Friday, January 20, 2017

What NOW?

Monday I couldn't get a good breath and was full of anxiety. Tuesday I ran it out, grounded it out. Wednesday I was confused. Thursday I was outraged. Today nauseous. Tomorrow...We shall see.

I cannot lie to save my soul. I am attracted to truth, honesty and authenticity. I have a radar for truth and untruth. The challenge is when truth bubbles up inside me, it can get stuck in the throat. Fear blocks truth, because sometimes the risk of being criticized, disliked or outcast is too much. It requires a lot of courage to unleash it. It takes courage to share personal truths and words that may seem controversially charged. It takes courage to speak truth from the heart.

The truth is, not everybody will like me. And I don't have to like everyone. And that's okay. Paying attention only to dislikes, the fear of not being liked, and the pain it incurs, will keep me trapped in the belief of never being enough. Paying attention only to likes and pleasurable experiences will keep me turning away from uncomfortable truths, that at the time may be asking for attention.

I have decided that the very best I can do right now is practice presence with what is arising. As ugly as truth might be, I will not turn away. And I will do what I need to do to stay grounded in the experience, to move it through, to process and most importantly listen. And I will do more than stand by and witness. I will take action, big or small, within my capacity to do so. At the same time, I acknowledge my limitations, because one person can only do so much.

Those of us, who are paying attention, we are being triggered by the inhumanity and the outright oppressive forces that occupy the airwaves. Especially as yogis and spiritual practitioners, we understand compassion and recognize our shared humanity. We want to do something about it because our hearts are screaming out for each other, for our children, the planet, and for the basic right to love and be loved. At the same time, it is not always so simple as "be the light, and spread love."

Its confusing to know what to do. To know what will actually make a difference.

This teaching from Seane Corn, master yogini and spiritual activist, has helped me to remember that is starts with myself. How can I be present and hold space for others with compassion if I cannot do the same for myself? She so artfully teaches within the space of the paradox of separation and oneness.  She consistently asks "how am I complicit in separation?"

I am complicit when I choose to be silent rather than risk conflict and dislike by speaking truth.
I am likely complicit because I send my daughter to a private liberal school (yet at the same time within the confines of her private school she is learning about decency and respect for other human beings, how to be in community, how to think independently and how to stay curious...all things that are lacking in our culture). I am complicit when I don't listen and look for a quick fix to pain and suffering. I am complicit when I feel jealous and envious of my peers and friends; when I judge the rich and assume they are heartless; when I place judgement on anyone; when I tell myself I am not enough and will never be enough. 

Recognition of my own limitations lightens the "not enough" load.  However, my limitations are not excuses to not take action when necessary, its just about finding the right action within my capacity to do so. Right now, for me its about speaking up even when it is difficult and confrontation. I feel genuinely scared. But I know in my heart that is what I am being asked to do. And at the same time be ready and willing to listen to others who voices need to be heard.

Truth wants to be realized. Truth will always find a way.