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How do you find your inner guidance? Is there such a thing? If so, how do you know you can trust it?…
Those of you who have worked with me in private or group retreat, have discovered for yourselves the amazing brilliance and truly astonishing magic under foot when we learn how to create an atmosphere of quiet watchfulness; and when we start to recognize soul’s genius that is always at play through the passages of our daily living. It’s always here, this inner genius – we just don’t know how to recognize it. Or we are too preoccupied or afraid to listen…
Learning how to attune to the ways of soul is something very foreign to our culture. The language and ways of soul are very counterintuitive to our “oh so busy and fix-it oriented” brains.
It’s really easy to miss Life’s genius and our own inner guiding light of awareness. That’s why we feel lost from ourselves: We are! When we don’t know how to listen to Life; when we don’t understand how to access our own direct inner wisdom then we are indeed lost to our Self. No wonder we feel depressed, anxious, distracted, fragmented, lost, confused, afraid. These are all just symptoms signaling our own disconnect from life and our relationship to it.
So get ready: I’m going to be speaking a different language here: a language of soul. It is a language that the everyday rational mind-tool is not equipped to fully comprehend. And yet, the language of soul is ever readily available to those who discover its truly ingenious ways of communicating. (Enter Zen, paradox, and the art of living your destiny…)
First, let’s distinguish knowledge from wisdom. What is wisdom anyway? What is knowledge? Wisdom is not knowledge; it’s something more. Look inside yourself and allow yourself to see the difference between the concept of “knowledge” and the concept of “wisdom”. What are they?
I invite you to look at life and see for yourself, the difference between an act that is knowledgeable and one that is wise. Wisdom is something more organic to the moment. Knowledge is an accumulation of resources and tools. Wisdom is HOW and WHEN to apply these resources. (Well that’s one way of discerning the two for now…)Wisdom is a relational and creative interaction with life. It is non-local. It encompasses but is also beyond the boarder patrol of the personality-conditioned mind… That’s what makes it, “wise”! Wisdom evolves. Knowledge extrapolates. (smile…)
So, if you (only) try to get what I’m saying in this writing with your head, you’ll find it all sounds pretty crazy sounding mumbo jumbo. That’s why mystics, poets, and sages east and west, and from the beginning of time have been so often misunderstood, shunned, or their teachings misapplied through fundamental systems dogma: When the mechanics of the mind try to understand the fluid flowing knowing of soul, everything gets mixed up and misused. The mind cannot effectively grasp something that is, of essence, in the larger non-local domain of soul. Wrong tool entirely!
(Gosh! if only someone had taught us this crucial distinction in perceptual awareness! We could have avoided a lot of wars and personal-global destruction. Life could be so filled with wonder and joy if we were taught how to live as master artisans: awake to life, following the wisdom language of our very heart and soul…)
You can try it right now: See if you can allow yourself to read and then hear what I’m saying through your own inner imagination (or from a kind of open-intuitive quality of inner (non-thought) listening — almost like you’re not even really listening, but rather letting http://www.rondalarue.com/wp-content/themes/platformpro/images1 bubble up around the words as they fall into an open space inside of you) …If you listen in this way, you may just find the key inside of you that already resonates with life’s own genius. And that resonance, is the true source of your wisdom and creative aliveness.
It is very awkward as a “normal professional person out in the world” to directly experience a realization of soul, and then try and explain it! The language and wisdom ways of soul are quantum leaps beyond the grasp of the logical mind.
Those of you who have completed a 3 ½ day retreat with me, know exactly what I mean:
How do you describe the meaningful and bizarre “coincidences” or the magically creative surprises that occurred during our retreat time together? How can you explain to someone how you found yourself “following the thread” of these simple things we experience together and how they led you, with such stunning grace, to your own insight and healing path of truth and purpose? Heck: no one would believe you if you tried! You’d sound like some kind of new age nut!
