Archive | Rejuvenating RSS feed for this section

Pressed: 52 Weeks Being Now: Week Forty: Silent Knowledge

12 Aug

52 Weeks Being Now: Week Forty: Silent Knowledge.

IMG_7588

Stopping to Listen: Every so often we get caught up in the inertia of our lives and in the words and actions that precipitate what we believe to be the “truth”. We are so busy trying to figure out what the truth means, that we lose the essential point of why we are trying to learn it in the first place. We want to experience joy. We want to experience love. We believe that the absolute truth will allow us some sense of security in knowing our goodness and that of those around us. Then, and only then, can we experience true joy and love. However, the truth is only a story that we tell ourselves, or that we allow others to interpret of us:

“I am only one half of the message; you are the other half. I am responsible for what I say, but I am not responsible for what you understand. You are responsible for what you understand; you are responsible for whatever you do with what you hear in your head, because you are the one who gives the meaning to every word that you hear” (Ruiz, 2010, p. 104).

Usually, we listen to the words of those we hope are telling us the truth. We watch their actions. We try to align their words and actions so as to have them make testaments of what we need to believe to be true. However, in the end, it is all a story. It is a perspective, and what truly matters is what is beneath the story. “The truth is silent. It’s something you you just know; it’s something that you can feel without words and it’s called silent knowledge” (Ruiz, 2010, p. 110). I refer to it as intuition.

Quiet Communication: Intuition is sometimes fed by little clues. If we really listen, we hear someone’s character by subtler things found in between the words and actions. These sometimes imperceptible details become magnificent, in particular when we are at odds with ourselves and each other. Compassionate details matter most in moments of difficulty. For example: the sound of the patient breath; a loving look; our tears wiped; a patient tone; loving eye-contact; arms open; whispering tones of gratitude; no rushing; quiet rest; the benefit of the doubt; a hug; a loving presence; strong persistence; a belligerent belief in our internal goodness despite the proof in the moment of something less; a hummed melody; pure stillness; compassionate space and intimacy; staying awake; a caress; a touch on furrowed brow; a knowing look; and never ever feeling ignored. All are quiet forms of love that are somewhere between or beyond words and action.

When we show this quiet love, we believe in ourselves more. This silent belief in our own goodness are the roots that we grow into the ground around us. These are the roots of disciplined empathy which I like to call integrity. These roots give ourselves and people confidence in us, even when the wind blows.

Although you are a talisman protecting a treasure,
you are also the mine.
Open your hidden eyes
and come to the root of the root of your Self.
(Rumi, Root of the Root)

When we are quietly strong this way, we and the people around us always know that we only tremble a bit in the storms, or when we are tired. Regardless, we remain standing, and continue to grow upward into the sunlight. There is a tacet understanding that unless we are forcibly chopped down, or burned, our goodness is intrinsic and constant. We do not tire from being this way because it is a good way to be, but it takes effort. We see no limitations to it because we understand that “the mind that perceives the limitation is the limitation” (Buddha).

If we are really listening, we do not question the internal goodness of ourselves and others because it is just there, sometimes covered up by confusing words, and complicated actions and the assumptions that we draw from both. However, if we are really listening, we hear each other in deeper timbres. We know intuitively of the pain and the love that resides deeper inside of us and those around us. We ask different questions. We appreciate the power of the pregnant pause when we respond, not react. We step forward into the wind, not backwards. We sing inwards, rather than shout outwards. We pull forwards rather than push away.

Don’t go away, come near.
Don’t be faithless, be faithful.
Find the antidote in the venom.
Come to the root of the root of your Self.
(Rumi, Root of the Root)

In other words, when we are rooted, we stay. We stay present. We stay connected. This staying is the silent knowledge of our spiritual love as compassionate people in all of our complexities.

“Human beings are millions of things in one day.”
― Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Thirty-Nine: Creating the Grand Adventure

5 Aug

IMG_7181

Getting on the Train: My recent move to the Comox Valley to live on my own in a new culture, and in a paradise setting, has taught me three things. I can do it. Secondly, that it is not exactly where I want to be at this time in my life, and thirdly, I am not living out my true potential in my major career (although I appreciate my good fortune in having such a good job in the Comox Valley, and I enjoy some of this work very much). I am at a critical turning point. Pender Island, the cottage that I bought in tandem with moving to BC to work as an administrator, was clearly the right decision. This has become a place where I will set down some roots and return to it time and again, as my little sanctuary for as long as I can afford to do so.

