The Union Path Podcast - A practical spiritual podcast about truth, awareness, and walking the path of unity.
The Union Path Podcast
"Cooperating With Our Own Life"
Sometimes when we're stuck, sometimes when we find ourselves in patterns that we normally don't wanna participate in, we would really like to stop. We really like to stop living through the repetition. We'd really like to break the cycle, keep things from happening again. And when we look at our life and we look at the same patterns, the same things, the same people, places, things floating through, over and over and over again.
They come in different forms. They have different labels, but largely they all feel the same. It all feels very repetitive. Like we're stuck in a routine like we're. Just forced to live out the same play, saying the same lines, acting out the same motions over and over and over and over again. And sometimes when we find ourselves in these patterns, it can be important to ask ourselves what sort of fundamental shift is needed.
If I've already made changes, have I made those changes at a deep enough level to really be able to affect and implement the change that I'm trying to create? And sometimes paradoxically, so perhaps, ironically, so a cause for our own stagnation, a cause for all this repetition is our own pushing, is our own resistance is our own doing too much, trying too hard.
Sometimes it's our own rigidity. It's our own iron will of making ourselves do the same thing over and over and over again. Because we've decided this is how we get what we want. This is what brings in what we want. This is what delivers us to the future in the experience that we actually want to live.
What if we're at a point where we're tired, we're at a point where we're burned out. If we're at a point where we're just. Sick and tired of just being so tired, just being so absolutely ground down. And it's important to take a look at ourselves and maybe realize that our experience in life isn't all about circumstance.
Our experience in life isn't all about what happens to us, that we have a part to play, that the creation of our life experience is a co-creative process. Things are happening to us, but we have a part to play as well. We have a part to play from our own perspective, from our own beliefs, from the ways that we interpret things that happen to us or things that don't happen to us.
We are a key contributor to overall experience, the overall tenor of our life. We are a key creator contributing to what our life is actually like, what it actually feels like. To live the life we're living and sometimes we reach a point that we realize that we're the ones who are in the way. Maybe even more than that, we're the ones who actually aren't cooperating.
That can be so easy to feel like things would be so much better if such and such would happen. Things would be so much better if this other person was just different. Things would be so much better if I just had some other thing. If something would happen to me, if something different would happen to me, that would change everything.
Or if somehow I could be different, I could make some change to my confidence, my physical form, the way I do things, my personality, I could somehow orchestrate an architect and execute. My own behavior, my own expression in a way that would make better things happen for me. But I think we can all hear at least a little bit, there's a lot of resistance in these ideas.
This doesn't really sound very cooperative. This actually sounds pretty adversarial. This sounds more like pushing against than going with. And if this is a point that we've reached, This is really valuable information. This is really useful. This can be a tremendous gift to realize that we're the ones in our own way.
We ourselves are the obstacles that we're trying to surmount because of course, we're the ones who have full agency over ourselves that if we're the ones causing something in our life, then we can decide to change that whenever we wish. It's not dependent on someone else. We're not requiring someone else or something else to be different, that the change we're waiting for is within ourselves.
The thing that we're waiting to be different is us, and we can decide to change whenever we want. And sometimes that fundamental change is something as simple as shifting our default mode of being. When we break down our own behavior, there's really only two ways to really be when we get down past beliefs, thoughts, emotions, feelings.
When we kind of get down to the core of what we do, there's really only two types of behavior, and that's active or passive. That's the yang and yang of life. Are we pushing? Are we allowing, are we using force? Are we yielding? When we get down to our physical reality at its core, it really dig does exist in this binary state.
And of course, we could get really semantic about it and say, well, there's actually a third way of doing nothing. But I didn't make an argument that even doing nothing is either active or passive. That either we're doing nothing because. We've become overly passive to our own life, or we're doing nothing in kind of a passive aggressive way, or we're doing nothing out of fear, and that nothing, that no activity, that no action is actually a manifestation of our own resistance, of our own pushing against which resistance is always active.
And so when we look at our own life, when we look at our own behavior, We look at it through this spectrum, through this lens of how active or passive are we being? Of course, what we're striving for is a sense of balance and not a sense of balance that we're exactly active as much as we're passive. A sense of balance that we're doing actually fits with life, that we're active when it's appropriate, when it seems called for, and that we're passive when it seems appropriate and seems called for as well.
We allow ourselves to be fluid. We allow ourselves to move between action and inaction. We allow ourselves to flow between force and yielding, and sometimes when we're too far out on the force spectrum of things, one of the most valuable things we can do is stop trying to make things happen and start letting things happen.
This can be really easy. To get out too far on either side of the spectrum, specifically with force, specifically with action, specifically with trying to make things happen. So much in our American culture coaches us into this stance, into this approach that good things happen because we made them happen.
Everything that we have that's good is a direct result of our own effort, of our own doing. Which to some extent is true that it ease our doing that creates outcomes in our life, but it's also our non-doing that creates outcomes as well. That if we are so focused, if we so overvalue, if we so elevate the active, the force, the power, the control, that means that we completely devalue.
We completely diminish, we completely overlook. Sometimes we ignore. The power of our own passivity, the power of yielding, because in order to yield, in order to really yield in a comfortable way, you have to cooperate. You have to move with what's happening. You have to drop your resistance. You actually have to go with life with what's happening right now in the present moment.
You have to be aware, you have to consider, you have to allow, you have to be open, and it's precisely this ability to move from the active to the passive, from the force to the yielding and back again. That makes the human being such a powerful creator because we can choose, we can oscillate between these two states.
It will, when they're fully developed, when they're fully available, when we're fully open to both. We go into life with these tools, we go into life being able to wield the perfect tool for whatever the job is at hand, whatever the task or the challenge is in front of us. And there's no rule book. There's nothing that says every time something happens, the perfect response is force versus other things that happen.
The perfect response is always yielding. It's way more fluid than that. It's more of a present moment awareness. It's more of an ability to surrender, but surrender from a perspective of letting go surrender from a perspective of cooperation, not of giving up, not of quitting. Surrender from the perspective of fully being aware and fully accepting what is, and then moving forward with that information, moving forward with that awareness.
Sometimes surrender can actually have a tremendous amount of action. It's not all about lying down, defeated in a puddle on the floor. Sometimes surrender looks extremely effortful, but it's not. Surrender always has a sense of ease to it because it's actually accepting. It's finally coming to grips. It's finally moving with what has actually happening.
It's finally letting go. It's finally. Not going through life with such a profound death grip of trying to make things happen all the time and shifting more into a mode of letting things happen. And sometimes we are a full and active participant in this, letting things happen. Sometimes we're not.
Sometimes we're active, sometimes we're passive. But that's the beauty of surrender. We come when called, we go with whatever's happening, we actually cooperate. With our own life, we make the shift from trying to control everything from trying to make certain things happen. We make this shift from trying to rule over our own life, sometimes as harsh tyrant, to actually be able to participate in our own life, to be able to create hand consume.
To be able to cooperate with life, to be a part of life instead of always trying to be above it, always trying to orchestrate it, always trying to bend it and shape it to make it match whatever idea we have, whatever vision we have, whatever perspective we have, and just let life be life. But even more than that, when we apply this to ourselves, we get to allow ourselves to be as we are as well.
We meet life where it is, and we meet life as we are as well. We stop trying to force change when change isn't the flow of what's actually happening. We learn to take our cues from life while at the same time contributing back to life as well. We learn to dance. We learned to have a conversation, a dialogue we'd learned to cooperate.
We learned to move with life instead of against it. We learned to flow with life and then constantly trying to dam and redirect the flow of life as it comes to us. We finally lay our defenses down. We finally lay our struggle down. We finally lay our quarrel down and just go, just be. Just move forward and move forward in a cooperative way.
Move forward with what is. Because if we've lived a life in quote unquote control, if we've lived a life trying to make things happen, I think it's really important. I think it's really fundamental that we realize that often this leads to a very frustrating life. Often this leads to a life that feels very hard.
