Monday, 2 May 2016

In Order to Release ... You Must First Let Go!

I suppose there could be at least as many ways to "change a life" as there are people to conceive how they might go about doing it. "It was once said that you never cross the same river twice." From this we can glean that change is constant. I believe in the course of seven years time, all of the billions of cells that make up our physical being have been replaced. So despite the illusion of stasis everything is in a state of flux.

The Buddhists can certainly speak more comprehensively about "impermanence" and "attachment" than I can. Even still I am going focus this post around the idea of change, unless of course I "change my mind" mid-stream.

Change can occur through such events as divorce, or a career move,  a geographical relocation, passing over of friends/family, an accident or an illness/disease. Some of the a fore mentioned can bring about a significant adjustment/integration period. In other cases, a cycle of grief might be evoked.

There are changes that are consciously initiated and those that come upon us unexpectedly. Even in the case of the planned changes, there can be expected unknown ways in which this choice will be impactful, which simply couldn't be apparent until after the implementation.

Simultaneously one can experience excitement and anticipation of the "new" while continuing to miss the "old." Holding on too tightly to the past can compromise the experience of the present, even impeding the flow of new opportunity; somewhat like building a dam across the river.

Change can be brought about at the level of the material, could involve a change of thinking or attitude; as well, as at the emotional/spiritual level. Of course these different levels might more closely resemble a weave than a stack of building blocks; so a change at any "level" can certainly impact other or all levels.

It would be an exhaustive (ing) exercise to try and delineate all the changes I have gone through (even in the last couple years); beyond that, I'm not sure it would make the most riveting reading. Keeping this in mind, I will just look at a few recent examples.

I have felt guided and inspired to simplify my life; means to that end have been unfolding over the last eight years or so. (ever since I got on my own again after a divorce). There have been vast fluctuations in income over this period of time. During what developed into an all time low in terms of cash flow, it seemed to me only natural to hone such focus as "prioritizing"and  "back to basics." Simplification was the natural spawn of this turn of events. I'm not sure I would have chosen this circumstance by "design" however it was certainly effective, demanding immediate attention. There was no room for waffling.

It was over this period of time that I came to realize many "things" that I might have previously been thoroughly convinced were "necessities," simply were not. So much in the stew of consciousness at any given time, I would be hard-pressed to identify what if anything, I experienced as various things dropped away. It seems to me that for the most part, I was more focused on what was presently the reality than, what had been. Whole paradigms of mindsets can be shaken up or melted down as the winds of change blow through a life. I would do well to remember that I am frequently putting visions, prayers and invocations out; therefore instead of presuming they are falling on "deaf ears" or going unanswered, I can remind myself that the "letting go" process may extend far beyond what I believe to be "redundant." So then, a release of expectation regarding how my prayers are answered can readily shorten periods of angst.

It might sound obvious however it has been part of my education; at any given income level it can be "stretched" much further if I'm not constantly spending money on stuff I don't need. A "small income" can seem like considerably more, if consuming is adjusted. In this regard I can attest "less is more." I'm not advocating depravation or scarcity or that a low income is more "virtuous" than a high one. I am saying, that even a higher income would seem exponentially greater if my expectation of what is "necessary" remains simple.  Taking care of what I have, can help ensure I'm not always needing to replace things prematurely (though this can still be challenging as so much these days is not created to last).

I am still integrating a recent experience of having fasted for six consecutive days. The volume of food I consume has definitely decreased. Significant money can disappear eating out frequently and even when I have had a meal out lately; I may then have little or nothing once I get home. I am also getting more familiarized with checking in, to distinguish when I am actually "hungry," from when the body is "speaking;" and my go-to habituated pattern is to bombard it with food. I'm not here to tell anyone you "should or shouldn't" do this - I do know now for me, it is not necessary.

I recently acted on something I have been considering for sometime now. I loaded up my "entertainment centre" and hauled it off to the thrift store. The first thing I realized was, you can walk down the sidewalk adjacent to a main city thoroughfare with a hand-dolly loaded with a cabinet and then a flat-screen t.v. and dvd player in the middle of the day and no one bats an eye. I haven't had "cable" for years so largely when people are discussing the latest programming phenomenon I have no idea what they are talking about. However, through acquiring "Netflix" I soon discovered I was able to avail myself of "series," past and more recent; and "binge" watch them (no commercials - no waiting until next week for the next episode. What an abyss that creates for me! It doesn't serve my higher good in any way, shape or form (never mind anything beyond me). Someone pointed out to me that even though the service is commercial-free one is getting blitzed with all sorts of imagery on screen "fashion" electronic devices, food and beverage I don't think overall, I was influenced to purchase additional stuff; however, I seemed to invariably want to eat while I watched (even if I had already had a meal before settling in). So perhaps some form of lack was being triggered in me while I viewed and in lieu of "retail therapy," food was a conditioned answer to the call.  It was great to recoup a little space in my living area - most definitely there are "many more hours" now in the day. I also know that should the opportunity arise to see a movie with someone or I go on my own occasionally-it will once again be a "novelty" and I will far more greatly appreciate it as such. I always have the option of getting a dvd from the library from time to time and watching it on my lap top.  Again, it will be a novelty and it will have to be a conscious choice because it will entail going to the library and factoring in if I take the movie out, at some point I'm going to need to return it (for me sometimes) that is enough to have me realize that the energy expended is not worth the return.

