Before the New Year, I entered into an investigation of what would happen if I committed to my meditation practice. Like, really committed; not the half-assed 20 or 30-minute segments I’d pandered to in previous months, which was basically me going over my grocery list or events of the near / distant past and patting myself on the back for sitting still while sipping coffee under a Mexican blanket.
Not that there’s really anything to accomplish in a meditation practice. But commitment, I’m learning, requires a specific kind of attention and willingness to enter new lands and come out changed, with no guarantees and a fascination with the unknown.
So when I discovered a desire to truly commit to the practice of being with myself in meditation — thus moving and acting in the world from my deep Center — I thought I might find something interesting buried beneath the layers of Mind and Ego that I had begun to sense were actually running me.
Perhaps a little back story is in order.
A few months back, I dated a guy for a second. It’s funny, isn’t it, how the mind will come up with the reasons you’re in something before it’s even had a chance to reveal its face to you? Such was the case with Dude I Dated, and in the weeks following the pseudo-relationship, I did a lot of searching and sorting through the questions he brought into my orbit, and couldn’t quite place what in the fuck the point had been to the whole thing.
Some time after we stopped the dating charade, he posted a video that led me down a rabbit hole in discovering the work of Kyle Cease: hilarious human, conscious savant, and utterly accessible awareness revolutionary. Over the weeks that followed, Kyle became a part of my inner dialogue, joining the ranks of Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and my personal spirit animal, Elizabeth Gilbert. I recognized in Kyle someone who could slice through the layers of illusion we’re all living in, and deliver illumination in an accessible way, while keepin’ it real in a t-shirt and snazzy black blazer.
I developed a bit of a crush on him one weekend in my PJs watching a video series of his, and promptly wrote to him to tell him how incredible he was, plus the bit about having a crush on him. It was a brave move considering the unwashed state of my hair and the empty popcorn bowl next to my bed — signs I was in need of a good dusting off and a reality check.
Still, I told everyone about Kyle and his work, and after digging into his 100 Day Self Connection Experiment, found my conviction to commit to my meditation practice in a whole new way. I even managed to release my infatuation with Kyle Cease (which was hard, believe me) after watching a video of his entitled, “If you want something, you aren’t ready for it.” Because: yeah. I realized my infatuation was symbolic of a whole slew of other attachments which owned me, and before which I bowed, convinced I needed them to be happy.
I tell you all this because I’m a human. I want to be human with you here in this bloggy space I’ve created, because if I’m not, I’m not doing my job in being vulnerable with you and letting you know that sometimes humans develop actual crushes on semi-celebrities, and then watch their inboxes to see if those celebrities will reciprocate and fall in love with you the way you think they probably would if they knew you were in the world.
You guys: I AM ADMITTING THIS TO YOU.
I am spilling the pages of my internal Dear Diary because I want you to know I know what it’s like to reach so far outside of yourself for happiness, that you forget you are the vessel for the happiness you are seeking. But if you are vibrating at a frequency that is so hungry for what is outside yourself, all that will show up is proof you don’t know you’re already enough — and I had had enough of learning that lesson the hard way.
So instead, I focused on aligning myself with what wanted me. I got still and silent, surrendering into the constant free fall of the unknown. I watched almost everything fall away from me: all false security, all want, all aching and needing…. until suddenly, what arose was gratitude, and a desire to give away that which I had been seeking out for so long.
With clarity unlike anything the mind could decipher, I found myself seeing how tangled I’d always been — even in my clearest moments — in the stories of my past. I found tensions in my body that had been trying hard to protect me for years, and watched with a loving gaze as they danced slowly away, day by day, until I found myself in bed on New Year’s Eve with nothing but surrender, moments before the year became new again, realizing a core truth about fear that had held me down by the hair my whole life:
It is not a set of circumstances we’re afraid of.
What we’re afraid of is our painful reaction to a set of circumstances that are out of our control.
When you are no longer controlled by habitually fearful responses to the circumstances and experiences that are bound to come and go, fear is no longer in control. Instead, there is peace. There is trust, and there is the timelessness of a Soul that carries on, unphased by any terrifying thing that might befall us.
The next day, Kyle Cease sent me a message. He’d never gotten my email, but it turned out that what I’d seen in him, he’d also seen in me.
And if that ain’t some universal cosmic law-of-attraction shit, I don’t know what is.
These experiences have taught me a lot about hunger, and not just because I’m 4 days into my first-ever juice fast and dear holy fuck do I want a burrito. What I’ve recognized is that hunger as we know it has its claws in us — but not the other way around. Longing can be a gateway into an open heart that can receive more beauty than the mind can conceive of, but not because of what we’ll get when we open our hearts. The prize is the open heart, the empty belly, the vessel that is us — surrendered open to the universe, delighted with ourselves, and humming with the pleasure of the music we can make when we are finally ready to be sung.