Breaking the Trance

July 9, 2013 § 32 Comments

If you want to become whole,

let yourself be partial.

If you want to become straight,

let yourself be crooked.

Tao te Ching


I have spent myself in the pursuit of perfection.   Trying to think my way to the perfect choice, trying to maneuver myself to the perfect outcome.  And beating myself up when I inevitably fall short.

And so because I cannot find the perfect words, I disappear from my writing.  Because I cannot construct the perfect relationship, I disappear from those around me- until all that’s left is my solitary sense of inadequacy.

I say, “I’ve been away.”  But I’m not away, literally.  I’m here- and not here.  Like so many people, I often exist in a trance- speaking, acting, doing and yet absent.

Right now, I feel myself drawing strength from the certain knowledge that my life begins again in each moment.   Each moment I can choose.  I can return to myself.  Be present and strong.

Moment by moment.  Again and again.

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§ 32 Responses to Breaking the Trance

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  • Tom, I am a recovering perfectionist 😉 As either nothing or everything is perfect, I’ve lightened up on myself over the years, but most importantly, I’ve lessened my expectations of what humanity, itself is capable.

    One of the most helpful tools I know is the Enneagram – have you ever heard of it; studied it? It is a complex system, and one tool I’ve used for clients and myself, of course, over the years. It’s not like a Myers-Briggs where you type yourself in a clinical way and that’s that; rather it is an ancient system of understanding the soul’s sojourn through life in body. A One, for example, will always be a One, but we move up and down through the levels of stress and strength.

    Anyhow, in the hopes you might find it helpful, here’s the One, for example – and you can explore the site or order one of the books and go from there. If indeed you Are a One, and I don’t mean to be presumptuous, you, like I, would not simply be creating mythologies, but you would be, as Jung termed, in the grip of an archetype. In this particular case, it would be the Perfectionist.

    Wishing you all the best, and blessings on the day.

  • Gigi wanders says:

    “The Second Coming” has nothing on you!
    Your buddy,

  • Cassie says:

    Missed you. Glad you’re back. 🙂

  • brendamarroy says:

    Hi Tom, I think we’re all in the same boat. I struggle also with being present to my imperfections. The bright spot in it all is that it gives me the opportunity to practice love, compassion, and kindness to myself. I’m also learning to be very forgiving to me for not being the perfect spiritual guru I thought I was supposed to be. We’re all spirit having a human experience and you are certainly an amazing human. You inspire me and warm my heart. Hugs to you. Brenda

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I read your post on imperfection and becoming “nobody.” It resonated so much with my thoughts these days.

      We struggle. And at least for me, those old ways of living in my head, those ways I sometimes fall back into, can be enticing. But I know it is a terrible trap- a place where I lose my sense of self and live inauthentically.

      Your warmth and caring comes through to me and give me strength in this struggle.

      You are a blessing.


  • DIRNDL SKIRT says:

    I have been away, both physically and from my own writing, and not on the computer very much. During this time I have found myself wondering about you, and if I have been missing something you’ve written. And here you are now, on this rainy morning, so very human. So very “here.” Your followers trust that whatever your struggle or reason, it will lead you back to the truth. You reflect what we all know, and reflect our own struggles so eloquently.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Struggle. I think it comes with the self-awareness and the desire to live a present and strong life. So I wouldn’t want it any other way.

      And these connections sustain and strengthen each of us in our struggles.

      Sending strong and warm thoughts your way.


  • Wonderful to hear your voice again, Tom. you are so warm and generous with your followers–extend that same love and understanding to yourself. you are a good person with much to offer–embrace it. :-). Warmly, Lori

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I can feel the warmth and empathy in your message and your presence here. It gives me strength and helps me feel connected.

      Thank you- for this message and for the many other times you have come here and left me your warm expressions of support.


  • Anne says:

    Tom so good to see you back writing. I hope that you find the strength of living in each moment and see your own life beautifully unfold when you do this. So glad that you have ‘broken the trance’ you have been missed. If everything that we did was ‘perfect’ we would never learn anything! So when we embrace all of our imperfections and look deeper into what we need to learn from not getting it right! Only then will we see that all ‘imperfections’ are our ‘perfect teachers’! Sending you peace light love and many blessings.


