Tag Archive | fear vs. love

Floating

As I was lying on my yoga mat sprawled in the darkness surrounded by strangers, I started to float away.  Not my body of course, but the something else that is me, but isn’t me.  This wasn’t the first time this had happened,

Where do I go exactly?

Wherever it is there aren’t concepts or words. There is great fear and loss associated with these experiences.  However, if I open my mind and push it to its limit of comprehension, I may be more real when I’m gone then when I am on that yoga mat.

This random detaching from myself is why I no longer belong.  I have never belonged.  Chances are, if you are one of the two people reading this, you have experienced your own non-belonging moments.

There is a fissure in my soul that I keep trying to mend with answers.  In some ways, I have found my answers, but I don’t like them.  If I open myself up to the possibility that I am more than a body (and let’s be honest, if I keep floating away from it, I may need to seriously entertain the thought), I find a little freedom there.

The upside is, well, I haven’t found that yet.  The more I open myself to something beyond myself, the more I leave behind.  Whatever illusions I had of ‘finally finding my tribe’ as I embarked on my path are obliterated.  The deeper I go within, the farther I am from the world.

I am willing to find the truth of me.  I am willing to let go of the world to do so.

I am willing.  I am willing.  I am willing.

There is no guarantee that I will get the answers I crave.  Instead, I will get the answers I am ready to receive and find solace in the only place I have for shelter.

So, I continue to go within, float away and pray.

 

Take Me to the River

I was strolling by myself in the woods one day when I happened upon a river.  Since I felt uncomfortably alone in the spot where I stood, I made my way out into the open air towards the gushing water.  The constancy and surging strength of the current comforted me.  It made me feel less alone.

You see my journey thus far had been harrowing.  It had felt like the faster I walked through the forest, the less progress I made.  It made no sense.  I made no sense.

But here, right next to this bubbling cadence of soul-cleansing water, I stopped my journey completely.

It was time to change my plan of action.  The new action plan required that I stop taking any action.

I only needed to be still.

The banks were rocky and appeared to be jutting and jagged in a way that was anything but inviting.  Since I could no longer take action, I was forced to sit. Once I sat down I noticed that the rocks were actually quite smooth.  They felt good against my crossed-legs and backside.  Given I was no longer making progress, I was happy that at least I was comfortable.

I sat in stillness for a long while.

The river called to me.

How does a river call you may wonder?  Not by words but by example.  A river is a river.  It never once in the whole dawn of its existence was anything other than a river.  That’s not to say it didn’t evolve over time. Sometimes it was massive in its force, other times it was slow and meandering. Still, it was always a river.

The river’s call was my invitation.  It was inviting me to join in its authenticity.

I liked that idea very much but I was afraid.

While I had been sitting in stillness, a crowd of people had gathered behind me on the banks of the river. These were the people I had been trying to find this whole time!  My journey was over…or so it seemed.

Somehow, the pull of the river was more powerful than belonging.

I made a choice.

I chose the river and simply waved goodbye to all the people I had so desperately wanted to see.

Of course I still wanted to be with the people.  That’s where it’s at, right?  We are taught other people are the ticket to loving ourselves.  It’s through their acceptance that we are able to have the courage to love ourselves.

But, I didn’t see it quite that way anymore.  Maybe the wisdom of the river was on to something.  Maybe if I could at least stick my toes in the water, I would no longer care about fitting in with anyone or anywhere.  I would let the strength of the river sustain me.

I knew this would be enough.

I quickly slipped off my hiking boots and peeled off my socks.  I admit there was still fear within my soul as I endeavored to place my toes into that rushing surface.  What if it’s too cold?  What if who-I-really-am is not enough?

I did it anyway.

Turns out, the river was everything I never knew I needed and more.  Turns out, I was already everything I never knew I needed and more.  The river and I were one.

I was emboldened by the joy that flowed through my body simply by connecting with this powerful source of authentic love.

I submerged both my feet.

I may have been alone but I felt more alive than ever before.

I was free.

I knew from that point on I was going to do whatever it took to express whatever was in my heart exactly in the moment that it would arise.  The approval of others and the search for belonging were over.

I was home.

As I continued to bask in the river’s love, something caught my attention.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed another brave soul had joined me.  They said, “Seeing you in the river has given me the courage to put my toes in, too.  Are you sure it’s safe?”

