Waking to the Gift of Being
I woke this morning to grief…unsure even what it belonged to. Just grief and energy running through the body, through the soles of my feet, my palms. For a moment, I lay there and let it move through my body–felt the sadness, the sorrow, and then the light, the day rising into itself outside the window. And though I tried, I couldn’t really understand what the grief was about, the reason for it–Was it the letting go of so much in the last months, the last year? The sorrow and sense of loss of no communication with T.? The fear of not knowing what lay ahead? The fear of ‘thinking’ I was foolish, trusting so much in something I could only feel and hardly fully name?
I couldn’t say… The thoughts just went round and round in my head…
The thoughts were the mind trying to ‘think’ it through, to ‘reason out’ the feelings, to ‘justify’ them based upon some prior known experience. Because somehow, we believe–even unconsciously–if we can ‘think’ it through and find an external reason for the grief, or the sadness, or the suffering, we then have ‘control’ over it, even if it’s only ‘justification’. But we forget that ‘feeling’ has its own intelligence, its own knowing, its own way of moving us into insight.
‘Justification’ allows us to believe we are somehow ‘right’ in our feeling, in our experience, and we want to be ‘right’ because that means we are somehow in control of who we are, in the experience of who we are at that moment, and because we are in control, we can change it, we can reign it in, wrestle it down to the ground and do something to alleviate it.
Ah…that beautiful, mind-centered personality that wants to be in control, that thinks it needs to be in control… That beautiful mind-centered personality who believes that knowing something through the mind, figuring it out through the mind, means everything is alright, and that she/I am justified, somehow right, in feeling what I’m feeling. And being ‘right’ also means being in ‘control’.
We don’t want to have feelings we don’t understand–it frightens us.
But feeling is an intelligence in itself. Part of the intelligence of the body, and it is directly connected to our energetic body through our sympathetic nervous system. We need only grow more fluent in learning its body, somatic, language. The more fluent we become in the feeling of feeling, the discerning of feeling, the less we feel ‘frightened’ of feeling, the less we feel we might not be in control, the less we think ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, and instead, we become curious about what the feeling is trying to show us about ourselves, who we are, what might need healing, or reviewing in our lives because it no longer serves us, no longer serves our highest good.
And sometimes, we won’t know why it is we are feeling what we feel. We might only understand later, after we’ve allowed ourselves to feel and release the emotional energy seeking outlet through the body. For emotions are energy-in-motion. E-motion. And sometimes, it’s enough just to be present to the emotion, allow it–without fearing it, without acting it out and spreading it around in our environment and onto whomever happens to be present. We don’t have to ‘project it’ onto something outside ourselves, for we don't know how far back it's coming from in time, in history.
Instead, we can allow it, and hold it.
Allow it… and be with it until we’re ready to truly release it. To be with it, we can simply invite it in. Invite it, and the aspect of ourselves feeling it–the one who is feeling it–into our hearts:
“I invite you in, Allannah…I invite you in... with open arms… I invite you in with love…”
You see, when we use our names, the Mindful Heart reminds us, we activate, connect with, the awareness of the higher self, the Soul self, as it recognizes the personality self in name–the purely human self with a name, a life in the world, the self that seeks control, seeks reason, seeks justification out of fear of somehow ‘being’ wrong. But we are never wrong–we feel what we feel so it can show us something about who and what we are—expectations we hold that no longer serve us, beliefs that no longer ‘fit’ who we’ve become, and where in our lives we are allowing others to define our worth, our value.
When we invite ourselves into our hearts and welcome in whatever aspect of ourselves in that moment is feeling grief, hurt, pain, anger, etc…we can hold the grief, the sorrow, the pain, the loss, the anger–whatever emotion it is–with love. We claim it in a higher way, because our higher self, our Soul self, has only love for us…only love… And it does not fear, it does not feel fear–it is not aligned with the vibration of fear, so it is not afraid of the emotion. And it will help us hold and be with whatever it is we are experiencing.
In fact, when we allow ourselves–the part of us in pain, anger, etc.– to be invited into our hearts, the Soul self, our higher self, ‘compassionates’ our human personality self: It whispers, “It’s Ok. We’ve got this. We’re here with you…Let us hold this with you…” And we can breathe through the release of it. We can feel the reassurance that we are alright, that we are Ok…
To ‘compassionate’ is to hold and feel with–not have sorrow for or pity for. And in that ‘co-passion,’ the personality self, the purely human self, also then gets to experience the love of the higher self, the Soul self, connected to the Divine. And it is this love for the personality self that enables, activates, true release.
