Posts Tagged ‘Eckhart Tolle’


February 13, 2011

I have no idea what to title this post, not even sure where it is going – kinda like the past 2 weeks.  I usually write on Sundays but lately I have had a harder time than usual.  I had a cold in December and of course the usual cough arrived with it.  However, it wouldn’t leave and so it has been hanging on and on.  Now I have to take responsibility for not doing something sooner, I kept thinking it would go away by itself.  Well, guess what?  It didn’t this time and I have been coughing so much my chest hurts.  I went to see my acupuncturist almost 3 weeks ago for treatment and she also gave me Chinese herbs to take.  Cindy is Chinese and has studied acupuncture in China with some masters, so she really knows her stuff.  Se  got rid of a cough about 3 years ago – I hadn’t waited so long to see her that time.  I hardly feel the needles and I am not a fan of being on the business end of a needle.  She also wanted me to drink hot water to flush it out of my system and avoid sugar, so I have been drinking tea for the three weeks until I think I am floating and have  had a little sugar.  The first treatment she put the needles in places I have had before, but last week for the second treatment, she went to some other spots I hadn’t had before.  This fascinates me and I want to ask her questions – trouble is, when I talk, I start coughing.  Now, for  a motor mouth like me, not talking is very difficult; but I want to be well and if drinking hot walking and keeping my mouth shut is what is needed, I will do my utmost to comply.  I am going again Tuesday afternoon, I’m curious to see where she places the needles next.

I chose to go see Cindy rather than my regular doc because I didn’t want to get into the possibility of antibiotics and drugs, I take too many as it is and I prefer to do more natural and non-pharmaceutical treatments.  I am doing better, though I have not been very good at not talking or limiting how much I talk.  It is taking time and one thing she told me last week, this cough is depleting the nutrients in my body and I am not replenishing them.  She has a multivitamin she recommends because it has whole food foundation.  It isn’t cheap but I am willing to give it a go and see what happens because I don’t like feeling so tired and dragged out all the time.  Instead of short periods of energy and enthusiasm, I want longer and longer ones so I can feel human again.  It feels so good to be energetic and things are easier to do – I want to be that way all the time.  I am also hoping this gluten free diet will help too, though there are times when I wonder what is happening.  I have 2 or 3 good days,then a couple of days like the last two when I felt so tired, stiff and sore.  I wonder if there is still some withdrawal going on; after all, that 64 years of accumulated stuff to flush out.  Next Tuesday will be 6 weeks, will that be the turning point?

So what have I learned the past 2 weeks?  First, don’t wait so long to take care of illness or condition because it is much harder and more uncomfortable the longer I wait.  Second, sleep does a body good.   I noticed that last weekend.  I had two long naps on Saturday and sunday, slept for a bit on Tuesday and also on Friday, wished I had yesterday.  I was feeling too tired to sleep and that first nap Saturday afternoon last weekend seemed to break whatever was making it hard for me to sleep and I am doing a lot better.  I am sleeping a lot better at night now, what a difference from the months of not sleeping because my legs hurt all night.  Third, I am finding it is not very hard to eat gluten free, plus I don’t really miss bread and sweets much.  I have to thank all those other gluten intolerant people who came before and created food they could eat – now it is much easier to find gluten free in places.  There were a couple of times this week I could eat the food at an event or having coffee at Barnes & Noble – though they do have a packet of Dr. Lucy’s gluten free cookies.  I will admit to a small fear – if I decide “Oh well, this once won’t hurt if I eat normally”, I am concerned I will keep doing it rather than be as gluten free as I can be.  It is usually that first bite that worries me.  The old “Bet you can’t eat just one potato chip” quote.  Fourth, when I hurt and am feeling miserable, I remember Eckhart Tolle’s  question “There is nothing you can do about the fact at this moment this is what you feel.  Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept this is what you feel right now?”.  Sometimes it is very hard to not want it to be different, but I have had times when I have used this and it actually works.  I realize it is ego mind that is ranting and raving about the pain and all the stuff that is happening, she certainly doesn’t want to have me be willing to look at this way.  She wants all the power and pain and whingeing are part of it.  There have been other times when it has not really worked and I realize ego is more in charge than I realize.  Not a happy thought.