I replied, “It’s 100% safe.  You are going to be your truest self when you are in the river.  It is the most sustained joy you can experience while being on earth.”

I could tell this was extremely tempting to them.  They asked more questions.  “But what if my friends and family don’t understand my truest self?  What if they leave me?”

In their eyes was the same fear I had experienced a few short moments before.  Instead of comforting them, I gave the truth.  “Your friends and family may not understand your truest self.  They may make fun of you, say hurtful things or when all is said and done, they may walk right out of your life forever.”

At hearing this, the near river adventurer became frozen with doubt.

Even though I knew they did not want to hear more of the truth, I continued. “I didn’t tell you that to stop you in any way.  All I can offer you is my example.  Here I am.  I am standing with both my feet fully submerged in the river.  I am free here.  I would love to have my family and friends join me, but now I know without hesitation that it’s okay if they don’t.  I have a feeling the ones that matter the most to me are going to honor my river journey.  In fact, the bravest ones may even join me.  All I can do is be me, be free and let them be.”

With that, I took my first giant step towards the other side of the river bank.

I didn’t look back.

Not even once.

Leave the Rest

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The road to Truth is different for everyone.  For me, I have been on a search to make sense of the Truth that has crept into my awareness for years and years.  I was mostly able to write it off for a good chunk of my life, but then it got too loud and I set out on my quest for answers.  I used to write a lot of poetry.  Somehow the prose reflected back to me a self I could slightly recognize.  I read a lot in my search for my answers and I still do.  The spiritual text that has resonated most profoundly for me is A Course in Miracles.  Still, there are aspects of it that seem very specific to the woman who transcribed it.  So, I take what works for me and I leave the rest.

This should be the mantra of all spiritual seekers.

Take what works for you and leave the rest.

How are we all searching for exactly the same thing and there are infinite ways to get there?  Wouldn’t it make sense if there was only one path that led to Truth?

We are all different.  Therefore, all of our paths will be different.

Different has nothing to do with being wrong or right, it only has to do with being different.

If you leave judgment behind, which would be ideal, different isn’t bad or scary.  Different is just different.

Sometimes when we are extremely scared or confused we mistake others and their  differing beliefs to be at the root of our fear.

This is not so.  At least not in my experience.  I am completely freaking out because my awareness of the world has turned upside down not because someone else believes differently than I do.  If someone is content on their path this does not repel me, it draws me to them.  What is it that they know that brings them peace?  I want that.  Please share.  At the end of the day I’ll take what works for me and I’ll leave the rest.

“You must find your own way to your own truth.  For before each and every one of you lies your pathway, a doorway, an eye of the needle, through which only you can fit.”

The Way of Mastery p. 42

Shanti Christo Foundation

The Holiest of Moments


Every moment of your life is Holy.  If used for Truth, each moment contains direction Home.  Even a seemingly mundane interaction can hold a wealth of knowledge about where you are on your path.

Are you anxious?  Are you relaxed?  Are you kind?  Are you cranky?

When a moment angrily pushes us towards our quiet center, then we know we have struck gold.

The moments that unfurl seamlessly with love are also showing us the way.  These moments mean we are aligning our compass with Truth.

I am learning the moments that are my darkest are truly a treasure trove of Light.  How else would I realize that I’m holding so much judgment in my heart?  I wouldn’t.  I would keep on my merry way.  I would continue to erroneously believe the whole world except me was responsible for how awful I feel sometimes.  It never is about the other person, situation, or circumstance.  It’s only me and what I bring to it.  Am I bringing fear?  Then I have unexamined fear in my heart.  Am I bringing negative judgment?  Then I have a pit of despair in my soul that I have yet to dissect.

The bad moments are sometime our most glorious.

Are you up for looking within?

Most days I’m not.  The world has other ideas.  It is on a continuous loop of good and bad.

The key to growth is to graciously acknowledge with a loving heart what you judge as good, and to question unabashedly anything you deem as bad.  Good means the personal self is aligning with the Holy Self.  This is preparing you for your eventual realization that you are always Home.  Bad means that you have distorted stories of separation from Source stockpiled within your soul.  Looking directly at these stories is hard work.  It is soul-crushing sometimes.  But that’s the point.  Your soul has to be crushed before it can reconfigure to permanent alignment with Source.

One moment, one day, one story at a time.

All of it Holy.

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What If?

