I am at the airport incredibly early now that I have embraced my husband’s caution regarding missing flights. I would have still made the flight if there had been an earthquake in London. However, since I am traveling alone, this gives me plenty of time to reflect on the amazing three-day workshop I just finished co-facilitating.
The workshop was amazing because of the incredible participants. The level of openness, willingness, authenticity, vulnerability, honesty, and courage they demonstrated was deeply inspiring. I feel grateful to have witnessed the transformation and learning that each person demonstrated and shared. The depth of the love present in the room on Sunday made my heart feel full.
As we spent time together as a group, our humanity came to the fore. Differences in age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and socio-economic bracket receded to the background as we came into one accord.
It is an interesting paradox to me how the more I accept my humanness exactly as I am, warts and all, the more connected I feel with my divinity and my connection with all things.
The ability of the group to get to this state of quiet mind was no small feat given that we started the workshop on the day the British referendum results were revealed, with the vote going in favor of Britain leaving the European Union. I am not going into political commentary here, but I do recommend reading the article “I Want My Country Back“ by Laurie Penny.
Most members of the group were openly stunned by the results and some were deeply distressed. Our teaching point for that day was that our experience comes from thought and not outside circumstances. Fortunately, for all concerned, there was enough truth in this statement for it to be taken on board, and the impact of the implications of this were transformative over the next two days.
What I am always struck by is how a simple understanding of how our psychological functioning works as outlined in the teachings of Sydney Banks, supports a quietening of the mind and results in dramatic interpersonal and intra-personal shifts. There is such simplicity in the teaching that it appears as if change magically happens.
I recognize there is an element of mystery involved, but the shifts that occur are also a reflection of the relaxation and letting go that naturally happens when we see how our striving and efforts are not supporting us. As we relax, our personal thinking naturally quiets down, and we are better able to experience our true nature — the formless essence of who we are. I know I am experiencing this when my heart feels open, and when I feel tremendous love. I am not referring to a personal love, but rather a love for everyone and everything.That is what I experienced with the group.
Why on earth don’t we spend more time feeling this way if it is natural and we don’t need to do anything to get there?
We forget how to get home inside of ourselves. We think we have to do something to be okay, or we need to have something to be okay. When our well being looks like it exists outside of us, and we need to get it or create it, we put enormous energy into trying to make ourselves feel good. However, the energy expended is what keeps our thinking unsettled and maintains our internal destabilization. It is exhausting. Many of us mistakenly believe that means there is something wrong with us, and we need to try harder.
However, when we look in the opposite direction, we experience that well being comes from inside of us. That is a moment of awakening. We wake up to a state of consciousness available inside each one of us that is our natural state. We do not have to work at getting there or earn it in anyway. It does not take any skill to experience it. It is as natural as our next breath. And just like our breath, we can use free will to delay taking it, but how long are we willing to deny ourselves the natural experience of breathing? How much are we willing to suffer before letting go?
Experiencing this state of mind is not a narcissistic pursuit of pleasure. Although, I will admit, having a quiet mind, an open heart, and a deep connection with the loving quality of my formless nature is intensely pleasurable, but this is only the beginning. When I am willing to share, be of service, and live from this state of consciousness, that is when the fun begins, and I receive so much more than I can ever give.
I am not in this state of consciousness all of the time, but I experience it more often than I did. And when I am in it, I show up as a better wife, mother, coach, therapist, teacher, writer, and human. I believe that more people experiencing their true nature more often, and living their lives from this state of mind is the the solution to the problems we are struggling with at this time.
By more humans connecting with the infinite, creative potential of their formless nature, they will be better at what they do, not matter what it is, and we will have the ability to resolve problems in cooperation with one another.
How can we hate another when our heart is open? How can we give up on resolving conflict when our mind recognizes the infinite possibilities? How can we not share resources when we feel compassion? How can we harbor resentment when we see that each one of us is doing the best we can with the understanding we have? How can we place profit over human beings when we know the real riches come from inside?
I ask you to consider these questions, and to look in the direction of your inner well being so you can be filled up with your loving nature and be compelled and propelled to share that love.
I don’t want to make America great. I want to make the world great, by each one of us experiencing the authentic greatness of the love we have inside. May we all share that love in fun, creative, life affirming and life sustaining ways.