Tag Archive | living in the now

allowing ourselves to float

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We would appreciate some of that cheese you’re eating

We listed our home for sale last week*. When the idea first came to me, it seemed frightening. The thought, “How can we sell our home when we don’t have another to move to?” screamed in my head, almost commanding me to back down. But it was followed by a deeper voice that said, “You are not selling your home today. You are listing it for sale. This is step 1”.

Jack was in agreement with listing our home, until we started to get phone calls and appointments for showings, and then he began to echo the sentiment of my earlier fear, so I just repeated what was given to me and said, “We did not sell our home, we listed it for sale. This was only our first step. If it isn’t right for us, nothing will happen, but if it is right, then step 2 will be given and we’ll take that then.”

This felt so right to me, but he didn’t even seem to take the concept in, and kept saying, “We can’t move without knowing where we are going!”

The spiritual teacher, Byron Katie, once said, “If you want fear and terror on purpose, get a future” and that was where Jack was. He was not staying in the moment, in the now, on step 1…if the steps could be numbered, he was probably on step 13, and it didn’t look good. In his vision we were pitiful, homeless, and broke, living from hand-to-mouth, begging for food for our animals and ourselves. I’m exaggerating here…but only a little.

After 3 days of utter agony, refusing to listen to anything that I offered, he talked with a friend who was able to bring him back to his center and the knowing that he only need stay in the moment and trust the larger part of himself. He needed to remember that he wouldn’t be led down a merry path, only to be dropped at the end.

 

Trust. Trust in what?

 

Over the past few months, I’ve been led to a new awareness of the Goodness that surrounds us all; the Goodness that we are an intricate, intimate part of, and so I have begun to trust in a new way that all really is well and that my part is to show up, be open, take action when it feels like I’m being asked to do so, and stay away from any fearful-mind stories. I’m not saying that those fearful thoughts don’t enter my consciousness, because they do, but they are different now. They don’t hold the same energy as before and I can see them for what they are…phantoms of old beliefs.

I want to live my life as if it is a grand adventure and I cannot do this if I need to plan out each step. But seriously, even if I, or you, or Jack, could plan out each step of our lives, would Life conform to that? When has that really ever happened, and is it even an adventure if by some chance “it” did turn out exactly as we planned?

And there is also the idea that anything that I (Mary Muncil, the little me) plan has to be teeny tiny compared to what the whole of me (divine mind combined with all of the other divine minds that make up ALL THAT IS) has in store.

This is the SELF that I trust.

Many years ago, I picked up the book, Illusions, by Richard Bach and was completely floored by the introduction, which I share with you below.

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all — young and old, rich and poor, good and evil — the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current was what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, “I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.”

The other creatures laughed and said, “Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed against the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!”

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, “See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the messiah, come to save us all!”

And the one carried in the current said, “I am no more messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure….”

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  • Introduction to the book, Illusions, by Richard Bach

 

*our home is listed on Zillow, 148 Dunbar Rd. Cambridge, NY 12816. There are lots of photographs. If you would like more information, feel free to email me at mmuncil@verizon.net.

Also, Jack and I are showing our work (44 pieces in total) from August 19th through Labor Day, at Gallery 668 in Battenville, NY. The opening is August 19th from 4-6 p.m. We will both be there as well as a number of other artists. For more information, feel free to email me at mmuncil@verizon.net

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preview of some of our work at 668 GALLERY

Being in the world …in a new way

Tolstoy talking with his grandchildren

Leo Tolstoy talking with his grandchildren …I just loved this photo that someone sent me the other day!

A few years ago, I was hosting a party at our home and found myself very wound up, so much so, that If someone had asked me where I was energetically (and if I could have stopped long enough to really check in with myself), I would’ve felt my energy very concentrated in the front of my head, in “little mind” (thoughts fraught with tension). Being so locked in mind, I was almost completely unaware of the larger dimension of myself, and only vaguely aware of anything or anyone else.

I was in “git er done” mode, and my mind was fast and furiously telling me what to do: “Take the cheese out one hour before everyone arrives.”, “Dress the salad, no wait, it might get soggy, let people put their own dressing on.”, “Make sure you clean the bath tub (in case someone pulls the shower curtain back to check).”, “Vacuum. No, let Jack vacuum”. “Hey where is Jack? He seems to disappear when I really need him!”, “I can’t stand doing this all alone.”, “I need help!”, “Jack never helps.”, “This is indicative of the larger problems in our relationship”, “We really aren’t partners at all.” …..”Our marriage is in trouble”, ……on and on and on.

The mind, when allowed to run the show (our lives), is like an insane ringleader trying to run the circus. I’ve dealt with it by staying completely captive of its demands and trying to fulfill each one to the letter (and ended up wiped out by the end), by deciding to detach myself; not do anything that brings up those feelings (with the resultant feeling that I was on the side-lines of life), and finally, by trying to stay present wherever I am, and whatever I am doing.

I used to be quite close to a woman who was very talented, creative, and also had this intense desire (like my own) to make things perfect. She chose to retreat almost completely from the world. …and I knew why. This “thing” that emerges when we take on an important project or event (that is very meaningful to us) can feel like a monster. We hate the way we feel when we’re in the grips of it, and we think it is the event (or people who our mind has told us are the cause of the current problem) so we want to get rid of the situation or straighten “them” out, and find ourselves saying things like, “Never again!”….and truthfully, it can feel easier to avoid it..and after a little while, we begin to believe that we’ve conquered it. But we just haven’t. It has just gone unchallenged. It is still there, and we think that it is the real us. And we fear it.

