Week 3

Day 20: Full Moon

Posted on May 29, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Week 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


Today was a big day. It was a full moon and I was invited to a full moon drum circle in the teepee (the same one from day 8). I had been really looking forward to this as I’d never been part of a drum circle and didn’t know what to expect and Noah also got to go which was great!

 

Noah’s favorite social activity is sitting around a fire and talking with a small group of friends. The teepee seemed to be perfectly intended for just that. It also blocked the wind and a good amount of the rain while trapping in the heat of the fire. Unfortunately teepees have a shelf life of about 7 years.

 

Anyway, the drum circle was really interesting. We started with a “heartbeat” rhythm and some people would add something extra. I was having a lot of trouble finding my ideal drum (there was quite a selection of drums and other percussion instruments) and after what seemed to be 15 minutes or so my wrist was too sore to drum. I think I spend too much time on the computer because my wrist endurance sucks! It was a really awesome experience but I was too self conscious (and sore) to really get into it. Whenever my beat was thrown off Noah’s was too, and whenever I didn’t feel the rhythm anymore, neither did he. It began to wear on me, and it seemed that pretty soon I didn’t want to play at all. Eventually I just sat there and took it in.

 

Traditional Drum circle

(Photo credit: Manatee County Public Library)

 

The last drumming session got really interesting. There was a certain point where some of the women seemed to be casually chatting during the drumming. I didn’t think about it much then realized “wait, that’s kinda weird (and rude)” and looked around trying to find who was doing it. No one was saying a word yet in my head it seemed I could distinctly hear women talking! I couldn’t make out what any of them were saying, but I sounded real. The chatting seemed to stop when the drums got louder but at a certain frequency I seemed to always hear talking. I’ve heard similar things like this before when there was some sort of monotone static going on but never at this volume.

 

I wonder if it’s a spiritual thing or if there’s just a frequency of sound that happens to mess with my brain?

 

Either way, I’m beginning to feel like this personality isn’t mine. Unlike girly, I’ve generally accepted this as who I am and while I’ve deviated from the plan I still have maintained my identity as a spiritual person. I feel as if this is a mask that is beginning to wear on me. For once, I’m beginning to realize I’m not New Age as much as I’d like to be and that not being myself can really suck. In general pretending to be someone you’re not wears on you. I really have loved this personality though, and knowing it’s not who I truly am is a bit depressing.

 

In a way I feel as if I’ve failed some spiritual test through this revelation. The guidance I felt before seems gone. Things are less spiritual. But perhaps these spirits who guided me are beginning to let me go because they know I should continue my own journey. After all, Monthly Makeovers is a spiritual journey in itself, and I know it will change me for the better. Who knows? Maybe I just need to read some more Eckhart Tolle, or another book, and I’ll feel right as rain.

 

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Day 19: Food

Posted on May 28, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Week 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |


This morning Noah and I made Thai pizza! I was pretty hesitant about the idea of meatless, cheeseless, TOMATOLESS pizza but on the website I got it from it was highly rated and all the reviews were positive. It turned out delicious; and was pretty easy to make!

Vegan Thai Pizza Recipe


 

At 7:30 today I went to a session called “Building your own Theology”. It was in the church program and it sounded really cool. I already have my own ideas about spirituality before this experiment even and I used to kind of joke about having my own religion. The session unfortunately was the wrong one for me to go to: it was a concluding session where everyone who was at the workshops before talked about how they wanted to change things for the next cycle. They also talked about their own theologies they developed from the workshop. It seemed that their spirituality was more fluid than mine. My spirituality is much more grounded, much more focused on specific principles and ideas.

 

My spirituality is based on logic: what has been scientifically studied, what is proven to be beneficial, what just makes sense? The supernatural to me isn’t something necessarily divine but something we can’t understand yet still exists in some form. What if the 4th dimension is the spirit world, we just don’t know how else to describe it? I used to think I was turning into an “unwilling atheist” before this; spirituality and religion just weren’t my thing. I think that’s the only part about New Age I don’t like: it’s not grounded enough. I want a reason why; not necessarily a scientific reason but a logical one!

