Lately life has been exceptionally expanded and happy. And for the first time in my nearly 60 years on this planet, I’m not collapsing into it, I’m just enjoying it. Man, that took me a long time to figure out. In the last couple of years, I came to realize that despite all the “work on myself,” the vestiges and echos of past traumas were still casting a shadow over my ability to simply be with the sweet, expanded heart, and experience of happiness. So in 2020, I began a deep dive into releasing them. Because of that work, the happiness I am experiencing is no longer tethered to the cycle of pleasure and desire, yet still feels so good. Now, it is so anchored in Love, that I find it almost feels too much; as if my heart could crack open. I have to remain vigilant not to collapse into fantasy-building; generating happy storylines of the future, and instead keep allowing and surrendering to the flow. The paradox is, in order to remain open to this joy, I had to spend years, actually decades, learning how to be with pain when it arose. Not the pain from my stories about “my life of pain,” but the actual experienced pain of the moment. My shame, hurt, self-disgust, self-hatred, loneliness, abject fear, non-deservingness, self-judgment (or my judgement of others)… these were actually just blocks to Fullness. And so, by learning to be with the felt, experienced pain, there is now an increased capacity for expansion and joy.
In the past, when the life experiences became very expanded through falling in love, intense sexual connection, periods of heightened financial abundance, substances, creative co-creation, and/or pushing the body into extremes, I made the thing outside myself the goal, the salvation- and frittered the energy away. Now I see that the goal is to expand within, and increase one’s capacity to contain even more Life flow. No grasping or clinging, but actually surrendering to the Good that is flowing through. “Good” meaning the love, the sweetness, the perfection, the beauty, the abundance, the experience, the grace, and the ability to give back.
“Pleasure is Beautiful, and desire is natural.
There is nothing wrong with either.”
It is the attachment to our pleasures or desires showing up in a specific way that generates suffering.
From my lived, vantage point, connecting to our “real Self,” is fully connecting to Life as it is Now, as You truly are, as It truly is. Only then can the heart can be touched, we connect with our inherent deservingness and goodness – in all of it’s beautiful and sweet forms. It is also letting go of all the “if only’ s…” that tend to plague the human mind. Being with this body, this lover/partner/spouse, this meal, this emotion, this experience, this sensation, this place, and being brave enough to open to it exactly as it is.
For many years I worked with specific mantras, for specific blockages. All of them in some way were assisting with opening to the ability to be with some lived experience, to surrender to it. And when there was a lot of energetic support within, it was almost like surrendering to a kind of perfection— even when I couldn’t see it, or feel it. Honestly, sometimes I felt like a petulant child working with them. But I chose to trust my teacher, and found ways to surrender to the happiness practice of:
“This is perfect.
Nothing has to be any different.
Everything is just right,
just the way it is.”
Tall order some days. Truly, some days I was just pissed off with the whole process. But if we are to enjoy pleasure when it is here, because it will give way to pain or discomfort, and see desire as part of life, we hop off the Ferris wheel of ¨next, next, next¨. Through practice, we can connect to truly knowing in our heart there is a sublime perfection in what is unfolding right now; somehow it is Life flowing through us, and to become so sweetly intimate with this This, then simply…
there is happiness.