Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Love needs to be constantly growing in order to live

My answer to this "christian" guy who claimed that he oh so loved me, but (his fake) jesus is THE only way to god, etc.:

--------quote:----------
what you don't understand is that love is something alive, it needs to GROW ALL THE TIME. otherwise it dies.

keeping love alive means to keep on opening and opening, and coming closer and closer.

you don't even WANT to to do that!!! instead, you want to segregate people into bible obeying christians that god takes care of, and everyone else who will go to hell.

how can you even think that you love me,

when you know and believe that your bible god cannot and doesn't love me as he loves you???

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Monday, September 29, 2008

There is nothing else but God.

The paradox of "there is nothing else but God" is that it made me much stricter. I realized that God needs me to take care of His Kingdom, and sometimes that means disciplining, to make His subject grow.

Like gardening - sometimes what is needed is pruning, sometimes nourishing.

Like training pets - sometimes you pubish and sometimes you reward.

And like raising children - always loving discipline, to train the ego and to open the heart.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

From Rick Jarrow: creating

This came in email and is quite profound. It busts the "new age" notions of "creating your own reality as you please" and goes into "creating your own reality as God wants you to have".

Coming Out of the Cocoon

To be consciously in your "right place at the right time" requires a genuine release of egoic desire: the placing of one's imagined self at the center of life, while trying to manipulate thought, other beings, and events to manifest some sort of pre-conceived outcome. The idea of "creating one's reality" is only creative when one's process is awakened and in touch with Shakti, the divine energy of creativity and manifestation.

In truth, we never really know if we will wake up the next morning; every day and every way is an act of trust and abandon. Awakening to Shakti need by no means eradicate the ego, for its sense of separation and desire for experience is also a part of her play and has its own gifts to offer.

For too long, however, we have been trained to use ideas about our life to protect us from life itself: our projections, imaginings, and thought constructs build a cocoon that enfolds us in incompleteness. To open to the raw energy of presence and to the intelligent and beauteous unfolding in every moment is to leave the cocoon, and to feel so alive and vital, so connected with each and all, that there is no need for living in contraction, doubt, and hesitation. Unfolding one's wings and opening to "the Way" does not preclude pain or suffering, for these are purifying fires that burn away our misalignments and clear us deeply. If the starting point is faith, then we can relax and know that we are always in the hands of a living and loving universe.

Opening freely to the fullness of presence, rather than dissolving the structures that support us (families, jobs, houses, communities), gives these structures the space to renew themselves--to morph in accordance with what it best for ALL.

Since we do not know what is best for us (not to mention for anyone else) we have a choice. We can continue with one effort after another to conjure up scenarios that ought to make us happy, or we can be happy just to be here, and let that joy reveal the path that we take. Such joy is real, and its path is miraculous, a way of grace and authenticity that ever affirms that we are here to share in the sweetness of the Creative Flow of Reality.

Announcing our New Website: http://rickjarow.com - a comprehensive information station for the work of life alignment and manifestation, a place to "check in" (instead of checking out), and a place of remembrance. Also the Alchemy of Abundance BLOG (http://alchemyofabundance.wordpress.com), a docking station for shared inspiration, information, and renewal.

Announcing this year's Advanced Manifestation Gathering at Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York on November 22, 23rd. In the midst of political and financial chaos - a calm and creative center, we continue to gather together. We become stronger. We claim the lives we were meant to live ("It is never too late to be what you might have been" - George Eliot). We open to the Creative Source that can move our hearts, transform our circumstances, and guide us to our peace.

For more information on the workshop, email Sheri Bresson at manifestation44@cs.com

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Relationships

One thing that is intriguing about life on Earth is that nobody wants to pay for what they want.

People claim they want happiness, love, satisfying and lasting relationships, abundance, and so on, but very few are willing to follow the spiritual laws to actually make that happen.

How is it possible to have something and not pay for it?

Like my churchian friend. His belief in being "special" and dissing other people based on their religous preferences is crippling emotionally and spiritually. He will never be able to love and have satisfying relationshiops, because his beliefs are nazi and it is just not possible to love from that belief system.

So yes, he will find someone and they will have a nazi relationship, and they will quarrel, and divorce and blame each other, eventually.

They will wonder why and what they did wrong to god so that he is punishing them.

But the reality is that we, the people, do really stupid stuff and then expect terrific results. It is just impossible.

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Progressing

What is it in human beings that keeps us stuck at one place? Like my friend who wouldn't leave his stale christian beliefs. No matter how much he claims to want to grow, he is not going to move one bit. It is normal to him, and he sees nothing wrong with it. Even when explained how nazi it is to practice and believe what his church propagates, he still clings to it.

This also makes me wonder about other people and myself too. What is it that we, that I, take for granted that is detrimental for me and keeps me stuck?

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Relationships and marriage yoga

I told my mother that the "christian" guy who wanted to be my boyfriend quit in a jiffy when we started talking about our views of God, and he claimed that Jesus is THE ONLY way to God, and that Bible is totally correct and true verbatim, and that Jesus died for our sins, and that there is nothing we can do to further in life but pray.

I said that God loves equally Chritians and Buddhists and everyone else, that there are many paths depending on our own personal growth and inclinations, and we are free to pick the path that seems best to us. That we have to put in a lot of effort into our own Inner Growth, as well as prayer and meditation. And that some paths are shorter, some are longer, some are dead end, and this churchian path is definitely dead end. One has to start bushwacking out of that muck towards some real trail....

My mother, in one of her very clear moments of total and complete lucid humanity and compassion, said:

the real Jesus would be crying if he knew what this guy is doing.
Such intolerant, closed, icky beliefs are from dark ages and have no place in 21st century, with the Earth becoming one little village and everyone is our brother and sister, and we are all becoming a little more conscious and compassionate every day.

She also made some other comments about our own religion, serbian orthodox christianity, and said that we have been lucky because it is rather "loose", there are lots of choices and very little brainwashing, and there is no sense of guilt, fear, etc. . Whereas the western forms of christianity tend to be severe and very limiting, and work on guilt and fear. Yes, they are successful in terms of money and power, aren't they. It says a lot about people of the world.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Common spiritual beliefs are basis for any relationshiop

A churchian trying to get me to date him:
"I cannot accept that there are many paths to God. When I was a young man, searching, I thought there was. For me there is no compromise on this issue. You feel the same about there being many paths. I choose Jesus Christ as the only way to God. That means that I trust that what the Bible says is true and that I cannot earn my way to heaven. Jesus paid the price our salvation."

