7-23-17 Sometimes I like to put myself into spaces unconventionally in order to think, but also to meditate. There's something quite mesmerizing about staring at the blades of a fan and letting your mind wander through the fields of probability, while lying on the floor contemplating your upcoming week.
And I feel really vulnerable and open right now. This last month was hard but good because it forced me to hit some hard places and shatter some illusions. Being open as a result has helped me got some help and direction.
7-26-17 As I'm continuing to read Daring Greatly, she's making some further points about shame and vulnerability that I'm really sitting with, because they really apply at this moment of life. I'm having to really bare myself to other people and to myself from that place of vulnerability and its hard. The author notes that men and women process shame differently. I've only read up to how women process shame and it is insightful and helps me understand some things about the social pressures of shame and how they show up in women's lives. I do find myself identifying with one point she makes about how women feel this pressure to be prefect and make things look like there was no effort. That fits me in some ways and while I can be quite open about my struggles there is always in the back of my head this awareness around thinking, "What will people think when they see that its not so easy for me?" But in transparency and vulnerability there is liberation, mixed in as it is with the harsh taste of failure. And in a lot ways this year, so far, has been one big epic fail on my part.
7-27-17 I had some really powerful realizations today. In Daring Greatly, I read about how men process shame...and it totally makes sense. Men are afraid to appear weak because weakness is perceived as failure. One guy likened it to being in a box and I realized that I have felt like I've been in a box. I've been so afraid to admit that I need help. I see how much pressure there is for a man to appear strong, even if he isn't strong and how afraid a man can be to share his weakness with his loved ones, because the loved ones want him to be strong for them (even if they say otherwise). I've been there and I see how much it has kept me from genuinely opening up and sharing where I am and what I need help with.
Then I listened to this recorded call where the guy used the metaphor of the tug boat vs the light house to describe how people approach sales and I realize I've been a tug boat and it seems like a lot more work for a lot less results...whereas a lighthouse is grounded, and there to shine a light and be helpful. I'm going to listen to that call at least a few more times.
7-28-17 Some further revelations from Daring Greatly, around sex. For men sex and shame is this: Am I worthy of the person I am having sex with? And when you have sex with a person its an affirmation of that worthiness. I never thought of it in that way, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Conversely when the man is rejected there can be a feeling of shame, of not feeling worthy. And again I never thought of it in this way, but I look back at my relationships and I see this pattern and specifically I see why I engaged in certain behaviors because of wanting to feel worthy. And this is societal programming! And there's similar programming for women, but it centers more around appearance, because of societal pressures around appearance. This is really helping me understand some relationship dynamics in my life much better.
8-9-17 I've been using the Taoist water breathing meditation to work through blockages. As I've been relearning this technique and reapplying it to my life its helped me be more aware of what permeates and interrupts the stillness within me. The last couple of weeks a lot of what come up has been around the feeling of fear, letting myself be more open to feeling it instead of pretending it isn't there. What's helped is just realizing how much male paradigms for how to handle shame, fear, etc have actually done more to keep me blocked, than they have to opening me up.
8-16-17 My mom's visiting and I think what I like most about this trip is that we're just simply being with each other. There's not a lot of processing that needs to be happening. And I really feel good about that. The ability to just be with someone, to simply enjoy their company is a gift that if found can really be a deep experience of stillness in and of itself.
8-22-17 Yesterday I observed the eclipse. I didn't anything with the energy. For me it was just about being present with it. At one time I likely would have done something different, but this time I felt like it was more important to honor my stillness.
And today is the final day of my mom's visit, so it seems appropriate to end this entry here. It's been a really good visit, but its also a reminder that my time with her is limited and that my time in general is limited. The other day we had a conversation about our different beliefs and she shared her fear that when she went to the afterlife she wouldn't be able to connect with me there, because of my different beliefs. It wasn't a guilt trip, but just an honest, open sharing of her feelings. I appreciated that and yet I know in the end that whatever lies beyond, there will always be a connection between us.