You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes – Winnie The Pooh
November 8, 2020 – 4 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time
Back at the keyboard after having watched in real-time, Kamala Harris, the US Vice President-elect, deliver her victory speech.
Actually, it feels appropriate to, now, borrow the thoughtful words Ms Harris delivered today as she referred to Joe Biden, the President-elect.
‘A healer. A uniter. A tested and steady hand’, she said.
Deep down, that, too, is who we can all be.
All of that is what is at our core.
All of that is who we are deep below the surface of our ego-persona.
Ms Harris added that our own ‘experience of loss gives [us] a sense of purpose’ – and, yes, so it should.
Then, she said that, we too, have ‘a big heart who loves with abandon’. True, but only when we let it.
Only when we breathe deep and breathe wide.
And I might as well go further and paraphrase Ms Harris’ encouragement to Americans.
‘Dream with ambition,’ she urged.
‘Lead with conviction, and see [ourselves] in a way that others might not see [us], simply because they’ve never seen it before.’
And, yes, of course, ‘we will applaud [ourselves] every step of the way,’ as our commitment to our selves turns division into unity, into opportunities for growth, here, there and everywhere.
Beyond being listed as ‘good people’ in the books of many, now that the votes have been counted, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden seem to have come into their uber purpose.
The faint glow of an emerging rainbow is peaking through dissipating dark clouds.
On and off, many of us scratch our head, wondering what our ‘purpose’ for being alive today on planet Earth could possibly be.
What skills and pathways are authentically ours?
What voice is authentically ours?
What behaviours are the ‘real’ us?
What’s with the self that has been absorbed into our ego-persona?
Whatever inspires us, whatever fires up our creative and purposeful caring, whatever comes naturally to us, are so many hints.
Early in life, we intuited that the best version of ourselves would be ‘us’ as people pleasers.
As every acting coach reminds students, to act credibly, they have to feel it.
So, we shed the perception we have of ourselves in our 3-D reality.
We find our true selves through tenacious resilience.
Where we used to be like the caterpillar in a cocoon-shaped to its contour, we shaped ourselves to fit in.
Now, we choose to emerge from that outer cocoon.
We choose to embark on an emotion-reset, our long-haul expedition into our authenticity.
Now, we develop a new set of skills.
Making money is not a skill, but the ability to convince others to buy our product or step in alongside us might be one.
Making others fall in ‘love’ with us is not a skill.
It’s a trick.
Making them stay in love with us through thick and thin is a skill, but only in-as-much it is reciprocated.
If it’s not, it’s manipulation.
In 1883, the writer and orator Robert Ingersoll said, ‘If you want to find out what a man is to the bottom, give him power.’
Obviously, that line of thought applies to ‘woman’ as well.
It even applies to children of all ages.
Only people who are ‘great’ inside and out know how to manage power, love and prosperity.
They do it with integrity.
They do it respectfully.
Sometimes we allow their responses to life to inspire us.
What, indeed, is a bully, if not one who feels enabled to exert power over one perceived as … power-less.
Based on this understanding, we can question the nature of the ‘power’ we have – or think we have – over others near and far.
It also leads us to question how and why we use that power.
It brings us back to the endemic issue of sexual abuses in their many guises.
It brings us back to the issue of domestic violence in its many guises.
It brings us back to the issue of racism in its many guises.
It brings us back to the issue of conscious or unconscious belittling of those we place in the subcategory of ‘minority’.
But it doesn’t bring enough of us into the complicated conversations we need to have in our homes, in our clan, in our social groups, on our teams and in our workplace.
Back to the business of understanding ourselves better and where we might find our innate power, we go on with our line of self-observation.
What gives us genuine, naturally-induced pleasure?
Why does it?
What keeps us afloat when all feels weird, gloomy and scary?
Why does it?
In what circumstances do we resist participating fully in the flow of our life?
Why do we?
What happens when we participate under duress and resent doing so?
Change is inevitable.
It’s true. We know.
Change is a process. It is an essential aspect of ‘life’ on Earth.
For rocks and trees, flora, fauna and insects, too, change is ongoing.
But they are passive in the flow of change.
Change happens to them.
For us, humans, it’s different.
It should be different.
We know better than to wait for a positive change to occur on its own – and last.
We know it’s unwise to wait for others to execute any change on our behalf, let alone to expect them to change – in them – what we want them to change.
