be accepted for who I am instead of having someone try and make me into someone I'm not. Why couldn't I just be good enough as I was.

1-21-16 Today I feel balanced and focused. This has been an odd month. There hasn't been a lot of stillness in it and I've struggled to find it and yet also have allowed myself to be carried along the changes I've prompted for myself. When I've found stillness, it's been when I've allowed myself to be carried by the movement. In that motion I have nonetheless become still and through that found clarity in all this change I'm causing.