What are You Here to Do?

Every living thing on this planet is a gift, enriching the whole organism that is earth. Every plant, insect, animal, and every human. We all came here with something to give: an offering that is totally unique to us. Nobody else can do it quite the same. It is our life task to learn what this gift is that we carry within us, and then it is our task to find out how to offer it, bravely and generously. Not doing so is a sure recipe for depression and hopelessness. 

When we do what we came here to do, our giving is filled with our presence, so it is passionately and gloriously sexual, loving, and aware. 

However, within that giving, part of our awareness is hidden in the shadows, part of our loving is blocked, and part of our sexuality is buried in the underworld. Those shadows, those blockages, and that underworld are all in the body. 

In the creative action of giving our gift to the world, there is a giving that returns to us, which is that as well as experiencing our brilliance and beauty, we get to see our shadows, experience our blocks, and touch our underworld. We’ve been shamed and guilt-tripped for being less than perfect, and we’re often surrounded by people who are not giving their own gifts, who will throw more guilt and shame at us if they see us falter, so we are very afraid of this process, and hold back, telling ourselves that we are not worthy, not good enough, that no-one will want what we have to offer, or even that we don’t even have anything to offer at all. This is not true. It is a ruse designed to save us from the frightening experience of giving freely, sexually, lovingly, aware, and being less than perfect in that aware, loving, sexual freedom. 

There are three responses to this fear: 

  1. To turn away in denial and dissociation, telling ourselves stories about not being good enough. 
  2. To turn towards the fear and pause, arrow on the string, waiting to feel everything more fully and listening for when the time is right. 
  3. To feel the fear, choose a direction and loose the arrow, knowing full well that the moment the arrow flies, we lose control. The moment we take action, the world will begin to reflect back to us the ways in which we are less than whole, so we get to see our shadows, experience our emotional blocks, and be pulled down into our personal underworld to encounter our demons. 

At that point, we can collapse in shame and vow never to do it again, or we can do our best to stand steady, feel everything deeply and see what is being shown to us, take responsibility for our actions and their consequences, make amends for any hurt caused, and — perhaps most importantly of all — allow our whole being to glow with pleasure at the delight of being a gift to the world, just like every other living thing on the planet, ready to do it again tomorrow, a little older and wiser, having learnt from our mistakes, willing to make new ones in service to the miraculously infinite and never-ending unfolding dance that is life. 

To do: 

  1. Warm up for a few minutes so you’re in touch with your body, aware of your breath.
  2. Pause, and listen for what your intention is. To know your next step in the world? To find the courage to do it? Something else?
  3. Move with that intention. (To give this a frame, you might decide on how long and set a timer.)
  4. Grab pen and paper, and write without censoring, from the heat and aliveness within your body. What do you fear? What do you desire? What do you know?
  5. What is one small step you could take in the direction you wish to go? That you could do immediately?  

No music required for this, though you could use some if you wish. Here’s a mix that would work well. 

Spiritual Practice, Healing, and Art
Adam Barley | Mar 16 2022
During my work, stuff comes up. There’s often a strong sense of moving through it in a way that feels like healing, to use the original meaning of the word which is related to wholeness, and holiness. We become more completely ourselves.  Because of this common experience, there’s a tendency to think of it as ...
Grieving is Medicine
Adam Barley | Sep 20 2021
Everything seems normal here.  I can hear the guy who lives across the street fixing up the garden shed he’s been working on for months.  The sparrows are a riot in the tangled threads of Russian vine spilling over into our garden from next door.  I’m just back from taking my youngest to school, all ...
Movement Practice in Focus
Adam Barley | Aug 3 2021
Sometimes it’s great to just dance. Never mind trying to get anywhere or achieve anything. Just dance.  Often however, I need to take a step within myself. I want to achieve something, such as to get out of my head or release some pent-up feelings, enquire into a relationship dynamic or clarify a life-choice, etc. Things like that.  Knowing clearly what our intention makes ...
Movement, home, alone?
Adam Barley | Jun 7 2021
The land for miles around where we live is littered with my graves.  The tree I danced underneath last year, showered with blossom; the hill where I sang to the rising sun; the dark ground I pawed at in anguish; the cliff edge where I wept and rocked myself back into connection; the favourite bit ...
Men, Violence and Evolution
Adam Barley | Apr 18 2021
A white man in his fifties . . .  For many people, I am automatically and understandably representative of ‘the problem’. It’s easy for me to see that point of view. Humans like me have been and are particularly instrumental in perpetuating the horrifying story of separation and dominance that is ravaging the planet. For me, the dominance-battle most close ...
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