Anagram Day

Riddle The Self – Reveal The Self

  • Dragon World BBS Blog: Dragon World BBS 1988

    STAR TREK

    Msg  #  :  10287 – Sunday July 17th From   :  STORMBRINGER SOULSTEALER To         :  ALL Topic    :  STAR TREK Hi, I never explained this on the summary so I better here (for those of you playing Star Trek for the first time)……………………… STR: Strength INT: Intelligence DEX: Dexterity END: Endurance CHA: Charisma LUC: Luck PSI: […]

  • Freenet Edmonton 1997: Freenet Edmonton 1997

    IT’S LATE, CAN’T TALK

    =====[  Dragon World  ]=====[  7-20-88  ]=====[  10:42.42  ]===== Msg  #  :  Private From    :  LONGSHOT  . To         :   A VAZDRU PRINCESS Topic    :  IT’S LATE, CAN’T TALK I think I cracked a knuckle. I ruined my apartment. The place is trash ’ed. I feel like scum-dirt. Worst night of my life, and just after the […]

  • Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 3,187 hits
  • Committment to Self

    All glory to God.

Posts Tagged ‘love’

Invisibility

Posted by Amanda Gray on August 6, 2015

I’ve been invisible.  It’s not as cool as you might think; like Harry Potter and his Cloak of Invisibility, sneaking around, spying on secret conversations.  No, it’s not like that.

First of all, I don’t know when I’ve gone invisible.  Everything is normal in my experience.  I only know I’m invisible through the consequences of not being seen by others. Like, for example, nearly getting run over in the middle of the street.  And, before you ask, no, it’s not like the driver was just distracted.  I have observed cars driving by me, with multiple occupants, none of whom were seeing me – and literally, looking beyond me – as if I wasn’t there.  It’s pretty unmistakable, and I’ve encountered it more than once.  There was a period of time, in fact, where it was happening rather regularly.  Until I decided I didn’t like almost being killed in the street, and then those particular occurrences stopped.

I bring this up today because I’m seeing a common thread of this ‘invisibility’ issue in my consciousness.  Fifteen years ago, just before I started on my spiritual journey, I had been a mad seeker of fame.  A sudden epiphany led me to realize that this seeking was due to feeling invisible and needing others, not just 1 or 2 others, but the whole world of others to pay attention to me, to recognize me as being special.  I thought that when I was famous, I would feel special, and therefore, loved.  I’ve had many years now to look at this prior seeking behaviour, and I thought I was done with it.

Bond_Faceless_ProfileYet, now I see it’s come up again, in a seemingly different way.  In the past couple of months, I’ve become completely, obsessively, boy crazy!  It started with a surge of desire, perhaps energy in the root chakra that I was rejecting over the past 10 years that I’ve been practicing celibacy, but, whatever the case, it came on in such a torrent, that I couldn’t resist it.  I decided not to judge the desire, and went with it.  The desire wanted sex, so I went after sex.  There was a fellow at work, who I fixated upon at first, but when it became apparent that he was in a sound relationship, I joined the dating app, Tinder.  I chatted with a few guys, went on a few dates.  While my intentions were clearly sexual, I didn’t feel right about the ‘hook up’ thing.  When sex was offered too quickly, I rejected it.  Anyway, two months later, several first dates, a smattering of second dates, and joining a second dating app, OKCupid, alas, I’ve still not found the right person/moment to have sex.  The desires have diminished somewhat over that time.  I’m still interested, but it’s not as overwhelming as it was at first.  Now, I can take or or leave it.  Yet, I’m still boy crazy – ogling cute boys everywhere I go and flirting aggressively anytime I catch an eye.  I want their attention so badly, I’m like a wounded beast on fire, begging them to help me, “Please, put out my flames!”

And yet, they don’t… won’t… can’t.  There’s been interest from many corners of the Tinder-verse and OKC-land, but the interest seems to fade fast.  Young men who express interest in an ‘older woman’ cancel our first dates, or stand me up (and by young, I mean 25).  Men closer to my age drift before we get to a second date. By ‘drift’, I mean that I assume they’re finding someone younger and cuter, although actual feedback, when I’ve asked, assures me they’re still interested.  Perhaps interested enough to keep me hanging on as ‘backup’ but not interested enough to become more involved.  Whatever the case, I’m clearly not getting what I want, so I have to ask why that is.  Is my overweening desire blocking the actual fulfilment of it?

I recognize that my activities have been motivated by some crazy ego thing.  I was thinking that I was addicted to the attention – the attempt at specialness through the ‘getting’ of a boyfriend.  Yeah, that’s probably in there.  But today, I also realized that there’s a tremendous amount of fear behind this seeking.  What am I afraid of?  Well, I feel lonely.  So I’m afraid of being alone.  When no one is paying attention to me, I feel alone, empty.  The feeling of loneliness is like a burning in my heart – sooooo uncomfortable – so I make any attempt I can to distract myself and avoid it!  There’s a feeling of ‘desperation’ in there too.  For example, I’m desperately grasping for the attention of anyone who passes by my desk at work.  If these people don’t stop to talk to me, then what?  Why is that a problem?  Could it be that I’m desperate for them to SEE ME?  What if it’s, literally, that I need them to SEE ME, because I still fear being ‘invisible’?

A Course in Miracles says that the body doesn’t truly exist in the moment, it’s only ever an image that’s remembered or projected.  It only exists in the past or the future, and requires a belief in time  to extend or manufacture it.  So, I have to be telling myself some kind of story about it, believing the body and it’s story is useful to me in some manner.  Yeah, to attract a boy (really, don’t get me wrong, I mean a MAN, of course) and have SEX before I’m too old and nobody wants me anymore!  I have to say, it’s not entirely about sex either, I’m also VERY interested in CUDDLES.  Some men have offered cuddles and THAT, for whatever reason, completely blows a gasket in my brain-basket!  I WANT CUDDLES!!!  I’ve gotten some cuddles, on a few EPIC first dates, and some lovely kisses, but there’s never ENOUGH – and I WANT MORE!!  ARGHHHHH!!  And, there’s also love.  Where does love fit into this?  I want to give and receive love.  UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

Anyway, it’s all very curious, and, as usual, I don’t have any answers.  It’ll bother me until I let go of the attachments, and then it won’t.  Eventually, I’ll see through whatever bullshit is making me a crazy, obsessive monster.  Such is the way.