Soul realization is mind blowing (quite literally). My clients often leave here dismayed by this very quandary… How to explain something that has transformed their lives and their understanding of how life works to a family member, a coworker or a best friend who doesn’t know what he/she doesn’t know?
So here too is my very own challenge as author and mentor. I too have recently experienced another healing transformation and “deepening of soul” that spirals by grace out of a very personally vulnerable and difficult time in the last year.
How do I share the insights that I’ve been opened to?
How do I share what I’ve seen in such a way that it facilitates you finding the key to meeting your own fears, confusions and struggles in a way that will open the door to your own deeper awakening and richness of living?
How can I show you, through my most recent personal experiences and vulnerability, that once again, it is the art of entering into new relationship with your issues (and not the fixit attempts of the security-protective mind) that sets us each free into new levels of expressing and embodying our genius?
It’s so counter intuitive – and yet so elegantly simple – the art of living ones destiny! It’s such a miracle; so very difficult (impossible really) to accurately describe — and utterly, unmistakably brilliant, when it is directly experienced for oneself! (…I wish I could give everyone of you a 3 ½ day retreat experience… I’m still trying to figure out any possible way to facilitate direct experience via internet and writing.)
Here’s the amazing realization:
Life’s insights, miracles, and magical transformations come surprisingly naturally …when we just get still and learn the art of relating. Insight comes very organically. It comes through the living practice of (what I call) the SoulArts Process (TM).
It only takes this to realize your wisdom way: a willing kind of bold daringness to discover the art of looking, listening, and following your life, rather than labeling, demanding and commanding it! Our refusal to do this one thing is all that stands in the way of our own repetitive situations and blocks. Amazing when this is first truly seen!
We mistakenly get caught in the trap of thinking that our life problems must be solved by the very conditioned mind that created the perception-problems to begin with! As Einstein said: one cannot solve a problem from the level in which it was manufactured. Our fear-based, problem-solving mind IS the problem! See this and you’re 75% free…
Egoic self-preservation will forever seduce us into buying the value of it’s own continued livelihood; it will forever reconstruct more of the same. But please don’t misunderstand me here: Ego and identity have their good and rightful time and place in our daily functioning… Transforming our deepest wounds and directing our unique purpose just is NOT that place!
Transformation, healing, release, insight and freedom, require a quantum leap to a whole new way of seeing and being. …That’s what makes it “transformation!” (smile again).
So you want to change your life? You have to recognize the barriers and learn how to make this simple quantum breakthrough leap! And I tell you: It’s actually simple, adventurous, and a big B I G relief!
In essence, what we’re really talking about here, is the art of being TRULY ALIVE — about finding and following your life direction “on the move”! Life is a moving target. It’s not even a target at all actually. It’s a (get ready): “moving process of amazing co-creative opportunity that is ever shifting with your response!” (sit on that one a bit…)
Your healing peace and life purpose aren’t “things to go out and find”. Your healing self-contentment and life purpose are discovered through being in conscious relationship with the situations of your life — on the go! Our healing insights and directions arise within an engaged process of moving, changing, transforming, revealing, becoming… And that’s precisely where the artistry of soul comes in.
Let’s look at what nourishes this artistry, this being genuine, awake, truly alive and whole:
Being awake, true, whole initially and mostly requires one big shift: an inward Stopping. (How’s that for paradox?)
Being truly awake requires (first) learning how to pause: Learning how to pause before speaking, learning how to pause before acting; learning how to pause right at the apex of thinking a thought! ..Pausing just long enough to consciously “notice” — to See beyond the arising thought itself.
Being alive requires a kind of pause that “catches” the mind games, endless unconscious self-talk and projected stories that parade through the landscape of our day. This does NOT mean stopping to analyze each thought. That’s just more circular stuck-staying tricks of the mind! Rather, it means pausing just so that you catch an observing/ seeing/ realizing glimpse of the mind’s antics and attitudes; it’s opening space to see how the ego-self works; noticing the energetic motive behind thought-projection.
