Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Work - Mom and Dad Divorcing

Happy Divorce Mom and Dad
I wrote this a few weeks ago but was reluctant in posting it. I am not reluctant anymore. If my experience with The Work and the sharing of my practical application can help one person, I'm cool. This had been my sticking point: Can anyone relate with this?

I got a phone call from my Mom today and my HSP saw images of my Dad's face as I watched my phone ring that said "Mom's Cell." I could not answer it and the images would not go away. I sent her a message asking her if I could call her later. Not hearing back and with images of my Dad going through my mind - and not just images, but images and thoughts  - I called her before the time I said I would just to go ahead and settle my thoughts down. It didn't help much except to remove the thought of "He's been in an accident. He is dead."


"I thought you said we'd talk at 8:00, honey?"
"Yeah but I did not hear back."
"Oh I sent you a message back."
"You did? I did not get it. Sorry, I have been busy getting ready for the girls."
[My friends and I have a weekly 'girls time' meeting.]
"Yes, I did. It says 17 minutes ago."
"Oh okay. Well is everything alright?"
"Okay. Well I'll  call you at 8:00 then."
"That sounds good. You guys have fun."
"Ok, Mom. Are you sure everything's alright?"
"Yeah!" [pause]  "Honey, call me back at 8:00 and have a good time."
"Okay Mom, I will. I love you."
"I love you too."

So I called her at 8:03pm and she told me the news, in a loving & compassionate way, that they had separated. I love her for that. After over 2 decades of marriage, my Dad left to parts unknown and I hear about it 12 days later. I couldn't have asked for a better delivery of this news. Yes, she did it perfectly.

She explained how she'd told my sister before me and how my sister had acknowledged to my Mom I might take it pretty hard. My Dad and I are quite spiritually close, if not in distance or communication for that I waited for the bad pain. I did. All evening I have been waiting for it and it's not coming. I blame Byron Katie and The Work.

What I have been noticing are the questions in my mind.
  1. Where is he? Will I ever see him again? Will he try to contact me?
  2. Does he know I love him and I don't care that he left?  
  3. Is he safe and happy?
The questions are not stressful at all. I am okay with these questions because in front of them float the possibilities of different forms of freedom. Between Byron Katie's The Work and Don Miguel Ruiz' the Four Agreements, my entire paradigm has shifted.

As far as my Mom goes, I am happy that she shared with me where she was and what was going on. I have peace for my Mom. I have love, happiness, and gratitude for my Mom. She said something so beautiful that I scribbled it down. Like I said, I kept waiting for the pain and when I am in a high-stress or painful situation, my brain has this beautiful capacity to block it out. Not wanting to forget this, I wrote it down as soon as she said it so I could remember - in case I went into a black out.

"I want to get comfortable living in my own skin."

This is a desire of freedom for her. This is a desire I have for her as well as my Dad. I want them comfortable in my own skin, too! I am so happy that this 'pain' I waited for has not come. I slept before I began this next paragraph so it's been overnight and it's still not here. This isn't to say I didn't have some tears a couple times last night... I did. Just tears. Maybe tears of gratitude that my Mom and Dad can both be happy on their new adventure, intermingled with tears of a child-like "Where's my Dad?" and "When will I see him again?"

How Practice of The Work Helped to Prevent Pain

I wanted to share this here because I wanted to show how I credit The Work. I know the old Samsara....[double entendre intended]... The old Samsara would be crying in bed, crumpled in a ball because the images of a world I knew were crumbling; Because in my mind...
  1. In my mind, my Dad left my Mom, my Dad left me. 
  2. In my mind, my Mom is lonely and I don't want her that way.
  3. In my mind, my Dad is in a scary world that will eat him alive.  
  4. In my mind, I will never see my Dad again.
The reality though is that not one of these is true. Learning to question painful thoughts, I was able to listen to my Mom with a clarified mind and to hear her without the thoughts in my head interfering as they might normally do. So this is the good news. As I practiced the Work on my stressful thoughts, new seeming stress that comes up, isn't as maybe it would have been before!
Watch how my mind views the following scenarios now.

1. The reality is that Dad and Mom had left each other quite a while ago. I saw it. I heard my Mom. I saw the stress. I saw the pain. I would discuss it with my sweetheart about how their lives were separate and how I wanted them both happy.
2. My Dad left me. My Mom was so cute last night. She said, "You're standing on your own feet, honey..." and I loved her so much for saying that. Yes, I am an adult. I live some states away. The only way my Dad could have left me would have been maybe if I were still living at home and even then...he did not leave me. I have an image of hugging him right now. See? I just visited him.
3. We discussed it and I was able to hear it: She is not lonely. Physically, my Dad may be gone and she is physically alone living in the house but she is not lonely. I shared with her how my lonely moments can be when I am physically with someone and they are not present. To me, THAT is lonely. She viewed it the same way as I did. So no, she is not lonely.
4. My Dad is out in a scary world that will eat him alive. I don't know where that thought comes from but I did see it float by. Then my mind wants to make the excuse - for this stressful thought  - that he is not healthy. [But because I do The Work, I understand that my mind's job is to defend its beliefs.] I know this is not true because I no longer have the ORIGINAL underlying stressful thought that "The world eats people alive." Therefore, if it does not eat people, it cannot eat my Dad.
5. I will never see my Dad again.  Well that's just a nonsense thought. Not because I may not ever see him again - because I may not. But because what precisely has changed? He went somewhere else. Okay and people do that. What does it mean that I have the thought I will never see him again? Is that a contingency for my love for him? No. Do I expect him to stay somewhere he obviously doesn't want to be all so I can 'see him again?' Again, no. And please see #2, I just saw him again. Do I know he loves me? Yes. I know.

