the more found in less

After dealing with a rather emotionally raw summer, I decided to make last week a staycation of sorts–which is really just a break from the relentless grind of looking for new clients…and trying to figure out what’s wrong with me and my life.

I need a permanent staycation from that last part!

Specifically, my brain gets burned out by emotional upheaval–duh. And it’s been a cumulative effect. Losing two clients and a couple of love interests, all within the span of a couple of months–it all really took its toll on me.

really don’t like losing. 😏

So last week, I decided to catch up on some YouTube videos. Usually Sundays are my day to watch YouTube videos with tarot and oracle card readings for the week–which I never seem to remember but they bring comfort to me in the moment.

I decided to listen to someone I hadn’t listened to in a while.

Matt Kahn is a spiritual teacher up in Seattle, and I’ve listened to him for about three years. He says a lot of common sense things that are desperately needed to be said. And although I don’t always agree with him, his videos have been really helpful for my spiritual journey.

This video is about having less options and about having less in general. Coming across this video was a wonderful synchronicity because I had said the other night on Twitter how I wanted to be more spartan.

So earlier last week, while I was trying to deal with the anxiety of closing out a client, I went through clothes in my closet that didn’t fit right anymore and took them out. There’s probably more to give away in there. I plan on looking through my room tomorrow to start getting rid of more things.

Beyond just having that compulsion to declutter, I’ve been trying to really get a grip on how I feel about my current situation, the dissatisfaction and disappointment that has been increasing its grip around my throat.

Turning 40 last year has brought a lot of internal pressure to live a beautiful life. It’s about time! And now, time feels very short for me.

I don’t feel like I’m doing anything worthwhile, something that’s bigger than myself, something that will last longer than me.

I feel like I’m endlessly spinning my wheels, that I’m wasting my potential.

I feel underutilized and unseen.

Even writing this post today is irritating me! It stirs up all these tough feelings.

But this–the sore disappointments, the anguish, the shame–this is what has been brought to me. I’ve struggled to cope with this reality. And I’m exhausted from the struggle.

I don’t want to emotionally struggle like this anymore.

Matt’s teaching basically invited me to see this lessening in my life as a part of my soul’s growth. And although I’ve whined here enough about how it’s so tiring to hear that, Matt was able to calm those irritated nerves.

Honestly, what other choice do I have besides continued misery?

I hate to spoil the video’s message here, but since it’s almost 2 hours long, I’ll do a TL; DR version: as a spiritual sensitive being (which isn’t everyone), your journey isn’t to amass more. It is to be satisfied with what you have, even as all kind of marketing tells you that you need to have some just in case.

And yes, this is where gratitude comes in, something that comes to me in waves…

Florida has been a place of less–less money, less people, less opportunities. The longer I stay here, the smaller it becomes. There’s been very little gratitude. I’ve hated mostly every minute of this continual compression.

Even after six years of this roller coaster, I’m still amazed that this is what continues to happen. I’m not in a place of acceptance. Yet.

And sometimes–and I’ve said this before–I don’t want to see things spiritually. I don’t want it to be about me seeing the big picture. I just want my creature comforts: to have a peaceful home life, to have a prosperous business, and to feel free to do what I want so I can enjoy life.

And well, that’s not really happening yet. So the question is, how do I make do without feeling like these circumstances are permanent? I’m still squirming to find these answers.

One funny thing Matt brought up was how the ego always wants more–including trying to get the lesson out of experiences. It’s like we want to just skip the experiential part to get the lesson.

And yes, I’m like, I get it, I get it–gratitude, acceptance, surrender. Blah, blah, blah.

Can we get to the good part yet?

I’ve said over and over here that one of my big life lessons is to learn how to trust in the Universe, and yet my life’s journey has made it really hard to trust anyone (although I still do, like an idiot).

But it always comes back to trust and surrender, to the bigger picture being painted.

It doesn’t mean that by knowing what’s going on, that the losses don’t hurt less. It does mean that resisting loss can make things more difficult, can make one more tired.

I’m at this weird juncture where normally, I should feel driven by something, by some goal. My goals are so small now, which makes me feel small.

But that feeling isn’t necessarily the truth of who I am.

The alchemical thing about restriction and limitations–it can force someone to be more creative.

So what am I doing with what I have right now? Beyond being grateful in word, am I grateful in deed as well?

This year, I’ve experienced people, places, and things that I’ve wanted and then had them disappear.

So it makes me wonder…should I want different things?

The answer is…yeah!

I may have mentioned this before, but in a book I was reading about abundance (yes, I know, I’m rolling my eyes, too), it said that we should be focused on how we want to feel more than preferred outcomes (and that’s a paraphrase).

So take, for example, my desire to live in a peaceful home. That could still be in this house, although I seriously doubt it.

As of last Sunday, the house is full again and already, I have issues with the new tenant using my stuff, which I realize is an inherited trigger from my father. 🤣 And I laugh because he really didn’t like me using his stuff. *shudders*

I had to put up a passive aggressive sign, which I hope he can read (English is his second language) and remove some of my things.

But hey–I’m used to this.

Men just like to take, take, take… 🙄

I cleared it up, though, and he understands now. Phew.

