Stay in the middle of it

Anxiety, heartbreak, and tenderness mark the in-between state. It’s the kind of place we usually want to avoid. The challenge is to stay in the middle rather than buy into struggle and complaint. The challenge is to let it soften us rather than make us more rigid and afraid.

 Pema Chödrön,  The In-Between state

Beyond limitations

Souls get big from opening out beyond the limitations of human knowledge and control.

Everyone is called to be a mystic of some sort, and being open to mystery and myth, the intuitive and the non-rational, to art and ritual, to nature and animals, to absurd ideas and outrageous fantasies gives the soul room to fashion a lovable and thoughtful human being. However simple your life, however ordinary and retiring, you can have a mega-soul, a vast source of vitality, and the capacity for pain and failure as well. You can be noble in your simplicity and deep and wide in your ability to contain life.

Thomas Moore

Transitions

It has been a very slow transition this year….

One of the beautiful transitions in nature is the transition from winter to springtime. An old Zen mystic said, when one flower blooms it is spring everywhere. When the first innocent, infant-like flower appears on the earth, one senses nature stirring beneath the frozen surface. There is a lovely phrase in Gaelic, ‘ag borradh’, meaning that there is a quivering life about to break forth. The wonderful colours and the new life the earth receives makes spring a time of great exuberance and hope. In a certain sense, spring is the youngest season. Winter is the oldest season. Winter was there form the very beginning. It reigned amidst the silence and bleakness of nature for hundreds of millions of years before vegetation. Spring is a youthful season; it comes forth in a rush of life and promise, hope and possibility. At the heart of the spring there is a great inner longing. It is the time when desire and memory stir towards each other. Consequently, springtime in your soul is a wonderful time to undertake some new adventure, some new project, or to make some important changes in your life. If you undertake this, when it is springtime in your soul, then the rhythm, the energy and the hidden light of your own clay works with you. You are in the flow of your own growth and potential. Springtime in the soul can be beautiful, hopeful and strenghtening. You can make difficult transitions very naturally in an unforced and spontaneous way.

John O’Donohue,  Anam Cara

Heartened, disheartened…

Once out of our particular bondage, self-made or otherwise, the long pilgrimage of spiritual work demands a commitment to wander into a life of authenticity and truth. Once awake, the journey of our promise is always near and challenging. At the same time, the journey of our bondage is still near and disheartening. This is our crooked path to enlightenment: two steps forward, one step back; two days of being heartened, one day of being disheartened. This is the dynamic of being alive. This is what we work with and for.   

Mark Nepo, The One Life We’re Given

Your greater life

The journey is into the wildness of your greater life. The wilderness is your soul. To merge with your destiny, you must locate, liberate and live what is truly wild.  The soul is here to live its joy. The unitiated ego is here to keep things familiar, safe and predictable. Which path will you choose?.

Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche

Life as teacher

 

Repetition is not failure. Ask the Waves. Ask the Leaves. Ask the Wind

There is no expected pace for inner learning. What we need to learn comes when we need it, no matter how old or young, no matter how many times we have to start over, no matter how many times we have to learn the same lesson. We fall down as many times as we need to, to learn how to fall and get up. We fall in love as many times as we need to, to learn how to hold and be held. We misunderstand the many voices of truth as many times as we need to, to truly hear the choir of diversity that surrounds us. We suffer our pain as often as is necessary for us to learn how to break and how to heal. No one really likes this, of course, but we deal with our dislike in the same way, again and again, until we learn what we need to know about the humility of acceptance.

Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening