Do you consider your beliefs sacrosanct? Do you hang onto them at all costs, even at the loss of friendships or family ties? Historically, beliefs and opinions have split entire countries and started wars on this planet. People cling to them as if to a life raft in a sea of uncertainty and tumultuous change. We often are so identified with our beliefs that we can’t imagine life without them, exactly as they were first formed. Yet our minds are always in flux, whether we’re fully aware of it or not. Life on Earth is never just one thing, one set of rules for being human. And never more so than at this time of planetary transformation and human evolution.
If we step back from identification with our physical forms, it’s possible to see them as merely costumes we wear for this lifetime. Our thoughts and opinions are part of that costume. If we totally identify with our physicality and thoughts, we are frequently stopped from moving forward in our lives by how our minds view change. On the other hand, if we come to realize we are part of something much greater—universal consciousness—this awareness gives a wider perspective and ultimately greater freedom in our lives.
Opinions and beliefs, if held too tightly, can define the parameters of your life experience. On the other side of rigid and inflexible thought forms is the natural flow of life and of infinite possibility. This is wisdom I learn again and again, most recently when I was trying to decide whether to attend an annual event that I have been part of for years. This year, however, both the structure and content had changed radically, and I no longer felt aligned with the energy. Yet there were still parts of it that I loved and felt drawn to. What to do? Initially, I stood firmly in “no,” believing it would violate my principles if I went. Then I remembered an experience I had 14 years ago and what it taught me about having an open mind and heart.
In 2005, I had just met two Maya elders from Guatemala, Mercedes and Gerardo, who were sharing their traditional teachings at Rowe Center in Massachusetts. After a weekend of intense teaching including a 3-hour fire ceremony, they invited a few of us to travel to Guatemala with them to take part in ceremonies at sacred sites there. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. In their tradition, however, women always wear long skirts in the ceremonies, and I had not worn a skirt for 20 or 30 years (a symbol of women’s oppression, you know).
I had to decide whether to say yes and honor their traditions or say no and hang onto my own beliefs. The answer was very clear. In deciding to go (and wear a skirt), I let go of everything that had made up my Peggyness before and went to Guatemala “naked” and open. I thus stepped into an extraordinary spiritual expansiveness, which continued in subsequent trips to Guatemala with them and in countless other experiences, up to the present.
Now, in facing a similar dilemma, I once again chose not to be held back by my mind’s ideas about what I should or shouldn’t do. In stepping aside from my own opinions and allowing another choice, I was opening the door to a new possibility: re-envisioning my life without filters or frames. It seemed freer and much more spacious. I felt as if I were flowing with the current of life instead of trying to force the current to go my way.
So this is the new paradigm we are living into: recognizing our mental costumes for what they are and moving into something greater. If you can keep the doors in your mind completely open (and that is entirely possible if your decisions are heart-centered), then you are walking a path on which each step is new and undefined by previous beliefs or opinions. You are dreaming your life anew with each breath you take. And nothing can hold you back.