Dare boldly

Inspiring acts of grace in everyday living


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Day 1. The Ultimate Un-guide to Hope. Surrender all fear.

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Last Friday I made a commitment to myself to explore the question, “What is the more I seek?

For the past five days, I have meditated on the word, “surrender”, the first one on the list I felt were all inclusive of my seeker’s journey. (surrender, hope, faith, mystery, loss, God, and the power of love)

When I began, I had no predetermined idea of the right or wrong way for me to take this journey. Others have shared their thoughts and ideas, their opinions and suggestions. I am grateful for their words and contributions. You have each cast light upon my path. Each helped me see more deeply into the unknown of this exploration.

It is, first and foremost, a journey into the unknown.

When I began, there was lots I knew, but to delve deeper beneath my known’s, I had to trust I was safe following my intuition, allowing myself to be vulnerable without fearing judgement, criticism or change.

It has been fascinating to be the observer and the explorer. To watch not just where I step, but how I step. To let go of stepping and to hold onto nothing.

I did give myself a timeline. Five days per word, each day a map of my journey leading me deeper over the edge of reason into the unknown.

What is the more I seek?

It is not a thing. It is not an object or objects.

It is a feeling, a sense of knowing, wonderment, awe. A way of being. Present. Alive. Open.

It is the journey itself, not the answer I seek.

It is the art of holding on to nothing to have everything.

It is the gift of being open to all the Universe has to offer and receiving it gifts without fearing its many gifts and offerings.

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Today, I begin again with hope.

I read the definition and I laugh out loud.

Hope means to trust.

Trust?

Seriously. The Universe has a sense a humour and it loves to play its games with me.

Trust is my deep issue.

Trust is what I must always breathe into.

I hope.

I hope I can.

I hope I can do it. Know it. Be it. Have it. See it. Hear it. Feel it.

I hope I don’t get in my own way.

I hope I don’t forget to laugh. Cry. Leap. Jump. Dance and spin about.

I hope I remember to breathe into trusting the Universe and letting go fear.

I hope I remember to surrender… my fear of trusting.

Nameste.


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Day 5: Surrender — the ultimate un-guide. All is what it is.

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I am sitting in some sort of bleacher amidst a crowd of people. Someone, I think it’s my Grade 2 teacher, tells everyone to split into sides.

But first, we have to go clean up the staff room. There was a party and it’s a mess. Empty trays of cake. Beer bottles. Paper plates and cutlery all over. It’s the beer bottles that get me. We don’t allow alcohol on the premises. Why would there be beer bottles everywhere?

And then, as can only happen in a dream, I’m back at the bleachers sitting on the furthest left hand side of the group on the right. They’re the introverts. I want to be with them.

“But you like people,” someone says to me.

I do! I love people.

I love my alone time too. Being with people too much makes me grouchy, I tell them. I need to find time for me.

Again, as only can happen in a dream, one person is singled out. We are invited to decorate them with reams of ribbons and cloth the organizer gives us.

We begin. She looks rather pretty, I think, but one of our team keeps telling me I can’t put the ribbons around her head. But they look good there, I protest, but to no avail.

Stop it, they say.

The woman we’re wrapping in ribbon keeps moving to the edge of the ledge we’re standing on. She turns to face us. With her back to the void behind her, she steps away from us and closer to the edge.

Stop it, I call out. Stop it. Get away from the edge.

She laughs and steps closer and closer.

I can’t watch. I turn away from where she stands at the edge and close my eyes.

And I awaken.

Surrender. 

The delicate balance of holding on/letting go and trusting in the all that is as what it is.

Surrender.  The liminal space between the known and unknown. Seen and invisible. Heard and silent. Felt and perceived.

Lean out far enough from what I know and I encounter all I do not know, all that is unknown yet perceived, felt, wished for, dreamed of.

I do not fear the unknown. I fear stepping off the edge. I fear that moment of letting go, releasing where I am and trusting gravity, the universe, myself to hold me safe.

Like flying, it is not being in the air I fear. It is that moment of lifting off, of trusting the shiny silver bullet of metal encasing me to hold me safe as we let go of the earth and take off.

I do not fear the unknown. I fear gravity will let me down.

I breathe.

There is nothing to fear. There is nothing to turn away from.

There is only this moment, right now, where I am safe, exactly the way I am, when I let go of my belief, I am at risk of falling.

There is only this moment, right now, where I am complete, exactly the way I am, when I let go of my belief, I am not whole.

There is only this moment, right now, where I am love, loved and loving, exactly the way I am, when I let go of my belief, I am not worthy.

Surrender.

There is nothing to fear when I let go and surrender to the beauty, majesty and mystery of who I am in a world of wonder and awe.

