Mind Chatter

This much I have learned. We cannot make anyone happy and if that is true it must also be true that we cannot make anyone unhappy. No more guilt.

What makes a person happy or unhappy comes from within that person. It is a source of funds we are born with. The funds get hidden from our view pretty quickly, it seems, but they never leave and are never depleted. Imagine that.

What hides the fund from our view is our view. Not sure what it is about a life on earth that does this only that it often does occur and often very early in our life.

The mind becomes busy with the tool of thinking. So busy it almost never stops. It is a wonderful tool, to think. It is a deep black hole to be so preoccupied with our thoughts that we no longer use the tool for thinking.

The mind chatter rules our life on earth and covers over the joy that is the source of funds we are born with.

Through the stillness of the mind, stopping the chatter, we uncover the wealth within.

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2017

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Change won’t happen when we do things the way they were always done or the way we were taught to do them.

Without the search for better ways – we would still be pulling a plough on our backs and even that was a step forward at the time to ‘how it was always done.’

Each of us has a different take on the world that is how it is. Accept this – it is reality.

To offer this “oh this is how it is always done” as an excuse for not changing or anything at all really is playing a victim role. Once your view of yourself is woe is me – complete selfishness starts to thrive from within and this becomes who you are in the form of a body. You might not look to be completely selfish but by default once we start hurting from within there is nowhere else this can take us.

Changing the subject now to becoming engaged from within. To be engaged in what we do can offer some “space”. Space can allow, all by itself something akin to peace.

Without space we fix our minds on issues. These issues can create strong feelings. Issues that our minds create often do not fit into reality. Issues like we do this because this is how it has always been done. This may seem like reality but the reality is we can look at a different way to do this.

We form opinions from observations and experiences we have. We then call these our beliefs. When something happens we get another “hit” to add to our beliefs.

Each new “hit” triggers a feeling. We think we need to listen to our feelings. Feelings come and go. They are clouds moving across the landscape of our minds, continually, as clouds do.

Very few feelings seem to match with reality. Once we become more aware of what reality is.

This week I felt a bit sick late one afternoon while at the office where I work for x number of days a week. Logic told me it could be due to this, this, this or this. As the working day came to an end I left the office glad to be going home because I did not feel all that well.

On the drive home I put the car window down to get some fresh air into my lungs and intuitively considered what was going to help me. At this level I am using my feelings and emotions with awareness in an endeavor to change the course of my feeling unwell. I listen to this and let it guide me.

At other times I sense or know my feelings are misguiding me. As an example I make a mistake at work, this is disappointing to me. However beyond being disappointing to me the feelings within me start to flare up and tell me all sorts of stories, stories that I am creating as there is nobody else in my head, only me.

I own it and call it my paranoia moment. It starts with forming beliefs about how other people might view me. It is a truly horrible experience when we start to beat ourselves up from within or add these paranoia moments  to our beliefs, to our attachments of ‘worth’. What am I worth, that card file we so often keep in our minds wardrobe about who we are and our worth or value. Not just at a dollar level at any level that includes positive and negative feelings. People tell me they feel ‘worthless’. This is paranoia and as we see this for what it is we can and do change it. This has to be the single most worthwhile change we ever make.

Mostly we have a core sense of what we need. We all seem to sense when we need sleep and when we need rest, our bodies and mind tell us so in may ways.

We have feelings and emotions so therefore they must be necessary. When I felt sick I listened to what my body was saying it wanted. Regardless of how silly that might be, generally, I will follow the advice my instincts point to.

When I start down a road of judging others or myself with inner feelings attached to worth or value of them or me, I stop this.

That ‘thinking’ is not my instinct. Call it anything but it equates to nothing more than something like clouds momentarily passing on by. I let them pass by. To allow this ‘thinking’ is to invite the storm inside. That is what I witness most people do. At that level, people create this.

I am noticing more and more when feelings and emotions drive me and when they misguide me.

This could also be viewed as not believing everything we are told. We do get taught that pretty early in our lives by one means or another. Yet from within we seem to allow that same thing. If a feeling tells us we are worthless we want to accept that. Why?

Looking at fear, staying with workplace issues, let us say we are fearful of going to work because something may have happened at work to trigger some uncomfortable response. Most uncomfortable responses are a reaction to some fear. This is what I observe happens to me.

Rather than view the uncomfortable response as just that, a small workplace decision or mistake made. We add a good does of emotion and feelings and we heap that in this then it gets whips together. A right frenzied crazy response well past the solid reality of what happened.

Due to the explosion of the Internet and our ability for instant communication I notice that the potential for confusion and exhaustion has become a high risk to lifestyles.

At anytime we can read for free all about what we should do to be successful, how to lose weight, what to do about this and what to do about that. All listed as numbers to work through. A list, 1 – 5 checklist for a successful life. Just follow this and you can will get this. When are we allowed to be still and do nothing?

