Often there are concepts that we understand intellectually. Yet, in my experience there is a significant difference between understanding and knowing. The difference can be subtle. I can sense and feel – almost on a cellular level – when something has really sunk in. It’s a simultaneous release and expansion. As I allow my awareness to experience deeper levels of knowing, I open to additional layers of energy that I may not have perceived before.
Recently, I have begun to recognize how much I can limit my perceptual awareness of what energies are available to me. If I am tired, it rarely occurs to me that I may have reserves of energy tucked away from my awareness. It’s easier and more familiar to just stick with whatever is presenting: low physical energy, diversion, stress, and the usual suspects that feed suffering. It may seem like that is all that’s there – whatever diversionary tactics that I’m utilizing at the moment whether external or internal – but, that is simply not the case. Reality is not something that can be summed up by such limited factors and boxed in.
One of the things that I try to remind myself of is: Regardless of what is taking place, how stressful or deluded I may be feeling, or how tired I am, there is always calm abiding and happiness available as well. It may seem like it’s buried so deep that it can’t possibly be accessible, but it’s there. Sometimes we have to look in unexpected places. I am realizing that those unexpected places are within my own being and that they do exist even when my ego tries to convince me otherwise. Within everything that I am thinking, feeling, or experiencing, are energies and experiences that I am completely unaware of. Energy that is available to me at any given moment.
What’s interesting to me is how quick and easy it can be to sabotage the healthier and happier feelings. It’s almost like happiness sets off threatening sirens which foster a lack of trust or grasping to hold onto it. Instead of nurturing the energy of well-being and peace, our neuroses can steer us back to the familiar suffering.
What I find ironic is that it seems that the opposite is true for suffering. Gee, that’s familiar, let’s just keep this up. Who needs to be happy? That will just irritate and annoy people. It’s funny and sad at the same time. So much so, that I can find myself questioning whether I really want to be happy. If I’m making choices that steer me towards suffering, then I wonder: What is the matter with me!? Do I really want to be happy? Fortunately, I can recognize that construct as delusion, but that doesn’t always translate into healthier choices.
Expanded awareness can help us to reframe. What once was a limited view can broaden to allow for more choices, resolution, and resolve. Instead of disempowering ourselves by giving into the energy that we’re most aware of, we can realize that we’re wearing blinders or at least really dark glasses. Unlimited potential is present in every moment. There may be times when the best we can do is simply remind ourselves that there is more going on than we are leading ourselves to believe. Remembering that alternative energies and states of mind are present – even if we can’t find them – can encourage us to keep the door to our mind, heart, and body open.
Just because we aren’t looking, doesn’t mean that something isn’t there. Distraction and diversion are not enough to obliterate the potential for well-being. When I seek undiscovered ways of being, I open to the possibilities that the unknown present. I lift my head up and look around by recognizing I’m nodding off. I try to wake up in spite of thinking that I do not have the energy (or for many people the “time”) to admit that I’m asleep. I acknowledge that I am making a choice every moment of every day even when I am behaving automatically. Accepting that helps me to weave reality into a dream state. Maybe then I can find hidden reserves.
All of the above may sound familiar and not especially creative or enlightening, and I would agree. For me, it’s the layers and subtleties of my practice that let me know I am growing, healing, and moving towards that which my soul seeks: The cessation of suffering. In spite of my neuroses trying to convince me otherwise, I foster faith and trust in my ability to make healthier choices and cultivate abiding in well being. Even when interrupting the suffering seems like too much of a challenge to face, I know that doesn’t mean that is all there is. I know that there is energy available that I simply haven’t found yet.
May you find you find well-being in the discovery of energy within.
© Sallie Odenthal 2013