Saturday, August 27, 2016
The Earth has turned past that point at which we enjoy the vibrant fiery display of colorful light bending and brightening along the horizon. Cerulean blue skies are gently fading still. The sea breeze has picked up and I can hear wind chimes tinkling in the distance. They bring a pleasant emphasis to the end of a beautifully temperate summer day. One breath and a glance around me and I notice the silence and stillness is palpable as people have already returned to their dwellings and settled in for the night. I let my outward glance linger a little longer and notice the beautiful trees outside my window swaying in the breeze while singing a song that sounds like a beautifully rushing river. The rustling leaves I somehow feel stirring something deep within my soul and I think to myself that this moment could not be any more perfect.
I’ve slowed down in my writing quite a bit lately, for months actually and it has been intentional. I've been blogging for more than eight years and have rarely had a shortage of things to say or thoughts to think. But my life experiences these past many years have left me with so much to contemplate and process offline that I finally took the time to pause a bit more. As I think about it, it seems funny to me that with all of those years of writing and time spent reflecting I still feel as if I have barely scratched the surface and at any moment this amazing something is just going to come rushing up and out of me and that'll be it for me. I'll be spent! I've been too busy to reflect in a way I might have liked because I took out a very big life lesson plan and my, has it been all too easy to be overly focused there. I think after so many years of reflection quite openly, I’ve needed to focus more on the present. Not just being in it but learning to breathe it in, accept it as it is, remain okay with all that I have created and learn to appreciate all the things tangible and intangible in this life that I can touch or that touches me. I needed to sit more quietly and to just feel.
So, one of my many journeys has ended over the past couple of years and I’ve had to slow down to process it and really come to terms with all I’ve learned. The discoveries have been beautifully eye-opening and well, completely mind bending. I’m left with a much emptier bag of beliefs from the point at which my conscious spiritual journey began almost 30 years ago. I don’t have as many questions as I once had for they have been readily answered. I did not have the benefit of a single wise and gentle elder who guided me specifically. No. I walked through every possible lesson I could with the best of intent and fell to my knees often in agony for what I did not see until it was upon me. But then again, as the tears stopped falling, this infinite well of gratitude opened up within me and I began to understand much of what I was truly searching for. Many thanks, as always, to the hundreds of teachers who crossed my path with a word, a smile, an emotion, a drama or quiet acknowledgement. I sincerely thank every one of you.
As I shook away the last vestiges of torn beliefs and worn out stories, I started to reflect a little more relying on the only source I truly had at my disposal. That source was my own consciousness. I had to learn to sit with just my thoughts, my anxieties, my fears, my worries, my inadequacies, my pathological never-ending-seeming blind spots and the lingering effects of my environmental psychology as well as the after-effects of everyone else’s. What did I learn? The next book will explain much of it but suffice it to say that I learned letting go was all that was needed and that meant letting go of belief, of hopes, of dreams, of desires all born of the desires of a version of me that is now a bit of a stranger to me. I guess I just needed something to hold onto as we all do. That is no easy thing although I tap it out as if it were trivial. I guess as we age we all have our defining moments to consider and reconsider again and again to make sure we’ve gleaned enough of life’s important lessons in order that we might continue more meaningfully. Am I done yet? Oh Heavens no...not even close.
My goal now is dealing with the emptiness that I have created unconsciously and yet so meticulously and with so much faith. I’m letting go of everything I thought I should have been, could have been or would have been and embracing the reality of who I am even though I’m not yet, despite near 50 years now on this Earth, certain of who precisely that is. And the funny thing is I’m okay with a little mystery in my life. In general, I can feel what I need to know and I’m satisfied with that. I’m happy at my core to know and understand the beauty of every single thing I’ve created as I have made my way through life this far. A prior frame of my thought process would have had me writhing in agony over the imperfect execution of much of my journey up until this point. But something snapped a few years back and it's not that I stopped caring but that I suddenly realized the futility of the prior impetus for my own motion and resulting perceptions.
My mind grows curious again about what comes next but there is much less urgency to it, there is no fear of not finding it and no worry now that I’ll miss it. I’ve learned so far that we truly have everything we really need at the moment we need it most. For now that need I have truly is just to be, to exist, to continue to experience with eyes wide open not in expectation but with an eagerness to participate and to choose to embrace what comes my way. What other choice have I really? Well, I suppose I could become all fearful and worried or delude myself with some quest of great mystical or magical importance. But I’ve learned the secrets are by far more simple than that. No complex constructs are necessary to feel, to breathe, to watch as the sun climbs to the center of the sky and makes it way all the way across again. It is so simple to recognize that unmistakable light in a child’s eyes or calm peace of your pet, the chaos of loving family life and the oh so important day job of course. It is all really perfect and beautiful. Just don’t over do it on the seriousness part. There is a gentleness in the energy around you when you open your heart to your own well of compassion and let it spill out all around you in every direction.
