- 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“
“Unconditional acceptance heals all sense of wrongness and shame.”
I was reflecting the other day on the fact that I had a massive shift in 2015, a shift that the consequences of which continue to unfold and deepen still today, so much so that I’m unrecognisable in so many ways.
That change required those closest to me, those that interacted and related with me intimately to change in those relationships too. It’s not something that could be avoided, and it wasn’t their choice if this change occurred or not. But it also wasn’t my choice too. Life changed the game and asked me to step up to something different, and that different was unfamiliar and out of any sense of comfort zone, for me and for them.
The game changed and with it we all had to learn what that meant.
In some ways I want to say sorry, sorry that it’s been unexpected and often difficult. I’ve required of them more than most. To radically shift with me, with life. It wasn’t something I asked for, but it’s something that happened. I know they didn’t ask for it, I know they didn’t maybe want it at times, and I bow with the acknowledgment of that. I bow to the courage and love that it took to stick around, to stick with it, to stick with me through these changes. I didn’t ask it of them and I understood if they chose not to or were unable to take this journey with me.
My life changed in ways I’m still coming to understand. And in my life there now are certain things that just aren’t available to me that once were… one of those things is inauthentic relating.
What this (nowadays somewhat overused and fashionable) term means to me…. I can’t not be me now, all of me. It’s all out there, no mask, no pretence, no conditioned shoulds or ways of being other than this. There is only so much space and time available to put myself into a straight jacket of someone else’s making. And so that requires of them the letting go of expectations and projections. It requires of them to relate with me in the now, in the present moment, in the rawness of life, in the truth of life. It requires of them to let go of any ideas of me and be with the reality of me. Anything else and it falls apart, anything else and it’s untruth burns brightly. Anything else and it gets shown for what it is… the conditioning of shoulds. I ask for authentic relating but I give it too, not as a virtue signal, a choice or a practice, but because life gives no other option, even when honestly I’d love an option to turn it off, turn it down!
The relationships become a radically clear mirror where there is nowhere to hide, for me or them, not in the fullness of time. We became linked in a way that leaves little room for posturing and falseness. All becomes laid out in the sunlight to be seen.
So I’m sorry, I’m sorry that we are unable to hide in our shadowy conditioned shoulds any longer, I’m sorry that by virtue of my change they found themselves under a spotlight too. It was never my intention, the light of life was just shining brightly for us all.
I’m sorry that I’m also not sorry. I’m not sorry because it also shows the potential of so much more to this life, so much more for these relationships, so much more than these limits that once kept us caged and bound in the conditioned mind and patterns of behaving and relating.
But I know it’s not been easy, it calls for a stepping up that’s sometimes uncomfortable and vulnerable. It calls for an openness and a radical honesty that can feel disarming. But the fruits of this ‘going there’ are that of freedom, acceptance and unconditional love, for all of us. And for this I am in full support of, even when it feels like it gets messy and complicated, it’s simple really… love wins out. So thank you, thank you to those souls in my life who have bore witness to these changes and who have gone through changes of your own… you know who you are.
Before you judge and condemn another no matter how bad or wrong you feel they may be, take a moment to see where they are coming from. Take a moment to listen, to feel. Take a moment to listen and feel where you are coming from too – no matter how justified your anger might feel in the moment… just take a moment, take a breath.
We all have the capability to act in ways that are hurtful and harmful. We all have the capability to act out of fear, misguidance and misunderstanding. We all have the capability to lash out and act out when we’re feeling threatened or scared, unheard or unloved.
I don’t believe that human beings are fundamentally bad. Each and every one of us is striving, however imperfectly for love, is striving for acceptance, is striving for happiness, is striving for peace, is striving for inclusivity and oneness. We are striving for the same thing, all of us.
We may go about it in f****d up ways. We may go about it in ways that to the outside world don’t match up to ideas of what that search should like. We may go about it in ways that actually bring about the opposite reaction and consequence from our actions… but nonetheless I believe every person comes from a place of this fundamental search for love and acceptance.
This love may be distorted and contorted so much so that it now only resembles hate, but please take a moment to really consider this – are we all not deserving of a chance, a chance to be loved even though we may not yet know how to love in return?
I know this is hard to hear. But your judgement does nothing to solve the problems of this world. Your judgement does nothing to help. Your judgement brings just more divisiveness, your judgement brings less love not more love to the table.
Judgment and hate breeds more of the same, but with love there is room for it all. With love there is a chance for a flower to bloom in the wake of destruction. Unconditional love breeds redemptive love.
