Why would you take the time to read this? I am not Deepak Chopra. I am not Williamson or Rinpoche or Oprah. I am certainly no Dalai Lama. I have made no "Top Ten" list, as far as I know. And I don't trail the alphabet after my name. So why spend your time here?
Who am I?
I am nobody special. I am someone who is finding her way. That I have found my passion in life, expressing creatively as impulsed, as inspired: directly, intuitively, unapologetically, originally. That I move through joys and sorrows with an open heart. That I know a balance between "work" and play. That I delight equally in the pleasure of my own rich company and that of another or many others, known or new to me. That I have no concerns about money (the newest freedom!). That I do not fear life or death. That I have found a fundamental, sustainable (which is not to imply total) peace of mind, a prevailing joy of heart, and trust in Love's unstoppable, impartial and complete givingness. That I am moved easily to a laugh, a smile, or a tear.
That I enjoy perfect health, in a beautiful home I share with the best cats in the world. That my friendships are steady, loving and honest, my family, harmonious, my relationships with students and clients open, genuine, and mutually honoring. That I am clear, impassioned, reckless, yet stable. That I love life and know love in my heart: these are not parenthetical, not incidental.
I've come a distance, is all. My route here, which can't be unique to me, has gone like this: I have created these fulfillments from their opposites, over time. A lot of time. More time than would have been necessary if it weren't for my resistance, my clinging to my cell, railing at my perceived jailers. More time than would have been necessary if it weren't for my bull-headed insistence that it all go my way--thinking I knew better than Life, which is to say, Love. So when I see someone struggle and resist, my inclination is to want to shorten her route, minimize her grief--Don't go the way I went; it took forever!--forgetting, of course, that her way is her way and really none of my business.
What turned things around? What made the difference?
I suppose listening has made and continues to make the greatest difference. Not just hearing, but listening. Listening even to that which I don't want to hear.
Krishnamurti writes stunningly of this sort of listening:
Putting Aside Screens
How do you listen? Do you listen with your projections, through your projection, through your ambitions, desires, fears, anxieties, through hearing only what you want to hear, only what will be satisfactory, what will gratify, what will give comfort, what will for the moment alleviate your suffering? If you listen through the screen of your desires, then you obviously listen to your own voice; you are listening to your own desires... Listening has importance only when one is not projecting one's own desires through which one listens. Can one put aside all these screens through which we listen, and really listen?
Then there is following: acting, even when it is uncomfortable to act, when taking that action will cause heartache or disruption or uncertainty.
And then somewhere along the way, I decided: What's before me is for me. Or in other words, I began to stop resisting, in favor of taking responsibility for what shows up in front of me, asking "How is this for me?"
But I forget. And before I know it, I am sinking under the weight of attack or misunderstanding. I have yet, apparently, to embrace, accept, expect--or at least not be surprised or daunted--that others often hear something other than what I have said, and vice versa, given we so often listen through those screens rather than putting them aside. I forget that I am responsible for conveying to the point of understanding, for making myself understood. Consequently, it bothers me to be misunderstood. It bothers me to be vituperatively damned, berated, and 'have-a-good-life' dismissed from a dear one's days based upon a misunderstanding. And apparently it still gives me pause (however brief) when others show concern that I am making a solitary, lonely way for myself in the process of refining my relationship to Love's way, or when they imply that I am perhaps favoring too much my peace and quiet.
But there are gifts in every part of this.
The moment I ask how such an experience is for me, I get to see where I'm not yet free. I see where my well being, my happiness or contentment are conditional upon circumstances or people being just so.
Where is the freedom in such dependence?
Would full freedom put me beyond pain or injury? Certainly not. And I would never wish for that. Even a tree weeps, bleeds when cut or wounded. The damaging impact of cruel or angry words, for example, is real: witness the effect of them on water which Dr. Masaru Emoto's work photographing their crystals so eloquently demonstrates. We as human beings are comprised of 80 percent water. That the words by which my beloved friend angrily dismissed me physically sickened me as I read them needs no other explanation than this.
By contrast, where I am free, I know the ease and grace, the unselfconscious fluid and fragrant expression--the "beingness"--that the flower or tree or bee knows. I am Love then, having remembered my original nature. Where I am not free, where I place obstacles to this natural state of freedom and to a true, unmediated, unobstructed expression, I do not. And this is not a problem. It is not something to be judged, only something to be observed and evolved--or not!
To commit one's life to unstoppable Love is to simultaneously and summarily call forth all that isn't that. To clear the way, one must turn up what's in the way. It's not unlike seeing all of a sudden dust and cobwebs you didn't see until the dignitary has been invited to dinner.
But ultimately, I am here on this Freeway to give voice to the Earth's heart. Each day--each second--is rich with that voice, is speaking. When I forget, as I have over these past weeks, it graciously, thankfully brings me back.
Today, it was the simplest of moments, of motions which delighted me, which brought an easy, broad smile to my lips.
The hairy woodpecker, hanging from the suet cage and pecking there, just in view of where I'd sat with tea and a project. Out came the binoculars, to see it even hairier! First the female, then the male which arrived in short order, flashy with its dash of red at the back of its head.
The elder cat, with her new lease on life, practically smiling as she chewed the tufts between her hind 'toes.'
The spontaneous and heartwarming visit by a long-lost friend, and celebrating his imminent status as a first-time home buyer.
The unexpected trip up and down the lanes of memory by way of a long-overdue sorting of marked and unmarked cassette tapes, complete with the voice surprise! of a beloved mentor who taught so passionately and well of Love and Law, of thoughts as things, who set
me on the road of manifesting.
The dusting - yes, even the dusting - with a thoroughness, as if by urgency, that I think I've never seen. How can it feel that good to clean?
The 20-minute Tuscan Stew which slayed my theory that soup to be good needs to simmer for hours: delizioso!
The glimpsed roadside heap of shattered blue glass, first a curiosity, then 'trash,' then a universe of reflection and refraction that called the camera out.
The sun, warm. The sky, blueblue.
The wordless poem in the swallowed-up fence.
The persistent thinning, thinning, inside and out because clear calls for clear. Because, in the words of Krishnamurti, "Orderliness, tidiness, clarity of thinking are not very important in themselves, but they become important to [one] who is sensitive, who feels deeply, who is in a state of perpetual inward revolution."
By the day's end, I am free again. Momentarily (relatively speaking), I had forgotten. Now, I remember. I made my invitation, some time ago:
That was so long ago and besides
whatever you give over I will love.
no one understands; I am free
to fall and laughing
pick myself up
flawless and brilliant, I am
indestructible. It is safe now:
I fall, I get up; I fall, and get up again. I laugh. I embrace everything, and reject nothing. For the freedom of one? For the freedom of all. That Love have its way. With minimal effort.
Whether sooner or later, It will have Its way, of course. Even if It has to chew through barriers. Even if It must wait until the final surrender--or struggle--at death.
I vote for sooner.