Being absolutely clear on clarity

Closing into the end of Gretchen Rubin’s “Better than Before”. A chapter that really resonated with me, playing on the chords of me heart – clarity.

Habits are easier when there is clarity – clarity in values, and clarity in actions.

I realize that some of my die-hard habits that are present right now (like reading, meditation, listening to music that is healing, savoring what I eat and enjoying my food and drink) exist because they help me achieve my value of self-love and self-care.

They exist and persist because it is clear to me what is the value they directly provide, but also it is immediately clear for me how these actions relate to my values.

Some questions for me to ponder and seek an awareness on as I complete the book:

  • What other values / truths speak to me and feels right, right now?
  • And how might I better embody these, in my day-to-day?

Tip-toeing my way forward

Received this from a friend today. Thank you dear Olivia, xo.

Taking it all in, even though I might have seen so many similar forms before. So I am asking myself: which areas in my life am I not adequately “stepping in the right direction?”

Exercise. Work. Friends. Exercise. Writing.

Yes – exercise seems to be the area I need to start taking small steps. I know for sure I need to overcome my internal barriers and the crap I tell myself. Argh

Feel the resistance. Feel the judgments. Feel the fear and the anxiety and the unworthiness.

Feel it all. And then do it anyway.

I will be mindful to the negative and untrue self-talk that arises, and know that even if my exercise regime is not the best, even if its not something i’m proud of, I will continue to put one step in front of the other.

Tip-toe if I must. I take the step.

I am a habitual rebel

Reading Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before.

Habits. They are the architecture of our everyday lives – the quality of our habits become the quality of our lives.

So, I started thinking… Are habits working for me? From the book, and from self-reflection, I know that I am:

  • A rebel (resisting both outer and inner expectations)
  • Someone who loves novelty; starting new things and less so on finishing them (is this reflective of my lack of determination or willpower?)
  • Someone who hates forms of accountability and restrictions
  • Embracing freedom, spontaneity, authenticity

So this might be interesting, seeing that habits don’t seem to work well for rebels.

We’ll see. Anyhow, I believe that if I am to surround myself with a list (or couple of lists) of things to choose from in deciding what I might want to do to pursue my various goals, then I would still be alright.

Reading on!

A commitment to the messy unknown

I’ve just finished Pema Chödrön’s Good Medicine online course, and am so grateful for such a timeless time sitting with her and basking in her teachings.

Maitri is the unconditional friendship for oneself. Being friends with, and accepting oneself unconditionally.

What I have learned is the practice of tonglen and maitri, and moving closer to oneself. A precious teaching of accepting whatever is arising, and whatever my being is at this moment. And that our experiences are a stepping stone to compassion and our shared humanity.

And at the end of the course, it struck me how often i’ve stepped out of maitri, especially whenever i’m in some messy process of figuring out where I am, how i’m feeling, and where i’m heading.

It seems that my ego, or mind, seems to ‘jump’ to the possible conclusion or “truth” that might seem easiest and least painful. How I might have judged myself for struggling with stuff, and not been willing to rumble longer to expose the deeper truth, and just reach for the surface truth bubbles.

A deep lesson in accepting that wherever I am, whatever is arising, however shit and fucked-up it may be at this moment, I am ok. I will get out of it one day, and til that day, I will keep rumbling and inquiring and delving deeper.

Same boat, shared humanity.

Mirror reflections, our shared Life.

Pledging to stay committed to the messy unknown, the sometimes painful until salvation and liberation, nature of Truth.

Disagreeing with one another; this sucks.

Relationships are so crucial to experiencing a fulfilling life – we seek people out, accepting those that accept us, and somehow we reject those who deny us acceptance. We like people who like us, and dislike those who dislike us. Its simple human psychology.

But relationships are sometimes thorny and tricky. Disagreements tend to be common-place whenever there is vested emotion, interests, and attachments within two people. Its inevitable. Painful disagreements are inevitable. I believe however, what is evitable is the suffering that comes along with these conflicts of opposing perspectives.

And from my personal direct experience, I have found that often suffering (the continuation of pain and its seemingly endless and prolonged nature) occurs because we cannot get someone else to see our point of view. And then we persist in our mental stories of how things should have been, could have been, might have been if just ……

The pain ends when both parties are willing to stop the game of blaming.

So what have I found to be useful in dealing with and managing previous suffering is really recognizing what is really going on inside of yourself whenever the disagreement starts, exploring both within and out.

  1. Notice what emotions arise, and what internal reactions are being triggered by the other party. Yes their actions and words sting.
  2. Explore why they sting the way they sting. In the most generous intepretation, were they really behaving in how your mental story put them to be? Is this my issue, or theirs, or both?
  3. Go deeper. Staying present to what emotions or thoughts come up, just relax. What else comes up?
  4. How best can you respond to the other party? Do you have a part to play in this episode as well? Tell them how they have made you feel, and why.
  5. Hear them out. Let them respond.
  6. Exchange from a space of understanding (for self and for other)
  7. Resolution arises when the relationship can be renewed with an insight from the disagreement. No insight, no renewal, no moving forward from the hurt.

Its healthy to allow and accept all forms of crappy emotions to arise. So what if you’re angry, so what if you’re sad, so what if you feel rejected – its normal.

Emotions are the juice of human experience: feelings are our shared humanity.

Stay present to both yourself and the other party. You both are important in the relationship. Inquire with compassion.

Sure, it feels empowering to stay angry and hurt, and point fingers. It allows you to protect yourself and that is sometimes helpful. What is also important is mending the relationship. Take the step inwards, before taking the step forward.

It started with a simple question: how can I tap into and exercise my creativity?

The quick answer – this blog.

I want to start a platform that I can build content, telling my story and sharing thoughts that have lingered for far too long in my mind.

Before I begin, I wish to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude. A huge “THANK YOU!” to everyone who has walked this path with me in their own way. You guys have shaped me into the person I am today.

Thankfulness for the experiences I have collected and cherished up to today… They are the treasure that no one can take, but only add to in the time we spend together.

And also, a hush-hush, hand-on-heart thank you to myself to starting this. Inspiration comes from daring to share our personal life stories of trying and falling and winning and losing, despite where they may ultimately lead us. Of being willing to show up and say, “This is Ian today.”

May this blog facilitate an effortless sharing of what I have encountered in Life. May it share my Truth and my Random Ramblings 🙂