STONE FOUR CONTINUED
Discern: It is my responsibility to discern what works for me and what does not, always remembering that what may not resonate with me today may resonate at another time.
Instruction: Be open to another try.
If we give up on the experience of riding a bicycle because the first time we tried we failed, then we deny ourselves the pleasure that comes from riding down a country road with the wind at our backs, a song in our hearts, and smiles on our faces. There are spiritual practices that we might have tried and given up on after a few attempts, or maybe after only one try. Just like riding a bicycle, had we continued trying, who knows what wonderful experiences we might have encountered. Stone Five isn’t about perseverance as much as it is about listening to our gut instincts. We do, however, need to separate our fear from our discernment and be willing to take a chance when our gut is telling us the risk will be worth it. Returning to our bicycle illustration, we might be afraid of falling and scratching our arms and legs. We might even be afraid of breaking a body part, but when we watch those who know how to ride, we want to experience the fun they are having.
There is a practice called auto-writing in which we are instructed to take a blank piece of paper, close our eyes and our minds, and write whatever comes to us. The first time I tried this exercise, I wrote nothing but gibberish. I was taking a class at the time, and I was embarrassed to have to tell the leader that I, who had written and published books, had failed to produce a single understandable sentence. I felt as if a voice was saying to me, “It isn’t time.” I had not written anything of note for about four years, and I was fine with that. I thought my writing life was over, and I had written all I had to say. About two months later, I sat down at the keyboard and decided I wanted to write a little bit. I started writing a little bit every day, and two months later I had the first draft of my next book. Was it auto-writing that worked for me? I don’t think so, at least not in the sense that I expected. What I found was that I had developed a spiritual connection to a degree that my words were not just my words, but I was receiving help from some Higher Source of inspiration. My point is that auto-writing didn’t resonate with me at the time, but I remained open to trying it again, or something similar, at a later time. I was fortunate to be able to discern what didn’t work for me, but also lucky that I was open to trying it again later.
Are there things in your life that you have been afraid to try even though you think the experience would be enjoyable? Or, are there things that you tried once or maybe even a few times, and you just didn’t seem to get the hang of it? What about spiritual practices? Have you tried and given up on meditation, or fasting, or memorizing portions of literature that has power to transform your life? Maybe it’s time to try again. You might be ready for it this time.
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