One down …

Yes, it has been five years since my last post – it was only yesterday that I understood that harmonising dissonance is deeper than I had imagined when I first started this site. It seems to me this morning that the work I have done in this area so far has just been tinkering at the surface – but then something came together last night and I now have an experience of what our work actually means.

It started simply enough as a text from my friend S, who had been going through a tough time. She was so happy, relating how good it felt for her to re-connect to her spiritual base: when I read what she had written, instead of being joyful for her, something arose in me that was pretty nasty and I wanted to mock her. After trying to breath some space around the nastiness I was carrying (you know the drill – sitting with it, allowing it, owning it, not-pushing-it-away) a connection came – similar stimulus and reaction … only reversed.

I remembered the time two years ago when I was in my spiritual base, had prayed and performed a service – I texted to S, “I felt I had been heard” when she later spoke with me on the phone, she mocked my words and it felt just awful. I didn’t have the courage to call her on this – as a good friend might do. Instead, I worked on composting the feelings – in the same way that I was composting vegetable peelings, breaking them down, and returning them to the garden – as a metaphor. I had thought that this was what I needed to do to bring dissonance into harmony – my part to play. This had become my preferred method for harmonising the bad stuff. (The intention was good, and though the method wasn’t particularly effective ūüôā it did help me stay in friendship with the people around me.)

In the remembering, understanding came and in breathing, the nastiness disappeared.

While writing this, I recall another connection that had happened about 18 years ago about a ritual cleansing of a space … but that is not my story to tell.

All I can say is that this dissonance has a lineage – scorn passed on like a virus – infecting something held dear. The healing is the realisation that what is most sacred is not really harmed.

And harm becomes Harmony.

a revelation

On the morning of 16 January 2016¬†I recognised and accepted that my core essence is love … I was able to look at myself honestly, without editing my thoughts, without denying my feelings, without pitching myself into doing good deeds
I am loving as well as beloved.
There have been sages throughout the ages that have said this so I knew it as a concept but on this day (and today as I post this) I have experienced the realisation in my deepest knowing.
¬†–
I have been¬†lucky to have sensed that¬†I was loved and that anything I did was forgiven, even by me¬†– but I admit to being afraid that to see what happened when I forgave my every thought, deed, action, lack of action, anger, jealousy, meanness etc – what would be left? I was afraid of the nothing – so I kept procrastinating … that¬†morning I looked and glimpsed my loving self – may I never forget this –
My message for today – I trust that Loving self to care and act in this world: her harmonies are beautiful!

harmonising tragedy

Like many others I have enjoyed lots of hot chocolates from the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place when I lived in Sydney Рand it was with shock when I heard that a man with a gun had taken the people inside the cafe as hostages.  Through the gloom and fear came the ray of light of that tweet #iwillridewithyou that has been picked up worldwide: a reminder, compassion is very strong and we still have choices as to how we will respond.

i will ride with you

I woke to the news that the siege was over with three people dead, one of whom was the man with the gun, so the waiting is over and the aftermath begins …

My choice this morning?  I have the TV on, listening to the commentary, the views, the analysis Рhow do I harmonise all of this today, tomorrow, when more information comes to light and we go through the cycle of grieving?

I lit some candles and started to hear myself singing the beautiful hymn, Hail Mary, Gentle Woman. ¬†It helped, so I found it on my iPhone and have a playlist of uplifting music (including Kermit’s Rainbow Connection, Geoffrey Yunupingu’s Bayini, Pachelbel Canon)¬†playing softly in the background. ¬†The TV is still on, and I am listening – I will not shut it off and run away as I am tempted to do … but¬†I am singing quietly as if in prayer for us all.

