Elemental work Emptiness

Elemental Emptiness Month 8: Craving and Desire pt. 1

5-18-09 I think sometimes what I find so difficult about desire is that desire brings some sense of vulnerability with it. I can express a desire, but that expression leaves me vulnerable. And sometimes the expression has left me in places where I've felt very...hung out to dry. I've expressed interest and then been left dangling, wondering what happened when I don't get a response. And some of that is ultimately on me and how I express desire, but nonetheless the vulnerability that arises with all of that is something I've never sat with or really spent time being around. It's an interesting insight for me to realize.

5-19-09 Therapy does a wonderful job of getting right to the heart of the matter for me, with the fear I've been feeling about my desire. Well several of them. One realization being that some of the ways I act out omy desire is useful because it removes the element of rejection. No one likes rejection, so how handy is it to just not have that included...problem is fantasy land is not the real thing, and rejection is a real part of life. Realization #2, the much bigger realization really is what I'm really afraid of: I realize that almost every single interaction in my life has involved, to some degree, the attempt to fill myself up. My desire has ultimately been based around filling up my emptiness. And what's so scary is that when you realize that's what that is, you second guess every relationship you've had and even have now.

"We are what we repeatedly do." Aristotle. So what am I? Am I just some kind of vampire just trying to get whatever I can from anything and everything. Feels that way today. I feel ashamed of how much my desire for any kind of interaction seems to based on trying to escape how empty I feel. And also just how much I've objectified myself and other people in that process due to what I might consider to be very primal urges. It's pretty sad to think that most of the interactions I've had haven't come from a place of genuine connection, so much as from a place of wanting to get something from other people. Sure, I can be generous, but still how much of even that is genuine? That's the kind of questions I've had to ask myself when it comes to this emptiness working. Everything I don't like about myself stands revealed, and since a lot of what I don't like about myself is actually tied to my desires, it hits home even more, even as part of me wants to run screaming for the hills, or indulge in those same desires, to escape for even a few moments, from what I see about myself. Yet, it is my choice if I do walk away or indulge and the consequences are also mine, and before I wouldn't have looked at that reality. But in looking at it, I have another choice. I can deal with how I'm feeling in this moment, really sit with this part of me, my shadow self, and all the feelings it brings up, and try to see it for what it is...not some terrifying monster, but rather it's a part of me, which I've repressed and tried to ignore as best I could. When I shine the light on it...I see a person who just wants some comfort and love. And no one else can give to him.

5-20-09 I woke up this morning so horny, so hungry, so empty...I feel it even now.  It would be so easy to act on the impulse, but instead I'm just sitting with it. It's not easy to sit with it. And this isn't a case where sleeping with one of my partners would help, because it's really a case of wanting to find someone new and have some casual objectifying sex with that person. It doesn't mean I'll act on it, but there are days where it is really hard to not act on it. I want to dive into the anonymity of the sexual interaction...have sex, and then leave the person behind, never seeing that person again, and knowing that for a few moments that person fulfilled my emptiness and also ended up being one less person to sleep with. It's a fairly crass way to state all that, but some days it is how I feel. And the reality of it is that I really just want that person to somehow fill me up, to somehow complete me, but there is no completion, no filling up, no cessation of emptiness. I know this. And that is why I'm sitting with this feeling and talking with it, because acting on it hasn't met my underlying need...it's just caused more suffering.

5-25-09 Last few days I've been at Heartland, and it provided me a really good opportunity to sit with my desire, and really be conscious of what informed that desire, whether it was emptiness, a genuine desire to connect, or something else. I didn't find myself attracted to each and every person, but that's been true for the last six or so months...I did feel desire for a few different people, but I didn't do much to pursue it, and in fact opted, for the most part, to just chat and enjoy their company without looking for more. There was one person I was rather drawn to and I decided to trust in that feeling. We didn't sleep together, but we ended up chatting a lot and what it really helped me with, was just being comfortable feeling a fairly intense amount of desire for this person, expressing it even, but not having to fully act on it. I'd have acted on it, I'll admit, but it wasn't the right time and place and I accepted that. It was more...fun to not act on the desire immediately and just talk. I don't know if I will hear from this person or not, but even if I don't, I know I've been fortunate to have this encounter, for it placed me in a situation where I could really be present with my desire for someone and explore that desire at some length. And it was good to find myself not feeling a need to fill myself up. I'm very comfortable with feeling desire and knowing it can actually be about something other than trying to fill myself up. It was also nice to get confirmation from some old friends that yes indeed I have changed a lot, in a really positive direction.

