Obligatory Giving

Obligatory Giving

There is a person who is sweet and kind and tries to help others know what to do. I hate that. I feel controlled. I was strongly hinted at today, oh, heck, I am going to come right to the point. I got an email from my sister. Her daughter and her partner have purchased their first new home and are very excited about it. I am very happy for them. The email note was simple enough, telling me they got their new mailboxes installed and here is their new address, but it was followed by the simple sentence, “She would probably like a hello card. *hint”. Exact wording.

Reading that felt like being slapped. I know in her heart my sister thought it was cute, or a nice reminder, and it would be good for us to shower her daughter with cards or something, but to me it reached down with a slimy little tendril and latched onto a much larger family and societal wound.

It feels bossy and controlling to me. Yes, I can ignore the instructions, the HINT, or simply laugh it off knowing it came from a kind place in my sister’s heart. Today I can’t do that. The simple sentence opened a huge wound window in me. I have been working very hard to repair deep wounds, so ignoring this trigger would be like tossing a yummy fish back into the river when I am starving to death.

Being told to do something, something nice, a thing that I might do on my own from the goodness of my own heart, feels like saying to me, “If I didn’t remind you, you would never think to be nice to someone else.” It is an old old pattern that says I am not good enough, so someone else has to remind me to be good, because I certainly wouldn’t be nice on my own initiative. It follows that perhaps I am not a nice person at all…or lovable. Without being helped by this instruction, which is laughingly presented as *hint, I am a horrible rotten person who never does anything nice or loving for anyone. I have to be reminded, even how to be nice to others and when to give to them. Not only that, but I am too stupid to recognize a hint unless it is labeled as one!

Being told to do something nice for someone robs me of the feeling of being nice on my own. It turns the simple act of sending a card into a thing that I must do in order to prove that I am nice, good and worthy of love. It says to me that I cannot be trusted to do something thoughtful or kind for another person unless I am prompted. It shovels me a load of guilt if I do not comply.

All these feelings are wrapped up in that wound. I don’t want to send a card now, because I don’t like being told what to do. Now, even if I do send a card, it would be because I was told I should, rather than that I thought to do something sweet on my own. It is like stealing my thunder. It dilutes my sense of satisfaction and pleasure in the act of giving.

I bet I would have thought to send her something on my own, but now I will never know. If she gets a card from me NOW she will thank her mother instead of me, because her mother has reminded everyone to do this. And why did her mother not allow her daughter to make the announcement about her address herself? That robbed her daughter of the chance to share her happiness. How will my niece know who really does care enough to send her mail if we all just do it because we were told to? See how it is?

It feels like a lose-lose situation now. Either I follow the instructions and feel like I am being controlled or coerced, which is very close to being bullied, or I don’t send a card and my niece thinks I don’t care. This little sentence takes away my ability to give of my own volition. I no longer have the option open to make a personal decision. That is very close to the heart of this, that my ability to make a choice has been partially removed. Of course I can choose not to participate. I love my niece. I just want her to know that I care, without her thinking I sent a card only because her mother told me to.

I wonder if that is why Christmas is now a holiday of obligation rather than of joy and giving? We are told in so many ways what, how much, and who we MUST give to…and so we do not have the personal joy of giving from our hearts because we love someone or just want to be nice. All that is stripped from us by the heavy marketing of the holiday for well over two months. Perhaps that is why many people complain how “commercial” it all is.

I hate being told that I must be nice or that I must give. I really don’t like the “go-fund” pages that ask me to give so someone else can have a nice vacation, or to help them move, or even the biggies like disabilities, or people who got burned out needing my money. I feel like I am being pushed and shoved to give all the time. School kids used to wash my car, or sell seeds or gift wrap to raise money. Now they stand by the door of the big box store and hold out cans with slots. I wonder if the people who complain about the entitlement attitudes of the young put money in those cans? So we are teaching our youth to panhandle? Then there is the guilt that is felt if you don’t give to them. I have worked very hard to earn my money. When I give I want to enjoy the act not just feel it is required.

So, I thank you sister for opening up a little window to a deep wound that needed to be scrutinized. I will send a card when I feel like it. I wish I could speak to you about the wording and how it affects me. It makes me feel defensive and diminished. I am not stupid and can take a hint without it being pointed out to me that it is one. I would have been so much more comfortable with different wording. For example, “I plan on sending her a card right now!” or “ I think I will send her happy mail to break in her new mailbox!” Not the blatantly labeled “*HINT”…which definitely implies that I am being instructed to send a card. I don’t hold it against you personally since I know it was not intended as a slight. In fact I really am grateful.

I think you would be surprised at how nice I can be if I don’t feel pushed into a corner. I actually like being nice. Recently I did send a card that I am positive was a total surprise to the recipient. I had a wonderful feeling inside when I mailed it. The anticipation that I was going to give an unexpected smile and some love to a person I care about was the sweet delicious feeling of true heart-felt giving when it is not an obligation or an expectation.

Yes, perhaps it sounds like a small matter, but I think this is part of a long running large pattern in our society.

