Self-Healing, part 1

The long June day still allowed for several hours of hiking before dark, and while not time enough to hike to anywhere significant, time walking through the wilderness is fine, very peaceful, very centering, as my racing thoughts begin to slow.  Not unexpectedly for such a long hike when I haven’t been doing it for a while, about four hours in my body started letting me know.  I had been thinking about yesterday’s client, a young woman with cervical cancer, who said she “felt a heaviness lifting out” of her midsection.  A hopeful sign.

My nagging muscles complained more loudly.  Still a few hours of hiking to go.  I thought about the time I worked on Doug.  He had snowmobiled into his camp for the weekend, 15 miles into the Adirondack wilderness (different spot than where I was—his is all private land), as there’s no road going in that far.  Trouble was, it was very late winter, and the snow was both deep and soft.  On his return to the main road, the snowmobile kept sinking into the snow every 20-30 feet, and Doug had to get off, hoist the snowmobile back, to travel another 20-30 feet—for 15 miles.  Quite a workout.

“I thought somebody was going to have to help me out of my truck,” he said about the moment he finally arrived home.  He could barely move.  But we had already set up a short series of healing/reconnection sessions to help him as he quit smoking, and he showed up for his session.  Tired, moving slowly, but there.   The next morning, he told me later, “I slept like a baby all night, and at 6:00, got up and felt terrific—not sore or stiff anywhere!”  It was a story he repeated a few times to others (who became clients shortly thereafter).  I thought about this as I felt my own pain and stiffness grow.

I had just grabbed a shoulder bag, not a backpack, and even alternating sides, my shoulders and sides were feeling the strain.  My legs were tired, and my feet hurt—not helped by the decision to wear flat canvas boat shoes instead of supporting hiking footwear.  I had also been thinking about how reluctant people are to go for healing help, even when they’ve already experienced the benefits.  They’re often hesitant to visit doctors, too, of course. We are all ego-driven creatures, and we like to do things ourselves.

“Self-healing it is,” I thought.  I focused on the healing frequencies as I walked, letting my back and shoulder pain slip away.  Yes!   I let it sink into my legs, and again, bit by bit, the pain and fatigue left them, even as I continued hiking.  My feet were a greater challenge;  I slipped into a gentle jog to use different muscle groups, and the pain subsided, not gone, but substantially reduced.  Normally, once back to the car, the stiffness would set in, and the soreness greater the next day and especially the day after.  But that’s just a belief!  What if we didn’t buy into that?  What if we believed in healing instead, in the inherent wholeness of our beings, in the sustaining matrix of light that we truly are?

With at least 90 minutes left to the hike, I changed muscle groups by breaking into an easy run.   I had plenty of energy.  My dog, a husky, certainly didn’t mind a better pace.  I let the energy circulate.  I reminded myself I’m a structure of light, infinite, and let myself ride that energy.  We picked it up to a faster run as we traversed the swamp, to avoid feeding the swarms of deer flies.  But I felt great, and even the pain in my feet lessened with each step, if not vanishing.

View from Mt. Marcy summit — a dawn to past dark hike.

We so seldom listen to our bodies.  We think we’re just our head, forced to let the damn body tag along.  We can learn a lot from listening.  I heard an interview recently with a man who had won a marathon for running backwards.  “It strengths the calves and the back,” he said, extolling its virtues.  One day on a forest walk shortly afterward, my back sore from gardening, I tried it—and the pain vanished instantly.  I walked forward again—and the pain returned.  That puzzled me.  After a little back and forth experimentation, I realized my legs were supporting me better when walking backwards.  By letting my feet stay on the ground just a little longer, stretching back just a little more before stepping forward, I could duplicate the effect walking forward.  That easy.  Instant healing.  Simple body mechanics.

But we don’t believe  it’s that easy, or even possible.   We believe in illness and disease.  We believe  life is a struggle.   We believe  we can’t always have what we want.  It’s not true.  It’s simply a belief.  If there’s anything to be healed, above all other things, it’s this—our completely mistaken belief, the one created by ego and fear, the one manifesting limitations that simply don’t exist and that are not at all part of the natural world.  We made them up.

