The Union Path Podcast - A practical spiritual podcast about truth, awareness, and walking the path of unity.
The Union Path Podcast
"Turn the Page"
There's an expression I really like, and it's the idea of turning the page, the idea of moving on, the idea of moving forward. It seems to be quite a bit imbued, quite a bit symbolized by this idea of turning a page. And in my life, in my experience anyway, this is usually one real change. has started to become real, has really started to make itself known, has really started to make itself become manifest, is when I was willing to finally turn the page, when I was willing to finally change.
I could spend as much time and energy wanting change as I wanted. But until I decided to change, all of that was just potential. All of that was just theoretical. All of that was locked away as possibility. But it actually took me... Making the action, deciding to do something different, the action of turning the page, the option of deciding to endeavor towards something new, deciding to leave the past in the past, deciding to set forth, deciding to try again, deciding to try something new, that idea of moving forward, which I believe is so perfectly symbolized by this idea of turning the page.
We're not going backwards, to overstend this analogy a bit, we're not going backwards in the book of our life. Looking for clues, looking for all the things that we've done wrong. Looking to recreate something that might have worked once. We're daring to move forward. We're daring to let the story continue.
We want to see what happens next rather than trying to control our life and make what happened previously happen again. We're daring to experience the new. We're daring to experience the unknown. We're daring to move forward completely, leaving the past behind. And oftentimes, in my experience anyway, this is how real change is actually created.
is when we're finally willing to let the past go. When we're finally willing to let our death grip take our claws out of our past ideas and truly embrace life where it is. Truly embrace life where it's going. Truly embrace ourselves. Truly... Embrace the fact that we can move forward confidently and with courage in our own life Because we already know what we need to know and especially if we already know who we are If we already know what's important to us, then that's enough.
That's enough information And of course, we'll run across things. We'll run across challenge. We'll run across peril. We'll run across pain We'll run across setback because nothing can inoculate us from these things, nor would we want to. Because by saying we only want positive change in our life, we don't want any quote unquote negative change.
Means that we abandon and cast off any possibility for real change at all. As long as we condition change, as long as we say, well I'll experience change, but only in this way, in this time. And we actually cut ourselves off from possibility. That thus forcing things to be a certain way Ends up forcing our life to be a certain way Forcing our life to be far smaller than it could be far more stagnant than it could be far more frustrating That could be because we're constantly trying to control circumstance.
We're trying to Get life to conform and hem to our expectations for it, to only be the way we think it should be. So in that way, we're not really turning the page. We're trying to extend what we know, what we think, what we prefer, what we like into the future, rather than turning the page and seeing what happens next, because that idea of turning the page requires a bit of abandon, requires a dropping of resistance.
It means that we're going into our life fully. We're going forward fully. And learning to let go, trying to let go, wanting to let go. Because it can be so easy to let the ghosts of past failure continue to haunt us. To have the unrequited, unexperienced, unresolved, unfulfilled desires of the past continue to peck at us, continue to make themselves known, continue to have that void felt.
It's so easy to go into life trying to fulfill past hungers. When at some point we have to resolve that all we can experience is the present moment, all we can experience is what's happening now, and thus it's important to ask ourselves, well, what do we want now? If we're still trying to achieve something that we wanted weeks, months, years, decades ago, are those wants still really true?
Are we dragging old wants, old unfulfilled desires, old disappointments? Into our life, where if we're honest, we don't even want those things anymore anyway. Are we really looking at our life from the perspective of, from now on? Are we really looking at our life as a way to move forward, fully and completely, from precisely where we are?
Because we can't move forward from where we've been. The only step that matters, that's real, is the next one. And that next step can only be made from where we are. And we can only move forward as much as we'd like to move backwards, or as much as we'd like to just stand as still as possible. The only possible movement in our life is forward.
Life continues going, life continues growing, and we have to go and grow with it. There is no other choice. Life is growth and change. That's how we conceive of life, that's how we measure life. That's how we think of life, is change, and we get to choose how much we resist this change. We get to choose how easily, how willingly, how eagerly, we turn the page.
We move with life. We see where this story goes. We see what happens next, because it's my belief that the majority of the resistance we feel going through life It's not only internal, but it's self created, it's self perpetuated, it's us resisting what is, it's us resisting life itself, it's something happening to us and saying, no, not this, that, and absolutely, there are things in our life worthy of change, there are things in our life that Worthy of striving after that's the whole point of being alive.
