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sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Insights from the Land of the Mundane...

Last week was challenging getting ready for an appraiser to appraise the house, as we are attempting to refinance…  It was like trying to do a major Spring cleaning that would normally take me a few weeks in only a few days, and I only made a dent. At first there was excitement and enthusiasm to be clearing through the dust and debris that had accumulated, but after 3 days I was physically exhausted, emotionally drained, overwhelmed, and spiritually dry.   I felt like I was living life according to a foreign rhythm, an artificial rhythm, imposed by the external demands of the house – not according to a deeper inner Rhythm.  Not getting enough meditative Silence, the mind took over.

Over 17 years the house has become an albatross, a task master, weighing me/us down.  It no longer suits our needs, or lifestyle.  And yet life has not afforded us the opportunity to move on.  In getting caught up in this “doing, doing doing” mode, I felt like I was on automatic, waking up everyday with the to-do list running in my head, and under pressure to get it done.  My life energy became cluttered, and I lost a felt sense of the inner Spirit of Life that pulsates underneath all the “doing”, leaving me feeling hollow and empty.

The mind, however, loved the external focus of all this doing, and became a “doing machine.”  The body just followed along with what the mind determined needed to be done; a body-mind mechanism that was on automatic, except the body was getting worn out following the mind, instead of its natural rhythms.  And so at the end of 5 days I had to let go of the “doing” and be in the Quiet – to drop into that Silent space of the Source within and *feel* the Presence of the Divine again.  And yet, the mind still continued to tell me what I should be doing – running its “to do” lists incessantly – the real task master…   

Let’s just say that through this mundane experience I have found out how I *don’t* want to live, not letting the house (or the mind) dictate the flow of my life, because, as I discovered, if one is *only* focused on the mundane, one can get lost. I am not a deva by any means.  It’s just that my priorities are different.  I delight in the Inner Life.  I thrive there.  I *need* the Silence out of time to *hear* and *feel* the Inner Rhythms of the Divine music in life. 

Without the sense of awareness of this Divine Presence life is empty, lived on automatic, going from one end of the day to the other.  No wonder we get lost in the latest technologies – dependent on our devices, rather than our inner Life.  We stay attached to our electronic leashes that seemingly “connect” us to the world because we are afraid that life without them holds no “meaning”, no “substance”, no “connection.”   We, as a culture, have lost a sense of Divine Presence, and so we numb our minds with technofog, with our ipads, ipods, iphones, internet, facebook, twitter, and yes, even blogging, J trying to make an illusive “connection” – avoiding the *real* connection to Life – losing touch with the *Essence* of Life ItSelf, cutting ourselves off from the Source. What does this have to do with house cleaning you may ask.  It’s a deeper issue.  It’s about whatever numbs us to The Mystery of the pulse of Life – for me it is getting bogged down in the practical tasks of living that do not feed my Spirit… 

I have felt the burden of this house for many years, feeling the need to move on and lighten the load.  And so the house is becoming an agent of change, as I live this experience and ask myself - what is absolutely necessary here?  In other words, why am I doing this ? – My resistance only reflects the need to defy the assumptions of my role and routine - beyond the apparent surface reason of the moment – ie: the appraisal.  What is important?  What is my priority?  What do I *really* want?  For me, it is doing that which enlivens my sense of awareness of the Inner Rhythm of the Divine, and letting that be what determines my life’s movement and give my life meaning and purpose.

The real “task” then became to let go of the daily tasking, to stop the “doing” until internal harmony was restored.  There is a Taoist saying: “In the not-doing, everything gets done.”  When I stopped the tasking, the tasks got done, freely and intuitively as *part* of the daily flow. And were no longer seen as a *chore.*  And yet I know I still need to find a way of living that supports the internal Divine Rhythm *without* the accumulated trappings of life that clutter my life.  Ultimately knowing there is nothing but “The Mystery” of Life being lived Here in the every-day-ness of life…




“A house can become a little self-enclosed world.
 Sheltered there, we learn to forget the wild,
 magnificent universe in which we live.
 When we domesticate our minds and hearts,
 we reduce our lives.
  We disinherit ourselves as children of the universe.

