Here's the story of two frogs...
Once there were two frogs. They inadvertantly jumped into a vat of milk. There was a fat frog and a skinny frog. And they couldn't get out. They were swimming around, the sides were slippery, and the fat frog said to the skinny frog, "Brother frog, there's no use paddling any longer. We're going to drown, so I might as well give up." The skinny frog said, "Hold on brother, keep paddling. Somebody will get us out." They paddled for hours. Again the fat frog said, "Brother frog, I'm becoming tired now. I'm going to just let go and drown. There's no way that anybody can ever get us out of here. It's Sunday, nobody's working. We're doomed. There's no possible way we can every get out of here." And the skinny frog said, "Keep trying. Keep paddling. Something will happen, keep paddling." Another couple of hours passed. And the fat frog said, "I can't go on any longer. There's no sense in doing it, because we're going to drown anyway. What's the use." And he let go, he gave up. He drowned in the milk. But the skinny frog kept on paddling. Ten minutes later he felt something solid beneath his feet. He had churned the milk into butter and he hopped out of the vat.
I came across this beautiful teaching story in Robert Adams' book, The Silence of the Heart, and love it! It points so strongly to what can happen in the process of awakening. (Remember, this story is simply a metaphor... a messenger... so don't read anything into the labelling the frogs as fat and skinny ~ it could easily be green frog and yellow frog, or frog1 and frog2 ~ or as 'brother') It seems that just right before a big shift, a strong temptation to give in shows up. To quit. The temptation to throw in the towel. Many have experienced this in their own lives and know the truth of it. As more and more consciousness is realized (more and more awakeness infusing all areas of the surface existence ~ the outer life) some bits of old conditioning surfaces in preparation for its transformation. And yes, things can feel a little dense and intense. No different than giving birth... experiencing the birthing pains. And in this case, consciousness birthing itself.
Some labours are very short and some are long.
What determines the length and the quality of the labour?
Acceptance and surrender.
Acceptance of what is ~ just in this moment, and the wisdom to surrender ~ to let it be as it is.
Without a story! That means, without an interpretation of what is. Without an interpretation of what this means or of what the future will hold.
Deep wisdom also exists in the ability to recognize these birthing pains as part of this process of awakening... of the full flowering. They serve a great purpose, rather than being futile. Old conditioning is being transmuted. They are helping to birth consciousness!
Just breathing... taking several conscious breaths... staying with the fullness of each breath, feeling the fullness of each breath... each in-breath felt fully, each out-breath felt fully. Notice how even the toes can feel the breath!
Feeling what's here. Feel inside the body.
Just feeling. Without labeling. Without judging. Without commenting. Without an opinion.
Deeply feeling and not doing anything to it. Without trying to figure it out, or understand it, or get rid of it, or transform it.
Not even watching it. Closer than that.
And without turning away from it... no running, no hiding, no escaping.
Simply staying here.
Feel the aliveness that's also here. Feel the spaciousness that's here. Feel the stillness that's here.
Yes, perhaps the intensity of the contractions requires that your fullest attention is given to this. Your full undivided attention. That's awareness. Consciousness. You. How wonderful! Consciousness calling to itself. Just in this moment, fully receive what's here. Life in this form. Consciousness aware of itself.
When we recognize and realize these bits of conditioning as gifts ~ consciousness bundled up ~ and receive them fully, Presence presents itself... to itself.
So... what is the degree of your acceptance and surrender, just in this moment?
P.S. In the First Nations tradition, the frog represents cleansing. Cleansing out the old and creating space for the new. Happy New Year!