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February 26, 2011

Straddling across the river

For those of us who have chosen to embark upon what I term “the path,” inevitably we reach a point where our tastes, habits and desires change. Initially, we wholeheartedly embrace this new and unfamiliar place with optimism and joy.

At first, we’re able to entertain the old along with the new, continuing to dabble in that which no longer serves our chosen greater good, while inhaling as much as we can of our latest discoveries. Until we begin to notice that we’re more drawn to being with the new.

In these early stages we are prone to reject the old, much to the dismay of our family and friends who, because of their own life stories, are unable to understand, accept and appreciate this ”

Renewed Spirit emerging

stranger” before them. Their likely selfish unconscious defense may be to undermine you – to remind you from whence you came – keeping you [and by virtue themselves] in check.

Eventually however, we arrive at a place where can no longer entertain both [old and new], and are required to make a choice, out of love for self and in the interest of our continued growth.

None of these phases mentioned about the trod have any pre-determined time span. We intrinsically know however when we have arrived at the crossroads and are ready to take the leap. Certain telltale indicators include noticing how when exposed to familiar people, places and things that we once enjoyed we now find them utterly draining as a result of their toxicity.

I take for example, my recent trip home to Jamaica. In the past, I was reputedly known as the life of the party. I had my finger on every pulse; knowing what was happening when and where and looked forward to ‘dressing to the nines’ to spar with my fellow revelers.

This time however I had absolutely no interest in the hoopla and fanfare and instead opted for a more serene approach – a state of being rather than doing. This included eating fresh, organic meals, going for walks in nature, frolicking at the beach and daily meditation and yoga.

Having given up guilt along with late nights and over-indulgence in red wine, I happily declined all invitations extended that excluded the possibility of spending meaningful time preferably in nature, with ordinary folk committed to extraordinary things in their lives.

Later, in a Skype exchange with one of my kindred spirits on the other side of the world, we spoke of precisely this point – how to lovingly release those who no longer share our dreams and visions.

We concluded that it doesn’t necessarily mean that we love them less, only differently.

The path while simple is by no means easy. It is confronting, conflicting and contradictory. It is as daring as it is daunting.  And it is as lonely as it is liberating.

Imagine yourself for a moment straddled across a riverbank, with one foot on the left and the other on the right. As this river beneath you widens, in a desperate attempt to maintain presence on both sides, you stretch even further until you can no longer. I daresay that returning from whence you came is no longer an option – you’ve reached the essential point of transformation.

Looking down at the river beneath you, you also realize that allowing yourself to succumb to and be swept up by its currents also won’t work, given your acquired sense of awareness.

So courageously, you take a deep breath and gracefully step to the right side of the bank, where you are fully and firmly grounded in the person that you are remembering, the person you always were before society came along and tried to dictate who you should be.

On this new terrain you may occasionally be tempted to glance back at from whence you came. Like the river you now observe with detachment as it no longer feels threatening, you know within yourself that with time, this [temptation] too shall pass.

Sometimes we lament about how we wish that our friends and family would embrace our new self. In such instances, it serves to remind that the only transformation that you’re responsible for is your own.

As your authenticity blossoms it may be contagious – some may catch the waves while others simply won’t notice.

What do we do then? Nothing, except,

Be kind to all living creatures; especially your emerging self.

And so it is.

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