Follow the yellow brick road

follow, follow, follow, follow...

follow, follow, follow, follow…

Do many of us feel lost?  Like we’ve not found our way home inside our skin?  That we’re wayfarers on the planet, a bit off course, wandering, not sure how to encompass what we truly know ourselves to be?

Many of us seek, don’t we?  We look to find ourselves hither and yon, through vale and mountain passes.  We search and search and search to simply feel comfortable in ourselves, to relax, to heave a sigh of relief and know, “Yes, I’ve found myself.  It’s OK.  Finally.”

I spent most of this lifetime seeking.  Looking for a way to ease the sense of inner incompletion.  To do away with unhappiness.  To be present.  To love the moment. To not be filled with restless angst,  To not continually run from myself into the next distraction, and the next, and the next.

My exterior personality decorated itself as mostly sunny, sure I’d find the Wizard of Oz, sure that the yellow brick road would lead home.  Yet inside, I often stewed and brewed in a tornado of frustration and regret, pain and compulsion.

In 1987, a mystical experience opened me unto the Native American path, and led to years and years filled with the dream world dancing with physical reality.  In 2003, I started to meditate and slowly learned to occupy this body, this earth.  In 2008, on my birthday, finally opened briefly to “Home”, to a feeling of fulfillment, to those red shoes murmuring, “There’s no place like home…”

Then followed a roller coaster of incredible suffering and amazing revelation which continued for years. So often Ego ruled with an iron fist and wouldn’t let go.  It felt like being given the Holy Grail and then watching the Wizard of Oz snatch it away.  In the bowels of the psyche, Hell often reigned.  One saw Home and yet it still felt far, far away.  As far away as Oz and you couldn’t reach it except in your imagination.

Head this way

Head this way

Many spiritual teachers say you should “do nothing” to return to your home.  May I politely disagree?  I had to do a lot of not-doing over the years.  Every day I still practice not-doing.

Not-doing, for me, involves looking boldly at the Ego’s brick facade and methodically turning attention again and again and again toward the illusion of self.

We must face our inner scarecrow, our inner tin min, our inner lion, our inner witch, our inner wild & crazy flying monkeys, our inner wizard.  Our ego is constructed of dozens upon dozens of archetypes, of mini-personalities.

The key to returning Home is realizing that none of the archetypes are me.

I am not…anything which can be typed…anything which can be spoken.

I thought I was the doer, the thinker, the one who felt.  I thought I was the one who wants, who decides, who acts, who plans, who remembers, who knows.

What I was–what Home was–proved much simpler than that.  Home surrounds us, encompasses us, at all times.

What blessed relief!

We’ve all known Home, every last one of us, even those of us who never landed on Oz and inadvertently killed the Wicked West of the East.

How can we find Home?  Only by following the yellow brick road which stretches before us.  This road is different for every single person.  My yellow brick road is not yours.  Eckhart Tolle’s yellow brick road is not mine.

Is there such a thing as permanent enlightenment?  I have no clue.  There certainly is NOT a person who could get enlightened.  Enlightenment is what surrounds us–IS us–at all times, even in our most personality-identified times.

All I know is that there is Home.

Home exists within us.

Turn left at the yellow tree

Turn left at the yellow tree

It’s a place composed of peace and love.  It IS.  It’s a place of no separation, no individual pitting itself against, say, your living room couch or the current president.  It is Life itself unfolding, moving, experiencing itself.

It is a place where every feeling and thought is allowed to arise.  That very allowing is unconditional love.

As I spend more and more time relaxing in this Home, my feet up on the coffee table of myself, what has shifted?  What is necessary to stay here?

1)  When I stay with pain–without telling a story about why–when pain is allowed to exist without attaching or pushing away–it’s possible to find the way Home.

2)  When one learns to accept and allow all thoughts and feelings arising–without attaching or pushing away–then one begins to truly soften to all others in the world.

3)  Home reveals itself as you begin to rest in not-knowing.  Not-knowing what to do next.  Not-knowing where life will turn next.

I don’t always live in this inner Home.  There are still moments or days of identifying with a deep thought or feeling with relative unconsciousness.

What causes great joy is that the Great Search seems mostly finished.  The Great Undoing may never be over.  It continues every time an identification with ego or illusion arises.

Home exists and it’s beautiful beyond anything I could write, ever.

P.S.  Do not get confused and think that “I” wrote this.  Home could never attempt such folly.   The spiritual writer archetype arose and shared before disappearing into the next moment.

