Howdy from Fi

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Fiona_W
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Howdy from Fi

Post by Fiona_W » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:41 pm

Howdy, fellow Eckhart Tolle fans! (I say "howdy" 'cause I'm originally from Texas.) My name is Fiona, but you can call me Fi ("fee"). I'm a 63-yr-old American artist (collage, mail art) & writer (nonfiction) & retired physician. I've been married for 40 years (!) to the same guy, a ponytailed botanist. We have no kids, by choice.

I discovered The Power of Now about a year ago, rather accidentally: an Eckhart video was linked on a spirituality site I was exploring, and I was impressed by his presence, a term I didn't know yet. It was during a period of intense suffering: my two very young cats, orange tabby oriental shorthairs, both died suddenly & unexpectedly, of different illnesses, within six weeks of each other. They were our third pair, so I'd lost cats before, but no way was I prepared for that double whammy out of the blue! My grief was so intense, I was out of my mind for a long time. Our breeder felt so bad about the pair I'd lost, she pressed me to take two new kittens, oriental longhairs, for free. In retrospect, I should have realized I was in no condition to help my husband raise a new pair of cats.

Why is that important? My husband and I have no kids. We relate to our cats as if they were children. Orientals are very social, both with each other and with humans: they're more like dogs than ordinary cats. I feel really bad now, every day, because I was so unconscious (to use another ET term) when our current pair were little that I was unable to bond with them. They're bonded with my husband, very much so, but they don't relate to me the same way. No wonder, since I was literally weeping & wailing almost all the time when they first got to know me—for about six months in fact! They are cautious around me, reserved, and sometimes even shy away when I reach out to pet them. You'll just have to take my word for it that I feel terrible about this.

But, as ET says, suffering can be a challenge that leads to a spiritual awakening. It's not the grief itself that led to this moment, but the grief over the grief, if that makes any sense. I feel like something important & potentially life-altering is happening to me, just in the last few weeks. I've now read all of Tolle's books more than once, and I watch at least one of his videos, or a video with Kim Eng, every day. I look forward to learning more about conscious living ('saw the thread on that) from you guys. =smile= I've had periods of consciousness in the past, but because I didn't know the difference between being trapped in thought patterns and living in the Now, I was unable to sustain that state.

And now I'm crying again... Will this grief, and the self-recriminations over the grief, never end? =sigh= I'm trying very hard to accept my life situation AS IT IS.
Last edited by Fiona_W on Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kiki
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Re: Howdy from Fi

Post by kiki » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:51 am

Welcome to the forum, Fi. Look around, there is a LOT of stuff here to browse.

As for your grief, when it's present allow yourself to feel it completely, but without judgment. Let all judgment and self-recrimination over any perceived "failure" in your life go; it serves no purpose and since you can't change the past what's the point in maintaining negative thoughts and feelings over it? What's past is past, and to ruminate over it only takes away the possibility of experiencing the freshness of this moment, the only moment where reality can be experienced. Live life in reality and you are free of everything and open to everything.

Edited to add:

To center yourself spend regular time simply allowing awareness to remain with the breath; that will draw attention away from thoughts of self-recrimination. When grief comes spend some time with how it feels in the body without giving any label to what is felt or attaching any story to why it's there. Allowing it to be there when it is felt without trying to get rid of it or wanting it to be gone gives it permission to exist. In essence, you are giving it the "right" to live, so let it live there while you watch it without any agenda. This sort of permission will allow it to expend its energy and leave the body. Resisting it only will serve to keep it in place. You can do this with any emotional upset.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Fiona_W
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Re: Howdy from Fi

Post by Fiona_W » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:54 am

Thank you so much, kiki, for your wise words! Tonight I'm not ruminating over my grief. Instead, I've been spending time with the two wonderful, loving cats who are my companions now. There's a terrific concept in existential psychology called "being with." Right now I am being with these sentient creatures, who are, as in the title of my favorite book of Eckhart's, the one illustrated with pictures & words by Patrick McDonnell, Guardians of Being. I have wonder & awe as I spend time with them. It's not too late, it's never too late, to forge precious bonds, bonds which go beyond mere thought formations, for they are connections between spirits.

When I'm sane—fortunately these days I am sane more often than not—I not only accept my grief for the cats I lost, I value it. Because, as Tolle writes in A New Earth, "Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment."

I am humble. I am at peace.

Fi

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Re: Howdy from Fi

Post by kiki » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:51 am

Tonight I'm not ruminating over my grief. Instead, I've been spending time with the two wonderful, loving cats who are my companions now. There's a terrific concept in existential psychology called "being with." Right now I am being with these sentient creatures, who are, as in the title of my favorite book of Eckhart's, the one illustrated with pictures & words by Patrick McDonnell, Guardians of Being. I have wonder & awe as I spend time with them.
Very good. "Being with" implies being consciously present, and as one becomes more and more adept at maintaining that openness without agenda presence begins to "take hold" until it eventually becomes the default state. Then one not only consciously abides in that one eventually realizes they are that. This is sometimes called Self-realization. (Self with an upper case "S" denotes true/authentic Self rather than the "egoic self" that one had previously identified with as being "me"; Self has no limited personal viewpoint in sharp contrast to the very personal and limiting viewpoint of egoic self).
When I'm sane—fortunately these days I am sane more often than not—I not only accept my grief for the cats I lost, I value it.
Yes, value what comes because no matter what that is those are the entryways to being here now. You cannot maintain presence if you cannot find value in the opportunity each circumstance brings. This is the challenge because there is a lot of stuff we'd rather run away from due to long-established conditioning. Becoming present "deconstructs" that conditioning over time.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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