Lean into your sails, little one

Breath of the sea

Breath of the sea

You know how you hear enlightenment stories where John D. Guru wakes up to his own nature from the depths of depression or despair–wa la!–and he sits for a week upon a park bench with the bliss of the Universe pouring through?  Or how Anna B. Spirit realizes her Oneness and never-ever returns to identification with the personality?

Ahhh, that’s what I once dreamed, too.  God or Buddha or Allah would knock me alongside the head with some grace (preferably it would pour blissfully up the spine and shoot out the top of the head in an amazing light show!) and I would, praise God!, be forevermore enlightened!

I smile now, thinking of that dream.  (Part of me still wishes the dream would come true, oh you little dreamer, you.)

For me–in this Kathy-body–it’s been more like an imperceptible daily journey.  Sure, there’s been enlightenment “experiences”.  You know, those flash-in-the-pan happenings where Grace kisses you on the lips for a day or six, and then disappears like an unfaithful lover making you whine and despair and sniffle into your french toast for months later.

When Grace disappears, your Beloved is only whispering, “I know you can do it, dear one.”  But you don’t know that at the time.  You don’t know He only took away your veils the better for you to see Who You Are.

You don’t know that Grace still sits beside you–as you–in the depths of your searching, your wanting, your despair.  He’s there stroking your damp forehead and assuring, “Lean into your sails, little one.  Lean into this grief.  This is where I am right now.  Don’t compulsively check our email in order to avoid feeling this.  OK, check our email.  Take as much time as you need.”

It’s taken this Kathy a long while to see through the fabric of thoughts and beliefs.  To think I once said after four years of meditation, “Yeah, I don’t have that many beliefs!”  (Grace must have fallen to Her knees, laughing hysterically at that one.)

I’m STILL seeing through this tightly woven fabric daily.  Hourly.  Minutely.  Perhaps that’s the work of a lifetime.  It doesn’t matter any more.  (Or, it may matter in five minutes.  And I shall sit with that, too.  Grace is teaching me to knit awareness together.  We sit and stitch together.  I make mistakes and we now laugh about it.  The holes in the fabric shine as divine mistakes, don’t we know?)

We’re filled with contractions.  OK, that’s a blanket statement.  You may not be filled with contractions.  I was filled with contractions. The contractions arise to the surface daily.  I don’t tell as many la-de-da who-done-me-wrong stories about the contractions.

They arise.  They hurt.  They are seen through.  They are allowed.  They exist.  And then they disappear.  Next moment, please.

Last week I allowed a huge repressed bubble of shame to arise.  The energy freed from that unconscious bubble is amazing.  I am still shaking my head that it even existed–and I was not even aware of it.

A contraction arose this morning, just upon awakening from sleep.  Deep sadness.  Last year I would have analyzed–oh, my goodness, Kathy, you’re wrong, you’re bad, you’ve eaten too many cookies, you’ll never get enlightened.  Today I sit with the sadness.  Ache, ache, ache.

I turn on the Kindle.  The first two entries in Facebook from different friends both say the same words:  “I am so depressed.”

We are indeed One.

Yesterday, a joy arose so deep and wild and delighted that it beat in my breast like a song.  The ability to feel joy this deeply seems equal to the ability to feel sadness or despair.

Lately, I don’t care as much if it’s joy or sadness.  (Don’t take this as an absolute!  By 10 a.m. I may be crying in my coffee begging the Universe for some sweet creamer of delight.)  Both feel simply like sensations moving through the body, the spirit, the ethers.

Who gets enlightened?  It’s NOT the person.  Your Joan, Jim, Jason, Julianna or Kathy will never be enlightened.  That’s yet another myth for you and Grace to laugh about.  Enlightenment is our true nature.  It’s what you see when you look around your room before the Storyteller creates another myth, another novella.

Start wherever you are.  Whatever emotion is arising is your Garden of Eden.  Stay tenderly with it.  Gently allow it to exist.  Feel the pain, delight, sadness or boredom of it with whatever courage you can garner.  Or don’t.  Be very tender with yourself, my flower.

Be very tender, said Grace, I love you.



14 thoughts on “Lean into your sails, little one

  1. I am smirking. I think at myself. Maybe at the smack on my head. I smile a wee smile, I still do not have it yet. I am remembering and was ruminating about finally watching Life of Pi, yesterday afternoon–split into two parts by a ranting screaming episode. Do you remember when leaning into my sails was FUN!?! I am kind to a homeless man, but not to my own child. Harshness and Compassionate-ness. Noticing all of those leaves across the lawn. Things I have seen, things that I missed, things with which I failed and things in which I did not. I wonder if the leaves too, count moments of grief and anger, resentment and shame. I do not know why I thought that just now. I was trying to avoid using the tender word. I might not be good at it. Good Morning Hugs.

