Don’t read this because I should not have written it.
I have broken the first rule of Blog Club! The first rule of blogging is: Brand yourself, and no matter what, stay within that brand! If you write outside your usual lines it confuses the reader (that’s you 😉
Here’s the thing though…I believe in stretching my limits; moving through discomfort to reach new places and see new possibilities.
Plus, even more importantly – I believe in you – the person I am connecting with in this moment. You can handle it – all of it – all of me! Our multi dimensional sides make life more interesting – more real. True beauty comes from a person’s whole truth, not just the pretty polished parts.
Things I have to say may not be popular opinion – Life and truth are not always easy or popular – I am okay with it.
The bottom line is this: whether it fits into my ‘perfect blogging persona’ or not, it’s who I am – so I am throwing it out there!
It is in this spirit I stand before you once again, naked in my thoughts… in hopes together we can dig deep – take more risks in speaking up – flash the world a bit of inner truth and be willing to shout it from mountain tops!
This is your final warning: everything you just read was easy! The ‘talk’ part is simple, things get real from this point forward… the ‘walk’ is where all really begins…. you may want to turn around now… just ‘sayin.
“Don’t call it uncertainty – call it wonder.
Don’t call it insecurity – call it freedom.” – Osho
Osho is this eccentric and brilliant Guru, born in Kuchwada India, December 11th 1931. His spiritual teachings continue to inspire, challenge and expand readers all over the world. I love his books and inspired ways of looking at things but the trouble is….
His stuff is REALLY hard to read!
Not because his writing is full of fancy words; because his books contain ideas that are so challenging to the ways in which we are used to thinking. They can make you super uncomfortable. He has a way of stopping you in your tracks, and forcing you to look at yourself, and life in a new way. It can be a radical shift.
Sometimes that shift is awesome! Other times it hurts like hell. The letting go of old ways of thinking and being; the mental stretch hurts! You want to deny it…even if on some level you recognize it’s truth. The worst part is, once you see it – or in this case ‘read it’ you can’t EVER UNREAD it – there is no going back! Your riding the wave now baby!
The first time I read Osho was over 10 years ago. I had just traveled to New York with a few close friends to take yoga teacher training. This adventure was the first thing in a very, very long time that I had done for myself. Lots was changing in my life at the time – I mean LOTS! A syncretistic storm had hit my life full force that would take me years to fully understand. Eventually I would see how all the piece’s fit together – funny how time does that – Hindsight is 20/20. Life was crazy challenging so, I decided to throw myself into yoga! Why not? Sounds inspiring and relaxing right?
Of course 8 days of transformative hard-core ‘yoga-ing’, clean food (no caffeinated tea – gasp!) would, not doubt, be a challenge. I mean, they told us right up front that we had to bring enough electrolyte powder to last the whole training or they would not even let us in! We knew we would have to do some serious sweating, no surprises there.
Training was in the middle of the Catskill Mountains, about three hours drive outside of New York. This beautiful land owned by the Dalai Lama was exactly what you would expect peaceful to look like… a crystal clear stream running through it, moss covered pine trees everywhere, the smell in the air was amazing! Statues of the buddha sitting in stillness and tranquility. A meditation pavilion tucked away up a “secret” path.
I clearly remember thinking, “Wow, this place is exactly what I need!!” and immediately imagined myself sitting by the stream reading something cool (like Osho) taking some very much needed “self care” time… but sometimes in the middle of a life storm you get what you need, and it’s not exactly what you think you want… at the time. My next 8 days, although incredibly freeing and transformational were NOT relaxing!
To mold us into the Yogi’s (just a different way of saying more flexible versions of ourselves) our teachers knew we could be, they would push us head on into our discomfort to find something new within ourselves beyond what we thought was possible. We would be challenged physically, mentally and emotionally. We would need to break down to rebuild. Ouch! It works, but the initial crash is not fun.
Not once in that 8 days did I sit by that stream. Instead I sat sobbing in the middle of a path on the way to lunch. The simple routine task of walking up the hill in hopes to have enough time to take a little bathroom break and eat before our next two hours of yoga brought me to my knees. Reduced to tears, I sat there in the dirt – messing up my lulu’s, thinking “I can breathe or walk… but I can’t do both!” I was forced to stop everything before I could take one more step to make it up that hill. I needed a serious shift in my heart and mind.
The greatest lesson I learned in the Catskills? (and trust me there were many!) In order to grow we have to push ourselves way past where we have gone before. We have to go through some awful stuff to find a new way. Any radical change requires a new form of thought.
Major events, the ones that bring us to our knees… those moments that force us decide between walking or breathing, are the the breakthroughs; the times that real transformation begins. Our future is decided in these moments. Will we go back to the way we were? Are we willing to push through the hard stuff to grow?
I picked up the book “Courage” by Osho this morning. I was one page in and I had to slow down and read it again….and again. I paused…. and to be 100% honest got a little scared.
Something inside me was urging me to share the words on the page… Osho’s words – it was something bigger than me…
Right or wrong; branding be damned here it is:
“I am not here to give you a dogma – a dogma makes one certain. I am not here to give you a promise for the future – any promise for the future makes one secure. I am here simply to make you alert and aware – that is, to be here and now, with all insecurity life is, with all the uncertainty that life is, with all the danger that life is.