Back at the car, reluctant dog settled back on the back seat (where she promptly went to sleep), I took off my shoes and stretched my feet.  Normally, here’s how this works—back in the car, no longer moving, muscles start to cramp up, stiffness starts to set in, and by the time I’m back home, moving is difficult, followed by soreness the next day that gets worse the day after, then rapidly healing from day three.  Today, though, I did something different.  I refused to accept the lie.  I had just healed all my other back and leg muscles.   My feet would be fine.  A little more stretching—done.  I was healthy, not cramping up.   Period.

And that’s what happened.  Next morning, I could tell I’d been hiking, but none of the usual stiffness.   My feet were fine.   Later in the day, I had some mild stiffness in my hips (that’s a spot I didn’t think to heal the day before), but that was easily healed the same way I healed my back and legs.

Two weeks later, I again went hiking in the Adirondacks, a full day of it, as I was looking to clear my head, and I find that takes at least six hours of wilderness hiking before things that were confusing abruptly become simple and clear.   Plus it was a beautiful day.

This time, though, I didn’t wait to get sore before I tried self-healing again—I applied what I’d learned from the last time right from the start.   We are light.  Everything is energy and frequency and vibration—Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein, among others, told us that a century ago.  Don’t accept the soreness, Tim.  Light, frequency, vibration.

And it worked!  No back pain, no leg pain, at all, during the entire day.  My feet got off to a better start, as I was wearing better shoes this time, but my toes, the balls of my feet, and a little of the sides of my feet eventually complained about the day long confinement and friction against the leather.  “I’ll have blisters in the morning,” I thought, but then immediately, “No, don’t embrace that assumption.  I’ll be fine.”  I concentrated on the healing, and walked on.  I also felt connected, ending the day with a strong sense of everything being lines and light energy.

In the morning, after a long and peaceful sleep, I rose and felt absolutely fine.  I could tell I’d been hiking, but with no stiffness anywhere, just a nice stretchy feeling of lines throughout my body, top to bottom, with no sore bunches anywhere.   Nor did my feet have any blisters—but I did feel an intense heat in the spots where I’d normally have had blisters.   If I focused on expanding the energy in my feet, I discovered, they would cool and the pain vanish.  A few concentrated tries with this, and I was fine.   At the end of the day, I had a mild soreness in these spots, but no pain and no blisters.

All healing is letting go.  It would happen much more quickly if we did.

 

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!

 

Chrysalis

So much of what occupies our days and thoughts are simply outer things passing by.  Time hiking in the wilderness allows what you’d think should be obvious to us to become gradually apparent.  What’s left is the inner—and ironically, most of us have very little idea what lies inside us.

I’ve been blessed from time to time with seeing the true innermost being of people close to me.  As a healer, I see people’s highest selves when working in their energy.  It’s very humbling.  I used to think that it’s a pity people don’t show others their higher selves…then it occurred to me to wonder this about myself.   Did I know my own energy?  My highest self?  That beautiful vision inside I’d seen of others?  And do I show that to others?  I realized I had work to do.

A mentor once explained overcoming character defects as a process of removing layers of debris so that the better qualities could grow up through.  I love that.  It speaks to a life not of self-criticism, but of constant growth and discovery.  It’s a transcendence.  It’s also not a “doing,” but an allowing.  We worry so much typically about what’s the right thing to do, or are we attracting the right things, or why aren’t we attracting what we’d like.

In the quiet and calm space of a wilderness hike, I can start to focus instead on being.  Not whether I’m doing the right things, or being attractive, or manifesting the right dreams, but simply what I am.  Seeing the inner beauty that I’ve seen in others.  Letting that light speak for itself.  Allowing what is to grow and flourish.  When I do, it feels like a continual cocoon, with the outer layers falling away, the inner light growing and expanding.

What happens becomes immaterial—it’s the outer debris falling away.  I remember to look to the divine—the source of that inner light and growth.  This is how the natural world grows, yes?  Gradually, continually, shedding the outdated, growing outward from within.  Not striving, not worrying, unconcerned, just being.  And in so doing, ever expanding and renewing.

Once in that space, however, it’s hard to imagine how we could ever get away from this.  How did we get so far from our own nature?  That’s the power of mind.  And if it can bring us so far separate from what we truly are, imagine what it could do if used positively instead.

