While death brings us to peace, peace itself is not death. We can live in peace and still have a life full of moments of excitement, thrills, intensity, and so on.
The extent to which we are capable of intimacy--with ourselves, life, and others--is dependent upon the depth, sincerity, and discernment of our listening. A good relationship depends on it. A meaningful life depends on it. A rich, yummy, fulfilling experience depends on it too. And a prosperous business. And a […]
I'd like to bring your attention to something you've done a million times, in different contexts... something that can be tremendously supportive in snapping you back to the Now in more challenging moments.
The "Changing the Scene" technique is particularly helpful when we are getting stuck in a situation, dialogue, or environment when the energy within us feels like it is stalling. This often happens in difficulties with partners and family members, when things become distorted and we remain in an effort to clear things up or make some good progress.
Progress happens in its own moment, and it happens when we are present. When you find yourself feeling stuck in a dynamic with another or in an energy with yourself, tune in with yourself and envision taking yourself physically somewhere else, like going for a walk or to the library or to the beach. Sometimes we must leave to return, and in those moments, leaving is not an escape but an important aspect of self-honoring and returning back to the present moment.
When we Change the Scene, sometimes our return to the present moment happens as soon as we turn the car on and start feeling the wind on our skin. Oh yeah, there's more to life and reality beyond my current (and temporary) circumstances. And then you may notice that your perspective about that current circumstance begins to shift as you arrive more and more into the Now.
I was sitting with a friend of mine yesterday who was explaining to me a current astrological transit that is passing through my life. Pluto is transiting my Venus, which implies a host of things around death and rebirth in the way I show up in the world, my relationship, and so on.
We got into discussing Plutonian energy, which is a massive invitation to let yourself fall into the abyss of the unknown. She explained it like this: When you're dealing with that Plutonian energy, it's like you're at the edge of a cliff. One of three things can happen: 1. You can fall backwards into the status quo/fear; 2. You can hurl yourself into the abyss of the unknown or 3. You can stand at the edge petrified, teetering between the two.
The transformation our souls long for happens, of course, when we hurl ourselves into the abyss. When we dare into the unknown. But while we were talking about this, it became immediately clear to me that sometimes, we actually just don't know which way is back and which way is forward. Which way is the way into the mystery, and which is the way back into the old stagnant stuff....because they both feel scary and it can be difficult to hear which path is truly calling.
For example, sometimes we don't know if staying in the relationship we are in, despite how difficult it is, is the path INTO deep transformation, or the path of escape/denying transformation by remaining in something old that we are afraid to break out of. Sometimes we don't know if leaving that relationship or that job or that town is running away; or if it's the sticking through such profound discomfort that strips down to the soul in the best of ways. Considering that, here are a few helpful differences we can sometimes feel between the two:
The Path of Transformation Feels...
Scary, Sometimes gradual, Steps forward with steps back, Feels unknown, Feels like something beyond you is keeping you or taking you there. It feels gritty, though also beautiful at times. It feels real.
The Path of Escape/Fantasy/Avoidance Feels...
Scary, Inspires ideas of perfection or unending bliss, Feels more known, Feels like YOU are keeping/taking yourself there. It feels like you are trying to pull yourself up, instead of letting life take you as it will, and letting yourself be real.
No matter what, remember that ultimately, transformation exists in every moment and we can never go wrong.
When I was young, I rebelled against religion, traditions, and rituals--mistakenly lumping them into the same category. To me, anything that was repeated reeked of falsehood and felt like the antithesis of spontaneity and truth. To me, this was black and white. Religion COULD ONLY be a cover up. Tradition COULD ONLY be a script that suppressed what would otherwise naturally arise from a present moment.
Only as I grew older and began to question and break down my own ideas and my mind's way of looking at things did I begin to see how having such strong attitudes about anything could never, ever serve me. Could never, ever be true. Attitudes are only needed where true understanding has not yet settled in.
And the deeper I went into myself, the more I discovered an ocean of openness wherein each action that springs into life has entirely a life of its own.
And the deeper and deeper I continued to go, the more I discovered the beauty of sitting with intention--simple as that. The more I discovered that this peaceful, empty truth within us that is nothing and everything all at the same time... exists in a completely different tempo than the world around us. It exists in stillness and silence, and often, the world around us plays in fast-paced chaos. And we, as humans, as divine and rooted in oneness as we are, ALSO exist very much in the world around us--there is no denying that... which means we are vulnerable to the influence of energies that we are surrounded by.
Our vulnerability is a beautiful, beautiful thing. And intelligence about our system and our sensitivities is an equally beautiful thing. If we consider that we are all made of silence and stars--AND WE ALL ARE--and that living here and now in this wild wonderful world can have a tendency to *create the feeling* that we have been UPROOTED from that silence and stars... then we can begin to imagine how having a daily practice where we re-orient into our true roots (of silence and stars) can serve us, our lives, our relationships, and the people around us in the deepest and truest of ways.
I do not know where I would be (within the wild scheme of where our awareness can latch) if I did not keep with a daily meditation practice. Quite the opposite of suppression and falsehood, it keeps me alive, flowing, truthful, and rooted in the simplicity and wisdom of life, God, the silence and the stars.
If there were one gift you might give to yourself to support yourself in remaining true in this life, to knowing, feeling, and embodying your divinity, love, and wild & precious heart, I would encourage you so very, very much to begin a daily practice. It could be anything that works for you. Anything we engage in that takes us into presence and the truth within ourselves–into totality with the moment–is meditation, be it singing, dancing, praying, journaling, yoga, crying, making love or art or a good meal, anything else. A daily practice is a living thing, and it can change too... but the gift is in giving yourself the moment to remember the truth of who you are... to anchor deep into the presence of your being... and to watch the miraculous and infinite ways in which that serves and shines your one and beautiful life.
Consider it xx
Love xx Sky
Many people ask me about my inspiration for writing A Ceremony Called Life, and what it is about. The inspiration was simple: to share the scent of the sacred with others, a trail that may lead them into seeing the miraculous nature of every day. What it is about is our invitation to orient towards the sacred in all moments of life--and that is what I am inspired to share a bit more about now.
The book covers a lot ground, but at the center of it all is the direction of orienting over and over again back into witnessing life with eyes that are willing to see the sacred. That choose to look at the sacred. That allow themselves to see and recognize the sacred, even when it looks different than they want or wish.
Sometimes I consider how "conscious life" and "embodied spirituality" can perhaps be simply explained as orientation. Over and over again, throughout life, we have the opportunity to "come back" into the present moment, and to orient ourselves into the perspective of our divine self, (which could only ever include the human self--for now, at least!). For example, I could choose to view a fight with my husband as "another problem" and scoff at it as an inconvenience-and no one is going to stop me if I do. But that wouldn't take me anywhere, and certainly wouldn't take me to truth. The other option I have, (and when we get to the crux of it, we can see that it's not even an option or a choice, but simply the overflow of living in love)--the other option I have is to view that challenging moment with my husband as a gift to look under the surface of what is REALLY going on: what need is unmet within both or one of us; what do we wish to say that needs to be heard, understood simply, and acknowledged; where can I tune into the essence of compassion where I perhaps once felt resistance; and so on. This latter way of aligning with the moment is the gift that keeps giving, and is an example of orienting into the sacred (or the "ceremony," as the metaphor of the book goes.)
I hope you find this useful and supportive.