This is interesting - because this is something that men and woman of today have to negotiate. The old times are over... Now we are all free to write our own contracts. In relationship, there is sexual attraction and companionship and that certainly glues people together, because it makes everyone a little more forgiving and willing to move towards each other and come close.

However, everything is always based on common spiritual beliefs. That's alpha and omega of every relationship.

My answer to this churchian:
HOW THE HECK DO YOU PLAN TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOMEONE FREE AND OUTSIDE OF THE BOX, SOMEONE WHO INTENDS TO WAKE UP AND TRAVEL FAR ALL THE WAY TO GOD?

HOW CAN YOU HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOMEONE WHOSE WHOLE LIFE IS BASED ON INNER WORK - AND YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS BASED ON STICKING TO YOUR DOGMAS AND LIEING, CHEATING AND STEALING TO KEEP THOSE ILLUSIONS ALIVE, KEEPING IT PRETTY SINCE JESUS ALREADY SUFFERED SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO EVER MOVE A FINGER EXCEPT TO BS ABOUT IT.

HOW CAN YOU HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOMEONE WHO IS ALL ABOUT "GOD IS ONE" AND "THERE IS NOTHING ELSE BUT GOD" - AND YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS BASED ON "JESUS IS THE ONLY VALID THING OUT THERE AND TO HELL WITH YOU IF YOU DON'T FOLLOW THAT".

HOW CAN YOU HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOMEONE IS ACTIVELY RECRUITING PEOPLE TO STEP OUTSIDE OF BOX AND TO LIVE OUTSIDE OF BOX, WHOSE WHOLE LIFE IS ABOUT LIVING FREE AND WAKING UP - AND YOU, WHOSE WHOLE LIFE IS ABOUT KEEPING PEOPLE INSIDE THE BOX AND RECRUITING THEM TO STEP INTO IT.
WE WORK FOR DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSING BELIEFS. WE ARE ENEMY, SO TO SPEAK.
YOU ARE ABOUT LIVING IN A CAGE. I WORK FOR BEING FREE.

IT IS NOT CLEAR TO YOU YET WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO? I AM SOMEONE WHO ACTIVELY RECRUITS PEOPLE TO STEP OUT OF THE CAGE AND INTO THE WILD SIDE. MY WHOLE LIFE IS ABOUT THAT. MY HEALING AND TEACHING WORK, EVERYTHING I DO. AND EVERYTHING THAT YOU AND I DID OR TALKED ABOUT TOO. HAVEN'T YOU NOTICED?

YOU TRYING TO GET ME TO LIVE INSIDE YOUR CAGE IS IN TOTAL OPPOSITION WITH WHAT OUR RELATIONSHIP WAS ALWAYS BASED ON. YOU CAME TO ME BECAUSE I AM A TRAINER FOR PEOPLE TO STEP OUT OF THEIR CAGES AND LIVE MORE FREELY. YOU WERE SENT TO ME FOR THAT. AND THAT'S WHAT WE DID. YOU TRYING TO PREACH TO ME AND BRING ME INTO YOUR BOX IS LIKE ... A THIEF COMING TO A PRIEST FOR SPIRITUAL SALVATION AND THEN TRYING TO GET HER INTO PARTICIPATING IN BANK ROBBERY.
ALTHOUGH YOU SAY THAT YOU WANT YOUR CAGE, AND YOUR ACTION SHOWS THAT, YOU HAVE ALSO TAKEN STEPS TO STEP OUTSIDE OF THE CAGE AND YOU HAVE TASTED SOME FREEDOM. YOU DO KEEP ON RUNNING BACK INTO YOUR CAGE AND YOU TRY TO BITE ME, THAT'S TRUE, AND ALSO, IT IS TRUE THAT **** YOU HAVE ASKED **** FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND YOU HAVE BEEN SHOWN.

THE ONLY WAY THIS WORKED SO FAR IS BECAUSE YOU INNATELY FEEL THAT OUTSIDE OF CAGE IS REAL AND GOOD FOR YOU, AND YOU TRIED IT A LITTLE, AND IT WORKS. YOU CAME OUT OF YOUR OWN VOLITION TO XYZ SCHOOL AND THAT IS YOUR OWN CHOICE TO MOVE OUTSIDE OF THE CAGE. VOLUNTARILY, YOU CHOSE THAT. YOU ALSO CHOSE ABC. THAT'S ANOTHER OUT OF CAGE CHOICE. AND YOU CHOSE ME, WHO TOTALLY STANDS FOR OUTSIDE OF CAGE, AND YOU HAVE STUCK TO IT BECAUSE OF SEXUAL ATTRACTION - AND ON MY SIDE TOO, THERE WAS SEX THAT GLUED US TOGETHER WHEN WE BOTH WANTED TO QUIT.

HOWEVER, YOU DO NOT REALIZE THAT NOW YOU ARE AT A POINT WHERE YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE CONSCIOUSLY AND STICK TO IT. YOU HAD ENOUGH DABBLING INTO IT AND TRYING IT OUT. YOU KNOW THAT IT WORKS. YOU KNOW VERY WELL THAT YOUR OLD STUFF DOES NOT WORK. AND NOW YOU WILL HAVE TO CHOOSE.

AND - YOU CAN STAY STUCK AT THIS FORK IN THE ROAD FOR A VERY LONG TIME. BUT YOU CANNOT AVOID THE DECISION TO MOVE ON TOWARDS OUTSIDE OF THE CAGE AND INTO THE FREEDOM, BECAUSE YOU ALREADY STARTED TOWARDS THE WILD SIDE AND IT WILL PULL YOU. IT WILL HAPPEN, SOONER OR LATER. YOU ASKED FOR IT AND IT WILL HAPPEN.