I’ve heard it said that the five closest people to us are who we are becoming.  I think that’s true of where we hang out as well.  Sometimes we just outgrow where we used to feel comfortable—not necessarily as a negative rejection, but rather simply as no longer a fit.  I think the wilderness serves this purpose as well.  By hanging out in that purer, clearer, unclouded mirror, we gradually begin to clear as well.

When we do, our true inner selves can shine.

Growth springs from within, though we often look for it from without.

 

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!

 

We learn in relationships

When you take your confusions to the wilderness, among those are going to be relationship issues.

Ever hear of the Johari Window?   Imagine a quadrant.  The first row is things you can see (i.e., recognize), and the second is things you cannot see (recognize).  The first column is things your partner can see/recognize;  the last column is things your partner cannot see/recognize.

So there’s an area where you are both on the same page.  There’s also an area where both of you are clueless.  And there’s an area where you see what your partner doesn’t, and another where your partner sees what you don’t.

That’s the first problem–and the first need–with relationships and learning.  We think we’re on top of it, but we’re largely clueless, and much of what we think we know is not only mistaken, but also arrogant to pretend we could know it at all.   Our individual vision is limited.

But the strength of a healthy relationship, one with trust and communication, is that second pair of eyes, that second mind, bringing extra information and perspectives from different vantage points than any person can ever have alone.  “I know and you don’t” is simply always wrong–at the very least, an incomplete and hence flawed picture of reality.

To get to that communication, that trust, that free flow of knowledge and perspective–we need to let go of ego.   You simply cannot stand reasonably above or ahead or in place of another person–you must stand side by side.  And isn’t that what you wanted from the relationship?  If you can’t do it, learn to do it.  No relationship can happen without it in any real and lasting terms.   If this is not a person you can or choose to do this with, that’s fine, find another.  But take responsibility–personal responsibility–for the change and the reason for it.  Otherwise, you’ll just repeat the same patterns with new people.

The second way we learn (and the second problem) is through growing with another person.

We don’t really grow by ourselves.  Yes, we can work on ourselves, and that’s beneficial, but we are always going to grow in our own image by ourselves.  To some extent, that’s helpful, because we can follow our own vision without distortion.  But very, very few people ever actually do that.  Fears, excuses, time constraints, justifications, all very human, all very common, chip away at most people’s dreams and visions.   Day to day redundancy thrives instead.   But a second person shakes out of those self-made ruts, those worn paths we follow not by inspired choice but by established habit.  Do follow those dreams, but the interaction with others keeps you from creating a pretty fiction for yourself.

We tell ourselves all kinds of things that don’t really hold up to careful scrutiny.  The mere presence of other people quickly shakes that foundation.  And while that can happen negatively, as in “the turkeys are dragging you down,” it also wakes you up to mediocrity, error, and self-delusion in ways that can clarify your thinking and direction and purpose, leaving you better able to follow your dreams.   Now, in a relationship–this is, I would hope, by definition a person you see as a positive influence in your life, not a dull anchor, so assuming you chose someone positive in the first place, let that person in.

Lots of people tell themselves they do just fine by themselves.   I’ve said that myself, more than once.  But those periods of retreat are periods of abstinence from growth.  Isolation is helpful for a time, but a detriment long term.  It is easy to be a holy man on a mountain.  Only when we can take who we’ve realized and share do we really move beyond where we are stuck.  We don’t live as well alone as we think…we just live as we are telling ourselves, and support the myth.

We are meant to be together.  Our physical selves are made not only to fit, but also for that union to be pleasurable, with hormones driving us to the pairing.  But our emotional selves also are driven to come together–the stereotypes of strong and nurturing are simplistic, but underscore that we recognize a dynamic here.  The same applies to our mental approaches;  again from the stereotypes of single-focused and broadly-focused to a more complex reality, we recognize a dynamic here as well.  Male and female energy differs as well, and even flows differently.  Between two people tuned to each other, an amazing cycle of energy flows naturally, each increasing the energy in the other, she increasing his masculine energy level, he increasing her feminine energy level, higher and higher, a beautiful synergy building taking each far beyond any level either will reach alone.  And we’ve all felt this, at least at times.

It’s so perfect.  So why do we have so much trouble with this?   We even institutionalize those problems in our culture, assuring ourselves they are real.  They aren’t.  They really, really, aren’t.

