Every time I travel, I usually meet people from many parts of the U.S. and the world. The conversation moves around the usual topics, and invariably includes the question, “Where are you from?” In response, I usually pause, take a deep breath, and respond, “Springfield, Missouri.” If the person I speaking with is from the U.S., they usually seem to know where Missouri is located, although you can see from the look in their eyes that they have never been there (and have no plans for visiting). If they are from other parts of the wide, wide world, their eyes actually glaze-over as they contemplate their mental map of the world and discover that something called “Missouri” doesn’t exist on it. And everyone always asks the question that I know is coming, the one that caused me to take a deep breath: “So, what’s it like living there?”
What’s it like? I’ve given as many different answers as the number of people I have met. What’s it like? Well…. As I write this entry, I’m sitting in a local coffee place called Kaldi’s, a Starbucks with food and free WiFi, and a few moments ago I saw the headline of the sports page of the local paper. The headline spoke volumes about “what’s it like” to live in Springfield, Missouri. The headline read:
“Central Bible College Defeats Baptist Bible College”
Yes, the biggest sporting news in Springfield was the defeat of the Baptist Bible students by the Assemblies of God Bible students in a basketball game last night. Speaks volumes, doesn’t it? And, in reading that one headline, a few issues came rising to the surface that twisted my gut and gave me something to release upon.
For years, I have defended, justified and explained to myself and others why I live here. I have worked diligently to be satisfied with living in Springfield, and at times I have even pretended that I was happy living here. But the truth of the matter is that I am not. My gut got twisted from reading the headline of the sports page because, truth be told, I really hate living in Springfield, Missouri. Sitting here at Kaldi’s, I’m experiencing much sadness and anger that I live here. I want to do something about this situation, work a goal, plan my escape, do anything to end my sentence here in my self-made prison (ironically, Springfield is home to a federal prison/medical center, the home of sick mobsters and other big-time federal felons).
If I asked Hale Dwoskin, the principal instructor of The Sedona Method, about this issue, he would surely say to me, “Who is it that hates living in Springfield?” I pause a moment and let this sentence sink into my mind. And then, it slips past my thoughts, and I feel the release. My heart and mind become lighter. Whenever I get a good release, I usually experience a “brightness” in my awareness, almost like someone has turned on the light in my mind’s eye. The light came on just now.
Let’s go further: “Who is it that thinks living someplace else would be better?” Again I pause, and again the light comes on. The answer, of course, is no one. There is only the experience of being at Kaldi’s, typing these words on my Mac, watching the manager, Dan, do his thing as he moves around the place. I suddenly feel connected to Dan, who always says hi to me every time I come in. The gaggle of soccer moms doing there thing a few tables away seem exceptionally lovely today. Of course, they all spent hours making themselves look that way, but I digress. (Yes, more releasing needed, I know.)
I’m amazed that simple questions like “Who is it that hates living in Springfield?” can clear so much space inside so quickly. The releases are good when using this 5th Way approach (the Sedona Method term for spiritual inquiry). I feel so much less like I need to do something, and far more like I could do something if doing is what happens next. I feel freer to act.