Turn Towards the Problem

This article was sent to my mailbox, and I found it interesting....so though I didn’t write it, I did comment after most lines.


Turn Toward the Problem
By Leo Babauta

Much of our lives is spent trying to ignore problems, not wanting to deal with them, procrastinating.

Bills are pushed to the side to deal with later.  (* I have a bill laying on my desk right now, that I keep looking past. No clue why. Avoiding, though I have the money.)

People we have troubles with are avoided. (* I have 3 of them in my life right now. Don’t want to deal with them and their issues, so I avoid them.)

Work we don’t want to do is put off while we browse the Internet. (*Browsing the internet while I’m supposed to be working is how I found this article.)

The diet is put off until tomorrow as we eat more junk. (*Old Dawn, not current Dawn.)

Our insecurities are not admitted because we don’t want to think about them. (*I don’t have any insecurities that I will admit to.)

This kind of avoidance, unfortunately, doesn’t work. We put these things off and the problems only fester and grow worse. Bills become late and interest racks up and eventually we’ll have to deal with the bills, but they’ll be much worse than if we’d only dealt with them immediately. Our work becomes late, our waistlines become bigger, our insecurities grow.

Not facing our problems isn’t the solution. (*On the surface we’ve convinced ourselves it works.)

Instead, let’s turn toward our problems. (*My shadows knees are knocking.)

This helped me when I was in debt and trying to avoid thinking about it — when I turned toward the debt, as scary as that was, I was able to deal with it. (*Currently attempting to do that.)

It helped me deal with clutter, which is another form of avoidance. Clutter is about putting off dealing with items by putting them aside, and then they pile on top of each other, waiting to be dealt with. (*I’m better with clutter, but my husband would disagree.)

Turning toward my weight issues allowed me to get healthier. (*This is what I’m working on now.)

Turning toward the problem of killing animals for the pleasure of food allowed me to change to a more compassionate vegan diet. (*I still like meat, don’t know that this will ever change. Not sure if that’s unfortunate or not.)

Turning toward my sedentary lifestyle helped me to get more active. (*I am here as well, and reaping fabulous results.)

It has helped my work, my relationships, my inner peace. (*Yes. Yes. And Yes.)

Turning toward a problem is scary as hell. That’s why we avoid it. But you can overcome that fear and do it anyway. You can look the problem directly in the face and open yourself up to it. Only then can you deal with it, and see that it’s not as scary as you think. Because by turning away from the problem, we give it power, and the fear of it rules our lives. (*Shadow gains power, until we turn the light on it.)

Let’s take away that power, and shine a little light on the problem. (*Huh, exactly what I just said.)

Allow ourselves to feel the pain, to feel the fear and still take action. (*This can be hard.)

To begin the healing. (*A long journey.)

To begin to create something new and amazing from the ills that have been hiding in the dark. (*This is the exciting part.)

Turn toward the problem and you turn it into something beautiful.



Over the weekend, it was spoken to me that Dan and i are bodhisattva's. Then the person asked me if I knew what that was. I told him I did and 'thank you'. 

That simple statement impacted me profoundly and the idea has been stuck in my head. i know we help people, and I know that I did a 'share' at the open sangha about the bodhisattva vow and what is involved. 

I was concerned when my husband brought up the idea of taking the Bodhisattva vow a couple of years ago. Though, I wish he had finished the conversation instead of shutting me out when I doubted that taking the Bodhisattva vow was a wise step. I mean, how can you take a vow to help absolutely everyone that comes to you? 

This word has resenated with me for a long time though. And actually, it's a very scary step. To always put someone before yourself, can be very challenging. We have run across people that need more help than we can possibly give them. How do you account for this? We have people that need our assistance so much so, that it becomes an addiction. 

So, I read the following article by Chogram Trungpa (http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3001) .....and he answers a couple of these questions and validates a couple of thoughts of mine. 

Taking the bodhisattva vow implies that instead of holding our own individual territory and defending it tooth and nail, we become open to the world that we are living in.  * Scary *

It means we are willing to take on greater responsibility, immense responsibility. * I feel I already do this, so not so scary *

Real commitment based on the realization of the suffering and confusion of oneself and others. * Resonates deeply *

We are not going to be instigators of further chaos and misery * Makes perfect sense *

No longer try to build up our grandiosity, by sharing little truths to build credentials * Humble *

Giving up privacy and developing a sense of greater vision * This we are already good at. i’ve always believed that my story happened for a reason. So, I share. *

Contribute something to the world through our own gentleness * Yes *

****and there is more in the article that i want to contemplate.

The word....the feeling....to walk the same path as Kwan Yin.....I know that I will probably never get to that level of enlightenment. I don’t know that my goal is enlightenment or ever has been. My goal is to help others in the way that i can. That is sharing my story, sharing tools that have helped me to help others. Compassion and love.

It will still be hard for me at times, I’m sure. My guess is that is like some of the other decisions that i’ve made over the years. And sometimes they involve going back to step one and having the intention to follow the path of the healer.

Is the path of the Bodhisattva the illuminated me that came to me in the meditation? I don’t know....but I’m sure I’ll be thinking about that for awhile.

Quest of the Holy Grail

i had a hard time finding something to do over the weekend. Dan was going to be away, and though the boyfriend would finally be back in town after being gone for a month, he’d be spending it with his wife, obviously. That’s what i wanted to do. I wanted to spend the weekend cuddling someone special to me. But, it wasn’t possible. So, everything else felt flat.

i could go shopping, i could stay home and clean, i could go to a festival. ......nothing felt right. Then, someone mentioned that GLEE (Great lakes energy exchange) was meeting over the weekend and they had someone leading a guided meditation, titled Quest of the Holy Grail. That felt like something that would feed my soul. That felt like something worth doing.

For me, i need something deep and dark to put me back into the pit again so that i can do some inner work. For those that are new, i can see why they would be concerned where this meditation would take them. Everything they are dealing with is still very raw. Mine isn’t raw anymore. Most of that stuff has been dealt with over the last 15 years. The stuff is left is buried deep. It’s buried deep but still effects me to this day. So, i need a tool that can get that deep into my psyche and pry it out. Shock it out. Demand that it show its face.

This quest was a 4 hour meditation, that took place as 4 separate 45 minute meditations. There were about 4 people that ended up walking out. I really wish they had stayed. Yes the spots they walked out of were tough, but that means that they left with that vision in their head. If they had waited a little longer, he would have walked them through something that would have brought the out of the anxiety.

i hit a couple of rough moments, but it’s stuff that i have to look at. Did i find the grail? i don’t know. It’s not a specific thing. or to me, it’s about finding and our inner light. it’s having that aha moment of knowing that i am a Goddess. There were a couple of moments where i got more understanding of why i am like i am. Why i’m a deep thinker instead of a surface life participator. Why i am a deep lover. Why i shy away from surface people. Why i shy away from pretenders. Why i stay away from people that gossip about others. Why i am quiet. Why i am full of anger.

i’m still processing.....and i’m sure i will be processing for awhile.....