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Archive for November, 2008

Today is the first anniversary of this blog. For a full year I’ve been posting (almost) daily my reflections, observations, and experiences from a focused practice of inner peace. Do I feel more peaceful after one year?

I’m much more in tune with my thoughts and emotions. I’m much more aware of my triggers and recipes for feeling anxiety and stress. I’m more appreciative of the joy I experience and the opportunities for joy in every (conscious) moment.

But most importantly, I’m aware of the layer of experience where all of the ups and downs of life live. A layer that sits on top of a deeper experience of life. A peaceful presence that is always there, that I can tune into at any moment.

Many moments I forget, and I don’t experience peace. But to know it is there means that no matter how often I forget, there are moments of remembering, too. And those moments of remembering are more frequent and reliable than the moments of peace in my past into which I would sort of randomly stumble from time to time.

So, yes, I do feel more peaceful. And it’s fitting that this anniversary falls on Thanksgiving. I am grateful for all of the people who’ve contributed to this blog — readers, commenters, and the wonderful and generous people at WordPress. Thank you all!

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I got to be with the woman I love today for two hours. This is the relationship that “ended” about two months ago. It didn’t end, of course, because we are still relating, as friends. It changed.

But it didn’t. That’s what I experienced tonight. We still love each other and we’re still as connected as we ever were. Yet we’re not “together” anymore.

This leaves me with a mix of feelings. There was joy and peace and love as we sat and ate and talked together. We were in the moment (something we do extremely well together).

But when she left, my mind did it’s “poor me” two-step — remembering our times together in the past and envisioning a future without her — and that’s when I felt the pain.

It’s so clear to me that when I focus on past and future, I feel sad. When I focus on the present, I feel peace. And it’s frustrating that my mind goes to past and future so much more than to the present.

I sometimes wish for a lobotomy. 🙂

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There’s a saying I love: When God sends you a gift, he wraps it in a problem.

After talking to a friend today about some of his challenges in his relationship, I realized that this saying explains more than one past romantic relationship of mine in a way that I haven’t previously considered. I got the whole “what was the gift in it for me?” perspective. But what I realized today is that I was a gift wrapped in a problem for those women.

Without further explanation, I’m sure that sounds a little conceited, but I don’t want to go into too much detail here. Suffice it to say that it’s a valuable perspective that I’m sure will serve me in future relationships.

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Today I finished a huge de-cluttering project. I finally worked my way through all of the paperwork clutter in my office. I’ve had a pile (or piles) of varying size for as many years as I can remember. It feels liberating — and a little scary — to not have it. It’s kind of like now I don’t have an excuse for why I can’t focus on important stuff. I’m sure I’ll have some more to say about this in the days to come.

In the clutter, I found a note I’d written for myself over a year ago that speaks to me now in the context of these 100 Days of Peace in Relationships:

“The conscious recognition of beauty is love. Looking at something that is different than I want it to be, and choosing to see the beauty in it despite that difference, that is a conscious act of love. In doing so, I am letting go of the wanting it to be different, letting go of my attachment to an illusion (a dream, a concept), and accepting what is, totally and completely. This is true of loving another and of loving myself.”

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I had this funny memory today about my best friend from high school. It made me think about our friendship, how tight we were — totally on each other’s side, totally supportive, and genuinely enjoying every moment we were together. And I realized this:

We created that. It didn’t just happen to us. For whatever reason, we’d both decided “here is a person who I am going to respect, listen to, care about, sympathize with, rely upon, trust, etc.” In essence, here is a person I am going to love.

Love is a choice. Consciously or not, we make that choice and create the quality of our relationships. We generate the energy and attraction, whether platonic or romantic. Yes, there are other factors that make it easier or harder for us to generate that energy. That’s why we’ve all had the experience of a relationship “cooling off.” In the beginning, the novelty and excitement make it easier to generate the love and connection. Later, when the novelty wears off and it becomes harder, we think that the love or the connection has changed. The only thing that’s changed is that we’re not generating it at the level we were.

Anyway, this is all my truth, not necessarily yours. It empowers me to believe that I choose my relationships and I co-create them with each relationship partner.

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First, I want to clean up my intentions for these 100 Days. I originally planned a very specific Stage 2 to begin today on Day 41. I’m choosing to redefine this second stage as described below…

When my most recent romantic relationship ended, I was happy to discover that I had not created a strong attachment to it. I could be peaceful about its end and not suffer the loss. This was a personal growth victory for me.

I’ve discovered in the recent days and weeks that there’s another piece that I want to work through. It’s a self-esteem issue. When I’m single, I fall into a deep hole of feeling not good enough. I realize that I use romantic relationships as validation. That if a woman loves me, that must prove “I’m a real person.” Silly, yes, but it’s there. Like the embarrassing uncle who drinks too much at the family parties and makes a fool of himself. 🙂

So I’ve been feeling less than whole in my single-ness. I’m pretty adept at distracting myself from that feeling, pretending it isn’t there. But I choose to dive into that feeling for the next 30 days, to get dirty cleaning it out like an old attic. Finding all the nasty cobwebs in the corners.

Enough is enough. I am whole, complete, and perfect. It’s time the voice in my head learned that, too. 🙂

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It’s been almost a week since I last posted. I’ve had thoughts to several times, but made other choices. I’m comfortable with those choices and I’m conscious that I benefit from more consistent posting to this blog, so I’m recommitting to daily posting, even if it means the posts will be shorter than usual.

This evening I spent a few hours at my sister’s house. I made a mental note to leave by 6:30 so that I could get back and do some more promotion for my Productivity & Peace of Mind teleseminars this week.

At about 6:30 my nieces started dancing to some Hannah Montana music and asked me to stay for one song. I happily agreed and joined in the dancing. About half-way through the song I asked myself, “What am I leaving this?” And I had no good reason. There was nothing more important to me at that moment than the joy of being with my family. So I stayed for another 45 minutes or so, and had a blast.

Although this may seem small, it signals a big breakthrough for me. I saw my options clearly, and I chose clearly to honor the present moment — specifically the joy of relationship in the present moment — not some arbitrary appointment with myself to do work that can get done at another time.

So much of my life I’ve missed because I was preoccupied with what was next, not focused on what was NOW. This evening revealed that a shift has taken place in me, that my inner peace practice is reaping fruit.

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