I notice how the presence of even one person can interrupt my focus on Source.
When I am alone, I can surrender fully to a Source of Energy that stretches, opens my heart and moves me. I practice opening to that inspiration, and allowing it to prompt and guide me. Nothing stands between me & Source during those solitary moments.
But as soon as another person enters the mix, my focus falters. Suddenly my attention is divided. Source no longer has my full attention, and the results are immediately apparent. I falter and lose connection. Suddenly I question what, just a few minutes before, felt absolutely right. I see myself through “their eyes,” and begin to doubt my motives and ideas. My words are stilted, my movements stiff and awkward. The effortless flow of union with Source has disappeared.
My 85 year old friend, Jane, who I greatly admire and respect, describes such a loss of focus as holding back from Source for fear of what others may think. She calls it “man-fear” (fear of man).
I relate. I, too “lose my way,” whenever I give in to the irresistible urge to seek someone else's acceptance or approval!
I have concluded that when we allow another's opinion to determine our choices, we are more than likely saying “no” to Source. We are sidetracked. When we distrust our own inner sense of what's right for us and choose instead to do it “their” way, we give up our own authentic life expression for a life “done right” by someone else's standards. When we are being internally nudged to go in a particular direction, but follow someone else's lead instead, we abandon ourselves AND Source. Tremendous unhappiness and self-loathing results!
Learning to surrender to what Source prompts, in and through us, sets us on track to live an authentic life. We attain that degree of surrender through a daily practice. By committing to spend time every day focused on Source, we may someday be able to hold our gaze unwaveringly on Source, no matter who else enters our space. It's my greatest desire.
We had a nine day summer dance camp in our home here on the mountain last week (which explains why I haven't blogged in so long). There were 15 kids (ages 10 -19) and four grown ups who stayed with us in our sprawling rancher for the duration. My job was to prepare the meals and “manage the house” to support the dancers in their preparations for the weekend performances of “Ballet on the Lake.”
We had a wonderful time. There was so much laughter and bustling activity as youngsters engaged in all the hard work of intensive dance training intermingled with summer fun. But it was demanding for me as chief cook and bottle washer to say the least. Lunch preparations began as soon as the kitchen was clean from breakfast and so on. My goal was to feed them well, so I prepared everything from scratch, being careful to see to it that they were served food that was healthy and nutritious. But I also knew that, along with good food, I needed to maintain a positive attitude to support the overall success of the week.
I decided that this week of summer camp would be a good “laboratory” for me to test the principles I teach. So, before the group arrived, I set my intention to maintain a “high emotional frequency” throughout. I knew that if I dropped into a “low frequency,” irritable or moody state, others would follow suit and the result would be unnecessary drama and all round unhappiness. Knowing that our “emotional frequency” is contagious, I wanted to see what could be accomplished in maintaining an overall “high frequency” tone for the whole group by keeping my own frequency as balanced as possible. I hypothesized that I might well be able to support a higher frequency all round by taking care of myself in a way that would keep me upbeat and at peace. It worked.
It was my daily practice that enabled me to maintain a positive/”high frequency” and upbeat attitude so that I was able to enjoy the week, rather than spiral into a resentful, martyr role as I had been prone to do in similar situations in times past. Because I made taking care of myself a priority, even in the midst of taking care of others, I was able to enjoy every precious moment with these wonderful kids and the adults who came to support them. Staying connected to Source through my daily practice allowed me to come through the situation with flying colors.
Here's how I did it …
No matter how late I had to be up the night before, I would get up in the morning in time to spend at least an hour on the mat doing yoga/qigong/aligning with Source as a way to set a “high frequency “tone for the day. This meant I was already awake and centered by the time I arrived in the kitchen to start breakfast for the crowd. (We served whole food smoothies to everyone first thing every day, made from fresh fruits and vegies from the garden which probably contributed greatly to the overall success of my experiment too!) I would then return to the mat for a half hour of restful yoga in the lull that followed lunch each day and that quiet time rejuvenated my energy and carried me through until bedtime. I was able to refrain from snappy, irritable negativity which resulted in happier kids and peers who worked together in harmony and joy. Everyone performed better, laughed harder, enjoyed each other more and knocked the socks off our audiences who came to see these talented dancers perform Swan Lake on our lake stage!
I mentioned in my last post that guilt was the first thing I gave up to help me lose weight. But there was also something I added to my daily life that was equally important in the process of transforming my health.
I added a practice devoted to aligning with Source every day.
I spent years gathering resources for personal healing: yoga, energy work, meditation, alchemical processes. It was the commitment to practice these resources with a sincere heart, to use these as tools for consciously aligning with Source every day that, I am convinced, made giving up guilt (and therefore the weight) possible.
I believe a daily relationship with Source to be the single most important requirement for healing and transforming our lives.
No matter what problems, issues or ailments we may have, the true remedy comes through healing our mind. The only way to truly heal the mind is to align with what is real. How else are we going to recognize truth from illusion? There is only one reality; there is only one thing that is totally real; that is Source.
Nothing is more important than having an ongoing relationship with Source. Make it your highest priority. Start now.
Each “self” has its own way of connecting with Source. The mental body likes to meditate and think on God … the emotional self wants to feel an intimate relationship with Source so ritual and song, chanting and bliss generating meditations are designed to allow the emotional body ways to “worship” Source. The physical responds well to yoga, tai chi – even belly dance becomes union with Source when we set our intention on spiritual alignment as we move.
It doesn’t matter whether your daily practice consists of prayer or zen sitting, yoga, Tai chi or ecstatic dance, art, reading or writing prose, studying Biblical verse or the Vedas – whatever brings you into a deeper spiritual connection counts. Combine any of the many alignment techniques into a practice that works for you and then commit to it. Your spiritual practice shapes the inner vessel that navigates you through the emotional waters of life to a place of new possibility based on a relationship of oneness with Source.