05-27-09 While I was away on my trip, I was reading Mapping the Dharma by Paul Gerhards and he offered a gem of insight that I found useful in my work with emptiness: "Craving causes suffering because with craving comes attachment. The very nature of attachment is the inability to let go, which creates tension because of our desire to keep things from changing" When I read that statement, it crystallized so much of my issues with desire...the attachment to certain expectations, and out comes, which consequently created a lot of suffering for myself and others. My craving to have those outcomes met, and yet if they were met, the inability of that result to satisfy the craving...the attachment created an illusion of something I couldn't see through, which nonetheless held me back.

5-29-09 Desire ideally never compromises my sense of self-esteem. If it does compromise that, then I've become a slave to desire. I realized this earlier today, when I contemplated incidents of passive aggressive behavior and saw in that behavior an inability to clearly express how the person felt, without having to attack me on a personal level. Not the kind of energy I want in my life. I realized that allowing that kind of energy in my life was harmful. And when a desire is associated with someone who exhibits that behavior, it can become a choice of still seeking that desire and also dealing with the negative effects of the passive aggression, or it can be letting go of that desire but also the passive aggressiveness. The latter choice, while depriving a person of the fulfillment of the desire, nonetheless also frees one from being put in situations that are degrading to one's sense of self. An interesting lesson about desire is recognizing when you compromise yourself to fulfill a desire.

6-01-09 In talking matters over in therapy today, what I really came away with is that feeling desire is fine, having strategies to explore your desire is good, but letting your desire turn into craving is when addiction sets in. At the same time, learning to be comfortable with my desire, really comfortable with what it is, and how often I might wish to experience and explore those desires is equally important. I've not always been comfortable with my desires, despite acting on them...only now, am I really starting to get more comfortable with them.

6-05-09 Last night I went out dancing at a goth club. While there, I was aware of a familiar feeling of craving. I say craving, because it wasn't just a feeling of desire, but rather clinging to an attachment, to an expectation. I recognized it for what it was, and instead of acting on it, I paid attention to the feeling and acknowledged that it was an attempt to fill something up. The more I spend time in these situations being present with the emotions and feelings, which arise, the more aware I am of when it's a situation where I'm clinging to an attachment, versus a genuine appreciation of the desire I'm feeling at the time.

6-06-09 I got into some interesting headspaces sometimes and tonight was one where I was fairly submissive and quiet...and feeling a bit lonely for part of the evening. Actually I felt it earlier today. Some of it I think is a reaction to having broken up with someone I was seeing until last week, and some of it is also a kind of craving of some sorts, which I recognize for what it is: I want to feel whole, because of the hole...but I also know there's no one who can make me feel that way, except maybe myself It's a feeling which is faint. It's not an active hunger like it was before. And some what I feel is just genuine desire...like earlier today, where I was spending some time with a friend I care for and really appreciated her presence.

6-08-09  In re-reading Open to Desire, I'm struck by a tale the author tells about trying to close the distance between himself and his wife, and then realizing that in doing so he wasn't appreciating the intimacy of the distance between himself and his wife. I feel like I haven't really appreciated that either, in any of my relationships. I've learned to be better about giving space, but appreciating it? Sometimes I've been so intent on filling up my life with something, I haven't really appreciated the moment for what is, or the emptiness in that moment. And sometimes it's really eaten at me, because I've been too focused on trying to fill something up, that it's become a moment of craving. The author notes that a person's tendency when filled with craving, is to try and fix something, to try and somehow make it all fill up...yet if anything in those moments, all I feel is a kind of desperate weakness. That weakness is so hard to feel...I want to be strong, but strength doesn't necessarily involve beating something down or not feeling something. Strength, many times, is really feeling that weakness and acknowledging it as something that needs to be felt. I just wish it wasn't so hard to do.

