I’m currently taking a class through the Institute for The Work that, if I pass, will qualify me to volunteer on The Work Helpline - a helpline that can be accessed through the ITW website and used by anyone that wants to be facilitated by an experienced facilitator of The Work. The class curriculum includes exploration of stressful thoughts that arise around volunteering and being of service. This exploration of beliefs around service lead me to a personal foundational belief that ‘I have to be able to access my intuition’. As I put this thought through the four questions and turnarounds of The Work I experienced waves of freedom, peace, and a sense of deep belonging in the world.
Go gently with this inquiry - we have been given as gospel that it is better to access intuition.
I have to be able to access my intuition. Is that true?
NO! On what planet could that possibly be true? Not here. Look around. How many people now, and throughout all of time, have actually been able to trust their intuition? Not a big percentage. What kind of sadistic God would make it true then, that we have to be able to access our intuition when the vast majority of human experienced to date is that we do not?! What is this insane “have to” in my mind? I mean really, look at my life. Have I EVER had to be able to access my intuition? No. Am I perfectly ok right now, even given all the times I did not access or act on my intuition? Yes! I’m absolutely ok.
Who am I and how do I react when I believe that ‘I have to be able to access my intuition’?
There is a huge figure towering over me, screaming that I have to find my intuition. Terror, I don’t understand what she’s really saying. Fear. Micro assessing every little tiny move I am about to make. Testing the waters incessantly. Fear to act until I’m enlightened on a matter. It makes me tired to say the belief in my head. I feel like I’m getting yelled at. I’m being told the world is scary. I experience a collapsing in and closing as I am told that this is the way it is. Sad acceptance. Oh no.
Who or what would I be without the thought ‘I have to be able to access my intuition’?
Ahh, a huge weight comes off. Innocence. A child in the world. Meant to be here. Home. Open to everything coming my way. Welcoming, wanting to see everything. Everything is a friend. A layer between me and the world that I didn’t even know was there melts away. A weight is coming off and I want to lean back and nap for hours in perfect comfort and well being. Peace, immediate deep wordless access to my heart. Lots of heart energy. A soft continuum of my life expending into my past, no horrific breaks or mistakes.
No line between me and other things. The wind chimes outside the window come right up, right up to my heart. I feel the luxuriousness of my cat stretching on the sheepskin. Peace. Abidance. A sense of deep time. I’m off the biggest hook ever, now I can just be. I want to rest. Sleep in the peace. Deep stirring of impressions from early early childhood.
I can breathe again. Sit back with my head on the chair, supported, at rest, belonging. I’m good. I feel my innate, intact goodness. These are all just words until you feel it for yourself.
I don’t have to be able to access my intuition.
Well, isn’t that they way it often is? That I don’t trust or hear my intuition? Reality absolutely proves out that there is no reason whatsoever that I have to able to access my intuition. It’s not a prerequisite to being here in this life. Image if everyone who couldn’t access their intuition was suddenly not allowed to be here. I think there would be no humans left.
Hasn’t every time that I didn’t trust my intuition, or every time that I didn’t act on intuition, or every time that I couldn’t access my intuition – haven’t each of those times set me up to learn? Often setting me up to learn so much more than I could have had it not happened? Right now I’m seeing all the no-intuition moments of my life as beautiful arched doorways to growth. Doorways I would never have walked though if I knew I was doing it.
I have to be able to not trust my intuition.
Yes, because if I have to be able to trust my intuition at all times I am not free. I live in a prison. I have to be able to not trust my intuition so I can have the full spectrum of experience. I have to be able to not trust my intuition because, hello, it’s going to happen.
I have to be able to trust my confusion.
Do you feel that? Do you feel what happens when you fight your confusion and think that it shouldn’t be there? It gets way worse. I have to be able to trust my confusion as an equally arising face of God. Only my prejudice says that it’s not as good as clarity. What happens when you allow confusion just to fully be with you? Peace. For me, immediate transcendance to the witness point of view. Disidentification with the confusion. I see it’s not ME, it's only here with me.
As long as I push confusion away I stay in a state of fear, a state of resistance, a state where I can’t calmly look at confusion.
I have to be able to trust my confusion in that it will continue to visit me until I can be at peace in its presence, until I can welcome its presence as the teacher I need.
Greetings from a cozy sunporch. My son's cat, Bone's Eye, is curled at my knee, half purring and licking his back. Hydrangea heads whisper and blow stiffly in the fall air, their heads russet brown and leaves still green just outside the porch windows. I sometimes wonder who planted them, picturing a farm lady in the 1930s, hard working and with a love of flowers.
This morning I woke up in a funk I've come to call being 'In It'. 'It' is a dense sensation of simmering feelings - lethargy, defeat, zero motivation, and a why bother flavor all swirled together into a blanket laid thickly over my mind. Waking up into this state I don't want to do anything, and there is no creative or excited impulses bubbling up to meet the day.
When I first became consciously aware of this state of 'In It' I railed against it - why me? again? haven't I done enough inner work to be free of this? All I wanted was for it to be gone, to not exist. It was a thing to be gotten rid of, seen though, worked though until, by God, I didn't have to deal with being 'In It' anymore. When I woke up 'In It' that was proof that I wasn't getting very far.
Adyashanti teaches a practice for just such times. I will try to describe it here to the best of my ability. He says to imagine this thing that you don't want to be here - depression, self-loathing, anger, fear, hatred... you name it. If you don't want to feel it, that's precisely the one to use.
Imagine this thing, really get in touch with the felt sense of it, and then imagine that you are bringing it closer and closer to your chest. Imagine that you want to bring it so close to you that there is absolutely no space between it and you. And once you've brought it that close, bring it even closer. Bring it so close there's not even an atom's width between you and it. And once you have this thing - sadness, anger, unworthiness, so so close to your chest, bring it even closer. I'm talking no space at all. And then have patience and continue to bring it closer.
Now this is a practice, and being a practice I cannot tell you what will happen if you do it. The invitation is to try it out and see.
A client of mine had a full blown panic attack during a session recently. This person, even in the midst of utter visceral terror, kept opening and opening more and more fully to the fear, wanting it, inviting it to become even bigger, even more. The attack lasted a good while and he never shut down, never tried to get away from the panic. His surrender and commitment was astonishing to witness.
Quite suddenly a shift came, his breath became gentle, and the room was filled with vibrancy and soft peace. It was palpable. After sitting quietly for several minutes he said the most beautiful thing. He said "I hear the sound of stillness. This the only thing left after all that leaves."
It brings to mind this gospel song -
Well, He's so high you can't get over Him
So wide you can't get around Him
So low you can't get under him
you gotta go through that door
Lord Almighty, you gotta go through that door.
Consider for a moment that everything you believe limits you, oppresses you, everything you wish was different than it is, is actually God, or Source, the One, laying the doorway to peace at your very feet.
And on that note.... join us this coming Friday the 13th for more Inquiry at the Integrative Medicine Center, Room 303, from 5-7pm!
I look forward to being with you,