Who are you?

eb4926a314a2a4f0c2251cc02857b483It’s more than a question, it’s a contemplation.  On the surface you could answer what roles, gender of status you have.  Maybe you identify with a certain group, culture or position.  But I implore you to go deeper.

Are you still holding on to fears and resentments from the past that have yet to be acknowledged?  How do these still effect you and the decisions you make day-to-day?

Do you still carry with you the misdeeds of the past?  Who do you need to forgive (or who has not yet forgiven you?)?

As you work through these questions of contemplation in a thorough and thoughtful manner (which may take many, many hours of your time), then the magnification of this question truly remains.  It becomes a statement calling you out of the shadows of your self and into the absolute honesty of your true essence.

Who are you in this moment if all that you defined yourself to be-no longer has relevance?

It’s an extremely powerful exercise in self-exploration and transcendental growth.

Working through that internal gauntlet you emerge with a new view.  The form of your human beingness may still look the same, but your consciousness will take time to adjust to your new perspective.

This is the thorough process of the 4th step in the 12 step programs.  I recommend going through it with a guide, and afterward, give plenty of time and space to see and thrive in your new world view.

 

Copyright 2013 Eileen Dey

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Letting go of the Tomato

5e97eca652d9347f22c1375e586336f8Growing up in New Jersey, the tomato is kind of the state fruit.  In the summer time, everyone seems to grow and share them and throughout the year you just take it for granted you are eating them with the majority of your diet:  pressed into pizza, mixed up with meatballs, dressing chicken parmesan, drenching linguine, blanketing spaghetti, dancing with tortellini, baked in ziti, crushed up in chicken paprika, or sipped slowly over ice with a stick of celery in your spicy tomato juice cocktail.  Sigh.

Basically,  you are one with the tomato.

And that tradition I took moving to Washington all those years ago and found to my delight the Northwest also had a love of the tomato in kin with their Northeast brethren.

And then the biochemistry of age began to descend upon me, and certain foods and drinks I once loved no longer honored my physical being.  Letting go of each has been a process, and now, it seems, just in the last few weeks, the tomato is to be the next.  My body simply goes into extreme indigestion and manifests allergy-like symptoms after I have delighted in consuming the beloved “apple of gold”.

There was no warning for this, it just started to happen.  I’d enjoy my meal and then suffer the consequences.

My whole being cries out “Noooooo!  Not the tomato!”, but even as I write this, I can feel my gut sighing relief that it will have respite from the acidity that it no longer needs.

The world has more options for special diets:  gluten-free, meat-free, dairy-free, fat-free…but there is no substitute for the tomato.  No tomato-free or faux tomato products.  The recommendation is to remove them all from your diet and at some point gradually reintroduce them.  I can’t even think of that right now after several nights of such discomfort.  So, I sigh again and realize I have to say good-bye for now.

But not just any good-bye, this food has been a friend, a constant, and a companion to all the comfort foods I love so dearly.

So to do this properly, I offer this Solanum lycopersicum plant  the lovely poem by Pablo Neruda:

Ode To Tomatoes by Pablo Neruda

The street
filled with tomatoes,
midday,
summer,
light is
halved
like
a
tomato,
its juice
runs
through the streets.
In December,
unabated,
the tomato
invades
the kitchen,
it enters at lunchtime,
takes
its ease
on countertops,
among glasses,
butter dishes,
blue saltcellars.
It sheds
its own light,
benign majesty.
Unfortunately, we must
murder it:
the knife
sinks
into living flesh,
red
viscera
a cool
sun,
profound,
inexhaustible,
populates the salads
of Chile,
happily, it is wed
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate the union
we
pour
oil,
essential
child of the olive,
onto its halved hemispheres,
pepper
adds
its fragrance,
salt, its magnetism;
it is the wedding
of the day,
parsley
hoists
its flag,
potatoes
bubble vigorously,
the aroma
of the roast
knocks
at the door,
it’s time!
come on!
and, on
the table, at the midpoint
of summer,
the tomato,
star of earth, recurrent
and fertile
star,
displays
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness.

copyright 2013 Eileen Dey

Breaking away to come back together

2013-05-06 12.47.55Yesterday with unseasonable weather topping 87 degrees in Seattle I played a little hookey from work and took a mini-road trip up north to lovely Camano Island.  I didn’t have clients until later in the day, but the act of ‘breaking away’ still made me feel a bit nervous, excited and yes, guilty!

As I drove along the highway, mile by mile, song by song on the radio, my guilt started to lessen and I began to enjoy the process of letting go.  Working from home requires me to be more vigilant about taking breaks and without a ‘boss’ it’s often been a challenge to give myself this permission.

