Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Week 30-Lesson 30: Open Up to Fear

I thought if I traveled, I'd find something. Maybe I'd find God. Maybe someone out there could ease the difficulties of life. You know, I used to talk to God. I'd often ask him (her?), "What should I do?" Often times I'd close my eyes and pray very hard. I didn't want to not know where I was going. I needed to be reassured. I needed to know if things would work out.

But no answer came.

And then one day, when I least expected it, after a long run around the neighborhood, a crystal clear voice said, "You know what to do." The voice was strong and reassuring. But I didn't feel strong and I didn't feel I was any closer to knowing what I was meant to do in this world.

I wanted to follow that voice. I wanted to know it intimately. I wanted to understand where it came from. What if I went the wrong way? What if I did the wrong things? What if I made mistakes? What if people didn't like what I was doing?

I was afraid. I didn't have any answers. I made a lot of mistakes in life (and I'm still making them). I fell down quite a bit. I was not a happy person and I didn't respect myself nor did I believe I had anything positive to offer the world. Still, I could not forget that clear voice that came to me on that fall day of my senior year in high school while running down a narrow path flanked with bright orange and yellow maple leaves. The air was crisp, but the late sun shone on my face and filled me with an incredible warmth. But it did not last.

After high school I traveled all over the world searching for that voice. I traveled to Mexico, South America, Asia, India, etc. I meditated, I practiced yoga and once again, in deep silence, I basked in that inner warmth and stillness I had felt for those few moments in high school. For a time, I attributed these feelings to a certain practice. I believed that something outside me--the environment, an organization, a teacher, a guru, God--made me feel like this. Without this practice or a certain environment, I thought that this peace and this joy could not last.

I don't know exactly when things changed. I don't recall the exact day when I understood that voice or when I overcame my fear. I think it was gradual. Meditation helped, yoga helped, walks in nature helped, writing helped, friends helped, books helped--I am grateful for so many things that aided me on my path and gave me the courage to open up.

But that voice. The one that said, "You know what to do." It didn't come from God or Buddha or yoga or meditation or my husband or my friends or my family or anything else. All of these people and things played a part in understanding these words.

"You know what to do," came from me.

Not the Katherine Jenkins "me," but the one that is opened and fearless. The one that is not separate. The one that is connected to everything.


Heather Conroy said...

In this post I once again admire the strength of your commitment to you, Katherine. I often wonder if some people live a life in complete denial of that voice. It occurs to me that it's the mistakes and wrong turns that polish up that voice as well.

Ryan said...

Katherine, your writing does for me what my going through the process does for me. I get that connection, that plugged in feeling. You got it right. If you notice that your words spelled out exactly when you felt connected, in all those places you list, silence and calm stillness, which allows for us to be open, not only to God, but open to hearing ourselves. Most people don't listen to that powerful entity within our souls that knows the answers we are searching for. A wonderful post, leaves me waiting for more from you.

Katherine Jenkins said...

Hi Heather-I don't know if I'm committed to Katherine the person or what the universal wants to be through me or this body I lug around?? But I've surrendered to it. And yes, the mistakes and wrong turns and falling downs and getting ups and falling downs are all part of the package. Continuity is the secret...just keep practicing, just keep getting up....and facing life.

Katherine Jenkins said...

Yes, Ryan, you are right....in calmness and stillness the answer is always there! But there is so much noise to sift through on the surface and I still have to wade through the muck at times. If we can get through the surface noise and the drama, we will find ourselves...pure and simple. Thanks for your kind words.

Becky said...

looks like we were really on the same wavelength yesterday! love how you put it so simply.

just finished Eat, Pray, Love--reminds me of her accounts with her inner voice & the journal that saved her...

Katherine Jenkins said...

Hi Becky-My journals have often saved me from getting lost in my mind....I have so many of them and I regard them as dear friends ^_^! Hope you enjoyed the book!