Deeply Awake — I Smile Now 6-21-13 By Kathy Vik
It’s funny to me how the last couple of weeks have been some of the most beautiful, gentle and loving times I have ever known, and each day’s activities are now preceded, completed and interwoven with a narration which I have come to rely on.
I have had a lot of cool meditations, and a few things have happened in the physical which feel more dream-like than not, times when I was so altered, and yet sober, and in company, and very happy.
The thing is, this whole thing, Deeply Awake, the whole thing was to do two things: document in as much detail as possible the meditations and weird stuff that was happening to me, and also to somehow once and for all come to peace with some things that seemed to be getting in my way of mastery, or enlightenment, but, really, let’s be honest, all that talk really is just another way of saying I wanted to finally be really happy in my own skin, without apology and without defense, just someone who didn’t mind it if you just walked away from such utter magnificence, but more inviting than I’ve ever been, as unafraid and happy as I have become.
I mean, for a goal, I don’t think that’s a bad one.
For me, it required unplugging from a lot of stuff that others value more highly than their lives. It required that I obey a very ancient wisdom that I know, one that informed me in youth, blossomed in young adulthood, and went fallow during my adulthood. Something that now stands as a big garden, loaded with bounty, enough for all. And I guess it is easiest to just describe my passion as that of esoterics, metaphysics. I just love all of it.
And yet I am drawn back into the old thinking, still.
You know, for me, this caused me the most trouble of all, I think. I mean, I still feel shame, real genuine shame, just like a scolded, ashamed little kid, when I realize that I got so stuck in the old thinking. It happened this morning. I got my package delivered to my psyche, as always, first thing, the really really good, pure stuff, in a block, and today I just layed in bed stunned by what I just realized about how I live with my money. Holy crap. My body felt like it was electric-on-fire, but heavy, and then everything passed, but when I got up, I felt bad.
I felt stuck. I felt upset.
I thought about all the dead ends, the disappointments, how my life, for all its promise, still seems to be idling. And oh the sorrow, blah blah blah.
God it got old. And so I got the coffee going, and then I was just sort of at wit’s end. It’s my day off. My son and I had a competition planned, how cool we could get the place looking would determine who gets the cool chair I found (we have a furniture exchange program in our building, all very informal and hush hush)
But Sam didn’t sleep because he is having a sleep over tonight with his best friend, and he couldn’t settle down, so this morning, he asked and I obliged, and now he is snowed under with Benadryl and Melatonin, getting ready so that he isn’t a mean person this evening with his friends.
So here I was, rattling around the house, feeling edgy and a little torn asunder with thinking a new big thought, and so I put on Kryon and rolled some joints.
And things got clearer for me the more I just lightly engaged with my reality, just ever so lightly.
And it reminded me of yesterday. In a funk, in traffic, thinking bad thoughts, dark ones, about stuff I knew wasn’t even real.
And in a moment of absurdity, that’s exactly what dawned on me.
Here I was, crapping all over my day, feeling heavy and down-hearted and disappointed about stuff that hasn’t even happened yet, may never happen, and even if it does, so what, I can handle anything!
But that isn’t at the heart of it, not really.
At the heart of it lies a quieter truth, one which requires a degree of stillness to gain access to its sweetness. The truth of it is, that when I am in thought about “problems,” I am making a thought, I am creating a thought construct. This will happen, then this will happen, and I will feel this way, and do this, and with all these thoughts, there are reams and reams of white hot emotion! And that is a thought construct.
And what is a thought construct but a set of ideas which elicit reaction, emotional reaction.
And so I spent much of my day feeling a reaction of dread, or of worry, or of resignation and disappointment.
Yeah, I wasn’t a lot of fun to be around yesterday.
But it dawned on me, after a while, that all of it, the whole pastime, is just that. It is an idle thing to do which is very creative and fun, but that I am using to scare myself. And fear is there only because these thoughts represent lack are not real, they do not stand up tall and happy in the light. They make me feel like cowering, like crying, like giving up.
So, I began to remember some things.
I reminded myself that I can think anything I wish, and I can enjoy any feeling state at all. It is well within my freedom as a human to opt for thoughts which are shinier, which are indeed truer. No one will arrest me, and no one is really, actually, supposed to have an opinion about what I use to keep my mind busy.
I have long gotten over that old belief that says that happy thoughts are bad thoughts, because only good thoughts are complex. Something to that effect. That happy thoughts, being happy, feeling joy, this is simply an extravagance that will not be tolerated, it is not necessary and gets in the way of the terribly important work at hand.
Now, come on, I know I am not the only one who has this as their second language. Crikey, look at the hours people put in on their jobs, jobs many just cannot stand. Don’t tell me I am the only one who thinks happiness, just plain old garden variety joy, that this is an extravagance that is not to be tolerated! Look at the Puritans. Look at the Midwestern Work Ethic!