I know you come here seeking some certainty, some creed, some “ism” somewhere to belong to, someone to rely upon. You come here out of your fear. You are searching for a sort of beautiful imprisonment – so you can live without awareness.
I would like to make you more insecure, more uncertain – because that’s how life is, that’s how God is. When there is more insecurity and more danger, the only way to respond is with awareness.”
It’s that last line that REALLY gets me:
“When there is more insecurity and more danger,
the only way to respond is with awareness”
It stops me in my tracks.
It illuminates so many things for me.
Makes me question:
Where are we aware, and where are we just grasping for security to make ourselves feel safe & protected?
Are we awake at all? What is true? Where do we begin? Are we even asking the right questions? Do we get it? And if we do get it what are we willing to do about it? What does this safety and security, our “beautiful imprisonment” cost? What are we willing to pay? Who pays for it? Where does it get us in the end?
The answer to all of these questions is “I don’t know”…. I don’t.
The only thing I know for sure is the truth I learned first hand in yoga teacher training: I had to break some things down to rebuild something better and stronger. It was hard, it was terrifying – and more than a little embarrassing at times. I fell, I cried, I bled, my whole body hurt and I did not know for certain that I could do it at all!
Taking a hard look at the way I had done things in the past; deciding what worked long term and what did not, was an uncomfortable process. Being open to the possibility that the very things that made me feel safe and comforted were also killing me, was an interesting new view to say the least. Maybe I could not see it at the time, but some of that safety and comfort I had wrapped around me, had been doing massive long term damage, causing mountains of pain and “stuckness”. This state of comfort was hindering my greatness. My own limited view of the way things were or should be was holding me back.
Within those transformational 8 days, holding on to any comforts of the past was the enemy. Old ways of thinking and doing would not work. I had to totally let go and find a new, uncertain way to get to where I wanted to be – who I wanted to be. Ultimately it was amazing! The journey well…
To become fully aware. My actions, reactions, or lack of action was 100% my responsibility. It was my balance or imbalance that would shape the outcome.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, says Osho It is, rather, the total presence of fear, with the courage to face it.”
I believe, as a planet we are once again at a crossroads; broken down on the path. It’s not pretty. We have come full circle, and probably not for the first or last time.
We have a choice; as we always have; to wake up – become “aware” in our discomfort – because of it – and reach for something new….or not… we can go back to sleep. Get comfortable. Press the snooze button. Believe everything we are told to make us feel safe. Oh, yes we can! We can point fingers outside ourselves; lay blame and stay warm in our beds all wrapped up in comfort and certainty.
Admitting what we have done in the past has not worked – that we are not always sure what to do next, brings us face to face with our insecurity. Having to think and respond in a completely new way; not knowing where it might take us, strikes fear to our core! This is what the enemies of unity, growth and truth count on!
Swallow the pill, jump on board, everyone is doing it… fear the fear… fear the unknown.
Only by walking head first into something new, one careful step at a time, will we find the footing that brings us to a new place. A better place. The headlights in the fog can only see so far. So much of the journey is done in the dark – trusting you are going to get where you are headed. Break downs happen – and you sit crying for a while on the side of the road… however, if you are willing to step into the unknown; keep going and look for a new way, you will get there.
It’s like yoga – practicing patience with yourself while moving through the the stretch and the fear of falling, but not backing down. Failing, falling and getting hurt is the path that takes you there – eventually you WILL be able to do handstand; and see the world, and it’s ways with a whole new perspective!
It’s in the shaky instability that you are most alive, aware, awake and able to make changes.
Because things are uncertain – you are asking questions; looking for new ways of being and doing. There are no definite truths, and it can be scary.
We do have the ability in every moment – especially the scary ones to stop – Absorb – Analyze – and become aware.
We can respond in a new way – or not.
It’s in this instability that the greatest opportunity lies. When we break open the new growth appears.
What is the sense in closing ourselves in and shutting ourselves down? Separating ourselves for the sake of a certainty that does not exist, and never really did?
We live in a time where we have the ability to be more connected than ever as a planet – to listen – to grow and understand each other’s similarities as well as the recognize the divine beauty of our differences.
We can choose to adapt and respond. We can embark on a new way of being – to learn to embrace the uncertainty, as uncomfortable and scary as it is. We can also choose to disconnect, blame, fear, stop growing, seek revenge, and repeat old patterns, to pad our lives in safety and security… for now…. but to what end?
When we press the snooze button and go back to sleep what happens when we eventually have to get of bed? The choices we make in these times of pain and growth are the ones that shape the world we wake up in tomorrow.
“Commit as many mistakes as possible, remembering only one thing: don’t commit the same mistake again. And you will be growing” -Osho
Where do we go from here? I don’t know.
I do know is it’s worth sitting down, and even possibly, breaking down before deciding which way we want to grow. That being able to do handstands comes along with a huge change in perspective. They are hard and scary but sooo worth it! They allow us see what is possible! Realize we have the power to do more, to be more.
I also believe, one little blog that steps out of the ‘norm” will not scare you away. Out of the ‘norm’ may be what we really need. Something that can inspire a ‘new norm’.
Stepping out of our comfort zone into something revolutionary is what could ultimately heal us and brings us together.
Thank you for riding this wave with me. Namaste.