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Archive for the ‘Playful Awakening’ Category

For anyone who’s ‘on a path of growing’, I wonder if there may sometimes be a putting off of stopping and just…being…this, now, not going anywhere in your so important one Life as You.

I was watching one of the kids today, nearly 2 years old, and everything, for him, is growing and input. Every crouch-down to pick up a windfall apple is creating pathways of balance and weight-distribution and hand-accuracy. Moment by moment this kid’s life is intellectual and physical and emotional input. The whole organism is downloading and uploading a constant stream of data to arrange it’s motor, survival and human operational systems.

And then I was thinking about some people’s obsession with growing, and how it makes sense that after a childhood of accumulation one might think that that’s what life is supposed to be continuously about.

But a tree knows when to stop.

It keeps producing seeds and fruit, but at a certain time it knows that it’s high enough, and stops, and just resides as that height, that shape….being a tree.

Maybe the first chunk of our lives is for growing into all our systems and there comes a time to just be that shape – to enjoy the world just as we are without needing to head towards a finish line of enoughness when we will have earned the right to just rest…and enjoy…appreciate….Be.

How would it feel for you to just decide – ‘I’ve focused on growing and growing quite enough for now, I’m going to just Be now, just enjoy and appreciate all the aspects of my life, create new things, go deeper into what I’ve already manifested around me, and drop the idea that until I’ve done more, learnt more, broken through more, served more, healed more….I can’t just rest and enjoy?

3

2

1

Stop.

One…big…deep…breath…together.

Life is growing you – you don’t need to do anything except be there when it does.

jamiecatto.com

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The two ways that we tend to access the wonderful, illuminating and inspiring wisdom and peace we humans are so capable of is either through someone else who, perhaps long ago, dared to get themselves into such a state of empty receptivity and deep listening that a blast of utter clarity and truth came through them and they wrote it all down (or told it to those who could hear it – and those guys wrote it down as best they could). Later on, maybe millions of people were so touched and nourished and switched on when they read this wisdom that they decided ‘this is it!’ and maybe even became scholars of that message, teaching it to more and more people and making it their life’s passion to share it with as many as possible. Hence Religions and ‘paths’ with priests, academics, and experts….even hierarchies. I’m not writing them off…but…

…the other way, and the more vulnerable way, is for each of us ourselves to enter that state of empty receptivity and deep listening as often as possible, even on a moment by moment basis throughout the day, and trust what we hear. To do this can feel uncomfortable because we have to leave the trusted, ego-realm of control which we are so used to, (even though if we’re honest, has it ever really delivered that ’safety’ that it keeps promising?). To let go of this earthy dimension of provable facts and the security of everything that has seemed to ‘work’ ’til now feels understandably edgy. Most of us are reluctant to let go of that perceived sense of usualness that we have counted on all these years. This is the same reason artists think they have writer’s block. There is no block, just a rejection of the edgy, vulnerable feeling that arises in the body when you look at your guitar or laptop or paints and feel that sinking feeling. It’s just the ego not wanting to let go into that less predictable, uncontrolled place where our surrendered Yin opens and none of the strategies we’re so used to living by are useful or relevant. It can feel a bit squirmy if you don’t frame it right and you can end up not creating that day. All because the accustomed, ‘safe’ place in you wanted to hold on.

Bravely allowing that sensation of resistance is what makes you a great artist or wisdom-bringer.

There is a third way where we use the teachings of someone before us to trigger our own channel to open and bring in the relevant wisdom of the ‘Now’, but I urge you to dare to make opening to your own unique channel, even though it can feel weird or spooky at first, central to the moment by moment living of your life. What those geniuses or sages of the past brought through was amazing, and yes it’s hard not to get sucked into the idea that only they could be the Buddha or the Christ because everyone’s made such a faux-humble fuss of them – but that’s bad brainwashing, to believe the ignorant parents or school-teachers that told you it could only be them, not you, and that it’s even arrogant to imagine you, yourself could channel the very same, pure wisdom, relevant to this moment TODAY! Burn me at the stake but those past moments back then that the old Masters and Mistresses were channeling were not as relevant to this today-moment of your life as what you, yourself, can hear, right now, by emptying and opening. Everyone has this ability, EVEN YOU. It’s not arrogant or sacrilegious to use and enjoy your own amazing cosmic CB Radio receiver. It’s a far better life to live according to those messages and offerings than the usual Headfuck FM radio station of the worried ego constantly trying to keep us safe and manically protecting us from ever looking stupid or weak.

If your guitar or pen is triggering that resistance, go deeper into just the feeling of it in the body, in a friendly, curious way, and soon, just by making a brief start, you’ll find yourself in the flow. And yes, if you’re inspired by Tantra or Yoga or any of the wise paths and doctrines, drink every uplifting mouthful – but I’d hazard against using it as a day by day substitute for what comes through when you open your own deep, listening, un-thinking hotline to the ever-generous ALL THAT IS.

Message me if you’d like to try it.

www.jamiecatto.com

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This might sound a bit extreme, but as I communicate with so many diverse people in a day, I notice that the ‘One’ or ‘state of being’ in them who is writing or talking to me is very vividly coming from one of two places.

EITHER

They are coming from the connected-to-presence, loving, respectful, sensitive and awake to the unpolluted and undistracted compassion of this moment together – an undramatic, patient, forgiving, low-ambition kind of a place…

OR

They’re coming from the ‘one’ in them who is fully believing in some ‘reality’ or agenda that backs up their separate, individual identity as a person with specific needs, desire and fears – from this standpoint they are totally concerned with the material or emotional plane of their individual human experience, their model of how life should be, and the strategies to uphold that model and not be uncomfortable or out of control.

That second place is in such a state of oblivion to the first (truer?) more surrendered one – that it really believes that whatever it wants or needs or thinks is coming from ‘the truth’. This second state-of-being believes it can control it’s reality to achieve its desires and avoid the things it fears or finds uncomfortable. It has totally forgotten the ‘first’ place where there is sober acceptance of our limited sphere of influence to control Life and has forgotten the place inside that connects to trust, equanimity and surrender. This first (wiser?) place knows there’s no control and feels compassion for all of us heading towards inevitable death – death of the part that believes that ‘who I am is all these thoughts and wants and fears and busy-me-ness’.

This second, some would describe as purely ‘ego-driven’ state, to me, is nothing short of mental illness. To live as if that constant stream of desire, emotions, control-trips and ’separateness’ is true reality is to live in hell, both in our futility and constant failure to control getting the things we want moment by moment, but also the lack of control over all the unexpected and often painful events and situations which inevitably arrive in our lives. Add to that the fact of our impending human death and the bizarre rule-book we were all given as we were growing up about how we should live, a rule book written by other asleep people who were also grasping and terrified and confused…..it’s little wonder that the first (more peaceful) state of Love and Connectedness I described plays such a small part in most people’s lives.

Often it takes a crisis to force us there, something that strips away the ‘importance’ of all the things we want and don’t want. When someone gets seriously ill or dies those daily concerns seem suddenly petty. Many grudges and disputes seem petty too when we come back to the deeper appreciation of all of our fragility and the constant stream of unexpected change we have to endure.

This is why keeping that first state awake is the first and most important mission of my life, because when that part of me is asleep, for instance when something I don’t like happens and I jump into a knee-jerk control and strategy reaction, or really any conversation or action where I’m believing that running around maintaining the impossible comfort zone of Jamie’s Life is the main priority, I am in a PTSD reaction, a form of mental illness where the true faculty of loving awareness has been blocked out by the noise and urgency of my desire or fear.

So that’s how I feel about it today. Either we’re awake and compassionate, (not because it’s good to be compassionate, but because the truth of our wounded and fragile predicament is something completely worthy of our compassion, the compassion is truly fitting) – OR I am a mental patient, asleep to the (truer to me) reality. I’m in suffering, causing suffering, hiding, strategising, and inevitably doomed to the death of everything I think is important – the limited idea of me.

I recommend to all the people I coach, mentor or work with to set their phone alarm to bleep every half hour of the waking day because falling into the sleep-state where we have literally forgotten ourSelves and are believing the busy, delusionally-controlling, comfort-addicted identity is a total waste of hours and hours a day. It’s not an elephant in the room, it’s a dinosaur! Yet every moment spent in the realm where we are awake, present, and lovingly-aware is rich and worthwhile, and we all unconsciously drift out of it so regularly that a reminder to wake up with a bleep or a bell is, in the initial stages, vital to repeat the waking-up enough times to create a deep groove in the neuro-plasticity of our brains – until being awake needs no more reminders.

