The Phoenix has a new entry up. I’m so proud of her! She’s really putting the material to use. It was my goal to present the material in the book in such a way that the readers would actually implement it, so it’s tremendously gratifying when someone does that. My hope is that these blog posts can be a catalyst for you, my dear reader sitting at her computer screen, to put the material to use as well.
My comments will be in italics henceforth.
Chapter 2: Who You Really Are
I read this chapter by candlelight while soaking in my tub last Thursday evening. It made such an impact that I have taken a week to marinate in the thoughts and the emotions that those thoughts stirred. I was already coping with the realization that it may not be the men in LA that are the problem, but the problem may just lie within me.
AB: To be perfectly fair, LA is a tough town to date in, and frankly the boys (and girls) in this city are a bit strange. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said this is the toughest dating environment I’ve lived in. That said, there are 12 million folks here, so let’s not let that be an excuse to abdicate our own power and leave our fulfillment to chance. You earn the right to complain only after you’ve gotten your own house in order.
Since I finished that chapter I went through quite a few positive changes. But more importantly, I took a step back and really started to look at those relationships that I have, and for whatever reason, have continued to maintain despite them not being healthy. Some were downright parasitic, but because of the fear of completely letting go, I kept them.
The MINUTE I got out of the tub, I went straight to my laptop and started the REAL “cleansing”. I find it fitting that I happen to start this experiment on the eve of spring; A natural time for cleansing and new growth. The pruning started with the social networking sites that have been the only source of information to several of the past prospects in my life. I deleted and blocked those unhealthy relationships. I cannot move forward if I keep looking back. As much as we would like to think we are grown adults and have some self control, I will be the first to admit that I profile stalk. Why would I want to find/see a reminder as to why I am not with this person?? Why would I want them to see that I am finally moving on, only to then call me and ask me out? I refuse to be my own saboteur so, I removed the temptation.
I then moved to my cell phone. I found all the “Mr. Wrongs” who had come in and out of my life and who still linger but offer no future value. I changed all of their names to “Do NOT answer”. That way, when/if they call again, I can send to VM, then immediately delete message without listening. (Okay, I know that last part will be TOUGH, but I will try).
AB: This is brilliant, and an essential step in getting your own house in order. One of the pernicious ways in which scarcity-consciousness manifests is through holding on to excess baggage. I mean, gawrsh, you just never know — on the off chance that he’ll call this fiscal quarter, I should hold on to his phone number. Hell no! Those who value your company seek it out, and you should only spend time with those who value your company. When you’re willing to let go of the chaff, you’re declaring to your unconscious (and the universe) “I am complete without this.” Creative destruction means making room for the new, better stuff.
I have already had a few ask what happened, but feel little need to explain. For once I am going to be selfish and think about myself. No explanation required. Now is the time for change.
AB: The toughest thing is to do is to let go of those so-called friends who are energy drains. Do it — it’ll make you feel 1000x better.
Here are some of the other tips to bring more anatta into my life that Dr. Alex suggested and how I am applying them.
1. Meditation: I downloaded the meditation that Dr. Alex has included in the book for guided mediations that I can do when I have 15 minutes or even while sitting in my car between meetings. I even started with the hong-sau meditation in my tub that night…as goofy as I felt initially, it did eventually offer me some calmness and was quite gratifying towards the end of the 10 minute exercise. (I know it suggested 15 mins, but I was in a tub and only had so much time before I started to prune).
What really motivated me was the concept that “we tend to get more of what we focus on, to the point that you may even become what you focus on” that Dr. Alex points out. If I can focus on clearing my mind of the negative and only focusing on the positive, that will be a step in the right direction. Although, aren’t we supposed to not think when we meditate?? I thought we were supposed to clear the mind of what ails us. I will definitely have to work on the meditation thing.
2. Do Yoga: I am going to do Yoga at least twice a week. I went for the first time yesterday, after a nearly 6 month hiatus from the gym. I actually did quite well, but I am feeling muscles today that I didn’t even know I had and they are bitching that I had the nerve to try to do all those crazy advanced poses and balances without giving them any warning!
3. Use the Reminder Technique: One month. March 1st-April 1st. Fasting.
“That gnawing hunger you experience in the pit of your belly is a reminder to be a better kind of person all day long.”
Mind you, I’m an eater. I am not a salad type of girl. Well, unless it is accompanied by a hearty entree! But thankfully, I am blessed with a great metabolism and a laundry list of activities that keep me fit. I am also not doing one of those crazy celebrity lemonade fasts. I am sticking to lots of organic veggies and fruits, whey protein isolate shakes, raw nuts, and one lean protein meal with small portion of complex carbohydrate and lots of veggies, per day. I’ve also given up desserts for Lent. Interesting since I’ve never been all that religious, but have in the past year really gotten back in touch with my spirituality and have had some pretty meaningful conversations with the Big Guy himself.
I’m also thinking of finding a bracelet or piece of string to wear that will remind me of the concept of no-self, so that the next time I am feeling insecure I can remind myself of the Goddess I am and go introduce myself to the Hottie in the corner ;)
Manageable. I hope that at the end of this month, some of those healthy eating habits will continue. It allegedly takes 21 days to establish a habit, right?
AB: I love this girl! The fast was just an illustrative example in the book, and I respect that she’s going all the way with this.
4. Experience Flow: I’ve been there, I’ve felt it. I know that somewhere deep inside me I have been in “that optimal state in which the task is matched to the ability”. I think lately I haven’t been challenged enough, so I am looking for ways to fix that.
5. Travel: I started that weekend. I left town. I am leaving again this weekend and hope to do so every weekend. I am tempted to take a road trip with no real destination in mind. The possibilities are limitless
Wow. This is a huge post! I just have so much to share. I have really taken a step back this last week to REALLY think about who I am and the steps that I can take to become an even better person. I’m hoping that by abandoning the old habits I leave plenty of space for new ones. Absence makes the heart wander…I am thinking greener pastures lie ahead!!
This is a remarkable post. If any of my readers undertake even half of this regimen, their lives are bound to shift dramatically towards a lot more fulfillment and joy. Go get ’em, girl!