My friend, who recently visited my cottage, left me with an interesting quote that she found from watching the movie The Lunchbox: “Sometimes the wrong train takes you to the right station.” To some degree I feel similarly to the lead character in the movie. I have gotten on a train, and am confident that this was a good step towards getting towards where I need to be (although I am not exactly sure of my destination). At least I got on a train, as many of us talk ourselves out of doing that because we want guarantees that we are safe in whatever we do. Whereas, life is really a journey. It is about taking a series of steps that head in the direction of our souls, and hopefully, allow us to do what we are called to do along the way so that we live authentic and rich life experiences.

What is the Grand Adventure? It is difficult to describe to someone what a grand adventure actually means. So many of us get into relationships to achieve the outcome of having a relationship. We work at jobs for the satisfaction of achieving our career goals. We have children to raise and launch them into adulthood. In many ways, we go through a series of developmental tasks that help us to experience key personal and professional goals through to fruition in very componential and linear ways.

Whatever the goal, the Grand Adventure is something big, important, meaningful and memorable. It is deemed an adventure because it requires preparation, courage, and possibly, training, to carry it through to fruition. It is something that we will be proud to tell our friends and family, and to look back on with happiness and pride. We will be able to reminisce in the glow of accomplishment, and say, “We did this together!” Or, “We built this!” This memorable lived legacy can be something either internal, external or both.

I believe that a Grand Adventure is something bigger than any one developmental task in our lifetimes. It affords us to have a relationship within a bigger life trajectory. It allows us to consider our career within a larger overarching plan or series of plans. We can then bring our children into a bigger conceptual space about their purpose for being. Rather than simply raising them within some established structures and formative milestones that are typically accepted as “growing up” in our cultures in safe and acceptable ways, we broaden their life experiences through a bigger life vision that often involves building strength, confidence, and helping ourselves and others to be better people.

Vision-Making: The Grand Adventure is something that we can do ourselves, or with others. I believe living out this type of big dream would be most satisfying, albeit, most challenging, to do with a partner. I also think that this is the type of thing that relationships benefit from to help us align our spirits. Living on a shared Grand Adventure requires a kind of vision-making of each partner so that we can first find meaning in our own independent plans, and then in our shared visions. I believe that it is important that both people in partnership own part of the dream so that we feel some shared passion and motivation in fulfilling it. We are co-pilots and rely on each other flying towards our connected dreams.

Essentially, when striking out towards this vision, we each sit side-by-side at our easels considering what colours we will throw onto it, or how we might delicately paint over our blank canvasses. Everyone has a different visioning style. There are no paint by numbers. There are no rules that make one painting right and the other wrong. It is dreaming aloud without any preconceived notions. Writers refer to this as “free writing”. As we create, ideas come into shape, rather than what is typically accepted which is that all things need to have an outline, or clearly measured blue prints.

From time to time, we will peek over at our partner’s painting, and see what is emerging. We give each other space to dream and grow, trusting that we are both committed to building something together and in some synchronicity and on a similar timeline. And then together, we compare our creations. It might be a cacophony of colour, or a clearly rendered painting from a picture held in our minds, perhaps from childhood. Then we consider how the ideas align. What brainstorming needs to occur to make each one independently as beautiful as possible. And then, what happens when we bring them together and merge them? What are even more possibilities when both dreams are combined? The logistics are not the point at this part of the adventure. All that is required is hope, enthusiasm, inspiration and raw courage.

Imagine travelling to a foreign country to work with a non-profit charitable organization to help bring water to communities. Consider what it might be like to climb key mountains in the world that are both beautiful and challenging. What if the grand adventure is to co-author a book while travelling and living somewhere that is unfamiliar and new? What if it looks like sailing from one coast to another and learning to live off of the sea? What if it means living in a community of people working towards the goal of saving an animal or ecosystem that is fragile? Perhaps it is living for a year or two discovering different spiritual practices? What if it might be to research a certain thing or situation and publish the findings? It might be simpler, and could involve setting personal goals of physical well-being or building something tangible that has value to both people and is helpful to others who need this support. What if…? is the type of talk that occurs at this stage.

