Day 229 to Day 236 – only love kills war

Day 229 – fight energy

Going to watch a fight is not something I would normally do but when the opportunity is presented, I consider it to be a new and exciting experience. Unfortunately, my instincts are right and watching people beat each other up does not prove entertaining. I used to love boxing training but I remember it made me really angry. It seems to fuel a certain kind of energy, a smoky, dark fire energy that ignites the ego into animalistic traits. The gym we are in suddenly feels extremely cold and I am shivering. I can’t wait for this fight to be over so we can leave. This time I am out of my comfort zone and there is no magic happening. I feel the fire around me, as though it is closing in and my own anger reflexes are sparking. I want to get out of this situation! Krystle sees me coughing. That chest infection seems to have returned. She wraps herself around me to warm me up and radiates light and love. She is excited and watches the fight with so much enthusiasm. She seems completely immune to the dark energy that I can feel. I close my eyes and visualise a white light radiating from within and enveloping my entire body. Suddenly time seems to pass faster and before I know it, the fights are over, we are in the car and driving back to my comfort zone. Perhaps if I had done the white light before leaving the house my experience would have been different. Perhaps I was just sick. Either way, the white light protected and healed. Energy is something we radiate, it is something we can change and use in any situation. It is our greatest power and yet we so easily forget about it. When I walk in my door, I feel myself stepping into a cloud of pure white light. This is home. This is sanctuary.

 

Day 230 – sunshine and the clouds

The clouds have lifted and the day is warm. I quickly change into a bikini and sprint down to the beach, but the wind is still cold and the scattered clouds gravitate towards the sun, stealing the warmth. It’s like the only cloud in the sky is working against me. It is too cold to be down at the beach with shorts on. Eventually I give up and go home. I am meditating on this when I start to look around me, feeling sunshine through the window. The light is seeking me out. I stare out the window at the blue sky and there isn’t a cloud in sight. I guess that is the irony of life. Sometimes there are clouds when you don’t want there to be. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it storms. Sometimes you find yourself warm in a blizzard and sometimes a little wind can chill you to the bone. If there is one thing that constantly reminds me of the changing nature of life it is the sky. Life is change and even in the cold, dark and stormy times, there is beauty. Warmth, like energy, like light, can come from within. The sun is always shining on the inside, so that we can reflect it back on the outside. Deep inside my true self, there are no clouds.

 

Day 231 – smile and dial

My first day of telephone calls at work. We call prospects for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. I dial the first number. Smile and dial, they say! Apparently a smile can be heard and nobody wants to hear from someone who doesn’t smile. A smile is about so much more than just the mouth, though and if you are speaking with your mouth, the smile changes anyway. I remember watching America’s Next Top Model (I know, it is my one weakness in reality television) and Tyra Banks was showing the girls how to smile with the eyes and not with the mouth. So a smile happens in the whole face. In Qi Gong, I was told to imagine the body filling up with smiling energy. As you move this energy around the body, you feel everything brighten up. So a smile happens somewhere deep in the dantian, below the belly button. It isn’t just necessary to flash your teeth when you make the call, it is also essential to find that smiling energy. People can sense over the phone what kind of person I will be and that will determine whether or not they will take time out of their day, let me into their homes to show them wine. Many of my calls are rejected, people are either not interested or they do not drink or they don’t remember filling out the survey and giving us their phone number. But many are also excited and pleased and I can feel them smiling right back. When I look around the room at the other reps, I see their own smiling energy, like a little aura of yellow around their faces. Smile and dial. “Hello, this is Elizabeth calling from Pieroth wines…”

 

Day 232 – you have what it takes to succeed

I don’t normally listen to motivational podcasts but I have found one about sales that is more of a holistic approach. Jason McClain of Personal Life Media, who records short 5-10 minute talks called Evolutionary Sales, offers a method for self hypnosis. I take out my notebook and write 3 sentences that I really need to hear, addressing myself in the second person:

1)   You have what it takes to succeed

2)   You know exactly who you are and have the courage to be your true self

3)   You are valued and respected

I then take my place in front of the mirror and stare directly into one eye (shifting between the eyes does not have the same intensity, so it is recommended to choose just one eye). I repeat each sentence five times and then notice any emotional reaction. I am supposed to do this twice a day for three days. The first round makes me feel a little bit silly but eventually I start to feel different. It is powerful to talk to oneself so directly, with such firm statements. I find my voice getting a little louder and stronger. I am more certain of the words. I feel empowered. I feel successful. I feel valued, respected, courageous. I feel me.