This may sound esoteric and difficult to you, but it’s truly not!. It simply takes becoming actively curious about what is actually behind your automatic beliefs, stories, and perceptions. Giving the thought a little “doubting question mark” before you just assume your perception is real, is all it takes to hold the key to your own growing wisdom.
Once a curious state of awareness is nurtured in your daily life, it merely takes adding a little playful, creative approach to “courting” life’s genius out from its hiding places inside your life situations. (“come out come out wherever you are: ally ally in free!”)
In other words, when you get curious, you begin to naturally let insight and decisions arise from a place of inner quiet (the still point before thought) through a creative process of building awareness. It’s like muscle building: Don’t use it, you lose it. Awareness-building and spiritual toning takes daily commitment. If we don’t make it part of our everyday life, then we really can’t be surprised when we feel lost, weak, confused!
Spiritual awareness-building is how you ride the wave of living truth. And this awareness building is “the power of now”; “who you’d be without your story”; and “the art of living your destiny”! This is what all these authors, myself included, are writing about and trying to help describe: how to be awake, alive and true on the go and in everyday living reality.
It’s (honest to God) so very simple. But you have to experience it yourself to know of what I am actually speaking. I’m speaking of being attuned to life in a way that side-steps old patterns and blocks. I’m talking about a courageous willingness to live by Divine Mystery. Some call it intuition, others being awakened, enlightened, or living from a a state of grace. It’s really just being courageously committed to being truly alive. And being alive is NOT thinking about how to become alive… it’s BEING ALIVE!
Being truly alive is a kind of intelligent free-form dance with formlessness on the cusp of form. Kids are alive naturally (innocently) with curiosity and play.(The biblical statement that “One cannot enter the kingdom but as a child” points to this mystical reality.) We’re asked as adults to reclaim this inherent childhood gift of innocent connection to life with the added structures of wisdom applied to awareness. And that’s no small requirement, but it is elegantly simple…
“The art of being truly and masterfully alive” as an adult requires an inner awareness that has paused enough to see the automatic tinkering thought mechanisms of the mind. This simple expansion of awareness opens up space in your consciousness (it makes you bigger than just your thoughts and emotions). This expanded inner conscious spaciousness (the still point or silence) allows you to notice more than the old repetitive patterns of your mind. This sets you outside and (relatively) free of those blocks…
Very similar to the practice of yoga or a martial art, this inner seeing pause that opens you to expanded consciousness, is what allows you to enter into a creative relationship with the very essence of life as it expresses through YOU! (See if you can sense this possibility. Get curious about finding your inner still point even if you don’t understand it or have no clue how to find it! This curiosity alone will start to reveal the remarkable larger spaciousness that is your soul’s domain.)
You can most immediately enter into this kind of curious relationship with life through what I call “intentional soulful meandering”… by allowing yourself to “go empty within a seeded intent” (pausing inwardly) even while you’re out and about “doing life”. It’s very very simple actually! We just miss this elegant simplicity by filling up that free space with diversions and automatic unconscious thinking and behaviors. Get clear on that, and you’re well on the way of becoming more truly whole and alive!
Try this: Turn off the TV in your house, or don’t play the radio or talk on the phone while driving your car. Once you get over the initial self-boredom or nervous anxiety of having no distraction between you experiencing yourSelf, and you get accustomed to spending these little bits of free time alone with yourself, you can begin to nourish the inner pause, then expand your consciousness to new horizons, and start to see through the beliefs and blocks that are stopping your life!
Living from your soulful genius is close to the concept of play, which is why it’s such a HUGE relief after you get past the mind that says “I don’t know how to play”. Your genius knows how to play! Your genius knows that soulful play is the key to its brilliance. Your genius knows that its true source of intelligence is WAY bigger and beyond the confines of the structured and fear-driven mindset of your rational conditioning that is holding you back and keeping you stuck! (Woah, that’s a mouthful. See this one, and you’ve stepped onto the path of your true wisdom way.)