Living the Dream Aloud: Eventually, the time comes to live it aloud. The architect and the carpenter need to work together to carefully craft what the dream might be. The logistics of how the blocks from the quarry are lifted, cut and crafted together, need to be considered. It takes ongoing communication and disciplined planning in order to see it through so that there is a nice sense of possibility and momentum in its creation. Most importantly, both partners need to share in the leadership. The skill set of each partner is respected, but neither is made responsible for motivating the project. Instead, it is agreed that if it matters to both, both must contribute to its launching. Each must relish in the work and joy that it will bring the partnership. Both must appreciate how to open our arms and abandon ourselves openly to the unknown that happens on every adventure. No one person is left holding the bag, as having a trusting and reciprocal commitment is the key element of a shared adventure. At times, this takes discipline, effort and might require education or guidance from external sources where challenges emerge.

Doing It: Finally, the adventure begins to unfold. It can sometimes happen while it is still being planned, and it might continue and branch off into many directions; but most importantly, it happens. It might not happen exactly as planned. It might become too large or too small, and require revisions along the way. There might be some breaks for rest, or modifications so that both people can sustain the journey. However, again, the point is that there is follow-through. The dream comes to life. There will be a wonderful story to tell before, during and after it happens. I like to believe that the partnership will benefit and grow from the experience, and so will others that we encounter along the way, provided that we act from a place of love and integrity. And then, at the end of the adventure, hopefully we will find that it is really only the beginning of our next adventure together.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt

Pressed: 52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Thirty-Three: Messages from Up High

5 Jul

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Thirty-Three: Messages from Up High.

IMG_0171

Signal Hills, Temples, Fortresses, Domes and Steeples: It has struck me today as I climbed up to Signal Hill on Pender Island, that I am always climbing to communicative vantage points. In almost every country that I have visited, I have this fascination with getting to the highest points where their citizens have found inspiration. In turn, they have used these places to communicate with their people because of the visibility from up high. These citadels, minarets, bell towers and other have been used throughout the centuries for various military, political and religious reasons to protect its people, and present important communication over land and, sometimes, sea. There was a sense of security in each community beneath these communication points knowing that someone was manning these towers and could communicate key pieces information to other relevant parties through light, bells, voice, instruments, flags, semaphore, Morse Code, and other agreed upon signals.

I remember, in particular, when I visited Boston, the story of Paul Revere warning his people of the British Red Coats coming. Beyond all odds, he found the highest point in the city in the steeple of The Old North Church:

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

Mass Communication: Since then, we communicate through all sorts of modern means: mail, radio, telephone, email, video conferencing, etc., and in some respects, we are relying on our highest points of satellite to be our newest technology temples. We have become quite connected through multi-media across various communication management systems and social media venues. However, what seems most interesting is that the more connected we become (with less of a need to stand on mountain tops in order to be heard), the less clear it is becoming about what are truly the most important messages. The key messages are being diffused by the trillions of other messages that are being transmitted millisecond by millisecond to millions of sources in the immediate and global vicinities. We are left decoding: “What is important? What should I pay attention to?”

Messages from Up High: What becomes critical then, is to consider the source. All of this information may be coming through a place of high visibility, with what seems to be very interesting news. However, these sound bytes of information, often static in their importance and tentative in their longevity, may not be meaningful for long. What we need to be listening to, instead, is our information from our higher collective power. Our intuition and our connection to the spiritual energy within and around us is what is most important. It helps us receive information that is authentic and meaningful from the external sources from around the world.

Through these spiritual lenses, we filter and make sense of the valuable signs and symbols. We then learn to appreciate the magical synchronicities of these messages and our experiences. We learn to know what messages are the powerful ones because we start to trust ourselves with how we receive and interpret them. We become both the signal towers and the receivers. Therefore, instead of looking up to find the high places that have traditionally been the telegraph hills, look within, and in doing so, the messages we hear will be certain to be the necessary ones. The “lanterns” hung up at the steeple are never lost where we pay attention.

