All The Change I Need
Just as I am about to record my first thoughts on The Path today I drop my phone…with excitement, I think. Or, perhaps a nervousness.
There is a feeling that despite still being well and truly in the thick of it I am, in truth, liberated. A feeling that isn't based on the issues being resolved. They're not. I am simply feeling free already. There is a sense of complete bodily lightness and a joy at having transcended the mire in this moment. The excitement, it seems, is knowing that as long as I allow this sense of ok-ness the physical world will catch up and match my vibration and I will have walked through the challenges and faced my worst fears once again.
The nervousness, on the other hand, is that it feels like a game, an exploration. In short, a risk! An experiment to see what happens when I allow this feeling of flow to continue rather than blocking it with anxious thoughts and worst-case-scenarios. It still feels like the biggest challenges are yet to come but there is also this lightness of step as I sense myself walking through it. Not knowing how it is going to work out and not wanting to know. Accepting, though, I will still have my moments along the way ;-)
I notice the tall, green daffodil leaves though no sign of flowers yet. However, I feel strangely excited to know they are on their way. I look forward to seeing the first bright yellow flowers. In fact, it seems their potential is already here. Just waiting to be expressed. ...Eventually I realise this is really about me.
Normally my mind would be full of anxious thoughts around What if I'm wrong? What if I'm fooling myself? What if everything isn't really ok? But not today. Today I realise there is nothing to lose. If I am wrong then nothing has changed...except I am happy.
Right now, that's all the change I need :-)
There's a thought!
I've heard it said that fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin. I'd like to believe it. I've also heard fear is excitement, without the breath. Walking the The Path in reverse again - steepest part first - I am certainly that!
As I stepped out of the door today I noticed it had started to rain. I paused for a moment wondering whether to change but thought What the heck! I may be a little unprepared but I've had enough of all the fuss and finer details today. I just want to get out there. Interestingly though, with so many major upheavals in my life right now I am feeling a lack of protection (like going out in the rain without a raincoat) and yet at the same time a feeling that the safety I need to feel comes from within (trusting 'a little rain' won't hurt me). I notice I am marching purposefully with a feeling that despite everything I am on the right path.
I'm just over half way now and the path suddenly feels relentlessly muddy. I can feel myself going into overwhelm. I talk to myself, keeping a sense of presence. Right now I'm sick of the physical and the metaphorical mud. As I breathe deeply I realise I can make the mud a problem or I can choose to detach and see it as just mud. I can stop focussing on the battle and enjoy the fact that I'm out. Free to walk this path. Trusting this muddy spell will come to an end. I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel right now but I'm trusting it's there. In fact, on some level knowing it's already here.
Further along I notice a Mars Bar wrapper. It makes me think of energy. Feeling battle-weary I sense the need to build up some energy. Then I wonder if all we really ever need to do is conserve energy. Mars also makes me think of the God of War and I sense the energy that is needed for battle, for the challenges of life. But what if we already have enough? What if we simply waste it on feelings of blame, shame and guilt? Perhaps if we let go of these life-zapping emotions we'd automatically become energised. With the blocks released life could flow through us once again.
Now there's a thought! :-)
Trick AND Treat
I'm walking The Path in reverse today which means starting with the steepest part first. I notice what a challenge it is. Breathless. Wordless. Thoughtless. It's late in the day so I'm grateful for the freedom to walk at all. There is a feeling of having come so far. I notice my energy is low as I am face-to-face with many of my worst fears and yet there is a wider sense of the absolute beauty and stillness of the bigger picture. On a daily basis, I watch the fears slowly shifting into something softer before my very eyes.
At the same time, my feet are slipping back in the mud even though the ground is almost flat and there is a sense that I am not getting very far. Hmmm, interesting. What a contrast between the bigger and the smaller picture. Having come so far and not getting very far all in the same moment. Whenever I experience such a paradox I have a sense of being in touch with reality - with a capital R. How things truly are. Not this or that but this and that.
As I notice this rotting apple on the ground (see above) it makes me smile. Halloween comes to mind. And so too a dastardly cartoon character. Funnily enough, just like a cartoon character my legs are whizzing round and round and not getting me anywhere as I try to make my way out of this muddy situation. Perhaps I could just stop trying so hard. I could accept this is where I am right now. As I do, I am reminded that these muddy, turbulent, confusing, overwhelming times are where all the transformation takes place. The trick being to remember this whilst we are still in it. Not just with the benefit of hindsight when it is much easier to do. Not knowing how on Earth we are going to make it through but choosing simply to relax in the knowledge that we will. What a treat!
As I look out onto the field from the shadows it feels as if my eyes are playing tricks on me. The lower half of my vision, the ground below, seems to be shifting. How unnerving. And yet there is a level of freedom and appreciation in this moment despite feeling in the thick of it. It's what I call an AND experience. Being in both worlds at the same time time. Embracing the illusion of being human as well as the truth of our divinity. Trick and Treat. Whole and Complete.
The first thing I notice on The Path today is the hedge that I would like to say has been trimmed but in fact seems to have been butchered. Ouch! So there's quite a brutal quality to the walk already. The raw, protruding twig-ends adding to the air of severance. All in the name of health and new growth perhaps but surely there is a gentler way? Pruning, for example, still has a nippy quality to it and yet seems kinder and more considered at the same time. Of course, this isn't just about the hedge. It's a reflection of what is going on inside me. Double ouch!
I notice a sense of severance going on in and all around me at the moment. I seem to be letting go of so much lately. Most changes I am making by choice but others are being thrust upon me. Out of the blue. Either way, it can be quite bewildering. The pain of separation is also painfully evident throughout the family on a number of levels. When one of us is in pain, whether physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually, it is easy for me to assume the pain is either mine or the theirs and yet the truth is we are not as separate as we think we are. We all have the capacity to feel each others pain. Similarly, as a part of the whole called Humanity, pain is both a personal and a collective experience. It's no wonder so many of us have a tendency to switch off, disconnect, numb and distract ourselves! The good news is; in order to lessen the collective pain of Humanity we need only look at our own since what is acknowledged, allowed and transformed within is reflected in the outer world. Every step toward inner peace is automatically a step toward world peace. We are that effect-ive. That powerful. That connected.
As I continue the walk I come across barbed wire, broken glass and a bloody, headless pigeon. Boy, life can be tough! Then I notice these green shoots, possibly from some kind of bulb. My breath is taken away as I realise that even in the midst of winter new growth is already springing forth. Suddenly I am feeling lighter, warmer and more prepared for what is to come.
Trained in a depth, buddhist-based psychotherapy, using everyday outer world experiences to develop inner wisdom, one day at a time.