For those who are seekers, we are often caught up in finding out the secrets of the universe, for finding that one or two clues or things that will perhaps bring us that holy grail of truth that will spark that A-ha moment where suddenly everything becomes clear.  I know I had this sense.  If only I could find that one thing….it would all become clear to me.  Well, in a way, I suppose, you could say this does exist, but it’s not probably anything like what you would have expected.


We talk about awakening sometimes like it’s the be-all end-all thing.  I rather think its more like reaching certain thresholds in development emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually.  These get a little sliper because they are so diverse and hard to quantify.  This is why I think coming up with a way to trigger awakening is itself also hard to do.  We look at an apple tree as it bears fruit and we find that all through the fruiting cycle of the tree that apples are dropping from the tree from just a few weeks into fruiting all the way through to the end of the stage, which is late summer or early fall.  Some fruits drop early, some drop late.  Why?  Why do some people ripen for this experience at one time while others do so at different times or under entirely different circumstances?  You see, it makes all of this a slippery slope in a way.  We are so used to measuring everything and figuring it all out.  Awakening isn’t so simple.  It’s not quanta, and yet it seems that in awakening, there is certainly something going on and happening that is absolutely clear and certain.



We also talk about awakening like it is a return to something fundamental.  And it is.  But what that is, is not what you might expect.  This is where the cautionary tale enters the picture.  People who have been through this say how this is the thing you have been searching for, and yet, what it is you are searching for is actually something much more like a car wreck than a meeting with the divine.  It is a curious thing.  In my awakening, everything I knew just fell apart.  My whole world fell apart.  I was aware of this energy doing this thing to me and I would cycle between its seeming to me to be like this giant gorilla that sought to tear me apart and an angel that would gently lead me to a better way of being, which basically meant I had to let go of all the stuff from my previous way of being.  These are basically the same, just seen through different lenses of feeling and thus perception (because we do indeed see things as we are rather than how things actually are…..until we can learn how to see things as they are and make our peace with it).

I will tell you that my process speeded up only when I allowed myself to become vulnerable.  It was only then that things sped up.  It seems that as long as the old defense mechanisms are in place, it forestalls the awakening process, and make no mistake, we got into this place gradually and we often tend to get out of it in a similar fashion (except this time we can choose to go fast or slow just as we do in any other circumstance in life-which is to say that we get to choose).  What this is like, though is more like a wreck where we are suddenly and powerfully stopped in mid-life and find everything cracked open.  The more we try to hold it together, the greater the pressure builds to keep cracking it open.  The more we resist this process, the harder the process becomes.  In some cases, doing this can cause awakening to simply stall.  It can go away.  This happens to some people and they all seem to think that it happened for no known reason.  Well, there is always a reason, we are just very good at not looking at the reasons and we make deals with ourselves all the time to keep from seeing the truth.  We are nothing if not marvelously dishonest with ourselves.  And I know this sounds severe, but it is true.  We are.  We will hide from our own truth till the cows come home.  And it may be that this is a characteristic that has allowed us to survive in the tribal groups down through time.

This tendency though brings problems for us not just in awakening, but in life in general.  It is curious, though, that the more that we can give up this defense of the past and open up to vulrnerability and allow ourselves to admit that we were after all so very human, that we do something that frees us from something very damaging, which is shame.  This shame keeps each of us locked into a need to hide ourselves from everyone, even ourselves.  If you want to know how deep this shame goes and the power it has, all you have to do is talk to anyone in the mental health field and they can tell you that people walk around with this shame in them and it keeps them from progressing in therapy or in healing or finding a solution to their problems.  It seems we just are afraid to be seen as human.  I suspect that down through time we just were afraid of what the tribe would do to us if we allowed ourselves to be human instead of pretending to be perfect.  I suppose it may have led some groups to catastrophic failure in, say, the bison hunt and could make the difference between lie and death, starvation or surviving.  I think we developed as a species with these pressures around us and they had a function and a place.

