Like a million other people, I am reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I was very skeptical when I started and sort of thought I wouldn't get past the first chapter or so. I figured, somewhat pompously, that if so many liked it than it must not be very smart. But I bought it anyway because Oprah keeps going on and on about it, and something she said just made me decide to give it a shot.
And let me tell you - it is AMAZING. I realize that you might not trust a person who also loves teen fiction about vampires. However, in the two chapters I've read so far I've already felt a real shift in my thinking. And I am not one for quick belief, trust me.
I love that so many of the things he says about the ego and consciousness totally line up with the things I know to be true, things I learned through reading the Bible for so many years. But it's not a doctrine a dogma or a set of rules. This is a new spirituality about consciousness and letting go of the ego. It has struck a chord within me that I have been longing to hear for a very long time. Ever since I lost my faith - it got sucked down the drain with hair and grime - I have not had anything to replace Christianity in my life. Reading the Bible, praying and spending time each day focused on my own spiritual growth was just lost. I no longer believed in Jesus being my salvation, so I just quit the whole kit and caboodle. And my life and growth has suffered. I have felt a real loss from lack of spirituality. I have missed believing in something. I have missed having some time set aside just for reflection and growth.
This book has come along at a very specific time in my life and in my soul. I think this seed is definitely falling on fertile soil. I have been thinking and reflecting and pursuing excellence in my life in many ways. I have been really inspired lately to not waste any more of my life not living as I want to live. I think I already wrote about the Annie Dillard quote, "For how we spend our days is surely how we spend our lives." I've found a few more to not only inspire getting up off the couch to write, read, walk, do Tae Kwon Do but to also keep me at it when my steam runs out and the ego is strong.
"What is to give light must endure the burning."
"Right now you are one choice away from a new beginning - one that leads you toward becoming the fullest human going you can be."
"Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told, 'I'm with you kid. Let's go.'"
I definitely suffer from laziness and procrastination. I suffer from choosing the easy way - the hunching back, the fast food, the TV watching. But I am more and more coming to see each decision I make and its affect on what I truly want out of my life. If I choose to sit on the couch and watch TV then I'm not spending time with Maya or exercising or reading. If I choose to eat that extra cookie then I'm not losing those calories and continuing my path to health and physical well-being. But it's not always that simple - sometimes you don't see the direct correlation - you just know when the decision is not right. You feel it in your bones. I should not be doing this. And later, when you run out of time and you can't do the thing you really wanted to do, you have to remember - it's all those little time wasters that spoil my plans for myself.
In yoga they say, "Discipline is remembering what you want."
Somehow this is all connected with seeing myself as an amazing woman. I'm beginning to actually love me and think highly of me. I'm just now starting to actually believe in my dreams. Is that just crazy that at 30 I am only now beginning to believe in what I am capable of doing?!
But I'm seriously over lamenting the past. I am really done with being a victim. Turns out - when you see yourself as a victim you just keep being one. It's a dead-end existence.
I was lying in bed with Marco the other night showing him pictures of Maya that I'd taken with my phone. We were laughing. Even thinking about it now makes my throat ache and my nose tingle like I'm going to cry. I have always thought of myself as unlucky. I don't win things. And things seem to have often been against me. But having Maya has given me an overwhelming gratefulness. I feel like all those years of struggle and all those times I didn't win were leading up to me winning the greatest lottery of all. I'm sure this is how every parent feels. But I am telling you - this kid that I was given - that I was somehow blessed to be awarded - is the most amazing person I have ever met. She is so unique and funny and absurd. I cannot believe that I was chosen to be the mother to this crazy soul. She is so much more of a person than I could ever have imagined. She makes me laugh every single day.
So anyway - we were looking at pictures and it suddenly occurred to me that I had somehow stumbled into the life I had always wanted. I am married to this amazing man. I got to live in the city. I own two properties. I actually love my job. I have a daughter. I have an amazing kitchen. I am swimming in a sea of blessings. How did that happen? I didn't set an agenda or a detailed plan - but I did want all of those things - very specifically. I even wrote many of them in my Senior Book when I graduated from high school. I had a picture of what I wanted my life to look like, and now I live it. I cook and knit and create art. I read and write and decorate. I live in rooms of vibrant colors. I have great neighbors who are not shallow.
Well, this got me to thinking. First - perhaps there is some benevolent force in my life. Second - if these dreams came true, what more could I dream for myself and make happen in my life?
It makes me feel powerful. But not in the sense that I am better or more gifted than anyone else - just that the power to receive blessings is within me. And that I am capable of greater faith than I realized.
So now I'm listening to Dr. Wayne Dyer's meditation CD on the Tae Te Ching and changing my thoughts. I'm reading A New Earth. And I'm trying to live my life more consciously. Do I need this? Is this good for me? What is the decision right now that will bring more joy and life into my day? What is going to take away from that goal?
I was bummed because I slammed my toe this morning and have been limping all day. It's just so stupid. Marco says I need steel-toed slippers. So, that means I can't go to Tae Kwon Do today. This immediately made me feel fat and lazy. But instead of that - and feeling once again like a victim - I'm going to use this time when I would have been at TKD and Marco is picking baseball tickets with his buddies to reflect and read and spend time on me. That is a huge gift.
I highly recommend A New Earth. I hope it will do for you what it is doing for me. I am inspired and moved in ways I didn't think was even possible anymore in my life.
Here's to the Spring and new growth and buds of spirituality growing in my soul!!