There is nothing to fear when I surrender my resistance to trusting the Universe to turn up for me. The Universe cannot turn away. It cannot not turn up. It is and in its being it cannot be anything other than what it is. I can choose to see it as a fearful, distrustful and dark place, or I can choose to journey with my eyes and arms and heart wide open to embrace this world of beauty, majesty and mystery shimmering all around me.

Surrender.

All is possible when I leap fearlessly into my resistance of letting go and give in to Love.

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Day 4: the ultimate un-guide to surrender. Resistance is futile.

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I yelled at C.C. last night. He had gone to pick up his son from the airport and I had gone to bed. My neck was hurting. Bad.

Later, when he climbed into bed beside me I was moaning and groaning about the pain. Every movement was agony. The slightest touch painful.

“Do you want ice?” he asked.

“I don’t know!” I yelled and started to cry. It hurt so much.

He got me ice.

Smart man.

Not only did he hear my unspoken need to have him take care of me, he got me the one thing that actually did work on relieving the pain.

This morning, I went in search of Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life. I couldn’t find it in the bookcase so I searched online for “What does Louise Hay say it mean when your neck hurts?”

Google, as always, delivered.

sargam-neck-pain
Source:  Sargam Mishra: Inner Alchemy

How divinely sublime.

As I struggle and search for understanding of what I don’t know about surrender, the universe (aka google) delivers up “Change is the only Constant”.

Seriously?

No wonder my neck hurts. I just got walloped with understanding.

Resistance is futile. Acceptance necessary.

As I read the article by Sargam Misra, pranic healer, I felt knowing invade my being.

Sargam writes:  Neck – refusing to see other sides of the question, stubbornness, inflexibility.

What? Me stubborn?

Then again, what is the question?

Good question.

As I sank into the meditation she shares at the end of her post, the question came floating in as softly and easily as a cloud drifting across a summer’s day. “Are you willing to let go?”

Let go? I wondered. Of what?

It all.

What all?

Your resistance.

But I’m not in resistance. I just don’t understand.

What if there’s nothing to understand?

How can there not be? There’s so much to know. And if I don’t know it all, everyone will think I’m stupid.

How will you know when you know it all?

That one stumped me. I am reminded of a piece of feedback, Thelma Box, founder of Choices Seminars gave me once in a process we were doing on the JoHari Window. “I experience you as a woman who will never find an answer good enough for her.” That one stumped me too.

Problem is (which is just another way to say ‘the gift I received in her feedback’), she was dead on.

Sometimes, no matter the question, I think there’s got to be a better, deeper, more complete, all-knowing answer and keep searching for a better one and better one and better one.

Like this morning. After reading Sargam Mishra’s article on Neck Pain and its spiritual causes, I listened to the meditation she shared at the bottom of her post and in the mantra’s melodic affirmation found my neck pain easing, the stiffness relaxing.

Does it matter if I know what I am resisting as much as letting go of my resistance?

Does it matter if I can’t label all the responsibilities I tell myself I’m carrying that are causing my neck to spasm as much as I let go of my belief I am carrying a truckload of responsibilities that I tell myself are weighing me down?

Does it matter if I can’t name the fear beneath my sense of carrying the world on my shoulders as much as I let go of my belief I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders?

Release. Let go. Surrender.

My mind wants to tell me it’s too woo hoo wacky to write about this stuff, to even suggest I think it might have helped

My heart and soul know. Believe it or not, my body responds to loving care. My spirit responds to intention.

My intention this morning was to dive beneath the physical manifestation of pain in my neck to sink into what I didn’t know about the pain in my neck.

I know the pain is real. Perhaps its cause is not quite so real. Perhaps its source is a belief I’m holding onto that does not serve me well.

In Sargam’s mantra I find relief. And that’s all I need to know. To trust. To allow.

“I release, I relax and let go. I am safe in life.”

Universal Mantra for Healing : Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hum 


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Surrender — the ultimate un-guide. Part 3. Mindgames and others fields of folly

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My ego sees the world in black and white.

It craves concreteness. Labels. Meaning.

It feels strongest firmly planted in right versus wrong. Yes versus no. It holds absoluteness close and clings to what it knows fearing what it doesn’t know will hurt me and thus it, or at least damage the status quo it exalts in.

My ego thinks it is all I am.

Surrendering my ego leaves me breathless. It leaves me feeling exposed. Vulnerable. At risk.

Or so my mind tells me.

You cannot let go of me it says. I am all you are. All you want. All you need to be safe navigating this big, scary, unpredictable and chaotic world.

My mind likes to scare me. It likes to use words that make me believe I know everything I need to know to get through this life unscathed, or at least with minimal damage to my ego self. And everything else is irrelevant so why search for soulful meaning when ego is all I need?

