Tuesday, January 19, 2010

From Ego to Awareness

To become free of the ego is not really a big job but a very small one. All you need to do is be aware of your thoughts and emotions — as they happen. This is not really a “doing,” but an alert “seeing.”
-- Eckhart Tolle, Oneness With All Life

Though I was somewhat less anxious last night when I went to bed, I knew from the weather reports that the high tide would be even more significant this morning than it had been yesterday -- and this is the scene that greeted me when I awoke. Yes, the water is all the way up to the garage and under the wheels of both cars.

I took some pictures, let the dog out to pee, and then settled in with my coffee to read more Eckhart Tolle. I began thinking about the blog, and knew this quote would need to come first, but as the sun rose higher it also seemed like a wonderful opportunity to take photos. So instead of meditating, I put on my husband's high top rubber boots and headed out into the water.

By the time I had gotten past the worst of it, the neighbors had begun congregating: two new residents drove down in their car to see what was happening (this is their first year on the spit). And then, behind them, one of the other neighbors was driving our oldest resident -- still in his jammies and robe -- down to see what was happening at our end. So I obligingly walked back through the water (and this was an hour after peak) to show them exactly how deep it was (yes, it slipped over the top of my boots at one point).

By then all the commotion had awakened the neighbor in whose yard the cars had parked (because the water was too deep to go any further) and he came out to chat (can you tell we have a wonderful neighborhood?) and said it made him think we should all go floating about in umbrellas, like Pooh.

So of course I had to go get a teddy bear and an umbrella, and yet another neighbor brought us a pole so we could do some careful staging in the deep places with out losing our model to the outgoing tide... We ended up spending almost half an hour watching the bear float on the tide. After I was done, my closest neighbor spotted me on my way back and invited me in for coffee and a long chat about religion and ecology.

It was a hoot -- what can I say? Yes, I didn't meditate. But I was present, aware, conscious -- and it was all good.

When I came home it was to find the day's mailing from Spirituality and Practice Catalysts for Change program. I thought this WONDERFUL Portia Nelson poem, Autobiography in Five Short Chapters, spoke beautifully to the process of moving from ego into awareness, and so I share it with you:

I walk, down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in
I am lost . . . I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in . . . it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.

Today I walked down another street -- well, waded anyway -- and I have to say, it was enlightening!


Maureen said...

How fun! I do hope "Pooh" came in with the tide (so to speak).

Do you often get water that high? Just asking, so I know when not to visit.

Diane Walker said...

We get a few of these high tides every winter, but these are RECORD bad because the barometer is so low. Tomorrow promises to be even worse, but as long as there's no wind with it, or, if there is, it comes out of the south, I can deal...

Louise Gallagher said...

Wow Diane. I love this post. There is a time and a place for everything. And sometimes, meditation comes riding in on the tide of watching a Pooh bear bobbing around in an umbrella -- love that story.

I love Portia Nelson's poem from SP yesterday. I've often used the analogy of the hole in the sidewalk -- but never read the original poem. It was a great find!

Joyce Wycoff said...

Diane ... you are so calm as the waters rise around you.

Another friend told me the hole story just a couple of days ago. Only in her version, the person kept pulling dirt into the hole so it gradually got more shallow. I think I like walking around it better.

Kimberly Mason said...

Hmmm, again, isn't it funny how we can all have such different views of the hole. I'll email you my "hole story"...LOL