Monday, August 15, 2011

Unstuffed: The Incredible Fullness of Just Being

This is a guest post by Leslie Gibford Escoto, host of Tell a Story Online on Facebook. 

I have given in to that enticing voice of materialism many times. I have had the wants, the Igottahaveits, the letmeatits, the itisallaboutstuffs. Just come look at my home and you immediately can see that I’ve been there and my world is very stuffy. I have treasures, and heirlooms, and art, and music, and books, books, books and of course the proverbial junk…but good junk…important junk…the “ might need that some day junk.” My stuff are my old friends…they sit with me, never saying a word, but always eager to give me comfort when I need it. My big, puffy, reading chair upholstered in a Parisian street scene cuddles me when I am lost in another world seen through the eyes of a good writer. My angel collection, secreted in a curio case, but always watching over me and helping me through the dark times. My hand me down piano, sitting quietly but always reminding me of history and of those who have passed before me.

I love my stuff. I have always loved my stuff and I have actually, believe it or not, gathered more stuff as I have traveled my life journey. Memories of family, of friends, of times, of travels, of adventures, of history, of those incredibly special moments in one’s life that are to be treasured and kept forever, and having something material helps keep these memories alive. I always have had more than enough stuff to provide memories but it seemed enough was never enough and my stuff kept growing, and multiplying, and taking over my space, my life…but who needed a life when I had stuff?

But not so long ago, I came to a place on the path I was traveling that knocked me to my stuffy core…I had to say goodbye to much of my stuff. Through no fault of the stuff but through my own pursuit of material wealth, of keeping up appearances, of wanting to be part of the stuffy crowd I over indulged and the weight of all the stuff was too much to carry and it and I went crashing to the ground, all of us breaking into a million tiny pieces. I was devastated and immediately thought about what people would think of me…I let my stuff go…I betrayed my stuff…I was weak…I was a loser of stuff.

It took me a long time to peel myself off the floor of nothing. How can one go on without stuff? I asked myself. What will I do without things, without junk, just plain without? I agonized over this and hid for many a day, hid inside myself as I had no stuff behind which to hide. I cowered in shame that I had been such a horrible caretaker of all the stuff that had trusted me to keep them safe and secure in my home of things. I didn’t know where to turn, where to go…I needed to find more stuff to love and love me but where, how?

I searched high and low for an answer about getting over the devastating loss of stuff. I went to places where stuff can be found and asked about how to find peace without it. I roamed through areas of other peoples’ stuff, reaching out with hesitation and asking, “May I simply touch your stuff? I lost mine and I need to feel again.” I was now a stranger in a strange land…I had once lived there but now was alone in an empty wilderness of nothing.

And then, like a bolt of lightning I found an answer, a very simple answer…an answer I found in someone else’s stuff by an anonymous human being who understood my pain and loneliness about my stuff.

“There is something perverse about more than enough. When we have more, it is never enough. It is always somewhere out there, just out of reach. The more we acquire, the more elusive enough becomes.” Yes!!!!!! That was it. Stuff was a self-fulfilling prophecy…when we had it we wanted more of it and stuff bred stuff and more stuff and even more stuff. It is only when we lose our stuff that we know that we have enough, that the stuff we must cherish and protect and love is the stuff inside us, the stuff we are made of, the stuff of heroes, and patriots, and doers, and givers, and lovers.

So yes, I have accumulated more stuff and it still gives me pleasure and comfort, and I look around and admire my stuff and touch it, and care for it, and love it. But what I love more is me…the stuff from which I am made, my most prized possessions…my heart, spirit, and soul.

So here’s what I do now…I am not afraid of losing stuff, in fact, I find great joy in giving it away. I often pick out one favorite item of my stuff, I hold for a brief moment, enjoying it, loving it and then I give it away to someone who has little or no stuff. And my stuff now has a new home, will become a cherished possession, will be taken care of, kept safe, appreciated and fill another’s heart with the joy of stuff.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Man with Soul: Sid Hutter

These words of wisdom are offered by Sid Hutter, a frequent contributor to The Soulmate Experience on Facebook whose poetry and insights inspire and bless countless souls.

There are an infinite number of souls that share this world. Why then should we limit our soul to experience only one? Our souls, our spirits are not bound to the earth as are our bodies and they sing together, and to each other, in a soul full choral arrangement conducted by a Divine hand. Our souls, our spirits have only the limitations we give them. 

When one soul meets another soul, each one then meets the souls of the others that were experienced before them. This is how our souls are "nourished" and we begin to become soul full.

One should never place one's soul in "solitary confinement" ... myriad souls = myriad possibilities

It is beyond my belief and evolved into a certainty: We all have many soulmates in this vast universe. Our Souls are not bound to where we stand as our bodies are, but instead can reach and travel beyond the boundaries of the physical to embrace the myriad souls that share the same path as ours even if be for only a moment of our life.

"Life will bring you whatever circumstances are necessary for the evolution of your consciousness." (Eckhart Tolle) If one feels a mysterious experience or circumstance in their life between one's mind, body, heart and soul, perhaps it is our consciousness evolving. It happens whether we feel it or not, but it's more enjoyable when we recognize the "song" and dance to it.

Were it not for love,
My Soul would never have heard a song of loneliness,
My heart would never have been broken.
Were it not for love,
My soul would never have heard a song of passion,
My heart would never have been mended.
Were it not for love,
My soul would never have heard a song of despair,
My heart would never have tasted bitterness.
Were it not for love,
My soul would never have heard a song of forgiveness,
My heart would never have known the sweet taste of joy.
Were it not for love,
I would not wish nor yearn for love again.
Crying is a necessary process for the human condition to evolve, whether it be tears of sorrow or joy. To withhold one's tears is like building a dam in one's river of emotions... the dam does not have to "break down" or overflow to release the tears, but it will if one contains them for too long… Instead let us open the gates of tears to feel the peace of joy or grief being released.

