Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Numb and Crazy

Numb and Crazy

As I shuffled the deck this morning, the Purpose card jumped out. Again. The cards always bring new thoughts and fresh ideas to me, when I let them. This morning, the word “lost” was the standout word for me. “How have I changed from feeling lost...”

Each of us has times in our lives when our entire world shifts, when life becomes fundamentally  different.

We have many ways to deal with this kind of change. A lot of them suck, because the situation can feel overwhelming, so we bring out our worst behaviors seeking relief.

How have I changed from wanting to act my worst to choosing to be my best?

I find that it helps to know what’s going on, and why I feel like that.

When I have a huge change happen, or even a very small, very deep change, my unconscious mind starts working like a mad thing to get this change sorted out, understood, incorporated into my world view. And for every thought, there is a corresponding emotion, the physical manifestation of thought. So now I have a million new thoughts, and a million emotions flashing through my unconscious mind.

Plus, I am having a ton of old, tried but not necessarily true, unconscious thoughts and emotions happening, however I tend to run on the topic that’s changed.

As we say in Minnesota, Uff da!

So now we have a spectacular amount of unconscious activity happening so fast we can’t keep track, and we find ourselves feeling numb or like we are going crazy. We can do either one of those, but I tells ya,  I didn’t really like either one of those, just in case you were wondering.

It’s a lot like getting really cold, so cold your toes or legs get numb. It’s not that you’ve stopped feeling, it’s that your insides are working double time to keep your core warm, so normal goes out the window, and you may find your teeth chattering, and your body jiggling like mad.

So then, what the heck do you do?

Why am I patient with myself? What makes me choose to relax? How am I peaceful?

Remembering that I am peaceful underneath the unconscious material helps me a lot.

When these things happen, I often have a lot of extra stuff to do. So what I try to do is work on the extra stuff with all the focus I can muster, then stop, really stop, for a while, and meditate for a bit. All I mean by that is to quiet my body, and let my thoughts flow. If I find that I’m following a thought, I come back to the place of observation.

Taking those moments to zen in, if you will, allows unconscious material to come up, and then I can either address it, or let it go. Most recently, I had an unconscious thought banging around that left me feeling very uncomfortable. It popped into consciousness during a short meditation and made me laugh out loud. Very absurd to my conscious mind, but scary until it came up.

Choosing to practice stillness every day makes it so much easier to choose stillness for the big stuff. Treating ourselves with kindness and respect every day makes it easier to be kind and patient in the big stuff. Practicing respect toward ourselves and each other every day means that we can cope much more easily when we are taxed.

How have I changed from choosing to act out when big things happen, to being gentle and soft and respectful of me and you?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 12312013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dispelling the Binding Lottery

Dispelling the Binding Lottery

One of the features of serving my time in the dark ages was that sense of aimlessness.

I have always liked to do stuff; there are so many bazillion fun things to learn how to do. That wasn’t an issue for me. I hardly ever get bored. But I wanted to feel like I’d found, and was using,  my special gift.

I heard we each had one. I had friends who knew what they wanted to do. And then I had more friends who knew what they wanted to do.

I knew what I didn’t want.


Most of us are really good at knowing what we don’t want. I know I talk about it a lot, but It always blows me away, until I cast my thoughts back to when I couldn’t have told you my favorite color (I have several that rotate to the top place.) or my favorite foods, or my thoughts on the hot topics of the day.

Now, back then, I spent a lot of time with people who serious over-reacted to stuff, so chancing a disagreement felt dangerous. But part of it was just not taking the time to decide.

And then I learned something really important. Learning to choose, learning to select, to decide, is a big part of becoming a grownup. Recognizing that I can’t do or see or hear or taste or experience it all, and that I have to choose.

It’s not just having a favorite color, or a favorite sweater, it’s deciding how I want to be, what I want to read, where I want to spend my energy, and with whom.

Deciding how I want to be. That’s a doozie. It will color everything. Some decisions are big, like deciding I wanted to be happy. Some decisions are relatively small, but with a big impact. I remember deciding that I wanted to be one of those people who had a group of friends to dine with once a month. I have enjoyed that decision for almost 14 years now. How do I want to be?

Seeing that I could choose what qualities I wanted in my friends, what qualities I wouldn’t accept. That was a moment of great liberation for me. I could decide that I didn’t want to be friends with people who were cruel, or dangerous, or contentious, or overly dramatic. I could choose people who had qualities I respected and admired. My choice, not some kind of binding lottery. Why do I choose to engage?

To a large extent, I get to decide how healthy, wealthy, happy, sane, content, relax, comfortable, connected, intimate, engaged, and delighted I want to be. I get to decide how generous and receptive I want to be.

And I get to realize my purpose. Now, I will say, my purpose was staring me right in the face the whole time, but it took time recognize it: I have loved to teach my whole life. I wrote my first book when I was four. I value very highly personal development. Put ‘em all together, and shake for a few years, and eh, voila!, you get daily contemplations.

