Archive for feelings

Hearts of Japan

Posted in Big Questions, Feelings, Men with tags , , , , , on March 15, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are our hearts for?

In the recent posts “Shootings Heart Opening” and “A Mans Peace of Mind” I’ve been pondering this very question. As a man with one that was shattered very early I’ve been genuinely and tragically clueless regarding this question. Even after many therapies and attending various workshops over the years, including events boldly titled Opening the Heart, it’s still been a tough go for me, and therefore for those that I’d come in contact with as well.

But something is happening now on our planet. Do you feel and experience it? There are energies available, circumstances happening , old orders and paradigms are crumbling. A phenomenal network of teachers and teachings are coming forward at precisely this time, when they are so needed to assist in the creation of a new Earth.

More and more people are awakening from the dream of materialism. Certainly we need materials of various sorts to live, but do we need to run our lives, constantly striving for success and more stuff? What happens when we trust in the inherent sense that there is enough, that we are enough? Slowing down and removing ourselves, in whatever fashion that we can from faulty dreams, allows us to witness a larger perspective. And allows us space to feel into our hearts.

Events happening rapidly on our glorious globe provide us with the opportunity to truly recognize what is important. Most of us at any given time are not directly effected, but how about indirectly? Do you feel when others are suffering?—A sick neighbor? A homeless person? People struggling to put food on the table? People with no table? With the rise in different technologies, we can see and bear witness to the struggles of our fellow humans. Extreme difficulties could be happening for us at any time. None of us are immune—each moment, each breath is a sacred gift. How wisely do we use them?

Recently, at the end of a post I wrote—

“When will we awaken to our inherent birthright as glorious human beings, inhabiting an awe inspiring planet with other sentient beings, all of these animals, plants and minerals that share this place with us. When will we awaken to love?……..On this day I was one man deeply touched and less numbed. I am not going back.”

This “not going back“— is a difficult feat. As my heart has begun to thaw and open, I now feel and understand so much more. And these days—Feeling into Japan and crying. Why Japan? I certainly have a connection to Japan. My studies of architecture, ceramics and gardening have always brought me toward Japan. My body resonates with these ancient arts from their perspective. So is this why I feel into this tragedy more deeply now? Perhaps.

But really, it’s about the functioning of my heart. It is not only being battered open, but gently too with equal parts of—my direct intentionality—and grace. Grace, that force that can just appear before us if we can recognize and accept its presence. And then open to it.

I can see why keeping our heart closed serves some functions, not very noble ones granted, but ones that keep the day to day minutia going. These days I am tired, napping and feeling the extent of what it must be like for our fellow human beings coping with tragic calamity. This napping has nothing to do with “being asleep” and numb, but it’s about recharging and releasing stressors from everywhere.

And at times I’m now wondering how and why I didn’t feel Oklahoma City, Columbine, Indonesia, New Orleans, Haiti, Chile and countless others. Not feeling these didn’t bring me happiness or connection. Being numb to the events that effect our brethren didn’t make my life any more fulfilled, didn’t bring me any closer to those right next to me.

Today—sharing my anguish actually does open doors that can possibly lead to deeper connection, resonance and compassion with others. Isn’t this what we all need and deep down long for?

May we seize this moment, feel our feelings, and send whatever psychic energy we are capable of to all those in need. This collective planetary awakening is transforming our hearts and our species. We are one, whether the waves of tsunami, revolution, or other calamities are on our doorstop or not.

 

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Mania, Depression or Pristine Balance?……..WINTER!

Posted in Feelings with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

 

Winter.

What does this word mean to you? How do you feel when you say it and experience it?

Where I live, winter has been thrilling us for four months now and there is absolutely no end to the snow’s beauty bathing us in splendor. We’ve been living on snow and will be for at least two more months. My delight with this reality hasn’t been with me every winter though. And the other day it dawned on me that this experience of breathtaking beauty and complete snow cover is actually quite rare. Being within it for this long, I forget that this isn’t the case for most.

Where we live can have a tremendous influence upon how we view winter. Spending a dozen or so winters on the coast of Maine felt brutal at times, while arriving in Denver and bellowing out, “there’s no winter here, it’s 50 and sunny most of the time” felt great in that moment. Seattle’s winter seemed absurd to me and, well, Crested Butte’s—oh my god, glorious.

