Unfolding

Picture how a tablecloth stored in the linen closet has many creases where it was folded many times in order to be made small enough to fit. To unfold as a person is a big deal. Letting go of fitting and being made small, the creases will probably still be visible, but so will the width, breadth and beauty of the whole when we dare to open and unfold.

Phrases posted on Facebook, December 2021

There’s unfolding that is ego driven. We want what we want when we want it at whatever cost to ourselves and to others. In contrast, there’s the unfolding from our heart of hearts where we shift from demanding outcomes to living from our Source and expressing it.
Once on a whale watch, I was surprised by how the boat staff could identify the whales and had names for them. It was the scars from wounds they had as well as the crustaceans that had adhered to their bodies that allowed the staff recognize them. I am sure those wild, free beings that could swim endlessly in the ocean did not care if they were identified or not. Don’t you think as we unfold there is something like in us, too? Our creases, scars and attachments are not us. We can grow to feel at the core that we are life itself unfolding.
Whether we focus on our life journey or not, it simply keeps unfolding. Trying to manage and control the unfolding is often useless effort. But if we love our lives and live in relationship to them rather than in dominance of them, we can often discern deep and subtle prompts from inner qualities that we already have begging for us to make them conscious, lived and embodied.
In the Tao Te Ching, that awesome book of wisdom, we are told that just being fully present, doing nothing but being aware, we will unfold and right things will naturally happen. It looks like doing nothing when, in fact, it is doing everything. Why is it so hard to trust something so fundamental?
To stop even for a brief moment when we are in the midst of things, it may be helpful and a course correction to wonder if we are unfolding from the core or from reactivity and fear. The pause is pivotal. We are for a Nano second present in conscious and can therefore make choices. Our lives can completely change pause by pause.
I was given an amaryllis bulb this season and was told it would blossom by Christmas. It sat. It sat. It sat. Nothing was unfolding until I moved it to a warm place. I got the hint and you, no doubt, get it, too. We need to have a warm attitude towards ourselves for anything to begin to unfold.
A little mantra for the morning came to me today. When I hopefully am able to fold what I do and what I am into an awareness of the presence of Spirit, then what unfolds is somehow more on course than otherwise. Fold in and unfold – the morning’s mantra.
When it comes to unfolding it is far better to have a good, ongoing question to mull than to rely on safe answers.
To know that who I think I am is who I’m not, what a mystery is that! Each one of us has unknown depths, and out of them we continually unfold. We are so much more wonder-full than we’ll ever understand. To be self-kind then is the way to go, one little step after the other.
Here’s a lovely quote from John O’Donahue: “I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of it own unfolding.”
I never thought waiting could be considered unfolding. Stymied and paused, I seem not to be able to unfold. But waiting is a kind of gathering of energy if I honor it. It becomes awaiting and when the time is right unfolding is possible again.
Today gifts are being unwrapped and unfolded from their glossy wrapping papers. It’s fun and exciting. Might we keep the Holy Days going through out the year, unwrapping the gifts that come to us each day and be able to see what is hidden in the circumstances they are wrapped in? We miss a lot of gifts unless we look deeply at how we are gifted all the time.
Watching a plant unfold is to watch an elegant natural progression. There is no hurry. If the circumstances are not right, the process just slows down. If the circumstances are optimum, the unfolding goes apace. In either case there is no pushing and no hurrying. Unfolding can be grace-filled if we’d just give it the time it needs and let it be natural.
Happy New Year to everyone! May the year unfold with more answers for our common concerns and with the courage we need to live lovingly and fruitfully. The word courage comes from the Latin cor-agere, i.e. action from the heart. May we unfold in the New Year with such acts and bring more joy into being.