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Friday, September 5, 2008

Come As You Are

"If you surrender yourself to your essence,
the whole world surrenders to you."
Come As You Are ~Rumi

So, I have changed the name of my blog and in doing so, I have changed its reason for being. In the beginning The Dark Mother was upon me, with me and working her shadow magic through me. I believe that I am emerging, blinking, into the light of a new day. It is as much a decision as it is a process. I no longer wish to dwell in darkness. I no longer wish to mother through shadow. Who I am is splitting open and I am more ready than before to face the discomfort and joy that this journey will bring. I am ready to face that which I have previously turned away from and to sit with it. In this change comes a promise of peace.

It's not that I expect that my life will continue onwards without darkness. I know that it won't and I don't think I would enjoy it if it did. I appreciate the dark. I love the night and the end to striving that it brings. I would not more be without the dark as a balance to the light as I would be without the night as a balance to the day. I still hit the edges. I still struggle with my vulnerability in motherhood and my anger but, despite this, I simply want to refocus my attention on the possibilities for awakening that are present in this journey. The new title comes from a book I'm currently reading by Pema Chodron called Starting Where You Are (see What Mummy is Reading). She refers to Bodhichitta which is the awakened heart - the art of living in our wounded, softened heart. I don't know why but it spoke to me. It is a journey I feel I have been unknowingly working towards all of my life. My spiritual journey, though sometimes confused, has always been towards this state of Bodhichitta. I long to soften and awaken my heart and begin the process of unravelling those places within me that are battered and bruised. Not because I want to wear them as some sort of badge of honour - 'look what I have survived' - but more because I simply want to let it all go. Those who have visited here before will know how hard I find it to surrender and it is precisely because of that that I am walking, head down, into its powerful wind.

What I love about this idea of the awakened heart is the capacity for joy it contains. I have been inspired over and over by *Erin from Bluebirdbaby and she refers to this state of unadulterated joy for the simplicity of life in her recent Butterfly post. She is another woman who, like me, struggled with motherhood initially before learning the subtle art of surrender and the joy that it contains. She really has 'got it'. She explains her experience of it better than I ever could, so please pop over to her blog and enjoy her own words on the subject.

It has taken some time but I have finally begun to understand the true nature of the statement 'with our thoughts we make our world' ~Buddha and, this being so, I needed to step voluntarily out of my own shadow and into the world of lightness once again. I am someone, who despite a natural tendency to be sentimental and soft-hearted, leads with my extremely sharp mind. I am not a scientific type or a maths and numbers type, I am a creative sort who is held hostage by my overly analytical brain and because I am so soft-centred, it often leads to unhappiness with the way things are. I punish myself severely for all perceived mistakes or wrongs and I never give myself any credit for the things I do right. I am not tender or kind or compassionate to myself. I am not patient or understanding of my faults. And so I am here, at this strangely quiet internal crossroads, not walking but waiting until the path becomes clear to me. I am here learning to be compassionate and kind to the only person that really matters on this journey. Me. It sounds terribly selfish doesn't it? I know. I have a hard time putting myself first in any situation but its true. My spiritual journey has nothing to do with my hubble or my child. It is only about the unfolding of my Self. Sure it may impact on them - positively or negatively - but it is not about them. What they think or experience is not the focus of my spiritual journey, only awakening my heart and following my soul's guidance is important here. In this place I am more present and therefore more able to love well than when I wear myself weary to the bone trying always to put them first. In the place of the awakened heart there is joy in every moment if we are awake to see it - how could that not benefit them?

I am beginning a new type of meditation this week - *Shamatha-Vipashyana - just a conscious watching of the breath and an awareness of my self-talk which is simply labelled as 'talking' and let go of. I'll let you know how I go. My meditation has been sporadic of late due to my daughter's somewhat unpredictable waking and sleeping cycle. She's been waking up at my meditation time again recently and crying out for me. I am powerless to resist the pull of those sad little 'mamma mamma' kitten cries. I think i have been a bit stagnant of late actually and reading Pema has put me back on track once more. I am not a buddhist, nor do I have any aspirations to become one. I am simply drawn to the simplicity of that way of life and wish to try new things. I will always be a daughter of the Goddess because my wild green heart demands it of me.

So - I will leave you with a poem from Rumi to contemplate. It is one which I think perfectly describes my state of being.

Come as You Are

Where is Islam's accent
when it comes to the language of love?
If you surrender yourself to your essence,
the whole world surrenders to you.

Every day spent in separation feels as long as a year.
But when you come out of separation,
where does the day go?
And what becomes of the night?

On this pilgramage, removing the dress
of your existence
is the cloak you must wear.
But who will be able to comply
with the conditions of this cloak?

Village and town, near and far,
the changing seasons,
all are on this side of the sea.
But on the other side, where is the town?
Where are the seasons?

Man's mind and reason have created
the cold loneliness of separation.
But when he warms up with that wine,
where is the mind? And what becomes of reason?

A bird in the cage
is under someone else's control.
But when he breaks the cage and flies away,
what becomes of the control?
Where even is the bird?

When the mind is confined to the head,
it tempts the body to commit sins.
But when the mind of minds explodes open,
where are the sins now? Where is the body?

If you drink,
go swaying to the land of secrets
without your feet.
If you're already drunk, then come as you are.
Where has your mind gone?
And where is the need to be something
you are not?

*Erin and I share quite a lot in common - particularly books and ideas.*
*This link is to a page with an excerpt from the aforementioned Pema Chodron's book which tells you how to do this type of meditation. Very simple.


docwitch said...

I love the title and look of your blog Kat!

I have also found Pema Chodron to be of enormous help to me. A book I have turned to a number of times during those dark night of the soul, (particularly when I was having miscarriages), is her When Things Fall Apart.

Moonroot said...

Pema Chodron keeps getting recommended to me by all sorts of people - I think I need to take the hint!

I have something for you over at my blog...

Griffin said...

I am constantly amazed at the most fabulous women I know sharing the fear that they are not good enough... even when the evidence suggests otherwise. ... then I too am afraid I'm not good enough... but for what? This occupies my waking hours... For what am I not good enough? And why?...!!

Things fall apart is from a line in a poem by Yeats, I think. Who knew it could come in useful elsewhere?!