I’m sitting on our sage living room couch that has seen better days, but with two teenagers still living at home, I am going to hold off on getting a new one. The spills and stains that show up after friends’ visits or the occasional party don’t bother me that way. My legs are stretched out on the chaise lounge portion of the sofa. I had to look that word up. I thought it was chaise long, but I stand corrected. Our cat Twilight named by our girls when they were younger after the dusky color of the sky before sunrise and after sunset, not the book series is lying next to me.
I feel compelled to stroke him and have a cuddle. There is no practical necessity for me to do this and there is no obvious gain I am going to receive. Although when I stroke him my heart seems to open up, and I am filled with warm feelings of love. He seems to like it too. His purr gets louder and his claws stretch out and dig into the textured throw covering the old sofa. Angus will be pleased he is not digging his claws into the couch. Even though it has seen better days, he still likes to see it respected and preserved.
This mutual connection of warmth and contentment between Twilight and me reminds me of the call of my true nature. I am compelled to look in that direction not because there is any practical or obvious benefit from doing so. I didn’t stroke Twilight to make myself feel happy. I did experience a deep sense of contentment emerge within me when I did, but that is not the point, just a natural by-product of me following my inclination to stroke the soft, furry creature lying next to me.
Within you, you have the softest, warmest, loveliest, space to reach out into. I usually write about this space as the direction to look in when you are suffering, particularly in the area of relationships. That just happens to be a common area that people reach out to me for support regarding so I tend to write about that focus, but today I want to be clear that this is a space of consciousness within that is beyond your normal everyday thoughts that just exists. This deeper dimension of your being is not about who you are or what you do but is simply the stuff you are made of, there is no need for a reason to look in that direction.
I am encouraging you not to wait until you are suffering to take a peek or a long glorious gaze. Just like if you use prayer to connect with that space within, I wouldn’t recommend only praying when you are in trouble.
In fact, when there isn’t suffering, you might notice the gentle pull to look within for no reason whatsoever. There is that subtle current that can transform into a tsunami when necessary that points us to what we are beyond the personal day-to-day experiences that we have, beyond the physical aches and pains, the emotional ups and downs, and the mental constructs that incessantly appear. There is a pull beyond that. Just like my impulse to stroke Twilight. It was a pull. I don’t know where it came from.
Listen to that pull inside yourself. Allow yourself to get quiet enough so you notice it and sensitive enough so you can feel it.
I am feeling a renewed sensitivity to it. I am recognizing how much I enjoy when my personal mind gets quieter, and even though there are lots of ideas and creative thoughts vying for my attention, I am called to what is not practical, what is not needed, and what is not necessary.
I used to think that the reason to look in the direction of my true nature was to eliminate suffering from my life. In my naiveté, I thought that was a worthy goal because I wanted to have an easier internal experience. I wanted more comfort and security both qualities the ego seeks and understandably so because they make survival seem more likely. However, awakening to what you are has nothing to do with being comfortable or even having a nice life.
I have had the blessing of being in the presence of those experiencing physical suffering at the end of their life and been touched by the love and wisdom present at those times. I have been deeply moved in conversations with inmates serving life sentences thinking I was there to be of service to them, but humbly recognizing they were reflecting to me the love and wisdom that we all are.
Looking toward your true nature does not guarantee comfort or eliminate hardship from your life. When the ego realizes this it is easy to think, “Well that is a waste of time then. Time to move on to the next glittering experience that offers more pleasure, or at least some pleasure, or at least something.” It is not easy to market “nothing” to the ego. Fortunately, it isn’t necessary because within each one of us there is the compass of our spiritual heart guiding us home.
My encouragement to you is to listen to that signal for no reason. Follow its promptings even when they aren’t practical. Let yourself surrender to the deeper knowing of what you are.
You will have to find that answer within yourself.
I am going to go back to petting Twilight now. He has now offered up his soft, spotted belly fur and I can’t resist.
Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their full potential. She is a transformative coach, leadership consultant, a regular blogger for Thrive Global, and author of the short-read Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1) available on Amazon. You can get her free eBook Relationships here. Rohini has an international coaching and consulting practice based in Los Angeles helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. She is also the founder of The Soul-Centered Series: Psychology, Spirituality, and the Teachings of Sydney Banks. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and watch her Vlogs with her husband. To learn more about her work go to her website, rohiniross.com.