Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have

Remembering…

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I found this image on Pinterest and really liked both the visual and message printed at the top of it.

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Animal Totems

Some (including myself) believe we have animal totems or animal spirit guides. With that in mind I thought it would be interesting to see which animals are usually picked as totems and what they mean. It turns out there are way more than I originally thought! So here is a link to a great website with all the animal totems and their meanings listed.

http://www.whats-your-sign.com/animal-totems.html

My animal totem (I believe), or one of them anyway ;)

My animal totem (I believe), or one of them anyway 😉


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2013 Is Around The Corner But All We Have is Now

Happy New Year to all Friends !

Happy New Year to all Friends ! (Photo credit: Viola & Cats =^..^= HAPPY HOLIDAY !)

Okay, so maybe not my most pithy of titles but I was thinking about how tomorrow (for the Western world) it will be 2013. A new month and a new year where lots of us attempt to do things better than we did last year. But why? Why wait until it’s a new year to change? How many of us are able to say we will be around next year with 100% certainty? None! We HOPE we will be around (unless we’re suicidal) but we don’t KNOW we will be. Therefore, why not be better RIGHT NOW? Whenever you think about how you could be better or do things differently, why wait for an arbitrary time? All we have is this exact moment in which we are existing. I say, what better time than now to make changes? If you wish to embark on a healthier diet or exercise more, quit smoking, be kinder, whatever, then do so as the desire enters your mind. You may not have infinite tomorrows (in this lifetime).

Of course I am a terrible hypocrite because I do nothing but dream and think about what I will do tomorrow! That is the

Artist unknown

Artist unknown

nature of my mind. It provides me with tonnes of insights and wisdom but I’m as foolish as ever because I don’t follow through with what I know. But this year(2013) I have decided to be different. I have decided I am going to ACT on my insights and use my wisdom. There are lots of things I know but have great difficulty putting into practice. Many things enter my mind and I question their validity or accuracy. How can I know something simply because of a thought I’ve had? It is enough to make me question my sanity regularly. What sort of person throws their rational mind aside in favour of their intuitions? This is such a struggle for me. I have a thought in my head from who knows where and I’m supposed to not doubt it? My whole life I had this but awareness of it didn’t really strike until my adult years. Now at 30 I am beginning to trust my instincts are superior to my rational mind. But it makes me feel fear too b/c I know this isn’t how most people operate.

Artist: Nom Kinnear King.

Artist: Nom Kinnear King.

Just to be perfectly clear, I don’t consider myself psychic but I am highly intuitive and experience odd occurrences. The trick is to figure out what is fanciful thinking on my part and what is actually valuable knowledge? How do I remain sane and not totally question everything I “know”? The worst part is I have learned through my formal education that it’s important to investigate things, find out more about it, and so on. Yet, when I have intuitive knowledge I can’t ask someone to clarify b/c it’s inside my head! By now I feel I must sound bonkers to a lot of you. This is likely why my confidence has been poor in the past. I’ve trusted my intuition but have been unable to always verbalize it (comprehensively) so I sound like I haven’t lost my sanity.

Anyway, back to my original point-sort of. I am going to try worrying less over what

Artist: Nom Kinnear King

Artist: Nom Kinnear King

people think about me and if I sound nuts or not. I’m going to take more action so I am not merely filled with possibilities but actual results. It’s not about achieving anything spectacular. Those aspirations have left but I still want to follow my bliss wherever it may lead me. If I were in a different time and place I might like to be a wandering ascetic but, this being Canada in 2013, somehow I doubt that would work!

Where do your insights come from? Do you think the only trustworthy knowledge is from a book, authority, or even experience? Or are you like me and believe the only trustworthy knowledge comes from inside you?

©Natalya & Reflectionsonlifethusfar, 2012.


