I had the pleasure of visiting my family last month and, as is just about always the case, my mother had an insightful book with her that she highly recommended to me. This trend began with Don Miguel Ruiz's "4 Agreements" when I started high school. She sent me off on my grad Europe trip with a copy of the Tao Te Ching (Stephen Mitchell's is still my fave English translation) and undoubtedly got a whole lot started just by having a deck of Tarot cards on the book shelf along with a guide on how to read them.
This occasion's book is "Conversations with God"; in fact a long series of books that has recently been summarized by the original author (who is channeling all 9 or so of these works) in to a condensed format as some 25 core teachings: one of which is: Be Do Have.
Three words we use all the time, but in a very particular order. You've likely noticed the dominant trend in our culture is to inverse this order and focus on Having, in order to Do, that we may find the time, or the gratification, or the necessary circumstances in which, to be. Examples abound:
How is this working out for us?
Following the examples above, the diploma often comes at the cost of debt, be it financial, emotional, cognitive or otherwise, and in the end we work to pay off the cost of the schooling we thought we needed with a job we may not even want to do any longer. I know that if I focus on relationship before I take the time to love myself I create situations wherein need rules and then I'm ten steps back and have to do even more inner work by the time I get around to actually figuring it out! More often than not, the moment I eat food is the very moment my productivity comes to an abrupt halt and I need to rest just to start again! And so it goes, around and around in an endless cycle of getting what we think we need in order to be.
What if we prioritized being? Made it first, acknowledged that the real work is there and that the actions taken were actually the effect, the result, the aftermath and product of of our capacity to be in stillness. What if the prospective student had the opportunity to truly know themselves before they committed to college, to trust their own inner guidance to learn what it is they are on this earth to do and then, and only then, did they pursue that in full consciousness of their own purpose? What if before we sought another, we sought our Selves, we came to know our essence, to softly embrace the hurt parts, rejoice in our strengths and develop true compassion for our journey? What if in place of a meal, I just breathed and listened to my body? Might I realize that I simply need to drink water and maybe go for a run to cultivate the energy, the Yang, for the task before me? In my experience, these questions resound in Yes.
Another way to approach the reversal of consciousness, as truly, this is a complete flip of how we approach nearly everything, we ask:
Where am I coming from?
This is among the fundamental questions posed by our teacher Rob at the Savitri: where are you coming from? In each moment, with each action and thought, through each doing, where is it coming from? Which layer, which frequency? From love, from need, from want, from fear, from .. ?
The drive to get, to have, is always an identification with the personality, what is often called Ego. The Ego loves control. If it could just arrange the right circumstances, get everything in order, line up the ducks, make the story fit, make things safe, keep things from getting messy, well then, then we could relax and let the soul do a little shining. But that day never comes, because the monkey mind never has enough of anything. In bondage to the material world, there is simply never enough. So we ask, where am I coming from? Am I reacting to an unresolved feeling? A wayward thought? A bodily urge? In the end, it's not so important to understand exactly where as it is to continually reorient towards Spirit. What does my Soul need from me right now, the world's Soul? And you'll find that when the personality mechanism asks this question, it gets the most quizzical of responses: stop, listen, be. Invitation to allow your doing to arise from a state of being, let action flow from stillness, find your center point and abide there, applying patience at every turn, surrender at every urge and know empowerment. Starve the fear that you are not enough, that something more is required for you to at last embody that great luminous being that you are! for nothing is required save for you to get out of your own way, to know, intimately, your being, that you may bring her in to the world fearlessly, to co-create from the inner state of harmony that is your birthright, that has never left you. This is the essence of reversing the flow of consciousness, from pouring continually down and out in to matter, seeking fulfillment out there, to moving inward and upward, within, to inner worlds, renewed, empowered and ready to flow back out, so like the breath; be do have.