Now it is the crickets
that sayÂ Ripe Ripe
slurred in the darkness, while the plums
dripping on the lawn outside
our window, burst
with a sound like thick syrup
muffled and slow
Margaret Atwood, from â€œLate Augustâ€
I feel the impulse. It rises up inside me from deep in the dark. It rises up on its own, like breath.
This impulse is alive, like breath,Â like me.
This impulse is whole. Everything is contained within. Everything I need in order to express this impulse comes along with it.
This impulse is ripe. And, because it is ripe, the entirety of it is ready to be eaten, tasted, digested, and made new again through expression.
This impulse is wise. It knows what I don’t know. And when I admit I don’t know, it comes. In its own time.
This impulse is responsive. When I listen to, and feel, the deepest longing inside me, and actively create, and engage within, a space for epiphany and insight, it comes. It always comes. In its own time.
My willingness to trust and admit that I do not have the answer to a question I truly want to know serves like a clarion call to grace…to be graced.
Grace comes on its own, in its own time. That is what it means to ‘be graced’.
Something subtle happens when you finally realize there is no better version of yourself to become, when you realize that voice in your head isn’t telling you the truth. After so many years of trying to be more, you stop trying, pushing, and striving so hard. It is then that a presence begins to more clearly make itself known. This presence doesn’t fluctuate between ‘enough’ and ‘not enough’ like our personalities do. In the realization that there is nothing else you can be other than who you are, this fluctuation begins to soften and subside. And as it subsides, this presence becomes clearer and Â more palpable.
This presence simply is. And, there is a pulse to its expression that moves through each of us, an impulse to move and express in a certain way.
I call this the creative impulse and we all have it within us.
We could also call it the love impulse. It is love and itÂ wants to have its way with us.
Last week, in my current group of Becoming a Force of Nature, we explored module five and its corresponding practice, “Follow the Ripe Impulse.” Every time I teach this work, I practice again, alongside.
This practice of following the impulse is at the heart of leading from your personal creative resource, what some might call Essence, or Soul, or Spirit. I also call it Love.
The creative impulse always comes from within you. It is never outside of you. Ever.Â It can be like a nudge. Or an arrow shooting straight up through your core. Or a soft tap on your inner flesh,Â a sudden silent utterance fromÂ your heart, a sensuous swelling in your womb.
The beautiful thing about it is that once you begin to follow it, you soften for you realize there’s nothing to figure out, only an impulse to follow. The impulse will guide and everything you need to know is inside. When you trust this,Â you become the vessel, and you beginÂ toÂ follow.
The process to getting to the place where you feel and know this presence and impulse isn’t linear at all. It’s a deep dive into the unknown. You come upon rocky terrain, dark shadows, creatures who seemingly have bad intentions, but who ultimately are there as some of the wisest Sherpas you could be blessed to come to know.
And even when you know this presence and feel the impulse, it doesn’t mean the mind doesn’t flare up over and over again, trying to figure out. This happened to me this week. My mind went wacky. I could feel it flare up and, when it did, I lost sight of this impulse. Instead, I got caught in the crazy looping of trying to figure things out, of circular emotions, and almost a panicky feeling. Thank goodness it wasn’t too long before I caught myself, realizing that I felt so crappy because I was caught up in it. Sometimes when this happens, all I can do is laugh, because it is so funny how the mind makes up these entire worlds filled with only dire possibilities.
In the course, this week we are following theÂ live-with, ‘Follow the Ripe Impulse’. A live-with is a guide to help you put what you’ve learned into the real world – it is contextual learning.
I wanted to share it here because I think it is such a helpful thing to realize that who you really are is leading you from within. When you begin to feel this and follow it, you become less and less concerned about what others think and more aligned with this impulse. It is very freeing. And it isn’t easy. I don’t know anyone who has had any easy time with this. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.
Here’s a snippet from the course live-with, in case you want to play alongside of us!
Feel for the Ripe Impulse: desire, question, longing
Always, the live-with is relatively simple. If you do nothing else, simply feel for the ripe impulse.
Youâ€™ve let go of expectations and relaxed the judgment.
Youâ€™ve become awake and aware, and can hear and feel and sense the wisdom of your body.
Right here is the present moment. Here is the sea of infinite possibility.
Here is where the â€˜Newâ€™ is breaking on the horizon, bubbling up from the sea of possibility, making itself known.
Before the â€˜Newâ€™ breaks open, we have no idea what is coming.
But, we CANÂ feel for the ripe impulse that tells us where to place our attention, what to feel for, how to respond, and what to respond to.
And if you’re interested in finding out about the course, (Becoming a Force of Nature), or wish to sign-upÂ to be notified when the course opens for registration again, you can do so here.
‘Red Plums’ by Nick Saltmarsh on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0