I’ve got another house project going. The shower enclosure in my upstairs bathroom was deteriorated and broken, so I decided to replace it before my brother leaves for his next adventure. Just before we started, I mentioned to him that I felt a ‘catch’ with it, as if something was ‘off’ with the project, but no idea what it might be. It wasn’t a sense of “Don’t do this,” just that something about it wouldn’t be what I expected. Funny how you know things even when you don’t know what you know…
We talked it over, decided there was no reason to delay, and ripped out the old shower. The next morning brought notice that he was unexpectedly needed elsewhere for the next two weeks, which would leave me with about two days of his help! Well, okay. Fortunately I can do most of the work myself, but there were more complications to come.
My ideas for fixing things up and ‘making do’ with the old stuff just weren’t working out. I couldn’t find the right material, couldn’t match colors, and when even the hardware store cancelled an order, it finally dawned on me that the project just wasn’t flowing – at least not in the direction I’d expected. When you hit that point, the best thing to do is stop pushing, take a pause, and see what’s really going on. In this case, it was that the whole bathroom needed to come out – which was probably the “catch” I’d felt before starting. Which means it is now a much bigger, messier, but ultimately better project. And, perhaps the whole point, it will end up being how I really want it, rather than just ‘making do’ with the less-than-wonderful tiles, cabinets and fixtures that were already in place. So, instead of simply replacing the old shower, now the entire bathroom is demolished (same as happened with the kitchen, come to think of it, but on a much smaller scale). It’s involving a lot of dirty (but oddly satisfying) physical labor and, as always, includes a few interesting “life lessons.”
Part of the job was removing all the old flooring – three layers of plywood covered by tile, grout and mortar. After prying and breaking out all the tile (and learning how to use a jackhammer!), it was time to pull up the wood. But whoever installed it years ago must have wanted to do a very thorough job. The nails were literally every two inches apart and buried in concrete! It took most of a week to literally dig, scrape and pry out several hundred nails, giving me plenty of time to appreciate the irony…
We are so eager for change – “Out with the old, in with the new!” – and tend to dive in wholeheartedly when some new self-evolution opportunity presents itself. In a rush of excitement we tear out the old, broken patterns and structures that don’t serve us any more and get ready to install something new and wonderful, only to find a bunch more layers underneath what just came out. Before the new choices can be fully manifested, those grungy old layers we didn’t know about have to go too. The problem is, we usually installed them very thoroughly and with great passion, deeply embedding the nails of vows and habits and choices and beliefs over many lifetimes. We think it will be a straightforward process, and then find out there’s a lot more work and a lot more layers than we ever expected. But that’s the time to grit our teeth, put on the work gloves, and keep going. The results will eventually be worth it.
Of course, the human wants to know, “Where is allowing in all this hard work? Aren’t we supposed to allow things to unfold easily without struggle?” Yes, and… those dang nails won’t come out by themselves! Sometimes we have to allow the work too...
In this particular illustration of life, it’s my Master self who wants a home worthy of her presence, a home where she feels at peace and lives in joy. The fact is, she’s already living in massive joy (more on that in a moment), and will no doubt continue the transformations until everything under this roof is a gorgeous reflection of her magnificence. So, she makes the choices – new kitchen, new bathroom, fresh flowers, whatever – and it’s the human’s job to allow those choices, then get to work and embody them! All the allowing in the world won’t lift a screwdriver, smash a tile or fix the plumbing. The life I want requires my participation. The joy comes when I allow a perspective beyond that of my human self.
It’s like this: Master is me enjoying my already-beautiful home, tweaking it here and there, and reveling in the pure joy of existing in the human realm. Human is me doggedly hauling out all the old crud that Master is digging up, and using my earthly tools to make it happen. Master’s passion is (among other things) a home of peace and beauty; Human’s entertainment is slogging through the grind of ripping out the rusty lifetimes-old nails and hauling all the rubble outside for trash day. And allowing both perspectives – Master and Human – reveals an exquisite beauty that’s just beginning to emerge. It leaves me, Master and Human, in awe of life’s mundane details and treasuring the most insignificant moments.
You see, another “project” I’ve been playing with is really FEELING the Master as myself rather than as my idea of her. The key to this has been to stop thinking of her as separate from me, someone “out there” that I need to connect with or entice into my life. With just a shift of perception and knowing, I am the Master, seeing and experiencing life through my human senses. And that’s when it starts getting amazing. Master is ecstatic about finally being part of the human experience, as if she’s finally being allowed to experience the very best theme park in all creation. Human is still in her human world – working on projects, interacting with others, managing the logistics of everyday life – but now more aware of the pure delight that Master finds in absolutely everything.