6-09-09 There is something powerful about vocalizing feelings of vulnerability, anger, fear, etc., to someone, and knowing that person will listen and hold sacred space. with you. It's a shared power, a place of mutual connection that provides both or more people mutual resolution and satisfaction, or at least that's how it felt to me today, when I spoke to Lupa about my feelings of vulnerability about sharing my desire for her, with her. It was good to get some stuff said that I haven't said before, but what was even better was her willingness to really listen to what I had to say. That kind of support is priceless.

6-10-09 I had a dream of an ex-lover this morning, I was in a classroom and there was a TV. It turned on and showed her doing some of her different routines and I felt a wave of sadness go through me. It's been a long time since I've thought about her I wish her well, and I recognize wouldn't be where I am if she hadn't acted as a catalyst in my life.

6-13-09 There are some days when I feel so depressed, so empty, so filled with craving, and question what the hell I was thinking when I decided to do this working. There are days when I don't feel connected to anyone, or to the magic, and I feel so low energy, more low energy than I've ever felt. I've had a few of those moments today, and over the last couple of weeks. Desire and craving are hard issues for me, hard places to be with myself...I think the hardest I've encountered this entire working, and certainly the deepest of my core issues. I was told about a year ago that if I chose one path and became the messenger of a goddess that I would be filled with the essence of that goddess...but somehow I think even if I'd gone down that path, all of this still would be here to deal with.

As is I took the other choice, the other path, and was told there's rotting on that path...and then I took that particular prophecy and purposely fulfilled it by doing this emptiness working. If I was going to rot, I was going to do it on my terms. And you know...yeah I am dealing with my rot. I'm sitting in my shit, dealing with my issues, my dysfunctions, owning them, embracing them, understanding them, communicating them.

And it's not easy...it's so hard sometimes to do this working with emptiness. It's so hard to face my weaknesses and really see them for what they are and how they have pervaded my life and my choices. So I'm rotting...and somehow through all that rotting, I'm being stripped away of so many illusions. And what's left...whatever's left, when all this is through...it's the divine in me...it's the HGA, the all in one and one in all.

On the other hand...I've never felt more confident or more sure of myself in my life. And for the first time in three years, I'm feeling productive and wanting to write...really write. So I'm rotting...being stripped of whatever, but I'm also starting to see something underneath that rot. Just got to be patient and keep digging through the putrefaction.

6-14-09 I met a person I've been wanting to meet for a while and got to talk with her at some length yesterday. Last night, I took a purification bath and while in that bath was able to work through some blockages that came up while doing an exercise that the person taught at the workshop I attended. And I realized that I envied this person a bit. I envied her stillness, her centeredness. I felt scattered compared to this person (and in some ways I am scattered right now). And then I stopped myself and recognized that there was no need for comparison...That being so self-conscious really just showed me some places to keep working on in my life.

I also came up against the theme of respect and being desired. I want to be respected. I want to be desired. These are feelings I've had a long time, arising I realized out of never being a popular kid. I see someone else who is "popular" and I want what that person has. It was rather charged for me, this feeling, this recognition of wanting to be desired and respected. It's the wanting to be seen. And I went underneath it to the need and what I got was, I want to be accepted. And yeah that makes sense. Amazing how meeting someone can open you up to some issues in you, if you are receptive to realizing those issues.

6-16-09 Therapy highlighted to me how much progress I've made in this year's working. The therapist noted that pretty much every tool had come from me for dealing with situations. That was good to hear. Next week is my last session for at least a month as my therapist is about to give birth to a child. It will be a good litmus test for me in terms of seeing how I do with what I've learned from here out. I'm still doing a lot of work with desire and craving, but I also feel that I have some tools I can use to come to a better place with those emotions in my life.


The Emptiness Working Month 2: Obsession

I was watching the movie Aviator recently. It's a bio film about Howard Hughes. Watching that film is always fascinating to me, because it displays the life of someone who was clearly innovative and inventive and yet also suffered from a mental affliction, OCD. His attention to detail in his inventiveness was another sign of that OCD. I thankfully don't have OCD myself, but I've always found the balance between genius and madness to be fascinating to both watch and to experience in my own work. My own inventiveness has primarily occurred in the context of magic, both in its theory and its practice and knowing beyond doubt what could be possible. My interest in other disciplines has also contributed to that inventiveness. And yet in doing a lot of the magical work that I've pursued there has definitely been an element of risk involved in terms of how far I'm willing to push myself to achieve my goals.

