noun Hinduism, Buddhism.
- essential quality or character, as of the cosmos, or one’s own nature.
The experience of “self”-identification with something (outside of ourselves) begins for us from the moment we are born; a unique life’s journey pin-pointed towards the ideals and ideas regarding possibility…
For not only ourselves, but for every living, breathing, beating, being.
Have you ever asked yourself:
“What do I want to ‘be’?”
“What do I want to ‘do’?”
Slowly, over time, the labels we create for ourselves, the “stuff” we attach to, becomes so very deeply ingrained, intertwined, and absorbed into “reality” that we identify with the fancy labels as “who we are”.
Who are we, really?
Are the outdated labels we misidentify with the root cause of feeling distant from our truth?
Is disconnection, at the very root, causing our suffering?
Is staying in an unfulfilling career or relationship (or another externally-imposed label) preventing us from experiencing the soul-enriching growth, and deepening wisdom that only surfaces when we completely surrender to every externalized expectation and simply just be with every passing present moment?
Hold space. Smile. Cry. Laugh. Dance. Forgive. Trust. Believe. An opening up, an unfurling of the wings.
This transformational experience is very powerful.
For those of us with a solid foundation of meditation, of Yoga practice, of an unshakable faith; to remain very grounded within our unique sense-of-self, we still may be left reeling when this opportunity to “level-up” arrives.
It will be a complete shock to our system. The single most important re-patterning, the moment we have been waiting for. The permission to finally start being who it is we have been put on Earth to be.
We experience our awakening as this extraordinarily beautiful, jarringly-fragile moment of existence. We are invited to stretch ourselves out into the infinite web of time and resurface as pure consciousness, imbued with peace, gratitude, abundance, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, and understanding for ALL. Not just for ourselves.
What does this any of this mean, anyway? How does it feel to “awaken”?
When we begin doing the work to remove and extract (lovingly) all of our old blocks and behaviors (the ones that come wrapped around the labels we misidentified with). We can either remain tucked away, safely nestled inside the imaginary box we create to protect ourselves, or we can rise above the discomfort to elicit change. More than just cutting our hair or changing our clothes or “showing up” (gosh am I sick of that phrase), we are being invited to LET GO, to completely release any ego-bound idea of what our lives behold and to just simply create space for others to feel love, for others to feel what we want for ourselves. This is leading a life of service, of pure intention, of unwavering faith, of everything coming back around, of a circle inside of a square, of the Vitruvian Man, of YOGA, of GAIA.
Separation from something we hold very dear is one of the hardest lessons from which to learn…
TRANSFORMATION will show up. Inevitably.
There are two ways to view this. Shrink away. Play small. Give up.
RISE ABOVE. TRUST. STAY THE COURSE.
Lao Tzu said remarkably that the only person who views the end of the World upon transformation is the caterpillar.
Why wait to fly with our own wings?
It is only through navigating the most uncomfortable situations in our lives with an unfallable grace, a trust in something bigger going on, that this moment can be seen as the catalyst; the chain-reaction that set the pivotal events of our lives into motion. When we look back in 20, 30, 50 years, we will be able to sigh; contentedly exclaiming within our hearts that we acted with just righteousness, with a sense of the most aligned inner-compass, we remained available, tuned to Love, tuned to the peace, tuned to trust, tuned to our beliefs that we are orchestrating the divine timing of our lives, and that everything has a purpose. Everyone matters.
Especially for those of us on the spiritual path, a reawakening is a true turning-point moment.
We either run through it, coming out stronger, or we shy away: staying “safe inside the box”.
Our worth as a human being is not determined by an externality.
So why reach for something outside of ourselves to give us the feeling of love and acceptance we so crave?
The most blissful and contented moments in our lives involve little else beyond divine connection with the other living, breathing, beings we are sharing this lifetime experience with. We are all in this together.
To look into someone else’s eyes and sense who they really are, to see them as a reflection of who WE are.
This is the meaning of being alive.
We are all connected and interatcting as the same, the macrocosm within the microcosm; the Universe into a single Atom.
Looking into another soul’s eyes, coming down to the “same level”;
we are hard-wired to optimally function with compassion, love, understanding, and self-acceptance.
Self-acceptance helps us navigate back towards our due north when we have been led astray- caught in the mind games, running up and down the ladders, “trapped” in samsara.
We need not ever fear leaving something not meant for us behind, especially not in favor of going after that which was ours all along. The most inspiring places we ever realize are inside of us the entire time.
Through our own beliefs; that we exist for a reason, that we were made unique on-purpose, we suddenly realize:
It is truly courageous to refuse the externalized labels, to dictate who we are and how we choose to share ourselves in this life RIGHT NOW.
There is nothing preventing us from shedding the tired habits and identities that are misaligned with Truth.
There can be no shame felt, whatsoever, in the act of building something new out of the pieces that didn’t fit together before.
As the Phoenix, we “Rise from the ashes.”
The higher purpose for all of the sometimes-elusive, always dharma-encouraging life situations we find ourselves in is this: In order for us to understand where we might be going, we may look back and attempt to formulate (with our minds) how and why and “what the heck happened?” and ruminate on the “ifs” and the “what-ifs” until it all starts melting together into something that at once forces us to be brought back to present-time. As we realize how this wheel-spinning “spending time” World-view is, frankly, mulled-over nonsense.
We are not living in a magical place of past-times.
We have only this one brief moment in time to exist as we are.
For the time being, we are here.
So it is.
We may tune our eyes and our frequency to our heart, and only our heart, for when all hope feels lost, we simply breathe into it again; another moment away, this is where we realize that the life experience is doable. Slowly and steadily, self-assuredly, we allow our hearts to grow bigger and bigger, encapsulating all that we are, until suddenly everything in our lives approaches us effortlessly.
When we step out of our own way…
We approach, in return, everything “outside” of ourselves from a place of love, kindness, compassion, and understanding.
This is how we find our Dharma.