But what does my mind know? It knows only the past and bases its response to today on its evaluation and assessment of my history. It filters its assessments through risk/reward ratios that are measured by how safe, or unsafe, it felt in every past experience and its measurement of the likelihood of ‘that’, whatever that is, happening again.

My mind cannot tell the future, even though it likes to tell me it can. All it can do is make up stories about the future based on what it experienced in my past.

Which, when I stop and think about it, is kind of funny. The past only exists in my mind. So where does the future live?

My mind is a trickster.

It does not want to surrender. It does not want to even give up a toehold to the possibility of ‘different’. It’s much more comfortable holding onto ‘the same’. In believing what was then, is what is now. That way, it doesn’t have to change its mind about anything.

My mind doesn’t like changing itself. It only wants to hold on. To control. To what it knows and tells itself (thus me) is true. It likes to create the illusion of safety through its capacity to rationalize, label and measure my life in terms of what it dictates is right, wrong, true, false, possible, impossible, fact, fiction and all kinds of jazzy stuff it feeds me to make me feel what it knows, or so it thinks, is the best for me to do, think, feel, be, become, have, go… without upsetting the applecart that is!

My mind thinks it knows it all.

It likes clarity and calls it insight so I will believe I really am in control of me, myself and I and how I am in this world. It also kind of enjoys the contradictions of my being too. It wants me to keep searching for the answers to ‘Who am I?’ because in my quest for answers, it doesn’t have to give up anything of itself. It only has to keep me searching.

Pretty sweet gig.

Keep me guessing and I’ll keep searching forever which keeps the mindgames going and going and going…

I surrender.

At least, until my next thought about what it means to surrender, or not…

Yup. Definitely some sweet mindgames keeping me running in circles in fields of folly.

When my ego thinks I just might surrender and quit playing its game, it can get downright dirty!

And so, I begin again.

I surrender.

 

 

 


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Surrender — The Ultimate Un-guide. Release. Let go. Breathe.

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I want to defend. To be loud and clear so that everyone knows, I know that. I know what surrender means. And then I want to show you with my words how smart I am to know that.

I release. I let go. I breathe.

I want to explain. To give you all I know about surrender, how I learnt it, what it means to me.

I release. I let go. I breathe.

I observe.

Oh, look at me. Defending. Getting all defensive when I think people think I don’t know. Getting all engaged when I hear things I know I know.

Breathe.

Surrender is all I know and all I don’t know.

What do I know?

To surrender means not to defend. Not to stand up against. Not to stand up for.

It means to simply be present. To allow. To accept. To stand still within the liminal ground between forces. Bordering ideas. Thoughts. Feelings. Energy…

It’s not just about the battle for, or the battle against. It is about being effortless in the space between.

It’s not about indifference. It’s about accepting there is a difference. A different way. A different path. A knowing.

And the difference is okay. And to live the difference I must let go of living in what I know.

But how can I live beyond what I know if I don’t know what I don’t know?

Now that’s a koan of epic proportions.

And then, I find this waiting for me in my Inbox.

Be still. Stop struggling.
Enter the holy shrine of your heart, and there find peace and joy.
You have always been perfect and you will always be perfect.
There’s absolutely nothing you have to delete or add.~ Robert Adams ~
There is nothing to struggle against. Nothing to fight for. Nothing to surrender. Or hold onto.
There is only this place where I am still. Where I stop struggling. Where I enter the holy shrine of my heart.
I release. I let go. I surrender.
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I wrote a new poem yesterday.  I followed a link from Lorrie Bowden’s beautiful post, We All Return and was inspired by the words of Michael at Embracing Forever. He writes in his poem Who’s Counting Anyway 

Try this:
pretend we’re turtles,
and all of existence our shell.
Every time… every place…
Realize it is all
a most intimate form
of protection.

And I tried it and found myself surrendering to the intimacy of our shared existence. “It is for Forever that we were built,” writes Michael on his ABOUT page. In allowing his words to sink in, the words for We are born forever flowed freely.

Namaste.


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Day 1: the ultimate un-guide to Surrender

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Yesterday I made a commitment to myself to explore the question, “What is the more I seek?

To begin my quest, I wrote a list of words (surrender, hope, faith, mystery, loss, God, and the power of love) which I felt were all inclusive of my seeker’s journey and declared that I would dive deeper into clarity by exploring each word without expectation of an outcome.

Staying unattached to my need for an outcome is a challenge for me. I like to know what’s going on. I like to be in control, or at least give myself the illusion of being in control.

Realization 1:  The journey begins with surrendering my need for an outcome.

“Surrender”. It is a big word for me. A tough one.

I let go of my labelling of the word and begin.

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I enter meditation with a question. “What does it mean to surrender?”