I think such thinking is quite pervasive, actually, and I don’t think myself perverse to ignore it.
But until you switch on to the alternative, that’s really all there is. Relationships are a drag because no one hears the other, work sucks because there is a big old us and them at play, finances, health, all those other spheres, all influenced by a little thing called expectation.
I expect that which I …… what?
In the old days, what happened up until now was predictive of what was to come. You know that is true. Maybe the story of your life you tell yourself or others even echoes this, a stair-step progression through the initiations of what, apprenticeship? Relationship? Spiritual growth? All things leading from what came before.
But I don’t think that is how things have to work, or actually do work, no, not at all.
I think it is possible to see things for what they are: there is only this moment, the one right now, here. That’s it. I can change my past by imagining and inhabiting a different future, which then gradually begins to introduce itself into my now field, because the now field is that which I recognize as my focus. Just as valid, of course, is the thought that one can alter one’s past to create a different now and future, but there we go, into esoterics
Realities are lands we create using the canvas of time, in which we anchor spiritual reality with agreements, appointments, events. We great artists choose for our media our thought constructs, our awarenesses, our internal now.
And so yesterday, as I drove around town, feeling unseen once again, and wondering when things will finally open up for me, I got it real big that this is simply an old groove in a record that I have been enjoying hear play.
This whole arms outstretched, fists balled, face crying, rain pouring down, lightening flashing, declaring my purpose, my function, my worth, my integrity, yeah, those days are passing, and they ride with me now, but here it is, time to translate it onto canvas.
Shit. What do I do now?
Well, yesterday and this morning, it involved awareness of my distress. That’s a big one. When I was so used to miserable, it would take a really awful thing to get my attention, because I was miserable and upset all the time. That was before 2012, and it SUCKED. It took big events, either inspiring or otherwise, to get my attention.
Not anymore. It hurts to be out of alignment. It hurts to repeat lies to myself.
So first there is the AHA, of this feeling state of depression, or of dread, or of it’s not happening fast enough, or of oops, I let it happen again with the bad thoughts, anything to just help get up and out of that groove. It is very helpful.
So humor, that is a good one. Sure, a touch of weed is fine. Listening to a tape, reading, doing art, taking a walk, driving, whatever helps to disengage the thinking.
But if there is nothing else that can be done, when it’s 95 degrees and you are stuck in traffic in a car without AC, and your thoughts turn dark and dirty with hate or anger or anything else that is just really unpleasant, then what is inside must change, which is the truth behind the truth.
And that is what I have learned, and maybe that’s why I made my life a study in extremes and in removal, and then return, of softness. To just get it once and for all.
It is not about the ease given to me by cash or by friendship or by station. We all, each of us, have only this, really, just our bodies, just our thoughts. Everything else is a construct. Whether I find myself in a jail cell or in a mansion, I am still in this body, and I am still thinking thoughts, having feelings, accessing certain awarenesses.
Simply becoming aware that it is I who is creating the mood of the place for myself, and, by extension, for others, to whatever degree, then this is a help. That is a place to start.
And it is in my choosing to not do this that makes the madness go on as long as it will, and it is in kicking myself for not having done it sooner that a secondary pain is introduced, something that I referenced at the beginning.
There may only be this one weird person, in all this whole world, who understands this, and that one person may be in fact just me.
I am feeling such a sense of other hunger, such a sense of aloneness, as if the gulf between me and any human being is just so huge a chasm, I will forever be alone on this side, hollering, and all these words just go scattering off into the clouds. They are pretty and maybe for that reason they might have value, but they are unread, unrecognized, unloved, and this saddens me to no end.
This I know I must change, and this is what comes to me again and again now.
I smile, now and then, more easily now, when I think on my path. This nurse, this writer, this voice of unlimited good will and beauty, unread, unrealized.
I wonder what it is like for someone who is not new-agey to stumble upon this sort of writing. I wonder if it is just too rich, or if it is fun.
And this is where the smiling always gets broader.
1 – This is all so new, in the physical, O impatient one.
2 – You are invested in not peddling it. Why despair, then, when its readership is a slow and organic one?
3 – If you want it, go get it. Nothing is preventing you.
And it is with the third that the chaos once again descended, and all that tells me anymore is that it is not time, and that is all.
That is why the smiles are coming easier now.
It is easier to right myself, and easier to still myself. The truth, as I see it, comes easier to me. The worry thoughts are easier to dispel as the rubbish they are, and hope once again comes, and I know that there are some things that it is good to remind myself of, and that’s because they are not that evident, they are not mirrored for me, and they are revolutionary.
I will tell you them now, in the hopes that a xeroxed copy of them in my wallet will help me when I get fucked up again.
