I’ve been sat with a blank page in front of me for a while wondering what the message is I want to share today. It’s been a funny time for me lately, a stage of contraction in the cycle of life I guess but one that has lead me to become even more inquisitive of the repeating patterns that I appear to face.
I’ve been lead to a space of reassessment and re-asking myself the very simple question ‘what do I want?’. It’s funny, in all the doing, sometimes that question can seem the hardest to answer.
When we ask ourselves that question, often a few things arise – we might hear inner doubt telling us ‘how are you gonna even achieve that!’, ‘who are you to do/have/be’ or simply ‘I don’t know how’. It can lead to a sense of lack in the present moment. To wantis to acknowledge what you don’t have and if our time is spent continuously in this space, paradoxically it is impossible for us to then move forward towards what it is we do want.
I am reminded today of an old parable which goes a little like this:
“A plant in a little pot. If the plant had self conscious thoughts like we do, it would look a the bigger pots and in the open fields and say ‘oh if only I was in a bigger pot then I could really thrive’ or ‘If only I could be in the bigger field with all those other trees, oh woe is me, life is not fair’. It’s sitting there in a little pot waiting for the divine gardener to put it in a bigger pot – it would stay in the little pot. But what does that plant do? It fills that pot out. It digs its roots, it takes all the nourishment it needs, it stretches it’s branches as much as it’s roots will let it. It just fills the pot out and what happens organically? The gardener replants it in a bigger pot, and a bigger pot, and a bigger pot and sets it free in the filed.”
This is loaded with meaning for me right now. It’s so easy to lose connection with our own truth, to forget responsibility for our own growth and fall into the trap of turning our focus externally.
A client said to me the other day that he was going to come off social media because it made him feel inadequate, that he would spend his time looking at other peoples lives feeling a sense of lack in his own. This is a side affect of social media, for sure, but it’s not social medias fault. The lack doesn’t lie in social media itself, it lies in how we perceive it. He might come off social media but then start noticing the neighbours cars, the other dads waiting at the school for their kids with more sports medals, or perhaps he’ll start to count his worth by the numbers of texts he receives a day rather than the number of social media ‘likes’. And so this might then go on until the only option would be to move into cave where then he might be then free from comparison!
There is such a fine line, when we ask ourselves what we want, between a wanting which surfaces from superficial compassion or a wanting from the deep within.
I fell into a trap, years ago, of not realising the life I was living was my own creation. That everything I had, where I was, the rhythm I living was created through my own choices, my own doing. I was so attached to this illusion I would get a little angry or frustrated when someone even suggested that this was the case. I was the little plant in the little pot. I was sat there waiting for some divine hand to lift me out. I didn’t recognise that the only way to grow was to take responsibility. I would have answered the question ‘what do I want’ but I would have answered submissively, longingly and have not realised that it was in my power to have, be, do, become. I would have sat there glumly saying – ‘it’s so easy for them, look what they have, life is so unfair’.
Answering the question ‘what do I want’ now is very different but confusing all the same. I have lost connection a little bit recently which has resulted in a feeling that life is running away with me slightly. Returning, in some way, to an old pattern of ‘doing’ more than ‘being’.
My answer to the question is, I want the book I am working on to be published. I had sent the idea to a publisher some months ago now, only to receive a reply saying that they liked my idea but they don’t support unheard of authors. They sent me links to two of their authors who’s age bracket I fit into and said ‘when you have a following this size get back in touch’. Initially I mentally rose to the challenge and thought perhaps it is doable but then somehow lost myself a little, looking outward more to those in the bigger pots than staying connected within. Letting doubt creep in as in reality I am nothing like the spiritual model types I was shown. The irony of it being in doing so I was losing connection to the very core of the message of the book I’m writing in a hope that that publisher will one day publish me!
So this time of contraction, I know, is as it’s meant to be. Perhaps it is simply preparation for being replanted into the next pot, to enter a period of growth yet again. It’s a time to take responsibility, to know the book won’t get finished simply by wishing it so! It will get finished by writing it. It will only carry the meaning and purpose it is meant to, if it is authentically written from the heart, in full alignment. Knowing growth doesn’t happen through compassion it happens through inner connection, expanding my own roots and branches.
A reminder to myself to start where I am, to use what I have, to be grateful for all that has been, all that is and all that’s yet to come and to live fully, in this moment. To be the person I want to be now not just when the conditions are right.
It’s a reminder to myself to be love.