Another change that I have decidedly implemented was declaring that I will be in Belfast this September (2016). Straight away, this is a different approach because I frequently employ the "strategy" that if all conditions align to go, then "maybe" I will etc. (it never bloody works!) At least I can say I know there to be no power in that, one of my "old ways." I need and want the experience of standing in it and seeing how things align around making it happen. This feels outside my comfort zone; which in no way means it's ill-advised.  What if, nothing but going there is the only option? That considerably raises the stakes with regard to what it is going to take from me. At the same time - it's "for me." Am I not worth a steadfast commitment? I frankly hope it vastly impacts more than me, however at present, I need to treat it as though, in going I have everything to gain and that "it"(I) matters immensely. It already feels - very different to me. I'll save what the North of Ireland represents to me for another post. For the moment, the vision represents, what would it look and feel like, to focus my energies on a particular vision (not allowing or at least becoming more aware of, the ways in which and what do I "make more important" when I set out to do something) and even if some creep in, how can I navigate this and still reach my objective?

What if yes to me, my vision and by extension, decisions that will continue to support the realization of the vision are what really matters here? Not revelatory ideas in themselves but I can already feel how they can create a revolution/evolution in my world. There is far more that I don't know about with regard to this coming into being - but I can only say the excitement for me seems to merit the commitment. I want to be able to say "I gave everything I have to make this occur." That in itself conjures "risk" but I have experienced enough examples of "life happening outside the comfort zone" that this must be given the green-light! Logic and reason are not in themselves "the enemy" except when they are! I need to embrace the "critic," "the saboteur" the "doubting Thomas" even the "victim," give them all a seat on the bus; invite their various attributes along, while at the same time make it very clear - none of you are driving the bus!

The most recent release was this morning - I got a late call for a shift at one of the places I work. I accepted it and set out to figure out how I was going to get there "on time." Not knowing when a bus might arrive, I reasoned I could probably get there closer to the intended start time, if I used the time to walk rather than wait for the bus. As I got out the front door of my condo building down the block was a bus coming. I dashed for the bus stop at the next stop - the bus had to wait for others to load so I got there in time to board as well. As the bus pulled away I simultaneous realized I will be "on time" and my iPod earbuds were dangling in space with nothing on the end. I slapped my pocket that previous held my iPod - GONE! Shit! Do I jump off at the next stop, run back and retrieve it? No, I decided - I'll be late!
"Let it go!"
 "Let it go!!!? Say what?
"Let it go!"
"But it cost....."
"Let it go!"
"Don't I get some say in what I release and when?"
"Let it go!" (and no, not necessarily)
Ok, I can do this (imagine how excited someone's going to be when the score themselves a free iPod - I've certainly been "gifted" many things in my life and at best this is a "first world problem.")

I got to work on time, on an even keel and then a little bit of "making me wrong" thoughts began to creep in!

Well clearly I don't want to be carrying things of that sort in that pocket again!
When I replace that not put it in that pocket ever again!
"Let it go!" (and the trash talk)

Busy morning, no time to dwell on what had occurred.

Then a coffee break - seems I needed to share the story (and "now I'm working for free given the "cost" of my loss") cue the violins.

The "reflections" from a co-worker "you SHOULD have just come in late, we knew you were coming!"

Hmm.. (to myself) well now, I can feel my resolve to follow my guidance quivering a little. I could put some music on my phone...... Ah but not nearly enough room and then there'd be no storage left for anything else.
"Let it go!"
I could go back on my lunch break and see if maybe it fell some unseen?
"Let it go!" (you could, if it will make you happy)

I started to walk back, again believing I could cover more ground in the time I had, than waiting for a bus. I got to the next stop up the block and others were waiting. A quick check had one reply there was a bus in five minutes. Got the bus, got back to the block between my front door and the stop I ran to - no sign of it anywhere. (not surprising as I then saw there would be virtually no where it could fall and remain unseen by the next person that walked by).

I sat at the bus stop satisfied that at least I tried and then began to "google search" whether the same device was available anymore. Turns out they don't retail them any more but they can still be obtained new and used from various sources.  Everything that is available now at retail outlets are actually far smaller in terms of storage capacity and/or have a number of features that duplicate those on my phone (well less storage is lame - my "collection" won't even fit). When I looked around the web at the ranges in prices for new or used equivalent units (or some with even more storage) I then began the mental gymnastics with the prices. Interestingly I couldn't whole heartedly embrace even the lowest price (which wasn't all that low after exchange rates, shipping and who know's maybe "duty" tacked on by customs).

"Well I could........"
"Let it go!"
The new prices are out of the question...... used..... well I could .... but how long is it going to last?
"Let it go!"

Oh ya I have my decision making - divination coin!
Should I buy this model?
Right, too expensive!
Ok, how about this used one?
Should I replace it at all?
Hmm.. maybe a different line of questioning
Do I need to listen more?
Right... listen more and not necessarily to an iPod?
"Let it go."
"Let it go!"

I seem to be getting from this experience a deeping of a previous recognition:
1) I don't have all the answers.
2) I don't need all the answers.
3) I need to continue to learn how to ask better questions.

Did I not say I need the experience of committing to a vision and allowing things to align in support of this vision?

I would say, it has begun!
For all I know, my ancestors (whom I suspect have planted the seed of my journey to Belfast) plucked the iPod right out of my pocket - my life is changing and I think I'm in for quite the ride!

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