Kathleen Gage runs a business out of Eugene, Oregon and enjoys a sweet daily life of peace. We "accidentally" connected by phone....and agree, there are no mistakes.
I was introduced to Debra Ruh recently, and decided to invite her to Peace Talk because of her remarkable experience. She had a down syndrome baby girl in her 20s, and went on to start a very successful company that helped major employers hire people with disabilities. Listen to her story here, and be inspired by her challenges becoming blessings.
Death is maybe the most frightening thing for many humans to contemplate. Loss, separation, fear. It's like death means....something horrible, and we haven't questioned if this is even true. Is there life beyond death? Who wants to know?
Anyone can question their thinking that a situation is not providing enough "x" whatever it is: money, food, time, security, love, happiness. Wow, what a difficult and common thought....but you can question it. I share how I did it today, with my thought "there aren't enough participants coming to my retreat!" LOL. There are, it turns out.
There's a voice of addiction you may be listening to that's ultimately got nothing to do with being addicted to a substance or activity. It's the compulsion to have the story "there is something wrong with this moment". You've got the voice that is NOT addicted, too. Can you hear it, even in the midst of total discouragement?
When you feel fear...what does your mind have to say about it? Sometimes, the threat is simply that you do not know what will happen, or you're concerned that there's a threat (but you don't know exactly what). Listen here to contemplate and wonder, what would it be like to not be afraid of experiencing fear?
Often we think we'll go to silent retreat, or meditate and quiet down, and THAT'S what we'll believe will bring us peace. But what if you could find peace in daily life? Isn't that the only place you'll really ultimately find it?
The poet Machado said that we all have four things that can bring us down when out at sea: rudder, anchor, oars, and fear. I notice my own tools often take me into striving and exhaustion, and fear....terrible. Who would I, or you, BE, without these fearful things? At peace.
Thank you for joining me for 100 episodes of Peace Talk!!
The other day I noticed the urge to suddenly get rid of an old computer taking up space. I felt anger at the very presence of this clunky thing. then I stopped, and caught myself. I realized, I was covering grief and sadness. The computer was bought when I was happily married, with cute small children, and a big beautiful house. It used to sit in an incredible spot near a window with a bamboo forest outside. Who would I be without the anger? Whole hearted. Grateful.
So many thoughts in the mind about what we should be, and aren't yet, and what we shouldn't be that we are. What if you're not the one in charge? Wow, what a fun and strange (and lighter) idea to consider!
I have spent years trying to be a better person. Good lord! Recently I was reminded of how much I felt this way when I was a teenager, and trying to understand my Christian upbringing. Everyone can question the thought that there is something wrong with you, and you need improvement. You can practice imagining being OK with who you are right now, no need for anything different.
A very powerful place to inquire into your beliefs is around someone else's lack of response to your requests, or your communication. Listen to find out what you might be thinking that really hurts, when someone is silent.
The moment you have someone disturbing in your experience (even in memories) you may notice the urge to fly or fight. What if you connected more closely to them, without fighting, without running away? What would that be like?
Many people think: I can't handle being in the presence of someone who is dying, hurting, suffering, or who has had terrible trauma or experienced a horrible life event.
But what if you didn't need to know anything, or do anything? Are you sure you aren't enough? Do you really have to know what to say, or how to be?
Try staying, without expectations. I noticed I could handle it....and you can too.
If you didn't believe your stories about not being enough, about sadness, anger, fear or loneliness...who would you be? What would that feel like? Try this exercise. It may seem small, but it can change your life.
It's very common when someone says no that one feels pain. Whether the "no" is to a marriage, or a group, or a workshop (my situation here) or even a birthday party...when you hear "no, I can't make it" or "no, I don't want to" what do you feel? What if you questioned that thought? What if it was OK to hear a no or a yes, equally? Who would you be without the story of NO?
It can be mean to try to make yourself different than you are. I've had a lot of people come to me to be facilitated through self-inquiry in order to change themselves (not other people). But who would you be without the belief you need to be different in order to be more successful, or happier?
If you notice stress about money, you might consider if you're receiving well, or not. Who would you be without the story of guilt, shame, or hiding the truth?
The thought is very debilitating: I did something wrong. Even if you have it, can you imagine not believing this thought? Here's how.
Stephen Jenkinson speaks of money as a place that brings forth all your innermost secrets and pain. Grace shares a quote by Stephen, and talks about questioning beliefs about money.
Working with people on traumatic situations is tough. But you can. if you're still here, you're still needed.
Often the people we dislike the most, or judge, have some quality we actually dislike in ourselves. What if you let yourself judge that person viciously, and then took those beliefs about that person through inquiry? It may change the way you feel about YOU (it will).
When you think your thoughts are "bad" or the way you think is "wrong" or that your ego needs to be destroyed....maybe you're still running the exact same energy of anti. I am the one against "x". Who would you be without that project?
Listen to Martha Creek and her powerful thoughts about not expecting yourself to "work" or arrive at peace, if you're a human being. You don't need to love what is, or even like what is.