The Sweetest Freedom that we can bestow upon ourselves and others, is to allow every, single thing to Be as it Is. 🙏🏻♥️✌🏻
Everyone now and again, I feel like I lose my way. I forget that I know how to be still, and present, and that there is no urgency in what I do. I get lost in my thoughts and my mind becomes like a runaway train, and I follow it wherever it goes. It is maddening, and it is like an endless pit; there is always more to worry about, focus on and get almost obsessed with. In the midst of it, I don’t see the bigger picture, so even though I am not lost, I feel like I am.
I think the most destructive result of these times, is that I immediately, almost as a reflex, condemn and attack myself. I feel inadequate, incapable and small. I feel like a failure, like I can’t possibly manage the task at hand, or any task for that matter. In the midst of my overwhelm, I shut down and feel like I can’t do anything, and most certainly can’t do it right.
Even though these times, albeit rare, are difficult when I am in them, because of the pain that they seem to elicit, they bring me such great lessons. Just last week, I had a bout of this self doubt, and my wife gently and firmly pointed out to me the misguided way in which I was viewing the situation, and myself. She reminded me that if I was doing something that did not bring me joy, that was not my bliss, fully and completely, then why bother doing it? I mean, I know that we are all called upon to do things in our life that we need to do, even if they aren’t all that fulfilling. But, if we are doing something that is supposed to be fun, supposed to feed our soul and it doesn’t, why are we?
It was just the wake up nudge that I needed, in the situation that I put myself, but also, as an ongoing reminder of how I have been and need to continue to guide my participation in life. My well being, my balance, my peace and presence is far to precious and essential for me to throw away. And, bliss always lives there as well. No matter what task or activity I am involved in, I know that bliss is present if it feels light, fun, and free. If I see myself as perfect, just as I am, without condemnation or demand. Even the most mundane job can feel delightful if I remember to bring my full, unapologetic authentic self to the table.
So, I changed my view. The situation did not change. I did not give up the tasks at hand. I just reminded myself of my true nature. Of what is most important to me. And, what I am not willing to sacrifice, for anything.
My Bliss, my authentic Self, my Being, my Presence and Peace; that will ALWAYS come first.
I have been in deep study lately, not just of perspectives on life that I read in books, but more than ever, I have been in deep internal study. Considering who I am, what this is, and why I am here. Whether the world really exists or it doesn’t. Things that feel worth considering at this phase in my existence, yet, disputes much of what I have learned in the past.
I really believe that our lives as humans is a process of taming, or domestication, as put by Don Miguel Ruiz, from the Four Agreements. We are born wild, with no rules or structures yet put upon us. Our needs are simple. Our imaginations are forming. What we see around is us brand new, so we see it freshly and excitedly, with a sense of curiosity, awe and wonder.
Then, we realize that we have a choice, a voice, an ability to exert ourselves onto the world. We start to say no, we start to run away from that which we were contained for so long. We run toward things that seem interesting and worth exploring. Then, we begin to be deeply educated in rules, laws, limits and expectations. We learn that it is okay to do this, but not okay to do that. We learn that it is important to be serious, and plan, and follow the rules as you are told. We learn that to play is okay for a child, but when you grow up, play is something that is a thing of the past. We learn to keep safe and not take chances and stay within the confines that have been put upon us.
These world structures, mind you, have no malice in them by those that put them upon us. The persons that make and enforce the rules only want to keep us safe, and warm, and cared for. Then, we begin to believe, maybe for a very long time, that the only existence that there is, the true reality, is that in which the rules define.
Then, we come to the later years of our lives. Maybe we are faced with death in some way. Maybe some life changing experience alters our perspective. Or maybe, we just have questions about whether or not this is all that there is. Are we really just individual beings floating around in the same universe? Or is there some aspect of oneness that exists?
My life has become like a circle: I was born not knowing; I learned; and then I began to unlearn that which no longer suited me. Each of us was born wild and free; became tamed and domesticated; and then, sought to become wild and free again. Yet, we have wisdom in the later part of our lives, so we are wise, wild and free again. That is the journey.