Image

While life might seem grand from the heights of 5114′, the reality can be barren and bland.

Maybe we all just need to get away to the wilderness for a while and re-find our natures.  Or at least calm down and stop creating problems where there are none.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships

The series continues through Oct. 31.

Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness

Well.  You spend a lot of time hiking in the wilderness, thinking about life’s ups and downs, and relationships are going to come up—a lot.  Here’s some of my thinking.

To start, a few maybe hard to hear truths.

In the area of relationships, we are immature.

Well, at least less mature than in other areas–and for understandable reasons.

First, we spend less time on relationships.  Work comes day after day, week after week, more or less throughout our lives, and like it or not, we learn at the very least to cope with it.  Handling rent, balancing the food budget, keeping the check book straight–these are things we do continually.   But for many people, relationships come, end, come, go, as periods at times during our lives, punctuated by periods of singledom.  We just get more practice at everything else than we do at relationships.   Or if in a long term relationship for years…it’s a relationship with that person, and a change in partners later presents new challenges.

Second, when stressed or threatened, people tend to regress.  It’s a natural response…we retreat to what’s more comfortable, to what we know better, and that’s to what we used to be, not to what we’ve evolved.   Imagine…first you’re diplomatic.  Then you get shorter and more pointed in your responses.  Then you’re a trifle brusque.  Then…well, you get the idea.  The emotional pressure increases, and the maturity of the responses goes down.

Seriously, think about some of the arguments you’ve had in the context of romantic relationships.  These are at levels you would never  use for any other adults.   This is us at our worst, because it’s the most immature/underdeveloped aspect of our experience.   Here are a couple of reasons–Expectations and the Onion Effect.

We expect–no, even demand–things from lovers we would never reasonably expect from even our closest friends.  And quite unfairly at that.  Remember that person you met who was just the most amazing angel who ever walked the earth?  How you walked around floating and glowing?  And then how a few months later that same person was the most despicable, devious, horrific spawn of Satan in all the annals of evil?  What happened?  What’s the truth?  Neither.  Both are your own projections, and both are completely your own invention, having little to nothing to do with reality.   More about expectations in a moment.

Image

There’s got to be someone for us out there…right?

When we get emotionally close to someone, we open up, and in so doing, unveil emotional layers we don’t usually expose.   While this is important to building trust, and while sharing deeply is an emotional need, these are also feelings we typically keep buried.   They are raw, and we’re still quite defensive about them, being so new at showing them the light of day.  Consequently, we don’t handle this process well, and when we feel hurt, we blame the only available person–our lover.  The truth, though, is just that we’ve pealed into deeper layers of the onion.   Reaction clouds logic, and the tears fall.

Anger is denial.  True anger is a flash of a danger signal–something’s wrong.  Anything after a few seconds of that is all about ego–how could this happen to me!   The real emotion is fear.   Nothing true needs to be said in anger, because truth can always be said calmly and peacefully, standing on its own–or it’s not really the truth.   We raise our voices when we’re feeling threatened, and in relationships (baring an abusive situation, of course), that threat is internal.  False Expectations Appearing Real.   As the Course in Miracles says, “Nothing real can be threatened.   Nothing unreal exists.”  But that takes emotional courage.

Expectations are resentments under construction.  We each have a notion of how things are supposed to be, built from upbringing, culture, past experiences, and our own fantasies.   But no one else shares this precise notion, and thus, everyone falls short!  Losers.  And we can never please them, no matter what we try.   Ingrates.   The one thing that can help–openly and honestly discussing these–never happens, or happens only partially, because we actually don’t get that these notions are our own independent creations, not the ancient wisdom of all humankind.

So we rebury our feelings, only to repeat the process with the next partner.  And when we bury our feelings, we bury them alive.

Nothing is particularly wrong with any of this.  It is what it is.  The important point is to become aware of it, and at that point, we can deal with it and grow, both individually and in relationships.

The problem is that we believe we are above all this.   We are being perfectly reasonable, and all the others are being unreasonable.   This is really the top place where we need to recognize that one finger pointing is three pointing back at us, but no, all that goes out the window.  We are just right.   But we aren’t.  We attract who we are.

And that’s something most of us don’t want to hear.  So we pass the blame.

