It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that a writer in possession of a blog, must be in want of publishing a book 🙂 I went the self publishing route and did it. My mini guide to healing love addiction is now available on Amazon.
This year something strange happened. I am usually a big fan of looking back, reflecting on successes and learnings and then planning for a year ahead. A very organised, Type A personality approach. This year I did not feel like it.
I write about happiness and meaning here but also on Quora. I wanted to re-post my answer below (source).
When you feel the familiar chill breeze of the void opening within you, the deafening vibration of the growing vacuum, the infinite sinkhole of the Big Empty, don’t do what you usually do – reach for the phone, like a Pavlovian dog, and text him or her, right now, or stalk them on social media, or stare at their photo, or bite into a chocolate bar, or stuff yourself with food – whatever addict behaviour you do to scratch the itch. The void anesthetizes your mind so it will tell you very convincing stories to justify the urge. Don’t listen. Do the opposite. Stop. Turn around, slowly, and face it. Face the emptiness. The terrifying void. The nothingness that you keep running away from, that you have never faced before. Face it calmly, openly, lovingly. Breathe deeply and slowly. Let emptiness engulf you. Feel it, really feel it. Embrace it. Then – miracle. The urge subsides and fades. The warm glow fills you. The anxiety lifts. Your soul takes a deep breath. You did it. When you face emptiness, the strangest thing happens. You don’t become empty, you are not devoured and the billowing clouds of darkness do not consume you. Instead it’s as if you go through, you come out on the other side full and radiant. You – 1, emptiness – 0.
I am an INFJ, a personality type according to the Myers-Briggs test which turns out to be quite rare (estimated 1% of the population). Personality types are not 100% science. But to me, learning that I was INFJ and key characteristics of INFJ made sense and explained a lot.
“I” stands for introverted. I love my alone time and I love being left alone. This one is from the INFJ Refuge group on Facebook.
In the Kali Meditation, Ram Dass urges us to offer our insecurities, frustrations, anger and all the things that take us out of the flow of the universe and prevent us from getting to that place we call home – toKali. She lives off of our impurities – to release them into her welcoming hands, so we can allow ourselves to embody beauty in the Divine Spirit.
A personal and rather shallow 🙂 example of using this practice would be me corresponding with Bateaux London – I took my family on an afternoon tea cruise with them and they did not deliver the level of service we paid for. We were seated at the wrong table, not served on time and my sister who is an allergy sufferer was given a limited meal option despite previous reassurances. Cases like these, though tiny in the big scheme of things, boil my blood, send my heart racing and destroy my peace. Yet, it’s better to be free than right (Ram Dass). I offer my indignation and anger to Kali and instantly feel lighter 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I will still invoke purchase protection and write a review, however I will do this from a calm place.
Remember this post? This year I am blessed with family staying over the holidays – paraphrasing Ram Dass, I will uncover my “secret stash” and “burn in the fire, cooking my seeds” 🙂 Normally I would lose my shit at some point. This time the plan is to stay empty and use the following 5 guiding principles (based on Ram Dass’s teachings). What is your plan, if you need one? Have a good one!
Inspired by Ram Dass’s story of burning his possessions, his “stash”, and hopefully an impending house move (nomads never stop! 😊), I decided to go through the “memory boxes” where I store sentimental stuff – photos, travel souvenirs, small gifts from friends, CDs and other such trinkets. The idea was to get rid of most of it or at least reduce the stash significantly.
If you want a powerful exercise in emptiness, do attempt the above.
I’ve been looking for this poem for years! I first saw it at The British Museum’s Aztec exhibition ages ago and found it recently in the old photos. The poem is by Cacamatzin, the Aztec ruler of Texcoco (source here). Cacamatzin was more of a poet than a ruler and was murdered during the Spanish invasion. He sensed his impending death. His poem is about impermanence of our existence, regardless of status or achievements.
‘Who is spared in the end from leaving? Despite all his gold and his jade, is a man not bound to go there? Am I a shield set with turquoise? A stone secured in a mosaic? Will I ever walk this earth again? Will they shroud me in fine mantles? Here on earth, I think of those who ruled before me, as the place of sounding drums draws near.’