Laura Paskell-Brown is a writer, student and spiritual activist. She runs the women’s circle at Occupy Wall Street
I’m forever rushing at the moment. No sooner am I done with one task then I’m on to the next. Life’s about getting stuff done, and people just get in the way of that process. “HEY YOU!” yells the voice in my head “DON’T YOU KNOW I HAVE A WOMEN’S CIRCLE TO RUN? GET OUT OF MY WAY!”
I’m well aware of the irony of said position, so I try to mitigate it, throwing in the odd evening of socializing, calling my parents on the weekends, sitting on the meditation cushion every morning, pretending I know what I’m doing. But during all of those things I find it incredibly difficult to switch off the voice that forever wants to list off the things I haven’t achieved yet. “GET IT DONE. GET IT DONE NOW!” it squawks.
Dammit, Ego, you’re really becoming a drag.
What tools to use against the too-many-things-to-do itch? I’ve tried coffee and sugary snacks, but what would the Divine Feminine do? Well, having watched the women elders around me, it seems that asking questions is a powerful starting point. Granted, my Ego doesn’t mind me asking how I might do something or when I might try to squeeze it in, but these days, if I stop in the middle of a task and ask why I am so intent on completing it – what is the purpose of the activity – I can usually begin to derail it.
My Ego used to be able to fake an answer. “Because you’re helping the world!” it would say. Or: “Because it will make you feel better.” Or my all-time favourite: “Because you’re a piece of s**t if you don’t”. Today I know better. The truth is I’m not much use to the world if I’m running around in circles taking actions to make myself feel better, whilst feeling increasingly worse. Especially if my goal is to help myself and others to envision and build a better world.
The problem with the prospect of recovering from this way of life is that the world is not full of obvious alternatives. Even in the spiritual community I’ve seen plenty of supposedly enlightened people running around helping others, right up until the point they burn themselves out. It’s not a great comfort to someone like me.
But there are those who I can see have something I don’t have. When it comes to my activity addiction, I’m still too bat-s**t crazy to claim I know how to get where they are, but at least I’m aware enough to know that I don’t want to stay where I am. And, as I admit that to myself, I have become humble enough to listen to their suggestions on how to change course.
Chief amongst these suggestions are self-examination and meditation. I’m told that, if I continue to use these every day, they will allow me to increasingly separate myself from the sergeant major in my head. And if I do it long enough, I will be able to experience something else – the Divine Feminine itself. Yes, some of what I wish to see out there, is already in here, I’ve just been too busy lately to listen to Her. But when I do, my next action will be clear, and it won’t involve constant anxiety and a schedule that makes me want to crawl under a rock and hide.
So what would the world look like if I were more in-touch with this Divine Feminine inside of me? Will it smell of jasmine? Will it taste like peaches? Will it look like a sunset? Yunno, I’m not sure, the vision is hazy at this point. What I do know, and what keeps me moving forward, is that the moments I have stopped the gong-show long enough to let Her speak, have been sweet enough to keep me coming back for more.
And, as a side note: the fact that I could write this piece admitting that I don’t have all the answers shows that, one day at a time, the Divine Feminine is already transforming this goofy little girl into a graceful woman warrior. Even if sitting on that cushion with my eyes shut is the most damnably uncomfortable part of my day.
p.s. For those of you who feel similarly, here’s three minutes of bliss for you. It’s my anthem at the moment! (Click on the link to play the song).