Durning the Pandemic and a few months into the Summer of 2020, I yearned for relief from the way things had changed. We no longer had any help with Zachary, from losing his nursing coverage to his graduation from school that year, and losing all respite care, there were so many changes happening at once. And amidst them I could not breathe.
One of my all-time most influential heroes and thought leaders is Eckhart Tolle. I have been reading his work, listening to it, implementing it, digesting it, applying it and expressing gratitude for it over the span of the last two decades. So when I started receiving emails about an on-line course he was launching called “Conscious Manifestation” it didn’t take me long to sign up.
The roughly eight week digital “Conscious Manifestation” course was comprised of a few different components. The goal of the course was to become more present and grounded, in an environment that was out of our control, largely due to the community shut downs that isolated all of us. There was a focus on bringing our idiosyncratic visions into focus and learning to manifest them.
There were live Zoom sessions with Eckhart on a weekly basis that included lectures and a period for questions and answers. There were also individual meditation modules that required self study and action items like journaling and visualization. Lastly, there was a series of literal meditations that connected mind and body. These were guided by Eckhart’s partner Kim Eng and they involved a lot of body scans and present moment focus.
I learned a lot from this course. At a time when it was so challenging to find connection and any semblance of control, the Conscious Manifestation study was one small place that I could find connection amidst our new isolated reality. I fully engaged with each component of the course, except for the body scans that were led by Kim Eng.
And I bring this up with humility because I know I am not alone. At the time I was processing the modules and on-line content, I tried to participate in the body scans and meditations led by Kim Eng, but at the time I literally felt that was a waste of the limited time I had. I didn’t want to throw away a perfectly good 20 minutes of the limited, unscheduled time available, to sit and ask myself what my feelings looked like, and felt like, where they were in my body and if they were moving or static, hot or cold, tingling or pulsing, friendly or frightening?! Seriously?
So I skipped them.
And I now chuckle. Because the part of the course that I saw as “indulgent” and not really important, WAS the most critical part of the course. I literally bailed on the most material aspect of these teachings, which was to embody my experience and use it as a gateway to connecting mind and body. And why? So I could finish faster!
Like so many other times in my life, my attempt to fast track my progress, including “completion” of the material, resulted in my missing out on learning about the major lever that I needed to pull, which was to connect my mind and body. This was the invitation to all of us, and was something like coming home to ourselves.
Two years later and rounding the corner into Spring 2022, I now participate in mind-body meditations daily, sometimes a few times a day and you couldn’t pay me not to. Allowing the coexistence of what is happening in my brain, and what is happening in my physical body (and of course, the forgotten fact for many of us, that we even HAVE a body) to integrate into one expression of life, as me, has been the balm for many of my wounds.
I just love that as recently as two years ago, and after decades of practicing stillness, I was still missing the entire connection and saw the physical component of meditation as a waste of time, overly indulgent and just plain silly. Nice! And I embrace my own humanity so I can share my mistakes with other humans. Hopefully doing so can lift the burden from others who also discovering your own humanity, limitations, and ability to learn even after much is already known.
Next time you are taking a course of any kind, resist the temptation to decide what components matter, and what components are a waste of time. After all, if we are not teaching the class, wouldn’t it make sense to assume that we don’t already know it all?