Inner Shifts of Being

Sunset from the bluffs while gazing across the Sound toward the Olympics. Richmond Beach Park, Shoreline, Washington, Sunday 23 September 2012. Foto by William Dudley Bass.

Sunset from the bluffs while gazing across the Sound toward the Olympics. Richmond Beach Park, Shoreline, Washington, Sunday 23 September 2012. Foto by William Dudley Bass.

Something has shifted in me recently. What has shifted is I’ve lost my taste to speak harshly of others.

During the unexpected challenges of recent years I almost crumbled. The past few months were particularly difficult emotionally and financially. I could’ve sunk deeper into cynicism and bitterness and wallowed in apathy and self-pity. Instead I found the strength and the courage to pivot into a field where there are no paths. My life was my own to choose. My life was mine to live.

One of the most rancorous election campaigns in America has ended. A superstorm smashed into the eastern edges of the Continent of North America. Global climate disruption is now obvious. Wars, massacres, crimes, riots, and genocides burn around the world. Economic and financial turmoil fester with volatility and fear while we hope and work for the great turnaround. I care…and care not as what is so is observed.

Much has changed within me, and I still feel the percolation. A week ago I spent time walking the beaches of the Salish Sea with my good friend Kurt, an intense yet calm man of intuitive depth. Afterwards he emailed me, “I just have to tell you I sense a fundamental shift in you.”

It’s too early, I feel, to discern if this is merely change, as in change is merely moving all around in new ways yet fundamentally being the same, or true transformation. Perhaps I can’t distinguish change from transformation as I’ve been conditioned to believe the latter must look and act radical and dramatic. Perhaps the most powerful transformations are the quiet ones. Perhaps the most sublime is the subtlest.

I do know what I know in the moment of clarity and presence. I know I’ve lost my taste for raging against all the powers that be. I know I’ve lost my taste for blaming and shaming, and for making those of different political persuasions and religious beliefs bad, wrong, and stupid. Instead I move toward more just being with all the differences, with taking my stands without judgments or opinions, with practicing kindness instead of rage, with practicing acceptance instead of cynicism.

Impatience has led to many a stumble with shit on my face, and dog shit at that. So may I be patient in all moments.

Love and power, compassion and equanimity, and kindness blossom within me as I learn to surf the tides and currents of Life. And Life is full of horror. The pain does not vanish in la-la-las. There is hard work to do at times and difficult people to engage with. There are serious and terrible events I need to pay attention to as I choose responsible responses. And ultimately, I learn to relax in the midst of it all, to observe what is, to accept what is so without having to like it, and being free to respond by choice without reacting from fear and hate.

May I be patient in every moment. Thank you.

William Dudley Bass
A sunny Saturday on 10 November 2012
Shoreline/Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

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