WINTER 2013 ~ LIVING AS BEINGS
What if the Mayans were predicting, not the end of the world, but an end to the way we live our lives?
I’ve long been awed by the number of people in the last fifty years who’ve been seeking a spiritual path and practice. Surely, this inner migration is amazing. Something has been drawing us beyond the confines of thought toward a new way of being. So when a friend’s New Year’s greeting began, “Happy New Era!” it seemed the Moment to say, “It’s Time.”
If we were to step up to that challenge, to take responsibility for entering the New Era in each moment and in each day, what would that look like? Might it lead toward a new way of being? To a new identity as Being? To speak from Being . . . listen from it . . . live from it? How could we establish ourselves in that new way of life?
What if in each moment, we simply practiced one thing: we came to rest in our own Presence—our own Divinity—and didn’t judge or resist what that moment offered? It would not be easy. But each time we dropped down into our bodies, fully Present to the moment, to ourselves, and to each other—that would be a true letting go. For that moment, the old would pass away. Perhaps, in time, we’d come to realize that we are indeed, Beings—that what had dawned in this New Era is a Living Light—and that Together, we are a Shining. We manifest it, unabashed and unashamed, and pour ourselves out: our lives, our gifts and our passions. Our Light.
Photograph by Anne Hillman
See more in “Taking Root: An Unbroken Intimacy with Life” in the Fall Kosmos Journal
2013 Three Upcoming Retreats:
Toronto area, April 19-21 An Unbroken Intimacy with Life, A Weekend Retreat
Filed under Alignment, Allurement, attention, Awakening, awareness, Balance, Change, compassion, Consciousness, Cosmic Creativity, Creativity, Inner peace, Instinct, Intimacy with Life, Intuition, living with contradictions, Love, Nature of Change, openheartedness, overcoming fear, presence, Surrender, Uncategorized, Whole-bodied attention by Anne Hillman
Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
*See more in “Taking Root: An Unbroken Intimacy with Life” in the Fall Kosmos Journal
|2013 Three Upcoming Retreats:
Toronto area, April 19-21 An Unbroken Intimacy with Life, A Weekend Retreat
Madison WI, 3 or 5-day options: April 23-25 Taking Root ~ A Depth of Intimacy with Life or with additional days, April 25-27, Depth Perception ~ The Sensation of Light
Artist, Marci Graham,“Radiance” from The Cosmological Powers of the Universe Series
There is so much more to a human life, possibilities we are normally unaware of, innate gifts we might bring to the world. To learn what they are, some of us have to be broken: confronted by something that compels us to surrender. Until then, we may have been reasonably satisfied with our lives, content with our own point of view. But when we’ve been humbled by storm or earthquake, illness or shame; by loss or just the ordinary process of aging, grace comes, and with it, opportunity after opportunity to deepen our way of perceiving, so we can ‘hear’ with more of ourselves.
Then, we learn to give the larger life our whole-bodied attention. We ask in the moment, What now? and listen with all our faculties. We dare to follow what allures us. This is the relationship that matters now: to move with the deeper movement ‘of the earth, of spirit, of the unknown’ in an unbroken intimacy with life. In this communion, we live in time and eternity intertwined, one day, one moment at a time.
We live in a Time of great upheaval, challenged on all fronts by conflicts in our world, our political systems, our religions and often those most difficult to see, the conflicts within ourselves. When what we know doesn’t seem to be working, life can seem dark, and we may feel lost and even afraid.
Times of darkness are choice points. They press us as individuals and as a species to choose from one of two ways to proceed: we can either change ourselves, meaning change our constant orientation to our thoughts, or render ourselves extinct.
We have in us, have had bestowed on us, everything we need to respond to the Time in which we’ve been born. We just need to know where and how to look,where to put our attention. There is no room for creativity in minds chock full of old ideas and old views. Perhaps, instead, we might let ourselves be lost and not know. When we’re lost, we can do three simple things: Create a quiet moment, a clearing in the forest of our activities. Sit in the stillness without trying to figure anything out. Turn our attention to the simple movement of our breath and let the thoughts drain away. And in the spaciousness of not knowing, allow the New to unfold.
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. Blaise Pascal
www.annehillman.net Art by Joan Brady
I tend to think that new life emerges from seeds, and forget a far more ancient truth. Today, I find myself celebrating the way it can also arise from the very old–like these tiny seedlings sprouted from the living root of a giant redwood tree. This new life simply claims the giant’s root as its own, surrenders to its impetus, and grows towards the light.
How do we cooperate with life’s gradual shaping of the human mind, its painstaking work of drawing us towards the light of greater awareness? As I see it, the action required is to trust the great root on which we stand, and learn to surrender. Some see surrender as defeat, a capitulation to an outer force, but it is really an inner relaxation, into the root. What does this use of the word ‘root’ mean to you? That matters. For when you know what you rest on and can relax into it, your heart opens to life’s secret, its creative impetus conveyed beneath thought: a feeling, an intuition, an image, or a confirming synchronicity. Subtle clues like these remind us that there is infinitely more to life, a reality we barely notice but that the body knows intimately, a wisdom built into the great root on which we live. When we remain exquisitely attuned to life’s presence in this way, it will often surprise us: nudge us to be more authentic, to improvise, to move in a new direction. Its whispered hints may feel absurd, even impossible. But if you dare to follow them, you will be adding more light to life’s deep need for it at this time.
