“Human beings are made of body, mind and spirit. Of these, spirit is primary, for it connects us to the source of everything, the eternal field of consciousness.” Deepak ChopraMy elderly Mom was visiting for 5 weeks. I vowed to take care of myself in the midst of it. I had to say no to something to say yes to cooking 3 meals a day for someone else and playing cards and just hanging out in a way that is not part of my normal lifestyle.
I cut out my morning meditations. I figured because I have a regular practice missing a few weeks would not matter. Whoa. I got fuzzy. I knew there was something wrong with the direction I was going with my new blog and business, but couldn’t put my finger on it.
Took Mom home from a wonderful visit I am so grateful for having. Settled back into meditation and 3 days later I realized, I’m not following my heart any more. I’m going for what I know how to do and think I can make money at, rather than what excites me. Took a little more time to get back into the creativity flow so available when we take the time to open to it. (Watch for my new blog title and focus change soon to come!)
To quote Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
How quickly we loose track of what is important when we are not “in the flow.” By that I mean the place where we know we are part of everything. It is visceral. It is illuminating. It is clarifying. Dropping into that place where who I am as an individual becomes secondary and the flow of Universal Consciousness fills my awareness brings me back to center; back to feeling guided by the red-hot source of true wisdom.
“God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my willful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans & intentions and change the course of my life for better or worse.” Carl Jung
So it’s time to sit your butt down and make that connection with God/Source/Divinity conscious. When you know you are in everything and everything is in you, you come alive.
Many of us are drawn to meditation by a yearning of some kind. We may find that we need to make dramatic changes, and we may find our yearning was just about getting in touch with our deep love, our joy, with the Divine, or learning to have gratitude for what we have and who we are. Maybe we become satisfied with life as it is, just being present here and now. Imagine that!
Before I close, a conversation about meditation would simply not be honest without mentioning the Shadow. Carl Jung said, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
We all have a shadow side, a dark side. It is called that because we generally cannot see it. It is not inherently bad or evil, it is just when any part of us is running the show and we are not aware of it, it is going to wreak havoc in our lives.
There are many books written on the shadow, and they are easy to find. Three I recommend are: Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psycheby Robert A. Johnson, Shadow Dance: Liberating the Power & Creativity of Your Dark Sideby David Richo (a more dense book for you intellectuals), and The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Selfby Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson and Debbie Ford.
It is a rather simple concept that I am sure most of you are familiar with. The thing is, it is easy to deny, ignore and otherwise hope it will go away. It will not. Our shadow is part of who we are. The best way to deal with it is to make friends and get to know it.
I bring this up because so often when we begin to get quiet with the intention of awareness, the shadow pops its ugly head up. It tries to take us back to the ‘life as usual’ place where it can remain unnoticed – and often in charge.
Did you ever wonder where the heck something you did or said came from? You think it is entirely out of character for you. I can pretty much guarantee it’s your dark side asserting itself. Like I said, not bad unless you don’t know. If you are not familiar with something you cannot control it. It controls you through fear, anger, jealousy, greed, etc.
For the sake of full disclosure I just wanted to remind you that getting quiet is not all a bed of roses.
I had a coaching client that was a public speaker. She drew many people who would attend several times and then not come back. In our work we found that she had this ugly bumpy little critter sitting on her shoulder telling her she was not loveable. I invited her to get to know him, find out where he came from, what he needed. Not being a therapist I sent her into quiet time to get to know this nasty guy. (I knew she could handle it.)
She had the courage to do the work and the desire to clear up her blocks to growth and change. It was not easy and it took persistence. And it was from the meditative place of being in the flow of everything that she was able to access this part of her shadow side. She began to see that he had some useful self-preserving qualities along with the destructive ones. She saw they were even collaborating in projecting her feelings of unlovable onto everyone else! Eventually she was able to integrate him into the known and soon people began coming back to listen to what she had to say, over and over again.
Get quiet regularly and it will become your best friend. Stop grasping onto your mind’s fantasies, or your ‘to do’ list. It’ll still be there, but you can let it float on by for the moment. Dip into that place where your boundaries fall away and you know you are connected, or even One with all that is. Wow.
Just reminding you – it’s worth it.
Blessing on the journey,
“When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly.” Edward Teller