I started doing the 365 day workbook and reading the passages in A Course inMiracles on January 1, 2012. As much as I wanted to be a "good girl" and "do it right" by finishing the process in a year, it looks as though I'll complete it in about 16 months or so. (So much for being "good"- woohoo!) What I'm learning is this practice is causing a deep, slow shift in who I find myself being. It's so deep that I've put it down for days or even weeks at a time to take a break and digest what I've learned thus far, then picked it back up to sally forth in this journey. It's thick material, but ultimately the message boils down to four basic insights so simply and eloquently summarized by my friend Pride:
God is love.
I am Spirit.
We are all one.
In this process, I am experiencing a deeply fundamental re-alignment of my thinking, beliefs, words, attitudes and actions toward the world, myself and others. I can hardly describe it… and when I try to do so, mostly I smile or I just end up being quiet, not knowing how or where to begin to express it. My meditations have gotten deeper and richer. I find myself being more and more content being alone, not needing the company of others as much as I used to. And, although I still have dreams of a life partnership, I don't feel that particular hungry ghost clamoring as much as it used to (you know... the old “sending out 'I'm available' signals to the first viable male within 20 feet” gig?). In other words, I feel more patient, compassionate and comfortable with myself.
My thinking rarely goes to what is "unworkable" anymore (as if all those days spent complaining, judging and beating myself up are becoming a distant dream). Except when it does. In those moments when I bump up against old patterns of behavior, thinking and speaking, bruising myself and others on the remnants of old, disempowering beliefs and attitudes that no longer serve, it can be so deeply devastating. It's as if I have just run into and gotten wholly tangled in a network of barbed wire in my heart. I feel ripped open, torn to shreds by the desperate clinging of my ego to who I thought I was. This giving up is usually beautiful and peaceful, but it can be painful, too.
It is an interesting process this letting go, this shedding of the old and allowing of the new to blossom forth. At least to me it is. I sometimes find myself wondering what I will be like if I fully embody the changes that seem to be forthcoming. Will I stop talking as much as I do? Sadly, haven't noticed much change there. Will I stop wearing pants and wear only white, flowing dresses? Not yet. Will I become a full-fledged hippie? That might be fun.
Will this journey find me settling down on this sacred land, living a somewhat monastic life in the woods with my house and garden, conversing with the spirits and fairies? Hmmm... that could be interesting. Will I be one of those old women who welcomes visitors from time to time but doesn't go "out and about" much at all? That's appealing. Or will it look like flinging myself far and wide, leading workshops, giving talks and sharing hugs with as many people as wish to listen and embrace? Not sure... sounds fun and overwhelming all at once.
Mostly I fantasize about being quiet… writing, reading and cooking simple meals, working in the garden, spending time with my family and close friends. Or simply sitting or standing in front of people and looking into their eyes, breathing deeply together and recognizing one another as the Oneness of Love. I know that sounds "airy fairy," but there is an undeniably deep, deep calling inside of me to slow down, be quiet and give it all up. What to do?
The answer is, I don't know.
And that's about all I really do know. I don't know a damned thing, other than what has already come to pass and how I feel and what I think and experience in this moment. It seems that the more steps I take on this journey, the more I experience myself risking becoming an inaccessible hermit. I bump up against a sadness and nostalgia that maybe, in this process (one could call it "awakening" or "waking up," I suppose), I will become that which I've judged as a "been there, done that" person who can no longer relate to the people she encounters or in front of whom she is speaking.
That is something I resist deeply… being inaccessible.
I wonder, though, in that resistance, am I also holding at bay the deeper wisdom and knowing that lives inside of every one of us and, possibly, the very core of my being, which is Love? Is the very thing I'm resisting that which will, in actuality, bring me closer, more intimately in connection with, all beings in a way that I will never know unless I take that leap of letting go of who I think I've been for who I truly am?
Again the answer is, I don't know.
Perhaps that is what all of this is about – coming to a deeper knowing that I know nothing, other than that God is love, I am Spirit, we are all one and the world is an illusion. If my friend Pride is right, then the only thing to do is continue leaping and being Love as much as I can every day.