IF YOU LOLLYGAG AND KEEP ON GOING BACK TO YOUR CAGE, YOU JUST WASTE TIME. IF YOU ARE LUCKY, SOMETHING WILL COME AND KICK YOUR ASS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

SO FAR, YOU NEVER WERE SO LUCKY, UNTIL YOU SHOWED UP AT TRACKER SCHOOL AND GRANDFATHER ASSIGNED ME AS YOUR COACH AND I HAVE KICKED YOUR ASS.
IF IT IS UNCLEAR TO YOU - ALL THIS TIME YOU HAVE BEEN RECRUITED. ALL THIS TIME, SOMEONE WORKED VERY VERY HARD TO GET YOU OUT OF THAT BOX. NOW YOU WILL HAVE TO CARRY ON YOURSELF, ON YOUR OWN.

I AM IRRELEVANT IN THAT. IN SOME WAYS I COULD BE RELEVANT, IF INDEED WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE MATES, THEN SEXUAL ATTRACTION WILL SERVE AS A GLUE TO MAKE US STICK TO WORKING IT OUT EVEN IF IT DOESN'T SEEM PLEASANT.

HOWEVER, THE ONLY WAY IT COULD WORK IS BY YOU AGREEING TO BE FREE AND LIVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT. THEN THERE WOULD BE SOMETHING TO BASE A RELATIONSHIP ON.

RIHHT NOW, YOU ARE LIKE A DOMESTICATED FARM ANIMAL, LIKE A COW TIED TO A CHAIN WITH 1000 OTHER COWS, FED ANTIBIOTICS, EATING SOME STALE FOOD, AND LIVING IN SHIT. SURE YOU ALWAYS HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT AND YOU ARE UNDER A ROOF AND YOU ARE ASKING ME TO JOIN YOU IN YOUR CORAL. NO THANKS.

GOD IS WAY MORE THAN JUST THAT. GOD IS SOMETHING INFINITE.
YES, THERE ARE MANY PATHS TO GOD. FISH SWIM TO GOD, BIRDS FLY, 4-LEGGEDS RUN, CRAWLERS CRAWL. EVERYONE GOES TO GOD IN THE WAY THEY CAN. EACH TEACHER, EACH RELIGION IS APPEALING TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. AND THEY ALL *** EVENTUALLY *** LEAD TO GOD. SOME ARE FASTER AND SOME ARE SLOWER PATHS. SOME ARE DEAD ENDS AND PEOPLE HAVE TO JUMP TO ANOTHER PATH IN ORDER TO KEEP ON TRAVELING. SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO BUSHWACK TO FIND THE PATH AGAIN. WE ARE ALL ON A BLIND DRUM STALK, GOING BACK INTO GOD, AND EVENTUALLY IT ALL HAS TO LEAD TO GOD.

YOU ARE ON A DEAD END PATH AND YOU HAD TO BUSHWACK A LITTLE TO FIND A BETTER PATH, AND YOU FOUND IT. SO NOW YOU WANT TO GO BACK TO YOUR OLD OVERGROWN AND DEADENDING TRAIL - WELL, GOOD LUCK.

IF YOU WANT JESUS, THEN YOU NEED TO SAY THAT THERE ARE SO MANY VALID PATHS BUT JESUS IS YOUR CHOICE, AND THEN YOU NEED TO FOLLOW THE REAL JESUS, THE ESOTERIC JESUS. THE LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF JESUS.
GURDJIEFF TEACHINGS ARE ALL ABOUT THAT. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE IS NOT ENOUGH ABOUT PRAYER AND MEDITATION IN THE BOOKS WRITTEN BY EARLY STUDENTS, BUT IF YOU READ G'S BOOKS, IT IS ALL THERE, SPELLED OUT - WE ARE ALL HERE TO TAKE CARE OF GOD'S KINGDOM, AND THE WAY WE DO THAT IS BY INNER WORK AND TRYING TO BE CLEAR CHANNELS TO WHAT GOD REQUIRES OF US, AND BY KEEPING OURSELVES FREE OF NEGATIVITY AND BEING A POSITIVE INFLUENCE TO EVERYTING AROUND US.

WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE CARETAKERS. WHICH MEANS WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE LOVERS, PROTECTORS, HEALERS, HELPERS, DISCIPLINARIANS, MESSENGERS, ALL THAT.

WE ARE SUPPOSED TO SPEND OUR LIFE IN SERVICE TO THE HIGHER, SERVICE TO ALL LIFE, SERVICE TO HIGHER PRINCIPLES, SERVICE TO GOD AND ALL THAT IS HIS CREATION, WHICH IS EVERYTHING.

WHICH MEANS WE ARE MEANT TO BE GIVING, WE ARE MEANT TO BE COMPASSIONATE, WE ARE MEANT TO BE LOVING.

LOVE MEANS LOVE AND DISCIPLINE. I LOVED YOU ON MONDAY WHEN I SELF CONTROLLED MY SELF AND LET YOU RUN WITH YOUR BALL SO THAT YOU CAN SEE YOURSELF. I LOVED YOU WHEN I GAVE YOU A CHOICE AND THE CONSEQUENCES. AND I LOVE BOTH OF US AND AM TELLING YOU OFF.

TO YOU, CONSEQUENCES ARE ABOUT LOSING A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOME CHICK. TO ME, CONSEQUENCES ARE ABOUT SOMEONE CHOOSING TO WORK FOR EVIL AND NOT FOR THE GOOD OF ALL. YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO STAY ON THE EVIL SIDE. IN THE ETERNAL BATTLE OF GOOD AND EVIL, YOU FORTIFY THE EVIL SIDE. THAT'S THE CONSEQUENCE OF YOUR CHOICE.

TO ME PERSONALLY, THE CONSEQUENCE OF LIVING WITH SOMEONE LIKE THAT IS BEING FORCED INTO THAT HELL MYSELF. OUT OF LOVE FOR MYSELF, I REFUSE.
JUST LIKE I REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE HELL OF PARTIES AND WOMEN AND JELOUSY AND GAMES OF TEENAGE STAR. IN SOME WAYS, HIS ADDICTION TO STAYING ASLEEP IS MORE COMPATIBLE WITH WHAT I STAND FOR - ENJOYING LIFE, CELEBRATING GOD, BEING CLOSE TO EACH OTHER. YOU STAND FOR SUFFERING, DENIAL, STRIFE, BEING CLOSED OFF. BOTH OF YOU ARE ASLEEP AND VICIOUS, VIOLENT, AND HURTFUL, AND OUT OF LOVE FOR MYSELF, I STAY OUT OF ANY OF THAT AND I MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE.