How have I changed from feeling aimless to enjoying my purpose in life?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 12302013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Secondary Gains

Secondary Gains

We are so interesting, us people. Because each of us is unique, we have endless differences and similarities to explore. Some of those are wonderful, some are tragic, or scary, or fill us with love and comfort.

We are all human. That’s the bottom line.

I recently learned that one of my communities is behaving poorly, and others are noticing. Got me thinking, like stuff does.

Not Creative Questions, but good questions, nonetheless: What kind of example am I setting? What roles am I modeling? When I am behaving badly, what do I get out of it?

Yeah, I don’t much like that last one, either, but since I am committed to knowing myself, I have to look at that stuff.

Secondary gains. That’s what we get when we are misbehaving and know we shouldn’t. It can be challenging and embarrassing to look that clearly at ourselves, but it is also the only way I know of to shed those behaviors.

Most of us like to feel celebrated, like to feel honored. We like to feel proud of ourselves, and that we are a contribution to our communities, from our families to our countries and world. Sometimes, we feel arrogant; better, smarter, more worthy, or deserving. Sometimes we feel the opposite; worse, dumber, less worthy in a weird and punishing way. Neither one feels good.

How do I know I am good enough? What makes me respect myself? Why do I choose to know me? How do I know I am safe to know me?

When I encounter one of those times, being better or less than you, I need to stop. I need to regroup. I usually need to relax something, my body, my feelings, or a notion I have.

When I find myself indulging in one of those behaviors that feel shamefully fun, I try to take a step back, and at the very least, stop. It can often feel really fun at the time, but then I feel bad after. It’s often not worth it to me in the long run.

Secondary gains are interesting. It may be the case that we feel relief from built up, inside psychic or emotional pressure. It may be the case that we feel connected by doing the same things as our friends. It may be the case that we feel elevated, or better than. It may be the case that we feel included, or noble, or self-sacrificing. We each have our own, special list.

Since I want to grow up, I have these topics to address. I will notice when I feel guilty. Is there something I need to do, or do I simply need to let it go? I will notice when I am worrying. Is there something I need to do, or do I just let it go? I will notice when I am doing something that brings secondary gains, and I will stop, and shift my behavior.

I believe that when I learn the lesson, the situation will change automatically. It’s all for me. From your POV, it’s all for you, the Universe providing us with what we need to become our very best selves.

How have I changed from indulging in childish behaviors to choosing to enjoy being a grownup?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 12292013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Your Groove Thing

Your Groove Thing

Oo, oo, oo! Tell me three things you like about your own sweet body right now! Ok, here’s three off the top of my head. I love that I have a body for my spirit to live it. I love that I can pet and cuddle my cats with my body. I love the taste and then the feeling of my hot morning drink on a chilly, pre-dawn, winter morning.

I sure didn’t. I sure used to hate my body, my looks. Lots of us do. We get strange notions, you and I.  

When we are young, we hear people say horrible things about our bodies, and we internalize them, and forget someone else was being mean. Then we rehearse ‘em over and over until they’ve gone all unconscious on us and we don’t even know we are thinking them. We end up just feeling awful about our bodies.

Our poor little bodies. We take all sorts of frustrations and pain out on our bodies. When we don’t like us very much, we often abuse our bodies. When they are crying for attention, we drug them into silence, or do other mean things, or stuff them, or run them into the ground. We ignore their pleas for food or water or rest. We push and push, or we refuse to move them at all, and let their muscles atrophy, and foul up our glands, and organs.

At least, I did.

Why would I love my body? How could I love my body? What makes me appreciation the miracle of flesh I live in?

We spend huge amounts of time, and and huge amounts of energy, and huge amounts of money on stuff to change our bodies to meet some kind of standard that a select few actually achieve. And once they do, staying there is often exhausting, full of deprivation and misery; a very diminished well being for all that effort.

How do I know I am beautiful? What makes me attractive from the insides out? Why am I just right?

When we are living our natural lives, we are easy in our bodies. We have learned how, and practice regularly, to relax our muscles. We like to move, we are flexible in our bodies, in our emotions, in our thoughts the best we can, and respect our own limits, with just a little push at them.

Why do I treat my body with love and respect?

When we are living our natural lives, we enjoy our bodies to their full complement. We want to keep them clean and tidy, as we do our homes. We dress them in ways that please us, and because we are expert manifesters, we know we don’t need lots of money to do that.

When we are living our natural lives, we prefer wholesome foods in moderation, treats in moderation, all the consumables we love, we have from time to time. We notice how our bodies feel, what feels good, what needs attention. We slake our thirst,  we like to get good rest, we are diligent if we have physical therapy exercises, we take our meds if we are prescribed. If what we are doing to heal our bodies isn’t working, we try alternative healing methods, or healers.

