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martin – contemplations in words & images

Author: martin (Page 1 of 31)

An Inner Journey Meditation for the Outer World

From The Way of the Pattern Catcher

What is the relationship you have with yourself?

Look inward:

What do you notice?
What do you name?
What do you nurture?

On your journey inward, what do you see, what do you find?

Do you find any harshness?
Do you tread near a softness?

Do you touch numbness?
Do you taste kindness?

Do you sense a certain disquiet?
Do you happen on a joy?

And if so:

What is it to notice your harshness?
To be with it for what it is – to acknowledge, accept and appreciate its role.
To see what harshness has for you. To hear of its purpose. To hold its counsel.
What do you notice when you enter the relationship with your harshness in this way?

What is it to notice your softness?
To be with it for what it is – to acknowledge, accept and appreciate its role.
To see what softness brings you. To value its salve. To offer it gratitude.
What do you notice when you enter the relationship with your softness this way?

What is it to name your numbness?
To be with it for what it is – to acknowledge, accept and appreciate its role.
To feel the absence of feeling. To recognise it exists. To honour its place.
What do you notice when you enter the relationship with your numbness in this way?

What is it to name your kindness?
To be with it for what it is – to acknowledge, accept and appreciate its role.
To savour the safety it offers. To value its nature. To delight in whom it touches.
What do you notice when you enter the relationship with your kindness this way?

What is it to nurture your disquiet?
To be with it for what it is – to acknowledge, accept and appreciate its role.
To recognise what it points to. To welcome its presence. To listen deeply to what it has to say.
What do you notice when you enter the relationship with your disquiet in this way?

What is it to nurture joy?
To be with it for what it is – to acknowledge, accept and appreciate its role.
To let it bubble inside you. To follow its lead. To share as it wants to be shared.
What do you notice when you enter the relationship with your joy this way?

And as this is so and as it is as it is: What are you noticing now?
What is the relationship you have with yourself in this moment?

For the relationship you have with your self
Is the relationship you have with the world.

Martin © 2023

Poised

Poised on the edge of happiness

The precipice

The shadow

The howl

I’ve seen and felt them all

To fall or fly

The light before me

The light within

Patient pilot as infinite flame

With all that is

With all to be

And the choice unfolding

In turning toward

To ask humbly

May you guide me

Grace and Mercy

May you light the way

 

Martin © 2023

Still Empty Clear

To notice
We find stillness

To receive
We find emptiness

To see
We find clarity

And in the finding,
to be with what arises
and what falls,
includes everything in the way
and everything that is the way

Therein, to be with what is,
Is the finding

And so,

To listen
We find a place within

To be with what is
As it is

To be who we are
As we are

To be with all that is
As it is

To be still

empty

clear.

Becomes, a way

To find the way

To be.

 

 

Martin © 2023

To Nurture Self

As I reflect on the third step of developing inner relational awareness and connection – that being, Nurture, which follows the first step of Notice and the second step of Name.

Notice what is arising. Name to identify. Nurture to foster inner care and compassion.

I see that it may be helpful to discuss this third step as three distinct elements or movements.

  • Acknowledge
  • Appreciate
  • Accept

All three equating to Nurture.

In Inner relational awareness we practice attentive, non-conditional Withness. Being with what is.

For example, we can, with each  and every inner voice, inner part, inner sensation:

  • Acknowledge – I see you
  • Accept – I understand what you’re doing for me
  • Appreciate – I thank you

When we do this, we give each part, our attention.

Attention that affords each part of us: The Right to Be, and The Right To Belong.

When one part of us is at odds with another part or several parts have competing agendas – we become caught in an internal struggle – a never ending battle of competing voices. One wanting to cancel the other.

For example: in a three way debate – one part is always wanting to do better and achieve more and is never satisfied, vs another part that rationalises and invalidates, telling us we’ve achieved plenty and ‘should be’ happy vs another part that looks back at all opportunities we missed and is worried we will keep making the same mistakes, thereby reducing our confidence in making grounded decisions about our future.

When we seperate out these parts we can make some interesting observations:

  • curiously, each of these three parts has our best interests at heart
  • each one is protective by nature
  • each one is motivated by a core belief that is based in a past hurt or fear
  • each one is protecting a vulnerable part of us
  • each one believes it is right
  • each one operates independently from the others
  • the debate and struggle continues to loop and by perpetuating causes a level of disturbance, upset or unhappiness
  • each part wants to heard and validated

Understanding this is powerful.

Understanding that if we are to help these parts we must connect with them. This is integral. When we give them our attention we let them know they are seen.

Through connection, compassion and time with, ultimately, we can invite each part to work with us and with one another.

Our self leadership is integrative. Our seperate parts are invited to work in partnership. None are extinguished or banished they simply find new roles to play, with one another, not against one another. We afford them the third human right: The Right to Become.

This all comes about through our ability to Be With What Is.

To Notice Name and Nurture.

Nurture, being to: Acknowledge Accept and Appreciate each and every part.

Perhaps it might go like this:

WelcomeI see you. I understand what you’re doing for me. I thank you. 

And over time.

What I would like to talk to you about, is exploring a way we can work together to help us feel fulfilled and content. Are you open to this? What do you need from me? What do you need me to know? What could we do together? Who could we be together?

With love

Martin

 

Martin © 2022

A Fresh Approach Was Necessary

The part of me that I describe as ‘rational mind’ (RM) prioritises the type of thinking that is pragmatic, logical, linear, reasoned and cognitively sound. And is ever able to articulate, explain, and make sense of the world in accordance with these priorities.