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What It’s Like to Have Three Near-Death Experiences

I have to share this because it reminded me so much of my 3 NDE I had-all at the age of 18. Being an Atheist from childhood I had no frame of reference in my belief system to consider my experiences as having anything to do with “God”. To me, God means a Universal Source, rather than a man with a white beard in the sky. Incidentally, I didn’t see “God” as a person during my suicide attempts, nor white pearly gates. Unsurprisingly, or perhaps surprisingly, I was even more convinced there was nothing beyond this life. Well fast forward a few years and an interesting thing had happened to me. Suddenly I was receiving messages before sleep that were full of worldly wisdom. No, I’m quite sure I wasn’t schizophrenic or psychotic at the time. It happened regularly before falling asleep, these transmissions of information to my brain. Everything transmitted to me was about the universal nature of our consciousness and other pearls of wisdom. You can be certain I kept my mouth shut on this as I didn’t fancy being locked up in a psych ward or on anti-psychotics. Anyhow, to make a long story short I went from being an Atheist to Agnostic, then finally Buddhist(Zen mainly). I don’t share my story often because I do have a fear of being medicated for my beliefs. Perhaps I am worrying over nothing but the experiences I had could very well be misconstrued to fit me into a state of pathology. Hopefully you don’t all think I’m totally ‘off my rocker’ now!

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4975/What-Its-Like-to-Have-3-NearDeath-Experiences.html

©Reflectionsonlifethusfar, 2012.


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Surefire Ways To Develop Your Intuition

I’m sharing a link here to an article that made me feel like I’m not the only ‘weirdo’ who hears voices and isn’t schizophrenic! Okay, not voices like auditory hallucinations-more internal voices guiding you. Alright I’m sure I’m not helping myself out much here but trust me on this you should read the article via the link. The woman who wrote it could have been me but I didn’t write it. Someone else did. Enough rambling, here: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6807/Surefire-Ways-to-Develop-Your-Intuition.html

Jewel - Intuition UK EU AUS

Jewel – Intuition UK EU AUS (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Nothing to do with my link apart from the Intuition title.


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Changes Are Coming…and some venting!

Personal Transformation

Do you ever feel like things are changing, either subtly or not so subtly, including yourself? This is how I feel right now. I’ve been cleaning and clearing out old stuff I don’t need anymore and noticing what I DO need. Purging one’s space can be quite enlightening as you discover things hidden under clutter. It’s sort of a discovery at both the literal and figurative level and it’s not always pleasant. Sometimes the feelings stirred up are not welcome ones yet they are there. I pull back from trying to control life and let it tell me what I need now. Yes, a little weird to some, but I trust my inner voice of wisdom(intuition)to guide me in the right direction. When ignored I tend to make poor decisions so I’m ignoring my rational, logical brain and going with what ‘feels right’. Why must every decision I make be based on logic? or seem well thought out? I have lived much of my life trying to explain every decision made to people as though they deserved an explanation. Now I am listening to what I want for myself and doing my best not to compromise needlessly. Of course I may have to make an undesirable decision if I really have to, barring that though, I am prepared to stand up for who I am unapologetic about it. It feels much better than trying to fit inside someone else’s idea of ‘normal’.

As some of you may know my mother’s 4th anniversary of her death passed on the 23rd. Amazingly my dad didn’t notice! He doesn’t normally pay attention to the calendar dates anyway but it did surprise me he didn’t notice, or at least never mentioned anything. We’ve been continuing to clear out excess items together and invariably my dad will make a comment about ‘what a good mother my mom was’ when seeing something of her’s. It’s something I used to listen to and want to scream over as it was not accurate. My mother was NOT a good mother most of the time. She was a good mother a little of the time but that doesn’t excuse all those times she was not. So when dad says “you had a good mother” I really bite my tongue if he only says it once and doesn’t start extolling all of her virtues only he was able to see. Otherwise, I’m to the point where I am more direct and ask him to change the topic. Luckily my dad hates conflict so usually changes the topic but it’s annoying since he knows my feelings toward her. I may have compassion for my mother and have forgiven her but I haven’t forgotten what sort of treatment I got from her. I can’t listen to someone say what a wonderful mother my mom was when they were not the one living with her. How can people say someone was a good parent if they never watched them or experienced the parenting? It just makes me annoyed. I don’t appreciate people saying good things about somebody simply because they’re uncomfortable saying negative things as the person is dead. Who came up with the rule you can’t talk ill of the dead anyhow? I have no trouble saying my two cents worth about dead people, positive or negative! Alright, sorry for ranting. Sometimes it just irks me and I need to vent!