LOVE IS NOT SMOOCHEY, IT HAS DISCIPLINE. RIGHT NOW, OUT OF ULTIMATE COMPASSION FOR BOTH OF US, I AM SMACKING YOU IN THE FACE AND TELLING YOU OFF. YOU ARE RABID. GO AWAY WHERE YOU CAN HEAL.

YOU HAVE BEEN TRAINED ENOUGH AND YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO. YOU HAVEN'T DONE IT SO FAR. I HAVE HELPED YOU BY GIVING YOU TOO MUCH SLACK, SO YOU ARE STILL LAZY AND SPOILED AND EGOCENTRICAL.

PERHAPS IT IS TIME THAT YOU STOP PAMPERING YOURSELF AND STEP ON YOUR OWN WORK AND START WALKING TOWARDS BECOMING A MAN.

PERHAPS YOU ARE INTERESTED ENOUGH IN BECOMING SOMEONE WHO CAN STAND BEFORE GOD.

PERHAPS. I AM NOT STICKING AROUND TO WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS. I TAKE YOU AS YOU ARE RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW, YOU ARE UNACCEPTABLE BIG LITTLE SHIT, SPOILED, VICIOUS, SELFISH, VIOLENT, AND FRIGID. WHO CARES FOR THAT. IF YOU CANNOT TREAT ME WELL, YOU ARE OUT.

AND YOU CANNOT TREAT ME WELL AT ALL, YOUR BELIEFS ARE SUCH THAT PREVENT YOU FROM MOVING ONE LITTLE FINGER TOWARDS TREATING ANYONE WELL.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Religion vs Truth

In one of my methaphysical classes, I met someone, let's call him X, who I later hang out with. He eventually told me he was a Born Again Christian, which I had no clue what it meant, except that it made him ... dogmatic, stiff, closed, scared, and rather vicious, to put it mildly. It made him quit talking to me every time I questioned his behavior which was totally not consistent with what I consider true Christianity to be, i.e. really following teachings of Jesus Christ - treating thy neighbor as thysels, walking in other person's shoes, etc. X never did that. In fact, he did some rather mean and violent things that are clearly in opposition to that, and never felt a trace of remorse - because those things weren't in the Bible, so it was ok to do them. Some other things that were in the Bible he wasn't upset at all about, for example being divorced. He was happily divorced although Bible says it's not ok.



So I asked: what kind of God allowed that kind of schizophrenic existance?

X would typically answer by saying something mean, running away and totally quitting talking with me.

I kept on wondering what exactly made him rather cool and cruel, always trying to make himself look good and even lie and hurt others to protect his "good face".



FInally I understood, one day when X did something mean to me and then didn't own it at all, but then shortly turned around to expound with great passion (but in a rather shallow and artificial preachy voice) trying to get me to get into it! about how "Jesus Christ is THE ONLY way to salvation, and nothing else works." I asked: how about Buddha? He said: Buddha cannot save you.

I asked why then millions of people have been and still are finding peace and enlightement through Buddha's teachings. Or sufi teachings, or whatever. There are so many saints out there, of so many religions and beliefs. They all reached God, one way or another. God is One.

X said that they are all wrong.



This concept of dissing other people, putting them down and plain rejecting any evidence that something else is working, and trying to zelously convert to your stuff, is rather ... nazi, isn't it.



We all know that some stuff works and some doesn't. It is obvious for some stuff, like killing people, isn't it. We put murderer's in jail and that's it, we don't feel guilty, it is clear. However, spiritual path is something else, it is a very slippery topic, and there are MANY paths and they all lead to God. Some paths are longer, some are shorter, some are dead ends...



This church stuff is definitely one of the dead ends. How is it possible to reach God when the heart is closed? When the EGO MIND picks what is ok to love and what isn't. When the EGO MIND makes decisions and leads one's life. When the ego mind always turns away from any serious look at oneself and turns around to trying to dole it over others.



X is not being able to move on into living his life from integrity - witnessing and accepting what he truly feels and owning what he does in action - because his heart has this inherent lock. It is not possible to penetrate it. He will never be able to see clearly. Because, some feelings and actions are simply not acceptable to his beliefs, and he will HAVE TO close his eyes to it because he has no mechanism to deal with it. He was never taught that, and furthermore, was taught to sweep it under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist. So he is one of the asleep masses out there, never wishing and never trying to wake up.



It is all church stuff... Church has rigid rules about what is "good" and "acceptable" and what is not, and the punishment for being "bad" is rather severe. So, people try to really fake it being good at any cost.



Also, Church instills this feeling of "being special" and belonging to a very prestigious, powerful group, which is always helped by God and always saved. And the other people who do not beling to this elitist club are simply evil and/or stupid and should be converted and/or destroyed. It gives "the club members" a false sense of importance.



And, finally, what is taught is blind obedience, and literal obedience. Church stuff is all very mental. There is no experiences, there is only dogma. The Bible says ....... and so it is. There is no questioning as to what is really being said, who wrote the stuff there (the Bible was rewritten many times and not every word in it is truth), why do different versions of Bible use different words for the same thing, like "sweetness" vs "goodness", what do those words REALLY mean, are the stories metaphorical and what do they really mean, and so on.



Church followers are like children with very authoritarian parents who they listen to not because they believe in what the parent is saying, and not because of good communications with the parent, but because the parent instills fear in them. So, out of fear, they obey - ON THE SURFACE.



This is very old model. It works for very unaware people, to keep them out of trouble - for example, it prevents some sleeping around, cheating, lieing, stealing, murders, etc - but again, only on surface.

Because, whoever wouldn't do those things anyways because they feel it is not right, would not do them anyways. And whoever would do them because it seems tempting, is going to do them - under the radar. And feel guilty, and make a whole big soap opera thing out of it. There might be a few people who would love to misbehave but the guilt keeps them from doing it, and maybe those are the only ones who benefit, but again - the benefit is doubtful, since it comes from the sense of GUILT and FEAR, not out of sense of Truth and Love.



