Embodied Transformation & Evolution

Our Natural Vitality ~ do you really want to live?

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Featured Writing, Lifeletters & Articles | 0 comments

Our Natural Vitality ~ do you really want to live?

One of my clients spoke to me this week of a longing that emerged in her, out of nowhere, to say a big ‘yes’ to everything. And it wouldn’t disappear. She couldn’t put the genie back in the bottle.

This impulse to let go of the struggle, the ongoing ‘no,’ has nothing to do with falling into passivity. This ‘yes’ is the totally natural way of presence, the freedom of our open awareness. This longing often comes when we finally begin to see how high the cost has been of our ‘no’, our resistance to life, to the people around us, and to ourselves.

We may read a lot of wisdom, and listen to a lot of teachings, but it’s not so easy to wake up from this belief that we need to control, to manipulate, and to struggle. It seems to be part of what we all inherit as we grow up. A belief that an adult is in control of life. When the truth is that we are all swimming around in this big ocean, floundering around together, grappling with this wild, uncontrollable thing called our life.

And then something happens, like the small child in the story of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, who sees what no-one else is willing to see. Perhaps a small and innocent voice within us begins to whisper, “This is not working. There must be some other way to live.” From out of nowhere comes this invitation– to consider the futility of all the ways we have been trying to control and manipulate our life.

This is the gateway that appears for each one of us, when real transformation is at hand. We allow ourselves, finally, to feel the price we have paid for our fierce grip on the steering wheel. Just before major shifts happen, many people dream of careening down a highway in a car that’s out of control. They are gripping the wheel and trying to steer the car with all their might, to no effect.

Bit by bit, the possibility of another way of being starts to emerge. Perhaps for the first time.

Like a lifesaver for the one who is drowning in this wild ocean. A glimpse of reality, an inkling that life is never going to be the way I thought it would be. It’s not going to align with my preferences and demands, my needs to avoid, to hold on, to know what is happening.

I may have many fantasies about how things should be. Now I realize, often with a shock, that life doesn’t come with a guarantee, with a refund policy, if things don’t work out. I begin to taste the medicine of disillusionment, of deep disappointment, of feeling betrayed. It’s a strong medicine, not very easy to swallow and digest. And I need this medicine, no matter how bad it tastes, if I really want to grow up through all these feelings, if I want to love life as it is, if I want to be fully alive.

The only lifesaver I can ever throw you, is the one that invites you to turn your face toward things as they are. To get deeply curious about what is really going on here. To find the courage in yourself to investigate, instead of relying on techniques, affirmations, and formulas for improvement.

Does this mean that life doesn’t change when we do? No. Our life changes radically when we do, and we are able to love it, for the first time, without conditions. But we can never know what the flow of our own evolution will look like.



We have been told a lot of stories about how life will be when we awaken, when we transform, when we really grow up. When I was living in India, someone who knew Papa-Ji, the great enlightened master in Lucknow, told me about how he had his car towed away one day, while having lunch with a student. A small thing really, hardly catastrophic, but in India it takes days and days of wrestling with red tape to get the car back.

I was surprised. I could feel reality nudging me from behind, as I wondered, “How could such things happen to a great one like Papa-Ji?” Well, here’s the truth of it: such things happen to him, and they happen to Jesus, to Buddha, and to us all. Anything can happen. How have we managed to avoid this simple and obvious fact?

This ‘yes’ that emerges awakens a deep aliveness in us, because it is also a ‘yes’ to our authentic being, to what matters most to us, to what truly inspires us. When we begin to find our genuine ‘yes,’ we may discover that we have given up on ourselves in some fundamental way, abandoned our capacity to stay close to what we care about, more than anything.

We believed all the stories we heard about what our priorities should be: paying the bills, cleaning the fridge, becoming a solid citizen, taking care of practical matters. These things are important-our safety and stability on a survival level cannot be ignored. But if being safe and secure if our only priority, there’s no room here for our heart, or for what is truly calling us. That comes later on, when we’ve taken care of business. And our whole life can pass by like this.

Well, here is the glorious truth. We don’t have to give up on ourselves any more. Every moment in this vast river of impermanence offers us another opportunity to come home, to rest in our whole-hearted sense of what we love, what draws us, what doesn’t go away. While we keep paying the bills, cleaning the fridge, working like a dog, we can lean into the natural aliveness that this opens in us. This is our natural state-alive and fluid, like a stream that starts to flow, and becomes a river.

Even if we can’t yet put it into words, if we keep listening, we’ll feel the living truth of what really matters to us, whatever it is, and the incredible vitality it brings us.

how bout no longer being masochistic
how bout remembering your divinity
how bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
how bout not equating death with stopping

thank you india
thank you terror
thank you disillusionment
thank you nothingness
thank you clarity
thank you thank you silence

~Alanis Morissette

If you feel connected or inspired by this Lifeletter, please consider taking the next step, so that what you have read here has a chance to come alive in you. You can look at my coaching and mentoring offers here.

with love,

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