In the last year of my seminary training, one of the ‘benchmarks’ was giving our Chapel Talk. It was about bringing together everything we had learned in a new creative, passionate form.
Having completed the ‘Defense of Dissertation’ in my doctoral program at U Mass, I saw some equivalency in this sacred continuation of Emergence. Looking back, now nearly three decades later, I see patterns of birthing, growing, maintaining, dissolving and discovering occurring and re-occuring multiple times in my life.
The title of my chapel talk was “The Work of Your Life”. What I realize now is that it is still “in progress”! The way that it is showing up, for me, at a very deep level in this moment is profoundly about Rediscovering Passion.
It feels playful and also adventurous. It is filled with delight and at times surprise. There is recognition of both the difficult and the joyful. It is as if it all exists in a Field of simple peace, even as it scintillates with the aliveness of passion.
The work of my life is no longer defined by roles, although there have been many roles. Most of them, I’ve loved and there have been a few that didn’t seem to be a match. Interestingly though, some of these have even reappeared in new ‘context’ as a part of a ‘whole’ at later times in my life!
I’ve begun to see a kind of ‘scaffolding’, a way that everything ‘builds’ upon what has come before, transcending, yet including, while becoming more. There is a spiraling, higher and deeper, that includes stages and cycles in time.
Part of my own Re-Discovering Passion is continuing to learn, to open into the Unknowing, the Vastness Beyond that which has come before. A ‘playful and powerful’ way to do this is in the kind of ‘Field Trip’ experience that I sometimes ‘assign’ for bringing your life into the curriculum…
Have you ever deeply considered what the word ‘Field’ could mean? For me, what it now offers is a Field of Consciousness…a platform that holds mostly an invisible vibration. What comes to mind is the Rumi poem that I quote so much: “There is a Field beyond right and wrong… I will meet you there.” For me, that Field is Love Without an Opposite. It is where I want to live now.
And there are other fields in our growing up and Waking Up process. Each has its own patterns and viewpoints, values, positions and purposes. Every single one of them in my own life has been essential, profoundly significant and important. There have been different manifestations to experience. New skills and abilities also come on-line in each ‘field’. It is like a house or building with different floors and differently decorated rooms on each floor.
Which takes me back to my ‘chapel talk’ in seminary. The night before I gave the talk, I had a dream about moving into a new penthouse suite on the top floor of a beautiful apartment building. Looking at the view was so amazing. Then there was a knock on the door. It was the custodian saying there was a lot of ‘stuff’ in my storage room in the basement that needed to be cleaned up and I needed to take care of that! I included the dream in my ‘chapel talk’ the next day!
I loved doing my ‘Field Trip’ over the last week to participate in a five-day intensive on the StAGES Inventory developed by Terri O’Fallon. The intensive was taught by her and her brother, Kim Barta. It was extremely powerful and exquisite in its design. It was filled with experiential as well as cognitive learning.
One of the beautiful ‘take-aways’ for me was about Shadow Crashes related to a Driver being damaged in an earlier stage. I’d never heard the phrase ‘Shadow Crashes’ until I heard Kim speak it, then talk about the powerful process of recovering into the full potentials of stages beyond.
What an amazing team they make with Terri’s work so deeply immersed in research and her life experiences and Kim’s deeply immersed in thirty years of being a therapist.
Another significant Insight was Awareness replacing thoughts as a primary modality. Over and over again, I experienced a feeling of such immense gratitude that finally I was hearing descriptions that felt like my own life was included. The feeling that I’ve had so many times of being ‘a stranger in a strange land’ had found a setting in which it could dissolve.
Intuitively, I know that Love is a Field in which this happens. I’ve yearned to know more about how it moves as a Conveyor Belt in our lives. And, I am delighted to tell you that Terri O’Fallon and I are now working on a Love Inventory that will work with the StAGES platform. I am seeing how all of the stages of my life, the platforms of my own life, have been part of bringing me to this moment of collaboration.
This morning, upon returning, I listened to a video from one of my ‘now’ coaches, Jeff Walker, from whom I am learning about what, for me, is the ‘strange world’ of the internet platform! He was talking about how it all starts in our mind. I would also add our heart, and that we create there before we create out in the world.
Then the stunning moment came. He said that ‘we grow it from the ether, and that is absolutely awesome. And you have to keep on stepping up, growing your vision.’ Part of it is hanging out with people and around people who support you and that support you having a bigger vision.
Re-Discovering Passion, for me, is as often Invisible as visible. The Invisible, where I find the Changeless, is as real as the visible. The Presence of Love is there, vibrant, strong, courageous and alive. It is also tender, sweet, cherishing and even playful. Somehow Purpose, Passion and the ‘Work of My Life’ intermingle. They explore and co-create together, all as Faces of Love.
PRACTICE: BRINGING YOUR LIFE INTO THE CURRICULUM
Take some time to go into the Stillness and let It reveal Itself. Look for patterns ‘repeating’ higher and deeper, repeating with different levels of awareness in different stages of your life. Begin to just jot down a few notes about them. If you don’t record them…there is a large possibility that you will forget.
Think about people who have come back in at some of those moments in time, guided you, and helped you in recognizing the patterns or the stages…and sometimes perhaps in understanding or interpreting them.
It could be someone like Terri O’Fallon who spent years exploring, not only as a teacher, but often in administrative settings like a principal of a school or even a superintendent. Or it could be someone like Kim Barta who does the ‘on the ground’ work in therapy, working with clients to help them move through the problems or experiences or yearnings in their own lives.
Interesting that it was Kim who said, as I was later telling him about my dream: “It’s interesting that everybody can take the elevator to the penthouse yet not everybody can manage an entire building as the custodian does.”
See if you can find those places and those parallels in your life. See if you can recognize your own experiences of creating, giving birth to, manifesting, maintaining and at times seeing the dissolve. And then, ultimately, experiencing the Re-Discovery of a New Kind of Passion.
It is all there for you…there for you to see it, to See It and to Be It.
[You are invited to share in the comment section below. Also, remember, “Your Life as a Sacred Love Story” starts on Wednesday October 28th: if you haven’t done so yet, REGISTER HERE