Feeling Our Way Home
As we all try to find our way through the labyrinth of this post modern world, I wonder how you feel about what takes place everyday in your life. I was talking with a young married professional woman with a child the other day about how she felt about the community mental health work she’s in. The first word she spoke was “overwhelmed.” She went on to say that everyday is a challenge that she’d rather not engage. That she’d rather be living a more quiet, gentle, less hectic life with her son and husband.
I walked away from this conversation feeling sad for her and millions of people like her and her husband who continue to buy into the so called American dream and are now paying the price with sixty plus hour work weeks, sleep depravation and the inability to engage what they really want in life in ways that work for them and their families. How do we transition from this oppressive way of living to a more liberating way of life? How do we inspire when we’re not inspired, find meaning when our lives seem meaningless?
Socrates is reported to have said: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” What would building the new look and feel like for you? What kinds of thoughts, words, and actions would you have to engage to build the new for you, your family, your community and the world? What’s the first thing you’d have to change to engage this process? My answer is that I’d have to change my perceptions and feelings about what I truly want in my life.
Over the seven decades of this life I’ve changed course many times; leaving people, places, situations and things that I’d served and that had served me. Some I regretted leaving while others I celebrated. Each time there was sadness, relief, joy and a new challenge to grow beyond where I was. I’ve forgotten what I said and much of what I did but the feelings of affirmation, trust, appreciation, love and joy remain. At this juncture I’m again building a new iteration that reflects my deepest needs and wants.
My perspectives and perceptions have changed in such a way that I sometimes don’t recognize myself because I’m no longer twenty four or forty four or even sixty four. The strange part however is that I can still feel the energy of these earlier times in the here and now which inform my behavior. I can feel the excitement of taking on a new project that inspires me, serves the greater good and brings inspiration, love and joy to those around me. I can also feel the opposing energy that wants to drag me down.
I’m not advocating the old hippie motto of: “If it feels good, do it.” A more mature discernment to this naive position is necessary because much of the time, change doesn’t feel good to the parts of us that ‘want what we want when we want it’. As I’ve worked and played with change most of my life, I’ve come to understand that it’s one of the few constants we have to ‘flow with’ if we want to grow into the life we truly want. The question for me is always,“What’s the feeling deep within, beyond the surface feelings?” When I register this deeper soulful feeling; I can stay, leave or course correct.
In discernment, there’s the process of making a plan and working the plan. This is the seed of thought and feeling that invariably leads us to that special something that’s calling to us. Some say the key is to ‘begin with the end in mind’ while others say ‘follow your heart and see where it leads’. Both of these require having a course and staying the course until it shows itself to be a dead end, needing a correction or making a whole new plan. Staying awake and aware to the inner depths of feeling is crucial to success.
What’s Essential is invisible to the eye. One has to dive deeply into the heart and soul of Life to make the invisible visible, the unknown known, the unseen seen. Here’s where stilling prayer, meditation and contemplation come to play. Here’s where heart and soul dance together in an inner movement beyond external movements. Here there’s a connection with something ‘other,’ yet part of all that is. It’s connected to Life’s mystery that takes us beyond our rational minds into a more expansive realm of Being.
This feeling beyond feeling connects us to a place called Home deep inside ourselves that Teilhard de Chardin called the Noosphere. It’s the collective interior dimension of consciousness which points to the existence of a cosmic energy flowing in, around, between and through us; an intersubjective dimension that we’re mostly unconscious of and therefore don’t access. Mystics and visionaries have engaged this spiritual depth of the interior universe for millennia and through it, slowly felt their way Home.
As esoteric as this sounds, it’s very practical and part of our evolutionary trajectory. It’s simply accessed by shifting our perceptions from the outer realities to the inner realities which is a matter of will. Be still and know….Hmm. Is this what the aspen trees rustling their leaves in the breeze are saying to me? Is this what the child’s smile is inviting me into? Is this what the quiet of the night is speaking about? Is it possible that the depth of feelings we sometimes experience in Nature point to this Inner Space: Home?
- Check your pulse. How are you feeling right now? Inspired? Confused? Open? Closed? Encouraged? Thankful? Fearful? Loving? Curious? Content? Awake?
- Be still and simply breathe. Reconnect with an experience you’ve had where you felt deep Love welling up within you. Breathe in this energy and recognize its presence as being with you always. Relax into it. This is Feeling your way Home. It’s always Here.
- Take a walk outdoors and feel the energies you encounter. Filter out all the feelings that are anxiety provoking. Allow only the feelings of Acceptance, Love, Appreciation, Nurturance, Calm and Cradling. Feel the Power of this Homing, this Peacefulness…..