It seems to me like there is strong background music of fear wafting through our shared space. You’ve likely heard that music, too: fear of the state of the economy; fear that other political party is or is going to way mess things up; bone deep fear around the impacts of the oil gusher in the gulf on people, dolphins, birds and the entire planet; fear that I’m not living my life as I should be; fear for our children, grandchildren, and future generations – just to name some of the strains floating through the air.
Maybe being mortal humans in a dangerous world means there will always be some form of background drumming or strumming that keeps us on our toes, ready to fight or flee. And maybe how noticeable that scary music is depends on our own inner rhythm. It still seems to me that the background music to much of our shared experience resembles the suspense building, adrenaline pumping, terror inducing soundtrack of horror movie. We all are on our toes, really quick to take a swing or run away or go completely, frozenly numb.
(Or maybe this is just me, because, as my friend Lynne says, for each of us “it’s always all about me”.)
Whether about the little me or the bigger me that includes many more of us, I’ve decided that I want to become more aware of when I am acting from fear and how I can do that more consciously. I want to become aware of the background music and decide for myself how I want to dance to it. I want to get past numb and knee jerk fear so that I can clearly tune into my inner knowing, my inner rhythm, my inner awareness of the best steps for me to take no matter what tune others are dancing to. I want to know what I really need to be afraid of and how to best respond to that fear.
I was inspired by something I read in Robert Moss’s book, The Three “Only” Things, tapping the power of dreams, coincidence & imagination (highly recommended!). At one point he writes about the indigenous people of the Andaman Islands off of the coast of India. They somehow knew about the December 2004 tsunami and fled to the highlands before it wiped out their coastal village. I write this again – a group of what we might describe as primitive people knew ahead of time that there was a real danger they needed to act upon and they did so. They survived because they listen to the messages in their dreams. According to Moss, “By tradition, the fierce Andaman islanders are group dreamers who gather at night in their community ‘big houses’ to dream the means of survival and progress for the whole community.” And they listen to the wind and the animals, letting their deep connection with nature inform them. They trust their inner knowing and are not afraid to act on it. They trust their dreams for their survival – and it works!
That’s what I want – the ability to get the messages from my dreams and on the wind and through the songs of the birds and the courage to act on this knowing. When I think of the Andaman Islanders I am in awe of their ability to simply walk away. It seems to me that this is the hardest part about trusting our intuition – we have to be willing to walk away from, to completely drop, anything else we are attached to. How many of us could simply walk away from our homes and possessions? How many of us can just drop a closely held set of expectations? How many of us might respond to an urgent intuitive message with something like “I can’t do that now because I have to meet this deadline”, or “I have to quickly answer this email”, or “I have to stay on the course already set for myself right now”?
I want to feel the fear that comes from my inner knowing and pushes me to act in possibly outrageous ways, if necessary, for the sake of my long term survival and thrival (my invented word for thriving). I don’t want the fear that is the distracting background music, part of the group mind that keeps me agitated but unaware of actions to take that are right for me. That background music of fear is keeping me from hearing the wind, noticing my dreams, trusting my own choices.
Hmmmm…. How do I get what I want? (Because it’s all about me getting what I want.)
I’m thinking a first step is to stay aware of the background music, really aware, so that I am able to sort out what’s out there and what’s within me. A next step is to pay attention to my dreams and the messages on the wind which means taking time for the subtle, for the ephemeral, for being in nature. After that maybe it’s to look at what I’m holding onto so tightly it might be holding me back from acting on my inner knowing (I’m guessing that’s a big hunk of stuff to sort through.) And I’m pretty sure I need to be ready to trust myself even if it seems foolish or out of step with the popular beat. I sure do wish I had a community to dream with each night.