Oblivious To My Own Assumption

I just spent 44 minutes on the phone with a potential client discussing his book project.  Somewhere in there, I said something that sounded like this “It looks like you’re listening to your heart.”  And he came back with “What do you mean?  My heart is just a muscle.”

Awkward!

But he’s right.  It is.

It took me a minute to explain what – exactly – I meant and while I was at it, he tried to figure it out himself and asked if I was talking about emotions and the part of the brain that controls them.  I had to shoot that one down because that isn’t what I meant – at all.

“Listen to your heart.”

“Okay!  Wait a second – what am I listening for?”

I can’t believe it’s never occurred to me that I’d need to explain it.  No one’s ever asked.

I just assumed people knew what I meant.  And I didn’t even know I was assuming.  

Jeez.

Human Beings are – in my opinion – here on the planet as spiritual beings having a human experience.   Not the other way around. We – each one of us – has a spark of God within us.  And this spark connects all living things.  So – when I say listen to your heart – I mean listen to the divine within.  That spark has a voice and it knows how to communicate with each one of us according to our ability to listen.

divinesparkrumui

It is a quiet – strange and small, forceful nudging thing.  It doesn’t judge and it has no will though, so it isn’t forceful that way.  And it doesn’t remotely resemble ego.  It’s full of love, compassion, humility and integrity.  When I try to describe my experience of it – those are the words that work best.

After I explained it just that way, he said he understood me 100%.

What a curious way to be put on the spot.  I haven’t had a pop quiz in quite some time, but I think I passed!

Hole > Spirit < = Essence (What's That? What?!) Time for a Cookie

Before looking up the definition of a hole, I describe it as a circular space that is defined by what’s around it.  And it leads somewhere.  I can be on one side – go through it – and then be on another side.  But the actual hole – it wouldn’t be there were it not for what’s formed it.  Right?

Merriam-Webster – a :  an opening through something :  b :  an area where something is missing

This interests me because the challenge of describing a hole is the comparison made by this website when trying to describe the essence of spirit.  “…it is an unknown and unknowable essence which exists outside and behind any of the senses and mental imagery which would inevitably have to be used in an attempted physical description of it.

I can’t see the wind, but I know it’s there because I’ve been watching it rock the branches outside my window all day.

This whole sober reality business is strange.  Especially when it comes to defining my life purpose.  Everyone has one, but I don’t know mine.  I wonder if it changes…

monolith

I think right now, mine is to explore and share my discoveries.

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The Dawn Of Recognition Is Here

No one ever told me in treatment that I would have to learn to sit through uncomfortable feelings.

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Just let that marinate for a minute.

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Am I the only one who feels a little miffed about having to do this?

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My history is comprised of either getting drunk or getting through withdrawal.  Was I able to do other things during these episodes?  Yes – sometimes.  But sitting through uncomfortable feelings like irritability wasn’t one of them.

Recently, I have started to experience uncomfortable feelings – irritability and impatience most significantly.  I’m experiencing sensations of not doing anything important or maybe that I’m not accomplishing things fast enough.  Regardless – this uncomfortableness is making me uncomfortable.  Now – there are probably several good reasons to explain this – which I feel is important to do because these uncomfortable feelings have got to be originating from something.

My period is here and it’s had a shaky comeback over the past year.  I’ll be celebrating one year of sobriety on 11 May and my dad is coming out to celebrate with me.  We haven’t seen one another for over four years.  Okay, so some big things are happening or about to happen that could be logically contributing to my mood swings.  THAT SAID – what I’m having to learn is that I can NOT allow my moods to run my show – and I always have.

So this is weird and new and awkward.  And I don’t like it.

I had a dream last night that while I was driving in the dark, the steering wheel popped off.  It wasn’t scary, but I woke up anyway and knew EXACTLY what the dream meant.  In the dream, I am the car.  The steering wheel  popped off because I am allowing what I WANT and what I DON’T WANT to do – to run my show.  When I don’t want to do something – I don’t FUCKING WANT TO DO IT.  PERIOD.  And in the past – that was the answer.  But that is NOT OKAY anymore.  Whether I want to do something or not is beside the point.  AND – this want/don’t want issue is getting in the way of my ability to accomplish my goals.  Exercise for example; I’m having a hell of a time making myself exercise when I don’t want to.  Why would I exercise when I DON’T WANT TO?!

Ooooh.  Riiigghhhtt.  BECAUSE I WON’T GET IN SHAPE IF I DON’T.

(I am not a dumb shit.  I am not a dumb shit.  I am not a dumb shit.)

Sigh.  Why didn’t anyone teach us in treatment that we’d have to teach ourselves what it looks and feels like to persevere through uncomfortable feelings?  Through feelings of I DON’T WANT TO?

As a coach, explaining this will be one of my missions!

I SWEAR IT.

It’s an extremely valuable bit of information.

The dawn of recognition is here!

I started this blog to keep myself accountable, but I didn’t ENVISION a real theme for it.   I had goals – getting in shape, creating new habits, expanding my – whatever needs expanding, but I didn’t have a vision.  Today, I’m beginning to form a vision for this blog and for my future – things/outcomes I can actually see.

