Morning Coffee Time — Our Spiritual Practice!
Wednesday morning coffee time. Pat had had bad and confusing dreams just before waking up. Not understanding dreams sent her into a space of not feeling good about herself. Of course the logic that not understanding dreams is not a life or death matter doesn’t help the emotional feeling that she had, driven by the belief that she should understand dreams. We talked about her dream and feelings for some time, including her feeling guilty for sleeping in a little late when she has so much to do – letting people down. She could see that this was patterned behavior and not who she was, but still the feelings were there. Where is the bliss? We smiled.
As she shared, I could see so many states that would not be OK for me to be in either – for example, it is not OK for me to be wrong, to not understand something, to not know, to be uncertain, to disobey authority I respect, to be less than best in whatever I’m doing, to have negative emotions such as unhappiness or, God forbid, depression, to not work very hard, to be unprepared, to look foolish or incompetent, to be slow, fat, or irresponsible. And on and on – what would not be OK just poured out of me! Do all these lie right below my skin?
When I am not OK I feel fear, insecure, anxious, frustrated, etc. We talked about how both of us fight these negative feelings by staying busy, “on task,” and a state of “just going through the motions” of life, busily checking off our mental if not written out “To Do” lists.
Pat was reminded of the children’s movie Finding Nemo where Nemo could let himself go into the flow of the turtles swimming to Australia. Yes, letting go, that is our challenge!
Pat asked when were some of the times we have had the experience of just letting go, letting go into life. Pat could point to authentic movement which so nourishes her soul. Also Sunday when we interrupted our busy day to go for a walk and were rewarded by the sighting of an eagle. For me life can become a straightjacket – strapped in by beliefs that I shall be happy if none of the above “not OK” situations are experienced. For example, I can be happy only if I’m right, know, understand, and am certain of what is going on, am obedient to all those whom I respect who are in authority, be the best at what I do, if I am not depressed or unhappy, am working very hard, am prepared, look wise, am being fast and alert, thin, and responsible. Yikes, now that IS a straightjacket. And total duality – good or bad, right or wrong – the world we live in, of course. And all driven by what I think others are thinking about me, or, more significantly, what I am thinking of me. In such situations I lose my anchor, my ground.
Pat and I can smile, but also be aware of how much this is part of Pat’s and my second skin on planet earth! I was reminded of a Pathwork quote on Gray Days (open) and read it to Pat. We delighted in the few words in this quote. I then shared another Pathwork quote dealing with Pat’s and my role in contributing to world peace (open). Again, though not related to our other sharing this morning, rich to take in.
Pat asked, “so what are the ways one can be faithful to one’s inner work?” I responded immediately: “What we are doing right here and right now – these daily morning times together over coffee where we do our daily review together, share what is up, listen to a Lecture or other reading. This is a key piece of my inner work!” Pat agreed — a cornerstone of her day. We could give up a lot, but we would not give up this special morning coffee time. It was good to bring this to consciousness. This coffee time IS our spiritual practice. Other stuff could fall away. Yes, this is such a blessing. We are so grateful.
I had to read Pat still another Pathwork quote, this one on balance (open) – another challenge for us both. But I returned to the realization that not many folks have what Pat and I have in this morning time together. We counted off a few couples we suspected as having such time, but there were not many. And I realized that my previous relationships, for whatever reason, would not have been the same as this time with Pat. This was not due to the women with whom I was in relationship but to me. I was not yet able to be in such an intimate sharing relationship. But now with Pat I am, for whatever reason. In some way time with Pat is different from what I experienced earlier. Quite a gift. Pat smiled and blurted out the familiar Frank Sinatra song “It had to be you.” She smiled again and said, “Love you, dear.” And I concluded that just maybe we are learning love. Just maybe, indeed.
And feeling love as I share these experiences, be blessed,