If the only down time we get is when we sit and drink alcohol – we have a huge problem here on earth.

I don’t want to live my experiences in shades of confusion or exhaustion. I have been provided a body to live a life of whatever experiences arrive. Most things that have happened in my life I have had limited control over. First I was born. I had no control over that or the situation I was born into. Is there anymore that needs to be said on this?

Each of us can choose to accept, resist (which is anger over something – an internal fight against acceptance usually fear based) or change what we may be able to. That’s about it. All else is sheer silliness. We don’t need lists to be, we just are.

Any energy lost on any sort of negativity drains the energy that could be used to learn something or do something effectively.

The biggest drain on energy is the compulsive thinking patterns that we develop over time and believe them to be our feelings that we need to honor.

If my only real choice is to change than that is the only thing I need to spend time on. Not that I want to suggest in anyway to run around in a frenzied state and change everything.

To change something just for the sake of change is also sheer silliness.

The grass is not greener elsewhere that’s why we start with acceptance. The grass is green, that’s acceptable isn’t it?

You can be annoyed that the grass is not blue, you can try and make it blue, invent a new seed or do something, striving to make grass blue. Yes you can do that. Good luck on that, I’ll be elsewhere.

I can get into a flap and I can get overloaded and overwhelmed and each time this happens I see more clearly how I have created this. I accept I am a human being.

At the other end of that I can be lazy and I can be completely unmotivated. I accept that I am a human being without offering that up as an excuse for choosing to be lazy. It’s a fine line we walk. To brush off mistakes as “well I am only human” is to never learn to get better at what we do.

I accept that all of life has that yin and yang component. Polarity is reality.

The house is clean and tidy one week, not the next. It is what it is. I do what I can when I can and forgive myself for all the in-between states I find myself living with. The universal world by design is not perfect. It shifts.

I don’t want to live with the tension of not being able to cope with a dirty kitchen floor or never cleaning the floor. Both have elements of anxiety. I dislike anxiety as an experience.

I have never felt like a victim I have always understood I can change things or accept them. I have not always changed things.

For a good part of my life I have just waited.

At some level I am only just starting to work out what I can change and then something leads me towards the way in which that happens. I do not have that much control, nor do I want that control. I allow, that’s all.

So much of my life has just happened. I could never have orchestrated the things that happened to me. How could I control who I would meet and when?

How could I have controlled my childhood? How could I have chosen my first school? How could I control how I look, the colour of my skin, the colour of my eyes?

Although change won’t happen by doing the same things the same way nor is it acceptance to do something just because that’s the way it’s always been done.

So what is missing here?

If all I control is my acceptance to change but not all change will make for a perfect life how will I know what change is necessary and what change is not a healthy response to reality?

To have the willingness to wait and the ability to recognize when change can or must happen is living how it is. Living in the now, being present, accepting what is, being efficient in tasks we do by staying focused on one thing at a time and doing that well, doing the best you know how to do and each separate action is savoured and enjoy for how it is, for what it is.

What happens instead of this is compulsive thinking all the time. Thinking things like “once I get off work I will do this and do that, then I will feel happy. I need a break. I need a holiday. I need more money, then I will feel happy. I want a new car, new job, new spouse and new shoes that will make me happy. Everyone else is successful therefore I am not this or that, how can I be happy if I am not this or that, I am therefore.. (add your words, they are not my words) I have to do this and follow rules to get this and get that. I cannot be happy without this and that and this and that” and that constantly changes once we get this and get that.

Trying to make the grass grow in your shade of blue sounds like madness but I observe people trying to do that all the time.

Just be still and wait.


Copyright © Mary Willetts 2017

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Learning & Fun

Learning & Fun

Life is two things learning and having fun and this is how it happens in my life.

It’s a Friday. I have some free time in the morning and some work to attend to in the afternoon.

I wake up at 4:30am (no alarm, it just happens) and I get started, feeling energized and happy. I ponder how best to use the morning and what I need to get done. Well what I need to get done is completely overwhelming so I settle on what is the most important thing I need to get done today.

The most important list is also pretty overwhelming at the moment so it takes some focused consideration to find the best one or two things to attend to. This is learning.

I am learning to manage how to deal with too much to do without turning that fact into anxiety and or stress. I have already learnt that becoming anxious or stressed will cause panic or anger. Panic will cause me to make mistakes because I am letting go of my calm place when I panic. Anger, well that’s just the ultimate unhealthy place to be.

With this important lesson already folded in my minds wardrobe. I continue on in a focused yet held lightly mode of the best things to get done today.

  • I must find an important form, information that I need, now.
  • By 1pm I must be ready to leave home.

