Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Be - Do - Have

Be - Do - Have

These three little words took on a life of their own during the Human Potential Movement of the 70's. Completely oblivious of the Movement, I was in the throes of my illness/healing challenge - six surgeries in 4 years followed by 3 years of chemotherapy. Then, just as I was coming into the "try everything and anything that might get me well" period, I heard about est. I signed up and found myself sitting in the company of two hundred and forty-nine other bewildered individuals in a huge midtown hotel ballroom for two excruciatingly long weekends.

Because I was on chemotherapy, I was assigned to the back row, which was reserved for the "special cases" who could actually leave the room to go to the bathroom if necessary. I never left the room; I barely moved. I was spellbound, fascinated, frightened, excited, confused, and speechless. Never once did I get up to share any one of the myriad experiences I was having, despite the fact that I was a professional singer/actress accustomed to being in front of large crowds. I was too intimidated and shy, and, on some level, felt that nothing I could possibly say would be the least bit intelligent or worthy of being articulated.

I actually did arise on the final day to thank everyone who had shared (we learn from everyone) and to apologize for not contributing by sharing myself. As I sat down I remember realizing, “Yup, that’s what I do - I say I’m sorry a lot”. The old "pardon me for living" syndrome. That was a biggie! That was a life long (till that point) state of being for me. How inhibiting. How strangling of the Life Force.

The only place I ever felt 100% alive was when I was steeped in a character on stage and could fully express my emotions and embody all the colors of my psyche with abandon. I feel that if this inhibited little Catholic school girl from PA hadn’t had the innate gifts that propelled her into the extraordinary and often outrageous scenarios of the theatre in NYC, she’d have left the planet a long time ago. On stage I had license to "be" - to truly express myself. So, I've come to appreciate that my theatrical experience, along with my disease/healing process, taught me a lot and probably helped save my life. We don’t get to stuff and stifle our Life Force. Life is to be lived in full color everyday in every way, keeping in mind Shakespeare's brilliant words: “All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players.”

At which point the question arises: “As a player upon this world stage, what’s my role? Who am I really?” “What/how am I to be?” ("or not to be?") And BE is the crux of the matter. The Human Potential Movement illuminated this most invaluable life teaching: our BEing precedes and makes appropriate the DOing that leads us to our most bountiful HAVEing.

For four months following the est experience, which blew copious holes in my very well-structured defense system, I sat and read. My husband didn’t know who he was married to all of a sudden. The whirling dervish, the constantly doing person had her feet up, reading. And it was all metaphysics - my biggest hero at that time being Ralph Waldo Emerson. That’s who I was reading on the commercial set when I first heard about Hilda, the spiritual teacher of whom I’ve spoken so often. The rest, as they say, is history. The journey inward to BEing began in earnest and was so lovingly guided by this masterful soul. And the infinite journey continues to this day and surely for the rest of my life, ever inward and simultaneously outward. Oh, mysterious, sacred, wondrous Life. The journey of BE - DO - HAVE.

My personal path is that of the Heart with its unceasingly expanding experiences and expressions of Love. And I know for sure - (as per Oprah's final essay in her magazine each month, “What I Know For Sure”) - that surrendering to, and trusting in, the love in our hearts is the ultimate answer for our lives. As Wayne Dyer’s book title states: There’s A Spiritual Solution To Every Problem. I know this is truth. And the heart is the gateway to that Spiritual Solution. That's where BE -DO - HAVE begins. As we are BEing love and DOing out of love, the HAVEing of beauty, joy, love and abundance will be beyond our wildest dreams.
Elizabeth Hepburn