A conversation between Angelika and Michaela
M: Good morning, Geli
G: Hello Michaela!
M: What is going on in your life right now ?
G: I have made an observation, that really struck me. I am bathed in harmony and, although I was longing for this all my life, it is very challenging for my ego to stay with / in this harmony.
M: You are all surrounded by harmony ? That sounds like an awakening – dream. Isn’t this what it is all about ?
G: Nee, I am not all surrounded by it. I experience harmony in my relationship as the ground setting, the background, the space, if you can say so. I feel held by Paul´s kindness, especially since we are past the “blame games”. This is so very unusually to me and the total opposite to what I have known all my life.
M: So what is challenging for the ego ? What reaction are you experiencing ?
G: My ego wants to escape from this. It is so hard for me to trust the absence of drama. He is sitting with me while I observe my self and I feel the physical release of tension and the softening within me. I allow him to see the darkest corners of my personality….lol….and I am past the fear that he will leave me for being a horrible person.
M: So your ego wants to escape ? Get up and leave ? Is this an initial reaction or does this feeling stay with you ?
G: I go into resistance, and I become aware of this. Next the resistance disappears. The resistance must be a reflex to an unconscious identification. I was never treated by anyone, the way my partner treats me. For my ego this is like walking on unknown territory and my ego probably can not control an exchange like this.
M: Yes, I think I understand. It is perhaps the feeling of trusting someone, and open up, be receptive, but really not quite trusting it yet, expecting that in the very next moment the second shoe will drop. It may also be not having a defense mechanism in place, ready to take control of the situation ?
G: While you were typing, and I was following your words as they appeared, I realized something. All my life I was used to experiencing big drama. My ego / pain body got nourished greatly by this drama – generated energy.
Now both ego and pain body do not get nourished by this energy because it it not generated any longer. This is why my ego keeps telling me, that there is something missing….omg…I just realized this.
M: Yes, maybe if there is not a big drama, then – there must be something else. Something unknown – maybe dangerous. Something the ego has not experienced – even tough it may have wanted it, but perhaps – not like THAT ? (and I mean – just letting it happen naturally, without manipulation or control or illusion ?)
G: It seems that I am going through – experiencing – the opposite of what I have been used to. Whatever is in this … I cannot predict it. It is like travelling an unknown route and being comfortable with every turn of the road, not knowing what is going to happen next.
M: Perhaps you are approaching it differently ? Being conscious about old patterns and trying something new ? Like breaking out of a mold and the “ego” may panic, because it does not have a proven pattern to “control the situation ?” Could it be that this is…getting comfortable not knowing ???
G: Ja. It is like learning a new way of walking, one step at a time. Maybe this is how we felt when we were children? The difference is though, that back then the ego was not so advanced yet to question each step…lol.
M: I am not sure about that. I think as children we were naturally curious and felt much safer and connected, even though the outside world was not always like that. I guess it is more that the process of letting go of old conditioning leaves a hole, something that feels tender and vulnerable – not because it is, but maybe because we have forgotten how it feels to be open and receptive. Maybe it is really this accepting without going in defense mode, or in armour, that is uncomfortable for the ego. A little bit like standing in the rain without a raincoat…
G: Ja. It is uncomfortable for the ego to stand in the rain without protection. And the ego goes into resistance to it. By doing this I miss the actual experience of standing in the rain, feeling the drops on my skin, on my hair, smelling the scents of the wet grounds around me. Resistance keeps my from experiencing what is, from Life itself.
M: Yes, so it is actually resistance you are noticing, not harmony ?
G: I experience harmony and at times I cannot take it and I go into resistance. Then I realize the resistance, open up to it, and it disappears. Next I experience the state of Being, Welwood calls the “soft spot”, others call it the transcendence, the space, the Now.
M: I think I can relate to this from own experience and let’s see if we get a step further. Obviously this has a lot to do with allowing situations and relationships with other people to develop differently than before. It may start with dropping judgements and allowing the other to be like they are. Then I may also notice my own projections and identifications and I recognise them for what they are – illusions and no longer helpful. So by allowing the other to be like they are, I actually allow myself to be like I really am. And that can be like a shock to the system. Suddenly there is no-body to blame, nobody to hold on to, no-body to manipulate or control. I used to get panic attacks – and I still get them. It is like seeing yourself for the first time, naked and without any cover and the ego says: I cant work with this, I refuse to accept responsibility for that. Going into the Now, finding the soft spot, does help – but this does not mean you have found your own strength yet.