And I am writing this entry as well.  All I can say at this point is that my fear is lessened Рa good start to the day and to begin achieving harmony.

harmony within

For many years now I have been working towards bringing myself into balance – for example, I embraced Buddhism, practiced Vipassana Meditation and fell in love with Aristotle’s Golden Mean. So I got better at recognising and acknowledging when I am angry, petty, indignant, judgemental, greedy, and when I defend against feeling bad by shutting down or losing myself in fantasy.  The biggest breakthrough came when I was able to access the Christ concept of forgiveness – of myself and others – so I am slowly able to let myself (and others) off the hook and stop the punishment.  I am happier when I am more in balance – I am not punishing myself or anyone else and I tend to make better decisions.

My main tool for bringing myself back into balance is the conscious, deliberate use of the metaphor (this really only became crystal clear to me a couple of weeks ago when I was talking with my mentor, Suzanne Ross).  For example, these days I practice yoga and meditation to bring my physical body into balance with my mind; I walk to take myself from one place in my mind to another; I light candles to find my way out of the dark places in my mind; I compost to release to old, trapped energy so something new can come forth.

Today I am moved to add harmony to balance.  For me this means that I don’t have to push so hard to achieve balance in the shortest possible time, which can sometimes make things worse: instead, because by embracing the concept of harmony, I can trust more and know that I will get back to balance in time.

hiding in plain sight

Have you ever had a thought that was so dangerous that you felt you needed to put both hands over your mouth to stop it being voiced?  That is what happened to me this morning on waking. The thought itself is not new Рreflections about it have been with me for some years now: it was the idea about sharing it that feels dangerous. It has been said that the best way to hide something is to put it somewhere in plain sight Рa blog on the internet Рperfect!

Not quite a procrastination – but a little explanation: I learn by, and often will dialogue with myself, through¬†metaphor; I connect the dots of truths that have resonated with me, like the sound of something clicking into place. From here I build understandings which¬†sound consistent and whole to me, but when I try to share them with others they lose in the translation, even to me: but it is important to try … so here it goes!

So back to the thought: from memory it was prompted not so long after reading A Course in Miracles.¬†In all of the manifested universe, there is only Trinity as the basis for everything. ¬† The Trinity is about community and the choice to be part of community, even if that choice means being apart from the community. ¬†Otherwise all we have is God in Love with him/her self – and at a deep level that is not satisfying. ¬†For me Trinity¬†used to be Father, Son, Holy Spirit but these days I prefer¬†St Augustine’s conception of Lover, Beloved and Love.

We are Beloved. ¬†We also hold Lover and Love within us, which means we have the power to create. ¬†Our lives are our narrative for us to read and reflect upon if we choose. This is why being mindful is so important, even when we say “NO”. ¬† And also why Harmony and Harmonizing are essential because¬†we are victims and we are abusers, but we are also healers. If for example I ground this in a Christian Tradition, it means that we are Jesus; we are also the ones who nailed him to the cross; and we forgive ourselves for doing this. We cannot get away with splitting off “us from them” – we did it.

We are connected and we share responsibility for the cycles of abuse over lifetimes: we have much to forgive Рof ourselves and of others.  The concept of harmony helps me to not distance myself for too long, but to find the key to aid my understanding, which in turn helps me to forgive.

from peacemaker to harmoniser

I used to describe myself as a peacemaker: I was the middle child in a family of five and loved hearing about and understanding both sides of all the squabbles – and while it was true I wanted everyone to like me, it is also true that I wanted everyone to be friends and to like each other.  Events over my life showed me that peace and peacemaking, as I had envisaged them back then, were only temporary lulls – there were some differences in opinion and action that could not, and should not, have been shut down.

So I was stuck for many years of my adult life, until recognition and appreciation of the concept of harmony set me free: truth and beauty can be found in musical harmonies where the dissonant chords are resolved.  I learn through metaphor – they are the lenses through which I make sense of the world along with my place in it and my responses to it.

So, from today I commit to practicing being a harmoniser with as much mindfulness as I can muster!  My plan is to blog my reflections and learning here when the spirit moves me – I welcome your comments.