3P Random Reflections Blog

We were out for a walk to pick up a package at a neighbour's condo, as part of an abundantly thriving Buy Nothing group in our neighbourhood. When we got to the address, it was a ground floor unit with a large floor-to-ceiling window next to the door.
As we got closer we caught sight of a cat contentedly gazing out the window, not looking at anything in particular.
Next to the cat was a somewhat sad looking plant, although after a moment it occurred to me that the plant was for the cat... a bouquet of grass... a little bit of the outdoors for an indoor kitty.
As we walked up, I noticed that the cat didn't seem to be concerned with our arrival, not even looking our way. "Very cat-like", I giggled in my mind.
I bent down in front of the window, about four feet away, and made a little noise and movement to catch the kitty's attention for a photo... but there was no turn of the head, and no response. It's as if I wasn't there at all. "That's weird", I thought.
Next, it occurred to me to tap on the window, but the idea of that action reminded me of all the thoughtless and needy zoo visitors or trail walkers, constantly demanding the attention of the animals (including me, LOL!).
Wisdom said to me, "Let the kitty be, just as the kitty wishes to be, just appreciate him/her being beautifully undisturbed".
I took the photo, just as the kitty was.
And then I giggled internally again... this time with awareness of a feeling that had arisen, that to me was uncomfortable, but then immediately funny.
The discomfort came as a brief flash of my inability to control a situation, which was accompanied by a little sense of...
"Why doesn't this cat want to look at ME?"
The "funny" then came in the form of laughing internally at the ridiculousness of my relentless ego, feeling rejected by a cat, who's very job in life is to feign aloofness. LOL!
This "need to be seen" (need for acknowledgement, need for acceptance, need to have a voice, need for control), and all the havoc it creates, has been on my mind lately.
If my ego can feel rejected by a stranger's cat, and almost get me to tap madly and thoughtlessly on the glass, imagine what incredibly powerful feelings and actions any ego can create when it has moments of feeling rejected by any of the abundant, insecure actions of today's society...
And whether that rejection is felt (or enacted) on the basis of colour, or looks, or gender, or race, or age, or religion, or political party, or belief, or economic status, or position, or behaviour, or for anything else... behind it all is the need to be deeply seen and accepted... beyond all the separating, limiting labels.
Sometimes, those little twitches of my own ego remind me of the incomprehensible power of thoughts and feelings, and they remind me that whenever anyone's ego (including mine), is found to be madly tapping at the window, I can hold a space of love and understanding, so that there's the potential for feeling truly seen... and then perhaps a little moment of recognition and laughter.
With Love and Laughter,
"Just don't be an asshole, just don't be an asshole".
Those were the amusing-to-me words that I used to say to myself in my head before I walked through the doors... Odd as it may be, those words would make me chuckle internally, and would lighten my heart and my step, and my ego.
I didn't take the words personally, I took them instructionally.
They reminded me that I wasn't a saviour, or a helper, or anyone who knew anything more than anyone else.
They reminded me that I was just a full-feeling-experiencing, beautiful human being, EXACTLY like every other human being whose eyes I would meet that day.
They reminded me that if anyone was going to be helped or saved, it was always going to be me... I just needed to allow for it... to allow myself to be awed...
...and in that awe, magic would sometimes happen.
Hmmmmm... As if awe wasn't already enough.
For me, my "don't be an asshole" mantra, was my own quirky way of leaning toward what Father Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries expresses as... "to be in awe for what they carry, not in judgment for how they carry it"... to realize the grace, within what often appears to be the less than graceful.
Pre-Covid, each week I would spend one day offering a "Three Principles Drop-In Hangout", and another day offering a "Listening Post", for two organizations that offered a variety of services to those experiencing the downsides of our insecure society and economy... the experiences of homelessness, poverty, addiction, trauma, illness, disability, disenfranchisement, etc.
When I first started this work, I thought it was because I had something profound to share.
What I eventually realized, was the need to leave the "I" completely out of it. To simply appear, to be, to do, and to be awed. The universe would quite capably take care of the rest.
A good mantra for living all of life, I expect.
With Love and Laughter,
(Photo by Luis Quintero)
"Behind my work was ambition
Behind my love was personality
Behind my purity was fear
Behind my guidance, the thirst for power"
- Swami Vivekananda
One day I realized the true understanding of this.
I experienced the significance of being ruled by the illusion of "being Jonelle", the heavy feeling of a lifetime of all the acquired constricting beliefs that were behind many of my actions and experiences... and then in an instant, with no change of circumstance, being completely free of it. All of it.
I had never experienced a "complete loss of ego" to that depth before, and so from that point, it then offered me an obvious measure for my state of mind... I now had a better sense of the difference in feeling between my ego attempting to protect and control, or my ego "just freely and happily navigating the ride".
Since then, I've been in the classroom of life, learning to discern the sometimes obvious and the often mostly hidden motivations (feelings) behind my actions... becoming aware of all the little threads of emotion that free me or bind me, whether...
Secure or insecure
Loving or fearful
Light or heavy
Open or constricted
Joyful or judgmental
Relaxed or tense
Easy or uncomfortable
Free or attached
I began to notice when the feeling behind any of my work was more light and easy and joyful, and when it was more tense and serious and limited.
I began to notice when the feeling behind my love for others and for this planet and for life itself was more abundant and free and without conditions, and when it was more opinionated and judgmental and conditional.
I began to notice when the feeling behind my sense of self was more open and clear and peacefully content, and when it was more closed and needy and protective.
I began to notice when the feeling behind my desire to help or guide others was more natural and spontaneous and thought-free, and when it was more about fixing or changing or controlling.
