Emotions Are A Bear!

I want to start today’s post with a story.

This is a true story that Ron, one of the regular practitioners at my center, told me recently.

Ron came in on a Monday morning, sharing with me about his short camping trip that he took over the weekend.  An avid camper, he had gone by himself to enjoy a quiet overnight in nature.  As evening approached, he began to cook some dinner for himself.  There was a picnic table at his campsite, so he laid out some of the food, a fork, a plate, and went over to the fire to tend to the remainder of his meal.  When he turned around he was surprised to see what he called “a teenager” bear standing on the picnic table eating his dinner!!  He described it as a “teenager” because of his light brown color and medium size.  Nonetheless, it was a bear!

Ron said, “I was taken aback for a moment, but then I don’t know what came over me.  You know me, I never yell, but I picked up the metal walking stick near me and I just charged at that bear shouting ‘RAAAAARRRR’!!!!” He said, “It was just my instinct to try to scare him. And it worked! I startled the guy so much that he dropped my food and tumbled off the picnic table.  Then he ran back into the brush and watched me from behind the trees.”

As I listened to his story I was totally terrified and hanging on the edge of my seat so I said, “Then what happened?!  Did you leave?”

And he said, ‘Oh no, of course not.  I enjoyed my meal.  He eventually went away.”

Well.  The story kept playing over and over in my mind because I was truly amazed by Ron’s bravery.  I certainly would not have behaved with such courage.  And I’m sure that I would have ended up the one hiding in the trees while that teenager bear feasted on my dinner!

It wasn’t until later when I realized this story is a perfect analogy of our relationship with our emotions, and Ron’s actions are a perfect example of how to take control of them!

Our emotions are like a big, scary, unwanted visitor to the campsite of our brains and hearts.  They just waltz right in and begin feasting on our minds, behaving like they own the place because they have fangs and claws and growl really loudly.   Most of us behave they way I described myself above – we quiver and shrink back and allow them to just take over.  Suddenly, we are the frightened guests of our own brain! And the hairy beasts of our emotions are the careless bullies, knocking things over and making a mess.

What we all need to do is to become like Ron.  We have to take back our rightful ownership of our territory.  There is an owner inside of each of us – a conscious awareness, or what we can call a “true self” – that is the proper master of our brains.  The problem is that we have not been aware of this self for most of our lives so it has grown weak, and the emotions seem so much stronger (just like a bear!). However, this self actually has infinite power and we can only discover it if we begin to exercise it.  When uninvited emotions come bounding in, we need to have the strength to shout at them …..”No!  You are my emotion!  You are not the true me!  You stay over there!  I am the owner of this brain, not you!”  We have to take back the control and mastership of our brains and hearts this way.  Because if we don’t, we will always be a frightened, quivering slave of the roaring waves of our emotions, living as if they are the master.  But they are not the masters!  Those emotions are not the true you, so how sad it is to just spend our lives being prisoners of them.   This single thought deeply haunts me sometimes, and is one of the reasons why I work so hard on my inner world management each and every day.

Ilchi Lee always says, “Take back your brain!”  The above story is a great example of that.  Just as Ron took back his campsite, let’s take back our brains!  Re-awaken the true owner within you, so that you can pick up your stick and order all of the beasts who are sitting at the table of your heart to go back to their rightful places.  It doesn’t mean that they will be gone forever – we simply need to put them into their place.  Just like Ron did – I sit here, at the head of my table.  You go over there, back to the forest from where you came and where you belong.

Without that order, we have chaos within.  We all know how that feels.  The next time you are feeling that way, just realize that you have lost leadership of your own mind.  It’s like having a dog that’s so big that when you take her for a walk, she’s the one dragging you around.  It’s not supposed to be that way.  You need to be the leader of your mind.  So the next time you see an emotional bear creeping in, just give it a loud shout, “Hey! You are not me!  You are mine!  This is my heart! This is my brain!” and watch that emotional bear lose it’s footing and begin to step back.  Begin to take back your power.  Your true power. You may or may not feel an immediate difference, but if you keep practicing to take the lead, over time your relationship with your emotions will totally change.  You will come to feel the great power that lives deep within you, and taste the freedom that is your birthright.


I am enough

I just returned from another beautiful retreat in Sedona, Mago Garden.

It was special for me in so many ways.  I was there with several of my closest students. The weather was HOT and I was enjoying the searing heat soaking into my bones (something that rarely happens here in Seattle).  With the hot days days came warm windy starlit nights that evoked a sense of sacredness and a feeling of reverence in and of themselves.  And perhaps most importantly, we had the opportunity to train with a very special Master, Ilchi Human Dae Sunsa Nim, who led us all to a profound meeting with our souls.

My meeting with my soul this time was grand and unforgettable.  I came to feel myself, complete and whole and full, in and of myself.   I recognized that so often I turn my awareness away from my wholeness, looking outside at others, sending subliminal messages to myself that I am not enough.  This behavior causes holes inside of me, where energy leaks, and the soul weakens.  The message this time was loud and clear and shook inside of me like thunder.  I Am Enough.  I AM ENOUGH.  I AM E-NOUGH.  It kept repeating inside of me over and over, as if it was speaking to all of my life, every single tiny moment when I failed to believe it.  It felt like the message within me was re-setting my information bank, re-wiring my brain circuit to establish a new belief in my psyche, one that would take strong roots and become unshakeable.

Of course, with every awakening comes a test 🙂  So, the day after this deeply profound and touching experience, I met with a situation where my emotions completely took over me and I ended up having a small altercation with a person who is very dear to me.  I won’t go into the details, and the two of us cleared it up rather quickly, but the whole thing saddened me.  For hours I kept chewing on it, trying to feel into it and understand what happened.   What was  the lesson here?  And why was it so unsettling to me?

Finally, later that evening on an airplane to L.A., the realization came to me.   I take things too personally.  I do that when I am not staying present with my enough-ness, and instead looking outward, creating holes within myself.  Those holes weaken me and cause me to feel pain and emotion where it was not necessary at all.  Because the fact is, I am whole and full and there is no need to take the actions of others so personally.  When I do so, I am denying my own complete perfection.  And when I was able to come back to myself and say, in the words of Don Miguel Ruiz’s second agreement, “Don’t take anything personally,” I could feel the fullness, warmth and light of my soul filling me once more.

I took this precious awakening with me when I went to L.A. to visit Kate for a day.  I could observe how quickly and easily I instinctually take things personally, and I kept trying to step away from that thought pattern and re-establish my wholeness again and again.  There were times on that visit that I also failed to do so.  I am aware now that it is something that will take a huge amount of effort and practice on my part and I am fully ready and excited for the road ahead!  I feel the refreshing breeze of freedom touching my heart from the prison that I have lived in my whole life – the prison of taking things personally and diminishing my own value.  This beginning fills me with light and hope!

All souls are on their own journeys.  There is no need to take things so personally.  Our jobs are to find the lessons and change ourselves anew.  Through this, we grow.  It is truly a beautiful thing.  From this place, forgiveness, acceptance and love arise – for both ourselves, and others.   This is the meaning of healing myself, healing my family, and healing my world.