Raising pigs as a kid on my grandparents’ farm in New Jersey, I was fascinated with their tenaciousness in all things, whether rooting out the last little bit of food left in their pen or vying for attention whenever I came to visit them in their muddy spot. The ways of these pigs was fascinating to me. I was way more inspired by them than other animals in the farmyard. I found the pigs’ eyes bright with intelligence, unlike the docile complacence I saw in the horses wide-eyed spookiness, the rooster and hens’ pinned yellow glares, the cows’ sullen long-lashed gaze and ever-churning chew of their constantly cud-grinding jaws.
So it was with delight and a sense of a secret, intuitive comaraderie when I found out, in young adulthood, that I too was a piggie! Born under the Chinese zodiac sign of the Wild Boar, as I prefer to call them instead of the farmyard version of pig, the bacon-producing porkers people tend to look down on as beneath the forest-roaming version of the porcine. Along with so-called uncanny inner-wisdom, or intuition, people born under the sign of the Wild Boar are known to be way too impetuous. We often get ourselves into trouble by speaking too quickly what’s on our mind, acting too swiftly instead of weighing options, and are known to carry on business with inappropriate motives, even marrying the wrong partner(s). Such was the story of my life. UNTIL, one fine day, I decided to put down my negative addictions and turn my life into the spiritualized version of my former piggie-troublemaker self.
Taking a leap of faith (being forced to, actually, having the proverbial “bottom” that compelled me to address my negative addictions BIG TIME!!) I decided to do everything I could to achieve the height of what a person can experience in one lifetime. That is: I decided to live In Spirit instead of living according to my puny little will. I wanted to transform my piggyness into something. I didn’t know what, but figured that would be revealed in time. I leapt into the unknown, in other words.
Of course this was immensely difficult to do. And I would never have been able to achieve any success whatsoever if I hadn’t had the great good fortune of first joining the fellowship of AA (that taught me how to live without my addictions, One Day at at Time); and secondly, becoming the student of a Great Master of Meditation. Years of showing up, learning how to do “the next right thing” ensued. Slowly I sloughed off the messy ways of living my wild, willy-nilly, oh-so-selfish piggy-pushy-ways, practicing the more balanced view of being what we call in yoga, “The Witness.”
Pretend you are this woman. Instead of “feeling the sun on my face” imagine you are viewing yourself from outside yourself. This is “Witness Consciousness.” This practice, learned through meditation, is very helpful in changing the way we feel about life, in general.
I learned to see life from another perspective, besides the once I thought I was stuck in forever, the one I inherited from my parents, my culture, my fears, my bad choices and innumerable failures. In truth, I chose to take the road less travelled — to see life as being a spiritual experience that we humans are goving through, collectively. Slowly, choice by choice, I trained my mind, my heart, and my body, to believe that every choice I made counted. I could see how everything that had happened before came back to bite me in the ass, so to speak — UNLESS I made reparation to myself, FIRST; to society in which I live, secondly; and thirdly, to anyone or anything I might have harmed. Ahhh, this process was long and hard. How profuse are the lies when people like my former self convince themselves there is no hope. But slowly, I evolved from a person from this group of folks inhabiting planet Earth:
These are people like I used to be. People who aren’t willing to change, aren’t willing to look within themselves and see how they can improve on what the Bible (Galatians 5:22) calls the “Fruits of the Spirit”– the true sign(s) of people who live spiritually, not just talk about it. When a person walks the walk instead of talking-the-talk, these are the fruits one can expect to feel and experience within yourself, and to see in others who are truly spiritual beings. Every former Rock-heart person can own these great qualities IF they work on spiritualizing their lives. The Fruits of the Spirit are:
None of these qualities did I have before I dove in and took the plunge to change … but I always knew I wanted them. I used to be envious of those who had love in their lives, felt happy, knew when to practice self-control and when to be spontaneous, instead of the full-blast impetuousness with which I drove my bus. I just didn’t know how to achieve these “gifts,” embrace these qualities, and make them shine forth instead of letting my former foraging, desperate piggy-ness rule my life.
So… I joined the spiritual fellowship and practiced the 12 Steps and found myself the best teacher(s) I could, proceeding to practice practice practice how to utilize the above “gifts” in every act, word, and thought. Meditation was the most profound teacher in every respect of this new quest I was on. My meditation teacher, who shared her experiences along the path of her enlightenment, was the next most important teacher. And lastly, the peers I chose to associate with were all important teachers, whether members of AA, my yoga or art groups or at work. Just plain people. I learned to say “NO!” to hanging with those who brought me down, made me feel un-safe, created un-ease in my heart, or were overly critical of me or others (especially the political bashers and all-round naysayers, who are a negative-addicts that sadly run amok in all circles).
I learned to embrace the better, more evolved part of my human nature, which is referred to as the “Self” as opposed to a person’s less-conscious, still contracted, ego-driven personality, which is called the smaller “self.” By practicing this newer, higher perspective toward ALL life (not just spiritual, religious, or loftly profound thinking) … I learned to embrace the nicer parts of my humanness. What I call everyone’s angelic nature, which all people everywhere are capable of owning. When we spiritualize our lives we change our former Hard-rock hearted ways into — well, something like this:
Each of us has the choice: we can either remain attached to our fears, and stay unhappy.
Or we can commit to change, and take upon ourselves the role of transforming all our fears into LOVE. Our complaints and excuses of being victims into the JOY of choosing to be free from those weak, worthless thoughts. We can bring PEACE where there is discord, which is everywhere, my dear friends, everywhere: in every family, in every country. We can have PATIENCE with ourselves and others, and hold our criticisms, giving people opportunity to change, as we are. We can practice KINDNESS instead of demanding our wills rule situations, allowing events to unfold in their own time, in their own fashion. We can have GOODNESS toward all — even those we consider wrong, hurtful, mean, controlling, but also keep a clear boundary between those negative influences and the growing Spirit within the expanding heart of humanity. We can have FAITHFULNESS when times and situations seem hopeless, remembering that what appears to be bad today can turn out (most assuredly!) to be a catalyst for wonderful new changes. Time will tell. We can have GENTLENESS instead of being demanding, raising our voices, rolling our eyes, saying bad things of others, knowing that everything we put out will come back to us, in spades. And finally, we can have SELF-CONTROL, something a former piggy knew nothing about, but now, as a committed spiritual warrior dedicated to helping others raise their consciousness, I have finally come to realize is the true sign of letting Great Spirit (or God, if you prefer that name) drive my bus. My job is just to fasten my seatbelt, stay onboard, and watch where living a life In Spirit leads me … ever more closely aligned to these above-mentioned “Fruits of the Spirit.” And always forgiving myself if I mess up.
This is how I feel today, after 27 years of being on this path, shedding my piggy-ways and embracing the true nature of my humanness.
Can you relate? I’m convinced that within each one of us humans, struggling with all our life challenges, no matter what they are — that we all have the potential to become something Great, something Divine, something Strong and Powerful, and Content. When we’re ready to put down our smaller versions of ourselves and pick up the commitment to living In Spirit … our higher nature will be revealed.
in the Light, your pal lordflea