--- In email@example.com
, "Jeff Belyea"
> This morning's writing,
> too long for an email,
> uploaded in the Files
> Prowl Panthers!
Since (I think this is the case) only members of this
forum are able to read anything in the Files, and this
article is so in-spiring, in-couraging, and well written,
I've copied it below so everyone who wants to can read it.
To paraphrase something Mozart once told the king who
told him to take some notes out of a musical piece he
had composed, "It's not too long or too short - it's
exactly as long as it should be."
Thanks for sharing this "everywoman/everyman's story".
Peace and blessings,
Dream A Little Dream With Me.
When I was very young I lived in a fantasy world of
movie-inspired adventure. The world was my ripe watermelon
(I don't like oysters), sweet and juicy and satisfying.
As I grew older and submitted to the social coercion of
fitting in, and acting normal, I slipped into the quiet
desperation that most men suffer. I played the game, but I
was never "in" the game. I joined the parade of worker bees,
hoping for nothing more than middle-class success. I was
bored, constipated and pretty much miserable. Oh, I took
the typical excursions of sex, drugs and rock `n' roll.
Um, maybe I was a little more indulgent than the average
bear, but I stayed mostly in the mainstream and out of any
real trouble - criminal and otherwise.
Then, as I approached 30, the quiet desperation turned to
an existential angst that gnawed at me until the pain became
so unbearable that I abandoned everyone and everything in my
life. I ripped off the nice, respectable, middle class,
dressed-for-success persona. Remember the sex, drugs and
rock'n'roll thing? Well, those were first stops along the
way to what would become a vision quest, and an enlightenment
experience that would change my life even more dramatically
than the earlier flee.
Now, I didn't know of any such thing as a vision quest, and
I only use that term in retrospect. My simple and primary
goal was to escape the choking oppression that I felt.
However, the guilt of my slip-out-the-back-Jack move overtook
me in a few years. It haunted me in my sober moments, but it
really overtook me in about 3 years from the time I left.
Life became more than bleak. I wanted to die. I asked to
die. My mantra became, "let me die", until one day I looked
heavenward, and asked, "What did I miss?"
The response to that question was to come on July 21, 1975
at about 9:30 in the morning. In the midst of a quiet
meditation I experienced what is typically described by
NDEs, Near Death Experiencers. I was given a pardon by
the governor; I mean THE governor. I was free from guilt,
shame, and degradation over my past deeds, and given a new
life free from fear and doubt. I happily, make that
ecstatically, returned to the mainstream buzz of worker
bees. Only this time I found joy in work, joy in relationships,
joy , joy, joy. The world was my watermelon (or honeycomb,
in this case) once again. And I have stayed in the garden
ever since. A little fear and doubt creeps in, but never
of the intensity that robs me of my joy or makes me angry
for anything more or longer than a ripple in time. But
obviously, that's not the end of the story.
Given this new found freedom and enthusiasm for life, I
was dressed-for-success once again. I played the game
better than before, and moved through the corporate ranks
at virtually every stop. I earned a bunch of degrees and
certifications in this and that; thinking that these would
enhance and insure my success. And they did
I grew up in a blue-collar world, and my aspirations were
limited to what I saw as one step higher on the ladder -
a white collar, good-paying job, or a small business of my
own. Small was as big as I could think. I would dream, but
more like dreams of winning the lottery or being left a
inheritance by a rich uncle. I don't have a rich uncle, but
this is a dream, remember.
Then one day in the not too distance past, I woke up. I didn't
want to wait for a rich uncle to die. I wanted to become that
rich uncle. But my strategy was flawed. We do not break out
of the swarm by becoming better bees, with more degrees.
Worker bees never change jobs. Even the snappiest dressers,
in corner offices, never become anything more than worker
bees. They have grander excursions, bigger honeycombs, a
louder buzz, sometimes more vacations (sometimes less)
they're still worker bees. They cannot imagine themselves,
other than in some fanciful moment, beeing (intentional)
anything else. A light bulb came on. No, I didn't become a
moth. But to stay with the small insect metaphor, I became a caterpillar.
We must evolve. We must grow wings and gracefully fly over
the brick wall of small-minded thinking, over the corporate
wall, and off into the wild blue yonder. We must tap into a
vision, into inspired acts of courage, and, if necessary,
abandon everyone and everything that limits us and keeps us
from our dreams.
Or we can nestle down into our life of quiet desperation. Or
we can deny our quiet desperation. Or we can drown the
desperation in sex, drugs and B-movies. Evolution is not for
everyone. The side effects can kill you. Of course, if you're
happy and you know it, clap your hands. If that didn't startle
you and wake you up, then you just may be one of the fortunate
ones, and this story can be filed in the non-applicable draw.
If you're still reading, you may have a question, like,
"How can I evolve?". Well, like the caterpillar, we are
destined to evolve. Everything we need to evolve into a life
of peace, love, joy and rich success came with us at birth.
The problem is what we have learned since then. The solution
is to unlearn and return to our natural birthright. We must
die to our old way of thinking, give up all of our misguided
presumptions, and untie the knots of social coercion. There
are (at least) two ways to do this: shrink or expand.
The way of the shrink: Tell me what's on your mind. Spill it
all out. Keep going. What else? And how do you feel about
that? See you next week
and next week
and next week. At some
point you may come to the bitter root of your presumptions
about life and relationships that keeps growing weeds in your
mind and choking out your joy in life. Potentially, out of
this will come insights, and a reframing, rethinking about
your life strategy, and a new found freedom. Wings.
The way of expansion: One day you feel an inner stirring.
Something is missing in your life. You don't know what. And
the feeling gnaws at you until you begin to search for the
answer. It's a mystery, and you don't have a clue. But you
search. You have no choice. Then, one day, in the midst of
quiet meditation, or in the midst of a mud-wrestling match,
it hits you. Your mind melts. You give up searching completely.
Your head knowledge drops into your heart. And from this
seat of wisdom, without words, comes THE answer. A sudden
rush of wisdom whooshes in, and you realize that you have
wings. A whole new identity that you have never dreamed or
imagined is yours, and a whole new world opens up before you
Some people make this journey alone. For many, a guide who
has made the journey, is of great help. A shrink, a guru, a
good book, a gorgeous sunrise, an obnoxious boss; any of these
can catapult you over the wall. A walking stick for your
journey is best fashioned out of a choice to love. Choose to
be a loving, forgiving, grateful person. In the midst of the
pain preceding evolution, this ain't easy, but keep coming
back to it. Love is the best walking stick on life's journey
known to man and woman. All of the masters agree.
And now, for the practical side (which may not be obvious to
some, but you have read this far) of this cosmic dream. Once
this truth that sets you free is known, you are truly capable
of inspired living. You can become an artist in all that you
do, and a master of all you choose to focus your energies on
persistently. Trust, no matter what. Let love guide you to
your destiny. Do what you love doing, at all costs. The ROI
puts Wall Street to shame, and puts you in the garden of
lush watermelons, milk and honey, for the rest of your days.
Jeff Belyea , known by some as Papajeff, is a meditation
teacher and personal coach in St. Petersburg, Florida.
He can be reached by email at jeff@...
or on his
cell phone at 727-542-7117.