Monday, May 01, 2017


Still working on this art work....See all those trinities?  

I have talked about control here and fair warning... I'm not done with that subject.
By a loooong shot.
I have (mostly) accepted that control often plays a pivotal role in my life
but I'm not often aware of the choice in the moment
that perpetuates my control freakery.

So much of my reactions don't feel like choice-
they feel like obvious, foregone conclusions.
I'm often operating on auto-pilot-
my subconscious makes decisions without me stopping to say...
WAIT-is this what I really want to do as I move forward?
Is this the same as before or a change?
Is the choice I'm making in alignment with my values or just able to fit into the
 script/schedule/timeline that was already existing?
It's difficult...and inefficient.

Many teachers discuss the need for body, mind, spirit connection.
My religion is built around the Trinity as a pivotal way of understanding the nature of God.
We are made in God's image and we often exhibit that image through our own trinity of Mind, Body, and Spirit.
Even though I have had this idea floating around in my world my entire life...I didn't really get it until I started to understand myself better.
My girl Glennon is the one who has brought this home for me the most clearly
in her book Love Warrior.

This book has done so much for me...I have an extra copy I can loan you if you're local.

There's a common theme in my life that I can intellectually understand something 
but not really know how to utilize it in my daily life.
I need to wade in, wallow around in an idea before I can make it mine.
I have to try it out...usually multiple times and in different ways before I really get it.
I need to read books, listen to first hand accounts, watch videos or other people, see examples.  
Not just one of these...usually all of these.
I am not exaggerating here...
To learn something new, 
particularly something that relates to physical mechanics, 
will take me five times longer than the average person.
My brain does not communicate well with my heart or my body.

Case in point:  Riding a Bike

The internet is a magical thing...My bike rides again!

When I was in first grade, I had the coolest strawberry shortcake bike.  It had streamers, a cool little plastic basket in front and a banana seat.  For a while I felt incredibly cosmopolitan on this bike.  However, it was on training wheels and by second grade, that became somewhat inconvenient (and embarrassing).  I was determined to learn to ride that bike without training wheels.  I was also terrified and uncoordinated.  It took me 3 solid weeks of watching others, interviewing experts (my brother), and the skins of all my knees.
In the end, I learned to ride that sucker without the training wheels.
I am terrifyingly determined when I set my mind to something.
However...three weeks is a loooong time to try to learn something basic.
I needed every second of that time.

After several years, I moved onto a new bike.
Eventually I could do wheelies and some tricks.
I was never the best bike rider in my little family crew but I could hold my own.
This is the story of me with physical things.
Intellectually I understand the dynamic of motion and balance
but my heart and my body are not easily taught how to do those tricks.
Often, my heart and my body are flat out rebelling the whole time -stubbornly insisting they just don't understand what I need...can't we just go back to what we KNOW how to do?

I can tell a hundred stories like this.  This is the story of me.
Brain leads the way.
Everything non-intellectual is incredibly hard.
Brain is clearly in charge-so why isn't her leadership working?
Like the uber-nerd I am...
I decided to more fully articulate each of the cast of characters that are operating in this story (Brain, Body and Heart).

Three disparate things that also don't seem to belong together...but do.

 Brain (Mind)

Brain at this point has a mind of her own-it's pretty hard to get her to listen to anyone else.
She's been running this show for over four decades after an emergency election put her in charge during a time of crisis. 
What was supposed to be a temporary post has turned into a career.
She's really frigging smart
and also kind of a bossy-kins.
Brain cares MOST about efficiency and expediency
and she cares LEAST about Heart-growing things.
Brain is somewhat pathological about cutting out the feelings.
On her top ten checklist for daily action is a line called 'Avoid all the Heart things'
the breaking, the growing, the vague ambiguous feeling things...
they are soooo inefficient and messy.


Body has no discernible voice.
The jury is still out about whether Body stopped speaking,
speaks a dialect so different that it is indecipherable,
or whether Brain and Heart intentionally stopped listening.
Whatever the source for the silence,  all 3 have been very clear
 that Body doesn't get a say in what happens around here.
Body is supposed to just keep going-
without care or nurture.
Brain understands that Body needs basic care (food, shelter, sleep)
but to tell the truth, she's a little frustrated at how needy Body seems to be.
Heart views Body as a vehicle to do good works outside in the world...
not as a source for personal growth and expansion.
On the occasions that Body falls completely apart,
Brain and Heart will cobble together a bare-bones plan
to get Body moving again.
It works for a time but Body is not valued by the other two as a significant contributor.

