Day dreams or how I found an inner teacher. February 2012. Geneva
“Well, now that we have seen each other,» said the unicorn «if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you.” Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There
I am looking at my previous notes. Metaphorical images of my different inner states, parts, come before my eyes. Parts that I suffer from, parts that I hate -heaviness like a mountain — I am also as light as a feather, having no control. Of course a strong wind exists in me somewhere, I do not feel it — I only experience its effect. But it must be there! I find a very heavy inner critic in me, a Void or Emptiness or Absence or something of this kind. I also know my ‘Inner Cow’, that is full of milk (good wishes for the world, hopes for peace, hopes for more understanding) and it suffers from not expressing itself.
But today, I want try to look at all of them with love and compassion; searching for their gifts and wisdom. Support myself…I remember when I participated in social citizen diplomacy projects, I learned something very valuable — appreciation and love are keys, the first step to understanding these alien things, people and ways. I will try to treat my inner figures as kindly as I treated my foreign friends, hoping to become friends with them.
I concentrate on the feeling of heaviness in my body. Allowing myself to feel it more instead of pushing it away. The image of a Mountain comes. I try to see its qualities in a loving way: heavy, solid, leisurely, changing, but standing sure and firm on its ground. It always has its place and its point of view. I go back to the heaviness, enjoy the bigness and firmness that comes with weight. Time feels different. In this state, it feels like there is no need to do anything. The Earth will take care of it all. I close my eyes and look at the mountain. As I am living this, the image of the mountain changes in my mind, transforms into a wide old tree with seeds.
I put aside this beautiful image and feeling to concentrate on another one: A feather in the wind… lightness and compliance. I start to move around my room and dance… moved, thrown, enjoying the flexibility of my joints. I notice all kinds of thoughts about other lands and faraway countries…Yes, I feel it! This state helps me to go beyond. I notice how my mind is empty, not planning, not logical, no self-importance, just moving and feeling. I close my eyes to look at this feather — now I understand it better. It is so light that no wind can break it. Perhaps it’s not a feather but a light tree seed- suggests my daily logical mind. Its task is to fly away fearlessly, believing that the wind will take it to some distant land where it will grow and develop, not among other trees, but alone on a sunny meadow. Yes, strong wind and the light nature of the seed can help if one is ready to stand out, be different, to get out of the stereotypical mind set.
Now, I want to concentrate on my Inner Critic. It definitely lacks good manners, but ‘It’ is learning…:-) It’s learning to express its great and sharp thoughts in a kinder way. It’s a pretty clever, smart one, I have to admit.
Now the hard one — The Wind of my life. I think the Wind is freedom. The force is so powerful, mighty, mystical and unpredictable from the point of view of the seed or the feather or the person… I start making powerful movements with my hands, running around my room, throwing things, playing with my pillows, trying to feel my windy energy deeply and enjoying its strength.
Wind: “One should learn to take me into account.”
I think: It has a message! I let myself run around the room some more…
Wind: “Xenia, do not fight me. There is no point. I will teach you to be clever and sober and aware if you wish.”
I stop moving… get back to my normal “me state”.
Xenia: “Oh, I see! Wind, you force us to learn to sail! So we can go places. Find unknowns! If we want. Thanks!”
Cow not milked. I suspect it will be happy for now if I participate in some good social project. But I still have a question about my milk – natural talent. What is it? I guess it will just show itself when I start doing something. Cow is full of love…
Cow: “I know one person lacking love! Xenia!”
Xenia: “I want your milk dear Cow! It’s Me.”
Emptiness. Too many concepts have flooded the “idea of emptiness” in the modern world. It became an object of fashion. But what is it for me? I look at the empty bottle that stands on my table. How is it to be empty? Empty…has nothing inside…just observes things passing through. I feel astonished. Yes! That’s it. All passes by. Emptiness can just be, even when things are wandering around, it can forget everything and let them wander through again. Oh! I just understood something now. Its nature is to notice things passing by. It takes in but does not attach itself. Notices and let’s go! Wow! I feel it. Just noticing…that’s how I recognize my experience! I need to practice this more.
I come back to my normal state after this fun insight and start to fantasize, putting all my experiences of different parts described above into a bigger picture. Like a puzzle, how do they all connect? I think the Wind likes Emptiness, it feels free there. The Wind also likes hollows in trees, it sings there. Visual images and sounds of this beauty start coming to my mind. I do not understand their meaning, but these visions relax me. I start feeling inner peace. I walk around my room noticing this pleasure inside, and suddenly hear my Critical Voice: “This is fun but not useful! What are you going to do with all these parts of you?”
