Dharma Glimpse by Sonia
I’ve recently gone back to writing ‘morning pages’ – a practice that’s been around for a while but was popularised in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. The idea is to write anything at all, whatever’s on your mind, whatever comes to mind. I often think this is fruitless and am either embarrassed by the drivel that comes out or feel I haven’t got very much to write. The latter can’t be true as I know my mind is not clear! This weekend, a phrase came back to me from a wonderful mindfulness teacher I practised with, that thoughts and feelings themselves sometimes ‘fly under the radar.’ I’m always stunned to find how much is flying under the radar! So I’ve been trying to get more in touch with these underpond-skaters only to keep finding deep sea creatures. Giant ones.
The waters are pretty rough at the moment, I’m navigating the boat with all the skill I can muster. Sometimes I feel pride in my sea-faring skills, being able to make allowances for others’ difficult behaviours, understanding that old patterns are being triggered, taking a pause, choosing words carefully, staying silent, avoiding mutiny. But I’m still getting hurt, my boat is in pretty bad shape and really I just want to get myself to my island shore.
And so I write morning pages to try and work out how to get there, what wisdom can I draw on? Where can I go for more support with this? I rarely reach Cameron’s ‘page and a half truth’ (ie the magical moment you land on something true) but I did this weekend. I realised that I have been sailing with one goal foremost – how do I protect myself in this situation? What do I need to do to look after myself? These have been important and valuable questions in the past, but maybe it’s time to add a new skill. And a new question landed for me – ‘What positive impact can I have in this situation?’
It doesn’t sound like much, but it was a cloud-parting, sun-break revelation for me. I don’t need the same defence barriers anymore, in fact these are holding me back and creating other problems, they are the deep creatures caught in the undertow. My jellyfish pride is a ‘poisoned act,’ my defences a school of cavefish swimming in ‘blind passion.’ ‘Dissembling ego’ was there making me feel good about myself, letting me believe I was being as wise as I could be. And for the first time, I don’t feel guilty, I can smile at my bonbu nature and be grateful for my morning pages glimpse.
‘What positive impact can I have in this situation?’ means I’m not just surviving now, I’ve come into a new relationship with myself – which in turn, means with everything. The light of Amida feels more real, more accessible, more possible. I can stop looking at my boat, and look up.
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