At the moment, I’m hooked on a very gentle TV series, watched purely as my evening wind-down (its harmless entertainment, why do I feel the need to justify myself…?), yet I’ve also been dashing through epsiodes, longing for a particular outcome in the plot. As I cheated by glancing ahead at the episode synopses last night, frustrated and eager to reach the point where the two main characters “get it together”, only to find that there are another 2 series to go before they iron out all their problems and do that, I reminded myself to unhook a little, slow down and just enjoy the viewing of it without so much attachment. I also smiled to recognise in myself the very same addiction and longing that all-consumed me as a girl ploughing through doorstop-thick romance novels. Am I really such a dyed-in-the-cloth romantic, even now?
So I ask myself, what is this compunction in me…in a lot of other people…to see a man and a woman come together at last (I know, there are other gender formats of that very-same dynamic these days but I’m not going to trip myself up with a ham-fisted attempt at political correctness since that isn’t what I’m writing about here). I’ve spoken a great deal, over the years, about the universal masculine and feminine aspects; so, is this just more of the same? An inbuilt universal driver? An outcome we are all magnetically drawn to?
Listening to Jeddah Mali talk about overcoming limitations this morning, I allow for myself that it may not be as trvial as it seems, this romantic longing; rather, much more fundamental to the fabric of reality, of which I am but a morsel yet a prime representation nontheless.
If our consciousness and our awareness are like a couple who only ever really “get married” when we are fully present, meaning that they are both focused together upon whatever intention we are holding in that very moment…And if, “like all newly-weds, they are reluctant to part” once they (finally) reach that moment of togetherness (though the challenge is in getting there!)… then the out-of-harmony-ness of a perfectly-matched young couple dallying around the edges with each other but never quite crossing over to consummate their love is a mirror of the deep inner frustration we (or, certainly, I…) notice within ourselves every day. Perhaps this is why it gets to us so much, reeling-us in as the most over-used plotline of them all.
In the familiar plotline, they nearly get there…dancing around the edges, almost touching, almost landing on the same page…but then something happens to rebuff one of them, or they lose confidence, or someone or something “gets in their way”, a spanner thrown in the works. These are circumstancial obstacles they apparently can’t avoid but, as the viewer, we are on the edge of our seat, tense with frustration because we can clearly see the bigger picture…so we want so desperately to push them a long a little, to get them to see through or get over the so-called obstacles. We already know its all worth it, and that they are nearly there. Why can’t they just get on with the business of loving each other?!
That same frustration (and also the irony of having a far better overview of my own behaviours than I once I had…yet still noticing myself get stuck!) play out in me ever day. Why do I find it just so hard to keep my consciousness and awareness together on the same focus? Why does one always see fit to wander off? Why can’t I give then one task, in fact the only task that matters (which is how it is with every intention that we have in the here-and-now-moment because yesterday’s and tomorrow’s are irrelevant in that place) and just get them to focus on it together, laser-precise? Sounds so easy and yet so impossibly hard, apparently.
Check in with yourself…how long can you stay in the moment without your mind ambling off to ruminate on something that already happened or that you are anticipating happening? How often do thoughts come in from the side of your mind and knock you off the pedestal of your higher intentions, bringing you down (or so it seems) with doubts, worries and niggles. In the next moment, you are so contracted with fear and doubt and distraction that the moment feels lost.
And as soon as we think those other thoughts, even if they are subsconscious, we have lost that laser-like beam made up of consciousness and awareness combined in perfect partnership. Our consciousness, having now gone off on its ramble, brings back into focus the kind of negative thoughts and doubts which, then, our awareness (being the instrument of whatever version of reality we choose to dwell upon; since they all exist “out there” in the sea of awareness…so all she ever does is our bidding, fetching whatever we happen to order from the menu), diligently delivers more of what we expected to go wrong, now registered in our sensations as “reality”. In other words, the perfect marriage that is conscious~awareness is both right there under our noses thus fully accessible to everyone, every single day of the week…and oh so very ellusive!
You could equally say, the very thing we long for, the happy moment of consummation, a veritable super-power just waiting to transform our lives, is right there, hidden in plain sight!
Focussing intently on the present moment can’t fail to bring us into the present moment…and the more we focus on it, the more laser-like the combination of consciousness and awareness become. On top of that, the more we focus there, the more effectively it excludes interfering thoughts of the kind me and half the rest of the world feel are the bain of their life. We can trust that we are busily creating through setting our intentions there (just as we are creating all the rest of the time; even when our intentions are unconsciously led by fearful or negative thoughts, manifesting what we didn’t want) but as long as we are in the present moment, we can let go of that fear since it is impossible to fear at the same time as being fully present (fear relates to thoughts of what has been / what might be) and then trust in the process.
How does the power of this union come about? Well, our awareness is always focused on our existence, as in our experience, so as soon as our consciousness, which can only focus on one thing at a time, is persuaded to drop all its other ruminations and focus there too, it can no longer lose itself in those other thoughts such as fears, niggles, doubts, grudges, strategies, worst case scenarios and the rest. If we really have to get firm with our consciousness, all it takes is to learn this rule of thumb by heart: contracted feelings always come from “untruth”; after all, the universe is inherently expansive, so we can just let those feelings go, without the big analysis as to where they came from. “Stuff happens” and we pick up such faulty beliefs along the way but we can let go and move on now.
