These days are definitely not short on opportunities for growth that’s for sure. This song by Dustin Kenstrue became my favorite song this spring and summer. It went into my ITunes library before I traveled solo around Ireland in May. I listened to it over and over as the bus drove by pastures of rural Ireland filled with sheep and cows. This song spoke to my soul but the other day on the T as i was listening to it, I picked up a central theme that has been coming up lately…growth. Kenstrue doesn’t just sing about a woman he loves, but a woman he found to challenge him to grow. We often think of the goods in life as being the bodily pleasures. The people, experiences, things that make us feel warm and fuzzy. The interesting thing about life is that the things that are good for us often are presented with some challenge. We then think that the Universe is out to get us. It’s the ole “if I didn’t have shit luck, I would have no luck” mentality that serves no one. Our souls made an agreement in coming into this lifetime. The work of the soul is to move through the karma that it brought into this lifetime working towards transformation and releasing of said karma. We don’t always work through our past karma in this lifetime which is why it may follow us into the next. Ya know how they say “karma’s a bitch” yup sometimes that’s exactly how it feels. But I do notice that if I can be open to seeing when my karma is arising, it becomes less of a bitch and more of an opportunity. This doesn’t necessarily make it any easier but it does help me to understand why certain situations are rising up to the surface.
If our souls are here to transform then what drives us towards bodily pleasures? I mean if you have a job to do, you do it right? You may not like it but you know it needs to be done. Well it’s the knowing part that is not always apparent. Due to the indulgence in bodily pleasures, we are not always aware of our patterns as they are arising. Bodily pleasures, be them sex, lust, love, sugar, alcohol, drugs, or shopping, all activate the pleasure center in the brain. The reward circuitry lights up and the cookie monster turns on wanting more and more and more. The pleasure center high jacks our ability to make rational decisions and to see clearly. Stimulants such as sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and even shopping take us on a high and low roller coaster. We get so distracted with feeding the cookie monster and keeping at bay our deeper core emotions that we don’t see what’s going on right before our eyes. When the stress fight/flight response get turns on, it shuts down our executive functioning as we have previously discussed. This means that when we are highly emotionally charged we are incapable of making decisions that make sense. We are now being chased by the tiger in the jungle and life is scary to say the least. We view things though tunnel vision which means that the soul’s work is not capable of being carried through. Now think about if your body is constantly on this roller coaster, of course you are going to think you are in the right because you have no capacity to see any other view point. Your brain is in effect not capable of helping you see the bigger picture. Explains a lot right?
If we turn back to Kenstrue’s lovely song, we see that having people around us who help balance all this craziness going on inside is crucial. I am in love with love like any girl. Or maybe it has to do with being a romantic emotional Pieces, who knows. I have seen every single chick flick most likely a million times. But in order to make money Hollywood is not going to show you many relationships where people are doing the mucky work of the soul. Who wants to watch movies about that crap, right? We know what that’s like and it’s definitely not always activating our pleasure center. But it’s that odd movie that we sit through where we can authentically connect with the characters that really grabs at our hearts and souls on a deep level. For me and many people out there, the trilogy of Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight movies produced by David Linkletter were just those. During some recent episodes of soul work my body wanted to retreat so I rented the recently released Before Midnight. In reflecting more on our tea chat for today I thought about this movie. The main characters, Jessie and Celine have a deep karmic connection that brings them on crazy emotional roller coasters during this particular movie. Linkletter goes into showing the depth of the characters and the meaning behind their relationship. They struggle with jealousy, trust, insecurities, issues around existential existence and the need for connection. All of these issues being connected to the karma that they brought into this lifetime. If they were matched with another possibly “more compatible” mate it is quite possibly they would stay on the surface of bodily pleasures. Although through staying together they may just have an opportunity to work through and transform some of these issues that their soul yearns to release. This movie shows the intimate and very real struggle that the spiritual soul goes through when in a human body.
Life is mucky but if we are awake enough we will see that it also provides an infinite opportunity for learning and growing. We are all just doing the best we can with the skills we have at the moment. Hopefully along the way we have the opportunity to meet up with people who help us see the depths of our soul and love us anyway. While Hollywood and the music industry often speak about this through romantic love, we have the capacity to access this through a variety of types of relationships. Often those that present challenges to us are the ones that the Universe has chosen to help us with our transformation. Bodily pleasures are nice. They help shield us from all the darkness in the world but if used too often they also shield us from the light.
Today what will you do to help your soul transform, grow and learn? May you be safe, happy, healthy and live with ease along the journey.