Friday, March 28, 2014

Clearing Again

My life has been filled with difficulties and challenges of late. It’s been hard to find the energy, either inner or outer, to write. I often wake up in the morning feeling dark and weighed down. Today I made the decision to do something that often helps me—clearing up external things as a symbol for clearing up the overwhelming inner state. I have for years called this “clearing energy” or, simply “clearing”.  I find that it can have a profound effect on my inner world. It gives me a way to focus when focus is really difficult.

So today I am going to empty the refrigerator and clean it out. Food is such a strong symbol of nurturing that it seems like a great place to start. The refrigerator needs cleaning out, I can think about healthy meals and snacks we might enjoy while I am doing it, and I can add a little soothing and healing music to the process. I just might come out of it feeling lighter and a bit more joyous.

If I can’t find that light and joyous feeling, I will still know that I have cleared energy in my life. I know it will be helpful to the overall picture. When energy is cleared, space is made. When space is made, the heart and mind relax. When the heart and mind relax, it is possible to recognize inspirations which will aid further clearing. It is not a panacea for all ills but, rather, a movement in inner and outer places which feel stuck.

Feeling stuck is akin to feeling hopeless. When we can’t sense anywhere to make movement forward in our lives, especially during hard times, our inward selves feel achy and grey. Clearing energy, making space in what seems to be an artificial way, is actually very symbolic. It is an active way to make one’s intent clear. The space made during that process invites movement. The space for movement allows some new thing to enter in, some weight to lift, some new inspiration to arise.

Here’s the wonderful thing; this works even if we can’t feel the effects right away. And, it works if what we do is very small; the symbolism is the same. As we clear, we state our intent to move. That is all that the universal energy flowing around us needs in order to start to flow freely within our own lives again. We simply need to do the work, then watch, wait, and respond to whatever inspiration the newly created space offers to us. It too may be small; but step after step, we open the way to a greater sense of spacious peace in our lives.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Focus on Less

The other day, an odd thought dropped into my mind:

“You are made for less”.

With it came an explanation which opened up a whole way of looking at the topic of letting go.

It starts with my body. My body gives me really definite cues about what it needs. I am a good weight for my height, and I get enough exercise to remain that weight. However, for the last several years I have had a tendency towards acid reflux. I have explored all sorts of reasons and remedies. I have found that what is really true for me is that if I eat moderately, if I am balanced in what I eat, if I eat more in the way of vegetables and less in the way of heavy foods, my body feels absolutely great. I can have a treat every now and then, but if I try to eat more than an occasional treat, my body does not feel great at all.

My body is at its optimal condition with less rather than more. It is made for that.

If I am going to focus on anything well, I will be aided by a body that is at its best. One thing I can give to it is the right balance of food, and I can respect its need for less rather than more.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Small Steps

I am concerned, as many others are, about climate change, peak oil, and the economic ups and downs in the world. Every generation seems to have its challenges. During my parents’ childhoods, the challenges were the Depression and World War II. Now we face the depletion of resources and the degradation of our planet.

Whenever I despair, even a little, about these issues, I rein myself in and focus on whatever small thing is in front of me. The problems are so very big that I often feel overwhelmed. Pulling my thinking into the immediate work in front of me helps me reorient myself to hope rather than despair. It doesn’t seem like much to take the small steps right in front of me but, amazingly, it is. There is no large undertaking that is not accomplished in small steps, one at a time.

It is important to take the steps we actually can take rather than berating ourselves for the steps we cannot manage. If I feel overwhelmed, I need to look for the smallest step that I can manage without feeling stressed. After that step is completed, and after taking a moment to celebrate its completion, I can then look for the next small step. As I do this I build, at the same time, both hope and whatever I am specifically working on.

Think about how many human beings are on this planet. Many of them are also taking small steps. We may not see them, but we can be sure that they are there. If we can let go of all that is not being done and focus instead on adding our own small steps, we can become calmer, more peaceful, more hopeful, and that state of mind allows us to move from one small effort to the next. As we offer our small steps and others offer theirs, we will all weave together solutions to our challenges.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Resisting Focus

My avowed focus is to write and record my own music. And yet that is the very area of focus that I have been avoiding for quite a while. I have a song I am working on. It is actually well on its way to being done; it needs more vocal work, perhaps a reworking of a keyboard track, and mixing, but this is all quite do-able.

If I can’t hold to a particular focus I have set myself, perhaps I need to examine it more closely. What is it that holds me back? What steps can I take to break through the resistance?

Carpal tunnel problems have kept me from playing the guitar for over a year. They also keep me from working for very long at a time on the computer, which is where I use my recording programs. I am trying to find a way to balance my need to do the creative work with my body’s need to be away from work on the computer.

People everywhere have issues like these and worse. People everywhere find themselves unable to do things the way they used to. So how do we maintain focus on something that is important to us in the face of these challenges?

I think one very important thing to do is to break the creative process down into tiny steps, put on our blinders and then take the first step. That step will lead to the next one, and then the next…If I keep my steps small enough, can I both keep momentum going on a project and reduce the challenge to my body?

I am going to set up my microphone right now. That is a small and very easy forward step.