I really did not enjoy everything I noticed this weekend. I’m also incredibly grateful for it and struggling just a bit to keep from ‘just wanting it to be over.’ Right? Noticing what comes up without judging it, wanting to change it… you can see how i’m doing on that today. But, these things come up. and throughout this headachey, emotionally draining couple of days, I just keep trying to say “yes, yes, yes” and “release resistance.” over and over again. A few times it has lulled me into a nap (thank heaven!)
OK, so, yes, I’ve been struggling. I’ve been trying to learn from it and make the best of it, and know it’s productive and be williing to let it transform me, but it has still sucked. And I think I just figured out why.
For the most part, I have to accept that talking about God, philosophy, human potential, evolution and the cosmos is all I really truly enjoy doing, and that’s been true since I was very young. Illness pointed me to both nature and stillness, both tremendous enrichments. When I started doing Bodyfulness calls 4 months ago, I did it because that’s how I want to spend my days: I want to spend my days focused on what is true, what is possible, and how to relax into it.
During a consultation on Surrender as a Spiritual Practice, a woman asked, “but what about your personal agenda?” and for the first time I realized, Surrender may just be the relinquishment of the personal agenda, in favor of being wholly open and receptive to the cosmic agenda flowing through you and everything else. This has to be preceded by a huge curiosity about life itself and what It is up to, and the potential that this broader picture is more interesting than whatever little picture it is I am trying to create.
Late in the week, I had an encounter that left me angry and dejected. Actually two in a row. I’m not one to shy away from negative emotions if they come up, and I tried every technique I know to try to move it through me. Ritual, they say, is how the universe knows we’re serious, so along with lots of body practices, a few prayers, meditation, tears, (back to bodyfulness), overwhelm (back to bodyfulness), it finally occurred to me: all of this upset? It’s about the personal agenda. I’m feeling defensive about it, inadequate, scared, marginalized – all kinds of things. Every depressing thought and self-negating statement came out to play, and as usual, I tried to entertain them all (thanks for the idea, Rumi, but this shit is hard) and finally I realized: I don’t want to fulfill my personal agenda. I don’t care about my personal agenda at all. It’s like holding on to the junk in the garage. I don’t need it, I don’t want it. So why do I let it stay?
My agenda is to allow life itself to flow through me as purely and freely as possible. I believe that having that agenda by necessity includes things like being an interested and engaged parent, a responsive and nurturing wife, a decent human, a fair friend. It may sometimes also move through me as a bold fury. That’s up to Life. But I am here and infinitely curious about what life has got up its sleeve and ready to play. willing to play. willing to show up. and to listen. and to do what wells up within me to do. in response to life itself in and all around me, and motivated by the song that wants to be sung through me. i don’t even know the tune. i think i have a sense of the melody, but i may be very wrong, and the only way i can find out is to keep playing.
As I’ve been experimenting with this priority, I’ve gotten progressively more relaxed and more engaged. As soon as I hold this up to a personal agenda wherein i may succeed or fail, make illinformed choices and not be appealing? Sure, it’s a huge fail. OK. Fail away. That’s not the game I’m playing. I can fail in a game i am not playing, easy. No repercussions. Unless I convince myself I AM playing the game, and not doing very well. Then it’s torture.
Well, gosh. That’s silly.
It’s also understandable.
Remembering my priority shifts me back. And when I fall away again, into all that fear and shame? I’ll come back. I know that oscillation is the nature of life, and I know that returning our attention to the object of meditation IS the work. I am here. and I am free. and I remember.