Undoing ‘Good’

The first line of Mary Oliver’s poem, Wild Geese, playing with my thoughts, my heart, my emotions this morning–and quite suddenly. 

‘YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE GOOD’

It’s one of my most favorite lines of poetry, seared into my consciousness during an intensive with my beloved teacher Andrew Harvey. I loved it as soon as I heard it–felt something release inside myself, liberated. 

Raw, random, personal thoughts fill the space in this post….followed by a pause, feeling, listening, tuning in. What does that mean: ‘You do not have to be good’ ? 

It seems to be a statement to define the unraveling of who we ‘thought’ we were–who I thought I was. 

Every time it comes around again, it feels as though there is a clear shift occurring in my belief system, very visible, very palpably felt. While I’m not yet ready to share the details of this transition, I’m soothed by Mary Oliver’s statement to us all: You do not have to be good. 

Funny how it is, though isn’t it–‘good’–a goal we can chase all our lives and never quite reach it. 

Because it’s a fallacy, an illusion that we have taken on and decided holds our truth. 

Then just as we release one layer of that illusion, another reveals itself–opening the cracks that lead to healing, surrender….wholeness. 

And so it goes….the spiral, the cycle of this journey. Letting go….of ‘being good.’ 

Instead….just BEing. Allowing. 

Thank you, Mary Oliver for sharing such richness and Universal truth. 

My statement to myself this day: I do not have to be good. 

I have only to be ME. And THAT is enough. 

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Changing Your Altitude

A few years ago, I joined several women in reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and in doing so became very conscious of the way our ego shifts our perspective and quiets our spirit.  It’s the kind of book that you can pick up at any time, open to any page and connect to a thought/idea that becomes a lens through which you observe yourself for a period of time.  The content is so simple and easy to absorb–there’s an underlying powerful transformational quality about it.  Although you wouldn’t think it to be so, Eckhart begins by saying not everyone will connect to this book.  And I believe that to be due to our “readiness” to change, to *see ourselves and our survivor energies more clearly.

I recently came across his previous book The Power of Now, and find his writing to be similarly presented.  My sense is that we will share many conversations about the material of Eckhart Tolle, so rich as it is.  And so that is where we begin today, with a piece that stood out to me last night.  Something we all “know,” but not in such clarity.  On the subject of emotion as related to our minds:

“Emotion arises at the place where mind and body meet.  It is the body’s reaction to your mind–or you might say, a reflection of your mind in the body.  For example, an attack thought or a hostile thought will create a buildup of energy in the body that we call anger.  The body is getting ready to fight.  The thought that you are being threatened, physically or psychologically, causes the body to contract, and this is the physical side of fear.” 

Take a moment to really consider this, let its absolute truth sink into your consciousness.  Our thoughts create our emotional reaction.  Our beliefs, our past hurts (referred to in this book as the “pain-body”)–what we have taken on as our reality.  THIS is our trigger to emotional reaction.  My friends, do you yet grasp the high altitude of spiritual electricity in this?  Can you see how YOU have the authority, the potential, the final “say-so” over how you feel, how you respond, who you ARE?  This is a key place in determining what your world looks like, feels like – IS.  Simply taking time to understand your feelings–feel them fully, and also be an observer to what they tell you–shifts your place in the cosmos.  MOVES YOU!  The level of power, transformation – ALCHEMY – in this truth is beyond words!  It’s like being hit by lightning and awaking to a new self. 

What if you could change your presence in this way?  Claim your own self power to choose, to be?  There’s so much language about being the “captain of your ship” and determining your own destiny.  My friends–do you understand this is yours to have?  There’s so much to be said on this, perhaps it will take many posts here to fully grasp the reality in this one small paragraph.  For it carries an absolute Universal truth for us all:  thought creates reality.  We’ve all heard it, but Eckhart Tolle offers it to us in doses we can understand, receive and work with in our lives. 

As you observe yourself in your emotions–look beyond what you feel.  What do you BELIEVE to be true behind the emotion, what thought is driving your body to react in this way?  Allowing yourself to explore this one question begins to diminish the power of the thought/belief.  If you are fully present to this task, you will engage the process of transformation in a way that will shift your entire world.  Are you ready for such change to enter your life? 

This message feels more than a whisper today my friends.  Instead we are hearing through a megaphone, loud and clear.  But of late, the question seems to be:  are you listening?  And whether you are certain of your ability to do so, or perhaps would rather not–in that space, where your deepest inner truth and desire to grow on this quest for our Divine self…..that my friends is where you will hear……your heart whisper to you of her purest and most intimate desires…..


Understanding the Attraction

We come to this life–and if you believe in reincarnation or past lives, all our lives–with a contract, a chart, a purpose to our journey here.  If you have chosen to believe this as true, then it must also be true that what comes into our lives is meant to, and can ultimately enhance our union with Spirit and one another as well as connect us more intimately to who we are.

Continuing on this premise then, every experience in our lives is “good.”  At times we can easily concur, but in those moments even when what we are feeling or facing doesn’t feel so “good” anymore, the truth remains.  As much as we can attract the more enjoyable aspects of living on this Earth into our lives, we also attract the less pleasant experiences to assist us in becoming more authentic.  Taking time out to understand the attraction is a necessary tool in achieving this.

We each have a core belief system–attained in part by the energy we naturally carry as well as through our experiences and even the upbringing and tribal cultures we experienced as a child and continue to experience as adults.  It can at times be difficult not to “take on” what is true for others–indeed the majority in some cases–around us.  And even more complex is the reality of realizing we have beliefs buried within that have yet to make themselves clear to us–until the “bumps” of life catapult one of them directly to the forefront.

While it may not seem so, it’s so very beneficial to take time out of your confusion, pain or frustration to understand WHY you attracted this situation, person, feeling into your life.  It’s equally as important to do this when the “good” enters our lives, however the times that life feels a bit more difficult somehow offer to us a wealth of insight if we allow it.  It’s unnatural to want to go within during these times, but the spirit begs for us to do just that.  While in the space of our innermost being, we can connect to what is true “behind the eyes.”  Shifting into this very real perspective is moving into the process of transformation–spiritual alchemy.

Whatever it is in your life–ask yourself–why did I attract this particular situation here, now?  What underlying belief is driving its presence?  Do you not feel enough on your own?  Are you missing your true joy?  Is change too unbearable for you to move into something new in your life and so the old holds you in its clutches?  Did you think this person, place, idea would make you something more than you are?  Where have you lost sight of your dreams, hopes, desires and your true self?  If you are able to pinpoint some of these answers, you will quickly realize the belief you’ve carried all this time, weaving itself so forcefully into your life, only to assist you in letting go of what is no longer true for you.

We can easily get caught up in the Rat Race when our goal is to live fully in the Heart.  The pathway there is to be still….and to listen……to the whispers of your heart…..for you will hear your truth if you do…..