Hedge School
How to be Human Series
Standing in the Opening

Standing in the Opening

Where do we go now?
Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels

One of my first jobs out of college was becoming a sports journalist and photographer for a local newspaper. My editor and I reworked the entire sports section making it its own landing page in the paper. I wrote most of the stories published to this section and took all of the photos. It was a rewarding job in many ways.

During this time, personally, I was also struggling deeply. All of my compounded emotions from childhood and teens that I didn’t know how to process began stacking up on my body in the form of pounds. I’d been a star athlete in my high school years and now after college I was twice the size of myself.

One way I was able to metaphorically play with the puns of my own life and circumstances was by writing an editorial. I aptly called it ‘On the Sidelines’. In my mind this stood for two things. I was literally standing on the sidelines of every soccer, volleyball, football, cross country, basketball, wrestling, swimming, softball and baseball game in the area. And the second, I honestly felt like I was standing on the sidelines of my very own life.

After many changes, and years of determination and discipline I’ve been fortunate to also write, ‘From on the Sidelines to in the Game’, since that time as so much has shifted in my life since those years (there are stories upon stories for another day). Reminding me that I eventually did take that step into the arena.

Funnily enough, my editor from those days, reached out to me just last week! She needed help with a project and I was glad to respond to her in kind. But this simple gesture reminded me of my life in those days and despite the struggle, I instantly became grateful. Her note was like a sweeping gesture of gratitude moving through me. I remembered what we created together, I remembered how proud I felt standing side by side with her and showing our creation to the world, and most of all, I remembered how much she believed in me and fought for my ideas to come to fruition. Rebecca Herren, if you’re reading this, Thank you!

Which leads us here, this week, almost 20 years later… to Standing in the Opening. Obviously, I’m still writing Op Ed’s about my own life and experience. There is a sense of service in the words I write. I write for you and me, and all those that these words will someday reach and impact. I write, because sometimes our journeys can be lonely. As another mentor of mine posted this last week, “No one told me how lonely healing could be.”

True. Story.

When I was in an especially dark and chaotic time about ten years ago, compounded by grief and spiritual crisis, there was one thing I wanted. I wanted to hear other people’s experience. I didn’t want them to tell me what to do. I wanted to hear what their moments were like during each breath and step of their dark and light days. There were a few books that came to light during these times, one of which was, Apprenticed to Spirit: The Education of a Soul by David Spangler.

“Where two or more are gathered
in the name of that which loves,
that which is compassionate, that which
liberates, there blessing is also.”
David Spangler, Blessing

In the book, Spangler details how we can “lead lives of greater blessing and to be of service for the world as a whole.” All the topics, basic surface layer conversations never get to. And while I was reading alone in my very own living room it was like I could feel the presence of every person who had ever read, or ever will read that book, all in a group reading at the same time with me. The sense was, I am not alone. Even though I was, in my living room, and yet I wasn’t in my heart and soul.

This. Is. Why. I. Write.

We, are not alone. We can tune into these senses and feelings of togetherness, connectedness during times of struggle and beyond. Our capacity to honestly know this part of ourselves is one of our greatest gifts as humans. I could go on and on, yet there’s so much I don’t know.

We’ll leave it there.

The Opening. Have you ever completed a certain phase of your life? Perhaps high school, home, college, a relationship, a job, a destiny?

And where do you go next? What are the parameters for that next step? Is it to flee and survive a situation? Is it to lean towards that which lights you up? Is it to pause and listen?

Our treatment of the Opening is a clear indication of our treatment of Creativity herself.

Honestly, none of these words seem to be working right now. How can I talk about the Opening when Russia is invading Ukraine? Anything that I go through, in my privileged life, seems miniscule compared to the openings that are being created by humans having to leave their homes, their families, their towns, ALL that they have known…

The spiral of injustice continues.

And this is a story that has drowned me many times before, left me sitting on the sidelines of my very own life. The question needs to become, how can we hold what is happening in the greater world while holding what is happening in our very own lives?

It’s a dual position stance. One doesn’t take precedence over the other. They are intertwined. And so I must, I must honestly look at the Opening here at home, with the people that surround me, in my very own heart.

Standing. In. The. Opening. Together.

All of me wants to have a “next” sitting readily available in my hands. The next venture, the next passion, the next project, the next destiny, the next great solution…

And while nothing is here, yet, all of me also knows I am perfectly calm, safe, and centered right where I am. I am listening alert and aware. Moving with Full Body Yes’. My compass has been restored and it is fully in tact!

My heart’s desire is to do that which I am most called to do, being of service through my experiences, perspectives, thoughts, feelings and senses in alignment with the Best Possible Outcome for ALL involved, including myself.

Another part of me is afraid. Afraid, if I wait, by being patient, listening, observing, then responding to what life presents that I’ll only be pulled towards someone else’s desire or destiny being a conduit for their manifestations of creation.

Friends, comrades and guides ask, “Is it true?”

And actually, it’s not! For the change is in me. I know what I want now. And even if I don’t know what that looks like, I can sense the essence of it. Those full body yes’ really do add up!

Standing in the Opening seems to be more about Presence than anything. And maybe there isn’t an action step other than to fully be, fully breathe, fully sense in this moment… and when an opportunity arises to step forward when it’s a FULL BODY YES the step takes itself.

Hedge School
How to be Human Series
Charted explorations of humanness by a collective of humans walking their own path in life