Blog Archives

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.
~ Mary Oliver ~

The intimate connection between ourselves, others and each life form that inhabits this planet, and beyond, has gained more and more recognition.  Our collective memories, both individual and from the past, oftentimes keep us stuck in the shame that Richard spoke of in the last post.  These embodied emotional and physical traumas leak body memories to our consciousness that have us forgetting the very nature of who we are.

In yoga class this morning we were asked to listen to the poem above by Mary Oliver and move from a place of remembering – remembering who we are – without the voices from the past or the ones of the present directing the particular life moment.  Often our eyes were closed as we stepped into the flow of what was unwinding from our core – instead of someone else’s direction.

What is it like to follow that inner knowing, dropping silently inside capturing the whisperings of that inner insistence on the uniqueness of truth, movement, actions, and feelings in any one moment.  What are we afraid of?  Or is it that we can hardly hear the  voice of our own unique being for all the demands and stimulus around us.

Yes, the only life we can save – living as uniquely as possible – is our own.  There are more and more moments these days when I feel the solid strength of what this is like.   One of those places is hanging out on an ecstatic dance floor where the “rule” is to have no self imposed restrictions, but instead to explore, listen and move from that place of complete connection to the greater energy that moves us all.

Old patterns of being and moving melt away as the intention for everyone on the dance floor becomes a moving art piece of breath, movement, contact, exploration, play and absolute love and respect.  For someone that loves dance it is a “home coming” to the deepest parts of who we are.

The film Jane’s Journey, shows us someone who listened to her own unique voice in spite of what others might have wanted for her.  For someone like Jane Goodall it was a simple very deeply felt passion that moved her as a young woman to follow her childhood dreams.  Now at 78 she is still traveling the world speaking her truth and impacting millions of people to care for each other and our planet in the most compassionate, loving and peaceful of ways.

What price is taken when we step away from the journey that is uniquely our own?  We become lost in the thoughts and actions of others and forget that we have come here to create and love as only we can do and be.  Today a young man who had never received flowers from a woman was gifted with a single flower of beauty as he sat at his check out stand at the local organic food store.  This happened because I heard loud and clear the voice that directed me to take this loving action as I left the store the first time I was there. What impact did this have?  Let’s just say I am still smiling….and I am certain so is he.

Choose a journey that reflects the magnificence of who you are and do not listen to anyone or anything that takes you away from that knowing!

Listen….

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The Flow of Faith or The Flaw of Belief?

Dear Gaye,

You are on a journey, just as we all are.  The adventure of “What will the next breath bring?”  It can be a roller-coaster ride, that journey, but as you say once you are on the downward curve of the overpass, there’s no turning back (because of the momentum not just of yourself but of all those cars around you).  It’s only when you come off that sweeping arc that you are faced with choice and the head has a chance to say “Which way now?”  And for all of us, it’s not long before it adds: “I should turn back!”

Turning back is an option, but not in the same lane.  That would be to immerse yourself in struggle, to attempt to go back to where you were inside the conformity funnel we mentioned.   But a lot of us do retrace our steps, returning back (along the other lane at least) to a place where we think we are safe.  Yet it never is.

There’s a good reason for this.  Nothing ever happens twice in the same way.  Not a single thing.  That’s the flaw of relying on beliefs (based on past experience) versus unfolding in the flow of faiths (trusting in the unknown future).

It’s Easter weekend right now, so let’s take a look around us.  We’ve all lived through Easters-past.  Each of us.  Yet whatever we might do to try to repeat one of those Easters, we just can’t.  Things have shifted within us.  Our cells have inevitably changed, some of them sloughing off, others growing afresh.  We are not the some beings we were last Easter, let alone a decade ago.  In fact: our bodies are entirely made up of new cells compared to a decade ago.  We’ve been born afresh, like one of the billions of incubating eggs sitting right now in nests all over the world…

So, if we are entirely new why is it we hold onto memories?  Why do we favour beliefs that hold us in the conformity funnel rather than living in trust that all areas of our lives will renew themselves, just as our cells do, each day?  Because we are taught to behave that way.  Our “elders and betters” tell us it’s the way to go and the hive mentality is strong within us, born from our deep desire to belong, to fit in, to be safe, secure, loved.  Yet that is the way of ultimate dissatisfaction, of compromise that more often than not leads to our cells malfunctioning, creating what we call dis-ease.

Why would anyone turn from the logical comfort of belief to the illogicality of faith?  Because examples of “nothing ever happening twice” are all around us, in every nook and corner we may care to look.

Our world is not a static one.  Watch the sun dip over the horizon and you suddenly become aware of the speed at which out planet spins.  Look at micro-organisms under a powerful magnifying glass and you will see a world of perpetual movement.  Cast your mind out and you’ll see the whole galaxy of the Milky Way is hurtling (is it forward or back?) along at remarkable speed.  And the universe itself is expanding outward, like the exhalation of an enormous breath, pushing itself into new territory with each passing second.  Territory where it has never been before.