That is it for today. I look for the form and information I need. This is a good time to mention that I have never liked filing. I love when I can find something quickly, but it is rare. Accepting that fact I do not get too annoyed that by 7am I have not found that important form and decide on another way to source the information I need. Deciding on a phone call at 9am I turn to fun.

What do I want to do to have fun? Without making food a reward I decide I am hungry. The need to eat becomes a fun activity. I use eggs that I sourced from the best health food store in town, which are better than good. I sit and enjoy poached eggs on pumpkin bread. The bread sourced from a great bakery in this great city I live in. I focus on the wonderful tastes and look out my windows at the amazing view of my world as I eat.

If most people don’t see this as “fun” let me break it down. There are only two things in life, learning or having fun. Someone mentioned this on the telephone to me.

I googled it and nothing linking the two came up.

Then I decided I would consider it as part of every action I do and started to anticipate my day into just two components. Learning or Fun.

It feels light and I like light. Writing this is fun for me so all time writing is a joy to my being. I have other creative joys as well where I use my hands to make things. Once I make them I do wonder what I will do with them and today I cannot quiet bring myself to toss them out but will have to be considered that when in my learning space. Space being the issue.

I have too much stuff, which has another consequence. When in the learning mindspace I know there will come a time when I can let go of these things. But at this moment I am having fun.

While in the fun mindspace there is always that capacity to learn. However fun to me to stillness, calm, lightness, looking around and definitely does not include any real thinking. I understand this statement will possibly be misunderstood.

To me thinking is, focus and concentration on one thing at a time when I am working, which is a learning mindspace. I do find broken up during the working hours short breaks of fun time. Like having a chat to a co-worker or sharing a laugh or story. The people part should mostly be fun time, yet people are often the biggest challenge so it is almost all learning time. Most certainly interaction with people triggers the thought obsession.

Thought obsession is irrational thinking that we do not recognize as irrational thinking. The general lack of awareness in the world means many people function, often their whole lives, in thought obsession.

Here is my example of my thought obsession, at work I send an email asking a work question. Then I think…’oh did I sound critical, oh did I seem abrupt….’ oh this and oh that. I go to the sent box and re-read my email.

What I am doing is asking myself “How will this person judge me and how will this person react to me?” But I only ask that question through awareness.

Without awareness I am going ‘Oh should I send another email, should I clarify this, apologies for that, ask about this, maybe I will not get a reply, maybe they think I am insane, maybe I am, what should I do..’

This sort of irrational thinking just arrives in my head. I like to image that this sort of thinking/thoughts just float around like seaweed does. Every now and then the seaweed sticks to something or gets stuck on something and just sits there, waiting to be shifted. Or like weeds come up in the garden. What do we do when weeds come up? We pull them out. Why do we pull them out? Perhaps because we have learnt that the best flowers and plants will become stronger and healthy when there are no weeds around.

Through awareness I now catch myself recognizing, that is a weed or that seaweed is stuck on ‘me’. I remove it. I laugh and think how silly the thought obsession is. It still seems odd to think that I have created it, but I logically I do realize I have. As a strategy I like to think of it as some random thing that attaches to me and I can remove it quiet easily.

Easily being the interesting thing. It is sometimes not that easy to remove. Without awareness in the first instance it is actually impossible to remove thought obsession, once it is attached to our thinking process.

Back to my example the email plays on my mind for a day, no reply makes it fester. I decide there is nothing to be done I am being attacked by thought obsession, yet again on this email thinking. I let it go and forget about the email I have better ways to use my energy.

I note that thought obsession is a huge drain on energy. I love my energy and want it back so I forget about the email. I will just have to accept whatever the reaction is. About an hour later I get an email reply which tells me that I was right about the thought obsession, the sender appears to be ok with my email, it was all my own thinking that whipped me into a thought obsession, which was really about “Am I ok?”

What is just as interesting is when I interact with any person I must be aware that that person is likely to also be in the grip of thought obsession.

That means each of us are doing the best we know how to do. Not the best we can do, the best we know how to do. There is a fine line between these two statements. Another statement derived from the bible is “…they know not what they do…” With no awareness of course none of us know what we do.

When thought obsession is driving the vehicle, a completely unconscious mind is sitting at the wheel.

Becoming aware I accept I am but a mere human being (I love that song by Seal, I love all songs by Seal) as a mere human being I can only do one thing at a time. Multi tasking does have a limit. It is ok to me to stir a pot on the stove and maybe put a load of washing into a washing machine between pot stirring. To speak to a friend on the phone and listen to your children talking to you at the same time, plus looking at an ipad for the best recipe; it’s not good.

For any number of reasons it’s impossible to stay on top of workloads in the era we live in. Ultimately I accept this. The learning I get from this is to become aware that I am not staying on top lately – not – blaming, any number of things, people or issues. It happens. Once I am aware it has happened, I can make a plan to correct it, bring a necessary change into play.

