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Seeds planted some time ago,
Urgings to live and be born,
A will to breathe, a will to grow,
Reasoning minds abound.
Trees don’t question
Nor do birds disrupt
Flowers arranged in disarray,
A beauty that requires nil.
Heart’s calling is at its peak.
Terrified minds object.
Guided by seeing love from within,
Trusting like never before,
Is it in the doing, or to, just be.
When in the grip of depression, I used to ask myself, “When and where am I going to be happy and enjoy life?” That question can be answered simply by saying, “Here and now.” I did not realise just how much I was caught up in the state of doing and achieving. In this state, there is always something else to do, and this can be exhausting and at times overwhelming. By seeing how I just needed to be fully in the moment, I could enjoy life as it was with all the ugly and beautiful bits that came with it.
We all have strong natural instincts, and the first was the urge to live and be born. To make our way down the birth canal and take our first breath is driven by a powerful will. It is a will that was planted some time ago in the seed of the human spirit.
From the moment the seed has been planted, there is the will to grow and be “more”. We are always evolving, and our reasoning minds abound in an inherited need for more knowledge. I was always amazed at how many questions my children and grandchildren asked in their early years. They would ask, “Why?” on a regular basis. Of course, this is a natural part of growing up, and our parents and our education systems provide us with some of the answers. Then we begin to find out the why for ourselves, and our minds transform into a wealth of questioning information.
We can bombard ourselves with all the knowledge that is at our fingertips with an insatiable thirst for more. I am inspired by the lengths that television producers go to present us with such fine-quality television documentaries. I am fascinated and get spellbound by the information and knowledge that is presented, especially from nature. The film crews use extraordinary measures to capture intimate scenes from the natural world. When I hear conversations about the wonder of evolution and nature, I sense my fascination is experienced by others as well. This fascination can be expressed on a personal level if we appreciate our own potential to evolve to a more loving species.
All the parts of the natural world flow in a state of being and not in a state of reasoning. Trees don’t question what is happening to them, nor do birds disrupt the natural flow of life; they just accept. We all have moments when our lives duplicate this and everything just seems to flow effortlessly. Moments like this can expand even more when you can sense your heart’s calling is at its peak with your strongest desires waiting to be experienced. This experience can manifest by not reasoning or judging but by just flowing.
Whenever I do not flow, I become tense as I try to organise in an overly excessive manner. This can get very draining. My focus then is to just be in the moment and enjoy. I do not get caught up in what I have to do. My energy then changes as enjoyment becomes the gauge to my presence.
One of the components that helps bring about the acceptance of being in the moment is giving. When at the Isha centre, we all performed some form of service, and it was in service that I started to experience what it meant to just be in the moment. Concentrating solely on the task at hand puts you in a natural therapeutic state of presence. The service was voluntary, but as I found out, giving in this way stopped me from worrying about what I had to do next. I was giving in the service of something I was passionate about, and this gave me the pleasant experience of just flowing.
There will be times when our pasts have a deep effect on us, and it is difficult to stop ourselves from projecting into the future, but if we can see where this might cause us to suffer, we can make the choice to enjoy and just be. Situations do expose deep emotions, but I have found that I can embrace these emotions by bringing a deeper form of appreciation into the present. The effect of the past then passes quickly.
In clearing my emotional baggage of my past I was able to move through the hurts and gain a clearer understanding of myself. There are many ways to do this, and some even say it is not necessary to delve into our pasts in order to gain emotional stability. If the intention is to be more present in whatever approach we choose, then the outcome will have a more sustainable quality to it. To have the intention is enough initially; the state of presence will grow from there.
To be in a state of presence constantly is experienced by a few rare individuals. It is an experience I adhere to, and my focus towards being as present as I can has turned into an uplifting experience. As my intention to be present gets stronger, the choice to let go of the thoughts of past and future becomes easier. Anything else but being present is unproductive, and it can keep you caught in the turmoil of blaming and negativity without a clear direction.
