Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fawna, Clean Your Room!!!

Thought I had my computer but I don't, I'll get to do this blog from my iPhone!

Catching inspiration as it strikes.

I've been mulling over how to share the difference in my approach to cancer last time and this time- on the outside it may look very similar- on the inside a little different.

On my way home from radiation I saw a helpful metaphor in my mind.

I saw the Febreze commercial

The rooms are my mind, Febreze the tools I've accumulated (angels, affirmations, reframing, etc.).

I've collected a lot of tools- and they work. Instead of sitting in a filthy stinking room I am able to bring myself to a better, fresher smelling place. This is what I accomplished 12 years ago. Relative peace. This was peppered with the occasional deeply peaceful, Grace filled moments for sure, but generally it was a kind of 'good suffering'. There is no judgement here- only an awareness.

This time I have the tools to actually clean the room up. Continuing to use the Febreze over and over works, but ensures ups and downs- I would wait for the stink and then- squirt, squirt. Lately I've been questioning the logic of sayings like "if I didn't know pain how would I know joy", or "no rain, no rainbows". While these give us hope that this too will pass it also offers an acceptance - even a glory - in putting up with pain and suffering.

I am not saying we need to put all of our tools away- no, I'd rather clean in a pleasant atmosphere. I don't think we need to 'dive into the filth, roll around in it', neither can we remain blindfolded and get it cleaned up.

The Living Miracles Church refers to it as 'ghosting' and I'm sure you've had the experience of feeling a bit of pain, worry, anger and quickly using whatever you have to quiet it down- whether it be a crystal, a rye and coke, counseling technique or a spiritual idea.

The image that's been working for me is putting a nice blanket over a dog terd- still there, still a little noticeable!!!
Totally okay to let it dry out a little before you pick it up!

So, I've been using the opportunity this cancer time to clean my room, the banana peels (cancer) and the dirty socks (need for parental approval). I've recognized that whether I believe that the dirty socks came from a 16th century monk or my Uncle Roy, or myself, at some point I need to pick them up and decide if I want to keep them or not.

Inspiration spent I'm going to enjoy a rooftop beer with my brother- cheers!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

How Do You Stay So Strong?

A couple of weeks ago during a rousing game of 'Scramble with friends', a friend asked “How Do You Stay So Strong?”. This question has been bouncing around ever since.

I have ruminated on this question, chewed it up like cud and moved it through my four stomaches.

My initial response was more questions-

“Am I being strong?”

“What is strong?”

“Who is NOT being strong?”

and a statement:

“God is my strength”, but what does that mean?

I saw a kitty poster (which I can’t find for the life of me) that said “Fear shared is cut in half”- which made me think of the support group I have and how Fear cut into 1000 or more is nearly nothing.

Sharing has definitely strengthened me, sharing without expectations and without editing. At some level the biggest fear is that we are alone, separate; and by sharing, this lie just can’t live.

As I shared about my dental fears I was overwhelmed by the number of others hiding what had been a secret shame of mine, as I shared about cancer I received gifts of the heart from all around- no matter what the form it said “we are in this together”.

I have been called strong when I admit that I’m having a hard day, and when I exclaim that everything is perfect- so it’s not at all about the outside.

I have been moved by the fact that so many of us see strength in others while minimizing our own. Case in point- the person who asked me this question found out that the numbness in her legs was an inoperable tumour the very next day, and yet she keeps on trying to beat me at Scramble :). I have had letters from people who call me inspiring- and they themselves are going through battles that I would prefer not to. The fact is, we are all strong.

When do I feel strong- well, that is where God comes in for me. When I remember that I am an eternal spirit, invulnerable and limitless- well- strength just is. When I believe that I am a small body at the risk of danger/injury/hardship/hurt feelings at any moment, well- then I’m scared- not just with cancer- but always!

I looked up Strong and this is the definition that fits best: "Not easily upset; resistant to harmful or unpleasant influences”- Hopefully she didn’t mean this one " having an unpleasantly powerful taste or smell”- maybe should have checked that.

I vacillate between not being easily upset and being easily upset but then looking into the WHY of it- this is where I’m finding gold. Instead of putting up with a life of one upset after another I truly believe that we need not suffer- it’s supposed to be fun here!!!!!! As I erase the lies and the unwanted and limiting beliefs with forgiveness and shining the light on them I feel freer and less and less blown about by the ever changing winds of this world.

As I’ve said in other posts, I’ve chosen to have the strength to look at my crap this time- being aware of what I feel, what I’m thinking, what beliefs that that indicates and then decide whether that is where I want to keep operating from or not.

When I choose that Love is my ONLY purpose, it doesn’t matter what I’m seemingly going through, who I’m with, where I’m at. This is the only action I’m focussing on right now, trusting that the rest will fall into place (and it seems to be!).

I’m not sure that I ‘stay’ strong, but as all of you have shown me- when I show what this world calls weakness- well- that is seen as strong too!

In a nutshell

1. Sharing
2. Self Awareness
3. Honest Expression
4. Ask for Help (from God and the gods and goddesses around you).

AND finally, the answer I usually use:

“What else are we supposed to do?”

