8-27-16 After I committed to working with stillness for another year, I had another of those gravitational experiences, where I felt like I was a center of mass that was bringing things toward me by just being still. It was fascinating that it happened after the commitment, kind of a way of Stillness acknowledging my choice and perhaps spurring me on as well. It was tantalizing to experience, and So I just allowed myself to experience it without filtering it or trying to control it. In one sense it was really a surrender to stillness, and that realization provides an important clue about the gravitational experiences.
8-28-16 I had a fascinating experience today with Stillness. Everything slowed down, but instead of being a gravitational effect, or a possibility effect, it was an effect where I could see how all the pieces of events or actions fit together and I could also see how they could be fit together alternatively for different results. It was a distinct state of experience from the latter two, yet similar to them in some ways as well. I'd never experienced it before, via this meditation (though I've had a similar state of experience on other occasions). Being able to activate these various states of consciousness at will would be quite useful, but even in just doing this work it's revealing a lot to me about the nature and depth of stillness.
8-31-16 Throughout my journey into stillness, shame has been a part of the journey. I'm reading a book called Unashamed that I got through Vine. It's a Christian's take on shame. I hadn't expected that when I got the book through Vine, but I'm finding it to be a fascinating read and relevant to the work I'm doing with shame. You might wonder why shame keeps coming up with stillness, but my sense of it is that when you still yourself, you come up against the parts of your life you've been moving away from. Stillness is about being, so naturally shame and other related emotions come up. It's an invitation to work through the shame and so much of this journey has really been about shame as about stillness. I'm glad for that because it has been quite liberating.
9-3-16 I've been learning about some vibrations chants a person can use to deal with different physical conditions. I'm going to experiment with them, but also see if I can't intersperse them with silence (stillness) and see what happens as a result. It's part of the practice in any case, but I'm finding it fascinating how much sound and silence connect together, and of course it's been this work with stillness that's lead me down this route.
9-6-16 Some people will always judge you by who you were and the mistakes you've made. I had lunch with one of my authors who told me that a case of guilt by association occurred. We talked about it and I was transparent about me and my flaws and my work toward addressing those flaws. I am most certainly not a perfect person and I have done some stupid things. I've also worked hard to address the issues underlying those actions and to make the appropriate changes. And regardless I know some people will still judge me for who I was. That's part of life and what I've learned is to keep doing the work to become a better person and let go of attachment to caring about how people might judge me. It's always easier after all to throw a rock at someone, rather than actually take a good hard look at your shit and actually do the responsible thing of owning it and working on it. I prefer the latter course, because while it's initially harder, it gets a lot easier as you keep going.
9-7-16 When you have different parts of yourself that have unexpressed needs, what you have to discover is how to met those needs sanely and in a healthy manner that respects the boundaries of all people involved with you. With stillness work I have sometimes really come up close to a part of myself that feels a need or desire, but it isn't being expressed, and so what stillness has allowed me to do is communicate with that part and figure out what can be done to express that need. I think this could be applied to other people, in terms of helping them discover how to meet their needs and wants, in a manner that is healthy and respectful. Today I figured out a way to address a need of mine by interacting with that part of myself that needed an acknowledgement and an outlet. I've figured out what the outlet will be and have already started work on the first expression of it.
9-8-16 I said I was feeling tired earlier, but as I sat with that feeling...nope the tired is just the surface level narrative. I'm feeling pissed off, irritable and pessimistic. I get this way sometimes, and I know what's making me feel this way. Some of its dealing with politics as usual in the Pagan community, some of its my own self doubt rearing its head, and some of it is just ongoing issues that need to be worked through but sometimes are very hard to work through. I'll get over it, but it feels good to express it, albeit in a place where I won't necessarily get expressions of sympathy, which is the last thing I need.
9-11-16 It hit me today that ten years ago I was living in Seattle. I only lived there for a year, but still I came to the Pacific Northwest ten years ago (well technically 10 and a half years ago). So much has happened since then, good and bad. More good than bad, and I've worked for hard it. I'm in Seattle right now for the Esoteric Book Conference, so it hit me as I was driving into Seattle, remembering driving the moving truck so long ago.
9-12-16 Sometimes I feel so awkward and ashamed of my enthusiasm. I can get very enthused about a project or a person and their work and I realize it can be really intense and off-putting. I remember when I was younger how I learned to temper my enthusiasm, to rein back my interest, because people would get weird. I felt passion for something someone was doing and it became clear it was too much. They would pull back. I learned to pull back first, but occasionally I still get really enthusiastic. So I'm feeling some shame around that and sitting with it. In Unashamed, the author mentions how people clothe themselves with their shame...basically how the shame of what they feels becomes a means of hiding the narrative underneath and I think she's got a point. So sitting with shame over something is important because you uncover the narrative by feeling the shame and letting it teach you. In this case what it teaches me is about acceptance or the fear of not being accepted.
9-16-16 My brother called me tonight to tell me that my dad had some health issues come up. Hearing the news was shocking. I know he had issues, but I didn't know everything and now I do. And it makes me more aware of my own mortality and how important it is to keep exercising and taking care of myself. I'll be forty in a little over a month and I feel better than I have because of the exercising I'm doing, but this brings it home even more. It also makes me even happier that I visited him last month.
9-19-16 At this point I've pretty much decided I'm done with the Pagan convention scene. An exchange I had earlier today just demonstrates that the convention organizers have no real interest in being transparent or fair. The apathy on the presenter side of it equally convinces me that most presenters are fine with the current system, even though it screws them over. It's discouraging and disappointing, but it also illustrates why going my own way is ultimately a better choice for me, because the system isn't tenable as is.
9-21-16 It's been a chaotic few days and stillness has been hard to reach. I suppose in a way that just illustrates why its a good idea for me to work with stillness for another year. The work I've done with stillness in the last couple years has helped me go really deep into places I'd have feared to venture before. And its brought a measure of peace and contentment I've never known. So I look at these last few days and consider the circumstances for what they are and recognize how far I've come AND how much further I can go. This elemental balancing work has always been about doing the internal work and a necessary part of doing that work is being present with what is revealed so you can learn more.