I am really liking the title of this article, ‘Relax into your life.’ In one way it evokes within me a response of, ‘Of course!’ and then I smile and reflect, ‘Ahhhh, but am I living it?’
Think about or jump up right now and stand before a mirror and say ‘Re-laaaaaaaax,’ numerous times. I bet a smile would form upon your lips and your body would follow the words (even if imperceptibly.)
Do you think you relax or are relaxed into your life?
Doing this exercise in front of a mirror can reveal how relaxed you really are. This includes the full gamete of your life ~ All that makes you happy, all that you long for, all that makes you sad, and so on….
When I first started this article my interest was to explore this line of a poem penned by Rumi called, Mine of Rubies, that focuses on being open to the uncomfortable places of ourselves,
The beauty of my own emptiness filled me until dawn
But then I got to thinking about how challenging it can be to relax into every part of our life. It can be just as challenging to relax when things are going well as when things are stressful.
Do you relax even when you are feeling fullness?
It is such an interesting question, right? For it is like us as humans to move into worry or mild anxiety even when things are abundant and happy. Have you ever said to yourself, ‘Wow, this is so wonderful I just don’t want it to end.’
And on a very primal level we humans will run after more money, more engagements (or the opposite of more solitude,) more possessions, more friends, more security, more entertainment, more projects, and more, more, more…even during moments when all our needs are taken care of and we have satisfaction.
If this is all true, then leaning to relax isn’t just for the moments that are uncomfortable, it is for ALL moments.
But how do we do it? How do we relax?
Turning our focus to emptiness, a state we try to avoid, can reveal an approach that works for fullness, as well as everything in between. Let’s take Rumi’s words as a basis for the inquiry.
The beauty of my own emptiness filled me until dawn
Rumi isn’t just saying emptiness is good, he is saying it is beautiful.
When you feel empty, what does it feel like? Beautiful? Consoling? Exhilarating?
Or does it feel sad? Wrong? Even Frustrating?
While these words of Rumi always stir my heart with a lingering sweetness.
I do not always feel the beauty of my own emptiness.
What this means is that
I FEEL sweetness at his statement AND
DO NOT always FEEL the beauty of my own emptiness.
This observation points to a gap. Both feelings are real, both are happening at the same time. One providing a lingering satisfaction, one incurring restlessness yet I cannot be BOTH of them fully.
Therein lies a choice. In the observation comes the opportunity to choose whether to move in the direction of the sweetness or move in the direction of distress.
Let’s assume that we all really want to experience beauty. How do we get there?
How do we experience something as dramatic as the beauty of our own emptiness?
Tender inquiry can be a first step. This kind of inquiry leads to the kind of questions that let us get to compassionately know ourselves versus ones that lead us to judge ourselves. For most of us, when sensations of feeling empty come around we seek to figure out what is wrong or fill the hole with ‘something,’ in these moments we can stop and ask before acting:
‘Is the inner discomfort a sign to ‘do something’ to be filled again?’
Maybe. And maybe not.
Maybe the emptiness it is a flag that we have chosen poorly for the fulfillment of our souls.
In these instances, the inner state can prompt us to make the changes that are being urged from our higher self.
However, maybe the inner emptiness is allowing us to both taste a part of ourselves that is not yet recognized, and to be filled in an utterly unforeseen NEW way if we allow.
If the answer to the inquiry is the latter then part of the answer to coming into fullness is to learn how to allow.
Think about what allowing does in your life. It moves you into a receptive, open, and unconditionally accepting state. Allowing has a quality of fullness even when we are allowing events like loss and change or states like grief and confusion.
Allowing is not just a passive activity, not just the resignation that comes
when we hit the wall and can go no further.
Allowing is quite active, it is a stepping into a new realm of hope and faith.
Allowing notices contrasts such as rich and poor, full and empty, without judgement.
Allowing opens a door to the beauty of your own emptiness to fill you until dawn.
What is worthy of catching your attention is that this kind of allowing lasts,
and reveals unexpected experiences of joy.
Rumi’s poem shows what he needed to do in his allowing. He says,
‘Last night I learned how to be a lover of God.
To live in this world and call nothing my own.
I looked inward and the beauty of my own emptiness filled me until dawn.’
Rumi states above that he learned how to be a lover of God. This learning meant he had to live in the world and call nothing his own. This includes all the limiting beliefs our humanity has devised. While beliefs come about to help us, so often they sell us short of what will really help us. Rumi learned that this all had to go in order to become a lover of God and subsequently be filled with the beauty of his own emptiness.
So following him, we could name and let go the beliefs that hold us back from pure allowing. This includes ALL beliefs, the collective influences and the individual determinations. We don’t know what will happen when we allow to this degree, but what is known is that we move into a wholeness that is from the inside out.
Rumi’s words reveal what happened when he allowed and came to rest in the beauty of his emptiness,
‘Within the cavern of my soul
I heard the voice of a lover crying,
‘Drink now! Drink now!’–
I took a sip and saw a vast ocean
Wave upon wave caressed my soul….’
The words are an illuminative example shining a light upon a path that is worthy to emulate.
Here is a short recap of what Rumi’s poem reveals to me:
~Tenderly inquire into what is happening within you
~Accept and allow
~In light of the inquiry, choose what is of service to your fullness
~Dismantle and release all beliefs of this world that hold you back from accepting and allowing
~Enjoy the beauty of your emptiness (or fullness) right where you are.
Take a look at the picture in this post. The heart is created by the stones. It is also created by the space that is inside and outside the stones. Perhaps the emptiness of which we speak is that inside space, uniquely your own, housed by your body which would make the space just as much a part of the heart as the heart itself. So what do you say,
Do you want to relax into your life today?
Here is an optional exercise to help integrate the information in this article.
Take 10-20 minutes, sit quietly and ask yourself, ‘What does allowing feel like to me? How could a describe the experience of allowing?’ If you can, write down your answers.
You could go further and ask yourself, ‘What are collective ideas about allowing in relation to emptiness? Are there beliefs I have accepted that do not serve me?’
If you can, write down your answers.
This exercise alone can create a space between you and what is influencing you so the Light of your center can shine through to heal and transmute.