I jumped into 2016 taking a program called Passionate Ease with Dr. Lawrence Conlan in Boulder, Colorado. One of his messages that stands out to me is his constant reminder that “Resistance is the way.” He means to enlightenment.
I know, right?!
This is a radical concept in the realm of spiritual awakening. I confess, I have not been interested in spiritual awakening. Over the years I have stayed far, far away from programs and paths that hint of transcendence or what I judge to be spiritual by-pass. Let’s just say, I don’t like experiences that encourage moving beyond this human experience without owning up to it!
Conlan’s mantra is radical in the world of spiritual seekers, and it’s also been the message at The Haven for well over thirty years.
The Haven has always been about creating richer connections with ourselves, each other, and in our communities. Not through transcending but through becoming curious and fully engaged in living well together, just as we are. In other words, being human, accepting the messy, and fully realizing the spiritual in each of our human beings – embodied!
Enlightenment or Embodiment?
So for me, Conlan’s message isn’t about enlightenment – it’s about embodiment!
But what if those two concepts really were not that different!
That is something I am very curious and interested in pursuing! Which brings me to my current theme for 2016: Living Well Together.
This is a Haven tagline. One that presents as quite simple, yet I find there are many layers worth exploring.
Fractures and Gaps Between Us
First there’s the obvious. As our headlines and news stories reveal, we aren’t really living all that well together these days. There are so many fractures and widening gaps between countries, cultures, sexes, races, people and even us and our planet!
Why is it so hard to live well together?
I am a believer that what happens on the outside is a simple a reflection of the inside!
Meaning living well together isn’t just about me, living well with my neighbor – no it’s also about be living well with all of me – the many parts of me.
For example, when I attempt a new challenge, some part of me is excited and feels courageous. Then there is another part of me that is full of self-doubt terrified of failing. Often, I want to banish that part of me. It is unattractive and gets in the way of me moving forward confidently. It is my resistance in moving forward. This is the part of me that is often difficult for me to accept, yet, both of these parts are inside me and need my attention and care.
Accepting and Embracing Me First
Most of the time, if I am honest, I have an easier time living with my neighbor than accepting all the messy, scary, unattractive parts of me.
The project of living well together is first a project about embracing and accepting my unattractive, uncomfortable parts. Then, I have much more room for embracing and accepting other people.
It is easy to see all the pain and separation in the world and think that is the problem. I do agree that there is work to be done “out there.” However, I find that the outside work is much more effective if it first comes from the inside out.
Living Well Together from The Inside Out!
Join me in making this year one that is about living well together – both inside and out!
I’m imagining some of you spiritual seekers have already clicked through to the Passionate Ease Retreats. Of course, I recommend one of Lawrence’s programs.
I am also assuming many of you were intrigued about having richer connections and stronger relationships so clicked through to The Haven and Come Alive.
Whichever, gets you started – just do it!
Especially if you notice any resistance because indeed resistance is the way – to embodiment, enlightenment, AND, most importantly, to living well together – from the inside out!