Compassion

When it isn’t forgiveness, it is love. Loving the part of you that is hurt, that wants to withhold love, that wants to hurt back. Compassion is saying all those things, to the ghost of other people’s past selves. Compassion, is asking, will saying this, in reality, help my relationship with these people today? No. Then I will not say them. Why do I want to say them? Because I am hurt, I am re-experiencing my pain and I want them to know what their words and actions feel like. But today I do not choose to hurt with my blatant honesty over the past, because to hurt them, I must also continue to hurt myself. Compassion… nobody said, nobody told me, that compassion can be this, choosing to love, the part of you, that is hurt, in those moments when you cannot love those that hurt you, in those moments that you’re struggling with forgiveness again, compassion is love for the places that you are hurt.

Sand

“Write what you know”

This thought, popped into my head today, as I was casting about for inspiration. I found this snippet from my folder of ruminations:

When one begins to witness ones scarcity mindset… it’s quite shocking… a little humorous… and rather curious. To realise, no matter how fast or how hard you run, you’ll always be in the same place, mentally. It certainly looks frustrating. And so… the only way to shift it… is to realise that this present moment, is entirely, enough. 

Yesterday, I decided I’d go for a run today.

I woke resolved and was about to put on my usual casual around the house clothes before I realised that if I really wanted to go for that run, I’d make it easy by already being in running clothes. I’d nip procrastination right in the bud. So I put on some cargoes and a hoodie and went about my morning routine.

And at noon I went.

It’s been a while since I’ve done any running. Not since I got back, as I’d planned to start learning kung fu as soon I was working again and treat that as the substitute for running. Now I’m not sure forms like dancing, yoga or martial arts… will deliver the same endorphin high, post-run.

I expected to experience anticipation, feel out of breath shortly and feel a desire to stop way before I’d come close to hitting my body’s limit – the beginners body/mindset – but it wasn’t like that at all. It was like the period I dedicated to showing up at the gym, back in 2017, the endurance training, hadn’t disappeared on me, or that yoga kept me relatively in shape.

I hit the shower when I got in… and as I pulled off my tank top, I wondered, wow, the body remembers. The body remembers how to run, what running feels like… what the runners high feels like. It was good.

I was doing a 6 hour layover in Santiago when I wrote the snippet about scarcity mindset. It was dawning on me that this was a huge key for me.

If tomorrow or some future day, where possessing x, y and z… happened, it wouldn’t change the default feeling of worth because I’d simply have created a new reality where x, y and z… were normal events or things. So the question is, what is my default feeling of worth?

What is within my control? What can I change and shift? Following the feeling of apathy to discover it was procrastination that created it… and that procrastination always arises when there is some belief or block in my mind that feels too painful, to examine. That, in the examination, the answers unravel themselves and the subconscious gives up its secrets when the questions do the asking in some form of why and Can I know for sure, that this is true? Honestly, I love Byron Katie’s work.

As a kid, there were periods where I’d make resolutions to go running in the morning… and all too often… I wouldn’t. I didn’t. I slept in. My dad would berate my lack of willpower. I’m chuckling. The thought just occurred to me. I used to be far too accustomed to showing up to my life with the victim archetype active. When I left Spain, I wrote this:

When I leave this place… I will be leaving her here… When I leave this place… her death will echo through the mountains and the rivers… the grasses and the mountains. When I leave this place, I will be kissing my victim identity softly on the mouth, and whisper kindness into her ears, I will let her know, thank you, for serving me, for being here, for being present… and I will let her go. I will let her dissolve back into the ether that she came from. Back into the wind. I will let her go. 

The wind spirits know. And I know.

Now running is easy. Now showing up in a way that requires for me to feel worthy and entirely capable of what I am asking for, to engage in self-love… asking for what I need, acknowledging that I need others… finding the skill to stay authentic, responsive rather than reactive… is a radically honest and humbling process. And if willpower is a muscle, so is worthiness.

My heart feels lighter for writing tonight.

Sand

Perspective

I found this book the other day, titled The Richest Man in Babylon… and dug in. The style of the prose really tickled me. Inside the cover, is written, first published in 1926. The writer, George S. Clason sets the context in Babylon and writes in a way that reminded me of Shakespeare… thees and thys aplenty. Reading has always been a love of mine, but studying his plays? No… This, though, was an entertaining, lovely and insightful peek into understanding money, wealth, labour and capitalism… from a fresh perspective… but only a couple thousand years old, and the thees and thys… the archaic prose, made it rather endearing. It was like being tickled with amusement, wondering if I was finally compensating for my younger self’s lack of interest in Shakespeare.

I wish my parents had given me this book to read when they were trying to impart financial wisdom. My approach to money has always run counter-parental. Not deliberately, because I tried to follow their advice… but I suppose, some part of me, couldn’t see why saving was more important than enjoying life. My whole idea about money was that money existed to serve the living. Ha. And of course, we inherit all sorts of subconscious beliefs from the people that raised us… around a multitude of things – money being one of them. As it turns out, enjoying life, regardless of income, and spending liberally, relative to income, aren’t always the same thing.

