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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean

Listening . . . In Between

The contrasting feelings of hope and hopelessness, insight and numbness, worry and rest. The shaky uncertainty in my belly. The tightness in my throat. The rawness pushing up through my solar plexus and breaking into my heart. The joyfulness that at times expands into infinity, but isn’t sustained. All the worn-out techniques and teachings, all the things I know need manifesting, the new experiences I have to digest and integrate, the tired ideas about the true source of peace, love, aliveness, and abundance. Ho Hum. All of this has been entertaining, sure. And there have been answers to all my questions through this lifetime. But right now there are no answers to be found and even the questions are elusive. Right now there is only a desolate, dejected burning where my questions and practices were. “Ah” I say to myself . . . “here again, another portal, another doorway, another passage . . . this burning numbness is the pure evidence of a connection, a being-ness beyond all ideas of being . . . Great! Another f---ing growth opportunity! . . . (I am not feeling joyful or grateful . . .) I feel a kind of psychic, perhaps cosmic exhaustion sometimes, like now; finding myself in a bardo between one moment of ideas and questions and the next moment of insight and awareness. I can’t quite go back to the way it was, but the rebirth into a more integrated state has yet to appear. It's awkward and hard to find balance.

If there is creativity in this liminal passage it certainly seems out of reach at the moment. I am marinating in the womb of now, in a kind of groundlessness, in the unknown. There are signs and symbols all around and inside me, but the appearance of this guidance is governed by grace and is unpredictable. I can only have faith that I will be moved into the next moment, eventually into a moment when there is some alignment, perhaps a temporary foothold, some awareness for my mind to grasp. In the meantime, when I'm not bored or depressed, I might notice that my heart quivers. Perhaps I notice birds have come. Sounds from the sea come into awareness, light from inside the clouds enters my eyes, there is the scent of smoke in the fog . . . opportunities to hear and to see, to experience the miracle of my senses. OK, I accept that, begrudgingly, and I am moved a bit . . . and then . . . the moon rises. For a moment, the veil parts and I am a breathing, palpitating part of the perfection that is always here awaiting my awareness, my acknowledgment of the fact of my participation.

Again, I remember that my life is not an unending self-improvement project and my heart is not a venture to be undertaken, mastered, and completed. I am not a scheduled event! I understand that today was likely never going to be the day when I figured it all out, got all my questions answered, resolved all the contradictions, and aligned body, mind and spirit. Ok, for the moment, I accept the process that I am. I can see that the misty haze of today has been the subtle ebb in the flow of transition, the contraction phase of movement, quite dull and without any entertaining features . . . and . . . I will soon enough expand again into greater awareness where I can get busy with meaning-making and integration.

But for today, I will surrender to the in-between; I will let my heart open to the vastness of not knowing. I will kneel down, humble and quiet . . . and listen.

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