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From Storehouse to Guesthouse

October 10th, 2011 by Cassandra Eve from Living Feminine Essence

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture.
Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be cleaning you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Rumi (translation by Coleman Barks)

To be a sensitive human being, to be deeply touched by the eternally changing tapestry of life, is a gift of our humanness. Yet how many of us can say we’re truly at home with all our feelings? Like the weather they are unpredictable, sometimes violent. They make us feel vulnerable, uncomfortable, embarrassed or out of control. But what if there is a power of creation within our emotions that is a key to life itself? Would we then look differently at our darkest shadows?

The nature of life on Earth is transformation. Everything natural gets recycled, expressing an innate balance that flows from chaos to harmony. All creation changes form at some point to return to its creator. What is old must be transformed into what is new. It is the same in us. Energy needs to flow and transform.

If we look to the source of our emotions we see they arise from patterns created through experience. We have an experience; we have a belief about that experience, then we store the energetic response within body-mind as emotion. Rather than transforming all experience into new life flow, human beings have become storehouses of patterned responses. We created identity; a ‘me’ of experiences and beliefs about experiences that have emotional charge. Rather than knowing ourselves as flowing beings we have become caught in our own creation.

To loosen up and find our flow as free beings, to evolve as conscious co-creators of life, we need to develop new responses to life. What has been created longs to return to its creator, to the light of consciousness. Freeing up our storehouse of emotions is not only a necessity in these times of great change; it is a gift to all beings. Everything comes from consciousness; everything returns there – except in the human realm. To be fully conscious of what we create on Earth, new ways of being that facilitate a free flow of consciousness all the way home to source must arise. Rumi’s poem points the way. Here are a few discoveries I’ve made that may shine a light for you too.

  • Allowance – the Big Mama response to emotion.
    Arms wide open I warmly accept and welcome emotion as a guest who has come to teach me something valuable about myself. Only in warmly embracing those human qualities I find difficult is there a possibility of real change. Allowance is not condoning, justifying or making excuses for myself, it is true self-love. It is a big warm heart calling her children home.

  • Recognition of reality – I am not this emotion; this emotion is in what I am – consciousness. Emotion and experience, no matter how all-consuming, are always changing. Consciousness, the true nature of a human being, is the eternal non-moving state inside all movement and change. When I recognize this, everything begins to change naturally. I no longer need to process or analyze emotions. I realize there is nothing I need to fix or heal about my humanness. In open-heartedness it naturally returns home.

  • Response-ability – no blame; no shame; no games.
    Whatever the emotion moving in me, it is asking to return home to its source – love – through me. When I realize it is my responsibility to transform all the emotion I feel inside me, no matter the circumstance, rapid growth begins to take place. It is not always easy to be this response-able to life but it is a key to real freedom. When I embrace the darkness fully I become an authentic light. Action naturally arises.

  • Tenderness – the action of compassion.
    When I am tender with myself, I cease being the pretender that everything is spiritually ok. I open to the fragility and the sometimes terribleness of being human. Tenderness is the soothing balm that allows the heart to stay open, tears to flow if they need to, honest words to be spoken, or a hand to be outstretched in love.

Emotions are doorways into new possibilities. When we gently and fully open to the emotional experience of being human we also open up the potential of creating a new feeling experience of life. When emotions are allowed and understood as part of the evolution of consciousness, ‘cleaning out for some new delight’ becomes sweet. We enjoy the flow of life’s inner weather, from sunshine to storm in the recognition of its true purpose – the uplifting of a human being into a place of conscious co-creativity and endlessly new life experience.

Poem courtesy of Harper San Francisco, 2004, ISBN 0-06-250959-4

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