My self-perception these past few years has felt a bit like a knitting project that keeps getting pulled apart and started over again and again. First it was like an afghan, then a scarf, next a mitten missing a couple of fingers. Now? The needles are still clicking but nothing recognizable seems to be forming.
Eckhart Tolle said recently in a one his talks that we want to walk around as nobody in particular. Boy, did that land with me. I’m just not sure who I am anymore. Eckhart also said that this ‘being nobody’ is apt to feel painful because the ego wants to be somebody important. No kidding. Now that I have stopped working so hard to be noticed, I notice how hard I was working. Working at getting the attention of others. Of being seen and valued and wanted. Letting go of our attachment to the roles and achievements that we’ve spent a lifetime chasing after is – as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles – apt to feel “personally insulting.”
A couple of days ago I was helping my friend in her booth at the Fryeburg Fair here in Maine. It was crazy-busy and we had only about 5 minutes of downtime in the 5 hours I was there. At one point I stepped outside the building for a moment when a man came over to say that he had noticed me when he walked past the booth and thought I was a “mannequin” because I was so still. I don’t remember having the luxury to remain still for more than a nanosecond, so I thought his comment was just a way of being friendly. When he stopped by the booth again and repeated the statement to me and my friend, I wondered if he was seeing the inner stillness I was feeling despite the swirl of people everywhere.
I chose to accept the comment as a reminder that even in the stillness of non-achieving, of being nobody in particular, there is Presence. And Presence is always noticeable to those who can see it.
– Susan Lewis