A Monumental Challenge

Man in mist

I set myself up. Unwittingly, its true but the ripples of the past two years have at times almost drowned me, occasionally pushed me over the edge and a couple of times saw the end of old friendships.

Many years ago I studied the books of anthropologist Carlos Castaneda. I was in awe of his teacher the Yaki Indian, Don Juan Matus, a Shaman, (sorcerer) whose spirituality was about living life as a warrior.

“ The basic difference between an ordinary man is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while the ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.” 

Over the years I have often asked myself if it is possible to be absolutely impeccable in the way I live my life. What does living impeccably mean?

According to Don Juan Matus what matters to a warrior is arriving at the totality of oneself. That is Impeccable Living.

crow Don Juan tells that he was imprisoned for many years in a place where escape was not an option. And yet he lived impeccably, with joy and dignity, within that prison situation. He had practiced all his life and knew that Man is eternal infinite spirit, and it is his mind that holds him, that imprisons him, not any outer entity or alien. Master your own mind and you shall master your own universe.

At first it came to me as a brief thought. So brief I can’t recall the first time I wondered whether I could live life as a grand challenge, remaining strong and powerfully and in the totality of myself, if something unthinkable happened to me. Could I stand in the totality of myself if something unforeseen happened that would shake the very foundations of my life.

The power of a passing thought is never to be underestimated. The universe is always listening.

The sale of our family home initially left us free to fly. For the first 6 months after we travelled and even returned to house sit a friends beautiful home near the beach. My mistake, in retrospect was not taking into account the profound life long preparation Don Juan engaged in to live as a warrior, whilst in prison. And beyond that, the question, what if the home we bought, off the plan, 5 months before we even sold our home, would not be complete in a year. What if it’s not complete in 2 years? What if it’s not complete beyond that. No. Those questions were never asked and I clung to the promises of the builders, ‘just 6 more weeks, almost finished, you will be in by February, and then May and then June and then and then and then.

We are never too old to crumble and we are never too wise to learn.

A year of endings is coming to an end and I am not the same person I was 2 years ago. I know what having no place to be alone, in private, feels like. I have developed more patience than ever before through not getting what I want when I want it. I have a renewed and deep sense of compassion and understanding for those who have no place or space for themselves. I have watched my family, who have also gone through this journey of having no ‘family home’ rise to the occasion and care for each other in ways I could only have dreamed possible. I now know I am less relevant than I once believed myself to be. Not irrelevant but less relevant.

Promises once believed with childlike innocence are now heard without any emotion at all. And I hear my inner voice whisper, ‘maybe, maybe not.’ Promises from the builders, and from friends who didn’t know I trusted their every word, are now taken with a grain of salt.

The only truth is to live an impeccable life. To walk our talk. To own our strengths and shortcomings with grace and humility.

As we slide into 2016 one of my intentions is to cease taking other peoples actions towards me personally. Recently I was left out of a wedding list I would have loved to attend and allowed myself to feel a little stab of hurt. Within two days I was clear this was not personal and I have emerged whole and complete. Maybe the next time someone overlooks or misleads or accuses me of something the little stab of hurt maybe last only two minutes, and then 2 seconds and with practice with no emotion at all. Every time we are upset we would do well to remember, it is a set-up. W set the situation up to learn something that is not yet whole and complete within ourself.

Every upset is a set up

“A warrior chooses a path with heart, any path with heart, and follows it; and then he rejoices and laughs. He knows because he sees that his life will be over altogether too soon. He sees that nothing is more important than anything else.” Carlo Castenada

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