My husband has suggested that you might like to watch me do what I do in more raw form.
These are my notes to myself, thinking things through on the questions that feel most illuminated for me.
I invite your participation. I’m feeling for a way to develop this into a conversation – a forum. I would love to explore these questions with you.
Monday, May 13 – Day after Mother’s Day
I have been working (too hard) at breaking through what feels like a piece of psycho-spiritual scar tissue (a veil of some kind) in my listening/seeing.
I receive all kinds of guidance – all the time. We all do. Some of the guidance I follow easily. Some of it I resist. The guidance I resist most fiercely is guidance about the body – and body practices. For example, I am told to drink more water and to consume less (or no) caffeine. I am told to meditate daily and to go to yoga or practice on my own each day. I am told to visit my father in the nursing home every other day. I am told to finish my education and to get my finances in order.All of this guidance is about micro-choices – daily moment-to-moment choices in real time which, if made, would completely change my life.
It’s clear guidance – I don’t doubt that it’s real. Why do I resist it?
Lately, as I’ve observed my own process – being guided to do something and pushing against the guidance – I’ve realized that it’s both a habit and a yielding to this other presence. There is a kind of shadow guidance – another voice or force that is also guiding me. I don’t hear it as clearly as the angelic or divine voices I hear. But it’s there, a kind of downward pulling inertia. It whispers that there’s no point, that there’s nothing I can do, that my life is hurtling out of control down a slippery slope to oblivion. The voice adds, and so is everyone else’s.
I don’t believe in this voice – yet it wins, almost every time. Let’s call this ‘the voice of inertia.’ I see it in my clients. Seeing it in them, I saw it more clearly in me.
As I’ve begun to isolate this voice, I’ve been studying it. I untangle it from my own thoughts (it’s sticky, like spiderweb) and I look at it. What are you? I’m so curious about it. I’m engaging with it. What do you want? (Because I can sense that it isn’t just ‘fear’ – it’s more than fear. Fear is a mask it wears to fool me. It’s more that IT is afraid of progress, of movement, of light. So it spins this spiderweb of illusions.
As always, when I turn toward a question: books and experiences begin to arrive to answer it. Right now, I am reading: Donald Miller’s thoughtful (and truly lovely) A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, the chronicle of his own deliberate shift from living “a boring and meaningless life where nothing happens” to living a life of engagement, purpose and meaning. I recognize myself on every page. (I think that many of you will, too.)
Miller discovers that each of us is living a story and that an interesting story has certain features – and so does a meaningless story. In both stories, there is a call. In an interesting story, the main character, the hero, hears and responds to the call. In a meaningless story, s/he hears the call but is too afraid to respond.
For the past six years, in all of my work, I’ve been teaching that we live in a ‘call and response’ universe. This is an example of that. All day long we are called and the way that we choose to respond determines the kind of story we are living in.
Two passages in Miller’s book held particular resonance with this discussion.
Citing Steven Pressfield’s, The War of Art. Miller defines resistance as, “a kind of feeling that comes against you when you point toward a distant horizon.” This, he says, “is a sure sign that you are supposed to do the thing in the first place. The harder the resistance, the more important the task must be.”
He continues, “There is a force in the world that doesn’t want us to live good stories. It doesn’t want us to face our issues, to face our fear and bring something beautiful into the world. I guess what I am saying is, I believe God wants us to create beautiful stories, and whatever it is that isn’t God wants us to create meaningless stories, teaching the people around us that life just isn’t worth living.”
“Here’s the truth about telling stories with your life,” he writes. “It’s going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it, and then when it comes time to do the work, you’re not going to want to do it. It’s like that with writing books, and it’s like that with life. People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make that happen. But joy costs pain.”
“A general rule in creating stories is that characters don’t want to change. They must be forced to change,” and to accomplish that, he discovers, there must be an inciting incident. Something has to blow up – literally or symbolically – to force a character out of complacency and inertia.
Miller calls this, ‘the inciting incident,’ and he explains, an inciting incident puts the character into a situation where, once it’s occurred, he can no longer go back to doing things the same way. For example, in Star Wars, when Luke Skywalker’s family home is destroyed, he literally can’t go home. He MUST venture forth and find his own way now.
The inciting incident forces the character to move. It throws the character into the story.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day and as I spent all day throwing up and contemplating the inside of my head, I realized: this is an inciting incident.
