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Focus

Photo by Lyn

At the beginning of 2010, I recall saying bring it on. I felt brave enough to dig down deep into my psyche, to do some cleaning up of half-truths and limiting beliefs.

I have not been disappointed.

Everything in my life seemed to become game for a test of elasticity. Some relationships withstood the strain of the stretch, continuing to expand to almost limitless bounds!; others snapped, or at least left me bruised snapping back.

I waded through a lot this year, from the beauty of being shown new possibilities in life, and in being-ness, to unearthing the wounded child within, giving her a voice, and helping her to stand on wobbly legs.

What I have gained this year is a deeper trust in people, in life, that shows up to give you exactly what you need, in the most meaningful ways that it can--this is code for that which can really give you a good pounding--after all, what else could get our attention better than that which touches down upon what is most deeply important to us?

It is clear that even if I wanted to, my Soul would never let me not find love in the end, and so, this new year, I feel a quiet release that I can trust my heart, that it will always choose to love beyond, to see you, even if you don't see me. Anything less seizes your own soul. My Soul wants release for all, or it just wouldn't be release.

This year I seem to be saying, let me sink into each moment with all of my being, help me to surrender to all of it, and feel the love.

I see a lot of cozying up to the walls and fences around hearts--yes, even around my own, whispering of the truth that, really, they are not there.

What I have most learned in 2010, is that it is my choice where I focus. I've had many opportunities to see situations through a lens of fear and pain, or through a lens of love, appreciation and joy. The interesting thing is how we focus into one or the other, almost like we can't focus into both at the same time--much like a quantum wave and particle, which are the same, but cannot exist as wave and particle at the same time. It must be one or the other. The energy must appear as a wave or as a particle, and what decides what it will become? Whatever is detecting it!! If the detector detects waves, the energy will become a wave. If the detector detects particles, it will become a particle! I don't know if this can be extrapolated to human perception, but...

A couple months ago I had a childhood memory resurface that would become important in showing me about perception. The memory was from when I was about 8 or so.

It was a memory of an average Saturday afternoon. I was outside of my childhood house jumping on the trampoline in my backyard. In that moment on the trampoline, I seemed to be assessing my life and had an overwhelming feeling that overall life, as I knew it, sucked. Frozen within this memory was the brazen way the sun shone that hot summer day, the relentless Utah heat that chased you indoors, the deep green of a perfectly manicured grass, that really didn't deserve all the water it took to keep it so green, the straight line of the fences to the neighbors that I hardly knew-- all which felt horribly sad, ordinary, separate, and mainly lacking of vital ingredients that would make life lovable.

This memory surfaced recently during the benign task of emptying the dishwasher. I stopped what I was doing and lingered in the memory for a moment, realizing how potent it was--and shocked at having made such a decision about life, at 8-years-old, without having given life much more than a handful of years to show me its stuff.

I filed the memory away for a later day.

Now the interesting part.

This month of December I had the opportunity to return to Hawaii with my kids. On one of the last days, I was standing out on the balcony taking in a breathtaking view of the ocean, of a gorgeous swimming pool with cascading waterfalls, of towering palm trees and exotic trees and shrubs sprinkled with the loveliest pink and white flowers I'd ever seen. It was the view they would capture for a picture post card representing paradise.

What happened next completely pulled the rug out from under me. In that moment, I had the same wave of disapproval wash over me as that afternoon in my backyard when I was 8. It was as if the same template just went ahead and transposed itself over paradise. I literally couldn't believe my thoughts! and the feelings that came with them, trashing paradise right before my eyes!

It was so powerful to watch my mind be able to make even the most extraordinary scene lacking. I let myself rest in even more shock that I could possibly experience the same feeling of lack in a place that I knew filled me with an absolute filled-to-the-brim buzzing of life-force, from the combination of sun, sea and the abundant and captivating animal and plant life. There was no question that this was paradise to me--but it felt so unmistakeably dull and deadened as my childhood memory of that hot summer afternoon, Had I not known the nature of my mind, I would have found myself abhorring the picturesque view.

Could this mean that I can question my perception of, well, everything?

Emphatic yes!

In that moment, I understood how my perception shapes my experience, how I really have a choice. I could choose to believe my experience that told me that the Maui shoreline was substandard (and to what, I ask, could it possibly be substandard?!), or I could focus into the truth, that whatever feeling that washed over me was a template active within me that wants to see problems, or at least is programmed to; that wants to see other people and places as lacking, to see myself as lacking, to see situations as lacking, not to mention everything else--you name it!

In that moment, I truly understood that I have a choice to focus into the light, and that this shapes my perception of the past, present, and future. When my mind decides to create images of lack and place them as a shroud over anyone or anything, I can choose to change focus and inject abundance, love and insight into the perceived darkness.