In my own case, I’ve come to realise that my so-called “stuck” health doesn’t even exist in the now, just so long as my focus is on the state of profound wellbeing that I choose to have coursing through my body, and its only when I allow my mind to wander off into ruminations, anticipations, fears and the track-record of past symptoms that may repeat or get worse, all regarded as “a problem to be solved”, that I am back there in the land of chronic. I genuinely intend to get well and yet, oh-so easily, find myself back in more of the other. The good news is that, whenever this happens, its the unpleasant sensations themselves, as my body starts to register them, that tell me I have gone off-track. They alert me to the benefit of stopping whatever I am doing…and getting back to the present moment, to reset my intentions; as many times as it takes, until I start to feel much better.
In my daily activities, this kind of miss-match or miscommunication between consciousness and awareness happens all the time, if I let it. Take yesterday, when I set the clear intention for a creative day, nothing else was going to interfere with that priority and yet it somehow took until after 4 o’ clock before I came to the surface from a long series of largely meaningless distractions that had gobbled-up my day; so how did I let that happen, how do I let it happen so many days of the week, especially when it comes to blocking my own creativity (you could call it a prolongued phase of “artist’s block”)? I now find I have to actively police various distractions out of my path, keeping myself away from social media and other exposures, from constantly checking and responding to emails or being too readily available when other people call on me, to minimise the risks, such is my propensity to be taken off track by the merest interuption to my flow (the downside of an ADD mind), thus its getting better, slowly and surely.
The good news is that even partially understanding all this is the beginning of noticing how it plays out in our daily lives. Only this morning, I brought my mind up short from one of its rambles and I was suddenly there, fully in the moment of the early morning walk I might otherwise have done on autopilot…and two young deer were standing there, barely hidden in the long grass where, I suspect, they had (not for the first time) made their bed last night. As we all locked eyes and they so-gracefully jumped the fence and made into the woods, it was one of those pure-magical moments that become so much more plentiful when you spend increasing time in “the now”.
In those rare moments that I am fully here and clear in my intention to bring my being into a state of, say, deep love and profound wellbeing, its as though the very fabric of that moment conspires to fulfil my request, shape-shifting every sensation, all the feedback of my environment, to reflect and deliver that very intention. (This is a visual I get) its somewhat like becoming aware of yourself as the very centre of a flower, like a giant peony bloom, at its very moment of opening, petals unfurling around your own pivot-point. As the experience gathers all around you as its centre, and yet the primary sensation is of expansiveness and liberation, you briefly glipse something of your own power to manifest whatever you decide to make the point of your focus…and your cells start to remember the feeling you generate so that they now remain poised and eager to replicate it. Fear and doubt disolve and you remember who you truly are, way beyond all of life’s baggage.
No more than any other perfect partnership in its happiest moment, you can’t freeze this moment either, as in to choose to stay here forever, as though the story has concluded (that’s not how life works)…however, such moments start to add up, to gardner trust from your ever-doubting mind and body, to become more real than “all the other stuff”. And we can be sure of one thing, that awareness is always here at our disposal…all we have to do is get it together with consciousness and away we go, the happy union we waited for!
I know that, if I could only get into these experiences more often, make time for them, build them into the priorities of my days, even set alarms for mindfulness moments (as I now do…), I could enjoy such moments, say of perfect health, of balance, of love radiating through and beaming out of me, of profound calm, of knowing everything is perfect just as it is, whenever I wanted to…in fact, I could make them so commonplace that they all join up to become the new-normal of my days. We all could. Because all those other “realities” dont have a reality beyond our fearful thoughts; its just that we seem to have become accustomed to dwelling there, en masse, with our thoughts and fixations. Tackling such fear, resistance and negativity with mental analysis won’t work, either; we can’t beat it out of ourselves (believing it is a problem to be solved only puts more focus on it), we just have to let go…
In other words, we can use the process of intensely focusing on the present moment, which inevitably combines both consciousness and awareness, to lose any state that is not beneficial. By focussing on the more expansive thought, we allow the sea of awareness to carry this instruction out for us by conducting the very marriage process that the task requires (sea of awareness is a term used by Jeddah Mali, whose Seeds of Enlightenment and other related tools I have been drawing on, most gratefully, for about a decade now). Once fully invested in the same outcome, they become that laser-like effect, capable of doing our bidding. Using somewhat different terminolgy but its all the same things, its a process I’ve been working at pretty diligently since the start of this year (far longer, really) using the Gupta Program to soften and flow my reactions to whatever arises…and I’m starting to get somewhere, to witness the old trend playing out in myself, and to reclaim more and more moments of conscious awareness back the mire of frustration, fears, set-backs, hopelessness, pointlessness, dispair, resignation and all those other stories we tend to drown ourselves in.
The difficulty, for most of us, is that we like the story too much, we enjoy they yarn of it, the near-misses, the long spun-out quest for fulfilment. Its what keeps us hooked, addicted, turning the pages of life, gossiping with others, dwelling on the what ifs and maybes, raking over the past and speculating over the future. It gives us that feeling of momentum, of travelling from A to B and, even with all its setbacks, it beguiles us into wanting more of it.
The power of now is that none of that really matters; now is all there is. In the now, we can “be there” in an instant. We can come together, into the ultmate sum of parts, the highest completion, which is the consummation we truly long for, whenever we want to and with no requirement to fear that getting to that point means the end of us…because it could only ever mean the beginning of something new waiting to birth from the union. You could say, the manifestation of a new story, the tale of whatever it is we are most focussing all our conscious attention on in those moments of present moment awareness, be it more health, happiness, love, harmony, balance…as soon as we put behind us all those old-addictive stories we got so hooked into and just cut to the clinch. Then, we can start to lose those old plotlines of frustration from our daily lives…and perhaps save them for our evening’s lighthearted entertainment!