I started going to church again. Not religiously. Only when it feels right. I love the singing and the sense that we are all there because, well, we need a little help.
I was talking to a client yesterday when she told me something worth repeating. "I know all this stuff, (stuff being spiritual truths) but I can't buy into the "luluness" of it". The what? Yep, that "out there" ideology that is associated with certain practices of self-awareness. Lunchtime was looming and there we were trying to get to the bottom of her resistance to sitting still, (aka meditation) The ability to be at peace with our own mind is the foundation to being able to reach full potential at anything else. Yes, that was something we had seemingly established and yet at every attempt to offer her more supporting information I'd get slapped ever so gently with a "I already know that". I must say, I was intrigued. If we truly do "know" something then why not trust it? Sensing that we were at an impasse, we agreed to agree that "knowing" and "believing" are two different animals, and that even though she "knew" she needed to sit still, she wasn't allowing herself to do so because she was resisting a certain preconceived notion. I know you know what I'm talking about, folks.
How often do you resist trying something new or different because by doing so you think you'd be "committing" to the label that society has given it?
Blue hair is for "crazies"
Giving out free hugs is for "hippies"
Making your own nut-milk is for "hipsters"
Going to church is for "fanatics"
Playing is only for "kids"
Yoga is for "girls"
Smoking weed is for "potheads" BMWs are for "douches"
Why do we shove ourselves into the boring certainty of quotations marks? (I guess that might be another story.)
Fact: No one likes doing something simply because they are told to do so. Look at the cult like resistance people have developed to drinking water for heavens sakes, ( 8 glasses per day MY ASS) - as long as it feels obligatory it probably ain't happening. Or if it is happening, it's by kicking and screaming. That's just how it goes. Leaving the most powerful transforming factor --- DESIRE, nowhere to be found.
In a desperate attempt to find a personal example she could relate to, I was like, okay; look, I go to church. Not because I necessarily believe in all that the Bible says, and definitely not because I'd feel like a "bad" person if I didn't, but because of the sense of connection I get out of it. I've baptized the experience with my own meaning; it keeps my fears in check and my DESIRE to trust something bigger than my ego. The "shell" of the experience isn't mine, per say, but the pearl is. That seemed to resonate. I think.
Quick Exercise: How many of your choices and habits are fueled by "shoulds" versus "wants? Might wanna take inventory.
Is sitting in stillness a behavior whose meaning is trademarked by Buddhist monks? Nooope. Number one cause they wouldn't do that, and number two cause breathing and silence is something we all own and can use (or abuse) as we so please. Halleluiah! Why then let mainstream noise and someone else's story rob you of the opportunity to create your own?
Takeaway: Take a practice, make it your own and allow pleasure to guide your process; not obligation.