But does the weather really dictate my state of euphoria or normality or even depression? What other factors play a part in this?

Being a gardener and food grower brought me in close relationship to the seasons. In the regions where I have predominately resided, winter was a time of going within, resting, moving slower, going to bed earlier, getting up later—generally using the suns energy to dictate the pace of living. A time of greater reflection, stillness and conserving of personal resources. Lots of soups, root vegetables and potlucks. And yes, sometimes it was so darn cold, bleak and grey that depression certainly showed its face. But even this usually was a marker for not being in the actual flow of reality, and wishing for it to be different, instead of allowing what was, to just be. The standard US way of living does not take the “inner” possibilities of winter into account. For most unfortunatelyit is still, go, go, go regardless of the fact that the Earth’s nature is moving through cycles, why aren’t we?

And here, in Colorado, in a small resort ski town? Many years ago upon arriving here it became apparent that people living and visiting here actually chose to be here. Snow, cold, altitude, all of it. And what a difference this makes, the consciously choosing part. Seemingly happy people basking in the glory of it all. What a contrast from northeastern coastal regions where what snow comes is usually immediately followed by rain, which allowed the snow to quickly become ice, and therefore wasn’t recreationally fun anymore, and generally a hindrance.

So while a ski town on the surface appears to be the real deal of winter, it actually possesses some attributes that the populace isn’t as adept at navigating—slowing down, going within, refueling personal reserves. There is a level of mania present that is heightened by endorphins, the altitude, and can also be drug enhanced, whether that’s alcohol, caffeine, sugar or even the big ones. The excitement level is so high that alternately burnout and euphoria replace deep personal contact for many, whether with each other or the greater non-snow based cosmos. The idea of basking within winter without that go, recreate, go mentality doesn’t seem to be highly regarded.

It is certainly evident that operating counter to any given predominant cultural paradigm is fraught with challenges. How pervasive is the idea of the American dream after all— or not adjusting the workday to the actuality of the seasons—or just not going within at all for some? Bucking any trend takes a toll, but it’s worth it by developing a stronger, healthier core that can then traverse many obstacles.

Can we truly relate to the winter of our chosen region? And shouldn’t this relating look radically different depending upon latitude or altitude—thereby influencing attitude?

What is winter like in your locale? How do you relate to this season of darkness and then the growing light?

 

 

 

“Notions” of Friendliness

Posted in Feelings, Not your normal letter to the editor with tags , , , on February 4, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

(Originally posted on a separate page earlier in the week, now moved to it’s own category.)

”Do you think Crested Butte is a friendly place?” This was a question that a friend asked me point blank and out of the blue, with no preamble a few weeks after my return to this wonderful place. And now, in the most recent “notion” of Mr. Norton, he also seems to be asking if friendliness is a trait that is perceived by those who live and visit here? These questions of openness are crucial, not just because of the economic benefits, but also because they provide the backbone for one of the spiritual imperatives of our times, as we move away from a culture of “my, me, mine” toward one of “we, all of us, and ours“.

While attempting to answer my buddy I stuttered, stammered and dawdled as my mind raced through a myriad of experiences, many that were very wonderful and extremely generous, and equally many that were less than stellar. I sheepishly admitted that “no, I don’t think it is.” Ouch.

But doesn’t this statement of mine to my friend really reveal at least as much or more about me, than it does this place, or the “other“. Even as those words were coming out of my mouth, a larger question appeared before my eyes–“Am I a friendly person?” Isn’t this the more important question? And if I were being brutally honest in answering I’d have to admit that for much of my life, No I haven’t been. And if I haven‘t experienced myself as friendly, wouldn’t this then color all of my other perceptions?

While sympathizing with Mr. Norton’s butterflies for the business community, I am led to ask, “Are there motives for being, or attempting to be, friendly?” Is the desire for money or the attempt to sell something the driving force behind that smile? Or does it derive from our intrinsic connection to the entire human race and sharing the wonders of our inner life?

These considerations were never near the forefront of consciousness for most of my life. Struggling to survive horrific conditions as a youngster led to a withdrawn struggle to survive in adulthood, insular, shut down, closed hearted; certainly not the prerequisites for friendliness. It only takes a small willingness to let go of and heal the past to then begin to see the vastness of the splendor all around us. Small steps become larger.

