One thing I noticed keenly was that although my instinct was driving me outside, the guilty voice within was snarling “stay in, you have to suffer if you want people to take you, and your so called business, seriously. Reading books in the sunshine is not real work.”
Although I ignored the voice to bathe in the rare glorious sun, it was with a sick twisted feeling of guilt in my stomach.
One of the books I read, was The Dance, by Oriah (she also wrote The Invitation), from cover to cover.
If you have read The Invitation, you’ll know that Oriah starts that book with a gorgeous story that really resonates with me. She talks about how, after a morning meditation of “graceful ease”, feeling at one with the Universe, she walks into the bathroom – straight into puddles on the floor surrounded by soaking towels. Her sons had showered and left this mess. From bliss to hiss! From heaven to reality.
In The Dance, Oriah talks a lot more about this clash. She asks if it’s possible to have a sense of connectedness with Spirit and feelings of love and happiness, in a world of business, bills, blaring horns and blunders.
As I read this beautifully written book, whilst overlooking the Forth and the Scottish Hills, I understood that being at ease, living a purposeful life and forgiveness are techniques I need to strengthen in order to shine.
Oriah writes about the conflicts that we all face; spirituality versus reality, creativity versus conventional wisdom, meditation versus sleep! Our fear that the reward isn’t worth the effort and the feeling of overwhelm.
“Believing we are by nature lazy and unworthy, we believe we will not change, will not become the people we want to be unless we are pushed or forced by suffering to do so. Given this belief we use methods that do not cultivate mercy and compassion for ourselves but rather foster a hardness toward our own suffering and the suffering of others who are failing to curb or rise above their basic nature. And in the face of these methods we do not learn to swim or dance or dream or be all we are. We do not learn to love fully or allow ourselves to love freely. We’re too busy surviving”. From The Dance by Oriah.
Another author I’m rereading is Gay Hendricks. His book The Big Leap offers us techniques to overcome our reluctance to be happy, he calls it the Upper Limit Problem, “a limited tolerance for feeling good”. His theory is that “our species ..had grown accustomed to pain and adversity through millennia of struggle. We knew how to feel bad.”
We seem to believe that we are flawed. It’s inbuilt into our culture, so it’s unsurprising that we struggle with guilt.
As Abraham (channelled through Esther Hicks) points out. “You really believe that humans are the imperfect children of a perfect God who has sent you to Earth to punish you, demanding that you endure a hard and cruel life in order that you learn to be good so that when you die you’ll go to Heaven.” Hmm – not really logical is it?
This has been a year of losing extraordinary talents far too early. What I love about Victoria Wood, David Bowie and Prince, for example, is their quiet modesty, their ability to enjoy the process of creation and their determination to be artists on their own terms. Of course they had their demons, yet I admire the drive they had to continually create, to ask questions, to challenge themselves and to love and accept their fellow man, and woman and, I suspect, through that work they were learning to accept and love themselves.
Can you believe that I have, on occasion, listened to inspirational people who have overcome unimaginably awful circumstances in their lives and gone on to become world changing beings - and felt jealous?
For this blog I chose the image of a beautiful woman looking up to the sky, balancing on the edge of a fallen tree because in that moment she is in bliss, aware, at one with Spirit, aligned. Yet.. we know what's going to happen in the next moment, don't we?
I am determined to live in my power, in each moment, and practice how to recover when I fall flat on my virtual or real arse.