Still Point on the Edge

Our idea of BIG and small can be misleading at times. Sometimes the smallest shifts can produce the most momentous realisations. The ones which have the power of altering profoundly our experience of ourselves, important people in our lives, relationships with those people, and Life itself. Only a few weeks ago, such a shift happened for me. It never ceases to surprise me how these moments still happen after so many years of deep introspective work. It seems I have worked through all my issues and problems many times over and, if they remain, I don’t even look at them as problems any more. Yet, Life is generous with me, an avid learner…

My life is full and rich, by design… Family, much loved work not in one, but two fields, stimulating social life, education — both for me and others; travel, hobbies, fun… The complexities create many challenges — some trivial, some of enormous proportions. I am this big furnace of energy, in the middle of it all, constantly balancing, sorting out, keeping up… and it’s relentless! I’ve been fighting a battle to keep my complex life in shape, so that I can be credible when I’m speaking with you about my work, when I’m sharing my expertise, for years — without even stopping and giving it a second thought. I simply knew that that was the name of the game I was playing and I didn’t question it. To tell the truth, it is a loosing battle. My to-do list is never ending, ever growing and daily life often resembles a spirited storm, more often than not out of control. The result of this magnificent disproportion between my working and sorting power, and endless frantic activities allied with manifold responsibilities, is quite predictable — I never quite manage it… And I never give up, an undying optimist that I am!

Until a few weeks ago when, on a particularly trying and overwhelming day, I let it in and accepted it— for the first time ever so deeply and completely, that I will never sort out my life to a standard required by my fussy mind. However efficient I am, my concerted efforts are not sufficient and never will be. And in that moment something strange happened…

I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders and a space opening up so vast and so pure that it took my breath away… My life already is good enough for me to be credible when I’m talking to you. The point is for me to remain calm and peaceful in the middle of a most trying day, completely unconditionally of any, even most difficult circumstances, not to ‘kill’ my to-do list. And, on occasion, I fail.

Ever since that day, my experience of myself, of you, of my work, the conversations I have with people, and of what’s now possible, has shifted so much that my life truly is un-recognisable. I am settling into Life As It Is And As It Is Not and, whilst at times it feels strange, it also feels good.

Following a mad dash to the Channel last weekend and, precisely, the gorgeous Clavell Tower near Kimmeridge, I was on my own for a couple of days, which hardly ever happens — surrounded by spectacular views and wild winds bashing the tower relentlessly day and night. The tower quaked at times from the sheer force of the gale. Inside was I. Comfortable and peaceful, if a little weary from the wind’s thunder. In my stillness and quiet presence a vague memory of a Kindling Point workshop came back to me, one called Still Point. Life is such an amazing teacher. Only a few weeks after my big breakthrough, here I was in a physical Still Point, called Clavell Tower, surrounded by the uncontrollable elements. Am I not just like this tower and my life like those elements? Sometimes, when the door is blown open, it momentarily creates havoc inside me — an upset, a pain, a grief, a sadness… But then, when the door is closed again, the silence regains domain. For me, someone who learns through experience, this was an invaluable lesson, a lesson I have not planned. It happened for me.

I am credible, as I am. I am here to learn, to make a difference and to be of service — unhindered by my mind’s nonsense. And the state of my to-do list has absolutely nothing to do with my ability to be authentic, truthful and interestingly imperfect.