P.S.S.  You know you’ve reached Home when you throw the red shoes away.  Or you plants nasturtiums in them.

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23 thoughts on “Follow the yellow brick road

  1. I love those three points – especially no. 2 – “When one learns to accept and allow all thoughts and feelings arising – without attaching or pushing away–then one begins to truly soften to all others in the world.” That’s profound, Kathy. Sometimes, I catch glimpses of that space… then it slips away again…

    It’s not an easy task to put this all into words, because words, too, seem ultimately inadequate… like fingers pointing at the moon, rather than the Moon itself, in all its power and splendour and beauty, … but you’ve succeeded. Namaste. Peace.

    • Reggie, I so know what you mean about the glimpsing and slipping away. Gosh, I think that happens to so many of us. There is an archetype in me that INSISTS upon trying to put this in words, silly archetype! Words just all configure it into something solid and “not true”. Yet, aren’t words fun to play with? Namaste to you…

  2. You have captured something so many have been seeking. You have expressed yourself or Home has as many of the spiritual writing seek to do each morning in their blogs that I follow.

    I have walked that yellow brick road which has lead to many twisted dark alleys only to lead me to sit or journey with my camera to be in the moment of what surrounds me.

    Beautifully written and expressed!

    Love You,

    Jeff

    • Jeff, so many of us have been seeking that inner Home so many years, haven’t we? And oh those twisted dark alleys… We have to hold hands with those who understand at times to help us through those times. Glad this resonated with you this morning.

  3. “continually run from myself into the next distraction” – I never run out of distractions to run into and I have a never-ending source of them called “the world” at large. What’s really evident here is that a whole bunch of somebodies elses (<=== not real words) made up some rules to live by and I chase after them as if they are all The Right Way. Archetypes are only tools to be used. They are not me. Mostly, your words create another question in me: is Home a place to get to or is Home a place I create?

    • Jeez, Barbara, I wrote a nice long response to your comment and the Universe ATE it! Will try again. Like you, have suffered so much by trying to follow the Yellow Brick Road of others, rather than innately sense my own path. However, some of their words have proved helpful pointers. Without the sharing of others, may not have even consciously known that Home exists.

      I don’t know how you’ll answer your question, but I had to realize that Home was a place that is already here. I couldn’t get to it–OR create it–because it was already here, already complete, already surrounding. Yet the archetypes obscured it. Perhaps we can’t get there, we can only continue to see through the archetypes which are preventing our sight.

      P.S. Your blog post yesterday partially inspired this!

  4. Really great post. I totally resonate with all you say and try to hold onto the realisation that I am always home. I love the Oz film and draw upon it occasionally as I find its message so profound.

    • I am glad this resonated with you, starrystez. It is so true that we’re always Home, and yet so easy to be distracted by another challenge which rises to be seen through. By the way, have you seen or read “Wicked”? What a powerful book/play! It sure turns around the view of the Wicked Witch of the West.

  5. “Without attaching or pushing away”. “Not knowing”. I’ve noted that among many of my closest friends, including myself, it does feel as though “the Great Search is mostly finished” but there always seems to be more “un-doing” to be accomplished. Like clutter than never gets entirely dealt with or manages to grow again, after one thought it had been finally, fully removed from life. Just “sharing” in the moment, before disappearing away into the ground of being again. Fondly.

    • It is wonderful that you know so many who feel their search is mostly finished, Deb. I notice one of your gifts is that you so often point to a larger perspective of a movement-larger-than-self. Thank you for that.

  6. “Being” in the only moment that is real, the one we are in, is the most challenging concept of all. How incredibly hard is letting go for many people. I still, after this far into my journey-which reads much like your own-must remind myself to let go, just “be” and stop trying to attach meaning to everything in this physical realm. The only real meaning for me is that it is. That we are. And one thing we are, is never alone. Loved this post. Thanks.

    • Oh I know what you mean about that challenge of “letting go”. And remember when I attached meaning to EVERYTHING! Gosh, that was fun. And now another level of fun–the fun of just being and allowing what is. Glad you liked this post.

  7. Thank you for sharing this insightful post. I have discovered to live life according to the wisdom of Lao Tzu who says
    Search your heart
    and see
    the way to do
    is to be.
    — Lao Tzu

  8. You enlightened my soul. You provoked my spirit. Happiness is all I have, for being so lucky to read from you, to learn from you. I sometimes do’nt know how to thank you for this.. you heart is beautiful, Kathy! Lots of love… have a beautiful day!

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