A Smooth Landing Back in the “Real World”

When we stepped from the cozy den of our teacher’s home, with its great bellied wood stove and the incense flavoring the air, the coldest winter wind of the season tried to steal the breath from our throats. Naked trees shivered and swayed in the frosty air and the taste of December settled on our lips.

One of my classmates sighed and said, “Back to the real world.”

Buddha in the snow

I swear I spoke from a place of truth deep inside of me, and not from any false optimism when I replied, “But that was the real world.” I meant that though our three day healing artists’ class had been transformational and downright otherworldly, it had actually happened and it was part of the reality our group has been blessed enough to know on this earth.

This feeling carried me through to the moment, a little over twelve hours later, when I walked into my office and managed to still wear a gentle smile. My previous weekend-long classes had spat me into Monday mornings with a sense of dread and discombobulation. Meditation and healing work had nothing to do with balancing budgets and book shifting projects and I had felt lost between the two worlds.

Today, however, I was amazed by the blissful sense of integration that bore me through the day.  I had managed to bring the healer that I know myself to be through the doors of the workplace. At last, I felt a sense of wholeness that was almost always lacking when I sat down at my desk and interacted with colleagues.  I’d had enough of leading a life that was disconnected with itself.

It is time to stop believing that we are more than one person, that we can effectively slice ourselves up into little pieces and give our spirits to God, and our love to our families, and our practicality to our work. We are all complex, multifaceted creatures with our fingers dripping with all different colors of finger paint, but that rainbow is all unified by one hand, one arm, one being who dances in many different worlds.

I have been struggling with a sense of desperation because I felt like a fraud in every part of my life, especially as I tried to reconcile my professional/working self and my healer/writer/seeker self. No piece of me could get my full attention or dedication because I was so busy slicing myself up into discrete portions.

Many months ago, a dear friend counseled me that all of my worlds did have a sense of harmony and did make sense because they all had one essential element in common: ME.

Her wisdom did not take root in my heart until I walked through this workday and realized that my true self really was the fulcrum that balanced my two worlds.

I cannot manage people and projects if I do not come to everyone with an open heart and a belief in the interconnectedness of all beings. I cannot thrive as a writer and a healer if I do not use the organized, disciplined parts of my brain. My different identities have always colored the others in my closet of characters. The diversity of my experiences and abilities have always been a source of power for me, however untapped and unrecognized.

We all carry around an entire universe of possibility. How many of us have trouble finding the compatibility that truly does exists between the different corners of that universe? How much more powerful can we be if we stop drawing lines in the sand of our consciousness and embrace true integration?

What new forms of harmony and understanding might thrive in this world if we can first find a way to create such a sense of balance within?

3 thoughts on “A Smooth Landing Back in the “Real World”

  1. blisschick December 9, 2008 / 11:33 am

    Marisa, I am loving the photos! 🙂

    And I love this post.

    My favorite part is where you feel like you have to explain that you aren’t being airy-fairy when you say “but that is the real world.”

    For me, this resonated with that part of me that is always so afraid that people might think I’m a bit stupid, that I jump on bandwagons, don’t do my research, under-intellectualize things, speak from my heart instead of my mind…you get it.

    We so want to be taken seriously that we can end up denying, silencing, even killing the smartest parts of ourselves.

  2. Graciel December 9, 2008 / 6:21 pm

    Dear Marisa,

    Thank you so much for your beautiful comment. It made me misty-eyed.

    I understand from a heart-centered point what you mean here. Suddenly, after YEARS of spiritual work within, and now in the midst of double adversity, true integration is happening. I’m easily remaining in the present moment. I’m offering, quietly, my spiritual self, my healer self, at work. I’m using the discipline of work to focus more fully on my spiritual practices at home.

    And my God, it feels good! Finally, I get it. Let me add I pray for this awareness to stay with me. 🙂

    Peace and blessings to you,

  3. girlwhocriedepiphany December 12, 2008 / 7:52 am

    Dear Bliss,
    Yeah, someone mentioned that I should get pack to posting some photos. I wonder who that was… 🙂
    One of the most challenging parts of this healing work is that in some ways it feels downright anti-intellectual. For all that it takes tremendous work to get your brain around some of the ideas we are learning, the next thing you have to do is stop thinking and start feeling and intuiting. A challenge to be sure!
    I think we have to come to grips with the fact that being taken seriously is dreadfully dull!

    Dear Graciel,
    Isn’t integration delicious? I think we will start to wonder how we ever survived without this sense of completeness.
    I wish you strength and solace on your journey right now – I can only imagine the challenges you face. Something tells me that you have the resources to bring light to those around you, no matter what.

    Thanks & blessings,

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