We, humans, have been endowed with different neural pathways from the rest of the creations on planet Earth.
We sense when changes within are needed but, often, we resist them.
We endure them.
When we don’t willingly change our paradigm, it’s true we suffer.
Indeed, ‘what we resist persists’ is a truism.
It’s like head lice. Without proper attention, they can remain in our head for many months.
We resist some engagements mostly because we feel like there is something more worthwhile, more pleasant or more distracting we should be doing.
At times, too, we sense the vacuousness of it all.
As Yudit CS, my mentor, used to remind me, ‘Be aware of what you allow in by being reactive but passive. Instead, you could actively set in motion thoughts, actions and responses that are likely to bring about a welcome change into your human reality.’
Either way, our resistance to engage fully might be a symptom of our insecurity.
We fear the possible revelation of our perceived incompetence.
Of our unworthiness.
And so, we face that fear and do our best to surpass it.
We release the contraction in our stomach.
We actively accept What-Is.
We don’t let go of anything because there is nothing to release.
No particular action is required to release our fear of being rejected.
We just accept it as an aspect of our 3-D persona.
Then we let it be.
As we do, we also breathe gently and slowly to clear our heart space.
To clear our thoughts.
We do that until we understand that our resistance to engage fully activates the sensation of emotional frazzle we call stress.
It’s not just us.
Resistance is a brain-thing.
Resistance prevents us from performing at the top of our game.
Our well-intended brain is trying to get us out of ‘that place’ and on to a place it thinks is better suited to our wellbeing.
What our brain thinks might be the line of least resistance often turns out to be the path of inner constriction and interrupted flow.
Stagnation. Confusion. Depression. Reaction.
No rainbow in sight.
Reality check: like us, our brain is overly busy – in use, most of the time – even when we perform simple actions.
But, as awesome as it is, it doesn’t know everything about us.
What our brain doesn’t know complicates our lives.
It doesn’t know that most of us who live in relatively safe democracies and belong to a majority group don’t live surrounded by real threats.
It doesn’t differentiate between the frazzle induced by our emotion-driven reaction to an unexpected visitor who plans to stay a few days and that which is created by a more serious circumstance such as news of a serious illness.
It doesn’t know either that each complication surpassed enables us to go further – beyond what our mind might prefer to think. And so, it tries its best – and often succeeds – to shift our attention to the line of least resistance – our usual tendencies.
To a sort of default mode.
Left to its own devices, our brain does not do gratitude very well.
It doesn’t feel it easily.
Awe and wonderment are emotions only little children can feel.
Too quickly, even the things and experiences we’ve yearned for – and got, sometimes against all odds – become ordinary again, underappreciated.
And, once again, we find ourselves doing life under a cloud that blanks out our rainbow.
In its self-protective attempts to quickly move us elsewhere, our mind pulls us in several directions simultaneously.
Even when not at work, we multitask.
We multitask in our head.
We half-do. We rush.
In the moment underfoot, we mix it up incoherently. Often, we get away with it, but not always.
At times, incoherent behaviour adds another challenge for us.
‘I’m only human’, we say. ‘Don’t blame me.’
Bottom line: we sense we’re swimming against the flow, against the tide – and we are.
It’s exhausting, that.
So, if we step out of the control room and leave our brain in charge, it becomes our mind – the entity that positions us on the path of dissatisfaction.
Dissatisfaction with ourselves and with others and with the world as we perceive it through our senses.
Serious question: trust is a brain-thing, too, yet, our mind is attached to the mission to protect us from ourselves and from others.
From all that is unfamiliar and from all that it feels could potentially pose a threat to our wellbeing.
But how trustworthy are we, really, when push comes to shove?
More serious questions: we keep asking ourselves serious, messy questions like, how willing are we to engage in a mindful exploration with our dearest friends and partners of all that is most meaningful to us?
Like, our feelings about love, our fears, our memories and our desires?
Like, our yearning for frequent childlike playfulness and excitement?
Are we willing to assess under what conditions are we trustworthy?
With whom are we trustworthy?
How reliable are we, here and now?
What are the limits of our love, of our trust, of our transparency and of our reliability?
Once something or someone irks us, are the grown-ups that we are any more reliable than our children?
Any more transparent than our partner or spouse?
More than a parent, sibling, friend, relative, colleague or teammate?