Whether working, or loving, or being, or guiding, I began to notice when it all came freely and abundantly (without any personal neediness), and when it didn't. I began to notice whether I was free from the limitations of my ego, or inextricably bound by it.
In the 8 years since that experience, and learning with awareness in this "live" classroom of life, I am still constantly weaving in and out of the bounds of my personal ego, and experiencing the actions that appear, although with much more awareness of whether secure or insecure feelings are behind them. And oddly, even that alone, holds a great sense of freedom... there's an OK-ness in all of it, an understanding and acceptance and compassion for my human-ness.
And at the same time, how beautiful it is to know that my complete freedom lies not in the circumstances of my life, nor in any of the actions of myself or others, but in any moment I become aware again of what true freedom really is, and where it can always be found.
With Love and Laughter,
Despite a lifetime of trying, I've never found anything (habit, behaviour, practice, intention, effort, achievement, circumstance, etc.) that has consistently worked to bring about a peaceful state of mind.
I would suspect that most human beings would say the same.
I have however noticed that my peace is not actually circumstance or action related, even though I tend to frequently make that attribution.
Instead, I have found the experience of peace to be much more beautifully complex, and paradoxically, much more beautifully simple than that.
Sometimes I feel peace. Sometimes I don't.
Let that rest quietly for a moment or two.
I once felt profound peace in the middle of a car accident and once felt deep suffering surrounded by the incomprehensible beauty and peace of nature.
If circumstances or actions create peace, how could this be possible?
I never did anything to intentionally feel that peace during the car accident. I never did anything to intentionally feel that suffering while out in nature. It just happened.
I never realized the profound significance of this until just a few years ago.
Oddly, it didn't leave me hopeless...
It left me free.
With Love and Laughter,
Amidst applause, and smiles, and hugs, and handshakes, the executive works their way up to the podium to receive the award for their company's success.
They feel a bit surprised, and a little awkward and uncomfortable, but mostly grateful.
Once at the podium, they stand quiet for a moment, trying to find some calm and clarity in all the confusion racing through their mind.
Their trembling hands clutch the podium, and their eyes seek the security of the floor, and they take in a deep breath. They allow the breath to slowly exhale, and then on the next in-breath, they look up again and start...
They begin to thank everyone they know who has been connected to their success... their family, their friends, their colleagues, their mentors, and their customers... the gifts of their support, their listening, their ideas, their creativity, their trust, their commitment.
They then thanked all their challenges... all the people, and circumstances, and all the never-ending mistakes and failures and transgressions that became and continue to be among their most valued teachers.
Flashes of ALL the faces they know, and ALL the circumstances they've encountered along the way, streaming through their mind.
They see themselves being lifted, and lifted, and lifted and lifted, by the hands of all those who's shoulders they are now standing on, allowing them to extend their reach to the next star.
They try to capture the picture of all of it in their words, but they see that the immensity of their lifetime of memories, can't be breathed in and expressed in a single moment, or minute.
Their words are wholly inadequate. So they exhale again, allowing the release of air instead of words.
In that slow exhale, they see that in the inability to express an entire life, all they can do is feel and be incredibly lucky and grateful.
And then for a brief flash, it occurs to them, that they hope they haven't forgotten to thank anyone.
And that's when time stops, and they are left standing on the ground of profound realization...
...a vision of all of whom they DON'T KNOW.
They see the whole of that very same day, passing by in a time-lapse film through their mind...
Being woken that morning by the alarm-tone of their phone, created by others.
Putting on a dress, designed and manufactured by others.
Eating a breakfast, grown and harvested by others.
Getting in a car, designed and built by others.
Driving to work on roads and through traffic systems, designed and built and maintained by others.
Navigating the complex dance of traffic, supported by others cooperatively doing the same.
Stopping to pick up a latte at their favourite cafe on the way, reliably managed and kindly serviced by others.
Entering their office building, designed and built and maintained by others.
ALL those others... their lives, their time, their work, their families, their friends, their colleagues, their mentors, their ideas, their creativity, their gifts, their kindnesses, their joys, their fears, their tragedies, their challenges, their successes, their failures, their mistakes, their transgressions.
In that moment, they were not at all alone or separate in their defined success. "They" weren't even there anymore. There simply was ALL, and they and everyone and everything were in IT, and were IT.
And IT was so inconceivably beautiful, and free, and true, and joyful, and funny, and wholly unfamiliarly impersonal.
There was no breath to breathe in or out.
There was just silence, and emptiness, and perfection, and glee. Nothing and everything.
And then as their eyes slowly refocused, and moved from the hands on the podium out to the incomprehensibly beautiful faces in the audience, they said their final thank you, and walked back to their chair.
They have no idea now, who walked up to that podium and accepted that award.
They just look forward to getting to know and explore whatever and whomever walked back to their chair, seeing and feeling connection and beauty and perfection everywhere. How could the "they" that they were, have not seen this all before?
They take another breath in, and laugh, and cry.
With Love and Laughter,

Latest comments

12.12 | 22:29

Thank you Lars! So happy to hear from you, and glad you enjoyed the reading! I hope to continue writing and sharing whenever inspired. 😊

12.12 | 14:30

Hi Jonelle
Just stumbled across your website, love reading all your insights.
Hope you keep sharing. Thanks from Lars (all the way from Denmark

05.09 | 16:09

Lovely to hear from you Sharon! And thank you for the question. This website has limited space for comments, so I hopefully it's OK to send you an email. 😊

05.09 | 05:52

Hi Jonelle, just started reading this site-thank you so much. I have a question I hope you can answer for me: are emotions & feelings the same thing?