 

This session brought me back to who I am a little. Yes, I can really appreciate New Age and I really like it, but am I really one of them? I think I’ve been focused on what I can understand and not so much on personal values. I suppose that’s what makes a person fit in their personality type: they value it.

 

I do value aspects of spirituality, but I don’t know if I’m at that point where I can imagine it being a complete necessity to life. But then again, it is somewhat of a necessity, at least in the context of atheism. I’m not one to stereotype; in fact I’d heard about the poor attitude of Atheists from friends but never judged until I came in contact with them. They seemed bitter and condescending. I don’t know how much of it has to do with lack of spirituality or lack of something else but I greatly preferred the attitudes of their Christian counterparts who at least seemed to try to focus on good and better themselves internally.

After the session we went home to make some vegan Shepard’s Pie. I’m not really one for dense European food, but Noah was raised with it, and I thought he deserved a treat for being stuck with me and my parents (with none of his comfort foods) plus the recipe said it was the vegan dish you could give to your meat-eating husbands, and I had to test it out.

Vegan Shepard’s Pie recipe


 

I realized something kind of strange: I’m not at all accustomed to European food! Sure, I can have burgers, French fries, pizza etc but corned beef cabbage and shepard’s pie are too dense for me. I like foods that have a fresh feeling to them, and those kinds of foods don’t really emphasize that. It’s weird because I’ve always considered myself predominantly white but I’m much more accustomed to Asian food that typical “white people” food.

 

This dish was a success in the sense that Noah loved it but I was just looking forward to eating the veggies. I can’t say it was bad but it definitely wasn’t the kind of food I liked. I can’t imagine eating the original kind! I would die! My mom tried it and she seemed overwhelmed too. Interesting how people value their tastes. Noah values hardy, Dense, rich foods with meat, potatoes and bread. I value light, fresh, flavorful foods with vegetables, sauce, and rice. That seems to be a common thing I see between men and women. Is it cultural or biological?

 

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Day 18: Compassion

Posted on May 26, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Week 3 | Tags: , , , , , |


This morning I realized I didn’t have any food for school. I made some polenta for the morning and wraps for the day. I wasn’t really into the wraps too much but I highly recommend making polenta some time because it’s really simple and easy. You can find the recipe here, it’s really simple!

Mostly just did homework and worked on the blog today. Here’s a link to something really fateful that happened today but I need to try to make my blogs less intimidatingly lengthy. Even though I seem to work many hours a day on my blog I still manage to lag behind on days! I think it has something to do with how disorganized I’ve been since starting this experiment. This scatter-brainededness must be me embracing the “go with the flow” persona of New Age. Poor Noah, he has to deal with my messiness and self-hatred whenever I feel like I’ve been too much of a slacker. I’ve actually been doing much better at not hating myself for not being perfect at everything.

At 7 or 7:30pm almost every day there is something New Age going on. Take note of that spiritually minded people: if you know of a place that undoubtedly has New Age events at it like a bookstore or a Unitarian church just show up there at 7! Today was a session called “Circle of Compassion”. I could have gone to this or the Dhammakaya meditation. I was in a dilemma: I could go to the Dhammakaya meditation and most likely sit uncomfortably for an hour or I could go to the circle of compassion and with my association of the circle of joy be lectured on one principle over and over again.

I finally decided on circle of compassion and I’m very glad I did. I asked someone in the store where the event was held what seeing a lot of hawks and eagles meant. She directed me to a book called “Animal Speak” but also said from her own personal knowledge it usually meant you were being spiritually guided through a journey. This really struck a chord with me; I don’t know how often I mentioned this feeling of being guided through a journey in my blog (I’m sure I mentioned it at least once) but it’s definitely been an underlying feeling. By the way, I counted and there have been about 5 hawk/eagle sightings since this experiment.

