As my beloved friend and business partner, Claire’s birthday approaches I am reminded of the gift she sent me for my own birthday last year. Knowing it would arrive ahead of time, she gave me strict orders not to open it until my birthday—but I couldn’t stand it any longer. The day before my birthday, I figured it was already my birthday in her time zone, and so I opened the beautifully wrapped package to find a book by one of my favorite people . . . artist, writer and mystic Brian Andreas of StoryPeople fame.
Claire knows I love Brian’s work. I often send his Story of the Day to her. In fact many of his whimsical drawings and lyrical words are so fitting for our Unique Self Emergence Process that I’ve told her we could introduce it with with his prints!
I settled in to have a look feeling a wee bit but not too guilty as I was the kid who unwrapped all her Christmas presents and carefully rewrapped them when no one was looking. Opening it to the center the first words I saw were:
Come As You Are
The funny thing is you were
invited from the very beginning
& maybe your forgot. Or listened
to someone else who forgot.
But, just so you know, I’m going
to keep inviting you, again & again,
until you remember.
So, you might as well jump in now
with me & start living before it
gets out of hand.
As usual Brian gets right to heart of the matter. And because I was planning to write a bit about the subject of waking up, it is just perfect. Because we’ve all been invited from the very beginning. We’ve never really been separate from Source. But as we’ve talked about in other posts, the natural developmental process leads us to individualize and forget we do. And we keep being invited, again and again to wake up, to remember who we really are.
The invitation comes in so many ways . . . when we chant, meditate, dance ecstatically, read sacred scripture and poems. Loss, illness and unexpected difficult experiences invite us to awaken. Or an experience of oneness and interconnectness will come upon us unexpectedly as it did Thomas Merton, a Christian monk and mystic who, standing on the corner of 4th and Walnut in Louisville, Kentucky, described his experience this way which can be found on a plaque on that very corner:
“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers . . . There is no way of telling people that the are all walking around shining like the sun.”
And so it is, once we wake up, the first step to knowing our true nature, we can see the incredible light of Being in each other. We can see that we are all radiant, walking around shining like the sun. And we can’t help but feel how connected we are, one to another and all to Source.
In our work we often hear someone’s awakening story told for the very first time. Despite the commemorative plaque in downtown Louisville, western culture does not understand awakening or support the move in this direction. Many people I’ve worked with say they haven’t spoken of their experience because others would think they were crazy. It’s just the opposite really. To recognize who we really are, irreducible expressions of Source is to let go of the insane notion that we are separate.
I’m going back to my book now which by the way is titled Something Like Magic: On Remembering How To Be Alive. And if you haven’t already, I hope you accept the invitation to remember who you really are.