Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Spring is springing in this part of the world—we smell it, we feel it. Spring is often an experience of the heart. The changes allow us to have an experience of our heart breaking open. The freshness of flowers and the warmth of the air and the buds bursting, and we often find our hearts are bursting too. The magic and wonder of life cracks us open and we feel the blessing and beauty of spring rush in. There is an increase in the experience of blessing and connection to life. More joy and love moves into our experience. I have discovered that there are cycles to how this works. And it works better if we’re paying attention.

This describes the process of becoming a sun. We are already a radiant sun on the inside, full of radiance and warmth. The question is “How do we manifest that outside ourselves?” The phrase that came to me is on every shampoo bottle: “Wash. Rinse. Repeat.” We need to continually repeat the process of revealing the radiant, warm, nourishing nature of the sun. Do it, experience it, and repeat! Repeat what works. Pay attention to what’s happening, what is creating life, and repeat this process.

When our heart breaks open, it is often a time of change. We may feel we have failed or we can no longer do things the way we have done them. Sometimes we have new vision and realize things will never be the same. Spring has come and the winter is over. We sometimes feel really vulnerable. Something has happened and the whole world seems different. The world just shifted, and something is going to pass away and something’s going to be born. You’re not sure, and it feels scary, but it also feels incredible, all at the same time.

You may feel like you don’t want to move because you don’t want to ruin it. You don’t want to spoil the experience of the wonderful feeling that’s happening inside you. The pressure that caused the cracking is released. You feel so much possibility, and consider that maybe all the dark stuff is over. I love that feeling. “Maybe I’ll never have to go through this pattern again—of learning, of the pressure, suffering and dying that got me here.” We all know that’s not true, but for a moment it feels like that might be true. At some level we know there’s more growing, more sun to be let out, more wonder, more radiance and magnificence. And you really wouldn’t settle for where you are right now if you stayed there too long.

Your inner sun brings the pressure. It’s not the suffering that brings the pressure—it’s the internal majesty that brings the pressure because your world wants it. It wants you. You want you. You want to be fully engaged with your world. You want out. My good friend Nick Gordon always says, “Holy Spirit’s in you and it wants out.” I do believe that Holy Spirit is everywhere, and it wants communion. It wants out of you so it can have communion with itself everywhere. That Holy Spirit is you.

Spring is a huge reminder of how Holy Spirit comes forth. I know I’m one of those weird people who go to look for every little bulb that I’ve planted, touching them and welcoming them as they poke out of the earth. We often connect our excitement with the cycles of plants and things that are outside ourselves more than with the joy that’s happening in ourselves. There is pressure on the surface of the soil when that seedling has to break through to be in the sun. And there is pressure when that incredible thing inside you is bursting, when your spirit is expanding. Something has to let go, something’s going to be born, something magnificent is going to happen, and at that point in the cycle it just feels like a lot of pressure. That’s what it often feels like before the rain comes and makes it a little easier.

My friend Sherwood Dunlop was sharing with me how she feels and knows these cycles. She said, “Sometimes I’m crying and crying, and I have learned this is what it looks like when I’m growing.” It could be tears, it could be rain, it could be just the pressure of spring. But this is what happens when I’m growing. It feels like spring after the breakthrough.

These cycles of how we actually grow into ourselves, grow into our magnificence, are so easily seen in children. When you have a baby, you do nothing but adore it. The flow of the blessing is nonstop, both ways. The baby is looking at you like you are God, and you’re looking at the baby as the most beautiful creation you’ve ever seen. Even if it’s not your baby, that happens. This unending flow of love is right there in your arms.

Next comes the teaching. Small things at first, like how to eat or how to walk. It’s a process, you know: fall on your bottom, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat. Put the food in their mouth, they spit it out, repeat. There’s this process of doing it over and over again. Do it over and over again until they realize they’re hungry enough to keep the food in. Then teach them how to feed themselves. Put on a bib, let them make a mess, repeat.

And the process then goes to them knowing their independence: “I can feed myself and walk whenever I want.” And then they have the responsibility of letting themselves learn things on their own. Did you ever watch a child who’s just figured out how to move a toy or work a gadget and do it over and over a million times? They are teaching themselves with these repeating patterns.

There are things that we learn, just because we’re repeating them in the learning process. And one of them is how to keep opening up. How to keep opening up and learning what it feels like in this new field I just opened up. This is unfamiliar; it’s a little scary, but it’s amazing. And you have to actually be in it, be yourself in it, learn what it feels like in it, to know it. You will fall, and trip. And then when you’re feeling really sure of yourself, another whole field opens up. Wash, rinse, repeat, until the magnificence of your being is in communion with the divine, the invisible, the wonderful spirit that animates everything. You are that energy, you are a fine and high representation of it, and more and more you become this sun, this magnetic radiance of life.

It’s easy to see in children; it’s easy to see in nature. It’s not so easy to see in adults who feel really insecure about the fact that they think they should know what they’re doing. We don’t like making mistakes, especially in front of other people. We don’t like looking like a beginner, especially in front of other people. I tried to water ski for the first time at age fifty. That’s a very awkward thing to do, because you look clumsy and a little ridiculous, and your swimsuit is either falling off or in all the wrong places when you come up out of the water.

And yet there is a hunger for learning, for knowing, for cracking open; there is a hunger for knowing there’s more. And when there’s more, it’s not just more wonder—it’s more communion, more possibility, more ability to create, more tools in our hands, less tripping. I’m up for that. I don’t particularly like tripping, but I don’t judge tripping. I know the discomfort of breaking open or falling was brought to me for birth. Something’s happening because I’m tripping and feeling like a beginner, and crying into my growing. That image has stayed with me. It’s so beautiful. I sometimes look messy when I’m breaking open, when I’m growing.

I have this poem I’d like to read that states pretty well this desire in my life and my invitation to my world, my friends—an invitation to the parts of me that are still stubborn. To be honest, there are pieces of me that are more stubborn than others. There are things that seem too scary to let go of, even though they are not working. These words are for those places.

It’s called “We Will Open,” by David Karchere.

We will open those hidden portals
In the flesh
Which let this stellar light
Penetrate, at last
Those darkened corners
Of this grand, human obstinance.

O, yes, we will,
My dear companion,
We shall bring our simple answer
To this worldly fraud,
The preposterous travesty
Of a feigned human life.

And we will tell our souls,
And the souls of all men,
And all women,
To truly live,
To breathe,
And forget the ancient sadness
That assails the human heart.

O, yes, dear one,
We will live and breathe,
And bring beauty
To every corner of our being,
And as we do,
To every sea,
Every land,
To the four directions of this world,
And ask, for our Creator…

“Will you open now
To that spirit who you are?
Will you forsake now your hardened ways?
Will you now embrace
With your every cell and gland and tissue,
That power who made you,
That creative energy,
That being,
That flaming spark
Who is your God?

“Will you now?

“Can you now?”

Yes you can.

And you will be held
In heaven’s love,
As the light of the stars
Enters each earthly door,
Opening you
To the sacred reality
Of your inmost being.

Will you now? Will you now open to that magnificence of the sun within you that is your God, that you serve, that you are? Yes, you can. You can let all that flesh that is you be a sun. You can be done with all that is in your heart that saddens and holds you in the trap of limited understanding. Hear me now. Be with me now. Enjoy life with me now. Find a way to crack open to love—and wash, rinse, repeat.

Jane Anetrini
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