(Tangent: I sort of took a 6 month hiatus out of my life this year, put study and work on hold… because I despaired at where I was going, felt lost, like I was suffocating with no way out and I didn’t feel good about my work – I signed up for a program and spent some months trying to teach English in a village halfway around the world and you know, it was the best choice I’ve made in my life. If I ever reach 80, I’ll look back and say this was the turning point… but it was everything else, that led to that point. Everything that happens to you, happens to bring you to this point. Sciency people would call it hindsight bias. But the phenomena is the same: No effort is ever wasted because whilst you might not see it now, or at the time, it’s creating and has created the present and the future, where you have your aha moment and things fall into place. Or you learn. There’s a silver lining in everything and that’s the beauty of it – that no experience is wasted.

Felt like it was important to go into that tangent. )

Anyway, prior to finding this book, I literally, found myself wondering, what are my beliefs and blocks around money? And the answer that came, was so damn simple… I want more money/income but if I was passionate about making money… the way I’ve been passionate about other things… the story would look different. The reality would look different.

And that hit me. Suddenly, it really hit me. Oh. Oh my god. The idealist in me, never had any interest in the pursuit of making money.

The realist in me, acknowledges that I have a student debt, that I’m in love with travelling, that there are so many things I want to do, learn, try, that yes I want a place of my own, with a view. Not someday, but visionable, actionable and foreseeable. That yes, freedom and independence are so important to me… and whilst the freedom and independence that comes from learning how to think for yourself is beautiful, it is one part of the whole equation.

So… I’m realising, as I write, that wow, I fought for my ideals but there’s no right or wrong anymore. I’m glad… I made choices that could look like mistakes in another light, because standing here, with the forest behind me, I still learned to be a realist. More than a realist, I learned to see how privileged I am. I still learned to see the trees, along with the stars and the moon. And I still am, an idealist at heart. That when push came to shove, I did not abandon this part of me.

I’ve never been broke in this way, and yet, I’ve also never felt this free. I’ve had money in the bank and felt more burdened and stressed and lost. Occasionally, I realise, wow, that is some shift. Something in me laughs. The difference was never the amount I had in my bank, the difference was, is and will always be, perspective.

The Richest Man in Babylon. It’s a gem of wisdom on the practical side of things and the stories will warm your heart.

Wealth grows wherever men exert energy. If a rich man builds him a new palace, is the gold he pays out gone? No, the brickmaker has part of it and the laborer has part of it, and the artist has part of it. And everyone who labors upon the house has part of it. Yet when the palace is completed, is it not worth all it cost? And is the ground upon which it stands not worth more because it is there? And  is the ground that adjoins it not worth more because it is there? Wealth grows in magic ways. No man can prophesy the limit of it. Have not the Phoenicians built great cities on barren coasts with the wealth that comes from their ships of commerce on the seas? – pg. 15

This particular paragraph, struck me. I had never considered wealth that way before. I am reminded of three things. A metaphor I recently came across… that a boy in America sees a mountain and a boy in Peru sees a mountain. One sees the money he can make for himself by mining the rocks and the other sees Pachamama.

The pie/pizza analogy. That this picture of wealth overlies an abundance mindset and so this analogy doesn’t apply, in a good way. Abundance vs. scarcity.

According to communism, a bourgeoisie is someone who owns the means of production. The communist thinks the distribution of wealth as unfair. But one of the stories tell of how the richest man, became the richest man, how, exactly, he started – the same as everyone else. Readily, it points to mindset. But yes, from another angle, the communist is also right.

On the other hand, climate change is also happening. Mass converting Earth’s resources into wealth has consequences… like the compounding accumulation of investing wealth… climate change starts as a trickle and becomes a rushing river. When oceans are filled with the unintended consequence, of humans, creating wealth by selling convenience… without realising that when this convenient plastic doesn’t degrade… opps? The long run is already here… and this particular saying is echoing in my head, if you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem.

Food for thought, perhaps. Everytime I use plastic, no matter how convenient it is at the time, I am being a part of the problem.

On that ending note… something I’ve learned, that is precious to me, because in understanding it, my world has expanded and there is a deeper understanding and knowing of freedom:

I am privileged and that privilege is a gift.

Then there are the attending questions of how to receive it, how to use it… and how to offer it.

For this post, I had intended to write about a book I recently read, it veered into being about perspective, but without privilege, I would have never gained perspective.

xx

Sand

Truths

Truths are like the waves of the ocean. Transient and prescient at the same time. Sometimes when you look again… later in the day, in a week, a month, a year, a decade… the truth is no longer the same it was for you at the time you first met it… perhaps it no longer serves where you are now… perhaps there is a deeper version of that truth. In any case… take what works for you… and release the rest. Go where you light up. Otherwise… you are using your time for things that do not interest or serve you. Be specific instead. Be incredibly discerning. Trust your intuition… and let go of dogma and structures that are in place for the sake of structure. If structure doesn’t serve a purpose, what is it serving?