For a while, my mantra has been something like: Choose… Allow… Choose… Allow… Choose… Allow…
Choose what I want to experience, who I want to be, everything I imagine for the world.
Allow what shows up, allow what has already been, allow by letting go of expectations based in what I think I’ve already figured out about how it’s all supposed to go.
I’m much better at the choosing part. I’m really good at psyching myself up, super-powering, consciously plugging-in to Infinite Source, so I can keep on keeping on with heroic creativity and audacious positivity. That’s fun. Discarding false beliefs about limitation and lack, flinging off old self-sabotaging habits and stories — it feels liberating to run naked and courageous into a sense of expanded potency and potential. And I’m pretty good at inspiring others to join me in this self-expressive romp.
Allowing, on the other hand… damn. That can be very hard for me, and usually it’s not nearly as much fun. I think perhaps I owe everyone on the planet an apology, because if I remember correctly I declared “Allow” as my “word of intention” for 2016 at a New Year’s workshop. At the time I had no idea how much crap life was going to throw at us, so we could practice allowing over and over and over again.
But here’s the thing — I’m learning how Choose and Allow are both essential to the creative process. We can’t choose freely from all possibility unless we first allow all possibility.
When we resist reality, we’re not really free. When we struggle to maintain control, keeping a lid on life, we’re not really free. If we’re already certain of everything, if we’ve already decided, then we’re not really free.
Creation is like breath — we need both inhale and exhale. If it’s all choose-choose-choose-choose, desperately pushing-away the stuff we don’t like, refusing to allow it, then we quickly run out of air. We get depleted. The practice of allowing is part of our replenishment & rejuvenation; just letting it all be, before we pick & choose it apart.
And while yes, for sure, we are being called to bring great creativity and purpose and intentionality to the planet right now, we are also being called to breathe in the beauty of everything that has already been created. We’re invited to take in the sweetly mysterious connectedness of things, as well as the unbelievable clusterfuck of it all, with trembling & awe.
The more we allow, the more possibility is released to unfurl beyond what we’ve already known & experienced. The more we allow, the more Being is unbound from what’s already been.
Allowing, too can be heroic. My wise friend and teacher Chela Ananda often said, “Your ability to shift the universe is directly proportionate to your ability to be with what’s so.”
Someone saucy quipped, “Life is hard; it’s always breathe, breathe, breathe!”
Allow everything, then choose something. Ad infinitum.
I recognize that part of my problem with allowing, generally, is the question of what exactly it is that I’m being enjoined to allow, specifically. I mean, I don’t need to control everything as long as it’s all going my way. I can allow plenty, as long as I like it.
When we get into the truly horrible shit showing up in the world, though — hatred, injustice, violence — or even intimate & personal things that feel godawful — the death of a loved one, separation, financial hardship, illness, doubt, aging bodies… Are we really supposed to just let that be?! I admit that every fiber of my being rears up shouting, “No, I won’t submit to that! I won’t allow that! I insist on something better-different-more!”
But, see, it’s never either-or. We must do both. Allowing doesn’t mean non-participation. Allowing simply means starting with the world as it is. By all means, heading forward from here we can (we must) make choices for a better world, for happy healthy lives, for love & peace & kindness, for understanding & joy & harmony. But we can’t do this very powerfully when all our energy is spent railing against what is or what has been. That’s ineffectual, and exhausting.
Part of allowing means maybe not having every freakin’ moment of every freakin’ day feel like a fight for your life. Take a breath.
I’ve also realized that some of my knee-jerk resistance comes from a lingering misunderstanding that anything like release-surrender-acceptance-allowing means giving away autonomy & creative authority to someone or something else. But it only seems this way because I’ve forgotten how intimately & intricately connected we all to each other and with everything.
What we’re allowing, always, is ourselves.
Acceptance of the world as it is right now is always about accepting myself as I am right now — the fullness of my being, showing up on the planet at this particular time in this particular place. As I learn to embrace everything about me and in me, about and in the circumstances in which I find myself — not just the good bits, not just the polished parts — I step more completely into my raison d’être, my purpose, my dharma, my life.
Allow my being and choose my becoming.
Allow you to be, and choose how I will be with you, and what we will be together.
Allow the world to turn, and choose the meaning I make of it.
Allow Life Itself to continue evolving into its ever-fuller expression, and choose how I’m going to partake and participate.
Allow… Choose… Allow… Choose… Breathe… Yes.