The space in between
the mundane and
lies a simple
and ordinary truth.
The space in between
the mundane and
lies a simple
and ordinary truth.
OK, I admit it, I love seeing my kids wake up Christmas morning to a pile of gifts under the Christmas tree. This is especially true for my youngest this year, as it’s probably the last year that santa comes down the chimney. Luckily for me, my girls are pretty simple and practical when it comes to their Christmas gift list. Sure, there remain a few toys listed for the younger one but, in general, the list is filled with a few clothes items, pajamas, and maybe a couple of books. Many times they have written things like “hugs and kisses”. One of the cutest things on the letter to santa this year was, ‘please put something in mommy’s stocking this year’. With all of this said, many times what I hear from them is, “You don’t need to get me anything mom. I don’t need/want anything.” What many people don’t realize from that statement, is that is a greater gift, for them, than any present under the tree could ever be. The gift of not wanting and the freedom it brings with it.
Have you ever had the experience of being perfectly content in the moment; completely at peace with everything just as it is? No desire to change anything, not wanting anything to be different from the way it is? What is missing during those moments of perfect contentment? Part of the euphoria in getting something new, be it a television, a piece of jewelry, a new pair of pants, a new job etc., is that, for a short time afterwards, the wanting is gone. The “want” is fulfilled. This brings contentment. Then, after a while, that fades and another want or desire takes its place. Have you noticed? Have you ever lost yourself in a movie and when the movie is over you feel great? What happened during that time? You lost yourself enough to stop putting demands on the moment. For that time you were lost in the lives of the people on the screen, you didn’t want anything different for yourself. Once those moments are over it’s usually not long before you are back to wanting to change things again. I want an ice cream cone. I must have that new shirt. I want that lady over there to stop talking so loudly. I want there to be no traffic on my drive home. I want my husband to pay more attention to me. I want my kids to be quiet. I want a bigger house. I want a new IPhone. I want. I want. I want. Heavy. That’s how I feel when I even think about putting a demand on the moment. It feels heavy, because it’s not freedom. It’s a trap, and one most people find themselves in, many without even knowing it.
So, when my girls tell me that I don’t need to get them anything because there is nothing they need/want is a greater gift for them than any present ever could be. To be free from constantly wanting something is just that, it’s free. You are no longer bogged down or pulled along in life based on wants. Day-to-day activities are not weighed down by wanting anything to be different than it is. Wants may be fulfilled and bring you peace for a short time, but will ALWAYS be replaced by new wants….unless you stop. It is possible to stop. Be perfectly happy with everything just as it is. When you do that, you will eventually see, that you will get more than you ever wanted because everything you need is simply provided, right here and now.
This morning (prompting today’s post), when a coworker asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I answered, “the gift to continue to not want anything”, I got one heck of a strange look. She turned and began telling another girl how her husband had better get her the vacuum she saw over the weekend and new sheets for the bed or he was going to be in trouble. Needless to say, I was smiling, she wore a frown.
This one’s for you Kate. It’s not too late to ask for the gift of not wanting for Christmas.
Exactly as you are.
If you think you should be different – you are wrong.
If someone around you thinks you should be different – they are wrong.
You are perfect – just as you are. It could be no other way.
Let others be themselves as well.
Exactly as they are.
If you think they should be different – you are wrong.
They are perfect, just as they are. It could be no other way.
Be yourself and let others do the same.
You may just get a taste of freedom.
I’m currently in the process of selling my house. We just had an offer on it this week, and it was a pretty good offer, given the state the housing market is in right now. My realtor came over last night, very excited, with papers in hand. We looked through them and she explained a couple of the sections that they had added to or altered. She handed me a pen, expecting me to sign that second. She was smiling. I took the papers, gave her back her pen and said that I would call her in two days. She didn’t get it. She could not understand why I wasn’t jumping on this and selling the house that very instant.
When I first fell onto the enlightenment wagon there was a quote by Jed McKenna that I used to use as my mantra for a while. It was, “Things come into a certain alignment, patterns emerge, rightness is perceived, and the clearly indicated course is followed.”. In addition to that, he says something along the lines of, “if the answer isn’t indicated, then I don’t do anything”. This was one of those times and even though I hadn’t considered this quote in a long time it instantly jumped into my awareness. I needed to sit with this and wait for an indication of “rightness” or “wrongness”. I needed to feel the current flow. My realtor left, perplexed.
