“This Should Be Easy” <- Ever have this judgment toward yourself?
I have this habit - When anything breaks or something needs to be maintained: on my car, on my computer, or in my home. I immediately go into mental complaining and resistance. If possible I will find a way to avoid dealing with it.
Even the smallest things. The other day I got home and a light bulb in my kitchen went out. My mind immediately said what it typically says “Oh man, such a pain. Nah, I’ll change the light bulb later. I can live with less light in here”.
I saw the resistance and thoughts very clearly. Instead, I went down to my basement storage to get a new light bulb and changed it.
I find these daily life things a struggle and often the thought comes “This should be easy” which fuels more resistance to what is.
What I started to do is have a little “I’m so proud of me!” party when I deal with something I would normally put off.
So after I changed the light bulb…. instead of being a stern parent by telling myself that I did something I SHOULD do...I recognized that little victory and celebrated it. I gave myself a hug and said “Good job Leela!” and then did a little happy dance.
Imagine me in my kitchen dancing around singing and flailing my arms up “Yay I changed the light bulb!”
I already give myself credit for more obviously challenging things, but wanted to speak to the less-obvious & under-acknowledged challenges we face.
So here is what happens when I give myself credit:
I know what is easy for me and what is challenging for me. I can honor this instead of letting comparison, and the outer world’s ideas (including my own mind) dictate what 'should' be easy.
After reading this do you now realize what you need to give yourself credit for? Let me know in the comments. We can have a “I’m so proud of Me” party!
Or don’t share and do it alone if that feels most self-empowering for you!
***If you are unable to go beyond a particular place of struggle or self-judgment, then there is something causing it that you haven’t yet become aware of. Explore what that could be! You can also give yourself credit for something that feels already pretty light with not so much self-judgment (for example, my ‘should be easy’ judgments I refer to in this blog were not very intense for me to begin with.)
I’ve been noticing in some people who even though they have no interest in this whole inner work stuff, they will actually light up when speaking about a dream they’ve had.
It’s really cool to see that.
They wonder what the dream means. What it symbolizes. And sometimes they will even open up about their inner world when they normally wouldn’t.
The dream becomes an opening. A safe way to take a closer look.
Yet most of us don’t seem to look at our daily life that same way.
Probably because we are so close and get attached to it all. Probably because we have been conditioned to look at ourselves and our life as something to control and judge. This is bad. This is good. Fix the bad, get more good.
Sometimes life is painful and we don’t want to look at it or feel it.
Many, if not most of us, learned to trade some of the magical wonder for survival.
And maybe we learned that mystery is not to be tolerated.
So for some people, for just a little while, their dream becomes a time when they allow magic and mystery. Even if they deny it in their everyday reality, they will admit that there is magic in their dreams. There is an adventure there. There is a message to be uncovered.
And it’s perfectly tailored.
Just. for. them.
They will take a brief break from their insistence on cold hard facts.
They may temporarily forget their whole “if it can’t be proven then it doesn’t exist” attitude.
They relax their version of static reality and absolute truth and culturally shaped views.
A little more open to exploring, less rushing to be right.
Slightly less afraid of the airy fairy stuff.
Their guard comes down just a bit and they sparkle for just a little while.
This sense of magic and mystery is our lives. We have just forgotten that life is made of magic. We have forgotten that we are made of magic.
Even though on the surface the stuff happening in our life may seem like isolated and unrelated occurrences. Even though they may not seem all that meaningful. They are. They are part of a big picture.
It’s all connected. It’s all meaningful.
Just like in dreams. Nothing is ever really a mistake or an accident.
Our challenges and difficulties are meant to take us on an adventure. Joy, pain, ups and downs, trueness and falseness, they are part of the adventure of being alive.
Where even the nightmare can have an enchantment about it.
Deep down we all know this. Under the veil created from our beliefs, attachments, and wounds.
Under the veil imposed on us from a society rooted in forgetfulness.
Life is on our side. Always sending us messages and trying to help us.
So then is your so-called waking reality that different from the dreams you have when sleeping?
Look UNDER the surface and see!
Whatever we may think is going on outside of us, the true primary challenge is actually our inner trickster.
There are infinite mental strategies this trickster uses to keep us distracted from our true nature and being.
Exposing our inner chatter to ourselves goes a long way.
Even better, we can express our thoughts out loud in a safe or private space
We can also say YES to rising to the challenge of the situation we are in instead of fighting with it.
I also find laughing about it helps me too!
