In the last few weeks I have engaged in a life experiment involving all of the above factors! As many of you know I have been on a work journey- both with my teaching and my songwriting , to move both forward in a concrete, professional and pleasing manner.
I am blessed with many, many things in my life but clear directions for work and professional signposts of what to do next when one does not fit any “boxes” are not in my blessed categories . So this is the first of the elements in my experiment: walls or barriers to development.
In short, I have kept coming across nothing but walls! It has felt a bit like a maze which ends in another useless cul de sac. I have started each new angle of inquiry with enthusiasm and sometimes a certain naivety – gaily believing that effort, thoroughness and bags of determination are enough to win through.
I have discovered that life ain’t like that…… Now, I am not saying this with any bitterness….just blunt honesty. You see, the life I have led has meant that I have largely been unaware of “External Criteria”, boxes that need to be ticked, protocols and all sorts of baffling red tape. As my childhood was a little bit like Rapunzel living in her tower and my early adult life was raising children in a cottage in a field, you could say that I have somewhat skipped large aspects of twenty first and even twentieth century living.
So, what to do with these walls….at first I went at them like a determined Yorkshire terrier…..I grew up in Yorkshire, and there is something to be said for the Yorkshire terriers gutsy determination. But , these walls are just there, so, a different approach has had to gently be acquired.
If effort and application do not win through, then a different perspective needs to be learnt. Barriers to desired outcomes are felt only as barriers because of attachment to the outcome. So the problem here is the attachment…..I can see why Buddha called attachment “honey on a razors edge”. The pain of not having or succeeding is the razors edge. The pain comes about from looking to the external world for gratification.
So…..I needed to loosen the knot of attachment to my desired outcomes in my Yorkshire terrier mind……
So, back to the breath and back to basics……funnily enough just breathing creates space, and space loosens the knots a little to allow a birds eye view perspective.
So, why do I teach, songwrite/sing? At the fundamental core it is because I wish to bring something positive and meaningful and growing to people and these are my modalities, and I wish to earn money through these endeavours. This first wish , in essence has nothing to do with outcomes or ticking boxes and furthering myself- it is an act of giving from my being to others.
If I bring it back to just that and let go of all- and I mean all the other stuff I have built around it then it becomes uncomplicated again and the walls and hoops I have been trying to push through or jump through take on a different perspective. They are just there and I am just here and I have to trust that somehow ways will open up……simply because I put it out there as a positive intention.
So this brings me to “flow”. “Flow” is where I want to be with all this: so I have started to sit back and engage with what flows to me, what arises to try in my eco system. I am trying or researching but no longer fiercely battling. Breathing and waiting to see what the tide or the next breath of life will flow in for me. In, out, let go and receive. A pattern of holding, receiving and releasing. Perhaps that is how we are quietly meant to live- the rest is maybe just self imposed illusion.
Now flow is something I feel when I songwrite, sing or teach so it is easy for me to sometimes enter this state. Children flow when they play, we all flow when we do something we love…..it is a state of engagement, ease ,where we can engage our unique skills and qualities in a positive and often inventive way. Flow is a great state to be in. I just needed to allow that state to become a reality with the part of my journey that I thought needed effort and logic and common sense and worldliness! ( Effort I certainly have but not really the others! Or, maybe I am being a bit unkind to myself).
So, now I am experimenting with flow. Someone I know called it following the Chi. I think this is a great description because it is following life force…..putting energy to where there is a natural blossoming or even where their may be a suggestion of this- but, following it without attachment. Following instead with gentle inquiry.
Following the humming thread of life’s potential as gently as we track the flight of the geese in the northern sky….
If one takes this gentle approach there is not so much grasping or meaning or solidity put on outcomes…which brings me to “Bubbles”!
What manifests may be a result of our efforts, but it equally might not. Things arise, abide and disappear again whether we place meaning or importance on them or not. Things just are and then they are not. Just like a bubble- it exists- insubstantially and delightfully and then it is gone. It would be foolish to grasp a bubble- to expect it to take the shape and form of what we would will it to be.
But, that is what I was doing….I was willing reality to take the shape and form of my wishes and hard work.
Better to see it as a series of bubbles….how they manifest – in what shape, size etc is an unknown. Living on the edge of forming reality can then take on a path of wonder and exploration. Then, there would be no walls or barriers because it is just flow, life’s creative flow and being part of it’s stream……