    • Still,I am feeling tender reading your words, Elisa. And smiling because thoughts will always say we “do not have it yet”. I am learning that when my thoughts say that to simply drop into the present moment and see, yes, oh my yes, here it is. The thoughts expect it to be something other than it IS. I do not know how to say anything that explains anything, but for some reason it keeps arising. I do not know if it’s another contraction–this move to explain–or if it’s a joy. Sometimes a bit of both. Good Morning Hugs a day later.

  2. This is so beautifully written, Kathy. It resonates deeply. Do you also find that it is easier to sit with happy emotions, like love, joy, creativity, enthusiasm, longing… but sooo hard to ‘just allow’ those ‘unhappy’ emotions, like anger, sadness, grief, stagnation, apathy, listlessness… and fear… Oh fear, and panic, and anxiety… now *those* are tricky ones – I find myself wanting to ‘fix’ those. Soo difficult to ‘sit with them’.

    • Oh MY Reggie, yes! Certain emotions have felt sooo much easier to sit with. Sometimes when trying to sit with some of those feelings I have felt–literally–like I was dying. Completely being annihilated. Pure panic, fear and anxiety would seem to threaten. I would think, “I am dying!” and more-often-than-not run for some sort of distraction to ease the pain.

      Something has shifted recently, though, and I can hardly articulate it. (Or, rather, the mind is constantly trying to explain it and not quite capturing it.) Last night I sat with contraction again for almost three hours, on and off. It’s easier to stay present in the contraction most days. (I always hate saying that because then it seems I fall asleep back into the dream of the personality for days after articulating that.) Scott Killoby, a spiritual teacher, recently published that there is something he calls the “self” contraction at the center of us.

      After some or many of the addictions, compulsions, thoughts, beliefs are seen through we might view this huge contraction in the center of us. It’s an actual body sensation. Staying with this primal contraction can be intense. Oh my. Lions and tigers and bears…

      As one fellow meditator to another I bow: Namaste, Reggie.

  3. Oh Kathy but I think you have found enlightenment ! Right here, right now. You are enlightened to see that enlightenment is not an end of something, it is an experience of “knowing” of “awakening”. And then… everyday life. Several times in the past day or week I have heard this. Robin Rice spoke about it on a Shamanic call, I read about in The Way of the Shaman by Michael Horner. The process of integrating our awareness using our gifts in the everyday activities is the gift, is enlightenment !
    Beautifully done!

    • Jeff, it is interesting how our minds so often think that enlightenment is the end of something rather than a flowing process that never ends. I don’t know about finding enlightenment–but it does feel closer to finding “home”. A peace of saying–ahhh, this is what the ego has been seeking in outward appearances for so very long. Of course, have felt this sense of coming home before and then been booted back to Oz, lol! Hugs…

  4. Ok, little Guru. No worries, I am not attaching myself to you (but I will kiss your feet, ha!) but…you have, once again, hit the nail on the head, assured exactly what I need to know, and when I need to know it. And those cookies? Sometimes I eat the when I’m sad, but sometimes when I’m happy too. Laughing and crying, you know it’s the same release. Loves to you, friend.

    • My dear Monica, I shall tell you a secret. When Spirit was writing this blog post through these fingers I knew it was somehow directed towards you. I think it is so sweet and funny that you have actually MET me and still call me little Guru. You are my guru of poetry, texture, quiet…oh, of so many things and there is still much to learn. Loves to you back.

  5. Thank you for reminding me I have this permission to feel, Kathy. I’ve been feeling a sadness lately. Every time a wave of it hits me I ask “Why. Why. Why. What could I possibly have to be sad about?” I don’t know why I need the answer. Do I think that if I figure it out, the sadness will disappear forever? Or, perhaps it’s that this Lori personality loves a mystery. Lori loves to poke around in the psyche and investigate. And, not just in her own, but others too. Why, just yesterday I poked around in my husband’s and found the reason why he resists something in his life so strongly. It was such a rush to figure it out. It gave me a new, better understanding of him. Maybe I think I will understand myself better if I find out the “why” and then be able to give myself permission? Oh, who knows. But, I am grateful for my emotions none the less. They make life entertaining.

