The Instant Oasis of Short Moments

I recall going through life learning to focus on what I lacked; that I never quite had what I needed to be okay. I needed to be thinner, I needed to never feel depressed or angry, I needed to be smarter and more interesting so more people would like me, I needed way more money and all the experiences and objects that money could afford. The list of vague, dreamy desires was literally endless. Residing in the middle of a stagnant tornado of wants, never knowing there was another option, I had no idea how painful of a way that was to live.

Even as I attained certain desires or adopted new ones, I found shifting around the contents of my life didn’t take that thorn out of my paw, and that became more and more depressing and confusing. Happiness and contentment felt elusive, like an invisible slippery fish I could never keep hold of. Everywhere I went, someone or something was telling me that if I worked hard enough, my happiness could be found in attaining all the things and experiences I craved, and in only feeling positive thoughts and emotions while avoiding the negative ones. My heart aches at this impossible task that is thrust upon us as if it were true.

When I met the Balanced View Training, I was met with the message again and again that I was okay regardless of my circumstances, thoughts or emotions. At first I felt affronted by this, “How dare you tell me I’m already okay, I don’t have all the things I want and I think so many negative thoughts! I am not good enough yet! Maybe you can say you’re okay because you don’t really know what it’s like to be depressed, or you have more money than me and never have to worry about paying rent…” Defensive ideas would whir and flare up at any mention that right here, right now, with whatever was going on in my life, I could relax and recognize that I am always stable and well, regardless of any data I was experiencing.

But even with sometimes intense resentments and victimhood flaring up during the years I’ve showed up to this incredible training, fortuitously, I kept coming back. Whatever ideas or doubts I had, I was magnetized by the lived example of so many relaxed and stable beings that demonstrated such natural integrity and authenticity. No matter how close I analyzed, how much I tried to pick apart certain advice or suggestions given to me, the trainers and participants in Balanced View met me with openness, empowerment, and effortlessly walking the walk they were speaking about in their own everyday life. Nowhere in sight was there any, “Do as I say, not as I do,” but rather, as I showed up and got to know the beautiful trainers, participants, and Candice, I saw people from all walks of life facing all intensities of situations and experiences with a natural stability and openness that I did not know was possible in human beings, and realized that was what I actually wanted in life. Not objects, not certain positive experiences, but contentment, stability and relaxation in every moment, regardless of what I was thinking or feeling. Was it actually possible?

As trust grew, I became willing to test the simple instruction offered in Balanced View in every facet of daily life—the good, the bad and the ugly. For short moments, whenever I naturally remembered, I relaxed completely with whatever I was thinking, feeling or experiencing. Sometimes it was easy and an instant relief, sometimes it felt impossible and I would have the openness more and more to actively rely on the other Mainstays such as my trainer, the endless free media on www.balancedview.org, and an incredible community of friends that I had connected with through clarity calls and online trainings.

Relying on short moments and the Mainstays was not instantly comfortable for me; but with each situation I tested relaxing body and mind completely for even just a short moment—whether it was with racing thoughts at night when trying to get to sleep, or in a depressed void of hopelessness where it felt like nothing mattered—it became more and more natural, helpful and powerful in every single circumstance.

When talking to various people I felt I didn’t like or want to be around, I tested if could relax and remain open without making the stories that I don’t like them the filter through which I treated or spoke to them. I discovered so many beautiful interactions and connections that I would have never experienced due to flimsy, illusory ideas I had projected onto other human beings. “They are weird, they are boring, they are annoying, they are too negative and I feel affected by their negativity…” quieted down and gradually ceased altogether. Now, even if judgemental ideas of someone do arise, they are no longer taken to be instantly true just because I thought them. Practicing short moments in these situations, less and less did I even bother with categorizing people into those I like and those I don’t, and a beautiful openness and innate respect bloomed and continues to bloom naturally.

