Wednesday, April 23, 2008

And Now All I See For Me Is Better Days

So... I went to the "Being Fearless" workshops a few weekends ago. And before I get into what I got out of it let me say that I tried my darnedest to find excuses not to go because, and you gotta love the irony here, I was AFRAID to go and open up a can of emotional worms that maybe I wasn't ready for. But I went. And here's what's what:

I'm obviously not "cured" of my mental ills- not by a long shot- and I didn't expect to be. It will be years until I can be let out into society without a chaperone. However, I do have to give the workshops mad cool points for offering up suggestions on finding the keys that will unlock our own individual issues. And I'm definitely interested in possibly participating in some weekend meditation retreats at the Omega Institute's Rhinebeck, NY center.

The first workshop I attended was run by Debbie Ford, author of Why Good People Do Bad Things. She discussed embracing our "dark half" so to speak, the "masks" we wear and about addiction being the device by which we try and keep all our suppressed shit in check. This brought up so much for me that I had to hold back so many tears. Other people around me were OK with crying in public, but that shit is still a sign of weakness to me, so I kept acting like my contacts were bothering me. And no, I don't wear contacts.

She was a good public speaker; I appreciated her perception of things and it's probably something I'll continue to explore on my own. One thing I remember most is when this guy stood up to say he didn't want this other (dark, bad) side of him to exist, that it shouldn't have rights and that he needed to destroy it because of the bad things it does. Debbie came back at him with: "Stop hurting that other self and it will stop hurting you and doing bad things." I was feeling that... it was something to think about.

The next one I didn't really care for; it was run by Tara Brach and she was discussing... um... something to do with meditation and taking a "sacred pause"... can you tell I didn't really pay attention? Well, she didn't really say anything substantive, and instead she told us these anecdotes and then waited for our reactions when she was done telling them. To her credit, though, she had a really nice, soothing voice, and when she led us through a tiny guided meditation session, I almost dozed off I was so relaxed. So there is something to the "sacred pause" thing.

One interesting tidbit I got from her talk (when I wasn't busy texting Jack) was that the Chinese word or characters for "busy" is the same for the phrase "heart-killing," and how creepy is that? That made me think- is that why some of us are so unhappy? In this fast-paced electronic world are we soooo busy that it's killing our hearts? Something else to think about and explore further...

I am a lil disappointed in myself for skipping Sunday's workshops, plus the opportunity to meet environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, but I was still reeling from my money rant, and really feeling down about having to fire my nanny, plus all the other shit that Debbie Ford's workshop brought to the forefront of my mind.

Things like the unresolved issues I have about grandma's death. And the fact that I don't reach out to the Penzo side of my family (on a side note- they don't seek me out either, but I guess I should be the bigger person??). And that I haven't been truthful about this blog with someone who considers me one of her very best friends. And that I let a small skirmish come between me and Irene, and as a result, my own goddaughter has no idea who I am. And that I have a dark, secret side of me that only Jack knows about, and the guilt of that "bad girl" is crushing me.

So with all that heavy on my shoulders, I decided to just veg out at Minnie's, watching TV, eating, playing cards and just being an unproductive mess.

And oh yeah, I almost passed on the Ghana trip. I was ready to let that opportunity just slip through my fingers out of pure laziness and, well, fear. So I wrote to my professor the day before the deadline- sure that it would be too late to enter- asking if it was too late. I thought I was slick.

However, one of the administrators got back to me to say the deadline had been extended and I had until the 21st... and I could submit it via email. He made it so freakin' easy for me, I'd have been a stupid ass bitch not to go for it. I took it as a sign... and applied. So maybe the workshop did a lil good.

Now... how to overcome the fear of having to let my boss know I'll be out for almost three weeks in July while I attend the Ghana conference... that's the question!

*smooches...a little less fearful than I used to be*
not to sound like the earthy, crunchy, new-ager that my family accuses me of being, but I see a lot of trips to the Omega Institute in my future. but shhhhh, don't tell anyone!!

Title courtesy of Janet Jackson, "Better Days"