I’ll try to be more positive in my next post! lol

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Psychic But Sane

Blog devoted to us highly sensitive, intuitive types who feel crazy because we’re able to predict events and

English: Storefront Psychic fortuneteller in D...

English: Storefront Psychic fortuneteller in Downtown Crossing, Boston. January 2009 photo by John Stephen Dwyer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

read people easily, etc. I’m not convinced after reading the blog I’m sane but heck I’ll try to believe it! I don’t think I’m psychic but this may be denial.


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Life As An Outsider( WARNING-I Ramble A Bit)

English: Carl Gustav Jung, full-length portrai...

English: Carl Gustav Jung, full-length portrait, standing in front of building in Burghölzi, Zurich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My whole life I’ve felt like I’ve been standing outside a circle looking in on people. Everyone else but a few ‘misfits’ like myself go about their lives feeling connected. We ‘misfits’ are outsiders though and don’t share the same connection so called ‘normal’ people do. To some extent I’ve developed a greater sense of connection to humanity while retaining a sense of still being ‘removed’ over the past few years, due mainly to learning the concept of compassion. Compassion is the practice of having loving-kindness toward yourself; which, in turn, becomes an emotion shared for others. As the compassion grows it spreads to people you do not even know, possibly even criminals, once you’ve been practicing it for awhile. The point I’m trying to make is despite having greater compassion for myself and others I still feel like an outsider.

What does it feel like being an outsider, you ask? Well in my life it has been a sense of never feeling I ‘fit in’ or could relate to people. I’d look at people and wonder why they were doing certain things, generally stupid things, and wonder if I was like that; typically the answer would be ‘no’. Now I by no means am stating I haven’t done stupid things in my life, because I most certainly have, but it’s generally been when I’ve tried to be ‘normal’ and failed.

Anytime I’ve ever attempted to be part of ‘the crowd’ has just not gone well. This is why I avoided cliques in school. Unfortunately, however, it often meant I was alone and excluded from other people’s activities. Maybe I should be grateful but I can’t help recalling my childhood and teen years where I literally had no true friends. In a sense I was ostracized, bullied through social exclusion. The friends I had were actually people I wish weren’t my friends but I felt so alone sometimes I couldn’t bring myself to shut them out. So I was still alone but not in such an obvious way.

Okay, the ‘pity party’ is over. Horray!.

Now I want to discuss the positive aspects of being an outsider. Yes, there actually are positive points about being an observer rather than a participant. For one thing I have an amazing ability to analyse people from watching them my whole life in the detached manner I have. Far from making me into a sociopath it has actually given me an understanding of people that most don’t get to experience without studying in a university for years on the topic, or moving to another culture. Apart from being able to analyse people well I have an awareness of what being a foreigner must be like, thus I have never had a ‘them’ and ‘us’ mentality because I know how it feels being ‘the odd one out’.

I watch people a lot observing their behaviours and patterns, often noting the absurdity that comes with it. I’m not smug about it though. Really, as I already said, I’m not a sociopath! What interests me are the fundamental motifs and archetypes present in human behaviour. It’s endlessly fascinating for me to be a spectator in the theatre of life. What’s not to love? I’m NEVER bored. Carl G. Jung’s theories have given me the concept of the ‘collective unconscious’. When I first learnt about it I felt dubious but reflecting on it a bit further lead me to feel there really is a collective unconscious in humans. I’ve experienced countless instances of becoming ‘aware’ of certain truths I never read about before but suddenly ‘knew’ somehow. A lot of times it happens when I’m meditating or before falling asleep. Yes, I admit some of you may think I’m a crackpot and that’s fine; everyone’s entitled to their opinion. It is possible I am just a sponge soaking it all in through the osmosis of intuition, but I don’t think so. Generally my intuitions don’t deposit pearls of wisdom in my lap like my experiencing of the collective unconscious does.