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”
― Mary Oliver

Pressed: 52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Thirty-One: Glad to be a Female Canadian

29 Jun

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Thirty-One: Glad to be a Female Canadian.

IMG_6743

I am glad to be a female Canadian because…

1. I am free to pursue my dreams, and I no longer feel that there are any glass ceilings and limitations, provided that I am intentional and tenacious (and where I feel injustice, I call people on it)
2. Men look me in the eye, shake my hand, and treat me with respect, where I hold my head high and do the same (and when they don’t, I comment on it)
3. I can support myself as a single person, and was able to raise my son as a single woman through hard work and an education
4. I do not feel that my son will be pulled into war at any moment, nor that his young life is in danger fighting for causes that are not his own
5. I am not forgotten nor invisible in my 40’s; instead, I am still valid and important in society where I also treat myself with respect and integrity
6. I have the ability to take care of my medical needs with confidentiality and confidence, provided that I research and take care of my own health
7. I can express myself openly without fear of retribution, provided that I am thoughtful of how I communicate
8. I appreciate the Canadian women of our past that afforded us the opportunity to vote and become legitimate in the eyes of law and society
9. I can be in the open, and walk on the streets at night, provided that I am thoughtful of where I tread (as there will always be danger)
10. I am free

Happy Canada Day!

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week 28: Sparking Serendipity

24 May

IMG_6622

Bonfires of the Heart: When listening to the song by James Blunt called “Bonfires of the Heart” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1j1qwQQ8-Q) the other day, I realize that our lives are often very much about laying down the paper, kindling and firewood with the hopes that the fire in our hearts will set ablaze when the right situation, opportunity or person comes along. Too often we are searching for exactly what we think will turn us on–that little spark that ignites the flame. I’ve spent much of my life thinking that there is a certain type of person–an alterego, that fits a profile that would be my perfect match. However, when “Mr. Perfect” happened to come along recently, fitting all of the criteria that I had outlined for myself, it ended up being very ordinary, and not longstanding. I got swept away for a brief time, thinking that I knew what I was talking about, and that I had actually found “it”.

Magic Happens: What I learned is that the Universe prefers “magic” to happen instead. It is not satisfied with the ordinary for any one of us, unless, of course, we insist upon it. If we arm wrestle with the powers that be, we will get what we want, and that is often very average dreams embedded in fear-based outcomes that demand assurances and security. However, when we let the universe call the shots, real change and opportunity come alive. This life altering shift is no ordinary change, but it often involves a quake that results in massive “second order change”. Second order change is not about tweaking what we are already doing, but it can sometimes mean blowing up the house and rebuilding it from the ground up. It means that after the earth quake that can shake up our worlds, we have to look down into the faults that have opened up in the earth around us, and let the spirit rise inside of us.

In other words, we have to let ourselves fall back into the abundance that is being offered to us and trust that the spirit will catch us.

Serendipity can be defined as “look[ing] for something, find[ing] something else, and realiz[ing] that what you found is more suited to your needs than what you were looking for” (Lawrence Block). This requires us to shed the expectations that we held up so highly in our hearts in the first place. When we “accidentally stumble upon something truly wonderful, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated” we have to stop and open our hearts to the possibilities. I am finding that the more I shift my own path to the one of my inner calling (a disconcerting process), that serendipitous moments are opening up all around me. I notice them where I may not have paid attention before. They resonate with me to my core.

Recently I met someone who is the type of person who I was attracted to when I was younger. He is not the person that my grown-up persona would assume is my right match. He has not followed my ultra-responsible path, nor is he a duplicate of my polished personal and professional resume. He is instead, this charismatic person with sky blue eyes that pierce through to my soul and ask me questions that I haven’t had the courage to ask myself in a long time. Interestingly, he is from Salt Spring Island which I can see from my Pender cottage. Mount Tuam and Mount Maxwell loom in the distance across the Swanson Channel. Unbeknownst to him, he took me on a couple of our “dates” to explore these vantage points where I can see down on my little island. Fortunately, we are both in love with nature and its healing power. We are joyful souls, disparate in our circumstances, but completely aligned in our intense spiritual connection. Together, we flow into each experience we have the opportunity to share, one to the next, side by side in utterly fluid comfort that is fed by the heart and the spirit. It seems to make “sense” as it unfolds, even when I think it isn’t “sensible”. It ends up reminding me that this is exactly what was intended for me in my life at this time.

