My new book is nearing completion, and in this year of writing, I have truly been living the essence of this book that is captured in its title – What’s In the Way IS the Way. Many challenges have come my way, but as I have deepened my ability to respond to what they bring into my life rather than getting lost in reaction, I have been able to discover the gifts that are embedded in every single one.
Most of us are victims to our lives. We feel Life is happening to us and we have to be in control of it. This cuts us off from the joy of being fully alive, available to life right here, right now. But we can learn how to use our challenges to see and unhook from fear, irritation, judgment, and even despair so we no longer have to live in the world of struggle.
I would like to share with you a few paragraphs from the last chapter. It talks about the core metaphor that this book is created around – that we lived in full connection with life when we were young (the meadow) and slowly, as we grew up, clouds began to settle around our heads (the storyteller inside of each one of us that struggles with life).
Everything we have been exploring together – the truth of the meadow of your being, how the cloud bank of your mind keeps you separate from what is truly going on here, and that you can live from the meadow when you notice and see through the spells you took on – is all opening you again to the creative flow of life. This is about saying “Yes” to life. That doesn’t mean that you sit down by the side of the road and let it run you over. It means that at your core you know everything in your life is for you – it is not just a random series of events. Life is an intelligent process; it knows what it is doing and it is safe to open to it.
This brings you into full engagement with what is happening rather than staying caught in a conversation about life. We could call it ‘surrender,’ but this doesn’t mean being defeated. It is about finally giving up your war with life! We could also call it ‘humility,’ but the dictionary misses its full meaning when it defines it as ‘lowliness, meekness, submissiveness.’ True humility is a state of great availability, and from this kind of openness you can finally reconnect with the joy of being fully alive.
Can life be trusted? Alan Watts, the celebrated philosopher, author and teacher once said, “.. it appears as a vivid and overwhelming certainty that the universe, precisely as it is at this moment, as a whole and in every one of its parts, is so completely right, as to need no explanation or justification, beyond what it simply is.” In other words, it is safe to open to Life!
To open to the way things actually are, rather than always trying to make life be what you think it should be, is the most courageous and healing thing you can do. When you see through the game of struggle enough so that the veils between you and this living moment lift – this miraculous, incandescent moment – you become a healing presence in the world. Moments of full connection with life matter. In fact, they matter more than you can possibly know. They are what will heal our world!
So I invite you to contemplate the possibility that the chronic, low-grade struggle you have lived in most of your life can be lifted just like the early morning clouds can be lifted by the sun. I also invite you to open to the radical notion that in your life, whatever you perceive to be in the way IS the way. In other words, your challenges are tailor-made to help you see your particular brand of struggle and help you unhook from it so you can again know the joy of being fully alive.
Be light, Mary