As I meditate in my pool house I think about my Natural Hygiene mentor Robert in Ecuador.  He said something to me that struck me and I spent a long time thinking about.  He kept asking me what I want in this life and I couldn’t give a clear answer.  I kept dabbling around all the things that I was unhappy with but I had no clear vision of what I did want.  He responds to me…  “Your problem Amy, is that you don’t know who you are.”  I get slightly jolted by this comment because I can’t fight back.  Deep in my heart I know this is true, waaaaaaaaaaahhhh.  A deep pouty cry is all I can think as I feel despair and frustration for not knowing the answer to this simple question.  How the fuck is it possible to not know who you are?!  This was around November 8th, 2016 when we had the following conversation below.  He was guiding me as I was somehow on this path to enlightenment and I couldn’t get off the ride no matter how scared I was.  I needed truth.  I was seeking it like it was the last sip of water in the desert in the mid afternoon sun.  I felt like truth was the only way to find true happiness and how can I find my own truth.  This is a small excerpt from my private memoirs with this amazing and selfless man to whom I will always be grateful for.  He spent hours guiding me as I splashed around in the lake of unconsciousness while he coached me to swim the strokes of consciousness.  I didn’t edit anything.  It’s raw, it’s real, it’s part of my journey to discover me.

“Hey Robert,

Ok, so I have tons of beliefs that are a total mind fuck and I can’t see the full universe. – Amy

You and everybody else! 

You are not alone. Along with the total mind fuck comes the total “I’m me; everything’s cool” internal story. The story is believable (it’s “me” after all…   ;-), it’s pretty pliable (resulting in feelings of elation to suicide), and everyone else has their own Me story so you are not alone and bored (you get to have fun comparing notes), and it works reasonably well enough for the “ego-me” to be willing to buy into it and believe it every waking moment. End result is a set of beliefs that seem to work to comprehensively define ourself. 

So everyone latches onto their Me story just like you latched onto your firstborn – the baby becomes you, a part of you, more important than anything, worth protecting and defending, no matter what.

It is the same for your Me story – protected and defended to the end, no matter what. – R

I know these beliefs are there and they are causing me pain so what do I do about them? – A

All U can do, literally, is to be willing to look at them.

I know this sounds kinda flaky or even passive. But these stories and sub-stories that are merged with your main ‘me’ story are NOT amenable to frontal assault. Think about it – millions of people in the world with serious addictions, serious mental illness, serious obsessions and so on – people like this who have tried to deal directly with their problems… nearly zero success. Maybe some partial improvements. That’s it. And we are not talking about the ‘me story’ itself. We are talking just sub-stories within the Me story that are uncomfortable and/or destructive.

So when I say, “All U can do, literally, is to be willing to look at them,” it is because looking closely, discerningly, with scalpel in hand, is the only permanent way to get to the bottom of it.

Por ejemplo, if you suddenly feel jealousy, stop immediately and ask yourself, “What, exactly is going on with this? What triggered it? What part of my Me story suddenly lit up in resonance? What threads are snaking around into other similar stories? How am I responding? Defensively? Victimized? Distractive humor? Others?

Do you follow what I am saying with this? Self Inquiry, Self Examination sounds kinda simple to do, but it is actually insanely difficult. With every tiny attempt to look objectively at yourself, your Me will instantly summon up all kinds of distraction mechanisms, anger mechanisms, self-righteous mechanisms, bravado mechanisms, victim mechanisms, on and on. Every attempt at full objectivity will be met with full and total attack. This gives you some sense of how well-defended the Me story is. 

While it seems that the Me story is pretty much unbeatable, the truth is that if you can stay with it, emotional discharges begin to happen, bleeding off excess emotional energy. Soon whole chunks of the Me story begin to crack, loosen, even fall off. It is a wild and crazy process.

I know you can do it. But it takes courage, and that type of courage is unlike any other…. cuz this courage requires going IN and getting rid of the bad guys. Society knows all about and praises courage going OUT – killing the enemy, battling the fire, saving the drowning person. But going inside, hunting, finding and killing off your own demons… that’s a whole ‘nother thing. Someone once called it “the taboo against knowing yourself.” – R

Do I have to go into isolation to peel away the beliefs? – A

Can happen anywhere, at any time… but best when alone and quiet. – R

How do you stop believing in old beliefs that don’t serve you? – A

Pick them apart, because taking them on wholesale is impossible (see above). Find cracks where a chisel can be inserted. To find them, be humble and honest about yourself… frankly, call yourself on your shit whenever it appears, and notice the clever tricks that arise that are meant to distract, divert and re-enforce the Me story. -R

It’s lonely going this route but I also can’t go back. Humans are gregarious so this really sucks to lose people you care about or maybe those weren’t true friendships in the first place. Maybe I should only think about the new people that will replace the old people. Just seems like there’s so few who are aware of their inauthentic self and trying to find their authentic self or just be authentic and they are scattered all of the planet, like not living in one centralized location where it’s easy to bump into other authentic people. – A

A few things about these lines above…

1) Lonely – very true. At first is feels lonely because a large part of your Me story is supported by others reflecting your Me back to you. IOW, your Me story is hard to hold together if you are getting zero feedback from others. Any identity that you create for/about yourself doesn’t really mean anything if there is no one else to ‘present’ it to. Taking it to the extreme, suppose some calamity happens and you are the last and only person on earth. With that situation, what is the point of putting on makeup, getting your hair styled, brushing your teeth, even wearing clothes or jewelry or anything like that? If your Me story, your ego costume has no one else to compare or compete with, no one else to judge, no one else to ‘play’ with… then suddenly you realize that 90+% of daily life is seen as prepping and preening -pointless activities that are utterly inauthentic. IOW, BS.

2) Eventually the desperate loneliness morphs into sublime aloneness. Though you are ‘alone’, you are also merged with All That Is, Oneness. There is no loneliness possible. With Oneness, there is no twoness anywhere. The feeling and appearance of separateness is gone forever. Very amazing and profound and deeply satisfying. – R

As I re-read this email, I am honestly impressed with my questions!  Looking back, I already started my journey to discover myself.  I just didn’t know how long it would take.  It’s now, April 25th, 2019 and I’m still having “ah-ha” moments as Oprah calls them.  Life needed to play it’s story for me before I could really start to see more about who I am.  I had to get the chisel out and start hammering away and get really real with myself for me to sift through the conscious beliefs that I had about myself and the unconscious beliefs I had about myself.  The conscious beliefs are my truth and the unconscious ones are the cultural conditioning layered on thick. 

I had an old lover and his friend come over the other day.  We’ve become dear friends.  I started my meditation project because of this person.  He’s  younger than me and there was a part of me that didn’t want to see him because society wouldn’t approve.  I thought to myself, maybe it’s time to challenge my beliefs so I go out with him.  I learned a lot from my friend as he was also on a path to enlightenment.  There was a time when I was really frustrated with life and I looked at him and I said, “what should I do?”.   He looked at me with the most sincere, kind eyes and said, “You need to meditate”.  I’m thinking to myself, “no fucking way”.  I’m a do’er.  I don’t want to sit and do nothing.  I’m in a hurry and I have a lot of stuff to do.  I wrestle with my demons some more with no answers and I finally surrender.  I think what if I say “yes, and”, my old improv rules, and I stop resisting advice given to me.  How can this young guy be so damn smart?  I didn’t meditate right away as I had to let the thought ponder.  After the thought brewed in my mind for awhile, I stopped.  I sat.  I got quiet.  And I heard squirrels!  I literally heard squirrels in the roof of my fucking house!  I was thinking that god is laughing his ass off right now.  What a metaphor for what was going on in my mind!  It literally took about 3 months to remove the squirrels.  It felt like there was all sorts of things falling apart in my life, literally that needed to get fixed.  With each external issue that I addressed and fixed, then it seemed like it also cleaned up an internal issue.  

I decided to go sober for awhile and felt like I could see clearly for the first time in years.  I’m alone, but not really alone.  I’m now taking care of three people in my life.   How the heck is all of this possible?  I’m somehow doing the impossible that I never thought I’d be able to do.  I’m somehow finding myself.  I still have a lot further to go but now I am not as scared as I was in the past.  I feel like I can handle this.  My friend came over the other day and introduced me to a spiritual teacher named Adyashanti.  I started watching his videos and he had a video called, “How to trust yourself!”.  I think to myself, “yes Adyashanti, tell me how do I trust myself?”

Adya’s video resinated with me deep within my core.  There are times when people say things and you just know they are right without explanation.  This is one of them.  He talked about listening to your intuition also known as  the “still small voice”.  It is almost like a whisper in the stillness.  I know this stillness because of my meditation practice.  Sometimes your intuition doesn’t arise in words, it is a feel within the body and it won’t justify itself.  It is quick.  If you aren’t listening then you will miss it.  Learn to trust the spirit within you, not the ego or personality.  This is something that comes from stillness.  I’m literally blown away by this teaching.  He explained the still small voice so beautifully and clearly.    

As I’m meditating in the sun on my lawn chair, I’m in heaven.  The sun is warm.  Nobody is home.  I’m in the stillness.  What does my little small voice say?  It tells me to get naked in the sun!  What the heck?  Are you sure little small voice?  “Yes!  It’s ok”, it says.  Ok, no-one is around and I have a private yard so heck yeah!  It feels so free to sit in the sun becoming one with nature the way that we and everything is made.  I feel the warm sun on my chest and it feels like the sun is hugging me.  I hear a noise and almost have a heart attack thinking someone is there, but I am alone.  Relax, enjoy.  If you ever get a chance to have a private moment in nature to lay in the sun then I highly recommend it.  Especially if it is just you having a moment with yourself.  It’s exhilarating.  It feels like I’m accepting myself for all that I am.  I feel myself returning to myself.  Self acceptance.  Peace.  Bliss.  I love you all and I hope this last paragraph didn’t shock your pants off but it’s the truth and it’s fun and you gotta try it.  Big smile.  Big hug.  Peace out!  Besos!