Yet ideally, I feel like living alone would be the best outcome. But what if I’m guided to move out to live in some communal space where people respect other people’s property and give me the support I’m looking for? Maybe living alone wouldn’t be for my greatest and highest good.

So to live a guided life, step by step… it comes back to the place of trust and surrender.

And well…it’s something I don’t really want to do. I want to do what I want.

Yet there are bigger things being worked in me that aren’t just for some elusive, intangible soul growth–but that are just better for me, better in a way that I would enjoy and benefit from.

I have to trust that I’m truly in the right place, at the right time–even if it looks like failure.

I hope I can get curious about what’s actually happening in my life instead of focusing on what’s not happening…

bitch less SOM

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The Dissolving “I”

embrace the new you SOM

It’s amazing the revelations that one can get in the bathroom.

I wanted to jot this down before I get bogged down in work for the evening. Today, I forced myself to rest, which amounted to trying to treat this crick in my neck, writing an email to a friend, and gorging on Bravo TV shows.

In woo woo land, most recently I’ve been reading/listening to spiritual teacher Matt Kahn, and he recently posted something on his Facebook page that had me thinking. It’s nothing new to me, although a lot of this stuff in this post has some spiritual jargon that even I’m not used to yet. Here are the two things from this post that stuck out to me:

During this crucial stage of awakening, the competing, defending, argumentative, manipulative, seeking, and struggling “I” dissolves out of experience.

and

As the need or tendency to compete, complain, worry, argue, negotiate, seek, judge, deny, and defend are unraveled out of your energy field, a new sense of self emerges; one that is rooted in cooperation, unity, peace, love, gratitude, abundance, radiance, health, joy, and inspiration, which are the natural characteristics of a soul in form.

Matt goes on and on (and on) about other things, but this dissolving is un-Western–and I love it! Well, I love the idea of it. It’s excruciating. As I face yet another move, having two jobs that I’m not immediately acing and doing well, and feeling trapped by my poverty, lately I haven’t had time to even think about what this is all for–cosmically, universally, spiritually, The Big Picture. It’s probably a good thing because we humans always have to come up with some fucking reason why things are happening. Sometimes, things happen because we made bad choices. Sometimes, things happen because other people made bad choices. And sometimes, things just happen.

So while I was taking a piss, it occurred to me that maybe, the big picture right now is about love. How vague can I be? Let’s drill down deeper with that.

I was telling a friend that I haven’t felt like such a failure in my entire life.  I can barely support myself financially. My composition class students are doing terribly–I’m barely doing that great as a teacher myself. My other job as a part-time tech writer has a very steep learning curve. I have to move again. I lost my car.

There’s another one of those woo woo sayings that really gets on my nerves: things are happening to you, they are happening  for you. I still think that’s some white privileged bullshit, but, at the same time, like many things in life, it’s both/and.

Things are happening to me

It’s almost like I can observe people, places, and things just imploding and exploding all around me. It’s surreal and hyperreal. Unbelievable. What really scares me is if all of those circumstantial things continues. As I’ve probably said before, I’ve never been more spiritual than right now, and my life circumstances have never been harder.

Things are happening for me

So much of my identity has been wrapped up in being good: avoiding getting yelled at by my parents, which, in turn, is about not getting yelled at by my bosses, my landlords, my anyone in some sort of authority over me. There’s been a lot of yelling in my life, but also just a lot of failure. I’m not great at teaching, I’m not great at writing, I’m not great at relationships. My life is just smoldering ash being carried by the wind *places back of hand on my forehead wearily*

Despite my utter lack of adultiness, I deserve love, compassion, and support anyway.

Despite. Because. Especially.

Even though my career life has been lacking–yes, even in light of a hard-fought MFA degree–I felt like I was doing alright until I actually started grad school. My “I” has been bludgeoned by hatred, jealousy, racism, sexism, poverty, loneliness, betrayal, fear, homelessness…so many things. I’m not really sure what’s left, or if, as Matt says, a new self is emerging.

What did emerge in my bathroom was that whomever is emerging, all these horrible circumstances have stripped me of my need to be good and great. I suck at pretty much everything right now, but even still–I deserve compassion. Even when the landlady that I live with is duplicitous–in my mind, I don’t think she deserves love i.e. the reason why I have to move in the first place: her girlfriend is moving in officially a week after I leave. But *gulp* even she–even she–deserves love and compassion, even though, in my eyes, she sucks as a human being.

Maybe even saying that is a bridge too far, but if I feel that way about her, then I will feel that way about myself–love gained by performance. As a gifted child, academic things came easily to me, and my identity was built around the praise of my teachers. Now that I’m a professor and not really that great at it, it’s tough to keep going knowing that I suck. Even more so, sometimes it’s hard to keep going at life knowing that I suck at it, that I’m not hitting the standards of success that I have for myself.

For some reason, even as I dissolve in my suckitude, it helps to know that the pain that I feel, besides the harsh discomfort of being alone and being poor, is that old me dissolving. The pain is a sign that I’m getting closer to the me that deserves love. Even further, Matt would say that I can love the one who is in pain, love the one who is sucking so hard at being the me that I want and need to be.

So maybe, I can thank all the people who were complete asshats to me, especially in Florida–who *gulp* also deserve love and compassion–because they all are bringing me closer to the person who does not have to be good and great to receive and deserve love.

Maybe.

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