RM looks at the world through this lens and this lens only.

It privileges what appears ‘sensible’ over what presents as ‘emotive’. Rejecting what it can’t explain, make sense of, or reduce to logic, RM feasts on empiric data, conclusive proof and indisputable evidence. It assumes itself to be a vital aspect of my human experience, if not ‘the’ vital aspect.

No doubt it has good intention. However, there’s a downside.

If allowed to run unchecked, the mystery of what exists outside empiricism and logic does not reveal its gifts. Matters of the heart move to second place. The valency of deep human connection becomes diminished. Exhaustive explanation is preferred over quiet and sustained observation. The Knowing Knower trumps Beginner’s Mind. And regrettably, justification cancels grace.

This friends, has been my past experience. And after several personal jolts and a significant wake up call, I decided a fresh approach was necessary.

Given RM’s privileged position and preferred role of Overlord, I chose principally to work with it and not oppose it, my approach was one of respect and appreciation.

By ‘work with’ I mean; engage my Organising Self through empathy and oversight, to invite in other faculties and human functions to facilitate a kind of internal partnership.

RM did not see it working this way at first, however through encouragement and persistence, RM began to appreciate there was much to gain working alongside certain balancing agents. Agents such as: curiosity, objective inquiry, humility, curiosity, and compassion, with timely contributions from imagination and creativity.

Depending on each situation I noticed  how the role of each agent could temper or assuage, support or align with RM’s most articulate and singular force.

And when able to catch the moment I saw how I could call on the good governance of my Organising Self to guide us toward inner partnership and integration.

In navigating life’s challenges and opportunities this way, I’ve witnessed a creative dance unfold: rational integrating with emotional, logical dancing with imaginative, control and judgment making room for curiosity, clinical embracing compassionate and so it goes.

I acknowledge that I’m a work in progress; happily I can share that as the partnership evolves I’m encouraged by and reminded of the maxim – the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The benefits of inner partnership are delivering a kind alchemy;  where 1 plus 1 equates to 3.

Curiously and with good humour, RM can see the logic of this.

 

 

Martin © 2022

Instrument of Music

As the reed, as the string, as the bow
As I bend, as I breathe, as I grow

There’s nothing to be held or confined
And no need to state what is mine

There’s freedom in love and life’s song
And harmony in where to belong

A joy listening and rising to muse
As she heals those thoughts that confuse

To be an instrument so bidden
My gift; to give what is given

To rest and release in the flow
And know,  just when to let go 

 

Martin © 2022

Dissolving the Finite Loop

 Setting the Stage for Inner Dialogue

An unhelpful Pattern can be described as a finite loop. It keeps going around and around. As the cause of recurring rumination it becomes a drain on personal energy.

It leads to a feeling of being stuck. Stuck in a never ending internal debate, where two or more inner parts are at odds with one another.

To share a personal example: Consider the part of me that judges others in the way they behave, versus, the part that wants to rationalise and explain away their behaviour.

In this cycle of depleting energy I experience diminishing returns. I struggle. Vigilant and armed for defence in a mindset of scarcity.

Acting without oversight and connection from my Aware Self, the Judge and Rationaliser continue on with their individual agendas. They are independent operators. Believing theirs is the singularly best option for my self preservation, they become righteous adversaries against unfairness, being misunderstood, and many of the hurts I carry. They do not see as they face out to the world that they inadvertently turn their backs to these hurts.

These hurts are memories. Conscious and subconscious memories held by my little ones. The younger parts of me who in their day were not able to see the world in the way of an adult. See the world in the way of reason, explanation, and big picture. If some misadventure or environmental failure occurred, it was on them. They did not know the way of grownups.

And so today, the Judge and the Rationaliser continue to pursue their separate agendas, one wanting to cancel out the other. And all the while the young one that carries the memory of unfairness is not held. Is not seen. As such, there can be no reprieve.

Until.

My aware and compassionate Self, steps in. It welcomes and connects to the Judge and to the Rationaliser. It thanks them for what they bring. And turning to the young one carrying the memory, carrying the hurt; offers comfort, compassion and connection. The younger part, is seen, and over time relaxes and releases into the arms of inner loving kindness.

And with this, the loop begins to dissolve. Space opens. Internal debate falls away making room for new ways of seeing. From my Aware Self a question arises: who can we be, together?

As such, the stage is set for internal dialogue. And so continues the journey toward inner partnership and personal transformation.

Martin © 2022

On the Day that Worry Danced with Me

I have worry
It comes most mornings, on first waking

Stirring in tangled ways all through my middle
it creases up my brow

Staying for hours, sometimes days
We career and struggle between this disturbance and that

Between us there is tension
Worry’s concerns, are the ones, I am trying, not to have

The more I wrestle or push it away
the stronger it comes back at me

And so it has been for many years
Almost a daily routine, until

One morning in meditation 
an angel spoke to me 

It said – why not greet Worry – thank it
see what it has for you

And taking this suggestion
I made attempt at inner conversation

Gratefully I can tell you, 
As if in surprise and wonder; Worry relaxed 

And to my amazement
almost instantaneously, it beamed 

Wonderfully, in that moment,
released and joyful

We began to dance together 
In exploration of trust and alchemy 

And weaving as we stepped,
came a pattern, mutual and beneficial

A Pattern I can today repeat
A Pattern steeped in listening, 

Where noticing and
regarding due concerns, has become

A dance of discovery and
Of mutual solution

A dance of love and lore.

Martin © 2022

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