Carsten Spencer

Love Life Yoga

The Bliss of Peace


For at least the last 10 years I’ve woken up between 6 and 6:30am nearly every morning. Though I often wish I could fall back into the blissful world of sleep and dreams, life and/or nature always calls me forth and I’m up and going by 7am. Last week however I experience something different.

Two week ago we got the news that my partner’s brother Batta had died unexpectedly. He was only 51 and though he wasn’t my blood relative I considered him part of my family. His passing released a wave of old feelings as memories of friends and loved ones who had passed came to mind along with some very heavy and uncomfortable emotions. I was doing my best to be there for my partner but I was feeling so raw and sensitive. I kept getting triggered and this feeling that I wasn’t being appreciated or acknowledge kept growing.

I’ve noticed that when someone leaves the physical, the karmic patterns they carry fall right to those with whom they share DNA, especially siblings. It took me a while to realize that not only was I picking up on Turo and Batta’s karmic pattern, this was also a pattern that Turo and I shared.

I had been doing my own processes to ease Batta’s transition and I’d been feeling his presence during meditation. He felt heavy and stuck, or was this me projecting?

On Sunday we drove to a Buddhist temple in Sacramento. At the bequest of Batta’s wife Turo had arranged a ceremony to free Batta’s Soul to the Higher Energies.

As we placed Batta’s picture on the altar I could feel ancestors. The Monk began to chant as my tears began to flow.

It was on the drive home, just as I was feeling a sense of relief that the karma hit the fan. Turo said something that once again push my “not appreciated” button and this time I couldn’t hold back. Years of frustration and anger came flooding out in one sentence:

I didn’t yell the words but the potent energy they carried seemed to fill the car leaving no room for anything else but Turo’s apology.
“I’m sorry honey.”

His apology felt sincere but I was still riding the wave of feelings and we drove home in silence. 

When we got home I took Max for a walk continuing to feel and process.  As I explored that energy of not being acknowledged or appreciated a montage of memories that fit that story flooded my mind. I remembered Byron Katie’s questioning process, particularly the “turn around” where you take the story you’re caught up in and turn it around. In this case, rather than “You don’t appreciate all that I do!” I pondered:
I don’t appreciate all that I do.

This was a revelation. I went through my day seeing all of the things I do that I don’t consciously acknowledge or appreciate. There it was! I DON’T APPRECIATE ALL THE THINGS THAT I DO. In fact much of what I do each day I take for granted only appreciating the “special” things where I somehow stand out or get validation or appreciation from outside and often that still isn’t enough.

What would it feel like for me to acknowledge and appreciate all that I do?

I took a moment to recall my day again, acknowledging and appreciating each moment. I became aware of the motivations and intentions behind many of my day to day doings and I felt a welcoming energy breathing itself into my body; a visceral sense of self worth and appreciation which flowed naturally into a vision of all the times and ways that Turo does appreciate and acknowledge me. When look through the ‘not appreciated’ lens that’s all I see. Yet, when I activated self appreciation, there it was coming back to me.

The following morning I woke up at 6am, as usual, but something was different. Nature wasn’t calling as it always did and Max, rather than meowing to be fed or taken for his morning walk, curled up on the bed next to me. I put my arm around him and we lay there in complete peace and satisfaction for nearly 2 hours.

When I finally got up and checked my phone there was an email from The Scarlet Sage finalizing the details of the online workshop I’ll be facilitating next month:
The Transformative Power of Grief & Loss.
I continue to be amazed at how life not only calls me to practice what I preach, it sometimes provides the experience that takes me to whole new level of understanding and APPRECIATION.