Eternal Beauty

By , September 30, 2010 11:00 PM

Food for thought from Andrew Harvey and The Year of Rumi…

Eternal Beauty

I burnish bright the mirror of my heart

Until at last, reflected for my rapture,

The Self’s eternal beauty appears.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Hmph

By , September 29, 2010 11:25 PM

I’m angry.  Shall I enumerate the reasons why?  I’ll spare you the entire list, but the top item is that I feel like I’ve been plodding forward on my spiritual path for so long now and I have yet to “earn” what I want most.  What else do I need to do to deserve what I want??  Yeah, there’s some pouting in with the anger.  And just maybe a teensy bit of victimhood.

Am I in my power?  No.  Am I in total resistance today to what is happening in my life right now?  Oh, yes.  If I could go back in time and get a do-over on the decisions I’ve made, would I have made different choices?  No.  If I zoom out and look at the situation, am I where I am supposed to be?  Yes.  My life really does reflect who I am.  The path I chose is no spiritual picnic (although it certainly could have been worse) because it came with so much responsibility.  Are there aspects of my life that I would like to be different?  Absolutely.  Oh well.  Soon, right?

What happens now?  Frankly, I’m going to try to do the only thing I can do: let the anger and pouting go.  Just release them.  Breathe it out, ground it out.  Then take a deep breath and get myself back in the moment and reconnect with my sense of faith and trust.  And, naturally, then I will open myself to the guidance my heart has for me for my next steps and trust that this will lead me exactly where I want to go.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Crying Out Loud

By , September 28, 2010 10:46 PM

Don’t ask me how the conversation started, but tonight my hairdresser and I started talking about crying as she colored and trimmed my curls.  And, of course, it got me thinking…

For most of my life, I squelched my feelings.  I learned not to express them because I saw early on that there wasn’t any space for my feelings.  Most of the guys I’ve dated have been emotion-averse (well, to my emotions anyway) and they were incapable of being supportive if tears were involved.  Top that off with the fact that I work in a male-dominated engineering environment.  So when were the tears allowed to flow?  Only when I was safe, er, alone.

The more I got to know myself, the more permission I gave myself to actually express my emotions because I was able to acknowledge that they are a big part of who I am.  When the tears come, they come.  And there are times I can start crying at the drop of a hat—expressing joy, sadness, grief, and even hope with tears.

Until I understood showing my vulnerability, I, too, looked down on women who cried in front of other people.  I viewed their expression as a sign of weakness and sometimes, of manipulation.  Although I think crying can be a manipulation tool, real tears really are more an example of strength than weakness.  Why?  Because it’s an expression of the depths of a person’s heart, without being filtered or edited.  When someone is willing and courageous enough to share that with others, they can say they’ve taken the risk to share the real-est part of themselves.

How often do you show the vulnerable, squishy parts of your heart?  Are you willing to show the truth, even if you’re embarrassed by or self-conscious of your tears?  Are you strong enough to open your heart and show it to the world, regardless of the reaction you might get?  If not, whom is it you don’t trust?

P.S.  For you guys out there, a tip:  If a woman you love is crying, all you need to do is put your arms around her and let her cry.  You can tell her that you love her, if that’s how you feel.  And you can take a moment to appreciate that she’s letting you into the unadulterated experience of her emotional heart.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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True Colors

By , September 27, 2010 11:14 PM

Today at work I had an interesting conversation with a coworker I’ve known for around thirteen years.  She and I are friends, although we’re not really all that close because we haven’t worked on the same projects in a really long time and our paths rarely cross.  In our conversation she said something that struck a chord with me.  She said talked about how the layoff in our office is showing people’s true level of integrity.

Isn’t that the truth?!  You really do get to learn a lot about a person when you see them under stress—especially the survival kind of stress that a layoff can inspire.

