These days I listen. A lot. It’s as if an ear often cocks towards paying attention. Listening what feels right inside and outside. It’s as if an inner GPS directs the next movement. Does Life want to turn to the left or right? The ear listens for direction, the heart determines what feels right, the body waits.
Sometimes the mind shanghaies the ship and insists upon its own way. It demands its ransom, a half chocolate bar, a glass of wine, way too many hours absorbed in a miniseries. Nothing wrong with any of those activities. But when the inner compass refuses to resonate–it hurts. It hurts not to follow where Life wants to lead next. It hurts to flow upriver when the water rushes toward the sea. This body contracts in the struggle. Not fun to follow the mind anymore. (If it ever was.)
Such peace exists in this active listening. Where next? How now Brown Cow? One literally suspends knowing. Thoughts may arise insisting they know the next direction, but do they really? Sometimes I sit for an hour in this not-knowing, waiting, listening to bird song. Then the body rises and drives to work, washes windows, hikes down the road, sells a goose on eBay. Things happen on their own time. Why does the mind assume it needs to control and fuss and plan so much? Not that there’s anything wrong with planning. It’s just that there’s another knowing which operates so much more efficiently when the mind quiets. I’m still amazed at this.
For many years I remember always wanting to live “from God’s will”. From the Great Spirit’s direction. It always seemed impossible. The greatest desire to do this existed, but when an emotional contraction arose–forget it. I would follow the inner rebel where it wanted, forget God’s will.
It’s possible for awareness to travel into our emotional and body and mental contractions, to illuminate the tightness coiled there. So much of this spiritual journey–the real meat of it–has been the movement into craving, contractions, insistence within the psyche. Into what distracts from the present moment, what sends one into identification with thoughts and feelings, rather than the ever-flowing Now.
I recall how very hard it seemed to dive into a contraction, a raw fear. How it took all the courage I could muster to meet the energy of myself without fleeing into distraction. How challenging it still feels at time. How easy the path of compulsion looks–oh, c’mon honey, let’s just check email now, nothing wrong with that. No, nothing wrong with checking email unless it’s covering up an unconscious fear of emptiness, loneliness, name your greatest unspoken fear. We can spend a lifetime running wildly, escaping from the Nazi fears which murder the psyche by closing it down, snuffing out the beauty and pain.
So again today I listen. Does Life wish to turn left or right? Will it sit for another fifteen minutes, or write a blog? Will the feet walk to the mailbox?
Once a friend said she would crawl on her knees to brush her teeth if her inner knowing insisted.
I’m beginning to understand the freedom in this level of acquiescence to the Universe.