And you may ask yourself …What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself …Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself…Am I right?…Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself yourself
My God!…What have I done?!
“Once in a Lifetime” – Talking Heads
Do you sometimes feel like that?
What have I done? Where am I really headed?
Why is it that sometimes we don’t keep the breakthroughs we’ve had?
Often we even doubt that they happened at all.
And how does that end up impacting us as we attempt to live a truly conscious life?
Are we semi-sleep walking…waking up….or really ready to roll?
Will you find yourself waking up one day and wondering,
My God!…What have I done? Or not done, as the case may be.
Mama of the Milky Way by Shiloh Sophia
Greetings from rain soaked Northern California!
It is soaking here and it feels like the earth is able to finally take a big gulp. I have the fire lit and my cup of coffee is beside me and I am writing down my thoughts….and sharing them with you in a letter from the Red Thread Cafe. One of my favorite things to do.
As a teenage girl when I heard the words of that song by one of my heroes David Byrne, I was like – you know what: That is IT RIGHT THERE. We don’t get what we are doing here. And unless we choose to see what is happening and what our part in it is, we might just find ourselves wondering –
here does the highway I am on, go to anyway?
Why is waking up, and staying awake is so hard for us? Why is it that sometimes we don’t keep the breakthroughs we’ve had? What do you think? Can you remember this experience – of having had a real life breakthrough and later doubting it happened at all? This can also happen with mystical experiences…we don’t believe what happened actually happened.
And how does breakthrough amnesia end up impacting us as we attempt to live a truly conscious life? A LOT.
What happens? Often when we have breakthroughs they get integrated quickly because we have already been working on it a long time – and were really ready for it. Or the resulting impact feels so much closer to our actual natural state that we haven’t been living into – that it just gets absorbed and becomes the new normal. When these kinds of breakthroughs happen, we can kind of ‘forget’ soon after… where we were before the breakthrough.
It may be kind of like birth or weddings or other life rites of passages where there is a cycle of challenge that moves us into it, then the beauty comes, and we forget how hard it was to get there. Or complain about it. Neither of which shares the whole story.
We seem to be designed that way. And this isn’t a bad thing right? Otherwise we might not want to do it again, have another one of those incredibly life altering awakening/ birthing/ breakthrough to breakdown experiences. But there is something else brewing when we don’t get how far we have come that has unfavorable impact on our soul development. It concerns me and that is why I was inspired to write about it.
With major rites of passages, it generally works out all right because we focus on the joy that follows. Got that. However, with the series of ‘personal’ breakthroughs, ones about us, our lives and who are being, it might have other effects that are less favorable. As in: we don’t get how we have changed.
If we don’t get how we have changed we may need to learn it again.
Sigh. And we may not be able to truly integrate the learnings in a lasting way in our lives. Boring. There are other options available that open us to way more aliveness than we are having.
And explorations to embark upon….
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
Sweet spots and rough spots accompany any being choosing to attempt consciousness in a world gone mad.
When we arrive where we started and know it for the first time, this is the sweet spot – our chance to KNOW it and get it – but the key here is “we shall not cease from exploration”… which indicates there has been a journey, an exploration.
Acknowledgement of having been on that exploration, and finally arriving, creates a solid context in which to acknowledge where we have been! YES!
Living within a context of acknowledgment is part of choosing to become a conscious being.
Refusing to become conscious means we choose not to see ourselves as we are. Not seeing ourselves as we are often means we stay the same, when we could be taking risks that would change our lives and the lives of others we care about. And, there is also JOY and pleasure available that wasn’t available before – not to mention creativity!
And here’s the rough spot. When we don’t realize or acknowledge how much we have actually been through….it is hard to claim it and maintain it.
It is vital for us to see where we have been and to say – WOW. I did that. I made it through that. I am strong. I will make it through this too. It is significant and deeply important for our soul to mark these times in our lives with celebrations, writings, acts of intentional creativity like paintings and out loud verbal self-awareness – otherwise the next place on the path may not appear in the way that it could or should and we loop back. We aren’t ready for it, so it doesn’t reveal itself. And hence our lives get stuck again.
The next place on the path doesn’t appear so we don’t think it even exists. We wait for it but in reality it is waiting for us.
When we don’t realize how far we have actually come strange things happen. Like we don’t have nearly as good of a time since we think we are actually way less accomplished than we are and we may remain self-deprecating when we could instead just become our unapologetic gorgeous selves. Why hold onto that old self story?
And when we don’t acknowledge ourselves for having come so far, we may also not acknowledge other sources which helped us get there – like Mentors, Coaches, God, The Great Lady, Books, Workshops, Teachings – the thing that was a significant part of our wake up call experience.
