Present Tense

In order to wake up…..

question mark“You create your own reality”. Those 5 words are the bottom line of an 8 hour workshop by Caroline Myss, a brilliant spiritual teacher and author, that I have now listened to twice. It’s called “Energy Anatomy” and her theories revolve around our energy centers (chakras) and how key they are to our health and well-being.

I have a lot of work yet to do, but listening and absorbing her message has strongly reinforced my belief that I’m on the right path and those 5 words encompass what I think is the most important thing that I, personally have done and I’m going to tell you what that is: I have questioned EVERYTHING that I thought I knew or believed.

The good news is that this reassessment and subsequent realignment has changed my life. Spiritually, emotionally, professionally, geographically. Everything. I’ve done a 180. I’ve done a vigorous scrub of my belief system. The bad or maybe daunting news, is that it’s taken me about 5 years.

Caroline teaches that our first chakra, the root chakra is where our tribal beliefs are held. From the moment we’re born, our tribe (parents, culture, religion, etc) influence us to fit in with the tribe. This is about survival. We learn our role and our values within the tribe, but eventually we begin to question and this creates internal and external conflict.

We’ve all been there. At some point in our lives, we wonder why we have to follow a certain religion or political party. Why do we have to marry at a certain age and have kids? Why do men and women have to conform to certain roles? And on and on. Often, we go through these periods of questioning or rebelling and then go right back to the tribal norms. Even though we often are not comfortable with them and that can create problems, or as Caroline posits, disease.

Breaking from the tribe is hard. They will tell you that disaster awaits and that you’re contributing to the downfall of society (gay marriage anyone?). That doing things differently or believing something different is bad and that you are bad.

I’ve always sort of lived my life between these two worlds of tribal norms and marching to my own beat, but about 5 years ago, I started a quest to get my shit together in an effort to deal with my alcoholism. I studied religion and spirituality on a broad spectrum, from Christianity to Buddhism. I began to meditate and in my opinion, that was the key. Regular meditation gave me incredible clarity and that was when I began to see that my beliefs were based on nothing. They just weren’t true.

This is what I want to tell you: if you’re struggling (and we all are, let’s be honest) and you’re trying to find relief or a path or a solution or something, start questioning. Everything. Are your beliefs based on something you think you’re supposed to believe because “I was raised this way”. That doesn’t work. That may be why you’re struggling. You’ve found yourself in a place that just doesn’t feel right because you’ve followed the rules that were set out by your tribe, but it’s not workin’ for you.

My political beliefs were the biggest casualty in my awakening. I’m now ashamed at some of the things I stridently supported over the years. These were things that someone told me were true and based on my background and my tribal (family) filters, I just took them as truth. The only real truth is that we have no idea what is actually true or false; there are just too many gray areas and too many things that I just honestly don’t know.

In regard to religion, I have no idea what “God” thinks or wants us to do, other than be kind to our fellow humans and show compassion and be helpful, rather than hurtful. Again, I’m ashamed at some of my past performances in this regard.

For me, it was absolutely empowering and freeing to admit to myself that I just don’t know and that nobody does.  It’s the great mystery, isn’t it?  God or the creator or the universe gives us little hints as to which way to go and we just have to listen.  It’s in our physiology.  We have intuition that we too often ignore, so that we can listen to the tribal norms or the louder noise of “this is the way things have always been done”.

Start scrubbing and don’t miss even the tiniest corners because a lot of stuff lurks in there that needs to be rousted out and examined.  Don’t wait.  I wish I had started so much earlier.  Be well.

 

 

October 12, 2014 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. Yeah!!

    Comment by Big Mike | October 12, 2014 | Reply

  2. Each and every time that I read your blog I wish there was a way that the show could more prominently feature the intellectual and spiritual side of you, the side of you that comes out in your blog. While I’m sure there is a strong demographic that cares about the Jane Report, and I do think it is a great source of levity, I think it would be so much more useful if there was a way for you to more consistently share the journey you’ve been on with us. I’m likely in the minority of listeners, apparently; those who don’t care for “obvi” and “groc”. I guess my age is showing.

    Regardless, I love the show and I love your blog. I hope that both continue for a long time.

    Comment by Mark | October 12, 2014 | Reply

    • Mark
      Thanks so much for the note. I like to think that most of us are multi-dimensional and that’s how I look at my blog and the radio show. The blog is more about things that are interesting or personal for me, while the radio show is more about things that are interesting to other people. While I would have no problem discussing any of my blog topics on the radio (which I have done in the past), it’s not really my on-air role to be this serious and introspective.
      I started the blog for me, while I began my radio career to pay the bills; that they sometimes intersect is more of a coincidence. Thanks again for your thoughts. I plan to keep writing for a very, very long time.

