“Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head
from the lyrics of “A Day in the Life”
When a client rushes in, after she settles in her seat, often I’ll ask her to just stop, enjoy a deep breath, and come home to herself. It’s hard to do inner work when the mind is frenzied from the day’s activities.
Recently a client asked, “What does ‘Come home to yourself’ mean?” Wow! That was a reflection of how I take my understanding for granted. Where do I begin?
We begin with awakening in our beds each morning. Our minds are fresh, uncluttered, open. And then, we get out of bed. And the assault of the day’s activities begins. Shower, dressing, breakfast, traffic, work, meetings, reports, errands, meals, friends, kids, TV… ad infinitum.
As we go through our day, each sight pulls our awareness out of ourselves through our eyes. Each conversation whether personal or broadcast pulls us out of ourselves through our ears. Each object of awareness seduces our attention, and distracts us from also experiencing ourselves inwardly . We so focus on the outside, and in effect we forget our insides.
Can I make plain to you the subtlety with which this happens? You, who are giving your attention to reading these words, while reading them, have you so focused on reading that your body’s sensations, any feelings which might be present, and the inner sense that you exist have been lost to you? Moreover that is typically true of your activity throughout your day.
As we go throughout our days, the overwhelming onslaught of sensory input hypnotizes our attention. By day’s end, when we lay our heads again upon our restful pillows, we may have accomplished much, yes. But at what cost? Yes, we participated outwardly in our lives, but our inner lives were lost to us.
What happened to the feelings which were overridden? The concerns and dreams which beckon consideration? The aches and pains which are trying to inform consciousness? If we took as much a personal interest in ourselves as we do outwardly, we might reclaim our subjectivity and become more fully human.
Coming home to ourselves is stopping outwardly, and consciously redirecting our attention inwards in order to engage and know the ceaseless stream of our inner experience as it now occurs. It is directing our attention to become aware of the sensations in our body, feelings within our chest, stomach, and belly, and the thoughts occupying our present moment.
Coming home to ourselves reflects taking a personal interest in ourselves, as if we too mattered, not just our innumerable outer activities.
Although spontaneous expression is a hallmark of authenticity, not all immediate expression is spontaneous. Emotional reactivity reflects being enchained by the past, not the freedom of Being.
To read the post, click >> Follow Your Spontaneity, Not Your Reactivity
A happy face life is not an authentic life. Dark feelings and thoughts are part of life. Can we discard the happy faces within us, and simply wear our own faces?
To read the post, click >> Do We Have to Wear a Happy Face?
What is the foremost duty of a spiritual path? It is not that we develop as spiritual seekers, but that we develop as spiritual finders. It is not that we develop as believers, but that we develop as knowers. It is not that we share campfires of common belief, but that we each be guided to enter the wilderness of the Mystery, and therein light the fire of our own experience of True Nature.
To read the post, click >> Spiritual Autonomy
In this TedX Video, Counselor Kathleen Taylor shares the wisdom of dying persons to help us discover how we can be ourselves, and live authentically, now, with life still before us.
To read the post, click >> What the Dying Can Teach Us About Living Authentically
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