Heart (Spirit)

Heart is nurture and compassion.
Heart is forgiveness and expansion.
Heart is compelled to reach out to anyone hurting and offer them ease.
Heart cannot experience something and ignore the feelings that come along.
Heart is also fragile and precious.
In the beginning, the other two learned how painful Heart's breaking can be
so everyone resolved to keep Heart safe.
The cost of safety has proven high.
Heart has been suffocating in safety for quite a while now.
Heart wants to heal injury and slay dragons!
Heart wants to live it up and dance to that song.
Heart is oblivious to the 'how' or the 'why'.
Logic is not part of Heart's repertoire.

Birthday presents can also be messages from God

Once I decided to examine each of these aspects separately, their individual voices came to life.  These are aspects of why couldn't I hear them?
It seems that I've been successfully compartmentalizing them for years.
Somewhere along the way, I decided that I could split them, 
that I could place value on any one of them and ignore the rest.

What is compartmentalization?

Every good story needs a cast of characters and a conflict that needs to be overcome.
In this story, a rebellion has been fomenting for quite some time.
The status quo is no longer providing the desired outcome.
The system that was so lovingly created in a time of terrible crisis is not a good strategy for a peaceful time.

Body has been erratic, unpredictable and can no longer pretend to thrive in an environment that refuses to accept her needs.  In fact, Body has somehow managed to provide a list of demands and refuses to shut up about them.   
Here they are:
Stop eating wheat! Seriously.  Not a bite.
No more alcohol or sugar!
 Get at least 8 hours of sleep EVERY NIGHT!
Have some fun in every day!  Sing, dance, run, sweat until you're tired

vitamins are needed-as is love.
Love and protect and nurture this Body.
Appreciate these gifts.
Use that intellect to support this entity.
It's a steep order and not something easily adjusted to after years of neglect and misuse.
But Body is not having it-she's put up with being last for too long.

Heart is bored and lonely-stifled in the layers of protection, trying anything just to FEEL.
She has finally noticed the demands of Body and she is on board that train.
She wants to feel and the vessel for those feelings is often the Body.
Two years ago, in spite of all of her protections...
she shattered anyway.
The reckoning was terrible.  Awful.  Annihilating.
And amazing.
She wants to grow and shatter again.
That is actually her purpose and she will not go back to playing small.
Not ever.

Brain was once the wise, problem solver but somehow along the way turned into an ego-maniac who alienated the skills and viewpoints that she needed to succeed.
She spent a few years trying to convince everyone that everything was FINE but even she has conceded that this political appointment has outlasted it's usefulness.
In fact, Brain has lately come to understand how much she resented being the one in charge.
Life at the top was lonely.
Having all three in the drivers seat feels cramped sometimes
but when all three are driving, the destination is so much juicier....

This is an oldie...she just lost the training wheels.  Go baby, GO!

I've recently taken up bike riding again because my daughter has learned to ride.
We can all ride together now as a family and that is super fun.
I kind of already know how to ride a bike
but I haven't ridden one consistently in so long
that I might as well have forgotten it all.
It has taken me weeks to get back to feeling comfortable 
taking turns or riding down hills without freaking out.

This weekend as I went down a large hill....
Brain was going through the checklists...are we balanced?  Can we make that turn? Are there cars or children in the way?
About a quarter way down the hill, 
Heart and Body gently asked Brain to lay off the brakes.
Brain said...are we sure?
Everyone else agreed.
So Brain let go.

Elephant Journal so often has the words....
I flew down that hill in a rush of Hallelujah.
Made possible by all three aspects on board for the ride.

 I am in no way saying that I have achieved enlightenment.
I do not have the road map defined to change myself from someone 
who believes that control is valuable and necessary to someone
who can roll happily with whatever the universe throws my way.
I'm not even sure that's the goal...
I struggle daily with my deep and abiding need for 
But I am successfully reintegrating myself...bit by bit.
It's the end of an era.

The Queen is dead.  Long live the Queens!

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