I was startled by this question. While I spend much of my time paying attention to where I’m placing my attention, I haven’t thought about the moments or places just past where my attention is. I don’t think about reaching much at all. That is obvious by the point of focus on the photographs I take. I love the close, cropped views.
I focus on what’s here and now for the most part. It’s partly a practice of mine to stay in the present as I have spent much of my life living in the past, thinking about past grievances, or traumas. I began shifting that particular habit about a decade ago and have become happily adept at recommitting to being here in the present moment on a regular basis.
To think now about what I am reaching for is curious. Although maybe also not curious, as I see that I am reaching. I’m reaching outward to ripple what I know about intuition out to people through my Self-Discovery deck, and through playing with people on the labyrinth. So what is it that I am reaching for? For lack of a better word, I think I’m reaching for enlightenment, or awakening and there are moments when I feel completely landed in the awareness of the here and now, fully present in my experience and those moments feel exquisite and then there are the moments where I feel irritation at the dog, or my husband, or my son, or the line at the bank and my story is that that irritation is somehow not enlightenment, or being ‘awakened’ and then I wonder.
Feelings are feelings. If I’m allowing my feelings to flow through me without attachment to the story, then that is being awakened as far as I am concerned. In the recommitting to my own aliveness, which includes for me, a lessening of the interest in “the story,” I feel like I am awakening. Getting caught in the story, on the other hand, feels like being asleep to me. The initial irritation, if I allow it to move through me, will move on and what wants to happen next will become clear. But if I stay in the story and continue to re-source that initial irritation, now I’m asleep.
I used to think that ‘enlightenment’ was a place you got to and then stayed and I don’t believe that any more, for while I spend more and more of my time feeling in the flow of life and that feels like being awakened to me, I still forget. And in the forgetting, I get to remember again. Oh, the joy of remembering again! Sometimes I wonder if I forget just so that I can experience that joy again. It’s such a delight, to feel the contrast of being stuck and then remembering that I’ve made this all up, and that if I’m making it all up anyway, I may as well make up something that I love!
I’m thinking that the little mind of mine that wants to know what it will feel like to be enlightened will not ever know that, for from the place of enlightenment, there is love for the little mind and also no attachment to being there, for from there everything looks like love. Even those things that look terrible. If we’re on this planet as souls having human experiences and we want to experience all that we can, then we’re doing a fabulous job! There are so many different ways to experience life, some look unfriendly to me, and who am I to judge? I definitely flit back and forth between LOVE and NOT-LOVE. When I’m in LOVE even NOT-LOVE has its place. From NOT-LOVE there are lots of things that look like they don’t belong.
And now I’m laughing! I’m not sure how I got to LOVE and NOT-LOVE from What am I reaching for? But I think that what I’m reaching for is LOVE. In all its myriad forms.
What are you reaching for?