Today, by noon (even though I have another 24 hours before I have to give them an answer), I was getting text message after text message asking me what I was going to do. Hurry, hurry, hurry, now, now, now, as if the universe would cave in on itself if the answer did not come in that very hour.
I sat back in my chair, took a deep breath and … my answer was no. We are not selling the house today. Not because we don’t want to move, not because they were pressuring us for a decision, not because of any reason other than that is the answer that is indicated. That’s it. No thought needed. Nothing cognitive necessary. The indicated answer is simply just that, what is indicated.
The realtor I am using is, luckily, a friend of mine, so she tries very hard to understand, but 99% of the time, people just don’t. After all, I have the perfect place lined up to live, winter is coming and I would no longer have to deal with my LONG driveway and the snow, the house we’d move into is in the perfect location, on a lake, just 10 minutes down the road, next door to my daughter’s best friend and closer to the kids schools. Not to mention, after the end of this month it is no longer available to rent. Every sign, if looked only on the surface or through thought, says we should sell…now.
But the answer is no and who am I to question it? I don’t know why it’s ‘no’ and maybe I never will, but I trust it. This is one of the things that takes some getting used to in the whole awaking gig. Trusting the universe over your meager little thoughts. Surrendering. It gets easier to do the more you do it but it can be a scary thing. All I know, is that when I listen to that indication, eveything turns out more beautifully than I could have ever imagined.
To quote Jed one more time, “I want what’s best and I trust the universe, not my little brain, to be the judge of what’s best and how best to make it happen.”.
No thought needed.
I was sitting at the computer today, staring at a blank screen, wondering what would come to me to write about today. Then I realized, the blank screen says it all. That’s it. Enlightenment made simple. Emptiness right before our eyes.
Have you ever paid attention to how many times a day you try to control a situation, whether it’s at work, at home, in traffic or elsewhere? For many, it’s a constant struggle, as every facet of their day is something that must be controlled, or so they think. Who is in control anyway? Is there really such a thing as being in control? What would happen if you spent the next 24 hours not controlling anything, but instead, just went along with whatever happens, like water in a stream? Flowing with what is, no matter what twists and turns come along. Could you do it?
Start now and see what happens. Go with whatever comes up. If your mind and thoughts step in to tell you, “this is bad” or “I don’t want this so I am going to change it” or “I don’t like how she is acting so I am going to do something to try to change her” or even “I like this so I’m going to make it last as long as I can”, stop for a second. Stop and realize these are just thoughts. Go with whatever is in front of you. You may just be surprised at the outcome. It may just be better than anything you could have imagined. It may just flow with no effort at all, like water in a stream.
Water in a stream doesn’t get angry at the rock or the log in its path, it simply flows with it and around it.
There are different levels of awakening. Rarely does someone simply “snap out of” the dream with no residual pieces of ego left behind. Lately my awareness has come to focus on a piece that many hold on to, even without knowing it. The piece of ego that says, “you should not be that way” or “you should not act that way”. You can see this everywhere. It’s part of what creates the human drama. True freedom cannot come until you allow others the freedom to be who they are. Allow others the space. Accept them for who they are. If you are not allowing them to be who they are then there is resistance to what is. Full awakening includes a release of that resistance. It is allowing everything (and everyone) to be as it is. This isn’t to say that you will always agree with it, or even like it, but you can accept it. Allow it. This is true for ourselves as well. For example, maybe you meditate and get frustrated that your mind will not slow down. What would happen if you just allowed yourself to be as you are, busy mind and all? What would happen if you accepted yourself as you are instead of trying to ‘better’ yourself, change yourself or resist yourself? Instead, allow yourself to just be as you are. Make it your practice. Allow yourself and others to be as you and they are. It will not only assist in allowing reality to be as it is but it brings you to a place of presence. A place of true freedom.
Enjoy the beauty.
I love snow days. My kids do too (of course). We were blessed with one just the other day. As with all of our snow days, it was a wonderful opportunity for us to just stop. A great time to ‘drop out of life’ for a day. We relaxed, played games and, of course, basked in the beauty of a foot of newly fallen snow. Even the need to shovel the driveway was a gift, the wind in my face, snowflakes wetting my cheeks and the birds chirping overhead. There was nowhere to go and no timetable to keep.
