“For only by living in our own element can we thrive without anxiety”. Mark Nepo
A very large part of living in human form is to wake up to our inherent true nature and accept the gifts and awareness that we have been given. We each walk a unique path, however the deep interconnection with all life allows us to view what it may be like to walk in another person’s shoes – or bare feet as the case may be.
A large part of the pandemic “anxiety” that engulfs the world at this time in our history comes from not only disrespecting others particular path, but at our very core not accepting our own. How is it to live a life that others are dictating, instead of listening deeply to one’s own calling. Courageously saying yes to the steps that it takes to express this one precious life – the joy of being human.
Let me tell you a story to demonstrate just a little of what I am talking about. For the last year and few months I entered back into the world of medicine after making a clear decision in 2011 that I was complete with that particular pathway in which to bring my gifts. Much was learned during this year as I became a part of the launching of a new family practice. However, the reasons that I stepped back into this field were mostly based in fear.
Fear that I would not be able to support myself financially if left to walk my own unique road. A road that was riskier and filled with uncertainty, but also filled with immense possibility. A road that I now know contains the peaceful abiding that Buddhist philosophy and practice speak to. A road that offers the immense joy of giving to others in a way that makes their life better through the arts of writing, teaching/guiding/facilitation, heart centered activism, breath practice, and the laying of my hands on people in healing and transforming ways.
Within the “stress” of being back in the medical world lay the gift of awareness that I had forsaken my own road. This was a vital part of coming back home to a path that only I can walk, only I can express, and only I can learn from. Taking on someone else’s path is perhaps as dangerous as judging and not accepting others for their own.
Our potential is to become totally happy. How do we find our way there? Poet and philosopher Mark Nepo says:
“This is not about being a poet or a florist or a doctor or a layer or an architect. It is about the true vitality that waits beneath all occupations for us to tap into, if we can discover what we love. If you feel energy and excitement and a sense that life is happening for the first time, you are probably near your God-given nature. Joy in what we do is not an added feature; it is a sign of deep health”. (The Book of Awakening, pg. 294)
Staying awake is the path to walking in our own element….
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When I found this picture it literally demanded to be placed directly in the center of this particular post. A giant redwood in the California Bear Creek watershed stands tall amidst the other trees in this old growth forest. There are many things that caught my attention here. My experience with old growth forests is that they are quite different from forests that have been cut down before. There is a unique smell and feel to the earth and other life forms that inhabit this sacred and beautiful natural resource. The quiet is so pervasive that when there is a sound it immediately draws your attention. It almost feels as if you could put your ear to the bark of the tree and it would whisper untold wisdom into your ear.
When walking in one of these forests, awareness expands and broadens as attention is caught by the fact that these trees have been living for much longer than we have years to count. They have survived natural disasters and encouraged the trees around them to grow and thrive just by their very presence in the forest community. This one tree has obviously been present much longer than the others marked by its sheer size. One might feel by looking at this picture that this one tree is guardian standing as protector with a much more expansive view. However, each tree is deeply interconnected to the others and has its’ unique role to play.
In yoga class this morning our practice was guided by 3 teachings of Milarepa who is generally considered one of Tibet’s most famous yogis and poets.. One of those teachings was “Act so that you have no cause to be ashamed of yourself, and hold fast to this rule.” When I saw this tree standing so much taller than the others I immediately thought of each of us in our lives and whether we consciously make the choice to “stand tall”. By “standing tall” we declare that we are not ashamed of who we are, but instead choose to show the world our fullness and actively bring our unique gifts for all to see. There is no way that this particular tree can hide!
As were the dancers at the event I was privileged to see last evening. Viewing a magnificent expression of the dance arts I witnessed a performance that literally had me mesmerized (and wishing I was back in my youth again!). Each dancer found the energetic flow and rhythm that was uniquely their own expression within the choreography, and then combined it with that of other dancers sharing the stage with them. Even amidst the demonstration of angst and conflict during a few pieces there was a sense of something much larger expanding….a greater story, a more expansive view……… than the small one unfolding before your eyes. At times one or two dancers would take center stage, yet there was always movement happening around them expanding the focus and the story.
What wealth we accumulate in our individual lives when we choose to “stand tall” no matter what is happening. Our actions in every situation and every relationship can uphold living a life of fullness. Each and every one of us is a magnificent expression just as these trees and dancers are. The trees so much lower than the single one are “standing tall” as well in their own unique ways. The Divine Design of our life awaits us to wake up and root our toes into the wealth and creative passion of our lives….. leaving any thread of shame behind. Life is simply too short to waste on anything less……
Standing Tall In Austin, Texas –
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OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
This flower coming out of the brick wall that graces the entrance to my house here in Austin, Texas struck me for many reasons. I hadn’t noticed it at all for the entire time that it was emerging. Then all of a sudden it seemed to just be there! What a smile it brought to my face when I spied it the other day!
What is astounding to me is that this lonely flower is growing out of a crack in the brick wall and actually seems to be quite happy with it’s unique growing spot. A friend of mine wondered how the heck it was getting enough nourishment to even grow.
To me it is a combination of desire, right environment, and a passion if you will to emerge from the dark and grow towards the light. There is also an innate and complex coding that has flowers….. and people….follow the path that has been laid down for them even amidst what seems like difficult circumstances. This is what we like to call the Divine Design.
