Elemental Balancing Ritual Stillness Month 22: Keep on Keeping on

sigil 7-24-16 There are some days when I meditate where I don't have really deep experiences, where it can even be a struggle to hit the meditative state. I had one of those days today. When it happens I end up focusing on the struggle and that becomes its own meditative experience. What it reveals are the tensions within that need to be resolved, worked through and unfolded. The struggle may not lead you to a deeper state, but what it will lead you to work through whatever is holding you back.

7-29-16 Sometimes stillness is drifting on the current of possibilities without taking any action. You can feel the possibilities around you and you can explore them without doing anything. Just being, crystallized, aware and drifting. It's quite peaceable to be still and just feel what could be without necessarily doing anything to make it happen.

7-31-16 What I enjoy most about writing is the challenge of writing. Each book, each article, is its own challenge and the challenge is really what you discover about the topic, yourself, etc., in relationship to the actual writing. When I write, I'm not just putting words on a page. I'm actively discovering the subject, my identity, and so much else. Reality opens when I write. I coax it to reveal secrets that I might liberate them and share them with everyone else. And in return I give something of myself.

8-4-16 I'm in South Dakota visiting my dad. It's interesting to visit a place where my ancestors have lived, to learn more about them, and also to be in this place that hosted some of my family. I feel a connection to this land. It's not a connection that says I need to life here, but it is a connection that says please acknowledge me and acknowledge this place which helped shape your ancestors and had some role in your life as well. I felt a similar connection to the New England area where my mom's side of the family originate from. I didn't realize it back then, but I see it now.

8-5-16 A person is never shaped in a void. The behaviors, the choices, and the actions are the responsibility of the person, but they are also contextually shaped by the experiences they've had, by the people who've acted on them, by the history of family and community. I see this in relationship to my dad. I've asked him questions about his life, seen places that are meaningful to him, presently and in the past, and in his stories have learned about not just him, but my aunt (who I never met) and my grandparents and great grandparents. I'll never know the entire story, because I wasn't there, but even in what is not said, one can learn a lot if one pays attention. I feel sad I never met my aunt, and feel a deeper sense of compassion for my dad and his experiences, as I weigh them in relationship to my own childhood and experiences thereafter. I see my own choices and actions in a different light. Context changes so much and should never be ignored, for what it reveals can help you situate what you've experienced, can help you understand and can open you to feeling compassion for the people in your life.

8-7-16 I'm back from South Dakota. It was a good trip. I learned a lot about my ancestors on my dad's side of the family and got some stuff figured out as a result that helped me with some internal work I've been doing around family. Life is too short to hold on to blockages, but sometimes the only way to work through those blockages involves discovering the context around them. In some ways this trip was very much about that for me.

8-11-16 The hardest thing about sitting with shame is the being present with the emotion. You want to run away. You want to hide. Because when you feel shame you are really being called on your issues and the challenge is what will you do with what you feel? Will you bury it? Will you pretend its not there? Will you beat yourself up with it? Or will you simply hold space with it, feel it, and let it open you up to the deeper truths that you're really scared of? The hardest thing to do of all the options and yet paradoxically the easiest is to just sit with it and feel it and allow what you feel to liberate you with the insights you get from it. The reason its the hardest thing to do is because you actually have to feel your shame...really feel it. The reason its the easiest is because once you feel it and get to the underlying narrative, you are no longer the captive of your shame. Of course, this also depends on what actions you take to to deal with the source of your shame.

I've done a lot of work around shame this year, but sometimes I still struggle to sit with it. It is an emotion that really forces you to see yourself up close and personal, beyond any deceits you tell yourself. To see yourself so rawly, to see your weaknesses and flaws and feel them so intimately is hard work, yet it is also necessary work. You can't change yourself without being willing to dig in and discover who you are and come to a better relationship with all of yourself. And really to make any change to yourself, you need to actually accept who you are and discover why you are the way you are...then those changes can be made.

My recent trip to South Dakota and hearing about my family history gave me a lot to consider and recognize about myself. I could see how who I am has been shaped by my family, even in cases where I never met the person. And that then changes my relationship with shame as well because I am able to see that narrative from another angle.

I'm still sitting with my shame and I'm still struggling with it sometimes and I'm ok with that.

8-13-16 I did a meditation today where I accessed my ancestors, used the genetics and my time awareness to touch on their lives, to touch on them. It's interesting how much the trip to South Dakota has prompted me to explore my past. The experience was kind of like Jean Auel's description of how the one group of humans used their memories to go back to their past and relive the lives of their ancestors. It gives me some ideas for further exploration in regards to space/time magic, but also provides some more context to shape and work in relationship the past and future of this embodiment of life I am.

8-21-16 I've decided to extend my work with the element of stillness for another year, which will make it the longest amount of time in which I've worked with an element. Why another year? I recognize the temptation to stay still forever, though if anything in the time I've worked with stillness so much has changed internally and externally in my life. I've come face to face with a lot of internal work I needed to do, and also experienced the richness of stillness and yet I know I there is more to experience and work with. There are certain states of experience I've just touched on in the last month or so, and I want to work with them deeper, yet I feel it would be a distraction if I shifted to another element. So I'm sticking with Stillness for another year. There is a lot to discover in it that will have direct bearing on other work I am either doing or planning to do over the next ten years.