That, then, is the first step in getting unstuck in relationships.  Recognize your part in all this, and start to understand the difficulties the others are having–similar ones to yours.

Next, recognize these relationships will be with human beings.  They will not be perfect.  They will make mistakes.  I chuckle every time someone claims to seek a partner with no baggage.  Good luck with that.  Guess what?  You are not perfect.  You will make mistakes.  And you have baggage.  Don’t look for someone without baggage;  look for someone who likes you enough to help you unpack.

If you could do the above, you’d be far happier and far more balanced right from the start.  But remember…right now you’re reading this with your rational self.  The trick is to learn to do this with your hurt, afraid, defensive, suspicious, cautious, uncertain, reactive immature self.  The one with the baggage.  It won’t come at once…but progress, not perfection.

 

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!

 

In Search of Enlightenment

Among the best reasons to hike into the wilderness is to find peace.  A lasting peace.

What does it mean to find Enlightenment?  All the texts say the same–we already are Enlightened, that we are just unaware.  Awakening would be a more accurate term.

“How can I live in the moment?”  It’s got to be an ironic question–we are  in the present moment.  But as Eckhart Tolle says, when we make the present moment an obstacle, life become the problem.  He goes on to advise, “Don’t treat the present as no more than a means to an end–make it your friend.”  This is the dysfunction, the ego.

Just be.  We all have moments when we get it right–that deeply peaceful time in nature, the incredible love-making glow with someone so very dear, the playful laughter of a child, playing fetch with the dog, absorption in work we find meaningful, all these make time collapse, worry vanish, and for a time, we just live.  In these moments, we are Awakened.  We know how to do it.  The problem is, we feel these are fleeting adventures;  we’re unaware it’s how we’re supposed to feel all the time.  All the time.

What gets in the way?  Ego.  We want to run the show, but in doing so, we separate ourselves from it, and are no longer Enlightened, and no longer see ourselves as connected to All in the Moment–we’ve become Unaware, and ironically, by choice, even as we deny that choice.    “I want to be Enlightened” already puts the Ego as separate and ourselves as distant from something that we already are.

The Buddha’s last obstacle to Enlightenment was his own ego.  “Architect, I have met you at last.”  It’s the ego that constructs the imaginary world of our Unenlightenment.  And when his Ego challenged him, asking if he did this great thing, who would be there to see it, if not even his own Ego?  That’s the genius of The Buddha’s final realization:  “The Earth is my witness,” and touching the ground, entered Nirvana.

To get out of self, be of service to others.  At first, I found this hard to do.  I had many tasks, and if I didn’t do them, then who?  I had no time.  But in time, looking for opportunities to truly help when the need arose, I found more and more opportunities–and I found these opportunities detracted from my other tasks very little.  In fact, things ran much better when I focused on being of service than when I was just out for my own endeavors.  I also found life far more enjoyable and rewarding.

So get up in the morning and ask to be guided to where you can best be of service.  This accomplishes several things.  You’ll be more open to opportunities and new experiences.  You’ll have greater opportunities to express your unique talents, and enjoy life all the more because of it.  Notice that all those transcendentally happy moments above involve getting outside of ourselves and our own minds?  You’ll start experiencing more of these moments, closer and closer, sacred moments, until naturally, easily, as it was meant to be, you’ll find these moments coming continually, each moment of each day a sacred event, rich with profound enjoyment, unattached for the outcomes, letting them unfold, peaceful in the process.

And when that happens–it will happen prior to you becoming aware of it–you will realize what The Buddha meant.  You are Awakened.  You are Enlightened.

Image

A scene along my daily walk near my home.

Share it freely.

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!

The Importance of Spiritual Direction

Of all the reasons to escape to the wilderness, spiritual seeking and direction is among the best.  It helps to sort out what’s real from what’s projected from our minds.

In The Cosmic Prison, Loren Eiseley points out that the moment we name something, we limit it to less than what it is, and in the image of our own limited understanding.  We define and classify to understand, but in so doing we create an artificial structure of reality, believing our creation in place of the truth.  Mayflies pretending to be Masters of the Universe.

