Sabbatical: A Part of the Whole
In my post from October 8, 2012, I mentioned a quote from Eckhart Tolle that summed up my current sabbatical; “Instead of asking ‘what do I want from life,’ a more powerful question is, ‘what does life want from me?’.” I have been reflecting on this quote everyday during my sabbatical as I have let go of my identity as a musician, then as an artist, then as even a human being. Observing myself, I ask, "Who is this observer, and what role does this observer play in my experience of the OneLife?". It has provided me with many great insights into my intentions and purpose for any actions.
When I was contemplating this it dawned on me what one of my major blocks in this Life has been. Fear. Seems obvious right? Well, it is in some areas of our lives, but fear can be an elusive character, guiding and directing our decisions and actions in ways unseen. For me, it has stopped me from getting more involved in larger endeavors. I have found myself blocked that I will not succeed, or the project I am engaged in will fail. Instead of even trying, I just let it go. What I have gathered from this realization is that, ultimately, it is not about the result of what you are "doing". It is the place from which you are "doing" from... The "beingness" that pervades every aspect of our doing. It is the who we are, the why we are, the how we are of our actions that is the most important. Not the obvious win, not the perceived success based on the original trajectory. It is primarily who, why and how we engage the process, as that is what is truly the win-win in any action or creation.
All of this world is grappling with some very deep and wide questions that cross all of our paths, that touch all of our lives. Making us question our roles in this greater play. It isn't like we can all just get up from what we are doing and redirect into organic farming, or pick up our stuff and go protest at every single march on whatever the most recent "atrocity" is. It requires a deeper question for us all. How can we as citizens of this moment, seize this moment, make the most of it? No matter what job you work or direction your ship is sailing. Like Martin Luther King Jr. said, "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."
What if we were all to take a "sabbatical" from our thoughts of who we are and why we are doing. Take stock in our actions and decisions, even for just one day, with no need or agenda to complete a project or become or achieve for your own. Ask yourself "How can what I am doing right now be in alignment with the whole?". I believe this question is the "north star" to any direct action we take or decision we make. This question centers you into the deeper issue at hand beyond all of the surface expressions of an incongruent populace. When we are doing and creating, who are we being while we are doing, how are we being, and why? If we can each start each decision or action from that question, the path ahead will become much more effortless as we will balance the process and dance of contrasts of this world. By taking away the need to win, and lessening the wound of loss, by becoming the win through the way we are when we do.
Live your day as a part of the whole. Be active, but not through the sole act of doing. It must emerge from the spaciousness of you, not as a thought, but as a deeper knowing, an inspired guidance, as my beloved would say. Be present and unattached, while also following your inspired action that emerges from your presence. Bring this way of living into your Life. If you are a political activist, apply presence into your activism, watch how you can move beyond the limitations originally placed by your own attachments to an outcome. See how your presence within the doing affects those around you, ever so subtly, building a wave of energy, a depth to all you do. Knowing that your actions are not lost if your original purpose of the action "fails." Your presence through the action ultimately is the most important, what comes from it is beyond our thought, beyond anything we can comprehend. However, if you are aware and attentive, moments will emerge when we will see a thread pointing to the greater design. We may be given the ability to see a facet of the bigger picture. When this happens, place a memory trigger to stay present, because the moment we start thinking about it through our filters of form, applying labels, defining it, we limit our perspective and we can lose grasp of that thread. Stop and breathe, return to your place of power... Presence.
Instead of asking "What do I want to create?" ask, "What does the Universe want to create through me?"
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