There is some love in those old fashioned teachings, and church can make it sound good with all the chummy stuff like "love thy neighbor as thyself", "God loves you", etc. but the contradiction and the tragedy is that church misuses it and misinterprets it, and it leads to more problems and closing down of human being. It is like a parent who says nice things and promises a lot, but never really does anything about it, and keeps on punishing you for every little stray. Yes, God loves you, but he will burn you to crisps and send you to hell if you misbehave just once! And he watches! all the time! don't you dare make a wrong move! So here is the book of rules, and make sure you stick to it... And just know that you are bad, bad bad!!! Shame on you!



X very strongly identifies with all these Christian teachings, but I never saw him practice any of it. I never saw him be truly compassionate, love his neighbor as himself, walk in other people's shoes first, turn the other cheek, or whatever. What he was is a highly self protective, cover-his-ass, cold and rather cruel person, always hitting you real hard if he felt even a slightest intent towards his cheek. Always distant and never able to relate. Deep down there was something real and warm, but really burried and never having a chance to come out. Meanwhile, the fake part was in charge, so X felt free to talk about loving thy neighbor as thyself and at the same he didn't walk his talk at all, he didn't even talk with his own children. After pressure from me, he started talking with his own kids, but it never went too far, because there is always that wall.



X just could not relate to anyone, there is always a wall....



So, what became evident from dealing with my church-brainwashed friend is that he was from the old school, and his whole life was based on guilt and fear. He did find his church environment rather stale and did try to find something else outside of the box, and that's how I got to meet him, but his loyalty stayed in the box, because that's what he believes in, deep down. He believes in SEPARATION and walling oneself off.

He wasn't committed to Truth at all. He tried dabbling in it, attended some metaphysical classes, but never really proceeded to practice it in his own life. Because, it is a fork in the road.



It is not possible to follow paths of guilt and Truth at the same time. They completely diverge and lead to totally different directions. It is trying to sit on both chairs at once, have your cake and eat it too, live out of the box but stay in old box. It is impossible.



The path of Truth requires living in the moment, aware in every single moment. There is no dogma there, there are no books to follow, there is nothing to follow except that Moment, crystal clear clarity about the moment. There is no place to hide, everything is exposed in that moment...



The path of Truth requires daily meditation, and constant observing of oneself, with total impartiality and objectivity, in the moment. Whatever we see, we see. We see ourselves as jerks, as goody goodies, as nice, as mean, as tired, as cranky, as glorious, as happy, as ANYTHING.



WE JUST SEE. And we keep on witnessing. No judgements. Just watching.



At the same time, we talk to God. As we are. God doesn't want us to be "nice" or to just be childish and just keep on asking for favors and things. God wants us to really really relate to him, and to love him as we can, in our limited but very precious human ability.



We need to talk with God. Meaning: we need to say things to him, and we need to Listen. Saying things to God is prayer. Listening means meditation.



First, we fake it, then eventually we might understand:



THERE IS NOTHING ELSE BUT GOD.



And to treat all Life like that - with Appreciation and Care.



This is a very tall order, because there are too many obstacles on our path, so this path of Truth requires very good support, experienced guides, and daily practice. In short, it is a path of Work, of really really focused, long term, Work. At first, it is rather hard and painful too... Because, there are so many contradictions in ourselves, there are so many negativities, and seeing ourselves as we are is NOT PRETTY at all. Then, we start seeing more and more, and it becomes easier and easier. Eventually, I am told, we simply melt back into God.



This path is the path of Clarity, of true Peace, of true Bliss. It doesn't mean that we never again get tired, angry, etc. It means that we do not get stuck there, we do not dwell there, we keep on coming back to the Path of Clarity and Peace. As soon as we find ourselves off, we come back.

If I am tired, I rest. If I am angry, I deal with it. Anger usually means I feel violated and hurt and am trying to protect myself. I try to find out what made me feel that way, and I deal with it.



One rule is that I ALWAYS LOOK AT MYSELF. No matter how "wrong" other people might seem to be, I always look at myself, honestly and impartially. I don't look at myself to beat myself up or to pat myself on the back. I just look and whatever I see, I see. If it is bad, I have to suffer seeing myself act stupid, and I have to try to behave differently. If it is good, I have to stay calm and humble. That is what means to own it. And I always ask God for help.



This is the path of mysticism, metaphysics, enlightement, waking up, call it whatever you want. Perhaps it is not for everyone and that's why few people will walk it. However, it is the path meant for everyone, for everyone is a child of God and needs to go Back Home. As far as we can travel. Also, our Earth needs people who are conscious enough to take care of our world, so that we have a place to live and live well.

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I was told that this billboard is in Dallas I 35 .

I got it in email, where you can see that the message changes every 2 to 3 seconds. I don't know how to make it happen in the blog, sorry :(
It is a lot more amusing to see it on the billboard, changing slowly :)
The other messages, all signed by God, are:
We need to talk.
What part of "Thou Shalt Not" didn't you understand?
C'mon over and bring the kids.
Do you have any idea where you are going?
You think it's hot here?
Need directions?
My way is the highway.
Big bang theory? You got to be kidding.
Follow me.
I love you and you and you...
That "love thy neighbor" thing I meant it.
Tell the kids I love them.
Don't make me come down there.
Let's meet at my house Sunday before the game.
Loved the wedding, invite me to the marriage.
Keep using my name in vain, I'll make rush hour longer.
Will the road you are on get you to my place?
Have you read my #1 bestseller? There will be a test.
=========
What struck me is how someone used plain everyday English and the concepts we all understood to explain something rather difficult. Also, some of the concepts are very ... churchian and dogmatic and fear based, like #1 bestseller and the test, don't make me come down there, etc.
It is amazing how much dogma can be expressed in such plain simple English, because of how ingrained all those fear concepts are in our lives.
And also how much we can express some higher concepts, like "I really meant love thy neighbor", and "do you know where you are going" and "I love you".
IT IS VERY DIFFICULT FOR A MORTAL HUMAN BEING TO SORT OUT WHICH IS WHICH, AND TO BE ABLE TO TELL THAT SOMETHING IS FISHY ABOUT PUSHING BESTSELLER #1 AND THAT SOMETHING IS TRULY PROFOUND ABOUT LOVING ONE'S NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF.
Most people do not have the ability to realize that something can be good and bad at the same time, useful and detrimental. It is either labeled 100% good, or 100% bad. It makes things easier, I suppose? It shows the lack of something higher in the person.