I recognize the value and importance of creating and focusing on a vision – something that I can actually see in my head – something that I can manifest.

I CAN DO THIS!

  I think I’m going to take you – my readers – on a life coaching journey right here.  This idea seems to be sitting well in my heart.  I still have another 11 1/2 months to go with this blog, so – I’ll bring it  – you all can see what I’ve got – and then we’ll all see what happens!

People Tend To Believe What They Hear Themselves Say

Even when what they’re saying is utter crap.

How often do we hear people say “I don’t know” and then stop talking? How often do we hear people try to figure out what they mean while they’re talking?  “Well, I don’t know what I mean, but these words strung together sure are resonating.  Let me get back to you on that.”

IDK

That would be so refreshing.  Listening to people admit that they don’t have it all figured out.  Listening to people who don’t take themselves so seriously that they can just be authentic and shrug off the pressure to have an immediate answer.

I wonder how many of us consider whether we’re speaking and acting in awareness or speaking and acting in reaction.  I wonder how many people even know what that means.

HWB Beliefs are habitual ways of thinking that move along grooved neural pathways.  That seems dreadful to me in a way because I find habits so – monotonous (boring).  Outdated beliefs then must not serve us.  I wonder how often people stop and consider their beliefs.  I never knew to consider mine until recently.  I didn’t even realize I had ongoing beliefs (plural) – it’s not exactly the kind of thing I walked around thinking about.

My coaching program is lighting up my imagination like a fireworks display.

Do you react to life all day every day or are you strategic, considering, and conscious?

In the spirit of the title of this post, I’ve decided to practice a mantra in an attempt to create a new neural pathway in my brain.

noun: mantra; plural noun: mantras
  1. (originally in Hinduism and Buddhism) a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
    a statement or slogan repeated frequently.

Habitual thinking creates pathways – grooves – in our brains.  Have you ever repeated arguments in your head with someone because you just haven’t or won’t let it go? (I do it all the effing time – it’s a habit)  Well, that thinking behavior is similar to a mantra.  We’ve created a neural groove for it in our brain by thinking about it so often.  This is why it pops into our head so easily all the time – the groove is just waiting for it. The good news?  We can regroove our brains.  Yes!  The old pathways can be erased or recoded by practicing new thoughts/mantras with the understanding that it’ll take time.  This is no different than creating a new habit – it’ll take lots of regular practice.

savechant

I’ve heard people chant before and honestly, the idea of doing this makes me feel a little uncomfortable because I think it’s corny.   So, I’m only going to do it aloud at home in front of my dog. That said, I am trying to reinvent myself here, and I’ve only got another 360 days to go, so I’m willing to try just about anything.

What I know about this mantra business is this – it has to be believed by the person saying it.  You can’t say a mantra that you don’t believe and expect it to work (the regrooving process).  I could never take myself seriously repeating a mantra like “I am love and peace and light and feathery white glory.”  Or some cheesy gooey ew like that.  I’m just not that kind of a dork.

Remember Stuart Smalley from SNL?  He was a mantra guy.  Here are some of his favorites:

  • “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”
  • “I am a worthy human being.”
  • “Trace it, face it, and erase it.”
  • “…and that’s…okay.”
  • “I’m in a shame spiral.”
  • “I am a human being, not a human doing.”

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In all seriousness …

EM I’m told this will work if I take it seriously.  So, here’s my mantra – “I have a purpose.  I survived addiction and I will use what I know and the tools available to me to help people into recovery. I will have fun, travel, form relationships, learn, and explore along the way.” 

I can live with that.

Peace

Lotus

Four Days In – Focus

bud  I have consistently mistaken focus for paying attention.  I heard the phrase “Pay ATTENTION” countless times as a kid and it was always a jarring experience.  My immediate reaction has always been to try to shake it off or snap out of it.   Today, I realize that paying attention is more-or-less a short term process whereas focus can be a lifelong practice – once the proper mindset is in place.

I pay attention when I’m cooking (usually) and driving (pleading the 5th).  But when I finish those tasks, I stop thinking about them entirely.  I’ve discovered (as opposed to being taught) that when I’m focusing – it’s always on something that interests me – an invested interest.  Recently, I’ve become invested in life – and not just mine.  It makes sense to me that we’re all – every human on the planet – part of something bigger.  Something bigger that breathes one breath into all living things.

That makes us all related.  Somehow.

Hm.

Today I focused not only on meditation and exercise and study and all the things I wanted to accomplish, but I focused on them while doing them.  Groundbreaking.  Two weeks ago I was forcing myself to do things I didn’t want to do and then while I was doing them,  and agonizing over it because I was miserable, I wasn’t present or focused.  I was fantasizing about other stuff.  And this means that nothing I did was done well.

Talk about a waste of time and energy.

It’s amazing how easy it is to focus on things I once couldn’t stand to do after I learned how to change my perspective.  To touch on yesterday’s post – I had to discover my values.  Doing this has been one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had.  But fun questions help too.

  1. If you did know, what would the answer be?
  2. What would have to happen for you to be able to achieve that?
  3. What would you be prepared to die for?
  4. What does success look like – to you?

Enjoy 🙂