Keep quiet, let the mind flail around and burn itself out with exhaustion… you don’t need to go to war with life, trying to subdue and submit it to some image of how it ‘should be’. Eventually you’ll come to recognise the constant ground in all of this is you, awareness you. Awareness that holds within it all the multitudes and flavours of experiencing, effortlessly without tire. Keep quiet and this shall be known, the seeing is the only doing necessary, all else that you find yourselves doing is in support of that… every practice, every book, every teaching, every circumstance that life throws at you, every dead-end, every challenging relationship, every ‘wrong’ turn… all in support of life showing you the nature of life, showing the groundless ground of Being – Awareness. Consciousness. Self.
“Open Awareness is not something you identify with; it’s something you realise you are when all identifications fall away.”
“Hold all that arises gently in loving awareness”
Awakening is not transactional, it’s not a goal to achieve, it’s a calling of grace in our heart that is listened to. It’s a sinking in to our nature, our birth right. It’s a letting go and a surrender to the present moment and all that that is. So as such, it’s a gift.
How can it be possible to contain all of these seeming contradictions and paradoxes?
Yet it is very much possible, as we all are the living example of this. The living example that the Self has room for it all. While the mind cannot fathom this… the heart sinks into the truth of it.
“Let us not be led by fear and hate, but by love and trust. For as long as we have our loyalty be to love we will have the strength to walk through even the darkest of nights.”
It’s hard to believe that we just have to be ourself and that is enough. It’s enough to include all that we are and exclude none of it. Most of us feel that life requires the opposite of this, and so to have that recognition “that I am enough” feels like a miracle, a miracle that we doubt all too easily as not being true. But it is it nonetheless, that we get to be who we are, entirely ourself, no bells or whistles and this is enough, this is it. It’s a wonderful realisation because at the end of the day that’s all we’ve got anyway. When we’ve been stripped of all ideas and ideals of everything we think we ‘should’ be and left naked standing here as we actually are.
We never think that which we are could be loved, or maybe even liked if we show the entirety of ourself. We feel that for sure we have to work very hard to not be this or that part of ourself. But life teaches us that if you learn to love all of YOURSELF, you are free. And in that freedom, those that gather around you, will love you for you, not a mirage or a straight jacket that you have to maintain.
This is true relating, this is true and unconditional love. The ability for you to be you and them to be them, life to be life. It’s not some grand gesture of love, but the loving acceptance and non judgement of the full expression of life as lived through you.
Does this mean we don’t grow or ‘improve’, nurturing those best sides of ourself? No. It means that our best sides of ourself, our love, our compassion, our acceptance, our understanding give room and space for it all too. And in this we become more than just those parts we call our worst aspects. In this we realise that we are so much more, we realise that these aspects pale in comparison to the ground that we are, the love that we are.
“The mess IS the harmony”
Quote from ConsciousTV Interview
“Forgiveness bottoms out in the recognition of there’s nothing to forgive; life is orchestrated perfectly as a rhythm of growth”
- That sense of wrongness in you…Give this to the heart.The heart will have roomfor even the mostpernicious sense of wrongness.The mind will chatter awaysaying there’s a need to act on it, fix itbut the heart…the heart can just letthat sense of wrongness be there,holding space for it…giving love to it even,understand it’s misunderstanding.The heart has compassion and spacefor even the worst sense of wrongness.
“There’s an emptiness at the heart of Being by which all else is known”
“Have your loyalty be to this moment, not to the imaginations of what the conditioned mind says it ‘should’ be.”
“Letting go of past habits, conditioning and unexplored assumptions is a natural byproduct of awakening and very much part of the process.”
“Life doesn’t discriminate between experiences. All is held, all is accepted, all is experienced.”
“Love is the very experience of Self knowing its Self in all forms.”
“Trust and surrender require you to be everything and nothing all at once.”
“Forgiveness comes from acceptance. When we can accept all that occurs into our hearts then the fullness of true forgiveness can be felt.”
What is your capacity to be with loss, to be with grief and sadness and loneliness, to be with fear? What is your capacity to embody all aspects of the human experience, not just the ‘good’ stuff?
