I have been a bit on the Ben Harper band wagon these days. So please forgive me if he is not one of your favs. In our last chat Walking Away we talked about walking away and letting go of things that no longer serve you or fit anymore. All this while listening to Harper’s beautiful tune “Walk Away.” As I continue along my path of gaining physical and emotional clarity the natural next step
in thinking about our connection was to talk about RISING UP. The above song has served as an anthem to many. Certainly rising up was a theme of the civil rights movement. It is often thought to be connected to fighting for one’s rights. Boy can I relate to that fight. I feel like I spent a good portion of my adult life doing exactly that. Fighting for the rights of others is what I thought brought me to social work school. That was until I later realized that it was my own pain that brought me to that place. Fighting the good fight never got me very far. It was always this sort of churning inside that fueled my anger. That type of feistiness certainly has resulted in social change but unless that change brings you to a place of deeper peace and healing, it is wasted energy. This is why I want to talk about a different kind of rising up today. Rather than seeing this action as one coming from “fighting the establishment” I would love to chat more about how
rising up brings you into closer connection with your heart.
This morning I am taking time to slow down as I often do on Sunday mornings. I picked up the book “The Alchamist” by Paulo
Coelho. You remember, it’s the one we chatted about recently in our tea time discussion What is Your Personal Legend?where we talked about what seeking for your Personal Legend really means. Well this morning I read some passages that just spoke to this whole concept of rising up and its connection to the heart. In this passage the young sheppard, Santiago, is speaking to the alchemist that he meets along his journey. The alchemist tells him “Everyone on Earth has a treasure that awaits him. We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about their treasures, because people no longer want to go in search for them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in it’s own direction, toward its own fate. But unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them -the path that is their Personal Legend, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a frightening place, and because they do, the world turns out, indeed to be a threatening place. So we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard; we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.” Santiago asks the alchemist “why don’t people’s hearts tell them to follow their dreams?” The alchemist responds “Because that’s what makes a heart suffer most, and hearts don’t like to suffer.” WOW, right? That passage basically sums up the spiritual search for one’s true happiness. One has to be willing to suffer in order to find it.
This does not mean the type of suffering generally associated with having to rise up and fight. That kind of suffering most of us already know. It is the suffering associated with being emotionally vulnerable and believing in something that one can’t see that creates a deeper kind of suffering. In an earlier passage the Santiago tells the alchemist that while his heart is afraid to suffer, he also notices that “every second of the search is an encounter with God.” He goes on to state “When I have been truly searching for my treasure, every day has been luminous, because I’ve known that every hour was a part of the dream that I would find it. When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I would never have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a sheppard to achieve.” Yes, that is true for me as well.
When you set off on a path for your own truth, life becomes far more challenging than you could ever imagine. It is truly much less painful, on some levels, to stay in the mundane job making the money to pay the bills to create the security that you end up resenting for the rest of your life. Or continuing to numb your emotions with a drink, some sugar, more work, a relationship or drug to hide from that resentment that is building. It is the lifestyle that we are all socialized to accept as our fate here in the United States. It is actually why I truly love traveling internationally. I have had the opportunity to come across many people over time who live a life totally outside the lines that should be colored in. I have always been inspired when I have had these chance meetings. Stepping outside of the lines that I so carefully drew for myself and that often felt imposed upon me, has been not only exhilarating, inspiring but also extremely scary at times. I
have gone from being stuck in a rut but knowing what to expect to moving more freely with the rhythm of the earth which means that I have also stepped into the unknown. I have done a lot of rising up in my day, but this is by far the most courageous step up I could have ever imagined taking. There are many more to come as I can tell that there are things that need tweaking and a soul that needs to see more of the world. It is likely that I will make another courageous step out of the lines within the near future in order to fully be able to spread my wings and fly. I have always been my happiest when I am traveling abroad so I know at some point I will live internationally again. The lines are blurry these days and it is a refreshing mess of excitement and joy at times. Whenever I find myself second guessing my recent decisions, the Universe always finds a way to show me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. So tell me, what burning desire inside of you needs to RISE UP? Is there a treasure that you have always wanted to find but have been too frightened to look for? How might you begin to start to
follow the path of your heart and color outside the lines?
Cheers to finding the space within to follow your heart!