secretive is passe
so, i'm on a journey of what i'm calling my renaissance, a returning to myself and a rejuvenating of my... well, my je ne sais quoi. a characteristic of mine that accompanied and supported my passion, my love, my innocence, my trust of and belief in life and magic. my anti-cynicism maybe.
this journey is following one of a different nature, one where i was moved to find ways to be able to recognize, identify, and name my needs and my opinions. through my adventures in community living (with special assistance from working with the consensus process and from friends like becky and aaron) i realized that i wanted to be able to play a more active role in my own life and shape the decisions made around me. an amazing, wonderful, empowering venture into self-expression that eventually left me with more criticism and bitterness than i wish to carry with me. i got into a place of distancing myself from the fabric of the world and overseeing and scrutinizing what was going on around me.
now i'm working on finding a balance between being able to acknowledge my critique to help me pursue what i want, and also being able to, as byron katie says, love What Is.
on our trip cross country, our caravan stopped at the one world everybody eats cafe in salt lake city. definitely a highlight of the trip. you get fresh, healthy, organic, local food and you choose how much to pay for it. there's always a free dish that no one pays for. and you can always trade for your meal. one way to trade is to exchange an hour of meditation or prayer. anyway, on the wall there was a poem by sri chinmoy, one line of which felt relevant for this lesson i'm learning: "I am happy because I do not try to convince others."
as a part of this whole process i've been realizing the ways i'm secretive and sometimes deceptive. i think that part of that je ne sais quoi that i've distanced myself from is my vulnerability. and in this journey of learning to communicate i'm hearing in a different way than before what i've always been able to hold back by staying in the shadows. now that i'm trying to make myself more present to and a part of the conversation i don't want to find myself holding my tongue. i do want to divulge who i am in juicy and nervous-making ways. i want to take risks because i believe in life. i want to proclaim and embrace.
one of my favorite quotes from a movie is from harold and maude. maude is showing harold around her little house filled with elements of her fully lived life and they come to something hanging over the fireplace. a cane or umbrella or something like it that maude used to use as defense in all the protests and rallies she would go to. but she tells harold "i don't need the protection anymore. i embrace!"
i wrote a snippet about beginning "a thousand names for joy" by byron katie on november 6th. i continue to not be so sure about it. the tone still turns me off but i do appreciate learning more about and incorporating what she calls The Work.
then here i am in virginia staying with my wonderful friends mary, nexus, and rannie -the finders- and i wander among their collections of books browsing titles and reading descriptions. (one of the greatest things about living in community has always been the pooled resources, including giant libraries of books begging to be read. yum!) well, i came across this book called "radical honesty: how to transform your life by telling the truth" by brad blanton. sounds relevant, no? so i pick it up and browse to get a feel for it and it turns out that a big part of the message feels very similar to the byron katie book but with a VERY different tone. samples from each that are making similar points in their different ways:
"when the mind believes what it thinks, it names what cannot be named and tries to make it real through a name. it believes that its names are real, that there's a world out there separate from itself. that's an illusion. the whole world is projected. when you're shut down and frightened, the world seems hostile; when you love what is, everything in the world becomes the beloved. inside and outside always match – they're reflections of each other. the world is the mirror image of your mind."
-"a thousand names for joy: living in harmony with the way things are"
"bullshit is a highly technical term used throughout this book. ... bullshit is any abstraction from experience your mind makes and assigns value to. 'you don't love me,' or 'those people are angry,' or 'this is ugly (beautiful, good, bad, important, etc.)' all are interpretations of reality. bullshit is a sales pitch for an interpretation of reality that comes with any interpretation of reality. all interpretations of reality are bullshit. freedom is not being dominated by your own bullshit."
-"radical honesty: how to transform your life by telling the truth"
as i said in my entry on the 6th, i'm laying aside my cynicism, and embracing what they have to offer.
so here's my attempt at making a frank, intimate, transparent, and embracing blog post. so far it feels pretty liberating. and tiring! (especially since it;s taken me so long, it's late at night, and i just woke up asher with my computering. now he's sitting in my lap, watching the screen and my fingers as they move across the keys, with occasional glances at and grabs for his toes. okay, nighty night time before he wakes up too much.)