Consider this. What if, in the midst of whatever you are doing right now, this second, the "highest authority" were to "speak" to you? Regardless how you name the "highest," be it God, the Creator, the Field, Buddha, wisdom, your neocortex, the Wakan, the Tao, Sophia, Kwan Yin, the Guadalupe, She, the "two-million-year-old man," spirit, ethics -- it does not matter for purposes of this question. Underneath the naming of the thing, what matters is that we remember we are the same in our human being-ness, all struggling, all rejoicing on good moments, thankful on others, and doing the best we can, given what we know and have practiced.
If we can, then, get past this "naming thing," for it has been at source of multiple wars and suffering, let's say that your phone were ringing and it was the most holy and highest on the other end. Imagine it said the following to you:
"Stop. No matter how important your deadline is, just stop for a moment. No matter how convinced you are that you do not have time, that the consequences are too grave, simply stop. No matter how troubled you are about your child's problem, or your wallet, or your job, or your well-being, no matter how worried you are about the unforeseen future, your family, or your friends, stop. Give it a rest. Just for a moment, give yourself permission to release the hold distractions have on you, lay down the cell, turn away from the Internet, silencing doubt. Breathe. Something you have overlooked because you have been too busy with what does not matter nearly as much as what others might tell you. Yes, something vital to your well-being is seeking you. That something is pure Wisdom."
A rose by any other name is still a rose. Whatever you call your own highest authority is none of my business. Whatever path you are on is the right one for you. What is my business is what you write back to me, and the growing numbers of readers on this site. I hear you. It may take me awhile to respond because what you address runs so deep in the fabric of the human psyche that I must first return to the depths of my own "root cellar" before responding. But know that your pain is heard, as is your disappointment with some people in your life, and the related circumstances. You know who you are.
The way you have named your present condition has got me thinking. How to be of best use? You have been seeking an answer, the arrival of proof that what you are seeking, is seeking you, is coming your way. It is hard, sometimes, to maintain trust in the process when the flow of healthy life seems stuck in a logjam. At times like these, it is my practice to stay open for incoming information, clues that might be helpful. While considering your plight this holiday season, I happened upon a conversation in the most unlikely of places. While sitting upon the "throne," in a neighboring booth, I overheard the voice of a child in response to her mother's urging to "Hurry up! We've got things to do!" Said the little one in earnest: "I'm trying, Mommy, but Mr. Poopie will not come!" Immediately thereafter, the little girl began to sing the following: "Please little poopie, won't you come? We will be so happy to see you if you do, nice little poopie!"
You can't make this stuff up. I was reminded of just why it is that children are amongst my favorite wisdom teachers. They speak with open minds and clear hearts. They remember that everything is part of life. No guilt or shame has gotten stuck on the bottom of their shoes yet, that spiritual caca that leads to the most dangerous problem of our time: unworthiness.
Lest you think this a digression from said subject, it is not. Our most high and holy job is to be present to our relationship with the moment, with the urging of our heart, the needs of our well-being, and be patient for what this requires. Just last week, a woman who came for treatment told me that she is "stuck" in her life. I asked her for evidence, to which she pointed to, yes, constipation and insomnia. Turns out she does not drink water during the workday because the time it would take her to go down the hallway to the toilet would be frowned upon by co-workers, and maybe her boss. She is afraid to take the time for natural needs. No wonder she is stuck.
Ten Practical Steps for Nourishing Care Today.
Through her dream life, she was told: "What you need most is nourishing care!" I share this with you, with her permission, because her dream is giving our world well-needed advise from these times. In the midst of these "troubled waters," the best answer for whatever ails you and me, always comes from deep listening, and simple action. But, the "delivery" will only come if you leave space for the following:
1. Leave yourself some space. When you find yourself most troubled today, stop. Allow yourself room to breathe.
2. Return to your own "root cellar," in whatever way works for you. For the little girl, she did what was most natural to her: She sang a little self-created song.
3. During these root cellar moments, lay down the weight of the world you've been carrying on your shoulders. Just be.
4. Release the habit of all that heavy lifting, particularly of other people's problems. Let them grow, finding their own wisdom way.
5. Recall a recent sweet spot moment. For example, I think of how my 22-month-old granddaughter saw me last week, and ran as fast as she could toward me, grinning ear to ear for her nana. Recall whatever warms your heart. Savor as needed.
6. Pretend your S.S. Moment were instructional about the "nourishing care" you are needing to receive and give.
7. Give yourself the gift of #6.
8. Remember, you are hard-wired for responding to kindness.
9. Search out your own dream wisdom. Ask yourself the following: "If you could design the best possible dream to have right now, what would you dream?"
10. Extract the essence of your dream wisdom to live out in some microscopic way today. Enjoy.
Your turn: What dream would you love to have tonight? What kind of specific nourishing care would support living out this dream? I'm not only listening. I am adoring you, as well! May the "reason for the season" be lived out each day for you and yours, this 2011.
Follow Dr. Cara Barker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrCaraBarker