Move Beyond the Box and See the World with Soft Eyes

Move Beyond the Box and See the World with Soft Eyes October 13, 2022

Andrew Lang spirituality sacred space unmasking the inner critic
Unsplash/Niklas Veenhuis

Last month I had a conversation with Agrita over at the Mind Full of Every Thing Podcast about sacred space and inner work.

During our conversation, I found myself sharing this story:

When I first started leading workshops, I would guide people in a visualization practice. I would ask folks to close their eyes and imagine themselves walking along a path outside on a warm sunny day.

“Picture yourself walking along a wooded trail…it’s not too hot, not too cold…the temperature is just right. You can hear the little critters moving through the underbrush near you and maybe you can see a couple birds flying above. Your pace is unhurried and you’re simply enjoying the beauty of the moment.”

“And then…imagine a gentle breeze comes and washes over you and you just take it in. Perhaps you pause. You take a deep breath in and out – and you feel entirely content.”

At this point, I would invite people to open their eyes and I’d ask: how many of you have had a moment of contentment like this, whether in nature or elsewhere? A moment when everything in the universe felt connected and you felt in-touch with the inherent dignity of the moment?

Every time I led this practice in a workshop, the vast majority of hands would shoot up.


We’ve all had these moments

We’ve all had these moments – these beautiful and embodied experiences of the sacred. Because that’s what they are! Whether your spirituality enfolds god-language, manifestation language, icons, crystals or something else, I think we know, on a deep in-the-body level, what it feels like to be held in a space exactly as we are. (As rare as it might be!)

While some may try to keep us in boxes designed by comfort and fear–and this includes many churches, hierarchical institutions, and even our own narratives–these experiences are invitations for us to keep our eyes open for the sacred everywhere and in every moment. To look out into the world with soft eyes, ready to tap into the inherent and ever-present connection between our true self, the part of us beneath the masks we wear, and the mystery of that which is bigger than us.

About Andrew Lang
Andrew Lang is an educator in the Pacific Northwest, an alumnus of Richard Rohr’s Living School for Action and Contemplation, and author of the forthcoming book, Unmasking the Inner Critic: Lessons for Living an Unconstricted Life. Along with blogging regularly, he facilitates workshops helping people to navigate their inner lives and explore their sense of identity and spirituality. You can read more about the author here.

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