~ Pause ~
I’m going to assume that you want the same things those who come to work with me say they most desire:
inner peace; a sense of balance, harmony and love shared with others; meaningful purpose and passion; healing of old past traumas and wounds; and a clue as to just how to live your life in a way that offers true meaning, abiding love, and rich soulful contentedness on a daily basis in the real world. Yes?
Please hear me: it’s not “out there as something you’re missing and need to find, figure out, or go get”. It’s here, in the simple new artistry of how you meet and relate and move with the ingredients of your life right now. The secret is in expanding your conscious awareness beyond the patterns and blocks that are keeping you stuck.
We all kind of know this but then fall back into the trap: The key to all you wish for won’t be found in a new external situation: a new partner, a new job, winning the lottery. The key you’re looking for is not in things but in approach – not in external situations, but in how (and with what depth of consciousness) you relate to your situations, as they come and go.
The key to your genius lies in discovering your own unique artistry; it’s in getting curious; it’s in expanding your consciousness; it’s in the new playful ways you engage and learn from the situations of your life. The situations of your life are your master teachers! Approach them in an attentive, honoring fashion like one does in the practice of yoga or a martial art, and you will find the key to alchemy, transformation, and joy right here in these frustrating current life situations! It’s such an art!
So if you wish to achieve what your heart most deeply longs for, discover what it REALLY means and requires to become an artist of your life!
Discover how to artfully and creatively engage the very things you struggle with – and learn how to use them (instead of being used by them) to inspire deeper truth and direction. It’s stunningly easy and amazingly creative. (And every single one of us IS creative. That is what the human being is. Only the fear-mind is not.)
AN APPLIED PRACTICE:
One way to start being radically more alive right now (and btw: the only time you CAN actually ever become alive is right now) is this:
Everything that comes up to your mind today as a “yes but I’m too xyz” (you fill in the blank!…) Every reason you have for why you can’t get creative or playful, or find answers: “I don’t know how to play”. “I’m not a creative person”. “I’m too busy”. “I’m too sick, depressed, tired, stuck” etc. Whatever “yes but” reasons for not being able to be an artist of your life (“I don’t know how”) …catch that thought! Pause and SEE IT – hear it! Reflect on how familiar that “yes but” thought is; on how much you believe it; how identified you are with it. Just see that!
…And then, take any one of your “I can’t because xyz”, and go out and find, create or buy something that resembles that part of you. Give that “attitude” or “quality” a physical (actual tangible) identity that you can see, touch, name. I mean get, make, find something you can physically look at.
You don’t have to even make more time in your busy life to do this. (ha! Caught you on a “yes but” didn’t I?)
Just stay alert to whatever “yes but” identity you’ve identified while driving to work, stopping for gas, dropping the kids off, arguing with a co-worker. Keep it on your mind while you’re out and about doing your normal daily activities and you’ll run into something that “resembles that inner remark”. If you merely stay curious to what you might find or make to resemble your inner blocks (“I can’t because…”) – They’ll show up and take a bow!
Once you’ve created, found or bought an object that resembles that remark in you (that “yes but” attitude), go one step further:
Put the object some place that reflects, symbolizes, or metaphorically describes the ways it operates in your life. This could be, for example: dangling your found object from a dead light bulb, placing it in a cold (or hot) oven, placing it on a pedestal; sweeping it under the carpet!
…Just see where your “meandering playful” self comes up with to place this object. …AND have the playful guts to do it, even if your mind says “this is all stupid” (which it will, so “get over it!” as a great Eagles song says
…Then, as you go about your daily living, simply watch – and see – and notice – and honor – the insights that start to come to you simply by this one creative relationship with a part of you…
Do this, and you’ll be truly amazed! (I not only dare you: I double dare you!)
October 30, 2009