Nothing ever happens twice in the same way.  We are never in the same place more than once.  We are ever-moving beings, emitting our own unique frequency within a world of vibration.  The trick is to enhance that vibration within us: to resonate most powerfully with the natural wealth that brings us Love, Wealth, Health and Self-Expression.

Beliefs hold us back from that.  They say “Do it the old way, the way you know best”.  Yet, the old way is (for most of us) not one that brought us Natural Wealth in the four forms mentioned above.  It’s usually the way that brought us lack, fear, doubt….

Faiths allow us to breathe.  They direct us to the very moment in which we are, right now: whether that be driving along the overpass, turning left or right, filling in a twelve-page form, or showering beneath the outstretched arms of a tall oak!

Each of those moments is a balancing act between the head whispering “Do it the old way, Gaye!”  “Trust your belief-systems!”  “Do it the same way as everyone else!”  and the heart which is simply beating the consistent pulse that resonates throughout each cell of your body, causing you to emit microwaves of energy that reach out into the room around you, exploring your world with inevitable, insatiable curiosity as they ripple out into Austin (if that’s where you move) across the arid lands of Texas, informing you of fluctuations in the winds over the rolling oceans, dancing between the leaves of banana plants in the tropics, reclining on the remotest volcanic outcrop in the Pacific at precisely the same moment as they shiver along the highest peaks of the Himalayas.  Not content with this, they simultaneously weave their way deep into the ground beneath your feet, fingering the rich soil, flashing through the Earth’s molten core in the very same instant as they cast themselves into the skies overhead, instantaneously caressing the hugest nebulae and the tiniest sub-atomic quark…giving you feedback on all of these things (and many more) each and every second of each day.

The (logical part of the) head deals with one thing at a time.  It can only process thoughts based on past experiences.  The (illogically consistent) heart resonates with everything in existence, right now at this very moment.  As such, it touches all things past and all things future too, unifying them in this very moment, as you take each breath.

Which one has the greater power?  Ah, well, that’s not for me to say…

But I will say this: have a wonderful, relaxing Easter Weekend!

Love and Best Wishes,
Richard.

Breaking Free From The Conformity Funnel

Dear Gaye,

Love your last post, with the definitions of the word “conformity”.  It’s a word that plays such a big part in so many lives.  I think all three definitions have equal effect on us, if we are not careful.  In the course and book that we’ll be bringing out later this month, I talk in some detail about the process by which we’re led into what I call The Conformity Funnel.  It’s a process most of us in the West go through.

As young children we start off with all the enthusiasm and passion for life that we are destined to bring into the world.  We have no limitations, no restricting thoughts that tell us we “should” or “shouldn’t” behave in a particular way.  Possibilities are endless, reaching out all around us into the world at large: a world we love being part of, a world we trust completely.

We carry this enthusiasm with us into our first forays of school-life.  At five we’re happy to volunteer answers.  If we get it “wrong” we don’t care.  We just come up with another answer until the adult in the room says “That’s right.”

My view is that every answer is the right answer: no matter what the current “social norm” dictates.  But that’s another story.

As we go through school, our lives become more and more proscribed.  We are taught to conform in all the ways that you mention: ways we are all familiar with.  This has a knock-on effect right the way through life, informing our judgments about our selves and others each and every day.

We become less and less willing to take risks, because the pressure to behave like “most people” grows on us.  We start doing things that we really don’t enjoy or agree with in order to be accepted by the “group”.  The hive mentality is foisted on us.

It’s an amazing transformation: moving from the unbounded enthusiasm of young childhood into the restricted self-consciousness of adult like.  And the world most of us occupy reinforces that transformation through the media, most especially the television, which is perhaps the greatest tool for keeping everyone inside the “box” that you talk of.

This is why what you are doing right now is so brave.  You are stepping outside the Conformity Funnel with all the joy and passion that you brought to your early years.  You are an example for us all and I’d like to salute your courage here and now.

One thing I would say as you take this leap: choose who you share your plans with well.  Many people who are stuck inside the Conformity Funnel want everyone else to stay there too and when they see someone stepping out of it with open arms, they can often say things to cast doubt on the wisdom of following the heart.

In these early stages of your new journey, it is important not to hear those who doubt or shake their heads and say such things as “Oooh, that sounds very risky” etc.  Ideas are like seeds.  You weed the ground, sow the seed and then water the shoots as they grow from “nothing” into the full plants that will one day bear fruit.  In the early stages of their development, negative comments can act like frost on those early shoots, nipping ideas in the bud.  So, surround yourself with those who support, love and encourage your endeavours.  That way, breaking free from the Conformity Funnel is much easier.

Follow the heart, Gaye.  Be as outside-the-box as you wish!  There are many examples from history that teach us this is the way to go: people like Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein and all those who were eccentric enough to have faith in the future rather than relying on old systems of belief.  We remember those who break the mold, rather than those who follow the herd.

If you like, my next blog can be based around beliefs, how they are formed, and why they really have no place in decision-making when it comes to bringing wealth to us in all its forms.

Until then, enjoy the journey!

Best wishes, Richard.