Day 233 – meditation creek

I wake up early for a run down to Bronte to meet a friend. When I get there, he hasn’t arrived yet so I wonder up the gully and down to a small waterfall. I sit down on the cool rocks and change from the running music to Wah!, listening to the soft chanting of Hare Krishna as I meditate on the flowing water. My eyes notice several pieces of rubbish scattered along the other side of the creek. I try to refocus on the water, knowing I can get the rubbish when I am finished, but I can’t concentrate. I step over the creek and start picking up what looked like a small amount of rubbish, but end up with a pile of plastic, foam and drink bottles that I can’t even carry. A man stops to say thank you, which I find odd for some reason. I guess if Mother Nature can’t say it herself, she sends someone who can… Rather than feeling like my meditation was interrupted, it kind of just morphed into an act of seva. I still feel the same flow of energy that I get from meditation, maybe it is just a little bit brighter.

 

Day 234 – the first swim of summer

It is hot today! Who would have thought we would already be in the ocean in mid-August! The air is soft and balmy and even though the ocean takes my breath away when I first jump in, I move around and soon feel comfortable in it. I realise it has been months since I was last in the ocean. Bali, maybe? In March. I allow the water to embrace me and I remember a poem I once wrote about the ocean being a lover. It is warm and inviting and then without warning can turn cold and uninviting, thrashing me around, rejecting me back to the shore. And obviously we always love the chase, because we keep coming back for more.

 

Day 235 – sisterhood

I have a three-hour break to go and visit my sister in law, Veronica. She is 7 months pregnant and starting to show. My four-year-old niece is playing with her cousins in the other room while we talk. It was only a month ago that they found out they were having a boy, but my niece, Bella, knew all along. She said she knows her little brother and that his name is Oscar. Veronica was once told by a psychic that they have been siblings in a past life. Even before Veronica fell pregnant, Bella would tell other children about her little brother Oscar who just “wasn’t here yet”. As soon as they found out a baby was coming, Bella was adamant that it was Oscar. Nobody could doubt her when she says it with such conviction. As we talk, he starts to stir and I get to feel the little movements this tiny life is making. Even though I can’t see him, I already feel a connection to this little boy. He is my blood, my family, waiting to be held by us, already loved by us. The miracle of life growing inside is still something I find so profound and incredible that I am not sure I will ever have the courage to do it myself. But it is still amazing to watch it happen. Can’t wait to meet you, little man…

 

Day 236 – standing up

Unfortunately, haters gonna hate.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

I know that my chronic optimism and happiness can piss people off, especially when they are stuck in their own cycle of negative thought. I know that people take an expression of kindness the wrong way and sometimes think there is malice behind a compliment. I know that not everyone understands pure love from a stranger. When a girl I barely know snaps at me and starts to say personal and spiteful words, I begin by very calmly telling her not to talk about it. I guess the Christian way to deal with this would be to just accept, know that she is simply misinformed, angry and suffering. Then again, even a spiritually evolved person can only take so much. Eventually I fire up and my anger gets thrown right back at her. Without swearing, without yelling, I tell her more than firmly that she is talking about my life, which is none of her business. In the end, the circle of friends around us has to yell at us both to shut up and I feel like I have failed. In hindsight, had I said nothing, her it might have felt better to walk away but I also feel like sometimes it is more than necessary to stand up for yourself.

Sometimes people judge, however I believe that everyone is a reflection. What is it that this situation is trying to show me about myself? Have I judged myself too harshly? Do I allow myself to criticise my own happiness? There are always two things to ask; how am I responsible and what did I learn? I am responsible for my reaction in this situation, for my anger and emotions. I learnt that I am human, I can still hurt from unkind words, and that if I can forgive the person who said them, then I can also forgive myself for being hurt by them and still send love to the person who said them for she must be hurting deep inside.