But it isn’t us. It is a part of sleeping humanity’s consciousness, and it is a part of our experience until we begin to wake up. And just becoming aware of it, it loses some of its power over us. The more we stay present (out of compulsive thought) during experiences that challenge us, the more we stay in touch with what is happening within us, the more we wake up to the real Self, our Divine Self. The Self that can be “In the world, but knows it is not of this world”. The part that is aware that we are something much greater than these flesh and bone bodies who eat, drink, talk, think, dance, sleep, and plan,…so we can eat, drink, talk, think, dance, sleep and plan in new and better ways. In ways that bring Light to everything we touch with our hands and with our minds.

Sometimes say softly to yourself: ‘Now…now. What is happening to me now? This is now. What is coming to me now? this moment?‘ Then suddenly you begin to see the world as you had not seen it before, to hear people’s voices and not only what they are saying but what they are trying to say and you sense the whole truth about them. And you sense existence, not piecemeal–not this object and that–, but as a translucent whole.” pg 53, from “If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit” by Brenda Ueland (published in 1938)

Love begins with me

Eleanor by the new plant

Eleanor by the new plant

A few years ago, I was sitting in a diner listening to someone talk about the unfairness of his current life situation. He was lamenting the devastation he felt at being excluded by his family….and his suffering was heart-breaking and so real to him. And he kept it alive. He brooded over the hurtful letter he’d received from one of his sons, and the years of stony cold silence from another. He alone kept these hurts alive, and they eventually became his prison.

He couldn’t (or wouldn’t) see that he had played any part in creating the unhappiness he felt… and so he was trapped. He wanted everyone to admit that they had been wrong; had judged him harshly, and unfairly. He thought that their actions (or lack thereof) were the key to his freedom, his happiness, and he was so angry at them, for not loving him.

And yet, knowing him for many years, I also knew that even if all of these people finally said exactly what he wanted them to say, he would not be happy. Oh, maybe for a few days or weeks he might be, but his feelings; of not being good enough, of being excluded and marginalized, were beliefs that he carried within himself, about himself.

His feelings of self-loathing were being mirrored back to him by those around him, and they were so painful to see, that he wanted to run away from them all. He wanted to shout, “I don’t need any of you!” at the top of his lungs, from the lonely prison of his own making.

He holds the keys to his freedom, but he is not ready to hear this, because the price for his freedom would be giving up the need to make anyone else wrong. The price would be a fresh start, beginning today; radical acceptance, radical love of himself and “them” too. He doesn’t know that he can love others, even if they never respond, even if he never sees or hears from them again. He doesn’t know that it only takes one to Love.

Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.” Leo Buscaglia

 

Ideas that expand us

"Looking through a key hole" (photograph I took on retreat several years ago)

Last year, I was telling a friend that I met my father every Sunday morning for breakfast and she said, “Oh, I wish that I had a relationship like that with my dad.” I just smiled but also thought, “You probably really don’t!” It took a lot of determination for me to see that relationship differently and to be genuinely happy to meet with him on Sunday mornings in the summer. I don’t see him during the rest of the year because he lives in Florida, and I have never been invited to either home. He told me last year, at breakfast, that this was not going to change, (and he is 86 so I tend to think that he is right). I see him on Sunday mornings before the track opens. He comes to Saratoga for the racing season and leaves right after.

This is in no way meant as a “poor me” post. I lived with a lot of anger about my past and it ate me up. Ten years ago, I was experiencing such stomach pain, that I really thought I might have a serious illness, and realized that I needed to seriously address my non-acceptance of the past. I had “worked on” forgiveness, done tons of therapy, but was still carrying around resentments and they were beginning to negatively impact my health. I began a process of opening up to a new way of being, to a new way of seeing my life, and everyone in it (or not), to basically save my life. I wrote to a friend last night and said, “One of my concerns about this blog is that people will think that when I propose and idea such as saying, ‘Everything in my life is exactly as it should be’, that someone struggling will feel like I have done this work in one fell swoop and now am saying it is easy”.

Changing the way that I think, has been, hands down, the hardest thing that I have ever done. Accepting where I am now, who is here with me, who is not, is huge work. I removed yesterday’s post because I could feel that it need more explanation. I present concepts and new thoughts with the sole intention of offering a thought/idea that could lead to a more expanded, easier and happier life.

I am posting yesterday’s post again here for anyone who would like it.

I’ve been thinking about a powerful question lately…asking myself this question, “What if my entire life has been ‘perfect’?” I spent many years feeling that I did not quite measure up, that I somehow disappointed my parents, then my children…felt I was not quite a good enough friend or wife or even pet owner. I believe that it is important to make amends, set things right, when I know that my actions have harmed someone, but perpetually feeling bad/wrong/inadequate for actions of the past, only drags those low energies into my present moment. There is a belief system that if you forget the past, you are doomed to repeat it, but the truth is, if you keep it alive, by negative thought and stories, you are attracting similar experiences. Feeling bad about the past does not change it, but it does change my present moment, and makes it more difficult.

I am ready to live today as if everything in my past has been perfect; no person was there by accident, no split-up was ultimately “wrong”….every person who came and left was “right” at that time. There is a peace inside when I quietly sit and say, “What if everything is exactly how it is meant to be, and my life is perfectly on-track.” Maybe Labor Day is a good day to stop “laboring” and struggling about things that we cannot change (the past) and to start living now.