This New Age stuff is really getting to me; I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it anymore! If you were going through these experiences and you were supposed to believe in it would you keep doubting? I mean I would have to be kind of a jerk (and an idiot) to willingly take on this persona and then continue to be a skeptic when things seem to be falling in place exactly where they should.

The circle of Compassion session was not at all what I expected. It was organized by a completely different person. She was some sort of monk…she had the robes similar to a monk and her head was shaved. The group was much more diverse too, which was refreshing. The circle of Joy group consisted completely of middle-aged/elderly white women, and while I don’t have a problem with middle-aged/elderly white women it was nice to have a different perspective from different demographics.

There was a Jamaican, an Indian, some sort of Asian (the monk), a woman from some sort of European country (I detected an accent), and only one white American woman. Of course there were only women, which made me wonder. The thing I liked about it is when we talked about family; there were a lot of really interesting and different perspectives. I felt freer to speak my mind in that kind of environment because if I was out of the ordinary it wouldn’t be that strange.

I’m going to digress just a bit: I cannot tell for the life of me what ethnicities people are! Someone has to be really African, Asian, Indian, or white or else I just can’t discern at all. I guess it’s a good thing. People always ask, “so then what do you think of them if you can’t tell?” I usually either think nothing of it or after a while I’ll think “hmmm… that person looks … ethnic” and that’s as far as it goes.

The session was based around something called the “Charter for Compassion” which was meant to spread compassion throughout the world. Click the link so see what it says; it’s only 4 paragraphs long, so don’t be intimidated!

It was more inviting for people to talk which is what I liked the most. Even though we ran later than we should have I at least didn’t feel rushed or anxious. Everyone else seemed to know each other but I didn’t feel out of place. They were very inviting and I felt welcome in their circle. I could tell there was no conflict in this group, just honest discussion. Most of them had a notebook out to write down new thoughts and ideas. It was a place full of sharing all around and I got a lot of valuable resources from everyone. Here are some websites I got from this group:

Tinybuddha

Fetzer

CCARE

Greater Good

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Fateful Story

Posted on May 26, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Other New Age Posts, Unrelated Posts, Week 3 | Tags: , , , |


I went to go shopping at PCC with my mom. On the way back to picking up Noah who I left to do work at school I got a little lost (I do that VERY OFTEN, despite having lived in the area for most of my life) and ended up on the wrong freeway. I had the choice to exit the freeway and take the right one or take back roads. I decided to take a longer route to the school than usual. While driving through the suburbs there was a cute adolescent puppy walking along the road. I stopped and he ran right up to me, he had a collar but no tags. I knocked on the nearest door but the guy who answered said he didn’t know where it came from.

 

I thought it was absolutely adorable and since I was only 10 minutes or less from the school I decided to pick Noah up first and then try to find the owner. On the way back I began to get really intimidated with all the nearby houses, Noah began to suggest we just take it to the pound. I was hoping for fate to guide us to the correct owner. I finally decided to park at a house and while I was asking the neighbors if they knew of the dog a woman ran out right in front of the car with a very worried look on her face. Noah was still at the car and asked if she was missing her dog. She exclaimed “Yes! Thank you!” and told us her son must have let him out before going to basketball practice. She was searching the house for a while and just ran out to search for Baxter (the dog).

 

It seemed remarkably fateful that we pulled in at the precise time she ran out to find her dog. I could have not picked up Noah first and went from house to house or I could have checked a completely different area. All of the clumsy detours I made created just enough time for the owner to come out right in front of our car. The timing of that whole situation was perfect.

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Day 17: Addiction

Posted on May 24, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Week 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Today was a Monday which meant I had to drag myself out of bed to spend the rest of the day at school. I’m graduating from my school this quarter and I am ready to leave as soon as I can! But in the meantime I’ve been getting irritable seeing all the same people and their unchanging or worsening attitudes throughout the year.