The only thing is that we find ourselves no longer living in the tribal community.  We no longer are small groups searching for food.  The pressures are entirely different.  We are creatures who stare into electronic devices and pluck information from a vast growing web in virtual space and we work 9-5 in jobs.  It is a very different life.  And as a result, these old conditioned responses are now increasingly outmoded.  We are ready for the next big jump in our development, in our march into a new sort of life.  It is an evolutionary jump, one that I think is largely behavioral, so don’t expect to grow a new brain lobe or anything (An extra arm or a few extra fingers might be interesting, though!).

Its funny.  People who do the best emotionally are most often people who feel worthy of love.  Those who have shame are also the least willing to be vulnerable, will be considering in a strategic way how best to keep their heads low and stay out of harms way.  Not so with the people who know they are human and kind of say “So what?  I am human, so SUE me!”  Somehow, this recognition is a life saving element.  It is also the part that I had to learn to do and to be before my awakening process really got geared up to do some serious work.  I don’t talk much about this because really it sounds like a boast.  To what ends does talking about it serve?  And yet, the truth was, I was taken apart, picked clean like a carcass in the sun.  My ego was smashed in a process that some call ego death (that is another story and another blog entry) and I lived very much on the edge for a while.  I go to a place where I was not cared for in the way I may have needed to be, and instead of standing up for myself, I let it go and I lived without electricity, water or heat for about six months.  This was my time in the desert.  I was unable to see my family, the children that I loved in any way that was meaningful, and I told myself that all of this was perfect.

I didn’t hold on, I just let go.  I let go knowing that I had to somehow return as close to the zero point as I could.  I had been holding on and controlling my life so much for so long that I had to let my soul enter in and start directing things.  I had to learn a new way.  My sense, for me at least, was I had to let go in order to step back and look at all of this me that I was in order to look clearly at all of it.

That is what I did.  I let go of as much shame as I knew to let go of.  I realized I was only one person.  Now this person was being taken apart by this process, and I either could choose to battle it like before or I could just sit back and say “have at it…” and this is what I did.

The curious thing that happened was that events began to happen that helped to provide me with the resources that I needed.  Opportunities would come along just in the nick of time that would save me from going hungry, or that would help in a pivotal way to move me to the next stage of this process.  Even as I seemed to be completely vulnerable, I was in fact being cared for.  It was as if the universe itself formed a kind of body around me that protected me and provided for me.  I went along with it, did not question it and did not curse it.  I allowed myself to be curious.  I never really suffered as a result of this process I was going through.  I was writing a book at this time, and I found that I could go buy a cup of coffee and plug in my computer and work for an hour each day on the book. Meanwhile my computer recharged and I had an extra hour or two to work each night as I sat in my bed staring into the blue flicker of the computer screen.

I did what I had to do to keep myself together.  I took baths in the river, I hauled water from clean mountain streams.  I used gas light and when it was most needed, some small miracle would happen that would provide me with the resources I needed in order to take my child out to see a concert or to go ride horses or to see a movie.  For as on the edge as things were, I lived a life that was constantly being supported by these odd inextricable events.  Someone would contact me to make some pieces for them for some commission, or someone would want to buy a gift for a friend and heard I did glass.  I didn’t have the means to advertise or shake the trees.  It all came in perfect timing.