Even though this is my journey that I speak of, no matter what book or philosophy I have heard about, learned or studied, this seems to be the path of many. To come into this world as a clean slate; fill that slate with knowing that we believe is necessary; and then, cleaning the slate and going back to where we began. Back to the egg. Our Source.
Wise, wild, and free Again.
When I decided that I would spend an evening hugging persons blindfolded, I had no idea what my level of energy and stamina would be. I had a hunch that I would feel completely invigorated physically, because of the excitement within me around the project. And, to some degree, I was correct in that.
However, there were periods of time that I was holding my arms up for awhile, and they would get tired. I would lower them for a few seconds, stretching them out, and then put them up again.
But, something really interesting happened along the way, and it happened a couple of times before I realized it. Even when my arms would get tired, as soon as a person would come up to me for a hug, and I would wrap my arms around them tightly, after they would walk away, my arms would not be tired anymore. If anything, they felt well rested and light.
Now, some of that relief was bound to happen, because in one sense, I was putting my arms down, and resting them on another person. Yet, my muscles within my arms were tense and strong when I would hug the person, and the rest would literally only be for a few seconds. So, I feel sure that the energized feeling my arms would experience were directly related to the experience itself, my own opening of my heart.
At one point, I had a person come by, who told me as she hugged me that she had hugged me earlier, and came by for a second one. Then, she went on to tell me, that her purpose was to help me to relax.
She told me after giving me a second, beautiful hug, to give my arms a rest. Her voice was gentle, kind and compassionate. And, her words went right to my heart. Right to the core of me, and was yet another confirmation of why this project felt so fulfilling to me.
To be offering a gift to the world around me, with little anticipation of what would happen, and little ability to see what would happen, was opening my heart plenty. But, to then receive from a person, in such a genuine way, was to understand that my offering was how I was to deeply receive.
My life is so full of magic, wonder and peace. And, that continues to expand every day. Yet, to be in that small chunk of time, and encounter so many miracles of humanity, has exponentially increased my awareness and deep appreciation for the humans in the world around me. Even when we are so bombarded with how messed up this world is, there is kindness and love at every turn.
What a miracle.
Happy New Year! As many people do, I thought before the start of 2013, if there were things that I wanted to begin to do, or STOP doing, as my resolution. I have been making New Year’s resolutions for most of my life now, and for many of those years, I have kept them only for a short time. Whether it was to start dieting, stop drinking, talk to people more or less, I would stick to my commitment for a few short weeks, and then my resolve would die down. End of the change.
This year, part of how I brought in 2013, was by attending a yoga class at noon at my favorite studio. There were many people at class, possibly looking for what I was as well. A fresh start to a new year, and a spiritual component to go along with it.
Our yoga instructor that day was focused, and intense, and began the class asking us all to think about what we wanted to do to commit to change: did we want to focus on resolutions, or intentions?
A resolution, in my mind, is a statement of what it is that I will, or will not do, from this day forward. It is usually full of excitement and inspiration of how I can be successful and the changes to my behavior that I anticipate. An intention, on the other hand, is a process of who it is that I want to BE in the new year.
Who do I want to be? Who do I want to say that I AM?
So, I can say to myself, as a resolution, that I want to stop thinking negative thoughts about others, or start to call my family more often.
Or, I can put forth my intention for my life. I AM Love.
I AM Peace.
I AM Open, Embracing, Free.
The feel of it is so much deeper for me than a resolution, and feels scarier at the same time. You see, I can do just about anything that I set my mind to, for a period of time, no matter what it is. But, if I know that the commitment is to BE a better version of myself, that can feel much more daunting as a task.
Yet, it is where I most want and need to be. I want to be Love, Peace, Acceptance, Understanding, Freedom. I want to feel all of those states of being within myself, and I am ready to really be my best self for me, for my loved ones, for the world.
This year, I am focusing on the I AM for my days, rather than the I CAN DO. I want to live what I preach and feel it to the depths of my soul.