I am very blessed that I get to work with people every day who are moving more consciously into their lives, who are becoming more authentic, and most importantly bringing light and love to what is unconscious in them. To see people grow and become whole as they begin to move away from being controlled by these fears, drives and tendencies is such a privilege. Yet I sometimes forget that there was a time when I did not know there was even a path that can help us move away from suffering and more into the heart of life. Over the first three decades of my practice I tried mainstream paths, Catholicism, Buddhism, Vedanta, Yoga - and all sorts of non-mainstream spiritualities too: Psychedelics, new age thought, and so on. The truth is though is that I tried to wear these things as an identity, to make myself into something/someone good, mostly so that I would receive the love that I thought was outside of me, and inside other people. I also wanted to escape my own life, to be somebody else, somebody, anybody other than this being with this history and shame.
But then I was most fortunate, in that life gave me absolutely no choice, and I had to meet my own life. I was brought to such a point through a dark night of the soul, that I had to finally admit that I just did not know how to live, I had no idea how to be free of suffering, or how to hold everything together, and then everything actually collapsed. The facade finally came down, and I had to meet myself with real love or die trying. This led to what we might call my awakening or a shift in consciousness. The idea of waking up, of being in reality, in the now, can look like it is something outside of us that we have to achieve and strive for, but with my hand on my heart, I want to tell you that this is not the way things are at all. As I write this on my 54th birthday, my 40th year of practice, I want to tell you something if you can hear me - There is a path that can lead you home, there is a path that will end your suffering, isolation, feeling of separateness from life.
The whole universe is just one beingness, but we live as if we are separate from it all. We fight against our own body of humanity and love. And the path that can heal you, fill you, love you, is your own life. Not the story of your life, but the actual life that is expressing you right now, and always has been expressing you. Of course, there are things which block us from knowing our life, and the one life - our unconscious patterns, our identification with our conditioning, identification with things as ends in themselves, our rigid belief systems which only tries to prove that our conditioning and story is real. The most terrifying of these are the ones that create an 'I,' or even worse a 'we,' you know the 'we' who are different, and more right than 'them.' Then there is the unconscious pain and reactive fear that we might call the pain-body which silently lurks controlling everything we say and do in its desire to fulfil itself.
The path home, and to our own life, begins again when you can honestly ask the question 'Who Am I?' and in that reflection look beyond the usual identities into the heart of your own life. If you can do this as honestly as you can and not expect an answer, but instead asking the question and leaving a space for you to hear an answer in your being rather than your head or reactivity you will begin to see. There is a path to wholeness, its name is your name, it's voice is your voice, and its heart is your true heart. Happy Birthday To You.