How do you listen to and follow your soul?
For many lifetimes, we've lived in ignorance of our soul. The space has not been provided to embody the soul and so we've experienced life mostly as separate from all things with events and circumstances happening hap-hazardly and randomly with no seeming deeper meaning or purpose. Then one day, we might pause for a moment in the merry-go-round of life, realise that way of living does not serve us and for the first time, hear the quiet voice of the soul in our hearts; and supremely magical it is when that happens. So how do we tune in and listen to the soul the whole time? How can we fully infuse and embody our soul in our lives?...
Connecting to the universal flow
It is exactly these questions that I personally asked one day having awoken to the interconnectedness of all life. I realised my life was just not serving me. Sometimes I'd feel really connected to the universal life flow and when I was, everything seemed magical, life just 'dropped into place'. It was like living in a movie, a dream, where everything conspired to create miracles personally for me. Then sometimes, the flow would seem to stop almost completely. I'd get into tightness and frustration. I'd lose trust in our interconnectedness and the ultimate benevolence of the universe. For quite some time, I found myself in this continual yo-yo ride, sometimes up, sometimes down.
Living in this place simply did not serve me. I'd try to shape things, to manifest or control, but a short while later the bubble would burst and I'd be left dazed and confused wondering what on earth was going on? I realised I needed a deeper level of surrender. I realised there was simply nothing else to do but to really learn how to tune into my soul and follow it. I reached this point where I said: "Right, nothing in this physical world of separation really serves me. I'm going to 'sit right here' until you show me how to follow you."
Following which, I felt a pull to head off for a week into meditation on the South Coast of England. During this time, I had a truly life changing experience - my life has certainly never been the same again. I've wrote about my "Gateway 2" experience fully in my book Five Gateways for those interested. In brief, I was given a truly miraculous experience on how to follow the soul. I've come to know it as "Openhand Approach".
In short, I was handed a process by benevolence which is deftly simple in its explanation, yet simply earth shattering in it's life changing potential. It can be summarised as follows:
- "Living with an open mind, open heart,
receiving hand, giving hand
in EVERY SINGLE MOMENT"
What exactly does this mean?
Firstly "open mind" means not judging situations as 'good' or 'bad' and not getting lost in the external drama of life by moving to the place of the Observer of ourselves. We simply watch ourselves in the external drama ultimately relinquishing our attachment to what is going on. We discover ourselves as that which is beyond our thoughts, feelings and emotions.
In so doing, we become able to feel much more of the full depth, beauty and divine magic of life itself because we're not continually contracting and closing down around the need for a particular outcome or agenda; we're staying more open to what the moment is truly revealing. And so the "Heart Centre" begins to open ("open heart"). We start tuning into the deeper story of life, its true meaning and purpose.
As the Heart Centre opens, we begin to engage with a "pull" in life wanting to take us in a particular direction, wanting to engage us with choices in the moment. Sometimes it lands in our hearts, sometimes it pops straight into mind "this is the way to go now". Where does this pull lead? This is where misunderstanding can creep in. The purpose of the pull is to lead us in a direction which liberates our soul and helps us radiate our true beingness through life. What stops us doing that the whole time? It is of course all those situations where we get frustrated, tight, worried, expectant or needy. So if we follow the pull (or the knowing), it will take us EXACTLY into all those situations of tightness, EXACTLY so we experience working to let them go. Walking the Path of the soul requires this constant constant choice to overcome our conditioning. There is no way out but through.
So "receiving hand" is all about receiving the energy of the universe - the pull - and surrendering into those circumstances where we get tight. It's about truly feeling the tightness and honouring our experience, even if that means getting angry, but then ultimately witnessing our distortions, accepting ourselves as the creators of our experience and then owning our response to the moment. So if we do get angry, realising the purpose of the moment was to reveal that and that we created it exactly to be a mirror to ourselves. When we're truly honest with ourselves in this way, it affords us the opportunity to make a higher choice - one which dissolves the old patterning and liberates our new beingness in those circumstances...
- "Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and freedom."
If we keep surrendering in this way, over time (and it is definitely an acquired skill we have to keep developing), we become able to perceive the energy of the moment in truth and receive the natural flow of the universe as it really is, understanding exactly what we are being invited to do (this is "receiving hand").
By always coming from this place of surrendered openness, we learn how to calmly rest in the 'pregnant pause' before the moment is born, rise above the conditioned behaviours that would have us act in a certain pre-programmed way and instead give ourselves to the expression of our highest truth which more accurately defines our destined way of being.
This is what "giving hand" means. To hold an internal open space and allow the spontaneous magic of pure beingness to simply arise. We don't create it, we don't manifest or control it. This simply closes the space in which the soul is wanting to emerge. We simply have to hold that open space until authenticity happens. When it starts to emerge, we give ourselves completely to the arising energy, building thought, emotion, word and deed around this Right Action.
Sometimes this Right Action can be surrendered, accepting and quiet, sometimes it is powerfully creative, passionate and vociferous. Sometimes it wants to support a harmony, sometimes it wants to break apart a lower one. Sometimes it is the leader, sometimes it is the follower. Sometimes it is serious, sometimes it is humorous. The point is, if we're truly listening to the soul, we never know what it is until it arises (it can help to understand what the authentic characteristic are. You can read about those in this article...The Seven Rays of Divine Impulse).
Yes it takes courage, yes it takes patience, yes it takes absolute commitment, but we are all seeded for success, we all have a natural aptitude for this soul speak if we would only give it the space to breathe.
A way of life, not a lifestyle
Of course this is exactly the problem in living in our society. Society does not want us to have the space to be open. It wants us to make immediate decisions, it wants us to follow pre-programmed choices, it wants us to conform to 'designer' life-styles, to meet its daily deadlines (interesting word!), targets and goals, instead of our own genuine aspirations. It is this that keeps the 'gravy train' rolling. Society can't afford for you to leave the not-so-merry-go-round.
But ultimately, the choice will present itself to you. You'll feel it in your heart: "whatever happens today and from this day forth, I simply know the ONLY path that will truly serve me is that decided by my soul". When you feel this land, then, for the first time in your life, you truly have a free choice: to follow the pull or not.
If you do start to follow the pull, I'd commend to you giving "Openhand Approach" a try. In all it's simplicity, it is a profound gift from Benevolent Consciousness. It has helps you determine your unique way in life.
For those with further interest: you can see a summary of the approach here...Openhand Approach. We help people learn and integrate the approach on our retreat and course program. Maybe you'd like to attend one of these? (see the events section top right). And as previously mentioned, it's written about at great depth in our book Five Gateways. We commend it to you as a powerful life changing process.