From ACIM Lesson 91

“I am not weak, but strong.”
“I am not helpless, but all powerful.”
“I am not limited, but unlimited.”
“I am not doubtful, but certain.”
“I am not an illusion, but a reality.”
“I cannot see in darkness, but in light.”

Friday, July 6, 2012

Trying Peace vs. Peace

Two teeth pulled and 3 temporary fillings. This was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the dental work I am potentially facing. Obviously there has been a reluctance to visit these professionals for some time, reluctance in this case is a major understatement. To be perfectly honest I was in fact hoping for a Miracle healing, I even googled it, “Healing Teeth with the Mind”. I believe that Shirley MaClaine may have done it.

The truth is, tooth work is relatively benign, particularly in this day and age of numbing and sedation. There seemed however to be no way to move this information from my brain to my body. My body in the dentist chair would seem to become seized with anxiety, a vibrating mass of concrete. I would feel tortured with a hangover of intense freezing that would seem to come on as soon as I got into my car after the appointment.

I would often lament “My teeth are fine until I go to the dentist” and - “I believe in Fairies but I don’t believe in Dentists”. I am smiling as I write this.

Over the past 12 years I have been intensely reading, reading to figure this whole shit show out. I continue to resonate with similar themes, themes of personal responsibility, the power of the mind and the Grace within each and every one of us. Many paths preach these same idea’s. So it is with these eye’s that I look at the current situation.

As I shared in the last post the idea’s of radiation and dentistry rocked my boat. During the 2 and 1/2 hour dental examination (required for preparation of radiation) I experienced a roller coaster of thoughts, emotions and beliefs- finding myself mistakenly identified as the torturer and the tortured.

So, how did the actual treatment go? I was sharing with a friend that during the treatment (as mentioned in the first sentence) I noticed the difference between trying to be peaceful and Being Peaceful. She said I should write that down, so here I am.

As I sat in the chair I could feel the familiar heart racing, this was confirmed by the dentist “is your heart rate always this high?” as the computer showed it at 99 beats per minute. With some deep breathing I was able to calm this somewhat.

What I believe may be helpful is the internal dialogue. It feels important to state here that there has been an ‘impersonal’ element to this entire situation over the past few months. This is not ‘my’ cancer, ‘my’ cancer treatment nor ‘my’ dentistry. I have not tried to cultivate an impersonal feel to it- that is just how it feels and that is why it’s been easy to share with you. I don’t actually know what any of this is for - despite the vast number of theories that my analyzing (anal- yzing as my friend Tomas would say) mind would like to put forth.

So my internal dialogue is full of idea’s from A Course In Miracles, The Bible, The 4 Agreements, The Power of Now and Loving What Is- books that resonate and speak to me even before I can put their concepts into action.

Back to the chair. I lay there encouraging my body to relax, noticing everything- grounding (a process of bringing awareness to my feet- growing roots out, bringing myself completely into the body). Fears of pain and loss of control began to show up and in response I said (inside) “I am not upset for the reason that I think (the dentist) where is this coming from” Backing it up I notice that I am not feeling safe and I follow I know that thoughts precede feelings and that beliefs precede thoughts. I believe that I am not safe, I believe that I am this small body that can be harmed, I believe that this dentist is outside of me and a threat to me- when I am meditating I sit longer with these kind of beliefs, agreeing to disagree- remembering who I am and handing them over (to Jesus usually for me) and choose again. I shortcut as I’m in the chair and they are commencing treatment- I am safe, I am loved, the dentist has only my best in mind for me. I find these affirmations most helpful only after uncovering what is causing my discomfort in the first place. When I try to use them to cover the panic without looking at it- well, I can hear the ‘bullshit’ right behind each affirmation- not as helpful.

As they settle in- and quickly- no time between freezing and work and yet fully frozen, my mantra switches to “there is no problem here”, this is a fairly recent addition, switching me from looking at what is wrong to settling into the ‘is’. I also remind myself that all I jwant is Peace of mind (in the past I believe I wanted “get this over as soon as possible”). In this time I am also talking to my teeth. Thank You for what you have done, you are going to be taken out, this is for the highest good- and a voice comes in - a voice of one of my spiritual teachers- “you take these teeth very seriously” and I lighten out of giving too much to the teeth but feeling good about the acknowledgment nonetheless.

All of this is helpful, the relaxation, the mantra’s, the mind watching and then- bam- GRACE. Oh, what a difference, suddenly, from within, welling up like a spring emerges from the earth - Peace and Calm. Peace and Calm without trying, peace and calm filling me, sending me into a space that is bigger than my body, feeling the sameness between the dentist, hygenist and myself. In this space my eyes feel heavy and instead of panic I almost feel like I could fall asleep while the dentist is dismantling my broken teeth and efforting them out! I am aware of a spaciousness inside and it is all okay. I still feel the pressure of the dentist exertion, I am aware of him saying “you are doing so well”. At this point I have a coughing fit, this too is no problem, we all take a break and I continue to sit peacefully, not trying to do anything, not trying to quit coughing or ‘tough it out’. We settle back in and the last piece pops out. We are done in an hour.

As I write this I feel that same feeling popping in, I would love to hear if you feel it too. I am impelled to write and publish this before we head out to the Calgary Stampede. Peace and Calm. Fawna