March 28, 2011
Lie detectors and beyond
I was reflecting on the fact that the lie detector doesn't detect lies.
The lie detector detects only the participant's belief that they are lying.
What is being measured is not what is said; but the participant's relationship to what they are saying.
Of course our personlaity lies to us all the time, and it doesn't register on the lie detector.
Why not? We are simply too insecure to permit such detection.
Given our immature and dependent relationship with our personality - like parent/child in a way - we take the lie at face value, collude with it.
'Yep, that sounds like the truth. Must be.'
This is why it is helpful when we are kind to ourselves; and allow ourselves to be as we are, without judgement.
Gradually in this spring-like climate, something new is allowed to grow in us, a person rather than a personlaity; and in this climate, the lies appear increasingly obvious and laughable.
Our former relationship with the lie is now changed. It moves from being a life-shaper to a bit of a joke.
And all this occurs when we are kind to ourselves, and stop running from our pain.
No need...no need.
March 26, 2011
If feeling a bit battered or hostile, we could liken our state of mind to a lump of coal; and liken clear awareness to a diamond.
And this is much much better than it sounds.
For despite the appearance of great contrast, there is really no difference: coal and diamond are merely different arrangements of the identical molecules in carbon.
A diamond is coal transformed; so nothing is set in stone.
Certainly not you, and certainly not today.
March 20, 2011
Lost but arty
And as a P.S. to my last blog, one grand pay-off for getting lost is that you go somewhere you've never been before.
My discovery on this occasion was Rembrandt Gardens by the canal in Little Venice.
In 1975, it was apprently given 5,000 tulips and 500 hyacinths to mark the 700th anniversary of the foundation of the City of Amsterdam.
And the gardens were duly renamed Rembrandt Gardens.
Stumbling on new things is perhaps the best part of getting lost...the best part of leaving our normal and familiar rat-run...
What direction King's Cross?
I had set off for a good walk across London, to meet a friend for a meal.
On my way, I got momentarily lost in a part of the city I didn't know.
I asked three people the way to King's Cross from there. I said 'Just point me in the right direction.'
But no one wanted to do that.
They were concerned only to tell me how far away I was from my destination. 'You're miles away from King's Cross.'
This was neither a help to me, nor of any interest.
It's never about distance, and always about direction. When that's good, everything else takes care of itself.
Indeed, you're already there.
March 14, 2011
Different points of view
We must never assume someone has got the point.
Or rather, our point may not be theirs; that's nearer the mark.
Walking in Church Street the other day, I saw a boy run up to a middle-aged woman who he seemed familiar with.
'So who's died?' he asked.
'Well, you were at the funeral.'
'I know,' he said.
'How can anyone go to a funeral and not know who's died?' she queried.
'I wasn't really looking,' he said.
March 13, 2011
Some experiences in life burst through and strip away our carefully constructed defences. They cause a dying to what before, was an expectation of how things are and what will be.
With the strength of a tsunami they wash away everything that was normal and known.
They leave you feeling like you have survived something that should have killed you, but without any elation or adrenaline rush that actually accompanies such a survival.
Instead they leave you in an unknown land, stripped of resources, weak and vulnerable and at the whim of emotions one hundred times more poweful than anything you have ever experienced before.
Anger, Fear, Hopelessness, Sadness, take control and shake your very substance.
You are not in control and any one of these feelings can take over and escape at any time.
The strength of these feelings leave you feeling exhausted and yet you grip on to them because the alternative is letting go, but if you let go, you slip into the unknown dark place.
The feelings batter you and leave you bruised and bleeding again and again, yet you still hang on because they are at least a little bit familiar.
Awful and debilitating but familiar and the dark place, well that is scary and completely unknown.
You are on the edge of life as you know it, gripping on desperately by your fingertips.
And suddenly you realize you do have a choice.
You can struggle back up knowing that these feelings will always be in control, choosing, leading, while you run behind and play catch up.
Or you can let go and fall into........
The dark place, the unknown, the abyss.
But what if I were to tell you that the unknown place will catch and hold you.
Like a welcoming womb it will provide a nurturing place where you can rest and recover.
Where you can take all the time you need to heal.