Your higher self, your Soul self is able to hold and be with you and the emotion in tenderness, in love….and in Joy…no matter what the emotion, for the anger soon becomes fear, then disappointment, grief, and then compassion that leads to insight…
So, when I finally gave up later in the day trying to ‘figure out’ what the emotion belonged to, what experience in my life it was related to… Joy smiled through the tears. Joy laughed in my body even as tears trickled down my cheeks and the grief washed over me…
Allowing means accepting, and being with, allowing ourselves to be with our higher self, and with the grief–tenderly, compassionately… And this doesn’t mean that we go into the world of acting out the grief: weeping, sulking, walking around as if the entire world itself is sad and saying “Whoa is me..” It’s when we can be with an emotion without the need to project it outward onto some situation or someone or some disappointment that release and true understanding, insight, can come, for we are able to look at it then in relation to ourselves, and ourselves alone.
And understanding may not come in that moment, it may come later when we are truly ready to see it, when we can hold it vibrationally in our body, in our physical bodies as integrated knowing, as part of the wisdom of who we are.
When I got out of bed, I was nowhere near ‘allowing’. I was in pain, sorrow–and resistance. I was trying to reason the grief through, push it down, stuff it away... My first thoughts were, “Well, if I just get up and just get this day started, I’ll feel better. I’ll feel joy again. I just need to get this body moving.” And so the day began: shower, coffee, short dog walk before a longer one later in the day. Then sit down and do some work.
Getting the body moving can be useful–it can help reduce the energies of the resistance to the emotion. It can offer a way for the energies of the emotion to release. But, if we use the physical body’s movement to fuel the resistance, to ignore the emotion, we’re only pushing the emotion further down into the regions of our unconscious or further down into the body by smothering it with exercise and creating in the long run what is more unrecognized stress, tension in the body.
It was almost 11am before I finally gave in and simply said, “Stop, Allannah. Just stop. Walk. Stop trying to write, work, stop trying to be productive in the ways you want to be productive but are barely achieving any progress in at all. Be productive instead by walking, by allowing, by not resisting… Just let it go…” Always the fear in resistance that we’ll be shown the truth of something in a way we don’t want to see, in a way that doesn’t align with what our small self, our personality self, wants.
And so Ruby and I headed out on the ranch–headed out into the beautiful fields and rolling hills.
There are so many small dirt roads on the ranch–pathways that one can head out on and that circle back on each other as they roam through the hills. I chose this morning to walk south…towards the river and up into these rolling hills covered with a green verdure that I know won’t last long past spring. But for now, it shimmers with a kind of emerald light, with a sense of tenderness, of newness.
If it is possible, as I’ve come to realize in the past few days, I am deeply in love with the trees here–with the Valley Oaks, both young and old. I look at them and my body simply says,
“Yes…I know you…I hear you…. I'm with you…”
When I first drove into the ranch almost a week ago, the first thing I noticed were the trees–not the sheep, not the llamas, the emus, the horses and chickens. But the trees. All these sinuous arms spread out from a trunk, and then the fine, more filigreed shoots spreading from those arms. It is like they are part of the living nervous system of the land itself–feeling, taking in and recognizing what the land itself absorbs from the day.
Valley Oaks. A tree of serrated bark. A deciduous tree and home to so many creatures. A tree indigenous to California and capable of surviving fire…capable of enduring periods of drought.
As Ruby and I headed south up the hill, and then into a deeper valley, then further hills, there were small groves of younger trees–100 to 150 years old. They seemed to gather around each other out of comfort, the need for protection, nurturing through numbers–at least while young–until their togetherness became a source of diminishing returns cramped into a nook in the hillside. And then eventually, some are released back for the growth of others.
And then, there are the trees that seemed to tower above the others by themselves, having claimed their place in the sun, claimed their place in the landscape. So sure of themselves, having watched, seen, so much life already come and go. These were the 4-5 hundred-year-old trees, and even older. Their diameter large enough for three or more persons to spread their arms around and still not complete a circle around their trunks. Their root systems expansively deep–tapping into a deeper reservoir of water, a deeper source of being that no longer relied on the surface of the day, the surface of the surrounding landscape. The source of their being, of nurturing, was elemental to the earth itself, the trees themselves becoming conduits of energy that passed from sky to earth, heaven to ground.
And then I realized, the land itself was waking more, being energized like so many locations around the world are right now, especially ancient sites that are starting to attract people in ways they’ve not attracted them for hundreds of years–as sites of activation, healing, clearing, insight. And not merely landmarks of history, relics of a prior existence.
Everyone who has traveled to Sedona, Arizona has heard of, or if they’ve not, known by the end of their visit there, about the energy vortexes where the trees literally spiral and curl around themselves as they grow, areas where the air and land just seem to be lighter and vibrating with an atmospheric energy that is said to ‘amplify’ whatever one is experiencing at the moment–the myriad feelings and complexities (or simplicities) of our lives.
The energy of the place amplifying them more profoundly into our experience.
As I was being with these trees here, they seemed to be carriers, conduits for a deeper source of life, for a deeper knowing. An elemental source of being. So rich with knowing, so rich with the wisdom of the land, the landscape, the universe. They were literally breathing, emitting it and then bringing it down into the soil, into the earth itself.
