And wilt thou have me fashion into speech
The love I bear thee, finding words enough,
And hold the torch out, while the winds are rough,
Between our faces, to cast light on each?—
I drop it at thy feet. I cannot teach
My hand to hold my spirit so far off
From myself—me—that I should bring thee proof
In words, of love hid in me out of reach.
Nay, let the silence of my womanhood
Commend my woman-love to thy belief,—
Seeing that I stand unwon, however wooed,
And rend the garment of my life, in brief,
By a most dauntless, voiceless fortitude,
Lest one touch of this heart convey its grief
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I opened up my chocolate bar (organic fair trade dark chocolate currants and almonds) and there was this poem that spoke to my heart. I bought the bar specifically for the poem, as all these Chocolove bars have inside. I remember reading one from one of the best moments in my life, my Thanksgiving spent in solitude and gratitude at Owl Mountain near Abiquiu, New Mexico back in 2005 - the John Donne poem in my post chocolate foibles, about unintentionally eating maggot-infested chocolate - yum!
I started the Debbie Ford online class, Overcoming Self Sabotage, along with a small discussion group of friends and colleagues to share lessons with. I've also been listening to Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now on audio-CD and when his voice doesn't put me to sleep -- it is very relaxing and calming, and wise, but sometimes that isn't good when you're on a road trip -- I have gained some wonderful insights. As far as style, I think I prefer A New Earth (which I blogged about here and here and here) but this is good too. I really am fascinated by the concept of the pain body. He describes it as "accumulated pain [that] is a negative energy field that occupies your body and mind." It gets activated and overcomes us at certain times, but it is not us. I am not my pain body. It is an "involuntary acting out of old patterns."
It would do wonders if people could see that when someone's pain body is activated, it is not them. They are acting from the ego, from unconsciousness. Yes, ultimately an individual is responsible for actions made during any time, but when recognizing that someone's pain body is activated, you can step back and witness and not judge, not react, and not be so affected by things. Easier said than done, perhaps, but worth trying.
Other bits of wisdom that resonated:
"If the pain body takes you over, [an enlightened or conscious] partner will not mistake it for 'who you are.'"
"Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race."
"The ego believes through negativity it can manipulate reality to get what it wants."
"As long as you make an identity out of pain, as long as your sense of self involves embracing pain, you cannot be free. You will unconsciously resist or sabotage every attempt to heal your pain because you want to keep 'yourself' intact and the pain is a part of you."
This last one was very profound for me. Oprah did an online study of A New Earth and has an exercise related to dissolving the pain body. At any rate, I also hope to share more insights from the Self-Sabotage class since I am the Queen of Self-sabotage, but alas, not today.
I just returned from a wonderful visit to Austin for the SXSW-Eco conference, and got to visit and stay with my friend Deb, who is a documentary producer and is involved with the new film (also by my friends I trekked through Nepal with in 2007- Tim Gorski and Jon Kane) How I Became an Elephant.
I also stayed with new friend, former film exec Kee Kee Buckley who traveled solo across the U.S. with her dog Yoda in her Prius, "Princess Leia" and is now writing a book about her adventure. You can read some of her journey at her blog Seeking Shama and not only that, she will appear on Friday's Ricki Lake show "How to Stop Stress from Killing You." Oh, and I should mention that she blogged about giving and receiving, touched by the story of the "free car" I received in a divine act of providence! I truly love connecting with friends, old and new - it makes me feel alive and not so alone in the universe to connect and share wisdom, stories, and love with fellow truth sojourners!
SXSW-Eco was pretty cool, but I was a bit of an emotional wreck to be honest, and keep forgetting things (I'm going through some intensely challenging emotional stuff with my daughter). The highlights of the conference for me included hearing Annie Leonard, who created the short film The Story of Stuff -- she is a rock star -- and Bill McKibben, Larry Schweiger and Ted Nordhaus in this incredible session called The New Environmentalists. I will be writing about some other ideas that came out of the conference. I will keep you all posted when the articles come out.
Meanwhile here are a couple articles that came out in the latest Environmental Health Perspectives: