Where my fancy is currently caught. Watch a beautiful slide show of van Gogh’s paintings, accompanied by the moving “Starry, Starry Night,” written and sung by Don McLean, here.
Some of you have emailed to ask how I’m doing, since it’s been so long between postings. I thought I would write a little about how I find myself at the moment–since the ‘moment’ is all we have, n’est-il pas?
How I am is quiet, mostly. Or better words might be contemplative … introspective … ruminative … meditative, any of these will do. Turning circumstances into opportunities for soul work, my favorite occupation of all. Learning every day to substitute positive thought for negative, but far more important than that, I’m practicing living in my essence instead of my ego, which bypasses the necessity to focus on thought at all. This morning my friend asked for my definition of essence and ego, and this is what I said:
Explaining the difference between ego and essence isn’t easy for me, but I’ll try. When I say ego, I mean all of the thoughts, opinions, belief systems, cultural and social and religious expectations, elements of personality (including weaknesses and strengths), and most importantly, our identification with any or all of these things. “I am a writer,” “I am funny,” “I am pretty, or ugly, or fat, or talented, or no good…” Any “I am this or that” statement is an ego-driven thought. So I guess I would define “ego” as anything that adds an adjective to the end of the statement “I am.” Essence, by contrast, adds nothing to that statement. “I am” is essence, completely. There’s nothing to identify with; we simply ARE. When we’re in that “I am” place, anything can happen because we’re open, literally channeling the Source, who is infinitely creative. Does that make sense? So when I say that I’m stuck in my ego, it means that I’m telling myself the same painful stories over and over, OR, conversely, am caught up in ‘happiness’ over something ‘good’ that’s happened. Pain and pleasure are two sides of the same egoic coin! True happiness is possible only when we’re in our essence place, because that’s where all of the fruits of the Spirit can be found. We are God’s expression of Godself, so when we’re directly channeling God, we will express only the glories of heaven–not the negativity we’ve picked up from our time on earth, which is NOT heaven but is instead the hard-scrabble ground we come to in order to BE heaven.
I would add to ego any “I have this” or “I think that” or “I do the other thing” statements as well. Living in the essence place, while difficult to maintain (for me at least), is still much, much easier than trying to reprogram my thoughts, because that reprogramming still takes place in the ego. Essence is essentially a shortcut to joy, and peace, and comfort–and all other God things. I’ve been immersed in the glorious multiverse of Doctor Who, and last night wept at the speech given by Bill Nighy’s character about Vincent van Gogh. For me, the most poignant statement he made in that lovely tribute was this: “He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world…no one had ever done it before.” For this to be true, I can’t help but think that van Gogh must have entered into essence as he painted; it was only when he was not painting that his emotional torment overwhelmed him, even to the point of suicide. When you’ve shifted over into the essence paradigm, your pain is instantly transmuted into beauty, into energy that can be used to express the wonders seen by the eyes of your imagination–fresh wonders, unique to you and you alone, but which–when shared with others–bring all the joy of Spirit into being. This is how I long to live my life. If I’m moving toward anything, it’s that. But I didn’t come over here to teach you my lessons–just to crack open the window for a glimpse at them, so you can see I’m okay. We each have our own path to walk.
So, that’s how I am at the moment. I’m also writing a story, so will not be spending much time here. I have, however, very much appreciated the conversations I’ve had with people over email, so if you’d like to stay in contact, that’s the best way to do it. Until next time, I wish you joy and peace, friends! Love xo