the exchange

Shifting to full responsibility for the self, with the felt sense of the self as the primary guiding factor, is the easiest and most direct path to a bright life I’ve ever encountered, and it seems to be in most of the wisdom traditions, and the humor and happiness of the people who practice it is palpable. That’s why it’s so confusing when people fully discount it as impossible, too much work, and/or not available to them (as if the feeling state isn’t inherent in every second of every day). I am (sortof) enjoying cataloguing the variety of dismissal. No, I don’t have time to breathe and check in with myself because I am simply too busy (as if we do not all breathe all day long)…No, I really need to hang on to this nasty feeling that won’t go away, because I don’t want to express it because then I wouldn’t be kind (as if fake kindness is more important than real intimacy)… No, I have too many stressors that take all of my time and attention and so I don’t have time for that luxury (pro tip: the luxury (granted) is a luxury of attention (not time) and by taking  attention away from the stressors, the stressors shift).

I think it might have more to do with “I want to climb this mountain and see all of the sights on the way up” rather than taking the easy way out. I’m not really sure. All I know is that I am the happiest I have ever been and every day it gets deeper, every time i do the practice and commune with people who care about wholeness, participating in the world with the orientation of wholeness, receptivity and expression – my heart gets lighter, my head gets quieter, my days get funnier and my relationships get deeper. And it’s free. And constantly available. And true.

As I younger woman, I definitely would’ve considered this an easy way out (which it is) and not nearly as fun as the drama (herein lies the key: is the drama fun?). The drama kicked my ass. I came out on top frequently enough and loved the thrill of that enough that I would continually get back in the ring. But, man, a solid 80% of the time the elements of the ring and the dynamics at play kept me on alert, at least low-level stress, and a deep longing to come out on top (whatever the situation would be). Thinking about it now, I can see why my body revolted, and I can’t thank it enough. Trading stress for presence, pictures of a future for experience of the moment – how on earth do we get trained into a life of anxiety when a life of connection is literally within and all around us? That is some pretty serious cultural programming.

Here’s a piece: even when we unplug from the cacophony and inhabit our own selves, very often there is a cross-over period wherein we want to still win the old game with the new way of being. Mindfulness leading to Business Mastery. And there are plenty of people out selling that. But the real delight is when the only scorecard is the one in your heart. and it’s full. and that’s all you need.

There is a saying “if you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich” and I asked myself that question from time to time. But what does the “smart” mean? and what does “rich” mean? Today, while i fill out the last 5 minutes of this focus, I think smart means successfully doing things that bring you the results you intend, and rich means replete with that which matters most to you.

Financial security is a wonderful luxury, but in my experience, it can have a sneaky way of eroding. Security itself, as I feel into it, comes from agency – from feeling capable of engaging with the full range of dynamics inherent in a life with more moving parts than we can track. The feeling that our contribution is valuable and our vulnerabilities will be met in relationship. That feels like security today

and that’s time!