No one, as far as I can tell, is really happy about the layoff.  Everyone has their unique circumstances that they have to deal with and everyone is being challenged because of this unplanned hiccup.  The biggest things that come up (understandably) are the shock of the announcement, the fear, and the feeling of powerlessness—or perhaps I should more accurately say the feeling of not being in control.  Believe me, I get it.

In all this, there’s also a huge opportunity.  (No, please don’t throw anything at me!  And no groaning either!)  Challenges like this are ripe with information about yourself.  Something to consider trying in this situation is looking at whether your behavior matches your values.  If they do, fabulous!  If they don’t, why don’t they?  Are you letting fear drive your behavior?  Do you want to have fear define your choices?  Do you need to examine your beliefs about scarcity and abundance and self-fulfilling prophecies to bring them up to date?   When you behave out of integrity, you squander precious energy, you realize you can’t trust yourself, and you have the potential to damage your relationships.  Others will notice.

It’s actually easy for us to do the right thing when life is progressing calmly and things are going our way.  The real exposé happens when we’re pushed and squeezed into a corner, and then feel that our life is somehow under attack.  Very different situation, no?  And these are the times in which it might be extra easy to do something we’ll later regret.  Operating from fear can really throw a monkey wrench into our integrity.  That’s something to be conscious about.  It’s also something for which the repair is always just a choice away.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Mirror Mismatch

By , September 26, 2010 11:43 PM

Another weekend draws to a close…  And I’m a little sad about that.  For me, over the last several months especially, my weekend time has been a true respite for me.  It’s my time to de-stress and simply be myself, answering to no one and nothing except my own whims.  What that has also meant is that it’s my time to be by myself.

Myers-Briggs has me pegged as an introvert (although not an extreme one), and I agree with that assessment.  Nonetheless, over the years, I have had difficulty spending time alone.  I yearned for validation from others and even mere companionship was enough to feed the validation monkey on my back.  Lately, that’s shifted pretty significantly.

For quite some time now, I’ve actually been relishing my time alone.  I’ve realized how pummeled energetically I feel when I’m around large groups of people.  I’ve felt my own energy draining away when I’m in a shopping mall.  When I’m away from work for a day, I can feel my shoulders relax more deeply, even when there was nothing I could do to release the knots during the week.  What’s so fascinating to me is that I feel like the biggest stressor in all this for me is me being myself and living in my truth when the people around me have a very different agenda or paradigm for themselves.  It wouldn’t really surprise me if it’s just as draining for them as it is for me.

I’m sure you’ve heard the metaphor that the people around us are mirrors for us, showing us aspects of ourselves to which we’re blind.  That’s certainly true for our closest and most regular companions.  But what happens when you’re surrounded by people who aren’t your mirrors (and you aren’t theirs)?  What are the energetic consequences to that?  I know some people might argue that they still are my mirrors, but I don’t know.  I’ve been noticing that the people whom I feel are my mirrors tend to energize me in some way or another, even if it’s just to get me riled up.  They typically don’t enervate me.

Any ideas out there?  Could this mean that it’s time for a major change, like, oh, maybe a change in my job situation?  Or a move?  Can I use the sense that I’ve found my mirrors as the barometer to know when I am where I belong?  I’ll let you know what I find out.  Experiment is on!

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Multiple Choice

By , September 25, 2010 10:54 PM

Since January 1, 2010, via DailyOm, I’ve been receiving a daily email from a course called “A Year of Rumi,” translated by Andrew Harvey.  I’ve got to admit that often I don’t understand what the poem of the day is trying to say at all.  But there have been a few priceless gems that have come through exactly when I needed them most.  Today’s poem finished with a line that is absolutely crystal clear for me, because it illuminates the source for so much of the pain in my life: “don’t mourn what doesn’t exist, cling to what does.”