 

It made me realize two things: How I’m changing, and how my tolerance and self-control fluctuates depending on where I am. In my office, it seems that I’m incredibly irritable and generally angry. It doesn’t help of course that a lot of unpleasant people frequent the office and tend to bother me.

 

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, but I’m also a borderline internet addict. The Internet definitely has a special place in my heart, and I can be on it for hours on end. There is a distinction between research, email, and pleasure but the line between research and pleasure can blur and I may end up on the deep end of an internet relapse.

 

I had one of those relapses today. I’ve been focusing on how to “communicate” my blog to people (A.K.A. promote it) and a lot of good advice for having a great blog comes from the Internet. Well, I began getting sucked into that deep end pretty quickly and soon enough I was on Digg.com for no good reason. My guilt for cheating on my New Age rules was overridden with a burning desire to explore more internets. I was rapidly losing myself.

 

In church yesterday I realized there was a list of events going on at the church during the week. The one I attended today was called “Buddhist 12 step study program”. It sounded New Age enough, and I was interested to find out what it was about. I was imagining it to be some kind of workshop where we learned about Buddhism in 12 sessions.

 

It was fatefully a place for addicts of all kinds. At first I wondered if I should leave but they seemed very inviting and I felt I had something to learn from this. The sessions were based around a book called “Burning Desire: Dharma God and the Path to Recovery” by Kevin Griffin. The author as apparently an addict himself but Buddhism brought him back from the brink. Everyone would go around and talk about how their week was and then we would meditate for 20 minutes.

The meditation strategy was really good. We had to count with every out-breath up to 10 then start over again. Still, no matter the strategy, I SUCK at meditating! I know this is my ego talking, that I’m identifying, defining, and limiting myself, but I’m just sick of trying and failing. I usually just fall asleep. The most upsetting part is seeing my boyfriend open his eyes and look like he was just on a different planet. He’s already really good at meditating, and here I am SUCKING. I know that it doesn’t help that I have ADD and insomnia because I think so much I can’t sleep but it’s still discouraging when you’re just sitting still for 20 minutes either worrying or passing out.

 

I really want to have an honest to goodness meditation before this month is over. No, I WILL have a successful meditation session before this month is over!

 

One thing that really struck me in this session was the idea everyone held on to that desire is the cause of all suffering. It seemed like sound logic, yet thinking about it further I found I didn’t want to lose desire. I want to want things, I want to pursue my wants, and I want to get what I want. I think even when one doesn’t get what they want there is still a learning experience behind not getting it. Whenever I envision having no desire or having enlightenment I imagine some monk just sitting there all day with a gentle smile on his face…and that vision isn’t appealing to me.

 

I feel like flaws, pain, indulgence all of those “dysfunctions” have a function. Even when I go to a loud party with obnoxious idiots I learn something. Wasn’t there ever a time when you did something completely unproductive and learned a lot from it? Wasn’t there ever a time you ate a carton of ice cream and enjoyed every second of it? I’m not saying we should all be as indulgent as we can, but I think removing all dysfunctions is dysfunctional.

 

Can we really deny our true natures completely? We’re all animals after all, right? Noah always talks about how long it took us humans to realize we’re all just animals, but how much have we realized that, and are we really just animals if we can deny our own natures, our own inherent instincts driven into us from when we needed to survive with them?

 

The deer stays on the road when it sees a car heading in its direction. It does so because in the wild staying absolutely still helps keep the predator from knowing its location. But when the predator is a car, it can’t deny its nature even knowing it is fully illuminated and thus the predator could see it anyway, even knowing the predator is already “attacking”. Are we much different? We all hate war and violence but we all give in to it fairly easily: it’s our nature.

Oh my god just get out of the way!