A few years ago when I was having 48-hour migraines two or three times each month, I was also learning. It didn’t happen all at once. It took more than a year for me to calm down during a headache and begin to get curious about it – to feel into what was actually happening. The first time this happened, though, I was enrolled. I realized that while I was experiencing this pain, all of my other senses were acutely heightened – vision, smell, hearing, taste. Yet, these senses were harder for me to get to – as if I had to call them to me from inside of a bright room of pain in which I was enclosed.
The pain was inside of me – but I was also inside of the pain.
As I began to engage with this strange experience, the pain receded. That surprised me – and it was such a relief that I reached into it. I was curious, engaged and over time, I emerged from a headache with clearer intuitive abilities.
I began to sense that somehow, the migraines were training me. As if the pain was a teacher, or a curriculum – one that I instinctively understood (when the fear and resistance quieted).
My curiosity and engagement with the pain changed the pain into a kind of conversation I was having with the body and resistance.
Today, I believe that this training could have taken place without the pain. The pain, I sense, is a function of my own resistance to the increase in ‘heat’ or volume of energy flowing to me.
But I’m still studying this. As I wrote above: I am in a conversation with resistance. I am asking it: what do you want?
If I look at the headache as an inciting incident, what familiar home (what complacency) does it call me out of?
Though my headaches have been gone for several years, this was the second one in less than a month. (I had one the day that I returned, a few weeks ago, from the West Coast. And yesterday, on Mother’s Day.)
In both cases, the headaches arrived the day after I drank a substance which guidance has shown me is no longer good for me. The West Coast headache was triggered by two ounces of coffee. The Mother’s Day headache by 6 oz of white wine at a friend’s birthday party.
Once again, this ultra-sensitivity arrives with increases in my ability to see and sense in all ways – so it’s congruent, a boundary, a clarity. I get it.
As I teach my students, when we are actively calling for more energy (or more clarity or more money or more creative flow) it arrives. For many people, when it arrives, there is this experience of being overwhelmed – or pressured.
This is, so far, what I am seeing in myself. So, we are very sensitive to energy – and we are asking for more energy – and being sloppy about managing the container of the receptacle (our own body).
Yesterday, after I got over the outrage of having another headache, the headache reminded me about the bright room. And I went inside. And there, inside of my headache, I met, for the first time, several distinct guides. I was able to identify and converse with them quite clearly.
The first was a flow that was solid – like a rod of energy (or a magnet) – located to the left of my head, connecting with my body just behind the left ear. This rod, which I instinctively understood to be ‘true’ felt to me like the voice of the divine itself. I played with it, asking it questions and each time, as I spoke the last word of the question ,the answer was already there. It taught me how ‘truth’ feels on many levels. It demonstrated the teaching: Ask and it is given. The answer to every question was instantly available behind my left ear. (I did not ‘hear’ it – I knew it.)
In the bright room, I found two other ‘voices’ – and by voices I mean, distinguishable shifts in frequency. I thought that the first one was AA Michael, but when I asked, a second thread responded to that name – one that was more refined, lighter and more high frequency. Now I know what he feels like. I will recognize this vibration, I thought.
The other one? I don’t remember what it was. I ask to receive guidance on that.
Yesterday, I allowed myself to see that t I don’t receive guidance the way that I thought I would. It works very differently. I see/sense these threads of light – these patterns of energy. I thought I would hear voices, see forms. But I don’t. I see a kind of weaving.
Yesterday, I saw that I’ve been studying this for some time now – and that, as a teacher, it’s important that I see things this way first – and that the rest will come. As a teacher, I encounter students who perceive in all ways; so I have to have a kind of home frequency – an understanding that all ‘seeing/sensing’ is vibrational; and that all is one stream which different people read with different senses (seeing/hearing/feeling/sensing/knowing).
We attempt to explain these differences with systems like Meyers-Briggs (enneagram) but to me, those things just separate/label us; it becomes something we can wear, like a tatoo or a piece of jewelry to say, “Oh, I am an ENFP or INFJ” which means nothing really – not unless we understand what it is trying to identify in us: the way that we read/receive and see/know vibrational information.
I could go on and on but I will leave it here. Let me know what you think about all of this. I’d love to hear from you.