First Friday is tomorrow! Open, free meditation in The Work for anyone and everyone interested in questioning their stressful beliefs. No experience necessary.
Friday, March 1st 7:45-9:15 am PT. Everyone dials in (no video), is guided through filling out a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet (the fabulous step one), then 2-3 people get to “do” The Work out loud. Join us HERE. Choose phone or WebCall if you want to be heard. Choose Broadcast if you prefer to listen-only.
Also, if you’re in the free Eating Peace facebook support group, I’ll come at 10 am PT to do a facebook live also on Friday. Request membership by visiting here. I’m a part of it but only share about once a week. Sweet people there for simple encouragement and inquiry.
Doing The Work is sometimes like an arduous excavation, it seems.
Kind of like what’s happening in my back yard, literally.
As the digging began, it was very exciting and kind of sad at the same time (goodbye old garage rec room where many memories happened). A huge loud machine, not exactly relaxing, came rolling in.
Sometimes, the gigantic machine was inches from my actual cottage as it squeezed into the small driveway to get to the back yard.
Smash, crash, loads of garbage and destroyed material, wires, glass, roofing, door. I was absolutely fascinated.
And then….five days into the destruction….a phone call.
“There’s something too unstable about the soil. It’s very sandy (this was once a lake bottom and a swamp). We have to do MORE foundational work before we even get started building”.
Reminds me of diving deeply into self-inquiry and all the beliefs about life, the world, relationships, incidents, scary things, sad things. AGAIN.
Here comes the mind all over again. Believing something’s wrong, dangerous.
But there’s more. It’s not as easy as we thought.
The other day in a private group, where we do inquiry together (it was the Eating Peace program)….someone brought up her feeling of being Against Ambivalence.
Wow, what a permeating and long-lasting stressful thought.
As I considered this belief and perspective, I noticed that in anything my mind perceives as “a relationship” I’ve often experienced ambivalence.
Love interests, friendships, family, the city I live in, my neighborhood, politics, the weather, a major project I’m working on (the new version of Eating Peace curriculum which has been a year in the making), a book I think I’m writing, my body, saying yes, saying no, food and other substances.
The word comes from combining two important words only about 100 years ago: ‘ambi’ and ‘value’. Ambi, meaning “two” and value meaning to have “worth”.
As we looked at this idea of ambivalence and how it shouldn’t happen, I was struck by noticing that the nature of everything appears to have worth, and, absence of worth.
Both. And all the variations in between, like a song with hight notes and low notes.
Someone brought to an individual solo session in inquiry this past week the deeply stressful belief that the mind shouldn’t be so unstable.
There is was again: two, multiple, variety, many, unpredictable, shared. BAD!!
I’m against it. The mind says it wants: “one, singular, same, solo, individual, non-dual, clear, final”. Decision made. Game over.
Is that true?
How do we react when we believe something shouldn’t be ambivalent, including my own relationship with x, y, or z?
I get firmer and more convicted. I seek for how to fortify my thinking or my decision. I have intolerance for the unknown. As a thoughtful inquirer said in our eating peace group call; “I KNOW”.
I know how this should be going. I know how my mind should react. I know how the future will be. I know what’s wrong. I know what’s right. I know that unless I quit being ambivalent about food or eating (or whatever it is I’m looking at), I’ll be doing it wrong.
It’s full of getting convinced and looking for the right answers and energy.
Hmm. Not very relaxing. Not very free.
So who would we be without the belief that when something is ambivalent, including my own thought process or feelings (even life), it’s wrong and shouldn’t be that way?
Without the belief, I almost begin to wonder if anything is NOT full of multiple values, multiple variety of ways it can go, a huge unknown of infinite possibilities and happenings.
Without the belief that ambivalence shouldn’t be, I relax. I notice the innocence of this situation. I notice the sweetness of not knowing, and the immense joy and freedom available, no matter what this mind is doing.
In this moment, there’s a huge hole in the back yard, and sandy soil, and stillness while it all waits for the soil scientist geo-something-or-other and the architect to decide what needs to make it stable.
I’m not in charge. I’m not the expert. I wait.
I notice I don’t say “stop the project! I can’t stand it!” (it’s not true) and I don’t say “I don’t care if it costs thousands of dollars to fix!” (because I do care, and I don’t have the dollars).
I just pause. I watch. I go about my day.
Turning the thought around: it’s wonderful to be ambivalent, it’s natural to be ambivalent, I am supported in this ambivalence! I should be ambivalent, because I am. The mind is ambivalent–about everything! Yahoo! (Haha).
Could this be just as true, or truer?
Maybe there are wonderful reasons for this feeling of being torn.
Maybe there is effort, understanding, discomfort, energy required for this process.
Maybe it’s helping me surrender to what is. To cry, rage, laugh, hold still, be curious, be open.
I notice this building project behind my house is a phenomenal effort, three years in the making (architect, plans, permits, saving money, refinancing, taking a loan, trusting the future, consulting).
It’s requiring awareness of thought once again about money, change, creativity, creation, patience.
Part of the building will be office and retreat space for the work I do. This requires great trust in my life’s work, today, and the future of service I imagine offering.
I get to see how it goes, whether my mind is torn, or not.
I get to see that I am not in control of so much of it–just a player in the dance.
Isn’t this what I always want when it comes to being alive, here on planet earth, with all this?
If you want what visible reality can give, you’re an employee.
If you want the unseen world, you’re not living your truth.Both wishes are foolish, but you’ll be forgiven for forgetting that what you really want is love’s confusing joy.~ Jalaluddin Rumi
I like the part about love’s “confusing” joy.
Ambivalent. Confusing. In love. Laughing. Wondering how this is all going to go….
P.S. Spring Retreat in The Work is May 15-19, 2019. Register.
P.P.S. If you’re on the Eating Peace mailing list (not Grace Notes), you’re receiving this note because many of you are so interested in simply doing The Work of Byron Katie you might like coming to First Friday tomorrow. See the link at the top to join us!
Other upcoming events:
- Eating Peace Process Online Brand New Version. Same principles, delivered better. Lifetime access. May 1-August 15, 2019
- April 14th half-day retreat at my cottage
- June 9th half-day retreat at my cottage
- June 12-16, 2019 Breitenbush Retreat with Tom Compton
- Summer Camp for The Mind Online Inquiry
- Divorce Is Hell 8 week course Aug 18-October 13, 2019 Sundays 11 am PT/ 7 pm UK with Nadine Ferris France
- Year of Inquiry begins Sept 8, 2019–a whole year of monthly topics in The Work, and sharing inquiry together