This leads to a life that feels like it grinds against us, that we feel like life is resisting us, like life is in our way, and that everything is overly hard. And it's only through our own Herculean superhuman effort that anything happens at all that it's really important that we realize that maybe just maybe life feels so uncooperative with us because we are the ones who aren't cooperating.
We're the ones who aren't going along. This is where it gets really valuable to break ourselves out of our own individualistic thinking, our own self-centeredness. I think that everything in life revolves around us to realize that we are a participant, that we are an equal part of creation with every other aspect of creation, and that as we let life flow through us, we flow back into life as well.
We get to join the cooperation. We get to join the confluence of where life is going, of what's happening. Of what's being created, of moving forward, of progress of growth, because that's the thing about being creative. That's the thing about quote unquote making things happen, is that in order for any sort of creation to take place, there has to be cooperation.
We cannot do things entirely ourselves. We need life to cooperate with us. We need the resources of life. We need the guidance of life. We need the full-throated cooperation and contribution of life to actually create what we're trying to create. And so it doesn't do a lot of good if we need this level of cooperation.
And we are the ones who aren't cooperating. We're the ones who aren't joining in because I think on some level, if we explore deeply enough, We realize that life is always cooperating with us, whether we realize it or not. Life is always delivering us the experience that's a match to who we really are, to the person we're actually being.
That if we're going into life, obstinate, resistant, pushing against, then life often gives us things to resist, things to push against. It responds. In the way that it's addressed versus if we shift our attitude, if we shift our perspective, if we shift our behavior into a more cooperative mode, then life tends to cooperate with us as well.
Life tends to give back what it's given. Life tends to reflect the person we're being, life tends to give us what we are. So if we're tired of pushing, if we're tired of controlling, if we're tired of trying to make things happen all the time, then a really useful shift is to look at our life and figure out where we ourselves can be more cooperative, or we ourselves can drop resistance or we ourselves can start flowing with life instead of pushing against it where we ourselves can stop trying so hard to make things happen.
And learn to let things happen. Learn to develop both sides of ourselves. Learn to develop both abilities, the ability to be active and the ability to be passive. The ability to apply force when it's called for, and the ability to, to apply yielding when it's called for. Learn the value of both will and surrender.
Just learn to live a life that just doesn't feel so hard, that just doesn't feel so fraud. It just doesn't feel so difficult to navigate and get through. Learn to move with life instead of against it. Learn to actually cooperate with a life that's already cooperating with us. Learn that in a lot of ways we are the headwaters, we are the.
Originators of our own experience. We set the tone of our own life and whatever tone we're setting, life will reflect that back to us. If we tend to be frustrated, life tends to give us all sorts of things to be frustrated about. If we tend to be angry. Life tends to give us all sorts of things to be angry about.
We get to choose. We can choose happiness, we can choose joy, we can choose peace. We can choose the tenor. We can choose how we want to feel and know that as we become that feeling, life will deliver this back to us. But at the very least, if we've been pushing too hard, if we've been trying too hard, if we've been doing too much, well, this is the par perfect opportunity to learn, to do less, to learn to let go, to learn to yield, to learn, to start cooperating.
The very least to learn how to listen, how to pay attention, how to learn to not be so overconfident that we already know everything. Learn to drop the hubris of trying to play ultimate creator, an ultimate ruler of our own life, and become a little more passive. Learn to move with life rather than constantly trying to master it and control it.
Because when we start to listen, when we start to be aware of life, it'll start to show us things. It'll start to teach us things. We will learn things we would've never guessed. We will observe things and we never thought were possible. If we just start to listen. If we break out of this idea that we already know everything, we already know exactly where we want to go, we already know.
Everything there is to know about ourselves and about life. Maybe challenge these ideas a little bit. Maybe stop and listen for a second. Maybe we'll learn something new. Maybe we'll experience something completely unexpected. Maybe we will realize that there's way more going on in life than we think there is.
