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Posts Tagged ‘Trust’

I was watching the tree tops sway as the wind passed through them.  I could see how natural it was for the trees to bend and give with the wind, it reminded me of an earlier conversation with someone we had about yielding to life.  I talked with my husband about this yielding and he offered more examples of it.  The conversation led to sidewalks and why they are built in segments instead of just big long blocks of cement.  The lines in between that divide the sidewalks into segments serve as expansion joints to allow for the contraction and expansion of the cement.  Next he explained how very tall skyscrapers are designed to sway in the wind like trees and how you can feel this gentle sway if you’ve ever been in the very top levels of a skyscraper in a strong wind.  If they weren’t built this way they could potentially collapse in the face of strong wind.  Our conversation then moved to power lines and how they are built with sag in the wire and are not pulled straight and taut.  This, too, is to allow for expansion and contraction without adding stress.  And finally, we spoke of what happened when the infamous Tacoma Narrows bridge collapsed, as you see in the youtube excerpt above, when it met with strong winds.  One explanation is that it was built out of solid, immovable steel, in essence without the ability to yield in the presence of strong wind.

So it seems that yielding with contraction and expansion seems to be necessary with many things.  We feel contraction and expansion, too, especially during times of great contrast.  Yet what happens when we resist that contrast?  It’s often not a very pleasant, feel good experience.  Yet when we are willing to yield and bend like the tree tops, to give ourselves over to trusting in a Universe to orchestrate things on our behalf, when we are willing to bend, to lean into, to allow, to surrender even, a palpable relief sweeps over us.  We relax, we cease the endless attempts at figuring things out and banging things into place.  We let go of worry and concern.  We become moveable, bendable, we soften and situations respond in kind.  What once seemed so challenging now seems more flexible and pliant.  We trust and like everything else we gently sway and lean into life and find our needs cared for after all, with little or no effort on our part.

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Image Locale

The other day I was perusing my online bank statement.  There were a series of three debits made on my account.  All on the same day to the same corporation in two different locations in Pennsylvania.  While I have family in Pennsylvania, on the day in question, March 27th, I was here in Washington.   I called the claims department for my bank and began the process of filing a claim for fraudulent activity on my account.  Meanwhile I shredded my debit card.

That same night I had a dream, I lost my blackberry and on it, among other things, was my email.  Someone called me on my land line.  It was the person now claiming they had possession of my blackberry.  They said to me, “I have your credit card number and I will now begin using it.”  There was another plot within that dream, someone went back on their word.  They promised one thing that was very important to me and then abruptly changed their mind.

I woke up and asked myself if the bank thing and the dream thing had a message for me, what would it be saying and began a dialogue with myself:

People can’t be trusted.
Do you want people to be trustworthy?
Yes.
What’s the opposite of “can’t be trusted”?
Innocent.
Do you want people to be innocent?
Yes.
Are you willing to believe that people are innocent?
Yes, I am willing to believe that this whole world is innocent.
Are you willing then not just to believe it but to have this be true for you, that the world is innocent?
Yes.
Ok then, now, go live it.

I decided then that I would make that hand on the heart pledge that I’ve been doing daily, this:

because I am not afraid, I will step into my greatness, I will step into all that I really am and I will experience Innocence.  If a challenging situation, interaction or an unwanted thought should come up, I will ask: what would Innocence bring to this?

I’ve written recently about innocence.  That this world is innocent, free of motive or agenda.  It is me, who is not yet free of motive or agenda.  I have decided that innocence will be my hand on the heart pledge until I can be the one for whom this is really true.

Saying the world is free of motive or agenda is one thing, believing it and being the one for whom that is true, requires much more of me.  In fact, it requires not just a little of me, not just I believe it everywhere but here, no, it requires ALL of me.  A whole hearted commitment or nothing at all is really what it amounts to because as long as I think a few people cannot be trusted, the world has nothing to do but reveal how this is true for me.

I can make my world heaven on earth and I can also make it hell on earth.  I choose heaven whenever I wake up and see that I’ve chosen hell because that’s what being in partnership with myself means — I have my best interest, my back at all times.  Most times is more accurate, I’m on a learning curve here!

Now I can say thank you and mean it, to whatever brought about those three debits.  It gave me the opportunity to awaken and choose again to return to my native state, what we are all born into: innocence.

I wrote the above a few days ago.  Asking for innocence to be revealed in everything has been powerful.  The moment I bring non innocence to something, I instantly withdraw that judgment or that conclusion.  Sometimes I don’t know what to put in its place, so I do nothing but withdraw my attention.  When I look at something and call it a, b or c, the world has nothing to do but respond, correspond to me and show me how it is a, b or c.  Call it, at the very least, an “I don’t know” or a “no-thing” not only do I feel better but a much wider field of possibilities opens up.  Do you know what that feels like to be unencumbered by any conclusion, judgment or idea about what anything means?  It feels EXACTLY like Rumi’s field!