Ignoring the Road Signs: When someone touches us in ways that soften our edges and allows us to see ourselves with kinder and more loving lenses, we are being warmed by the bonfires of the universe. It will not burn us if we trust it. It is asking us to step up and get closer to warm our bodies and souls next to the fire that we were meant to experience all along.

For example, when I was younger, I naturally and intrinsically knew exactly what turned me on when it came to the opposite sex. I was closer to my essential self at that time. I had not had years to convince myself of who I was supposed to be, and to be led by my overly-responsibly parenting standards, nor an ego that steered me away from the things that are most important to me. In my early years, I gravitated to the type of people where I could truly be myself which has always been a feisty, sassy girl who liked to speak her mind, dance, play sports, debate, race, enjoy cards at night, listen to music (and actually hear the lyrics), swear on occasion, read and write poetry out loud, appreciate being outside in the middle of the woods (lost sometimes), party late, write often, compose music, crack jokes, laugh a lot, and more importantly, have fun.

I am designed to have fun and what a joy it is to remember how to do so when for so many years, reason stepped in and held up the signs that said any one of these things: “you have things to get done…you are too old for this…you have a child to take care of and launch…you need to be safe…other people need your attention…you might get hurt…make money…be responsible!” In following these road signs, I accomplished a lot, and I don’t have many regrets because I made a solid career for myself, and raised a wonderful son. However, what I forgot was my biggest asset (and one that I hope that my dear friends will remember about me), and that is my ability to abandon myself to joyful moments.

Reminders from the Universe on the Fairway of Life: I believe that we know that we are being nurtured by universal serendipity when all of sudden, something wonderful catches our attention. The essence…taste, smell, look, touch, sound…whatever, take our breath away, and we cannot move. It jolts us awake. In my case, I could not breathe. If I tried to walk away and ignore it, I had a visceral response to the pull. I had to turn around and wonder, “What just happened? Who are you? What is this?” I had envisioned something like it, but when it came along, it caught me by surprise.

Life feels just a little bit differently when something or someone comes along that we are supposed to experience. Some people describe it as falling in love, but I baulk at this description because it implies that we are relying on the “other” for our happiness. For me, serendipity is more powerful than simply a chemical reaction between two people that captivates their attention, and draws them together for awhile. Serendipitous experience involve spirit at a profound level, like a falling into self. In my case, I feel like I can rest into it. When I swing, it follows through. The sweet spot connects, and before I know it, I catch myself looking up a fairway that I didn’t even know that I was playing. There is remarkable joy to see my little white ball landing right in the middle of the green. How did that happen? The universe seems to answer: “It has always been there, and where the hell have you been? It is your turn to putt. Everyone is waiting for you.”

The Spirit Moving
Shelley Robinson

Asynchronously around me
The playlist
Bursts everyone open into flame
A free flow frenzy of dance
I lay pressed to the floor
Shallow breathing
Heart flatlining
Tears trickling
The wooded floor vibrates
Their footsteps recalibrate my soul
I stir, and breathe, and wake
Quietly

Pressed: 52 Weeks Begin Now: Week 27: Peering in the Cracks and Finding Words

15 Apr

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week 27: Peering in the Cracks and Finding Words.

IMG_3267

Books Speak to Me: As always, when I have questions, all it takes is for me to open a book that I have found inadvertently, and an excerpt will jump out at me as a life lesson. Such was the case today when I opened the book The Wise Heart (Kornfield, 2008) and a story lept out at me:

In a large temple north of Thailand’s ancient capital, Sukotai, there once stood an enormous and ancient clay Buddha. Though not the most handsome or refined work of Thai Buddhist art, it had been cared for over a period of five hundred years and become revered for its sheer longevity. Violent storms, changes of government, invading armies had come and gone, but the Buddha endured.