Somehow the seed of this flower had just what it needed in the depths of the brick wall to bring it forth out into the open and expose its particular expression. Was there doubt, hesitation or fear on this flowers part to emerge? We cannot know the many possibilities that presented as this seed was implanted in the wall by wind, bird or other means. Perhaps there were many possible outcomes as the seed sought what it needed in order to grown and thrive.
This display of natures innate call to create touched me deeply as I beheld this single flower finding its way towards unique expression. It reminded me that even in the challenging moments of our lives that there are many possibilities to grow and thrive….even in the depths of a crack we have fallen into.
Thank you natural world for being such an exquisite teacher reminding me of the stuff from which I am made. There is always an opportunity to come into the light…. Is there a “crack” in your life that needs to be explored just a little more??
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
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What a beautiful metaphor for the transition I am now making! Thank you. I feel in good company as many of us on the planet, and the earth itself, are in great shifts right now – yes, a rebirth.
You speak of trusting this new support system coming in as I transition into the fullness of having streams of income be completely from my own creative efforts. This transition I am finding is a powerful one, and also one in which there are choices to be made while navigating the new territory.
Last week I had a dream that I was out in the ocean by myself happily swimming around when I was caught in a rip current. At first I was afraid of drowning and struggled a bit to free myself from its grip. Then I remembered that you are supposed to simply let go and allow the current to take you where it is going. Once I surrendered there was no more struggle and I was carried quite rapidly to the point where the rip current ended and was once again back into calm waters where I could then swim back to shore.
This dream was clearly a gift from the unconscious to support me during a time last week when I was attempting to do a task that would have taken a very steep learning curve to perform well. In the time constraint that I was under my frustration level grew with the stress of knowing what I wanted, but realizing that there was no way I was going to pull it off if I didn’t ask for help.
I could choose to struggle or I could ask for help and not struggle. But was that really the issue here? What was more at stake was an attachment to being the one that could pull this off and save some money. The attachment was causing the struggle in the first place. Was I going to sink, swim, or merely let go and see what would arise as a resolution to the challenge I was facing. I do believe that the solution or resolution to any problem is there before the problem…and so it was in this case.
I was attempting to format a website (in fact the Natural Wealth website) and didn’t have the expertise to do so in a timely way. But, I did have a resource that was right at my fingertips. This person had already done some beautiful formatting work for us. As I released the attachment to being the one to pull it off, it became very clear what course of action should be taken.
As the choice was made to have this task done by a professional I became free of the attachment and was in fact able to swim in waters where I could be effective without the struggle. Breathing eased and opened. My frustration level went to zero.
My efforts were then much more effective because I was enjoying a challenge that inspired me (swimming freely in the ocean) instead of frustrating me (the rip current). Someone else was handling what felt to me like a rip current, but to her was an enjoyable challenge.
I can truthfully say that this new support system is powerfully nourishing……. if only I remember to let go of the attachment of how I “should be” within it. No struggle necessary. Be breathed and follow the heart indeed! On that note I end with this quote:
Carry a jar of bubbles in your car.
Add a little fantasy
to the next traffic jam. – Jennifer Louden
P.S. Our Natural Wealth website has just been launched! Go to: IgniteWealthNow and have fun exploring. We invite comments, “Likes” on Facebook, and suggestions for inspiring and enriching videos!
“The true miracle of life lies in the breath and in the ability to experience the divine within. Question everything until you are sure that what you feel is informed by the true language of the heart and not a concept created by the mind.”
J M Hurley*
This week an extract from our course Natural Wealth seems particularly appropriate:
“It all starts with a breath. As you shoot out from your mother’s womb into the waiting arms of the delivery nurse, you move suddenly from a liquid world of warmth, darkness and vibration into one that is altogether different. It’s quite a shock. “What’s going on?” you say to yourself. “What’s this strange stuff all around me?”
For a second your body resists. It has got used to its life of liquid comfort and would rather “go back inside, thank you very much!”
Yet a part of you knows that this is where you are meant to be. There is a moment’s pause as the umbilical cord is cut and the support-system that has nourished you for the past nine months is severed.
Then something occurs that has never happened to you before.
Something called air rushes down into your open mouth, hurtling down your oesophagus until it finds its way into your lungs. Here it zooms about, inflating every bronchial tube until, like a pair of rubber gloves, your lungs swell up with this insubstantial, invisible stuff. As if by magic, air has become your new support system.
You have been, literally, in-spired.”
I’m sending you this quotation because it seems to me you are right at that stage when the new support system is about to rush through your body (and mind) as you make the transition from working in a regular job to earning your income independently. You are taking breath in a very new environment. It’s like being born all over again.
The transition from a life in liquid to one lived surrounded by air is one that we all make. And the message for you is to trust the process you are in the midst of, just as you trusted the process when you shot from your mother’s womb.
Be in no doubt that your new support system is just as nourishing and comfortable as the old one. Let the air fill your lungs. Be breathed. Then follow the promptings of the heart, for it is the heart not the mind that is the very first organ to grow…
* This quotation is from “Dance with Life” by JM Hurley, a beautiful book that I would recommend to any/everyone.