Whatever is takes – alarm clocks, meditation bells, Post It notes around the house – commit to loving wakefulness – anything else is insanity and enslavement.

www.jamiecatto.com

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The brain is an amazing problem-solving machine and it can be directed to just about any problem or challenge you can think of. Sadly, when we were kids, we experienced some excruciating rejection and even violence in situations where we felt weak, or stupid, or vulnerable, or unwelcome for being naturally who we were. It was so painful that we made it our one ruling priority to never again feel those feelings. At that moment we programmed and instructed our amazing problem solving mind to stay constantly alert to anything that might result in us feeling those painful things and to keep us the hell away from them. Our attention and strategising, problem-solving potential was then all directed to never feeling or appearing vulnerable, never looking stupid, never looking ugly, never being rejected or exiled, never risking…and whatever other items on the list of ‘must’ and ‘mustn’t’ we created from all these confusing and wounding childhood moments.

The constant stream of thinking which we take for granted every day is how our problem-solving mind does the job (that we instructed it to do) to keep us safe from those scary and painful things. The mind-machine uses thoughts which are so sophisticated that they make us think they are our values and our truths, SO convincing, like an amazing ventriloquist dummy or impersonation of ourselves – we really think, when we are worrying away or imagining someone’s intentions towards us, that these beliefs are our truth when really they are just a list of ways the mind-machine is throwing up to protect us. It also uses feelings and body chemistry urges and ideas of battling, controlling, manipulating, escaping, numbing, denying, condemning, fearing, worrying….so compelling and so constant that most humans live as if that loud radio station which is always ON, Headfuck FM, is who they are.

It only takes 2 minutes of sitting quietly and observing the conveyer belt of thoughts that arise all by themselves from this mind-machine to realise that who we are is not that constant stream of protections and fantasies that compel us, who we are is the one who is Watching, Witnessing, Observing those thoughts. When you realise that for the first time, that you’ve been living as if your stream of thoughts was true and You when really it was just a problem solving machine you programmed to make sure you never again felt pain, it’s quite a moment. I’d even say it’s the difference between living as a robot, constantly yanked left and right by the next danger or opportunity, or living as a free being, who sees and feels all those urges and thinking-protections, but doesn’t base truth and reality on them and always let’s the Witness or Observer that can see the mind’s antics, make the actual choices and decisions (and especially write the emails!)

How much of your day do you spend absorbed by the stream of thinking and forget that it’s not You? Try watching the thoughts for 3 minutes and see if you can not get sucked in. As Gabrielle Roth says: “Freedom is simple but not easy.’

www.jamiecatto.com

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The idea of ‘growing’ as a person and ‘improving’ oneself springs from the presumption that some states are better than others and that our messy, reactive days are less ‘improved’ than our equanimity ones – as if we can cherry pick preferred states – but the truth is, the one in us that even concerns itself with growth or improvement isn’t who we really are. Who we really are is Loving Awareness – and this Loving Awareness that we really are (that sits in the space behind all our busy thinking and planning and strategising) doesn’t deal in terms of growth or anything other than the acceptance and full presence of this moment, whatever it holds. The ‘real’ or more essential Me and You would never even conceive of growth. Only the fragile, worried, self protecting ego does that, because it’s been brainwashed to achieve and ‘get to the next level’ in it’s constant quest to be loved and not rejected, exiled or lonely. But ever ‘getting to the next level’ is really an affirmation of LACK – a belief in ‘we’re not there yet’ when really we are – because being ‘there’ is really ‘being right here’.

We are already right here – so drop the ideas of future improvement because every moment you concern yourself with that, you’re not in the present moment (the only authentic reality we can experience) but in some future abstraction in our ambitious mind. Loving this Now is the only authentic state. Everything else is a deluded ego-trip to satisfy a not-enoughness.

Have we been so thoroughly trained in achievement and ambition that we can’t be fully accepting of how we are now with no need to change?

To improve yourself is only an ego concern because the real Self can never be improved. So if it entertains you to participate in ‘growing’ practices and it’s the most fun available for you then great. If it’s interesting to try and get your ego to act more like a Soul then go for it, but if it’s something you feel you need to do, something you couldn’t be comfortable without, then I’d question where that urge is really coming from.