Nothing bad has ever happened to me.  Nothing bad will ever happen to me.

Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the Peace of God.”

-A Course In Miracles Introduction

This concept seems so simple but it is so hard to accept.

As a personal self we have so many bad things that happen.  We have endless future fears running a loop in our mind.  There is so much fear.  Peace seems impossible.

There is something within me that is driving me with such force, that I often only feel like I am along for the ride.  I will someday fully accept that nothing bad has ever happened to me and that nothing bad will ever happen to me.  It could be tomorrow, it could be next year or it could be decades in the making.  I’m not in charge of the timeline. I don’t think I’ve ever admitted that out loud.  I need to be reminded that I don’t have to try so very hard all day long, every day of my life.  I’ll get there regardless.  I still have to be willing and the force within me keeps that willingness alive, but I don’t have to make something happen that is not yet ready to unfold for me.

What are you trying to make happen?

Isn’t is SO MUCH WORK ALL THE TIME?

Maybe there’s important wisdom to be gleaned from exactly where we are at.  Even if where we are is painful.  Maybe the answer is within the pain.  Maybe if I step back and breathe and let the pain be, maybe peace will come.  I’m starting to realize that I’ve been labeling my struggle all wrong.  Struggle is not the problem.  Trying to micromanage the struggle only deepens and prolongs the pain.

What if pain is my gift?

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The Suppression of Joy

A huge part of a spiritual awakening process, is aligning with your personality’s authenticity.  While the eventual goal is to detach from the personal, while you are still in the process, you have to honor the Truth of your personal self.  What this does is signal to your Mind that you are opening to the Higher Self within.  Being your Truest tiny self is the gateway to your Holy Self.

As I hone my authenticity, I realize that more often than not, I hide from others.  I am afraid to be this authentic self when I have an audience.  I am too worried that I will make others uncomfortable or wind up in an awkward situtaion.

I am a deeply feeling person.  I am introverted, intuitive, observant and empathic.  I want to talk about the circumstances of my life that appear to be causing my internal stress (they are not).  I want to chip away at my personal story to find the roots of my discomfort.  I want to cry.  I want to crack jokes.  I want to be free.

There are so many times throughout my day that I am stalled in a conversation that feels so untrue that I feel like pulling my hair out.  It seems like we are talking about something that is causing distress, but it feels off.

I have connected to the space between thoughts enough to know that we are never upset for the reason we think we are.  The only source of our discomfort is that we believe we are separate from God.

We never left God.

God never left us.

It’s heartbreaking when we believe we are separate and alone.  Thinking we have to conquer an impossible world by ourselves is hard. That’s a terrible story to live over and over.

I want to talk about it.  I have almost convinced myself that I need to talk about it with others.  I need to have my viewpoint validated to assure me I am on my way to spiritual freedom.

This is no more true than thinking I am separate from God.

No one is holding me back from authenticity.

Only I can do that to myself.

My joy and Truth are not suppressed.

I promise to give my best to each day, to be authentic as much as I’m able and learn the lesson that only I can lead me to where I need to go.

Where will you go today?

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Are You Ready?

Life isn’t as hard as we make it.  We often immerse ourselves so deeply in the personal self’s story, that we come to believe the personal self is our only avenue to peace.

This is not true.

Rearranging, changing, striving, acquiring are some of the ways we trick ourselves into believing that life will become sustainably satisfying.

Feeling unhappy?

Move to a different town.

Feeling frustrated?

Get a new job.

Feeling unfulfilled?

Set goals so you are always looking forward.

Feeling sad?

Buy yourself something new and shiny.

These are some of the ways we continuously look out into the world in search of that ineffable something that always seems out of grasp.

Why is the personal self and its life and its story so perpetually unfulfilling?

Because we are looking at everything backwards.

We are not happening to the world, the world is happening to us.

What does this mean?

We must train ourselves to look at our life and its particular curiosities as a means to turn inward.  If something on the outside seems uncomfortable to us, this is our invitation to let go of this discomfort and turn our attention inward.

But why?

If we turn inward enough, eventually we will reach a tipping point.  Let me be clear, you are going to be extremely and sometimes miserably uncomfortable in this process, but with enough time, pratice and patience, you will have moments where you can detach from this discomfort.  In these jewel-filled instances, you will KNOW that all is right with the world, even when it appears that it isn’t.

You can start whenever you are ready.

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