About a month ago things began shifting for me, but it was only the beginning of something greater occurring. First, I was inspired to write a book. Second, I got stumped during the process. Third, I let go and intuitively knew that the answer to the question I had, would come to me in its own casual time. I simply needed to listen for it. To be aware when it made its way toward me. This is the process of creativity. I placed my project aside and then listened with an open mind and heart.
Before the answer began peaking its head through the horizon, a weird phenomenon was occurring. People’s voices began sounding like jumbled noise. Whenever I turned on the car radio all I heard was something that sounded akin to turkey gobble. People jabbered away about sports, about celebrity news, about nonsense, and it all sounded like static to me. Facts facts facts. Gossip gossip gossip. No “truth” involved whatsoever. And when I say “truth,” I mean something that nurtures the mind and soul. All I heard was filler for the old rotting brain, like driving through Mc Donalds for a fake burger to quiet the starving belly as quickly as possible. Gobble gobble gobble. People were just talking about nothing, and my brain wasn’t converting their sounds into words that made sense.
Jumbled noise. White noise in the background of my open heart, while I was waiting for something more profound. Blah blah blah. People talking to me sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. Wah wah wah. Weird experience, but it continued, so I turned off my radio, and cut people off in mid sentence (not to be rude, but I simply couldn’t comprehend them). I wanted to yell, “STOP JABBERING! I can’t understand a word you are saying!” (Gobble gobble gobble.)
This last week, I took some time off of work and went on a four day silent retreat. I turned forty, and instead of having a big party with a bunch of noise (that I wouldn’t be able to understand anyway), I decided to enter into the sacred space of myself where I could actually receive some clarity. The world comes at you like madness. In every direction. In every form. Distractions distractions distractions. We gobble it up instead of revolting in a pissed off tone WTF? No. I’m not taking part in this. I’m not wasting my life away like this. Sometimes I feel like a cow on a farm, chewing away at the cud (unaware of the impending slaughter). Our culture is insane. And it has been for a very long time. When you open your eyes and look behind the scenes, you get a good whiff of bullshit, and you just want to barf. WTF am I doing? How far is Bali? Can I take my kid and bail from this madhouse? My bestie recently encouraged me when he heard me so distraught. He said that it was good to be in this moment in time, right now, with so much coming against us spiritually, because we get to wake up and be who we are meant to be. We have the opportunity to guide people along the way. It’s just like a movie we are playing a role in. If we are true to ourselves, we get to be the hero.
During the retreat, I felt a lot of discomfort in the beginning of the silence, but over the course of the four days, I relaxed with it, instead of resisting it. Of course, it eased. By the time I left there, I felt quite conscious. My writing took on a new form. It’s flowing like it hasn’t been for a couple of months. The second day I was there, one of the hosts of the retreat asked me to meet her in the meditation room. She wanted to sit with me and teach me one of her practices. Immediately she had me enter into my heart where I had a very clear image of a blazing fire. She asked me what was in my heart. I answered, “passion.” I don’t think she liked that word very much because she made me come up with another word. Well, I was clearly feeling passionate. The image of fire I was experiencing was as if I had swallowed a volcano that morning. She was trying to move me to a softer place, like “love,” so I came up with the next best word I could think of, which was “Compassion.” A simple play on words to satisfy this woman who knew nothing about what I was experiencing. When I am tuned in, the images come clear in my mind. I can’t change the images.
While she was talking to me about my heart, and the eternal “compassion” that was in there, a wild turkey walked right up to the window, looked me directly in the eyes, and squawked at my face. I have never heard such a ruckus come from an animal. It sounded like the noise a little spitfire dog would make if it were annoyed. We laughed, and stared, and then the turkey stopped. As soon as the woman began talking to me again, the wild turkey reved up its squawking. It was so loud, and hysterical! I was complety enamored by the bird. Every time she spoke, the turkey fired up his beak. Throughout the four days there, I saw several wild turkeys, and never once did they make that sound again.
Oh, the irony of that bird being there at that exact right time. The one time when it wasn’t silent – when someone was trying to turn my inner fire into cotton candy (just like the rest of the world does to our soul journey in the physical realm), there that turkey woke me up to myself. I love nature’s sense of humor.
Soon thereafter, I was back at work, sitting at a busy desk, getting bombarded with a million things. I felt so overwhelmed yesterday at in my office. I wanted to run away and cry. I can’t stress enough how we need to stop entertaining ourselves, quit running the rat race. Who was it that said, “You may win the race, but you’re still a rat?” Lily Tomlin, I think. We are a very lost culture because we don’t sit still and listen. We go go go. Gobble gobble gobble. I’m fortunate to have had this experience. I’m going to continue honoring the quiet space in my life where I can receive the abundance that the quiet has to offer. There is nothing like being tuned-in, clear, aware, and filled with peace. I would take that any day over fame and fortune. Fame and fortune do not create joy. Simple things like turkeys squawking in your face do, however.