There’s an old Chinese proverb that goes “There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same.”
Of course there are multiple interpretations of that, and this one from Hinduism is on my mind today:
There are hundreds of paths up the mountain,
all leading in the same direction,
so it doesn’t matter which path you take.
The only one wasting time is the one
who runs around and around the mountain,
telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.
Put another way, there are many paths up the mountain and only one truth.
That truth is love.
Or, the best way to express that truth is through love in action. You know what that feels like, yet explaining ‘love’ is like trying to slap a definition on a blue sky. You can’t make someone see blue when all they see are clouds and rain.
But this is not supposed to be a long-winded essay today. It’s a check-in, a way to let you know that I am still here, walking up that mountain. It’s the same mountain I’ve been walking up for some 25 years now – that’s about the time I identify as the official start of my spiritual journey.
It’s probably been longer, but who’s counting?
- Who’s counting a belief in reincarnation that suggests hundreds or thousands of different lives and just as many years?
- Who’s counting this soul’s multiple simultaneous incarnations?
- Who’s counting multiple lifetimes happening simultaneously through multiple dimensions, time, space, etc.?
There is no time, so there is no counting, and all is now.
At the start of the trail, the walk is always easy. Wide, smooth, well-trodden, and downright fun. As you rise up (as good a metaphor as I can muster this morning) the path is strewn with all manner of rocks, sticks, fallen branches. It’s steep and uneven and sometimes scary. It’s one obstacle after another because everything in life is the path.
I’m discovering that I have a great need to strip away non-essentials, to once again let go and let go and let go.
I’ve spent the last few years accumulating stuff – literal things like clothes and cookbooks, but also mental stuff like Reiki, QHHT, life coaching, mindfulness, and business ideas.
And I’ve gotten so turned around on the path that I think I have 10,000,000 things do to and am tired of 9,999,999 of them. I’m tired of grasping, wishing, dreaming, tired of thinking about and tired of not doing.
I’m tired of taking on things (Reiki, QHHT, Life Coaching, Mindfulness, business, clothes, and cookbooks) and having little to show — other than a PDF certificate and a large pile of cute clothes and vintage cookbooks.
Paint The Basement
My life coach asked me what I needed to do next to move along the path. I said, “paint the basement.”
I want to focus on the here and now and on things that make a tangible difference for me.
I could get all symbolic on how painting the basement equates creating a solid foundation on which to build my future, but really, there are enough metaphors out there for me to use on another day.
Today, I’m pausing at this grand turn on the path of my life.
(A sidebar is a short story or graphic accompanying and presenting sidelights of a major story. It’s a deviation from the main thread or idea presented here. So you can ignore this part if you’d like.)
I’ve unfollowed a lot of people and pages and businesses on social media. Each platform seems more like a bad joke. Social media wastes time and focuses energy on wants and desires over true connections.
And yes, I know people who use social media for true connections, but the majority of it seems fake and fake and fake. But yet I don’t want to cut the social media cord completely.
Frankly, social media manipulates that deep desire to spy on people. And deep down, that’s what it’s about – jealousy about that life lifestyle or activity or possessions. And in turn, that jealousy becomes fear of missing out (FOMO.)
I’m doing my damnest to seek JOMO (joy of missing out) but there’s the whole “missing out” part of both of these acronyms that bothers me: what exactly is missing from me that needs to be found and fixed?
Of the nonsense online, one blog stands heads, fingers, knees, and toes above the others at the moment for me: Schrodinger’s Other Cat.
The posts are usually short and funky, the comments thought-provoking, and the metaphysical humor 100% on point.
It’s definitely not for everyone. But it’s a cozy little box in the corner of the interwebs for consciousness naps and meows that I thoroughly enjoy.
Lately “the cats” have asked readers to experiment with a saying from a student of A Course In Miracles (ACIM.) My experience with this saying was quite interesting, so I thought I’d pass it along.
Take this saying and try it out on anyone and everyone. Include yourself, and those you’re struggling with or have struggled with in the past:
- Boss pissed you off? Say the saying!
- Cut off in traffic? Say the saying!
- Annoying relatives? Say the saying!
- Thinking of your ex? Say the saying!
- Nosy neighbor? Say the saying!
- Burned your dinner? Say the saying!
- Former frenemy in your thoughts? Say the saying!
- Pesky pests eating your tomatoes? Say the saying!
I work at holding that person in my mind’s eye and gazing into the person’s eyes. Then I say the saying (it’s not a mantra, but, if it’s easier to remember it that way, so be it.) I wait and see how it feels.
That’s the key here — how does it feel? Most people I can do one recitation and feel some change or release. Some folks take two, three, four or more recitations. You may need to stop, collect yourself, and really get in touch with the compassionate part of yourself that loves beyond love – unconditionally.
You’ll know you’re finished saying this for the person because there will be a clear release. For me, it’s usually quite subtle like a gentle sigh or stomach muscles releasing.
Notice any thoughts that appear while you’re doing this. It could be something like “leave me alone” or “thank you.” You might say “whew!” when you’ve finished with some, and smile with others.
Feel free to change the saying around to make it work for you. For the word “Brother” I’ll often say something like “brother, sister, father, mother, source, god, goddess.” And I found that I had to repeat “all is forgiven and released” over and over for some people.
This is one way of being love in action. It is a way to walk your path up and around the mountain of your life with as much love in your heart as you can muster.
Regardless, try it out and let me know how it goes.
You are perfect
whole and innocent.
All is forgiven