Wednesday, August 19, 2015

                                           Reflection Pond

Albagoth, the creator of all worlds, stepped back and observed them all. He installed a consciousness into all life forms on CurĂ¡, even the sands, plants and trees, and made the Reflection Pond, where those who peered into it would see an older version of themselves. This older version would guide them, answering all questions they needed to help them with their journey.”

“Hello, younger self. I’ve been waiting for you,” the man said. Xander’s heart dropped.
“Are you real?” He reached out a hand to touch the other person. The man felt real, but also it was like touching Jell-o.
“I am real enough. You have much to learn.” The older self smiled. “Usually, the searcher views us from the shore instead of from inside the pond.”

-Excerpts from Indigo Traveler Book 1 by Merri Halma

What would you do if you were to look into a pond and see an older version of yourself? Would you be frightened? Would you be intrigued? An exercise that roams around Facebook is a question: What would you say to your younger self if you could travel back in time? It is a great exercise to find out exactly what we could do to change something about ourselves.

When I first conceived the reflection pond where my character could see his older self, it was a time in my life where I was looking for answers to various life issues.  I imagined Xander Veh, my main character in Indigo Traveler, needing that kind of direction. He is in a far away land, without his parents and is an only child. He is looking for answers as to why he is the way he is and what good he could be in this new land his griffin, Geoffrey, brings him to.

Imagine, if you were staring into a pond, and saw an older image of your self, or maybe your younger self, (if you are in your fifties or older). What kind of questions would you ask?
Most people do not totally accept themselves. Others spend massive amounts of time rolling in self-pity, and do not take steps to change. It is as if their feet are firmly imbedded in concrete and cannot move. Have you been there? Maybe they spend too much time blaming someone else for not helping them or not living up their own expectations.

For many people, it is difficult to look at themselves in a reflection pond and actually look into our their eyes. To look into your own, eyes, you will slowly see your soul. I have read an article Wayne Dyer wrote suggesting upon rising, to look your reflection in the mirror, and say positive words. The other exercise is to let go of all thoughts and just stare into your own eyes and see what comes to mind. The mirror can act like a refection pond; you will not see your older self, but yourself as you are. Dyer recommends dismissing all negative thoughts, as that will sabotage your efforts to bring your higher mind into focus. The goal is to come to insights about your life and see the best within you. To finish, continue to give positive self-talk throughout the day. Do this for a week or more, and see how it changes your life. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Stories We Tell

     Tell me a story about yourself. In a job interview, the employer asked the potential employee to tell her about himself. And also why that person wants to work for that company. Most interviewees tremble at the mention of that question.

     We are all story tellers whether we realize it or not. We don't have to be writers to tell a story about ourselves. Are we the hero of our own story? Are we the villain? Is yours a sad story? One filled with being a victim? Can you change your story so you are no longer a victim?

     We each play a role in our own lives. Each role is an archetype. We cast the roles of those around us whether we realize it or not. Archetypes are symbols which we unconsciously model ourselves or others around us on. We see them in myths, the hero, the damsel in distress that has to be saved because she isn't strong enough to save herself, the priest or priestess. There are even god figures who can create out of nothing.

     As a writer, we create stories, consciously casting the hero and so on. But what about your own life? How can archetypes help you to improve yourself? Imagine you are your own creator. Write a story about yourself and now examine it. It is a story of how someone did something to harm you? If so, you are playing the victim. If it tells of what a great salesman you are and how you are earning enough money to feed your family, then you have cast yourself as the hero. The final test? Is your story true to who you truly are? How does your story make you feel?
     Say you told a story of how you spoke up for yourself or for someone else. If this really happened, then does it make you feel good? Or are you still angry about the situation? Sometimes we tell a story because we feel we can't really stand up for ourselves, but we want others to see us as strong and being able to stand up for the little guy. If this is the case, then make yourself become that person you want to be. Rewrite your story. Become that person inside yourself.

     For years, I spoke of how I could not rise above the protectiveness of my mom. My Mom was raised in a family that always had one child who was the sick one who could not do anything for himself. The sick child in her family of origin was Martin, the youngest boy. In my family, my mom made me the sick child. The one who had problems talking, wasn't coordinated and struggled in school. No matter how I tried to be successful, I discovered others would also see me as weak. Indeed, I hated being treated like that, but there was a part of me that believed it.