      Jane

      Comment by janelondon | October 12, 2014 | Reply

  3. Jane, Thank you for sharing… I am an artist and I just finished writing up my Artist Statement for my upcoming show. I think you will find that we share a similar path — and sorry it’s a little long…

    “The road map of our lives is folded in such a fashion so as not to reveal the master route that runs across it. Instead, as we journey on, we unfold it leaf by leaf and uncover new paths.”
    Jean Cocteau

    The search for authenticity
    Patricia Ayité Artist Statement
    November 2014

    Who am I, and why am I here? Most of us wonder this, and spend a life-time searching for the answers – for a map to help us understand ourselves and our lives.
    The first place we look to is our family. As babies, we mirror back smiles and coos, and eventually world and religious views, in our anxiousness to please and be accepted and find our place on this earth. We also look to our friends, the country we call home, the comfort our culture and native language give us, our rituals, our routines, our prayers and our curses.
    Eventually, in our search for authenticity, and if we are self aware enough, we shed parts of our childhood upbringing and those masks that don’t quite fit our faces and our spirits. We “rebel,” as we seek out those people and places, those colors and sounds whose voices find an echo in our own consciousness. Sometimes we are a good “fit” with our families, and sometimes we aren’t. That’s when it can feel constraining, when someone you love insists that you travel the same path they find themselves on, and you find that your call is to go another way.
    I sensed the whisper of a different voice deep inside me when I was very young. Since it didn’t always reflect what I was being taught, I attempted to drown it out because of the great love and respect I had for my parents and because of my “born into” identity as a Missionary Kid (MK) and a Preacher’s Kid (PK). I learned to ignore my own self and soon lost touch with who I am. It was years later, in my thirties, that I came to the point where I actually painted a word picture of how I saw myself: The only blue M&M in a bowl of green ones.
    And so began the unfolding of the map of my life, Patricia’s life, the delightful and sometimes devastating discovery of new paths, paths that at times led me far away from the known sights, rhythms and smells of my childhood upbringing. Just because I hear a different drum beat doesn’t mean I can’t honor and respect the blood that runs through my veins. I pay silent respect to my grandmother Suzanna, who was, along with her family, persecuted for her beliefs, who witnessed brutal murders and rapes in Russia before settling in British Columbia and bearing 14 children to her farmer/preacher husband. How her hands must have itched to play her banjo, and her heart composed many a poem, between toiling over the pots of dirty clothes and cooking endless meals… My other grandmother and my ancestors sing their songs of courage and hope to me too, and I listen, and I thank them.
    Books, Music, Poetry, Nature and Authentic People have helped me in the search for my own voice. Words and images have provided powerful keys to unlocking mysteries and truths that resonated within me. That is probably why I love quotes so much, and why I have a journal dedicated to writing down the ones that speak to me, and why, more and more, I incorporate words and writing into my paintings.

    My hope is that you will catch a glimpse of authenticity as you view my paintings. They reflect different periods of my life, both inner and outer. When I lived in the desert, I painted sand dunes, because that is what I saw, but I also painted flowers and circles and stars, because that is what I felt in my heart. Now that I live in Colorado, I have painted Aspens and mountains and cows, but I also paint straight lines and swirls, wine glasses and whimsical owls, because they represent the ebb and flow of the colors I sense and see in my mind’s eye, and feel with every fiber of my being.

    Welcome to “La Vie en Couleur.” Welcome to a glimpse into my search for authenticity.

    “We give short shrift to the mysterious twists and turns of our lives if we measure them only in terms of our careers, our annual incomes, and the prestige and security conferred by those things. And remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.” EK Brough

    Comment by Patricia Ayite | October 12, 2014 | Reply

    • Patricia
      Well done! It’s a great thing to strive for authenticity and I think art and creative pursuits are so helpful on that journey. Thanks for sharing this.
      Jane

      Comment by janelondon | October 13, 2014 | Reply

  4. Wisdom begins with the statement “I don’t know”. I really believe this. If we can admit that we don’t REALLY know and what we think about religion/politics/whatever is based on belief as opposed to facts, we can begin the journey. Anytime we say that we know something FOR SURE we cease to learn or grow into anything else. Our minds close and suddenly judgment of others begins to flow in earnest. Our hearts cease to be soft for the belief systems, life paths and orientations that are in opposition to our own. Admitting “I don’t know.” says, “I’m open to you. I respect your need to follow your path.” A closed mind leads to fear, violence, anger and sometimes war. I think today of Matthew Shepard who’s death we commemorated yesterday. I think of those in fear of coming out as gay, agnostic, democrat or whatever other life path that can be hidden in a closet of shame.
    I love you, Jane. You know that. We’ve grown together and I appreciate that you have led me on this journey. I’m making it 🙂 Thanks for you.

    Comment by kandisnz | October 13, 2014 | Reply

  5. forgive my autocorrect…. whose.

    Comment by kandisnz | October 13, 2014 | Reply


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