That's the whole point of being a human being Is we have this incredible ability to create and that's ultimately what anyone is ever creating is change that however, we Define it. However, we notice it. However, we celebrate it What's being created is change and we get to choose the direction and the type of change that we create But this is a cooperative process that life is constantly growing and changing around us And we can either go willingly or we can fight it every step of the way We can either walk the path of our life or we can dig our heels and refuse to go We always have that choice.
We always have that agency We always have that free will to decide and express how willingly we go. Do we go under our own power or do we have to be dragged? We get to choose. We get to choose how we encounter life. We get to choose the relationship we have with life. We get to choose the interaction that we have with life at a base level.
We can choose to believe that life is good and trustworthy. We can choose to believe that life is wicked and out to get us. We can choose to believe in order and meaning. And we can choose to believe in randomness and chaos. It's up to us. And that sort of truth is completely personal. There's no one right way to think about anything for everyone.
That's why we have to establish it for ourselves. That's why we have to discover it for ourselves. That's why we have to experience it for ourselves and that's why we have to honor it for ourselves. What is true to us? What is real to us? What matters to us, what gives meaning to us, but in my opinion, especially if we're trying to create any sort of change, especially if we're trying to intentionally create change in our life, the fulfillment of that intention is made far clearer, far cleaner, by dropping our own resistance to change itself by dropping our own resistance to life itself.
I just learning to let go, learning to let go of. Whatever's causing us to grip so hard in the first place, our own doubt, our own fear, our own insecurity, our own confusion, our own discomfort, and all these feelings are absolutely real, but especially held over the longer term, can really become obstacles, can really be in the way.
between where we currently are and the life that we want to inhabit, that's the life that we want to live. And we can choose to put these down. We can choose to surrender these whenever we wish. And for many of us, often this happens around mid age or so. There seems to be several gates that we go through in life where we can really make big change or not.
Again, the choice is always up to us. One of these choices seems to be, one of these gates seems to be, seems to happen around mid age or so, when life is changing, when our roles are changing, when our identities are shifting, and we can choose to embrace this change, or we can choose to fight it. We can choose to not only step into the new, but experience a whole new set of benefits along the way, or we can try to hold on to the old.
We can choose to cling. We can choose to grasp after the past, and in my experience anyway, These two approaches feel completely different. One of the most beautiful things about dropping resistance around surrender, around just cooperating with life, around just accepting what is and moving forward within it, is just the sigh of relief, the liberation of it all.
We can just breathe out and just relax. We don't have to fight so hard, we don't have to resist so much. We can stop being so concerned and focused, trying to make things happen. Or keep things from happening, and instead direct at least some of that focus to what is happening. And then make decisions from that place.
Move forward from that place. Cooperate with what is. Instead of trying to control what is. At the very least it brings a sense of ease to our life. At the very least, it brings a sense of easiness to our life. At the very least, it feels better. Which can be easy to dismiss at first, that especially the more driven, the more kind of type A we are, we can say, well, it feels better, but so what?
I'm not getting anything done. I've got this whole list of to dos here. I've got all this achievement that I need to do. I've got all this production that I need to create. What good is feeling better? Well, to that person, which... Has been me, has been me talking to myself. That's all there actually is. This is one of my beliefs, that the only reason we ever do anything is because we want to feel a certain way.
It might come as a shock or disappointment, but life is all feeling. Life is a sensory experience. Life is a felt experience. From top to bottom, that that's all there is, is feeling. I think it's an interesting awareness to have. A really profound awareness, for me anyway, that when I really question, Well, why do I want anything?
Why do I want any particular possession? Any particular achievement? Any particular outcome? Any particular circumstance? Any particular relationship? Any particular recognition? It's because I want to feel a certain way. It's because all of those things create feelings, and since life is experienced as feeling, of course life isn't only experienced as feeling.
Of course there's more to it than that, but I think the idea at its core, that the only reason we ever want anything, oftentimes the only reason we ever do anything, is because we want to feel a certain way. That a lot of times I think we can think, well, I want to do this or that because I want to be this certain way.
We're going to look inside of this. Well, what does this B word mean? What's that all about? What does that being? I think if we really look underneath it, it's like, Oh, that being is feeling that that's one of the easiest grounding techniques that we can do really connect us with the present moment to really connect us with our own.
Consciousness with our own being is through thoroughly feeling ourselves in this moment right now. We feel our breath, we feel how our bodies feel, we feel how our bodies feel interacting with something else, how our bodies feel sitting in a chair, how our bodies feel walking on pavement, how our bodies feel walking along a beach, the wind in our face, the sun shining down on our skin, the sand beneath and in between our toes.
