(5 minute read)
Over the past weeks I have been grateful to be doing some deep work. In all honesty without bragging, I have to admit that it’s been a gradual process over a lifetime of turning up to return, time and again, to the path of evolution.
Dismantling notions of inadequacy and concepts such as ‘Who am I, to assume I could be so grand?’ which truthfully hasn’t helped me serve my needs nor anyone else’s.
Thankfully, I have noticed a deepening shift as I unconditionally meet what is present, as in not avoiding taking responsibility for what shows up in my life.
Dissolving distraction appears to be contrary to so much of the information often presented in this world.
Personally I find eliminating distraction crucial, particularly in art and healing, but I imagine it relates to no matter what field anyone works in. Distraction tells us when we are not on course and have strayed from purpose.
I have found it happens when we have taken on information that conditions us to believe that, GETTING, HAVING, or FIXING makes life better. But this only serves to take us away from who we already are, and it serves to have us forget that we are already enough.
There is something monumentally different in how life shows up, I notice, when in the moment that I embrace all that IS showing up, doors begin to open and life has a fascinating way of becoming so much friendlier.
It is far easier than believing that there is something wrong with what is.
Much of society and much of the conditioned way many of us seem to operate, is that we imagine that we aren’t where we need to be. There is this unwritten mistaken notion that seems to have us forever chase outside of ourselves for some proverbial ‘carrot’ like a donkey, and we end up doing things we don’t want to be doing, diminishing our values and morals for the sake of some distant reward in the future. Believing that we aren’t enough until we acquire something that will eventually ‘complete’ us.
But how is that possible if we disconnect from our values and from discovering who we really are at our most fundamental level?
A key shift happened for me when I opened up completely to how life shows up in the moment. For me that was being with extremely uncomfortable pain in the form of illness.
Normally my default response to challenge was ‘what can I do to not have this in my life?’ This I discovered is actually a very subtle form of resistance and can be hidden beneath positive intentions.
Instead I chose to embrace what I was feeling, and authentically chose to meet what I was feeling and meeting it all head on regardless of the discomfort. Not in a resigned way but simply owning that this is here and I can accept it fully and learn from it.
As a result I began to shift how I approached the situation and it enabled me to explore new opportunities from a place of genuine care and interest. I learned and grew as a result.
This is not to say that extreme pain and illness is necessary for you to grow, it’s more about turning up unconditionally and listening to whatever is present in life, even if it’s uncomfortable and responding to exactly what is needed for growth.
Most of the time I had been pushing what ‘I’ didn’t want away, I was saying no to SO much of life. I was saying ‘No, not this, I want something different, something more palatable.’
The moment I decided to meet everything that life is bringing me and even welcome it, it has begun to transform the experiences I have been having. The way I show up and of-course the results I am getting now, couldn’t possibly have come from the struggling sense of self in a limiting view of the world I once had.
Life is actually filled with messages that are specifically designed just for us, we can call it intuition, we can call it signals, guidance or whatever. The key is that there is a way of listening, of being receptive, of opening ourselves up and being ready, so that what is supportive to our needs can find us. We just need to be home, to be present. We simply need to drop our distractions and turn up. We can put down the things that are clearly not important to us so that we are present for what is of value. For what life is calling us to.
Yet so often many of us have been conditioned into believing that struggle and scarcity, fear and adversity are the noble way. Take for instance the classic ‘Aussie Battler’ syndrome, where doing it tough is seen as being bizarrely, socially acceptable.
Dropping such a limited, conditioned way of living seems counter-intuitive, especially when so many are doing it. Yet living outside of the constraints of societies norms, free of stress and strain is actually infinitesimally liberating.
We are in a world of opportunities that serves us and others. The moment we choose to open up and fully embrace who we are at our most basic and fundamental level we discover that our destiny is not a fantasy at all. We are here to reclaim our sovereignty and our power to serve all life, including our own.
We are all creative genius of our own making and we can perceive what is possible in this world.
18 years ago I travelled to Northern QLD, Australia. I had just seen a psychic who recommended that I follow the call I had to travel north. The journey was incredible and eventuated in a sequence of beautiful synchronicities, wherever I went I just seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
This painting I created was to honour that process of following the flow. Each and every waterfall has its own flow. In-fact water simply does nothing but flow. Bruce Lee speaks of the need to be like water, how it is shapeless and formless. He points to how if we are to be like that, we can become boundless.
I recall working on this painting, enjoying the process it took building it up as I travelled even though it was an oil painting I found a way to keep it without damaging the artwork as I moved around.
I loved how I just found a way to make it work and connect with what I loved, dropping into the flow. In a sense I became like water, letting go of boundaries and limitations loved and became inspired by the experience of creativity.
What’s possible for you I wonder when you turn up to create your vision and your passion in life?
What happens when you let go and trust the flow?
When you listen to the calling from beyond your fears and doubts and awaken to the possibilities that are calling to you?
At times, I catch myself and find I’ve missed precious moments of life. Noticing this is a great step. It proves pivotal in getting to questions that support a shift. What’s really going on? Is it possible I’ve shutdown somewhere?
Then begins the process of deep listening. A practice that quietens the mind. That engages me honestly and attentively to the body. To welcome every sensation.