When I felt like I had way too much to do—too many shifts at work, deadlines, responsibilities I didn’t think I wanted—could I relax there too? Over time, willing to be willing, I discovered again and again: yes. I got to see directly that being relaxed did not mean I wasn’t alert, active, and doing things. In fact, being relaxed during all responsibilities and tasks such as hard physical work or exercise, errands, helping customers at work—I saw I could accomplish so much more and with a higher quality of care and attention when thoughts of stress, overwhelm and avoidance were not my primary focus.

If the thoughts do arise, “This is too much, I can’t do this, I’d rather not be doing anything…”, they are as harmless as floating dandelion seeds or ever-shifting clouds; no power over me or need to avoid or get rid of them. More and more what is of most benefit to all—myself included in the all—is obvious and natural, and my true heart-wish. What is of most benefit does not mean only what will bring me the most positive data, and I am so grateful to see this now and not be strung along by that carrot on a stick.

Through participating in Balanced View in whatever ways felt natural for me, over time a steadfast awareness has become obvious that I am already okay, already complete as I am, with whatever is going on. No vacation, no amount of money, no slough of perfectly positive experiences can add to that okayness or take it away if I don’t get them. This is something I still and forever have the pleasure of discovering anew in every situation that arises; positive, negative or neutral. Even the categories of positive, negative and neutral are less and less noticed, and that is so relaxing and exciting. From there I am just free to live and enjoy the fruit of all experiences and what they have to teach me, if I am open to that.

I am indescribably grateful for the instant oasis of short moments, beloved Candice, my beautiful trainer, a global community of inspiring friends, and so many talks and written media available to me that I could not watch or read it all in one lifetime. I have the joy of discovering, with tender appreciation, everything I already have when the constant focus on wanting more, better, different data streams is relaxed and outshone like sunlight filling space. This is the most humbling and unexpected gift I could have ever been given, and it just keeps giving in each short moment of recognizing what actually is.

True freedom in all experience

My first introduction to open intelligence was during a second date with my partner Max around six years ago, the above picture one of our first together.  Enjoying the beach and looking out into the waves, at some point he asked me to stop thinking, and check out what remained.  I noticed that a bright alertness remained whether I was thinking or not, and I said, “Wow!” 

Max regularly watched free videos offered on the Balanced View website, and it was all kind of scary and unfamiliar to me initially.  I did not grow up with positive ideas or trust in organizations, having the concept tarnished by religious groups and extremists on one spectrum or the other.  So, I concluded without investigation that it wasn’t for me and left it as “Some thing Max does” in my mind for a number of months.

At one point, Max sent me a video by a Balanced View trainer named Nina.  He had casually sent me various other videos now and then, but I usually brushed them aside and “forgot to watch them”.  Fortuitously, this time when he sent me this particular video, it was a quiet day at my job at the time and I had nothing else to do but watch.  For the first couple of minutes I remained subtly skeptical and half-listening until Nina mentioned something that potently caught my attention and quite literally sat me up in my chair.

Intrigued and curious, I went on to watch every single one of her videos. I started to branch out and watch other trainer and participant shares, and see Balanced View was comprised of all different ages, backgrounds and experiences, yet sharing the same common focus of mutual empowerment and support to discover that in us all which is unchanged and unaffected by anything we experience in life.  Wherever they came from or however old or young they were, they spoke with a relaxation, confidence and genuineness that I recognized and appreciated in a society where no one truly spoke or lived that way that I could see.

Although much of what was shared in the videos I watched was not yet my direct experience, I wanted to understand, and still enjoyed a natural relaxation evoked when watching.  It was especially helpful for me to watch them when I was feeling afflicted by something; providing a space and permission to pause my obsessions and listen openly.  While watching and letting my data be as it is, very often solutions and empowerment in affliction was realized naturally, and I understood further and more directly what was being offered in Balanced View.