There are some parts of our lives that require our fullest attention where our reasoning minds are needed. It is when our minds overshadow those parts that we lose the spontaneity and vibrancy of life. It can be difficult to let go of the urge to do things in a certain way, but the joy of life can get lost in the doing. I was frequently lost in whatever I was doing. My doubts and lack of confidence would undermine my abilities. I was often nervous about making mistakes, and my need for approval contaminated my achievements. This was my mind playing out its protective role of my past, and whatever I was trying to do became a frustrating chore.
When we become frustrated, it might seem as if things are in disarray. This is a time we can look to how the natural world just flows. Flowers are arranged in disarray in their natural state, but they have a presence and a beauty that requires nil. Our natural state, on the other hand, can get lost in all the things we need to do. I believe that when we look at the beauty of a flower, we are looking into our own beauty and our own presence. It is easy to see a flower’s beauty but difficult to see our own. The beauty gets masked by the requirements of conforming to our outside environment.
When my need to do becomes excessive and I get caught up in trying to prove my worth, I put my attention to the internal space of my heart. Our lifestyles have become more and more fast-paced, and it is this internal space that will give us a place to rest. With mental ill-health on the rise and relationships becoming increasingly strained, the heart’s calling is at its peak in the personal and universal need for peace.
It is obvious that history just keeps repeating itself with all the senseless violence that gets played out in the name of a nation’s need to protect. We only need to switch on our televisions to see how this is portrayed around the world. Sadly, this violence and emotional turmoil does not happen only among nations but on a domestic and individual level as well. Individual inner transformation and personal responsibility are where the source of the violence can be eliminated.
Having a harmonious world does not mean that there will be no more suffering. We can begin to create it with a passionate intention to heal and accept life as a celebration of growth. To rely on others, especially our leaders and politicians, to take responsibility and show us a way to a better world is not realising our own value. Our leaders’ egoic requirements to conform to an image that they have unconsciously created are much greater than ours as they struggle to enforce their agendas. To keep an image in place takes up a lot of energy, and life without an image will cause our terrified minds to object to the unknown. We are all the same, even our leaders, and if we are guided by seeing that love from within, we can then spread that love by a consciously driven passion of unity.
Life can get so confusing, and like politicians, we battle with what is best for all. The meaning and purpose of our existence can be tested on a regular basis. If we try to shape our existence in a controlled manner and do not realise the perfection of it, we can miss the enjoyment of life. Flowers have no need to be a certain way, and look at how perfect they are. They just grow and keep evolving, and their evolution is something to be marveled at. The way we have evolved is amazing as well, and we can take the path to follow our hearts and just be in the perfection of every moment.
To see perfection in ourselves is difficult. We are heavily influenced by culture to believe that we are far from perfect. Our patterns develop around what we have experienced, and our intellects create who we are as these patterns slowly get cemented firmly in place. I had to trust in what I was aiming for as I began to do the work to shift my patterns. In trusting like never before my terrified mind objected to the unknown. It was all new to me and meant being fully aware of the patterns that had previously sustained me. Thankfully, I did trust, and it was in trust that I could envelop my old patterns with more loving and gentle new ones.
Changing to a life in which we can just be is a slow process, but with trust as one of the main focuses, this change will happen. There will be times when things are difficult and may not seem perfect, but we can just be ourselves in all our disarray, in all our dramas, in all our pain and anguish, and in all the good parts that people tell us we have but we do not see. The perfection then lies in the being and not so much the doing. The desires and urges that we have to live a full life can shape the change we want in the world. We can learn not only from world history but also from our own past history and experiences and make conscious choices with these as our guide.
The word be is such a simple yet beautiful word. We can be anything we want to be. We can just be ourselves in our perfection. We can grow to be “more” loving and compassionate by being more receptive and open and showing our real selves. We can live our truth by being real with others. We can be more responsible with less blame. We can be happy and just choose to be in the moment with all its ups and downs. We can simply just be.