“Freedom does not come automatically; it is achieved. And it is not gained in a single bound; it must be achieved each day.”
Rollo May, Man’s Search for Himself
As I sit down to write this, I know something has changed in my life.
You might get a sense of things from a few of my earlier posts, but, in truth, the path I’m walking feels brand new.
If I was pressed to explain my position, my clear sense is that it feels as if everything has fallen away, and in its place is left my… beingness.
I recognise how ethereal this sounds, and it might, of course, be another projection of my ego, but I dont’t tink so.
It’s how I am.
At this point, I’m reminded of Michael E Gerber’s book, The E-Myth Revisited. If you’ve read it, you may recall a letter he writes to his fictional character, Sarah:
“And so, Sarah, while we have talked a great deal about your business and its relationship to you, while we have spoken about planning and systems and controls and management, about people development and organizational development and marketing development, and all those many parts of your business you must become not only aware of but attentive to, I would be remiss if I left you with the impression that any of those things will make any difference at all unless you remember one thing: keep the curtain up.
The curtain is your Comfort Zone. And your Comfort Zone has been the false mask you put on when you were a little girl, because it was safe when your spirit was not. Your Comfort Zone has been the curtain you have placed in front of your face when you view the world. Your Comfort Zone has been the tight little cozy planet on which you have lived, knowing all the places to hide because it’s so small. Your Comfort Zone has seized you before, Sarah, and it can seize you again, when you’re least prepared for it, because it knows what it means to you. Because it knows how much you want to be comfortable. Because it knows what price you are willing to pay for the comfort of being in control. The ultimate price, your life.”
I’m not suggesting that my shift has anything to do stepping out of my comfort zone, but the metaphor is apt to describe how it feels no longer to succumb to a lifetime of conditioning where my inner critic forced me to do things in pursuit of the industrial model ideal.
But the veil goes much further than reflecting on the idiocy of pursuing something that was antithetical to my being. It goes to the root of who I am.
It would be too easy to dismiss this awakening as a mid-life crisis. Trust me, if I experienced that it was when I walked away from the legal profession. No, this is something more profound.
For as long as I can remember my life has been ordered around accomplishment, success and treading a well-worn path. But in doing so, I recognise now how little I’ve questioned my chosen path. If I did, it was how I could make me happy by investing more and more of my life in working for someone else, generating great gobs of money and not much else.
But it was a delusion. All of it.
You might think I’m about to lurch into telling you how wonderfully blissful it is but it’s not like that at all. Life still has its ups and downs. The difference now is that I don’t feel drawn to live through the veil of my thinking mind. What this means is that where as, in the past, I would have had a thought, which in turn would have led to another…and on and on, now, not only am I able to observe but I don’t feel drawn into the play.
It might sound hard to accept but my thoughts feel no more and no less than energy contractions which come and go and which I don’t feel the need to play out. Of course, if you’ve bumped into mindfulness or meditation, you’ll recognise immediately the picture that I’m trying to paint.
You might wonder if this means I now walk around in some delirious haze. The answer is no. I walk around as I did before. If anything I feel more alive in presence – the whole damn thing.
Why am I telling you this?
In truth, I don’t really know.
If anything it’s to try to put into words how my life has changed, and why it’s important for all of us to question not just our goals by who we are as people.
To be clear, I’m not asking you to do anything – I’m most certainly not asking you to change who you are. However, if there’s a pointer to my message, it’s to slow down, listen to your body, observe your thoughts and to keep one question in mind, namely Who am I?
Sure, you can jump across to Amazon and buy a slew of books on self-development, success and dealing with your rough edges, but, even though it maybe conjecture on my part, I doubt if they’ll tell you anything you don’t already know.
I know in the past I’ve been brimming with prescription, but I no longer feel the drawn in that direction. That’s not to say I don’t want to write about my experience but I won’t be setting out any 12-step programme for radical change sometime soon!
For those people who’ve been kind enough to follow me, and read my work, I hope I can be forgiven for leaving behind my previous work on social media. It’s not that I’ve lost faith in the paradigm, but instead I know it’s not me, at least in the sense of the body of work I feel drawn to create.
In terms of this blog, I haven’t yet made a final decision, but it’s likely that I will no longer blog here and any live updates will come via Tumblr. If any written material does appear on this site it’s likely to be my books and poetry. I intend to archive my material in case I need to go back to any previous posts but they’re unlikely to appear on the site.
And so a new journey begins.