My concern is with denying who I am; I like who I am! I could be more laid back and also more organized but I’m always working to better myself, to work on my flaws. But now my perceived strengths are my flaws, and how do I renovate myself without losing my integrity?

 

Anyway, besides that whole inner debate and the crappy meditation the meeting was great. I felt like my problems were so incredibly miniscule and the concepts they talked about reminded me of the book I’ve been reading and also my own journey. The spiritual aspect of it all was surprisingly grounded in reality so that I could see the rationale behind it. Spirituality doesn’t have to be confusing or cryptic, but many times it is.

 

After meditation we read from their book. I really liked the strategy they had for reading: everyone read a paragraph aloud in rotation instead of being assigned to read a certain number of pages/chapters like a reading group. It made me feel included; that even though I hadn’t been there at the beginning I was still very much part of this group.

The reading talked about the 5 hindrances in meditation:

  1. Desire
  2. Aversion
  3. Restlessness and Anxiety
  4. Sleepiness and Dullness
  5. Doubt

My biggest hindrance by far is sleepiness, then anxiety, and then doubt. This book didn’t just tell us the problems; it offered solutions for each hindrance. So next time I’m nodding off while meditating I’ll open my eyes and take some deep breaths.

Finals have been creeping up on me, so things are getting a little hectic. When I got home today I made garden burger with Vegenaise and organic ketchup. Yum! I have to agree with myself though; Garden burgers are pretty damn good for not being beef burgers. Noah even likes them: he made his with hummus and mustard so he’s even a step above me.

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Day 16: Getting Comfortable

Posted on May 23, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Week 3 | Tags: , , , , , , |


This morning I went to the Unitarian Church again. I was somewhat dreading it especially because my mom wasn’t going to be there so I was all alone. But when I entered the church and sat down I felt a strange comfort I was unfamiliar with. I remembered the people and how friendly they were before and accepted this was a place to be accepted.

 

The church seemed more inviting, less intimidating, and I was grateful for it. I enjoyed the singing part of it a lot and felt more comfortable being there. Once again my expectations were not met: while people were really nice they weren’t quite as angelic as I’d portrayed them in my head. It really wasn’t a bad thing (and no one was rude or hostile) it was just my expectations once again bringing me back to reality. The hardest part I think is the mingling after service. This was where I had to overcome my introversion and inherent suspicion the most. Luckily people approached me and talked to me which made things easier when it came to coming out of my shell.

 

This is really helping me gain a lot of inner confidence which is increasing my spiritual confidence. I have a feeling Unitarian Universalism isn’t really that New Age, but it does open doors to New Age Events and people. Unitarian Universalism was actually founded by a Christian, and it’s obvious when seeing the way service is practiced. There seemed to be a lot of confidence in the regulars, and even in Christians I see a similar kind of confidence. Does being surrounded by a group of accepting and supportive people affect your confidence or is it that the kind of people who enjoy church tend to have more confidence? I’ll do some research on that and see if it’s true.

UU chalice symbol

I FORGOT: Noah and I saw two hawks flying low over us today!

I was pretty preoccupied today other than church but I did go to an AMAZING diamond in the rough Vietnamese Pho restaurant and got some delicious tofu vermicelli! Seriously, just look at it, and its CHEAP TOO ($8)! This is one of those foods that would easily make me obese despite the fact its low fat; I would just keep waiting for my stomach to digest just enough to eat some more. I would go here for $20 extra; this dish is so amazing it’s a spiritual experience! I found a link to a recipe that looks like they’ve got a similar enough dish, I suggest you check it out here, I know I will!

 

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Day 15: Drawing

Posted on May 22, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Week 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Today was essentially recovery and cleanup from last night’s party. It was a time where I found it necessary to sit and watch a movie and take care of Noah who had been drinking and having fun until 6 that morning and woke up at 10am (still drunk). He was feeling pretty sick, so instead of going to some New Age events I decided it was a fateful opportunity to take care of the dogs, read more Eckhart Tolle (Awakening Your Life’s Purpose), and take care of Noah.

