“We are all as much extraordinary phenomena of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy.” –Alan Watts
Let’s admit it: the daily grind is an excruciatingly obnoxious bore. It’s a pain in the “you only live once” ass. It’s a major drag when you’re trying to live life to the nth degree. Sure, we all know perfectly well that we need to keep on grinding the hours at the old J.O.B. in order to keep the man-machine churning: to keep gas in our tanks, food in our kid’s bellies, and entertainment in our heads, but sweet ungodly goddess! There has got to be a way to break away from it all other than stiff-arming the boss, or burning the timestamp card, or taking our printers to the desert and bashing them to hell Office Space style. There’s got to be a healthier escape other than myopia-ridden television and high-school-esc Facebook. Doesn’t there?
There is. And it’s the greatest thing ever. But it will take courage. It will take surrender. It will take deep vulnerability. It will take being fully present. It will take being alone, truly alone.
The problem is we’re always trying to do too much at once. Especially when it comes to getting healthier. We’re constantly putting the cart in front of the horse, and then we wonder why the horse won’t go anywhere. So we give up. Too soon, we give up. And then it’s back to the daily grind, where we’re forced to grind our spirit into minced-soul. All for an illusory, cartoon-in-the-brain, abstraction of an abstraction, made-out-of-thin-air, lousy buck.
The key is to start small. Start with your heart. Yeah, that tiny redball of hungry fire in your chest trapped behind the prison of your ribs that you probably haven’t considered in a long time. Start there. Find a quiet space. Meditate on your heart. Feel it. Really feel it. Feel the rhythm. Then listen. Listen deeply, hungrily, like what it has to say is going to save your life, because it will. Like what it has to say is the last drop of precious water on this earth, because, as far as you’re concerned, it is.
“The way to maintain one’s connection to the wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want. This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls.” –Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Then dare to have a discussion. The heart is more than pulse and rhythm. It speaks a language older than words. It speaks the same language as the cosmos. It speaks in the same sacred dialect as the trees, as the ocean, as thunder. Find that quiet space every day, even if only for a few precious minutes. Meditate. Be so present in those few minutes that your heart has no choice but to divulge its secrets.
But, heart-opener beware, it won’t all be soft whispers and soothing murmurs. There will be primordial howls. There will be primeval wails. There will be existential angst. A cracked open heart is multifarious, manifold with both dark and light mysteries. Some of which only nature can translate. Which means eventually we’ll have to get away. Eventually, even our sacred space at home won’t be big enough for our heart’s exploration. The call of the wild is on the wind. The call to adventure is at hand. We have a terribly important decision to make: get busy liberating the heart, or continue imprisoning it.
Again the secret is to start small. Take a day off and explore a nearby wood, desert, beach, mountain, away from the things of man. Go alone. Solitude is extremely important! Go with your heart on your sleeve, like the pulsing red compass that it is. Let it lead the way into the wild. Discover a sacred place: a place that calls to you, pulls your soul toward it, beckons you to rest. Then fully devote yourself to that place. Be fully present. Integrate mind, body and soul. Get intimately involved with yourself as world, and the world as yourself. Meditate in the moment. Feel, taste, hear, smell, and perceive it all in the here-and-now, and then let it all go with a deep, sacred release of your breath. Then listen with the ears of your soul.
Your heart will buckle with the sudden jolt of connection. As years and years of nature deprivation slide away like too-thick layers of skin, your soul will emerge despite your ego, vibrating at a frequency you’ve never felt before. Be there with that frequency. It’s the music of all things. Harmonize with it by fully embracing the absolute wisdom of your hearts connection to Cosmos. There is no better compass. There is no finer teleprompter. Not even Google can rival the search engine of your heart. Use it to the nth degree while in this sacred place. Practice asking soul-centric, as opposed to ego-centric, questions about life.
There will be many enemies on the path toward the reunion of your heart with the wild, but they will all be yourself. They will take the guise of fear, grief, denial, discomfort, and cognitive dissonance. They are defeated by practicing courage, love, curiosity, adventure, and self-interrogation. Have the courage to be vulnerable. Fall in love again with always being in love, like when you were a child. Dive into wonder and awe and inquisitive passion. Look at all things, even setbacks, as an adventure. Question yourself and all things to the nth degree.
Up the ante. Rewild yourself twice a week. Three times a week. Take full-on vacations of meditation and solitude. Keep practicing. Keep meditating. Keep showing up. Keep being fully engaged, fully present. Keep daring yourself to be vulnerable. Bear witness as years and years of cultural conditioning slide off like an outdated snakeskin. Observe as your nature deprivation is transformed into nature revitalization; as your heart grows and grows, magnanimous and appreciative of its freedom; as your comfort zone stretches more and more until it subsumes your sacred place, all of nature, the world, the universe, until one day you realize that you are no longer just a lonely speck in the universe, you are the entire universe inside a lonely speck. And suddenly you are not so alone. You discover, amazingly, counterintuitively, that it’s only when you’re alone, that you realize you are never alone.
But soul-opener beware! It won’t all be rainbow bridges and divine connections. There will be unresolved demons to wrestle with, and suppressed shadows to self-actualize. There will be buckling abysses and bent roads with impossible forks. There will be a plethora of existential blackholes to outmaneuver. The way forward will sometimes be the darkest darkness you can’t even fathom. But it will be worth it, for your heart will have been freed. Your heart will have survived the terrible annihilation within the cocoon. It will have cracked the carapace of comfort, stretched all boundaries into horizons, and transcended the hyper-reality of the Matrix. You will have become a force to be reckoned with: your authentic, natural, genuine, wild, vulnerable, courageous, individuated and self-actualized heart holds all the answers toward healthy transformation.You have only to genuinely ask it.
Or you can just keep doing what you’re doing. Going through the motions of conserving the daily grind of the cultural clock like a good little cog. Maintaining the unsustainable chessboard like a good little pawn. Preserving the dog-eat-dog monetary system like a good little debt slave. Being codependent upon an unhealthy state of human governance that calls itself democracy but is secretly a plutocracy. Holding up the untenable man-machine with its impossible mechanizations and intractable propensity to transform you into a thing that loves money and uses people, instead of a person who loves people and uses things.
The fork in the road is now. The existential crossroads is on fire, waiting for the water of your decision to extinguish it. Get busy liberating the heart, or continue imprisoning it. You are the prisoner, the warden and the executioner. You hold the key. The choice is yours. Just ask yourself, as Rumi did, “Why do you stay in prison when the door is wide open?”
Thank you for reading,
Love and Light,