• nancy willbern

If we are lucky, life will take us to the end of ourselves. For most of us, this moment feels anything but lucky. No, it feels really awful …terrifying… devastating.

When we reach the end of ourselves, we follow a predictable pattern. We go into problem-solving mode. Come up with a plan. Give it a try. And then when that one fails, we come up with another plan. And then another and another. And then we go back to the initial plan and try to make it work even harder than we did the first time. And then, to this infuriating, frustrating process, we add salt to the wound - inner judgement. The critic comes in with her self-flagellation for our not being smart enough, clever enough, creative enough to find our way out. Smarter, cleverer, more creative people would find their way out! And so, we pile layer upon layer of going-nowhere-ness and criticism onto our exhausted, beleaguered selves. The reality of our situation sinks in a little deeper. It feels like there really is nothing left of us and nothing left to try. This is the moment we have been dreading all along - complete and utter, gut-wrenching despair.

Now, this is where things get really interesting. How we relate to our despair makes all the difference in what we experience next. If we let ourselves fully feel the depths of our anguish, and respond to it through kicking and screaming, we take ourselves into a hopelessness that devolves into a boiling cynicism. We turn against ourselves and against life. If we stay there long enough, we end up slumped down in a tight little wad at the base of our impenetrable dead-end and join the ranks of the walking dead.

If, on the other hand, we allow ourselves to fully feel the depths of our despair, but respond to it by just feeling the pain of it, allowing ourselves to simply cry and grieve over the fact that we can’t find our way out – miracles happen. We discover that the end of ourselves is not in fact, the end of ourselves but instead, simply the end of our ideas about who we believe ourselves to be. We just can’t see beyond the boundary of our unconsciously imposed self-concepts. And even though hitting that boundary feels really awful…terrifying… and devastating, the full-out acknowledgement of I don’t know where to go from here becomes the doorway to our Soul’s expansion.

It boils down to this: The self that we know ourselves to be cannot take herself beyond herself. This is not something to fight against. This is just the way of things. Einstein’s famous quote suddenly becomes personally prophetic: “You can’t solve a problem with the same level of awareness that perceives the problem (as a problem).” In other words, the self we know ourselves to be is bound within the limits of that knowing.

As life progresses, after we have come to the end of ourselves many times over, a part of us begins to be secretly glad when the dreaded end comes around again. That part of us - which can be as tiny as a mustard seed - holds the space open for the more-of-who-we-are to arise to our awareness, with no effort on our part, whatsoever. In fact, if we continue to effort at all, we will simply be getting in the way.

What a gift.

  • nancy willbern

Love this reminder by Danielle LaPorte. Let it sink in as a gift to yourself.

Right now there are Tibetan Buddhist monks in a temple in the Himalyas endlessly reciting mantras for the cessation of your suffering and for the flourishing of your happiness.

Someone you haven't met yet is already dreaming of adoring you.

Someone is writing a book that you will read in the next two years that will change how you look at life.

Nuns in the Alps are in endless vigil, praying for the Holy Spiriti to alight the hearts of all God's children.

A famer is looking at his organic crops and whispering, "Nourish them."

Someone wants to kiss you , to hold you, to make tea for you.

Someone is willing to lend you money, wants to know what your favorite food is, and treat you to a movie. Someone in your orbit has something immensely valuable to give you - for free.

Something is being invented this year that will change how your generation lives, communicates, heals and passes on.

The next great song is being rehearsed.

Thousands of people are in yoga classes right now intentionally sending light out from their heart chakras and wrapping it around the earth.

Millions of children are assuming that everything is amazing and will always be that way.

Someone is in profound pain, and a few months from now, they'll be thriving like never before. From where they are, they just can't see it.

Someone who is craving to be partnered, to be acknowledged, to arrive, will get precisely what they want - and even more. And because that gift will be so fantastical in it's reach and sweetness, it will quite magically alter their memory of angsty longing and rending it all "So worth the wait."

Someone has recntly cracked open their joyous, genuine nature because they did the hard work of hauling years of oppression off of their psyche - this luminous juju is floating in the ether, and is accessible to you.

Someone just this second wished for world peace, in earnest.

Some civil servant is making sure that you get your mail, and your garbage is picked up, that the trains are running on time, and that you are generally safe.

Someone is dedicating their days to protecting your civil liberties and clean drinking water.

Someone is regaining their sanity.

Someone is coming back from the dead.

Someone is genuinely forgiving the seemingly unforgivable.

Someone is curing the incurable.

You. Me. Some. One. Now.

  • nancy willbern

There are moments in our lives when we are confused about who we really are – when we feel pulled in two directions at once. One way - the old familiar way - leads to seeming safety. The other way out into the great unknown. Want to know which way to go? Follow the Life Force. It is the barometer of your truth. You can feel it in your body like a burst of sparkles rising up and out, like a baby bird who has discovered flight.

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