Monday, September 22, 2008

Which wolf we feed

Two wolves.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, ' My son, the battle is between two ' wolves ' inside us all.

One is Evil. - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. '

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ' Which wolf wins? '

The old Cherokee simply replied, ' The one you feed. '

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

the spirit of Africa

An African young man from Guinea gave us an impromptu dance class at the picnic today. The guy is a phenomenal dancer and an excellent teacher. He had everyone dancing to a simple choreography, like four steps left, then right, then turn.

He is Native. He brings what Africa has to offer - a free happy spirit, freely moving body, totally flexible, totally comfortable, and free of any negativity that binds Westerners into stiffness. His spine and pelvis are totally free, his chest is free, when he moves, it propagates through the whole spine, the whole body moves, it is so graceful and very beautiful and very healthy.

He is not aware of it because it is natural to him, but he also teaches a sense of total comfort and joy, and delight in doing the same thing over and over again, and entertaining oneself with making each move different and creative. He kept so many people busy and having fun for about 1-2 hrs, just simple dancing together in a very simple but engaging coreography. It was completely delightful and truly the old fashion sense of fun and togetherness. He didn't need any props, special effects, nothing. He made up the games for us to play and we all spent time playing and having fun. For example, he'd ask us to clap our hands at some moments, then he'd change the dance to turn the next time, then we would charge forward, then come back...

In short, what he is teaching is healing - no boredom, no showing off, no games, no need to have it hyper or escape to drugs, tv, etc - just being happy with one has right at the moment. True freedom.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gypsy music, West African music

http://youtube.com/watch?v=fFtt3N4dHKc

This is way awesome - gypsy way to party, straight from back home. A great contribution of E. Europe! Also notice the playfulness of the players - again contribution of E. Europe, where people had plenty of opportunity to develop some finer inner qualities - partly genetics, and partly because there was little going on externally.

Notice that the music speeds up as the "musicians" get more and more into it - typically, many gypsy songs start with something like: "life is miserable, she left me..." and then speed up into: "heck, life is still good, lets' party!" and then it ends in total crescendo.

Now, that is often the problem with E. European music etc - it is kinda bipolar :) First, it is very complex emotionally; it expresses a very very wide range of rather complex emotions, both on the uplifting and dragging down sides. Second, it goes from great melancholy all the way to total exaltation, and it stirs emotions big time. Once you start flying like that, it takes great skill to come back down to Earth and calm down those adrenal glands that went hyper.

E. European music can have a self destructive emotional quality, because a lot of it was sung, and still is, for bars and drinking parties. So, the songs can often encourage living it all up tonight and forgetting that tomorrow will come for sure and we will have to pay.

Also, come to think of it, E. European music is typically for adult entertaining only. It is used for country fairs, where traditionally young men and women go to dance to meet possible mates, also for weddings, and for bars and parties. All mentioned involves great deal of alcohol, and typically some rather sexually explicit female singer. There is also some dancing "as sport", i.e. one can go to a dance class in "YMCA"-like environment and dance there, and even perform. So, unfortunately, the music and dance could be used much more productively in daily life.


After playing West African music for about ... 4 yrs now, I tend to prefer it. Why? Because it makes me feel good, it grounds me.
West African music is very different than what I grew up with because the emotion is neutral, and music only contains positive, celebrative vibe. It is totally grounded, even if it calls for flying. It is very tenacious in terms of staying on the beat, so there is discipline in it that transfers to the audience, combined with creativity and playfulness. And total unpredictability - West African music is all "groovey" and impossible to participate in unless one is totally relaxed yet completely alert.

Thus, dancing or playing African music is extremely healing and soothing, and gives clarity. It seems more designed for survival, i.e. as if it is designed only for having positive effect on people. I suppose because it is played for the entire community, for families, children, etc. and it is designed to help people live better together in harmony, achieve health, happiness, accomplish goals like farming, etc. and for a long time, through generations. There are even dating dances etc but it is all very well regulated by elders. In short, it is clean good fun, and that is what makes it very healing.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

(West) African music

I just came back from West African dance class, with live drummers. Wow. I came to class rather feeling stuffed up, stiff, and tired. We danced, I got to sweat like a pig, and huff and puff, my lower back made some sounds when it went back into place, and it seems as if my whole body got "oiled up" and recalibrated, and I was very very happy and clear headed at the end.

Then I started thinking and the clarity went away. So, I realized:

during the african dance, I wasn't really thinking in a "normal" way, it was some higher level of thinking, which made me feel rejuvenated and refreshed.

There was no negative emotions, just BEing and dancing. No thinking, no judgement, etc. (well, there was some, since I showed up in my work dress and was a little limited in my range of movement, but it was ok). It was sheer joy of dancing...

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

There is nothing else but God.

One of my clients said that he was "drifting in and out" during the session and he felt as if he was talking with someone. So we spoke about "having conversations."

I said that every conversation we have is a conversation with God. Because God expresses Itself through everything and everyone.


Then I remembered the sufi zikr. Sufi are muslim mystics, e.g. if you ever saw whirling dervishes or read Rumi poetry? They are all sufi trained. Although sufis are organized into schools, their teaching is not organized religion, it is mysticism, so it has as its goal this Unity with God. Zikr is either a loud chant or mental whisper, something like Hindu mantras or Buddhist chants or Christian chants.

So, this zikr is the basic one, and the person can just repeat it aloud and ponder it all the time:

THERE IS NOTHING ELSE BUT GOD.

The original is: la ilaha illa 'llahu. Someone who is into organized religion would translate it as: there is no god but Allah and Mohamad is his only prophet. But the deeper meaning is that 'there is nothing else but God.'

True mystic say that it means:

La illaha
Nothing other than God Exists.

Il Allahu
You alone are God.

Meaning: everything is God and so there is nothing else but God.

THere is nothing else but God...

