How do I stay true to myself as I flow though this world?
“Do I change like a river, widening and deepening, eddying back on myself sometimes, bursting my banks sometimes when there’s too much water, too much life in me, and sometimes dried up from lack of rain?
Will the I that is me grow and widen and deepen?
Or will I stagnate and become an arid riverbed? Will I allow people to dam me up and confine me to wall so that I flow only where they want?
Will I allow them to turn me into a canal to use for they own purposes? Or will I make sure I flow freely, coursing my way through the land and ploughing a valley of my own?”
–Aidan Chambers, This is All
Can I keep flowing and resonating with my joy, my truth, even when surrounded by others who are awash in sorrow or fear or rage? How do I hold my ground and allow the world to be however it is today? I will not do any good to anyone if I drop my light, my joy and resonate with the pain of those around me.
Maybe it isn’t cruel or crass to stay joyful while others in the world suffer. What if our joy is the most potent medicine there is for the wounds of the world?
I want to acknowledge joy as the amazing gift it is. And to keep opening to joy, even in the face of the darkness and pain in the world around me. May I hold my joy sacred and allow it to flow far and wide.
“But just as the river is always at the door, so is the world always outside.
And it is in the world that we have to live.”
“Our imagination flies; we are its shadow on the earth.”
Am I actually sharing just a shadow of my true self with the world? And isn’t the part of me that I dare to share limited, pale and colorless compared to what I am capable of?! Why do I fear my true potency?
Marianne Williamson wrote about this so eloquently; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We fear being too big and bright in the world. We fear our BIG-ness, our potency.
What if I finally take the restraints off and show up in my entirety?
What if the ONLY thing that will save this beautiful planet is choosing to be my Big, Gi-normous self, no matter what? no matter what others think, no matter what others say, no matter what others do, no matter how many “rules” I break in the process?
What will it take for all of us to STOP hiding out and playing small?
What will it take for us to acknowledge and own ALL of our juicy BIG-ness?!
And… what can happen to our world when we embrace our BIG-ness?
What else is possible?
“Your divine impulse is yearning to emerge through the human you… In that shift, the more you embrace the Self, the Light, the more you surrender to your own light, the easier it is for you.”
Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness That most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
“Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize:
a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child
— our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
Emotion is as natural for humans as breathing.
I don’t make my breathing right or wrong, so why do it with my emotions?
It’s been an interesting week; I have spent more time than I care to remember in my swamp. By swamp I mean a sticky, tangled, mess of uncomfortable emotions within myself. I don’t like my emotional swamp much – a lot of what I experience in the swamp sucks – it hurts. And then I add to my pain by judging myself for feeling this sticky, yucky crap in the first place. I would love to avoid my swamp.
Isn’t life supposed to turn into bliss and pure joy when I open up to more consciousness? Have I failed because I still get triggered after all these years of mindful awareness training? Am I doing this consciousness thing wrong if I still get pissed and sad and scared?
But, wait a minute! All humans emote about their experiences – even beings as aware as Gandhi and Jesus felt emotions. Our bodies are wired to flow with emotion. Emotion is as natural for humans as breathing. I don’t make my breathing right or wrong, so why do it with my emotions?
Every experience I have can trigger emotional reactions, not just the yummy experiences. Where did I get the idea that becoming conscious meant never being triggered, never feeling “yucky” emotions? Isn’t that just a really sneaky way to judge myself and find myself lacking? Just what I need – another way to beat myself up and make myself bad or wrong. NOT!
And what if being more aware in each moment elicits even more emotion within me? All those sensations about this moment that I used to block or ignore are now available to me in my new state of awareness. What if those sensations trigger MORE emotions as I respond to all the new information I am now aware of? Is that somehow wrong?
And isn’t it just another form of judgment to label emotions good or bad, acceptable or repulsive? How is it going to help me to label my emotions as OK and not OK? Can I let go of the idea that some human emotions are a sign of unconsciousness or inferiority?
We are emotional creatures. Trying to stop emotion is like trying to halt the flow of water. Can I allow my emotions to flow without stuffing them? And can I stop judging myself right or wrong for feeling the way I feel in each moment?
What happens if I embrace it all – my grief, my anger, my fear? Can I allow my emotions to be waves washing through me? What happens if I embrace ALL of me – even the parts I don’t like – in every moment?
“It’s not that you won’t be triggered anymore.
It’s that you won’t have a problem being triggered anymore.”
Rules for Trees
1. No holding branches
2. No touching roots.
3. No losing your leaves
4. Keep your tree straight.
Dana Scharein Dague
The trees are like the hair of the world.
The city is like the heart of the world.
The wind is a flute player
playing in the night…
Both poems are from the book Salting the Ocean; 100 Poems by Young Poets. All of the poems in Salting the Ocean were written by kids in grades 1-12.