Wednesday, March 25, 2015

pulled by our visions : the Following - time is the means | part IV

See Part I, II and III.

If time is the means and always the means that takes us where we need to go, then being able to feel life's nudges and guidance takes on a whole new importance.

This doesn't mean we sit back and wait for some miraculous something or other to come our way (it's kind of the opposite of that actually although we always stay open to the miraculous something, of course!) - it means when we choose to move we make the conscious choice of action and we pursue it with an earnest steadiness of purpose

(earnest is my new favorite word by the way and yes, I realize it means I have been spending way too much time with Olive - I am always on the lookout for ways to work it into conversations so others will pick up on it - imagine a world full of people seeking earnestness!)

and then we make ourselves at home with what we have created, learned and attained.

(not obtained, outcomes are never guaranteed here on Planet Earth - only growth!).

This somehow reminds me of something I just read about a CNBC poll or CNN poll - one of those C networks and now that I think about it this is terribly off-topic, but maybe not so I'll throw it in here - the poll asked people who they would rather vote for for president. The question was phrased like this, "Would you rather vote for someone who was financially successful or someone who has never been wealthy?". I have to stand a little bit in amazement at the person who wrote this question which was clearly designed with the answer they wanted to produce in mind. It would be obvious to most people someone can be financially successful and not be wealthy and someone can be wealthy and not financially successful (inherited wealth for example). Obviously this poll was designed to get the average poll answerer, some poor guy just trying to eat his spaghetti dinner after a hard day at work - to say he would rather vote for someone who was financially successful. Then the pollsters could report most Americans would prefer someone wealthy be president. There was also a question that was phrased something like, "Would you be more likely to vote for someone with years of experience who has long been in the public eye or someone who came out of nowhere?". Sigh.

Imagine if the genius of these poll writers could be deflected for good!

It might mean we need to slow down a little bit or maybe we need to shut up and listen a little more or maybe we just need to stop. There's a reason Moses went up the mountain and a reason we need to unplug our laptops and go sit under that tree, yes, even here in New Jersey where the grounds are still frozen and snow covered - we can grab a blanket.

(we'll just get up sometime between numb ears and frostbitten fingers)

And this isn't just about a "time out" or space of meditation, although those spaces really help and are sometimes necessary, it's really about the kind of mindfulness we carry with us when we come away from that tree, plug in that laptop and come down from that mountain (and if we stumble upon a situation like this poll question, designed with someone else's answer in mind, we move through it earnestly and true to ourselves).

It's the difference between our vision pulling us toward the future self we want to be and us pushing for markers of accomplishment on our way to that thing we really, really want.

If we are holding confident to what is here - the present moment - and not clutching for a false security ie that thing we really, really want or that thing we have come to depend on, then being on our path, allowing ourselves to be guided is never going to be a mistake.

(every month, just before the New Moon we have a few days of quiet detox, time-out and reflection called the Balsamic Moon phase. We get the same phase on an annual basis, too, only for a few weeks instead of a few days. This happens just before the New Moon in Aries kicks off the astrological year.

With the new astrological year approaching on April 18th, we are right in the middle of the annual Balsamic Moon two month phase - I had never heard of this until this year and think it fits with what I always feel about this time of year very well. 

This is an excellent time for reflection - and a vacation actually if we can work one in - vacations are great ways to break habitual thinking and release old habits. This year with that final Uranus Pluto square last week and Solar Eclipse the Spring Equinox did not feel like a new beginning to me all!)

One of the I Ching principles of right timing is called the Following. We sometimes experience the Following as an effortless flow of supportive synchronicities and sometimes, maybe more often, we experience the Following as events unfolding in their own time and failing to keep to ours!

In the I Ching, the Following follows "enthusiasm". We feel enthusiastic about something and we get naturally carried along with it. The Following precedes "corruption" - because eventually the flow carries us toward "things to be done" where we step from the child-like way of the Following into some adult-like responsibility (more on this next post).

Some ways we will know we are working against the Following will be things like (these are from  8 signs we are overdue for a fresh start and somehow fit here perfectly):

we are always late (with people, places, paying our bills), we feel limited joy in the small stuff (lacking inspiration), we are waiting for some kind of magic to happen (stillness isn't about standing still), we are overwhelmed with clutter (and no, my tidy something once isn't working so well for me), we make excuses or blame other people for the situation we find ourselves in instead of looking at how our own choices and beliefs have carried us where we are or we talk about doing something big but stay stuck (hello, why am I still living in this house?).

We could ask ourselves 1. Can I step outside my "official" role to be more devoted to other people and to the truth and less to position, formality and old beliefs? 2. Can I be spontaneous and free and lead my life even when stuff is outside my control and out of my hands? 3. During times of transition and upheaval when the --it hits the fan can I ask myself what I most value and hold to that?

I have a story to tell about what the past two weeks brought me (and carried off) - I'll write it later in the week and then next week we'll wrap this series up. Hopefully it inspires someone to take a look at the I Ching!

For now let's hang out in the present moment and see how that feels. Let's not experience events as the result of past actions or the effects of causes. Just see them as rising spontaneously in the moment. Let's feel what kind of moments we are being offered. 

xo all


KJ said...

I have been in training for the last 8 weeks. I am, in case you hadn't noticed, not a bit shy and speak out regularly. I try to balance the need to know (i.e. ask questions) and contribute with efforts not to dominate. We had a group exercise last week and I reminded myself of that tension. Nonetheless, it came down to me reminding the group that we had been given goals that had not been addressed and being appointed the spokesperson. Still, I did not dominate. All of which is to say that change is possible but we, or at least I, keep returning to those behaviors which are deeply learned.

Catherine Ivins said...

Yes, exactly. I am determined this Easter holiday to not fill silences and not 'manage' the day - change our position, see new things, have new experiences, build new synapses - looking away from the scene of the crime and building elsewhere. xo Kathy