I’m not suggesting living in la-la land with rose coloured glasses on, or isolating or insulating ourselves from life. Of course there are things that ‘press’ on us and tug at our heartstrings and move us – the requirements of our jobs, a crying baby, the many painful events and experiences – in our own lives or the lives of others. All these are part of the rich experience of being human.
how we be with what is.
Last eNews I wrote about my recent epiphany – that uncomfortable (and freeing) moment of realizing the extent to which what has driven my life was my fear of being with, and so needing to prevent, ‘bad things’ happening. As with all epiphanies, while the dawning of them happens in an instant, creating new patterns in our lives is an on-going process. This one has been no exception.
So over the last weeks I’ve had plenty of opportunity to notice those familiar anxious clutching in my gut sensations, and (using my Practical Steps in Coming Back Home to Ourselves) taken time to soothe and mentor the parts of me that have felt it their responsibility to stave off disaster. In doing so I’ve deepened the new neuronal pathways and felt the expansiveness of breath and ease that results.
AND, that journey continues … I’ve been travelling since I last wrote, and was expecting to be back home a week ago, but as life unfolded it became clear it was important for me to stay another week with my family and dear friends in Canada. So last Monday, after re-arranging my week’s schedule, I found myself in the shower – that great thinking place! – aware of having many different things floating through me.
|My Mum – singing away unconscious of her being
my invitation to living an unpressured life …
Monday was my Mum’s 84th Birthday, so the night before, we’d brought her home from the care facility where she lives for dinner and the evening. Though she’s lived with dementia for a number of years, and at this point her conversation is very fractured – she often makes up words, and strings them together in no coherent form – her loving heart is very clear and present. She happily engages socially, and particularly loves singing – as you can see in this video clip I took of her earlier this year (she’s the one in the blue sweater, holding the microphone).
As humans we are such complex and interesting creatures. In the shower Monday morning, I had the memory of that video moment, and the very familiar words Mummy was singing floating through my mind. I was aware of the ease of the deep certainty that changing my plans and staying on was the truest thing for me to do. And at the same time I could feel the familiar anxious clutching in my gut.
Hmm, I wondered, what’s really happening here, what’s this anxiety about? And as so often happens in those moments of gentle wondering, I recognized I was anxious that with the changes, I wouldn’t have time to get everything that was on my ‘to do’ list done. Immediately my heart went out to that part of me, and I breathed love over the anxiousness. I so appreciate the fierce commitment I have to being in integrity with myself and doing what I’ve said I’d do, but I don’t want to do that by driving myself in that old familiar way.
In the next moment, the familiar words of the song Mummy was singing – the last verse of Amazing Grace – floated through my mind.
Than when we’d first begun.
I’ve sung those words hundreds of times myself, always thinking of the absence of pressure in eternity they speak of as being only after death. I realized that I’ve held this life as filled with the pressure of ‘gotta get everything done’ (again to stave off bad things happening) and the eternity after this life as one filled with ease.
But here’s my Mum, with her dementia, living in each moment right now in this life with an ease and joy and authentic openness (like a young child, she says and does exactly what she wants and feels). What would life be like, I wondered, if I met each moment of my life with the same kind of unpressured presence she does?
My memory also went to one of my teachers Katherine Woodward Thomas years ago saying something like “I thought I was crazy in feeling this big thing inside of me, and then I realized that life was working through many people in the world. By myself I was unable to bring my vision forward. Many of the things we’re called to don’t make sense when we’re thinking we’re autonomous.”
“The truth is everything is interconnected, we are not alone. It has taken the efforts, alignment and gifts of many to create what is here for us right now. Trusting, and a radical faith in the goodness of life, is a choice. Of course you have to use your head – we still have responsibilities, things to manage and handle – but it’s all fine when we’re living in center of our destiny. It’s fine because we’re on target, showing up as co-creators with life.”
|Nurturing co-creative community – at dinner with Bruce, me,
Katherine Woodward Thomas, and Aline
Katherine reminded me that we are in alignment with all of life the moment we say to Life “I’m here to serve something greater than myself.” So whether we’re in the space of not yet knowing and listening for our next steps, or in the flurry of activity, it’s all the same, we’re in the same service with our partner Life. And we’re not there when we think we’re alone and have to figure it out!
Aaaaahhhh! Yes! The relief of knowing that the bigness of this vision is not mine alone! This is something that Life itself wants to birth in our world, and to which I can respond with my equally deep and passionate sense of commitment to the part I can, in this moment, clearly feel is mine. The rest I can let go! There is no ‘gotta get it done!’
I simply take my place as a pioneer on the cutting edge of human development. I am committed to showing up with my fierce loving and profound presence, bringing my voice to the world by painting pictures of what I can feel deep in my bones is possible!
As I do this, I am committed to being authentically and unapologetically me – however others respond. I am learning to listen, speak and act from my deep knowing – regardless of what happens.
I came here to be seen, and by my presence, words and actions invite all whose lives I touch into even more deeply respectful ways of relating. I am here to learn what it means to be present to each other and co-create extraordinary relationships. I practice this in every arena of my life, nurturing the development of evolutionary communities grounded in respect and appreciation of difference, where the full flourishing of our co-creativity is called out and celebrated.
So I remember I’m not alone!! I am surrounded and supported by the many who (like you, each in your own unique way) feel these urgings of life. Together we we meet what is before us in each moment, and engage in the co-creation of the world we envision possible. Even when we can’t see how, the way we meet each moment – the painful, uncomfortable ones, AND the delightful, easy ones IS making a difference.
And particularly as we in the United States move towards Thanksgiving this Thursday, I’m deeply thankful for the gift of each one of you in our community. I’d love to acknowledge each one of you for the particular ways you feel drawn to contribute. Will you share those below so we can all see and celebrate each other?!