We eventually joined clarity calls, and for the first little while, it could feel awkward as I wasn’t confident reading aloud or sharing my direct experience; not wanting to seem like I didn’t know something or whatever the fear may have been.  I feel very lucky that I did not stop attending to avoid feeling certain data streams. We took an introduction training, where the trainers offered us the most gentle yet powerful introduction to innate open intelligence and provided the perfect support.  To interact with trainers directly, asking them any questions I had, seeing their natural relaxation; it was all a total gift to behold and experience, and provided me more insight into why I wanted to participate.  The natural ease and openness they spontaneously demonstrated could not be put on or contrived, and I knew instinctively that was possible in my life as well.

The 12 Empowerments training was an incredible experience to share with other human beings.  There were participants of all ages living in various parts of the world, and I was so inspired by each question asked and share given.  Things I was too afraid to ask, someone else would, and I would think, “THANK YOU!  I wanted to know about this too!”  It was a power-packed time together twice a week where I normalized so much data that I had been afraid to look at openly; becoming willing to see them as helpful pointers to relax and recognize open intelligence instead of seeing them as enemies that needed to be eradicated or avoided.

During and after the Empowerments, I had the great pleasure of more deeply getting to know community members from all over the world either via the internet or in-person at gatherings.  Speaking to trainers and community members in person was another huge shift for me, and even more potent of a demonstration to see practically what it looks like for beings to be totally relaxed, open, and available right in front of my eyes.  It is palpably noticeable when someone is not living at the whim of their data streams, and I found it so alluring, clarifying and encouraging to witness first-hand.

As the constant self-focus of how I was feeling and what I thought I needed to do or obtain in order to be okay faded, so much energy was freed up to be of service to others.  Around the time of first discovering this, my mom had undergone a hip replacement, and it didn’t feel right to me that she should have to worry about her yard or house work while recovering, so I asked if there was anything I could help with.  I was blown away by her gratitude and sweetness, and continue to enjoy that time with her often.  I like to remember and embody my granny while cleaning the yard and house that she used to tidy and organize so well for all of us; my heart glows with her presence with every sweep of my broom.  These are things that previously were not obvious to me, completely overlooking for so long what I already had and how sweet and complete life already was.

As I continued to utilize and enjoy the Mainstays in my life—the trainings and online media, my trainer, a community of friends, and short moments of recognizing open intelligence in whatever I was experiencing—I would suddenly realize in retrospect certain data streams that had caused me the most affliction had dissolved naturally like mist into air.  Social awkwardness and anxiety that I tried to avoid by looking a certain way, speaking in a contrived confidence that wasn’t true, sharing only negative criticisms of others, and many other misguided tactics, was now a natural anticipation and excitement to simply enjoy another’s company and listen openly; not needing anyone to be a certain way for me to feel okay.  Self-hatred or subtly never feeling good enough or that nothing I did was worth sharing was now thriving in and as my natural strengths, gifts, and talents, and sharing openly without the burden of feeling I had to prove something or fit in to some box.  Depression, which had felt like the unwelcome and constant background hum of a florescent light—when it wasn’t a full-blown dark pit of despair—one day I realized was not a problem to feel, and then stopped noticing it altogether.  These are just a few of many potent results I have experienced by participating in Balanced View.

My deepest, deepest gratitude to Candice, Max, and so many beautiful trainers and participants for introducing me to a life of the greatest freedom that just keeps getting more easeful, enjoyable, and fun.  You show me what is possible and shine like the brightest stars in the sky, guiding me home. It is the greatest adventure and delight to participate in Balanced View, and I’d recommend anyone interested to test it out in your own life.  I am so glad I did.

In love and respect, Megan

A Happiness Miracle from Balanced View :)

The other day, I suddenly felt overwhelmed by negative data (emotions and thoughts). I went to my bedroom because I knew I was going to cry. I simply put on a talk by the founder of Balanced View, Candice O’Denver. Her soothing words, which illicit the recognition of open intelligence, reminded me to take a short moment. I saw that everything was okay; I could just let the data flow on by. One short moment and I was able to go downstairs and spend time with friends, laughing and enjoying with them. This is a miracle!

Thank you so much, Balanced View 🙂

Love Jess