When the Going Gets Rough

“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar. ”   Drew Carey

Generally, I love what I do. I specialize in improving organizational performance and I teach systems approaches to business problems.  Cool, right?

A few years ago, I left a role because the business I was working with were making decisions that I didn’t agree with, and I could not implement these decisions without hurting every time I acted against my values as a leader.

For a year and a half, I have been engaged and satisfied in my new role. But not now. I am being asked to implement decisions that I struggle with again. My engagement has dropped. I feel anxiety and I am getting sick.

But, I recognize that when a pattern like this shows up, it is about what I can learn. It is a pointer towards my spiritual awakening. 

Since the last time I faced this, I have learned that circumstances do not control my experience.  That knowledge alone, however,  was not enough to move past this.

Today, I had an event remind me of an essential truth: when I look at a situation with an expectation of how it should be, I have limited my availability to life to only one option – whatever expectation or belief I have. It means I cannot be available to what is. And it means I will be unhappy. In the Tantrik tradition, it means I am confused by illusion.

When I let go of my belief about how something should be different than it is, I can breathe. I can let go. I can be open. I can be with Truth. 

So now,  let’s be with what is.

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The Beauty of Meaninglessness

stairsSometimes I feel like a complete fraud, or a liar, writing this blog.  As I move further into reality, into awakening, the use of words becomes more and more clumsy. At one point, I wanted to take this blog down, or at least put up a warning label: Caution – all you read here is just story! And the story is meaningless.

“Something I find fascinating: the absolute meaninglessness of existence is terribly depressing if you’re disconnected from your heart, your center, your true nature. But if you’re connected, that same absolute meaninglessness is pure wide-open freedom — the wholeness of being expressed in every moment.” – Christopher Wallis

I remember a teacher telling me that words can only point you in the direction of truth, but that as long as the mind holds on to them, you cannot get to the truth.  My mind has played a pretty good game.  As someone with a background in psychology, I use inner inquiry a lot.  It has been a striving to find the cause of a pattern or a feeling.  I have tried to see the triggers and fix the trigger. In understanding meaninglessness, I see inquiry now as curiosity about my experience.  The psychological view just makes a more elegant story.  Curiosity brings me closer to what is and possibly to what belief is being used as a lens in that moment.

“As long as your experience of self and life is defined by the mechanical, conditioned, and compulsive movement of thought, you are bound to a very, very limited perception of what is real. But imagine a relationship to thought that was impersonal. This would mean that you were no longer compulsively defining and interpreting yourself and your experience by the movement of thought. If this were the case, you would no longer be limited by the conditioned perspective of thought. Suddenly your entire perspective would shift away from thought to that which was the very ground and source of all thought. A source which, because it wasn’t being compulsively interpreted by thought, would be experienced as it actually is for the first time.” –Adyashanti

I had a long drive and it is usually a time for reflection.  As I thought about the support I have given my former partners, particularly financially and with business support, I began to feel self-pity.  How could they not value that enough to stay in the relationship and to treat me well? Why did I let them use me? I suppose all I did for them was meaningless.

Then it hit me: it WAS all meaningless, at least as the ego saw it. It was flow and it was of the moment.  It was how I expressed in those moments.  It was not a ME, or a contract with the other.  It was experiences that have nothing to do with me – they were not personal. In seconds, I moved from pity and loss to peace and almost amusement. 

For a fleeting few moments, I saw past self.  I knew awareness as IT and the flow of life.  It moved back to a different place as I needed to be mother or friend or colleague.  And even seeing that is cool.