Advertisements

Posted in Sex & the Body | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Invisibility

Back on the Bus

Posted by Amanda Gray on January 18, 2015

I had interviews last week for a new employment position.  Just before my second interview, I had an interesting dream:

I’m shopping with my mom, when, suddenly, I remember I have an interview at 11:30 AM.  As I look at my watch, I think that there’s no way I’ll be able to get to the interview on time.  I consider calling the employer to tell them of my mistake, or to reschedule, but then I remember that there’s a direct bus that could work.   

I find myself on the bus.  There’s several other people, but it’s not too full or too empty.  I start a conversation with someone next to me (a male).  I share my earlier fears and reveal my next fear: I’m wearing my shabbiest clothes – not at all appropriate for an interview!  I consider what I can do.  I decide that I’ll try to buy a nice jacket when I get off the bus, stretch the time, and be, perhaps 5 minutes late for the meeting.  There’s also some kind of discussion about my favourite movie of all time, which I decide is Star Wars, Return of the Jedi.  I consider that I should bring a DVD of this to my meeting – and I think I take a ‘back in time’ aside in order to pick it up at home.

As I get off the bus, I see that I have two minutes.  I race around the mall stores, but there’s too much choice, and there’s no jackets quickly apparent on the front racks. I’m wasting too much time.  So I decide to just take off the shabbiest clothing item I’m wearing, which is a white, threadbare vest, with several black marks on it.  

I get to my interview, which now appears to be with spiritual teacher, Adyashanti.  I join a group of students on the floor in front of Adya and his presentation whiteboard.  I have my DVD of Return of the Jedi and I notice that I’m wearing a nice, bright orange jersey top.  A perfectly sensible outfit for a spiritual student.  I’m entirely relieved. Edmonton City Bus

The dream tells me that I’m back on the bus – involved again with a community/group journey.  The bus isn’t parked anymore, nor is it predicting some sort of ‘end of game’ scenario (see post Erasing Programs, Rewriting Software).  It’s also interesting how every time my dream character thinks there’s a problem, it falls away with no effort.

The next item for attention is clothing.  Clothing has to do with the persona: anxieties about fitting in and being ‘well-suited’ for a new role.  Focus is on the upper body, which may be related to the heart.  White – the vest – is a color of light, purity, newness, and awareness.  But it’s also dirty and old, and I’m ashamed of it, indicating some self-worth issues.  And then I’m throwing it away, indicating a willing transition, and letting go of the past.  Discarding the shame.  Orange – the jersey top – according to my favourite dream resource (Cloud Nine – A Dreamers Dictionary) – is a color of “Balancing, creative expression, cutting through/penetrating, and female strength.”  Another book considers orange to represent nervous energy/anxiety.  I like the color, and it’s definitely energetic.  It also brings to mind ‘safety clothing’, fresh citrus fruit, and carrots.  So, I consider it a positive symbol in this context.

At the end, my meeting is with Adyashanti.  A symbol of spiritual guidance, enlightenment and love.  I become a student in the dream.  This, to me, indicates a very positive teaching/learning situation.  A decision to abandon little ego choices and choose, instead, with the higher holy Self.  I take this as a sign that I’ve truly kicked my ‘actor’ addiction – an egoic fantasy to ‘create’ myself.  That actor stuff never seemed to come naturally, and it never brought me much peace, just lots of effort.  So, I truly don’t want the egos tiny, self-serving goals anymore.  They’re not ever intended to be reached, actually, anyway.  Now, what I REALLY WANT is to cooperate with the universe, and trust that what’s simply given will bring me the greatest eternal gifts: peace, freedom, and joy.

Return of the Jedi was a movie I particularly loved when I was 13 years old.  This symbol comes up, first, because it may indeed be my favourite movie of all time, but also because it might be pointing to something specific about that TIME.  So, something that was happening around that age that’s arising in consciousness for healing now.  Emotions to be resolved.  What I can think of, that’s significant, is that it was the time of my first crush – with Luke Skywalker.  Something in his mysterious, dark cloaked entrance before Jabba the Hutt, his power using the force, and his brave actions saving everybody, really addled my hormonal and spongy teenage mind.  It was my first experience with ‘love’, and I think I felt that a movie character was ‘safe’ to love.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since this dream, I’ve been hired for the company that was interviewing me.  Yippee!!  I feel like this dream was already predicting success, and showing me that it’s ‘safe’ to proceed.  I’m SOOOOOOO READY!!  And THRILLED.  And ON BOARD.  There’s also several symbols of the job situation itself that are interesting:

*  Keys: “A key part of yourself, the crux of an issue.  Keys unlock the doors of mystery; expose hidden/secret knowledge; lead to awareness/growth. They can represent release/freedom from entrapment, power, authority, honour (‘keys to the city’).  The union of opposites, therefore reduction of tension.”  I’d also add: security.  It also makes me think of the ‘Keymaster’ from Ghostbusters, who, in union with the ‘Gatekeeper’, opened a powerful portal.  And the Keymaster from the second Matrix movie, the one who had the key for Neo to get to the Architect.  Highly symbolically interesting!

*  Justice:  “Bringing equality, harmony or stability into a situation or relationship.  Asserting our rights and upholding the rights of others.  Balance in consciousness.”

*  School:  There’s that teaching/learning situation. Curiosity, play, and discovery.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In reference to the ACIM passages I listed in my last post (Erasing Programs, Rewriting Software):  Yes, symbols are meaningless, ultimately, but it doesn’t mean spirit can’t use them while we have need of them.  Everything is a message from spirit, if we take it that way.  All pointing to our ultimate function – the unification of consciousness.  And THAT’S my REAL job. 

 Red heartIn love

Posted in Dream Interpretation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Back on the Bus

Saint Jonas: 05 Sep 1995 – 26 Jul 2014

Posted by Amanda Gray on July 26, 2014

DSC05376

Sigh.