It’s not that we need to go looking for this stuff, court it, wallow in it, seek it out. But it will inevitably find you, one way or another. If you spend your life running from this, finding safe ground away from the mud and melee of life, when it does show up it will feel overwhelming and scary, it will feel like it could break you, even worse, it could kill you. This safe space, this gilded cage that you have created from life will be shaken to the core. Your fragility will become apparent.
Freedom is the ability to encompass and embrace it all, it’s the antifragility of life. It’s the allowance of the full expression of life to move through you unimpeded.
Root out where you are feeling fragile with life. Become aware of it and the tendency to avoid it at all cost.
The seeing of this tendency, the noticing of what it FEELS like, how the body responds will give you your clues as to where life is calling for you to meet it still. You may not feel you have the capacity to meet life in the way it wants you to, but you do. We as humans are amazing creatures, the capacity of life to be lived through us is infinitely wise. The only boundary we often have are the boundaries of the mind, the doubts, the fears, the what ifs.
Give it a try, let go, surrender into the wisdom that life is bringing to your feet, the gift it is trying to give you.
Even if only a little, open that clenched fist you have on life, and let it all come in, you’ll be surprised at the space and loving embrace that you already have available to you, to be present for it all.
“Fall in love with this moment”
Q: I’ve been a seeker for many years, and am getting simply tired and exhausted with it … I’ve had my share of spiritual experiences that their memory has kept me going in feeling that the “Self” is not a charade created to soothe the aching soul of us. So I just sat with your kind Divine Light Transmission. Thank you, greatly appreciated what you are doing. I must confess I kind of gave up on any hope for this life … I’ve suffered a lot internally. I get confused when I see some hope like you “transmit”. It’s sometimes easier to keep ones head down and push till the end of this one and hope that we are just matter and that we don’t have to thru this again and again or if we do — just get the next phase of it. I felt you are a kindred soul and might have some words of advice in these turbulent times which my internal life seems to reflect.
[Note: This is a shortened version of a message I received with all the personal details taken out.]
Imogen: I would say it’s less hope and more love, freedom and the seeming paradox of fullness AND emptiness that is being transmitted and then recognised by you, in you; the unconditional love and acceptance of life. The human mind, the human conditioning, comes up with all sorts of weird and wacky conditions and expectations that it sets on life, none of which are truly true in the greater context of life, the context of consciousness. They are partial and fleeting relative truths that our mind takes to be something all together more pervasive, and this causes an awful lot of suffering, discomfort and discontent with life.
For me it’s been very much a path of dropping all expectations, conditions and limits of any ‘shoulds’ and coming to be with life in the present moment, entirely innocently and honestly almost like a curious scientist observing the happening of life moment by moment without drawing conclusions, just experiencing life with almost a child-like wonder. This allows for the inclusion of all and the rejection of none which brings a great sense of liberation from the confines of life as we thought we knew it.
To me awakening isn’t some grand big ‘other’ state or thing to ‘get’, it’s not spiritual experiences in themselves either. It’s a dropping into this moment fully. It’s the recognition of it all as an appearance in consciousness that gives rise to the entirety of life, the good, the bad AND the ugly. When you really see this (experientially) there’s a sort of surrender that comes around. A union WITH life, AS life, rather than a constant striving and war with life.
You mention a giving up or an exhaustion with seeking…. To me this is actually a good thing believe it or not! The ego/mind has exhausted itself and it’s need to control and find, next and next and next. The search for something other than THIS. It becomes recognised in your very Being and also felt in the body (exhaustion) that the seeking mind leads down yet another road that is oh so familiar, another endless dead end of more searching. The seeking mind is the opposite of the peace and contentment that is found when one surrenders TO LIFE and falls in love with WHAT IS, exactly AS it is, moment to moment.
Awakening isn’t a flashy ‘spiritual experience’ (although they can show up along the way too) it’s to become aware of, to awaken to what life is, what you are, awareness-consciousness. It’s to see that you are the sky and the clouds (or content – including the mind and all phenomena) are doing as clouds do, passing in the sky. Sometimes there are thunderstorms, sometimes there are clear skys. But not once does the sky try to hold on to any of it, it simply experiences it all, has room for it all, accepts it all, as part of the play of life. To me this is the love of life, this is the freedom of life, when you’re not identified as being the clouds, but the clouds being IN you!
