Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Stranger

You were not sent here to live in a cage!

I am in the mood for introspection and to be retrospect on this dark autumnal morning as we sit waiting for the first blast of an arctic cold front to lock us into winter for the foreseeable future.  Two weeks until Thanksgiving and we have held off the winter with warm sunny days and little or no attention to coats and antifreeze and boots and other accouterments of the coming season.

So it is time to pay attention to what we have been paying no attention; like the man behind the curtain or the face of the dark hooded stranger who has been sitting at my table all year.  I don’t know why this has been my time for facing my own mortality, but this truth has been pestering me since last spring and it is time I finished, time I knew in my bones what he has been voicelessly speaking to me.

I stepped free from my astrological “Saturn Return” when I transitioned from the cocoon of Sedona to the then foreign landscape of the Midwest a year ago.  Some say that if you don’t shuffle off the planet during your Saturn Return, you are destined for long life.  That thought doesn’t stir me either way though I am forced to look at how the fear of death keeps creeping into my awareness and stands as a primary obstacle for some to step fully into their own soul-purpose with a sense of freedom and happiness.

My father was a pastor and I attended my share of funerals before I faced his death before I was even a teenager.  So I grew up thinking I was steeled against the fear of death from which so many others seemed to suffer, because I had been exposed to so much death and saw that it was not such a big deal.  I have also lived my whole life like this physical interlude is a brief part of a much larger soul symphony.  This was not just the result of a “belief”; it has been an abiding sense that provides a foundation of support and well-being when times are tough.

I admit I have been triggered by the unexpected and untimely passing of some dear friends this year.  I have no trepidation about their welfare, but I feel shortchanged for being deprived of their earthly company; I thought we would have more time here to visit, to laugh and to cry.  So that interaction is now postponed to some other time in some other dimension and I have no way of knowing if it will the same; in fact I think it won’t be the same.

I am convinced that “fear of death” is the primal fear that keeps many of us from living a full and fruitful life.  Have you ever stopped yourself from embracing meaningful work for yourself because instead you had to make a living, or pay your bills, or raise your family in a certain way?  Have you ever cheated yourself of a soul-expanding experience because the outcome was unknowable or you couldn’t trust the Universe to sustain you the way she feeds and clothes the lilies of the field? 

Usually the ones who show up for my workshops are ones who are ready to face their fears, to face the unknown if they haven’t settled into a pattern of self-discovery already.  That is what you truly risk:  catching a glimpse of your true self somewhere in the depths of the shaman’s cave.  That is the hidden face of the cloaked stranger at my table:  myself.  And why should I be so afraid to admit the truth of my being?  Isn’t it the truth that I am a spirit who has temporary residence in this body?  If I honestly embrace this truth, what will I have to give up that I think I don’t want to lose?

What will I have to give up?  That’s what we really fear.  We have become so comfortable with this false reality and wearing this false face that it feels like we will lose everything.  And don’t your know, it is all about allowing for the possibility of losing everything . . . that leads to gaining the rewards of being a soul-being.  I recommend you say it out loud:  “I don’t care if I lose everything; I will risk everything to learn the truth about myself.”

Some of the things you might lose, include:  your petty fears and your major fears, your anxiety and dis-ease, your childish jealousy and envy, your awareness of other’s faults, you might lose some of the habitual physical discomfort that accompanies the belief that you are a body, you might lose the will to keep score when it comes to those you imagine have wronged you.

You might lose the resistance to let go and let yourself slide into the vast ocean of existence.  You have been afraid of losing yourself in that seeming emptiness, when that is truly your home and the Universe is longing to welcome you home, and no you don’t have to die in order to embrace this way of being.  Yes, you live in a golden cage and it is finely decorated and well-appointed and you keep yourself busy admiring the new couch and the reclaimed claw foot tub and you ignore that IT IS STILL JUST A CAGE!  And you were not sent here to live in a cage.

Aside from the ones who show up to my workshops who have been or want to conquer their fear, I often wonder about the ones who never show up at all.  It is not about me and my “scary” journey workshops; they have stopped showing up for anything that challenges their comfy assumptions and their limiting beliefs, or their “god-in-a-box”.  They are right to be afraid.  Stepping into the unknown could alter everything you believe to be true, and you have to face this stranger eye-to-eye before you can ever be free.


Save the date!  Plan ahead to join us on December 21st for our annual observance and celebration of the Winter Solstice and the Christ Mass.  earthschoolforsouls.com

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