Some of us are stuck in the shallows Where life has a cautious desperate rhythm, punctuated by bursts of pleasure and hurt. There's a loss of connection with the depth of our being. Life has become the soap opera or media that we tune into. The deep is too dangerous to acknowledge, let alone embrace. We cling to the safety of the shallows. We want to feel connection, yet can't let go of controlling and comparing, resisting and resenting. Life is filled with distractions, must-see t.v. and others agreeing this is the way it "should" be. It is the shallow sea of a fearful and protective ego. When you feel caught up like this, take time to pause. Breathe fully and notice what is alive in you. Listen for the vibration from the deep. The untouched part of you that never changes. Finding your Middle Ground is the gateway to a new depth of being and living fully. The current may be strong and the transition may not be easy. It takes courage to be the swimmer you are, to dive in and wake up.
“What is the ego-mind’s fear of awakening? It is: Who wants a relationship with Miss Nobody? Who will employ Mr No-Mind? What kind of future is there for one who is desireless?
But I am reminding you that all these are the ego’s taboos, imaginings and attempts to distract you from your ever-perfect nature.
In truth, your awakened life will be magnificent, harmonious, joyous and complete.
Follow your intuitive sense of the divine within. Welcome its presence and vibration. Like this, your insight opens to fully recognise the real as your own Self.
The awakened heart invites and allows the Supreme to shine its light upon this world.”*
Miss Somebody enjoyed reading this this morning! Mooji’s words are so simple and straightforward. He makes the complex, understandable. And makes me smile.
*Mooji (2015-12-03). White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji (Kindle Locations 232-238). Mooji Media Publications. Kindle Edition.
“We tend to lose interest in more superficial, less authentic ways of being together. We invest less energy in our self-limiting stories, as well as the self limiting stories of others. Personal dramas, gossip, and projections tend to fall away, and we spend less time ruminating about the past, or anticipating the imagined future. We are more at ease with silence and don’t feel compelled to fill the gaps. We realize that we don’t need to leave our self in order to meet someone else. In fact, we come to see that until we are at home in our self, we can’t truly connect with others.
When there is nothing to prove or disprove about our self, we are more in the present moment, enjoying what is here now. There is creative space for sharing and discovery. Out ordinary life continues, but our relationship to our life becomes increasingly more spacious and open.”John J Prendergast. Taken from The Deep Heart Our Portal to Presence
These words come from John J Prendergast’s transformational book The Deep Heart, and refer to the awakening process.
What struck me as I read this, was how many people may also be having a similar experience during the pandemic. I know that I have spent so much more time in self isolation and being in nature. Despite the turmoil and chaos of the external world, there has been a settling and expansion of my inner world.
When we slow down, pause and take time to simply be in silence, we may discover deeper or hidden aspects of ourselves.
Some of us may think there is something wrong. After all, we are not the way we were before. But the reality is, that something unfamiliar is taking place that wants our attention.
It’s time to let go of the familiar and open to what is arising.
” The way is not really a way.
It is a depth.
It is not a distance.
It is a deepening into the stillness, deepening in the unmoving.
It is not a walking journey.
Journeys are for the body and the ego-mind.
But listening takes you deeper into the bliss of the unknowable. “*
In darker days, let these words guide you towards that deep place of peace and bliss within you.
*Mooji (2015-12-03). White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji (Kindle Locations 137-139). Mooji Media Publications. Kindle Edition.
Wisdom from Adyashanti worth repeating. Written before 2016.
“In no way can I deny the insanity of the human condition. And yet, because there’s so much insanity, so much unconsciousness, it’s possible that there’s also the other side of it.
Life is always balancing itself out.
So, while all of this is happening, there’s also this undercurrent of people all over the place who have a deep and profound interest in the ultimate nature of reality in themselves—and they are realizing it!
Not only is that now happening among a wider variety and number of human beings, it’s also happening more and more outside of hierarchical institutions.
I think there’s something within all of this, something very authentic, that’s breaking down the barriers between every person and our ideas of what a spiritual person is. It’s sort of a silent, quiet revolution that’s happening.