    Sorry this is so long. You know I love this kind of stuff. But, I have one more thing to share. I had Grace pour upon me in a very strong spiritual experience when I was a teenager. Since it was so long ago now (well, not THAT long, hehe), I can’t remember how long it lasted, but I used to think it lasted a year. Realistically, I think it may have lasted weeks, maybe a few months. But, during that time I did not identify with ego or personality. It was total … complete serenity. I felt love for all and nothing else mattered but that love. I often wondered why I chose to leave that state of grace, but your blog post here helped me to understand that answer a little better.

    • OK, Lori, finally some time and space to reply to your beautiful comment that so inspired me! Yes, yes, yes! Some of our personalities, egos, thoughts LOVE to be psychic detectives! I have felt this, too. That poking around, trying to figure things out, to solve the puzzle of why. Oh, isn’t it fun? And that rush when we figure things out and the way, yes, perhaps we relax because we understand it a bit better.

      Because of this great love of *figuring it out* I have returned to the mind’s detective spirit again and again. My friend, Melinda, and I spent YEARS attempting to figure all of it out and put it in words… and then, slowly, almost imperceptibly, the appeal of that seemed to start dissolving, like sugar in yeast.

      I first started getting glimpses in the made-up structure of ego and personality. And then thoughts started weakening. (Except for compulsive thoughts interjected with repressed energy and they started getting stronger, damn them! tee hee. No, no, compulsive thoughts, I didn’t mean it.) Pretty soon the structure of my make-believe ego began to waver and topple.

      Oh, that was such a challenging time. (And sometimes it still is.) I can see clearly that thoughts are only shimmering wings–not true–and yet sometimes they are like spider webs catching the personality and drawing it back into a real feeling.

      Lately, quite often, when the thoughts try to figure things out or explain something it’s perceived quite clearly that the *figuring out* is simply another part of the dream-world. What’s beyond the dream-world (that place you tasted in your teens) fascinates me now. I often don’t want to go to the bother of figuring out why anyone behaves the way they do. Let alone me. It feels like spinning in circles now within the dream-world.

      Am still watching very closely to see if this spiritual talk here on this blog is simply a convoluted way the ego is trying to keep explaining things. Is this blog being created from a repressed contraction or from Essence? Or both? Or neither. (Witnessing now–I am seeing that all the same old questions still arise. But the search for answers doesn’t. Even though I typed all those questions there is no energy that really cares very much either way. Either the answers will arise or they won’t.)

      Lori, do you feel that you are being called to open to that state of grace now or are you simply relaxing into exactly who you are? (I am smiling because of course both answers point to grace.) Thank you so much for sharing your story!! Hope this answer makes sense, too. 🙂

  6. I re-read my comment, and I don’t know if it makes sense to anyone who might read it. 😛 It was quite difficult to put into words in a comment without writing a ten-page dissertation. Heh.

    • Lori, it makes perfect sense to me and it gave me a new “understanding” of this journey and it so excited me to ponder this morning! However, time & energy isn’t providing a space to answer today. May I sit with your comment for a while and then will share some thoughts?

  7. You know, I think we (each of us individually, even though we aren’t separate, but we don’t realize it) are all at different stages of understanding. We’re each running a different pace marathon to find the One again. At least how I see it, anyway. Most people in my life are not interested in these things you and I are discussing now. In fact, they might call you and I eccentric kooks. Dreamers. Some might even say we’re “fiddling with the devil.” Ha! Having said that, something you write on your blog might hit the perfect timing for someone that was ready and ripe for it to click for them. Maybe they needed what you wrote at the mile-marker of the marathon they are at. Perhaps that is the purpose of anything we do. To help each other find our way Home, even when we don’t know it. Then again, maybe I’m way off and the personality is digging for answers to play again. Who knows.

    As far as settling into who I am, yes, I think as I age, I’m more accepting of the things the Lori personality does. Except, I think the personality may have grown on me so much, that it fears losing its existence, and perhaps why I have bouts with anxiety.

    I’m still at the mile-marker of investigating the psyche. It actually helps me with my relationships while on this plain. If I can figure out where a person is coming from, it helps the Lori-personality to understand and better enjoy the relationships she is in. I still sometimes have to dive into the psyche of Lori, to understand why the personality is reacting to another personality in such a way. If we come here to play, sometimes it feels like that’s exactly what I’m doing, playing with this personality (Lori) and others as we make our way Home to Oneness. 😛

    • Ha, Lori, I may have been thinking about this when I wrote my blog post about Weirdos! Have so enjoyed our conversations here. Love your description of playing–what fun! Blessings this weekend…

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