It looks like it’s rooted in Lack to me, and wherever we move from, wherever we act and choose from, that frequency begets and attracts more of the same. Lack begets lack…..and on and on it goes….and we empower an inner slave-driver to push us along and measure how far we’ve come and how well we’re doing….all total nonsense.

There’s a much juicier offering, and that is to let go of the ego’s improvement concerns for a bit and just sink back into the Loving Awareness that we can call ’Soul’ where there’s nothing to achieve, nowhere to go – just….this…..Now. When we do that for just three minutes, and watch what our crazy mind thinks about all by itself, we are amazed that we acted for years as if that constant stream of ambitious and strategic thinking was ‘Us’. When really it’s no more than a badly programmed protection machine that we charged with the job of making us lovable, making us never be seen to fail, or look stupid, or look vulnerable or anything that might get us rejected or exiled. That constant stream of self-protection and self-elevation is not who we are, the that loud radio station in our heads, Headfuck FM, has been on so long, and so loud, that we’ve become accustomed to treating as Reality. Just three minutes observing the thoughts proves to us without doubt that those thoughts are not who we are. Becasue if we can observe the thought come and go, even just once, then we realise we are the Witness, not the thought.

If we drop the whole growing thing then we have a chance to practice true Self Love and peace and the end of having expectations and judgements about others.

All that’s left is the space to truly experience this moment together, just as we are, complete, with our easy and hard days – all included and honoured equally.

www.jamiecatto.com

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Follow these simple steps for when you’re feeling lonely or depressed or fearful or anxious or angry….or…

1) Stop whatever else you’re doing and go very still and inner – like you’re listening for something inside yourself somewhere…what’s that?

2) Meanwhile, remove the label of ‘lonely’ or ’sad’ or ‘blue’ (or whatever you thought you were feeling like) and imagine you’re having a new feeling no one’s ever had before and you’re curious about it. A new and unique sensation. You don’t even know if it’s positive or negative feeling, it’s just…this curious feeling… fascinating. Even wonder what colour it might be, and what flavour it is…

3) Then feel it as if it’s neutral, ‘label-less’, just interesting for a minute (or longer if you get into it, it can be a portal to all kinds of releases and forgivenesses).

4) Then when you’re ready, consider calling the feeling LOVE and imagine that it’s maybe one of the 1000 names of the Goddess. LOVE has many flavours, some of them edgy or tender. They don’t all always feel comfy, some are truly intense, even overwhelming. Experiment with feeling it as LOVE for a bit.

5) Now start feeling ecstatic that you are such an evolved ninja alchemist and you are really fucking growing – that you would even do this is such grace – and exclaim THIS IS FUCKING AMAZING and put on some of your favourite loud music and dance it!

www.jamiecatto.com

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Whenever you are agonising about what you should have done or what might happen, remember that those thoughts are merely your well-meaning (yet misguided) mind trying to save you from the feeling of a passing mood cloud. When a mood cloud is passing through and it feels edgy or a bit uncomfortable, the mind thinks that if it can find a matching storyline to solve then it can make the edgy feeling go away. This is all because we instructed our Mind long ago to make sure we never felt anything uncomfortable or edgy. The great turn around happens when you become a human who is willing, even fascinated, to feel their edgy feelings. When that happens you can just say “oooh a mood cloud…oof that’s a big one” and feel it fully without asking ‘why?’. Asking ‘why’ comes from the belief that if I’m feeling edgy or fearful then something’s wrong. But nothing is wrong! There are just passing cloud moods, on and off for everyone.

Always feeling happy and never feeling passing clouds is a fantasy. We expect clouds. We don’t try to solve them or look at them as indications that something’s wrong or that something needs fixing or getting rid of. We turn towards them with appreciation and friendliness as they pass, without getting sucked into a mental drama about something (usually irrelevant) to solve.

The less willing we are to feel and savour the bruised purple pf the cloud, the more we will be endlessly headfucking as an unconscious way to not feel the cloud.

Feeling the cloud IS self-love. Turn towards it. Welcome it and appreciate its colours and textures as it passes and the next ray of sunshine won’t be far behind.

(and then another cloud)

www.jamiecatto.com

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