I came into this world facing a vast chasm of inherent dichotomy and striving so hard to reconcile it to perfection not realizing this world of opposites and everything within it was already perfect and not needing reconciling. The traces of the many illusions I once held begins to leave me a little more and I take more time in the dark of the night to open my eyes to nothing for in the nothing I perceive lies everything that matters, the peace, the love, the compassion, the beautiful energy of All That Is and all of the universe only one tiny subtle feeling away. And all of this came crashing into my mind as I drove home from work last night. I looked up at the sky watching the blue fade into the brightness of the beginning of sunset and I realized what I could not see was there none-the-less and how I was moving at a set speed, while the Earth turned and rotated around our sun as our Milky Way Galaxy spiraled itself out amongst the other stars and galaxies into the beautiful dark matter that surrounds every drop of light. I felt it then, infinity and it took my breath away. I paused all other thought in that very moment and waited patiently for my breath to find me. As it did, I smiled from somewhere so deeply inside, the light and the energy I felt rivaled that of our beautiful sun. The traffic light in the near distance turned red. I slowed to a stop resolute, comforted on the edge of everything not at all okay. With perfect calm, I lifted my hand and I turned up the radio. I left my thoughts of the infinite universe trailing behind me as I turned to the nearest human in the car to my left and smiled with a deeply profound sense of appreciation for all of humanity. Life is so very tenuous and still we strive. I let the thoughts finally rest and made my last turn. I finally made it home.
© 2016 Jaie Hart (photo/words)
Saturday, August 6, 2016
What a strange and interesting time this seems to be in our world. I cannot begin to scratch the surface of all of the happenings of this world without wanting to brush it all away and dig right down deeply into the core of what seems to ail all of humanity. It seems to me, at the heart of all of our woes lies this insidious subtle and often blatantly active fear. Fear seems to be at the heart of everything going seemingly wrong today. But what on Earth can we do? Honestly, nothing. As weird, heartless or oblivious as that may seem, there isn’t really anything to fix “out there.”
If we want to get to the heart of what ails humanity at this time, we need look no further than our own backyards. For there, we will find a rich universe from which we may draw our own conclusions about where we are, and why we are and what we might do with significant impact. Translated simply – we can fix ourselves but we can’t really fix anyone or anything else. I’ve written often before of the path of understanding as the mechanism through which we can at least learn to hold compassion for ourselves and compassion for each other no matter what state or place we find ourselves in.
We are plagued with this life-preserving ability to compare, contrast and quickly discern all that is seemingly bad around us. It really does help us make decisions in a moment about what we should stick closer to and what we should move ourselves very far away from. But, what if we judge wrongly even in our own perception at a time where any form of truth is truly obscured? This would be the case in terms of undetected negative environmental psychology that truly dictates the bulk of our perception of our many experiences in this world. I’m learning of late that there just is no way for us to transcend our psychology. We cannot fix the core of who we are. We just aren’t able and besides that, there isn’t anything to fix. We can come to greater understanding of all that triggers us and if we can at least become aware of the fact that our thoughts, emotions and reactions in any given moment are just that – triggers – what an amazing and monumental leap on our own personal journey does that bring us. Better yet, diving into the deep and endless pool of those triggers to better understand, deeply love and infinitely appreciate our truest self is beyond amazing.
Our very lives these days are so interlaced with psychology, superficial understanding coupled with time honored traditions in human behavior that it is difficult at best to realize who is reacting versus who is intentionally responding to whatever it is they face in a moment. Reaction and response may seem like two things of the same core motivational essence but that couldn’t be any more over-simplified. I write much about this topic in so many different ways and in so many different perspectives. Why? Well, it is hard to discern the space we are reacting from in earnest. In mindfulness we learn that our human nature is to think thoughts incessantly, ascribe emotions to those thoughts and that triggers us into reaction. But, what if we truly could learn to allow all those thoughts and their associated emotions and just let them be without judging them or ascribing further insult to seeming injury?
Well, we can do that. But, if you want to do that in order to release yourself from states of too much worry, too much pain and too much unhappiness, you really need to learn what mindfulness is and you need to be open to embracing higher understanding. Again, translating simply – awareness through understanding is key to relieving you of all that mentally ails you. This you can do if only you opened your mind, heart and soul to it.
But on the other side of this very complex coin of human existence, we have a very rich, seemingly unreachable aspect of our being…some call it Spirit or Soul, some consider it mind or consciousness. The deeper aspects of our being begs greater understanding for there we can grasp the essence of the impetus for our manifestation in this frame, within this beautiful and endless seeming dream. We are, at best, what we most chose to be and how we most wish to embrace it – whatever “it” is. There is truly nothing to do to “fix” or save ourselves or each other from in life. Life is as it is and it is only our lack of understanding that drives us to our territorial desire for the many and varied manifestations of suffering hidden by our own design. When you understand you free yourselves a little and then a little more to move through this conscious dream awake and ever more aware. So, we need not worry so much about the state of things. It is better yet to remain ever curious, ever hopeful and ever compassionate with self and the whole of life. Take heart this dream – your life – has purpose. You matter. This dream matters. Take the lessons to heart and love yourselves even more deeply. Blessings for higher love and greater understanding.
© 2016 Jaie Hart