Deep listening rests the mind. It opens us up to the subtleties and nuances of life to become viscerally available. It builds awareness that expands consciousness. It develops a spaciousness in which resilience can be found. (more…)
‘Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you’ve made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly, your wholeness when you feel broken and your innocence when you feel guilty.’ – African Saying
The other morning I allowed myself the opportunity to be creative, to express my heart in song. Often I am utterly scared of setting my voice free. To sing to my hearts content. I recall thinking how the neighbours have been doing construction work for weeks on end and how if my voice was going to sound bad it wouldn’t be any worse than the screeching of the construction tools.
But that wasn’t what inspired me to drop my stories about not being good enough or fears of being told to shut up. I think this must have happened at some point in time as a child because it takes a while for my voice to open up and for me to feel comfortable to sing.
What inspired me most was the pure joy of creating. What inspired me was the beauty of exhilaration I experienced when I abandoned the silly limiting beliefs that served neither me or anyone else.
I had collected pieces of music that inspire me and printed them on paper and put them in a folder. Whilst they were songs that I thought were hard, I gave myself freedom to enjoy my hearts aliveness as I sang them, caring less about perfection and focussing more on the aliveness I felt in singing.
I have always found that aliveness is a key indicator to be attentive to. It is what tells me I am headed in the right direction. It tells me that the universe is giving me the green light, the resonant thumbs up.
But that primordial fear, that beastly illusion that tells me I have to get to the other side seems to gnaw away at the image of perfection that it wants me to attain. This mind created fear masks itself as being the real self and if I give it energy then I separate myself from the aliveness that connects me to all of the Universe..
The biggest breakthroughs I have found are in allowing fun and inspiration to tap me in and uncover a limitless energy. It’s what enables me to play and boldly step through into cultivating discipline whilst employing my intellect but not being restrained by it.
When free radical creative aspects required to accomodate inspiration and play are engaged productivity can be boosted. Especially when linked with structure.
There is nothing that cannot be met, there is nothing that cannot be embraced. Yet in the mind and in the body, remnants of pain, suffering and residue of past hurts and wounds bubble to the surface, challenging my capacity to meet life and accept all the things that I judge as being imperfect. Yes, I am a work in progress, yes, I fail at love sometimes, yes, I feel like a failure sometimes and yet I stand in the world with all these problems and wonder how can I be loved in the midst of all this?
Yet I am.
But how, is it possible I wonder? I don’t know, right now I am too far gone in my mind and in pain as it bubbles up to the surface challenging my resilience.
You see, my son in his passage into adult life stumbles. The prices of rent soars ever skyward as the youth of our world struggle to make ends meet and question the ways of our changing world, I find myself stumbling too.
My quest to forge forward wanes. My business and my capacity to hold my ground is now met with an emotional collapse that threatens my ability to be present. What do you do when you are in the grip of negativity, but fully, completely be with it?
Yes, it’s one thing to speak words of positivity, but it’s another thing to walk an authentic truthful journey. There are so many things that can be said, so many programs to take, movies to watch, inspiring books to read and perspectives to take on. Yet, what is it that rests in my heart? What is it that matters most? It’s when these core truths are integrated that things begins to shift.
The intense feelings, the emptiness, the aloneness, the heaviness, these challenging emotions are signals. Whilst the likely inclination is to avoid feeling, the wisest response to these feelings is to give them fullest attention. To bring them into the heart-space without distraction of any kind. To welcome them with a state of receptivity that would honour one’s beloved. Softening to them. Simply observing them as we would a baby in need.
You see, it is not control and resistance that brings us the fruits of life, it is inner surrender to what is that does so. It is about allowing and opening to life that welcomes in the new. If a seeking to control what is felt is occurring, if a seeking to manipulate and coerce life so that one can force one’s own agenda, it’s because life isn’t being trusted. At these times things have a funny way of reflecting back the same lack of trust.
When an opening to what life wants occurs, when there is receptivity, embrace, when judgement dissolves, change welcomed, a meeting of the flux and flow, welcoming of vulnerability, then that’s where expansion begins. That is exactly when consciousness is made available to a universal power that operates through all things.
Most people are shy of embodying their fullness and avoid the flux and flow. Most people assume life shouldn’t include the negative, uncomfortable and dark moments. Actually, dark moments engender one’s capacity to forge the intensity of presence and resiliency needed to weather the adventure of living.
Each of us are being invited to embody all of life in order to be whole. Not just what we please.
Most people are petrified of fully feeling the complete depths of pain, which is why there is a madness that has gripped our planet. Disagree? Then jump online and google the last mass shooting, rape or terrorist attack or mining on indigenous land. For what could possibly cause such a separation to drive a collective insanity?
We could instead make peace by taking full responsibility for our share of pain. This begins here and now with acceptance of the fullest breadth and width of emotion, of every thought and the entirety of what it means.
to be alive today, inclusive of fear and joys. Only then can one connect to the fullness and sacredness of life.
It is not wrong to experience what exists, if we are feeling it, it means life is signalling something to be aware of. To accept it brings peace. Life is always offering that which is intrinsically designed for our fullest evolution. For every single thing in life is biologically driven to evolve each and every one of us.