The mountain looks different to the one who views it from the valley compared to view of the one that climbs it... ♥

So many of us, so many times, take our day to day lives for granted, and some days it may be difficult to embrace the gift that is life. When I am sad, grumpy or lonely, or find myself taking my moments for granted, if I will take the time to examine the blessings that exist in my life, I most often discover that "Gratitude defeats the magnitude of a negative attitude." And while I have my moments when I may resist applying the healing power of gratitude, it always "heals" if I apply it to the "wound."

When the soul speaks, hearts listen.

Through the cracks in our Soul's foundation, flowers of friendship have grown and bloomed here; each a different blossom, cultivated as we wish, to become a garden of Soul Friends. Let it grow.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Waiting for Cancer

This is a guest post (and feet!) by Megan Monique of if i were a rainbow, who inspires us regularly with the insights she shares along her own path of self-discovery and transformation.

It's almost been a month since I sat down with the infamous Mali Apple of The Soulmate Experience in the lovely town of San Rafael.

You see, many months prior to this visit Mali and I had began working together on my body image perception.

After both of us got carried away with our work (Mali with her book and me with my Soul Sessions) the conversation around my body got put on the back burner. As it had many other times in my past.

So here we are, Mali & I - sitting as this groovy little pizza joint called Pizza Orgasmica (are you turned on?).

Mali turns to me and says, 'okay - let's talk about this.' I knew right away what she meant because since the last time we were together face to face I had put on a few LBS and at that moment I felt truly disgusted with myself. I was wearing an over-sized T-shirt and jeans that were too tight. I didn't feel cute, sexy or in the least bit appealing to any human eye, especially my own.

As the conversation got rollin', Mali hit a rather strong chord. She said 'So if a doctor came up to you tomorrow and said, Megan - you have cancer and the ONLY way you are going to live through this is if you completely change the way you eat and move your body. Would you do it?' My answer was a loud, clear and sudden OF COURSE! Mali then asked me what I knew was coming, 'so what are you waiting for?'

My answer, cancer.

I let that thought settle in as Mali got really excited about the line we had just come to terms with, 'waiting for cancer'.

I mean, it applies to so many different things. Waiting to leave a bad marriage, waiting to lose weight, to eat healthier, to leave the job that's killing you, to travel the world, to experience financial freedom.

When you think about it, we all have our own version of how we are, in fact, Waiting For Cancer.

To be continued....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Man with Soul: Matthew Watson

These words of wisdom are from Matthew Watson, a frequent contributor to The Soulmate Experience on Facebook. Thank you, Matthew, for living and loving full out!

Every problem is an opportunity to try a new solution and to open our minds. The very act of thinking brings those things into being, so if all I think of are the problems, then problems and people that share that view come into my life. If, on the other hand, I think of all the wonderful gifts that are being given to me, I find myself surrounded by people that have answers and can help me find a new solution.

The universe has wonderful things for all of us, but as long as we hold on to things that don't work anymore we are unable to receive the gift. Some of the barriers that I had to let go of are fear, black and white thinking, feeling less than, and being a victim. The walls that I had built to protect myself ended up being a prison and I didn't like my cell mate at all (myself). Life is so much better outside of that self-built jail!

If I pick up a snake on monday and it bites me—well, all snakes don't bite, I just didn't know that this one does. But if I pick it up Tuesday and it bites me and I pick it up Wednesday and it bites me and Thursday and it bites me… at some point it is no longer the snake's fault: by now I know that every time I pick it up it will bite me. The solution? Stop picking it up!

If you don't forgive people that have hurt you then you live in the pain. Forgive, look for the lesson, and move on with a glad heart!!!

So many of us were wounded by early experiences, perhaps things our parents said or teachers and classmates. It is so easy to carry those hurts into adulthood and allow them to poison our relationships. Until I went back and looked at those things with an adult's eyes and an adult's thoughts I reacted to others with a child's fears and a child's coping skills. The journey from child to adult is not measured in years but rather in emotional growth. Today I am able to attract friends into my life that reaffirm the idea that I am a good person and I can accept myself for who I am.

When my wife left me because of my addiction it forced me to look at where my life was going, with the help of a 12 step group I now have 17 years clean.... It also allowed her and I to be friends. Thank goodness that she had the courage to leave me and the compassion to love herself, to embrace the lesson and learn from the pain.

After a couple of years of working on me I was able to make public amends to each of my former wives for the part I had played in the breakup of my marriages. My becoming friends with my ex's cleared away much of the emotional wreckage that had me blocked and I was able to let go of the pain. As a big bonus I have a wonderful relationship with my three children today…

I can't agree with the idea that pain and pleasure are opposites. Look at the smile of a new mother moments after giving birth, feel the pain of turning down a big slice of cheesecake so I might lose a pound or two… Pain is often part of the pleasure in life, I can't have one without the other—so when I try to avoid the pain I must often forgo the pleasure. We don't have to suffer though; as the Buddha taught, suffering is holding on to that which has already changed. In the past I have often held onto things that had stopped working for me and then suffered trying to hold onto something that was gone. If I find myself suffering today, I remind myself that this is a choice and I can change how I chose to feel. Dr Seuss said it best: "Don't cry because it's over, be happy that it was!"

I haven't giving up working on me and I haven't given up the dream of finding the soulmate meant for me!