The Flow of Life
As I write this, the current flow of life is changing due to the coronavirus in the UK and lots of the world. I'm writing in my kitchen with my youngest son doing his school work remotely, my eldest son is still in bed (no change there then). My mum, who is 80 (she'll kill me if she reads this!), is in America caring for her sister and trying to figure out what is happening with her flights back to the UK next week. My partner and his children are building newly delivered desks so they can work in their respective homes. Some clients are cancelling due to new caring responsibilities, financial uncertainty and preference for face to face sessions. Projects are on hold because we can't access businesses and prisons. Visits, trips and holidays are being cancelled one by one and restrictions are increasing. Here's what I am noticing about it all.....
There is always a flow to life and then there is an attitude to how life is flowing, which is totally different. It's in the attitude to the flow of life that suffering occurs not in the flow of life. Life is happening in a certain way and then that is experienced through past conditioning, thoughts, beliefs, preferences, the fear based brain, wisdom, clarity, a belief in separation, an experience of oneness, a sense that it's down to me, a relaxation in to the flow knowing it will be okay no matter what, etc. Already today my experience has changed from uptight, frightened, peaceful, hopeful - all ebbing and flowing and yet the flow of life hasn't changed to match those experiences. I'm still at home working within the restrictions of the coronavirus, separated from friends and family.
Where did that peacefulness come from then? What about all the other mixed emotions coming and going? Coronavirus is still doing what viruses do best - spreading from host to host. If my experience of life is dictated by the coronavirus then I'm a victim to the circumstances of the flow of life and I can't be okay until the coronavirus is under control. So in victim mode I could act as a victim and be fearful, anxious, depressed, hopeless, rebellious and my behaviours could flow from that - stockpiling, ignoring restrictions, arguing, drinking, eating, you name it I could be doing it all in an to attempt to change my feelings so I no longer feel like a victim and feel I have some control over the flow of life.
Luckily, eighteen years ago standing in an intensive care unit looking down on my twelve day old baby, who had just had open heart surgery, I had an unprovoked sneak peak at the truth of life that my experience isn't dictated by life circumstances. Looking down at my blue, sedated baby covered in wires, tubes and ventilated to keep him alive, I fell in to the most beautiful experience of love and peace. I say I fell but in fact, it was the I that fell away - all the stories of the mind gone, any sense of me, myself and I gone and what was left was peace, love and a deep knowing that life was flowing perfectly. Without resistance to that flow, there was just life. As soon as all of the stories in my mind about how life needed to be or should be were gone what was left was life unfolding beautifully. I got to really be with my baby in a sense of oneness because there was no mind based distraction about what I should have done differently or what might happen in the future - I was totally there in alignment, in the flow of life, in love.
Now, don't get me wrong, I forget this all of the time and I get involved in fear based thinking and resisting the flow of life. I forget about the true nature I know myself to be and I dive right in to the drama of life and suffering happens. What that experience has given me though is a direction to look in when I remember. Do I understand it fully, hell no! But I am fascinated about the truth behind life, the deeper essence of life that we all emerge from. The awareness out of which the flow of life dances is untouched by the nature of the dance. We are that awareness with the ability to get caught up and lost in our humanness - with an ever changing kaleidoscope of experience. So how would life be different for you right now if your experience of life isn't being dictated by the circumstance of life? What if beneath all of the old habits of mind and regardless of life circumstances your true nature of peace, love, connection and wisdom is ever present? Are you willing to get curious about your experience of life? Now is as good a time as any. I'll leave you with this beautiful quote by Jack Pransky.
'All we are is peace, love and wisdom and the power to create the illusion that we are not.'