In the movie, Hughes is portrayed as a very driven and passionate person when it comes to his pursuits. I can appreciate that drive, even as I acknowledge that it is a two-edged sword and indeed you see that Hughes, because that drive certainly tests his sanity. My wife tells me that I drive myself too hard, and has asked me where it comes from. When I watched Aviator, I thought about that. I can't speak to any motivation that Hughes felt, but my own motivation is rooted to some degree in my emptiness, and it always has been.

I've always had a fascination with people who were geniuses and also dealt with madness. Some of that fascination is rooted in my own struggle with an electrochemical predisposition toward depression and finding a way to cure that depression instead of letting it rule me...Some of it seeing those people struggle with something within themselves and yet still be able triumph in some form or another despite it.

When I was young, I grew up in a situation where no matter what I accomplished, it was never enough for the people in my life. I eventually realized that any accomplishments I did make in my life had to be for myself, and consequently I pushed myself much harder than anyone else might have. I think, in part, that is why the ph.d didn't work out. I was research, experimenting and writing books while also pursuing graduate work full time. My pushing myself has often been a response to my emptiness to try and fill it up. My's observations about that has lately had me considering the value of not pushing myself so hard, especially when I consider that those who push themselves so hard may make a lot of change, but also end up pushing themselves into places where they can't recover. I, for a time, danced with madness while in grad school, resulting in several mental breakdowns as well as becoming a recluse...it's not a fun place to be. The emptiness might motivate my drive and indeed I still want to be driven, but moderating it some may be just as important, in order to live a life where I am happy as well as driven. Some of this emptiness working is focused on finding that balance.


I've lately been dealing with the root of my feelings about abandonment and neglect. Since these feelings are related to my sense of emptiness it makes a lot of sense to me to deal with them. The root of it all is in my childhood, in the experience of not really having a strong set of parents or friends to turn to. I mostly was either neglected or when I did get attention it wasn't favorable. I talked about it in therapy on the 21st of November, and it was surprising for me to acknowledge just how hurt I still feel so many years later. And this really is where my fear of bring shunted aside for someone else comes from, because so often I saw my half-sister given much more positive attention and interest than I received. She could get away with anything, while I was more often than not scapegoated anything she did. Then too there were all the times I was told to go outside, because I wasn't wanted in the house. If I was outside that was good, that was wanted. I never felt wanted.

Recognizing these feelings as the root of my emptiness is good for me. Yes, it's painful, yes it hurts, and yet it is a healing hurt. It is choosing to feel that pain instead of just analyzing it . It is hopefully letting it go so I can move on with my life in better directions than where I was previously.

An interesting realization I had. I am a very territorial person with certain people because I think of them as mine, as part of my pack, as people who belong to me. I can think of a few people this applies to in my life, close friends and lovers, and yes my immediate family as well in an odd way. I say that last because while I do love my family, I also recognize that there are certain things I can never fully share with them that I could share with the others by virtue of choices made by those others...but my immediate family is part of my pack as well.

With my friends and lovers that dimension of territoriality extends in subtle ways. I am possessive of them, but also protective of them. They are mine because I love them in such a deep way, yet really I can't fully possess...I can only possess my feelings for them; those same feelings cause me to feel vulnerable with those people. They touch me so deeply, and so they touch my emptiness and in touching that simultaneously show me a feeling of love and warmth and also remind me of that emptiness. As I learned this last year, love is a terrible force...this added layer of recent realization shows me how incredibly vulnerable I am in my choice to genuinely love someone.

Emptiness is finding something or someone who speaks you to on a very deep level, touching those places where you feel empty and bringing something to those places, while also emphasizing that same emptiness in a subtle way. Or it is finding someone who speaks so deeply to values that you have and realizing profound joy and gratitude in finding this person while also working on accepting that how often you physically share space with this person could be very limited? Emptiness contains fullness even as it embodies emptiness.