My cat, Jonas, just passed away.

He was 19 years old.  Such an awesome friend – one of the greatest gifts in my life.  He taught me about unconditional love.  He liked to cuddle, sleep in the crook of my arm, and nuzzle my ear.  He followed me in many adventures across the country – I called him my "planes, trains and automobiles" cat.  He was a Saint because he was friendly and loving to every person and creature he encountered.  He was my handsome, little baby.

Here are three videos to celebrate his precious and incomparable existence:

Posted in Life & Death | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Saint Jonas: 05 Sep 1995 – 26 Jul 2014

Kitties, Clowns, Authority and Desire

Posted by Amanda Gray on March 16, 2014

Strangeness is afoot.  I guess life can be like that. 

I took a four-day Intro to Clown Workshop with the simply divine teacher, Jan Henderson, a few weeks ago.  I had a few pre-conceived ideas about what my clown would be like, and a few things I thought I’d explore in my clown character, but – here’s the thing about clowning – you can’t know in advance how your personal clown will appear!  Mine – surprise! – showed up as a cat!  What a marvellous adventure I had in that class!  There’s an element of serendipity in the birth of a new clown, and when you’re really listening carefully to your own gentle, innocent, intuitive voice within, clown miracles happen!  Such a fantastic, luminous magnificence in every clown that was born that weekend.  We were all very clearly defined in entirely unanticipated, but entirely perfect, ways.  Everyone was adorable – including ME!  I never thought of myself as “cute” before 2014-02-23 15.18.34– but, it was true, as my cat-clown-character, I WAS SOOOOO CUTE!!

Well, since then, the ‘cat’s been out of the bag’… (sorry!)… and my life has taken some surprising turns.  I’ve been putting a lot of focus on exploring my new cat-clown.  Her name is Zephyr (defined as: a gentle westerly wind) and, beyond any explanation my rational mind can make for it, ‘she’ does seem to have a ‘will’ of her own.  I can come up with ideas for her, but once the nose goes on, I can’t anticipate her actions or make her do something she doesn’t want to.  I feel like I’ve just begun to know this marvellous, crazy little kitty and it’s thrilling – to my bones – to discover her!  I’m passionate about her!  In fact, I LOVE her!!  And I want her to LIVE!!

Like I said, it makes no sense to my rational mind.  A CLOWN???  That’s what I want to DO???  NO!!  REALLY???  But… yes.  I can’t help it.  I don’t even know what it means, or what it looks like, but yes.  YES.  Wholeheartedly – YES!!!  Somewhere inside of me, it’s what I’ve ALWAYS wanted!

Then things started to change at my job.  Almost imperceptibly, with little shifts I can’t innumerate, a deadly virus took hold of the place.  I no longer felt like I was allowed to be myself there.  I awoke in trepidation each scheduled work day, and walked around on eggshells.  On a break, I found myself wondering how I could get myself fired – quickly, but without any formal charges (haha!).  I heard from a customer, the same day, that she was hired part time – on a hush hush basis – and I suggested that perhaps she was replacing me – adding – “I can only hope!” 

Apparently, my mind is much stronger than I think, and my desire… was fulfilled.  Shucks, ultimately, I didn’t even have to DO anything – I’d already succeeded!  A litany of minuscule mistakes were cited – nothing that amounted to more than a hill of beans, in my humble opinion – but, surprise!  I got my wish!  I was hurt, yes, but, at the same time, I couldn’t get out of there faster.  I’m FREEEEEEEEE!!!!!

The relief I feel is astounding.  I was making such great efforts to conform to expectations – when I never truly knew what any of the expectations were.  Now I see that conforming is not for me.  It never was.  It never will be.  How that looks in this world of ‘jobs’ and ‘paycheques’ and ‘bosses’ – I have no idea.  How I go forward from here… I don’t know.

What I’m most interested in now is something along the lines of ‘embracing my CRAZY’.2014-02-23 15.18.46  Letting all the crazy things I gotta say just come out of my mouth with no judgement, and doing all the crazy things I never had the guts to do before.  When I think of all the times people laughed at something I did on stage, I was always doing something physical – clown gags!  In all my attempts to be the ‘serious’ drama girl, the ‘Shakespeare’ girl, the ‘spiritual’ girl – I was always simply denying the delightful life of my inner FOOL!  In all my attempts to reject and project ‘crazy’ onto the outside screen – my inner crazy was there all the time, inviting me to give in to its GENIUS.

Let’s face it, folks, this is the truth:  we’re all just bumbling idiots in this game of life.  Most of us think we’ve got it all figured out: we follow all the rules because we desperately want to be those ‘good’ little girls and boys we imagine; we project our ‘mistakes’ onto others because we can’t face our own ‘terrible’ imperfections; and we pretend we have the authority to make others bend to our will and do things we most prefer them to.  And we’re shattered when somebody shows up that we can’t manipulate.  HA!  This is what I’ve learned: If I let others be free to do whatever they do, without judgement, it’s a gift I give to MYSELF!  And the ‘authority’ I fear is just as much of a bumbling idiot as everyone else; scrambling around for tiny morsels of acceptance and inclusion – but always terrified that they’re not worthy of it.  They’re not any better than me, or wiser.  They don’t know something more than I do.  Because, kids, none of us know ANYTHING!!!  The ONLY authority is ME – MY choice over MY life in this moment, NOW.  And not knowing, in any way, how it’ll turn out – but hopeful that, if I do what I most want now, the outcome will be something along the lines of what I want (consciously or unconsciously, at least) later.  That’s it.

And now I think I know what Thomas Edison felt like; his mind filled with a flood of creative fire that couldn’t be quenched.  I’ve been so creatively energized lately – with creations of all varieties spilling out of me at record pace.  No wonder I didn’t want to go to work – what I’m doing at home is so much more, infinitely, fulfilling.  Here’s something else I’ve learned recently: you can’t get rid of desires by sublimating them.  That’s not what The Buddha did to become enlightened.  I tried denying my desires for ten years – and it only hurt me.  At the same time, I also know the danger of desires running rampant – they’re a bottomless bucket.  So what else did The Buddha say…  ummm… something about the MIDDLE way?  Haha.  Yes.  That’s what I’m shooting for now.  Some desires just have to be lived through.  Lived though?  What FOR? 

