There is a little ritual you'll hear some people speak of that involves taking a moment to express being alive before actually getting out of bed.
I don't typically do this but I did it this morning! I had a few very powerful discussions yesterday with three of my fellow intenSati instructors -- Carolann, Gregory and Jolynn -- and the common theme that appeared in all three chats was GRATITUDE for the moment and REALITY as it is TODAY.
There is a depth of feeling that is constantly available to us and the best metaphor I can think of -- because it's been Hotter Than July in New York -- is the summer camp I used to go to called West Hills Day Camp. Oh, West Hills, with your bug juice and barrel and Color War and ahhh, your 5 pools. One was called Guppy, the 2nd Minnow, 3rd
Flounder, 4th Barracuda and 5th Shark. The depths of each pool increased and of course the pre-requisite to move from pool to pool was to pass a swim test. I was in Barracuda for a while and remember how scared I felt to get to Shark. I got there eventually but the depths of that pool spooked me and I think at one point or another I really believed I'd be pulled under by Jaws.
Many of us run around and at times don't let our emotions run deep. We live on the surface. We stay in safe, minnow-y emotions and flounder-like feelings because the depths of our feelings, even the so called "positive" emotions, evoke fear. What kind of proverbial Jaws is waiting for us in that state of actually being entirely present?
When living with such awareness does it ever feel like you're about to drown?
My experience is when I get entirely present, it usually does dissolve into LOVE whether it's a positive emotion like deep gratitude or something more challenging like physical pain. I can remember these very strange feelings of deep love that would wash over me when I was post opp after ankle ligament construction surgery, foot propped in the air, ice packs pressed against me, the A/C running like a hymn...
Ok, maybe that was the Vicodin.
No, something powerful really does happen when you stop, slow down and feel, which brings me back to the original topic, purpose and intention for my day which is to learn to feel grateful now instead of putting all of our gratitude eggs in the basket labeled "Happy at Last with My Dreams Here Now". It is to look at any work with an expression of great fortune -- if I didn't have all this work in my life there would be no way to grow. There is so much to appreciate in the challenges and there is NO SHAME in not having it all.
I was going to write "yet" but even that distracts from the moment. To keep looking ahead and avoiding the moment and the responsibilities we have now is no way to live. THAT is what creates the feeling of drowning, actually, not going for a deep dive and swimming into GRATITUDE for this day and every single circumstance.