I meditated tonight (Nov 25) on my territoriality and my tendency to give up if I feel I/that territory isn't valued. It was a meditation on emptiness as well. My tendency to give up is that emptiness, the painful resounding feeling of being rejected again in some form or manner and so withdrawing myself away from that rejection. If s/he/it doesn't want me, then why should I continue to show effort? I want to be wanted, as much as I as also want to show my own desire for someone. I recently noted how I never really felt I'd had anyone fall in love with me, anyone show a level of desire FOR me that hadn't already been shown significantly in advance by myself for that person. I can think of one exception, but given how that turned out...Ironically this is the way of all relationships...one person shows more interest initially than the other does. Rationally I know this. Emotionally, I am still that child with the sunken eyes who watched as others were more valued than he was. This feeling of having to give more in order to receive; it seems like generosity, but it masks one of my deepest wounds: That I am somehow not worthy enough of the love, friendship, etc. that I want. And it's only now that I can consciously admit I feel this wound in me, this wound which is part of the emptiness in my life. I am that wounded child that cries to the moon for solace in the night. I see that wounded child in my eyes. His fear is so tangible. He is so tired, and yet he has no trust of anyone. I think one of my favorite musician's John Terlazzo sums this child up:

I am the loss antagonized child who finds no vision in the street. There are no shelters, no places of refuge. there's no protection. There is no Priest. So I yell at the moon, "I won't be this child!" and I yell at the sky, "I give up this child tonight!"

But I can't give that child up. I must enfold in my arms, give him sanctuary, warmth, love, and an opportunity to heal. So my arms are open. I enfold him in my torn white robes and I tell him to tell me how he feels and I listen...I listen so that I can heal his wounds and mine and find succor and peace with my emptiness instead of continuing to try and give it up.

We had Thanksgiving...Even after eating so much, I feel so empty. I feel the emperor stir and put his hand on my shoulder and he whispers to me about feeling unloved. I spent a year on this emotion love, and what it revealed is the great emptiness within. In some ways this elemental working is an extension of last year's love working, which is quite natural given that this emptiness was born out of the feeling of not having love when I was so young. I feel incredibly needy sometimes for attention and I realize it is something I've felt most of my life...A child's desire to be loved and accepted unconditionally, and even now that child is within me. There's a theme of a child in this month's working...that's another direction to go in.

Nov 28th: A discussion with my therapist and some thinking about my interactions with my mom helped me realize some fundamental issues in regards to my emptiness as well as some of what I mentioned above. I realized I'm angry at her because of feeling micro-managed and smothered and controlled, but also angry because I got her bad habits. I got the micromanagement (to a degree), the money paranoid issues, etc. And I'm like, "Dammit, how'd I get those from you when I didn't come to live with you until I was 15"

Just goes to show that a person is susceptible to emotion/thought viruses at any age. It was actually really good for me to realize I felt anger toward this person, but also compassion and a desire to mediate my anger in a way that could actually help us heal our wounds as opposed to prolonging them through senseless fighting. Recognizing behaviors I didn't like from her, that I sometimes do has actually given me some food for thought on how to change those behaviors in myself, as well as recognizing how others might feel when I do act on those behaviors. I feel empowered...I also actually feel pleased with myself, because one of those behaviors, advice giving without asking is one I've cut down on a lot, because of the life coaching training I received. I can still improve, but I realize just how much I have changed and it feels really good to say, yes I can change! It's a little triumph and yet one that shows me I'm on the right track with this emptiness working.

Dec 5th. Every time I meditate on emptiness I feel irritable afterwards. The wounds have been picked I suppose. Emptiness is an ugly feeling tonight. Part of me wants to take up the knife and carve myself open, creating a display of art and magic with the bloody trails I leave on my skin. Naturally some of this is brought on by the digging I'm doing into this feeling of emptiness.

For instance, realizing that the reason I observe people so closely has much less to do with interest and alot more to do with survival. When you grow up in a situation where the people around you are unpredictable in their actions and treatment of you, you try and find patterns and predictions so that you can, as best possible, avoid the worse consequences. There is some part of me that feels so angry with certain people in my life for realizing just how deeply they affected me. I watch everyone I know closely, waiting for what I would consider the inevitable betrayal. Hardly a way I want to live life, but realizing just how subtle that particular behavior is, and how much it's informed how I deal with people.