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So if God is all that there is, all around me and in me, how do I treat it then?
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Read what Bawa has to say.
http://www.bmf.org/sufi/?gclid=CIPTidm355UCFQJNagodGmsMeA




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Here are some other sufi zikrs:

Subhana-Allah! "Holiness be to God!"

Alhamdu li-Allah! "Praise be to God!"

Allahu akbar! "God is great!"

Or 2 and 3 togheter:
Subhanna 'llahi bi-hamdi-hi! "Holiness be to God with His praise."


Meditation:
Allahu haziri, "God who is present with me."

Allahu naziri, "God who sees me."

Allahu ma'i, "God who is with me."

Having recited this zikr, either aloud or mentally, the worshiper proceeds to meditate upon some verse or verses of the Koran. Those recommended for the Qadiriyah Faqirs by Maulavi Shah Waliyu 'llah are the following, which is considered most devotional and spiritual by Muslim mystics: -

"He (God) is first. He is last. The Manifest, and the Hidden, and who knoweth all things." Suratu 'l-Hadid (57:3)

He (God) is with you wheresoever ye be." Suratu 'l-Hadid (57:4)

"We (God) are closer to him (man) than his jugular vein." Suratu Qaf (50: 16)

"Whichever way ye turn, there is the face of God." Suratu 'l-Baqarah (2:109)

"God encompasseth all things." Suatu 'n-Nisa (4:125)

"All on earth shall pass away, but the face of thy God shall abide resplendent with majesty and glory." Suratu 'r-Rahman (55:26,27)


REciting the zikr and meditation awakens the heart.
"The heart, in this manner, is kept constantly occupied with the idea of the Most High God: it will be filled with awe, love, and respect for Him; and, if the practiser arrives at the power of continuing to effect this when in the company of a crowd, the zikr is perfect. If he cannot do this, it is clear that he must continue his efforts. The heart is a subtle part of the human frame, and is apt to wander away after worldly concerns, so that the easier mode of arriving at the proceeding is to compress the breath, and keep the mouth firmly closed with the tongue forced against the lips. The heart is shaped like the cone of a fir-tree; your meditations should be forced upon it, whilst you mentally recite the zikr. 'Let the "La" be upward, the "ilaha" to the right, and the whole phrase "La ilaha illa 'llahu" (There is no God but Allah) be formed upon the fir-cone, and through it pass to all the members of the whole frame, and they feel its warmth. By this means, the world and all its attractions disappear from your vision, and you are enabled to behold the excellence of the Most High. Nothing must be allowed to distract your attention from the zikr, and ultimately, you retain by its medium, a proper conception of the Tawhid, or Unity of God.

"The cone-shaped heart rests in the left breast and contains the whole truth of man. Indeed, it signifies, the 'whole truth'; it comprises the whole of man's existence within itself and is a compendium of man; mankind, great and small, are but an extension of it, and it is to humanity what the seed is to the whole tree which it contains within itself: in fine, the essence of the whole of God's book and of all His secrets is the heart of man. Whoever finds a way to the heart, obtains his desire. To find a way to the heart is needed by a heartfelt service, and the heart accepts of the services of the heart. It is only through the fatigues of water and ashes that the Murid reaches the conversation of the heart and the soul; he will be then so drawn towards God, that afterwards without any difficulty, he may without trouble, in case of need, turn his face from all others towards the Tark (the abandonment of the world), the Haqiqat (the truth), the Hurriyat (the freedom), and the Zikr the recital of God's names and praises)."

Propher Mohammad said:

# The best expressions are these four:

Subhana Allahi "Holiness be to God!"
al-Hamdu Lillahi "Praise be to God!"
La ilaha illa Allah "There is nothing else but God."
Allahu akbar "God is great!"

and it does not matter with which of them you begin.

# Verily I like repeating these four expressions: O Holy God! Praise be to God! There is no deity but God! And God is Great! better than anything upon which the sun shines.

# There are two expressions light upon the tongue and heavy in the scale of good works, and they are, "O holy God! Praise be to Thee!" and "O Holy God! The Mighty One!"

# Reciting "O Holy God" is half the scale of good works, and reciting "God be praised" fills the scale. The recital of "There is no deity but one," removes the curtain between the worshipper and his God.

# He who recites with an unsullied heart, "There is no deity but God," shall have the doors of heaven open for him until he reaches the throne of God, as long as he abstains from great sins.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

advertising is more important than quality...

I just got a phone call from a fellow massage therapist that I know from before. I went to her youtube video.

Well, she does a very lousy massage. I know her touch personally, and it is uncomfortable, and also it is apparent from the video. Someone with experience and a good sense of touch can tell.

However, a lot of people have not had good massages and high quality touch, so they cannot tell (e.g. most all spa customers).

Also, this therapist advertises very well, her add is full of pictures, moving things, even youtube video, and it seems that she works in a nice relaxing space. From what I know about her, she is also very pleasing and caters to people a lot. And, she is well groomed and looks rather pretty. And, she is political and diplomatical.

So - people pay. She charges a hefty fee and nobody cares.

She is a good business person - she wants to charge me 20$ for every client she refers to me. Well....

First, it is a lot of money for me to pay, and I won't pay it. Second, her clients might not like me - I am a HEALER. My massage is something completely different than just a pampering hour. It changes people's lives. I work with people who have something Real inside them and need assistance with Inner Work. Bodywork is just an excuse to do that.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

The "holy trinity" and the blind spots

A long time ago, I did a Vision Quest. (Vision Quest is a Native American way to gain clarity. It involves sitting in a 10ft circle in the middle of the woods, alone, not speaking, not seeing anyone, for 4 days and 4 nights, just drinking water, trying to stay awake as much as possible, trying to Listen and to Communicate.)

So, it became clear to me what I intuitively understood earlier: each human being is a bridge between Earth and Spirit, and needs to have a harmonious relationship with the Earth, with God, with other humans, and with themselves internally.

This belief is the foundation of Japanese and other eastern beliefs, and also Hawaiian. I see it as a human being inside a circle consisting of 3 points.

Personally, I tent to slack on the human part. I don't like to idly chit chat and socialize, it is just a waste of time. I don't need to be impressing anyone, belittling anyone, gossip and bs are bologney, chattering away is boring.... So I tend to spend a lot of time alone.