… for joy and happiness.  That’s right, kids.  FOR JOY and HAPPINESS.  Whose joy and happiness?  MINE.  Does it sound selfish?  It does – but that’s because I can’t live by what someone else wants – even if I know exactly what that is.  We’ll never succeed at that game – because everyone’s responsible for their OWN happiness.  We can’t choose it for someone else – but we CAN choose it for ourselves, right now.  And that’s exceptionally good news!

Peace and love, holy brothers and sisters – darling crazy fools – every last one of ya!

Posted in Creative Expression | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Kitties, Clowns, Authority and Desire

Giving Myself Permission

Posted by Amanda Gray on October 27, 2013

It happened while I was watching the movie Flowers of War.  A scene with Christian Bale, dressed as a Catholic priest, telling a prostitute that he loves her, all of her, even, what might be considered, her shameful history.  Apparently, it was what I needed to hear too.  My heart filled with tenderness and love for these people – these actors – who I suddenly understood.  They might be wearing costumes, have various sets of ideas upon which they acted, but, beneath these affectations, there was a core that was – or at least, could be – REAL.  I saw that the actors power lay not in the affectations of personality, in the form of their bodies, or, even in the words they spoke, but in the very LIFE that flowed through them, and in the transmission of universal truth: the greatest unconditional love and acceptance – beyond any of our mere human imagining.

In that moment, I knew that I loved myself in this way, and I remembered that I once was, and could be again, that kind of actor.  I just had to give myself permission.  Whew!  A burden that I barely knew I was carrying, suddenly fell off.  I realized that I was holding an idea that, as an actor, I was fake, a liar, and a manipulator that merely used acting to get attention.  It may have been true in my past, when I was an actor-beggar: empty within, my hands reaching, folded like a cup, and begging anyone who passed to see me, recognize me… LOVE me!  But, like an addiction, no amount of attention was ever enough.  Thus my odyssey to depart entirely from the actor’s profession and ‘find myself’.

And so, thirteen years later, but suddenly, in an instant, I knew I was FOUND.  No longer empty, I was FULL inside – there WAS something REAL within – and, whatever this ‘energy’ was, it wanted to EXTEND itself.  What had changed?  I had simply forgiven myself.  I had never been fake, or a liar.  I had simply been wearing the clothes of illusion, as we all do in this human drama.  Yet, even as the clothes change, the ideas of ourselves shift, the conditions of our lives weather, what we truly ARE stays the same.  It’s the foundation, the rock, that can be trusted and built upon.

So, I began to gather myself for a comeback. Yes, I could be an actor again, and pursue this creative activity that I had always loved.  As much as I had tried, I could never truly deny this part of myself anyway, and it was only painful to suppress.  And, yes, I could, and wanted to, share this gift, this inner wealth and joy, with others.  I gave myself full permission and began to read plays, learn new monologues, lose weight, exercise, and practice singing.  I signed up for an improv class (starting next month).  I contacted a few agents.  I had a ton of renewed energy.  I truly valued myself again. My life had new meaning.

And it still does – it’s not in the past tense – but – I can’t just leave it alone and let it happen, I have to keep questioning it – am I falling into an ego trap?  Am I still just trying to use this ‘costume’ to get attention, to be different and special?

Then I started to notice what’s been inspiring me more recently: Russell Brand in various YouTube videos: unscripted words and ideas flowing out of his mouth like grand tapestries, his mind constantly exploding like a nuclear reactor!  And he’s much like my friend, Benjamin Smyth, in San Francisco – full on, no holds barred, anyplace and anytime, EXPRESSION! And also like David Bowie in his early years – an alien, a man from Mars – a shifting, diaphanous mystery! And they’re all much like the improvisers that I know and love (and still regularly dream about) in my home town. Ultimately, these people don’t require a script, or a stage, or a film set, or permission from anyone to express themselves – they just DO.  And they DO like they couldn’t stop themselves if they tried!

And I’ve been experimenting with these ideas in my own life – wherever I find myself: what if I just opened my mind and my

Kabuki Warrior

A creative disguise!

mouth and just SAID whatever was there?  Without editing myself?  Without judging it before it even has a chance?  And, what I’m learning is that amazing things are coming out – silly things – funny things – shocking things – but they’re all a thrill to witness and, surprise surprise, that others seem to really enjoy them too!  They’re not offended.  They don’t hate me.  They don’t want to kill me.  And I’m learning that my ideas aren’t insipid or meaningless, in fact, in the natural flow, they don’t ‘belong’ to ‘me’ at all!

In college, my classmates presented me with the “Story for All Occasions” award.  I’m sure they meant well, but I felt ashamed by it, ashamed of my predilection to incessantly talk about myself.  And so, I began to hold the idea that my natural expression was wrong, too excessive, or that there was nothing good or important in it.  Ultimately, I began to believe that I “had nothing to say.”  I began to move further and further away from natural expression:  I stopped doing improv and decided that I could only perform with a script; I stopped performing on stage and decided I could only do film; I stopped acting entirely and decided I had nothing creative to offer.  See, stepping back and closing off with greater and greater amounts of self editing.

Today I see that I don’t have to edit anymore, and I won’t.  That I don’t need a particular place or form, or anyone else’s permission to be and express myself. I don’t even have to call myself an ‘actor’.  There’s no difference between a stage, or a grocery store, or a street corner – I can BE what I am, fully, without conceit, and without shame, anywhere and anytime.  LIFE lives though me right NOW!  And it’s beautiful and magnificent and unfathomable – and rude, and loud, and shocking, and funny, and mischievous, and loving – and anything else that can (or can’t) be imagined!  And it’s ALL OK!!!  What it isn’t – is boring or predictable!

And that’s, most definitely, what I want, cherish and LOVE most!  Full on.  All in.  AMEN.

