Archive for Illusion of control

Constant Change

Posted in Life, Past, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2011 by Shea Atkin

If I look at the span of my 31 years, the only true constant has been change.  This is completely contradictory to my natural state.  I try to find normal, only to discover that most of the time it is synonymous with complacency.  There is a fine line between stagnant and serene. 

Through these past couple of months, life has been extremely unpredictable.  If growth comes ftom pain, I must be a giant.  What I have learned about pain most recently is that it exposes areas that I can improve in.  Not necessarily by overactivity, but by allowing the process to occur without interruption.  Just letting what is, to be.  While feeling that my world is falling apart, I have a peace that transcends my day to day “crazy”.  

My default behavior is to make myself really busy so I don’t have to think about what is really happening.  In turn, I become irritable.  To stop this cycle, I choose to stop what I am doing and just sit in silence while letting my thoughts go by without judgement.  Silence can be very uncomfortable.  It means I’m alone with myself.  Scary. But, the more I practice this, the less I fear. Confronting the fear, diminishes it.

Not knowing what the future holds scares the hell out of me.  I know I just have to trust that if I do what is in front of me (not referring to the past or trying to affect the future), everything will happen naturally, organically, as it should. Allowing life to happen on life’s terms.  Sounds great in theory.  Practice is a different story entirely.  I’m doing it though.  Every day. And every day I become more grateful to be allowed to live in the moment.

I’ll continue this journey into the unknown, sometimes kicking and screaming, and sometimes serene.  The longer I live, more is revealed.  And I feel more like myself with each passing day.

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No Words

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2011 by Shea Atkin

 

Recently, I have found myself here quite often. 

 It’s that point to where I am at the end of myself .  You know, that place where you are sick of talking about doing and actually start ‘doing’. Whatever that means in your life.

The less I say, the more I listen.  Paradoxically, the more I listen, the more I will eventually have to say when the timing is right.  I have done a lot of observing lately.  I am starting to recognize the traits in others that annoy me are usually the exact issues that I struggle with. As soon as I take a step back (from myself), I can usually see where my thinking was distorted.

At this place of no words, I can finally admit to myself that I don’t have all the answers.  There was an illusion of comfort when I asserted control (perceived or real), but ultimately brought nothing but burnout and despair.  I want to not want all of the answers.  It’s exhausting.

This realization makes me very thankful for simple things.  The things I was too busy to pay attention to before.  But this doesn’t mean that everything is feeling good.  Actually, quite the reverse.  I feel more vulnerable and sensitive than ever.  It’s in doing the things that make me extremely uncomfortable that I stumble upon the faith to grow.  It’s being open to the opportunity that I find the lesson.  It’s tough and messy and feels totally wrong, but I have a tiny grain of peace that gets me to the next thing.

In times like these, when I feel no desire to write, it’s probably because life is just a little too real. I’m glad that I decided to push past my feelings of being uncomforable to do what I truly love.  I’m myself when I put pen to paper.  It’s just bringing me back to the present, one day at a time.

Fairytale?

Posted in Life, Past, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by Shea Atkin

I participated in a yoga workshop with my dear friend a few months ago.  We started out with yoga, followed by a guided meditation and ended with a journal entry focused on a certain thought.  Below, I will write the thought and my journal entry about the thought:

*Don’t believe the fairytale you have created through your body.*

At a loss for word is not usually where I find myself.  This can be taken in many different ways.  Right now, my fairytale is just that–a fairytale.  Unattainable, ficticious, Pollyanna bullshit.  I never try because I don’t really believe that it is possible.  That I don’t really deserve the fairytale…I’m not good enough to wear the pretty dress and win the heart of the adoring prince.  I’m the cinderella in this distance, just dreaming–but not accepting the fairytale as potential reality.  Left with scars and memories–a window to watch the world live as I stay confined in my own little prison that I made with my own hands.  Waiting for the key to unlock and be set free, but it is already in my hand. All that needs to happen is making the decision of freedom or slavery.  No one can choose it but me.

I wear the rags as a constant reminder of the resentment against self. The riches are there, but not available until the relentless torture of self is over.  Laziness encompasses all to the point where I would like the best, but I’ll settle for the worst–because it is easy.

Sinking into nausea to escape the self absorption.  Anything to take my mind off of self. The creature that holds my thoughts captive is a reflection of self that materializes so I can embrace and accept what lies beneath the surface.

Morbidity eminent and welcomed at times to take me away from the gift of the present. Escaping the surrender that serenity has freely offered. Choosing death over life, repeatedly.

Succumbing to the lie. Evolving farther away from the truth. Trying to embrace reality on life’s terms instead of my own agenda.

Resonating from within, the sound I have been searching for has been there all along.

Rhetorical Domination

Posted in Life, Poetry, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2011 by Shea Atkin

Slipping through the cracks of myself

Hiding behind words that I have conjugated to fit into the persona I have created

Fooling myself and everyone around me–but the joke is on me

Seeking solace in the unknown

A vast canopy surrounds my shattered soul

Depending on restoration–while the process is unbearable

A selfless cry sheepishly lunges out for comfort

Finding myself in the place I thought I could never arrive through all of my attempts

Spontaneous glimpse of healing from the unlikeliest of sources

Slamming the door on what has kept me isolated–

As that door slowly opens back up–a flood of compassion enters into this grieving spirit

Revitalizing what was once something special

It’s not even a restoration at this point–it’s a brand new life

Ready to live instead of preparing for death

Happy to be a part of what I once thought was being stuck in the middle

Reaching out for a hand to hold

All that is required is a willingness to know that I will never have all the answers

Will lay my head on the pillow tonight knowing that control will never bring me peace.