Having sober, self-honoring fun without an agenda had been too long coming.  I took in the day to the fullest, hiking along the beach, inhaling the Sound and being grateful for having this time to myself.

I didn’t have unlimited time, but enough that upon my return I could energetically feel my whole being filled with light, space, happiness, and joy.  It was a high like no other.  It sounds so simple to do, but making that time and then taking that time are two different tasks that often don’t come into play.  I was happy I honored my intuition that said ‘you must go!’.

The lesson of breaking away to come back together.  I need to revisit this often!

Copyright 2013 Eileen Dey

Steps on the Path of Inner Peace

Here are ten stimulating questions for you, as you move forward on your personal path of life.

Wanting: Do you constantly “hunger” for something more in your life?
Hmmmm….is it time you started to imbibe in the fruits of your life?

Waiting: Are the week “ends” the bright spots of your life? Let’s work on making every day ‘feel’ and ‘be’ a bright moment in your being, and a constant beginning full of joyful expressions.

Enjoying now: Are you constantly looking toward what is/will be in the future? Perhaps you already have what you want or need…..have you looked lately? Now is pretty wonderful and the only place that you can BE. Listen to what you already know.

Remembering: Do you know, beneath the layers of the everyday ‘doing’ in life, that you are capable of much, much, more? Remember your dreams as a child or a young adult? They are as real today as they were then. You’ve simply forgotten. Be a witness to your remembering…..

Expressing: Are you afraid to look beyond what you have created your life to be now? What a joy to know that you can choose to be more fully expressed.

Choosing: Do things seem to be going well, but you’re still not happy? Can’t figure out what’s missing? Perhaps there is nothing missing…..it’s only what you are choosing to express that is off. Why not come out to play?

Being good: Are you still being the good little girl or boy and doing what you “should” in life. Goodness…..living up to other peoples standards is difficult. Why not take your power back and consciously create your Own?

Soul’s work: Do you constantly thirst for more knowledge and greater understanding? It may be your soul stimulating you to ‘remember’.

Perception: Do you understand that you created your life to be exactly what it is right now? By the way you believe. Your beliefs shape your perception of reality. Is your cup half full….or half empty?

Choose: Are you at conscious “choice” in everything in your life? Or do you feel trapped by circumstances? Remember, you can CHOOSE anything. The only obstacle may be your fear of the consequences. You ARE free. Free to choose.

— From the Light Mission Newsletter

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Living in non-effort in order to make change

The last 7 weeks of my  world have been some of the most challenging times I have yet to experience.

Part of the challenge was the failure of all the wonderful coping mechanisms for dealing with stress I have learned over the past decade.  When put into action, many hardly seemed to make a dent in affecting any sort of change.

I tried all of them:  mindful meditation and breathing, embracing nature, Reiki, rest, receiving bodywork, even eating my favorite foods.

The more techniques I tried to implement to reduce the stress, the more the stress seemed to occupy my being.

So I found that one ‘technique’ I had to begin was the art of practicing to let go completely.  Living in non-effort in order to make change.

How does this “work”?  It’s the state of mind Reiki practitioners strive to be in.  It’s not having any attachment to result.  It’s letting the ego slide away, and letting space occupy your whole being.

I’ve often likened it to feeling like being apathetic, ambivalent or detached.  You just don’t care.  But the true practice of letting go isn’t done in frustration, as apathy might suggest.  It’s done from a place of surrender, of yielding.

For example, some of my experiences included letting go of trying to feel physically better, even after multiple chronic aches and pains refused to go away.  I did all that I was supposed to do to help those aches and pains, and they still persisted.  I let go of the idea they had to go away completely because, for example, I wasn’t that old, I’m in good health, my body should be able to recover, etc.  Just dropped the notion that physical well-being should even be there.

From that place, detached from any expectation of my body even healing, it actually started to heal.

I still would apply the other stress reducing techniques I had learned, but without any notion of producing effect.

One of the more interesting situations I had to totally let go of was wanting peace and quiet.  Living temporarily in a noisy apartment, having a week-long visit with my partner’s kids, dealing with a sudden flood of work inquiries, etc.  Stimulus on all levels.  I would find myself whispering, ‘Go away!’, but that would only seem to bring about more cacophonous results.

So, I just said to myself, “Well noise and disruption, here you are.  Here you are, here I am, I’m not attached to you.  I don’t like or dislike your influence on my life, but I am tired of trying to process what you are, so, I give up.  I surrender”.  Almost within minutes, the aggravation I felt from all that stimulus just dropped off.  It didn’t have control of me anymore.