I’m sure there are other things I have learned, I just thought of asking that question as I was writing and I usually let things simmer on the back burner for awhile before things make sense.  I still haven’t thought of a title, the only one that comes to mind is update.  As I have written this, I keep wondering, “Am I whingeing and I promised I wouldn’t?”.  I could have chronicled all my pains and crappy days, but no one with a chronic illness needs to hear that because they have stories of their own.  It is a time of ups and downs and pretty much how things are for anyone with a chronic illness.  I just prefer the ups but I know I learn from the downs and appreciate the ups because of them..

What Happens in the Wee Hours?

July 24, 2010

I wish I knew more about my body and how it operates.  For as long as I have had RA, 3 – 6 a.m. has always been the most uncomfortable time of the 24 hours.  Though I have had times when it was miserable all 24.  What is it about that time span that makes everything much more uncomfortable to the point I can sleep because every position hurts?  Is it Circadian Rhythm in full force?  And just what is Circadian Rhythm?  I checked Google and from The National Institute of General Medical Sciences this is their definition:

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment.  There is even a picture.

The pictures are pretty but none of the explanations really make sense or answer my question.  Another question is why at about 6 a.m. I can go back to sleep as if nothing was wrong.  What changed and tipped the scales at 6 a.m.?  Why is it so difficult for doctors and health professionals to give me a simple answer to something?  How about words of one syllable  I can understand instead of all that medical speak.  That may explain why I feel I have had to do and learn so much of this on my own.  Would it make a difference it I had a solid answer?

The problem compounds itself when I don’t get sleep for a night or two, it gets harder to sleep and sometimes I have been so tired I can’t sleep.  I do naps in the afternoon and that helps; I don’t like to feel I am dragging around all day because I wasn’t able to sleep.  I realize that is part of resisting the whole disease situation and what you resist persists.  Still working on that dynamic because I suspect it puts a lot more stress on my body, mind and spirit – let’s face it, stress doesn’t help anything.

Where am I going with this?  It’s sounding a little too much like whingeing and that isn’t the reason for this blog.  I have begun to look more at how I see things, especially RA.  Has all the focus on how much I hurt, how difficult it is to move, how clumsy and awkward I feel makes it worse.  Hmmm, what I focus on increases, so it looks as if I have some changes to make in my thinking.   Where did I learn that thought pattern and what do I change it so there is a more positive outcome.  I go back to Eckhart Tolle and “Are you willing to accept this is what you are feeling at this moment without wanting it to be different?”  Then I “should” all over myself – I shouldn’t feel this way, I should focus on the positive, I should, I should I should.  Where is it written that there is something wrong with feeling crappy about something once in awhile?  Okay, I feel crappy about this situation at the moment – it doesn’t mean I am going to spend the rest of my life in this frame of mind.  and please don’t tell me about someone worse off, that just makes me cranky and dismissed me.  I need to see that myself, not having it constantly pointed out to me.

Interestingly enough, I have tried the Eckhart Tolle suggestion when I hurt in the middle of the night and it has helped at times.  Some days ego is in charge and it feels as if  it is too much effort to make the switch and I continue to feel sorry for myself.    Sometimes writing it all down helps – I have tried many things n the middle of the night to either make myself more comfortable or do other things to keep my mind off my pain.

Phooey!  I have been sitting here raking through my difficult times and it’s time to do something else.  I need to put my shoes on and go walk out in the sunshine for a few minutes – we don’t have sun that often here.  I am not sure I have made any progress but the writing has helped to express some of my questions and frustrations.  I wonder what other people do in the wee hours to relieve some of the pain.  I am always open to suggestions.