Ruby and I stopped, paused–to listen to, to feel the strength of their being, their breathing endurance that seemed to come not through sorrow and the fracturing of limbs they’d endured, or the scarred trunks they’d acquired and developed, but through light, the energy of the sun and day…the joy of spreading their limbs to the day, the atmosphere. The joy of simply receiving the sun, the joy of simply being in the truth of who and what they are. And I could feel all of this pouring into the land itself, energizing it in new ways.
If we as humans are undergoing a transition of increased, elevated, frequencies–conscious evolution–so too is the earth.
And here were these living, gigantic Valley Oaks…tenderly offering their umbrella of being to the younger trees come of their seed, their knowing. And suddenly, I thought of Pacifica Graduate Institute and the Jungian Depth Psychology Program that I had participated in.
At the beginning of the first year in a ritual ceremony, each graduate student is given an acorn, a small pewter acorn, symbolizing the seed of the journey, the seed of one’s humanity and the coming into knowing of one’s true self–the truth of who and what one is. A Soul come to flower on the earth, a Soul come to learn through being in human form and all the emotions and trials it will endure. A Soul come to learn and grow through these feelings aroused by experience–not be crippled by or control them. A Soul, an individuated consciousness, come to experience itself, to know itself through experience, through physical form–and to mature from acorn to living, gigantic Valley Oak…
The seed of our humanity, the Soul seed of our being. Our higher self that is able to compassionate with our personality self that strives so much to become ‘someone’ in the world when in fact it already is everything it could envision itself to be–it need only allow it into being–already this miraculous being of light and love. And has never not been. But we have to allow ourselves to know and learn this. And we can experience ourselves as this–if we are willing to allow ourselves to, willing to allow ourselves to learn through our experiences, our emotions, willing to allow ourselves to feel the emotions and allow them to show us where in ourselves we need healing, where we need to shed old limiting ideas, beliefs, expectations.
And healing not from someone else, but through ourselves.
Others can be our way-showers, our guides, our companions along the way, but the choice of healing, of growth, is ours alone.
And so it was, I finally, woke up. I finally woke to the day, to the present moment–to the sun, to the light, to the green across the hills and these incredible trees. And the dry dirt beneath my feet and the long walk to being.
To the gift of being.
I finally woke up–like I knew I have so many times before and know I will have to again, every moment–to the gift of being–the choice of being authentically conscious in the present moment–with its emotions and tears–instead of trying to figure out what it was all about solely in my head, without the discerning heart.
When we enter the struggle between the wants and limited experience of the personality and the needs of the Soul, we enter into a dynamic in which we are able to evolve–through choice, and our choice alone. And we may not choose it immediately. We may not choose it for hours or even life times. But when we choose, we don't have to understand immediately. We can just say, "Yes. I allow myself to be present, to feel, to be in the truth of who I am, what I am in this moment." The understanding comes as we are able to see it, when we are ready to embody the healing and knowing it is asking to show us.
Our minds are beautiful gifts–but our feelings are not poor cousins to them.
It is when we allow our minds to enter our hearts, our discerning heart that feels and perceives, that we can feel with insight and wisdom, and experience the gift of learning at the Soul level. It is when we allow the mind and heart to be in coherency with each other that we can feel with the vision of the ancient oaks, feel with the sentient knowledge of our energetic and physical bodies. That we can feel and experience ourselves in our multi-dimensionality and experience ourselves in the truth of who and what we are.
And this is part of the reclaiming of our physical form in a higher way–allowing its wisdom, its knowing through feeling and openness, allowing the presence of our energetic body to breathe more easily through form. Allowing ourselves to feel whatever comes up.
But when we do, the emotions too, they then become small husks of fear, disappointment, anger, sorrow, etc. to be sloughed off. They are the energetics of experience knotted up inside us by wants, expectations, habits of being or desires we’ve learned to have, want– through families, schools, institutions, cultures, ideas, and more. They are part of the emotions we’ve collected from so many experiences. Emotions waiting patiently to be released with love, ease, and grace… energy-in-motion…. to be received graciously back into Source consciousness through the alchemy of our being.
And the thing is, we don’t have to figure them all out. We need only allow ourselves to experience the winds of their energies and let them go… keeping ourselves grounded in something far deeper, something far more elemental and universal–the seed of our humanity claimed in and through physical form. The Soul seed of our being, our higher self, that loves and expresses in and through our human self, our personality self, our bodies, and knows that we are never alone, never disconnected from Source, never disconnected from love.
We need only allow… Allow ourselves to consciously wake to the gift of being in the present moment–through joy, through tears, through laughter…through love….
And so Ruby and I moved on….in a beautiful mess of tears and sun and light… moved back down the hills with a beautiful messy joy and onto the ranch where the day too was blessed–just where we started…in the kitchen…at the table…
We are never alone…never without love...never without understanding.