So does anyone else feel like an outsider? How have you dealt with it in your life? I always feel at a disadvantage when it comes to jobs where you’re expected to fit in with the corporation’s culture. They want you to relate to everyone in the same way but I can’t because I usually see the person behind the persona (social mask), not who they appear to be.

Well folks, sorry for my somewhat disjointed post today. I know it doesn’t flow quite as smoothly as it could but I just write it as it comes (and fix my grammar the best I can).

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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More Musings on Unemployment and Other Things…

Today as I sat minding my own business on a park bench an elderly man took it upon himself to give me some “advice” on what to do with my life-totally unsolicited, as advice often is. He proceeded to tell me about his grandchildren and what they were doing and how I should do something like they’re doing since they’re successful. I politely told him what I’d studied and how it hadn’t worked out for me but he seemed to be intent on imparting his “pearls of wisdom” to me as I sat on the park bench and he majestically stood leaning on his cane talking AT me. If he weren’t an elderly person I’d have told him where to take his advice but manners prohibited me from blasting him for his interference. Finally I had had enough and became more closed off with my responses. He seemed to have understood and thankfully moved on.

I shed some tears afterwards as he’d touched on a raw nerve of mine in bringing up the topic of doing. Why is it that people feel the NEED to give you advice if you’re not behaving in an expected manner? even when it happens to be harming no one? I’ve never been able to conform completely to society’s expectations for what constitutes success and the “appropriate” courses of action to be taken along the path of life.

Since childhood I pulled away from what others did and consistently followed my intuition to where it lead me. I was never popular and had a hard time keeping friends due to my independent nature. These days that hasn’t changed but I’m more acutely aware of others’ reactions than I was as a child and teenager. Others’ opinions of me impact me in direct correlation to how I’m feeling mood wise. If I’ve suffered for awhile with weak ego strength people’s opinions of me affect me more. On the other hand, if I’ve been keeping healthy mentally and my ego strength is strong people’s opinions count for very little to my overall mood. This is the reason for my fragility today while sitting on that park bench listening to the elderly man dispense his advice.

I’m reading Thomas Moore‘s book A Life At Work. It engages a part of your self often neglected by other popular self help type books: your soul. Oftentimes it seems risky talking about an esoteric thing like one’s soul but Moore does it with absolute grace and compassion. In so many books directed to the unemployed you find concrete tips on how to address survival needs; Moore goes beyond this to address that aspect of one’s self which seeks something more from life than a pay cheque.

Cover of "A Life at Work: The Joy of Disc...

Cover via Amazon

If you’re at all familiar with attempting to find yourself and what you are meant to do in life you’ll appreciate Thomas Moore’s book immensely. He is the author of many books, the few I’ve read have all touched me deeply. There is no shaming or superficial motivational advice in his books, only the meaningful. I am very grateful to be reading his book on work currently because it is just what I needed. I’m tired of being told by others what I “should” be doing. If I want to explore my soul and listen to my intuition instead of doing what everyone else does, why shouldn’t I?

So often people become uncomfortable witnessing nonconformity that they have to try and prevent it. If they were to allow it what would that say about their own actions? Nonconformity destabilizes people’s preconceived notions of what constitutes normality and acceptability. It causes discomfort and unease with the person choosing to go against the social grain. I think this is why I can’t simply be left in peace to discover my life’s calling without accusatory messages from not only family and friends, but strangers!

If you identify with anything I’ve said here I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below this post. Thanks for your interest.

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.