I have no idea why, but I appear to have been hard-wired to focus on what’s missing in my life, as opposed to only embracing the wonderful aspects I do have.  Even having years ago realized that I do this, I have to constantly remind myself to adjust my attention.  It really is my natural tendency to mourn what doesn’t exist and I have to reframe, and reframe, and reframe my vision to shift my perspective so that I can cling to what does.  Yes, it’s gotten easier to do this over the years, but I still have to consciously do it every day.  On top of that, I pretty much always have to see what’s missing first and then recalibrate, so there’s a lingering shadow of what’s missing, even behind the gratitude for what I have.  If it sounds a bit like torture, I can assure you that it can also feel a little like torture too.

Choice is a topic that comes up frequently with me, as you’ve probably already noticed.  Sometimes a choice is a one-time deal.  In other situations it’s one you have to choose to make regularly—sometimes every day, sometimes multiple times a day.  It’s important to remember that we are all always creatures-in-progress.  There are some things which we can learn quickly and never revisit again.  But that won’t always be the case and the fact that it’s not is not necessarily indicative of a defect or thickheadedness on your part.  You may need to choose to keep choosing.  It’s incremental, remember?

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Smiles and Sleep

By , September 25, 2010 12:22 AM

Phew!  What a week.  I can’t even tell you how relieved I am that the weekend is here.

Many things surfaced this week after our office’s layoff announcement.  One project manager has been commenting to me regularly that he’s noticed more people at work smiling this week than he ever has before.  Others are talking about being able to get a restful night’s sleep for the first time in a long time.  Some are already getting snippy because they feel their situations entitle them to a job over everyone else.

The sense that I’m getting through all this is that this layoff has the potential to really help people push forward to a new, hopefully better place.  I doubt there’s anything revelatory about that because that’s the nature of all change, but in this case I’m fascinated to see how quickly people seem to actually be noticing this.

The biggest obstacle to making the most of this opportunity is simply fear—not the OMG-is-that-lion-looking-at-me fear, but the doomsday stories your brain is known for creating.  (And I’m going to say that resistance to the circumstances is just another face of fear.)  While it’s absolutely understandable to feel afraid in this type of situation, it’s important to not take it too seriously and then get stuck in it.  When fear does come up, let it flow through you and out.  Unfortunately, some people seem to use fear to create drama to feed their old patterns and stories, which is not terribly productive.

I’d like to tie this back to yesterday’s post as well.  When you’re living in fear, you get a whole host of other yuck to deal with—feelings of scarcity, stress, and complete self-focus.  When you’re relaxed and you have some space and perspective, none of these ickies is present.  Have you noticed how difficult it is to be fearful when you’re relaxed?  The two just don’t coexist.

Not too long ago I read that feelings of fear herald growth opportunities because they essentially mark the boundaries of your comfort zone.  In other words, when you feel fearful, get excited because it’s a sign you have a chance to expand your world.  Or not.  Your choice.  If you’re lucky enough to notice that you’re smiling more and sleeping like a baby, let those beacons remind you that, despite any fear, something is also very right.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Chill Fill

By , September 23, 2010 11:41 PM

Just a day or two ago I saw a quote from some guy named David Allen:

Your power is proportional to your ability to relax.

What do you think of that?  I agree with David—so much so, in fact, that I’ve printed this out and pinned it to my office wall.  Given the current job situation, the office is filled with tension and fear and scarcity—all of which don’t serve me and which I’m doing my best not to get caught up in.  There’s something to be said about the ability to let go of things and detach from the stress, worries, and drama that can crop up in life.

When you’re stressed and frazzled, where is your energy?  Is it in the moment?  Most likely not.  If I had to hazard a guess, it’s focused on neutralizing whatever is causing you stress—whether that’s something real or imagined.  Remember, a huge component of your power is in your ability to be in the present moment.

What else happens when you’re calm?  You can act instead of react.  This opens everything up and your choices can now express your desires and who you are.  Detachment and calmness translate into an ability to hear guidance and your own wisdom.  Then you can choose a course of action that you know is right for you.

