03 May Open to Life
Life is intense, and in April, it felt as though life turned up the volume. “I’m here!, let me live through you, let me see what you are really made of”.
For most of us, we are living strained and stressed, feeling as though we are barely hanging in there. And, for a lot of the people who end up in my office, there is a sense that we have a test to pass. Somehow life wants us to “get something that we don’t already know”.
Many of us have taken the workshops, read the books, and visited the healers. Still, there is a lingering sense that we haven’t quite gotten it yet.
I often hear “If I could just be like the Dali Lama” or “If I could just be more present”. I always respond “Listen honey, if you put the Dali Lama in a mini-van with 3 screaming kids in the back seat smack in the middle of a traffic jam, he may get a little rattled. You’d be calm too if someone were bringing you tea and your only job was to meditate”.
What people usually mean when they pressure themselves to be more present is that they expect themselves to be calm when they are not calm. And that my dear, is not being present..
As far as being present goes, what people usually mean when they pressure themselves to be more present is that they expect themselves to be calm when they are not calm. And that my dear, is not being present.
Life doesn’t want you to be calm when you’re not calm. Life doesn’t want you to know the lesson before you’ve learned it. Life doesn’t need you to be different than you are.
Life wants to bust your heart open, prove to you that you’re stronger than you think, and bring you to your knees so that you can be lifted up.
Last November, my doctor told me that it was likely that I had breast cancer. With a mother, aunt and grandmother who had all been previously diagnosed, my fear ran high.
My focus was never getting rid of cancer, my focus was to allow myself to fully feel the impact of the possibility that my life may not be as long as I had anticipated.
I felt fear and used it to prepare. I felt anger and used it to say “no” more often, to restrict access to people who I found to be draining and to call on the courage I needed to make my health a priority.
I felt fear and used it to prepare. I lined up health professionals (both Western and alternative) that were skilled, respectful and caring. I felt anger and used it to say “no” more often, to restrict access to people who I found to be draining and to call on the courage I needed to make my health a priority.
I felt a lot of sadness about the way that I had been living prior to that telephone call from my Doctor. I assumed that I had lots of time and energy to waste and I didn’t use my time and focus with a deep intention.
When I allowed myself to let life penetrate me, to impact me deeply, I began to open and become more powerful. I took more risks with my clients. I pushed them. In China, I wondered if my leadership class would be the last one that I would teach and so I had each student share exactly why their dreams would never come true and then I had another student look them in the eye and shout “BULLSHIT” (I had to get my interpreter to teach them the English word bullshit).
Slowly but surely, life awakened me and it awakened me through my experience, not by avoiding or conquering it.
5 months later, I am healthy, focused and strong and more connected than ever before. Let your life happen, let it mold you; let it show you who you really are.