I hadn’t really made much progress with the book and I felt my journey into Awareness was a path I could not halt, that a progression of events would continue without me whether or not I had read enough to understand them. Reading the book proved to help me with some feelings I had been trying to fight since the party. I was feeling bitterness at some people because of many reasons, some ranging from feeling personally attacked to simply being disappointed by how they’ve changed.

After everyone left I finally could rant to Noah about what I didn’t like at the party. I soon realized that I could only see the bad, but overall the party was a huge success. It was then that I realized my journey to Awareness may continue without me, and I was becoming stagnant; leaving a pile of disappointments and grievances instead of a trail of past negativities left behind. The fact that Noah was feeling very sick and exhausted and thus didn’t have the energy to hear it made me realize it was a problem I needed to learn to cope with alone that day.

Anyway, I sat down to read the book and it began to talk about egoic aspects very relevant to my current feelings. Here’s a list of quotes I read in succession today that related to my current situation:

  • “Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist. …every time it is recognized it is weakened.”
  • “Complaining then turns into reactivity, another of the ego’s ways of strengthening itself.”
  • “To carry a grievance is to be in a permanent state of ‘against’.”
    • “It requires honesty to see whether you still harbor a grievance”
    • “Don’t try to let go of the grievance… Forgiveness happens naturally…”
  • “When you complain, by implication you are right and the person or situation you complain about is wrong”
    • “There is nothing that strengthens the ego more than being right”
    • “Being right places you in a position of imagined superiority…”
  • “Ego takes everything personally.”
    • “Ego confuses opinions and viewpoints with facts”
    • “Every ego is a master of selective perception and distorted interpretation”
    • “Only through awareness can you see the totality of the situation and person instead of adopting one limited perspective”

All of this New Age stuff is really getting to me! I prefer feeling that events in my life were set in front of me for a purpose. I am beginning to feel self conscious about it though. It’s embarrassing to tell everyone I believe all this stuff, but it’s the right way to go, and I’m really glad for it. I was talking to Noah about this book and he said “So this is like the Bible to you now huh?” I paused and he reassured me there was nothing wrong with that but I didn’t like the idea of relying on a book to sculpt how I think I should be.

My Jesus?

It’s strange but when I first opened this book I was incredibly skeptical and didn’t think it would have much impact on me. The part that really made me keep my distance was that it said this book can’t just be “interesting”, that you had to believe in it to achieve Awakening. That made me leery of its concepts; it made me think this was some kind of scam that fooled people who didn’t feel any “awakening” into thinking it was their own fault.

I had accepted this book as simply “interesting”, but it didn’t seem to accept that about me, and soon what I was reading was somehow becoming reality in almost every way. It feels as if I’m trying to walk on the wrong path because it’s easier to travel but I’m being forcefully guided on the right one, and that something is making the wrong way less easy and more treacherous.

Perhaps this journey is easy because I’m being eased into committing myself to it and once I have committed to it I will be faced with more difficult events. This reminds me of a Roald Dahl story I read a while back called “The Wonderful story of Henry Sugar” (link to a better summary of the story) where a rich immoral man pursues a spiritual practice for selfish reasons and it ends up transforming him into a good person. It’s a great short story, I suggest you check out the book!

Anyway, besides Eckhart Tolle I also did a really cool drawing exercise meant to be done on one’s birthday. It was suggested to me by my English teacher who is helping me with this blog. It is supposed to tell you how your life in the following year will be like. Here’s the link to the directions, I HIGHLY suggest you do the exercise BEFORE looking at my drawing! It should only take a few minutes.

My results:

Snake: In the emotional quadrant. Emotionally I will/need to heal through expressing my vision and communicating my ideas. The tongue is in the physical quadrant which means I need to communicate to the outer world more (I need to put myself out there, presumably for the blog) I also need more beauty in my life…so maybe I need to appreciate nature more?

