On Being Ordinary

Does anyone else hear voices that tell them that they need to be smart?  Or pretty?  Or handsome?  Or funny?  Or charming?  Or ???  No voices telling us to be ordinary, right?

Photo courtesy of Andrew Dunn
Photo courtesy of Andrew Dunn

How amazing it would be to be released from all of those expectations!  To just be lovable however we are.

I love these words by the spiritual teacher Adyashanti, “An ordinary man seeks freedom through enlightenment. An enlightened man expresses freedom through being ordinary.”

Being ordinary – no demands for smartness, attractiveness, humor, or charm – is all there is to enlightenment.  In other words, in our ordinariness – just being ourselves – we are free – enlightened.

In another quote by Adyashanti, he talks more about freedom.  “Are you free enough to be afraid?  Are you free enough to feel insecure?  Are you free enough not to know?  You see what I mean? Are you free enough to know that you can’t know?  Are you free enough to be totally comfortable knowing that you can’t know what’s around the next corner, how you will feel about it, how you will respond to it, that you literally can’t know.  Are you free enough to be totally at ease and comfortable with the way things actually are?  That’s freedom.  The other thing is the ego’s idea of freedom.”

Ordinariness and freedom go together.

Ordinary is not that easy though.  It means unlearning or seeing through those old expectations.  It means relaxing into our vulnerable selves – revealing our tender feelings and needs.  It means connecting with our humanness moment by moment.

In my own experience toward ordinariness and freedom, I began by practicing Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication.  I find the practice to be very simple, and yet complex.  And amazingly transformative.

How would it be for you to connect with and understand those expectations, those judgments turned inward and outward, those ways we disconnect from ourselves as we seek the approval of others, and instead go below the surface to connect with the ordinary and beautiful feelings and needs within you?  The heartful place where love lives.

In peace and love, Teresa

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