Right or Happy?

May 21, 2010

It’s been a Dr. Phil  moment – he always asks “Do you want to be right or happy?”.  I have just realized that I have wanted to be right , but unfortunately I didn’t realize that was what I was looking for in this context.  I see now that I have wanted this person to acknowledge what was said and done, that it validates my assertion it actually happened.  Only that person won’t even acknowledge anything was said or done, has no idea what I am talking about – then the kicker, I am just imagining it.  Well, that phrase actually is the validation, the acknowledgement!  Now that I look back, I wonder why it has been so important for that acknowledgement, maybe because that would mean there is now awareness and the situation will change and improve.  Hello Self?  Ain’t happening and now I see it is part of ego running things – she loves all that negative, victim stuff – not boarding that bus again!  Well, at least not consciously.  But it tells me a lot more about what is going on inside me, always a gift even when it is a bit uncomfortable.

Too much of my life has been looking for validation from other people, rather than the real place it comes from – inside myself.  After over six decades – Yikes!  Has it been that long? – I am finally beginning to understand it was right here inside me all along.  The problem seems to be not trusting myself, not being sure of much of anything  and looking outside for answers.  I didn’t trust myself to know what my passions are, what my purpose is and all the important things.  I have been too hung up on fitting in to belong, figuring out what career path in a sea of choices where nothing stands out.  So much of it has been fear of making the wrong choice and being stuck with it for the rest of my life.  Yet, as I look back, I have changed locations, interests, etc., the only thing I feel stuck with all this time is RA.  Now that I didn’t feel I chose, yet, as I have been working through things – yep, I did choose it.  I can now see  my thoughts and perceptions have helped create it – I am working on understanding what those thoughts were and what triggered them.  So much was insecurity and fear about who I am and what my purpose is for this life.  Is RA a validation of some kind – first thought is validation for ego that I am a victim.  I don’t think so!

In the book “Busting Loose From The Money Game”, he talks about we have all written the script to our life and we can change it any time.  I pictured the hollowdeck in “Star Trek” – I always thought that was cool!  It’s a bit unsettling to realize I wrote this script, so much easier to think myself a victim of circumstances.  If I think I am right that I am a victim, I don’t have to take responsibility.  Another Dr. Phil moment – “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”.  What I found most interesting in the book is the author wants us to stop and appreciate what is written, give yourself credit for doing such a detailed and well written script before you write a new one.  That is a whole lot better than beating myself up for doing such a lousy job, etc.

So it is time for me to let go of wanting to be right, to insist that someone who has said or done something to me must acknowledge it so I was right to be hurt and upset, that I am the good one.  Unfortunately it doesn’t make me happy to be the good one, though ego revels in it.  I am working on knowing who I am, my own worth and loving, accepting, approving and trusting myself.  The Law of Allowing means dropping all judgments and all emotional attachments to what others are, have, say or do.  That is where the rub is, I am emotionally attached to it and didn’t realize it.  Eckhart Tolle says that things have meaning only when we put meaning or value on them.  That’s going to take some work to  “know that I know” that and be able to let pass by me.  Though it is important to let someone know when what they say crosses my boundaries.  Then I have to decide if it has value or not – that’s my decision.

Sentence or Journey?

April 4, 2010

As you know, I have been dealing with RA for 39 years – as I look back over those years, I realize there is a difference from Day 1 to today.  For so long I have felt I was  suddenly sentenced to deal with RA with no hope in sight of an end.  I would look at others dealing with a broken bone, surgery, illness, etc. and think – They have a limited length of time to deal with it, that after certain stages are accomplished it will be finished.  Knowing there is a time limit seemed to be a lot easier to work with than to feel there is no limit.  There didn’t seem to be any hope of a suspended sentence, time off for good behavior or maybe even a pardon.  Not only that, it wasn’t going to kill me, just make my life miserable for years on end.  (I apologize for whingeing when I promised this blog wouldn’t be that way).  Essentially it was a bad, long term case of “oh-poor-me-osis – I am the worst off person in the world, no one has as badly as I do.

