Elemental Balancing Ritual Stillness Month 21: Giving and Receiving

sigil 6-26-16 Sometimes I like to let my mind wander. I'll lay down for a bit and just let my thoughts go and see what comes up. It's a good way of setting your creativity free. It's not the same as meditation for the purpose of clearing your mind, yet it can be a form of stillness on its own, because in letting your thoughts go free, you also allow yourself to become still. Your thoughts wander every which way and you just observe them. It frees up the creative juices and ignites the inspiration.

Doing this exercise has been helpful for me for when I'm feeling writer's block. When I write I can see the big picture, but sometimes putting the pieces together is hard. So afterwards this exercise helps to loosen the mind up. It helps you get back into the writing space, open to new discoveries.

6-29-16 Felix gave me a copy of the Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. I started reading it that night and her story really hit me on a deep level, especially around the struggle people have with asking. I know that struggle so well, because I've always had that struggle around asking. Opening up that intimately, being that vulnerable...I've learned it slowly in the last few years. I'm still learning it, but I can see that I'm learning it and feel really good about it. I don't need to put myself behind walls of self-sufficiency. I can actually rely on people if I choose to let them in. I couldn't have that six years ago.

7-3-16 I gave myself permission today to slow down on a project and do some additional research. I've occasionally just dove in without really considering the ramifications of my choice. In this case I was putting pressure on myself to have this project underway by a certain date and I realized the pressure really wasn't worth it. So I evaluated the project and recognized that I need to do some research and then do some digestion to figure out what I really want to do with it. If executed properly this project will be very helpful, but if it isn't, it could take up valuable time and effort.

You know for all that this year has been about stillness, this has been one of the busiest years of my life, with so much change happening. The stillness has come in handy for actually keeping me steady and focused while managing all the change. And I think it'll continue to help me down the line because there will undoubtedly be more changes like this.

In the Art of Asking, an interesting point is made that if you love people enough, they'll give you everything. I struggle with that sentiment. Then again I struggle with sharing in general. Despite the fact that I'm a writer and actually share a lot, there are moments where it can be a real struggle. A lot of that struggle has more to do with me and my issues than anything else. And I think in this case it's a struggle to receive, when you've decided to share. I can share, but to receive in return? It can be painful, because when I receive I'm letting people in, letting them see me. Really see me.

7-4-16 It hit me today...a combination of reading the Art of Asking and seeing someone else I admire make some changes in her groups. When you give something, what you are really doing is deepening the relationship. You're inviting people in and you're trusting them and you're also building trust. I never really got that before. I'd cringe at the idea of giving something away for free, but that was because I didn't really understand what was happening. And now...I do...I get it. It's like a light clicked on. I need to map it out, but now my understanding is changed. It feels vulnerable, but also empowering. Letting go of control in order to see what happens.

7-7-16 I met with Antero Alli yesterday. I've decided to take his Zero lab for Paratheatre and part of the process involved the interview. I'm glad it did because it gave both of us a chance to feel each other out. In the very rare occasions where I've chosen a mentor, it's always occurred via in an in-person meeting, where we've got a sense of each other physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. There's a kind of spiritual transmission that occurs in such a meeting. It's not quite the same as a full on spiritual transmission. It's more of an introduction, yet it is significant because it is how you determine if the person you might work with is in fact someone you should work with.

On a different note my experience with stillness has shifted somewhat. I've recently begun to recognize how stillness can be a gravity well, where you are still, but what you need is brought toward you by the gravity aspect of stillness.

7-10-16 First day at Disney. I let my inner child out. I had more fun than I've had in a long time. There were some interesting moments of stillness experienced, particularly in just letting go and having fun, having the experience, and just being in the experience. I'm glad I get to share this experience with my family.

7-11-16 Today I went on a 3 hour tour of Disney land, learning the history and some of the marketing behind Disney Land. What I found most fascinating was how this one person had a vision and stuck with it. He also believed in the imagination and wanted to engage the imagination of people the world over. I'd say he's succeeded. I admire that kind of drive and dedication to one's vision.

7-12-16 Tonight we attended The World of Color presentation. All these people were at it and it was amazing and I could feel this energy going through the crowd, responding to the presentation. It wasn't attention. It was belief. The myopic perspectives that many magicians have about pop culture magic occur because they have little in the way of imagination or capacity to consider that just because something isn't traditional, doesn't mean it can't have power or real impact on people. The experiences I've had over the last few days confirm all over again the validity of pop culture magic. I'll write more about in a separate post, but more than ever I'm quite pleased with how pop culture magic has become more relevant, more prevalent...its not going away, no matter how much some people wish it would would.

7-14-16 Today I started crying...not sad crying, but rather crying because I felt these walls in my heart melt. I felt such love for Kat, such a recognition of how dear she is to me, how much I love her, how much she means to me, how deeply she has touched my life. I've never cried like that for anyone other than when I had to leave my mom when I was young, and its not like I'm leaving Kat, but its rather that I just realize how much I love her, how important she is and how glad I am that we found each other.

7-18-16 Back from Disneyland. It feels surreal. I entered into this alternate dimension for 5 days and now I'm back, but I've been changed by the experience. I'd never been there before, but allowing myself to really get into the experience brought up so many memories from my childhood. For that matter my inner child got to thoroughly come out and enjoy just being a kid again. That's really how I felt, while there. I could just be a kid. It was a life changing experience. I'm still processing it, but I'm so glad I went.

7-21-16 Over the last week I've noticed that my stillness meditation has changed a bit. The experience of Stillness has become like a field of gravity, where I am still, and events, people, etc., are pulled toward me. It's quite fascinating and I'm going to experiment with it further. I know this experience can happen because I've read about it, but until recently it didn't happen with me. And it wasn't something I was looking for so much as it just started to happen on its own.