But we aren’t.  Eiseley compares our situation to that of a white blood cell traveling through the circulatory system of a cat.  What could we know of the world, let alone the universe!  We would never see the sun.   We would never even know we are part of a cat, or that there were other organic systems besides ourselves.   Reality for us would be the circulatory system alone–and a limited understanding of even that.

Trying to use our minds to comprehend our natural state and our connection to what’s around us is then beyond our capacity, beyond our perception, beyond our understanding in the usual sense as we use that term.  We just aren’t capable.   We must turn instead to our experience, and to what flows through and unties us, beyond the abilities of our minds.  This is not a matter of turning mystic;  it’s a matter of using the right tool for the job.  Nor is this a matter of embracing religion necessarily–it’s a matter of facing reality.  We simply cannot function well while insisting we are separate.

K. C. Cole’s The Arrow of Time  adds the dimension of purpose.  Left to themselves, the molecules in the refrigerator might stay grouped as cold ones inside and warm ones outside, but it’s more likely that without any organizing purpose, they will co-mingle and turn lukewarm.  The purpose of the refrigerator is to continually cool the molecules inside, thereby maintaining a refrigerator’s viability as a reliable appliance.

Our lives, too, need this direction and purpose, or our energies become entropic.  Relationships, careers, nations–all need continual attention in consistent directions to maintain their viability as reliable vehicles.  The same is true of our personal lives.  Without a direction and purpose, without a spiritual focus, we have no compass, and are easily thrown not off our path, as it might seem, but rather thrown because we have no path.

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Railbed trail along Chittenango Creek near my home

Wayne Dyer describes it well:

“Nikos Kazantzakis reinforces this idea by giving these words to his fanciful character Zorba (in his book Zorba the Greek), who always lived his life to the fullest: ‘By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.’ This is the power of your imagination when what you desire is imagined sufficiently to make it your reality.

“Perhaps the most common misuse of imagination is stressing what you don’t want for yourself. This is the largest category of misusing imagination. Start paying attention to general conversation, and you will be astounded at how incredibly prevalent it is.”

Dan Zadra says it even more pointedly:  “Worrying is a misuse of the imagination.”

We need that spiritual core, that connection to What Is, whatever we want to call that What Is, even if we don’t know what that is–and not to worry, because we can’t know.  It’s beyond our minds.  But we can experience the connection to whole, the flow of the spirit, and we can direct our purpose and proceed in accordance with our spiritual path.  This is living.

 

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!

 

Escape the Wilderness of Addictions

There was a time when walking into the wilderness would have been unthinkable without bringing an ample supply of beer.  Well, things have changed.  I’ve been dry for quite a while, leaving this addiction behind.  But there are others, and we all have them—cigarettes, excessive caffeine, workoholism, hours of television or Internet surfing—all the unhealthy or unproductive pursuits that don’t add to our growth or regeneration.  In fact, they get in the way of our growth, production, and happiness.

So here are a few thoughts about addiction.

1)  Be of service

One friend tells the story of complaining about his life years ago to his uncle.  “I’ve got just the thing,” replied his uncle.  “I’ll come pick you up.”  And when he did–he drove them straight to the Rescue Mission, where they served food to homeless people all day.

Need help?  Want to solve your problems?  Go help someone else. It works.   Instead of continuing to revisit your own mind racing in circles, break the pattern in a positive direction.

2) Stop trying to do everything by yourself.

Learn to ask for help.  I don’t care that you don’t need it.  Ask anyway.  It’s foolish to insist on handling everything alone, and you’re not as good at it as you think.  It’s also more fun to do things with other people.

I know.  You’re a loner.  You’re not good with other people.  And you’re the ten millionth person I’ve heard say that.  Get over it.  I too suffered from terminal uniqueness.  Trust me—you’re going to like this better.

Let other people get to know you.  You’re a wonderful person–but not as special and unique as you think.  Stop setting yourself apart, and join with these people.  You’ll learn to love it.

3) Replace old habits with new ones.

Right now–don’t think about orange juice!  Oops, too late…that’s the problem with trying NOT to do something.  Now, instead of orange juice, think of cranberry juice…much easier, yes?  Do the same with habits.

