“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival” ~Rumi
Not more than half an hour ago, I was, in a very typical fashion, struggling and getting frustrated trying to gather my thoughts for this post. I could even feel the tension in my shoulders clawing its way up to my neck (over a blog?).
Even as I took a shower, I was scrubbing the shampoo into my hair so hard because I was in a rush and had so many other thoughts whizzing round in my head! I was well and truly unconscious, going through the motions.
I’ve noticed recently that I do that a lot. I exist, rather than live. I do, rather than experience.
Going through the motions is such a mammoth waste. As a human being, I have a vast amount of potential, ability, and creativity that I don’t even know about yet.
I can even do something “basic” like choose to take a feeling of stress, and transmute it into love, humility or peace in the blink of an eye if I so choose. I can perform alchemy at any given moment, yet so often I unconsciously choose to get caught up managing my own life. I am, and always have been at my core, an alchemist.
Thinking about it in that way puts a whole new perspective on my life. So often I spend so much time thinking about the past or the future. I worry, think, and try to focus first before forgetting about my most powerful, awe-inspiring organ: my heart.
Some may say that the heart is mushy, weak and for dreamers, that we need great thinking power in order to truly advance. True, but our IQ can only take us so far.
What was I missing when I was scrubbing my hair to the point of oblivion?
In order to make the most of any moment, we must feel first. I wasn’t shampooing my hair; I was trying to plan my week, conceptualize a blog, help my mom with her work, and plan dinner—all in my head!
Management is putting focus first—the planning, the analyzing, the problem-solving. Living and leading is engaging with the heart first.
To really live, we must communicate with ourselves first and become aware of our feelings, be they joy, love, fear, anxiety, or ecstasy. If we’re not even aware of what we are feeling, we end up trying to focus or manage, and we end up chasing our own tail.
The most powerful emotion (or energy-in-motion) that I have access to is love, that very energy which can create life and entire civilizations from nothing. Now, I am becoming more aware of myself day by day. I rarely ever send a text or email unless I know it’s coming from a loving place of warmth and authenticity.
I am no longer prepared to go through the motions and waste this precious thing called life. I love this keyboard as I type this blog! It’s my ally, my friend, my conduit to spreading my feeling through these words you see in front of you. And you know what, there’s no writer’s block. I’m in flow.
This doesn’t mean that I’m now “one with the universe” and loving every single thing in my life as I run through fields of flowers and sunshine. I do feel stress, I do feel impatience, I do feel irrationally upset and frustrated, I do feel afraid. But that’s okay, because I know I’m feeling those things; I’m not letting them float around unaware in my head.
I’m loving myself by simply being aware of those feelings. I’m loving myself by finally waking up. I’m truly feeling for the first time in my life. And it’s incredible.
I’ve been reading a fascinating book recently called The Presence Process in which the author explains that the purpose is not to feel better, but to get better at feeling. Hmmm…how true.
The key is feeling: being here, being present, being with you.
You, me, we’re absolutely mind-bogglingly amazing things. And I’ve known intellectually for a while that I can choose how I feel at any moment, but asking my mind to understand the essence of my heart is like expecting me to understand true romance by watching Love, Actually.
But to be able to sit with me, my not-so-good feelings, my tense feelings, my light feelings, my loving feelings, that’s the ticket. Watch out shampoo, here I come…
Feel. Then Focus. Then Flow.
Photo by Bohari Adventures