Hell on Earth

Day 8 had been blissful, my meditation practice was in flow and I felt connected to my environment.  However as is the nature of life, nothing lasts forever and so it was the very next day I found myself struggling to control my mind, over-exerting myself and enduring more pain than before.  I had a laser focus, I was determined to sit in my chosen position without moving, during the hour long meditation sittings.  I believed this was the way to learn.

Not to dissimilar to my ethos for life, having been brought up on the cultural and parental expectation that we must work hard to earn a living.  It’s interesting don’t you think how this brule* (bullshit rule) doesn’t serve us, in fact it only serves to disempower us and blinker us to the prospect that we can be happy in work and life without having to endure pain.

The lesson at the end of Day 9 was in how we cling to happiness and therefore how this can be just as destructive to our ability to control our mindset as is the focus on the negative.  The Vipassana technique talks to being equanimous and as had been the case with each passing day, the teaching and review of what we were learning at the end of each evening was the timely reminder of the experience I was going through. The day previous I was in bliss and had become attached to this feeling, which led me to feeling disappointment in not being able to achieve bliss again in the following day.  I’m particularly prone to seeking out positivity, ever the optimist but it became clear to me that this has at times clouded my judgement and led me to feeling more disappointment at points throughout my life.

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Khao Lak – Takua Pa District, Thailand 2011kK

The expectation of happy families for one… At two years of age (so I was told) my mother left me, left Australia and went back to Thailand to be with her family, having struggled to make this place her home.  I don’t believe my Dad put up much of a fight although he made it clear I wasn’t going with her.  For the next 24 years of my life I had no idea where my mother was, other than in Thailand, until one day I got the call – they’d found her.  My expectations were high, I was finally going to meet my mother (having no memory of her because I was so young when she left).  Optimistic of our future together, with gifts in hand and a presumption in my heart that I wanted to support her financially because it was the right thing to do, I flew to Thailand to meet her and my half brother and sister.

The reality though is that there’s nothing quite as crushing as the level of expectation…    I have always believed that because my expectations have been positive, optimistic and therefore have intentions that will provide a ‘brighter future’ that somehow they deserved to come true.  That’s not equanimity though is it, in fact it’s a level of expectation I hadn’t really been willing to face before.  Who me?? I don’t have expectations – it was as if just because my thoughts were focussed on the positive, on the optimistic point of view, that those thoughts weren’t expectations at all.  What’s that saying ‘rose coloured glasses…’

Since I was a young child I can’t tell you where I got the philosophy but I was vocal in my belief that both heaven and hell existed not in the after-life but here on earth.  We were born (without choice) into one, the other or somewhere in between but what I have since actively sought, is to find out if we have since that birth, the option to be reborn in our own image, defined by our own drive and purpose.  That I now believe is true, not because I have my rose coloured glasses on but for the first time I have taken them off and want to see all the world as it is, not just how I want it to be.  The difficulty of this choice is that I am not always happy, I am what I perceived as withdrawn, solemn, introspective or some other adjective that describes the opposite of optimistic.  Yet the reality though is I’m content, I am an evolutionary woman unfolding and discovering the next stage of life.

Evolution is a process of continuous branching and diversification from common trunks. This pattern of irreversible separation gives life’s history its basic directionality.

— Stephen Jay Gould

This is the point at which you get to choose your next adventure… Misery to Happiness or Back to Nature

I’d also love it if you choose to share your thoughts – you can add them below or engage me direct susie@mssusanne.com.au

If you’re not ready to take your next adventure now then you can always subscribe and come back later…

smileykiss

Energy to Burn & Back to Nature

Energy

Although there’s been a fair amount of time since my course in Vipassana, the individual days and the title of each blog post that I committed to memory upon the reflection each evening, are all still fresh in my mind.

Day 7 was the first day that I didn’t feel the overwhelming need to rest in the lunch and afternoon breaks.  Having come through the pain barrier and a number of emotional hurdles during my day’s of silence, this day was a reminder of how grateful I am for my health.  I am mostly cognisant of the correlation between my physical well being and that of my quality of life, however today’s reflection was another reinforcement of how taking a break from toxins such as alcohol and incorporating more vegetables, some fruit and drinking lots of water, can be a simple but effective tool.

Because of the additional energy I had, the additional joy I could incorporate into my day increased – I walked more, through the beautiful bush and over the rocky outcrops on the property; I sat and admired the birds, the clouds and listened to the sounds of nature. It’s funny because when I talk to others about my experience at this course most are shocked and bewildered at why I want to do it again, yet it is just these experiences – of getting back to basics, being present, switching off from technology and other distractions and continually practicing mastering my mind, that are the reasons I would rather pose the question – why wouldn’t I.

 

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Day 8: Back to Nature

Being in nature rejuvenates me, it makes me look in wonder at our world, it reminds me of how much beauty we are surrounded by, how precious life is and how much I have to be grateful for.  There’s so much to see when you choose to be quiet, present and observe your surroundings.  I watched as a blue wren flittered in and around the bushes, a goulds monitor moving through the undergrowth, the glistening web of a spider, dancing shadows as the sun peered through the tree tops… even reminiscing about that day has me feeling calm, centred and happy.  In fact that’s something I’m learning to do more of – rather than seek happiness just in the present or the future for that matter, those goals I’m working towards.  There is more benefit in looking to where I’ve come from, what I have achieved to remind me that I can be happy in the now.

Nature has many lesson’s that she’s constantly teaching us but the question is are we willing to listen?  Our environment is ever changing, with the ebbs and flow of the water, the wind, the earth, day to night and day after day ever evolving.  I’m an evolutionary woman… having been born with a womb yet unable to carry, I now seek to give birth to my inner light.   Woah there trigger – too deep?!? I think that’s a whole other episode or three 😉

I do like to go in depth and challenge my own thoughts and hopefully get you thinking too but we’ll save that for another day.  Let’s get back to nature…

Day 8 for me was another heaven on earth moment – such bliss – I get it when Barbara Marx Hubbard talks to the inner ‘Compass of Joy’ because it’s times like this that I am feeling connected to the world and to my self, the authentic me.  Isn’t that what we’re all looking for… happiness and more accurately, happiness in the now!  I do believe that to be attainable through choice, through mastering your mind, feeding your soul and actively seeking the experiences that your compass of joy can bring into your life when your willing to listen to it.

This is the point at which you get to choose your next adventure… Heaven on Earth or The Pain Barrier or just as awesome would be if you share your thoughts – you can add them below or engage me direct mailto: susie@MsSusanne.com.au

If you’re not ready to take your next adventure now then you can always subscribe and come back later…

smileykiss