One the most important things Eckhart Tolle has said is rarely mentioned. He said the test of being is a very simple question: Do I feel lighter and more joyful?
Ask yourself: Do I feel lighter, more natural, more joyful, more compassionate, more connected, more open, more playful? Am I coming out of the world of fear and sadness? Does life unfold more effortlessly and rightfully? Does life flow?
It’s taken me some practice to answer the question truthfully.
As awareness expands, and fears are released, I feel an ever-strengthening connection to to the innate sense of being. I can see this underlying nature is compassionate, joyful, natural, intelligent, curious, playful, intuitive, flowing, and liberated—I can use many words, but words break it up, and fail to convey the wholeness of it. I realize that this sense of well-being has always been there.
I find that when I can face up to negative emotions and limiting beliefs, I can easily release them. I find that it works even better when there is no judgment of ‘negative’ or ‘limiting.’ Releasing is now non-verbal and natural.
I find that with expanding awareness, it is easier and easier to notice. I can see that my ego swings between fear and desire. I can see that who I have thought myself to be, is just a thought. I can see that the opaque, petrified layers of beliefs and ideas and concepts hide true nature. I see the tendency to continue to create and cling to beliefs. I can see that expansion has nothing to do with intellect, or beliefs, or knowledge, or any particular view.
As Awareness expands, and as I release stuff, I see what is at the base is a loving positivity. This is not the the positivity of cultivated positive thinking; it’s already there, as my true nature.
I can see the entire problem with the human condition is fear. All fears are really the fear of separation—the fear that I am disconnected and separate from what is. The fear that I will die without experiencing the natural connectedness to the whole. This is why there is cruelty and sorrow and genocide and violence and abuse, and this is why most of us live in world of fear and sadness, and this is why, often, we feel desperate, insecure and unnatural.
Fear is why we are not able to see past our own foreheads.
As fear is released, I begin to connect with true nature. And from this place of deep peace and stillness, I naturally attract the good. It is no longer a practice. It is not effort. In this place there is no need to develop beliefs in complicated theories of existence or spirituality or the Law of Attraction or positive thinking or God. Because this place of awareness is already it; it is everything. It is reality, what is, the infinite present, tat tvam asi.
What a wonderful world this is, that joy is a signpost that points us in the right direction. How wonderful that the prescription for a happy life is to follow our joy, and not the opposite. -Gina Lake
Our true nature is good, joyful, curious and playful. When I don’t feel it, it’s only because I’ve covered it up with rubbish.
I have the innate sense now that what I want is a full and joyful life. We all want this, and in the past this translated into substitute desires, for money, relationships, power, status, materials and approvable success. If we look at desires, we can see they come from the wanting of approval, control, security, or the running away from fear. Test it out. What is that you want most? Does it arise from one or more of the four wants?
If we let go of these wants, we see that the desires we have are really not quite so desparate. They are rather flimsy. What we really want is to be full, expanded, joyful, natural, and connected. We already have that! When we let go of the rubbish, there it is! The natural, playful, joyful, compassionate, experiencing awareness has always been there.
I find in this place of peace and stillness, true inspiration rises.
For example, the writing that I do, does itself. It has developed on its own. There has never been a time, in the last two years, where I have had to to use any tricks of discipline or motivation to write. I notice now that the movement is towards a simpler, clearer, gentler and honest writing. It’s happening on its own.
I want to share what I have discovered about and through awakening. I want to share how to expand awareness and how to release, what it may feel like, what obstacles to watch out for—essentially, how to get back to true, natural being. I want to share how awakening can help with specific problems of living, like addictions and depression and anxiety and maintaining a healthful weight and relationships. I want to share direct experience, not beliefs or knowledge or theories.
I do want to get published, but there is no particular movement towards that. This is a naturally rising inspiration and I trust it is unfolding in the only way it can and should.
There certainly have been times, in the last two years, of sadness, longing, insecurity, a fall-back to addictions, detachment, insomnia, apathy, isolation, and low-energy. Right now, for example, I am in place of very low-energy and insomnia, and many would consider my life circumstances uncertain. Three years ago, my present circumstances would have caused me considerable fear and distress and probably clinical anxiety.
Today, there is no longer a desperate feeling to any of this. What is, is, and it’s all simply a natural part of the whole experience of awakening. The painful stories that I had attached to these ‘negative’ feelings are falling away. If annoyance or frustration come up, they are just momentary feelings in the vast fascination of being alive!
And through this, I have asked myself many times whether I am truly lighter and more joyful.
In the beginning, I lied.
We get into this thing—some call it spirituality, awakening, enlightenment, advaita, zen, or non-duality—it doesn’t matter what we call it. It’s a thing we do to be natural again. I had a fundamental realization, from Eckhart Tolle, that I was not my mind. And so the practice and chase started. I talked about it to my friends; I couldn’t help it, this is such a wonderful life-shifting truth, and it can change the world. I turned my life upside down, I read, I learned, I traveled, I practiced, I wrote…there were many changes in my internal and external life. Some were very uncomfortable, some fundamentally shifting, all of them unfolded towards a deeper peace and well-being.
In the beginning, when I asked myself, do I feel lighter, more natural, more connected, the answer was always, yes, of course. It was a lie. With some time and practice, a gentle honesty developed. And then the answer was true. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, I don’t feel lighter or more joyful.
When the answer is no, well, that’s what it is. Notice and accept and release. And it clears away.
What about you? Do you feel lighter, more natural, more curious, more playful, and more joyful, than you did a year ago? Are you in flow?