Everything I can sense at this very moment, and all distress I may feel, well, take a look at your hands, Kathy. Just look at them. These are the hands you had as a girl. They are the hands you will always know as yours. And follow them up. They are connected to a body. See the belly, the legs, the feet. Feel it. This body is making it all go, making it all meaningful, sensing it all. How I feel about it, that is completely up to me. The driving of the car and the buying of the food and the medicating of the patients, these are activities I DO, I, this me, this body.
The activities I engage in are part of a choice system. There are some things I prefer to not do, and yet they are in my reality. As such, I accept them as friend and not foe. Anything that is in my reality, in my awareness, a part of my day to whatever extent at all, it is a choice, and to fight against or think bad thoughts about something I have chosen, well, that’s just not being very honest about things.
I don’t like certain things because I have decided that they are bad for me, or are not the best for me. But, here it is, and so, I am being asked to love this into wholeness, into alignment. The discomfort just wouldn’t be there if I was through with this (pick an issue)
So, if I am aware of it, I love it. I see it as having a purpose that I perhaps as yet don’t understand. I allow my hopes and my dreams and even my fears to be uncoupled from the event I have attached them to, and I see the hope or fear or dream for what it is. I love it as a piece of me which found a fitting metaphor to inhabit, a fancy thought construct in which to dwell. I greet the internal event, the emotional state, and I invite it in.
Most of the unhappiness I walk around with, and it may be such a thin veneer that it just coats everything it touches with the emotion, most of this unhappiness comes from not feeling loved, either by God, by humanity, by lady luck, by humans, by clients, by family.
Tell me what beer commercials, car commercials, sit coms, all of it, what is all of it saying? “I love you. Please love me.”
And my fatigue now has a different form, and maybe it is just a refinement of the old disappointment, that I’m all alone here. Sure I am in company, but is it with folks who LOVE? Am I among those who are relaxed and certain of their lives as valid, themselves as worthy, their reality as blessed?
Of course not.
Unless I am hiding myself away with a bunch of new-agers, the answer is, unfortunately, still no, not as much as I would like.
And, come on, don’t be coy, that is a big one for you too. Let’s not be untruthful anymore. For all the bluster and blow of the dudes, and all the clinginess of the girls we see all around and within us, doesn’t it boil down to just wanting to relax and not have to worry, to just know that the other person has your back and is thinking good thoughts about themselves and you?!
I thought about this a few days ago, petting my cat.
If it is true that pets and animals consciously live within a matrix of unconditional love, and we do not, and one of their gifts is to mirror that to us non—stop, then, well, let me take this for a walk, I thought.
Minky liked that I was petting her, so she got up close to my face and started licking my nose. And after awhile that doesn’t feel so good, so I pushed her away.
And I stopped myself cold.
Minky here is in unconditional love. If she is doing something I don’t like and I am brutish, she doesn’t mind.
Her feelings aren’t hurt.
She doesn’t lay her long kitty autobiography on me as evidence that I have hurt her in a brand new way that just fits with all the old ways that humans have been mean to her in the past.
She doesn’t demand an apology.
She doesn’t pout.
She doesn’t claw at me.
She doesn’t leave happily, but evilly plotting revenge.
She doesn’t even give me the stink eye.
She lays down at the foot of the bed, paws just so, cuter than anything I have ever seen in my life.
OK, now, go with me on this one…
What would happen if EVERYBODY was like that?!
What would it be like if everyone was so full, was just fully sure that they were loved, and could radiate unconditional love, well then, if I got batted away, I wouldn’t think too much of it. I’d say something kind and honest and helpful, and then I’d move on, pretty as a picture. Certain that no one specifically is the source, the creator, of my feelings of worth and of competence and completion.
What a world.
And so this dissonance is a real one, and can lead to disharmonious thoughts, and sometimes they are melancholy ones. Because I do not, as yet, inhabit and dwell within 24/7 unconditional love.
And neither do you.
So much of it comes down to just getting out of our own ways, our own heads, and connecting.
I have no desire to convert anyone, because there is nothing to convert them to, I have come to discover. Either you are interested in this stuff (metaphysics, etc) or you aren’t, and although I have the bias that to know more about it is very very good, I know it is good for me. I know some of this stuff is just not very comfortable for people to hear about, and I wish I knew why. But still, people in the “real world,” they turn away.
It is funny, and so I’ll end with it. Kryon talks about the old soul listener at a restaurant. You are listening to what all the others are talking about, at their tables, and it’s not what you are talking about.
And if you were to drop into one of those conversations, at an adjacent table, and if there were an invitation to speak, and you spoke of what you know to be true, the people at the table, they would get up and leave.
And I want you to understand what a number that does on people!!!!!!!
imagine the one thing you love above everything, whether it be your kid or your pursuits in genetics or your music. Imagine that one holy, special place you have. And imagine when you bring it out, people turn away from it and call it ugly, evil, inappropriate.