I did, despite the gift of a day off work and school, check my e-mail now then and, yes, I jumped on Facebook. In that, this past snow day brought another aspect to my awareness, one I hadn’t spent much time with. It caused me to take a step back and look at how life on this planet and within our society works. To look at how conditioned we’ve become within the societal boundaries. There were so many people concerned about missing work, getting kids to school (those that didn’t get the day off) and a myriad of other issues related to the weather. So many things that people were set on doing but couldn’t or things that would now be more difficult because mother nature had the “nerve” to bring on a snowstorm and interrupt their plans. In one way, it’s our society that keeps us in the chains of busy-ness. It has conditioned us to believe we must be busy. We must produce. We must get out there and make money. We must get our kids to school so they can learn. In another way, it’s ourselves that bind us in these chains, because we believe it and we ourselves keep so busy that we don’t know how to stop. We feel confined because of all of this perceived societal responsibility or perhaps our own personal fear of just stopping and being in silence (but that’s a whole other story in itself). Many people are even penalized if they miss a day of work, either by loss of pay or the threat of a “black mark” in their employee file. Just another link the chain.
During this past snow day it never occurred to me to be upset with it. It snowed. My kids were home from school, which meant I was too. Pretty simple. Work could wait (even though I’m one of the ones to get a “black mark” with this particular job). School to could wait. I was going to enjoy it. I was going to take the day to slow down and jump out of life for a while and it was wonderful. There was no conflict within me. I went with the flow and enjoyed every moment.
This is something that comes with awakening. Call it trust. Call it “going with the flow”. Call it what you will. It is the realization that this moment is all we have. Wherever we are is where we need to be. You can struggle with it, fight against it and be angry with it or you can accept what is and enjoy it. If there is a snow day and you can’t do the things you have planned then trust that. Get your notions and your expectations out of the way and enjoy.
The next time there is a snow day, it is a gift. Relax and enjoy. Trust that the universe is doing this for you, not to you, and you will not be disappointed.
One of my favorite lines from Jed McKenna’s Spiritual Enlightenment Trilogy is “think for yourself or not at all”. It amazes me how many people don’t think for themselves. It amazes me, even more, that most people don’t even think of thinking for themselves. I don’t usually talk about my day-to-day life or tell stories such as this but today was too beautiful of an example to let pass by without mentioning. The premise of this story? “think for yourself or not at all” or equally accurate, if it’s not self-verifiable then it’s just a belief…and no belief is true.
I work for an employer that decided to make the flu shot mandatory for employment this year. I err on the side of ‘no thanks’ when it comes to getting shot up with a curious mixture of ingredients so I sought and received an exemption. In a meeting today the subject came up because so many physicians have not yet gotten the shot. To make things interesting I mentioned how it just doesn’t seem very nice to make people shoot a toxic substance into their bodies in the name of “health”. Vaccines should remain a choice, not a mandatory ultimatum. I proceeded to be ransacked. The 3 managers in the room immediately dove into the pre-scripted talking points released months before by Corporate Communications, the propaganda machine of the organization (very similar to the book 1984 I might add). I let them go on about how I was going to kill our sickest patients by eating in the cafeteria or by using the restroom. I listened to claims of clinical studies (of which no one in the room had ever looked up or even knew the names of). I looked at open mouths and surprised faces that said, “how could you dare not follow us and get the shot?”. We had a little back and forth on the subject. I asked one of the ladies how she would explain that most of the whooping-cough cases last year in California occurred in the vaccinated child population. She stammered and said that it was because most of the kids were vaccinated……dramatic pause….. I waited for her to realize what she just said. She didn’t. She had no clue. I was speechless. I ended the conversation by asking one of the manager-nurses in the room if she had verified any of this “evidence” for vaccination herself or if she was just taking other people’s word for it. The answer she gave me was something like, “aaaahhhhhh???” with a quick change of subject.
Exactly. If you have not verified it (experienced it, seen it, smelled it…) for yourself it’s just a belief. Think for yourself or not at all. SIMPLE. It didn’t occur to any of the managers in this room today to think for themselves. They were being good little employees and were simply following directions from the “powers that be”. None of them realized that there is NO other ‘power’ than yourself.
Bottom line, whether it’s a job, a flu shot, your religion, your belief in God, your thoughts about the tree in your backyard – everything – think for yourself or not at all. Be your own authority. If you cannot self-verify it then it’s a belief. It’s a lie you are telling yourself. Question it. Question everything until you know.
Disclaimer – I really have no opinion on the flu shot one way or another. To each his/her own. There is “scientific evidence” pointing to both sides of the spectrum. I’m drawn to refrain from such activities and really have no opinion on what others choose to do or not do so if you feel strongly about this subject, here is not the place to debate it. The above was simply an example of people following the herd without questioning. The flu shot just happened to be the subject.