Flower: In the physical quadrant, so I’m most willing to be open to new things physically.

Bird: In the spiritual quadrant which is where I need to use communication. Interestingly, the beak is in the mental quadrant.

Path: In the emotional quadrant which means my goals are emotional (my goal is for happiness which is an emotion). It also leads to the Mountain but specifically does not lead to the shelter. So perhaps my emotional goals are geared towards spirituality.

Mountain: In the emotional quadrant, means I have a deep emotional connection with the sacred as in love and nature.

Butterfly: In the mental quadrant which means there is something I’m going to outgrow mentally. A symbol of transformation.

Tree: In the emotional quadrant. I’m going to go through natural emotional growth. The roots don’t show so I only want to share roots/origins with people I trust. I think it’s not that I don’t like sharing my roots with everyone but I don’t like to use my origins as a way to define who I am today.

Shelter: In the emotional quadrant, it means a strong emotional sense of self. I feel strong emotionally.

Overall: I think it’s really interesting that most of the symbols lay in the emotional quadrant as I never considered myself an emotional person and actually quite the contrary. I always assumed that it meant I was emotionally numb, that deep inside I’m a weak person but I’m so fragile I hide that part of myself but according to this it’s because I’m emotionally strong but I could do with emotional growth. I also found it strange that the beak of the bird and the tongue of the snake were in different quadrants than their bodies. It seems that communication is an important theme in my life right now which makes sense because I’m an inherently non-verbal person. The idea that I’m to outgrow something mentally takes me back to reading Eckhart Tolle and how I need to get out of my thoughts and mind and how the process has already begun.

Today wasn’t incredibly eventful, but a learning experience nonetheless.

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Days 14: Expectations

Posted on May 21, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Week 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


This morning I went to the New Age bookstore that I’ve been frequenting lately. I was supposed to join another “Circle of Joy” session at 11am but I got there too early and had an hour to kill before it began. I looked through the store and began reading an astrology book. An old man perhaps in his 50’s or 60’s approached me and asked if I was reading with my mind or my soul. I told him I didn’t know and then he told me I was very old. I assumed he meant my soul was old and took it as a compliment. I asked him how old he was and said he was only 126 and said he was really young. He told me I should see him and gave me his card; he was a “Counselor-educator” and had a PhD!

 

It was a very strange experience; he didn’t seem peaceful like a monk, in fact on the contrary he seemed pretty abrasive and pushy. He gave me a brochure to see “Amma” a woman who was going to be in the area soon. I asked if it was free and he said I must have a little Jew in me! I feel as if this encounter was fateful in a way: I will be coming to the Amma event and maybe even contact this man if he doesn’t charge too much money (and no I’m not Jewish at all just poor).

 

I found somewhat of a bargain at the store. Packets of energy crystals for only $5 each! They were small so they fit perfectly in my medicine bag. I bought two: one for transformation (I thought I could do with something that would help me transform) and one for peace (It felt like I needed that the most). There were others; some for success, spirituality, love etc. On my way to take pictures of them I must have misplaced the Prehnite. But I’m going to assume that was meant to be.

 

My favorite is the labradorite. When I first took time to look at it I thought there must be a blue light somewhere reflecting off the stone, but then I realized it was inside the stone. A beautiful, rich blue that didn’t seem natural to originate from anywhere…it felt deeply spiritual. The ocean Jasper is amazing too, I suggest you google it and see how many forms it takes!

 

Later at the circle of Joy session I was a little disappointed; the same concept from the previous circle was repeated in essentially the same manner by the host and I felt like there wasn’t enough time to really understand what was going on. There was this repeated concept of drawing “energy” from above or from God. It was a good concept and I was taking it to heart but it just seemed that the session was meant to be a place where people could share their experiences, a place that was supportive of others’ problems and successes. The problem was there wasn’t enough time for that. I was excited to share my spiritual experiences but I didn’t have the opportunity. I do like the idea of it, but the structure was a little confusing to me.

 

Guess what? I saw 2 hawks today! I was driving home and they were flying low and close together. One veered off and disappeared but the other flew along the road. I was pretty much driving (slowly) with it until a car drove up behind me. It was an amazing experience!

 

Today my parents left for the weekend and let me throw a party at their house. I’m not really the type of person to have a lot of friends but I know plenty of people I get along with well. The problem is that none of my friends really know each other at all. When it comes to setting up a party we were worried that no one would enjoy themselves because they wouldn’t like each other. Usually when Noah and I considered having a get-together it was a stressful time. We would compile lists of who would get along with whom and which group of people would be most fun.

 

This time Noah and I decided to invite whoever I liked instead of being worried if they would end up liking each other. It ended up being a good plan and the party ended up to be a success. There were some extroverts and some introverts and I think the balance of the two ensured that things didn’t get too rowdy but it was still a good time. I was expecting to find out who my “true” friends were at this event and had expectations of how things would be.

 

While I considered the party a success, my expectations and reliance on form (vices, people, things etc) to make me happy were not met. I feel as if I’ve begun a journey I cannot reverse or even pause and if I don’t press on I will be stuck being disappointed with everything. It seemed I’m being gently guided through this journey and when I veer off the path I’m met with disappointments. I’m a little scared that if I don’t continue reading Eckhart Tolle and pursue whatever fateful opportunities come in my path I will lose everything that I expect to make me happy and won’t have learned how to be happy without it.

 

It was enlightening to see all the people I like together in one night. So many different personalities! I realized a lot about who I value and who values me. There were some friends I considered great and hoped for them to be permanent but tonight I saw them in a completely different light. It seems that some of them were so much younger before and they only grew in a certain direction. I’ve been reading about how people try to define themselves by what they want and have and I felt like many people there were gradually refining their self definitions into a very specific niche.

 

This saddened me, and made me wonder if I have somehow become like that without knowing. It’s hard for me to understand why someone would, in my perception, limit who they are by only allowing themselves to be a certain way. It brought me back to this experiment in general and my own spiritual journey for this month. I have always wondered what it was like to truly belong to one “category” or “type” of people, and that’s essentially why I started this. I also have never valued that common aspect of humanity, and in reading Eckhart Tolle realized I wasn’t alone in this philosophy.

 

I feel like discovering one’s self requires for this to happen. I mean, I’m sure these people are just realizing what they want/like/have and finding comfort in knowing that. So am I the one in the wrong? I’m always searching for what I really want, but what I want is happiness, and what I envision as happiness changes. Does that mean these old friends have a vision of happiness that simply stays the same? Or are their goals and wants not for happiness but for other words they equate to happiness like respect from others, success, riches etc?

 

I was pretty reluctant to actually have people over this weekend because it didn’t feel completely conducive to being New Age but I’m really glad I did and feel it was a fateful learning experience. Lately, everything feels like some kind of learning experience. This point of view makes life feel much more….useful than before. Even negative experiences have something to offer to me!

 

There was a bonfire at the party and we told everyone to bring brats. I was initially really excited because I LOOOVE Johnsonville beer brats but then I realized I’m vegan and can’t eat those. I got some Field Roast smoked apple veggie brats with sage in them and realized how amazing fake meat can be at tasting really good! It’s got a good consistency and kind of tastes like really mild tasting meat with lots of seasoning to make it taste stronger. I think they do really well making fake meat taste good.

 

AND it’s got sage!!

 

I also made homemade French fries! I’ve made them before and they have consistently been a big hit so I tried again, and again they were a hit. Some people even said they were the best French fries they’d ever eaten! I love making good food. The recipe really isn’t hard at all though, so its not some big feat that I accomplished.

Homemade French fry Recipe

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