It's all feeling. And if we get to a point where we realize that everything we want is a feeling, it can be really easy to say, in fact I know I'm guilty of this, that everything we want is just a feeling. But that just is a funny word right there, because it's somehow minimizing, somehow takes something away from the idea that not only is life feeling, but feeling matters.
Feeling's important. Feeling's real. I think there's a lot of influence in our culture to say that feelings aren't real or feelings don't matter, that we should run our lives based on logic or reason or tradition or judgment, all thinking ways at characterizing and judging and evaluating our own experience.
And of course, this is absolutely a way to approach life. These things are absolutely real, but even that, even if we look at our life and judge it good or judge it bad, judge it wholesome or judge it corrupt, judge it full, judge it empty, judge it good, judge it bad, what's really going on there? That's generating feeling, that feels a certain way.
In a lot of ways, even our use of language, the words and pictures that we communicate with oftentimes are interpreted feeling, kind of translated feeling, especially when we're searching for a word and we're searching for the perfect word, we're going to be feeling after that perfect feeling. We know when we've hit the right one because It has the right ring to it, it has the right resonance to it.
It feels right. When we're going through our life trying to figure out what to do, or trying to figure out if what we're doing is good and right for us, well, we can feel it. It feels a certain way, and on some level we always know. We always know whether something is good or bad based on how it feels. And of course, new information can come in that can alter that feeling a bit.
New awareness can come in of where something that was formerly good now feels bad or something formerly bad now feels good. But that's consciousness. That's consciousness expanding. But when it comes to creating change in our life, when it comes to creating... real change in our life. The most important aspect of it, the most important thing that we need to be willing to do.
We need to be willing to go. We need to be willing to change. It was of course, it doesn't do us a lot of good to identify new places to go. If we're unwilling to go there, we have to be a willing participant. We have to cooperate with our own life. We have to be willing to turn the page. We have to want to turn the page.
It's the most effective change we can create in our life is a change that comes out of and is fed and sustained by real desire, by us really wanting to change. In fact, that's usually the point when we finally do change, is when that desire for change finally overwhelms whatever resistance we had to that change in the first place.
Whatever reasons we had for not changing, for trying to stay the same, or for only pursuing partial change, for wanting to drag some aspect of our past into the future that doesn't actually belong there, that it isn't until we're fully willing to go with the change that we want that it has any chance of really happening.
And again, this is totally up to us. We can go as willingly as we want to with change, or not. We can Resist as much as we want to, or not. It's up to us. We all get to choose. In a lot of ways, we're the ones writing the story of our life. But it's a cooperative process. It's a co creative process. It's a cooperative process with life itself.
And we live the best life when we cooperate with life. When we cooperate with change. Doesn't mean we have to like everything that happens to us. Doesn't mean we have to... Pretend that bad is actually good, or good is actually bad, but that's our opportunity to create new change. That's kind of the beauty of, even when we get what we want, often it doesn't come in the package or come in the way that we actually envisioned, which naturally creates nuance.
It just keeps the cycle going, keeps change moving, and we get to move right along with it. And oftentimes, the more we resist the change that's happening anyway, we just give ourselves a rougher ride. We just make our lives harder because we can choose to go with it. We can choose to turn the page whenever we wish.
But oftentimes it can seem like all of life is about moving forward and accumulating new things, new knowledge, new wisdom, new awareness, new experience. At least an equal part of life is also letting go, learning to surrender, learning to relinquish, learning to know the difference between what serves us and what doesn't, what's useful and what isn't, what is for us and what isn't, what is us and what isn't.
These distinctions are incredibly important and as our consciousness grows, as our awareness grows, we're more able to identify these distinctions. These distinctions become a lot more clear, and thus life becomes a lot more clear too. As we gain more and more self awareness, that in and of itself makes life a bit easier, a bit more clear, because now we know, now we have something to compare life to.
We're not going into life trying to be Everyone and everything else, we can go into life simply trying to be ourselves, trying to be more of ourselves. We don't have to emulate or reproduce anyone else. We can just be ourselves. And that's enough. And the more full, the more true, the more real version of ourselves that we can be.
Even better, and we find the way we live out that more full true version of ourselves when we're willing to go, when we're willing to accept ourselves, when we're willing to fully accept ourselves, when we're willing to fully accept change. When we're willing to fully cooperate with life, when we're willing, no matter where we are in the story of our life, to turn the page.