We recently started a new Client Interaction Course as part of the Awakening Coaching Training, with coaches-in-training from all over the world. Each student in the course said something about why they are taking the course and what they hoped to gain from it. Sometimes I comment. Here is a dialog that took place last week.
Student: My deepest longing is to be who I am, and not who I thought I was supposed to be. To live from a place of freedom. I’ve seen so much of this grow in the Basic Skills Course already. To just really allow myself to live from a much more free, expansive place. I have a very deep longing just to belong, or feel connected, or to come home. I long to better understand my purpose and gift, and to use those to make more positive contributions in the world, to live with more love, peace and joy, and really just enjoy this beautiful life even more.
Arjuna: Beautiful, well said. You talked about the longing to be home. Of course, that is a beautiful and very valid thing and it has real energy: the longing to be home. At the same time, I want to put that a little bit in context, not so much for you, but as a reminder for all of us. Because it is possible to get in the habit of longing to be home, which can then potentially reinforce the feeling of not being home. If you long for something, it can actually reinforce the feeling of it not being there.
So, I’m going to ask you a few questions if that’s all right with you. As a reminder for all of us.
If you have a longing to go to Paris, what would you need to do to fulfill that longing?
Student: Buy a plane ticket, jump on a plane.
Arjuna: Exactly. If you had a longing to be in Portland, what would you have to do?
Student: Hop in my car, and I’ll be there in a few hours.
Arjuna: Right. But they both require action. Different degrees of action still requires action. If you had a longing to be in Tibet, what would you do?
Student: That would probably that a little more logistics, figuring out how to get there.
Arjuna: You’d need a visa from the Chinese government. Now what is the town you are in right now in Washington?
Student: I’m in Kennewick.
Arjuna: So I want to ask you, if you had a longing to be in Kennewick right now, what would you need to do?
Arjuna: But if you had that longing, what would you need to do to resolve it?
Student: Just to let go, and allow what’s already there to be.
Arjuna: “Allow what’s already there to be.” We talked earlier about mantras and this is a great mantra! “Allow what is already there to be.”
Hallelujah! Allow what is already there to be.
Whoever you are, and wherever you are, for just a minute say that to yourself: “Allow what is already there to be.” That is the essence of awakening. The very meaning of the word “home” is where you already are. You can go other places for a visit, but home is where you already are, home is where you belong, home is where you return to. You can take action to get to where you are not yet. But to get to where you already are means to allow what is already there to be. That does not take time, it takes only relaxing. It’s not something you have to work on, it is something that is now. You know that you don’t have to do anything to be in Kennewick except to relax and pay attention to what is already true. The same thing is true for what we call “coming home.” To be home is simply to relax, to do nothing, but to pay more attention to what is already here.
How does this sit with you so far?
Student: Wonderful, beautiful. It is true. I don’t know why we make it so hard, but we do.
Arjuna: You said “I don’t know why we make it so difficult.” Part of the answer to why we make it so difficult is exactly what we thought was going to help us. Religion, organized spirituality and gurus. Even really nice, good teachers can become a barrier. As soon as an organization and a teaching develops, the very thing we thought was going to help us actually gets in the way. It becomes a path, a process, something to work at. The same is true with me and Awakening Coaching. If it becomes a path, or something outside of yourself to depend upon, then what was intended to help starts to become a hindrance.
It is a very interesting perspective for all of us to sit with: why do we make it so difficult? The things we thought were helping can end up reinforcing the idea of being on a path in some way. Why do we have coaching? We have coaching because there is a longing to be where you already are. The more you take action and try to become what you already are, the more you unnecessarily push away what is already here.
The beautiful solution is service to others: to actually share with other people.
If you live in Kennewick, and you’ve noticed you have a habit of trying to get to Kennewick, then probably the best way to keep reminding yourself that you are already in Kennewick is to work at the Kennewick Welcome Center, or the Chamber of Commerce. Then, every day, you’re saying to people: “Welcome to Kennewick! Kennewick is so beautiful. Welcome to Kennewick!” If you spend all day saying, “Welcome to Kennewick,” you are unlikely to forget that you are already in Kennewick.
What does an Awakening Coach do? An Awakening Coach does not say, “You need to work hard to get home.” An awakening coach does not say you need to follow a teacher or a teaching or join an organization to get home. An Awakening Coach says: “Welcome home. Home is beautiful, full of energy, inspiration, brilliance and the source of all love. You are already home, you always have been. Whatever appeared to make it seem like you were not home was simply an innocent misunderstanding. You are already home. In fact you are home itself.” That’s what it means to be an Awakening Coach. And just like working at the Kennewick Welcome Center would be the best way of reminding yourself you are already in Kennewick, so serving other people is the best way to relax deeply into being what you already are.