One of my favorite things to do as a nanny is to read books to children. But simply reading the book is no fun! Children need to be engaged when being read to – it helps them in learning to hold their attention.
I was asked to do story time with a rather large group (13) 3-year old children at the local library in the town where I live. I read “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly.” I also have an “old lady” hand-made doll, and made the story time interactive with the kids. I asked for volunteers as to who wanted to help the old lady swallow the animals and insects.
I gave them instructions and all went well. Now, the parents obviously were all there with their children during this story time. In order for me to truly engage these kids, I had to go outside my realm of comfort in order to make the story come alive. Meaning, I made crazy faces, sounds when the child was placing the insects and animals down the old lady’s throat, etc.
I fully acted out my role as the story teller, regardless of the “looks” I was seeing on the parent’s faces. I was asked to come back again by one of the librarians. She said she had never seen thirteen 3-year old’s stay seated like that for an entire book reading.
I have brought many children to story time over the years. That is where I recognized the difference between simply reading a book to a child and engaging a child in the story.
I want to use this very idea as it relates to engaging with Life itself, because you see, currently, we are simply reading life and not engaging in it.
We typically are in “read only” mode, wherein we look outside of ourselves for answers and the definition of the meaning of the moment. We “read” from the past, from parts of ourself that Guy Finley, a truth teacher, calls “An old warehouse of ideas that don’t work.”
We are so used to that “go to” mechanism inside us, that we have taken it to “be” us.
To engage in real Life, we must place our attention not only on what is taking place outside of us, but on the thoughts and feelings that are moving within us as that work to “hold us back” from engaging in real life.
We are then within the full movement, the full animation of life and not outside of it. We are in the right place to be carried by life and into its story that it has always been trying to engage us in since time millennia.
A “read-only” life is a boring life. It is a non-existent life because anything that is outside of real life isn’t Life at all.
What if you were to find out that engaging in the story of Life, you are every character, every blade of grass, everything from high to low? And not only that, but that the story is already complete and needs no editing whatsoever on your part. You are simply asked to engage in your role, in each and every moment that you were given to play.
What role is that? First. Agreeing to be who and what you are – to see yourself “as you are” in each and every moment. Second. Agreeing to sacrifice the “read only” part of you that wants to translate the story of Life to fit its agenda and liking. The “old” story teller.
Pretty simple, yet not so simple. Why do I say that? Because up to this point, we have known nothing other than a read-only life. It is deeply patterned in ourselves and because the pattern is deep, it feels like a very strong tendency to go with its translation of Life – to read that story.
As such, it takes diligent effort to watch and wait in the moment and allow something above us to burn those old pages that we have been reading from all along – the “old” mind chatter. This may sound a bit odd right now, but as you work, you will come to understand exactly what I am working to communicate.
The story of Life has been written. It is playing out on the screen of your Life. You can either pretend you are reading the story, or you can fully immerse yourself in it. Choose wisely.