“If you’re listening to this in your car and you find yourself in a beautiful feeling, roll down your window, pop the tape out of the tape player, and throw it out the window. Stay with the feeling, and it will teach you everything you need to know.” (Sydney Banks)
Why do our attempts to create outcomes either not materialise or seem such a struggle? It seems a fitting question given that many of us are beginning to review 2014 and set resolutions for the New Year.
What are some of your resolutions for the upcoming year? To lose weight perhaps, or finally do something with that gym membership? Perhaps you want to earn more money?
But out of curiosity, how many of the things that you are looking to create are familiar friends? Things that you may have tried many times to do something with, but for some reason or another don’t follow through on? Why does that happen?
I am just coming to the end of a one year apprenticeship with my mentor and friend Michael Neill. It’s been an awesome year. In the process, much has been created and in all honesty, none of it has come through meticulous planning or strategy. In fact, much has come as a complete surprise. My health, a bugbear since 2007, has completely transformed. I now earn a principal part of my income from coaching, but ironically care much less about whether I earn from coaching or any other opportunities that seem to come my way. Moreover I find that those opportunities now seem to be chasing me, rather than the other way around. I am happier and more present, and there’s a tangible sense of wellbeing and expanding possibility despite the fact that at times there has been huge chaos around me.
What I find funny about all of this was that when I was first offered to do an apprenticeship in May 2013, it really didn’t feel right. It was going to require a huge time and financial commitment, and I could feel that there wasn’t much movement within me to say yes.
However, I did see that there were certain opportunities to work with Michael that did look and feel possible, and with those things it felt like the decision had already been made. There was just no question about whether they were right to do and I followed through on them.
By December 2013, the opportunity to apprentice arose again. But this time my feeling around it was totally different. I didn’t know how it was all going to happen, but I knew the feeling. It felt richer and bigger than my limited view of the world. Moreover the more I stayed with that feeling and kept following the breadcrumbs of what I could see to do, the clearer it became that this was something that wanted to happen. The decision, once again it seemed, had already been made, and the blocks that seemed to be there before had simply melted away.
For me, what I have begun to see over the last year is that life is already unfolding. It doesn’t need my help. But that hasn’t stopped me trying for most of my life! In fact, it looks to me like the reason most of our resolutions and attempts at creation fail, is that they fundamentally come from the wrong place, and the wrong feeling.
Reflect on those New Years resolutions. How many of them come from a feeling of fear of anxiousness? How many of them are laced in an idea that if we somehow achieved these things, our lives, and who we are, would somehow be better?
The problem with such an approach to creation is that the more we are caught up in these ideas, the more we will get caught up in an illusion that we are not whole, and that we must ‘try’ to make things happen. Most of the time, that trying doesn’t acknowledge the inherent creative energy that is already built into life. It’s like trying to go to the toilet when it isn’t time to go. We’ll struggle a lot and not produce that much, and what we do produce won’t be that great. We don’t need to figure out when to go to the toilet. We just know when to go. And when we know to go it will be effortless. Why would creating anything else in the world be subject to different principles?
The more we can glimpse that our inherent wellbeing is always within us, and that we only ever get in the way of it by our innocent misuse of the gift of thought, the more we will begin to see that there is a fundamental intelligence already at work. It doesn’t need our help figuring things out, and doesn’t require us to struggle to make anything happen.
Our job (if you an even call it that) is simply to be. And that isn’t actually a job or something to do. It’s a resting in a feeling of spaciousness and divine presence. It is what is left when we aren’t caught up in the illusion of trying to fix our lives. And if we can stay with that feeling, we will see more and more that life already knows how to unfold our lives perfectly. It IS the creative force. It will show us what needs to be done. It’s only ever an illusion that it is all up to us.