When I blame I am always in thought obsession mode. Always. There is never anyone to blame for anything.

It seems to me that there are cycles when I can run and cycles when I just have to crawl. Metaphorically, of course, I don’t ever actually run.

Accepting that I can only ever do my best is the joy of awareness. Accepting that at times my best is not as good as my best is understanding that it is what it is.

Understanding that I can do my best and putting that into a practical purpose appears to supply amazing energy, even power to create great things.

More fun on this plain ordinary Friday was achieved when I made some Fruit Juice Jelly. I read somewhere online about the benefits of Gelatine and as I had some gelatine powder in my pantry I decided to find ways to use it other than making cheesecake, which I suspect was the reason I purchased it. I rather like a good cheesecake.

Not one for cooking I have often stated that I thought I could live without a kitchen altogether. However when not under pressure to produce a meal I now find it very relaxing and a fun thing to do, provided the mess to clean up is limited to some degree. Really really dislike the constant kitchen clutter that happens when we have to eat.

After some fun time at home and also some learning time 1pm arrived and I was out the door to do some work which was learning time mixed with fun time as the person I was working with that afternoon is an exceptional lovely person, his company is always a joy.

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2017

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Stillness Matters Most

Stillness matters most

It’s sad to read articles on stillness that have an attached “to do” list.

Truly is being still such a task?

Grateful that I just don’t have that busy mind thing happening, I get on with being still. Unless I am at work and I need to really focus and think, I don’t.

If I am not at work and I don’t have to think….I don’t. Why would I?

I observe that maybe I am in the minority group here. Possibly people think I am a bit of a dreamer or off with the fairies at times. I am completely still in my mind, most of the time. This seems a natural state to me, it’s home in my head, a place to relax.

When I need to think in a structured way to achieve some sort of practical outcome, which could be to make a meal or pick out what to wear. To do some more “formal” work, like writing this, then I need to engage my mind on that task.

The mind/brain is there for this purpose, not to send us nuts.

While preparing a meal my mind is focused on the meal and even then most meals I make are not that good.

When I am eating my mind is on eating, this is living in the now. Being present. Being engaged on one thing at a time without being invaded by constant thoughts.

When I don’t have to do any of these things I don’t have the “rush” of thoughts that most people tell me about, yet I have had them at times.

In my life I have indeed been shown what paranoia is, what anxiety is and what depression is.

What and how such a simple thing as thinking can do to completely ‘unpick’ a person. To go from the whole to the tiny shattered pieces that materialises as irrational behaviour.

There is nothing to know, nothing to do about being still. You simply stop your mind from thinking.

When I witness in my own behaviour any trace of paranoia or irrational thought I can observe that for what it is. I can step out of that thinking. It’s not a choice so much as an activity. I take action to stop thinking crazy thoughts.

However to become an activity it must be seen for what it is and seeing it – is awareness.

I can tell these thoughts to “stop” or “go away” and they will and the paranoia subsides. It happens, it is automatic and natural to stop this sort of thinking. We already know how to do this; we do not have to learn this.

Because paranoia and irrational thinking happens does not mean it is “you”.

Your feelings are not you; there is nothing to honour in your feelings. They come and then go like the wind that passes us by we can observe our feelings. The mind has created them, that’s all. Be aware of them.

It is interesting to observe our feelings but that is all. A matter of interest only they do not need to be acted upon. They are what they are. The best thing to do with some feelings is nothing.

Do nothing at the first moment of being aware of a feeling and witness how that feels.

There is a lot of information written on this Universal subject. Many want to know who they are and why they are here.

There is much that can be gained in stopping that search and being still.

Stillness brings the answers to all the questions.

As humans we are trained to believe – that is one problem. Then we are trained to believe that “we” are so important or at least should be so important. Some status is required, to be important. This is just sad.

This training reduces our natural state of being still into being busy proving we are important.

Who are we important to?

When we are still within our being there is no such thing as important. There is only peace and spacious nothingness.

You do not have to allow time to be still, or practice stillness.

The word mindfulness makes me feel restless that I should be busy filling my mind with some activity or doing something to be mindful. That word kind of does not work at the peaceful level.

You do not need to meditate to be still.

I never meditate I actively dislike meditation. I seriously dislike meditation where I am told what to do, put your hand on your heart or something to that effect. Any kind of chanting just sends me to sleep because I don’t want to hear it so going to sleep works for me.

I can and do switch off my thinking.

I can go to sleep easily and feel refreshed when I wake up.

When I am awake my mind is open to see and observe all that gathers and collects around me. My life arrives moment to moment.

I don’t do earplugs. I don’t want sounds pumped into my brain; I like to leave it available for use.

Having said that I love music and talent and both are lovingly enjoyed, just not 24/7 or even 24. There are moments for everything not moments to fill by shoving something to listen to into our ears.