True giving is a feeling I think we humans miss a lot. I think it is what is behind the “pass it on” and “random acts of kindness” movements where we pay for someones’ coffee or do some little thing for an unsuspecting person. I think giving is a natural act for most humans, and we are searching for that feeling of satisfaction and delight. Giving fills an inner need in us to show love to others.

Our culture, led by sales and marketing, has invented all sorts of  “special days” where we are obligated to be nice and give a card, flowers or gifts to grandparents or teachers or secretaries, or whoever the day is designated for. Some of us are always left out because no days apply to us. Are we supposed to feel unloved because we work in a field where we don’t have a designated thank-you day?

These designated days dilute any deeper sense of true gratitude and turn it into another obligatory need to purchase, to buy more stuff and increase our consumption of goods. Our population on this earth has exploded to the point where giving a card is actually using valuable planetary resources. If every grandparent gets a card on their designated day imagine how many cards will go in the landfill a little later on. And now add the other days when we are supposed to send a card. Can anyone see a problem with this? Cards aren’t the problem. Giving isn’t the problem. Being nice isn’t the problem. It is the creation of the obligation which becomes a problem. First it robs us of the truly deep satisfaction of authentic giving, then it destroys more planetary resources!

I like just being nice and enjoying that delicious sense of love and warmth when I decide, all by myself, to give.

Hearts Desire

Hearts Desire


Have you heard or thought about that question, the big one…If you could do or have or wish for anything what would it be? It sort of translates to other questions such as, what is your purpose in life? What do you want to be? What is your heart’s desire? Wow…that is a lot of question; maybe I should start smaller, like what do I want to eat for lunch or something.

When we are asked this question I think we are given the opportunity to narrow down our focus. We are offered a chance to reflect and ponder about where we are and where we are going.

That question was part of a teaching I received the other day. There was a lot of material and by the time the class was over my head was spinning. I sat down in front of the wood stove and watched the flames lick the log. I love that glass window in my stove. I relaxed in my rocker and thought a bit on the class, and that question came to the forefront because it bothered me that when it was asked I didn’t have an answer. Nothing came to me. I drew a blank. It should be easy to answer, shouldn’t it? What do I really want? I really truly had no idea. You would think that at my age, late 50s, I would know and be solidly working toward that goal, in fact I ought to have it, whatever it is, by now don’t you think? But I didn’t even know what I wanted. In fact I never have.

That has been my main reason for this quest in Consciousness Systems. After my husbands died, yes, there were two who died, but that is another story, I did not know who I was outside their spheres of existence. I had been trying to find out who I was without them. I just had no idea which parts of me were me and which parts were theirs. Our lives were so intertwined that I didn’t know who I was.

So, I stared at the fire and wondered what I really wanted. The flames were blue, orange and gold…they licked sensually over the blackened log. The log cracked and broke open, exposing the lava rich orange of it’s interior…

Then I knew.

I wanted exactly this. I want to sit and watch the fire…but somehow differently. I wanted to be able to sit in front of this fire, to enjoy it and to NOT FEEL THAT NAGGING SENSATION THAT I OUGHT TO BE DOING SOMETHING ELSE!

The moment I had this thought it felt so right. I want to be able to sit and simply enjoy a fire without thinking in the back of my mind that I am wasting my time, that I should be doing the dishes or brushing the dog. What I want is the uninterrupted time to simply do nothing without the guilt and shame poking at me. I want to be totally in the moment of enjoyment without the nagging.

It was, as the old saying goes, a lightbulb moment. As I thought the thought I felt myself come to my center and let go of the underlying tension. I felt my body relax, soften and release the tension. To become present in the moment with the knowledge that it is perfectly ok to fully enjoy it. The dishes and dogs will wait. I want to be free from the guilt that I should be doing something else. Free from the idea that I was wasting my time enjoying my fire. Free from guilt when doing anything that is not productive or necessary. Free from guilt and the shame.

The funny thing is that I have “known” this in my mind for a long time. I just haven’t felt it at this depth. I haven’t known it in my body, my energy and my full conscious self. I only knew it in my mind…in fact it was part of the nagging, that I wasn’t doing it right.

Where does all that guilt come from? Oh, wow, how about the institution of the church and the religious righteous who taught me I should be doing something for others and not myself for starters. The teachings from school that I should be busy and always reading, doing and learning or accomplishing something. Of course my parents and family reinforced this with chores and all the various things I needed to get done. Then there is society itself with the business ethic that if you aren’t doing something…especially something to earn money or to spend it you are not doing something worthwhile.

I have noticed that many people never stop. They are constantly on the go, either just arriving home or leaving it…they rarely stay home unless someone else has come over to visit. There is so much to do. Our children are pushed into activities that are structured and scheduled. The adults cart them to and fro. The adults either have the TV or music or something on to feed the go go go in their lives. I wonder how many people just stop and fully stare into a fire. Am I alone in this?

I know I am not the first person to speak of the rush of our society and the problems it causes. I am just another drop of water in an ocean of discontent. I don’t think I fully realized until yesterday evening, sitting by my fire how constrained I was by the bridle of guilt and the saddle of shame placed ever so kindly on me. When I finally found an answer to the question of my heart’s desire it felt like a clamp let go of my heart and my body. Like I came home to me. I had never noticed the constant tension and buzz of the inner nagging. It was just there, a part of what I thought of as normal. It was the water and I was the fish who lived in it without thinking about it.

