“The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived.”
—Thomas Merton (from Thoughts in Solitude)
This is it. We’re finally here. We have arrived and are fully present and accountable.
We have made it to 2022.
The last couple of years have given us plenty to grieve and to mourn. This simple fact of survival is no small feat. Our minds, our bodies, our ideas, and beliefs about what is normal and what is right have faced challenges from all directions.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little worn out.
In this moment, as we cross this threshold of time, we’re supposed to be able to say that we’ve learned our lesson, made up for our mistakes, and that we’re ready and resolute to move into the new year. Some things are worth letting go, no doubt.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in this Covid-climate is about my relationship to time and what it has revealed to me about space. Like so many, facing lockdowns and isolation, I leaned into learning.
And then the teachers arrived.
It’s a good thing too because I lost my job, our marriage was suffering, and we were living in-between homes in a boom-and-bust real estate market. We were a tractor away from the makings of a great country song.
Hearing Abraham Hicks utter, “Everything is always working out for you” was hard to grasp in those moments, but it kindled a fire in me that has been a-blaze ever since: that feeling good is more important than being right; that energy is greater than matter; that no one else can tune my frequency for me, and therefore, that I am solely responsible for my own alignment.
It’s been a revelation. Two eyes looking outward and judging, replaced by the one eye seeing inward and observing. It’s not you. It’s me.
The only enduring, sustainable victory is born in absolute surrender.
We call it retreat, which can imply running away from something. And we say we’re going ‘on retreat,’ which can make it sound like we’re going on medication. Both of these sentiments are true of course. We are trying to get away—from the noise, the stress, the problems of school and life; and we are taking a pill, a spiritual one for sure, but it’s an elixir we seek nonetheless, something external, something we don’t possess but know we need.
In 2020, what we began to hear and slowly learn to practice was another kind of ‘retreat’—not as something we’re going from, but rather as something we’re coming into. Hicks has helped us to find a vocabulary for this journey. And the teachings of Dr. Joe Dispenza (Becoming Supernatural, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself) have revealed the science of the practices we’re using to get there, or rather, to be here, or even better, as Ram Dass urges, to Be Here Now.
This retreat into the moment has allowed us to penetrate, to perform, and to reenact one of the great mysteries of Creation—our (re)birth into God, into Source energy.
What a feeling! It’s wonderful! That’s how we know we’ve found the path, that we’re on the trail. Nothing this good could come from anything bad. Signs abound.
So like Hicks advises, “we get ready to be ready to be ready.” We close our eyes and breathe in and out and we discover something where we thought there was nothing, and we feel and experience what we’ve been waiting for all along—synchronicity, connection, belonging. We practice feeling good.
Ernest Hemingway once wrote that courage is “grace under pressure.” We live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded by unholy pressures—pressure to look a certain way, to act a certain way, to enact a corrupt mythology that destroys our bodies, minds, relationships, and spirits.
Yet, despite this reality, there’s a lot right with the world too. It is you. It is now. It is breathing and being and holding ourselves and one another with love and kindness, forgiveness, and grace.
It’s about what we do next.
So, we breathe in and observe the space between us, the space within ourselves. And we breathe out and lean into the noticing, which feels a lot like vulnerability. We don’t need to read Brené Brown to discover the Atlas of the Heart (although it definitely doesn’t hurt). Only a willingness to play in the field of awareness, be emotionally honest, and devote ourselves and our relationship to the practice.
The meditation is the manifestation, and the practice is the retreat. This moment, the holiest of all.
To get what we want we must feel it first. There can be no higher priority, no more important work.
So, our brothers and sisters, blessings to you all as you embark on this journey. You’re never alone. Your Source abides.
We’ll meet you there.
By Ryan Allen & Meghan Nelson, Lumin Therapy
Lumin Therapy provides integrative health and education for the mind, body, and spirit to those who are suffering or struggling to step into and live their heartfelt mission and purpose. Through the practice of physical therapy, medical therapeutic yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and resiliency mentoring, Dr. Meghan Nelson, DPT, and Dr. Ryan Allen, PhD, bring their over forty-plus combined years of knowledge and experience serving others to learn and heal and live without boundaries.