If we don’t acknowledge what we got and where we got it with integrity, it is difficult to hold onto the breakthrough because we lose track of where it came from. One of the reasons we don’t want to acknowledge “other” is that we think we lose something through acknowledgement of others – we want to just think we did it ourselves – this is a great loss. But through acknowledgement of what we have received, we actually gain connection, accountability and a wider range of being able to claim our experience and uplift the sources that blessed us.
There is also this strange little self critic stranglehold we put on ourselves that keeps us from really acknowledging how far we have come on our journey. It’s something in us that enjoys not having, even if it takes pretending we don’t have what we have. (This isn’t a healthy part of our psyche.) Often it wants to keep us small to control others experiences of us – as if we let them know how far we have come they will expect more from us – or we won’t be able to hide behind that story or illness or old pattern. This part thinks our old patterns keep us safe. And it’s true that it might not feel safe to wake up because if we choose to wake up we have to choose to be responsible and being responsible is one of the hardest things we will ever do.
Responsibility starts with the willingness to experience yourself as cause in the matter. Responsibility starts with the simple willingness to deal with a situation while acknowledging that you are the source. You are the source of what you are, what you do, and what you have. Responsibility is a context – a context of Self as the source of your life. ~ Werner Erhard
In my work I witness many women acknowledging how far they have come with Intentional Creativity. And every once in a while someone who has had huge breakthroughs wonders if they ‘got it’. And often these women have already integrated their breakthrough and can no longer see them. Obviously, this is good, because they have become integrated into the new. However, if she does not acknowledge how far she came, she may repeat some of the old stories and patterns again. She may not have the expanded sense of self and accomplishment that could provide inspiration and strength when it is time for the next journey.
When we acknowledge where we were, and claim where we are going, (which includes a desire towards something that wasn’t even viewable from the previous self) THEN WE GET TO BE WHERE WE ACTUALLY ARE. THIS IS SO COOL. We get to know where the highway is headed and choose to drive it with awareness. Truly splendid.
Getting WHAT IS
When we have an expanded experience of what is, we get to be in touch with so many more dimensions and layers of consciousness. And there is something else. The ideas and insight available to us from the expanded state of awareness are different than the ones we had. This is both eyes, all eyes open kind of living that allows us to see things for what they are – and eventually choose and create relationships with others where truly seeing and being gets to be a part of your experience. It can be lonely when we are first ‘coming to’ into who we are. We look around and wonder how things got this way and it can actually provoke a kind of quietly awake depression – whoah how have I survived this experience and now what should I do. Who are these people? And how did I get here?
Each of us must grapple truly with the story we have created for ourselves, and allowed ourselves to be defined by if we are to wake up. Being awake brings aliveness, but first it means taking responsibility. Ultimately not waking up means we take less risks, judge more and expand our possibilities in ways inconsistent with what our soul longs for. And wonder, how did this happen, oh well. NO big deal right – isn’t that what the rest of the world is doing?
As a child I had two rules from my mom.
1. Be where you say you are going to be when you say you are going to be there.
2. Stay conscious (yes she said that when I was 5 as well as when I was 25)
There are many reasons for waking up and yes, doing our service, our sacred work in the world is certainly one of them. But more than that, and before that, there is pleasure. By pleasure I mean a chance to experience aliveness, beingness and beauty. When we don’t know what ‘this is’ or where ‘we are’ we tend to keep ourselves in self imposed prisons, not noticing the door is wide open and has been all the while. Oh, there’s a door there? We finally see the door, but then we don’t walk out of it.
That is when someone outside of the prison we have for created for ourselves beckons….and finally, we go out. And hopefully we don’t ever go back in again.
Or in the case of those choosing creativity, someone INSIDE beckons, and the cage disappears all together.
And you may find yourself
living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself
in another part of the world
And you may find yourself
behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself
in a beautiful house,
with a beautiful wife/manz
And you may ask yourself
Well…How did I get here?
Thank you to my mama, for the tools in thinking that have helped me be at CAUSE in my world. And for her early insight into this kind of thinking due to her own wonderful mind, and yes, Werner Erhard and David Byrne. I am sosoooso happy that my mom will be joining us next year in the Color of Woman as poetry teacher. Sue taught me image, and mama taught me WORD.
I had SUCH a great time leading the two week Color of Woman event with two livstreams, what a blast it was to work with so many women during that time and am now deep into the interview cycle. Yes I still interview everyone myself, for now, I just have to.
As I sit here thinking of all that is going on in our world today – from the rain to the war to the civil rights explosion across America I choose waking up one more time. Blink blink. It’s bright out here. When we together choose to see what is really going on, then. then. then. we have a chance at awakeness. And for me, awakeness means falling in love with everything I possibly can because it is from that space that I can serve from my best place of goodness.
With a hopeful heart,