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Creation is Slow : Page 2 of 2

Creation is Slow

continued from page 1

The Simplicity of Presence

"If your everyday life appears to be unworthy, do not complain to life. Complain to yourself. Lament that you are not poet enough to call up its wealth." — Rainier Maria Rilke

Consider that the only way we truly grow as human beings is by deepening our presence and by fully participating with life as it unfolds. All the "doings" and all of the ego goals we avidly pursue leave us pretty much in the same state of consciousness. Staying present to the moment is incredibly simple and incredibly difficult. For myself, boredom is a frequent visitor in my consciousness these days. I realize I am bored with my own lack of depth of looking at my life. It is time to go deeper. I am bored with my own passivity. I am bored with my own inertia and my laziness around deeply engaging and participating with each and every moment.

Acute Attention Begins in the Body

It is true to say that we are unable to tap the depths of our our experience because we are ignoring our own inner embodied experiences. Not the inner experience of our thoughts — which is what we mostly pay attention to — but our body sensations below our thoughts. Being present is as simple and as profound as dropping below our thoughts into focusing on the inner sensations of our body. This is where things can begin to feel at times uncomfortable and at times radiant.

Buddhist teacher Tara Brach says it simply, "All of our reactions to people, to situations, to thoughts in our mind — are actually reactions to the kind of sensations that are arising in our body." Think about this. Notice how you feel right now in your body and start to see the correlation with how this affects your thinking and emotions.

It is our immediate sensory bodily experience that create our reactions, our stories and our emotions. When I tune into my body with an intense and purposeful gaze, I find a whole host of sensations that I habitually ignore and that I can mindlessly act from. I feel tension, restlessness, boredom — but there is more. I see how I can get irritated from the constriction my chest. I see how I speak from an edginess that ignores the sensations of fear coursing through my body. I see how I am judging and criticizing my life because I feel uncomfortable in my belly.

When We Accept Ourselves We Will Grow

"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am then I can change."
— Carl Rogers

I am clear now that I have been creating many of my goals and plans in an attempt to avoid my uncomfortable feelings within. I have expended a great deal of energy trying to create a perfect life and a perfect self when all along I just needed to listen to my inner feelings and allow them to be and shift and change. When we accept ourselves on the inside everything on the outside changes of its own accord.

It is those little moments of inner body acceptance that draws out the depths of our outer experience. It is like a dance. We are not merely observing life with a detached presence but imbuing our own self acceptance into that living presence. This is how we participate. This is how we grow. This is the surrender of the mind that wants to control everything that is happening and instead humbly asks, "What am I learning here?"

Feeling deeply within can be expressed outwardly as a kind of living, breathing poetry — as an in the moment body infused work of art. It is in these tiny moments when we begin to walk and speak and act with a truly artful body inspired grace that is larger and more beautiful and more free than the regular confines of our disembodied thinking. Our intelligence is whole bodied and wholehearted and it completely fits into the natural flow of life. It is only then that we begin expressing the moment in a way that draws all of life inside of us — into a rich, inclusive creation.

Real life is a process of paying attention to what is emerging in each moment and participating fully within it. This means listening with all of our heart, speaking and acting from the heart and turning our regular thinking process off. Life is like a river that constantly changes and flows and attention to and engagement in that flow is what invites a healthy kind of growth that is organic and profound and rightly slow. •

© 2011 Shelley Klammer. All rights reserved.

Shelley KlammerShelley Klammer is a Registered Professional Counselor and an Expressive Art Facilitator. More »

2/16/11