“Out beyond ideas of
wrong doing and right doing

There is a field
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down
in that grass
the world is too full
to talk about.”

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image location

It does not astonish or make us angry that it takes a
whole year to bring into the house three great white
peonies and two pale blue iris.  It seems altogether
right and appropriate that these glories are earned
with long patience and faith. . . . and also that it is
altogether right and appropriate that they cannot last.
Yet in our human relations we are outraged when
the supreme moments, the moments of flowering,
must be waited for. . . . and then cannot last.  We
reach a summit, and then have to go down again.

May Sarton

* * * * * *

There is so very much that we can learn from the natural world.  We are constantly surrounded by reminders of the cycles of life, the natural order of things, and if we can just recognize and appreciate the lessons of the natural world, our own lives could become so much easier and so much more comprehensible.  We live our lives in seasons much as the flowers and the trees and the animals do, and one of the reasons for which we tend to become unhappy or frustrated is because we sometimes expect to live in perpetual spring or summer, not allowing or wanting winters to be a normal, important part of our lives.

One of the reasons that spring is so beautiful in the colder areas of the world is because the flowers are coming after a long period without them–we’ve been deprived of their presence for a long time, so they mean much more to us.  We all know that for everything there is a season, but most of us would like to make those seasons longer, or to have some control over them.

But we have to let life be what it is.  Life is a beautiful experience, yet we tend to diminish its beauty by placing our false expectations on it.  One of my favorite art forms is that of ice sculpting, for the artists have a clear understanding of just how short-lived their works will be–yet they’re willing to put in hours of work to create beautiful works of art.  It’s possible that some of the most beautiful sculptures ever made have melted into puddles of water, only seen by a limited number of people for a very short time.

Enjoy the great parts of life, but enjoy them in the right here and right now, which is truly the only time that we can experience anything at all.  And when their time to leave comes, let them go with grace and dignity rather than trying to hold on to them in desperation or fear that you may never experience them again.  You will, if you simply let life be life, and accept the seasons of our lives with love and trust that they will return.

* * * * * *

For further thought:

A garden that never died eventually would weary.
Robbed of springtime, unacquainted with the
extraordinary perfume that rises from the soil after
it’s had its rest, the garden that winter doesn’t visit
is a dull place.  The return every spring of earth’s
first freshness would never be kept if not for the
frosts and rot and ripe deaths of fall.  So when I go
out from the garden for the last time in autumn,
I leave the gate open behind me.

Michael Pollan

Source: Living Life Fully

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horseThere is an old Taoist parable.  It begins with a poor farmer in ancient China who worked a small plot of land with his teenage son. During this time horses were considered a sign of wealth; the richest person in the province owned no more than a few of them. One day a wild horse jumped the poor farmer’s fence and began grazing on his land. According to local law, this meant that the horse now rightfully belonged to him and his family. The son could hardly contain his joy, but the father put his hand on his son’s shoulder and said, “Who knows what’s good or bad?” The next day the horse made its escape back to the mountains and the boy was heartbroken. “Who knows what’s good or bad?” his father said again.  On the third day the horse returned with a dozen wild horses following.  “We’re rich!” the son cried, to which the father again replied, “Who knows what’s good or bad?” On the fourth day the boy climbed on one of the wild horses and was thrown, breaking his leg. His father ran to get the doctor; soon both of them were attending to the boy, who was upset and in a great deal of pain. The old farmer looked deeply into his son’s eyes, and said, “My son, who knows what is good or bad?” And on the fifth day the province went to war.  Army recruiters came through the town and took all the eligible young men to fight the war.  All except for the young man with the broken leg.

This is such a beautiful illustration of why it’s relevent to suspend judgment, conclusions and assumptions about anything.  Judgements and the like don’t reflect the bigger picture.  We don’t always know in the heat of any moment, what is good what is bad.  What is a blessing, what is a gift, what is a challenge in the moment that provides further expansion for us later.  We don’t always know, but we can remain open.  We can lay aside the impulse to make any seeming fact mean anything.  We can trust that the nature of all things is continually unfolding – and perhaps find a lot more ease in this open and receptive place.

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trust

Joy Harjo’s poem, appended in part below, really speaks to me at this stage of my life.  I love the honesty and the readiness to take herself back in this poem.  At the end of it, she captures the essence of why we hold onto things long after they’ve outlived their usefulness.

Fear is the language of ways in which we learned to cope earlier on, protective shields we developed.  And when we are ready or shall I say, when I am ready to step into the me who is fearless and fully trusts herself what has held me back is that which is afraid of dying.  This dying is abandoning what has contained me inside the illusion of safety.

