Monday, September 3, 2012

Relaxing Into Freedom

There are so many beautiful things that come with awakening that it is impossible to describe them all. Not because it wouldn't be worth the endeavor of describing them, but because it is such a felt experience. It travels through you--all of you. It is pure being, and in that space, nothing is required of you. You are clear about things in your life, and you know what is real. In essence, you are free.

Yet the world will still ask things of you, and even though the light switch is now on, you may be aware of things that ask you to change and to heal parts of your life. It is much easier in some ways because you can see things clearly, and it may be much harder in other ways because you are so connected to everything--including the pain that you've being carrying and bringing to others. This can bring us into a flurry of initial activity to align to this deeper, truer self that has been there all along, and yet within that shift, there is now so much more freedom. And that freedom requires a certain perspective to begin to fully appreciate it and de-program the old ego self that wants to fill up our lives with things, relationships, ideas, and experiences.

The State of the Internal Nation
The state of things inside most people isn't very good these days primarily because people don't really like themselves. Some people even hate themselves. Many people act like they love themselves, but we can all smell the ego-love that masquerades as love. It's just a deck of cards waiting to be knocked over by a failed relationship, an insult from a co-worker, or something else that the ego has built itself up on. It's a really unfortunate thing, and waking up makes us face this reality. Waking up also brings with it the full access to your love. That's an immensely powerful thing to wield, and most people don't have any understanding on how to be with that.

That's why one of my first recommendations is to simply stop and be present. Be aware of the mess of the internal world. Look at it. Love this mess as it is. It may sound crazy, but initially, it's really helpful to simply notice what's going on without placing a judgment on it. This helps to create a space for discernment. Discernment will notice if a bone is broken, and then you can take steps to set the bone and go through a healing process. Judgment will run around screaming and then say horrible things about how stupid you are for ever breaking that bone. Do you see the difference? If not, check out this blog on the topic.

Calmness and Being Prevail
But this phase of alignment is also a phase. No matter how long it seems like you're constantly healing new layers of different and familiar issues, that phase will end. During this healing process and expanding process, it is important to remember to relax into the freedom that you now have. Depending on your life, you may suddenly have a lot of spare time, and this is a gift. Provided that you are taken care of in some way, I encourage you to relax into the expansiveness of the movement and the expansiveness of you. Even if you aren't sure about how you're going to make ends meet, when you aren't working to address that concern, relax again. I've always found that inspiration and answers can only come to me when I'm relaxed. It's why for years my best ideas would come before I fell asleep. That was when my ego was finally powering day, and inspiration and spirit could at last talk to me.

Removing Old Ego Programs
But I have noticed that even for those of us who awaken, some old ego programs die hard. It's different for everyone, but there are definitely a lot of us in Western Society who have the program that if you aren't doing something, then you're wasting time. But I ask you how can time be wasted? If you are fully present in this moment, how could that possibly be a waste? So many people are mindlessly running around doing work of all kinds that they hate, and yet we want to call this being productive? No, no, definitely not. You know this in your heart. You know this to be true even if it is what you are currently doing. It's why we all need to learn how to relax and let go regardless of where we are on the spiritual path.

But for those of you who have awakened, I encourage you to relax into this freedom. Don't try to completely fill it up with yoga classes, kirtan chanting, crystal healing seminars, and other things. Leave space for spaciousness. Leave space for you--that fullness of you that doesn't need to be caught up in "doing" all the time. Remember that we are human "beings." Embrace that being-ness.

The Internal Fight Continues
Yet, old programs die hard. You may not know what to do, and that's precisely the point for many of you. Just lie on your yoga mat and stare at the ceiling. There's a reason why many of us get so much fatigue--it's not just the healing and awakening going on inside. It's also because our soul and God are trying to get us to stop moving and just appreciate the moment. Just be here. Don't be planning the next week of social events or the next meal. Don't worry about picking up the kids yet. You have 15 more minutes, and if you're afraid that you'll lose track of time (which is, admittedly, very easy to do when you really let go into this space of being), then set an alarm. Then drop further into this space. Your kids will appreciate it even if they don't understand it. So will your partner or other close friends. Relaxing into the awakened state helps other people relax and drop deeper into their natural state of awareness. It's yet another important way that those of you who have awakened are being role models for others. The other person doesn't have to understand it; his/her soul gets it. There's a deeper learning that's always present, and while there's no way of knowing what that will mean to how a person will act, it's something to be mindful of if you need a little bit bigger perspective on what your shift means to others in your life.

5 Ideas for Relaxing Into Freedom
Okay, so it's probably ironic to give any sort of tips to "do" for this post, but here goes.
  1. Find time to sit in nature. Don't hike a lot. Don't prepare a fancy picnic. Just bring some water and sunscreen and sit. Be with what is. Feel the elements--the sun and the wind. Feel the grass or rock beneath you.
  2. Keep the radio and television off. So much media is absolutely frenetic and will only agitate you. If you do turn this stuff on, pay attention to how it feels in your energy. Increasingly, most of these vibrations just feel abysmal to me. Don't get me wrong; I watch TV on rare occasions and listen to pop culture music a little more. But generally speaking, I don't like filling my life up with external noise any more than posssible.
  3. Don't get out of bed in the morning. You know in a society that is all about the early bird getting the worm, this could be a welcome change. Find a morning when you really don't need to get up, and stay in bed. You don't need to go back to sleep, and it's probably better if you didn't. This is a nice place to appreciate how you feel and focus on the breath and this moment.
  4. Sit in a park. This is a little different than first because in the first, I'm presuming you're more removed from society. For some of you, this may not be easy, so find a park. Hopefully there aren't tons of people around. And then pretty much do the same thing as in tip number 1.
  5. Meditating after a great yoga session. Everyone likes the meditation that comes after a yoga session, so why don't you just stay in this space. It's probably easier to get a tape and do yoga at home so you don't have to worry about having to leave a studio for the next class. Then just relish the beauty of being and being alive.
Keeping Spirituality Simple
It's all wonderfully simple isn't it? And that's the thing; life is actually very simple. The awakening came and stripped away all that nonsense. For awhile, it was like standing naked in public, but now, you're getting used to being naked. You're feeling the freedom of not being tied up and constricted by clothes that are trying to make you look a certain way. You're just being you. That's the beauty of the spiritual path. It is simply relaxing into you.

So when you feel the urge to fill your life up with new things--be it Buddha T-shirts, awakening teleseminars, and raw foods classes--pause. Come back to yourself and this moment. Just be. Just relax and melt into this moment, and you will re-connect with what is important. You will let go of any new "spiritual" ego that is trying to take over the ship, and you will simply be as you are, which is already perfect.

Today's relaxing photo comes from my student, Jenn. :)
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