     Yes, I speak slow. Yes I don't always laugh at jokes or something humorous, doesn't mean it goes over my head, I just don't always show it. I am slow to speak. I think deeply, and there are a great many thoughts in my head at once (on an active day). If I don't slow my speech down, I will be tripping over my tongue, stuttering, stammering and often have huge gaps between words, syllables and phrases. Most people do not see the real me. Those who do realize how intelligent I really am.

     To change my story, I have to pinpoint the archetypes within it. I saw myself as a victim. I have to become the hero of my own story. To do that, I have to ask myself “Who do I want to be?”

     I want to be a successful writer. I want to be able to work with other writers and people who want to change their life for the better. Yes, I have hurdles to jump, but I am strong enough to jump them regardless of what others say.

     I will be at the Mind Gym on June 13 working with the Carolyn Myss archetype cards, assisting individuals to turn their story around.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Mask

On the mantle sit all the masks of every emotion and body language that I can collect. Visitors come to the house see them as a wooden collection of masks from tribal villages across the globe. They may notice one is missing, but think nothing of it. If they ask, I do not say I am wearing it. It is the mask of friendliness, welcome and being the hostess. After all are gone, the mask comes off and all the day’s interaction comes crashing down on my shoulders, knocking me to the floor like a heavyweight boxer sucker punching me in the jaw. Once down, I realize how tired I am and what a mess I am.
Conversations replay in my mind, sending me spinning once again as the emotions I stuffed begin to surface and I want to lash out at each individual, “No, that isn't what I meant.” The unfinished sentence I started and couldn't finish because another thought I was done so she changed the subject, or figured she knew what I was getting at jumped in to finish it for me.
          “Why can’t you just let me to talk?” But no, the mask keeps me in check. I am to be polite, well-mannered and not let anyone know underneath boils an angry fire that wants to rip others to shreds. In the end, that angry fire turns to self- recrimination. Oh, how I hate myself because I am the weak, powerless person who will never be able to live up to my dreams of being better than I truly am.
I am me. I am wise. I am who I am. Short, others see a fat and I roll along happy-go-lucky like a bumbling no-nothing drunk who no one thinks is smart. Only there is a lot wisdom within that drunk. Have you ever considered that deep down, that drunk is also hiding who he really is? And maybe the drunken person is just acting that way when his real person is sober?
In the morning, I wake and all the thoughts of the day before, all the unsolved problems of the world and my personal life fall on top of me causing every muscle to tense up and my shoulders to slump. All the things I still want to say to someone, but refuse to actually say because those conversations were days ago, and I struggle to get up, wanting to shake them off like a dog shaking off water after a bath. Is it possible to bathe your mind? Gurus would say it is meditation; meditation, pure white light streaming in through the crown chakra and slowly spreading throughout the whole body. Instead, I long to crawl back into bed and let sleep help me to forget.
Before I leave the house, I put on the happy mask, and it transforms me into the happy-go-lucky person others expect of me. The problems do not vanish, they are buried way underneath so others do not see them. My mom told me to never air my dirty laundry or aches and pains. No one see my limp or emotional wounds.
I have read that each person has a mask she wears to hide who she really is. A friend was advising me how to choose a professional persona to dress for and use when meeting other authors or prospective customers who would buy my books. She spoke with knowledge of one who had her various masks all labeled and ready to put on to match the occasion. I realized she never left home or greeted someone without a mask. It reminded me of the Jetsons, when Jane would put on a mask to hide her morning face to answer the video phone. I told my friend it is exhausting to wear a mask all the time.
I retired the mask. Or so I thought. Yet I realize it is still there. Playing small; playing like the weak, know nothing or playing for sympathy to get others to bend to my desires is also a mask. I retire that one, too. Saying no one likes me and I have no friends, it, too, is a mask. What am I hiding underneath it all?  Fear. Fear of being so well accepted, and accomplished that I will not be able to handle it. I am ready. I am ready to show myself what I can accomplish. The masks come off. All of them. They will stay on the mantle.

What masks are you wearing?  Are you ready to retire them?