Lastly, I have begun to embrace that sense of tiredness even more, to allow my body to rest as much as it needs.  There are still phone calls to make and sessions to do, but when there is time, I allow myself to let go into sleep.

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Riding the wave of being portable

I think I’ve finally embraced being portable.  It’s taken me almost 3 weeks, but I can feel in my being I’m more light and flexible, having temporarily traded a very stationary and solid 4 bedroom home for a tiny one bedroom apartment in a different city.

What I like about portability is that I am truly practicing ‘detachment’, of things, of places, even of my professional role.  I don’t feel weighed down.

It’s kind of a fun, transient experience.  What’s going to happen next?  Whatever does, I’ve got my hiking boots on and my wallet and hey, ready to go.

This is a good shift.  For the last 3 weeks I really have been bemoaning not being back at my permanent abode and the city of Seattle, which I love.  And I do still miss it, but I feel a change in perspective.  I’m even up to saying I am embracing the constant known as change rather than fight and brood about it.  I feel a sense of freedom.

Maybe I’m finally succumbing to the ungroundedness that literally is Southern California, the earth constantly shifting and every few weeks, if not more frequent, a measurable earthquake is detected.

I’m not freaked out by it, but rather, rolling with it, like how a surfer rides the waves.  When is the next one coming?  Ahh, on it now, riding it in and crash!  Into the shore.  Swim back out, to catch the next transient wave.  The ocean never stops moving.  The earth doesn’t either.  And my small, tiny, human existence, is also in motion.

I feel like I can embrace the montage of sayings I’ve heard for years and have always thought quaint of living on the West Coast:  “It’s all good”, “No worries”, “Right on, man”.

But, in my defense, I am NOT turning into any kind of Malibu Barbie.  Let’s just get that straight.  Bikinis and beaches, although pretty to look at, just aren’t my thing.  But ‘chillin’ out’, wow, who would have thought?  Those that know me well would say, “Eileen, it’s about time”.

It is about time.  Maybe ten years overdue.  I’ve been putting blood, sweat and tears into my own business all that time, cultivating community, making milestones happen in the Reiki world.  Can I admit I’m finally giving myself a break?  (sound of clashing symbols)

This last month, I think I’ve been struggling with that age-old question, “But what am I going/supposed to do now that I’m in this place?”…it’s turned into (to quote the Beatles), “Just let it be”.

(Now the other side of my responsible personality comes forth)  But, I have been ‘stirring the pot’ in LA, and I have some very promising Reiki opportunities coming up.  So yes, I have been working and doing.  Tune in on Thursday morning for our next Distant Healing session.

But today, I’m choosing to ride the wave without agenda, to see where it takes me and what I might end up crashing into.  This is a big step for me.  It’s all good!

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Building a table for two

After letting go of that book “that shall not be named” yesterday, I could feel things clearing up little by little.

I went for a three hour walk and sojourn through Santa Monica and Venice Beach, stopping off at the holistic center and bookstore where I’ll be doing Reiki work later this month and the next.

In my meanderings, I was able to find and buy an all-in-one tool to assemble the table-for-two we had purchased a few days back that still sat in pieces scattered about.

Richard wanted to ‘be the man’ and put it together, so I’ve learned, it’s ok to be supportive if someone else wants to do the work!

Instead, over the several hours it took, I sketched the room, the process of construction, and listened to some inspiring music.  It’s the first time I’ve sketched since coming to California over a week ago.

After the table and chairs were completed, we went shopping to fill our nearly-bare fridge and Richard surprise me with a bouquet of flowers.

“You need something inspiring after the roller-coaster ride you’ve been through with that book”, he said.

He kept going with the enthusiasm and even created a cat house out of the boxes the table and chairs had come in.

On the roof of our apartment building is a pool and Jacuzzi, so we took off our shoes and dipped our feet in the warm water of the spa as a finale to the creative evening.

As I look at the table and flowers this morning, I notice within myself I feel nurtured and cared for.  My space feels more like home.

Today, I’ll go for a meandering again, this time in the opposite direction, along the beach and up towards Malibu.

These towns I’m walking through all used to sound so far away to me when I was growing up on the East Coast.  I had my own idea about them:  Malibu Barbie and Ken had tans, golden hair and walked around in swimsuits.  Venice Beach was where Jim Morrison created the Doors,  Pachouli scented the air and the guys from muscle beach hung out.

Some of that aura is still here, but times have moved on.  Life can be challenging and yet, when you have a partner and a space to make your home come to life, I feel you can do and be anything.  Building a table-for-two is a physical example of that love and caring.

