Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live life as it’s presented? To accept life and experiences just the way they are, without the need for change, or the expectation that it could be better or worse!
I have! Then I went on a search to not only think about it, but to find out first whether its’s possible, and then to experience what it would be like.
Why you may ask?
Well let’s face it!
I was never satisfied with what my life had to offer, and all the personal, spiritual and worldly growth paths never produced the end result I was looking for. This inevitably led to more dissatisfaction and suffering so I eventually gave up and just decided what the hell I was going to do nothing, and nothing I did.
Yes folks, the search for happiness, joy, enlightenment, nirvana etc was over. I had resigned myself to a life of mediocrity and suffering. I had given up on the notion that anything would get better, or in fact there was ever a possibility that things could actually be great.
So how did this all come about?
How could someone like me who had a standard childhood, good parents and was well looked after, come to this point. I mean after school I had good paying jobs, got married, had two boys, bought then built houses, played the markets did all the things one was supposed to do to live a happy fulfilling life.
Yes there were good times and rough patches. I got divorced then reunited, separated then back together again (long story not for this post), made, lost, then made again my fair share of money, and experienced the absolute highs and lows of a turbulent and somewhat fruitless personal and spiritual path.
I lived the whole career, family, financial and spiritual plan. All be it somewhat different to most others, but in essence the same, and all through this time, no matter what success or failures there were I still had a nagging feeling that there must be another way.
A way to live life that I had not experienced, a way that did not cause the inevitable feeling of emptiness and suffering that persisted as an ongoing theme no matter what I did. It was like watching one of those loooong movies that never gets better, but you have invested so much time in it, you have to continue to hope that it will, and it never does, and deep down you knew it never would.
Yes folks I was in one of those movies and it never ended!
Each morning I would turn up, with A grade actors and all, read and follow the script, only to discover that by the end of the day I had the same old feeling of why the heck am I in this movie! There must be another one I can find, I really have to change agents, get an agent that gets me, find a guru who has been there and done that, and is still doing it, not just selling it.
But therein lies the rub!
I had been and seen them. I had taken the Kool-Aid, and the workshops, retreats, and coaching, of the manifestation, creative and do what you love tribes! I had followed the paths of western and eastern gurus and still came up wanting. I studied and lived the lives they prescribed. Each time I would think if only I could get this right, things would be different. They would change and I would get the life they all promised. But it never happened, all I got was same old, same old and still this feeling of there still must be another way.
Then their came the time I just gave up and quit the movie! I basically decided I had failed at life, and life had failed me!
The Tipping Point
Now little did I know at the time, this is exactly what had to happen, and the thing is I really didn’t know it was happening.
I had just given up the search for anything better than what was happening at the time. I was just living what was given. Whatever appeared at the time I did, and when it didn’t appear I did nothing. However the interesting fact of doing nothing is that you have to be with yourself, and with all the distractions gone the feeling of “there must be another way” is just amplified until at some stage you just have to deal with it.
And herein lies the last five years.
A time of letting go and just letting life do it’s thing. I figured that I had tried to write the script and failed. I had followed others scripts and that had failed. So now it was just time to drop any illusion I had that anyone can actually control life.
In fact I let life write the script and my only task was to let go of what I thought would be good or bad. Drop the labels I had placed on people and situations and give up any perceived control I thought I had on any aspect or end result of my life.
It was with this attitude that I entered a period of just letting life. An experiment if you will, born out of a feeling of total disillusionment and exhaustion of even trying.
Liven What’s Given – The Life
Which brings me back to my original question at the start of this post.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live life as it’s presented? To accept life and experiences just the way they are, without the need for change, or the expectation that it could be better or worse! What if what you are living now is as good as it gets?
For as Byron Katie puts it:
Over these last five years I have come to the realisation that I only suffer when I argue or resist what is. If I expect something to be different than what it is, I bring upon myself the impossible situation of trying to change a present moment.
I have tried it, and it just can’t be done!
However what I can do is change my mind about the way I think about that moment. I can just accept what that moment is and let go of any expectation that it should be any different.
In doing this I am in the essence of Liven what’s Given
As A Course In Miracles Says:
The interesting thing about this style of living I have experienced is that happiness and suffering become a non-issue.
I have come to realise that, as Byron Katie puts it:
This dear reader is what I have come to know as Liven what’s Given, and in doing so uncovers the innate Joy we all have and can experience.
Liven What’s Given – The Lifestyle
Let me say upfront that Liven what’s Given is not a lifestyle. It has nothing to do with doing anything or nothing as the case maybe. However it has everything to do with allowing life to do what life does, and that is provide any and all opportunities for us to change our minds about our long held perceptions, expectations and beliefs about the way the world should be.
That being said, when I did start changing my mind and started letting go, my lifestyle did change. Things started to become very simple. Any difficulties and complications I saw in life started to just drop away. Job’s, relationships and possessions that no longer served were moved on, leaving space and time to have a direct experience of life exactly how it is.
There were other changes as well. I noticed my values started to change.
What was once important is not!
I make decisions on gut feel or what’s obvious, rather than the pros and cons of what’s perceived as good or bad. My friends say I live less than a conventional life and tend to do what I feel to do rather than what others think I need to do.
I am developing a total Trust in life, which translates into releasing judgments I have on people and situations and using them as opportunities to see things differently. This has led to a feeling of freedom and the ability to travel, serve and be in the Joy of new cultures and experiences.
The biggest difference I have noticed is the ongoing desire to increasingly remove myself from a commercial world of self-interest and mistrust, and immerse myself in trust and contribution.
Because it is obvious life is moving me in that direction and I know from experience to resist life is futile, and embracing life is Joy.
Just Liven What's Given