“I Exist!” It is the cry of joy from the I Am discovering and inhabiting its creation, the heretofore unknown manifestation of its passion. There’s just nothing else like it!
Inviting myself the Master to inhabit myself the human’s experience has been amazing – and amusing – because it moves from somewhat intangible “wisdom” into actual, passionate experience. Try it for yourself. Begin experiencing your life from the Master’s perspective – I think you might be quite entertained! Here’s a glimpse into a few of my own inner conversations…
Master: Wow, this is how you live?
Human: Yes, this is my … our home.
M: Of all the places and dimensions in creation, what an interesting arrangement of energy you’ve chosen. Wait, who’s that over there? I feel a unique connection…
H: It’s my human mother, the one who birthed my biology into this lifetime.
(Master is examining a lifetime of memories in a flash, and noting other biological connections nearby. Later, I’m trudging up the stairs at the end of a long day.)
M: Interesting contraption, these stairs… why does it feel like you’re struggling?
H: Well, it’s been a long day, this body is tired and because of things like physics, it takes a bit of effort.
(Master is fascinated. Later, I pour myself a liquid treat... a bit of tequila.)
M: Oh wow, let me taste that again… this is marvelous!
(Human can’t help but giggle.)
H: Okay, but not too much more. Hey, that’s enough! I’m the one who has to live with the after-effects...
(As we have dinner together and wash up afterwards, Master seems in a perpetual state of astonishment.)
M: THIS is what it’s like to be human? Oh wow!! So many things to taste, to feel, to see. It’s incredible! This body – I can feel so much. All the things it can do, the flavors, the sensations… oh, just everything. I’ve always wanted to feel this!
(Human smiles, amused at Master’s excitement.)
H: Yes, this body IS quite amazing. It’s strong, resilient, dependable. It has actually built four other humans and been on all sorts of adventures. It’s got some aches and pains too though, which sometimes makes me forget its wonder.
(A while later, moving some very heavy boxes, I drop one on my fingers. Oww!!!)
H: Hey Master, you want to feel human stuff? Check THIS out.
(Human is not happy. Master is amazed... again.)
M: Wow, what a dazzling, intense sensation! she gasps.
Master doesn’t actually experience it as “pain” in the way Human understands pain. There is no suffering, only exhilaration. It reminds Human of when my daughter was about 2 years old. I was trying to focus on something, but she had just discovered the joy of throwing stuff, and toys were flying everywhere. After a few distracted complaints from me, I lost my patience, turned around and yelled angrily at her. She looked up at me, eyes huge – and a big grin spread across her face. My anger meant nothing to her. The rush of energy, however, was a thrill! Much like how Master was now experiencing Human’s throbbing fingers. They shared a wry smile.
Over the next few days, Master saw more and more of the world through Human’s eyes. An email popped up, something about signing a political petition. “What’s that about?” Master wanted to know. “Nothing that matters to us.” Human didn’t want to bother trying to explain.
At the end of a busy day Human finally drops into bed exhausted. The physical comfort is delightful and sleep beckons, but Master can’t imagine why Human wants to miss out on several hours of potentially magical moments! Master revels in the smooth sheets, the moonlight, the brain’s meanderings and the body’s processes, still excited about everything. Human tosses and turns and grumbles.
H: We’re going to have to work out a compromise here, dear Master. Let’s go play in your realm for a while and let the body sleep. I promise you won’t miss out on anything.
Ah, the joy of existence! Master me is thrilled to feel so intimately the experience of Human me. Human is so “in” everything – invested, involved, ingrained – while Master has a more detached perception. Master has the wisdom, not so much the specifics. Human has the details, not so much the joy. Together, they are so much more than either – minutiae AND wisdom, pain AND joy, physical focus AND infinite awareness. A beautiful home AND an absolute mess in the bathroom.
M: You know, all this time I’ve understood that part of me existed out there somewhere in physical reality, for I could feel the wisdom coming back. But now I FEEL it and SEE it like never before. I’m actually experiencing my existence! There’s nothing I’ve ever wanted more and now, together with you, my precious Human, it’s finally happening.
Human smiles. She has some job deadlines looming, offspring that need attention, dinner to prepare and a few more nails to dig out. She has work to do, a body to mend, a house to clean, but somehow everything seems... different. More sparkly, perhaps, and definitely infused with joy as it is touched by the eyes of Master. Twirling through the kitchen, a song escapes her lips… a wordless express of the unfathomable joy of existence. It almost doesn’t matter anymore what Human experiences, whether tears, weariness, satisfaction, pain or pleasure. Whatever it is, Master will rejoice.