Hopefully this practical application on a real 'my life' episode can give you the faith you might like to begin the process of dissolving your stressful or painful thoughts. It is amazing to me that the more I questioned and did The Work in the beginning, the more I have seen the prevention of thoughts that would otherwise have been painful.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Reality of Pressure

caution what is the reality of pressureMy beloved and I were talking the other night about the phrase, "Forcing someone to make a choice." He asked me to pick up my cup, as an example. His theory is that I have to make a choice: pick up my cup, don't pick up my cup, knock down my cup, set my cup on fire, a million other things, or even make the choice of pretending i didn't hear his request or ignoring it. "Even that," he argued, "is a choice."
When he asked me to pick up my cup, I picked up my cup. In this, he argued, he had forced me to make a choice and I chose to pick up my cup. My assertion is that yes I heard him and yes I wanted to pick up my cup in order to take a drink from it, but that I was not forced into making a choice; I would have chosen to pick up my cup or not anyway. (We both enjoy logic.)

On a similar topic, a couple of weeks ago, I shared with a friend my belief in "Pressuring someone to to do something" or the "Reality of Pressure" using Byron Katie's ""What's the Reality of Pressure"" video. When I tell the story saying/thinking/believing I was pressured, forced, or otherwise made to do a thing, make a choice, take an action or not, I am assigning myself vulnerable to painful thoughts. Have a look...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Byron Katie Turn it Around Movie

Byron Katie - Turn it Around is a full length movie narrated by Jenny McCarthy. If you want to know more about "Loving What Is," I recommend offering this movie your attention for the next hour.

You can also visit Byron Katie's The Work website and download it for free in low resolution or high resolution and watch it when you want to. Katie makes no qualms about her desire to bring The Work to whomever wants it and I just love that. Click here to download either video version of the "Turn it Around" movie.

[Updated Mar 06, 2012]

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to Approach Byron Katie's 4 Questions

In Facilitating The Work, I expressed Three Components of a Facilitator or Helpful Human Being [or even friend] I find necessary for assisting us in doing The Work. These essentials are : Compassion, Humility, and Clarity. I find these qualities necessary for progress and success in Inquiry because I have had experience with philosophy, religion, psychology or other "change our thought" or "change our lives" processes with people who talked a great talk while having a crooked walk. In other words they lacked integrity. Their external words conveyed in public were not aligned with their internal Spirit [as it manifested externally] in private. Highly Sensitive People seem to have a natural advantage in this area, due to their empathy.

In this post I am going to express Three Components I find necessary for being the one who is performing The Work. Now these are the biggies because we approach The Work ourselves, for ourselves, for benefit of ourselves, and to change our lives for the better. It is not necessary for a teacher to assist us with The Work so the "Facilitating the Work" post can be overlooked or ignored altogether. But because we are the ones doing The Work for and to our own selves, I do believe it to be so important that we clutch, cling, and grasp to the following three qualities as we step into Inquiry.

H.O.W. do we do it?

1.] Honesty - As I approach Inquiry I first have to be willing to take my stressful thoughts to inquiry & then I have to be open-minded enough to find the examples; find the turnarounds. And this is all based in honesty. If I do not desire for my pain and suffering to end and if I refuse to be open-minded, yet I go into The Work, that's not being honest with myself. If I am sick with disease [or dis-ease as I approach The Work] and am suffering, if I am not open-minded enough to consider that a Doctor might be able to help me, or if I am not willing to go in to see the Doctor, or willing to share my symptoms or honest enough to share my real symptoms, or willing to take the medicine, did I really want to be healed? Maybe I really did. But maybe I didn't feel like getting in the car or waiting in the office or spending money on the medicine and I don't trust Doctors anyway. I'll just wait it out. :)

2.] Open-Mindedness - Being open-minded, I have found, comes differently to personalities. I know skeptics who have been beaten into open-mindedness due to pain and I know naturally open-minded personalities. So whichever you are, as long as you approach with open-mindedness it just may work.

3.] Willingness -Willingness is an action. As Katie would say, "War belongs on paper" and "The Work stops when you stop answering the questions." Are you willing to write it down? Are you willing to carry through? Being Honest and Open-minded is of little use if I am not Willing.

That's it. That's how I approach the work and H.O.W. I find it invaluable. Now when I first approached Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life I was angry. Oh yes. I was not finished being a victim and my reasons for suffering were legitimate.  [Legitimate suffering I just said, and it brought a smile to my face. I love my memories.] And for this reason, I would never thrust upon a person these four questions without their HOW. (As it would also break the 3 Components for Facilitators - Compassion, Humility, and Clarity - I believe in.) But what did work for me when was I was ready was the attitude of Honesty, Open-Mindedness, and Willingness. These three qualities were taught to me through 12 step programs and I have grown universally friendly with using these qualities when approaching anything that happens in my life, including The Work.

Friday, February 4, 2011

You are Not Living Up to Your Full Potential!

You are not living up to your full potential are you? I know I am. I know I am living up to my full potential right now as my heart beats and I have no question.

Or maybe I'm not. And I am okay with that too. Am I a slacker? Or maybe I'm lazy. Or maybe I'm stupid. Does it matter?