Recently, I was listening to a Gillian Welch song from the “The Harrow and the Harvest” album, and the following lyric caught my attention:
“You know some girls are as bright
as the morning,
and some girls are blessed,
with a dark turn of mind…”
Maybe you’ve noticed this also. Some people are happy, no matter what. Others are never happy, no matter what.
It seems like the more a person is focused on “Self,” the less happy they are. Maybe that’s because when awareness turns inward, we shut ourselves off from the world, as well as from spirit, the active ingredient in relationships.
It’s interesting how we can walk down the sidewalk, past dozens of people, and feel nothing. And then, come upon a friend, and be energized.
The relational energy of spirit is like sunlight; it nourishes our soul.
Relationships aren’t always easy, especially during a pandemic. How then can we bring more spirit into our life?
In my experience, an essential first step is to acknowledge the impediment of “Self.”
Awareness centered on “Self” creates and an illusion of separation. I say illusion because, in reality, everything exists in relationship.
I remember hiking on a wet and chilly winter day in a beautiful old-growth coastal forest in Oregon. My Gortex gear was soaked. I struggled in mud-caked boots to navigate over tangled roots from towering cypress and douglas firs. Admittedly, it wasn’t very pleasant.
Looking down, I saw a little salamander in a puddle on the trail, then another and another; they were everywhere! I had to be careful not to step on them. I stopped to watch as they crawled along the edge of the trail into lush green ferns. The spongy forest floor absorbed sound, raindrops fell in slow motion from limbs a hundred feet above me. It was cold, wet, silent, and beautiful.
Standing in privileged solitude, it occurred to me, we are never truly alone; we are part of the symphony of life. Spirit is revealed by the way we inhabit silence. It’s easily missed in daily routines that have us rushing here and there in preoccupied frenzies.
Finding spirit requires a different awareness. An awareness not preoccupied with thought and “Self.” An awareness that opens towards stillness.
That’s hard when we don’t have old-growth forests in our back yard.
Yet, there are many ways to find stillness. This will be the subject of next week’s post.
Fundamental Principle: Bringing life energies into balance.
A Question To Consider: When was the last time you were completely still?
More information including background principles, suggested reading, and a library of previous posts can be found at http://tim-coats.com