Today I’m walking forward in that gratitude and happy to be a creative visionary who promotes peace and healing through everything I do.

Letting go and moving on when you’ve tried everything

If you ask me on any given day about obstacles, I’ll say, well, think of them as challenges, learning experiences.  Get curious about them.

However, there are certain circumstances where you may have tried absolutely everything to meet a work deadline or figure out what your boss wanted.

Maybe the obstacle is with your partner, you’ve attempted to deal with their behaviors, but only the person themselves can change.

You’ve grown frustrated, you are tired, you question why you are still putting forth the effort.

We’ve all been there.

So what do you do?  When it gets to the point mentioned above, the best thing to do is emotionally let go.  Put the obstacle in a Universe Jar, a space holder for it.  Or share the situation with a counselor or confidant.

Let go of the burden.  Then see what happens.

Maybe through insight and reflection, you physically let go of the work or personal relationship.

Maybe you modify it, putting stronger boundaries around it.

Each scenario is different, but the letting go, lets the light in for transformation to occur.

Stepping aside will provide

In a few weeks I’m shifting posts to the Los Angeles area for several months.  The Reiki Training Program and Fellowship will continue to offer a regular classes, sessions and circles in Seattle and Spokane.  I’ve found stepping aside in times past allows more room for existing Reiki masters and practitioners to grow their practices and infuse my school with additional energy.

But not everyone is happy about it.  People get used to relying on a certain teacher day in and day out.  But as I’ve told the Reiki community, I’m still available by Skype, phone and email for any sessions that might be required during my absence.

For those that have done such transitions before, leaving behind that which is familiar to leap into that which is not can be daunting.  But from my own prior experience, I can say, the act of ‘letting go’, if only for awhile, always makes more manifest.  I know, hard to believe at times when you can’t actually see the ‘net’ that will appear, but it always does, and in ways you never quite expected.

So, in Los Angeles, specifically Santa Monica, the Reiki Training Program has a chance to create new roots.  To develop a Reiki standard for California.  Those aren’t small potatoes.  I’ll be meeting with the coordinator of a Shiatsu school in that area this weekend, perhaps that will be the initial home base.

The Reiki sanctuary in Seattle will be occupied by a combination of full-time housesitters as well as teachers, so the energy and integrity of this school will continue to permeate West Seattle.

The bi-monthly Reiki circles at East West will also continue to be facilitated, and sessions offered there every Tuesday.

I’m also looking forward to having more time to devote to another writing project, ‘Touching the World Through Reiki part 2″ so-to-speak.  I’ll also have more opportunities to practice my art of drawing and painting.

If you have friends, colleagues or other networks you think would be valuable, please pass on.  Another chapter in the ongoing evolution this work in the world is about to begin.

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Letting go of the need to get it all done

Like most everyone, I’ve got that long list of To-Do’s.  The beginning of the week is always the start of checking off that list.  But when the list keeps growing at the same frequency of your checking-off, that’s when you have a choice, either action or non-action.

So, I’m doing an experiment of letting go of the things that need what I think is attention.  This is a big step for me.  My modus operandi tends to be action, action, and then, more action, mixed in with a bit of reflection.

But I’m looking at that list.  It’s just too big for any one person to try and accomplish.  I’ve delegated where I am able to, met the deadlines I’m accountable for..but the other pieces, well, like the sands of time, I just won’t be able to get to them.  They are going to fall away.

This includes the self-imposed list of daily exercise, watching the diet, keeping in touch, keeping current with the news and running a household.

I’m not saying I’m letting all of it go, but some of it, for now, has to stand aside.  And with that decision comes a sense of freedom, of space, a breathing space.

I take a really, really looooonnng breath.  And again.  And another one.

Did those other things really need to be on the list in the first place?  Who imposed that law?

I remember when I went through the Artist’s Way process the first time, the author of that book, Julia Cameron questioned students on the path, did they really need to make their beds in the morning?  Were they still doing that ritual as adults for some other reason besides having a ‘nice’ looking bedroom?  (i.e.  hoping to get the approval of their parents, guardians, siblings?)

So long ago I stopped making my bed in the morning unless I felt like having it all neat helped me.  Sometimes it does, when I work from home, having things ‘in order’ helps my thought process.  Other times, it makes no difference.

But for the rest of that to-do list, I’m tossing it aside.  Like I said, it’s a bit of an experiment.  Let’s see what happens.  How chaotic things will get remains to be seen.  But I’m not afraid of chaos.  Or disorder.  Bring it on.

For now, for this moment, I’m not engaging in all things expected.  I choose that over trying to fit it all in.

 

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