I think it’s so funny that so much of how we are is about what we spend our time doing; things we think are fun, things we think are hard, things we love, and other stuff maybe not so much.
We have so many ways of doing all that stuff. We do some of it alone, we do some of it together. Sometimes we do it alone with others all around.
I can tell you this, when I feel engaged, whatever I’m doing is more enjoyable. I like to do stuff with you.
One of my teachers would draw the distinction between withdrawing and isolating. When we withdraw, we recharge our batteries, we regroup, we marshal our thoughts. We emerge stronger and clearer, and feeling like re-engaging.
On the other hand, when we isolate, we are often in hiding. We are trying to feel safe, or looking for temporary relief. Isolating ourselves doesn’t really help.
Sometimes I need big chunks of alone-time. Most of the time, little chunks of alone-time are sufficient. I use that time for contemplation, or just thinking about stuff. I figure things out, I find solutions. And, of course, do stuff.
And yet, for example, even though I am alone when I write you each day, I feel connected to you. I feel engaged with you, I feel presence in our community. Even though I’m alone when I practice my qigong, I feel a part of a large community. Even though I spend most of my sacred porch-time alone, I feel connected to my neighborhood.
Being engaged, involved, and connected is enlivening and energizing. Feeling engaged is interesting. I get curious about what will happen next. Curiosity is a by-product of engagement. Support is a by-product of engagement. So are love, creativity, openness, and aliveness, to name a few. Relaxing into these feelings, allowing our thoughts to be of this kind, brings us back to our natural lives, and isn’t that nice.
Sometimes we force ourselves to be in a group. Yuck. That isn’t being included, it’s not engaging. We feel unnatural, we say weird stuff, or get overly emotional, or really shut down. We feel horrible. We often feel super vulnerable and raw, and want to take everything personally. We get really defensive or self-protective and offensive.
If we can identify the first time when we experienced that, and integrate it, we can get back to our natural life of delight. Sitting at the wall of our icky stuff is uncomfortable, but so gratifying when the wall melts away, and so nice to have all that fresh, cleared out space.
Sometimes, when we are trying something new, we are inclined to hold back. When we can find one person to connect to, one person to engage with, we crack open that door of new experience, and can often find ourselves in the midst of a wonderful adventure we never could have imagined, much less imagined enjoying.
How have I changed from fearing change and involvement, to embracing the opportunities?
(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 01192015