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Day 159 to Day 162 – a very long weekend

Day 159 – treading the mills

I wake up early to run before work. Even though it is sunny outside, it is freezing so I decide to run on the treadmill. I feel like I have been running for ages but the treadmill says I have only run 2.5km. How is this possible? Am I just impatient? If I turn the speed up, I get more tired and then want to stop and what I am training for is endurance since the City 2 Surf is 14km. Maybe I am just bored. The early morning Sydney news is annoying me. I guess they have to be so bright and shiny to put people in a good mood for their day. I can’t handle it anymore. I am warm now, so I keep looking out the window wishing I was running outside. Then I see the wind blow violently at the tree across the road and I shiver a little. I can’t handle this treadmill, though. It is so boring! I want to turn the tv off and turn my running meditation on but I think I would be in danger of falling asleep. I am going insane. It seems harder on the treadmill, maybe it is because there are no up and down hill slopes, no change in terrain. The plastic whirs around at the pace I set with the touch of the button. I keep flicking between distance, calories burned and the speed meter. Maybe I should try this with a book. When I finally stop running, I think I am running late to work. I rush to get ready and finally make it through the traffic and arrive only 5 minutes late but it seems nobody has noticed. I have rushed for nothing. No customers even come into the pub for hours, until well after lunchtime. Once again I feel bored, which I really don’t like to feel because I worry that I am wasting life in boredom. I sing along to the background music as I scrub at the inside of the glass washer with a toothbrush. I am dying for one of the manager’s to come into the bar and speak to me, just so I don’t chew my own arm off. Being a Friday, around 3pm the bar gets suddenly busy and my plans to get to a yoga class at 6pm are thwarted by the knock-off beer hour. I decide instead to go home and get ready to meet my friend for dinner. I haven’t seen her in ages and as we catch up on years of life, giving only the most basic of dot points of life, I try to listen as much as I am talking. Basking in the warmth of the connection one can only share with a close friend, time slips away and it is like we have never spent any time apart. Time is irrelevant when it comes to friendship.

Day 160 – observing anger

Although I didn’t sleep until close to midnight, I wake up at 3.30am with anxiety.  I decide it is a good thing that I can’t fall asleep again, as it gives me a chance to do my Sadhana practice before I teach yoga. I hear my phone beeping so after my pranayama, I check to make sure the alarm won’t disturb my meditation. There are messages from my past and, feeling compassionate to another being in trouble, I take some time to offer comfort to a person I still care about. It doesn’t take long for the conversation to turn into a bit of a carousel. Sometimes we encounter emotional vampires and in giving them our time, we allow them to take a lot of our energy. When the conversation goes around and I have to explain myself again and again and again, I soon feel drained and angry. I finally have to step away from the conversation. Nobody is going anywhere positive with this and I am seriously firing up. I have to release the build up of frustration and anger, so I stomp my slippered feet and do a silent scream; you know the ones where you open your mouth as wide as you can but no sound comes out? The whole house is sleeping and I don’t want to wake them up. I stop and stand very still, feeling the energy in my belly. I witness this energy we call anger. What is it really? The mind is rushing around, making meaning and attaching to all the things just said that have caused such frustration, so I ask it to be quiet and just observe this emotion. This energy, this anger, without meaning, without the mind, is just a fire in the belly and it feels very similar to excitement or fear or surprise. If the energy is the same then there is no reason I can’t change what it is. I re-set the mind and sit down for meditation, allowing the excitement and joy to grow from deep inside. By the time I get into my car to drive to yoga, I am bopping around to the music from the radio. Isn’t it funny how the radio seems to play the song that you most need to hear?

It is playing Wish You Well be Bernard Fanning:

Up so early feel so bright
Didn’t get much sleep last night
Freight train rattled through my head
Whistle blowing love is dead
Is dead

Heart attacked by fear and doubt
won’t be long till the truth comes out
first impressions never last
Lover’s bonds they hold so fast

Restless future burning bright
The past is holding on so tight
Never heard the warning bell
And I just want to wish you well
I just want to wish you well

Later, as I am running, my precious iPhone, my fifth limb and second brain, falls out of my pocket and as I am still jogging, seemingly in slow motion I try to grab at the cord for the earphones as it falls down, smashes on the concrete and then bounces into the gutter and down the drain. I stand, open-mouthed for a moment and then, throwing a mini tantrum, throw the iPhone case, which is all I have left, into the nearest wall. Then I decide to keep running. I have to laugh at the irony. Once again, the universe is handing me a situation and daring me to be angry. Yes, I can get angry about this. It is certainly annoying to lose an expensive piece of technology with so much information on it. But then again, I can also just keep running. I can use this angry energy for a positive experience and just run it out. I decide to push through and I end up running longer and harder than I have ever run before.