I want you to think about it long and hard.
It is easy enough to get praise for your painting, for your sewing, for your business acumen, for your child rearing. But when it comes down to what informs those activities, the thinking which drives the person who is actually doing those things, well, folks just don’t want to go there, and some seem to even think extraordinarily bad thoughts for those who do, at least up until now.
It is nice to think that there will come a time when it will be neither odd nor disconcerting for me to love you without worry, without repercussion, without promises needing to be authenticated, in triplicate. It will be nice to one day be among all people who have a high regard for themselves, for their own personal understanding of themselves as divine, and, then, of course, the acknowledgment that we are all divine, we are all worthy of great love and kindnesses.
To live in a world where being open, being loving, is not an intimidating thing, not something to be titrated, guarded, hidden.
Love can take the form of Jesus Christ, or Shiva, or a fine portrait, or a harmonious environment. It is creativity, inspiration, light. It is a language of humor, of hope, of surprise, of redemption, of relief.
So, when I lose my way, and then again when I find it, I smile now. I know that there is something within me that knows the way.
So, I have chosen a pursuit that is apparently an odd one, although I think it isn’t at all odd. It seems to be off-putting, as does my relative openness and good humor.
So be it.
I have made a few decisions for myself. I will be in the land of men, the uninitiated, the resistant. Fine. I think it’s fun.
But no longer will that be my sustenance.
I will no longer assume that those who speak of hate and fear and worry, that these are people who can directly feed my soul with what I know it needs. I get that from you. I get it from nature. I get it from my boy, our activities, my meditations, my quiet moments, and my writing.
I no longer think I am broken because you have yet to deduce that I, like you, am a friend, am worth your love, worth the Love of God.
And I will no longer assume that when surrounded by those who believe in their lack and fragility, that these are paragons of strength, for they are not. They are not. They are not.
I will go within and seek the truth of the matter, that those who speak in words of fear are needing words of love.
And I will speak those words however I am able, and let myself off the hook if they go unheard. Unappreciated. Unloved.
And I will move on.
I’ll give what I can. I will assume that any such gift of love and acceptance is a good one, and I will find those who can see these gifts for what they are, but, you know, the truth is that it is when we are at our lowest, when we are kicking the dog after work, or biting the hand that feeds, those are the moments when transcendence occurs.
To remove myself from the fray because I am not getting seen, well, that seems a little selfish.
But there is nothing like being seen. Really seen. Loved and acknowledged by someone who has been there.
So I go to kirtan, and I hang out with very cool people, and I feed myself, but I see the fray for what it is. I give a lot.
And this one here, she wants to start getting.
I think we have all done this posture, to some degree, in the old energy, of staying low and not saying too much, allowing the loud ones to put us down and make loving others some sort of weakness.
I get tired of it, because it’s sort of a blood sport, being crude and insensitive. I can tolerate it, but I do not enjoy it.
And usually, I can create that happiness and peace wherever I go, and I can see people ease and mellow in conversation.
Now, when the lulls come, they are brief, but I still beat myself up for it, and want to get feeling better, and get angry and upset I am feeling angry and upset!
And so, to my impatience, I say as a loving parent, you kept me alive when I was in hibernation. You kept me pushing, you kept me seeking, and you kept me praying. And now, thanks to you, I right myself quicker, and the path is a clear one.
But I say to you, my dear impatience, that now is the season of the impeccable timing of fruition. Now, as before, is the time to trust.
I have pushed hard to get here. It was too painful to do anything but push through it. I came in remembering an older way, a more comprehensive way, but it took all this time to remove the debris which had settled over it.
It is a simple truth, and a clear one. I am loved. I know love because I am loved because I am made of love. And I love you. As simple as that. I love you, and I love me, and I love my life, as big and mysterious and entangled with All That Is as it is.
This love is not one that knows of trades and reciprocation. It needs nothing. Love is like that. This love gives, and it gives because it can and because it is just one side of an obvious relationship. I am giving the very love I am receiving, no matter if I am being a jerk or not, no matter if you are being a jerk or not.
The only energetic sin, so to speak, is self-loathing. I have always known it, and always fought against it, but it is a truth I cannot run from, cannot deny. Self loathing is the basest form of ignorance, the most obvious trick in the book, a devious trap we fashioned ourselves, so brilliant because it works every single time, until it doesn’t, and then it never works again, not like it used to, until, one day, it tries to work and cannot, and never will again.
I smile at that silly, worn contraption now. It sits on my messy floor, smiling up at me, ready to go again, ready to try again.
No, I think not.
I think things can be easily boiled down. If it is in my awareness, its purpose is one of love. If it doesn’t feel loving to me, I am not seeing it clearly. Its mission is to invite me to inhabit compassion for all, self first.
How can I but smile, now?