But even though there’s a lot of awakening, I don’t know if that means we’re at the dawn of some beautiful renaissance age or that the human species will totally selfdestruct. I can see it going either way.
I do think that in our deepest heart we don’t actually want to contribute to the insanity around us. Our nature is, if anything, to be a contributor to sanity and wholeness, to bringing that into manifestation.”
May we stop contributing to the insanity around us, and come from our deepest heart.
Bring on the silent loving revolution towards wholeness.
Those of us who see ourselves on a journey of self realization or spirituality, have a sense of awakening. But an awakening to what? I wonder if we all awaken to the same thing, or if we awaken to whatever we are ready to awaken to…
Whatever it is, when we find it we think “This is it!” But it is really so? Is it the final piece of the puzzle or just an other piece along the way that finds its rightful place?
As I reflect on my life there have been moments of awakening, when it seemed like my inner world and outer world launched into a new way of being. Yet, on reflection it is now clear that these have just been pieces of the puzzle.
These pieces connected to each other, yet they revealed only a part of a great unknown picture. Here are my reflections on my journey towards the unknown and the awakenings along the way.
I can only imagine what it must have felt like when I first discovered I was no longer in a dark and nourishing space merged with my mother. This experience is beyond my thinking, but I can imagine how traumatic and profound it must have been becoming separate and in all that bright light!
The next awakening was when I learned who I was in relation to other things and people. My ego developed as I grew into a separate human being with preferences and beliefs. I learned how to get what I wanted, how to be in relationship with others. I created beliefs about who I was as a girl child, daughter, sister etc…
Not long after this revelation came, the waking up to feeling hurt when I didn’t get what I wanted, or when I was not seen in a way that I wanted to be seen, or when I felt abandoned and unloved. I believed that there was something wrong, and it was me. I wasn’t good enough. So I would try to be good and perfect.
This part lasted for quite some time. I continued to learn who I was in this world from those around me, and in the roles I played. I was looking outward for validation and love.
Then as an adult I awakened to the part of me that wanted to express herself fully. To slough off the conditioning and expectations of others. I started to look inward so I could find the real “me”, not through anyone else’s eyes, but through my own… Awakening to myself as a strong individual who mattered… Stepping into my own shoes and expressing myself to the world.
From not being good enough, I realized I was precious, unique and strong. I could make things happen! I took on challenges and overcame my fears. It was a period of tremendous personal growth.
Around then I began training to became a life coach. For the past 20 years I have worked with people to discover who they are as unique human beings who can overcome challenges and be their authentic best in the world.
Yet, this was not the end. From this place of self growth, confidence and expansion, an other kind of awakening started to unfold. One where I started to question who “I” was.
At a time when I was disillusioned with the competitive, self absorbed human beings around me, I fully embraced yoga and took my first yoga teacher training. Unlike a lot of yoga trainings nowadays, our practice was more than postures, sequencing and breath work. We had time for self reflection, we read yoga philosophy, and committed to following the eightfold path of Patanjali.
Through yoga I became aware that my personal “self” was made up of my thoughts and beliefs. The world around me mirrored my own perception of it. I had been creating stories about who “I” (this “small self”) was. I had grown as a person, but had replaced stories of not being good enough, with new stories about all I could achieve and show the world.
A part of me still got caught in patterns of self-doubt, fear and worry. I also had moments of glory and immense satisfaction and had glimpses of the timeless beauty and mystery of being alive.
In yoga I felt drawn to the belief that we are all connected and share the same Source or Conscious Presence. When one says “namaste” in greeting and farewell, it means that one recognizes the light shining within each of us. This inner light is our true spiritual Self. We connect to something more that our human body and thinking mind. Whether we call it God, the Divine, Brahman, Source, Presence or the Universe. There is a part inside of all of us that is connected to an infinite beingness, that words can’t fully describe.
Then something happened. It was like the outer shell cracked and the gloriousness of what was within was revealed. From understanding in my mind, I experienced a overwhelming feeling of love and connection with my fellow human beings, animals and nature. There is a deep sense of oneness that is profound, no matter what is happening in life. It is hard to put into words, because it feels beyond words.
