Ants Marching

Have you ever had a moment in your life when you paused for thought and said, “Why am I doing this?” or “What’s the point?” and felt super frustrated at how often such questions creep into your mind that you cannot find satisfying answers to?  It’s likely what led you here today.  Life has a funny way of synchronizing once we begin to reach a place of frustration.  That’s because frustration is a feeling—a portal if you like—which helps us in moving the stagnation of our lives forward.

For a long time, I resisted anger. I felt it in some way made me unattractive, unbecoming and otherwise impure, until I realized that the only impure thing was my own suppression of my true feelings.  Anger for me has become a call to action.

I was driving my daughter to her dog class yesterday when the song, Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band came on.  I hadn’t heard the song in FOREVER, yet as soon as I heard the first chord; it was as if I was transported back to an earlier period in my life.  I immediately recalled every lyric.  At the same time, it was as if I was hearing the song anew.  As I listened, the song was no longer about individuation, but instead about the monotony of auto-pilot living—of living unconsciously—without ever pausing for thought.  It was about suppression.

Early on in my spiritual journey, I remember every room in my house had towering structures of books strategically arranged in the order I intended to read them.  Somehow I believed that once I consumed all of these books, I would know where to find the Holy Grail and once I did, I could cure my daughter and return to the regularly scheduled—“Ants Marching”—program of my life.

You need to understand, back then; my daughter had just received her autism diagnosis.  And autism intervention then isn’t what it is now.  Back in the day, all the experts were still becoming experts.  So, the longer that I was home with Chloe, the more apparent it became that if she and I were to make it out alive, I would have to become an expert myself.

It wasn’t until I consumed enough wisdom (psychology, parenting, special needs, spiritual, self-help, to name a few), that I concluded there was no such thing as an autism expert.  Simultaneously, a shift occurred when a tiny voice deep down within me whispered, “The answer for everything is found in the truth; the way to the truth is found within you.”

“Within me?” I laughed.  “Are you kidding? All I’ve got within me is a bunch of French terminology (for ballet), several dozen song lyrics, some academic odds and ends, and the morals and ethics that propelled me thus far.  I’ve got nothing!” Still, the whisper persisted.  And so it was that my journey of discovering what is within me began.

That journey—which continues today—I now understand is all about learning how to transition from using all my weight to jump up and down on my emotions until they are packed deep down inside of me with no chance of breaking free to allowing my feelings to flow (imagine the strum of a harp).

Inside my stacks of towering books was the advice that spiritual teachers can only act as pointers and sign posts.  I am grateful for that because offering advice is a great responsibility!  But, as a sign post, I need only scribe meaningful words upon my post and hold it up for you to read.  Until tomorrow, I’ll leave you with these words, “Play under the table and dream.”  It is good advice Dave Matthews offers after all.

Much love,

Phoenix