I've known for a long time that I am God in expression, and I'm grateful for that awareness because it took quite awhile for me to be able to accept that gift. Although my intellect had been able to wrap itself around the idea, it took my body much longer to grasp it as truth.
Awareness of the truth that I am God in expression came from a lifetime of seeking to know who I am. That God lives in me and as me is a deeply certain and heartfelt belief that is central to how I perceive existence.
In looking back I can see that the yearning to recognize the divine within myself was fueled in large part by an intense amount of resistance to who I thought I was, but didn't want to be. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but I was deeply terrified to be me. I didn't want to be my body with its imperfections, or the painful void that was left when my grandmother died. I didn't want to be the pain that I carried for my birth family so that it wouldn't fall apart, or the shame that I felt at being so vulnerable. I felt that if I kept seeking, I could find out how to be content and brave, articulate and powerful. I could finally stop being so afraid.
So I lived and learned, as we all do. I continued seeking because I had to, and came to a place finally where I knew that God lived in me and in all things. I was very grateful for that, and still am. I felt that nothing could happen that could rattle me too badly because I knew that God was in all of it.
But divine wisdom, in her infinite ability to set us toward our true north, shook my perspective. She led me to the hermit's path so that I could slow down to listen more carefully to what I'd been unconscious to. Questions came up for me that I'd never faced before. I still believed with all of my being that everything that happened is God, but I found that I hadn't really been living that belief. In my head I believed that I was an expression of God, but realized that I had become very adept at ignoring where my experience in my body didn't feel like that at all. I realized how much I was burying feelings that didn't fit into my previously held belief system. I'd tried to create a good life and succeeded, but hadn't even realized that in trying to put my experience into a box and tie it up neatly into a bow, I had been causing my own deepest emotions and motivations to be hidden from myself.
It was an unsettling time, to say the least, because I had spent so many years seeking what was uplifting and hopeful that the angry, shameful, scared person who lived in me whose voice had been silenced for so long was a very unknown and unwelcome presence.
Meditation in particular brought me face to face with these conflicting sides of myself, and so meditation went from being something that had been very positive for me for many years to an often uncomfortable experience. I sometimes felt in meditation as if I were dying, and I guess in a way I was, to the need to see myself in a particularly one-sided way. I truthfully hadn't been sure that I'd be able to shift enough within myself to be able to recognize God in all of those angry, scared and shameful parts of myself that I'd been afraid to see.
And so this brings me to breathing life's breath, and the point that I began with, which is that there's been a lot I've known in my head that my body didn't know at all.
I was sitting in meditation a few weeks ago, noticing how stirred up my emotions were, and how familiar it felt being niggled by anxious thoughts about something that I should have done differently or better. I sat and noticed the turmoil, and didn't deny or distract myself from my feelings, because I try really hard not to do that anymore.
I noticed how fragile and sensitive I felt, and at the same time also noticed the truth I've held in my head about being an embodiment of God, and I sat with the immense contradiction of that. I became aware then of my breath, and that the Life that God breathed into existence is the very same breath that was moving in and out of my own body. I breathed deeply into all parts of myself, knowing that the Life I Am is wise, perfect and never ending in a way that my mind could never comprehend in all of its seeking. My body was able to come home then, to know herself as an expression of an absolute and joyful perfection that transcends death. I recognized myself breathing life's breath along with every other expression of miraculous creation. Just as the Sierra pines that I love so much have their time in the sun, expressing life in their unique way, being nourished and experiencing hardship, expressing their own beauty, and then moving into another cycle of eternal creation, so do I.
And so now, just beneath my thinking mind's awareness of the too-early alarm clock and freeway traffic, calendars and to do lists, aspirations and disappointments and all of life's details, is my body's awareness of the constant hum of life's breath breathing in me. I Am, and my body dances!