Today as I was collecting leaves in the forest to make a compost, I woke up to the cold hard fact that I choose every day, perhaps every moment, what I dedicate my time to, who I am with and how I want to live. Conditioning is present and of course has an impact on my decisions. But being caged is a state of mind that can occur in any external setting, from the most appalling to the most marvelous life situations.
So JUST FOR TODAY, I OWN the decisions I have made and make constantly. This is so empowering – when I take responsibility for the choices I make, I am participating consciously in molding my life. This still holds space for surrender in every moment, and in fact is part of accepting the life situations in which I find myself. Full acceptance of my present state, be it stagnation or transformation, is a reflection of my will to embody this experience with full attention and intensity. And this becomes a beautifully continuous dance – I define my boundaries by making certain choices and I surrender into the results. Then I observe my present state and situation and make a decision in the next moment. This is the beauty about why so many wise beings expound the importance of living in the present.
So how do I cut the ties that bind me to what I have been blaming for my suffering and see more clearly what decisions will guide me towards happiness? One thing I adore about going on retreats is doing “check ins”, which are the time slots set aside for people to reflect on their experience to the whole group. When not on retreat, I can “check in” with myself, recognizing that the group support is miraculous but unnecessary…I have the capacity to fulfill any and all needs I may have from within. Going inward I discover the truth behind Rumi’s incredible adage: “You are not just a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in one drop”. If, as science has discovered, I am connected to all that is, then I have access to all of the advice, love, support and knowledge I could ever desire. Thus, I also have access to the infinity of creative possibilities that exist beyond the norms to which I am constantly exposed. There are many ways to encounter this wisdom…I have found that the most direct route is through the body.
If you allow yourself the time and focus to check in with your whole & true self, you will discover your capacity to recognize the voice whispering the “right” thing to do, which is based on external labels and value systems. Then check in with what feels right in your gut, your bones, your heart and surges from your intimate connection with all that is.
Cuddle piles, hair strokes and a good old fashioned chat over a cuppa tea is always a beautiful part of the human experience. However, as I appreciate more and more that I do not NEED others to support me or resolve my problems, I become ever more integrated with the wholeness of who I am. And living from that wholeness allows me to venture beyond my comfort zone and nourish the seeds of passion, joy and pleasure.