What would happen if our society and culture began to let go of the hoarding, greed and unsustainable entitlements of all flavors? What if gossip or bad-mouthing another never occurred again? Would we then outgrow our cultural adolescence? Wouldn’t a new human emerge, one that was capable of being in the moment, recognizing everyone before us, whether we knew them or not, as a sacred being, deserving of our attention, care and love? Wouldn’t that be friendly?

We are living amidst a great spiritual and cultural transformation, while also living within this glorious place. These lands exude great power. While immersing ourselves in this place, each of us can also search within our own being to cultivate an awareness of connection, thereby recognizing our opening and blossoming hearts. No one will remember “rudeness”. Friendliness, compassion, joy and ease will flow naturally.

May it be so.

Shootings Heart Opening

Posted in Big Questions, Feelings, Men with tags , , , , on January 30, 2011 by matthewstruth

On a typical day in this winter paradise, thoughts and feelings of mine are usually focused towards the majestic knee buckling beauty of ethereal lighting upon rugged peaks, and basking with delight at my husky’s exuberance at being in her primal element. But on this day, while checking email before heading out into the splendor, there it was, highlighted, at the top of the page, “Arizona Congresswoman Shot”.

My body went into a shock that I haven’t felt in quite this way before. I cried, and I ached while clicking to the appropriate page. My instantaneous inner reactions to these few words told me that this was a moment of grave importance and that no matter what the motive was behind this, forces at work in our culture had laid the groundwork for this tragedy long ago.

My shaking and tears continued as the news of the massacre became more apparent. So many humans gunned down. A man shooting a woman. A man shooting a member of Congress. A man shooting, randomly, dozens of human beings, terrorizing what in this country has become our misguided civic symbol, a shopping center. As initial reports of the congress woman’s death emerged I broke down even further with deep anguish for the fate of our culture and world.

What was it about this particular violent act that penetrated my usual armor of numbness? Why am I crying now, when there have been oh so many violent crimes committed by governments and individuals that left me unfazed? How come I didn’t weep and break down over the tragedy’s of natural disasters that have effected hundreds of thousands of people? Why haven’t I become enraged at the heinous activities of corporations and some businesses that are raping our world? And why have I done virtually nothing to stop any of this?

So why was this day different? There could be so many reasons. I know that on this day the two words “congress” and “woman” had an enormous impact on me, as did the third “Arizona“. While I am generally not a huge fan of government activities, witnessing a member of our government being potentially assassinated got through my defenses of non-feeling. I was just a toddler and then a child straight jacketed in a catholic school uniform when black and white leaders of our country were slaughtered. Playing with my Tonka trucks didn’t become interrupted by these crimes, though my manic depressive mother’s howling at being in love with JFK, and not us, certainly contributed to my innocent childs heart closing down.

Could it be that this was my first experience of attempted assassination in my country. But Reagan was shot and I felt nothing. Others world leaders have been shot and killed and I felt nothing. People are being killed by our government every day and I generally feel nothing. People are murdered every day and still I feel nothing. How many of us allow these events to penetrate our tightly constructed lives?

Why was this day different? Maybe it’s that this was a member of our government who was a woman, being brutally attacked by a man. How long have these supremely barbaric attacks been going on? For thousands of years men have been bludgeoning women and our planet to death. What would happen if I, we, all men, would stop and feel this? We have been killing and tormenting those that bring life into existence. When will we stop? When will we kneel on the ground, bow down and stop? When will we cry and cry for our perpetrated atrocities upon those who are magnificent beings of wonder?

This day was different because I felt. My heart opened and hurt. My body and soul cried tears of rage, fear, deep sadness, and love. Love for a woman, love for a gathering of human beings brutally attacked, and love for a man much like my deceased, mentally ill brother, enveloped in the deepest anguish. Why aren’t we loving those among us who are troubled and disturbed? Why aren’t WE troubled and disturbed? When will we awaken to our inherent birthright as glorious human beings, inhabiting an awe inspiring planet with other sentient beings, all of these animals, plants and minerals that share this place with us. When will we awaken to love?

On this day I was one man deeply touched and less numbed. I am not going back.