  Almost without knowing it, we slip inside ready-made roles and routines
 which then set the frames of our possibilities and permissions.
  Our longing becomes streamlined.
  We acquire sets of convictions in relation to politics, religion and work…
  We parrot these back and forth to each other, as if they were absolute insights.
  Yet for the most part these frames of belief function as self-contructed barriers,
 fragile clichés pulled around our lives to keep out the mystery.

The game of society helps us to forget the unknown…
  The control and ordering of society is amazing: we comply so totally
with its unwritten rules.
 We show up. We behave ourselves.
  Meanwhile, almost unknown to ourselves,
 we are standing on wild earth at a crossroads in time
 where anything can come towards us.
  Yet we behave as if we carry the world and were the executives of a great plan.
Everywhere around us mystery never sleeps.
 The same deep nature is within us.
 Each person is an incredibly sophisticated, subtle, and open-ended work of art.
  We live at the heart of our own intimacy, yet we are strangers to its endless nature.”


John O’Donohue
From: Eternal Echoes



10 comments:

  1. I can identify with the house becoming something that is burdensome, no longer suiting the needs.

    Learning something new from a negative is a worthy fruit of your labour! We are currently getting rid of anything we don't use/need! I have always had this philosophy though with regular cathartic cleansings!. LOL
    Yes your quote is a wise one that has imposed itself on me, for through stress, I have had to tell myself many time ~ only do what's next!

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    1. Thanks Sue - Yes, I will be continuing to weed out and declutter, but more at a pace that I can tolerate - maybe 2-3 hours at a time a couple days of week, rather than 5-6 hours a day, everyday.. ugh... And as we both know, with chronic illnesses you can only do what you can do... :)

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  2. I resonate with ur experience so much Christine. Lovely poem to go with the experience too. Trusting that inner silence is so important to our lives and yet so many times im tempted by my old ways of being. Purging n cleaning is something ive been thinking of too.

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    1. Thanks Aarathi :) I read your most recent post and it seems we are going through similar experiences, although I don't have small children. With my latest experience I have really had to pay attention to my body signals, which is what eventually led me to have to "let go" of the doing. Like you I don't always do that, and just keep pushing. The body teaches us so many good lessons! :) And you *know* I love the Silence :) <3

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  3. This year I found out, first hand, how little of what I own I really "need." It's nice to not have to fuss with a big old house and with all the stuff I thought was so important and meaningful - I much prefer the downsized small space!

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    1. Oh yes, I know! And I totally understand that :) For me it is the work that it's going to take to get there. Needing to find my own pace and let it unfold in its own time, not pushing the envelope of this body, :) and staying true to my Self. There's a lot of internal "work" that's going on at the same time :)

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  4. I hope the appraisal went well and brought you what you desire. Yes, sometimes outer worldly needs and demands warp my inner rhythms. Which rhythms have slowed down considerably since moving into the trees. the isolation quiets so many of the type A behaviors I once had. Not sure if that's good or not though. For me I mean. Lovely essay you wrote. You are so good at detailing subtle feelings. be well, Suki

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    1. We still don't know about the appraisal... For sure worldly needs and inner rhythms were in warp for a while until I gained perspective again. :) Oh yes, I imagine being in Nature helps that a lot! Am learning to accept things as they are.
      Good to see you here. :) Heart Hugs...

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  5. How easy it is for our life energy to become cluttered. And it can happen gradually, even years worth, before we realize it. On the flipside though, a good clean & clear out does the body as good as the mind. That's what where we're at with a good spruce up here at home. I think you are wise and even brave to be facing this and asking deep questiosn and coming to know what you want & what you don't want in the time ahead. Too much "stuff", too many possession zaps our energy is so many ways--body, mind, spirit. Less is definitely more, I think. ;o) Creating the life we want--and it is creative--to have the courage--YES! May you strike creative gold as you plan the next phase of time, Christine... and may all go well as you prepare your house! Great to catch up wit you after a blog-break. ((HEART-HUGS))

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    1. Oooo - "striking creative Gold" - like that :) I am learning to pace myself better, as the body doesn't have the same stamina it once had, so paying attention to the body signals. And staying true to the Inner Rhythm as well... Eventually it all gets done :)

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