I was conducting a family session a few weeks ago, establishing the values that each individual held dearest and the values that defines them as a family. The exercise is designed to get everyone on the same page and have a point of reference for disagreements and general discussions. In the middle of this session I received a familiar nudge from that old enemy of peace, the prince of confusion himself, the master of self-conscious expression: Mind. Normally I’m mindfully defensed against such intrusions but he snuck in through the backdoor using “professional ethics” as an entry way. Claiming it to be my duty to be sure I know what I’m doing, he whispered: “You a fraud though..how you gonna have a values session with this family knowing good and well you and Katy have never had such a conversation? Prescribing things which you have no experience with yourself. Tsk. For shame.” And so on and so on….
Now usually, these days, I seldom take seriously the problems of the mind, having adequately noticed its habitual patterns of being against all pain and being for all pleasure (regardless of consequences) — I know the mind is just conditioned to talk shit from time to time. But like I said, that back door was open so I continued thinking about what he said for a couple of days. Finally I walked up to Katy and asked, “What do you think are our top two family values?” Katy answered, casually and simply, “Uh…Authenticity and Compassion. Duh.”
Alright, she didn’t say ‘duh’ but she may as well have because that was my exact answer as well. We never talked about it, we just have a full understanding of what our relationship is about. It’s a little funny how our relationship started off so rocky and, well, wrong. The difference between how things were and how they are now is the lengths we both go through to live what we believe. We don’t have to discuss it, anymore, we just have to live it.
Sri Mooji constantly implores those who follow his teachings to “stay silent, don’t tell nobody about it.” He says when you reach a certain understanding it is not necessary to spread the word — the way you live will be your testimony. You don’t have to tell the world you’ve met a master, that you’ve gotten a teaching, or that you know the experience “no self.” Like the fragrance that arises from the flower — the fragrance of your attainment will waft from you without you doing a thing.
I was at the library yesterday, minding my business like I always do, when the Head Librarian of the children’s section asked to have a word with me. He wanted to know if I’d lead a story time with the kids next fall because “it’s obvious that you have an understanding of child development and the way you carry yourself is indicative of your experience.” This was crazy to me because I honestly keep to myself almost all the time. I may be the only stay at home parent that’s not a regular member of clubs or playgroups, mostly because I don’t go around talking to people like that. I told him how crazy it was, especially considering yes I am Degreed in Child Development and Psychology but I would never expect anyone who doesn’t know me to recognize my training from just the way I “carry” myself. But that’s how it is, you are who you are, whether you’re trying or not.
I’ve learned that there’s no need to put on a show, or talk about who I am and what I do, I just have to live it. Fully and faithfully. This is authenticity and self-compassion in practice. All Good Things.
May you be yourself today.