If I were to try to use words, it was be something like a veil had been lifted to reveal what had always been there. It is something that once felt, can always be accessed.
The aum symbol of yoga symbolizes this seeing beyond the veil and embracing an unchanging reality of oneness with spirit or pure consciousness.
Finding Your Middle Ground
Finding your middle ground is the gateway to this awakening. The starting point is when we take time to pause and become self aware. We begin, by simply learning to slow down and noticing what is going on inside: our thoughts, judgments, emotions, body sensations … and al the stories we make up about ourselves and the world around us.
I like to think of it as the phase of personal expansion and growth. Its a place of new perspectives, letting go of the past, and understanding and truly accepting ourselves as imperfect human beings.
We start to explore new aspects of ourselves, our passions and what gives us meaning in life. Taking time to pause and ask ourself the deep questions that we want to know the answers to, allows us to go beyond what we know in our mind and tap init the wisdom in our heart.
From this place of mindful awareness, we can come new insights into who we are beyond our beliefs and conditioning. Beyond our own small separate self.
With more compassionate self awareness, meditation and mindful living, a new way of seeing ourselves and the world unfolds.
We realize that we are not separate, but are connected to something so much bigger, and to each other.
We come to know that we are not the master of the universe, but are simply a part of it all.
There is no right or wrong, because we know that it’s our thoughts that make it so. Everything becomes as it is.
We stop resisting life, and begin to let go into its own flow.
We let go of ego and surrender to being small as we connect to the Source of being. From wanting to be somebody, we embrace being nobody.
Wherever we are on life’s path, we can open ourselves to new insights and awaken to a new way of expanded being.
As human beings perhaps our purpose is to awaken to what we are ready for, and to be open to surrendering to the next unknown.
Thank you for joining me on this journey to freedom.
Step out of the past
Let go of struggle stories
Find truth in the now
I feel a real connection to others who are struggling right now … and who have struggled in the past. Have you noticed what that feels like? A shared struggle feels oh so familiar… and somehow comforting.
Many of us come to see that the struggles of the past are re-enacted in our present lives.
We all have challenges and conflicts within ourselves, especially the thinking mind with its tethered beliefs and judgments, along with our conditioning from childhood.
It all diminishes our ability to be open, to tune into intuition and heart felt sense of being. It keeps us trapped in our ego-mind and small self.
When we identify with our struggle, its so easy to let it overwhelm us, and we literally become the struggle.
The struggle become how we identify ourselves. “I am stupid… I am a failure… I am not worthy… I am unlovable… I am an addict… I am a bad person” … etc
Many of us get attached to our personal struggle and some will find the courage to share it and reach out to others who understand.
Our struggle story can be very personal, yet it acts as a bridge of connection and community. All human beings experience struggle, and when we find similar souls, we feel validated and supported.
Yet the struggle is still a story. Created by our fearful, controlling ego. When we embrace the story, it makes us feel right, stronger and more able to deal with the external pressures. We actually lose touch with who we truly are, rather than connect deeper into our true sense of being.
This is such an important part of the journey, but it isn’t the end. It can backfire if it ends here. When we get attached to our story, we stay stuck.
Struggle keeps us attached to our ego and small self. It takes us into the past and makes us anxious about the unknown future. It prevents us from being present to the goodness that is already within us, and to open up to the higher Self and power beyond our separate small lives.
For those on a spiritual path, as long as we identify with our struggle we cannot awaken.
The struggle story will never set us free.
We will be free when we choose to open up, accepting this part of our history and ourselves, face it, feel compassion for it and then let it go. This is challenging and important work.
We must truly want to move past our struggle if we want to awaken to the freedom beyond. What is beyond struggle? When we come to recognize, befriend and let go of ego.
Beyond ego is beyond struggle.
On your path to awakening, what part of your struggle story are you willing and ready to let go of?
May this Danna Fauld’s poem fill you with strength and inspiration. “We come from stronger stuff than feelings” 💛
Vast and changeless
the ground of being
is not rocked by
ripples on the pond.
The firmament from
which we spring, the
divinity at the heart
of things doesn’t wax
or wane with mind states,
or wither in the wind.