Rat In A Cage

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by Shea Atkin

Today I can really relate to the Smashing Pumpkins lyric : “Despite all my rage , I am still just a rat in a cage.”.  I don’t necessarily have rage, but I do feel like sometimes I am just running and running without and end.  Cognitively, I know the steps to take for serenity to occur, but my fight or flight response gets so high that I default to the adrenaline rush fix.

A few minutes ago, I walked into the backyard with my bare feet to sit in the hammock for a few minutes and listen to the sounds of nature while being aware of my surroundings.  Automatically, I felt the desire to write about it, so I cut my meditation/prayer time short so I could come into Crystal’s room and type out what I was feeling.  I wish my computer was not stolen when we were robbed.  My blog time has severely been cut short.  Plus, it’s not often that I am the only one at my residence.

I love my job, my family and friends, my passion and drive.  However, I tend to prioritize inefficiently.  Sitting here in the silence, I am reminded that if I am not working on myself being whole–I will never be whole for anybody else.  So when I wake up in the morning, I have to do the things (especially the little things), to set the stage for the rest of my waking time.  These things are what keep me sane and restore my awareness of God and Creation.  Otherwise, I’m just running in circles like I used to.

I’m thankful for my natural gifts and I want to use them to the best of my ability.  I don’t want to just be a rat in a cage–especially the overwhelming anxiety that accompanies that feeling.  Today I will rest my mind and my body, and not worry about all of the things that need to get done.  I’ll shut off my phone for a designated time and concentrate on the things that are most important.  Most of the stuff I strive so hard for, I can’t take with me when I die anyway.  So why?

Today I will be aware and present.  Kind and compassionate.  Loving and thoughtful.  All things that do not come naturally to me, but are extremely rewarding and satisfying.  I’m headed back to my hammock now.

Perception

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by Shea Atkin

It’s everything and nothing, all at the same time. Whatever that means.

Recently I have gone through a series of dramatic occurences that leave me scratching my head.  I have more questions than answers.  Tonight I realize that is ok.  As I look at stuff from an objective viewpoint, I start to grasp the true definition of perception, which is:

The act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.  www.dictionary.com

I’m struck by the word ‘act’.  Knowing doesn’t get me anywhere without action.  I have tons of intentions that end up nowhere.  Action is the only way to truly be fully aware of perception and it’s role in my life.  Over the past month, I have asked ‘why’ about a million times.  As the days go on, I find that timing is everything.  These situations were not ‘bad’ or ‘good’–they just, were.  I guess if I really knew the big picture, I would try to rush things.  But reality is, all I have to do is live.  One day at a time.  That’s it.  It’s hard for me because I like to make things happen.  I want to force whatever I perceive to be ‘right’ into the equation.  This inevitably leads to a big, fat mess.  I can’t even tell you how many times I have to relive and relearn this lesson.

I heard a quote today that resonated– “When emotion and intellect are in a battle, emotion usually wins.”  This rings true more often than not, for me.  That 18 inches between my head and my heart try to meet, but usually one dominates.  Theoretically I can calculate what to do in a given situation, but throw my crazy emotions into the equation and I wind up a basketcase.  This leads me to the understanding that I need to work certain steps to ensure that ‘Crazy Shea’ doesn’t break onto the scene once times get tough. And I learn.  And I learn.

I only have the tools to change the crazy in me, not in you.  I can only affect my perception and not impose it on others.  For most of my life, I have tried to fix situations so everything runs smoothly.  This results in huge resentments on my part since I can’t control anything.  Now that I am finally just staying on my side of the street (for the most part), the ‘crazy’ has lessened and life doesn’t feel so piercingly loud and chaotic.  The perception shift is dynamically profound and produces a calm I have never known.  For once, life is as it should be, in this moment.  Nothing more, nothing less.

 

Contentment

Posted in Present with tags , , , , , on January 25, 2011 by Shea Atkin

It’s taken me a long time to grasp this concept.  Actually, I didn’t think it really existed.

It isn’t that life has necessarily gotten any better or worse–it’s more about perception.  Learning how to deal with situations, no matter how big or small, is one of the key elements of being content.  Sometimes I wonder why these lessons were not learned earlier, but I’m glad that at least I am processing them now instead of never.

I never thought that I could sit without wondering what I should be doing next.  Recently I have taken up meditation/breathing exercises and am actually enjoying it!  Yoga is being incorporated into my routine along with healthier eating habits.  I figure that if I have an addictive personality, I would rather fill it with beneficial things.

The other day I was having coffee with a friend and we were talking about a difficult situation I am going through.  I have some major resentment against someone right now and I can’t figure out how to shake it.  To make a long story short–I have to let go of the “justifiable anger” that I have with this person.  The only person that it hurts in the long run is me.  This person couldn’t care less about me.  The true contentment comes from acknowledging that I am powerless over other people’s decisions.  I have to take care of it on my end–not mope about this other persons “perceived wrong”.  My friend gave me objective clarity that I was not able to see for myself.  I am currently working on being at peace with this issue, so as not to affect my life negatively.

I’m content with whatever situation (and outcome) occurs.  I believe everything to happen as a lesson, and hopefully I will learn from this big one.  It isn’t about being right or getting even.  It’s about growing as a person and working towards becoming whole.