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Sunday, March 16, 2014

My body is a blessing

Once again I am feeling ill, but instead of a horrible stomach flu I have come down with an extremely annoying but not completely immobilizing head cold.  What is even more curious is how being ill has lead me to spiritual insights once again.

I have been doing affirmations for a few weeks now, and in the past two weeks I came up with a new one, "My body is a blessing." At the time, I really wanted to re-frame some of my thinking about obstacles I feel I am facing not only in singing, but even in work, my search for romance, and just about every current endeavor.  I have really been trying to internalize the concept that my brain and my body are not my true essence, they are vessels. I am a spirit that chose these particular vessels to experience life through for hopefully 90+ years. 

Today's insight is rooted in Eckhart Tolle's assertion in A New Earth that we must realize that like digestion, thinking just happens. Breathing just happens, we don't have to tell ourselves to breathe. In the same way, we don't tell ourselves to think, thinking just happens. We either identify with the thought and go on that tangent, or we make a shift and go on another tangent.

So last September I made a shift. Besides not identifying with thoughts that said my brain and/or body was disordered, I really wanted to be focused on my true essence, my higher self, and the realm of infinite potential.  It occurred to me that there was a disconnect between the part of me that stood in awe of miraculous healings, but felt that my own physical "failings" were somehow different, and a source of struggle. I somehow believed that fighting them would be my source of insight, and perhaps in an unexpected way it has.

This morning I really didn't feel like I could chant and meditate. I could basically only breathe through my mouth, so it definitely seemed like chanting a sutra or two would be out of the question. But a part of me was also up for the challenge, so I sat down and tried it. Thankfully I had a "half-spent" incense that was left over when I had to rush off from an expedited chanting session to get to work the other day.

I told myself that I would sit there until the incense went out, and at the least, try to be centered. But as I sat there I said to myself, "My body is my blessing." Then I said it aloud, and before I knew it, I was full-on chanting! I came back around to saying all of my affirmations, and realized that the incense and long since burned out.

It was only then that I realized how much being ill had taken over my consciousness...but then I realized that it actually had only taken over my thoughts. I may have identified with those thoughts, but affirming that my body is a blessing extinguished them completely. I began to affirm that my body is healing and can heal itself. Strangely enough, I've been able to breathe through my nose ever since then.

Maybe it was the incense, or maybe the universe just said yes to my affirmation.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Purpose-Driven GPS

I'm laying here drifting in and out of sleep watching the Oscars. Without one ounce of envy for the trappings of fame, I had a truly aching moment where I felt as though I truly want my life, my presence, and my efforts to serve a purpose in someone else's life. I am surely not unique in this desire.

It actually came when Bette Midler was singing Wind Beneath My Wings. I thought to myself, who would sing that song to me, or at least feel that way about the place I had in their life. (Besides my mom, sister, or grandmother.) 

I want to know that my life was more than tending to my own biological and spiritual needs, and filling my financial needs with work. I chose to give my work some meaning by choosing the field of HIV/AIDS, so I do get some intrinsic benefit from that. I certainly don't want to seem like a complainer.

I don't even take this as a reason to despair, I see it more so as a signal from my inner GPS that I need to redirect. As I type I realize that there are probably stars and starlets sitting in that theater who hoped for or maybe even received a golden statue, yet are no closer to the feeling I'm searching for. Maybe they don't know who would sing that song for them either.