(*If you are uncomfortable with this profanity this may be an uncomfortable read for you. It is not my intention to offend. I do encourage you to sit with your discomfort and just notice it (#mindfulnessinaction). You are also welcome to shut this shit down and move along (#consciouschoicemaking). It’s all good.)
What do I know about shit?
Truly, I live a privileged, blessed – very blessed – life. My basic needs are much more than met, I love and am loved, I have my health, I have the luxury of contemplation – of space and time to sit and do nothing should I choose – I live in the midst of mountains and trees and lakes, and with North American comforts at my fingertips. In fact, the majority of us on this continent are living relatively abundant and uncomplicated lives of well-being. And yet, shit happens. Aggravating, annoying shit at best, and heart breaking, life-shattering shit at worst.
And all of it – every last ounce of it – is holy.
Although in the midst of our struggle and our heartbreak nothing could feel further from the truth. As we are moving through it (or sitting amidst it) it is so tempting to feel like the shit is happening outside of us and to us. Other people, circumstances, and situations can really bung us up. “If she hadn’t said that…” or, “if he had just stuck around…” or, “if my parents hadn’t screwed me up…” If it weren’t for THEM then life would be a bowl of prunes. Maybe…
But, I believe we know better than that. I know better than that. I know that surrounding me are people who are unconditionally loving and supportive and yet I may be the first to tell you when something is rotten in the state of Denmark. And, frankly, more often than not it is not someone or something outside of me fouling up my mind/heart/spirit, but simply my own unpleasantness – some days I am a walking shit storm.
Like many people, I presume, I judge myself in these moments. I’m “in a rut,” or “out of balance.” I’m “not at my best” or “really screwing up my kids.” I “don’t know what has gotten into me,” or I’m “just in a bad place.” These are the times that maybe cause us to shake our heads in disbelief at the crap and mutter an expletive. These are what I call ‘holy shit moments’.
I was living a series of these moments not long ago when something happened. All of these stink bombs were going off on the heels of me coming to my daily meditations with some specific intentions, seeking out growth and clarity. Coincidence? Indeed. And in my world all coincidences are meaningful. So I took notice. Here I was looking for direction, connection, empowerment and finally at a place where I felt ready to allow these into my present moment when bam – a ‘holy shit moment’ would happen. Initially these felt like such a departure from where I felt my spirit to be; so why, I wondered, was this shit happening? Then one morning after expelling some verbal excrement in my driveway while loading up my kids and tripping over one emotional obstacle after another, clarity kicked in. “THIS SHIT IS HOLY.” Here was everything I was seeking, all of it a perfect opportunity in this present moment for me to show up to what was showing up for me.
Here I was receiving everything I had been asking for: opportunities to allow all of my potential to express itself. Yet I was standing in my own way judging situations, people, and events as un-perfect when the truth is that all of this shit and dealing with this shit is what gives a person the acumen to show up to life in a fierce, vital and fully actualized way.
Because, what if?
What if all the crap in our lives is sacred? What if every aspect of this ‘being human’ – all of it – is worthy of our reverence?
What if we could transmute all of the shit that crosses our paths so that it becomes an opportunity for us to move more fully and completely into our own power, awesome-ness, and authentic selves. What if accepting the presence of shit is the key to accessing our wholeness?
What if shit is ‘not happening to us but for us?’
What if the only thing that is keeping us from experiencing our completeness is the separation, the sense of separate-ness between our individual self and our universal Self, that we create when we start making distinctions between what is good and bad, worthy and unworthy, welcome and unwelcome in our lives.
What if this shit is holy?
This little tweak in my thinking has been changing my life. It has become a daily practice for me anytime I am feeling challenged, overwhelmed, disheartened, or less-than to turn this shit over. To call my power back to me.
I invite you to join me in the following practice. When someone or something causes you to remark to yourself in shock and disbelief, “Holy shit!” as you wonder how or why this is happening to you or around you:
(1) IMMEDIATELY PAUSE: allow yourself to be in the immediacy of the moment and do nothing, inserting a space between what is happening and your response to it,
(2) INTENTIONALLY BREATHE: calm down that nervous system so you can reflect before you react,
(3) NAME WHAT IS HAPPENING: identify what you feel happening in your body and in your mind. As you witness this moment you shift it from the unconscious to the conscious realm, thus permitting yourself to become active in your choice-making,
(4) SMILE: because you are down with this shit (and because smiling releases feel-good neurotransmitters that are, in short, part of a heart healthy diet and serve as a prescription-free anti-depressant),
(5) TURN IT OVER: declare to yourself or whoever else may be in earshot, “This shit is holy!”
(6) NOTICE THE SHIFT: become aware of the subtle change within your body and your mind when you decide to release resistance to the present moment and when you allow yourself to move through life with finesse and faith in your ability to show up to the here and now.
Make this a way of life. Don’t let yourself get distracted by self-condemnation. There is little opportunity for growth in that. The shit, and embracing – and I mean truly welcoming – the shit is what gives you the insight and perceptiveness to discern how to step into and access your depth and potential as a fully actualized human being in this time and space.
This is the practice.
And so it is.
Gallup-Healthways Wellbeing Index: http://www.well-beingindex.com/americas-lead-highs-sub-saharan-africa-lows-in-well-being
#truthbombs via Danialle Laporte: “I call my power back to me now. I am whole and I am complete.” http://www.daniellelaporte.com/truthbomb/
For more on conscious choice-making and the Law of Karma: Chopra, Deepak. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.San Rafael and Novato, California: Deepak Chopra, Amber-Allen Publishing, and New World Library, 1994. Print.
For more on the power of your smile: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile.
© Miriam Desjardins, 2015