I Did This

I promised more on the magic we created in Phoenix a few weeks ago, so here’s a story about an unforgettable experience that allowed me to be in the world in a new way.  It was an exercise to practice “dropping into wordlessness,” or attaining a state of calm energy–a place where language doesn’t muck up the stillness, and where we have no attachment to any particular outcome.  It requires a shift away from the left brain, opening space for the things the right brain handles best: compassion, connection and love. We were asked to pick up a spoon and try to bend it.  Really try.  Try harder.  For all the trying, no one bent a spoon. Then we were asked to drop into wordless, calm energy that is not attached to an outcome, and that is free from wanting, grasping energy or fear.  We had to feel our connection to the spoon, as we feel a connection to all things on this earth, in a kind and loving, quiet and open way, and only then bend the spoon. Strike me dead if spoons weren’t bending all over the room! Of course my own spoon remained rigid in my hands.  I had too much riding on it!  What would it mean if I couldn’t bend the spoon?  Everyone would know that I didn’t make the cut!  But I HAVE to bend the spoon, I NEED to bend the spoon, oh how I WANT to bend the spoon! Fucking bastard still-straight SPOON! I was the poster child for grasping energy and fear, not to mention attachment to outcome.  The potty-mouth is just a bonus. I set aside my spoon-bending aspirations for a while.  Picked up the spoon every now and again, casually, acting like I didn’t care if it bent or not.  Damn thing wouldn’t budge. I now know that I hadn’t yet come to believe that not only was I capable of bending the spoon, but doing so was a done deal, inevitable, fait accompli.  I was still holding on to my fear the next morning, over coffee.  I stirred some cream into my coffee, licked the spoon and dropped it into my briefcase for later consideration, hoping the waitress wouldn’t notice. That spoon called out from my briefcase all day.  I knew it was there, but I refused to take it out.  Fear.  Wanting.  Stupid spoon. It wasn’t until late that night, on the plane, that I pulled that spoon back out.  I was listening to “Into the Mystic,” and as Van Morrison was singing, “Hark now hear the sailor’s cry Smell the sea and feel the sky Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic. And when that fog horn blows I will be coming home And when that fog horn blows, I want to hear it I don’t have to fear it…” I began to cry softly.  I reached into my briefcase, pulled out the spoon and bent it.  I had finally allowed myself to surrender to the inevitable, release the fear, and float into the mystic.  My seatmates didn’t seem to notice the weeping lady with the bent flatware, for which I’m grateful. And I owe the Hilton a spoon.
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