Ariel recently shared a success story with me (not her real name). She was aware of the echoing of a familiar story in her mind that related to her Enneagram type. The story went something like this. I am not lovable. This time Ariel noticed two things ”“ how old the story was and that she didn’t entirely believe it anymore.
This is one of the gifts of understanding our habitual patterns and beliefs related to our type. We can begin to doubt their accuracy.
Ariel dropped her attention from the story into her body and the breath. The painful feelings associated with the belief began to dissipate. She soon felt both more energized and peaceful. She actually felt loveable.
The words that popped out of my mouth are the title to this writing, that she was “composting consciousness.” Now sure, I’m a gardener and it’s spring, but the words surprised me. Ariel smiled”¦she liked them. Here is how Wikipedia describes composting:
“Composting upcycles organic kitchen and yard waste and manures into an extremely useful humus-like, soil end product, permitting the return of vital organic matter, nutrients, and particularly bacteria, that are vital to plant nutrition to the soil. Managed aerobic composting arranges environmental conditions so they are optimal for the natural processes to take place.”
Composting takes food we consider unfit for consumption and turns it into nutrients vital for the soil for new growth. As Wikipedia goes on:
“There is a popular expression: “compost happens”, but it is helpful to engineer the best possible circumstances for large amounts of organic waste to decompose quickly and efficiently, with the greatest conservation of useful nutrients”¦..” If we manage this natural process, do it with intention and attention, we can make use of this natural process for optimal results.”
Maybe you compost kitchen and yard waste but do you compost old emotional stories and beliefs? We often feel like we want to be rid of pesky self-limiting beliefs like “there’s something wrong with me” or “I’m not good enough.” But what if we could literally make use of and enrich our lives with these unwanted feelings and beliefs? What if we offered these negative patterns to the Ground of our Being? What if this helped us grow?
We know that the Earth is the Mother of all composters. She takes old, rotten organic matter and turns it into rich soil, fertilizing and growing wonderful plants and nutritious vegetables. And she does this with the help of sun, air and water. And what does the earth really like? She likes the moldy, slimy, smelly bacteria which forms on rotting fruits and vegetables which enriches the soil immensely.
Do you have an old, repetitive pattern or belief ready for composting? Composting may happen as stated in Wikipedia, but it’s really helpful to “engineer the best possible circumstances” to get the richest soil. It’s with conscious choice to practice this kind of composting, that we get the most benefit.
I’d like you to imagine for just a moment that our bodies are the Earth, that Awareness is the air, our intention and choice the Sun and our deep feelings (like compassion and love) are water. Imagine for a moment that when that moldy, old belief arises, you see good material for composting. From Awareness, you can consciously decide to drop the story, come home to your body and breath, and having compassion for the whole shebang, feed the growth of your True Nature. Maybe we can practice conscious composting rather than unconscious complaining about the arising of these emotionally held beliefs, fueling our very own evolution.
In my next Enneagram class on April 17th, we will explore this and more. Let’s compost some projections together and create something