People are not observing anything, they are deliberately blocking out their life. Wishing to escape. Ignoring any presence that may exist for fear of something in that presence being confronting and painful.

Touching who we are, within who we are, is the most satisfying experience available for our use. We all have it; the state of “being” perhaps is birth itself. It never leaves the connectedness seems to get clouded with activity until it is so thick it is no longer recognised.

Once the clouds can be cleared it can been seen.

Many people write and talk of clouds being thoughts and this resonates well with me. They move around and even feel like they are floating thoughts at times the way they come and go and reappear in different shapes and sizes. Black clouds are common symbols of dark moments and hard times in much of our global literature.

The only thing that is important, that matters, is the stillness that is the core of each of us. Stillness matters most.

From that stillness we know, all there is to know.

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2017

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Change force us to learn and is good for the soul

Change force us to learn and is good for the soul

As I was trying to update my 6 year old iphone one fine sunny Saturday, it froze on my computer. I was using the phone as the Wi-Fi internet connection so there was nothing I could do with it.

I thought of waiting until Monday to get it sorted. Ten minutes later, I was out of the house and heading for the Telstra shop.

I was aware the old iphone needed to be replaced when some week’s earlier phone numbers started dropping off it for no reason. My contact list was self-reducing. I pondered if the Universe was telling me to reduce my friends; you know be more selective, or if the phone was just getting old and forgetting…hum a bit like me.

Having already decided a new phone was going to be required I did ask around and investigated the options. I therefore knew, as I drove to the Telstra shop, that I was going to change from the iphone to the Galaxy android phone. That sorted I was back home in no time.

Of course I had no real desire to learn how to use the new phone and the wonderfully efficient girl at the Telstra shop had set it up with what we now considered – essential Apps.

All the things I needed to know about the phone would happen as I went along with doing what I always do. I did not chose to sit and look at what the new phone could offer most of which held no interest to me. Epictetus said “Make the best of what is in our power, and take the rest at it naturally happens.”  I adhere to this completely, always have.

I had a new phone because the old phone had stopped being useful to spend anymore time at working out how a phone works was akin to housework, a chore and I have to be in a special mood to manage those tasks.

It is humorous to be ditzy, people love the flippant style and I love to laugh and I am happy enough to let people have a laugh at the silliness I can capable of.

Remembering that we are all capable of the same.

Some people live by the Bon Jovi lyrics “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. I am not one of them.

If I am tired and can sleep then I sleep. Therefore if it has been a rough day and I’m tired I just go to bed as soon as I can. Given this is what it is I happened to have gone to bed at 7pm, Yes really, and with the full intention of not getting up until 5am when the alarm would ring.

I had managed to set the alarm on the new phone but noted I would not know the ring tune as I just used any, who cared as long as it makes a noise.

Therefore when I heard a noise at 8pm ish I jumped up pressed off, somehow, and was in the shower in no time and getting ready for work. Suddenly I stopped and wondered if it really was morning , or not. I looked at the phone and saw that I had a missed call. I went back to bed after my shower.

However about a week after this experience you would have thought I’d have a grip on the phone sounds but no. At 8:30pm I got a text just a small “ding” sound and I threw myself out of bed and saw the time of 8:30 OMG I was late for work. It is daylight saving and this contributed to my confusion, it was light, very light and I was sitting eating my morning Muesli got the coffee brewing, thinking about phoning in and letting people know I was ok just running late this morning. But…I felt terrible and then considered I may have to stay home as I felt I had only had 10 minutes sleep when I checked why the alarm did not go off at 5am to see on the phone that it was 8:40pm. I sat saying “pm, pm, pm” until I realized I had only had 10 minutes sleep.


Copyright © Mary Willetts 2017

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We tell stories as a conditioned way to manifest a “feeling” about who we think we are. We think the stories protect us. We are so much more than our stories. There is nothing to be protected from.

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2016


“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”

_ Eckhart Tolle. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

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When I get old

When I get old

When I get old I will understand that travel, new furniture, new clothes, new cars, big houses and the like are not at all important. Not that there is anything wrong with any of these things the thing is they are just things.

When I get old I will understand the priorities and places for things. Less is not necessarily best. Knowing what is needed and what is not needed. Knowing what desire and ego drive us to do. Being aware of why we have what we have. What we trade for what we gain.

When I get old I will understand that everywhere that I am holds the same joy, at all times. Be it work or on holidays it is all the same space. How can it be anything else. We make it so. A day is a day no matter where I am, once I start to downgrade workdays I need to be asking why.

When I get old who I am inside, that space which is me, will be satisfied with stillness.

When I get old I will understand that disappointment in anything is a denial of what is and sabotages the quality of life.

When I get old I will understand that I can never be disappointed in my life because I made all those decisions that created my life. I accept this.

When I get old I will embrace my age with the same joy as I did in my youth because it is only skin that contains me, the essence of me changes only with the joy I hold within me.

