Holding Life With An Open Hand
Or, how to survive not being in charge with a glad heart
The title of this newsletter is Let Your Life Speak, which partly has to do with my Quaker background. I grew up being taught that the way to spread our faith was to live it— openly, honestly, and without equivocation, in every aspect of our lives. That integrity would spread the Good News, so to speak, more than any words ever could.
But the title of this newsletter is also Let Your Life Speak because I believe that discerning the central, archetypal stories our souls have chosen to tell on this go ’round lets us participate actively and intentionally in the telling, rather than feeling like an unwitting victim of it all. There are infinite ways to tell the same story if you understand that the story is not at the surface, but at its heart. It is the thing underneath the many things, the thru-line that runs from beginning to end.
For me, one of the central stories is about the balance between my will and Divine Will. You can language that any way you like, and it makes no nevermind to me. As long as the words boil down to the question, “Who’s really in charge here?”
The more tightly I have held to my own ideas of how things were supposed to go in my life on the surface the more firmly Life has shaken me to force me to release my hold. I’ve learned it’s not that I’m never in charge of my life, that I have no agency or free will. It’s more like Life and I are dancing, and the more lightly and flexibly I hold my ideas about myself and my life the more responsive and graceful of a partner to Life I become.
To dance like this in mundane life takes what dancers call core strength— building up the power at the center while releasing rigidity everywhere else so that any movement is possible. To dance like this with Life takes similar core strength. Always seeking clarity about what the center actually is and working to fortify it, while releasing attachment to how that actually manifests.
If we focus on the surface of the notion of integrity it can seem like a rigid, endless game of Duck, Duck, Goose. Life sets the circle and we march around, “Wrong, Wrong, Right! Wrong, Wrong, Right!” over and over again until we die. But if we focus on the core of who we are and what we believe, and release attachment to what it all has to look like or how it all has to play out, then wherever Life leads we can dance.
Originally, I had planned to offer you all a next interview today, which I’m really excited about. But my interview subject has recently had COVID, so we’re bobbing and weaving over here. That interview will be up next Monday.
I wish you grace and power in your own dancing today.
Sending much love to each and every one of you. Thank you for supporting my work. Please share widely, like (click the heart!), comment, and SUBSCRIBE if you haven’t already. Let’s grow this conversation.