“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Regrettably, it took a major health crisis to get my full attention to make me realize I was ‘missing my whole life.’ Gratefully, it not only got my attention, it shook me to my very core. I had been hearing, and yes ignoring, the whispers from my soul for many years. Truth be told, I had not been living fully present, for most of my adult life. Most of the time I had been living somewhere out there “in the next moment,” somewhere in the future. Many of my days were spent spinning in the frantic energy of working towards the next project. Many nights were spent working late into the wee hours of the next morning, attempting to obtain the next goal.
Living the first half of my life as an uber focused, extremely goal oriented Type A individual, I relished in the reward and outcome of almost everything I did. I recall that even as a child, I loved a challenge and the exciting energy of working towards a goal. Yes, I am even willing to admit, that from that very first day of first grade, a Gold Star had a certain appeal to me.
After much soul searching and personal inner work, I now have a better understanding of how the reward of those “pats on the back,” and being told “Good Job,” fed my sense of self-worth over the years. Although I was not able to identify it at the time, I now realize that the reward of “pleasing others” had become my drug of choice at a very young age. The challenges increased and the rewards and awards got bigger as I graduated college and started my career. My body’s physiology continued to respond to those “gold stars” eagerly. The endorphins, the feel good hormones, would kick in with each success, creating a high that unknowingly to me at the time, was setting me up for a big fall; “a crash and burn” of epic proportions.
With this new understanding of my self-worth not being dependant upon others approval, came the awareness of how the fear of disappointing others, and the paralyzing fear of failing, had prevented me from living my life fully and joyfully. I could no longer deny the fact that I had spent most of my life making choices in an attempt to please everyone but myself, always trying to meet others expectations, even at the sacrifice of my own health.
What I really want most to now share with others, is how empowering self-care, self-love, and nurturing our own self-worth can be. No longer needing to seek others approval has grounded me, and my future, in a powerful place of wholeness. Although there are still times when that old addictive behavior sneaks back into my daily round, I now know beyond any doubt, that the only person I have to prove anything to, or please, is myself. An incredible sense of power comes in the realization that you no longer need anyone’s approval or their ‘pat on the back’ to define your value as a person on this earth.
Today, I live my life at a much slower and purposeful pace. I choose consciously and deliberately what energy I expend and on what activity. Each morning at sunrise, I greet the day with Gratitude, Enthusiasm, and Wonder. I ask for Grace, Enlightenment, and Wisdom that I might live this day fully. But more than anything else, I cherish the ability to “Be Here Now” to relish in the joy of this exact moment, and then to experience this over and over throughout my day. When I release myself from others expectations it allows me to go forward in my journey free from the fear of disappointing others and the fear of rejection. Each time I choose to do something and let go of all attachment to the outcome, there is a creation of such bliss in my heart and soul, that it is difficult to describe. There is a powerful sense of freedom; a sense of nothing being more important than just breathing… breathing in and then breathing out, and just “BEING” present.
In December, I witnessed an amazing example of this in the masterful labyrinth creations by Denny Dyke, and his Circles In The Sand (see previous post about the Winter Solstice labyrinth). It is with much gratitude that I dedicate this blog post “Creating Without Attachment to Outcome” to Denny, his beautiful craft and his joyful spirit.
Each time Denny draws a new labyrinth in the sand upon the beach, he does so knowing it will be disappearing with the next incoming tide. In less than 6 hours his stunningly beautiful creation will be completely gone. When the tide comes back in, it washes the labyrinth away and he says the sand becomes a clean canvas for another day. What Denny does is a perfect example of the beauty in creating and living from a place of joy, with no attachment to the outcome.
It is possible that this selfless man may not even know to what depth he changes peoples’ lives, physically, mentally, emotionally, and above all else spiritually, while sharing his Circles In The Sand on the Southern Oregon Coast. I know in my case, his beautiful labyrinths gave me hope to not give up, they gave me courage to believe I WOULD get well, get my strength back, and be able to walk again.
During the time I was confined to my bed, I had a picture of one of Denny’s dream circles hanging on my wall attached to what I call my Wellness List, a list of all the things I would do when my health improved. Everyday, I spent time looking at that picture and visualizing being well enough to walk one of the labyrinths on the beach one day. Two years later, a lot of hard work, and it happened this past December!
Last week, on the evening of the January full moon, I returned to Bandon to once again walk the labyrinth, witnessing the winter sun setting as the full moon soon began to rise in the east. Standing at the viewpoint watching the waves of the Pacific come in and wash away the beautiful masterpiece that Denny Dyke had created that afternoon affected me both emotionally and spiritually. It was so evident that afternoon that this man’s joy is found “in the moment” while he is creating. It is pure, and real, and authentic. It is a wonderful example of how I would like to manifest a life void of attachment to outcome in my own everyday activities.
And so it is. And so it is. ~ Michele Marie
With many thanks to Denny Dyke and Circles In The Sand for permission to use the above short video clip and photograph below for this blog post.
I hope you enjoy this short video clip as much as I do. Denny’s thoughts in the video about when his creation is washed out to sea, is such a beautiful image, it just takes my breath away.
“The tide comes in, and takes the labyrinth out to sea. That night, the whales and dolphins take a walk. I can invision the labyrinth out in the ocean, it’s awesome. The energy the power, the wonders.”
Photo credit for above image: Pamela Hansen Photography.
More information about Denny Dyke, and additional photography by Pamela Hansen can be found on the Circles In The Sand website: http://www.circlesinthesand.us/index.html
The 2017 schedule for upcoming Circles In The Sand can also be found there.