Wednesday, 7 April 2010

You Are Not Alone

Source: Andrew Bossi/Wikimedia

When I speak about inner practice, about facing one's fears and embracing them, about having the courage to look where the mind hides its darkest secrets, there is often a wise nodding that goes in the room. There is a resonance not with me, but with the bare truth that is being spoken. But there is also sometimes a feeling amongst my listeners that somehow, Kaye is different. (Well, weird different, maybe!) Somehow, he is special. Somehow, he can do it, but I can't. Or somehow, he must have forgotten how scary it feels to face one's fears full on. As you can see from the previous post on this blog, I have not. But sometimes, it pays to be reminded that many others have gone through the process. This is from a nationally renowned trainer in the USA, at my request, to share what it feels like to have recently gone through what seemed to be a trial by fire by life and its karmic effects. Sometimes, it pays to be reminded that as difficult and fearful as life seems, you are not alone, and it can be done.

Where I Stand

When you teach others to overcome obstacles and limiting beliefs as part of your career, what the heck do you do when your obstacles and limitations don't respond to the tools you already have? Or when the problem has aspects you can't even see?

I turned to someone whom I could trust to help me see what seemed invisible so I could address what seemed unknowable - Kaye Lee.

I've spent virtually my entire life entrenched in the masculine warrior metaphor - let's go after it (whatever it is) and take no prisoners. There's no problem that can't be solved by the application of more force, more strength, more willpower. Guess what? This time it didn't work. The harder I fought, the more force I tried to apply, the more I felt like a fly stuck in amber - A great metaphor for years of struggle and resentment with no clear idea how to break the cycle.

I just wanted to pull my head under the covers, hoping and praying for someone to swoop in and rescue me. That didn't work either.

What did work was facing the fear head on. This really felt like standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon without a parachute, and having nothing to lose by stepping off the edge anyway. Being able to take that step from a place of complete surrender and openness, and gratitude for the way in which events made clear to me what was truly important in my life. What worked was release or surrender of the warrior paradigm and complete acceptance of the consequences, however dire they turned out to be. (Here I am talking about the power of surrender when previously I resented even saying the word, because it seemed like the antithesis of power, more like the complete abdication of power.)

I guess a shift of this magnitude was needed. Every thing else was like applying Band-aids to stop significant bleeding - ultimately ineffective.

The clarity and peace that come from acceptance and surrender is amazing. I feel more free, lighter and happier, more content, than I could have imagined.

You asked the three things I've learned:

* My Yang warrior stance still has a use in my day-to-day life. It's not the basis for my spiritual energy anymore. It is a role or tool now that comes from peace and power versus a reaction to protect myself, an attempt to keep myself safe. I didn't turn wimpy by embracing a willingness to surrender. Previously I had been unable to imagine moving through the world without the warrior to keep me safe.
* The metaphor of openness, not binary like a door either open or closed, but like a flower bud opening. The beauty and power of this metaphor allowed me, for the first time I'm aware of, to connect with the power and gracefulness of acceptance, of surrender.
* The supportive energies of the universe are always there, always here with me, not waiting in some celestial or energetic staging area for me to call them in.

My dear friend, thank you seems pale, but I can say thank you for the gift of such peace, and thank you for continuing to offer the gift until I was finally ready to receive.

And I, in turn, thank my dear friend and colleague for being so willing to share the experience so that others may draw inspiration from it.

The path is not clean and swept and tidy. The people who are beside you may not be well-dressed, or rich, or cultured. The journey is not always smooth. Winds will blow, candles will gutter. But if one can look past the fear, labels lose their power, for there is no more aversion, and when there is no more aversion, there is no more running. When there is no more running, there is peace. And the innate perfection reveals itself.

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