My daughter gave me another beautiful example of this. She got some Christmas money and decided to blow most of it on a remote-control doggy that she fell in love with at the store. We talked about her choice in great length, because of the price, which was high! I wanted her to be absolutely sure. She swooned and swooned, and her love story became complete when we walked out of the store with her new robotic pet.

The next morning I found her spiraling down into great dismay at having spent such a large amount of cash on this 'stupid' dog. She wanted to bring it back to the store, of course, she and her sister had completely destroyed the box, so, that wasn't an option.

I mostly listened to her, painfully aware of my own pain at how short-lived her love affair had been. I tried to talk to her, but her anger won out as she renamed the dog Stupid Idiot, along with her sister and me.

Usually this would be lecture time, but something in me knew I would be hitting my head against the wall. (I am always rewarded when I just keep my mouth shut).

I said, "Well, nothing I say will make any difference, so, I'll just have to be okay with you hating your dog."

Then she said, "Well, I wish you'd help me, because this doesn't feel good."

I looked at her in absolute shock. She was asking me for help?!!!!!!

So, I got a piece of paper and we started questioning her thoughts a la Byron Katie.

We wrote,"I hate my dog because I miss all the money that I would have if I didn't have my dog, and because he is a boring toy."

I asked her if it was true. She said yes.

I asked her if it was really true. She said she didn't think the second part about the dog being a boring toy was true, but it was true that she did miss the money.

So we worked on that part. I miss the money, is that true? I asked.

"Yes," she said.

"Are you sure?"

Then her perception began to open, because she answered a little more slowly.

"Yes," she finally said, "I am sure I miss the money."

"How do you feel when you have that thought?" I asked.

She continued to express her anger and frustration at having this dog she hated and not the money.

Then the golden question. "How would you feel if you didn't have the thought that you missed the money?"

She looked up into the air and thought for a moment. Finally she said, "I'd love my doggy!"

She became all teary as she ran over to her dog, picked him up and hugged him, and she was overjoyed that he was hers! The dog shifted in a moment from being the bane of her existence to her most prized possession. She renamed him Jesus which continues to make me laugh so hard, I cry. Jesus is just not a household name around here, even if he does creep up in my blog every once in a while.

We drew a little illustration of smiley and frowny faces of her mind moving from having money, to spending the money, to hating the dog and wanting her money back, to getting her money back, and missing the dog! to rebuying the dog (or another toy) and missing the money, etc. etc. We laughed and laughed at the cycle.

Later on I had a similar experience with my seat warmer in my car. It was warming my tushie, oh so nicely, on this cold and rainy day. I noticed how lovely it was, then immediately had the thought, oh, what if it breaks! I should turn it off. I'd miss it too much if it broke! I reached forward to turn it off and caught myself! So, even though I was enjoying its warmth, I was about to turn it off, to make sure that it wouldn't break! I swore then that I would use it freely, and deal with it if it broke--but no more saving it from breaking!

The next day I allowed my girls to wear their fancy Christmas dresses, and plowed over the part of me that thought they would ruin them. And a good thing too, since they will have outgrown them next year!

Oh, the mind, thinking it is taking such precautions! Mostly keeping you from living.

So, it amazed me how my daughter understood her mind at 8!! --that at no point would she be truly happy focused on wanting things to be different. I love that she has a head start at opening to enjoying life!

I begin this New Year knowing that it will be lighter, and much more peaceful as I make a conscious choice in each moment to focus into love and release, into hope and peace, into trust and faith--allowing for the darkness to be there to show me what it need show me, but without allowing it to take over the light.

Happy New Year, friends!

Comments

  1. Your girls are so very blessed to have you as their Mother. What a gift you are giving them!!

    I can't wait to see what 2011 brings, especially after all the emotional clutter you have released this year. I just feel it is going to be huge!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just had an image come to me of you as a honey bee gathering nectar from all your experiences and tranforming it into wisdom--rich, golden, healing, and nourishing. I love how you learn from and teach your daughters. You are all my teachers, too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Whew! Amazing, Brooke.

    It's been incredible to witness you over this past year...the letting go, the shedding, the digging deep, the release. Your courage & willingness to do whatever is necessary to turn toward the light is such an inspiration.

    2011 is going to be mind blowing...in the most incredible way.

    Here's to a brand new, flowing, flying, beautiful, light-filled new year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh bloomin' 'eck Brooke - I just laughed so loud I think they could hear it out on the street! Jesus the doggy! WOW.

    I never quite connected with Byron Katie but your work with your daughter struck a chord with my inner 8 yer old. I think you are a truly inspiring woman and mother.

    And Lyn's photos are always stunning....

    Much love for the new year xxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ey up lass .. Happy New Day..What a lovely heartwarming story.Your daughter,like her Mum,is a miracle. Thank GOD for simple awareness and a special mention to JESUS who is the resurrection and the dog.

    Love Nige

    ReplyDelete

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