After having lived for seven months, eight hours away from where we’d lived for thirty five years, we moved back home at the end of July to resettle during the month of August. Most of the boxes have been sorted through, things put in their new places and readjustments made toward a new normal. It still feels strange because so much is different and our future continues to be up in the air but, I’m celebrating this month of August because I’m choosing to take this time to discern new movements in my life.
August marks the last month of summer, the beginning of school for many teachers, students and parents. It’s a recognition that life continues in ways we choose and don’t choose, create and don’t create for ourselves and one another. Years ago school always started after Labor Day and ended just before Memorial Day. Now, the rules have changed and schools start, end and have breaks at many different times depending on the governance of districts. The third month of summer is now in school.
Speaking as a man who was raised in the fifties and sixties in the mid-west, I can’t help but celebrate the fact that I have the whole month of August to do be do be do whatever I choose. Yes, I still have obligations, projects to complete and start, people to see and communicate with, emails to answer and plans to schedule but, for the most part, it’s at my own pace in my own time which gives me the time and space to sit in some real discernment concerning why, what, where, when, how and who I’ll be engaging.
Discernment is something we all do but it’s mostly unconscious and usually follows a pattern of our own cultural conditioning. It’s rare to have the luxury of discerning our next moves in a relaxed and discriminating way. To truly discern our patterns, we need to grasp and comprehend what’s obscure, to search and inquire beyond the obvious and superficial, to gain insight into the nature of our path, our options; to learn to know and not know, to discriminate and spend time letting the answers come through us.
This all requires relaxation, understanding, listening and ongoing surrender to the inner reaches of what depth psychology calls soul, psyche, inner being, true self and true nature. It also requires slowing way down and giving attention to what is internal in us as well as what is external to us which takes openness, awareness, receptivity and service. One could say that discernment is a significant psychospiritual practice that takes us down Alice’s rabbit hole to discover the many wonders of the moment.
The question that continually shows up for me in discernment is: “What does this moment ask of me?” The other more difficult question that shows up less often is: “What does this moment demand of me?” Both can usually be answered quite simply when the moment is defined as the next few seconds or minutes. Both, however, require more time and depth when the moment is defined as today, this week, this month, this season, this year. The ask is from our ego self to our more interconnected True Self. I’m celebrating August because I’ve been given the month to discern. . . .
Celebrating August this year for me is a celebration of discernment and awakening. It’s stilling, being in silence until the silence silences me. It’s waking up to the wonder until I recognize the wonder in me and the whole of creation. It’s listening and following the synergistic energy that creates and renews until I’m recreated and renewed. It’s standing at the threshold of another adventure that’s ever unfolding for the whole world. It’s another amazing season of soul that has the possibilities of making us more whole.
- As you ponder the final summer month of this year, ask yourself what this moment asks of you and let it rest within until you know the truth of the answer for you. . . .
- Ponder the possibilities that are before you with a sense of celebration and notice what a difference it makes. Awaken to what is right here and now to celebrate. . . .
- When your courage is up, ask your True Self what this moment requires of you. Rest in this question long enough for you to sense it from your depths and when the time is ripe, act upon it consciously and gently. . . .