By Tomas Heartfield
I don’t always feel grateful when I should. Gratitude is a way I measure how open my heart is to life. I feel guilty when I can’t feel gratitude. I have so much, and yet, there are times when I’ve irrationally felt dissatisfied, and other times, small things evoke fear. Why is there a lack of appreciation for what I have? Why don’t I let love in easily when it comes toward me? Why am I, at times, afraid? Why? Why? Why?
After all, my current identity depends on me being able to show up with my heart beams a blazin….
Ask and ye shall receive. After perseverating on this question, I stumbled on the Hawaiian teaching of Kala and The Bowl Of Light, and a shadow of pain I had held down for 40 years, was suddenly staring in my face. Gulp!!
Here’s the short story; I was a twenty-year-old draftee back in the days when cannon fodder was plucked from the young men in the population. I had been made squadron leader, and trying to do “my job.” I had unwittingly made enemies in my platoon. One night I woke up to a blanket party. A blanket was thrown over me in the middle of the night and I was brutally beaten, by my own men.
I have been carrying symptoms of P.T.S.D most of my life, and see how I have held myself back a lot in my life. This memory, along with childhood stuff, helped me see why I have been so self-protective.
In my childhood I’d had many painful experiences, including being beaten by my dad, and being abandoned by my mom. I’d had painful experiences in school with both teachers and fellow students, but somehow that experience of being beaten by my own squadron, men that were supposed to ‘have my back’, undermined my basic ability to trust, and gave me a hyper alertness to anything or anyone that might be a physical or emotional ‘threat’.
A Hawaiian story says that when we are born, we are as a bowl of light, empty yet full. As we mature we “collect” resentments and guilt like so many stones. As our bowl fills with stones, our light begins to dim, and our vibrancy wanes. Soon relationships become strained. Our life force (or mana) is lowered, and our ability to recognize and enjoy the beauty of life diminishes.
Here’s the key. Our ability to give and receive gratitude is lessened because our psyches are polluted with heavy emotions we don’t know how to release.
Each time we sweep our pain under the carpet, and have no place to express our authentic self, we diminish our power, and our beautiful emotional river loses its vibrancy. The more unexpressed “rocks” (pain, anger, disappointment, fear, resentment) there are in our bowl, the less we are able to feel appreciation for what we have. So we mouth gratitude, without really feeling it.
Among the many definitions of Kala, are the concepts of releasing, letting go, freeing, pardoning and forgiving. Kala is key to our understanding of health and well-being. For us to be free to feel the goodness around us, we must let go of emotions and stories that no longer serve us. We have to empty our bowl of the stones, or turn the stones into gems.
What was I to do, once I recognized the heaviness of the ‘stone’ of that ‘blanket party’? I began to empty my bowl, first by sharing the memory with Joan, and then by writing about it. I saw how many times I had moved away from people and opportunities, because of the fear I was unconsciously carrying in my body from that experience.
I am now intentionally tracking fear; asking myself if the emotion I feel is real, or if it might be F.alse E.motions A.ppearing as R.eal.
I feel pretty vulnerable with this realization right now. I am open to see what magic might occur in our Gratitude Heart Intelligence Circle on November 18. One thing I know for sure is that I am willing to let go of anything that blocks the light in my bowl. These circles are here to help anyone else that is ready to do the same!
The time is right for this releasing with the Scorpio New Moon coming in strong right on Nov 18th, the day of our HIQ Circle. With the energy of Jupiter supporting us, we are fully locked and loaded to turn up the energy on letting go of stones in our basket. We can let the amplified field clear old stories and emotions, and restore us to the light we were born to be.