Man, I am so, so present to my sticking points today. Being hard on myself comes up instantly when I recognize that not only do I feel something sticky, but that those feelings aren’t the reality and I know it. They’re just a part of my human-ness. “You know the truth, so why are you even in the chaos?” says the voice in my head. That voice says these feelings are “right” or “wrong” and then disappointment rises up when I struggle [really struggle] not to resist. Then judgement comes in, and we’re off to the races. My awareness is such that I can see it all clearly, but that doesn’t always mean that my boots don’t get stuck in the mud.
These stories and judgements can feel so real. But we’d be doing a disservice to our highest good in identifying with them, as them. The very fact that you can hear that voice in your head let’s you know that it is not you. We can’t be the one listening and the one speaking at the same time. YOU are the listener, the witness, the observer. So when I’m experiencing feelings of fear, doubt, discomfort, loneliness, boredom, (insert your favorite emotional trigger here), its my conditioning that places a sticker on that experience labeling it as “good” or “bad”. What there actually is though, is simply an experience of complete neutrality, and it is my small self that turns that into something that's "wrong".
Where then, does a quality of peacefulness weave its way back in?
There is power in the knowing. I’m not disillusioned as to what is happening, and when I notice that the train is about to careen off the edge of the cliff as the tracks come to an end, I can say “Ohhhh no we don’t!” and pump the breaks. I can enroll various practices that re-align me with the truth of who and what I am.
- Breath - The trust that I can settle down and don’t have to put forth any effort into the involuntary process of inhale and exhale. That each one is coming next whether I try or not.
- Meditation - The effortless repetition of mantra. My mind acknowledges that this vehicle, at the very least, offers a massive stress release [even if thoughts are still circulating], and delivers the possibility of that endlessly charming sweet spot that is bliss.
- Movement - The experience of being fully IN my body. Yoga. Run. Whatever.
- Reach - The freedom in being heard. I call someone I love and I ask for the space to share without judgement. And if I can receive it, to hear the wisdom and love they can preach based on knowing and seeing the real Self that is at the center of the small one I’m allowing to step up and take the stage. From there, I can tell it to kindly fuck off.
Lately I’ve taken to saying that I’m “in the shift”, because while it certainly feels like being “in the shit” sometimes, what I know is that I’m in a constant state of re-alignment with my highest Self, with the bliss that is infinitely available to me because it is what I am by nature. These seasons of transformation aren’t without their discomfort as things change and move us towards the path. But the illumination of the path of least resistance lies in the willingness to take the seat of the observer, to turn the lights on. And if I find myself in a power outage, I can always phone a friend with a flashlight.