Yes, how do I bring these parts together in me? They do not seem to conflict but how can they really unite?
I decide to switch back to movement. My head is too stuck in an everyday way of thinking and analyzing; I wish for creative answers, something out of the box. I start moving my body and arms just feeling them from the inside. My body becomes heavy like a tree. My arms become light like seeds; my eyes close and I give in to something stronger inside — as if I had sails. I’m moving in a strange dance while discovering its nature…
Freedom and strength… Direction comes from inside. I am continuing this experiment, feeling all of it in my body until understanding comes naturally. I am like a Bird. Bird! I am a bird! I let myself fly around my room for a few minutes, pretending to look at the earth and little Xenia from the sky.
Bird: “Are you looking for your vocation and purpose? Don’t look for it in the future, don’t dream about the unreachable.” strangely said the bird. “Something that you are doing ALREADY can become the bread for your soul. Just keep doing it, diligently, give it more energy and time. Grow, devote yourself to THE love that you already possess. You don’t need to SEARCH anymore. But on the other hand, if the wind snatches you – you know what to do.”
The Critic thrust his hands in his pockets, frowned, but stepped aside.
I stepped aside, back to my normal identity to hear the bird’s answers and ask more questions.
Xenia: “So what else do I like, except for people? What do I do? Study psychology, but I do not want to become a therapist! That’s the problem! What do I study for? Just to spend my time and money?”
Bird: “Study, just study! Not from seminar to seminar, but every day. Organize additional seminars, lots of them, as many as you need to feel FILLED. I see how much you’re in love with psychology. Give yourself a chance to attend seminars in different countries — don’t stay stuck in just one place. Devote yourself to studying, and how you will use it — we’ll decide later on.”
Xenia: “Got it! Another puzzling topic — I was invited to host a show at a small new TV channel in Moscow where I interviewed spiritual teachers. This was incredible; I didn’t have to look into the camera and could communicate with great people, asking them questions, feeling them. What do you think?”
Bird: “Great! You should try once to look right into the camera. Take a closer look at it, make friends… You can also propose your own projects and ideas to the TV people. Suggest to them for example making shows about psychotherapy. So that not only conversations about development would be shown, but also real practical applications. They won’t agree immediately, but you do plant the seeds.”
Xenia: “I own a wellness center in Moscow that has a vision — to bring a part of my favorite place on earth which is San Francisco to Russia. I bought this place 5 years ago, designed it and worked there. It’s great and beautiful, it makes you feel calm and tranquil. For the moment, because I am not conducting seminars there, I have leased it to my colleagues, psychologists. Nevertheless, I still spend a lot of money on it every month, though I am not working there myself. Absurd!”
Bird: “You have created a place and you feel it’s empty and that you have to fill it; ‘emptiness’, the hollow where the wind is singing. Don’t think how you should fill it; let it fill on its own. Let people who are beautiful, kind and professional psychologists, masters and apprentices come there. Give your space its freedom and own life. Lease it to them for the sum that they are able to pay. This is your Cow. Be generous, be happy and grateful that you can offer likeminded people an opportunity to support the lives of others. But don’t tell them it’s your charity. They should be respected and cherished for the rent they pay and for their hard work. You do not support them personally, but you support the common vision.”
Xenia: “That’s it!”
Bird: “I think that’s enough for today Don’t forget about healthy food and movement! Your body wants to be happy as well. We shall also learn this…by loving it.”
Xenia: “Oh No!!!!”
Personal observation: In this chapter, I realized that I am not only the Learner but also that I have a very strong and wise Teacher inside me.
So, I can learn not only from seminar to seminar, but also on a daily basis, getting in touch with that part of me that appeared as a bird this time. And how do I get in touch with it again? Here is a small 20 min exercise that I just created:
- I look at the large bird picture on my computer screen. And I notice how having a big strong body does not conflict with the lightness of it.
- I “shape shift” into the spirit of the bird. I feel my strength, feel how wind supports my wings. I let my mind be altered by this this sense of flight, enjoy my body weight, muscular power and freedom. I move like a bird until I feel congruent with its movement.
- I look at myself from the bird’s perspective and make a suggestion on how to approach various daily issues.
It’s good to have this exercise as a daily practice. Solving everyday tasks, will give me a feeling of inner support and strength in further understanding who I am.