When I get old I will be the same as I am now, yet different. Nothing stands still yet stillness is all there is.

Yesterday I was the same as I am now, yet different. Tomorrow I will be the same as I am now, yet different. All time is the present moment in which I breathe, live and be. In the same way as all time is present all is part of me.

When I get old I will understand that all security is contain within each of us. We all have the same. How we choose to accept that is the only difference between each of us.

When I get old I will become the observer of others and I will not be judging myself or anyone else. I will simply be.

When I get old perhaps I will wonder why I did not work it out in my youth or middle age or anytime before now. Then with the wisdom obtained at any age I will be grateful I worked it out now.

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2016

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Living in the now is being still

Living in the now is being still

“All things happen for a reason” – I see this as an accepting statement.

If we accept and understand all things happen for a reason then there should be no stress.

It seems to me logically that if all things happen for a reason then we must be exactly where we are meant to be.

If we are exactly where we are meant to be, what’s the problem?

How can we be selective? The good and the not so good all have purpose. That we know the purpose may not be that important. That we accept “all things” may be the only lesson.

This week at work, yes I am working the 9to5, again, I was telling Joseph about something that happened 12 years ago and how I found it very upsetting, at the time.

The response I got from Joseph was “You can’t live in the past”.

I was somewhat taken back and at the same time wanted to laugh as I tried to imagine that. Here right now I am standing in front of Joseph – so how can I possibly be living in the past?

The more I considered the whole idea of living in the past the more I wanted to laugh and laugh and laugh. So I had to walk away after a brief response to Joseph, which was that it was a trigger to my past that was all it was.

Something in the now can create a trigger to a memory. My concept of being in the now is simply to allow what is happening now to happen now. Don’t be attaching random thoughts to any moment in time – just allow a moment to stop thinking and observe the now. Be aware of the present moment for what it is.

Moments don’t eliminate other moments. I take notice of now, be in peace now. Do what I am doing now and when I have nothing to do, do nothing, be still, it is a nice place to be, it does not cost anything to get there! It’s free.

As a growth in awareness happens I see the now for what it is yet past triggers will attempt and do win still in dragging me back into past responses and therefore behaviour. Those past memories exist and I acknowledge them in the now. If they make me uncomfortable I note that. If they produce anxiety now than that is what they do.

The rest is up to me “now” to recognise and consider. In considering I ask, is this the same threat as the past one, do I need to protect or nurture myself? This is just a basis survival instinct and we should all observe the times when we need to look after ourselves to survive.

Remembering that trying to rid ourselves of our pasts includes all the memories we have and hold and many are treasured memories. I don’t want to wipe out my past, most of it I really liked. For the moments in the past that I did not like I still remember them and further to that those moments have shaped this moment so I am not scared of them.

If I get a reaction from them and I do, that is something that has happened for a reason. It is all linked and if we just allow that, be with it, be it, without the belief of this concept that “living in the past” is something to be avoided at all cost. I say it is impossible anyway – it is a cliché gone wrong.

Do we want to forget the moment our children were born, bringing them home, patting those tidy little babies as they nod off to sleep, do we really want to stop the memories. Memories are but moments in the past, we cannot possibly go back there; our babies grow as we do. We are who we are today because of our past.

I do understand that the phrase “don’t live in the past” was created to help people understand that they had to let go of things. But is has perhaps evolved as a catch all for everything – yesterday was the past so we have to forget that. Perhaps we behaved badly yesterday and as it is in the past all is forgotten. That we may continue to behave badly today means to some, it’s ok because tomorrow it will be in the past and I must forget the past. That nothing is learned from the past is becoming extremely sad to me. It is indeed like cutting down all the trees without any awareness that the past has shown this is not the best way forward.

The moment that triggered my memory and reaction to that, which I shared with Joseph, helped me enormously a few days later. Millie, a friend, encouraged me to apply for another job; there was a last minute opportunity to apply. I did and found it easy if not enjoyable as I was able to use the example that my trigger opened my memory onto. If I had not had that recent trigger I would not have used that example and that example proved to be the best. Once I had written it into the job application I sat back and said ‘Thanks.’ I said thanks to myself, because I live in the now.

My past is my book, about my life and a trigger opens a page to be observed again for a moment and that moment is in the now as it happens.

I can’t jump into the book, I can’t re-write or edit. I can however look at it, read it, understand it or not. Make decisions and be aware of how it still may affect me, all that happens in the now. Not in the past it is now. It cannot be anything else.

This leads me into the obvious next latest cliché made popular by Eckhart Tolle in the famous book he wrote “The Power of Now”. My daughter gave me the book as a gift many years ago. I loved it then and I love it now as well. Further to loving the book I really do like Eckhart Tolle and where the fame has taken him. It has taken him nowhere. He is still the man who one day woke up and realized that he was creating his own suffering.

