Finding Freedom

March 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Photo By Angie Rubin

When I became an adult, somehow I bought into the illusion that if I worked really hard and I was a good person then success and happiness would follow.  I became such a devout to those ideas that I had every single second of my life accounted for.  As I work in the creative field – meaning less structure – I even came up with a way to count how many hours a day I actually spent working.  Of course, letting anything or anyone pull me away from my straight jacket schedule was not an option.

What I eventually found out is that in life 1+1 does not always equal 2.  Point is that someone who works less hours can actually do better than someone who works non-stop.  A person who follows a strict plan of action doesn’t necessarily achieve more than a person who goes with the flow.

Of course, I’m not saying kick up your heels and wait for life to land on your lap.  What I am saying is creating rigidity in life does not guarantee anything except choking.

Anyone over the age of twenty-five already knows from experience that we can’t control the outcome of anything.  So, really embracing the concept of being open to life’s flow should not be an issue. It should be a foregone conclusion.

Creativity needs space to thrive.  Excessive control kills it.  And not only that, it also kills opportunities.  When we live a regimented life we can’t see opportunities when they present themselves because we are too busy following our plan.

Basically, if we are not open to flow with life we fall out of synch.  Life becomes repetitive and we feel uninspired.

Friedrich Nietzsche said: “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” I’m sure he wasn’t referring to insanity or craziness.  What I believe the great philosopher was referring to was to a pliable heart and mind.

Change, growth, beauty, excitement and pleasure need “chaos”.  Filling up every second of our lives with work and keeping anything or anyone away who would interrupt us kills the “chaos”.

Once we understand we need to let go of this fictitious control then letting it happen can feel scary and unsettling at first.  It can make us feel as if we are out at sea holding on for dear life.  So we don’t have to let go all at once.  We can put one toe in the water and then another until both feet are in.  We breathe through the process and we constantly remind ourselves that we have everything we need to thrive; we have ourselves.  Strong, knowledgeable and confident in our own abilities to move to whatever rhythm life is playing.

My mother always says “we move in the dark”.  She’s right.  But, if we have a strong core we can move without bumping into things, enjoy the journey and go places we never thought even existed.

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Beyond Feelings Of Wrongdoing And Rightdoing

February 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

Photo by Angie Rubin

The great poet and theologian Rumi, said “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

That’s the gist of Anne Naylor’s post.  To find ourselves at an evolutionary point where feelings are neither good nor bad; they just are.

Having feelings and emotions is part of being human.  Being dominated and controlled by them is neurosis.  We cannot stop feeling and we cannot become different people.  But we can allow the emotions and thoughts to exist without bowing down to them.

If we don’t underline and hang on to the negative emotions we actually have the possibility to turn pain and discomfort into something more fulfilling.  Grief, the ultimately negative experience, if allowed to exist can teach us about empathy, compassion and letting go.

When I lost my husband I kept thinking that pain and loss could not be all that was left of him.  As I allowed my grief all the space it needed without clamming to it and berating myself, I found the wisdom of acceptance.

Loving acceptance of our vulnerability and insecurities bring us emotional freedom.  And with that compassion for others.

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Can We Be Emotionally Free?

By Anne Naylor

What would life be like without emotional burdens like anxiety, depression, guilt, rage, self-doubt and shame? What does it mean to be “emotionally free”? Is it possible? Is it even desirable?

Part of the tool kit with which we human beings are born are our emotions. They must serve a purpose, or we would not have them. So far, so obvious. What would life be like without love, passion, enthusiasm, joy, excitement, exuberance, compassion, empathy or frustration, anger, resentment, envy, jealousy, greed and fear? Positive emotions serve to move us forward and expand our horizons. Negative emotions can trap us in a miserable downward spiral of hopelessness and despair…Continued

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Getting Older = Getting Wiser

August 19, 2010 by  
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One of my favorite phrases these days is: “One of the good things about getting older is experience.”   I’m still learning – just as I did when I was a child and a teenager – but backing me up now is my life experience.  Today I know in my DNA, nothing stays the same.  Life is in constant transformation and if sometimes we feel we are cornered we will soon be proven wrong.

