One evening a grandfather was teaching his young grandson about the internal battle that each person faces. “There are two wolves struggling inside each of us,” the old man said.
“One wolf is vengefulness, anger, resentment, self-pity, fear . . . The other wolf is compassion, faithfulness, hope, truth, love . . .”
The grandson sat, thinking, then asked: “Which wolf wins, Grandfather?”
His grandfather replied, “The one you feed.”

This blog is about the constant struggle. Mostly about mine, but then all the major themes running through my life are universal to everyone else. If my experiences are able to help even one single person find their way through the labyrinth of life, then I am better equipped to stand in the face of any adversity and say, "Bring it. BRING IT! And pack a lunch." Its not about me at that point. And for me, that is the point, the whole point, and nothing but the point.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Hell of Personality

I haven't written in a while, because sometimes its important just to float in the spin cycle of life. As life happens, I am working on not having any sort of immediate reaction to it, allowing it to reveal the mystery behind the seemingly random series of events. And by remaining as passive as I possibly can (which, mind you, I do not always achieve), I am often blessed by being allowed to see the interconnectedness of events, and the beauty behind the smallest of things.

On New Years' Day every year, I host a 'Vision Board" party. This means that a group of women convene at my house, spread out on the floor amongst magazines, and cut out pictures and quotes and words of things that we intend to manifest in the coming year. We then paste them to posterboard and hang them in our lines of vision, to remind ourselves to stay focused on what we are up to, and not get distracted by the minutiae. And it works, to some degree. Perhaps it might not manifest, that year, but the seed has been planted. Many things on my own boards have been recurring, year after year, but I have also learned to be very careful about the pictures I choose, that they are actually depicting what I want and not an idea.

For many years, I hinted at a relationship, but didn't come right out and depict one that I wanted. One year I put a picture of two snow angels, where two people had fallen in the snow and created them. I liked the idea of two people so carefree and silly to do such a thing- but in the picture, there were not only no people, but it was snow, which would melt. The second year, I put a picture of two empty chairs under an umbrella at a beach- I thought, "well, this shows i am willing to share my paradise with someone." Again, no people. And my relationships were, well, not really relationships. and honestly that is how I wanted it, so its no wonder that is how I put it on my board. I wanted to put something there, but I didn't really want a relationship, cuz I didn't know what sort of one I wanted.

This last year, I was sitting there telling the girls how I wasn't going to put anything for a relationship on my board, meanwhile pasting pictures of two people off in the distance in a canoe, and also two sets of flippers coming out of the water in a beautiful, tropical bay, and also the backs of two people on a scooter driving up a country road. Ha! But seriously, these were images of the sort of relationship I would want, where there is a serenity between me and the other person. You'd have to have a quiet world of understanding and intimacy (yikes!) and delight to want to be in the middle of a big lake in a canoe with one other person. And i found that person, through such a series of seemingly random events. I'd like nothing more than to be stuck in a canoe in the middle of a huge lake with him for hours and hours. And no one is more surprised than me. For most of this year I have been discovering what it means to truly love another person, with all their highs and lows and flaws and also, ALSO, most importantly, my own, as they get revealed to me. I am learning not to run at the first sign of discomfort. I am learning to accept and forgive and also cherish and support. This is not the me I have known all my life, or maybe its the me I have been trying not to know. Either way, here it is, and it suits me down to the ground.

I also had pasted that I wanted a job where I was also helping others. And its true; I have found that the only thing that makes me feel a part of the world, connected to it, is to help it in some way. I had a bumpy time of it in the beginning of the year, finding that place. But then I found it- a sober living, waiting for its license to become a residential treatment facility. I went to visit a friend who worked there, and I knew I needed to be a part of it. I could feel the compassion and care and integrity that the place was built on; I loved the different ways they try to help the clients, with vocational training and life coaching, yoga, nutrition, going green, and brain mapping, which I think is incredibly important and the future of mental health as we know it. And dogs- dogs running everywhere on the beautiful grounds of Liz Taylor's former estate, stunning views, and food prepared by an executive chef- everything anyone could ask for. And I got the job, not by applying, but at a speaking engagement where the CEO happened to be in attendance. He approached and said he would like me to be a part of the team. And so I am. ONE80CENTER. YOu can google it. I also blog for the company. My job makes me very very happy, and I can honestly say, I've never in my life said that.

For the first time in my life, romance and finance have converged in a promising place. I'm not saying my Vision Board did it, but the board does help me hone in on what is important to me. Some things have not manifested, but the things that are becoming established this year may make them possible next year. I am able to watch these things ebb and flow, looking back on dream boards from years ago. I can see what I didn't vision properly, but thats okay because it was just a place holder, and i know that now. I remember wanting to be be able to visit a spa more often; I put a picture of a spa, but what happened was that I opened my hypnotherapy practice in a spa. I got to be in a spa a lot, but not for the reason I had put it on my dream board. I put to own my own home; I ended up owning my own condo that year, and losing it less than a year later. It happened, but I not as I expected it. There was no deliberate vision behind it. I wanted to be pampered; I wanted to own my home, not even so much for any good reason, but so I could say I did- neener neener. That is never the right attitude. And that was before I got sober. I was very ego based.

One day I hope to sit down to so a vision board and not even be able to put anything on it, for having had it all realized- not materially, but for all the basics to be satisfied- family, security for my children, a home for them with a backyard, a flourishing career that afford me the ability to give them the things they need, and a relationship to share it all with. From this place, my ability to be of service to others will be exponential; no longer in survival mode, I will be of maximum service. And that really can't be a vision board; its action, its love made real. Its work, which I love. In my old age (ha) I do not favor repose or leisure or shopping or the nightlife- family, work, service is the true key to the kingdom. I am still unsure what this will look like, if I will start a non-profit, or write a book, or open a shelter, but I'm just living in the spin, waiting for the Mystery to reveal the next step. trying to stay out of the Realm of the Senses and the Hell of Personality- and this alone is one of the greatest challenges. Its partly why I do this blog, to document the journey, and the miracles and roadblocks along the way.

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