How have I changed from punishing my body for being mine to treating like the treasure it is?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 12282013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Banishing Dark Sufferance

Banishing Dark Sufferance

My absolutely favorite card of all, my absolutely favorite Creative Question of all came up today, Why is it so easy?

We like to imagine that it’s hard. They say that suffering is a matter of course. That human nature is inherently bad. We also like to imagine that fortune and justice are blind, that Santa Claus is a myth, and they say that we can’t change our spots.

They lie like paint on sand, like a dog on a rug, like a bad toupee.

I see people changing all the time. Sometimes, we see that rapid change when someone discovers a recreational drug.

I saw that change in me, when I did my time on speed and cocaine. The beginning of the end of the dark ages  was seeing a photo of me taken when I thought I was all that, lived on 6 soda crackers a day, with caffeine and drugs, for several months, and oh, dear, the look of my face was terrifying to me. One more piece in my choosing happiness.

As we choose over and over to grow up, to evolve, to touch the center of our perfect selves, to flash into enlightenment awareness, easy comes along as a matter of course.

Why would I choose to grow up? What makes being a grownup fun?

I often know that I’ve taken a detour because it feels hard. When I notice that feeling, of struggle, of dark effort, I take it as a cue to pause, to go inside, to slow down, to find my peace.

The weird thing is that, even though nothing on the outside has changed, getting to that place inside changes everything, and everything feels easier. It can happen in an instant. Really.

Why do I stop worry in its tracks? Why would I choose to feel peaceful? What makes me relax all the way through?

There is nothing that being worried, stressed, angst-y, and clenched can’t make worse.

Why would I choose easy?

When I recenter myself, all that crapola falls off. When I recenter, and restart my Creative Questions, my unconscious mind begins to cook on my well being, and the under current moving me forward gets strong again. When I recenter, I remember that my attitude and POV create my reality, and if there is stuff I don’t like, I can shift my insides to, at the very least, allow it to be.

(I really do this. I don’t just blather on about it. I had a very weird day yesterday, and am using my tools as we speak to bring me back to easy, joyful, satisfying, and so on. Why do I like easy?)

Easy is something I like to practice on every day, especially on the little stuff. The little stuff is easy, and the medium stuff, then, gets easier. Then, when the big hard horrible stuff comes up, I can cope. I can cope in ease, I can cope with peace. Or I can get their pretty fast because I’ve spent all that time carving the pathways in my brain.

How have I changed from buying the idea of hard to seeing that I can make it easy?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 12272013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

BYO Bestie

BYO Bestie

Best friends. When we are really lucky, we may have family for best friends. When we are really lucky we have at least one best friend. When we are really lucky, we have best friends we like, who like us.

You know how I feel about luck, too, don’t you.

Why do I have best friends? What makes me so fortunate?

I made up a rule for myself many years ago: No secrets. I tell everything that could potentially be a secret, that is, something of consequence or psychic weight, to at least one person. I am blessed with several besties, and one of their jobs is hearing those unsecrets.

We choose our friends for so many reasons. In the yorely days, I chose friends based on who supported my misery the best. Seriously. Or who wanted to get high with me, or have sex. Oy, being miserable was hard and lonely, and all to frequently terrifying, work.

Why do I embrace change?

Then, I chose friends who supported my sobriety.

What makes me choose to be clear?

Then, I chose friends who supported me in healing my spirit.

Now I have friends I love for themselves, who love me without reason. We are thrilled with each other’s friendship, rejoice in each other, have fun, feel gratitude and appreciation, and generally revel in just knowing each other.

When we choose friends we like (which is not as weird as it sounds. I used to have a lot of friends I didn’t like.) our lives get bigger. We find more opportunities to bring out our best selves.

We are divine, infinite beings. At the same time, when we are living our normals days, we don’t have much call to tap into our divine, infinite selves. Having best friends, friends whom we trust to advise us, friends with whom we love to play, or have adventures, or otherwise do stuff with, helps us to expand our horizons. Having best friends makes it safe for us to push our little envelope of comfort a bit here, a bit there, until we find that we have let our world expand, we are actuating our purpose, we are living a life we love.

How do I know I am a divine, infinite being? Why do I have a purpose?

As I deepen my friendship with you, I deepen my relationship with myself, as well, and if I am diligent, and willing to open my heart to someone with lots of flaws and faults and failings, ones I see all the time, and know all too well, I may be able to forgive, and find that I am one of my own besties. Treating myself with kindness, warmth, and respect, forgiving my screw ups and failings, supporting myself in allowing me to live my natural live, and maybe, just maybe, to experience myself as that divine, infinite being.