See, your Agony and your Ecstasy (your Light and your Dark) they live RIGHT next to each other. They are actually really good friends. They hang out. They trade recipes. They share secrets.
They get together and have regular goofball dance sessions.
They laugh hysterically at each other's jokes.
They even speak in secret code, the way that best friends often do.
And when one is struggling the other comes in and says “Hey look, I know a better way, let me show you”. They keep each other close to home by helping each other find the thread when it has been lost.
When left as they are they don’t compete against one another. Their differences and contrasting natures are beautiful and necessary. They are actually deeply compatible.
But. We try to keep them apart.
We have bought into this idea that our opposites are enemies. So we teach them not to trust each other.
When we are with Agony we say “Wow, what a bunch of delusional B.S. Ecstasy is”.
And when we are with Ecstasy we might say “Man, what a loser and downer Agony is, a complete waste of time. Life is so much better without Agony.”
Is it time to end the war on yourself?
To help end this war we can start remembering the bigger picture, remembering the ocean while riding and feeling the waves.
We might shift our attitude towards the up and the down states to something like:
“Okay I will accept you to the fullest but I also know you are temporary. I intend to let you go when it's time”
“Okay so you scare me a little and I’m not sure I understand you, but is there anything you want to show me?”
One tiny little...
...can change EVERYTHING.
There are actually many ways to be only a part of ourselves. The“war” dialogue above is just one example where we can cling to and drown in one part while completely forgetting the bigger picture.
Another common way is to deny and suppress a part of ourselves, thereby not feeling any one thing very much. We think we can suppress something "negative" and be better off, but doing this we end up suppressing our joy and our ecstatic experiences too.
I was diagnosed as bi-polar at around age 30. I used the Dalian Method to transform the root causes of what triggered me to lose perspective and get lost and extreme in my emotional ups and downs.
I’ve always had this gift (curse?) of making something small and enlarging it, expanding on it, embellishing it. Stretching it for miles and miles.
I did this with situations that were painful for me. Creating all kinds of fear scenarios. All kinds of stories. Rolling them around in my fearful worried head. Hanging onto it for as long as I can.
What used to seem like a bad habit, I’ve made it into a gift now. I’m now making mountains out of what feels good. Taking tiny beautiful moments and pulling whole universes out of them.
The way the air feels on my skin. The feeling of the floor I’m sitting on as I write this. How it feels to hold the pen I’m writing with. The textural sounds that silence makes. The sound of the heated air coming out of the vents. When I wash dishes, the texture of the plate, the way the water caresses my hand.
I collect these moments. As if they are shiny gold pieces and the brightest ruby and shimmering emerald stones. Treasures often found after digging through the mud.
And. The more ordinary the better.
And it’s not some grandiose noble idea on how present I'm being. It’s just noticing that some things feel really good. If I let them. If I give myself permission to indulge it as much as I want.
Letting myself swim in it.
Letting life in.
It’s all so incredibly alive. So much so, that sometimes I wonder if anyone has ever exploded from the hugeness of it all.
And the world... well so much is happening isn’t it? But I keep coming back. Back to *here*.
I’m sharing this especially for those of you who have a sense that you are here to help. How easy it is to confuse helping with carrying the world on our shoulders. Taking on the suffering of others.
But really, it’s only you that you need to save. In that saving you recover your true self. And in letting yourself be alive as who you are, it creates powerful ripples. Those ripples travel to the places they are most needed.
And without our effort they do exactly what needs to be done.
To me this is what it means to be of service. Being in service to our aliveness. Do you feel it? How the world is just aching for aliveness?
Every moment you gift yourself soulful pleasure, you gift it to the entire planet. Yes, all of humanity but also our beloved Earth herself.
In my personal connection with our momma Earth I've noticed she doesn’t seem to care so much about my carbon footprint or joining a cause in her name. She is not interested in being saved.
In my ecstasy I can even hear her sigh sometimes… as if to say “Ah yes, that! right there! yes, thank you!”.
So you see? Our work doesn't always have to feel like work. We are just growing our beautiful inner swirly and pulsing light and allowing it to shine itself brightly.
Yours in shiny ecstatic light,
PS. This opening to ecstatic feel goodness, yes it also can bring moments of agony as well. We start feeling the entire spectrum of our inner landscape. The agony has its own uncomfortable and strange richness and beauty. I wrote about the relationship between Agony and Ecstasy here
Leela Haris - Expanding Consciousness