When I was a little girl, apparently I had a high-pitched voice (to my Dad’s perception anyhow), so he coined the nickname “Squeaks” and to this day, that’s what he calls me.
I may be a much-respected facilitator and Priestess with a radiant spiritual name – Shakti Sundari.
I may be a 55 year-old mother and woman with decades of experience, accomplishment and personal growth behind me.
But to my Dad I remain “Squeaks”. LOL !
What with this and my kids, who will lovingly tease me or call me out on my hypocrisies, you can see how life keeps me grounded. There’s really not too much chance I’m going to get lost up my own arse. And that’s a good thing.
But what this also highlights is how there can be a tendency in all of us to fix a notion of another person in our minds and continue to relate to that idea of them, rather than to the reality of who they are now.
Which, of course, is ever changing and growing.
Sure, some more than others. But still…. would you rather be seen and met for the person you feel yourself to be right here, right now, or have others relate to you based on their memories, judgements and preconceptions of you from the past?
Would you rather have the freedom to define and express yourself as is authentic, or feel locked in to behaviours you think others expect of you? Because of your age, sex, colour, religion or other such characteristic.
Personally, I feel frustrated, unmet and unseen, when this occurs. It doesn’t satisfy my desire for truth, freedom and intimacy.
And, of course, you could extend this tendency to want to box and label a person to your own self-concept.
I am ……. fill in the blanks. And just notice how the way you complete the sentence creates limitation and perhaps even suffering.
If you’ve got a negative or painful story running about your past (or future), notice how the more you believe it, the more you remain stuck. A victim even. Or at the very least, a much-reduced version of the potential life offers.
One of the most useful spiritual teachings I’ve embraced in the past couple of years is the understanding, that: “all suffering begins with identification.”
Which links in nicely with one of Don Miguel Ruiz’s 4 Agreements: “Don’t take anything personally”.
And Byron Katie’s question: “Who would you be without your story?”
In my Sexual Awakening for Women facilitators training, I first learned about shape-shifting: the loosening of attachment to ego identity that arises as the heart opens and the capacity to morph into any and all forms of life’s expression when embodying the flow of Shakti.
This isn’t just a flowery metaphor. It’s real folks! If I open, let go and trust in fullest presence, life moves through me. Perhaps in the form of Kali, a giggling maiden or a sensual Devi. Perhaps simply in my honest yes and no, or my showing of emotion, that may shift and shimmer from one moment to the next.
Life, after all, is pure Shakti. She is always moving, feeling, flowing, creating, birthing and dying. Never any wrongness about what is. Look at nature. Perfect in its allness, just like us.
You could say it is the masculine – or the mind - that wishes to impose structure, lock in definitions, understand and control that which can, ultimately, never be contained.
Either way, there’s a great exhale, a lightness and playfulness that can come, when that attachment to who I think I am loosens its hold.
For one, I no longer feel so mortally offended by someone else’s judgement of me.
And for another, I don’t take myself so darn seriously. I see my patterns of behaviour and can laugh at and love them. Oh yes, here comes my Dogmatic Durga or my Innocent Irma. It’s a great way to acknowledge my shadows and recognise that this “I” is but a conglomeration of beliefs and behaviours, rather than a fixed reality. Let alone THE reality.
I remember that my “I” is but an aspect of I-AM.
It seems to me that we could all do with a bit of simultaneous lightening up and deeper enquiry around our “I” self these days, when so much energy is being invested in identification with polarised perspectives.
We defend our viewpoint to the death, blind to the fact that it is just that: a viewpoint our ego clings to, so as to shore up its existence.
Just as much as all our relating could do with the fresh injection of presence and clear seeing: meeting one another, whether stranger or long-term intimate, without the assumption that we already know what’s coming next.
Every I and eye sees from a different place. And as the earth revolves, so does our place.
There's an infinite potential available to each of us in every moment, as to how we choose to show up in the world.
In the name of freedom, empowerment and creativity, I invite you to explore the authentic, playful expression of your being, free from the entrapment of story.
And in the name of love and authentic connection, I urge you to greet your family, friends and neighbours with an open heart and mind and an attitude of curiosity, rather than labelling or presumption.
All my Love,