________________________________________________________

Post Script:  I notice that this post is almost exactly like the last (Follow the White Rabbit).   Strange.  Early onset Alzheimers?   A manifestation of ‘expression’ anxiety?  I don’t know.  I’ll just forgive myself for the silly repetition.  It begs the question: How can I be truly expressive if I’m merely regurgitating the past?

________________________________________________________

If you find this website helpful, please donate.

Donate

Posted in Judgement & Acceptance | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Giving Myself Permission

Follow the White Rabbit

Posted by Amanda Gray on August 13, 2013

So I finally have the job situation I always dreamed about – working 3 days a week, at something generally enjoyable (customer service) – and having 4 days off – to do whatever I want.  Yes, I finally have the perfect work/life balance situation… but what have I done with my 4 days off every week for the past 2 months?  Nothing.  All inspiration has completely dried up!

So, my left brain has done what it’s always done: tried to fill the perceived lack.  It frantically sought for an activity to inspire and fill my free time.  First, I thought I’d make another short film, but I couldn’t come up with any interesting ideas.  So then I looked to the past: I bought a book and downloaded some software, hoping to resurrect my computer programming skills from 13 years ago.  Yet, the ambition has been sporadic.  I dug out my cooking books from when I was a professional pastry cook 19 years ago.  I examined the recipes, thinking that I might rent a kitchen and make some cakes to sell.  But that ambition dried up too.

Then I was invited to guest teach a drama class at the local school.  Again I picked a few books from the bookshelf, dusted them off, and resurrected my professional acting skills from 21 years ago.

The day I spent with the kids was amazing.  First, I spent a couple of hours trying, with difficulty, to motivate, a very unmotivated, group of teenagers.  I did my best, and enjoyed the experience with them, for what it was.  Still, at that point, when I might have felt disappointed with the outcome, I was asked to present my acting exercises again with a larger group of, far more motivated and energetic, junior high kids.  Later, when I considered the two, highly contrasting, experiences, I could see how the aperture of life – energy, experimentation, and joy – that the younger group displayed with abundance, can close down in our teen years – just as we start to feel self-conscious and begin to judge ourselves (and everything else).

I can now see how the teenage period of life can magnify a fear of expressing.  For most, it’s a fear of judgement, or rejection by others.  What if I say the wrong thing?  What if I hurt someone’s feelings?  What if they misunderstand me?  And mostly, in my life, I’ve preempted my self expression right off the bat – just blocked it, entirely.  When I look within, I find nothing… just a solid black wall… so I believe that I have nothing important or valuable to express.  As I became habitual in my disregard for my own creative imagination, and established a belief in creative poverty, I spent my life searching for a specific form (i.e. “acting”) that could restore it.  Always regurgitating someone else’s ideas and words, yet desperately wanting to create something unique – and express my true self.  Yet, I felt that I couldn’t: What can I say if I don’t have anything to say?  On the other hand, if I don’t value my own ideas, who will?

– Now I see why I developed a major migraine at the monastery last year when I was helping to paint the tipi.  I became sick as a denial of my creative expression.

– Now I see why I couldn’t stay to participate in the Strawberry Fields Music Festival.  Because I was jealous of the ones who could openly express themselves.

– Now I see why I had to meet Ben when I went to San Francisco.  He’s FULL ON expression, all the time!  And because I could see my greatest desire in him – to express without fear – I loved him and was able to join with him in the spirit of that love.

Furthermore, as I’ve continued to inquire into my desire to express, I’ve used the population at large as an experiment group.  One day, my question was: How honest can I really be with my customers at work?  All day long, I allowed myself to say whatever was on my mind – even if it was, in my opinion, rather rude, and, in the past, I would’ve censored it.  Surprisingly, I learned that people could take all kinds of honesty – and even seemed to appreciate it – as long as it was said with an attitude of humour, a tease, or a wink-wink, nudge-nudge.  Then, it didn’t come across as rude, it was funny instead, and a shared ‘truth-joke’ between us.  My experiment failed only when my statements were fuelled with a sour attitude, a judgement of the other person, or anger used to defend and attack.  Then I was belittling, or patronizing, and it was no fun at all.  I judged myself most harshly when I made the mistake, felt horribly guilty, and expected to be punished.  I wasn’t punished, thank God, but I had to move quickly into forgiveness to restore the situation, and I learned that no one is ever fooled with the underlying intention – particularly myself.  Acting shmackting!

And I started to ask: what does it really mean to express myself?  Does it require a particular form?  If I’m walking, talking, moving, thinking, drawing, singing, working, doing dishes or shovelling shit – am I not always expressing myself???  I listened to an Adyashanti radio show where Mukti (his wife, also a spiritual teacher) said, “We meditate to express ourselves.”  I had never thought of meditation in this way before!  Could I be ‘expressing myself’ in meditation?  Well… not if it’s only FEAR that’s allowed!  That’s the nothing – the black wall – that I’ve experienced within.  I’ve been afraid of myself!!!  I’m blocking myself!!!  From what I really want!!!  ARRRRRGH!!!

– Now I see why I kept manifesting painful pimples around my mouth.  I felt guilty that I wasn’t participating in the ego story: that I be an actor (or artist, or rock star, etc.) – and then I’ll be great and famous – and then people will love me – and then I’ll feel loved and be happy.  I was fixated on a particular and preferred, but also very limited, ‘form’ of expression – and when I participated in activities that haven’t perfectly matched that form, I felt guilty and punished myself with pimples.  I felt envious of the creative expression of others (also in particular forms)… and punished myself with pimples.  The bottom line, of course, is that I’ve been denying expression that could’ve been going on all the time, regardless of form.  Also, I’ve been more interested in ‘getting’ a particular outcome (ultimately, love) than I’ve been in the expression itself.  Which – paradoxically – can only come from a natural extension of our truth – being LOVE.  Haha!  Twisted!

DSC04120

What if… I open my mind… and remove all limited ideas of a particular form or activity for my life?  What if I allow my burning desire to express, allow it to arise from the depths of my guts, and ask it how IT wants to move?  In THIS moment?

What if I follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole?

Posted in Creative Expression | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Follow the White Rabbit

Inspiration

Posted by Amanda Gray on March 11, 2013

Where does inspiration come from?

