Monday, June 20, 2011

Ask Parvati 17: Standing Your Ground, Part 2: Standing Sacred Ground


Fathers teach us how to make the lives we want. Our mothers teach us how to feel. The feminine principle teaches us surrendered receptivity, learning to flow within the whole. Cradled within the big picture and the spiritual presence of the cosmos, we learn that our own voice is a valuable and integral part of the whole.

The male principle teaches us surrendered action, learning the whole within the flow. Rooted in a healthy sense self, our fathers must teach us about the whole, the way we fit into the universe. But what is that whole? From a worldly perspective, it is institutions, organized religions, big business, government and corporations. From a spiritual perspective, it is the notion that we are not temporal beings, but one with eternal consciousness temporarily living within finite form.

When we feel attacked, we tend to defend, because we feel attached to the idea of mine. Yet, the idea of mine only exists when we feel separate from the whole. I am not suggesting that healthy boundaries should not exist. On the contrary, it is only from the vantage point of a healthy sense of self that we can begin to feel the confidence to let go of the grip of our ego, the tendency of our mind to divide. Healthy self-esteem, self-love and self-confidence are not born out of feeling separate, but from a sense of our sacred place within the whole.

When we stand our ground, we are not asked to defend our sense of attacked self. In truth, there is no-thing to defend. When we truly stand our ground, we are rooted in the sacred. We are aware of the flow within the whole and the whole within the flow. We are rooted in our truth. We see our truth within the context of the situation. We are open to the wisdom of the whole that arises from within our gut, in our hearts, in our being in each moment.

Let’s look again at the relationship between our feet and the ground. If we were asked how we walk, we would say, likely that we don’t know and give a quick answer that we just put one foot in front of the other. We again, could all agree that is how walking happens. Or is it? What is it that walks? What is it that creates the impulse to move? What force moves through us to walk, to stand, to breathe, to speak, to think, to be?

All that is exists because of grace. All that transpires and continues on does so because of grace. Our job is to stop trying to control, to distort things to suit our ego and get out of the way so that we may witness our interconnection within the divine play. In this, profound joy arises and we experience freedom beyond anything we could possible conjure or buy.

We are attached to “mine” at the expense of our fuller, truer self. We are attached to feeling attacked at the expense of what is. I learned from experience, with a little help years ago from the Opossum card I kept pulling from David Carson’s medicine deck, that sometimes the best defense is no defense. In this way, we avoid getting caught up in the drama of life and learn to deepen our practice witnessing, in non-resistance, what is.

When you next feel that you need to stand your ground, see if you can remain open, relaxed, rooted and expansive. From this vantage point, remember that things are not “happening to you”. You are no victim but are perfectly supported and are given all you need in each moment to perfectly learn. From this vantage point, watch your reactions rise and fall away.

If you feel confronted by someone, watch what that person is doing, as though you were watching a cloud move through the sky. “Yes. There it is. So it is.” See that person as he or she is. How is he tense, scared, honest, loving, brave? Can you feel the goodness within the other in this moment, speaking through him to you? Is he really against you or is he offering you an opportunity to see a much bigger picture and live rooted in that reality?

(Continues tomorrow: Witness, Release)

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