We come from stronger
stuff than feelings.
Essence does not fail
or fade, diminish or
trade reality for illusion.
We are wordless, wide,
and wise beyond time.
Within us is a flame
of truth that never dies.
Let that be the focal
point of life. Let that
be the light that guides
us from the shadows.
~ Danna Faulds
“We are perishing for lack of fulfillment of our greater needs.
We are cut off from the great sources of our inward nourishment and renewal.
We must plant ourselves again in the universe.”
I think many people feel like uprooted trees in today’s world.
When we make the decision to plant ourselves once more we become nourished, rooted and interconnected.
Each of us can do this for ourselves and support others in finding inner nourishment, renewal and connection to our life source and Spirit.
I call it Findng Your Middle Ground.
When we are on a spiritual path, the idea of ego becomes something to overcome and get past. It feels contrary to how we want to be in the world.
Its the part of ourselves that we would rather hide or deny rather than show. So we battle with it or suppress it…. or disguise it.
Here are some examples from my own experience of an ego in disguise:
~ We see ourselves as knowledgeable and evolved…. so we don’t want to be seen as not knowing or caught up in our self image.
~ We see ourselves as spiritual beings who give a lot to others…. so we don’t want to appear selfish and put ourselves first.
~ We see ourselves as good people in a world of danger and mistrust… because the world is a place where things are out of our control and other people can harm or take advantage of us.
Does this sound familiar to you? Can you see the ego at play here – in our thoughts about how we don’t want to be.
That’s our ego in disguise.
We are creating a “better” ego to overcome the inferior one from the past.
The irony is that in order for us to evolve past our ego we need to get intimate with it and acknowledge it. If we want to truly evolve into a new level of consciousness then this is the place that must be embraced.
When we look at the aspects of our ego, or our shadow side, and we feel resistance and discomfort … its a good thing.
Of course, this very human part of us doesn’t want to be looked at. Yet, when we accept is as a part of our experience, we begin to see it more clearly. We feel it’s impact and see the power it has had over us for most of our lives … even now.
Being awake and conscious and witnessing how our ego comes and goes is something that the most enlightened people are able to do. It brings a smile and possibly a shrug. There is curiosity, compassion and detachment.
We cannot deny it just as the left needs the right, one side of a coin has to have the other, and they cannot be separated from the other.
When we accept it and see it for what it is, it loses its power. We must embrace it in order for it to be no longer important as a driver in our lives.
If we continue to beat it up it will find ways to become more powerful in our thinking and stories about ourselves.
Be kind to your ego, so you can let it go and transform into your whole Being.
What does it really mean for human beings at their current evolutionary stage to “become more conscious” or to “awaken”? If I had to put it in a nutshell, I would define it as “disidentification from thinking.” When you realize that the voice in your head, your incessant compulsive thinking, is not who you are, then you have begun to awaken.
A new dimension of consciousness has arisen, which we could call awareness, presence, or wakefulness. You haven’t fallen below thought; you have risen above it. Now you can use thought instead of being used by it. Your sense of self shifts from identification with your mental positions and narratives to the alive presence within you, which is consciousness itself.
You realize the being behind the human, so to speak. Something that transcends your conditioned personality begins to emerge. You realize your essential identity as unconditioned consciousness itself, and you can verify within yourself the truth of Jesus’s words: “You are the light of the world.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
Without testing life
We cannot prove anything.
Reach to new limits
Live beyond the knowing
Wonder at the unveiling.
Break free from within.
Take time for stillness
Seek balance in Yin with Yang.
These words came to me today as I realized that much of our lives are played out in what is known and the expectations of those around us.
How can we live beyond the knowing? By stepping out of our comfort zone and trusting that there are new limits to explore. To embrace the wonder beyond the knowing.
It doesn’t begin with more activity, the setting of goals and targets. These are the Yang aspects of life. It begins with setting aside time to be in stillness. To be with our thoughts and discovering the deeper, hidden parts of our being. This is where Yin resides.
In Yin we find the place beyond thought. The knowing that is within us all, that wants to break free.