Practically speaking my small tidbit of advice would be, find and root out where your shoulds or expectations of life lie… is there a gulf between those and the reality of life? Where is your loyalty, to your imaginations and therefore conditions of what ‘should be’, or to life as it is? When you allow yourself to really and fully let go of expectations and shoulds, do you find that a space of ease opens up? Drop thoughts of future or past, be present to this moment without limits or conditions on what this moment ‘should’ contain with in it…. Do you find there is still a ‘problem’ or discontent with this moment? Do you find that life allows and has room for all that is arising to be there, without exception?
I guess all this is to say, from this perspective do you feel like you are at war with life, or are you ALL that life IS?
The ‘Conversations & Questions’ series comes from snippets of conversations taken from emails, 1-on-1 sessions, group meetings or in-person conversations. I take out any personal or sensitive content, but often these conversations have a universality to them that can be helpful to more than just one person. Feel free to get in touch via email, social media or even post your question in the comments below and I may answer them in this way…
A little morning tidbit from a conversation on my Beyond Imogen WhatsApp group. Loving the conversations and sharings on there that have been happening… To think, I was so skeptical about this idea of a WhatsApp group 🤷♀️
If you are curious and want to join: https://chat.whatsapp.com/LVsmb0CBpFNFryfnSmjOVw
In response to someone recognizing the need for surrender in their life…
“When we surrender to life the recognition comes about that even the efforts brought about by apparent personal ‘will’ are actually the effects of Grace too; A seed planted in the heart that we claimed as our own through misunderstanding. In this way even doing is an act of surrender when it’s seen that there is no doer, just life playing as life does through you as this embodiment of life.”
By Grace there has been
a fierce love of life,
love of love,
love of truth,
planted in the heart
as a tiny tender seed.
That seed grows
in the soil of mess and muck,
where unmet and unseen
feelings of life live.
Where the hardship and sorrow,
fear and loneliness,
doubt and confusion,
lack of self love
and self acceptance
Yet that hardy seed still grows.
Not in spite of, but because of.
It finds its roots, its stem, its leaves
in amongst depression and grief,
hopelessness and despair,
and it used them as fuel
for a it’s tender blossoming
fruit and flower.
That seed grows into a mighty oak.
And that oak knows the true meaning
of unconditional love and acceptance.
That oak knows its Self.
Its fruition may have been hard won,
fought in the mud and messiness of life.
But in that messiness
was found to be true harmony.
It was found to be all.
It was found to be Self.
It was found to be HOME.
“Silence isn’t something that needs to be filled, it’s to be honoured and nurtured.”
We go lurching from one action to another all in the name of trying to pin down and find a sense of stability, find a resolution. All to avoid or fix the strong feelings and sensations arising in the body-mind. If only we could slow down or even stop in those moments, find our centre, find our inherent stability of Beingness and then observe what action comes about from this. Not an action based out of reactivity and fear but an action based from the quietness and centered-ness, stability even, of Self. An action that isn’t impeded by the conditioned mind, an action that is natural, spontaneous and correct for the moment.
Trying to ‘get away from’ is the source of so much suffering, quite often the thing we’re trying to get away from isn’t half as much trouble and suffering as the act of trying to avoid the feeling or sensation arising around it.
We jump from moment to moment constantly chasing or being chased, never realising that what we seek isn’t over there but here… in this moment, in the heart of this experience should we take the time to look, to BE.
What it actually takes is the willingness to sink into this moment and let everything else be as it is. Let everything else come and go without getting involved with managing the traffic like a traffic cop for phenomenal content.
What it takes is the willingness to sit in the fire and intensity of the moment until it burns itself out and gives way to the next moment.
What it takes is the self love and holding of space without conditions and judgements of all that arises.
And what it takes is having loyalty to being, not loyalty to thoughts and ideas of shoulds.
Excerpt from the poem “By Grace“