With deep respect for the writings of Lewis Carrol.
Why am I choosing Alice and the Cheshire Cat? Well, firstly, we have Alice – young, inquisitive, intelligent, reasoning to some extent. Not quite adult, but no longer child, going on an adventure down a rabbit hole. A place for transporting oneself into a wonderfully, oftentimes troubling, surreal situation or state of being. Initially chasing a rabbit, only to find a cat – amongst other things.
About that cat. He oversees all of Wonderland. He serves as a guide, can appear and reappear, and distorts reality at his leisure. He is mischievous. He’s a big, furry, not-so-friendly creature we can all recognise. He’s also unpredictable. A taunting apparition. He’s the lesson before and after the fact, a timeless creature not bound by logic or time. He’s quantum. So, we have a fresh-faced kid and a being that may or may not be there.
Sounds a lot like a spiritual journey, doesn’t it? There you are, wanting to be the very best version of yourself, wanting to address the deep-seated yearning in your soul, wanting to understand your flaws, your pain, your trauma, your want to re-nourish and replenish yourself but you have absolutely no idea how to go about it. You are battling unseen forces that include self-sabotage, fatigue, and a distinct lack of a sense of who you are becoming. You fall from one scenario into the next. Trying a little bit of this and a big bit of that, as you set out to discover what you are searching for, even though you can’t qualify it. HA! You will not be judged harshly for judging yourself and others harshly during this time. Welcome to the paradox. And good luck finding who and what you seek. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”, or so they say. I’d hazard that “sometimes” is a better scale to work from, you know you know the difference.
Ever heard the saying “practice makes perfect”? Try making it “Perfect practice makes perfect performance”. And that’s where the rabbit hits the road, to mix a metaphor. How do you know? What is perfect practice? Is there any such thing? Oh yes, for each and every one of us there is a perfect practice that works exclusively for us. Is it establishing a morning and evening routine? Is it diligently attending to the needs of your soul as you do so for your body and mind? The salient question to ask is “what does that look like for me?” I have a very dear friend who tends her garden in the most serene meditative state. Another creates the most beautiful watercolours when she’s in the zone. Put them in a quiet room and tell them to sit still and they go mental. Eventually, you’ll leave behind the acquaintances you have made in classes and workshops who attempt to weed and paint and sit and commune simultaneously because they think in doing so they are fast-tracking their spiritual awareness. It doesn’t work that way.
So, if you find yourself in a situation pertaining to spiritual activities, ask yourself “does this feel true for me?” If you can’t answer the question, take some time away from others to figure it out. No one can do this for you. Any new activity tends to be uncomfortable at the start but it should never leave you feeling less than you were before you decided to join in. So, the best possible thing you can find at the bottom of any rabbit hole is you!