However, there is a balance there, because each one of us does need to connect to other human beings. My healing mentors always told me that I am "wired differently" as a healer, and that indeed I am different, but I am not separate. In other words, it is my duty as well as my need to hang out with other people. The only question is where?

The African drum and dance classes used to be the only ways to draw the hermit me out to socialize with the public, because those events are cooperative community events that are truly win-win situations, where people come together to create something beautiful. My presence there and my effort contribute to the greater whole, and of course the vice versa, I greatly benefit from that music.

I can also hang out with people after the class. If I put effort to not be separate and to hold conversations at the level I am comfortable with, I have a great deal to contribute - people always need someone to listen to them, to validate them, to pay attention, to praise and encourage them. I can do that, as being a healer involves seeing the beautiful and worthy in each person. It also involves seeing the ugly and undeveloped, and figuring out a sly way to draw out the beautiful. It is like ... working with a diamond in the rough. How do we clean out the rough without damaging the diamond, and how do we liberate the diamond to schine as much as it can.

Because, each person can always participate on any level from low to high, if guided in that direction. If I start chitchatting bs, people will be tempted to participate in that. Yesterday I overheard a conversation about someone farting during yoga class. It was an interesting topic to the people who were talking... If I start talking about something deeper and in a more focused way, then it pulls people in that direction, and they have something to say about that. Yesterday someone talked about foster children and then another person mentioned their own experiences, and it was a deep sharing. It will change someone's life for better.

In my case, this improvement of putting more effort to connect with people in social situations comes because of my boyfriend, who saw the "diamond in the rough" in me and kindly said a few things that got me thinking.

WE ALWAYS NEED HELP OF OUR MORE EVOLVED FRIENDS, BECAUSE WE ARE BLIND TO OUR OWN BLIND SPOTS.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

attention is a kind of food

Today I noticed that one of our dancers looks much ... nicer. She has been progressing in that direction for a while, and today I could really notice something different, something more ... schiney and grounded, more confident, more "full" about her. Last week I saw her walk to the supermarket with one of the guys that practice martial arts during our dance class. It was obvious that he was really trying hard around her.

Today it was clear that they are together, and that he treats her with a lot of respect and gives her a lot of attention, and is really dedicated and devoted to her. That is probably what is making her more beautiful - his attention.

Love brings out in people a certain - what shall we call it - note. Just like an instrument gets tuned.

We can be happy when we are alone, which gives us a certain glow, we are happy with God, which gives the best and most deepest glow, and also - human attention gives that very special glow of satisfaction and peace around someone.

Human attention is short lived so that's why often it deteriorates into stale, murky, grungy feelings. It takes God to keep on maintaining the human relationships... which we need. We humans are social animals and do need human attention and love.

True love, from a partner who really adores us, gives a kind of glow that is very special.

Another dancer was totally glorious today, extremely beautiful, radiant, just so happy. Standing next to her was like standing next to sunshine. Well, one of the drummers took her home. Perhaps his attention is what made so radiant today - I don't know.

I just observe and take notes.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Time...

Several days ago, I worked on a client while there was some noise in the neighborhood, there was construction going on and they occassionally used the drill and the cutting saw. I was upset. My client wasn't. He said that he used to work construction and that the noise doesn't bother him, in fact he is happy that he inside and cool, getting the massage, and they are out there in the sun, sweating.

It took me some time to focus and concetrate and then I went 15-20 mins overboard, because that's how much time I lost in getting my focus back. I was tired at the end... I also used all kinds of expensive essential oils and massage oils to make it more special and to make the client feel comfortable.

Yesterday I got stuck in traffic and was late for my client, so I called him 40mins before the appointment time and told him that I need to reschedule. He already made a 30min trip to see me and was just waiting around until the time.. Then he had to redo that trip once again, for the reschedule. It's his time and the gas... I worked on him for a whole hour to make up for the time he lost. I also used the special expensive oils. The client was very happy of course. I was tired :)

So where is the fine line, where is the give and take? In the first case, I could have focused earlier. In the second case, 30 mins over time was more appropriate. Especially because this is a somewhat regular client, he is often late and I always accomodate that.

Being in a service profession means that we are geared towards giving, however, being too giving is a disservice to everyone, including ourselves.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Time...

Just like I advise my clients, I also have to budget my time. It is rather tricky.

Massage is one hour. So in that time, I have to "complete" the task. For example, help someone in pain, relax them, etc. It takes tremendous concetration on my part to be able to stick to time, and sometimes it is not possible. Sometimes I discover things as I go along and it takes time to fix it. Sometimes everything is going fine and then I come to the very last 10 mins, e.g. neck, and discover that it needs major help... Then what? Do I work extra 5 mins for free? Or tell them that they need to come back again? Or ask if I can work longer on them right there and then (meaning: they have to pay for the extra time.) Those are decisions I have to make on the spot.

It takes tremendous focus, concetration and clarity on my part. I need to accomplish the goal of the massage and feel complete with the task. And, at peace with the fact that it is NOT possible to fix ALL their problems in that one hour. People try to expect that sometimes :) and they try to push their expectation on me. Well - what can I say? I am not Jesus Christ and I do not heal instantly.

Sometimes I work a little longer on someone for free. 5 mins extra is generally ok, esp for clients who are regular. For some clients, even one minute extra is bad because they are leeches and need the lesson of boundaries.

If it is more than 5 mins for free, it does disservice to me and to them, and I stay out of those situations. Then I have to say: I will need to work a little longer, is that ok? They have to agree to it... Sometimes they do need it, e.g. if injuries, but they don't want to pay for extra time... I have to tell them: come back tomorrow, or: I am going to work on you some longer, is that ok? Sometimes I am distracted and it takes me a while to get into concetrating. Like today, I was working next to a construction site, so I had to work 15 mins extra because that's how much time I lost worrying about the noise and I still needed to do a good job on the massage.

These are some issues every service provider has to wrestle with. Where is the fine line, and when do we say bye to a client? We need to be able to set good boundaries... People try to take advantage of "soft" people, and that does disservice to everyone. Saying a firm NO is a better healing thing...

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