In my classes and retreats, I often speak to ‘coming home’ to yourself. This is the first essential step in experiencing joy and freedom. To truly live from that place of ‘home’, however, deeply rooted in your authentic self, means to fully embrace all of you, to be wholesome and wholehearted.
We all know the phrase, “Home is where the heart is”. It can certainly mean the time or place where, or the people with whom, we feel a deep, heartfelt connection. It can also mean literally wherever we currently find ourselves, alive and heart beating, conscious and present to all that we are feeling and experiencing. As Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “Wherever you go, there you are”.
But have you ever found yourself feeling torn between two or more possibilities, two decisions, two points of view? If I walk out this door right now my life will be completely different than if I stay put.
Every moment, with every thought, word and action, we are influencing and creating our reality.
We all have the capacity to imagine and experience multiple realities. We can ‘put ourselves in their shoes’ as we say, to get a sense of someone else’s perspective. Even beyond sharing life experiences with another, we have the capacity to empathise with any other human or even animal. That’s awesome (and a bit more of it is generally needed!)
We are many things all at once. In me is child, mother, priestess, seductress, warrior, human, animal, goddess. I am masculine and feminine. I am witch and bitch. I am a lover and hater. I am physical muscles, bones and organs, and I hold the elements of the entire universe within me. I am forty years old and I have lived many lifetimes. I am ignorant and I am wise beyond all knowledge.
To be wholesome, we must remain truthful to our vulnerable complexity. In order to keep our balance, we need to hold the interior and exterior, visible and invisible, known and unknown, temporal and eternal, ancient and new, together. No-one else can undertake this task for you. You are the one and only threshold of an inner world. This wholesomeness is holiness. To be holy is to be natural; to befriend the worlds that come to balance in you.
John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
John O’Donohue continues to write, “Each one of us is doomed and privileged to be an inner artist who carries and shapes a unique world“.
Our ability to shape-shift and imagine and create is extraordinary, confusing and terrifying at the same time. Perhaps it is this that creates so much stress, fear, neurotic behaviour, and, dare I say it, willingness to be strongly conditioned by societal norms. We struggle to make sense and peace with our own complexity. We are terrified that some of that inner madness might make us unloveable or do something bad that would have us rejected.
So when we sit with ourselves and notice and hear and feel our inner world, that can feel kind of crazy at first! As we sit more and more, it can feel even more crazy!
So I am here to say, it’s ok. It’s even ‘normal’.
Alongside the downright crazy is the imaginative potential to create a new paradigm on earth.
Many of us skim the surface or simply avoid this inner space though. Many of us nourish the parts that we like, and attempt to diminish other parts that appear a bit dark and ugly.
Brené Brown refers to the whole messy process of being human, and that it takes a whole lot of vulnerability and courage and compassion to own all that we are, to show up and be seen, and to live life wholeheartedly.
Wholehearted living, as Brené calls it, is about loving ourselves and embracing all that we are. It’s a process and a choice in each moment.
So first we must dare to come home to ourselves and embrace the magnificent, wild and wonderful inner world with honesty, curiosity and love, as well as a certain lighthearted sense of humour.
Gradually then, we begin to truly rest within ourselves, to feel deeply rooted in our own being, at home in our own soul essence.
From this wholesome and wholehearted place, we may then be truly surprised and delighted by the unique and authentic expression that is born, again and again.
Let’s not fear or shy away from ALL that we are, but rather, as O’Donohue explains it from the Celtic understanding of inner friendship, let’s embrace our “nature, divinity, underworld and human world as one”.
Allow the child in you to delight in such fanciful imagination and limitless possibility.
From a place of wholeness, enjoy creating yourself anew in each moment.
“When we rediscover our childlike nature, we enter into a world of gentle possibility. Consequently, we will find ourselves more frequently at the place of ease, delight and celebration”
John O’Donohue, Anam Cara