10-23-16 In my latest newsletter I wrote about how my feeling of dissatisfaction drove me to experiment and I thought I should spend some time with that feeling, so I meditated on it today in my stillness work. And not for the purpose of doing anything with it, but rather to just appreciate the feeling for what it is in my life and how it's shown up. I can't say all expressions of my dissatisfaction have been healthy (because it hasn't), but in a lot of ways that feeling has been positive. I wouldn't have written the books I've written or experimented with magic or done so many other things if I didn't have that feeling of dissatisfaction. It highlights to me that its important to to look at a feeling and emotion in terms of how it shows up in your life, acknowledging the expressions of it, instead of just labeling it.
10-31-16 The other day I did almost all my meditations with ear plugs on. It was fascinating because when I was doing my vocal chants, I could hear the vibration more with the ear plugs in. I also noticed I went deeper into the meditative state for each exercise, so I think I will keep doing this practice and see what comes of it. If nothing else it's another way to experience stillness and work with it on a deeper level.
11-6-16 In today's meditation on Stillness I was struck by a realization that what makes a person feel trapped in a situation are the perceptions and the beliefs the person brings to the situation and the lies the person tells him/herself about that feeling of being trapped. I'm not saying there aren't external factors, because sometimes there are, but in my own life what has usually kept me in unhappy situations has had more to do with me and my own unwillingness to face the truth than anything else. What stillness continues to teach me is how to see through my own BS, how to own it and just uncover the real narrative. It is sometimes very uncomfortable, but afterwards the trap is no longer there. I have let myself out of my own cage.
11-7-16 I am my own worst enemy and sometimes that only becomes apparent when I create situations where I sabotage myself because I haven't really been present with the narrative.
11-11-16 So much of what I've struggled with in my life comes down to feeling empty. And when I look at that feeling and how it shows up in my life, so much of what I see is that its at the root of so much of my unhappiness and of the bad decisions I've made in my life. Trying to fill that emptiness up has never worked. And I've made some progress with it, but there are times where it feels like that progress is illusory at best.
11-14-16 In my experience there is a certain type of artist or writer or musician who feels such passion and dedication to the work they are doing that there is little to no emotional space left in that person's life for anyone else or for anything else. Loving such a person or being their friend can be a draining experience, because there is no balance. Everything is put toward what they create and while what they create is amazing, what is left for anyone else is well...nothing. You know you are never their top priority or even equal to the art, music, or writing. Everything you give is not reciprocated...instead it is applied toward what they are doing. Having been in several relationships with such people, I find that it is very hard to be with such a person because you know you will always be second to what is most important to them.
I've never been that kind of writer or artist. While I love writing, I find I need a certain balance with it, which includes time with other people and time enjoying other pursuits. Even with magic, which again is something I love, I have still nonetheless found a balance that makes sense for me and allows me to place it in context to everything else in my life.
But if there is one relationship in my life that I can liken to that of the artist or writer who is so focused on their craft, it is my relationship with emptiness, because at times I have felt like I have put everything into that emptiness and had it all sucked away, with unfortunately no creative result to even justify it. And there have been times where that relationship has taken such priority that it has overshadowed any other relationship I have. Nonetheless I am fortunate because the people in my life are willing to call me out on my issues, but also love me and believe in me and that is so precious that it helps me to continue doing this work to balance my relationship with that feeling and enter into something that is healthier as a result.
11-16-16 Even though I write about my internal work and my struggles it feels odd to know I'll talk with them to someone, other than Kat or a trusted friend. I'm well aware of the fact that there's at least one person who reads my writing for reasons that have nothing to do with spiritual enlightenment or a desire to practice magic, but the idea of talking with a stranger...it's been a while since I've done that, but sometimes what you need is a perspective that isn't informed by knowing who you are (or who someone thinks you are).
11-17-16 So I talked with a therapist today about my emptiness and all the experiences of my life that have pertained to that emptiness, the near deaths, being raped, the emotional and physical abuse, and other things...and at the end of all that he said, "You have PTSD." As simple as that. So much of my life I've tried to project this sense of strength...I've pushed people away or never let them in, and it makes sense. And ironically the very thing I've been struggling with the emptiness, has been the mechanism I've used to push people away, to numb myself from everything that happened. And I realize now why I've focused so much on physical sensation, because I've used physical sensation to feel, but also to distract from the emotions. Not an easy thing to sit with, but this therapist I'm seeing is going to help with it. He's got a special technique he uses. When he used it today, it felt like my mind was being rewired. It helped me process some realizations on an emotional level.
11-20-16 I met with the therapist again on Friday and we did an 1 and a half hours of work using the technique. By the end my brain felt like it was on fire, but even more interesting was a feeling difference in how I relate to certain feelings and experiences. I got a look at the technology he uses and I think I'll pick it up for myself. I think there are a number of applications I could apply it to outside the therapeutic model. One thing the therapist is having me do is look at my relationship with emptiness differently. Had I considered it was a protective mechanism? Not really, but now I actually can see how it has been a protective mechanism in its own way when it comes to how I handle emotions.
11-22-16 This entire month has been an interesting journey. I have a different perspective about my emptiness, and for the first time I actually feel I don't have to struggle with it, that I might just be able to live with it and even have it as an ally. And my stillness work has benefitted from taking this approach. I've actually been able to feel that stillness more deeply.