One of the fascinating aspects of this journey has been people’s many and varied reactions to the changes we are planning to make. For the most part, people have been really excited and even inspired by our decision to chuck in our regular lives and move out to the farm. Some have been directly or indirectly jealous in their reaction to us, clearly wishing to change something in their own lives but not quite able to do it right now. We perceive this as a inverted excitement – as the person would be excited if only they were doing what you are doing. Others have chosen to respond in a cautious or even negative way to this change. Mostly this reaction has come from a place of concern and care from people who love us and want us to be safe and protected, and who fear we may be taken advantage of in this unusual situation.
Of course, all of these reactions are contained within us too! We mostly feel excited, for ourselves, and by the idea as it unfolds….yet sometimes we feel scared, cautious and uncertain: Are we going to be okay? What will we do if this doesn’t work out? Those kind of thoughts are not uncommon or unreasonable given the situation. Its been a real spiritual exercise or ‘death walk’ to not allow oneself to be consumed by each of these reactions, but to try and remain centred and present, by not getting beyond this moment and what needs to be done here and now. It is easy to get carried away by fear and excitement – both are equally enticing in their own ways – and we have each succumbed to their powers at various times.
We have come to the conclusion that neither fear nor excitement are helpful if we get lost or stuck in them on this journey. Both can easily take us way off-course. Both can easily involve the ego. And because of the involvement of ego – both paths can certainly create pain. Fear creates it immediately, because you close up, shut down, withdraw…Excitement creates pain because it takes you up on a high that is not sustainable and eventually you have to crash land. Ouch! Instead, we are trying to just be present to our fear and our excitement as they arise, and just watch them, allow them, and where possible, use them to inform our journey and then just let them move on through…
In moderation, fear is a helpful ally – when we attend to our real fears it has helped us overcome shyness and ask questions about how things will work; or ask for support from people financially or practically that we might otherwise feel nervous to do…it has also helped problem solve different issues along the path; and through making us vulnerable, fear has brought us closer together and more deeply into relationship with ourselves, with our loved ones and with those we are moving into community with…
In moderation, excitement is also a helpful ally – when we attend to our deep excitement, then we allow our dreams to expand, we question what is possible, we get creative in our thinking; or we find energy we didn’t know we had; sometimes excitement will break through fear, apathy or depression and keep us moving forward rather than endlessly stagnating. Excitement has also connected us with others, through sharing common dreams, values, passions…or through inspiring others to take the next step towards their own dream…and the excitement of others has cheered us on at different times when we have really needed it.
So right here, right now, we want to thank everyone for all the reactions that you have had, and are having to our decision. Each of them supports us in some way to move forward more consciously towards our dream. It’s a big dream. We know it’s not all going to be a glorious, perfumed, sun-setting-over-ocean-type experience. We hope some of it will be! But nothing in reality is perfect or guaranteed. We know there is a chance it just won’t work. That’s a risk we are prepared to accept. And you know what we reckon – there isn’t a path in life without risk – but we do get to choose the paths we take and the risks we sign up to. And actually, when we have talked about it, we feel like we are not really taking such a big risk, because we really don’t have anything to lose – except this opportunity – and that would devastate us more than any other loss – to miss this opportunity to grow, evolve, create, live, dream and learn.
Here’s a little poem we just found:
It could happen anytime, tornado
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen,
Or sunshine, love, salvation.
It could, you know. That’s why we wake
and look out – no guarantees
in this life.
But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
And this quote is nice too:
The Buddha taught to lay down those things that lack a real abiding essence. If you lay everything down, you will see the truth. If you don’t, you won’t. That’s the way it is. And when wisdom awakens within you, you will see truth wherever you look. Truth is all you’ll see. Ajahn Chah
Our warmest wishes, Michelle & Rachel