Accidental Enlightenment

I have spent the past few weeks not exactly living in the spirit of my last blog 🙁 I have not been able to embrace the idea of finding freedom in accepting life as it is, rather I have been feeling very stuck and not liking it very much.

It is almost as if my mind is reflecting my body these days. I was in a freak car crash about 2 months ago and it has left me with a very stiff back and a heavy left leg, all which means I feel very stuck…..

As I was having some feeling sorry for myself time I found myself thinking of Ram Dass ( my mind never ceases to amaze me with what pops into it at the strangest of times). He talks of having many rebirths in the one lifetime. He was a Harvard professor, a successful spiritual leader and a stroke victim all in this lifetime:

The way I approach what happened is that with the stroke I began a new incarnation. In the last incarnation I was a golfer, a sports car driver, a musician. Now I have given all that up. The psychological suffering only comes if I compare incarnations—if I say, oh, I used to be able to play the cello. “ Ram Dass

It got me thinking of all the new incarnations I have had in this lifetime so far. I was a secondary school teacher, a community worker, an organisational consultant, a 5Rhythms teacher. An exceptionally healthy fit person, a cyclist, and now a survivor of numerous crashes!

Each of those parts of me had or have a particular way of viewing and interacting with the world around me. Some are fiercely independant, some need others, some are intensely quiet, others are real chatty, some crave solitude, others want company, some are full of movement, others are stuck.

As I stand back and observe I can begin to have a more wholesome view and see it all as a mighty jigsaw puzzle called life. Some pieces create the edges, clear and easily placed whilst others are a real challenge to fit as they look the same on both sides and can seemingly fit in many spaces. Yet not a good fit, more squashed into a space and made to fit it. They can get stuck until they are removed , given space and time to find their unique place in the jigsaw.

Being stuck for me is always a scary place. It brings with it  almost every fear- real and imagined. It takes a lot of  trust for me to believe it is only part of my life jigsaw and not the whole story. I lose my fluidity and flexibility in body and mind and notice I have the same stuck thought patterns looping in my head.

Thinking of Ram Dass helped my stand back and see the stuckness for what it is, a response to a painful situation which is calling for attention. I only have to stop the “catastrophic” thinking as Jon Kabit Zinn calls it, become familiar and maybe even venture to “befriend” the stuckness as Pema Chodron would advise  to get glimpses of the micro movements contained within. I could begin to practice becoming curious about the shapes of stuck, the way stuck breaths, the thoughts that feed the stuckness and the emotions contained within the stuck parts.

Suddenly being stuck has become an new incarnation with a life wanting to be experienced… adventure to be lived……a place I can learn more about myself…… is offering me accidental enlightenment over and over and over, can I take up the offer?????