Photo: ‘Redwood Scion and Sprout’ Anne Hillman
I have been reading your book Awakening the Energies of Love at one of the hardest/richest times of my life. I actually thought I was going crazy, losing my mind (I know this would have it’s upsides), maybe even bi-polar with these wild ups and downs that I have never before experienced. I believe I am slowly experiencing an awakening. I immersed in yoga and meditation this summer and began to experiencing this new sensation- somewhat disturbing! This energy I have been experiencing in my body- voltage- currents- tingling and pulsating in my feet, legs, hands at the third eye center, crown of my head, left frontal cortex- these energy currents my intellect tried to analyze, pathologize. Then- I read pages 240 and 241 and I just began to laugh!!! . . . It is my body- reminding me everyday, with greater and greater intensity that something has changed!! I believe I mistakenly interpreted these sensations as fear, anxiety, panic . . . I also believe that I interpreted this as fear and insecurity out of a self-defeating pattern of “I don’t deserve this kind of joy” messaging. . . Is my story somewhat common? With Gratitude!!! Lori
Dear Lori, . . . I’m happy that you have been helped by reading Awakening the Energies of Love. It sounds like you are listening hard to your body’s messages and interpreting what you ‘hear’ in ways that are useful to you. I wish I could answer your questions, but I’m afraid don’t feel qualified to do so. . . . During the periods I described in the book, I was working with a qualified professional I could trust to guide me.
I think it can be exceedingly helpful to be guided through the process you are describing by a reliable teacher or a PhD level therapist who is fully trained and they can better answer your questions. There are a lot of junk-helpers out there; It’s important to be selective. I don’t know where you live. . . Given your financial circumstances . . . I’d be inclined to recommend that you be in touch with SEN, the Spiritual Emergence Network http://www.spiritualemergence.info/. It is a highly respected organization founded maybe 20-30 years ago specifically for people like you who may be awakening and are wondering about the kind of symptoms you describe (and other symptoms too). Best of all it is free. They are centered at ITP, the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA but have professional affiliates in the field of Transpersonal Psychology all over the world. You can trust this organization and its affiliates. Lori. it is a temptation to Google the subject and try to read about it and buy more books but I urge you to consider not trying to make this a “do it yourself” project. If you’ve reached the admonishments I wrote about on pages 249-250, there are very good reasons for caution as well as for celebration!
With blessing, Lori,
~ Anne ~
WINTER LETTER 2011 ~ THE QUICKENING
Dear Friends, There is something in the air, a quickening, do you feel it? I find myself looking with amazement at the events we’re experiencing together on this planet, and at the same time, am aware of the fullness of life: not just days filled with activities, but days that are rich in the quality of interactions with others; the sudden political shifts in the Middle East; and the sheer majesty and power of nature’s wildness. A friend wrote: “I’m feeling a huge surge of conscious energy in the world in the last month or two. Do you? I felt it listening to a speech recently: that life was not about how much money, or power [or safety] we have, but how we have loved. More and more, I hear people expressing empathy, feeling greater compassion. . . It’s like an evolving that is almost palpable.”
Another wrote: “It’s like a convergence of time and place, a rhythm playing itself out. Still, people’s expectations can be quite different. Some may be afraid for the planet, for democracy, or for the world’s economy with good reason, but reason is not all. My imagination tells me that perhaps we’re thinking too small: that the confusion,even chaos, we may be inwardly experiencing holds the seeds of something very new and that we need to open ourselves to possibility, what has never happened before.
To sustain an essentially outward focus on the violent swings in politics, or economics, or the weather, is to miss the deeper movement, one that promises great creativity. For if we are aspects of the universe, we reflect its creative unfolding. Each new emergence in its long existence, galaxies and oceans; the evolution of living things; social changes like the black or women’s movements or the colliding forces in our world today, was born of a gathering energy: a current of creativity and destruction. To the degree that we can contain both dimensions of these fierce cosmological energies in ourselves, we will begin to shine like the sun. In any moment, we have a choice: either to fight the Current that is pulling us along or to ride it, to wait and wonder if what we’re experiencing is a creative opportunity awaiting us; to listen within for the leading edge of what most profoundly inspires usâ€”and attempt to reflect it in who we are and what we do.
Every time we honestly embrace both sides of an issue within ourselves instead of making another wrong, we cooperate with life’s painstaking work of testing and integrating new forms, in this case, the gradual shaping of the human mind. Each inner embrace adds more light to life’s deep need for it at this Time.
*Space (detail) from The Cosmological Powers of the Universe Series
Artist, Marci Graham