The joy that shines from Echhart Tolle now is solid and true. It is visible without any effort on his part. Not manufactured, learnt or practiced.

Clearly this is a man not affected by fame in the usual way. Looking at some of his U-tube chats showcases to me the joy the man has which comes from within him and his complete acceptance and understanding of that fact.

However, as people do, there has been nothing short of bandwagon’s of people preaching about living in the now who clearly have no idea what that really means, as much as I am certain they want to understand.

It seems to me that it is quickly producing societies who believe that they can only do so much in a day and anything else – well it just does not get done. I need to tick so many boxes right now to get to now to be in the now. Nothing else matters but now. This is completely illogical.

I think there is much misinterpretation of “being in the now”. People seem to have stopped thinking about the future and certainly don’t want to “live in the past” – so they are stuck somewhere.

Where they are stuck is not proving very supportive for them either, they are doing the whole “now” thing, and at great speed with so much that can be done now busy busy times, keeping busy.

I am not observing a whole lot of peace around me. I see no depth, no contentment and no intent behind what is being done and what is being said.

It’s a rush to the next thing and it almost seems that it does not matter what the next thing is, as long as the next thing is a new thing and that is the new now which of course by default it is. As if a new now will somehow make everything better, which of course it can’t.

Living in the now is accepting what is, bubbling with joy from the inside, at ease with thoughts which are not meant to be held and worked over, letting all the thoughts that cause, create and feed pain into and around emotions and feelings pass us by. Living in the now is being still.

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2016

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I make it painful or painless

I make it painful or painless

I am waiting to get a work contract confirmed. I have been waiting for almost one month now. This is my lesson in creating pain…or not.

Because I will have to move if I get this contract, because I want this contract, because I know I will love this job, because I need a job right now. These reasons make this important to me. What is important to me, but uncertain, has the potential to create great anxiety within me.

My challenge is not to give that attention. Further to not giving it attention is remaining detached from the outcome, effortlessly. Ha-ha this sounds so difficult to do.

To remain detached means not to become caught up in the situation. If I give it constant chitter chatter in my head, then I am caught up in it. If I do nothing else but sit by the phone or email waiting, I am also caught up in it, giving it great power to irritate me. I’m adding pain to my circumstances. I’m creating that, not the people on the other end of what is in essence a commercial transaction. I have no idea what they are doing that this should take so long. That is exactly the point. I cannot know why from their end it is taking so long. At best I can guess or surmise that they are perhaps hopeless or any number of scenarios of my choosing. But I cannot know with certainty what circumstance they may be facing that blocks a result, at this moment.

Why is it that we tend to think all things should happen in our timeframe? If I am not in charge then how can I set the timeframe? I am setting myself up here when I do that. Thus I am creating it. If I were not creating it I would not be giving it any thought at all. I will be told when I am told; the time is not relevant to the event. It will happen.

However what I, and I suspect other people, do is go….but, but, but you told me I would know by this date. It has now gone past that date and this or that has not happened. Therefore you have not kept to your word therefore this is your entire fault that I am upset, distressed, irrational and yelling at you. Well really? Really I am going to allow anything or anyone to get me to the point of yelling. Yet it happens, we crave certainty, and when we don’t get it we crave a release valve. We can give ourselves that release value, right now and we do. Often it is yelling and it is always blaming. Sometimes it is adding another layer in the resentment walls we harbour within. That place of turmoil bubbling inside, the mighty volcano of resentment.

It is interesting to me, to note that the constant chitter chatter can be in the thought ‘don’t think about it’ that then becomes the task and therefore I am attached to it. This just makes me laugh.

The place within me that is peaceful does not think about anything so when I immediately think about the need to know about this job I am attaching myself to that outcome. Letting it go is difficult, in practice.

The best I can do right now is when the thought starts I say to myself it has been one hour, two hours I can check my emails again now. I choose to do that and I do. When there are no emails I re-focus on whatever real and necessary task I might be doing today, like writing this story and I start to do that, again. At worst it makes for more breaks in the tasks that I have to do and at best I mostly remain calm throughout the day.

For a long time I have done the list, if only in my head, what is the worst that can happen? What is the best that can happen? Can I live with the worst outcome? In this case that would be not getting this job. Well I expect I will still continue to breath if that happens, it is not the only job on earth at the moment so there is as likely a chance of me getting another job as there is in getting this job, Blah blah and then I let the chitter chatter stop.

For me to treat this as yet another lesson in life and living I allow lightness to enter my world. I have many things I can and will do today. I will use my time to the best of my ability today to do something that creates value, not pain.

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2016



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Scary long legs

Scary long legs

My three days of silly fear, I wake at 1a.m. to visit the bathroom, while there I see an enormous spider on the wall. Going back to bed and pulling the covers tightly over me I ponder what to do about that spider in the bathroom.