At one point, however, the monks who tended the temple noticed that the statue had begun to crack and would soon be in need of repair and repainting. After a stretch of particularly hot, dry weather, one of the cracks became so wide that a curious monk took his flashlight and peered inside. What shone back at him was a flash of brilliant gold! Inside this plain old statue, the temple residents discovered one of the largest and most luminous gold images of Buddha ever created in Southeast Asia…

The monks believe that this shining work of art had been covered in plaster and clay to protect it during times of conflict and unrest. In much the same way, each of us has encountered threatening situation that lead us to cover our innate nobility. Just as the people of Sukotai had forgotten about the golden Buddha, we too have forgotten our essential nature. Much of the time we operate from the portective layer. The primary aim of Buddhist psychology is to help us see beneath this armouring and bring our our original goodness, called our Buddha nature. (pp. 11-12)

Operating from the Protective Layer: The unfortunate thing for so many people is that we have been operating from the protective layer for so long, that we forget who we are at a deeper level. Unfortunately, it takes some fundamental shift in our lives to crack the facade, and to allow light into our inner beauty. Otherwise, it can remain tucked away and out of reach.

Sometimes, the difficulty is not in finding our secret goodness, it is knowing what to do with it once it is found.

It takes risk to emancipate ourselves from the clay, and often ourselves or others will not know how to advise us once we know that we need to become reconnected to our inner purpose. People will suggest that we do “THAT” (our passion) in our spare time because we obviously have to make a living. There will be some confusion by those of us who have not taken the time to stop what we are doing to consider our own cultural domestication, and reconsider our value in the short time that we walk the earth.

Therefore, it is incumbent on us to take care to guide ourselves on this journey and to seek out mentorship of others who have made some significant self-discoveries, and through some personal risk and tenacity, acted on them. They are the ones who have the light to guide us whereas, often (not always), our counterparts, will operate from a place of security, darkness, naivete, fear, or ignorance and may steer us back to that with which they are familiar in their own journeys, and of what they have grown comfortable in their relationships with us. They may not know how to support us, nor be unconditional enough to offer what we may need from them.

Original Goodness: I often ask people this essential question: “If you had nothing to fear or risk, what would you most want?” My answer, when I ask myself this very simple question that sweeps the dirt of resistance off my table cloth before I decide to open my mouth to take a big juicy bite out of life: I want to write. That is it. Plain and simple. I can never truly get past how I might logistically do so as much as I would like to do so, but I am now confident that this is my true calling. It is the place that draws me back over and over again. It is the activity where I am always lost in flow. I am nourished by the experience. And, although I often get recognition and communication for my writing because I sometimes like to share it, the simple act of drawing words out of myself into some meaningful form is reward enough.

Someone might suggest that the act of writing does not a personality make. I would disagree that the art of bringing forth words; sharing and connecting the voices of other writers (as I often like to ground my writing in the rich diversity of other authors); and liberating new and old ideas into new new forms, comes from my soul. Therefore, it is the work of my soul and not my personality. Words leap out of me at various times of the day and night, and I am only satisfied when I have done what they ask me to do. My dissertation, (later published as a book, now in multiple countries, much to my surprise–and a little bit overwhelming as the publication itself unfolded in an interesting and unexpected way), captures my sentiments on the act of creative writing, and I am reminded to go back and re-read it: An Autobiography of the Creative Writing Experience (2009). I am reminded that through this academic research, that creative writing is my essential love: http://www.amazon.ca/An-Autobiography-Creative-Writing-Experience/dp/3639150945 It seems lately, that I need to remind myself to stay the course on my true path.

I wondered about the world as a child through words, and now, I need to bring this full circle and spend the latter part of my life in the centre of that type of work (on my own and with other writers). When I write, I draw on my deepest and rawest core, and shed the protective layer. Through writing, I let myself out and other people in. It is my lens to look inwards and outwards. It is my way way to make sense of my life that remains ahead of me, and the world around me in a meaningful and fulfilling way.