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Video Blog – 7

August 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Video

Learning from others and creating a community.  Learning to embrace different experiences without judgement.

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Moving Through Grief

May 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

When we lose a partner one of the things we also lose is a sense of belonging.  We go from being a team to being an individual.  Sometimes we can even feel disoriented like everyone else has a place to go to except us.  Or that the world is spinning fast and we can barely keep our balance.

This phase happens when we start stepping back into the world.  When we feel we would like to see what else is in the world for us.  This is a delicate time because being frightened can send us into a shell.

During this time it is important to realize 1 – Life as it was is over, and 2 – We have decided to fully experience life again.

Don’t worry about not remembering our loved ones that are no longer here.  We will always remember.  We will always love.  And we will always miss.  But all in a different way.  All giving space to love again.  Because that is what life is: love, resilience, wisdom, experience.

So when you feel off balance take a deep breath and stop thinking.  Go back within and tell yourself you are okay.  Tell yourself one step at a time.

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Self-Esteem, A Serious Business

May 16, 2010 by  
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4295397307_51942ab407So much of our angst comes from low self-esteem.   Envy, depression, self-hatred are some of its by products.

The reasons for low self esteem are many and at a certain point they don’t matter anymore.  What matters is to recognize the issue, understand how it affects our lives and change.

In my case my low self esteem came from the “shoulds” I accepted as the measurements of my worth.  By the age of 20 I should have accomplished XYZ, by the age of 30 another XYZ, you get the idea.  Where the shoulds had come from didn’t matter to me.  What mattered is they were making me feel less then – because I had not accomplished the XYZs – and envious of others who I thought had achieved their “shoulds”.

What I had forgotten is that each life is unique.  I had also set up “shoulds” that did not take in consideration a life I had chosen to pursue which was about creativity and self- questioning.  I hadn’t realized I had taken a set of societal values – which were often not in harmony with my own – to be mine.

The self badgering and the constant inner talk of low self esteem make living a hard experience.  When I came to that point I knew I had to find ways to change.  I knew I had to make the voyage inwards to understand who I really was so I could honor my individuality.

In my quest I have learned some truths that I want to share:

There are no two people alike.  None of us have had the same experiences and therefore have the same way to see and process the world.  So how can we possibly compare ourselves to anybody else?

The commitment we have in life is to ourselves.  To give our emotional, intellectual and spiritual self the support needed to experience and grow.

It doesn’t matter what others think of us.  They don’t know and we don’t have the obligation or the time to explain to each person why we want to have specific experiences in life.

There is no right or wrong way of living. I’m not talking about criminal activities which obviously have a right and a wrong, but I’m talking about our own individualities and quirks.

Learning to appreciate our uniqueness is a process of self-discovery which results in freedom.  It is a journey well worth taken.  I know from experience.

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Let Go Of The Anger

April 22, 2010 by  
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heartsMost of us have had difficult experiences in our lives and the older we get the higher are the probabilities of us having traumatic experiences.

I’m an “early bloomer” and so I’ve already had a few of both.   Some remembrances bring back pain and some bring back anger.   I’m now particularly thinking about the ones that bring back anger.  These are usually situations where we have been taken advantage of or didn’t make the right decision and ended up paying a high price.   Whatever the reasons were that ended up leaving us with an anger memory, the reality is; it is the past.  No matter what we do today it will not change what has already happened.

When we feel the anger come up the best thing to do is to remember we were different people at the time the event happened.  We had a different set of thoughts and skills than the ones we have today.  Whatever judgments we make today; “how could I have been so stupid?”  “why didn’t I do this or that?” are not fair to ourselves.  We were different people.

The next thing to remember is whatever happened is part of who we are today.  So being a person that today can recognize situations that shouldn’t have happened is a direct result of the things that shouldn’t have happened.

Lastly, remember that life is about learning and experiencing.  Putting too much anger onto things that can’t change keeps us stuck.  So the best thing is to let go of the anger and keep on living and learning.

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