About an hour ago, I got this text from a frient (friend + client):
HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD??
A hilarious question to ask me, from a woman who’s about as got-my-shit-together as they come, but I nonetheless pondered it seriously as I brought my nose up from its place buried in astrological texts. I gazed down at my bum arm (skateboarding accident resulting in a trip to the ER) and thought on my own personal maelstrom, which has been nothing short of one emotional tsunami after another. It’s actually become comical, which means I think I’m finally along for the ride.
It seems to be the case that almost no one is escaping the shifting, earth-shaking energies of the Cosmos. Everything is transforming from the inside out, as is the way of anything that will sustain lasting change. This is natural law.
The resounding Truth I keep meeting in all this is that Transformation can be (and kind of should be) deeply uncomfortable. Absolutely nothing morphs from one thing into another without undergoing a kind of agonizing metamorphosis. Nature and the Cosmos teach us that ruthlessness, death, explosion, implosion, revelation, and cataclysmic devastation bring change, hard-won though it may be.
And there is much suffering as the old ways are held onto with the fearful fingers that have also held the belief of Not Enough. Mercifully, the thing that transforms Suffering into its bountiful sister, Grief, is Awareness. Where Suffering endures (and we know this endurance of suffering well, don’t we?), Grief allows time to do its work; Grief evolves, it’s skin smoothing after a wound, allowing the purple hint of scar her place. Suffering is just bleeding.
We have so many stories about loss, some of which hang closely to our experience of loving, as the two seem to be part of one another. And it’s true, because even when love sustains, it changes. There is always loss where there is Transformation, and Love is nothing if it is not transformative.
We cannot forget this truth if we are to take our place in the lives that are waiting for us. Again and again, as many of us know so intimately, transformation requires opening the hands that hold, not only to release, but to receive.
And so the question occurred to me, as my own transformations lay their sacred hands on me, again and again, not “What will be lost?” but a question much deeper, much sweeter. It is not person, place or belonging we lose; these things can be replaced, or remind us by their absence that they were not truly needed.
But what of the records that play, scratched and dented though they may be, in the empty rooms of our internal being. I ask this question to my clients:
How are my beliefs
creating my life?
All things around us are manifestations of patterns repeating themselves, minute by minute, year after year, generation upon generation, with slight variation. This is natural law. Until the attention is moved from loss to receiving: that which is nourishing, like spring-water, rising from the Earth, where it naturally rises, without force or manipulation. And, as we find, beliefs are cages we can’t see if we don’t dip our awareness deep into the nectar of where we create what we live: deep within the unconscious, in dreams, in the body that knows well before the mind does.
This is not just theoretical. Bruce Lipton wrote an entire book on how belief physically alters our being. We see this no more clearly than in relationship with other people, and in romantic relationship, where the lines between Self and Other become distorted, and then snap back into focus with startling clarity, as our beliefs about ourselves and our partners guide most of how we relate — or don’t.
I invite my clients to inquire into their beliefs. I do this most consistently when I can see that Suffering is present: the bleeding of a wound that will not let itself be healed. A constant battle over being heard/met between partners is pretty common. This is no small thing, but the questions get broken down something like this:
What is the core belief at work?
And then it gets juicy:
Is this feeling familiar?
What does it remind you of?
(Hint: go further back in time than you think you need to.)
What was the belief then? What feeling tone does it share with your current belief?
(Hint: it is not about him or her or them or that. The belief is about yourself.) And then:
Is it true?
How can you know for absolutely sure?
And since you can’t:
What belief are you imposing on yourself — about yourself?
B R E A T H E.
We are chasing each other, hungry, asking to be proved wrong, or right, or some combination thereof. But the proof is in the breath, in the eyes of he or she that loves you, in the fear in his or her own beliefs, in the mad world that brought you together, one question mark to another, hanging in punctuated space, ready to be answered.