How have I changed from feeling kinda isolated to enjoying the company of my best friends?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 12262013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Bestest Present

The Bestest Present

Creative Questions are so great; simple to use, dynamic and powerful. When I remember to apply them, I often feel instantly better. You know I use my decks, both editions, every day to pull our card of the day, but I also use them just for me, to give my day a focus, to get my mind thinking on a wholesome and healing track.

I have the cards with special import for me tucked up around the house where I see them every day.

Somedays, I will be messing around with the questions on a card, and I will hit a certain rephrase, and start crying, or heave a huge sigh, or get a tingly feeling, or some other “tell.” Then I know I’ve found a life-changer. Because Creative Questions do that. They help us change our lives with easy and comfort.

Sometimes, I pull a card that feels like a prize because it’s simple clarity has made such a huge difference in my life, and does so every day. I got one of those today, “Why am I aware?”

Choosing awareness, sometimes over and over and over, keeps me present.

I used to think that living in the moment meant being heedless of the future, and I spent a chunk of it drunk or high. And then I would pay for it by feeling awful, or being in trouble, or having done something really stupid.

Being present, choosing awareness, never costs me. It rewards me over and over. When I choose to be present, I see beauty in the most amazing, unlikely places. When I choose to be present, I see into your sweet heart, I can see your core self. I find my perfect self more easily, too.

Choosing awareness slows down my insides. I can still move fast on the outside, maybe even faster if I want, because I’m not distracted by hiding from stuff. Slowing down on the insides keeps me in touch with my thoughts and emotions. What might have been a rage attack in the olden days might now be just a flicker because I notice it faster, and experience the emotion, and let it go.

I love to do stuff, all kinds of stuff, from cooking and blessing my house to making things, to writing songs; stuff. In the dark ages, I did stuff, too, but again, it cost me. One way it cost was in my procrastination.

When I choose awareness, I seem to unchoose procrastination. I find that I want to do the stuff I didn’t just so I can have it done. My former selves are all agog at that. Procrastination was such a way of life, that feeling of living on the edge of trouble all the time. It was exciting in that crappy way that leaves you feeling icky, and guilty. Sometimes I couldn’t pull the iron out of the fire fast enough. Then I would have to pay the piper. Piper’s pay sucks.

When I choose awareness, I take care of me. I take better care of myself. I get more sleep. I enjoy playing and moving my body. I experience my emotions more quickly rather than letting them build up into huge feelings. I can choose what I want to do, instead of feeling like I am compelled to waste my time. This is a process, not a done deal.

How have I changed from blindly smashing around in my life to living in shining awareness?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 12252013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How to Win

How to Win

We are so interesting, us people. We love making rules, then we love to bend, or break those rules. We love to compete with each other, or we hate it and avoid it at all costs. We love to have power over each other, or to be overpowered. We praise, extol, and laud the ones who end up at the top, often without regard for how or why they got there. And sometimes we mock and jape at the ones who didn’t.

So with all that stuff going on inside us, in our groups and families and communities, it’s small wonder that we have a lot going on around the notion of winning and being a winner.

I’ve watched people who valued the laurels so much that they were willing to dump friends and hurt loved ones, and themselves, to get them. Others who would sabotage themselves, wreaking havoc around them,  to avoid winning.


Life is so hard when we let the outside dictate how we think about ourselves. One of my old favorite bad creative questions was, “Why am I such a loser?” Yikes.

I could ask that question a hundred times a day, get a hundred different horrible answers, and never notice it. Insidious! I would feel awful, not even want to try at anything. I felt like the whole point of my communities was to make me feel bad about myself. And if I did well, it was either a fluke, or not well enough. I lived in a very unpleasant place.

It’s all in how we look at it. So simple, so challenging. It’s the superpower of my point of view.

Some of us tighten up and fight that loser feeling by working our poor little bottoms off to prove that we are winners. We run races, strive for the top, put our names up for all the awards and honors we can find, and, even though we may win and win and win, we find that we still don’t feel like a winner, we still can’t be convinced.

How do I feel when I am a winner? How else do I feel when I am a winner? What makes me a winner?

When I go inside with Creative Questions like those, and really apply them, I am a winner. I see wonderful, strong reasons why I am a winner, and I feel different out in the world. It’s like a miracle. I see that I cannot be made to feel winner-y from the outside in, but that I need to own it from the inside out.

When I redefine winning as achieving my best self, I can be a winner all the time. When I challenge me to do my best, I can accomplish amazing things, and I can feel satisfied with my accomplishments. And If I want, I can always make up my own certificates or trophies, and I can enjoy celebrating my successes with my loved ones. Or even by myself.

Using my good Creative Questions will make a big difference. So will relaxing. Unclenching the need to beat others, or to let others beat us. Softening, doing our best rather than striving for perfection.  In my natural life, I am always a winner.

How have I changed from feeling like a sucky loser to knowing I win whenever I do my best?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 12242013

Why do I choose to share this contemplation? ;)