Have you ever thought to ask?

Yesterday, I rearranged a few things in the store where I work.  Inspiration struck me an hour before the end of my shift, and even as I finished the arrangement, I knew the idea wasn’t entirely complete.  Perhaps my co-worker would add to it and make it better.  Or perhaps we could discuss the idea the next day and discover where to go with it.  Yet, as I walked home, I felt that it was more likely the changes would be disapproved and my work would be changed back.  It was just a question of how long it would take.

This morning I arrived for my shift and it was already reversed.  My idea didn’t even live a day before it was killed!  Squashed like a bug before it even had a chance to breathe!  AAARGH!

It was funny, because I knew it would happen.  Yet, at the same time, I was angry and hurt.  I blamed my co-worker.  I wanted to point out how, regularly, I’d compliment her ideas, and even when I didn’t entirely appreciate her contribution, I wouldn’t consider invalidating her creativity by (how RUDE!) reversing her work!  Still, as a student of A Course in Miracles, I eventually opened my mind and asked to see the situation differently.

Since it was an ‘idea’ that I thought was rejected, I asked, is the idea MINE?  Do I POSSESS this thing called an ‘idea’?  Where did the idea come from?  Did I make it?  The idea came from inspiration… where does ‘inspiration’ come from?  Did I make that?

I had to laugh.  No, of course I don’t make inspiration.  God makes inspiration.  That’s why God is Cause and why I’m an effect.  I receive inspiration and act on it.  Is it up to me what happens after I act on an inspiration?  Does it matter if my co-worker dislikes it?  Is it up to me what the outcome is?  Do I know what God planned when the inspiration was given?  Do I think I’m ‘specially’ valued by God (the Authority) when an inspiration is bestowed upon me?  Do I think I’m devalued if a ‘special’ inspiration is bestowed upon someone else?

By invalidating my idea, I felt that my co-worker was invalidating ‘me’.  That I’m not welcome to participate in the store and that she doesn’t care about me.   Hmmm… this thought of “others not caring about me” has been a common theme lately, particularly when it’s an ‘authority’ (she’s an elder) who doesn’t seem to care.

If I want an authority figure to care, what I really want is for the ultimate Authority, God, to care.  And to SHOW me He cares.  How?  By treating me SPECIAL.  I want to be loved SPECIALLY.  Could an all loving God love anyone SPECIALLY?   My studies say that God loves all EQUALLY.   Yet my mind – being what the personal mind is, swinging always between extremes – thinks, “Well, if You won’t love me specially, then I must be totally unlovable.”

… and thus, I create a witness to my belief who will treat me carelessly (my co-worker).  So I can justify my unlovable belief and be RIGHT.  So I can make someone else the bad guy.  What?  Who me?  No, I didn’t think of myself as unlovable – it was HER!

The co-worker’s rejection of my idea, as a rejection of ‘me’, is much like how I’ve rejected my Self.  Specifically, the parts of my Self that I don’t like… like ideas I’ve had in the past that were BAD ideas.  Am I an idea?  How can I expect to be a whole, lovable being, if I’m constantly dividing myself into parts!?  This part’s good, and lovable, but this part’s bad, and unlovable.  Geesh!  Nuts!

Also, if I think others aren’t caring about me, am I caring about them?  Is one lovable, while another one isn’t?  Is one only lovable when they do something particular to show me they’re worthy of my appreciation?  By what standard do I judge that?

These are important questions.

Posted in Creative Expression | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Inspiration

Slippery, Slippery

Posted by Amanda Gray on March 14, 2012

This morning, I’m on crack.  Not literally.  I only use that phrase to describe a quality of feeling.  The ideas that came to me this morning are so out-of-the-box that they induce a feeling that’s sort-of like intoxication.  The revelations are so ephemeral, so “slippery”, that the mind can’t grasp them, and so it’s orientation becomes rather “spacey”.

I’m just going to write how it came to me, and you can make heads or tails of it as you like.

I began on page 312 of the Text of A Course in Miracles, The Holy Instant and Special Relationships.  It says:

The holy instant is the Holy Spirit’s most useful learning device for teaching you love’s meaning. For it’s purpose is to suspend judgement entirely. Judgement always rests on the past, for past experience is the basis on which you judge. Judgement becomes impossible without the past, for without it you do not understand anything. You would make no attempt to judge, because it would be quite apparent to you that you do not understand what anything means. You are afraid of this because you believe that without the ego, all would be chaos. Yet I assure you that without the ego, all would be love.

The past is the ego’s chief learning device, for it is in the past that you learned to define your own needs and acquired methods for meeting them on your own terms.

I saw this as the way in which I create boundaries.  For example, I’ll give another this much cake, but not that much cake.  Then, the lesson goes on to say:

Yet you had judged against yourself first, or you would never have imagined that you needed your brothers as they were not. Unless you had seen yourself without love, you could not have judged them so like you in lack.

Then, to the next section on page 314, The Holy Instant and the Laws of God:

You have so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you. And so you seek without for what you cannot find without.

And:

God is an idea.

And:

In the holy instant you recognize the idea of love in you, and unite this idea with the Mind that thought it, and could not relinquish it.

Then I began to write about my experience:

I judge the ego/body of myself, guilt arises, then I project the guilt and judge the ego/body of another. I’m believing that because I’m sometimes selfish or annoyed, etc., that it makes me weak or incomplete. That I somehow need to fix myself, or another. I’m believing that the presence of selfishness casts out the presence of perfect love/God. But what if these IDEAS can and do co-exist? It’s only my DECISION to make “selfishness” a “bad” thing and keep it separate from “love” which is a “good” thing. I’m creating these arbitrary boundaries because I think I know something about what’s good & bad, what’s ego & Self.  HA!

I can have an IDEA that I’m a person, separate from other people, and project that idea into physical form to give it some authority of reality. Yet, if “ideas leave not their source“, then the projection can’t be “real”. It just seems so, especially if I keep choosing that idea over another idea – perhaps this – that we’re all created by and out of LOVE, so that we’re not separate “people” at all.  And if that idea comes from God, then it hasn’t left its source and we’re all still IN God. If “God” and “me” and “you” are all, simply, IDEAS, then we’re all the SAME. There’s nothing to JUDGE between!