It doesn’t matter what situation life deals, we always have complete control over our minds and emotions. The human potential is limitless! We are always the ones in the driver’s seat. We can always drive in the sunshine.

Day 161 – working hard to make a livin’

I didn’t realise how entirely dependent on my iPhone I was. I didn’t set an alarm and after a long shift at work, I wake up only 20 minutes before I am supposed to teach yoga. It seems my higher self is well aware of my schedule. I don’t even have time to blink twice, I race to the yoga studio and get there just in time. One of the other teachers has signed everyone in and the collective calm of the class welcomes me and settles me right in so that when I open my mouth to start the class, that guiding energy comes straight through and sets up the sequence, the poses, the monologue of adjustments and encouragements.

After class, there is only enough time for a coffee, a coconut and half a vegetarian bagel (delicious from M Cafe in Bondi), before I have to start work at the pub. It is the Queen’s birthday long weekend. I know it will be busy, but I have no idea how busy until later in the evening… The crowd at the bar has not stopped once. We have run out of Toohey’s New and fresh lime and we eventually run out of vodka and fresh lemons. The crowd heaves at the bar, shouting to be heard. And all through this chaos, I am moving to the music of the live band playing just upstairs. I smile at the customers and when they yell at me that they were next, I just laugh and say, “I hope you won’t die of thirst over here!” They don’t always find it as funny as I do. I remember working in bars and nights like this would stress me out. Running out of glasses, running out of beer, running out of vodka, when everyone wants to drink a vodka, lime and soda… those were the things that used to send me into deep and anxious chest breathing but today I feel good. I am in a rhythm as I work. I haven’t had a moment to sit quietly and close my eyes. I have barely had a moment to drink a sip of water unless I was pouring beer at the same time. And yet I still feel connected, I still feel centred. I still feel calm. With the music making me move and a shining energy from deep within my soul, it doesn’t matter if I am teaching yoga or pouring a bourbon and coke; if I carry the light within, then I am always in a state of meditation. I can always go within, even when there is chaos without.

After we close and get through the never-ending clean-up, we sit around and eat some pizza. One of the security guards has a pen and is drawing caricatures on the pizza box. He passes it around and the next security guard draws a shape that doesn’t look like anything in particular. When they pass it to me, I draw the first thing that comes into my head, which is a figure of a woman with a sun shining from out of her solar plexus. They are asking what is up with the chick, so I tell them that this is how I would explain the manipura chakra. Surprisingly, one of the guards has heard of the chakras. I start talking about them, drawing my entire sketch and explaining the emotional associations. The guard who drew the caricatures, who has tattoos covering most if his limbs and even up to his neck, jokes that he makes all his decisions from the lower three chakras. He has no idea how insightful this observation is. I tell him he is absolutely right. Most people wouldn’t even be able to recognise that they do that. Amazed, I realise that the whole group of bartenders and security guards are watching me as I speak. I wouldn’t have though that this would interest this group at all but they are all listening intently. I hand the pizza box back and the security guard beside me, who is only 19, decides to draw a phallus. Well, I guess he had to even out this sacred feminine pizza box with some sacred masculine energy!

Day 162 – spaced out

I have to get a new sim card and be back into the tele-communicative world so I make a visit to the local shopping centre. It is raining heavily today so it is busy but I get through all my errands as planned. I can’t focus. I didn’t get to sleep until 2am after work last night and it was a long shift. I feel vague, like my head is in a cloud and I am floating around the shops, trying not to let myself make impulse purchases. I make an investment in a running jacket with zip-up pockets. When I finally get my iPhone replaced, I need to make sure it doesn’t fall out again! I buy my running jacket from Lorna Jane, my favourite exercise label. The jacket is made of Merina Wool so it is extra warm and has little holes for the thumbs. I end up in the store talking to the girl for almost half an hour about Sumatra and India. When I finally wonder away, I feel like I should be in a rush to go somewhere but it is my day off and for once I have nothing to do and nowhere to be. I can actually relax and take my time! I am still feeling vague and dotty when I leave, but I have decided to embrace it. I can still function in the world. I can still hold up a decent conversation and despite feeling like my head is full of air and space, I can still drive around the city and halfway down the coast. My higher self clearly knows what to do, what to say and where to go, so it is ok to surrender to that and just relax. Today I allow myself the freedom to be vague. Today I allow my brain to check out early. Today I am clocked off from the thinking treadmill.