Making Room…


letgo-500x546Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. It makes sense, right? But when caught in the grip of tearing thoughts and intense emotions, the pull to react in habitual ways is incredibly strong. What if… just what if… we dared to try something different? What if we tried doing nothing at all?

And I don’t mean nothing in the usual sense.

This is absolutely the time to shake ourselves up a bit, create a new habit or ditch a less loving one. But whatever we do it needs to start with us, and the inner work.

It’s really tempting to start re-arranging the furniture of our outer lives, expressing our dissatisfaction with everyone and everything, when what we really need to do is find the courage to be still.

Really still. Truly still. Not lying-on-the-couch-with-a-glass-of-red-while-your-mind’s-going-a-million-miles-an-hour-kind of still.

But the mind, as we know, is hard to control. Trying to make it stop is a losing battle. So we don’t, we just let it be. But we learn to step aside from the chatter. Find a vantage point, a perspective, from which we can watch our thoughts & feelings bubble up and dissolve, bubble up and dissolve.

When thoughts are fast and furious with the extra intensity of an emotional charge, this is easier said than done. It feels a lot like stepping into a fire and just sitting there.

The desire to do something – call someone, send that email, shout, throw, slap, wallow, book a flight, buy that dress, or get validation for our arguments is just so strong and so persistent. We let it go but it comes right back again. And again. And again.

We might revisit this feeling for days, more likely weeks or months, even years. All we can do is just hold the space, be the space. Let it all come and go, come and go, until it doesn’t. Or when it does it has nowhere to stick, nowhere to take root, sapped of the strength that our attention once gave it.

Our identity, our personality is nothing but a bundle of these likes & dislikes, or vasanas – habits or tendencies based on the beliefs and definitions (including pre-cognitive) that we’ve formed about the world as a little child, or earlier.

When they are violated, we hurt. Like getting salt on a wound we learn to avoid and protect.

And so letting them go can feel a lot like dying, because in a way that’s exactly what we’re doing. The limited self that feeds off these beliefs will do EVERYTHING in its power to hang on, literally for dear life. Ego does not want us to be free!

But somewhere deep inside we can all sense more is possible. Love feels natural. Fear hurts. Our habits keep us safe but they also keep us small.

And so we learn to let go. One thought. One breath. One day at a time.

And this is true tapas – not an appetizer in a Spanish restaurant, but the zeal of our enthusiasm for freedom.

Sometimes of course we get completely swamped. We forget. It’s all so close to home that we feel the need to fight. We resist. And this too is part of the play. The intensity of the suffering we feel seems directly proportionate to the amount of energy that we’re willing to expend to finally find our way out of that suffering. To find the Path of Love, and then walk it as bravely and humbly as we can.

So when next you feel that niggle and you’re certain that you’re right, quite sure that things should be different than they are, and that someone or something else is to blame, then please pause for a moment, and consider your options.

It pretty much comes down to these 3:

1.  Obsess until the cow’s come home.
2.  Resolve the tension with an outward fix.
3.  Lovingly witness, without buying into the story.

#1 & #2 keep us firmly on the hamster wheel. #3 shows us how to step off.

How do you want to live?

Let me tell you I’ve been working really hard with all this. And peeling onions always makes me cry. But then I put them in a pan with slow, steady heat (tapas!), and lashings of lovely golden butter (the lubrication of my faith and patience!), and before too long they get soft and sweet (like me!).

If I dare to give advice this is it:

Don’t bother with the dialogue. Don’t bother trying to solve anything or justify your position.

Try something new. Surrender.

Align yourself instead with the energy and vibration of Love, the energy and vibration of forgiveness. Chant, pray, dance, sing, do puja, yoga, walk or meditate. Whatever works. Just do it!

Make the space in your heart for wisdom to grow, compassion to flower, and Love to bear fruit. Slowly, lovingly prepare the soil, and leave the rest up to God.

Very little grows on jagged rock,The-gardening-blog
Be ground, be crumbled
So wildflowers will come up where you are.
You’ve been stoney for too many years
Try something different
Surrender.         ~ Rumi

Om Namo Narayani