Leaving the Shore of the Familiar

Coffee Time Monday Morning

Pat: I want a right relationship with food, but this does not mean that food no longer matters in our life. Quite the contrary. A right relationship with food includes enjoying food. Gary: Good point. Right relationship with food really focuses on enjoying food, perhaps. But of course enjoying food does not mean eating as a compulsion or emotional crutch. Currently I spontaneously and unconsciously grab snacks during the day. This is using food as a crutch. And when I do this I am not savoring or appreciating, just relieving a little of life’s tensions and anxieties.

Eating consciously means appreciating foods – all the tastes of various foods and seasonings. We shall likely eat fewer so-called comfort foods and perhaps even develop a more sophisticated and broader palette. Perhaps we shall develop more of an appreciation for fine food carefully prepared rather than huge quantities. Pat: Yes, coming to savor food. This is part of our right relationship with food. All this feels important as we enter this diet — this attitude toward food is what we are going for.  …

Pat: I notice we are becoming open to change. Gary: This is a big deal, to really let go of what is and to be open to, even inviting in, change. Pat: Someplace in here (pointing to her heart) one begins to trust or have a feel for the basic goodness which life is (a phrase Pat thinks A.H. Almaas uses in his Diamond Approach). This feel of the goodness facilitates an openness to change, to move toward the goodness. One begins to notice one’s actual experience of the goodness of life. In this I notice I become more determined to see my blocks, my obstinateness, my patterns, my resistances — all that stand in the way of the goodness of life that is all around us – AND become open to change. That is the inner movement — coming to WANT to change in order to more fully taste the goodness of Life. Parmenter would say, “Change who you think you are.” Just maybe I now have a sense of that openness to change – and it comes through our AIP morning practice.

Gary: Feels exciting to me. This all has a feel of moving off the shore into the sea of Life – a real letting go, saying goodbye to the old “US,” the parts of us that were and still are distorted. It seems we have an intention to launch our boat into the Sea of Life – back to Pathwork Lecture 1 by that name.

Pat: I remember the AIP experience we had in 2006. You were signing up for AIP, but I was hesitant to sign up. We had the picture come up that you were leaving the shore in the AIP Spiritual Development ship and I was staying behind, waving goodbye. Then, suddenly, spontaneously, “No, I’ll come with you!” Gary: All that was so consequential – your now being in AIP finishing your sixth year of a program that has so changed your life, though I stuck with Pathwork instead after the first year. AIP has been so foundational to your spiritual life, and it came about almost by accident. But something deep inside of you Knew this would be right.

Pat: We are finding our way. OUR way. Gary: We don’t know where we are going – we have no maps, no goals, no plans. We are stepping into the unknown with trust in the goodness of the Cosmos. As soon as we say, “This is the way it is or will be (or will not be),” we know we have gotten off the path. For in fact we do not know until we launch what the way will even be. Even with considering taking on the couples program with Sage and Anthony, we have to enter this with neither a compulsive YES, YES, YES! nor reject it with a compulsive NO!, NO, NO! We are just open to the possibility of what their program will offer us. We shall discern in the moment as life unfolds.

Pat: This is so meaningful: To experience these fundamental changes in our way of life and to let our lives be a witness to these changes in our way of being as we launch more freely into Life, leaving the shore of the familiar and embarking upon the Sea of Life. Wow. Gary: Yes, and Pathwork would remind us, especially me, the mental one, that these are, in fact, experiences, very specific personal experiences. They are beyond generalized intellectual concepts. These are tastes of the real self in real life and they help us move along. Pat: It is only in my mind that the inner and outer worlds are different and disparate (distinct in kind, essentially different). How can you live in this outer world, be on time, if you are letting go into the moment of the arising in the inner world? This is all a piece I cannot grasp yet. However, opening to the Mystery that is God – takes my breath away.

Gary: Yes, and Pathwork would say that the outer being is an out-picturing of the inner, but the Real, the Source, is the inner, the One. Not that the outer is not real. It is real, but it is a manifestation in the physical of the inner. It gets back to everything being cause and effect. The Causes are always inner. Effects can be inner or outer. Causes are never outer. Pat: Though causes can seem to be outer. It is good to see the moving of things. Gary: Yes, the expansion, contraction, and static stages of the Cosmos and of all life in the Cosmos — including you and me, us. The entire Cosmos is breathing and full of Life. Quite a ride as we get on board our little boat and go with this Cosmic flow of Life — into the Unknown, but Goodness of Life.

With love, Gary