Over and over again, known meets unknown in now’s infinite possibility. This constant merging of past and future is especially salient today, having finished the last of three 4-day workshops comprising SAS (a 6-month circling training led by Circling Europe). I have a familiar high, characteristic of multi-day awareness workshops, having been continually kept at my edge and shown enticing options for greater freedom. Perceptiveness: sharp. Confidence: high. I feel supple engaging with whatever comes my way, effortless in my expression. In relation, I ask, bask, cut, and dive, rediscovering bliss in every direction. I feel powerful, opening and being opened by others.
Yet there’s a niggle; too easily I might return to how I was before, and lose all momentum. It feels akin to sliding a cake into the oven and thinking my work is done. I want something more than a memorable story about feeling good. I’ve experienced a similar high after each of the workshops. First weekend: this feeling will last forever! Second weekend: how do I make this feeling last forever?! Third weekend: spellbound, teetering on the edge of integration, ushering what I have learned into each moment of newness. Now is the only opportunity. If I wait, all will be lost, and I’ll have to start again from scratch. If I don’t take action to change the habitual structure of my daily life, it will erode this newfound freedom.
The inquiry becomes: how do I craft new patterns that keep me alive and aware? There are community-level supports that these workshops provide; dishing out and receiving a high level of challenge, the communal effort in illuminating inter/personal dynamics, the demand (co-created) for each to engage fully with themselves… Without this constant community, how can I create an environment that fulfills a similar purpose? To work I go, integrating, integrating, integrating.

The Thin Line of Belief

Photo by Janko Ferlic

I’m scared I may be less smart than I think I am.
But for better or worse, how smart I am is not dependent on anyone’s thoughts. I may be wrong, right, in-between, or off the grid.
Isn’t it inconsequential whether we agree about how smart I am?

And yet, I’ve seen myself shrink from those who insinuate I’m not quite as bright as I think I am. I still contract, though with less defensiveness now, at the suggestion that I’ve erred. I won’t let someone in if they believe something about me that I don’t think is true. To what end?

This feels like an invitation to live based on what is true, rather than my thoughts about it. What is it to live unchained by thoughts and expectations? Slowly, I clear dust off the lens.

And here lies the fork. Can I stay clear in the face of my own and others’ beliefs? Will I allow myself to see what is, right now? Will I let my belief system be dismantled by reality? Or will I lie to myself, over, and over, and over again?

If Gandhi is right, and my beliefs become my destiny, I’m looking at a fragile destiny if I leave my beliefs unchallenged.