Embodied Transformation & Evolution

The Life That Chooses You ~The Soul & Your Sacred Edge

Posted by on Nov 28, 2018 in Featured Writing, Lifeletters & Articles | 1 comment

The Life That Chooses You ~The Soul & Your Sacred Edge

Who knows what brings you to these moments, in which you are shaken up, startled, and issued a radical invitation: to step into the life that chooses you. This is your authentic life, the life of the soul. It’s a life that is much, much bigger than your personal agendas. And at the same time, this is your way, which is utterly unique. Not separate, and not the same as any other human being.

Moments like this can be very disturbing. We feel clearly, viscerally, the impact of all of the ways in which we are secretly trying to copy others, stay safe and comfortable, where we are still clinging to an image, instead of aligning with what is true and immediate. If we pay attention to this living invitation, these distractions, these layers of our counterfeit identity, keep peeling away. Even though this process can be very disorienting, over time we can allow ourselves, sometimes very slowly, to become more honest, more present, and much more full of feeling. Somehow, bit by bit, we fall into trusting a deeper love and wisdom, without knowing anything. We can allow ourselves to experience the fear of failure, the terror that we have thrown our dreams away, without feeding these stories. Resting, perhaps shaking and trembling, in the truth of impermanence, we come to trust in a fluid reality, in which each moment is new and unknown.

Living in this way calls us to stay right here, on ‘our sacred edge.’ This living edge is a place of deep aliveness, like the place on the beach where the ocean waves touch the shore. In this place we are leaning softly into mystery, adventure and deep intimacy. Sometimes being on this edge opens beautiful doors: everything feels easy, smooth, verdant-an endless blossoming. Sometimes doors open that call us into a death, as if everything is falling away, including the ground we used to stand on.

Two hands reaching out youssef-naddam-1144792-unsplash

Life does not ask us to jump off our edge, or push through our edge. Heroics are not what is required here. We are simply asked to stay here, to be fully here, in the living questions that emerge, in the creative energy that bubbles up, in the deep feelings that have been waiting so long to be held by us.

There is one secret to staying here, to remaining faithful to the bright throbbing intensity that lives in our sacred edge: finding companions to walk along this edge with. Walking alone here is far too difficult, lonely and frightening. We need the company of other human beings who have also made a strong commitment to living here, on this sacred ground. There are many ways to reach out and find these friends and allies—this is part of our learning and our evolution, here on this edge.

This new way of being human infiltrates everything. The nature of our work, our offering to the world, needs to evolve constantly, if it is to remain truly alive. Each one of us is called to new edges in our work, called to leave the comfortable and stifling cocoons we construct, and move into new territory, where the consequences of our actions are no longer predictable. Our work is only emergent when we don’t know what we are doing, or where we are going. When we are no longer standing outside, trying to manage and control the environment–we are inside the change that is occurring.

My only choice here, in this alive, unknown space, is to be open, transparent and courageous, without clinging to any ideal, or any idea of outcome. I may feel alone here, but I am not. As I inhabit this space, it reveals itself as a ‘we space.’ In this shared space of presence I am totally responsible for the wake I am leaving. My choices begin to reflect this accountability, even though I have a deep sense of no agenda and no control.

Michael Bungay Stanier, the Canadian coach, describes this as the place of ‘great work.’ We do good work when we are confident, competent and full of knowing. Good work is something wonderful and necessary, but it needs to leave room for the emergence of great work. Great work happens somewhere else, and it is an opportunity, full of grace, to benefit others, to help this world, from a place that is tender, raw and full of mystery.

Arrive curious, without the armour of certainty,
the plans and planned results of the life you’ve imagined.
Live the life that chooses you,
new every breath, every blink of your astonished eyes.
~Rebecca del Rio (Prescription for the Disillusioned)

photo credit: Youssef Naddam on Unsplash

with love,
Shayla

One Comment

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  1. ANDREW MACDONALD

    I was curious about the “one secret” and said inside there wasn’t one. :) But you’re right, Shayla: the company of other questing souls. So thank you !

    And I find the distinction between good work and great work very useful.

    And the two poems too. Thanks for weaving these things together so nicely!

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