What You Believe Is in Your Body

Oh dear, kids, we have a lot to talk about, and I want to cover two things today.

First, beliefs. We think that our beliefs lie in our minds, and they kind of do, but mostly, beliefs live in our body, and in our actions. I’m going to talk about this in a second.

Second, patience. Oh. My. God. Things take time. Let me go into that later.

So, let’s start with this belief system.

We think that our beliefs are the things we tell ourselves, the swirl of ideas and thoughts that are in our heads. But that is often just our ideology, or our ego, and those are not the things to listen to. Our beliefs really rest in our actions, and that is what we do with our bodies, or even how our bodies respond in any given situation. Our beliefs are the things we do, over and over again. Our beliefs are in our practices.

And this can be so, so sad. Because what someone says about her or himself, and what she does to illustrate this, is often very different. So you can never fall in love with anything someone says, with words, words, words. You can never fall in love with cleverness, or interestingness. You must fall in love with what your body knows, the way things feel deeper down.

I’m not just talking about romance. I’m talking about any opportunity. I’m talking about checking in with your body, getting to know your body really well, so that you can listen to what it’s telling you, beyond the waves of emotion or ripples of nervousness or fear. There is something that lives deeper, vibrationally. And that is where your beliefs truly exist. But most people don’t know this because we are terribly afraid and terribly ashamed of what our bodies know. We think our bodies are bad, or wrong. We have been taught this for many, many centuries, my well-meaning (sometimes) church leaders and parents and teachers, all who have been led astray by problematic messages, poisonous seeds. And so we must unravel those awful gardens, pull out the weeds, dig up the old earth, find the rich soil of the new, which is actually really ancient, which was really there all along, and which is waiting, so desperately, to be uncovered so we can all heal ourselves.

Hmm. That’s deep. Right! Deep!

So let’s continue to unpack this a bit.

Heart-centering prayer, the kind of meditation I practice, which has led to such beautiful awakenings, is about getting out of your head and into your heart. Your heart may have problems, too, and some brokenness lies in there, and a lot of fear. But underneath the top level, your heart is the spiritual center of you, and it is vast and powerful, and it vibrates out to everyone around you. People can feel your heart in your presence, so it’s good to work on it, like a muscle. You want to build that up. You want to make that the most powerful part of you, and certainly not your mind. Oh dear, certainly not your mind. And yet your mind is important too! So sometimes things get confusing.

So you sit and breathe, and your focus is surrender, and your intention is to let that swirl of thoughts that move around your mind all delicately fall, like drops of water, into the heart center, this chalice that is vast and all-encompassing, the chalice that we all have and share, the river we’re all spiritually moving in. You just keep letting those thoughts, those stories, those ideas, all fall down, drop, drop, drop, into the chalice of you that can hold it all. And then you rest in that place, you live in that place, and you move through the world from a place of surrender and openness and deep-heartedness, the deep-heartedness you share with the earth and the womb of God.

And so what that means is that through this practice of surrender, through this practice of dropping, you are relaxed, and that does not mean that you are so relaxed you can’t move or do what it is you need to do. It means that you are able to let go and let flow and let come. You act and operate from a deeper place, a wiser place inside of you, rather than scrambling and reaching and attaching to everything that happens in your head. It means you are not a mess, even though you will often recognize that life is messy, that the world is a mess, that chaos looks like order and the other way around.

When people hear the word love, they think it means mushy-gushy do-whatever-you-want-ness, I have-no-power-or-self-control-ness, I-do-whatever-other-people-say-ness. But love is actually really fucking powerful. Love is living in truth. Love is having openness and yet boundaries, and knowing yourself, and knowing how to respect yourself and others, and also how to acknowledge truth and speak it and act in it when the moment calls for it. Love is greater than fear, but we don’t always know that, because we often operate from fear and worry. But love also practices discretion, at its deeper level. Love doesn’t give everything away, because it is tempered by patience.

Oh wow, see how we did that? See how we rolled this ditty into the second part, patience?

I’m so impressed.

The main point here is that fuck, patience is essential. And so fucking hard, and the thing I am worst at. This has to do with our understanding of time, and this goes back to our beliefs, too. (There is so much to say about all of this, we’re going to need to follow up one day.) We live in a culture that forces time, that thinks we can bend and control and manipulate time, that sets dates and things that do not always align with what is best in the long-term. So on a practical level, we need to have schedules and plans, sure, and dates by which we accomplish things. But on a deeper level, when it comes to awakenings of the spirit, or life transitions, or accomplishing major goals, there are other forces in play. Life is like a tree, and you can stare at those branches all you want, you can’t will a flower to become a flower before it is ready. Things happen when things happen, and our lesson is to learn to do our duty, to do what we think is best at any given time, but to also accept there is a natural order to things that is beyond our control.

This is really, really hard.

So when people tell you what they believe, don’t automatically believe them. Beliefs are not in the mind. Beliefs are in what you do.

As this young wholesome guy at a cafe in Paris said one night, when I sat down with him and his friend to have a glass of wine and he busily spun off all kinds of theories and ideas and lessons he had learned on his travels:

Verb is the truth. 

Our actions define who we are.


Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash