Create the Life You Imagine ~ July 2019
The Practice: Self Rooted – Who Am I? How Do I Use My Life to Express My Divine Light?
“To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world is to live in your true inheritance.”
~ David Whyte From his poem, What to Remember Upon Waking
As we flow into the first chakra from the crown down we connect with our human body and the physicality of our sensory experience on the earth. We take our place in human history and inhabit space, place and time in a physical world. The story from our human perspective is that we all emerged from our parents’ seeds into our mothers’ wombs and out into the experience of life, where our umbilical cords were cut as we each began to live our separate lives in what could be a vulnerable and chaotic world. The story from our Divine perspective is that we emerged from the Mystery of Pure Awareness as a seed of Divine Light and from that seed of light became a Soul, a container for our unique expression of that Divine Field of Consciousness. Our light then emerged through the funnel of our Soul into the womb of our heart center where we were steeped in Divine Love and Compassion and Unity as we prepared for the experience of human life. And from our spiritual hearts, prepped and prepared for the journey of life, we each dared to emerge into our mother’s womb and into our human life experience.
From the Divine perspective, we are light and energy and spirit and can never be separate from the Mystery from which we emerged. From the Divine perspective, the mystical umbilical cord is never cut because we are forever connected to our Soul which is forever connected to the Divine Consciousness that is the ground of all experience. From the Divine perspective, our roots are in our cosmic hearts and our eternal Souls, and not in our human bodies, or in our family systems, or in our trauma histories, or in our gender, racial or ethnic identities. From the Divine perspective, we are here to experience the light of our Soul in human form—to play in the world with our bodies, emotions, thoughts and relationships as an opportunity to learn and grow and evolve in our expression of that Divine Light. From the Divine perspective, we know that at the end of this human journey, this experience of living, learning and loving in human form, we will return to the source of Divine Love from which we were born.
As David Whyte’s poem reminds us, to be human is to become visible – to let the invisible Divine Light of your Soul shine visibly through the brief and temporal experience of your human life. But as we leave the Divine Unity we know in our heart center and enter into this human experience, a veil drops over our conscious minds. Although we can never become disconnected from our Soul, the conscious mind of our lower triangle becomes engaged and immersed in our human experience and we forget who we are and why we are here. Our personality takes charge and engages in all the physical world learning that is required to navigate the planet. We must learn to walk and talk and read and write, and the personality appropriately gets very busy focusing on the life skills that are required for our survival. Our personality focuses almost exclusively on the outside world and on downloading all the information it can gather through its sensory system to be an effective human and to keep itself safe. In that critical learning process, however, we forget who we really are. We get so identified with this human body and this human experience that we forget our Divine roots and the real power we can access and activate in our lives. But buried in our deeper awareness, in our Soul consciousness, is the Divine programming that holds that original memory, and the experience of life is designed to call us back into relationship with our Soul and with the flow of Divine Light that is our true inheritance. When we remember who we really are, we remember that the deeper purpose of life is to unfold into our truest and most authentic Self, and that we must plant ourselves into our life and stand on that sacred ground.
In the summer months in Minnesota, I like to do yoga on my deck in the morning sun while facing the Mississippi River that flows by my home just fifty yards in front of me. I like to end my practice in Sirsasana, or head stand pose. The neighbors or passing boaters who notice may wonder why that strange woman is standing on her head on the deck, but besides all the physical and spiritual gifts this pose provides, the natural world in front of me offers some really interesting visual perspective from this pose that reminds me of this first chakra wisdom. While standing on my head and gazing out at the river, I remember that life is an ever-changing stream of motion in front of me and I can no more stop the changing flow of life than I can stop the flow of the Mississippi river in front of me as it moves inexorably toward the Gulf of Mexico and out into the ocean. But despite the unyielding current of the river passing by, I observe these stately and elegant trees along my shoreline standing with impressive poise in front of all that movement, steadied and aligned by the strength and power of their roots, while their branching arms maintain the flow and flexibility needed to withstand the shifting movement of the winds. So I visually align my body with these magnificent trees that stand on my shoreline as I try to embody their rooted and grounded poise and their stretching and moving flexibility as alternating currents of energy to balance my life. From this inverted position, however, it also appears that the trees are invisibly rooted in the sky and growing down towards the earth and stretching open their widely branching arms and their shimmering leaves toward the world, offering their Divine beauty and grace as a visible gift to the planet. As I align my energy with these trees and with the sun that is streaming down over my body offering its own radiance and warmth, it is easy to remember that I am rooted in the heavens and growing down into this life experience on earth, and that my purpose is to draw that Divine Light from my eternal and invisible roots, through my body and out into expression in the world, stretching with all of my being to offer that Divine Light as a gift to the planet.
But even in the magical energy of this moment, while standing on my head on my deck in the sun with a gentle breeze blowing over my healthy body, and breathing in and out with the feeling of physical strength and vitality that the yoga posture provides, I know that life can be a difficult journey and that to say yes to all that life will ask of us takes commitment and courage. In my nearly sixty years on the planet I have experienced the darker emotional chapters of life, the loss of people I love, the fragility of the human body to illness and injury, and the penetrating sense of anxiety, dread and fear that comes from my small self trying to navigate safely the unstoppable, the uncontrollable and the unforeseeable vulnerabilities of a human life. It takes enormous courage to embark upon this journey and to stand with both poise and flexibility every day of our lives, risking the implicit difficulties and hazards of human experience without forgetting that we are forever rooted in the Divine Mystery and that nothing we do or experience or suffer in this human life can ever cut us off from that Divine Light that is the essence of who we really are.
The word courage is defined as the ability to do something that frightens one; strength in the face of pain or grief; strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. Whether we think of ourselves as courageous or not, by this definition every human life is an act of courage because every day we are called to stretch open our arms and to expose ourselves to the difficulties and vagaries of life. But what makes most people really afraid is the feeling of being alone and vulnerable in a dangerous world, and to combat this primal fear of the small self we need to go deeper into the definition of courage. When we look at the roots of the word courage in Latin, old French or Middle English, it is rooted in the word heart. In those old-world languages, we would have found phrases like large hearted, brave hearted or full hearted associated with courage, but in all of these languages and phrases, the roots of the word courage are clearly planted in the heart. Likewise, if we think about our lives from the crown down, we remember that we were born as Souls from the Divine Light and are rooted through our hearts for this experience of life. If we can draw our awareness from those roots through our heart, we will remember that we are never alone because we are always whole and connected to the unity of the Divine Light. Like my vision of my trees from that inverted posture, if we can flow out of our hearts from those roots, out of this deeper spiritual memory that is rooted in our heart center, we will have the courage to live into our lives with a large, brave, full and open hearted posture, steady and balanced and poised and flexible, despite the currents and winds of life moving around us.
When we ask ourselves the existential spiritual question “Who Am I?” it should draw our awareness beyond the everchanging impermanence of our human experience. We will not find the answer to that question in our bodies, in our relationships, in our emotions, in our thoughts, in our job descriptions, in our titles, or in our other forms of human identity. My body changes and ages, my emotions shift and move, my thoughts change and evolve, my circle of relationships fluctuates and transforms. My trees have to live in the sometimes beautiful and sometimes difficult conditions of life in Minnesota with four seasons of weather and wind and rain and hail and heat and ice and snow that all move around their branches and leaves. If the trees thought their identity was located in their leaves, they would be terrified at the movement of every breeze and mortified by the death they appear to experience each fall. But the leaves are just a manifestation or expression of their deeper, truer tree Self—just the part that becomes visible through the movement of life through the roots of each tree.
Thomas Merton wrote, “Who are you? Do not think of what you are, still less of what you may one day be. Rather, be what you are. Be the unthinkable one you do not know.” Marianne Williamson wrote, “In reclaiming the mystical, we take back our whole selves.” Both of these spiritual teachers are challenging us to move beyond our visible human experience, beyond the forever moving and forever changing currents of life, beyond the surface expressions of our personality, and to trace our true identity back through our spiritual roots. Our True Self is rooted in the Mystery of our Divine Being and is eternally connected to the Divine Awareness that is the origin of each and every one of us. From our mystical awareness we know that we are a seed that grew out of that Pure Awareness and emerged through the funnel of our Soul into this human life. Root your life in your truest Self—in your eternal Self—and then anchor into your unique life story using your personality, your body, your emotions, your mind and your relationships to uncover and express and remember the beauty of your Soul with your whole heart, and with the poise and flexibility that comes from never forgetting your Divine roots. If we follow our roots back to the heart and into our Soul, we will have the courage we need each day to plant our feet firmly on the sacred ground of our lives and to live full hearted into the light of our Divine essence.
Wishing you the blessings and light of the Soul, as you create the life you imagine.
P.S. Now that we have moved our way up through the seven chakra model and back through from the crown down, I will be taking a summer hiatus from the weekly blog until after labor day. When we come back together, we will fill out the remaining parts of this spiritual model and we will then consider how it helps us navigate both the challenges and blessings of life for the remainder of the year.
For the next several weeks until we come back together again, use this model to help you notice the lower triangle vulnerabilities of your personality and to draw down the upper triangle powers of your Soul as you practice keeping your balance in each of these centers. Here are a couple of examples:
If you catch yourself in anxiety or fear, notice that experience moving up from your first chakra and take some time to listen in for the small self story that is triggering the fear. Then take a few minutes to do a breathing meditation, grounding your awareness in your heart center, and imagine drawing down the power of courage from your upper triangle to calm and support your first chakra fear. Listen from your heart center for any wisdom or guidance from your Soul and allow that wisdom to transform the lower triangle fear.
If you experience a profound loss and are struggling with grief there may be a part of you that wants to withdraw from life and close off your heart in protection from the pain of that fourth chakra emotion. But if you can open your heart and breathe into the grief, surrounding yourself with the compassion of the heart center and listening deeply to the suffering of your human experience, you will find it easier to hold and transform that grief and to move back into life with your heart open.
Use the powers and the vulnerabilities of each of these centers to know where your personality is getting stuck and how you can use the powers of your Soul to rebalance. Remember, your Soul is standing by and ever at the ready to support you on this sometimes beautiful and sometimes difficult human journey, and to guide you toward the full expression of your Divine Light. You just need to move behind your human struggle to connect with your deeper awareness to access this higher operating system that is part of your Divine design.
You can also feed your Soul this week by meditating on the full text of David Whyte’s powerful poem:
What to Remember When Waking by David Whyte
In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake, coming back to this life from the other more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began, there is a small opening into the new day which closes the moment you begin your plans. What you can plan is too small for you to live. What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough for the vitality hidden in your sleep. To be human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others. To remember the other world in this world is to live in your true inheritance. You are not a troubled guest on this earth, you are not an accident amidst other accidents you were invited from another and greater night than the one from which you have just emerged. Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window toward the mountain presence of everything that can be what urgency calls you to your one love? What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky? Is it waiting in the fertile sea? In the trees beyond the house? In the life you can imagine for yourself? In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?
To inspire you this week, click below to find Kate singing SHINE to help you remember that you always hold the seeds of your Soul in your pocket and all you have to do is unlock that power to shine. There's a great line that says, "When you say the truth, and the stories are gone, that's when you'll shine on." Let this energy fill your meditation practice and your week.You might use it in the background during the breathing meditation, by going to the Products Page on my website and just scroll down to the Transcendence CD and click the track. Both of Kate's CD's are available for purchase on that page.