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Month: November 2022

I am a puppet controlled by my crazy thoughts

I am learning a lot about myself recently as I began observing my thoughts like Michael Singer described in his other book The Untethered Soul. I have a lot of crazy thoughts, for example:

My husband’s baby sister is getting married. We are flying to Taiwan to attend her wedding.

Usually I would book the flight tickets when we visit his family but this time I thought I would delegate and let him take charge.

Oh, I was in for a rude awakening!

At first, I was doing quite well. I didn’t ask him about it since the wedding date wasn’t confirmed yet.

Then my oldest friend told me she’s going back to Taiwan as well. She said the price was $900 when she checked but after she got approval to take time off work a week later, the flight ticket jumped to $1400. That triggered my insecurity about money!

I started asking my husband if he’s booked the tickets yet. He informed me that his sister just decided on a date a few days ago.

“A few days ago? Why haven’t you booked the tickets then? What if the price increases like my friend said?”

I started checking on his progress more frequently. My husband said he’s booking the tickets but he’s just too slow for my taste. He talked to the travel agent but he didn’t book right away. I started getting worried.

Almost every day I asked him if he had booked the tickets and if not, what was his plan. I hovered over him when he’s on his computer to see what he was doing. I could feel he was getting agitated by my close watch.

I didn’t want to say out right to him to just book the tickets already! Because that would mean I am trying to control the situation. So I went online to check the ticket price myself. The price was still the same as the travel agent had quoted.

I relaxed a bit until the next day.

I told myself not to check the price again because I was going with the flow of life, letting go of control, leaving things alone and trusting everything will work out.

BUT I JUST COULDN’T!!! So I checked the price again.

Then I checked his phone to see his progress on booking the tickets. I couldn’t just ask him because that would mean I was controlling (See, I told you my thoughts made me a crazy person).

Then I saw that he got my name wrong!!! My mind started going really crazy now!

“How can he get this wrong? I even gave him our passports and told him to use the names on the passports to book the tickets! How can he be so careless?”

I realized I was getting really mad and started observing my thoughts more closely.

I told myself that the tickets are not yet confirmed and my name can still be corrected. But my mind was not having it. “How can he be so stupid?”

Another time, I might have been so angry that I would’ve stayed mad at him for a whole day. But then I asked myself if it’s worth having a bad day because of something that can be easily corrected.

I allowed this situation to be an opportunity to observe how crazy thoughts can ruin things and just watch the thoughts as Michael Singer described.

Luckily, the anger passed when you shine a light of awareness over it and didn’t blow up into crazy proportions.

My thoughts are crazier and more easily triggered than I’ve ever realized.

I bought The Untethered Soul years ago and I’ve read it before. I’ve forgotten what he said in the book (I just remember that it’s a good book) and I have not notice how crazy my thoughts are and how they are controlling my every move until now!

I am going to read Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul and Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth every year so I can keep those crazies in check.

PS. Both books are on my most recommended and must read book list!

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What is this “Energy” thing?

In Michael Singer’s The Surrender Experiment, he posed interesting questions that made me want to meditate so I can observe myself. I’ve been doing meditations on and off for several years now. Sometimes I find it helpful, sometimes I don’t know why I am doing it.

When I meditate, I feel tingling sensation in different parts of my body sometimes. I Googled what it meant but couldn’t find any answers at the time.

Michael Singer talked about the energy flowing between his eyebrows. He would focus on that energy to get back to the present moment instead of being carried away by the mind chatters.

Eckhart Tolle also talked about being present by feeling that subtle energy flowing within your body. He said you can pay attention to that energy even when you are reading or doing other things.

Then I remembered (just now as I am writing this) Dr. Sue Morter said something like that too, that you want to pull the energy back to your central channel (along the spine of your body), instead of scattering your energy outwards because your attentions are on different things in the outer world.

Interesting how the information was always out there but I was oblivious to it?

Growing up in Taiwan, I was familiar with the concept of energy (Chi). I saw people including my grandma doing TaiChi or QiGong in the parks. My favorite Chinese novel series was often about the protagonists finding secret sutra that taught them how to control their Chi and they became the best martial artists as a result of practicing it. In TV dramas, martial artists can fly near the tips of the trees because they mastered their Chi (kind of like in the movie Hidden Dragon Couching Tiger).

Then why is this energy thing still feel so elusive to me?

As an artist, I am learning to pay more attention to when and how inspirations pop. For me, ideas usually show up when I am coming out of my sleep state while my mind is still quiet. I can also feel an good idea has a different energy. It feels like excitement, enthusiasm or passion. Sometimes, I can sense different energy, maybe it’s emotions (aka energy in motion) from other people’s music or paintings.

I was just listening to Michael Singer talk about consciousness and energy. Who are you? Are you the thoughts, emotions or the awareness that is consciously observing these thoughts and feelings? Look at the mirror, who is looking? I tried it today and I could feel that when I look at myself superficially, it’s from the front of my head, around my eyeballs. But if I ask who’s looking, it felt more like its coming from the back of my head. Then I did some meditation and I felt energy swirling around the back of my head, around my neck and throat; A few turbulent energy shot up in my chest. I have no idea what that was but I know my heart area always gets tight and my breath becomes shallow when I was under stress. Then I got distracted from meditation and wanted to get up and do something else.

