si dawson

experiments in self-improvement

Month: January, 2012

Anything You Ever Wanted, Get It From Yourself

I realised a long time ago the truism that “What annoys me most in others is what annoys me about myself”.

This is one of the reasons I’ve come back to live with my folks for a while. I’d got about as far as I easily could peering into my own navel. Much easier to look at them to see what else is there in me. As the old saying goes: “If you think you’re enlightened, spend a weekend with your parents.” So far, it’s been about six months and boy, I’ve grown lots. Ha ha. Oh boy. Yes.

What I’ve started to realise over the last couple of days is something of a corollary to the above truism.

What I want most from others is what I’m not giving myself.

For years, the thing that has made me the most angry is if I feel someone isn’t listening to me – particularly if they’re insistently asking me something, despite my attempts to explain.

The very few times (historically maybe twice a decade) I’ve got truly “red mist” angry, that’s been the situation.

At some level, the reason it has had such a strong effect on me is simply because I feel I haven’t been listening to myself.

Isn’t it funny how it’s ok for us to treat ourselves like shit, but if someone else does it, it’s suddenly outrageously unacceptable?

So here’s the interesting bit: what the hell does that even mean? “Not listening to myself?” I honestly have no idea. All I do know is, when I healed* on not listening to myself, I felt a huge rush of energy leaving and a great peace come over me. Now, if I think back to those times when I’ve been aggressively not-listened-to (ha ha, yes), I find the situations oddly amusing.

This, by the way, is great news.

Why? Because it shows you don’t have to consciously understand what anything is about to heal it. You don’t have to figure it out. Just let your subconscious sort it out. It is, after all, the part of you faffing about and being all stroppy in the first place. It’s only fair it should pull its weight for once. Take that, inner child! Slobbing around on the sofa all day watching TV and eating cheerios!

Over the last couple of days, as a background task, every so often I’ve answered two questions:

  • “What pisses me off (about others)?”
  • “What do I really want (from others)?”

Often these are opposite sides of the same answer. It pisses me off when people don’t respect me. I really want people to respect me. The reason for both of these? I’m not respecting myself. If I do that, well who cares what anyone else does? The craving for it disappears.

I want people to love me? (And frankly, who doesn’t?) I’m just not loving myself.

I want people to listen to me? I’m not listening to myself.

I want people to value me? I’m not valuing myself.

This is such a stupidly simple thing, it sounds almost ridiculous to write down. All I know is, this has been incredibly helpful.

When I give myself what I want, I no longer crave it from others.

*Oh, and the silliest thing? How did I heal this? That’s the easiest bit yet. More on this in a little while, but for now all you need to know is this:

  1. I simply said: “I love that I don’t listen to myself,” while releasing all the energy, physical tension, emotional responses and thoughts that arose in response to saying that.
  2. I mixed it up a little with “I love that I still  don’t listen to myself.”
  3. I kept going until I felt peaceful.
  4. I then plugged in the positive “I love that I listen to myself,” “I love that I always listen to myself,” “I love that I listen to myself completely.” Again, releasing all resistance that came up.
  5. I kept going till I felt peaceful and the positive statements felt true.

Really, I simply said whatever popped in my head, felt right and felt like it would push things a little further, a little deeper. I maybe tapped my karate chop point if I felt things needed amping up a notch.

If you really want to test if something’s gone, see how you feel about someone else treating you in that way. Can you say out loud (for example) “I love [person close to you] not listening to me”?

That’s all I did. It’s all I needed to do. How could I not share something so elegantly powerful with you?


    Nice Night For a Walk

    It’s just turned New Year, 2012.

    Generally for New Year’s Eve I prefer to do something contemplative. Meditate on the past year (or years). Feel my way to a better direction for the coming year. Assess and makes choices that will guide me positively forward.

    With that in mind, around 10pm I took off up a nearby hill (it’s only 345m high at the peak). It was a 45 minute hike in the dark to the lookout point I was aiming for. I chose to use no lights, partly as a more interesting challenge and partly so I could see the glow-worms on the way up.

    Oh boy, they didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, photos just don’t do those bright little bundles any justice.

    I was right about it being an interesting walk. For a start, it’s been raining like crazy the last few days, so everything in the bush is soaking wet. Combine heavy cloud cover with only a quarter new moon, and it wasn’t exactly clear where I was supposed to be walking either. The path was (theoretically) fairly light, except so were the ferns on either side, oh, and the rocks… and the puddles… and the grass. Also, that light coloured path? It was covered in various dark coloured flora, tree branches, grass, leaves, stiles, animals, dead bodies, burning cars, zombies*.

    * some of these items may be a complete lie.

    Mostly it wasn’t too bad though. My eyes adjusted pretty quick and I only slipped over a couple of times.

    I got to the top around 11, but had wildly underestimated how warm it would be trekking up the hill, so promptly stripped down to let my shirt dry out a little. If there were any ghosts up there, I’m sure I scared them off with my stunning whiteness (it’s a sight to behold, I assure you).

    I then spent the next hour meditating, absorbing the essence of the previous year and sipping the delicious coffee I’d taken up with me.

    I also got treated to lightning on the far off ridges and fireworks up and down the valley. Theoretically fireworks are illegal in New Zealand outside of Guy Fawkes‘ week (the week before Nov 5) but people still store them up for New Year’s. I’m happy they do, it makes New Year’s a lot more festive than just a bunch of yahoos yahooing.

    Surprisingly, the march back down the hill was significantly more dangerous than up. My eyes had adjusted so I could see better, but even with that I hit a lot of unexpected drops in terrain. I ended up walking most of the way down in a half crouch. Imagine you’re sitting in an upright chair. Now take the chair away. Yeah, like that. An odd posture, but effective and a lot safer than walking normally (which had left me unharmed but on my arse a couple of times). When I got back closer to civilization, I also had to shield my eyes from the street lights just to see where I was going. It’s hard to comprehend just how much light pollution there is until you’re walking back into it from the pitch black.

    I did end up soaked to the skin up to my knees – it’s hard to see invisible wet grass – but it was totally worth it. Walking down in the dark, brooks burbling by the track, the glow of the worms, giant trees majestic against the skyline, it was an utterly beautiful experience.

    And proof you can take the boy out of Scouts, but never take the Scout out of the boy; other than what I wore, I also took with me and used:

    • hat
    • gloves
    • scarf
    • camera
    • blanket (my Grandma gave it to me over 20 years ago; it’s the only thing I have left connected to her)
    • thermos of coffee

    but took and didn’t use:

    • three torches
    • phone
    • bottle of water
    • fabric tape
    • plastic bag
    • leatherman

    I figured if I accidentally walked off a bank & broke a leg (a reasonable risk) I might as well take enough to be comfortable & safe until morning.

    Turns out I didn’t need most of it, but it was worth it without the added excitement. Partly for the peace & calmness that comes from occasionally detaching completely from the world. Partly for this:

    Here’s to a gorgeous 2012.