What, about our demeanour, might make us appear trustworthy to a detached observer?
Doggedly rafting towards the faint rainbow of hope – or the herald of a breakthrough that’s just now appeared over the horizon – those of us who are awake and aware at the tiller insist and persist with the process of intimate scrutiny.
Towards whom does our mindset aim us to trust – or distrust?
On what basis?
What are our mind’s criteria for trust and for distrust?
How do we feel about the pre-selected groupings it has placed on our Trust and Distrust lists?
One thing seems obvious: we cannot often be trusted to be ‘in the moment’ as supportive and caringly efficient as we could be.
However, every moment we will ourselves to be attentive, any moment we offer active, heartfelt, purposeful support where and when it’s needed, we tick the right boxes.
Once we do it often enough, our mind gets the message that we’re happy doing what we’re doing and, if we’re happy, then we’re safe. Then, our mind is happy, too.
That’s what happens when we ‘just do it’, as per the trademark slogan Nike coined back in 1988.
Once the moment has passed, we know we did well. We feel we did.
It’s a good feeling to know we’re in the flow of life.
It’s our reward to feel we’ve done the best we could in ‘that’ moment and that ‘best’ was the best we could do, right there and then.
We are self-aware.
We just are.
It has become a cliché, these days, to say that whatever we connect with today or any day is precisely what we need to connect with.
But it’s true.
Perhaps, it leads us to do a good deed without expecting anything in return.
Perhaps it forces us to overcome a perceived limitation, a challenge.
Any moment can lead us to many outcomes, including tapping into our inner wisdom and appreciating ourselves.
Sure, we can choose how we want to co-create our present and our future which, really, begins in the next moment underfoot.
We can opt-in. We can opt out.
Either way, it’s at our own risk – or at our own reward.
Only the ripples of time will tell.
Time, and the emotions we feel, as we opt-in or as we opt-out, will tell.
Neuroscience has already confirmed what we’ve known deep down to be true.
Happiness, joy and contentment are cultivated within.
And it’s true
No need to overthink it.
We only have to lean in.
And we already know how to do this.
Really, we do.
Howard Thurman, The Black American and civil rights activist, mentor to Martin Luther King Jr., once said, ‘Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, and go do it because what the world needs are people who have come alive.’
Once we understand that ‘being awake’ precedes being ‘aware’, a healthy inquiry into the matters that make us who we are is a necessary par-for-the-course in any goal-setting process leading towards the evolution of our self.
Reality check: put succinctly, our sole purpose or, better said, our Soul’s purpose, for our incarnation in the body our consciousness currently inhabits, is simply to turn up willingly and to stay present.
Equally, we need to remember that Soul (or God, the Unified Field, the Source, the Universe or our Higher Self, as we choose to recognise a higher power) intends to set us for success in our world, not failure.
Soul, our unerring GPS, is also dedicated to tracing the best course to follow in each moment, but her wiring and intentions vary greatly from those of our mind.
Not involved with our fear and shame and self-perception, Soul guides us to the next best outcome within the maze of the karmic blueprint we’ve already co-created, up to today.
Up to ‘this’ moment.
In her bid to focus on the inner, not the outer ‘poor me’, here’s what Soul might whisper to us in our sleep
I know what being overlooked feels like better than anyone, might say our inner self. Our soul.
I’ve spent my entire life being unthanked and uncared for. And you tell me I’m too distant for you to get me. Seriously, dear Ego-Persona whose body I inhabit, I don’t feel truly understood by you.
Here’s the sting: the deeper a root, the longer it’s been left to do its own thing in the garden of our mind, the harder-harder-harder it is to pull out.
We are counter-intuitive, emotion-tenders.
Choosing, planting, watering and fertilising only the sprigs we should grow till they become an integral part of our heart-space is hard labour.
It’s a labour of love. It’s an exercise of trust that all our effort won’t be in vain.
Getting there is extremely intense.
It requires an unwavering commitment to ourselves.
That said, once a meaningful shift is detected, the expedition into unchartered waters we’ve embarked on becomes a lot more satisfying.
And now, dear Reader, Warrior for the greater good, we begin ‘the hard’ but essential work of choosing unity within our selves and unity with those who step into our line of vision.
Here, now, today and every day, we chose unity over division.
We are our own – and our loved ones’ – essential workers within our circle.
©2021 Carole Claude Saint-Clair