|My daughter combing the beach for sea glass|
I began reading "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer, that was recommended by Traci in my painting group. There were two things that particularly caught me that I've been practicing since. One, is noticing my "edges". These are the things that disturb you. That bother you, make you uncomfortable. They cause you to close yourself to others.
I'm practicing paying attention to my edges and noticing when one gets hit. Just noticing and not battling with it. It's really kind of amazing to watch it happen without getting involved in the drama of your thoughts when it does happen. When someone says something that irritates me, instead of getting carried away in the irritation, I just notice "hmm, that comment hit one of my edges. Interesting..." And this thought surprisingly makes me chuckle and I don't get sucked into the vortex of irritation and questioning why I'm annoyed, blah, blah, blah...I just notice that I have an edge there and it has nothing to do with the person or the comment. It has only to do with me.
Another idea from the book is to make a commitment to being happy no matter what. That being unconditionally happy is a practice and a simple, radical choice. If you decide and commit to being happy always, it can alter how you experience the world. You have access to happiness all the time. It's not a by-product of experience or even thoughts. It's a way of being in the world.
Both of these practices remind me of why I started "Have All This". Because you already have everything you need within you. Sometimes it just takes a little work to see it because it gets all tangled up in thoughts, beliefs and feelings of not being good enough. But it's there, you just need to pay attention. To be aware. To let what you love show you the way.
Right now, for me, all signs point to reconnecting with this creative part of myself that I have kept smushed up and stuffed in a box under the bed somewhere. It seems all I needed was a safe space to practice, permission to not be perfect and to be open to whatever arises.
Maybe that's all we ever need.