We may live 150 miles from Forks, Washington, the setting for the Twilight Series' "New Moon," but we're hardly free from vampires. Neither are you. At least, when it comes down to 'Vampire Thinking.' Maryde, a native of the Pacific Northwest and 43-year-old C.P.A. has first-hand knowledge of this subject! When she came for a consultation a month ago, she put it this way: "I need to ward off my yearly pre-holiday attacks of self-recrimination, and self-criticism. I need to get 'my mind right' so the blood-suckers leave me alone!"
What is 'Vampire Thinking'? Vampires feed on the vulnerable, draining the susceptible of vitality and connection to the heart's desire. The roots of the very word, 'vampire,' go back to 1734, which refers to the "corpse that comes to life at night, seeking nourishment by sucking the blood of sleeping persons, preying upon others." When we've fallen 'asleep,' and are on 'automatic pilot,' we, like Maryde in year's past, become prey.
Let me give you a few examples: The 'inner vampire' goes into a feeding frenzy wherever we've left our dreams and desires unguarded. In an uncanny way, 'it' sniffs out the possibility for new life, and gobbles up whatever 'blood' is needed. Consider the last time you had the tiniest inkling to bring something alive in your life, yet it vanished before there was time for it to be nourished.
By way of example, just today my own 'vampire-ness' took a bite out of my urge to write this, saying: "Why bother? Who cares? You've written enough over the past 15 months. You don't get paid, anyway. The world can go on with one less article." Fortunately, we all know what it means to be under self-attack, the domain of the vampire. We are not alone.
How Can We Fight Back? Biting 'the Inner Vampire' back is a matter of refocusing on what you do want to create that will promote a balanced life, and restore inner peace. Thanks to HP reader, Retrofuturistic, we have an example of where to begin. Responding to last week's "The Art of Rewriting the Holidays," the reader shared: "I wish I didn't feel the obligation to celebrate any holidays. I am absolutely not a Christian, yet I am trapped by the traditions of my family and expectations that I myself have created into jumping through all the Christmas hoops.
I would rather skip all holidays. And then if I wanted to buy someone a present, or have a picnic, or pass out some candy, I could do it, without the cultural and commercial imperatives attached to it."
There you have it. Let's refocus. What if we practiced removing attention from what drains us, and choose to take proactive steps towards what revitalizes? In Maryde's case, I asked her to list all the 'shoulds, oughts,' and conventions which have seduced her away from her own well-being. She did so. Like Retrofuturistic, tops on her list were jumping through family holiday hoops by "trying too hard, spending too much, and trying to please everyone, even the psychic vampires!" She added "holiday parties."
Vampire Thinking has a field day with us during the holidays! Sometimes it shows up in external forms, as draining, needy people. Sometimes it is internal. Women can be especially at risk, in ways men might not understand. (Sorry, guys, but this tends to be the case more times than not.) How many times have you heard a girlfriend, or the friend staring back at you in the mirror, exclaim: "I don't want to go to that party. I'm too fat. I have nothing to wear that doesn't make me look like a cow." Or, "I probably will go dateless on New Year's Eve. I hate my life!"
In men, the vampire's more likely to appear in chatter that sounds like this: "I never get it right. No matter what gift I give her, it's not the right one. I'm lousy at gifts, and just wait for the last minute, hoping the whole obligation will just go away. I start out knowing I'll blow it."
Gender aside, the vampire depletes vitality when it insists we violate our own boundaries, and go where it's unhealthy. Beneath the public smile may lurk the private thought, like Maryde's, such as: "I don't want to go because my mother/father/sister/brother fill-in-the-blank, is always such a pain in the a--. It's just a matter of time before they are drinking too much/arguing too much/talking religion/politics/fill-in/the-blank-too much...So-and-so is never grateful...."
Just in case you're Vampire Thinking hasn't shown up by this Thanksgiving, stand guard for Black Friday, or CyberMonday. Our 'Vampire' rejoices at our craving the 'more,' when the less is so enriching. Consider these wise words voiced by Angie Cordero, another reader to whom I'm indebted, whose pledge against the Vampire is to:
"Be more, buy less.
Listen more, talk less.
Chew more, eat less.
Walk more, drive less.
Laugh more and de-stress."
I don't know about you, but I'm taking on this chant for myself this year!
8 Measures We Can Take to Prevent the Vampire from Feeding Off Us.
Maryde reports today that doing the following has successfully launched her holiday season. Likewise, they can work for you. Start with selecting a buddy, and sharing
findings from each step.
1. Make your own list of oughts, shoulds, and conventions.
2. Slow down. Cross off your list those activities/feelings you
wish to give a rest. Turn them into opposites. Maryde reversed
"trying to do too much" to "striving to do the minimum, one
action that most matters to me."
3. Jot down any stressors, and put them in a jar. Fasten with a lid.
What is un-named cannot be contained.
4. Be Still, Listen. Is it your heart or Vampire that's speaking? Practice
5. Choose only actions which restore vitality, and full-hearted living. Refrain from what drains.
6. Start acknowledging your own 'Truth that sets you free." '
7. Consider meditation. If sitting meditation puts you to sleep, research
alternative forms, such as engaged meditation. One of my favorites is Process Painting, which I've taught for years as a way of reconnecting
with what liberates.
8. Begin and end each day thanking what's greater than ego for another opportunity to participate in Creation today.
If you're not already a Fan, consider becoming one and while you're at it, please feel free to share this post with others by posting this to your FB page, Linked-in, and other social networks. Let us know what helps you take 'a bite' out of your own Vampire???????
A blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours. I am so grateful to you. Love, Cara