I realize now that was Ego, my false self, being in charge and the worse it was the happier she was.  She revels in the negative, the scary, everything with fear.  The worst part was that I thought that was me and I wasn’t happy about that.  People would tell me how positive an attitude I had – I kept thinking, “You have no idea the bitch who lives inside me and whinges all the time”.  I would feel so sorry for myself, why did I have to be drag may ass tired all the time, hurt from head to toe, take all those drugs and be on the business end of a needle.  Why can’t I have energy and flexibility like everyone else and have fun and do what I want, when I want, how I want?  All I could see was what I couldn’t do, couldn’t be.  I realized I was fighting it, that RA and my body were the enemy that I didn’t have any defense against.  I often felt hopeless and helpless, while at other times I felt useless.

I don’t know when I began to think there might be a different way to look at it because there was no big “Aha” moment.  I found different books to read, some people recommended, some I found myself and some I stumbled across in looking for something else.  I read the first volume of “conversations With God” and one line in it kept bugging me because I couldn’t visualize it or clearly understand – “What you resist, persists.”  I read it 2 or 3 times, then went on to Volume 2, then Volume 3 and to a couple of other books he wrote.  I didn’t really understand it, but it was a different way at looking at life, myself and God.

When I started reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”, the business with ego and false self took awhile to understand, even then as now, I still am working on it.  Another book I read was “Radical Forgiveness” by Colin Tipping – his view of things in one’s life was very different from what I had been thinking and feeling.  The idea that people and situations that come up in one’s life  could be a soul contract with another’s soul to resolve the situation, especially an ongoing one.  That is still a little unclear for me but I am now “willing to be willing” to explore it and understand it better rather than dismissing it out of hand.

And of course, Dr. Phil.  As much as I want to ignore some of his questions, I know they are true.  When I am in a situation and certain I am right, his question “How’s that working for you?” comes up and I have to admit it isn’t working.  He also says “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”.  How often have I been so not ready to see what my part is in the situation.  The one that sometimes really gets me is “You teach people how to treat you”.  I would much rather see myself as being put upon, a victim of someone being mean to me rather than acknowledging I am part of the problem.  Ego wants me to keep seeing myself as a victim, it is part of her power and hold over me.  Thanks to Eckhart Tolle, I am now a lot more aware and working on putting her out of business.

I’m not sure at the moment where the idea of a gift in RA came from or when, it has been growing slowly in my mind and doesn’t seem so weird and far fetched any more.  One of the affirmations I have been using is “I am willing to know the truth about myself”.  I have always been scared to know because I was sure it was horrible and ugly.  But as I told my sister this morning, I am beginning to see myself as a nice person.  I am working on loving myself, not in conceit or superiority, but loving, accepting, approving and trusting myself – I want to know who I truly am.

Now I realize I have been on a journey and my life experiences and the people in them were and are there because they can teach me about parts of myself and learn to know myself from the inside.  One thing about getting older is that a lot of the stuff that seemed so important really isn’t.  I am less concerned about what people think and more interested in what is true for me and trusting the Universe takes care of me.

Who Am I?

March 18, 2010

Who am I?  Now that is a loaded question and one I have been trying to answer for the last 63 years.  Maybe it is more a question of Who do I think I am?  The first word out of the box is – I am a short, overweight girl with freckles and glasses with no discernible talents that no one likes.  Wow!  That sounds like a real case of Oh Poor Me!   I realize now that everything is perception even though it seems very real.  In the book “Busting Out of The Money Game”, he likens it to a hollowdeck program in Star Trek.  I wrote the script, my part and the parts of everyone else in the scenario.  It also means I can change it any time I want and rewrite it to be different.  But first you have to give yourself credit and appreciation for writing such a detailed and real script.  It shows real creativity and imagination.  So I can write another creative script that is much more loving and positive!

