The 10 incredible things we get for free
- Diversity & Harmony
- Connection & Friendship
- Self-organisation & Synergy
- Resonance & Synchronicity
- Insight & The spread of great ideas
- Emergence & Paradigm Shifts
- Learning & Growth
- Happiness & Flow
- Healing & Forgiveness
- Relaxation & Enlightenment
Not a bad list is it?
Don't you find it comforting to know that without our interference things have a way of working out just fine... that life is basically set up to help us succeed no matter what? And all of these phenomena seem to work whether we believe in them or not. Philip Dick defined reality as 'that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away'. All 10 appear to pass that test too.
But notice one thing... none of these can ever be planned or organised. In fact, the more we try to do so, the more they slip through our figures. For sure, there's stuff we can do to induce the 'right conditions' but at the end of the day they come for free and seem to happen best we just get out of the way.
So on the face of it, it would seem as though some of the best things in life are down to chance or in 'the lap of the Gods'... or at least beyond our capacity to bring into fruition. But I've not found that to be the case, and there is indeed an alternative. Here's the long and short of it:
The alternative to planning and organising is to be open to receive. Not in a passive 'do nothing' type of way, but as an active surrender to our inner knowing... and moment to moment engagement with our experience of life as it unfolds before us. And that's a choice... a simple decision we can make.
What makes this simple choice seem much more complicated and difficult is only our resistance to making this choice, our unwillingness to let go of our controlling grip on our life.
Let's try an experiment. Pick up a coin. Imagine that it represents the object which you are grasping. Hold it tightly, clutched in your fist and extend your arm, with the palm of your hand facing the ground. Now if you let go or relax your grip, you will lose what you are clinging onto. That's why you hold on.
But there's another possibility. You can let go and yet keep hold of it. With your arm still outstretched, turn your hand over so that it faces the sky. Release your hand and the coin still rests on your open palm. You let go. And the coin is still yours, even with all this space around it.
So there is a way in which we can accept impermanence and still relish life, at one and the same time, without grasping.
-- Sogyal Rinpoche
As we consider how hard it would be to let go of all the things we do in our attempt to control our circumstances (and so cling to our beliefs in limitation), it appears an almost impossible task to let it all go and be fully present and awake in this moment. But it's not at all. These thoughts are just old beliefs and thought patterns playing good defense. As Rinpoche suggests, it can be as simple as turning our hand to face the sky. Letting go of what no longer serves us seems like a mammoth task, but turning towards what we do want is easy. Whatever we feed with our attention can only grow stronger, and to the exclusion of everything else.
Any of us can choose at any moment to return our attention back to this light of awareness (this that's looking at the screen in front of us now, to find meaning in these words), and trust everything to that. Our thoughts and beliefs are like clouds in the sky -- transitory, fragile and at the mercy of the wind. But that's not who we are, we are the sky itself... and we don't need to first get rid of any clouds to know that. We can just turn our attention to the sky, and let the sky handle the rest.
Would you not rather greet the summer sun than fix your gaze upon a disappearing snowflake, and shiver in remembrance of the winter's cold?... ACIM
And when we do, it repays our trust a million fold. If we need a thought, that's what we get. If we want clarity, that's it's gift. If we need rest and a tranquil open mind, then there it is. If there are plans to be made, we are given those too. But also, when we hand over control of our life to this - our true Self, anticipation has no meaning for us any longer. Whatever is needed is just there for us in abundance, as and when it's needed. We think that without our conscious control our lives would be chaos. Not so, in truth they would reflect only Love and harmony. But there's no need to take anyone's word for this, we can just try it out and see.
We don't have to let the thinking of the world obscure the simplicity of this decision. What could be easier than turning towards Inspiration and following that? Think you don't know where Inspiration is anymore? Then wonderful, that's the best of news!... because in truth we never did. It's Inspiration that knows it's way to us.. and a little open invitation is all it ever asks.
.. terms like these can get loaded with dogma, so go ahead and substitute your own term here - life-force, Beingness... whatever suits you.
If you think about it, what we give our attention to is our one and only real freedom. And the only real alternative choice we have is to give our attention back to our Self - to this unchanging awareness that we can always step back into, and from where we can clearly observe our beliefs, feelings and thoughts and whatever it is that they are perceiving.
From this perspective we start to see everything fresh and new, as it really is, without the filters of our past perceptions and the abstractions of our habitual thinking mind. We no longer see isolated parts but become aware the connectedness and perfection of everything. But when we lose that awareness we seem to be faced with millions of other choices. But really just this one initial choice, because we are then hostage to a mind that runs on auto pilot and tells us what to think and do. This isn't choice, it's bondage.
- Inspired by You
- The wisdom to know nothing
- Let go and let Love'.... why did no-one tell me it's so simple?