“A frog dreamed of becoming a king and became one”
Sharing a story of awakening is an interesting thing to contemplate. Once we truly remember what we once did not know, I have found it a challenge to recall the nuances of the not knowing. For me it is like continually just catching on to a remembrance at the edges of the whisps of a dream. Upon opening the eyes and awakening in the morning, the dream fades. I think that forgetting the fine details can be a good thing. Not dwelling too much on where we have been frees up bandwidth for attention focused on what the future is bringing to our front doors now.
However, in thinking about what I would like to share, I recalled an art installation I saw last year. This was the announcement for what was to be found within outside on the museum window:
The story of Maren‘s awakening is not really all that important or worth sharing… that is unless it can tell you something about your own.
So here we go.
Awakening within the story of M is not really about events that have occurred, but rather is unfolded within a pattern of evolving thought that assigns meaning to the events. Looking at awakening this way means it takes place within what I am thinking and how this makes me feel. And for me, my thought and feeling evolve over time due to a natural propensity I have for continuously questioning myself and the world around me.
As I question, this then gives awakening into the unknown being known more room to bump up against the experience of actually living. I am living the life called M, but in a loosely held together space. Oh the joys this brings testing out BEING who and what we actually are and are not!
We all have amazing experiences with intricate details making up the story of our lives. However for me, it is our thoughts of meaning assigned to what has, is and will happen that create our true awakeningS. This thinking about what has, is, CAN and will happen is the beginning connection point for sharing true awakening on the planet. It is in our ideas about the happenings that we have the beginning potentials to trap us sound asleep and also to awaken us setting us free.
Boiling down the ideas and thought from the first 30 years of my life, I think it pretty much can be summed up with this sentence:
- Maren did all the “right” things for mostly the “wrong” reasons.
There is a laundry list of externalized success defined and determined by western education in consumer culture and Judeo-Christian values within which I checked off most all the boxes on. This left M at age 25 as a MSW summa cum laude, building her therapy practice, while teaching Sociology 101, living in her newly built 3500 square foot house, married her college sweetheart turned eye doctor.
I was firmly planted in a story of living superficially overachieving in an idea of “righteousness” while waiting to hang it all up when becoming a mother…at which point (complete with a pearl choker and child care help) afternoons are then spent out with the ladies who lunch from church, doing service and charity work. That was the future awaiting me.
I had worked hard and by the world’s standards had it all. I was the living proof of the fulfillment of the quintessential American dream. At age 29 I could see the road ahead…years and years stretched out before me with every detail planned, accounted for and neatly organized in my Franklin-Covey day planner. I had achieved everything that was dreamed of for me.
The only problem was, I was completely miserable.
Just one story from that time helps sum this up…
From age 26-29 there was an old Victorian house in the valley below on the road that lead to the home which my first husband and I had built in the hills above a beautiful lake. Out in the front garden of this house near the road there was placed a statue of a duck. Each day I drove down the hill and past this house, and each day the woman who owned it would dress this duck in a different outfit. So it was, day in and day out, my life stretched out before me doing all the things I was raised to believe I was supposed to do. I spent my time worshiping at the feet of the rat in this race. And each day the only real detectable difference from one to the next would be what was found on this duck. Over time, I found myself looking forward to seeing this fowl spectacle as it was one of the only changes and unknowns in my life flow.
I drove by this Victorian house and found that the statue was gone.
It turned out that the duck lady had moved. The lady and her bird had flown the coop. In that moment of discovery, a light went off in my head and I knew in that instant that things can always be different. Life and all potentials are always contained just a new thought away moving away from the known into the making of different unknown choices.
Years 30-39 are then basically covered with having the courage to leave Punxsutawney. I attempted picking apart the ideas of any externalized right and wrong. It was a moving of the location of living to a personalized inner one and then, transcending that. It was relooking at the meanings in life:
In my questioning I had gone from an understanding of right and wrong as preset and determined outside myself, to a right and wrong personalized uniquely to me. In seeking to meet the “you” (which I would describe as unconditional love knowing my truer self) in that field, I imploded my life as I had known it. I preformed kriah at the death of the unreal life. Doing this was completely liberating and utterly terrifying all at once! I was standing at the edge of an abyss and CHOOSING to jump not knowing what I would find catching me.
At age 30, in a six month period, I:
I set myself FREE from the then known !!!
BUT TO DO WITH THAT FREEDOM??? I was not yet clear about what thoughts to set this inner compass guide by.
In my beginning awakenings, there was a little hijack attempt made by pleasures found in spiritual Las Vegas to keep me trapped in a new type of thinking about “light” and “love” being “IT”. There were shiny new insights and warm fuzzies shared with others (also in their new, little life rafts) as we floated and huddled together while charting unsailed territory. This was a period of time immersed in the delicious surface fluff of the happy-happy of what could be termed the “new age” awakening movement on our planet. What an important role that particular port of call played in the story of the journey of awakening. However, contrary to what many of my fellow travelers experienced, it wasn’t a final destination for me.
What I had yet to understand was the importance of honoring my past and current ignorance by allowing of an ONGOING daily death of life as I now know it. I also had yet to understand the importance of also loving the-our-my shadow. Not doing so back then created a void of sorts. It created a situation where half of life on our planet was not really dealt with. It is a feeling of (as Tyler from Fight Club states):
We glimpse nirvana, but only fleeting as we are forced into continuing to cat nap quite often within our awakening because we are still out of balance.
**disclaimer: strong language used in clip**
It is only after we have lost everything that we are really free to do ANY thing!
So years 40- to today have been about discovering the thoughts that lead to living in balance, to have gratitude for everything, staying with the pleasure and pain of life, and then transcending the need for anything at all. It has been about more and more sustained time awake just being…allowing…being in love in the light AND in the shadow found here. And within this being, we then cease the experience of polarity. Observation of events that happen in the life of M is still present, but the need to assign meaning in the same way isn’t.
For me today, awakening is about finding beauty and power in EVERYTHING… trash and treasure found as just the same. It has been about a focus shifting from what is done in my life to how it is done in complete gratitude with the details of actually what is done having less and less importance. I am remembering. I AM. 🙂
Just as an aside as well, Neil Diamond and I are eating cake today, the birthday kind…he for the 73rd time and me for the 44th. I AM I SAY today and it is a good day to share our awakening all around.
Up next tomorrow, my beautiful blogging brother, the notorious BG over on the Middle Pane.