Holy cow!

Eleanor looking up

Eleanor looking up

At one of the B &B’s we stayed in on our trip, the owner asked me what I did for a living and as I began to tell her, she started telling me about all of the spiritual authors that she’d read, retreats she’d been on, courses of study she’d taken. Her story was interspersed with comments about how the economy had taken a downturn since she opened the B & B, and the difficulty she was having with one of her grown children. As I listened to her, I had the feeling that I was not really a part of the interaction at all. It was as if she was a closed unit, with no room for new information to come in. I could feel that the “stories” she was telling me were forming her world.

I liked this woman, and would have gladly offered her some time to talk if she had asked. But she was like a full-cup, with no room to take in anything more. Something had to be let go of first. I also had the feeling that she was my teacher because our interaction prompted me to ask the questions, “What areas of my life am I too full of myself in? What “sacred cows” am I holding on to?”

There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.” Anthony de Mello


17 thoughts on “Holy cow!

  1. Are you home?
    I went to a workshop the other night – many many mentions of having a full cup and how we must empty to let in other things. We think we know everything. Our cups are too full. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Mary, I’m always so impressed by how you use every opportunity to look at yourself. I’ve also been taught “it’s an inside job”. That used to make me mad. Now I see it as the unmistakeable way to peace and spiritual growth. Your courage reminds me to be courageous too. 🙂

  3. I think it’s a remarkable and beautiful thing the way other human beings show or reflect what we may need to know and /or possibly change about ourselves. It is a gentle prompting , not a lecture, command, negative thing, but a beautiful opening to looking at ourselves deeply, and clearly. An “inside” job, for which I am always grateful for the opportunity, and the release that comes from doing the work. Thank you Mary for showing me an important lesson for this 24 hrs. Welcome Home !!!

  4. I remember the first Spring, after I began reading your blog. I was outside and looking at the shrubbery around the house that I had been trimming year after year. It looked overgrown and unruly, full in a cluttered, struggling-for-sunlight kind of way. That day I set about cutting and removing and thinning out the bushes that just didn’t fit anymore…whose beautiful branches were dead and dying underneath others that blocked their light. By the end of the day, it looked lovely and fresh, with room for so much more light and growth. I was so happy with my efforts. But the real AHA moment came when I walked inside the house, looked out the windows, and oh my how the view had changed! I instantly felt the metaphorical meaning of cleaning out my stuff…the stuff I was holding onto that blocked or dimmed my inner flame. I work at it every single day. So when my energy feels cluttered, and I am struggling for sunlight, I know there is something (or someone) I need to let go. I recognize the need for making spiritual space…spiritual peace. Your post this morning reminded me of that Spring time and what internal pruning I need to do! Perfect perfect timing for me! Thanks Mary!

  5. hi mary, it’s amazing to me how you have the ability to take a moment or many in this case to turn it into something so positive and thought provoking. yes, thank you for the reminder. hope you had a great trip!

  6. Dear Mary…a poignant post; thank you. Life is a series of getting filled up so we can empty our cups out again. I needed to hear this beautiful message this morning!

  7. Such an interesting post. There is a person in my life who, whenever we are together, never asks me a question about myself. Therefore, in order to keep a conversation going, I’m asking the questions, and she is doing all the talking – about herself. I have never been able to get close to her, in spite of our husbands being best of friends. I keep rereading your post Mary and others’ comments, and I guess I’m missing something. I don’t know what the message is for me and, more importantly, is there any hope for making a connection with this woman?

    • Hi Becky, I had a phone conversation with a friend a few days ago and she truly didn’t stop talking from the time the call began. At one point I had to take a shower. I put her on speaker and got into the tub, lathered up and washed & rinsed my hair before she realized that I wasn’t totally present. I heard HELLO, HELLO. I picked up the phone and asked if I could call her back. I called her back after my shower and after she finished saying all of the things she wanted to say she said she’d be hanging up. I asked her if I could say a few things before she hung up. I told her that she was doing all of the talking during our phone conversation and that I wanted to talk as well. She didn’t seem to realize that she’d been talking so much. I felt better for having confronted her about turning the conversation into a monologue. You may want to tell your friend how you feel. Susan

  8. Mary – Welcome home! Thank you for another post that hits the mark at the exact right time in my life. (I really can’t believe how many times this happens!!) Your “sacred cow” reference is so true – do we really have to do some of the things we feel so obligated to do? I’m trying to sort that out. I can also relate to Becky’s comment. We probably all know individuals like this. I’m finding it more difficult to enjoy these kind of interactions/relationships and am choosing to limit them, if at all possible.

  9. Spring cleaning. . sometimes when something is troubling me and I can’t seem to get a handle on it, I find myself in one of my ‘cleaning moods’ as my sons call it. By making order out of ‘things’, there is a small satisfaction that other matters will fall in place, though I realize I’m probably just masking the inner work that needs to be done. Still, nice to have a clean refrig, or an orderly closet in the process. Kathye, I just love how you often share with us insights you receive from nature – what a teacher She is! I copied this the other day from an Abraham message:

    “A feeling of being overwhelmed is your indicator that you are denying yourself access to all manner of cooperation that could assist you if you were not disallowing them.”

    Becky’s last question is a good one – how do you gently let someone you care very much about know that the ‘stories’ they are clinging to are not allowing anything new to come into play? How sad to continue to define oneself from past experiences, dragging the pain along through the years. Thinking now of all sorts of creatures that shed old skin, (snakes!), molt (birds!), grow new coats of lustrous fur – out with the old. Here comes spring everyone!

    • Thanks Susan and Suzanne! Like Mary’s B and B owner, I find recognizing when I’m approaching full (before I am stuffed, stuck and blocked) is the key for me…and nature provides those messages and that natural release valve in so many ways…I think that is why I can so easily picture your walks in the dessert…each cactus, each dessert flower, each tiny lizard would just draw me right back to center…ahhh…

  10. Getting ready to go on an overnite, I got into three closets and thought, “Man, I have to get this cleared out soon!” It seems a perpetual task. Hmmm–let’s see what’s inside the skull, too…

  11. Nice to have White Feather Farm fall into my inbox today and nice to have you back with us, Mary, or should I say, we’re back with you.
    Now to the quote: “There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.” and I’d have a bone to pick with Anthony de Mello. There are many causes of unhappiness but one of the main ones are the beliefs we have in our heads and yes, I agree with that…however, false they may be, they are the only beliefs I have until someone manages to flip my switch to a different perspective. When people say: I’m wondering if you’ve thought about it this way (a different way to my thinking), if I’m open to hearing it and I hope I am, I am reminded that my perspective is mine…there are others andI can change the disc in my head that keeps replaying itself and enforcing my ‘false’ beliefs. Maybe you left that B&B hostess with something to think about Mary and if not, I hope you left her your website URL.
    SandyP in Canada

  12. And sometimes our cup runneth over… It is difficult to hear oneself when worries or fears are plaguing. My awareness triggers, if the same story (saga) keeps issuing forth, indicating work within is needed or letting something go will be beneficial. A step in any direction is better than being mired. Thank you for a thoughtful post.

  13. Welcome home Mary! Hope your re-entry goes smoothly. I just fell on this post. It wasn’t in my e-mail? So obsessive me, re-subscribed.
    It’s difficult to be witness to a person spilling all over you.

Comments are closed.