What I learned from Michael Singers’ The Surrender Experiment (from my current understanding is):

Step 1: Do the inner work: mediate, quiet the mind, let go of yourself (the mind chatter, your preferences, your ego, the past and the future).

Step 2: Be present, do your best work whatever you are given right here and right now, take one step at a time and don’t worry about trying to figure it out because the Universe is on top of it. Ram Dass said something like this too according to this article: Ram Dass, Who Inspired Steve Jobs to Visit India, Had a Very Simple Lesson for All of Us.

Step 3: Accept and make peace with wherever you are now. Really make peace with it. Appreciate where you are now.

You can find weekly talks by Michael Singers here:

Below: a sketch I did while reading Eckhart Tolle’s book.

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Get out of the way and let Life do its thing

I just finished reading Michael Singer’s The Surrender Experiment again. I bought the book seven years ago and I’ve forgotten how incredible his story was. It started out nice and easy but it just got crazier and more amazing! And this time I have a different understanding. I know because I wrote down some notes in the margin years ago when I first read it. For example, I wrote “positive thinking?” beside the line “the Bhagavad Gita says that one should raise the self with Self.” Now I think he meant acceptance.

He wrote “come to peace with myself.”

That line really touched me. Maybe I haven’t even come to peace with myself totally. Thinking back, I am always trying to get to a better place. Maybe I didn’t even accept that I am a mom now (my son is 12 already) and that I chose to stay home and take care of my family. My mind would get pulled away to the future all the time. I remember thinking about going back to work when my baby was just a few months old. Maybe I still haven’t really accepted that. Sometimes I enjoy cooking or cleaning because I know I am taking care of my family but a lot of time I just hated all the mess and chores that I had to do around the house. It made me grumpy and mad at the people who I love the most because I blame them for being messy, using too many cups/dishes (aka drinking/eating too many times a day) and not helping to clean up. I also realized that sometimes, I ignore my problems and push the negative emotion away. I thought that was staying positive but I didn’t really deal with the emotion and it’s probably stored in my body somewhere.

What stood out to me reading The Surrender Experiment this time, was how much he kept saying that it was enough. He was happy where he was. He just wanted to go back to the woods and meditate. He was totally content. He was at peace. He was always talking about this perfect person, employee, or situation and how perfect they were.

Even when crazy things happened to him, things that would make me so mad and try to fight the situation, he would say this was what life had brought to him, it’s an opportunity for him to let go of his personal preferences and he faced it with all his heart. He did everything to the best of his ability, stayed present and just took one step after another. He’s totally content with this step, not even thinking about the next step and whatever life brought him, he just embrace it with his whole being. This is not what I was taught to do growing up or by our society. I set goals, I work towards it and there are always more things I want. I am always on a treadmill chasing after something and not feeling content. Whereas Michael Singer is totally going with the flow of life, content of being wherever he is and life just kept bringing him more and more amazing things. I love how he said to just get out of the way and let Life do its thing. Eckhart Tolle said life is the dancer, we are the dance. At first I thought that didn’t make sense but now I am starting to understand.

I think Michael Singer’s story is a great example of what Abraham Hicks was talking about when you quiet the mind, you raise your vibration and allow all the things you’ve ever wanted to come to your life in perfect timing and combinations that you couldn’t even imaging in your current understanding. Abraham kept saying getting ready to be ready. I was confused about what it meant but now I think it’s the inner work like quieting the mind and letting go of personal preferences. Once you quiet the chatter, you are able to hear your inner being who knows the answers.

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We are literally stardust!

I was watching some videos about the James Webb Space Telescope. YouTube automatically suggested some videos with Neil deGrasse Tyson in it. In an interview, deGrasse Tyson talked about his new book Starry Messenger and how we are literally Stardust that achieved consciousness to contemplate and participate in the great unfolding of the universe.

Wow. I love that! I’ve always been fascinated with Outer Space. When I was younger, I thought about becoming an astronaut. My old profile picture was me in space because my Chinese name literally means “Contemplate Universe”.

Then YouTube suggested another video with Neil deGrasse Tyson in it about parenting. He said when you have kids, don’t even think about staying clean and tidy. He saw a mom pulling her child away from a puddle of water and that’s a lost opportunity to learn about the properties of water, velocity, force, action and reaction etc.

So true!

I told my son don’t do this and don’t do that because I didn’t want to clean up the mess.

The other day my son smashed an electrical fuse (with glass) then burned it inside the house (without asking). A few days later, he asked me if he could throw some eggs on the lawn and see what happens.

If I haven’t watched that video, I would most likely said no.

In the video, there were also clips from Dr. Gabor Mate and Dr. Shefali. When I was working on my picture book Emet’s Box, I kept thinking why do we listen to others and not follow our hearts? I found Dr. Mate’s talks about attachment and authenticity very insightful. I didn’t know Dr. Shefali before but I wanted to learn more about her work. She said children teach us how to be in the present moment and to accept them as who they really are because we haven’t really accepted who we really are!

Yes. That’s my most important work.

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