Sometimes I wake at night, unable to sleep… plagued by questions that sometimes rise to the surface, and sometimes settle in my bones. Questions like,
How, then, shall I live?
Shall I live in fear?
Shall I live in the chase?
Shall I live exhausted?
Shall I live in the shadows?
Shall I live at the top? Or the bottom?
Shall I live simply?
Shall I live peacefully?
Shall I live quietly?
Shall I live on the front line? Or behind the scenes?
Shall I live well?
For me it is almost always the same, I listen and feel the anxiety well and remind myself it will pass if I turn myself in the direction of my dreams and trust and trust and trust… and then I remember.
I shall live well.
I have had in all – this lifetime. As far as I can see, everything I have set my mind or my heart to has been made manifest in my life, and I have been very very blessed in this life. But the bittersweetness of this has taught me that after ALL THAT, I realized one day when walking to the barn in the drizzling autumn rain that NONE of that would make me happy — nothing I owned, posed, offered or presented as my life would or could make me happy. Not until I was willing to settle into the solitude of my own soul and feel content in the simple, quiet well of my self.
If you haven’t noticed, this is NOT the American dream, dear Ones.
Not even for a second are we taught to be happy with a simple, below the radar, life. Instead, the push and the strive are the norm. And as you may have heard me say in the past (to quote some old long-gone yogi), “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick world”.
I am not saying the world is sick – in and through – I am just saying that “becoming” is a infliction, from which many of us suffer, and sometimes it is worth the struggle to stop with the seeking, the searching, the aspiring, the evolving, and just flat out love your self and your life exactly as it all happens to be in this sweet little moment. THAT in itself is a MEGA accomplishment.
But how do you do that? You do it by putting on the brakes; and when you do that, you will (I repeat) you WILL feel the friction.
But, still, you must apply the brakes. And then, you look inside. You take the time you need to look, listen, and feel. And one day, you will reMEMBER (which is to bring all the “members” of your sweet soulful self back together so all parts and pieces, thoughts, feelings and actions are all moving in the same direction)… and then you listen UP. You pay attention to what the inner voice says. You put your heart at the helm, you ask your sweet self the important, and sometimes, the most difficult, questions, and you offer your life back to the “one who brung ya”….
And then… you breathe into what you find…. and you listen… and you cry or talk or bow down as you must…. and perhaps you offer prayers to the moon, or the trees, or your ancestors, or your children’s children…. and again, you listen. And slowly, but surely your life begins to speak. In the words of Parker Palmer:
“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.”
Now, perhaps it seems like you can’t do this at this time, or that it’s selfish or that you should be less selfish and more productive… more useful, somehow. Trust me, dear One. Or more accurately, trust YOU. For in time, with this knowing at your feet — with this sort of foundation, what you do, when you must… will be more lasting and powerful than you ever dreamed possible.
Start small. Live Well.