Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Facing Your Demons

As I get closer to my initiation, I’ve been using these entries to face my demons and fears, to face myself. I know I’m taking a first step on a long, many forked road; a good house cleaning is needed to allow me to continue. The road ahead is long, difficult, but rewarding. This is the path of growth and self-discovery.

I’ve never been an avid journal keeper but I’ve been a writer for a long time. My journalism teacher tried to instill a thick skin on me. I debated whether to share this, or keep it private, but the writer in me asked to put it out there – make it public, share my good and bad sides. I try and learn from it.

So here I am, facing my demons: anger, fear, trust, hurt, shame. It’s there good and bad alike. I have tools like meditation, silence, listening, learning and loving. I’m waking up from a long sleep of stagnation and moving into my next phase. There is fierceness in my life. I want to give back.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Tackling this one is hard for me: both in writing and my personal life. How do I repair trust in the wake of hurt? I’m still working on this.

When fighting, intimate knowledge comes out. I fight, I hurt. I try to hurt others in the same way I feel wounded. I inflict damage with my anger. Our trust in each other unravels as I breach what’s shared between us. Sometimes I’m faced with honesty I don’t want to acknowledge. I twist the truth.

Truth is a harsh master. It can feel good, or it can leave lash marks. Truth can be soothing and uplifting when it’s something I want to hear, hurtful when I don’t. I struggle with truth. I’m not very good at it. I struggle giving it to others, I struggle being truthful with myself.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Give It To Me Dirty

It may sound like I view myself as some quasi-enlightened person. I’m not. I have real faults, real issues, real-world problems. At times I take exception to those who try and pass themselves off that way, those leaders political or spiritual who try to come off perfect, faultless. It’s a trap. As for me, give it to me dirty.

I want to see people’s faults, their struggles. People are human; humans make mistakes. Mistakes shouldn’t take away one’s credibility, but add to it. How can you know and help someone with their marriage, with their kids or on their path unless you’ve been in the trenches yourself? Scars add respect in my book, having quite a few of them myself.

Placing our leaders up on pedestals sets them up for their eventual fall. We have the tendency to want to knock them off. We can relate to someone sharing our struggle – they’re one of us, not one of them.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Listening to Yourself

Eight years ago, I signed myself up for a spiritual retreat on a like in Minnesota. The retreat was ten days of silence and intense meditation.

I’m a pretty social person – the kind of person that talks to and makes friends with complete strangers in line. That year I was a wheeling and dealing CEO of my own company. I love talking. Meditation was not new to me. It is with this backdrop that I entered into the silence retreat.

The world around you changes when you cease to speak. At first, you hear more of your environment, the background noise that is ever present. You start to quiet your mind. The constant meditation, the purascharana (mantra repetition) I was practicing quieted me further. During breaks I would walk a lawn labyrinth out in a field. I would sit outside at night and listen.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Understanding And Managing My Anger

I have an intimate relationship with my anger. I’ve been angry for a long time. There are times my anger gets away from me, gets the best of me. It usually starts, and ends, with shame.

Anger is one of our many emotions. It’s trying to tell us something. Unchecked and without the proper tools – it is a very destructive force. At its worst, it can lead to violence. At its best is can be empowering.

Anger is a protective emotion. It’s our primal fight or flight that has led the human race to survive and exist. When anger is coming on – that fight or flight part of the brain takes over – reasoning shuts down. We say stupid things, do stupid things, which we would normally not say or do. We are hurtful to avoid being hurt. That may be fine when facing a predator that wants to eat you, not so fine when it’s family or friends.