In this place the mad head thoughts, the busyness and the wrecking emotions melt away, because this place does not follow any known rules.
Here you melt and merge and no longer need to define yourself by what you feel, think or do.
And guess what, it is ok.
Actually it is more than ok.
It is Freedom and a new way of living emerges and gradually you realize that you are able to go back and live in the world, but you no longer choose to be part of the madness.
You are able to walk alone and the things that used to matter and control you, have lost their power.
Alone but not lonely, you discover there are others like you, you are drawn towards them and they help you and you help them.
But when you part you are joyful to be and when you meet up you are joyful to be.
And it's not that you have stopped caring, for you still care deeply and occasionally it still hurts when something you care about does not work out.
But there is not that intense feeling of life being unfair and against you, for deep down you know that life is always for you, flowing through you and you are part of it.
Part of the whole.
Of course you will have weak days, but these do not last and you can always go back into the deep dark unknown, because it is your healing and your friend.
I tell you these things because they are my experience.
Will they be yours?
If you have had enough of being at the beck and call of your thoughts and emotions and dare to let go.
Then I truly believe they will be.
March 09, 2011
Visit to the hospice
Today in a professional capacity, I visited a children's hospice. It is a place where children with critical illnesses can go for respite with their families. It can also be a place for a child to go in their last days of life. For all the many types of illness, it is a place where both parent and child can be looked after.
As I was being shown around by a staff member, it became apparent that the hospice was a beautiful space and very well looked after by the staff. As a nurse spoke of some of her experiences there, she said that people had told her often 'you must be hard to work there'.
At the time I said that I actually thought the opposite.
For those who have hardened and take a cold approach to emotion, I imagine this would be a very difficult place to work. The reason I say this is that something apparent as I walked round was that emotion, positive and negative, flowed through the building and through the staff. The staff seemed to accept the emotions (not taking them personally) and allowed the child and parent to just be. There was very much a holding presence here.
Suprisingly, as I sat in the chapel with the sun streaming through, I also felt held by the feeling in the building. My pain was accepted and I was held.
I have lived above a shop for over six years now. They sell beds and furniture and are always having a sale.
There's been no day since I've been here when they have not had 'Sale' banners plastered across their ample frontage.
Sometimes they heighten the excitement. They don't just have a sale - which struggles now to get noticed - but they have 'Everything must go' sales. Suddenly you feel you must buy a settee or something. Perhaps a hideous wardrobe.
Then last year they had a 'flood sale' though I don't remember any floods affecting the shop or the area. It gained our attention once again - though the deals offered looked largely the same.
And now, with even larger banners on display, really enormous, they have a 'Closing down' sale, which is rather sad. Or I thought it was sad.
But when I dropped in to commiserate with the manager, he told me they weren't actually closing down - they were just refurbishing.
I feel we're happier when we're not making things up, but allowing ourselves to be who we are. Our ridiculous claims exhaust us and others.
March 08, 2011
Loving what we do
Some advice: never lead a retreat. Those on the retreat may hold you to what you say.
I was writing recently about juggling things in my life, and someone who was on the Beautiful Life retreat last November responded.
She said she hoped I was obeying my own teaching and only juggling the things I loved. And it was a very timely word, especially as it was delivered so kindly, for kindness is perhaps the best medicine of all.
It does seem important that I love what I do. This may come easily sometimes; and on other occasions may seem a bit of a struggle.
It's an invitation to fall in love with the path we are given; and if we are not yet substantial enough people to do that, then perhaps we leave the path until we are.
If we are not in love with what we are given to do, we will not be happy - and may punish others randomly along the way.
So I'm thinking about loving what I do, and feeling a better spirit in me already.
And on that note, here's some advice: do lead a retreat. For those you lead will look after you thereafter. Thank you.
March 01, 2011
No product placement here
As you're probably aware, as from yesterday, we're now seeing product placement on commercial TV.
What we've become familiar with in Bond movies, will now be standard on TV. So expect named trainers appearing, a new beer on tap at the Rover's Return in Coronation Street or Simon Cowell in a Gap T-shirt..
But rest assured there'll be no product placement on this blog site. What a complete waste of time!
Unlike reading 'The Journey Home'...