Posted by: darien7743 | July 11, 2016

Life Being Life 101

Finding our Happy includes things that we often don’t think of as Happy, until they are over. It depends on how long we cling to the illusion of what Happy should look like and find out what it really looks like for us. At the moment, Happy, for me, is when I recognize that all that disturbing chatter in my head is now peaceful and quiet.

Life 101 is life as it is. It contains what we think of as good, bad and ugly. It is also the opportunity to learn from each and every experience without guilt. Regret? Yes, maybe.

As we grow we begin to learn that all life is in constant change. WE don’t like it as a general rule. Societies, cultures, and traditions  try to convince us that we Can control it and we Can change it and we Can put a stop to xyz.  We can’t.  No matter all the propaganda to the contrary…..we are not in control.  But we can mitigate some of the unpleasant effects. Sometimes we miss the signs and we turn what may have been some regrettable pain into suffering. WE need to remember that when we suffer, others do as well. We are always part of all.

Pain isn’t something we think of as part of being or finding, “Happy.”  But it is a resource. It’s there to get our attention. It says “stop, look and listen,” better than anything else. Suffering happens when we don’t pay attention and don’t take the steps we need to assuage the pain. Suffering, always begins with our thinking. We recognize that something is wrong when we feel pain. Our brain alerts us. Our “Mind,” either sends us on the road to alleviation or drowns us in the deep end of the pool. The deep end is the one where treading water is our only option. Treading water means we can’t remember or never learned how to swim. The first step to learning how to swim is learning how to float.

The first rules of not drowning are stay afloat, pay attention to the elements, don’t fight them, and remember to breath. I realized this morning that I had forgotten how to float.

I received an email from my Taoist teacher, William Martin. Bill is the author of some of the most thought provoking books on Taoism for the western mind. He publishes through some small publishers and ones the size of Amazon. Hard copies, ebooks and if you’re really fortunate, hand bound limited editions, released by NW Publishing, can lift the veil of confusion that rests on weary shoulders………..The trick is that you need to pay attention. And you need to incorporate what you hear from the inside out.  He doesn’t tell anyone what to do specifically. Taoism isn’t self help. He guides readers toward their own way of gaining guidance. I have studied under him, though him, and by him for a few years. Each year my life gets better and each year, my life,….. seems more challenging. This year has been a Run For The Roses year……………….It has made me behave exactly like someone who has never heard of Taoism. I have been aggressive rather than assertive, or proactive. I have been rude, restless, frustrated, angry,………..not depressed……..Angry! (Add to this all the other adjectives no one wants to think about. They all probably apply.)

At least I know,……now,……. that I was angry.

Why? Because I was fighting all the changes and challenges coming my way rather than stopping and listening for “why.” I forgot how to float. The reasons were there. I just wasn’t listening. I didn’t want to listen. In my case, I’d pushed things so hard in my life that those little voices in my head evolved into a tidal wave of criticisms and self abuse……………..And I not only didn’t see it coming, I didn’t recognize it when it arrived or set up camp on my doorstep. Not a drop of contentment………. at all. Nada. I was too distracted by Life 101. I was focused on the outside and listening to a litany of errors, missteps and wrong doing, collected in my indoctrinated consciousness. The process of mind that I was taught to follow. ” This is what you do, This is how you do it, and you better do it well…………….Because this is what defines you and how you are judged.” “This spells out your value. This is what you are really worth,” echoed 24/7.

What little I have learned of the Tao has usually helped me to recognize when my life is out of sync. But I need to pay attention. (I didn’t.) I need to stop and take 5 precious minutes out of my day and quietly listen. I can’t set an agenda, “Okay, girl, I need to use the bathroom so you have 5 minutes to meditate all your worries away.” But that’s what I’ve done. And it doesn’t work. Never did, never will. That isn’t listening. That isn’t honoring my presence, or any presence of any kind. Nor is it respecting my need for balance and rest…………or anyone else’s…..

What it is, is fear,  in full throttle. Work, work, work, hurray, hurray, hurray, produce, produce, produce………….and while you’re on the roll, produce some more, with perfection, in your spare time. Sound’s funny? It isn’t. It’s tragic. For everyone. I never remember that what I say do and appear like affects everyone around me. My actions do not stop at my front door. They have consequences. The consequences were that I had prolonged a lifestyle and a relationship that needed dissolving years ago. The relationship ended in an eruption along the lines of Mt. St. helens. Lots of destruction. Fall out everywhere. All unnecessary.

My world didn’t evolve the way I thought it should. I tried to do all those things we think will result in a good life. We are taught over and over again that A + B = the good life. Nope. A + B = somebody, ( including me,) being affected by the stuff I just bought, mentally, physically or, (and always,) emotionally. I didn’t say profited. Profit is not synonymous here.

When we need to make changes in our way of life, our jobs, friends, location, religion,………..we need to make those changes. Holding off, trying to fix things, trying to be better? How many times have we all done this and how many times has it blown up in our faces? Sometimes doing the “right thing,” is the worst thing we could do for ourselves and others. We are all entitled to make choices in our lives. We are all entitled to change them. When we take the time to get quiet and listen, we know what to do. It’s like the dentist. The dentist we see may be a fantastic individual. Nevertheless,…………….do we really like having to make the appointment? It’s either that or a mouth full of bad teeth. Remember that relationship? It was like pulling teeth without novocaine for almost a decade.  Not fun. But there was more and I needed to listen.

I woke up to round two, today, after a few simple comments from my teacher. Favorable comments, that I paid attention to. The result is that I am giving up a career, a belief that I had skills where I don’t and the frustration that plagued me. I have been feeling, as all do, who aren’t doing what is theirs to do. I was tortured with the thought that one day others would see that I was a fraud. I couldn’t see the good work that I had done because I was always competing with those I thought were better than I.  Many were. They were better because they were following the path they were intended to follow. I was not. I knew that, but I refused to see it and do something about it. Talk about suffering for your art. I did. There are some aspects of this that will still give me pleasure and I can incorporate them into my personal life. The rest must go.

And you know, when the garbage can of feeling like a failure was lifted from my soul, I felt relief. No more hiding. No more pretending that the label fit the person. I called myself an artist. I did the work of an artist. People enjoyed the creations that came from my hands. I bought and used only the best products. In fact, I am still waiting for some of them to arrive. When they do, I’ll have a, “Soul Sale,” I’ll sell the things I gave my soul for………to those who could not have afforded them on their own and who will make good use of those I pass to them at a price they can afford.

I am not an artist and it’s okay. I am a writer. I have been one since I first held a pen. I’m also verbos. That needs to change. Be patient until then, if you can. I know that I’m on the right road because I don’t feel critical of my errors. I feel curious. I’ll still draw, for fun, but only for myself, with graphite, colored pencils and watercolor pencils. I like them and they like me.

Plain, simple, honest and authentically me. What a relief. I’ll bet that I’m not alone…………………….Floating, at last. Feels great.


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