To the Most Precious Circle of Women I have ever known,
Yes...PRECIOUS is the right word!
What we have created is truly precious. Our shared vulnerability is precious. Our honesty is precious. Our willingness to see and be seen, to listen and to speak is precious. And perhaps most precious is our shared commitment to growth, healing and truth.
What a gift to co-create with each of you!
Our closing gathering yesterday and our follow-up celebration was just beautiful and I want to thank Michelle, once again, for holding us in her cherished home. The food that each of you contributed was delectable, THANK-YOU!
I simply cannot wait to gather again this fall and to witness the bonds in this circle continue to strengthen!
With more love than I can possibly describe,
As happens each week, the circle sharing creates an opening for our energy to move towards. A thread is woven between us and then our collective energy weaves this thread into a tapestry of truth and healing. The more we allow this guidance the more divine it becomes.
Yesterday's thread was an invitation to STOP FIXING. It was Michael Brown's words that inspired me to choose the term, "There's Nothing to Fix."
"Present moment awareness isn’t a concept - it’s an experience. The fact that more and more of are entering it now is a consequence of our accelerating evolution. For anyone willing to receive its blessings, its invitation is here, now, in this moment, this set of circumstances. It calls us in a silent voice that says” “STOP. THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO AND NOTHING TO DO. THERE’ SIMPLY EVERYTHING TO BE."
Serendipitously a few of us had circumstances, or as I call them "practicums" to really call this forward. During our lunch I had a small "practicum" arise, courtesy of my phone, and I would like to share with you how this situation transpired as I feel there is significant value in doing so...
During our intimate gathering I was interrupted by a phone call from my 16 year old daughter, Ayla, followed by several texts from a fairly crazy theatre mom. The mom was making unreasonable demands on Ayla with regards to a costume she is sharing with her daughter in a show this weekend. As you witnessed, I was triggered and felt the need to immediately respond and resolve the situation. This mother's anxiety had suddenly become my problem. I even felt that, since she was being manipulative and passive-aggressive, that I should appease her by offering to pay for a dress our daughters were sharing, even though my daughter did not want the dress (another dress was available), and we had never been asked, nor agreed to buy this new dress. Behind all this craziness was a sense of urgency that felt very real - though this urgency turned out to be entirely FALSE, read on....
Because I didn't want to remove myself from our tantalizing lunch and conversation, I texted the mom back saying I would have to call her in 15 minutes. Then 15 minutes later, because we were still visiting, I texted her back saying that I was sorry, but I needed another 15 minutes (I was not being honest with her or myself because 15 minutes was totally unrealistic). So, after 60 minutes when everyone had left Michelle's house, she texted me and said "I am going into a meeting now Patti, it's ok I have resolved the problem." And poof, just like that, it was done. No need for me to rescue Ayla, no need for me to extend an entirely untrue offer to pay for the dress, and no need to engage in a stressful confrontation with this mom.
IT WAS FIXED - AND I DIDN'T DO A THING.
So what is the REAL TEACHING in this situation?
Well, as Michelle C so brilliantly pointed out to me. If I hadn't had my PHONE turned on during a time when I should have been entirely present to all of you, then this entire situation would have resolved itself in the exact same time frame without me being dragged in or stressed out.
"But", I said to Michelle, "I need to have my phone, my kids need to reach me". And very calmly she replied, "Do they really? All the time? What would happen if they couldn't, would they not learn how to resolve their own issues?"
HMMM...she has a point.
How many times do we let our phones take us away from the present moment? AND, how often are we enabling our loved ones to fall out of their present moments simply by our constant availability to them?
Some serious food for thought my friends.
I wonder what the second bird would say??
THE TWO BIRDS
Some time ago, I saw a picture depicting a parable from the Bhagavad Gita. It showed two birds in a tree, and one of them was building a nest. This one is flying off collecting things, arranging the twigs—it’s active, doing many things.
Above this bird, on another branch, is a second bird. It looks identical to the first bird, but it’s not building anything. It is just observing. It’s not building a self-image out of its perceiving, and it’s not deeply interested in any aspect of what it sees. Its perceiving is happening quite spontaneously without effort or judgment. There’s a silence there, that feeling of Being without thought. Just looking.
This is a beautiful portrait of who we are.
These two birds are connected. The first bird represents our dynamic being, the self that is engaged in the world, in future and past, in growing. It is the aspect that is living life with the sense of my family, my children, my work, and so on. The second bird represents that conscious witnessing within us. It is the ability to observe life taking place and activities unfolding, but it is not actually doing anything. It is still within the same body, but it is not manipulating. It is not saying, “I hope this, and I fear that.” No, it is very still. It is simply there, and its seeing is panoramic. It sees not only the first bird, but also the wind in the trees, the sky—everything is observed with a kind of neutrality.
Initially the first bird is very identified with building the nest. It may not even be aware of the second bird. But as soon as it is able to be quiet, it becomes aware of the second bird, which is actually itself at a deeper inner level. When the first bird’s mind is synchronized with the second bird, the activities become much more gracious. There is a sense of a unity, a oneness. In that harmony, the work may still happen but without obsession, without fear, without the sense of needing to control things. It is simply happening because life compels this activity to happen. It is as though another power is helping the actions to take place.
The second bird represents the change of perspective from the mode of the person to the state of presence. When we are involved in the activities of life so deeply that it seems that the daily routine is all there is, then we are like this first bird, the nest builder, oblivious to our second bird position.
Come to the second bird position, to the one who is observing, and you will discover that the one who is busy building a life will slowly become more transparent, leaving only the functioning itself. The activities are happening anyway, beautifully, but the sense of doer-ship—which is the ego sense—will fade away. Activities are just happening; our self-image as a person is just happening, but our true Self is not a happening. In fact, the true Self is a third position, which is not a bird, but the space within which both birds are arising and seen.
Darlings, I plan to add to this little blog over the summer so stay tuned.