Posts tagged #A Course in Miracles

Some Basic Principles of Awesoming

A list. 1) Awesome (perhaps inevitably, for us mere mortals!) cycles through periods of miserable suck in which your lovelight dims and the queasy miasma of vast self-rejection settles in.  It's okay right now to feel mired in a rotten  cesspool of your own spectacular failure.

I feel that way usually at least for one full week out of the month (my PMS is a bloody-mouthed Destroyer of Worlds, and not in that cool way), and sometimes for whole seasons of numbing yuck in which chain-smoking while watching whole tv series consecutively and only leaving the house to go to 12-step meetings or get more cigarettes is a completely valid way to keep from more promptly and actively killing myself.  I felt that way pretty much solid from 2004 - 2009.  It was great.

2) Awesoming your life, despite how very perky the idea may sound, is actually work that involves soul-melting terror.  Soul-melting terror is the essence of sublimity, and awesomeness is sublime.  Things that are also sublime include hurricanes, Antartica, Tristan and Isolde, and my PMS.

3) Awesoming requires a rearrangement of your heart and brain, so that your intuitive-embracing-poetic-oxytocin-pumping-whole-picture-seeing-compassionate-truth-unveiling-heart is in charge of your business and your analytical-judgmental-calculating-dopamine-seeking-miserable-adrenalized-frightened-rabid-squirrel brain is given chamomile tea and gently comforted with a warm blanket.

4) Awesoming entails learning to identify with and live from your fundamental goodness, innocence and wonder rather than with your culturally programmed guilt, striving, and fear.

5) You already engage in awesoming and you're damn good at it or else you wouldn't be alive and reading this.

6) The process of turning the queasy miasma of vast self-rejection into fertilizer for your slowly-magestically-spinning-sparkling-blue-lotus-of-self-realization is an alchemical one.

It involves paying attention to your dreams, dialoguing with your moods, meditating, journaling, sharing your feelings openly and non-violently with others, playing pretend, writing poetry and making art, throwing parties, dressing up, enacting freaky rituals in moonlight that would scare your mom, singing songs, and loving people both madly and tepidly, as the situation requires.

7) Awesoming isn't something that's given much space and encouragement in our society.  Mostly because when you're engaged in the work of awesoming you're much less interested in buying stuff, you become allergic to lies, you tend to share generously in public and you bring forth spurtzing geysers of joy into the world.  All of which greatly interferes with global corporate capitalism.

So, there you have it.  Awesoming is hard and mostly non-glamorous work.

Highly non-glamorous things I often do in the service of awesoming include:

1) Sitting in moldy church basements and over-heated social halls at 12-step meetings every week.

2) Crying and freaking out.

3) Making food in my tiny-ass closet of a kitchen for folks I may or may not immediately like.

4) Devoting whole days to questioning the reality of my thoughts, beliefs and perceptions, Byron Katie-style.

5) Faithfully studying New Age tomes  and self-help books from the 1970s like A Course in Miracles, A New Earth, The Handbook to Higher Consciousness, and The Nature of Personal Reality.

6) Hanging out at drum circles with people older than my parents who unselfconsciously chant in made-up "Native American" languages and refer to the world as "the matrix."

7) Blogging.

8) Passing up on real jobs in order to have more time for all of the above.

All of which is to say.... awesoming is counter-cultural, difficult, time-consuming, subjects one to accusations of dorkiness and to being made fun of by 16 year olds, and totally worth it.

Because when the foul miasma of rotten self-rejection lifts and I get peeks at my true nature and everyone else's true nature of massive, throbbing, heart-pounding lovelight glory -  well, that just rocks.


Radical Innocence


Ever experience the negative voice in your head as not at "voice" at all but rather as an instant, visceral wincing?  Like, something happens not-according-to-plan and your internal response is just to feel kinda squingingly weak and hopeless and desperate to hide?

Yeah, me too.

Lately I'd been circling around in the same old dance with self-rejection, fear and shame.  I've come a long way from where I used to be, but alas— spiritual growth tends to be a spiral and not a straight-shot to infinite beatitude. Unless, of course, it is for you.  In which case, you better hurry up your bodhisattva work and help me join you on your enlightenment train.  That is, please?

What's been helping me lately is to remember my all-too-easy to forget commitment to radical innocence.  I sometimes hesitate to speak about it, because I know when I spell it out it can sound like straight-up denial or lunacy.  But I think it's far from it. Allow me to explain.

Radical innocence means letting go of my judgment that anything is wrong with the world, at all.  Ever.

I find it's the only attitude that truly helps me let go of self-rejection.  Why is that? Well, it has something to do with the world being a precise mirror for the self.  Any attitude I project onto the world, I will simultaneously project onto myself, and vice-versa.  So if I'm inwardly rejecting, hating, saying "no" to anything "out there" — another person's behavior, global economic inequity, the fact that I myself am far from wealthy, anything — I'm also rejecting, hating, saying "no" to something inside myself.

In other words, if I was completely, 100%, fully okay with myself — I would be fully okay with the world.  My antsy, demanding, insistent need to fix, secure, and figure out comes from my own sense of not-okayness.  When I'm in that not-okayness, I need the world to fit into a nice arrangement so it won't poke any of my wounds and make me hurt.  When I feel really frustrated that things in my life aren't the way I want them to be, it's because I'm holding on to the belief that it would be easier to make the world conform to my will than actually practice love and acceptance.

It occurs to me that radical innocence boils down to just the old adage, "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil." Which doesn't mean willful ignorance.  Instead, it means refusing to interpret anything that appears as evil, terrible, wrong.  There are plenty of things in the world that we'd all like to see eradicated — hunger, war, abuse — but my reactive rejection of that stuff doesn't do anything to heal it at a fundamental level.  It just perpetuates reactive rejection inside me.

Radical innocence isn't anything I made up, of course.  It's the message of A Course in Miracles, The Four Agreements, Loving What Is and all those other metaphysical heavy-hitters that I love so much. It can be a real bitch to practice, though.  Being truly vigilant about it means paying close attention to my inner monologue and challenging myself to not insult or disrespect anyone or anything — not out of weird New Age piety but out of a genuine sense of humility.  This gets really tough when reading about politicians.

Which reminds me - excuse me while I close my eyes and send love to Mitt Romney.  Bless you, Mitt, you're human, too.

Anyway — if you're feeling awful lately, I suggest you join me in the practice of radical innocence.   Decide that you don't have to reject anything that exists.  Trust that your heart and intuition will help you navigate life with discernment rather than judgment.  Open up and relax.