Removing Barriers

How often to you allow yourself to follow what calls you, to soak in the pleasure that is trying to find you? How often do you let yourself relax? Play? Rest?

If it’s been a while, you’re not alone. I’ve often noticed my propensity to allow it least when I need it most.

Photo Credit: Monster144 via Pixabay

Photo Credit: Monster144 via Pixabay

This is part of the human condition, or at least our western socialization. And it rarely helps to layer judgement, criticism & blame on ourselves. Freedom comes from noticing the pattern.

Lately I’ve been following my intuition to get outside as much as possible and to vary my work locations when the schedule allows. Today I’m combining the two and working from the local arboretum. Founded on principles of research and education, it’s a place filled with examples of living in harmony with our native surroundings. I like how my pace and my pulse slows and my heart seems to settle there. I like what it teaches me.

Before beginning my projects I wandered through the gardens, admiring the native plants, the gentle breeze in the ponderosa pines, the birds foraging for breakfast. I found a sun-dappled picnic table and settled in to work on the projects I’d brought along.

It felt gentle and easy as I moved from one task to the next and even though I took breaks periodically to watch the birds or walk among the trees, I moved through the projects I’d brought much more quickly than I ever would have from my home office.

In the midst of all this ease & beauty, I began to notice a certain restlessness.

An impulse to go somewhere else. Almost a pull to get away . . . . . but, away from what?

This beautiful place? This peaceful environment? The reality that I was getting my work done with ease, in less time, surrounded by the wave-sounds of wind in the pines, the buzzing & chattering of the hummingbirds, the soft scent of the native plants??

Oh what torture! Who wouldn’t want to escape that?

Then I noticed that old familiar domino-line of deeply rooted stories, expectations and out-dated beliefs. I must work hard. There’s no time to play. Work must be struggle, stressful, arduous. If I’m enjoying myself I’m being (pick your insult) lazy, irresponsible, inattentive. If this is pleasant it surely isn’t work.

Ah, hello, I recognize you. You ran the show for much of my professional life. The voice of the lizard-brain, trying to protect, but instead causing pain.

And with that recognition, there is freedom.

Rumi wrote,

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Today, my barriers to love showed up in restlessness driven by old messages that were never true. Out of the willingness to notice, to investigate and question, freedom was borne. I no longer need to escape, or struggle, or insult myself.

Releasing old patterns doesn’t always happen so easily. Sometimes it takes more layers of questioning for them to be revealed. Often there can be many rounds of noticing, releasing, noticing, releasing. But with every round, the old stories lose their strength and the barrier can melt away under the light of awareness.

What is trying to find you today? Whether it’s contentment or joy, ease or insight, love or connection – – maybe it’s closer than you think. Maybe, with some curiosity and a little nudge, you’ll notice it right here, available to you in this moment.

OK, my work is done for today. The final item on the list is checked off and I have two hours to spare. I think I’ll go for a hike. Or maybe take a nap in that sunny spot over there. I don’t think the chipmunks will mind.


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