Archives For heart

The day dawned and I saw the tasks before me. My heart wasn’t in it. My mind was busy trying to figure out how to return to peace.  I was in an existential crisis. All felt meaningless. Not knowing what else to do I resorted to the reboot button. I went out into my backyard and lay in the grass on the earth, staring up at the sky allowing Earth to absorb the suffering of all humanity held in my bones.

Slowly the solid slightly damp ground beneath my body started breathing with me. Earth  is so deeply wise in its transformation of what falls upon it into loam. My mind’s attachment dissolved, disillusion. Earth absorbing all of my need to find meaning, explanations, understanding, belief, disbelief, purpose. In the presence of such vast, enduring simplicity my yearnings are a pinprick.

I let it go. Not even claiming to know what “it” I’m letting go. Human suffering? Grief for all the suffering my psychic eyes see? All that cannot and will not be healed, fixed, resolved in this lifetime? Everything that is in-between me and Being-ness.  So that I can walk back to the world of, this-equals-that: time-equals-pay, money-equals-options, healing-equals-happiness. For a moment I’m not sure what I believe. Believing seems like a way to make myself feel safe when truthfully the entirety of existence is unfathomably complex.

On this patch of dirt and grass, looking up at the sky crisscrossed with power lines above my backyard, contemplating life’s mystery.  I know this much, I need nature. Earth is my lifeline. It does more than ground me. It heals me. It allows the unknown to be unknowable. It allows my mind to stop. It opens my heart. It dissolves all attempts to avoid The Divine  Mystery’s call.

I’m listening. Listening means feeling. I’m feeling. Feeling sucks sometimes. I am so glad that I feel.

I danced the night before this existential crisis at Rhythm Sanctuary. I felt discomfort, my body wanted to loosen. I was impatient with the sounds. They felt too slow and jolting. I wanted to dive in to the fire, but it was only sticks, then a spark of flint. The wood was wet and taking time to ignite. When the fire caught, my body felt rhythmic and alive. I trusted my body and it moved in all the worshipful, tribal, ecstatic ways it wanted. But my brain was still engaged. It was only when my brain stopped noticing my dance that I enjoyed how I felt.

My underlying problem is that I spend too much time in the place where my brain is noticing.  The brain noticing is critical and comparative, it wants an answer. It wants to know what to do to get to pleasure. The brain can’t get to pleasure. The brain has to lay on Earth and recognize it is simply a different form of dust. Match vibrations with eternity.

The brain must surrender its role as the keeper of the human body. It is CEO, it has enough information to lead but not the capacity that the heart has to feel, the womb has to surrender and merge, the belly has to propel. The brain wants to figure it out. It doesn’t do well with what can’t be measured and decided.  Its job is to decide, to analyze.

All misery comes from my brain yet it is my best ally. I want to train my brain to recognize when it’s trying to fix or solve something that is out of its expertise. I want it to advise me to take council with the heart, to check in with my pleasure center, to ask the skin, the womb, the voice what they have to say. The brain struggles to find pleasure.  It’s not able to manifest pleasure, only measure it. Its job is to reflect on the other aspects of me that are creating sensations through life experiences. Then select the best option.

In an existential crisis my brain has nothing to work with. All the facts aren’t facts. They are feelings, sensations, knowingness that comes from the body. There is no decision to be made. No action to take. It is a time to stop, listen and feel. Reboot. To follow the rest of my soul’s experiences back to pleasure.

Bisbee at the ranch

Sometimes my mind gets caught up in a question that I don’t have the answer for, it circles and circles the question seeking relief.  As I was driving to Arizona from Colorado a couple of weeks ago, I had a lot of time to ponder a question that was stumping me.  While struggling to find the answer, I became aware of my unconscious belief that God had the right answer and wanted me to act in accordance with it.  I could not see past whatever blocks were in my mind to a clear choice for myself.  I started to get frustrated.

At this point of frustration, I was reminded of something I’d seen my dog Bisbee do shortly after I adopted him as a two-year old.  He’s a border collie programmed through generations of breeding to herd.  He wants to roundup everything that moves, to keep it in control so he can feel at peace.  On several of Bisbee’s first trips in a car he got manic about herding the cars that were driving by.  He wanted to chase them so bad that more than once he wedged himself between the driver’s seat and the door with his nose firmly pressed in the crack of the dashboard and windshield, every muscle in his body rigid.  I felt like Bisbee in my desire to have an answer to the question.  My analytical mind was locked into the belief that there was a right answer with intense focus on trying to figure it out.  I experienced the sensation of being pressed into a corner.  I wasn’t getting anywhere.  Finally, it dawned on me that there was no right answer.  This question I was asking was really not about right or wrong, good or bad, but simply a choice regarding what I wanted to create with my life.  The Universe or God didn’t really care whether I went this way or that.  Either path would result in a set of experiences that would be my life.

As I drove through the wide open blue skies of New Mexico, I remembered the words of my spiritual mentor, Dawn Eagle Woman “hold a spacious field.” I started visualizing an expansive amount of space around my question and the people that would be impacted by my choice.  I looked from horizon to horizon, consciously offering the question and each person involved as much room as I could physically see in the sky.  An expansiveness that wasn’t attached to an answer but simply let the question exist. 

When the analytical mind kicks in to respond to questions of the heart, it can push us into a corner and imprison us with the effort of trying to figure it out when there is no right answer.  We may choose to act based on our vision of the life we are interested in experiencing or wait for the moment when we encounter an option that we easily respond to with yes.  Engaging the mind in these situations is simply trying to control the unknown, a fruitless endeavor.  Our intuition is present to guide us in questions of the heart and teach us the gentler path of freedom and trust in the natural flow.