Friday, August 19, 2011


Listen to this post:

I am being stripped. No, not because it's summer, although the thought is appealing.

I am being stripped to my core, I believe. Stripped of health, career, income, identity and ambition to name a few. Not easy things to lose in this culture. I have fought tooth and nail to cling to those standards and yet leave they must. The fighting and holding tight have only made me miserable. I hadn't understood this until I've taken my time to read, revel in and contemplate Eckhart Tolle's Stillness Speaks.

Today's passages focused on suffering and that the light can only fully shine through when we are free of psychological suffering and the mind-made ego has been dissolved. Within the stillness of witnessing another human die and totally giving into that natural transformation, realizing there is nothing to do, we receive the benediction of peace.

The end of suffering, Tolle writes, is living as if we choose whatever we feel or experience. What a radical thought. I've been bumbling around in victim mode, cursing my woundedness. I have tried to practice gratitude and see the silver lining, but it wasn't until today that I realized why I should accept whatever surfaces: because I can't change it, only my attitude and the pain it causes. If I can detach and become observer and not live so rooted in my bodily pain and mindly story-spinning, I can free myself of so much dead weight. Namely, my ego. I have so completely convinced myself that I am irreversibly damaged, when that is so far from the Truth. That's my egoic trap, miring me in the self doubt that has plagued and paralyzed me.

I am not my body or my mind. I am something freer, more connected and eternal.

Years ago when a friend of my parents' mentioned at a wedding reception she didn't feel anything like the 70-something-year-old face she saw in the mirror, I didn't understand. I have begun to since. Part of me is blossoming while the other is withering. Actually, my body is not withering, aging, yes, but not withering as I have projected. I swim a half mile almost every day. There's no way I ever could do that when I was younger. Maybe I didn't experience pain then, but I wasn't pushing so hard and, honestly, things were more lubricated. But I was asleep.

Physical pain woke me up and set my course. Then my mind chimed in and I have been trapped in that endless loop. Now, something outside and within has awakened and wiped the tarnish off the mirror so I see the role of ego more clearly. I choose not to participate in that ruse anymore.

If I stay in the NOW, I've WON – my new mantra.

• How does ego rule me?
• Where am I trapped?
• What have I glimpsed of freedom?
• What has been stripped from me?
• To what do I cling and why?

take it 
take it all 

it's not mine

the desire and envy
jealousy and drive

my identity or the constantly
spinning story in my head

I only want
what's now

the place I am


  1. Dear Cathy,
    Maybe the real you doesn't even want, win or choose? Maybe the real you only is? Personally I'm attracted to the words abiding and dwelling. Maybe the real you only abides/dwells?

  2. Wonderful concept, Sari, though I have to know things deeply to really get them. Those words resonate with me as well, but I always have to live with things awhile to let them steep. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!