Day #5 ‘All the World’s a Stage’ and Dealing with Change and Stage Fright in Your Own Life Play

It’s Day #5 and true to the last post, have been going at it “in a bit of a run”—fa’ sure!  The wheels were set into motion big time over the past two days and with so much still to do, there’s a bit of guilt about sitting at the computer, typing.  Yet, I may want to look back on this for encouragement (or maybe laughs!) later—besides, maybe someone will be helped by these posts about how I’m dealing with these  ♫ cha-cha-cha-cha-a-a-anges ♫.

People have recently told me that they never thought I’d commit to this change and honestly I didn’t either; and the greater part of me denied that these changes were already taking place on subtle levels before the lid blew off, before the genie got out of the bottle and before the lid to Pandora’s Box suddenly flew open! 

You know those moments when you hear your mouth saying things and watch yourself doing things while a unknown force seems to be pushing you from behind the unknown curtain?  “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”, says the Wizard of Oz!

Meanwhile, the good ole’ personality me or what I’ve been calling ‘me-self’ sort of goes into a bit of shock—well, the day before yesterday it happened again.  I mean it’s silly, you know?  There we are standing in the middle of the change that is happening all around and then some communication comes that everything is right on track—green flag and all that. 

The 3 Aces in the Tarot card spread (indicating a very strong YES) were so right on–this weekend really kick started things forward!

What is it about that anyway?  It created an emotional trigger.  I think it is the sudden acceleration of life changing—like you’re in a car where someone pulled away very fast at the traffic light and your stomach gets left behind while the rest of you lurches suddenly forward.  Well, that’s how that moment of panic feels.  Even though I had checked, double checked, triple checked and quadruple checked before the greater part of me took over and jumped through the window of opportunity that was open before me—even with all that checking, I had a moment when I thought, “Wait, are you SURE you can handle this?”  And then of course at the same time I realized we had reached the point of no return—it was too late if I made a misjudgment.  Oh yeah, the pulse started to race; and even though my hot-flash days are over, I had one! 

What IS that?  I call that kind of thing an emotional trigger response.  An old wound, a sensitive spot in the psyche got hit and for a few moments I was spinning out in the ethers (at least my consciousness was). 

What are we afraid of when we go into panic and fear this way?  Today I am going to allow the answer to that question to surface—although I already know even as I type here.  I won’t share it publically—at least not now; maybe after the 30 days I will.  It may be 45 days, but surely this is not going to take 60 like I originally thought.  We’ve been going at it in a bit of a run—that Harry Potter movie scene (see last blog post) turned out to be quite the predictive phrase; no wonder it jumped out at me in such a significant way when I heard it the other day.

I was a bit disappointed that I had those 2 or 3 (that’s all it was) intense moments of fear and panic the other day.  Some of the reason for it (like I just said) is known to me but I just realized that another reason relates to that runaway train feeling that comes with that thought, “What if I made the wrong decision?  It’s too late to turn back now!”  And then comes the big fear—the trigger. 

I had to calm the ‘me-self’ and as soon as I realized that I had NOT made a literal, physical mistake—whew!  Deep breaths and a good laugh about it, but still I had to shake my head because the thing is, I thought we dealt with all that and put it to rest.  

Aside from the 2 minute moment of panic the day before yesterday—things are moving forward rapidly and smoothly and I have my sense of humor in tact and I’m excited that I jumped through that window of opportunity!  I am looking forward to a busy week with clients, students and lots of other activity–that part is always THE BEST

Best to keep a sense of humor and keep on talking to Higher Self  and  ♫ Just Breathe ♫.

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Work with Emotional Patterns-Kleshas using Buddhist Tools and Prajna Teachings

This is what I know and also what I keep forgetting and so need to practice!  Why do I keep forgetting?  How do I keep allowing my… well, what the Buddhist call kleshas to affect me.  What are kleshas?  Essentially we could say emotions or one definition is “mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome action”.  In the modern-day world we often hear them called “emotional patterns”.  Your patterns!  Right?  Your customary and habitual emotional responses.  Yeah, new ager’s want to deny those or push them away and not deal with them out in the open like this.  Here’s what I was writing about in the last blog about my “muggle” klesha.  This is from the writing of Lama Zopa Rinposhe; it is expressing what I wrote about–remembering the nature of emptiness and calling upon the praja/wisdom of the  prajnaparamita (emptiness).  Let’s go right to Rinposhe’s words:

Emptiness is a remedy for the foundation of all delusions—ignorance—so all the other delusions will disappear. The minute one meditates on emptiness, anger for example, will stop. Anger arises when you believe in the false I, false object—all this which does not exist. So when one meditates on emptiness of the self and other objects, there is no foundation for anger. This is the most powerful antidote. But if it arises again, it is because there is no continuation of the meditation; the meditation, the mindfulness, has stopped. The problem is to remember the technique. Once you remember the technique, it always works. When you don’t remember the technique, it is delayed and the delusion, anger and so forth, has already arisen and taken you over. — Lama Zopa

Some of our kleshas can be quite clever and convince us that we are justified and even egg us on to find those descriptive words — the one’s I used in my last blog were… well, there you see?  I’m being tested again to go to those words, reproduce them and once again the klesha pattern gets triggered and those old resentments and aversions become alive.  When that happens, I’ve taken many steps backwards or the Buddhist would say it is loosing merit.

What I do is use my blog to create space around the klesha and slow it down so that I have an opportunity to analyze it–dissect it, if you will.  I heard one lama say it is like creating speed bumps for an speeding out of control car (anger) to slow itself down.

Yeah, it can be like that for us—being overcome by emotions that get triggered from those old patterns.  For me it is the muggle who is my blessing because he gives me the opportunity to practice remaining awake and remembering emptiness helps me to diffuse the bomb of my klesha.  I can be quite indignant, irate and outraged by other sentient beings who, in my judgment and opinion, disrespect animals and nature.  Like with any emotional trigger that any of us experience, the pulse races, the face gets flushed and all those other responses happen but the progress that I’ve made over time is that I am able to catch it sooner and analyze myself and the situation and diffuse the bomb or not let the pattern reach bomb stages in the first place.  I let it go much quicker these days.

What helps me is to remember that the muggle in question and his/her actions or attitudes and so forth are simply ignorance, meaning lack of wisdom, knowledge or information.  I say this without being above or feeling superior in any way.  What evens the playing field in working with that type of klesha is to embrace the knowing that what motivates all sentient beings is that they are seeking happiness and trying to avoid their own suffering.

When I remember this, it helps me very much and then I begin to move my attitude toward compassion for the other, the one I name muggle and also for myself I feel compassion and this helps to transcend the experience, bringing me back to who I truly am.

This is the reason that Buddhism helps me, because of the awareness of mind that it encourages us to have–the practical reality of day-to-day living is acknowledged and the teachings are just as real and practical and grounded.

These are a few thoughts about my last blog and my muggle klesha for the record.  Maybe any reader who comes to this could benefit in some way by applying any wisdom found here to their own life–this is the intent.