Especially if we feel like we've been in control all along, especially when we feel like we can make life comport and conform to whatever our goals are, whatever our action plans are to whatever our strategies are, that if we're used to bending life to our will, maybe we can take a step back and not only look at.
And really be honest about how effective is that really? How does that feel really, is that the kind of life experience we actually want? But we can allow life to contribute back to us. We can allow life to inform us. We can learn something, we can grow, we can change if we can listen, if we can stop being so dedicated and so busy in trying to make things happen.
If we can surrender our control and offer it to cooperation, if we can play with the idea that maybe the route to everything we want is enabled and empowered by moving with life instead of against it by going forward, by going forth into every day, cooperating, working with what is doing, what we can with what we already have.
Realizing that we actually have far more than we think We do. Take our focus on what's missing, what's incomplete, what we haven't gotten that we should have, how we've been treated unfairly, how we've been cheated, how we've drawn the short straw, and instead be aware and appreciate what we have. Come to the awareness, come to the acknowledgement that we actually have far more than we thought we did.
Perhaps things are actually a lot better than we think they are. Cause we've spent so much time just focusing on the negative. We've spent so much time focusing on what isn't. We've lost sight, that we've lost awareness, we've lost focus on what is. We've become negative because we've only been focused on the negative, on the lack, on what's missing, on what's absent.
And through our negativity have negated. Our own opportunities for joy, our own opportunities for full life experience, that our own dissatisfaction, our own frustration, has kept us from cooperating, has kept us from moving with life, has kept us out of the flow of life, which oftentimes is all we want.
All we really want is to feel that flow. All we want, really want is to be one with life and existence. We can spend so much time fighting it. So much time resisting it. So much time being in our own way. You know, we have no idea. Cause we never stop to listen. We never stop to pay attention. We never try anything different.
If we've gotten addicted to force and control, we never try yielding because that would undermine what we're trying to do. That would be a counter force to the force we're trying to yield. But I think if we've tried to be too overly invested in force and control for too long, and we realize this isn't actually the route to what we want, because this just seems to bring more of what needs to be pushed against, what needs to be controlled, that our force begets force things get harder, not easier.
The more we try to control, the more things seem to go out of control, and so we're led to this realization. We're led to this epiphany. We're led to this change that we just need to let go. We need to try passivity for a change. We need to try yielding for a change. We need to try paying attention for a change.
We need to try to listen for a change. We may need to get out of ourselves, get out of our own self-interest, our own ideas. For a minute, just breathe. Just listen. Just pay attention. Cuz life is always communicating to us. Life is always showing us everything we need to know. Life is always reflecting back to us what we're doing and who we're being.
And we get to choose what we do with that information. We get to choose whether we even take in this information, and if we do, we get to choose how we use it, but it's always available. That's the beauty of self-awareness. It's always there. It's always ready. It's always waiting. It's always available to help us learn and grow.
It's always available to help us take one step closer. To whatever truth we're trying to find. But in order to find our way to truth, we need to learn to find a way to be balanced. We need to learn to find a way to balance our activity or our passivity. We need to find a way to balance our force with our yielding.
We need to try to find a way to balance our control with our surrender and find the middle way, find the third way, find the beauty and the combination. And know that the ideal mix always changes. That's the beauty of life. We get to participate in it. It's always different. It's always showing us something new.
It's never something we can fully master in control, and that's the beauty of it. That's what makes it worth living, is that life has to be lived, has to be experienced. There are no shortcuts. There are no way ar ways around it. And so on some level, if this is what's happening, we might as well go with it.
We might as well try. We might as well cooperate cuz all of this is happening anyway in all of our force and all of our control, but over a long period of time doesn't really seem to work as well as we think it does. If we're honest, doesn't really seem to deliver the kind of life experience that we really want to live so we can learn to do something different.
We can learn to stop trying so hard. We can learn to cooperate. We can learn to get out of our own way and move with life. Allow life to contribute to us and allow us to contribute back to life. Adopt a cooperative stance, adopt a cooperative approach, because ultimately it's fullness that life is trying to deliver to us, it's fullness that we ourselves are ultimately trying to live.