Saturday, 8 September 2007

The power of connection

Yesterday was a strange day for me. I went to sleep quite restless. I don't remember my dreams which is nothing new. I often wonder that if I could remember my dreams, whether they would give me answers as to why my mind is so turbulent. What is that is being sorted out? I woke up this morning and did not want to get up. I didn't want to face the world. I just wanted to stay in bed for the entire day. Last night I was called from Landmark and I gave them the news that I would not be able to honour my assisting agreement because I was going to have an operation on my foot. There is always a price to be paid for not honouring one's integrity. I paid for my own lack of integrity by feeling bad and the price for Landmark is that there is one less person on the team. I knew that this date for the surgery was coming up and so I should never have committed to a ten week seminar or a three month assisting programme. For one who preaches the importance and power of integrity this is a major breakdown in my own integrity.

I was inclined to stop my assisting agreement but I was asked to continue for today and next Saturday. I agreed and then was asked to come in earlier. This was a challenge for me because I do a group cycling class on a Saturday morning which I love. Is it the remnants of Catholic guilt or is it wanting to make some effort to restore my integrity that I found myself agreeing to come up to the centre at an earlier time. It was this promise that got me out of my bed this morning when I really did not want to.

I find this with me, that it doesn't matter what kind of storms are going on my head that if I have committed to something I will be there. Even if I am only going through the motions I will be there. Also when I push through the resistance that is in my head and go out to wherever it is I am going everything flows to ensure that I arrive there. It is like the storm in my head is not reflected in things out there in the world going wrong. In fact the opposite seems to be the case in that everything works and I arrive wherever it is I am going unstressed and chilled. I think not wanting to get up this morning stemmed from having to break my integrity by not completing an agreement that I had committed to.

I think that breaking integrity has more damaging effects than we realise. It impacts in all kinds of ways. This is because without integrity nothing works. If I don't have a Word, then I don't have anything. I am not who I think I am, who I think I am is just a collection of thoughts, feelings, consciousness. Who I really am is my Word. To keep one's word is to be in alignment with the Soul. I was suffering because I was out of alignment with my Soul due to not honouring my integrity.

I set off for the centre aware that it would be public transport that would get me there today and not my car which was still at the repair centre. One bus and two trains later I arrived at the centre in plenty of time. The trains I needed to catch were both pulling into the station when I arrived and I took a moment out to say a silent thanks. I find that these little acts of gratitude are so important. Acknowlegement draws more of the same. I have found that when I take the time out to acknowledge and be grateful for little things that bigger things come my way. I went into the centre and over to the desk which would be my home for the next three hours. I had been left a sheet with telephone numbers to call people to invite them to seminars.

I called the first number on the list and the person on the other end of the line was only too happy to chat and tell me how life had transformed as a result of taking on being straight with people and as I listened I became inspired. Instantly all of the heaviness I had dragged with me to the centre evaporated. The more I listened and became involved in what she was creating as being possible for her and her life the more alive I felt. The more I forgot myself in being present with her the happier I became. What this showed me is that the most powerful thing one can do when life with oneself is not easy is to go out to others. Be and communicate with others and forget about the storms that rage within the ego personality.

This going out to others is important because there is no separation between me and others, it only appears this way because of our limited perception. The truth is that there is only one Soul which appears divided but which has never divided. Therefore when we make time to truly listen and be with another, we are making time to be with ourselves and this is powerful. I know it is the only thing that could have lifted me this morning. If I hadn't had this agreement to honour the chances are that I would not have had the energy to get out of bed. Having a purpose on this path is so important. Without Purpose the inner turmoil can threaten to overwhelm.

I read some more of the diaries and letters of Etty Hillesum and I was once again struck by the similarities. I realise that she is a better writer than me because she is not afraid to let herself go. I tend to hold back and then go back and edit everything I write. This has the result of producing writing which does not flow as well as it could. The reason for this is that I am afraid to let go and just write because I don't know and I fear the depths that are there waiting to be discovered. Yet I know that unless I do this that the blog will make for sterile reading and I do not want it to be like this. Everything is so clear in my head and yet when I commit to paper it feels quite clumsy I have a closeness to spiritual literature when I am reading it but when I go to write about some of the insights I have had as a result it all sounds so clumsy.

Perhaps when I am eight weeks off work the writing will flow more easily because I will be focused and committed in a way I am not at present. I want to be but I am afraid of where it will take me. I'm beginning to be apprehensive of the connection I can create because of the darkness which seems to inevitably follow. I ask myself is the high worth the lows. I have to say yes they are. The challenge for me is to accept the lows without wanting it to change. This is the spiritual path to move gracefully between the highs and the lows fully accepting of that space in between, the space of 'what is'. The nature of the human being is to want to cling to things that are pleasant and want them to continue. Also to want to move away from things that are unpleasant to avoid them happening again. But to engage with life fully one has to move freely between the banks of pleasure and pain. Not to be attached to one and avoid the other.

It is only because we have hard and painful times that we can appreciate when the good times come. I think that the hard times are only hard because we don't know how long they are going to last. It's like I don't know how long the turbulence in my mind is going to last before it gives way to that peace that passes all understanding. If I could put a time line on it then it would be easier to bear and result in less resistance. The resistance is a result of not knowing.