I found this quote today in one of my little books where I jot down inspirations when they arise.
“True generosity is the absence of giving yourself away to your habit patterns.”
I’m not sure when or how this moments wisdom occurred to me, but as I read these words freshly now, I am inspired to en-flesh them with this moments honesty and explore if this is also something you can resonate with.
A big habit pattern of mine that I have been slowly discovering how to set down is that of pushing myself too hard. Taking on too many commitments at once and then throttling myself into overwhelm. Perpetually living in a kind of “putting out the fire” nervous system mode because everything feels so urgent and important and ‘mine’ to respond to.
Essentially in the Open Human Heart work that I have been involved with over the last number of years, ( Thank you Adam Gainsburg and OHH community!) we would call this behavior, “choosing too much” or “choosing inappropriately”.
This behavior is actually more torturous and dangerous on the ‘inside’ then it sounds, although so normalized in western culture.
For many years this looked on the ‘outside’ like “normal bay area life”. I had the company of most everyone around me doing their version. Hustling to cover the overhead of our “415 paradigm problems”. Driving around to see clients, eating in the car on my way to here and there or not making time to eat at all. Taking on way too many appointments in a day and over extending myself in my sessions. Going over time and thus losing any spare moments for self care. Generally all around multi-tasking and running on empty as a modus operandi.
All the while holding the space of being a wisdom teacher, guide and ‘healer’ for others. Inviting everyone else to make themselves their first priority, while often I was my last. I was holding the space for others who were actually much more resourced than I was on many levels.
This habit pattern perpetuated the myth of scarcity and that I had to ‘prove my worth.’ Not enough time to include myself in my life. My life was not for me, but for serving everyone else.
Ironically, I appeared to many as being so incredibly generous, ‘successful’ and grounded in the wisdom teachings of which I espoused.
I was often told this in fact. Which only fed the illusion that being run by my nervous system was actually working! Oh yes— it was working, in service of the co-dependent bonds with the ones who were benefitting from “my generosity!”
Sure, I fit the cliche in that I sat in the fire of my own medicine or more honestly— ‘martyrdom’.
A more compassionate lens would say, “we teach what we most need to learn or embody.”
Confession though; this habit pattern was actually an act of cruelty because it ALWAYS guaranteed the feeling on the inside that I was FAILING in relation to my own deepest integrity.
Failing myself and my deeper assignment with God.
Ouch. This pattern became so painful that eventually it broke me open to finally making a different choice for myself and for my life.
I began to give myself the generous permission to have myself and my ‘assignment with God’ as my first priority of attention. This commitment require’s that I slow down and actually enjoy the practices that I teach which are essentially about aligning with the way reality unfolds as natural law. Staying connected to the field of nature and allowing my channel to be open to receive what is here.
Amazingly enough, when I slow down to the pacing that allows a quality of growing and learning at the speed of love; a mutuality, a partnering with the intelligence of ‘the field of nature’ becomes my deepest, most intimate relationship. All guidance and clear knowing of what is actually mine to do arises naturally; there is no need to push or strain.
Can you relate in your own life, in your own ways to what I share here? I know that this not a unique pattern to me by any means, but more of a trauma symptom of a culture out of balance.
Here in Bali, I am still honestly recovering, stabilizing and individuating from this ‘trauma’ of western culture that I speak to. I needed to put my body in a field of wild alive abundant nature and a culture based in genuine kindness, trust and open hearted sanity. Here, I am experiencing the next level of unwinding and purification from this insidious habit pattern.
It is a real thing to individuate from our culture!! To reclaim our values; live them and in turn impact and create new cultures.
As I entrain more and more each day with a culture that reflects my own internal values, I feel supported to be myself and to honor my values in kind. ( Bali has its priorities straight: devotion, kindness, balance, generosity, beauty – repeat.)
I have witnessed only brief moments where the old program that I speak of here, attempts to rear its head as if to say:
“over-ride-push harder-getter-done, with that hyper-masculine-head-dominator-matrix-nervous system- ouch, crush it mode hammer”. Like little spurts of an old dying dinosaur in its last breaths, it is so easy to recognize and NOT CHOOSE that habit pattern program here.
Mother is literally waving through every gentle breeze, every gecko’s tail waggle, every bird call and cicada symphony. She is smiling through the kind eyes of the Balinese people and softly kissing my tired heart, saying, it’s ok for you to rest, to be here and just be you.
“YOU are a part of US. We are a part of YOU.
Live. Breath. Receive your Inter-Being.
It is safe to feel the gentle joy of just being alive. Nothing you have to do to prove your love to anyone or anything. Nothing you have to do. Period.”
In these moments of deeply allowing myself to receive this message, I notice a spontaneous prayer arises through me as if to breath this moments blessing into my every cell and then to exhale and extend this prayer into and through all of my web of connections. As if my heart desires anyone else out there in the field that is in any way struggling with being controlled by that old program, to know that you too can let it go…
This field of loving, opulent abundance we call nature; that beats your heart, breaths your lungs and circles this planet around the sun, has made a home for you too. It’s called, ‘your living center’. All you need do is rest here.
And then the in-breath returns, reminding me that what I am learning is that to be true to my commitment requires that I choose me, being human as Ajaya first, just here in my open feeling heart/belly core.
That through being right here in this location, this body, this beating heart and relaxed belly, I become a target for receiving that which creation wishes to create through me.
“We” are in partnership.
The nourishing substance of my own essence is not elsewhere.
God is not elsewhere.
Creative inspiration is not elsewhere.
Life is not elsewhere.
Abundance is the true generosity of the universe expressing itself as Love.
Of course, regardless of where our location is; Bali, New York City, Tibet, Timbuktu, you and I both know that the ‘work’ if we want to call it that, is the same.
We are designed to discover and live from this internal space of freedom, grace and ground that both liberates and anchors us to this very life.
Regardless of circumstances and conditions of mind, body or environment. I think the point (if there is one) to all spiritual practices is to deliver the aspirant into this freedom as well as this holy ground.
Because the truth is, we are not in control of anything.
But we are at choice and in charge in every moment as to what we give our attention to and how well we respond from either standing upon the ground of our values or falling into the trap of our old nervous system habit patterns of reaction.
Now that is true generosity.
I am finding that my ability to show up for others now and to genuinely guide them into their own unique discovery of this inner terrain is truly an effortless grace and honor.
I invite you to try this on for yourself:
“True generosity is the absence of giving myself away to my habit patterns.”
Please share your version of this if you resonate and are so inclined to share.