G: I have made it a daily practice to enter as often as possible the Now. I know the feeling of it.
Even if I stay merely for a very short time in this state, it changes completely the outcome of what I have been doing.
Deepak Chopra pointed to the fact, that the cell memory is changing – maybe reset – as soon as we enter the Now. Well, that is not why I am doing it though. Being in the Now just makes a change to what ever I do.
In addition to this I do almost every morning a self inquiry by going through reflection, while listening to an exercise John Welwood is offering on one of his audio books. This exercise takes me back to unknown identifications and the original painful experience.
And last but not at all least, I am sitting here on the Sofa with you and also observe my self with my partner sitting with me, even though both you and my partner are presently far away from me, if I measure the distance in Kilometers or Miles.
M: What I am saying is that the practice needs to grow with our own development. To be present is like a healing, everything balances out and relaxes. The more I can be in that state, the more helpful it is, because I am no longer in contraction, and this allows the whole organism and metabolism to change ( I guess this is what Deepak Chopra is referring to). Indeed, a body in openness works much different than a body under stress – or contraction. So that is the basis, followed by enquiry, to understand our judgements, identifications and all the lovely conditioning of the past 50 odd years. So observation is one thing, but it can become an identification in itself, keeping us in a karmic cycle of chasing after identifications and judgements. What I am pointing to is the necessity to go one step further – to find that strength in us ( which in my experience is different from the dissolving of painbody, or the opening of contraction). It is finding that source of strength and energy that holds us and whenever I feel overwhelmed, scared or frustrated this is what I can fall back to and it helps me to go further. Do you know what I mean ?
G: I call this Stillness. I read a line in Eckhart Tolle´s book, The Power of Now, “…words in themselves are not important. They are not the Truth; they only point to it.”
I trust, we recognize the genuine within us. And although “the Being” is the same in all of us, the way we name this, may differ.
M: I am not sure we are talking about the same thing. Well, maybe we are – its not so easy to compare pointers – but anyway. What I am talking about is finding your inner core of strength. To me this has a different quality than Stillness, which is much bigger and spacious. It is like finding your own little reactor that keeps you warm and safe. I found it behind my biggest contraction and this is what I have started to work with, in particular when I get overwhelmed or frustrated. It is like this thing can burn off all doubt and negativity. Stillness is what is in the background. This is my own center, maybe this is the I AM and it is connected to the Stillness.
G: Maybe it is a different way of perceiving “Being”. I have a rather passive, lazy attitude and I love to be part of a whole. For me it is to open up and feel Being. That alone makes me feel and be safe.
Our personalities differ, and along with this go different experiences. This is actually what Life on the level of form is all about. It express itself in all the different manifestations.
I can only share about what I have experienced up to now. I know that I am right now in a kind of process but I cannot talk about it yet.
M: I have my own issues wit harmony. I don’t trust it, I don’t believe it to be true. This is coming from my own upbringing, which was picture perfect on the outside, moreover everybody said so all the time, but in reality the situation was rotten and festering from the inside. I don’t believe in harmony. I think it is one big lie, even though I want nothing more. But I can no longer tolerate if someone is compelling me to confirm what I perceive to be untrue or illusion. What I had to learn has been that destroying a false harmony does not actually kill me. Maybe this is why I had to discover that strength and that sense of self-reliance (which is different from run of the mill confidence) in myself. Now I am learning that sometimes there actually is harmony regardless – even tough it may not be perfect or not even what I thought it should look like. I don’t mind, as long as it is true.
G: For me it is the opposite approach. Nobody in my past bothered to keep hold of the illusion of a false harmony in my family. Now I am entering totally new grounds, no matter if some of the harmony might even be “false”.
M: Yes, see this is what I also observe – we somehow stay in the karmic cycle of our upbringing and the situations repeat itself, until we finally realise it and are able to put an end it it. Then a new day is dawning and we are getting used to living a life in the open, and not in contraction. I guess if someone has lived in shackles all their life, it feels quite strange to have no weight around your ankles.
G: And then we get the second chance, as Paul loves to say, and we can make the difference or allow the difference to happen and healing is what comes along.