I woke up this morning feeling so happy. I am centered in me. I am enjoying taking the time to write this and I do notice there is a little nagging to go brush the dogs, but I hear it for what it is, and I know it will gradually get quieter. It is that voice telling me I am wasting my time, that I ought to be doing something else, something more important.

I am now conscious of the bridle and the saddle. There is always another thing to do. This must be what is meant by living in the present moment. I will have to see. Perhaps, just perhaps I can sit and deeply truly enjoy my fire, or choose to write this blog without thinking I am wasting my time.

Perhaps now I can create my art.

Start at the Beginning

Start at the Beginning

Hi to whoever might find me. This is my first blog. Never thought I would do this and to be honest I am not sure why or if I will continue beyond post number one. It is what you might call in the marketing world an impulse blog. Since I believe in following the nudging of Spirit in my life and since this is a free chunk of data on the huge web of the entity we call the internet I may as well give in to the wee nudging.

I don’t know if my writing will be enjoyed or even palatable to the masses. I have been doing an intensive year of study. I have been taking courses from Mark Dunn who teaches a program called Consciousness Systems. This is not a simply easy way to become “conscious”. It has been hard work and the path isn’t easy. The basic premise is to repair your energetic system so that your spirit can fully inhabit your physical body. This means repairing the soul ripping wounding that happened to you in this life, past lives, and ancestrally. Finding these and fixing them is a rough road. The difficulty of using the english language to even try to explain his concepts is enough to drive anyone batty.

The end result of this might be a whole complete “ME”. This would help me in physical health, emotional health and just all around wellness…of myself and of the planet as a whole. As part of this quest I am “leaving” the doomed map of society as it is currently set up. Most people seem to be all about coffee, bacon, shopping, games and currently, if fb is any indication, already all hyped about Christmas…and it is only the day after Halloween! I can hardly believe I saw an ad there saying I should have my Christmas shopping finished! Mark maintains, and I agree, that people are way too high in vibration. Go go go do do do…and God forbid they actually stop and smell the roses as they say.

As part of CS I have slowed down, deepened and dropped my vibration down intentionally. For those of you who believe that high is good and low is bad please recall that we have lower chakras that have vital functions. Perhaps I will write more on this at another time. The result of lowering my vibration? Funny you should ask. One result is that where most people are now is laughable and a bit annoying. An example is a woman on a fb site who was seriously complaining about her haircut. Now, I know hair is our crowning glory and important in our lives, but you would have thought her child just died of a horrible disfiguring disease! She was not just upset, she was horrified and mortified and seriously all bent out of shape. It is hair. It grows back! Really…it does! It can be adjusted and recut and styled. Short hair is not the end of civilization as we know it people! A bad hair day is not a world crisis.

The end of the world is much more serious than short hair or the “wrong” color shoes, or not having enough bacon. The end of the world is poisonous toxic and well, we might not make it as a species. We won’t care about our hair. Zombie apocalypse without the zombies perhaps…I don’t know exactly, and have never seen one of those zombie shows actually…haven’t turned on my television set since March when I watched a movie so I could get the CD back to Netflix.

I don’t know what the end of the world looks like. I would rather not know at the moment, but it won’t be pretty and you won’t worry about your hair style. Have you ever seen a person in a disaster photo who worried if their hair was styled right?

We need to start waking up. We all need to become conscious in whatever way we can be. We need to pay attention to our choices and how we live our lives. We are breaking people to get the energy we need…hurting people to get the energy we need. We need to stop somehow. I can’t tell you today exactly how. It may be in the small things we choose. Perhaps it is choosing not to buy something I really don’t need from the big box store today, or buying a local item instead. Perhaps it is making a snack and sharing it with a neighbor. I would like it if certain people would choose not to toss that fast food container on the ground along the back road, or how about if they stayed home and cooked a meal instead of supporting the unhealthy fast food? Gee, that would reduce gas consumption, save money, not trash the planet and improve health…all in one little choice!

Maybe we don’t need as many items of clothing, or is the cupboard overflowing with unused items? Could we just be kind instead of angry when someone cuts us off in our travels? I mean, if thoughts have energy how many hurtful arrows have I shot at other drivers in my lifetime? Oh, man. I need to pay attention to that! Sure no one hears me…or do they? Do they feel the energetic arrows? Uh, yep, I bet they do. It manifests as stress and irritation. We are all shooting each other with hurtful arrows.

I bet there are tons of little actions to take. This is a call out to join me. Slow down. Chill out. Think before you buy what you are supporting with your purchase. Keep our Mother Earth clean…she is, after all, the only planet we have. That is forgotten so often. If you are politically minded don’t just post on fb, but contact your political representatives. Vote with your pocketbook. Treat others as the fellow travelers on this blue marble as  what they are…we are truly all in this together. We are truly all interconnected. Maybe the end of the world can just be the beginning of a better one.