It’s interesting how clues reveal themselves in order for us to see more clearly. That is, if we dare to look closely enough to notice them.
I recently meditated to delve deeper into a nagging sense of disappointment I struggled to shake and upon opening my eyes at the end I found myself staring deeply into a painting on my wall. I have various paintings in my house, works from friends or local artists, but most are personal paintings from a “time-piercing” layer in my life as a younger woman. The painting I found myself staring into was of woman standing naked and exposed, arms covering her chest. With the exception of red lips and the pale tip of her nose, her face is obscured by a wild tangled shroud of indigo blue hair as bursts of fire orange color spray from behind the entanglement likes rays of light strangled by a black hole. This painting always hangs near the deep inner chambers of my hive (my home). It’s personal to me because it is me. A self portrait I painted almost 20 years ago at age of 30. A woman struggling with her image and inner acceptance, her mind deep with intuition, her soul fire trapped and begging to emerge.
Another painting bears a signature on the bottom right - that is, it bears the word Signature, cut sloppily from a magazine like a ransom note begging you to investigate the perpetrator. Yet another of mine that hangs more prominently is of a beautiful horse, painted half black and white, a photo negative of itself, turned on its back with a hint of crimson red that oozes from its heart center when the lighting hits it just right (see photo shown above).
These paintings I don’t hold onto. They are not the past for me but rather they represent the duality of Inner Acceptance and the Betrayal of Compassion I commit within myself and to those around me time and time again. The more I come to understand myself in these paintings the more I grow, accept and admire what makes me “Me". These depictions in my paintings speak to the vastness of living a full life, of practicing compassion and identifying the confrontations within to better manage that which surrounds us. What amazes me is the accuracy my inner truth was showing me through the movements of my brush so many years ago.
And these paintings showed me recently that my personal pattern of disappointment is just that - a PATTERN. A pattern that shadows what I am (dynamic, powerful, feminine, savvy, and courageous) and highlights what I believe I am not (not good enough, not worthy enough, not valuable enough and more)
Disappointment, expectation and feelings of betrayal can create a constant mental visual "flash-card" in place of our view of reality. It is no different than the “virtual reality” toy of the 1970‘s (and earlier years) known as the View-Master. The View-Master was a hand held device that you looked through to view corresponding View-Master "reels", which were thin cardboard disks containing seven 3D pairs of color-slide images that each eye viewed separately creating the effect as though viewing real life through binoculars. As a child I recall how awesome yet weird those images seemed to me. They were real but not real, miniaturized, stunted, trapped and overly saturated.
This is exactly how I conceptualized my recent disappointment which I initially experienced on a professional level after a serious let-down by a women’s group I personally held in high esteem. This disappointment somehow seeped its way into my personal world and took hold - tapping into my roots of femininity. In business you move on if something doesn’t align with your Vision & Values but on a personal level our conditioning, those things that shaped us in our early years and which occurred before our professional lives, leaves us staring blindly into a mental View-Master, confused and let down.
To help shed light and wash away the false colors of my disappointment I decided to do a meditation I recently taught during a Corporate Workshop I hosted on Setting Intentions. I call the meditation “Emptying the Mental Garbage” and it helps to break down negative thought patterns, clearing our mental clutter to reveal (from a place of clarity) the true mosaic of what’s behind our false mental slides. The efficiency of this meditation always astounds me! In just 11 minutes the breath technique used in this meditation calms the Mind enough to help us to acknowledge (and clearly see) what no longer serves our growth and personal vision.
Just to give you an idea of how layered my disappointment was, I have provided a chronological breakdown of how my thoughts shifted in the course of 11 minutes.
My thoughts went from:
So here’s a good answer to solve the problem --- Don’t expect anything! Problem Solved! Right?
Exactly!!! and this takes practice and understanding. The description of the thoughts I experienced above might sound awful and sad - but getting closer to the truth can be such a relief. Most importantly it turns the focus COMPASSIONATELY WITHIN for deeper introspection - rather than putting it on something outside of ourselves we can’t control anyway!
The fact that I opened my eyes from this meditation to view my self portrait with compassion and understanding of my inner beauty, when for so many years it represented inner conflict, struggle and rejection was to finally witness my disappointment for what it was, A LACK OF COMPASSION FOR MYSELF, rather than what I wanted it to be ----> a failed expectation of someone else.
There are so many things we can be disappointed in and when you feel this way ask yourself what is really nagging you!? Meditate, follow the breath and see where it takes you. Join us in Kundalini class on Unbeaten Yoga Wednesdays to learn the tools and exercises you can use to clear the blocks and open your mind and heart. Working our Heart and Solar Plexus Chakras can help clear feelings of rejection, disappointment and self worth issues. The bottom line is this: When we better ourselves - we better those in our life. We lift them and they lift us and we interconnect as all things do in Nature, ultimately giving us Peace.
And it's important to remember - the higher we put people on a pedestal the greater the fall and feeling of vengeance and disappointment.
Yogi Bhajan once said, “To have no enemies is to have no friends at all” and the same goes with disappointment and betrayal. These things are a fact of life and to live a full life is to have Compassion and to have Compassion is to be HUMAN. And to be human is to manage our disappointments by working to see some version of ourselves in those we accuse of letting us down. It is something that tests me all the time and, I confess, I struggle with it often but I would rather work toward living a full life of compassion than a partial life of confrontation. Ultimately, though, each step helps me draw the line and to recognize what is skewed, what no longer serves and to make a decision for the compassion of myself in order to grow. There are challenges everywhere and there is adversity everyday - but the bottom line is this:
YOU ARE YOU no matter what.
YOU HAVE GRACE no matter what.
YOU HAVE IDENTITY no matter what.
Contact Margaret Lindgren, Owner of Unbeaten Path Tours & Yoga, to learn more about our private and corporate workshop offerings. Locals can join Margaret's Unbeaten Yoga Wednesdays class - every Wednesday 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM at Gualala Dance Studio in Gualala, CA - Drop-Ins welcome! Contact us for details
Madge Malone in her blogging zone!