Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Telling Ourselves The Truth

Have you ever spoken open-heartedly and honestly only to realize, as you heard your own words, that they were not true?

I am overdue for sending out the fall newsletter to my mailing list. I planned on posting it today as the weekly blog/note. The mailing list has been updated, and I wrote the newsletter last week. But. . . . I realize that what is written is no longer true. It’s not that it’s a lie, but it is not the deepest truth I know at this time (which is all any of us can hope to own and convey.) How do I know this? From my dreams of walking through fog, my vision unclear; from the feeling in my body of pulling myself together and “up” to write about where I am and what is planned, a feeling I recognize as pulling away from what is to meet some inner expectation or avoid some hidden trepidation; from dropping down into my practise of prayer and meditation and movement in yoga and finding. . . something else.

There is a feeling in my body that I recognize as one that comes when some “news” about where I am or where I am going comes from deep connection to who and what I am, a place within that is aware of Spirit at the centre. The feeling is of two simultaneous sensations: a slight tension or resistance in my upper body (shoulders, neck, head) and a letting go in the belly, a releasing of something I was not even aware was being held and slightly twisted in my gut.

The slight tensing in my upper body is a kind of quiet, “Oh, no,” the kind of “Oh,no,” that recognizes that a truth I have been outrunning has caught up with me and can no longer be denied. It’s the “Oh, no,” of the ego. I am not vilifying the ego here, (we cannot live in a balanced way in the world without a good ego container.) I’m just reminding us that, at times, we forget there is more to what we are than that ego container and we are not as consciously “in charge” as we like to think we are- which is both the good news and the difficult news of being human. The “Oh, no,” is less protest than a kind of recognition of and surrender to what is needed. It was there when I did a vision quest, years ago, and realized I had to leave my marriage. It was there when I did my next vision quest and realized I had to leave my job as a social worker to teach shamanism full time. It’s an “Oh, no” that is more of a reluctant “Oh, yes,” that gets that what must happen next involves (from the current perspective) both some risk and. . . . an opening to unknown possibilities that will minimally loosen or completely undermine some aspect of the identity I have built for myself.

And the unfurling in my belly? That is the confirmation that although the outcome of the next step is not foreseeable, it is a step toward deepening my life, toward being more of who and what I am, toward living closer to the sacred at the centre of my being. It is a loosening of my resistance to the life I have been given, to the purpose I serve – even if I cannot consciously see or articulate all of what that is. It is a loosening of the ties that bind- ties of fear and conditioning- an opening to the joy of simply being.

I realize that in writing this now I am probably raising expectations of some Grand Announcement to come. But, sometimes the thread we have to follow is the soul's desire to go down deeper into the fertile darkness without knowing what we might be offering from the journey.

We all have our ways of knowing when we are living from the centre of what we are, connected to and aware of that which is larger than ourselves. Slowly, over time, we learn our inner “signals” and on a good day, we have a moment of courage when we do not turn away from or try to bury a signal that does not fit with what we think we need to do to pay the rent or preserve our place of belonging. When that happens, when we listen and heed a deeper knowing, it is a good day. This. . . .is a good day, for me. :-)


  1. I love how you so courageously find the words to describe the search for your Self and your Truth. You demonstrate this consistency in every writing and I honor you and your beautiful work. I will reread this a few times to be taken into your process and enjoy how eloquently you bring me there. Thank you Oriah.

  2. Oriah, thank you for articulating how I've been feeling! I even wrote a blog yesterday, but decided not to post it because it didn't feel like my deeper truth. And, I was observing part of me that reacts to an awareness of an unknown potential coming to the surface. Sometimes, that can create a desire to gather my energy and prepare. Then, my ego defends from a fear of the unknown with:Prepare,how? What do I do? And soon I am immobilized and feeling stuck. Fortunately, I can observe the dance as I try to balance ego and soul awareness and center.


  3. I also need to find the center of my being, and begin living my true, authentic self.

    Thank you for your kind words earlier. I am learning. :)

    I wish you well as you move forward in your journey.

    Angela E. Lackey