Joy Tip Wednesday: It's Both

Can you hold both the Spirit and the human sides of your Being?

This morning I noticed two succulents in my favorite pot holding each other.  Two leaves delicately curved around each other as if two hands were linking.  Sun shining in through the sliding door warming my face and their leaves. 

I always talk to my plants.  To greet them in the morning.  Give them love when I’m watering them.  And apologize to them when I haven’t chanted in a while.  I’m pretty convinced they love it as much as Odi, my African Grey, does.  It may seem silly, but science says that plants have feelings too.  And when I’m sensitive to the nature of these creatures living with me in my space, my space feels more alive.

“Awww” I found myself saying as I picked up the pot to water the soil.  “Are you holding each other up?” I asked and smiled to myself. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about the beautiful irony of our Being.  Human and Spirit.  This leaf holding seemed so perfect, like an omen from the Universe.  A reminder to hold it ALL.  All of it.  Every last bit.  In all situations.  Always. 

Can I hold the infinite possibility of my Being and the limited reality of my humanness? 

Can I know that I am beyond the story that I make up in my mind and be ok with the natural production of story that will likely continue until the day I die?

I was blissed out after yoga.  As each step felt like an ethereal experience, I decided to treat myself to some takeout.  As I was preparing to leave the shop, I remember a dialogue in my head about the guy behind the counter.  I wondered what his story was.  I found him both fascinating and alluring. And there it was, “you’re pretty awesome,” he said to me flashing a big smile.  I chuckled as I felt the Universe strangely flirting back with the thoughts in my head through the reality unfolding in front of me. The next thing I knew, I had a number in my hand and a tea date scheduled.  When I showed up to my tea date I reminded myself to stay open and present.  I may be mindful, but I also have quite a few battle wounds from the last several years with romance.  Conversation was fascinating, deep, philosophical…just like I love it.  But there was one thing. The smiley coy man with a feather in his hair was living in an alley on the street nearby.  There it was.  Spirit and human.  Sitting right across the table from me.  What was I going to do with it?

“I fall in love with people’s potential,” a friend told me.  I know this story well.  I have the gift of being able to see straight through the human limitations of each person to their infinite possibility.  But human realities are real.  “Want to see how real this human thing is?  Walk into the middle of a freeway and in about 1 minute you’ll know how real it is,” a teacher once recounted when I was on retreat. 

The human truth of me is that if I’m in a partnership I want someone who is as stable if not more stable than me.  Another human truth is that I have a pattern of developing connections with people who need support turning their life around.  It’s why I’m great at my job.  But I don’t want the people close to me to be…a job.  If I’m going to do my work as a healer, I have to make sure that the people I’m closely connected to are steady mountains for me to lean on and visa versa. 

The Spirit in me could probably fall in love with almost anyone.  True story.  I once remember having a conversation with a friend about his fantasy of traveling the world and falling in love with one person on each continent.  Wondering if it could happen.  I’m pretty sure I could fall in love with someone in the next week if I wanted to. Maybe even the next day.  I love people.  I see their beauty.  It’s my gift.  It’s also my challenge.  Because people are both that Beauty and that messy human reality.  Just like me.

I knew nothing could go forward with the beautiful soul I got to share a meal with recently who sleeps in an alley. Because I finally love myself enough, because I finally believe I’m worthy of my human needs and desires…I am able enjoy the conversation I had and walk away.  I’m able to acknowledge his current circumstances rather than cling to his potential and put myself in a precarious situation. A self sabotage habit I have where in service of “helping” others I break what I’m building.  And right now I know I’m worthy of the work I’m inspired to create and the new project I’m in the process of birthing.

Embracing both my human and Spirit Being means that I honor needs I have rather than labeling myself “needy.”  That while I see the best in all people, I also acknowledge that their current human circumstances are as a real as the car coming towards me on the freeway if I stand in front of it.  It will hurt if I pretend it’s not there.  And it might even devastate both me…and the driver. 

We are all better for ourselves, for each other, when we walk the middle path that acknowledges the Infinity and edges of our Being.

For this week’s Joy Tip Wednesday I want to invite us to check in with the human, Spirit continuum.  How are you with yourself?  Do your expectations create no space for forgiveness?  Favoring the Spirit side of your potential while finger pointing at the human trips and falls along the way?  Do you give everyone the benefit of the doubt while allowing yourself to become a doormat?  Or do the human circumstances of others fortify the wall around your heart?  What if you could be both open hearted and draw boundaries in the sand?  Could be both goal oriented and graciously forgiving of yourself?  This week I want you to reflect on the quagmire of your Being and those around you. Here are some common pitfalls along the way that I’ve discovered in my own exploration when my middle path is out of balance:

All Spirit…no human:

  • Unrealistic timelines lead to burn out, disappointment, and beating myself up when I can’t complete everything I put on my plate in one single given day.  There really are only 24 hours.  I know time is relative, but come on…
  • Saying “yes” to every person who wants to be in my close circle and then feeling exhausted by the number of hours I spend being the red “crisis phone” for them.  Then feeling resentful about helping in the first place.  Really I’m just upset with myself for not acknowledging that I have limitations on my energy and needs in my close connections.
  • Expecting myself to “just get over it” when I’m upset causing my ego to dig its heels in deeper than ever before.  Which then just lengthens the amount of time I am upset rather than giving myself permission to be upset which actually allows me to release it much more quickly.

All human…no Spirit:

  • Blowing my human limitations out of proportion when I believe a fearful story in my mind and halt anything on my “to do” list that is connected to what I desire most.  This delayed me from leaving my government job for years.  And created a yucky story about myself, my potential, and most of all, made me feel completely stifled and trapped. 
  • Making widespread declarations about myself or others.  Like deciding all millennial men have serious commitment issues and saying “no” to any young man who even batted an eyelash in my direction.  This would have stopped me from making two of my closest male friendships.  Both of which I explored something romantic with and now have built awesome friendships with.
  • Taking my physical inflexibility as something that is “always so” and stopping myself from trying different variations in my yoga practice.  My physical yoga practice has perhaps taught me the most about how even our human limitations can change precisely because we are both limited AND infinite.  There are poses I could do now that I never dreamed were possible years ago when I started practicing. 

So where are you on the sliding scale of human and Spirit? 

If you find yourself leaning one direction or the other, reflect on 1 step each day you could take to connect to the other side of your Being and others.  Maybe it’s smiling at strangers to open your heart back up again to Spirit.  Or saying “yes” to an invitation you received.  Or maybe it’s creating more supportive boundaries in service of pursuing your goals and ensuring your close circle of friendships are expanding because its your human need.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  The whole point is to bring intentional exploration.  Because awareness is everything.  Awareness truly is magic at transforming our reality.  For when we shine the light of awareness on any area of our life, the seeds that we didn’t know were planted start to grow, and the shadowy figures that were hiding start to walk away.

Much love,