What we are looking for is a way of experiencing the world in which we are living, that will open to us the transcendence that informs it, and at the same time, informs ourselves within it. Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
The needs of life.
When we are infants, they are as basic as they get, right? We need to eat and sleep, end of list. And fortunately, it stays that way for a while. Our worlds are small. We have our toys and the everyday objects we make into toys (a new refrigerator equals a huge cardboard box that is now a fort in the living room! A pan with a wooden spoon is a drum!) and we are content, rolling around on the carpet of the family room floor.
We also lived life from our heart center, even if we weren’t aware of it at the time. We led with our emotions. We laughed and screamed and squealed for joy when we were having fun. When my husband, Joe, and I were newlyweds, the backyard of our first home abutted a preschool playground, so we were reminded of this daily. One little girl’s shrieks of delight at being chased were so signature, we knew she had moved on to kindergarten when we no longer heard it the following fall.
We cried when we were sad or scared. We had no edit button, we held nothing in.
But then something happened.
We began to venture out into the world. We started to see the beauty and openness and variety of what was outside of us.
We also saw the girl down the street with a bike with streamers coming out of the handle bars.
We met the boy who was allowed to have the larger, more dangerous fireworks, with which to blow up the neighbor’s mailbox when they wouldn’t let you swim in their pool (Another story – I’ll save that one for later).
The voice in our mind, which was quiet up to that point, began to talk, getting louder and more vocal as we got older. It is now the voice of commentary that starts from the minute we wake up until the minute we fall asleep at night. It is the constant broadcasting in our minds, interpreting the play-by-play of our day. Crazily enough, by the time we are adults, we don’t even realize it’s there anymore. It has become such a part of us, we mistakenly think it is us. And the connection we had with our heart, the center of our soul, our soul itself, has been drowned out.
We forget who we were when we were three years old. The simplicity of living in the moment, the lack of thought outside of what is happening right now, all in on this tree-fort-I am-building with joy and flow in my backyard. That is pure, divine, source/sacred/God-created energy right there.
We disconnect from the spirit, the source that made all life, the soul inside that we have always been. And at some point, a feeling of something missing in the midst of a full life, may arise.
And then we try to fill in the disconnect, the gap.
We forget that we are sacred beings, that we are all connected, made of the same stuff as God and each other.
But as soon as our egos start to develop and we desire to be seen a certain way, we disconnect and begin to fill in.
Oh my gosh, I was so good at filling in this space between the disconnect, the gap.
Because I was completely unaware of the disconnect with my soul – other than an uneasy feeling like I was supposed to be at a party when my invitation had gotten lost in the mail – I did a bang-up job of filling it in with stuff. And by stuff, I don’t just mean material things.
Stuff can be different for everyone, but some examples that fill in the gap:
Worry, judgment, beliefs, attachment, information overload.
My gap was brimming to the top full.
And it really is so ironic that we do this, because not only does it not bring us back to the thing we think will make us content, it actually makes it further out of reach.
See illustration below (nice artwork, right?)
Even though Option A can have some moments of fun, I often found it was like eating fast food at 2am – felt really good going down, but a general mixture of not-what-I-needed and regret afterwards.
Option B then. It took me a long time to find it and I am still figuring it out. Even when I found it, I fought it. I had a lot of thoughts initially like, “Who has got time to meditate? I can’t even sit still for 5 minutes, and besides, I have to go to work now so I can pay my bills.” File this under “Other Lies Your Ego Will Tell You to Keep it Intact.”
I accepted parts of it, like gratitude, which I had actually been living my whole life subconsciously. But gradually, one by one, I could not turn away from it. And when I attempted to, life took over and pushed me (literally) in the direction I was meant to go (more on that later as well). The universe will lead you to where you are supposed to go if you let it.
It is all there to bring you back home to yourself.
As we talk more about our journey back to ourselves and reconnecting to who we truly are, can you think of a time when you truly felt like you were in the moment? With a feeling of clarity and connection?
I am grateful you are here with me. Let’s do this journey together.
Cheers to moving forward ~