Come To The Feast
Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
Here are some important questions I find myself asking at the end of my day. Have I increased the spirit of integrity in the things I’ve done? Does my world feel more alive? Do people feel more loved and heard as a result of having been with me today?
A person can attempt to “be good” or to do the “right” thing. If you’ve really done the right or correct thing, the people around you have the opportunity to feel more loved and heard. I think that many people aren’t sure how to have a positive influence on others, so they don’t extend themselves. They decide that it’s easier to withdraw so they don’t make mistakes in their relationships. But if we don’t find a way to magnify life with other people, how dreary is that?
Recently we have been considering the necessity of delivering everything into the creative process. Do I also pour myself into the creative process, along with everything else, to discover what things in me need to transform? It’s one thing to say, “All these crazy people are in my world, and I’ll witness the creative process in them and hope something wonderful happens.” What if I’m the craziest person in the bunch? Can I offer myself to be transformed and say, “Obviously this isn’t working very well. What do I need to see? What is it about myself that’s creating this constant insanity in my life?” Can I review at the end of the day and say, “Well, there are a lot of things that you learned about yourself today, Jane.” The truth of who I am is in a place of high spiritual awareness. I can say truly, “I am in heaven. The revelation of myself is holy.” In the midst of revealing that which is most holy, I sometimes reveal something about myself that isn’t. When I do, I have the opportunity to see things that are unfinished, that are being transformed because they don’t serve me well.
Recently, I was reading an article about the development of conscience. It is supposed that a child of seven is old enough to have a conscience. I know it is thought that they have developed and learned enough to know right from wrong. It’s not as if it’s something that just drops down out of heaven and is untainted—all of a sudden you have a conscience, and you know right from wrong. So where does conscience actually come from for an individual? Don’t you learn how to have a conscience because somebody who is in your life tells you how your conscience should be? Conscience is not pure, refined knowing. We learn it somehow—we learn right and wrong from people who think they know what is right and wrong, and then we use that as a model.
For all the good Catholic girls when I was going to school, that meant no meat on Fridays. Is that a rule anymore? Somewhere between then and now, that changed. So who changed my conscience to say that it was the right thing to avoid meat on Friday when I was seven, but now that I am this age it no longer matters? This is learned behavior, supposedly knowing right from wrong. If you take the opportunity to allow yourself to be poured into the creative process, so that you reveal the highest and finest and most holy, and most connected, most loving part of yourself, things also will be revealed that are incomplete and need to be moved out, so that you can be conscious, as opposed to just having a learned conscience. You have the opportunity to be conscious of the fact that what you do has an impact on your world, and realize that the revelation of yourself can be holy and incomplete, all at the same time, so that as the holiness is revealed, the incomplete parts get to be in the process too.
In the human experience, in our experience, it is common that people judge themselves so heavily that they are cautious about stepping into their world in a big way. Or they wait until they think they’re good enough to do it. They don’t want to reveal themselves, afraid that it will be revealed to other people, as well as themselves, that they are not whole and complete and finished with their process. Has anyone here waited until they thought they were perfect before they did something? Have you sung in the shower forever before deciding to sing in public? Have you practiced a speech until you knew every word by heart?
There are many people who don’t want to speak from this lectern because they don’t trust that the right words will come out. I don’t know where you get to practice doing this without doing it. You could practice in your bedroom or your closet. On the more everyday scale of things, to engage with your life you have to engage with your life and see what happens. You have to stop waiting. And you have to engage with yourself the way you are, with your friends the way they are, and see what happens; see what kind of magic actually emerges.
This week there have been a number of cycles that I’ve been holding that seemed like they were not moving, or like they had gotten off track for me or for others. I keep offering those cycles, and the people in them, to the creative process of life, and open myself to see if there’s something more for me to do; to see the other person new, to be in the holiest place I know, to feel more connected through the love in my heart. As I entered into this process deeply, I realized that I long to be in a place in my life where I’m not waiting anymore, and where my friends aren’t waiting. I long to be doing something together, however sloppy or unfinished it might be. I don’t want the processes of my life to be judged by me. And I want to hold the space for the people with me not to be judging either.
In the leadership I choose to bring, I am interested in something happening that is beyond judging, while we are still open to learning. I choose to share the incompleteness of life with other people joyfully, and to share the processes of transformation we’re all going through.
These words came to me while pondering this.
I miss you.
You see me and come so close,
You set the table and speak about the meal.
You reminisce of past union and connection,
Of the sweetness and power we knew,
Of the celebration held in another’s home,
And I am here, waiting.
You say it is not time,
You are waiting for the others,
You say you’ve done enough,
And yet the dinner is not served.
Oh how like the ride into Jerusalem this is,
Filled with praise and anticipation,
And yet denial and rejection sit waiting on that same tongue.
Here is your breath ready for the taking,
Here is your heartbeat,
Strong and steady,
Allowing you to make a choice;
Here is the opportunity for the feast fully ready to be shared.
But you wait
Having lost your mind or heart
Or your connection to the purpose of the feast.
While memories of days gone by may stir you into action
They will not sate the hunger for life’s celebration now.
You must serve the food;
You must serve me,
You must join me at the table and commune.
Then, once again,
Like in the tale of the loaves and the fishes,
There is abundance in the house again.
When the others come,
Whoever they are, things will change
And still we should not wait.
I do not want to spend eternity waiting,
I will continue to send you messages of love
But you must serve the meal.
I am in this house…waiting.
The presence of the Beloved comes to the meal. We have lots of reasons why we wait—sometimes even the judgment that the last meal we had wasn’t all that great. But we must do this—pour ourselves out, and move on. We have things we need to let go of so that we might live more abundantly, so that the revelation of who we are is radiant wholeness.
These words have come to me in the cycle of today, which is Palm Sunday; and the memory of that day, for me, is of celebration and grief all in one day. Let what comes from our tongue and our living be a blessing and an inviting, born of the privilege of being alive together.
We have a lot of power with our words and our ability to bless and magnify the spirit of life. I am grateful for the opportunity to be together on a Sunday to do that in this Dome. I think of this room as a huge magnifying glass. May the spirits of Love, Truth and Life be magnified and felt in the vibrational realms of our world.
April 19th, 2010
Posted in Jane Anetrini | Print this page