And dealing as well with the awkwardness of being direct, to a point which can sometimes work against me, because even in a culture where supposedly people are direct there's a lot more subtleties going on than what I care for dealing with. I'm not a subtle person, and I have no desire to be a subtle person, because of all the games that seem to go with such subtleties. I'd much rather just put it all out on the table. Problem with that is, when you deal with people who look for subtleties, they can't really believe that you are that direct. They look for the hidden dagger you are waiting to plant in them. How ironic that last sentence though, because one could interpret my watching of others so carefully as what I just described above. Good things to recognize, but recognizing them right now just makes me feel irritable with everyone and myself.

12-09 We are getting ready to move. I've been doing most of the packing and I feel uprooted, liminal, neither here nor there, nor anywhere. I feel alone. I know once we move and get settled in that I'll be fine, but moving is a strange activity.

On top of that my adventures in hopeless romance have continued from last month, leaving me still feeling unsatisfied and a little bitter. I confessed to my wife that I felt I'd been given emotional blueballs, earlier this month because of different situations with different people. Yet I have no one to blame really, other than myself. It is I who puts myself in these situations. It is I who chooses to foster some hope that this time said person will actually feel interest and want to reciprocate. It is also I who is too direct, perhaps, for my own good. And there's still just a bit of guilt from last year and some secret part of me which says, "Don't you deserve it after what you did?" That guilt still lingers. It's becoming less. I'm forgiving myself more, but there's still that part of me which is angry at myself. And so perhaps that part is both masochistic and sadistic and enjoys putting me into a situation where I twist in the wind of longing, wanting some connection that seems, at the moment, to be denied. And yet I can't help but think that this isn't just on me. In only one case was the person I was interested in able to be direct and upfront and explain that she couldn't reciprocate. That act of kindness (and it was kind of her) means so much to me...it helped me see a new level with her and appreciate her further because she didn't feel need to play a game and see how long I'd twist...

Looking at this from the perspective of emptiness, I ask myself: What will finding "love" with any of these people do for you? What need does it fulfill? What does it block? How much does this need cause you to limit yourself because you perceive these people in a particular way?" All very rational, good questions. Emotionally working toward the answer however is a bitch. However, I think working to that answer will pay off, both for myself and my relationship with myself, and for future relationships with other people.

Dec 11 In thinking about what I wrote above earlier, and actually feeling it as well, there seems to be a need to find some kind of acceptance, some place where it's always warm, filled up, perfect. A need to perfection, which is unrealistic, and yet there, because if you had a very imperfect childhood, like I did, you want to find the opposite the rest of your life. I've looked for it from other people, but I also need to look for it in myself. Last year's love working helped some with it...perhaps this year will do even more.

Dec 12 I figured out what the title is for this month: Obsession. Really commenting on Aviator should've told me that, but it was made fully aware to me today until I stopped over at the place of someone I like, because I hadn't heard from them in a while and pretty much made a fool of myself. Something she said really stood out to me: "It's great that you know what you want and that you're so in touch with it, but you don't know yet what I want and where what we have between us will go." And she's right...and I realized that I had, once again, let my emotions get the better of me. I let myself become obsessed with a particular desired reality, over being open to what could occur. A lust for a result, big no-no in magic, and here I am doing it. I can tell you why, but it doesn't excuse it...It does illuminate into the emptiness though.

I was thinking about it on the way back. If my emotions are gateways into emptiness, they are also gateways for emptiness to express itself and obsession, to me, is an expression of emptiness. If you've watched Smallville, you've probably noticed that as Lex becomes the "evil villain" that he becomes, he also grows more and more obsessed. That obsession is what leads him down the dark path he goes. He can't control his emotions or desires...they rule him. And I can sometimes be obsessive myself. Anyone can, but since this is about my magical journey, I'll focus on me. To me obsession is the loss of control to emotion...it's where emotion takes over. When I was young I didn't feel emotions. I repressed them. It wasn't until my late teens and twenties that I really began to feel emotions and then they overwhelmed me. Even to this day, as is obvious by what occurred, I still get overwhelmed by those emotions. I've learned how to feel them and yet control the expression of them to some degree, but today illustrates a way to go.