My goal is to allow myself to fall effortlessly into the silence and allow answers to find their way to the surface.

It isn’t working. I find myself fighting, resisting, defending against the word.

I want to push it away. I want to cry out, “No! No! No! Look at those synonyms! You do not want to succumb, to yield, to give in. Don’t do it.”

My mind, ever-willing co-conspirator in over-thinking, resists the quiet space and leaps eagerly into the fray of my thoughts run amuck in my resistance to stillness.

It begins with criticism.

Why didn’t you start this quest on a Monday? Really? Who begins a spiritual journey on a Friday?

I ignore it.

It is unrelenting.

Surrendering is not good. Surrendering is a sign of weakness.

Weakness?

How can that be?

Is it true? Am I weak when I surrender?

A thought swoops in like a hawk diving for a mouse. “What are you surrendering to?”

Is it ‘to’ something or is it all about the act of surrendering with no outcome in sight, I wonder.

I breathe. I scurry after the last thought, searching in its entrails for the stillness of mind that comes when I surrender my thoughts to the nothingness of being present.

Resistance rises up. Again. 

Seriously? Can he not just stay quiet just this once?

I notice how I like to separate my thinking from my desire to be still.

My resistance to my resistance crumbles. I give up and submit to its call.

There’s something here, it says. There’s a piece of information that is important for you to see. Don’t stop thinking. Let the thoughts roll in.

I do not want a cloudy mind.

I want the stillness of reflection.

I find neither in my resistance to letting go of having to know the answer.

Surrender.

How can I surrender when my mind wants desperately to be in control?

Good question.

Live it.

Breathe into it.

Be it.

Surrender your desire to know and be present to your breath moving in and out.

Let go of your resistance. Stop defending against that which you fear and be present, right now. Allow yourself to…

Surrender.

I think I’d rather run away.

Is that another form of surrendering?

Or is that just a way of avoiding?

Good question.

And I begin again.

Live it.

Breathe into it.

Be it.

 


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What is the more I seek?

I found a question seeking me this morning. It came to me as I sat in the quiet of meditation, allowing the stillness to embrace me.

I hadn’t entered my meditation with a question. I had entered with the desire only to seek the quiet, the stillness, the sense of being in the oneness of the moment.

And in that moment, a question I had not seen in the morning light awoke within me.

Writing here every morning has a purpose. It is my place to ground, to find my center, to reach out to others and share the beauty and joy and complexities and contradictions I experience in the world around me and to illuminate the path of being light within the world.

After having taken breaks from this place, I know this place strengthens and enlightens my daily journey.

Yet, something has been unaligned, off-kilter. I could feel it shimmering at the edges of my consciousness, even if I could not see its details.

Yesterday, I spoke with a friend who, after hearing of my year of writing C.C. a love poem a day, decided two months ago to commit to writing her husband a love poem a day for a year.

“It has changed everything,” she told me yesterday. “He’s not a very sentimental kind of guy but he loves my poems and I love writing them for him.”

We chatted more about the power of ritual, the power of committing to doing something for someone simply for the joy of doing, of opening each day with a poem of love, and how, in the simple act of writing of love, love deepens.

And the question began its journey from the edges of my consciousness to the center of my being present.

It is the question I did not know I was seeking yet appeared as I settled into the silence this morning. “What is the more I seek?”

The beauty of the question is, the answer is not clear. It doesn’t need to be. The journey is in its exploration.

What is the more I seek?

My life is full. Rich. Complete.

The more I seek is not out there in the world. It is not more stuff, more power, more fame, more acclaim.

The more is within me.

To be explored. To be divined. To be experienced.

To begin.

To begin, I must allow myself to sink into the question. To delve into the unknown I cannot know until I release all I do know, or tell myself I know, about surrender, hope, faith, mystery, loss, God, and the power of love.

I must surrender my knowing to allow space for the unknown to arise.

I must give up my answers to give rise to the questions.

And so I begin.

Again.

I begin to allow the question to become my north star guiding me home to that place within where the more I seek is all I become in the journey.

I don’t know the answer.

I don’t know what the journey will look like, or what will transpire. I do know that as I set off into my day today, I carry with me the question, “What is the more I seek?”

to create in the world.

to make better for others.

to deepen love.

to connect hearts.

to open minds.

to allow love in and out with every breath.

What is the more I seek?

For the next few weeks I shall be exploring surrender, hope, faith, mystery, loss, God, and the power of love.

What it means to surrender, to have hope, to know faith, to enter into mystery, to experience loss, to feel God’s breath, the breathe into the divine, to dance with spirit, and to fully embrace the power of love.

I am excited about the journey. I shall be using visual and written art forms in my exploration and sharing my discoveries here.

I’m curious to see what arises. I’m curious to see what I discover the more I seek the unknown.