I have been thinking a lot about humility. It began in community, I found myself among a variety of artist who were asked to answer the question of, “what is the process of creativity?” The answer for me was humility and I expressed it by coming to my knees in surrender. I recalled a ceremony years ago, of trudging up a river against it’s fast flowing current, and finding this act easier than letting go to float back down river. I would practice again and again. Always popping my head up, bringing my mid-section to sink, unsure of the surrender. This was an important practice I continue to learn from.
I ask myself what is humility and what is the process of humbling? Becoming humble tends to happen when we realize what we thought we knew so strongly and with certainty is actually not true. Most of the time this realization is related to the big “who am I” question. It is the process of our ego being cut down. Our sense of self, challenged, suddenly and reluctantly needing to transform. Who we think we are, is not necessary true. It is in the moments of creativity, shame, wild adversities or great unexpected kindnesses that lead us to grapple with the sense of who we are. Often we fight or seek ways to recover a sense of self that can no longer exist; when the invitation is one of humility rites. In these moments, we are being asked to approach a ceremony of discovering we are not the godly figures we think we are, we are humans. Realizing of our humanness is often a difficult lesson to learn.
We read the stories of heroes and heroines, thinking we need to live up to that image of the warrior not realizing that in the process of finding our humility, in loosing everything we think we know about ourselves, in stepping into an abyss we cannot know how we will get out of, in the dying to ourselves, we already are those heroes and heroines! In this process of humbling we become reborn into someone more authentic and connected to purpose. As we go through life we participate in a ceremony of losing ourselves and parts of ego again and again. This is not easy. How we approach it can make a difference. Most importantly, they way we meet this task can contribute to how connected or alone we feel in our journey.
What if we intentionally stepped into humility? What if we came to the land or sat by a tree or stood in the sun and truly let go, feeling the humanity of our being? What if we learned from the trees that let go of leaves annually, and the canyons that erode as the wind blows, and the clouds that break for the rain to be released? What if we let what was meant to work through us come, no matter the discomfort? What if we didn’t fight changes with ego but rather with courage? What if we could bring ourselves to the point of surrender, of giving up a battle, in order to find the reserves we did not know we had, in order to find our true selves? In this way would be not come to a more peaceful resolution? Would we come to realize how truly connected we are to the community of all things? What if we met changes with more purpose? The humility of this experience offers us our holiness/wholeness.
I invite you to practice: go out, humbly. Bow to everything you meet. Only than can we really build each other up to know what we know.