In playing Kingdom Hearts again, I see a similar vector to Lex and myself. The villains become heartless when they let their emotions control them. They allow the emotions to take control to such a degree that they lose perspective. The heartless is really an embodiment of raw emotion, while the nobody is an embodiment of intellect.

So where does this leave me? Besides feeling humiliated and unhappy with myself, it was a good cosmic slap upside the head today that I'm still looking to much to the external. Don't get me wrong I didn't think this person was going to take away my emptiness, and yet on an emotional level my feelings came out of this desire, this need, this whatever. I've spent the last two months trying to get involved with someone or another...it's been a fairly mindless activity for me, benign in a way, but at the same time not so much because I am hurting. But that hurt has really been caused by myself, by trying to find something with someone.

It's time to shift focus. No more looking for other relationships until I can get a better handle on my emptiness. It's time to start some other meditation techniques I have access to. Do that, work through this feeling of need and desire and go from there. It takes a while, but yes I really do learn lessons eventually. We are moving tomorrow. I'm going to post this today and start the new month off when we get internet access again. And please wish me luck with this emptiness working...it's just as hard as the love working was. This month really kicked me ass.

"Go at your own pace"

When I hiked on Tuesday and later on Sunday, each time I hiked XAH was with me, loping alongside me. Everytime I felt the urge to speed up, he cautioned me, "Go at your own pace." I slowed down. I started to lope along at a pace that was easy on my body. The hike became much easier and I started to notice more details. Instead of trying to conquer the mountain, I was soaking in what was around me. I started to have a deeper appreciation for the way the light was filtered through the trees. The cold air kissed me as it never had before, and the Earth seemed to welcome as it's child. XAH grinned at me and said, "See, much easier. You're so busy trying to get somewhere you forget how to enjoy where you are." Relaxing into my own pace, I focused less on where I wanted to...I'm already where I need to be. When I think about that advice in my life, I appreciate anew something I've thought before: It will all be there tomorrow...Do what I can today, but relax and enjoy what I have as well. "Go at your own pace" means so much more than regulating my pace and in emptiness going at your own pace is what keeps you going on the road to everything and nothing

A sharp wrenching pain the feeling of claws scrabbling against my skin A muzzle coming forth from my chest blood dripping from the lolling tongue the golden eyes ablaze with life as the light from my own eyes begins to fade under a film of death.

He is reborn, he is reborn I am just the capsule for his expression Nine tails come out of the gap He's standing over my ruined body He grins down at my with gaping jaws, and then playfully seizes my face in his haws Delicately, delicately he could crush my face so easily, but he just swipes me with his tongue.

"Join me..." He swipes his tongue over my wounds the blood clots, the vessels repair, the skin closes. I stand up, with his help, my hand on his fur

"Destruction is birth Creativity is death Everything in nothing nothing becoming everything Join me"

We run, run, run into the void I am distant from everything and yet so close you could feel the fox-fire of my breath on your cheek if you knew how.

His eyes are infinity his breath is death I'm fading into him

So this is nothing I'm so empty I'm just a husk everything is gone and yet it's all so close.

"Join me..."

One week in

One week in to the Elemental Emptiness ritual working and I can already feel some definite differences. A lot of my insecurities have come forward a lot more. Some of it is just the nature of dealing with the emptiness and some of it is a personal situation I'm adjusting to. Regardless, these feelings have surfaced and I'm working on how they make me feel feel, because it's not just feeling the emotion, it's also feeling the hollowness these emotions provide. I've noticed that my enjoyment of different things has decreased a bit, while at the same time, the physical stimuli of light in particular stands out much more than before. What does the latter have to do with emptiness? I have no clue, not yet.

On Tuesday, when I hiked, I almost feel at one point. If I had fallen, I'd have likely tumbled down a cliff and hit a rocky area. I caught myself in time, but it was a reminder of my mortality. And on Friday I got into a car accident. Nothing too severe, no physical pain...but the spectre of emotional pain, the reminder of a car accident that was much worse again brought up that reminder of my mortality. Since emptiness or void is about nothingness, the reminder of mortality is a reminder of emptiness as well, in its own way.

For me, a lot of this vulnerability...it is liked being soaked with rain, trying to find even a hint of dryness and knowing you can't...you shudder, you try to bundle in, but the wet is there...that's how my vulnerability feels in the face of starting work with this element.