Friday, September 3, 2010

A Part of Me Is...

Often I have the experience of feeling painfully awash with fear or worry or procrastination, so that I can't really 'see' anything else in life. I am finding that there IS a way to take tiny steps toward freedom and spaciousness, even in the midst of overwhelming emotions.
In my last post, I wrote about Ann Weisser Cornell's teaching on Focusing. A major learning I'm implementing from Cornell's book The Power of Focusing, is a phrase that helps me remember that not ALL of me is involved in whatever emotion may be distressing me at the moment.
One of the things that often happens to me is that I plan the night before to spend time making art the next day. However, next day, I may procrastinate and start criticizing myself for not working on any art projects.
When I remember to say, "'A part of me' does not want to make art today," it does two things for me. First, I can acknowledge that some energy, maybe resistance, or another commitment, is pulling me away from my artmaking. When I recognize the resistance, it can relax - it is being heard. It's still there, but the pull is not so strong.
Second, it is very important for me to recognize that this feeling is a 'part' of me, not all encompassing. Whew! This leaves room for so much possibility! Particularly:
  • It frees me to become aware of my Higher Self - that spacious place of inner peace that is connected to the All
  • There is room for other points of view, within me or outside of me, that have a different perspective on my dilemma, and
  • It frees me to live in the moment, to enjoy the sunlight on my worktable, to appreciate my dog's easy presence, without being immersed in my overwhelming angst

Helene Brenner, in I Know I'm in There Somewhere, writes:

"Your Larger Self is bigger than all of your thoughts, feelings and life problems. Whenever you forget this and make something or someone else bigger than You are, you are out of touch with your Larger Self."

This Larger Self is is so much more than your thoughts and feelings. It is not necessarily God or a Higher Power, but is the wise inner knowing that whispers truth and freedom and compassion. How easily I can drown that voice, lose touch with it, by listening only to my problem.

My journey is, each time I find myself immersed in the experience of berating myself for not making art and buying yet more supplies, to repeat the mantra - "A Part of Me is feeling ashamed now." "A Part of Me is scared." "A Part of Me is upset."

Ahhh, then I have some room to breathe. Wishing you the same.

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