All versions of ourselves already exist in this vast Universe, this is what Seth wrote of and the new quantum physics seems to support.  So lately, I’m in conversation with the me who is fearful and the version of me who fully trusts herself.  We are negotiating, you could say.  What is there to lose except a life that constricts and confines, I ask the afraid me.  Fearful me answers that it finds refuge in that very constriction.

Every day I continue the conversation, waiting for my willingness to abandon the old order in favor of the new.  As yet, I’m not willing.  Just for now, I’ll honor the one who is not yet willing.  Ironically, I continue to boldly trust that I will be willing one day soon.

There’s a me who leaves no consciousness stone unturned.  I shall not turn this stone over and then set it safely back down in its place and I shall not live with a heart that opens just enough.  One day soon a new conversation will unfold:  remember when you were so afraid?  Yes, I remember when.  It had its time, its reason and its story.  I released her in favor of being the one who is wide open, boundless and free, she trusts herself and herself in the world.  Where I was once so afraid of losing myself instead I found the fullness of who I Am.

* * *

I release you, fear, so you can no longer
keep me naked and frozen in the winter,
or smothered under blankets in the summer.

I release you
I release you
I release you
I release you

I am not afraid to be angry.
I am not afraid to rejoice.
I am not afraid to be black.
I am not afraid to be white.
I am not afraid to be hungry.
I am not afraid to be full.
I am not afraid to be hated.
I am not afraid to be loved.

To be loved, to be loved, fear.

Oh, you have choked me, but I gave you the leash.
You have gutted me but I gave you the knife.
You have devoured me, but I laid myself across the fire.

I take myself back, fear.
You are not my shadow any longer.
I won’t hold you in my hands.
You can’t live in my eyes, my ears, my voice
my belly, or in my heart my heart
my heart    my heart

But come here, fear
I am alive and you are so afraid

of dying.

~Joy Harjo~
what have you lost?
Poems Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye

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Rassouli

03-13-JoyVibrations

how do you say Live
to one who is backstage rehearsing their lines

how do you say Take flight
when you no longer dream of flying

how do you say Dive
to one who is afraid of drowning

how do you say Heal this heart
even as it wails in tender grief

how do you say Now, not a moment longer
to one who pretends it doesn’t matter anymore

how do you say Trust
when you can’t see through the darkness

how do you say Unfurl
when you want to fold up

how do you say Drop everything now
run, run, run to the Beloved

how do you say Let yourself be
drenched in Him

how do you say Grasp the Beloved’s hand
firmly in yours,

how do you say, Don’t let go
He knows the way.

©heartsdeesire

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precipice1

so many Angels now
they are beginning
to double up

two for each of us
one to straighten
the wings

and the other
to push you
off the precipice

©heartsdeesire

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Leap Into The Void

Image by Feng Jiang

beautifulchina1

In each life there comes at least one moment
which, if recognized and seized, transforms
the course of that life forever.

Rely, therefore, on radical trust, even though
the moment may call for you to leap
empty-handed into the void.

~Ralph H. Blum~
The Book of Runes

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gril-feelings-dice_280920051433321

You feel as you feel because you
believe in a certain fashion.
Your feelings follow your conscious
beliefs…

Seth – Jane Roberts
ESP Class – July 30, 1974

So often in the past I have felt that my emotions, my feelings were the potential problem.  It’s as if they existed as some separate entity.  If I felt happy, I felt good, if I felt really sad, I felt bad.  The connection that I wasn’t making and this is something the Field Center also talks about, as Seth does in the above quote — feelings follow intention or what we take to be real.  The first time I heard that, it was like stepping out of the hypnotic trance of my emotions.  My feelings are just information.  They tell me what I am believing.  Understanding what I’m believing gives me choice to question it, to believe it or not.  But to look at it from the standpoint of emotion alone was to miss the whole picture.

I care about what I believe, what I take to be real –  what I identify with is what I breathe life into.  I am in this moment creating my present, my future and interestingly, also my past.  Today is tomorrow’s past.  Funny how that works.

Well, I don’t have all the answers, even though I like to pretend I do on some days.  Some days I try way too hard.  Some days I am willing to let this loving, benevolent Universe work through me.  Some days I’m willing to trust that whatever unfolds is doing so for my greater Good.  Some days I get by on the skin of my teeth and Grace.  I think I love more than anything living in a Universe that I absolutely know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, bends in our favor with so much Grace and Love.  And some days, that’s my resting place and it’s enough.

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I struggled a bit choosing which piece to bring you today to celebrate
love on this Valentine’s Day.  I finally settled on this simple and beautiful
poem from Mary Oliver.  Dogs are such givers of unconditional love and
if I were to live by Percy’s advice I suspect I would lead a satisfying and
good life.

goldenretrieverpuppy

Love, love, love says Percy.
And run as fast as you can
along the shining beach, or the rubble, or the dust.
Then, go to sleep.
Give up your body heat, your beating heart.
Then, trust.

~Mary Oliver~
Red Bird: Poems by Mary Oliver

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