Friday, June 23, 2017

Vulnerability and aliveness are not two

Much is said these days about healing and spiritual awakening, and the deep joy, clarity, and peace that are the promised fruits of the inner life. Not much is mentioned, however, about the disappointment involved in waking up, and the immense deflation wired into the healing process.

Awakening can break our hearts and shatter old dreams. It is oriented in birth and death, creativity and destruction, and must by its nature dance in the full spectrum. Not only does it introduce us to transfiguration, but to the chaotic glory of the crucifixion and resurrection as well. Yes, the Kingdom is here, now, but requires your full participation for its qualities to emerge here.

While it is natural to have a bias for resurrection, inside the crucible dark and light are one. Here, crucifixion is holy and disappointment is sacred, for they are forerunners of wholeness. Death and life are not two. Confusion and clarity are not two. Vulnerability and aliveness are not two.

It requires a nonconventional, courageous commitment to participate in these pathways, and you may always find some resistance inside you and within the collective. It requires erupting momentum to reorganize what has until now been the status quo. “Getting what I want” is no longer the reference point from which you will be asked to organize your experience. Love is the new organizer and may have a different idea.

You may always be asked to provide sanctuary and safe passage for fear, uncertainty, doubt, and despair. These are the secret allies guarding the gate and have been placed on your path as disguised forms of love. They have not come to harm, but as portals into something new, quantum, vast, and non-controllable.

Dare to see that things are not always as they appear. Relationships ending, dreams collapsing, careers recycling, the death of a family member, and the infinite symptoms of the somatic and emotional worlds … drenched in purpose, soaking in meaning. Evidence not of error, failure, or defeat, but of the relentlessly creative nature of love as it emerges here.

My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now (we're about 85% sold out as of June 1)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Held, not healed

There are times when you become activated, hooked, and triggered, and the walls feel as if they are closing in. Thoughts that something is wrong with you, that you are unworthy, unlovable. Feelings of shame, rage, fear, and despair.

Before you conclude that all is lost, slow way down. Cut into the trance with your breath, soothe it with your senses, and dissolve it with the allies of the natural world around you. Feel your feet on the ground. A child has appeared. An orphan. One who has been on a long, tumultuous journey. She is lost and disoriented, he is longing for rest.

As the knock on the door becomes louder, you must decide if you will let this one in, or turn her away. Even though for thousands of moments the knock has fallen upon deaf ears, she has not given up. She cannot give up.

If you do not care for the lost ones, who will? You have asked your partners, your children, your family members, your friends. As much as they love you, they cannot open the door for you. You are the only one with the key.

No matter what is going on in your life, or how convinced you have become that you have failed, you can turn toward the door, now. Start exactly where you are with an intention to no longer abandon yourself.

The abandoned ones are in constant movement, spinning and shifting shapes in their longing to be seen and allowed back home. Appearing as thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories. As fantasies, symptoms, hopes, and dreams. Even as the colors and the mountains, the trees, and the stars.

With the intention for communion as your guide, the next time you are met by the burning, the restlessness, the claustrophobia, and the shaky, survival-level vulnerability, remember your aspiration. Weave together a sanctuary where the visitors can rest from a long journey. Provide safe passage such that their richness and meaning may be revealed.

Inside the heart, you will see that the lost ones do not need to be transformed. They do not need to be shifted. They do not even need to be healed. Only held. Go slowly. One second at a time, then rest. They are not in a hurry. They have been looking for you since beginningless time, and will never give up.

My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now (we're about 85% sold out as of June 1)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Meeting Dad in the mystery

May we hold all Fathers in our hearts today, in recognition of the gift of life they have given. Some of us are close with Dad, some are not. Some have very fond memories of him and some do not. Some of us never really got to know that person we call(ed) “Dad,” what moved and inspired him, what triggered fear in him or what brought him joy, what was really going on in his heart, or what he truly wanted from this life.

But the one thing we do know is that, just like us, Dad only ever wanted to be happy, to be free from suffering, and in his own way longed to enter into the mystery, to live a meaningful life, to respond skillfully to suffering and heartbreak, to know for even a moment the truth that love is alive here.

Also, just like us, Dad is/ was only able to use the tools he had been given to take the journey that was his. It is not likely Dad was raised by enlightened parents, learned about mindfulness, empathic attunement, or practiced yoga. Or grew up in an environment which fully held and mirrored the unfolding majesty that he was at the deepest levels. Just like us, Dad has acted out of his own pain, in ways that have caused suffering for him, for us, and for those around us. Just like we have.

We may never understand the nature of Dad’s journey, why he acts as he does, what scares him, touches his heart, or how he is making meaning of a crazy world; what his deepest fears and longings are (or were), what keeps him up at night, or what causes him to fall to the ground in awe. We may never be able to make sense of it. But perhaps today is not a day of answers or understanding, or even of healing, forgiving, or accepting. Perhaps today is a day of just one moment of sacred pause, heart-connection, shared presence, and remembrance. And meeting Dad in the core of the mystery.

Whether Dad is still on this earth or love has sent him elsewhere, it is possible to connect with him right here and right now, for he is alive inside every cell. For some unknown reason, love has placed him into the strands of your DNA, and in many (but not all) cases he has done his best to love you, given his own limited abilities and influences, developmental and karmic. Perhaps he has succeeded, perhaps he has failed. Or perhaps it has been mixed, as our love has been for him.

No matter what has happened in the past, or the nature of your relationship with this one we call “Dad,” he has provided the gift of life, a precious human body, and the opportunity to take this rare human journey, to explore the mysteries of love in form. While some of us may not be able to meet and connect with Dad in this way, if our time with him was just too painful or too destructive (we can honor this truth and need not shame or attack ourselves for it), we can hold this aspiration in our hearts, if (and only if) we are so called, and allow the seeds of love and healing to flower in their own way, in their own time.

May we honor Father on this day in all of his emanations and in all of his forms – personal, collective, transpersonal, and beyond – and may we be guided by the wisdom qualities that have come down through Father everywhere, since beginningless time.

May we embody these qualities and make use of these blessings to help others, to do what we can to reduce suffering in this world, and to never forget the inherent goodness in the erupting human heart.

My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now (we're about 85% sold out as of June 1)