I create separation and boundaries by judging ideas. In improv theatre, it’s called “blocking.”  Improv becomes very difficult if someone rejects ideas offered by their team-mates.  The flow of the improv is interrupted and the audience feels disappointed when an idea isn’t followed through.  As I’ve personally experienced, it’s also internally disruptive and feels terribly awkward.  Back then, I didn’t understand what was going wrong.  In fact, I just blamed my team-mate for doing a bad job.

Here, now I also understand the Course lesson, “I do not know what anything, including this, means.”  It’s because when I use judgement to arbitrarily separate ideas into categories of “good” and “bad”,  accepting some and rejecting others, this only separates me from source.  If I see it, instead, that I don’t know what these ideas MEAN, then I don’t attempt to categorize, I can just accept them all.  Perfect love means perfect acceptance.  If I accept that perfect love is within me, even when I’m feeling greedy or arrogant or angry, then I can accept the truth in the moment, however it arises, and STILL welcome it with LOVE.  In myself, or in another.

The Course says, on page 316:

In the holy instant God is remembered, and the language of communication with all your brothers is remembered with Him. For communication is remembered together, as is truth. There is no exclusion in the holy instant because the past is gone, and with it goes the whole basis for exclusion. Without its source exclusion vanishes. And this permits your Source, and that of all your brothers, to replace it in your awareness. God and the power of God will take Their rightful place in you, and you will experience the full communication of ideas with ideas. Through your ability to do this you will learn what you must be, for you will begin to understand what your Creator is, and what His creation is along with Him.

Ok… too slippery.  Too much… have to stop thinking about it now.

________________________________________________________________

If you find this website helpful,
please donate.

Donate

Leap! Finale

Posted in Judgement & Acceptance | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Slippery, Slippery

From Dust to Dust

Posted by Amanda Gray on December 29, 2011

Recently, I met several men who suddenly, and without any provocation on my part, expressed an attraction to me.  I considered it extremely odd because they’d just met me.  We hadn’t even had an entire conversation.  They had looked at me for less than 30 seconds, and this, somehow, gave them a reason for attraction.  I couldn’t understand it.  What, exactly, were they attracted to?

At first, I thought, “Is this guy SEEING me at all?”  Is he blind to my fat tummy and my blemished skin?  What’s wrong with him?  What is he seeing that I don’t see?

Then, this morning, as I sat down with A Course in Miracles, the understanding arose.

I spent a great part of my life trying to discourage men from being physically attracted to me.  I never wanted men to see my body at all.   I wanted to hide my body from them.  This is exactly why I became fat, as a defence mechanism.  I’m saying, “Stay away from me.  I’m not attractive.  I’m ugly.  You don’t want this.”  Yet, why then, am I suddenly meeting men who are blatantly attracted to me in this way?  There must be something that I want to recognize from this experience.  Perhaps I DO want them to see my body.  Perhaps I DO want them to be attracted to my body.  Why do I want that – when I don’t THINK I want it?

It’s because I have BELIEVED that if they see my body, if they’re attracted to my body, and they embrace me and have sex with me, then I’ll be OK.  It will mean that I’m acceptable and worthy.  It will mean that I’m LOVED.  But I’ve been entirely mistaken.  Just as mistaken as these men are when they invite me to see them as a body.

As an alternative to getting men to approve of me through physical intimacy, I tried to learn to love myself, my body.  But today I realize that I can’t love my body, a body, any body.  A body is just DUST.  About the body, Jesus said, “From dust and to dust returneth.”  Mother Teresa called the body a “distressed disguise.”  A person doesn’t have to have leprosy to be in a “distressed disguise” – we are ALL in distressed disguises!  The body is distressed because we project all our hatred onto it.  We make it fat and stinky and deformed because we believe we have DEFILED ourselves.  We can’t accept the defilement, so we put it into something outside of ourselves, as if that way, we can separate it off and be free of it.  Yet, this is another mistake – an illusion.  We never defiled anything.  And the body isn’t REAL.  It’s a DISGUISE.  We gussie it up, flatter it and promote it, trying to make it into something meaningful – trying to get others to recognize the meaning we invest there – but it’s nothing.  It’s DUST.  Dust that simply disguises what we TRULY ARE.

We can’t LOVE the body, because somehow, deep inside, we know it’s a lie.  We keep trying, we keep pretending, because we don’t understand, or accept, the truth.  Two bodies bump up against each other in a strange act of pleasurable pain, and we think it’s the closest intimacy we can achieve together.  Yet, the bodies always part with feelings of sadness and disappointment.  We thought we could get what we wanted in that intimate act of bodies, but then… we didn’t.  We tried again, and again, but it always ended the same way.  We never got what we wanted.  Why?

It’s because SPIRIT is what we truly are – ONE spirit, without any separation into this body, or that body – and it’s this spirit that we LOVE.  The spirit is EASY to LOVE.  It’s really, really difficult to love a body.  We can accept a body, and even, perhaps, extend love to a body, but it can’t be what we truly, unconditionally, and without any reservation, LOVE. 

Spirit is what we really WANT.  That and ONLY that.

________________________________________________________________

If you find this website helpful,
please donate to support my work.

Donate

Leap! Finale

Posted in Sex & the Body | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on From Dust to Dust

A War Over Food

Posted by Amanda Gray on November 30, 2011

Last night, I was reading page 143 of the text of A Course in Miracles.  It said:

If God’s Will for you is complete peace and joy, unless you experience only this you must be refusing to acknowledge His Will.  […]  You cannot exempt yourself from His laws, although you can disobey them.  Yet if you do, and only if you do, you will feel lonely and helpless, because you are denying yourself everything.  […]  My will is His, and your decision to hear me is the decision to hear His Voice and abide in His Will.  […]  You must accept guidance from within.

