Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A New Earth - Chapter 8 - The Discovery of Inner Space

When I sit on my front porch steps and look out, this is what I see. I love this spot. It feels so open and free when I sit on my steps and just let my eyes drift across this field. It is a very calming place to be.

I really enjoyed Monday nights class. A few points of clarification made this one of my favorite chapters so far. I understood how clinging to my woes created a limited space for me to live. I didn't completely understand how clinging to joy and happiness did the same thing. In fact, when I first read this chapter, it bothered me. Why would I want to let the good things just float away from me and not hold on to them? I had visions of being an emotionless blob. Then when I reread it, I had visions of being sad about being happy, because I knew that it would pass. As I listened, the true meaning began to unfold in my minds eye.

For Example: My son is currently home on leave. I can choose to accept that this happy time is going to pass, or I can sit in dread of his leave date. I can let his days home unfold as they naturally need to, or I can plan his every moment, constantly concerned with fitting in every necessary event that needs to happen to produce "happiness". He is eventually going to leave, either way.

By choosing to be an observer in the moment, instead of spacing off and planning tomorrow, or staring at him remembering his birth, I notice that corny smile he gives me when he wants to borrow my car. I notice that it is no less precious today as it was when he first perfected it at age 16. Hes added a click of his tongue when I give him the look. I notice that he now winks when he knows he's endured the stare long enough for approval. The next thing I know I am smiling at him smiling at me and the magic of the moment shows itself. This is what I get for not letting myself live for the past or future. This is the inner space.

This chapter also deals with Television and all of those activities that take you below thinking. We cut our satellite a few months ago. We go in phases with television. We will have it for a few months, remember why we decided to cut it off and then get rid of it a few months later. My kids have had more periods without TV than with it. I grew up without TV. There was no reception up in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. My children are fine without TV. They don't fight it when we decide its time for it to go.

Our family turns most video games into family activities. We run our own Ultima Online server where everyone gets a house and works together. We have four computers because my husband is a computer geek and builds most of them out of spare parts. All of them are in a common room we call the "Computer room". Playstation activity is usually things like Guitar Hero and the Singstar series. The whole family sings and plays together.

Our latest gaming phase has been playing D&D Pencil and Paper style. All of us sit around a table and collectively picture a problem we need to solve. (We like doing adventures that take solving riddles and puzzles) This is a way to get the kids reading, writing, solving math and logic problems or simply working together as a team. I have made a huge blackboard in our dining room that serves as a great brainstorming place. As geeks, my husband and I are very proud to hand down the traditional geek activities to our children.

The most important thing is to BE with the kids. I stopped doing some of these activities with the kids because I was concerned that I wasn't being a good soccer mom and keeping strict structure and schedules. All that worry and concern caused me to stop being in the moment and start living by a calendar for tomorrow. I am an artsy fartsy type. Living by the calendar and a clock didn't go so well for me. Not only was I not living in the moment, but I was not utilizing my spontaneous abilities (a strong suit for me) and my ego let me know daily what a failure I was.

There has been a wonderful shift in the last few weeks. When I hear my ego screaming at me to pay attention to what is important, I have found the ability to make a choice. I hear the space inside my mind gently tell my ego "Shhh... shh.... be still. It is all going to be okay. Be patient and have faith." It isn't always successful. My ego can be quite loud and obnoxious. When I am successful, I feel like God is touching my soul. A veil gets lifted and the sun on my face is a few degrees warmer. The air around me feels fresh and easier to breath. I catch myself giggling like a child. It is a strange sound to my own ears. I smile when I am alone. I didn't even realize I had forgotten to do that until I started doing it again.

This shift is having some wonderful effects on the outside as well. I am genuinely patient more often. It is not that bite your lips so you won't say anything kind of patient. It is a peaceful patience. It is a -waiting for all the facts- patience. Sometimes a fact is that the person you are dealing with will find their own solution. If you do not wait for it, you do not get to see it. After the fact, my ego wants to strangle me, sometimes. "You should have said this and that or offered to do this or that! You could have been a hero!" After I did this a few times, there was enough physical evidence to convince even my over zealous ego to chill out a little more readily. Those I have done this with feel closer to me. They perceive this as me having faith in them. I do, of course, have faith in them. I always have. I just didn't have the ability to let that faith shine past the ego. This type of connection is so much more powerful than an egoic bond. I am learning that I cannot make these kinds of connections. I allow these kinds of connections by removing the obstacles that would destroy them. It makes me want to take up sculpting.

I still don't know who I am. I don't know what my life's purpose is. I don't have many answers and the answers I do have seem to be slipping away more and more. It is kind of cool.

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1 comment:

nardeeisms said...

What wonderful words. What a beautiful view. There must be something in the air. I too am trying to find my inner space. Here's to each of us getting there - Nards