Sometimes, for some of us,
it’s scarier to admit to Wholeness
than it is to insist on brokenness.
The knowing and sensing of Wholeness
sometimes takes us a bit of time
to acclimate to.
At a certain level there is a lot of excitement
in the insistence on brokenness – and in trying to fix it.
The anxious sense of aliveness we feel around
judgment, stress, confusion, fear, shame, guilt
and attempts to control or fix it is kind of comforting.
We all know that kind of ‘aliveness’ well.
And although at a deep level none of that feels good -
there's a type of perceived safety in its very familiar tight borders
and so we tend to stick with it.
Wholeness, Peace, Stillness
have a very different feel of aliveness.
There is a calm quality to Stillness – that is wide, wide open.
No border at all can be found.
And that openness can sometimes seem scary –
or even seem boring.
But when we have the courage to
allow the fear fully and allow the boredom fully
and ‘see’ what is on the other side, so to speak,
then the expansiveness of Stillness
begins to reveal more and more of Itself ...
and there is nothing at all scary or boring about that.
The courage to face discomfort reveals what our lack of courage hid.
Sometimes the question about whether awakening to Stillness
is a matter of grace or effort comes up for someone.
But in my experience, I don’t see it as an either or kind of thing –
but both. As well as both being kind of the same.
Yet often, I find that there is some built in confusion
about what grace and effort is actually addressing -
which I hope is cleared up in the following story …
Imagine there is an eagle who thinks he is a chicken.
Now, there is nothing wrong with being a chicken – if you’re a chicken.
But if you’re not a chicken and you think you are …
well, then … that misperception creates a lot of inner conflict and confusion.
The eagle endlessly pecks at the ground while having visions of soaring.
He feels deeply claustrophobic within the behaviors of a chicken’s limits
while feeling so much more is possible.
So – although nothing at all – neither grace nor effort –
is needed to become what he already is …
both grace and effort are needed for him
to come to an understanding of what he is.
Grace, however, is not something that comes to him
at rare, random moments –
it is the very thing he is now experiencing …
as he feels the frustration of the unnatural limitations he has taken on,
senses the truth of expansiveness,
and makes the conscious effort to not only see what is untrue
but discover and trust what he senses is true.
I see effort as grace.
And sometimes, grace as effort.
Effort is the grace of Love at work -
Love clarifying Its understanding of Itself.
Even while earthbound, as the eagle senses his expansiveness
he begins to lift his head, feel his body a bit differently,
spread his wings a little more,
get acclimated to the warmth of the sun in places he never felt it
and then gradually,
ever so gradually,
get a sense of flying … and then soaring.
Grace and effort are the two hands of Love -
and sometimes it's impossible to tell which is which.
'How can we feel without feeding what we are feeling '
is a question that came up for someone this week in response to the
‘Monday Muse’ email I sent a couple of weeks ago. That email was about feeling whatever we are feeling rather than running away from it –
but feeling it without feeding it. (Posted below on 8/18).
Being with feelings fully is very different than
being with feelings while feeding them with a story.
Feeding feelings with thoughts deflects us from feeling fully.
Stories take the edge off of feelings.
When we stay in our head with our feelings
we are not really feeling them.
It’s more like we are thinking them.
When we feel feelings without feeding them we are not in our head.
We’re not thinking about the feelings –
why we’re feeling this way because of what they said or did
or what we said or did.
To feel feelings fully may initially be uncomfortable -
it's like walking into the unknown.
When we are with the raw sensations of feelings
it may even feel like we will die.
The heart may race, the body may shake, the breath rate increase,
tears may come, the heart may feel like it will burst,
the body may get cold or hot,
the muscles may tighten, the stomach may hurt –
and we may notice thoughts that are trying to grab our attention.
But when attention is not fixated on anything
there is then the opportunity to not only be aware of
all that is moving through –
but to be aware of what is always here.
To walk into the fullness of feelings may feel as if you are walking to your death -
but it is a walk that you will not regret.
It is all very simple. Instead of seeing things imagined, learn to see them as they are. When you can see everything as it is, you will also see yourself as you are. It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face."
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
"No problem can be solved
from the same
level of consciousness
that created it."
To see new solutions
we must see differently.
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