If we’re present and paying attention, life ALWAYS communicates with us.
The more aware and present we are, the subtler the “clues” need to be. The more distracted and absent we are to the moment, the noisier, more intense, and seemingly more violent life’s classroom becomes. It is absolutely possible to learn through joy, love and grace, but we must be receptive to that manner of teaching. If we resist and are unwilling or unable to be present, still and quiet and take IN the “information” the gentle-voiced teacher presents (sometimes in a whisper that only the most alert student perceives), our lessons will tend to get louder to catch our attention.
If we’re racing around life’s classroom screaming, pushing others around, telling the teacher how to teach, or ignoring him/her completely, it is likely we will be assigned a rougher and tougher teacher and the lessons will be too, or we’ll be sent to the principals room, where everything stops for a time, to give us time to reflect on our actions and behavior.
One of the keys to living a more peaceful life in a “drama-free” zone is to LISTEN. Listening to everything, with and from our hearts. To notice what every moment is presenting. The flowers on our morning walk with the dog, the sidewalk that raised up to meet us where the trees roots – who invite us to stop in for a hug – have pushed up the pavement, the sudden alarm sounding immediately next to us, or the two containers that slipped out of our hands, broke and shattered on the ground (unexpectedly), emptying all their content beneath us, on us, or on the surroundings nearby.
Life doesn’t always produce the neon sign flashing overhead with a message for us, but it does produce signs. If we learn to read them accurately and wisely, not read INTO them… then we are gently guided along the way.
That’s why meditation is so important; but meditation alone is not enough. Our life must leave space in it to make room for the gentle messages, and manifestations waiting to be birthed into that space. So having a distraction & “clutter” free, not “too busy” mind and life is equally important. Our minds must be quiet, and our hearts open, so we can interpret these messages appropriately.
I used to attract a lot of difficult and sometimes rather dramatic lessons. My parents when I was growing up were often actively doing something. They rarely took time to rest and to be. Until my mother got sick and was forced into it. And then she changed and so did her/our lives.
People seeking to avoid the feelings associated with trauma are often busy. Because when we stop and are still, those feelings rise to the surface to be met. That meeting of feelings is not always comfortable but if we can learn to be compassionate and kind to the feelings (as instructors such as Charusila Grace teach us to be)… then they offer us the opportunity to meet life at its core; and thereby meet ourselves.
As an adult my life was filled with doing this and that for others. I was everyone’s “best friend” and I “worked hard” trying to create a better world. But most of my activism was changing things outside, not within. And that’s where true impact and contribution start. I did have a meditation practice but outside of it, everyone and everything else had my attention and was more important. I got the dregs of my own attention and even that was sometimes given resentfully.
It took many dramatic blows to my mind and body to spark my natural born curiosity. Things that represented my body; like a car for example, or my actual body. Things that represented my mind, like a vessel or container with “stuff” inside, or my actual mind. Recognition didn’t occur to me outwardly, but dawned on me inwardly.
As such, I found death to be one of the most effective teachers; and not just for me, but for most people I encountered; and not just the dying person, but the beings surrounding them.
That’s how I ended up as a hospice volunteer, death midwife, home funeral guide, transition coach and grief and loss counselor. To roll it all in one; “a sacred flight attendant”.
Both “beautiful” and “ugly” deaths taught me to pay closer attention to the subtle signs that life offers before it brings out the “jackhammer”.
Death isn’t the only teacher in my life, but it has been one of the most active.
Following my childhood initiations of having my own near death experiences, I did a whole crash course PHD program in 4 years with 40 deaths of beings near and dear to me (friends, family, and acquaintances) teaching me about how to die well or how not to. The result was staggering as working in the world of the dying is not for everyone or the faint of heart. It can get messy and rough but the underlying softness of life bleeds through when we surrender. When we give up the fight to be right about whatever we fought so hard to be right about. To “show” our parents, authorities, teachers, neighbors, partners, our children, etc. the error of their ways using our own lives as an example.
My own near death experiences as a child and teenager prepared the “space”, but life or death, as it were, grabbed me in full, and asked me to leave everything else behind. And because I was listening and willing to detach from everything I previously held dear, I listened.
I invite you now to listen. Pay attention to where life is directing you. Don’t say you don’t get any signs. Look around you. Look at your life! LiThe beings you commune with, the activities you are part of, your childhood wounding and traumas, the whole shebang! Look and ask, and listen! What is life telling you? What “SIGNS” is it asking you to pay attention to.
…If you don’t know you can hire me or an intuitive and/or wise being you trust to help you discover them, but look, listen, feel! The signs are there. And once the puzzle pieces come together, life finally makes sense.