I’ve been making a conscious effort to follow my gut instinct.
You know, that initial voice or feel that says “do this!” My main practice as of late has been to give myself space to not send that initial thought too far into the processors of my brain to balance and measure the why, the potential outcomes… every decision is a gateway to immeasurable possibility, and to sit and think about the possible outcomes takes way longer than just moving in the direction of the initial thought. In short: Act on the feeling before it is diluted by thought.
What better place to practice surfing my inner voice than the shores of Maui? I was walking along the beach and thought “go read under that tree!” I heard my brain start to fire up with checks and balances – it’s windy, there are nicer trees we can find why settle for the first one – I pulled the instinct out of the processors of my brain before it was analyzed into oblivion and went to sit under the tree. After a bit of reading, I found myself moving into a seated meditation. Cool stuff. From the meditation I found myself praying – using the god label that I was introduced to me as a child. I’ve resisted this god label for many years since it used to represent the judgey sky god that’s forever well, judging. I’ve recently been able to amalgamate this particular god label into my current spiritual practice – dissolving him from Lord Judgey God and into the way I personally feel “god” – in nature, in beauty, in connections with people. I have accepted the way I was raised – Christian – as part of me, even though I no longer walk that path.
I forget what I specifically prayed for, but it was along the lines of what I imagine lots of people pray for (I’m no longer into praying for forgiveness, which is how I spent my teen years and early 20’s). I prayed to be shown the way. I started moving with my meditations and opened my eyes as I twisted to the right. Hello, I have a neighbour now. A young man sat a couple trees over reading. Inner voice: find out what he’s reading. Brain processor: no, that’s weird, approaching a stranger. But what if he’s reading a really good sci-fi? I packed up my things and as I walked over I could easily recognize what book he was reading due to it’s dual column format and leather binding. The Bible. Well hot damn.
I’ve read the bible a couple times, though I must say my favourite parts are the stuff in the old testament that reads like a Game of Thrones episode. Some of that is seriously NSFW.
Anyway, here I am walking towards a dude with a bible, having just reached out to my very-christian parents earlier in the day and talked to my dad for the first time in years. They’re nearing 70 and are set in their ways, but that afternoon I called them just to let them know I love them, and that they have a daughter again. Feels good.
His name was Mark and we shared our individual spiritual journeys. We talked about what God means to us, and agreed on a number of things – we are to do what feels good and true to us and no, we don’t have a debt to fulfil to any god, anywhere. Our natural state is one of happiness. I talked to him a bit about my relationship with my parents and though I was feeling great before our conversation, speaking with a christian who understood my situation but who was also very open minded and accepting was very healing.
As the conversation drew to a natural close, Mark blurted out “may I pray for you?” I saw what happened – his gut feel was for a prayer, but his brain was processing the potential outcomes…. I took the opportunity to fill him in on my little “follow your gut instinct” project and accepted his offer. He said some really beautiful things as he spoke to his god, on my behalf.
My turn. What do I have as my parting words? Namaste.
I defined it for what it meant in that moment between us – Namaste – I am acknowledging your light and potential and my purpose in this moment is to reflect this back to you.
As I continued my walk down the beach, I couldn’t help but grin ear to ear.