Just This Life {9} ~ love, light and growing pains


Behind the scenes has been summertime-busy in This beautiful, blessed slice of Life I am experiencing. As always, when there is flow and movement in the unfolding it looks more like questions, possibility and synchronicity than anything else. Questions that don't demand answers, questions that trust, questions that know the only answer is in the flow itself. Questions that come and go with ease in the wake of Trusting a deeper, ineffable truth that my body and spirit know.

When the energy is stuck and amuck or getting caught up - it is because I am holding too tight to the questions that have no answer, demanding or wanting only tangible certainty, getting caught up on the fine print, the old ways of being, or just plain not being honest with my self. All of this is clever distraction from my real work... I am grateful to have some tools for recognizing this and course correcting when this arises in me, because the funny irony is that when things seem to begin to flow with abundance and momentum in life, that is exactly when my ego wants to jump in and press on the breaks, if it can get away with it. So, while one area of life seems to flow, another may seem to meet resistance... and that is all part of it, too.

What I am learning again, deeper, is that any stuckness is merely a chance to shed away false truth or behaviors that don't fit anymore. And, more importantly, that the very sensation of stuckness is a message, like anything else from this body - a message that it's time to shed skin, to cleanse, to release, to care for our whole self, with Surrender to noticing and process - trusting that our spirit knows the healing process, just like our bodies do - if only we gift ourselves space and time and love and commitment to staying in the moment and listening to what they ask of us.

We are built to grow and heal and thrive. Smoothies and taking pauses can help.

The key is to get out of our own way and allow this exchange of energy, from the inside out, to do its work.


For me, the best way to 'get out of my own way' is in my practice... creating, praying, communing (music, paint, people, service). Coming back to center again and again, and more frequently in times of acute monkey-mind or transformation. I have to literally, intentionally, GET myself into the physical feeling of my core truths and connection to Sacred Energy, in order to not be an obstruction to the work that is happening within me. I am blessed that my body and I have been working on better understanding the language between us.

I am feeling so grateful that at this phase in my life I understand that any pain in times of change is not something to run from or hide from or numb out or pretend doesn't exist. It can co-exist with any positive thinking, re-direction or affirmations and all the other great focusing tools we utilize to connect with our essence. It isn't as scary as we tend to think. It is OK to let the dance be what it is - a dance of peaks and valleys, pain and joy, repetition back and forth, sprouting and wilting, two partners co-existing in their own diverse steps.

This is how nature works. It cycles, it births and dies and composts and takes care of itself, evolving and adapting at its own pace and rhythm along the way - in direct response to all that is happening simultaneously.

I am always interested in how pain is different from suffering, and how growing pains are real at all stages of transformation. We are not weaker for admitting that some changes are uncomfortable or might take us a little longer to move into with grace - even if they appear easy and light and effortless for others. We are not weak for reaching out and asking for palliation in the journey of transformation, if we find ourselves in a stress cycle that won't quit. Sometimes an outside balm or song can shake us right out of funky-junk.

I believe deeply that this is why we are here together - to be there for one another, to serve one another, to witness and sing to one another. In fact, it takes great courage to confess our deepest truths and ask for what we need... and great courage to be generous of self in the time of another's request... and even greater courage yet to live by the truth of the boundaries that will keep us whole and well and accountable for ourselves. And don't even get me going on the fearlessness it can take to truly receive....

It is our responsibility to understand when we are stirring up unnecessary suffering inside ourselves (or projecting it on others), living the same pattern again and again, or when we are simply moving through the natural growing pains of living, becoming and creating. This is the self-honesty I speak of, to know this distinction. It is the honesty that I hope more of us will explore and put to action... and share with one another, so that we all might grow in our compassion to witness the mess of transformation as well as the beauty, without judgment and fear, and instead with fierce tenderness.

It is all sacred to the journey of creating and contributing to the river of collective growth.

I wonders sometimes how it might be if we all were lighter around the heavy stuff, the deep dives... If people felt safer to share the glory AND nitty-gritty truth of their experience with one another, without fear of it turning others away or evoking judgment, perhaps more would choose to try different ways of being, living, engaging, and trusting one another. Perhaps transformation wouldn't feel so much like isolated struggle and strife, even if there was pain, and maybe all that safe space of allowing could be the very gateway to the freedom and self-realization that so many crave to feel.

What I see again and again, though, is that many want to embrace only the shiny side of the coin of transformation and change, and reflect that back to each other ad nauseum... the side that is comfortable to look at, and light to hold, and fits into the idealism of spirituality and where it can take you (as if that place exists out there) - and I admit I am sometimes guilty of falling into this pretty presentation, too. It's easier to talk about the good stuff (than to be with another's struggles, or get to the roots of our own shit and dig it up for examination and scattering). It asks less of us (than to share the whole truth of our own challenges). But it feels not-totally-honest about the reality of what it means to stretch and break water of true self-growth.

We truly can celebrate the gift of labor as readily as the reward, and reap richer harvest and deeper momentum for doing so. I guess, all in all, what I'm mostly talking about is consciously choosing not just wholehearted presence and the light at the end of the tunnel, but Presence with the Whole tunnel of contrast, gestation and experience - even when it's out of our comfort zone. Otherwise, it's all just conditional being, and that feels a bit like a gesture of convenience, fractured from true compassion, connection and community-building.

Transformation and choosing to live a life of conscientious growth seeking is mysterious business - it is about living on the edge, on your cusp. It is a Great Mystery. That alone - the great unknown - can be scary and quite the ride... and I don't claim that I'm doing it any "right" way, just my way, just a way, just the best I can the way it looks today, feeling my way into one choice at a time by checking into my values and practice again and again... I know my discipline could be stronger and that I have many lessons to learn.

So I choose to go into the Mystery with my eyes and heart wide open to both the shadow and the light, the joy and the pain, with my voice honest, my intentions transparent, and a posture of gentle love and space for all of the questions along the way - even the hard ones - so that we all just might grow together a bit more, in ways we never could on our own. Because we are each dynamic mirroring drops of the Great Mystery itself, vessels of its flowing miracle continuum.

As always, we can only begin with each other from right where we are.


* brought to you by my random heartmind and bellysoul musings, with love.