Of course, we also can’t forget that a key part of power is related to our ability to receive.  Yes, we live in a very doing-oriented, action-driven world, but that doesn’t do us much good until we can receive the fruits of our labors.  For us to have balance, we have to give/do and receive.  Both.  Relaxation allows us to recharge and it affords us the chance to realign with the essence of who we are, again priming our ability to communicate with ourselves.

Have I convinced you?  I hope so.  And I’d challenge you to ensure that you’re getting your fill of chill time.  Or perhaps instead of trying to schedule in relaxation time in our stressful lives, we should try living in the relaxation for the bulk of our days and then allotting only minimal amounts of time in our lives for stress when it’s absolutely necessary.   (Hmmm…  My calendar looks pretty booked with relaxation…)

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Autumnal Equinox

By , September 22, 2010 11:09 PM

Happy equinox, everyone!  By all accounts, this is an extra special one.  In addition to the very close coincidence with the full moon, Jupiter will appear prominently next to the moon.  I’ve read that this rare occurrence is called the Super Harvest Moon.

We had clouds and rain this evening, but I just stepped outside and the sky has cleared to reveal the stunning sight.  The air is cool and damp and it smells like someone in the neighborhood has a fire going in their fireplace.  And there in the night sky, clear and crisp is the gorgeous moon, with brightly shining Jupiter just below it.  Beautiful!

Pagans celebrate the mid-harvest at the time of the equinox.  For them, this period is about gratitude for blessings and abundance, as well as the balance between light and darkness.  Quite apropos, don’t you think?  And, balance and abundance are certainly worth striving for and celebrating year round.

I have to say that there’s something very comforting to me about looking up in the sky and connecting with the moon throughout the year.  No matter what else might be happening in my life, taking a moment with the moon just feels healing.  It also gives me a healthy dose of perspective when I think of all the others on this planet who are also looking at the moon, and those who for millennia have gone before us and done the exact same thing.  My father used to always say “There’s nothing new under the sun.”  Well, there’s probably not anything new under the moon either!

What is it in your life that helps you remember that for generations people have dealt with and survived whatever you’re experiencing now (and much worse)?  During another time of stress, seeing a pair of ducks paddling around the small pond at work—going about their duck business—was the reminder I needed to adjust my zoom and see that everything is as it should be.  Everything will be fine.  Suddenly, I’m back in a place of balance.  Thank you, Moon!  Thank you, ducks!  Instant peace.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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On a Dime

By , September 21, 2010 8:06 PM

Oy.  Today was a day.  Out of the blue at work today, they basically announced that they’re laying off the entire office, save about 40 people.  My end date is slated to be in mid-November.

This morning, an impromptu all-employee meeting was called, without an agenda—never a good sign.  But, you know, there was a part of me that detached as I was sitting in the meeting room with everyone.  And I watched how, by speaking just 2 sentences, the head of our office changed everyone’s day, and possibly their lives.  Something about that absolutely fascinates me.  By changing the game, he forced us to wake up and act on perhaps long overdue, long ignored nudgings.  He set us free.

I’ve got to admit, in addition to being free, sad, and shocked, I’m scared.  I have a 15+ year history with this office and many of the people there and, of course, most of us are in the same boat.  But, at the moment, I can’t help but feel very much alone.  I don’t have a partner to act as my safety net or to support me.  I’m lucky to have some very dear friends who act as cheerleaders for me.

What now?  I know there will be lots of emotions to process.  And a quest to find another source of income.  There will be ups and downs.  I will try to stay positive, but there will be times that I fail miserably at that.  The desire to sell everything and move to a farm in New Zealand will rage its head and I will probably entertain it.  Or perhaps I’ll consider another spiritual journey a la Eat, Pray, Love.  I will do everything I can to stay open to what the Universe has up its sleeve for me and I will trust that it will take wonderful care of me and lead me to a life filled with even more love, joy, and prosperity than I can imagine.

All of this reminds me, too, to be in the moment.  Everything is fine here.  And it’s all that’s really real anyway.

© 2010, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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