Just to be clear, I’m not sitting here judging your judgement. And I’m not sitting here saying you should sit silently by while others do harm. I’m sitting here saying that while I may even strongly agree with what you’re pointing to… I encourage you to maybe try a different way, a way that encourages, a way that has compassion and understanding for the other. A way that leaves room for people to mess up and make mistakes, yes even big ones, but leaves a chance to grow, and change, and learn. A way that leaves a path back home, to love, to self, to acceptance.
We can have room for both in hearts – the not putting up with, or turning a blind eye to cruel, harmful and unjust behaviour AND the compassion, love and understanding for that person who is acting in those ways.
There will always be differences in experience, there will always be those that act in ways you can’t condone, ways you can’t abide by, but before we write them off as a person because of their actions, can we seek to understand why first? Can we give them, and ourselves a chance at love and acceptance first?
Because this is how I believe change truly happens, with love not with hate. With compassion not judgement. With connection not exclusion. With understanding not assumptions. With acceptance not rejection.
“Knowledge and concepts are no substitute for direct experience.”
“There are no choices, just happenings. Happenings appearing as choices.”
“It takes courage to give loyalty to truth not comfort.”
I don’t know about you, but I feel it’s a very intense time right now calling for us, both individually and collectively to take a look at that which is in the shadows and bring it into the light so that it may be seen. We’re being asked to stretch and change and grow, and that can get intense and uncomfortable. We’re being asked to let go of the old and step into the new. Change is a beautiful opportunity, one that hopefully we’re able to welcome and celebrate, even with the presence of discomfort and unknowingness.
But change always begins within ourselves. Trying to enact change on a wider collective level from its own level can only ever provide a temporary bandage. Because then it becomes an imposition or a rule from the outside, rather than an emanation or reflection of the heart in how a person truly, naturally and spontaneously interacts and acts in and with life.
It’s not to say we should give up trying to make change and transformation happen in the collective, whether that be in our closer relationships, in our communities, in our societies, or on a global scale; but it’s to say that to enact real lasting change we have to go deeper, we have to go closer to home, we have to turn inward to our SELF. It’s also not to say we shouldn’t try to help one another, grow with one another, learn from one another, teach one another; but it’s to say whatever we take on from the outside or another, has to be discovered in our SELF too.
If we want lasting change, we first have to find that which is unchangeable and work from there. Find the unconditional nature of our Self. That which goes unchanged, that which doesn’t come and go. That which doesn’t die, that which sees and experiences it all – good, bad and everything in-between, right here, right now. If we try to change and fix the constantly changing its nature will be to inevitably change again.
Find that which does not change – awareness, and we find that awareness has love and room for all the changes, all that is different, all that is experienced in life. We find that that unchanging unconditioned open awareness has infinitely diverse appearances and changes within itself.
When we are cognisant of our true nature, our core, the fruit of this is compassion, the fruit of this is inclusion and acceptance, the fruit of this is LOVE. When we have to come to know the love in our hearts that love is reflected in the world around us too. We have to model that love and shine that light outward to the rest of the world.
Those that feel disconnected from their true nature, those that their focus is wholly in the relative, superficial, phenomenal and changeable world then they will only see differences, and those difference will seem like a problem, those problems will seem insurmountable.
A Celebration of Differences
But those that are cognisant of the primordial ground of being, the wholeness, will see that yes there are differences, but those differences don’t threaten the wholeness, those differences don’t threaten us. They are part of the wholeness, but not separate from that wholeness. Differences become a celebration of diversity, but there is strong thread of unity underlying, connecting and permeating that diversity. That thread connects us all, our commonality pervading far deeper than any surface level difference.
When this is seen then differences become a celebration because…
In our strength of love there is room for any form of difference.
In our strength of love there is acceptance of all.
In our strength of love there is compassion for completely differing views, opinions and experiences.
So we need to start with ourselves. We need to do the work individually to discover our nature, to discover what it is that makes us the same.
We are all searching for love, we are all searching for inclusion and acceptance. For those that have discovered their nature, it becomes obvious that any focus on division is futile, it becomes obvious that to hate another is to actually hate a part of your Self. For the other is an inextricable part of you too.
We cannot love another fully if we don’t yet know love for ourselves, and we can’t fully love ourselves if we haven’t yet found the love for another. They go hand in hand, they are two sides of the same coin. We must discover the love of all, ourselves AND the other. But love is the key, and I’m not just talking about the small transactional and conditional love of the ego, but the infinite unconditional divine love at the heart of existence.
If we want change we have to follow the rabbit hole down to love.
“We cannot love another fully if we don’t yet know love for ourselves, and we can’t fully love ourselves if we haven’t yet found the love for another. They go hand in hand. They are two sides of the same coin.”
“All of life is a mirror, showing you what needs to be seen.”