It has been a busy week in the Ross household. Our daughters have their final exams, and we are feeling the impact as a family. However, for the most part, moods are good. We are all looking forward to going to Sri Lanka for the winter break. We are meeting my dad, my step-mom, and my brother there. As many of you know, I did not grow up with my father. This will be an opportunity for us to connect in his homeland, deepen my understanding of my heritage, and share this with my family. I look forward to being in a country in which my skin color is the norm, and my features are run of the mill. It will be interesting to blend in. I wonder what relationship looking like a local will have with my sense of belonging. As a former geographer, the connection between place and belonging intrigues me.
With an already busy week before we leave, I found out last Wednesday that the deadline to submit a book proposal for a contest I entered is December 24th. We leave on December 17th. I knew I was eligible to submit a book proposal to Hay House because of the online workshop I purchased, but some how I missed the date it was due. Yikes! When I heard the deadline after listening to a webinar, I immediately knew I wanted to submit the book proposal. I felt called to do it, but it was not just up to me. The book I have in mind for the proposal is a couple’s memoir, co-written with my husband, Angus, and he had just come down with a really bad cold!
As all of these thoughts were cascading through me, I saw I had a choice. I could easily go down the road of overwhelm and engage with all of my negative thinking. I could bring to life all of the thoughts telling me it was a lot to do. It would take a lot of time. I would be exhausted. It was too much. Or, I could simply not think about it, and just do it. I was so clear to me. Given that I had limited resources of energy and time, I knew I did not have the luxury of indulging all of my histrionic thinking. I needed to conserve my energy, and just get on with it.
This was a compelling reminder of the power thought has in creating my experience each moment. I saw how I could have vastly different experiences of writing the proposal depending on what reality I created for myself. I also saw the ever present possibility of no thought and just connection with my essence. In this spacious mindset, I knew, without a doubt, that I could draw from the infinite potential inside of me and create the proposal without buying into my limiting beliefs about space and time. I recognized that in the nothingness the potential for the proposal already existed. Angus and I just needed to put it together. Fortunately, Angus got on board with this, and we are now half way through completing it!
The book we are writing is a memoir of waking up to our true selves. It shows how Angus and I, through both being impacted by our own personal transformations, have taken our relationship from being painful and intolerable to full of love and flourishing. We share our “warts and all” life stories to illustrate the journey in an honest, open, and human way. Our intention is that the anecdotes be entertaining as well as transformative. We choose to tell our stories in two voices until the end of the book when we share what we have learned. At the start of the book our separate stories give background and context to who we are. Once we meet, the stories continue to be separate to highlight different memories that are important to each of us, and also, to illustrate how different our experiences can be of the same situation. This is a an example of how we live in separate realities and each do the best we can based on how we see the world in that moment.
What I have learned as a result of our journey together is the power of knowing that my happiness comes from within. As each of us understands more fully that our true nature is love, the love we share with each other grows exponentially. After twenty-two years of marriage, I fall in love with Angus more each day, well at least most days. This is the by-product of understanding that, fundamentally, I am whole and complete at my core. When my experience does not reflect this, it is not the fault of someone or something outside of me. It is simply the echo of the quality of my thinking in that moment. This awareness has allowed me to naturally open more to the love that is who I am. I may only feel the glimmerings of the infinite nature of my loving essence. It is certainly not something I can grasp with my intellect, but I have an feel for the love that resides behind my personality and behind my thinking that is beautiful, as well as, practical and ordinary.
I am not different than any other human. We are all one. We are all connected. The variety and differences in the world of form are extraordinary and exciting, but, ultimately, they are only one side of the coin. The other side holds the unity of or humanity and its spiritual nature.
I may be heading off to a foreign land next week. The people may look more like me, than less. I will be exposed to cultural differences and values, but ultimately, the oneness of our humanity is what I want to experience. I am returning to a family homeland with the intention of connecting more deeply with the entire human family and the love that is the core of who we all are.
Sending you peace and blessings to you this Holiday Season!
Rohini Ross is a psychotherapist, a leadership consultant, and an executive coach. She helps individuals, couples, and professionals connect more fully with their true nature so they can experience greater levels of wellbeing, resiliency, and success. You can find out more about Rohini’s work on her website, rohiniross.com.