If you usually have a cigarette with that first cup of coffee, plan ahead of time what you’re going to have with your coffee from now on (make it sustainable).  If you usually have a drink after dinner, decide what you’re going to have after dinner instead.  If you usually get a pint of ice cream when you’re having a rough day, figure out what you can have ready instead.  And keep at it–it takes 21 days to change a habit, and in the case of psychological dependency, perhaps much longer.  But it gets easier with time.

And time takes time.

But don’t try to just stop–change.  If nothing changes…nothing changes.

4) Avoid people, places and things.

If that convenience store you stop at every day has a worn path to the scratch off tickets, shop somewhere else.  If the supermarket aisles show the trail you’ve well-traveled to the beer displays, change stores.  If the route you take home every day goes right by where you usually buy cigarettes, take a different route to and from work.  Change.

If you’re trying to stop drinking, smoking, gambling, over-eating, or any other addiction, stop hanging out with the people who do those things.  Don’t hang out where those things happen– “You don’t go to a whore house to hear the piano music,” as the saying goes.  You are just flirting with trouble.  Don’t.

And lose the things you associate with those addictions, whatever they are.  Change.

It will get easier the further away you get.

5) The Rule of Three

I went through a lot of pain before I realized this.  I call it the Rule of Three:

*I won’t feel this bad in three hours (usually two).
*Things won’t look this bad in three days.
*This situation will look very different in three weeks.
*Things will be completely different in three months.
*You can’t even imagine where you’ll be in three years.

Doubt it?  Think back to how you were feeling three months ago, three weeks ago, three days ago, three hours ago.  Emotions change quickly–we only treat them like the present one will last forever.  It won’t.  Ride it out, knowing all will be well shortly.  And it will.

6) Have a daily spiritual program.

Make sure it’s daily, and inviolate.  Let this be your touchstone each day, a way to focus and renew your energies in a positive and productive way.  Daily readings are a popular way to do this, along with prayer and meditation, but whatever way works for you, whatever way is most meaningful to you day by day, is what you should organize your life around, day by day.

Ask for help.  Whatever your spiritual beliefs, don’t try to go through life without aligning yourself with God/Universe/Nature/Tao/Higher Power/Creator/Great Spirit or whatever other term you prefer.  Be part of the whole, and let that whole govern your part in it.

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There is always a way out of the darkness — but it will mean making changes. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

At the end of the day, say “Thank you.”  There is tremendous power–and solace–in gratitude.  Use that power, daily.

7) One more thing….

Addiction comes from fear.  Nothing logical about it–our addictions, whatever they are, serve purely emotional ends, and not in logical (i.e., not in healthy) ways.  It’s a denial parading as a solution.  But like all lies, it comes from fear.  Truth needs no lie.

Imagine that first cigarette–eyes watering, mouth burning, the urgent cough, feeling nauseous…and then deciding to do it again.  That’s not the rational mind at work.  Or dropping dollar after dollar on the lottery, because, “Hey, you never know!”  Yes you do.   When the odds of winning are one in millions, and the odds of being struck by lightning are one in a million–hey, have you ever run in terror of lightning because “Hey, you never know”?    Or did you ever wonder where all the money for that gorgeous casino come from?  This isn’t hope–it’s desperation.

To counter fear, choose love.  Why do we baulk at love?  Why is happiness too great a price to pay?  Nothing logical about that either.  To counter darkness, turn on the light.   Rationalizing the dark will never make it light.   Love yourself.  Love your fellow humans.  Love your current situation, even if it seems there’s not that much to love.  Love.  Face your fears with love.

They will run.

 

Are you interested in hearing more about Wilderness Hikes as projects evolve in the future? Let me know here, so I have a list of those interested ready to go, by clicking here (and page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Wilderness Hike” list.

If you’d like to hear about my “Getting Unstuck” book as it gets closer to release, let me know by clicking here (and you’re welcome to do *both,* of course–page all the way down to click “Sign Up” at the bottom):
Join the “Getting Unstuck” list.

October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”

You can read the series from the start via the links here:

Oct. 1:    A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2:   The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3:   Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4:   Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5:   “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6:   Mountain.  Buddha.  Impermanence.
Oct. 7:   The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8:   Finding the Keys
Oct. 9:   “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10:  Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11:  We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12:  Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13:  Getting Unstuck:  Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14:  Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15:  To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16:  Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17:  Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18:  Do you want to be the boss?  Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19:  Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2:  Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness

Enjoy!