  • Robyn Lee says:

    Dearest Tom — the beautiful thing about this blogging forum is that can provide a portal for you to come and go as you wish – to pursue perfect and imperfect – to find your center when you crave balance , and to know that no matter what, you are amongst those who really do understand all of this. You share your heart here, and I always appreciate reading your insightful, sensitive posts… I know others reading feel the same. Come and go as you see fit dear friend — this is all part of the work we do ~ and yes, in every moment you can choose. Much Love and Light ~ x Robyn

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I wonder often about this still mysterious world of blogging- how do these communities of lovely people come together, what brings us to each other, and so on. Reading your message- and returning to your writing- I imagine that a part of what holds all this together is the honesty and openness in our work.

      Sometimes I just cannot write and post. But that means that when I do, it’s something I feel, really and honestly. You are more steady in your writing but the same seems true for you. I have never read a post of yours that didn’t feel right and true. (“Embody” is for me just a great example of this.)

      It’s all still a bit mysterious to me- but it’s a glorious mystery and one that I’m glad to have stumbled into.

      I feel your love and light and send it back to you.


      • Robyn Lee says:

        I have to agree with you Tom… I have found much more of a sense of honesty and genuineness her,e than I encounter in the outside world. I find it so interesting and mysterious too. Is it because we have some degree of anonymity, or sense of safety to be our true selves here… or, perhaps we just seem to attract readers that connect with us on deeper level… or maybe there is some other reason, I am not certain. I attempt to post weekly (good therapy for me) , but at times it just cannot be… and I know others will always understand – and it is better to post infrequently, and with pure intention and authentic feeling which I know you always do. Much Love – Robyn

  • Hi Friend. Good on ya mate, for finding your way back. If even for just one moment. One Now. Well done.

    • Thomas Ross says:



      Still want to hear about your travels and experiences earlier this year. I was in Macau several weeks ago and saw “Ricci” on several buildings- the Portuguese influence. Thought of course of you.


  • ♡eM says:

    Each present moment is life. I appreciate your simple, yet profoundly insightful words. Thank you.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Thanks for taking your time to read the post and to leave this thoughtful reply.

      And I like very much your words, “Each present moment is life.” It’s true and profound.


  • Love that you are choosing to be here with us. I like to think that I – and you – and all of us – are perfect in our imperfection. Here’s to your strength and renewal. Welcome back.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      “Perfect in our imperfection.” Each of us. Such an important message.

      It’s good to be writing here again.

      Thanks for your kind words.


  • jennlaurent (LiveThroughTheHeart) says:

    So wonderful to feel your energy again… you have been missed!

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I don’t know what took me away. But that’s all done and gone.

      I don’t have the words that could express how happy and grateful I am to see you here.

      Your writing has illuminated the way for me so often. I am blessed by our connection.


  • dadirri7 says:

    a powerful quote thank you dear Tom, your choice to allow What Is blesses us all with fresh insight and strength … christine xox

    • Thomas Ross says:


      It’s good to be writing again. And just as good to be reconnected with you and with the other kind friends who have stuck with me.

      Your words and your presence here give me strength.


  • Tao te Ching’s words are so simple but so true. The fact is, we only have the now. As you said, each moment is a new beginning, a kind do rebirth if you will. The past is a memory, the future is alway our direction. You’ve been missed my friend. 🙂

    • Thomas Ross says:


      It is good beyond words to write once again and then find you here with me- as you have been for so long.

      Thank you for your warmth and support.


  • And in that rebirth lies hope. Boy donI need to remember that now. Thanks Thomas.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      We each need to hold on to that wisdom. Whatever has happened, or not happened, that’s all gone now. Fresh start, moment to moment.

      Stay strong.


  • There is such truth the Tao te Ching’s words. As you said, every moment is a new beginning. The past is only a memory and the future is your direction my friend. You’ve been missed. 🙂

  • potterfan97 says:

    Your writing is a gift to me, as always. You may feel absent within it, but I hear you very clearly!

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I know that you aspire to be an “English teacher and an author.” Well, you are already an author with your captivating poetry. And I can see in you the teacher as well. Your empathy is a great gift- to you and to us- and the great resource of the teacher.

      It means so much to me to post after so long an absence and then find you here.

      Thank you.


      • potterfan97 says:

        Tom, this made my day. You have supported me since the very beginning – this is invaluable. I always look forward to your thoughts and consider it a great honor to share work with you!

        Looking forward to every new thing you have to share,


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