Inner Buddha: When I was in Thailand, I found a temple along the River Kwai called the Wat Tham Khaopoon that was built into the cliffs. We could only access it by climbing hundreds of steps to reach it, and then a few dozen more to get inside of it. There is a middle cave containing stalactites and stalagmites and many remarkable Buddha images. In the quiet calm of the inner cave, I appreciated the worship of its inner Buddha that people took the time to seek out and worship. Just as we seek out the Buddhas, Allah’s, Jesus’, Mohammad’s, etc. around the world, so must we seek out our inner Buddhas where we have opportunities to find them.

Pressed: 52 Weeks Being Now: Week 25: Happy Endings

25 Mar

52 Weeks Being Now: Week 25: Happy Endings.

1781455_10152373020356383_1331996233_o

Don’t Tell Me The Ending: How many times has someone told you about a good movie, and you put your hand up and begged them to stop because you didn’t want them to ruin the ending? You simply didn’t want to know until you read the book or watched the movie yourself.

However, why are we then so compelled to know the outcomes of our everyday lives in such rigid and fixed detail? Consider how much time we actually spend in our lives to assure that we do know what the endings will be in our day-to-day, week-to-week, and year-to-year lives. We create plans and regimented schedules at work and for our personal lives that help us anticipate and in some ways guarantee our lives in multiple ways. This organization is seen to be purposeful, and also helps us to be less anxious over unknown outcomes. As we all know, uncertainty can be anxiety provoking. Therefore, we know what will happen to us first thing in the morning, at noon and at 3:00 PM, and then, as well, in the evening. We know where we will go to bed, and are pretty assured that we will awake in the morning at a set time, and will likely repeat much of our previous day, all over again.

How often do we approach fortune tellers asking to know what is going to happen to us. This mysterious, unknown Future both intrigues and disturbs us because we don’t really know what life will deal us or our loved ones. We cocoon ourselves in our daily tasks so that we don’t have to look at the truth of the randomness of the universe in the eye. We attach ourselves to domesticated routines to help us pretend that we can determine our destinies in love, business, finances and other. Why not? If we just do A, B and C, then D will happen. Right? Some people coordinate their lives so carefully, that there is no room for “error”, in their minds. They become quite disappointed or surprised when things don’t happen exactly as they expect that they are supposed to happen. However, life unfolds as it intends to manifest itself, and we sometimes need to be reminded of how little control we truly have over it.

Letting Go: Perhaps we need to embrace this “unknowing” with greater inner abandonment. Just as when we are watching the movie, we don’t want to know the ending until the end, so should we sometimes give things up to chance in the living of our lives. By allowing space in our day for life to breath into us what could or should or might happen, we can allow ourselves some connection to that which pulls at our souls. Perhaps we don’t know where we will eat dinner. Perhaps we sit down in a restaurant with someone new and have a conversation about something else that we might not have considered before. On the weekends, we might allow our time to be flexible, and do things based on how we feel at the time. Perhaps we push ourselves out of our comfort zones and travel or hike or bike somewhere we have never been and invite along new people that push us to think about topics differently. Maybe we travel by ourselves so that we can be truly open to what is just around the corner, and to meet new people that might ask us to think about life in new and exciting ways. Maybe we take time to read literature that we might not normally read, or write letters or emails to people to whom we have been meaning to write. At work, we try new things, or ask for different opportunities. Perhaps we do nothing at all and just meditate so that we have time to breathe deeply. In other words: What compels us to do, think and be things in new and unpredictable ways where we don’t know what the ending will be?

Happy Endings: And what if I told you that everything is going to be okay? You will meet the person that you are meant to be with. You will be secure in your future until you pass away. You will have grandchildren. You will publish your book. Would you then let go of needing to carefully orchestrate your life in an effort to assure that this will, in fact, be the outcome? Now all you have to do is live for the moment because you don’t have to worry about the outcomes. You can just live and enjoy each moment that you encounter. Everything else will take care of itself naturally and through the natural course of things intended by the universe. Perhaps the endings will not be exactly what you were expecting, but maybe that is better. Expectations just have a way of upsetting us anyway. I suggest that you wait to read the book of your life until you get to the end. Enjoy it. Wait to be surprised, and enjoy the unexpected, instead of feeling anxious about it. I will meet you somewhere along your journey of happy endings.