As my life began to turn around, more of these unusual events continued to take place in larger ways, in more significant ways.  Things were dropping into place that did not involve my direct control or effort.  I write about this effect in my book Waking The Infinite and what it suggests that we can do to change our lives in powerful ways.  For example, I was seeking to raise funds to make some repairs on a building in another part of the state by seeing if I could sell some of the antiques that were in the building to fund the repairs for the roof which I felt like would affect the sale of the building.  At the time I barely had enough money to pay for the gas to get me to the building location. I had spoken to some people in the area that I thought would be interested in buying the building, but I had not been able to turn up anything substantive.  Already one person in the area who said he was “interested” explained that he wouldn’t want to give me much for it because of the roof.  It was clear that he was going to get it as cheaply as he could.  As I met with the auctioneer about the items I had, a man walked up out of the blue and asked me if I was the owner.  He shook my hand and explained that he lived next door.  The building I had was not hooked up to septic or to water.  It was always used for storage, but its use could greatly be enhanced by access to water and septic, neither of which I could drill for and expect to get due to the geology  and the regulations now in place.  It was a building of extreme limitations.  However, my neighbor could tie into his own septic field and could run water from his house to this building.  Suddenly, the building took on greater value to him and to me.  What was once an oddball building with few options had suddenly developed great potential.  And this man wanted to buy it.  I pointed to the roof and explained that it needed work. He looked at me and explained that he knew about that, which was why we needed to act fast.  We made a deal right then and there and shook on it.  The deal meant that I also sold him all the antiques.  “What would you ask for this entire place, you just walk away and give it to me turn-key?”  The universe brought me the perfect person for this building.  It wasn’t someone I knew about nor was it someone I had sought out.  He had come to me, and in perfect timing.  He just happened to be there just as I was getting ready to leave.

This was one of many events that took place that were perfectly timed and perfectly laid out for success.  If I had finished up five minutes earlier with the auctioneer, I would have missed the man who wound up buying the building that day.  Perhaps in the process of repairing the building I would have met him and struck up a deal later.  That was possible.  For me, at that time, to be able to not have to work on the roof was itself a godsend.  It was perfect.  He wanted it enough to do the work himself  I was able to focus on getting my life back on track.  -Life was conspiring to make that happen in perfect timing.

I know this is a bit off the track, but it helps to explain what can happen when we simply let go and trust in the universe.  Its a moment a bit like in the children’s movie Finding Nemo where the father is sitting in the mouth of the whale as it appears as though the whale is going to eat them.  In truth the whale was getting ready to shoot them out of its blow-hole after having carried them safely to their destination.  The father, named Marlin, just could not see this.  He spent his time in the belly of the whale worried that he was about to be eaten at any time and when it came time to let go, he had a hard time doing so.  It isn’t that we are certain that everything is going to be alright that we let go, we let go because perhaps we are willing to begin to consider that a different way is possible. My experience has shown that this is really all that we need in order to allow the crack to a new way to open up.   The universe seems very patient and will reward us over and over for learning to let go and fall into its arms.

I know what many of you might be thinking; “trusting in the universe is suicide!” and for those who feel that way, then it is certainly a truth for you.  As long as I was only able to see things in a certain way, I only experienced what it was my mind was serving to create.  But when I began to consider there was a different way for me to see things, only then did things begin to change.  Luckily I have a soul that knows differently and has been trying hard to get through to me.  Without that, I don’t know where I would be.

All of this for me has been about letting go, about learning to be vulnerable.  There is great beauty in this, and it leads us directly to the truth of our souls.  My lesson seems to be that I get caught up in worrying about what others think about me and will say about me that is more about their own inner programming than about who or what I am.  Until I can stop listening to the crazy voices of others, I will be effected by what others say.  Until I become perfectly vulnerable and in my own truth, whatever little scrap of whatever it is that is hanging on will continue to hang on.  My energy field will itself will remain putting out the attracting effects for whatever it is that remains.  LIke velcro, it will attract and stick instead of allowing all of it to slide away.

Awakening can be like the car wreck that saves your life.  It doesn’t have to be a wreck but it seems we need a good shake to get us to change course.  We tend not to change when it is most effective to do so but only when we are at the end of our rope.  It seems we will take the letting go only when our hands are sore from holding on and we just can’t hold on anymore to all those old outmoded ways of being.  But when we do let go something entirely magical can happen, and what lies for you on the other end of it will be more about that apple tree and when its apples drop from the tree.  For that, I cannot predict because its between you and the universe.

A friend recently sent me a wonderful video about some of these same ideas that I’d like to share with you.  She has worked with the TED team in the past, serving on its board, and so she has the goods on some of the best of the people that get picked to speak at these events.  The person speaking is Brené Brown on the power of vulnerability.  I think you will find much about it that is enlightening and powerful!