So my thoughts start…I could kill it…I could hope it goes away…. I could get it out with a broom, get it on the broom and then toss the whole broom out the window. I could move house and so it went from the mildly sane to the totally insane thoughts.

I was building anxiety (fear) about the huge spider with those long hairy legs when suddenly the thought came to me that it was not a lion or a snake, it was only a spider after all. Big as it was, it was not going to chase me around the room. The spider was not causing my fear, I was.

The spider was just as scared of me, it just had more legs to hike it and it could not and would not actually attack me, the worst it could do was get on me. I had that happen before, I was driving a car that was fairly new and therefore had to hold my panic as the fear of smashing the car was greater than the fear of the spider.

I’m pretty sure I had taken the spider into the car on my coat. I had tossed the coat on the back seat and possibility disturbed the spider. As not long after I started driving all of a sudden this huge spider appeared on the steering wheel long legs going in all directions.

It did not matter where it came from yet it is interesting to note that I gave thought to where it came from, thinking about my coat.

One huge big leggy spider that looks so horrible to me was enough to think about. I had to stay focused on driving which was really difficult as once or twice it touched my hand. How I never drove off the road or caused an accident is still a mystery as I took my hands off the wheel and flicked them around at least once, hopefully one at a time but that memory is locked away.

I decided that day that I would think about what to do. Much like I am doing in the current state of fear. I asked of my mind “Who was living somewhere close by?” I then drove to their place and jumped out of the car leaving the door open and doing a big shake down of my whole body.

I went running up their driveway by now overcome with fear, trembling all over and asking them to get the spider out of the car for me, please. They tried but of course the spider knew the search was on for him or her and had many places to hide. So ultimately I had to get back in the car and drive again. Then, as happens, the spider re-appears on the dashboard. I realised that it had touched me before and if it touches me again I will not die. So I know this to be a fact, based on previous experience.

With the present danger of the current spider situation reducing in my mind I go back to sleep after the 1a.m. wake up call. When I woke at 5am the spider was back in my mind. As I approached the bathroom, on a reconnaissance exercise, I see the spider is still there and has moved to another space on the wall. I confirm to my mind that it is indeed an enormous spider, perhaps the biggest I have ever seen. ‘Oh dear’ I mutter.

With that I decide the best plan is to go back to bed and pull the covers tightly around me, again. I make a huge effort to stay calm and go back to sleep. I usually wake at about 5a.m, it is still dark and instead of going back to sleep as was my first plan I decide that the broom method is my choice of action to deal with the spider, when the sun comes up.

As the sun comes up I go on another reconnaissance journey and the spider is no longer visible. ‘Oh dear’ as my thoughts had decided to use the broom and get the spider out of the house I was faced with this new dilemma. I know the spider has not jumped out the window, because the window is closed (ha-ha) therefore this spider is going to present again to me somewhere else. Because I know that it is only hiding.

I shake everything carefully not just in the bathroom but also all over the house. I’m driving myself nuts as I find myself living on high alert. I know this is not good for me. Waiting for the danger, at any moment I feel I am prepared to jump to the ceiling. All of a sudden I am looking at the light switches before I touch them, looking on the chair before I sit down, looking at all the walls, everywhere. Every towel is treated with extreme caution, the soap is check and so it goes.

I can now choice to live in the fear or not.

My thought is that I will just get on with my day with a raised awareness that I may see more legs than mine today. This spider may or may not appear again, the worst that can happen is I will get a fright but as I know it is not a lion, I should survive.

The next morning I see the spider at 5a.m it is sitting on my toothbrush ‘Oh No’.

As it perches so still on my toothbrush, trying to look invisible I see it very clearly and wondering how I will ever get rid of this image from my mind.

The spider situation I face reminded me of a story a friend shared with me when I shared my spider in the car story. Her story was far more terrifying than mine and now I really wish she had not shared that with me because it has added to the sheer silliness of the fear I have created over a spider.

I’m going to share the story; she woke up with one of these huge hairy long leg spiders on her face. The spider had one leg in her nose and one in her ear. Her story is making it more difficult for me. I know this spider is in the house, for all I know there could be any number of them; I really don’t look that hard to see if it is the same spider I see each day.

Fear is such a hideous thing it can turn a spider into a lion in our thoughts. These out of control thoughts can imagine all sorts of crazy things. I have had my share of embarrassing moments in life and I am not going to share those stories. Nor am I going to allow those embarrassing moments to control my life. Just like the spider that on day three appears to have moved on, so to should all our embarrassing moments. They only become fears if we allow them to. I laugh that I allowed a spider to appear as a threat in my home and spent two days on the edge of anxiety. I smile that I have my peaceful self back knowing that should the spider re-appear, and it probably will, that’s ok I can cope.

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2016

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