Riding the Life Force — Feeling Enthusiasm

Feeling my feelings has been a life issue, as I have shared many times in these blog entries. This week I have been meditating on Pathwork Lecture 165 Evolutionary Phases in the Relationship Between the Realms of Feelings, Reason, and Will paragraph number 21:

For those who are becoming more alive and real and are no longer frozen, the poverty of real feelings in the average human being is striking.  The scant feelings the average human being experiences are always controlled and approached very cautiously — being unaware of this fact does not alter it.  It is part of your path to become aware of it.  Even admitting to yourself, “I feel half dead, I could feel more than I do, therefore the potential to do so must exist in me,” brings you so much nearer to the state of realization than confusing your desire to feel and love, because you believe in it only as a principle, with actually feeling and loving.

In meditation this morning I asked myself what I was feeling right now, in this moment. Things were jumbled. I would say I felt nothing at all that I could identify. Then, eventually, I could feel my anxiety arise. Anxiety with what? Anxiety in being here in life. I guess I could say I was tapping into my existential anxiety in living here on this planet.

Then I noticed a tension in my body holding me taut. I was not relaxed. I let go a bit. And immediately my mind raced off to things of no consequence. So I concentrated on my breath, and my mind slowed down a bit. Then the low-level anxiety returned. But it too eventually subsided.

As I sat in silence, my consciousness shifted. It was as if I had entered a different space. Beneath the surface anxiety that was blocking my Essence, creative ideas began flowing in. Ideas about Pathwork, about Pathwork programs, about helping to build the practices of the new helpers who had just graduated from Helper Training in June and so on. Ideas about marketing, about a rich pithy newsletter from Sevenoaks, and on and on.

I could recognize this as creativity arising in me. And with this I could feel my enthusiasm for life, my Joy, my aliveness. This was not busy chatter, but perhaps these ideas were rather ideas flowing from my open channel to the my Divine Essence within. Perhaps this was my Life Force manifesting. How amazing.  I was not feeling “half dead” as the lecture suggested. Quite the contrary, indeed! I was feeling full of Life.

After meditation I sent out several emails to folks concerning what had arisen in me. I found I had to rein in my enthusiasm in a bit. I even acknowledged and apologized for my enthusiasm in some of my emails. One wise recipient responded, tongue in cheek… “Hmmmmm… too much enthusiasm! Shame on you!” I could smile. He was pointing out the absurdity of shame about too much enthusiasm, too much “Life Force,” too much “God within.”

But later in the morning I was again in a doubting space. Riding up and riding back down. Not huge, but not the steadiness and solidness I prefer.

Later I had my conversation with Jenny, my Pathwork buddy. After her sharing, I shared a piece of joy I had had at Sevenoaks over the past weekend, the weekend we held our faculty retreat, the weekend Karen died. The Joy was quite spontaneous. Sunday morning while walking along the side of Center Building, I spotted a brilliant blue, tiny and distinctive Asiatic Dayflower – one of my forever favorite “weeds.” I do not see them often, but when I do my excitement rises. I went to the car, got my camera, put on my macro lens, got my 90-degree finder so I could get low with the camera, set the camera on manual, the f-stop at f22, the speed at 1/250 of a second, opened the flash and quickly took two shots. I had great joy in doing this, and the photos came out great, though the flower was well past its prime. I find such joy in this. As I shared this experience, Jenny observed, “You combined mastery (knowing how to use the camera) with spontaneity (you came upon the flower and responded by getting your camera) and as a result you got pleasure as an experience.”

Jenny asked if I would have enjoyed the flower without taking a picture of it. The answer was negative. I enjoy seeing and capturing beauty in a photograph and sharing it with others. The capturing in a photograph and sharing the photograph honors the beauty of the flower, much as recording a dream honors the dream. Jenny: So you find joy in capturing and sharing what you see. Gary: Yes, like my blog entries. Or photographing people and events, like my candid shots at the International Pathwork Conference last week. Great joy arises as I see people engage in various ways with all that is going on around them. Jenny: Or perhaps also in your being touched by the Pathwork lectures, capturing them in your recordings of them and sharing the recordings with others. You are so clear about your gift to the world in sharing. You have groped your way to clarity, and you made it! Beautiful to witness! Your channel is flowing!

Jenny: You spoke earlier about reining in your enthusiasm as if it is too much. Perhaps the child in you sees “Enthusiasm” stemming from what is alive in you as Bad and, secondly, Not Approved Of. Now, today, you are seeing your Enthusiasm as Good, you have let go of the struggle that Enthusiasm is Bad. But you still struggle with how to handle your Enthusiasm when it is received and when it is not received. Perhaps you could now come to see that when your Enthusiasm is not received it could be about the other and not about you or your enthusiasm being bad.

A very helpful conversation leading to an understanding about my riding the life force arising in me, feeling my Enthusiasm, my Joy. Something to remember when I think I am incapable of feeling!

Shared in love, Gary