Wait a minute, that is a whole lot to take in at once.  Fortunately I read that after Eckerd Tolle’s “A New Earth”, so it didn’t seem quite as fantastic as it might have at first glance.  Let’s face it, everything is perception, based on your earlier experiences.  Everything seemed to be all about me when I didn’t understand what was happening since there was no frame of reference.  So the next question comes.

Who do I think I am?  That overweight, plain little girl who is the middle child of three girls and doesn’t feel she has any distinction.  She isn’t the oldest, she isn’t the youngest – what is she?  My older sister is a wonderful artist and I know I spent a lot of time in my very young days trying to be just like her – but I wasn’t and that made me feel like a failure, that I wasn’t enough.  Perception.  When I look back, I realize I didn’t look for things I liked and did well, I just decided I was not good enough.  My sister were slender and I seemed to have inherited a double dose of the fat German genes, so sport was not easy for me.  Hmmm, not artistic, not athletic, there didn’t seem to be much for me but reading.  I see now I had a very narrow view of myself and my life.

My parents tell the story of how I made such a racket to get on the bus with my sister to see where it went.  She is 4 years older  than I am and  I ended going to school a year earlier than I should have so I could see where she went.  I may have had an easier time if I had waited a year.   So everyone was always a year older and I didn’t do that well in school, had C’s and a few B’s but math was such a bear.  How many times in Math, Algebra and Geometry did I feel so lost and confused because I didn’t understand it.  It was explained but it didn’t sink in or make it clear and that just gave me that scared, panicky feeling.  I wanted  to burst into tears but of course that wasn’t acceptable.  I didn’t feel I fit in anywhere and recess was no help because I didn’t do well in games.  I felt quite alone, especially when I was made fun of because of my weight.  I remember in 3rd grade when I had to get glasses so I could see the board – I was the only one who had them.  Overweight, freckled, glasses – what a target for teasing.

Junior high and high school were even worse, never asked on a date and I began to feel there was something wrong with me, that I was missing something the other girls had.  Yes, I did a number on myself, yet it felt so real.  I was very glad to graduate from school.  The big question as I was in 10th, 11th and 12th grade was “What do you want to do?  What do you want to be?  I hadn’t a clue.  There wasn’t anything that really hit me and the scary things was the implication that I had to decide now because it would be for the rest of my life.  What if I chose something and didn’t like it?  I was stuck with it.  Maybe that was why not much appealed to me – though in the mid 60’s girls didn’t have a whole lot of choice – teacher, nurse, secretary.  I just told them I wanted to be a teacher just to get them off my back.

I spent 2 years in junior college, 2 years in commercial art school and a year working at Boeing as a tech illustrator before going to Australia to be married. In all those years I have never found my passion – many things I was intrigued by for awhile but nothing that has stuck with me.  Well, I have carried my quilting over several moves but in the last few years there hasn’t been time or energy to continue.  At 63 I am still wondering what I want to be when I grow up.

Now, after reading Eckhart Tolle, I see I was looking at externals, at form to find out who I was.  I was looking at how I looked, what I did, who my friends were because I didn’t know there was any other way to look at it.  According to him, that is Ego, my false self who loves negative, the more the merrier.  She is the one who compares me to others – usually to my detriment – sees lack of things, nothing is ever enough and everything is about me.  She has to be right and anytime she thinks she is being diminished, she get angry and that really revs her up.  She hold grudges and keeps track of all the hurts, slights, resentments, angers, etc. – the little me with the unhappy story.   She thrives on the negative, the more there is, the better she likes it.  It’s all about her.

It’s a relief to begin to see what is going on, that isn’t the real me at all.  It is the me I have been living with for a long time and it has taken awhile to understand and accept it.  Since I have, it has made things a little easier.  Now it is time to find out who I really am, while being more conscious of Ego and what she is doing to undermine it.  She wants the status quo and this threatens her very existence.


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