I was reminded of an occasion a few years ago.  I was with my family at a Montana’s restaurant to celebrate a birthday.  I was enjoying a half rack of baby back ribs and was becoming full.  I lifted a rib from the plate, and as I considered whether I could handle another bite, a VERY clear voice in my head said, “No.”  My next thought was, “But, what happens if I do?”  Would I be struck down with a bolt of lightning?  It’s only a piece of meat and I’ve already eaten half of this rack, so what harm could there be?  I took another bite… and when nothing further happened, I finished the rib.  Huh.  Strange.  As I shortly tucked into some truly indulgent doughnuts for dessert, I put the incident out of my mind.

As I remembered it again, I realized that it was a case of ignoring guidance from within.  Yes, I can disobey.  It’s my decision to make.  I’m free to do so.  And, at the time, there appeared to be no negative consequences to it.  Yet, the invitation of guidance wasn’t extended to me again for a long time after that.  It was like a test.  Was I ready to follow higher wisdom yet?  No, apparently I wasn’t.  I was like Eve in the Garden.  My garden was Montana’s.  My apple was a luscious, meaty, sweet, baby back rib.  Oh, the temptation!  I realize today that when I choose against such direct and clear guidance, I also choose against my innocence.  The opposite of innocence is ‘knowledge’.  So I’m preferring to think that I know more than God knows.  Yet, it’s just a pretend kind of knowledge, an illusion of ego.

Just like every teenager begins to question authority as they begin to develop their egos, they also suddenly think they know everything.  They stretch the boundaries of right and wrong, good and bad.  “My Dad told me to do it this way, but what happens if I do it another way?  I can think of a hundred other ways to do it, so why shouldn’t I try something else?  Why is his way right, and my way wrong?”  And they quickly learn that they can do it another way and it usually works out fine.  Yet, there must be guilt in those decisions too.  We must choose to believe that the authority doesn’t have our best interests at heart, that they would guide us in a detrimental way.  We must create a division of right and wrong and vacillate as we attempt to decide which is which.  We must give up the innocence of our childhood.  And, as time goes on, we lose that childhood innocence more and more.  And, less and less, we trust the authorities around us.  And as we trust them less, we trust ourselves less.   And, if we’re really hard headed, like I have been, we keep trying to do everything by ourselves, to keep control of every detail, because we know how it should be done, and they don’t.  Ultimately, we trade innocence, freedom, peace, and joy for ‘knowledge’, guilt, indecision and anxiety.  Why would we continue to choose such pain, if the alternative is just to listen to and trust the authority of a greater wisdom?

What does it mean to “accept guidance from within”?  Well, today I understand that it’s not just some mental exercise of words, I have to actually be willing to DO what I’m told to do.  I have to trust the inner wisdom, even if my past experience tells me something different about it.  Do I want to keep repeating the past?  How far has that gotten me?

 

This morning, upon awakening, I started to consider some other food issues.  I realized that often, when my mom cooks food for me, I become bitchy and attack her.  I complain that she didn’t make the food I’d most prefer, or cook it the way I’d most like.  I can observe that I’m doing it, but, for some reason, I can’t seem to curb the negative habit.  This morning, I related the issue back to the time in my childhood when mom tried to switch me from baby food to solid food.  A battle of will ensued between us and she withheld the soft baby food, hoping that I would become hungry enough to eat the solid food.  I didn’t.  Eventually, I became malnourished and had to be hospitalized with a gastro-intestinal infection.  (I mentioned this in my last entry: I Am Content, I Am Tranquil.)

I saw the similarity between the two situations.  Just as my mom ‘withheld’ the food I preferred as a baby, I believe she’s ‘withholding’ the food I prefer now.  Even though I’ve tried to tell her what I like, she continues to make food to her own satisfaction, not to mine.  It’s become the same battle of wills.  As I become more frustrated, I become more bitchy.  And I’ve generated a gastritis condition in my stomach.  Yes, it’s the past repeating itself, exactly.

Then I realized that I’m not the only one complaining over the food.  My mom does it too.  If I cook for her, and she doesn’t give me step by step instructions for how she wants it, she complains about it in exactly the same way I complain about her food.  Often, if we go out to a new restaurant together, she’ll bitterly complaint about the food that’s offered.  I see her inner child come out, whining and crying, because the food is improperly cooked, or tastes bad.  And because she’s stuck in that childish state, she can’t make adult choices to reasonably address the situation – to send the food back, or whatever.  It also doesn’t escape notice, that she also has major stomach and digestion conditions.

Don’t get it twisted, this war is NOT over food.  No.  Food is only the symbol.  This war is over love.  For my mom, food has always been the way she’s expressed love to her family.  She’s been greatly blessed with a talent and joy of cooking that I acknowledge openly.  Yet, when I complain about her cooking, I’m telling her that I’m rejecting, directly, her gift of creation and, indirectly, her love.  I’m also confirming my own belief that I’m unworthy of her love.  If I allowed my mom the freedom to make whatever she choose to, and accepted her gift with total gratitude, we would both experience perfect peace and joy.  We would both be accepting God’s Will (what IS).  We make a mistake when we try to control one another.  We mistakenly put the importance on the FORM (food), instead of on the MEANING (love).  As we both make the error, we both need healing.

We suffered greatly over the food incident when I was a baby.  I don’t remember what I really felt at the time, of course, but I can safely assume that I felt rejected, unloved and abandoned.  My mom has told me that she felt guilt, regret and depression.  Why choose to repeat the past?  Why choose to continue to suffer?  No, it can end.  This morning I prayed and surrendered the error to the Holy Spirit and asked for a healing miracle.  Will I be healed alone?  No, of course not.  My mom will be healed as well.

My Course lesson today adds on page 145 and 146:

Freedom is the only gift you can offer to God’s Sons, being an acknowledgment of what they are and what He is.  Freedom is creation, because it is love.  […]  Your identification is with the Father AND with the Son.  It cannot be with One and not the Other.

My identification is with God AND the Son – the Son is Jesus, or holy guidance within, but ALSO as my holy mother.  I offer her freedom to create as she chooses and I accept her gift of love with gratitude.

________________________________________________________________

If you find this website helpful,
please donate to support my work.

Donate

A Course in Miracles - The Movie

Posted in Authority & Forgiveness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A War Over Food

 
%d bloggers like this: