The Spirituality of Being at Paleo f(x)
Happy Monday everyone!
Our family experienced a lot more chaos — opportunities for learning — than we ever expected during and after Paleo f(x) in Austin, Texas, which is why last week’s blog/vlog was so tardy, so I hope this week’s post makes up for it.
I was one of the featured panelists during a fascinating session at Paleo f(x) moderated by Michelle Norris (with Tah Whitty, Mike Bledsoe of the Shrugged Collective podcast and Giselle Koy) titled Spirituality of Being.
I was so deeply moved by this session and the heartfelt presentations by all of my fellow panelists that I wanted to share my comments to some of the questions posed during this session at the Palmer Center in downtown Austin, as my vlog for this week.
What does spirituality and being mean?
The highest form of love and the source of radical being is unconditional love. What’s radical is that you’re here and the world is beautiful and beautifully chaotic.
Spirituality is connecting to a greater whole. We feel pain when we lose touch with who and why we really are. We forget there’s people who love us and people we can love too.
For me, spirituality and being are one and the same. Being present is really about taking time to worship what’s here, what’s right now. The deeper the questions you ask, the more impossible the answers get.
The difference between being and doing
Here’s a definition of consciousness that’s worth being aware of: Consciousness is a psychic substance produced not blindly but in living awareness of opposites.
To be conscious, you have to be in living awareness (being) of complimentary opposites — the male and female, the inside and outside, rest and action. Those are things that make up consciousness. You can’t be consciously aware of something that’s not moving.
Consciousness has three requisites: Space, time and movement. Being is really an awareness that you’re the one witnessing and doing. And, it’s the part of the equation in which you can add something to the party, project, situation or day. My son is frustrated that he can’t tie his shoe. I can add to something to the world by helping him with that.
We know when we’re conscious of something… it lives inside us. We need to always be aware the polarities of being and doing also present themselves as yin and yang. If we get too caught up in doing, we’re like a fire that runs out of fuel.
If we don’t center ourselves, we bleed ourselves out trying to do or give. That’s why I always say, I before we. Being, honoring and worshiping your I, fulfills your needs so your cup runs over. That alone enables you to give something when you’re in the state of doing.
Otherwise, you get into lousy doing all the time.
The role awareness plays in spirituality and gratitude
First look at the word. What does a-wareness mean? To enjoy the experience of life, we have to have a sense of a-wareness.
Where are you? First, you have to be aware that you’re in your body. People who aren’t aware of that have a lot of physical, emotional and mental problems. A-wareness is the basis of I and I cannot have meaning or currency without thou. It’s the I/thou relationship that is the prerequisite for love to exist.
I define love as the flow of energy and information through empathic and compassionate connection to the self or the other.
If we don’t have awareness, we don’t know who or where we are, our Iness isn’t substantiated and to that degree you can’t love yourself or anyone else.
Beyond awareness, however, is in-tension. Because God is unconditional love, everything is possible. It’s possible to punch someone in the nose or kiss and support them. When you use intention, you’re taking pure potential — that which is not polarized to yin or yang or male or female — and you put that in-tension. It’s from that in-tension that the flow of spirit follows.
When you’re aware, the brush of your consciousness is artistic, so you put spirit in-tension. And, when you’re aware of what you’re intending, you realize the power of the magician inside you.
If you’re unaware, you’ve probably stubbed your toe more than once on the same curb.
Chaos and rigidity
When we’re integrated, we’re flowing down the middle of the river. One bank is called chaos and the other is rigidity. If we’re not conscious and don’t direct our boat, we have a choice of going with the river or against it.
All of us know what happens if we go against the flow of life… it hurts!
But, if we’re too rigid, that means we’re closing ourselves off to possibilities, and potentially becoming dogmatic which means the focus of our worship is getting so much narrower that we’re forgetting the truths of everyone else. If we go into chaos, that means we’re in a transitional state. Change is always preceded by chaos because the ego is a control freak.
If we learn to put our awareness and intention to stay in that balanced place in the middle of the river, we know when chaos comes into our lives that it’s a good time to get still. Chaos is loaded with information. All of creation talks about the beginning being full of chaos, but chaos is what most people run from without realizing that it’s loaded with information.
I’m a therapist. People come to me with all sorts of problems. I evaluate their chaos, tell them what I see and figure out what we can do to make meaning out of it. If I ignored chaos, I’d be a really shitty therapist or coach.
On the other side, if you’re rigid… well, you know what it’s like to be around rigid people. I always tell people before they marry someone, make sure you can spend two or three days in a hotel room with their parents.
If you enjoy what I have to say this week, I hope you’ll be moved by the Great Spirit to make the journey to Austin and Paleo f(x) next year. With a little luck, we may be able to meet during this awesome conference down the road too!
Love and chi,