I’ve learned from this beautiful, 120 year old barn. Filled with the accumulated dirt and debris over it’s long and mysterious life, it holds the scents of over a century of history and earthiness.  It has been used in ways I have no knowledge of, and it has tired of holding onto it’s old shingles which it easily gives up during a windy day, offering donations to the wood stove.  Gaps in the siding allow light to penetrate from outside, quietly lighting up the gnarled wooden floor.  Standing as itself, without judgment, it exudes the strength of its beingness.  And I have such a love for this place.

Pushing aside my yoga video, I opted to answer the call to spend time in that chilly building again, something that happens quite frequently. I looked around it and was aware that just as it is, it is perfect. If it never changed, I would enjoy it just as dearly. I was also present to the possibilities within it…a game room with a large picture window over looking the back yard and bordering woods, or perhaps an over sized office, or perhaps a couple of bedrooms with a living room, leaving the downstairs part of the barn as is.  Endless possibilities!

jen-ben-barn-sm-404x256I reflected on myself, present to a resistance, to not surrendering.  The topic of resistance and surrender have been active in the teleconference calls.  While these calls are for people currently dealing with chronic illness, there is no difference between them and me and I find myself growing and learning in their presence.

I have experienced surrender, the sweetest of moments when everything stops, when without resistance the very nature of who I am is allowed to be expressed.  It is a bliss.  And yet there is always the return to struggle.

And so as I stood in the barn, in quietness, I became aware to that I had surrendered to a spiritual life to escape the suffering of ego, and been graced with a glimpse into the wonder of who we are, that nothing is wrong with us, that the magnitude of the simplicity of life is something we struggle against, and that a state of grace is always within reach.  And yet, I have found myself, as of late, falling repeatedly from a state of grace into a battle with an unseen opponent.

“What we resists persists” goes the saying.  As the cloud of resistance lifted, I experienced myself surrendering to that which I have resisted.  I have resisted my ego, resulting in it being fully active in my resistance to it. As I set aside my battle tools (aka ego conversations) and surrendered, embracing ALL that I am, I saw myself reflected in every nook and cranny of the barn.

The powerful and loving expanse of who I am is inclusive of every feeling and emotion of a human being. The spectrum is broad, from love to fear and everything in between.  I have been loving myself when I have ‘feel good’ experiences and rejecting myself in avoiding the ego provoked ones, which in essence is to love myself only conditionally. It’s like declaring I am not good enough or acceptable if I feel things like anger or frustration, that somehow this means I have failed.

I (we) cannot fail at being human.  It is simply who we are.

And so today, in a flood of laughter invoked tears, I took my second step into surrender. I invite you to join me…it’s messy and beautiful beyond words.

Just as I am, I am.