Religious Behaviour and Bin Liners

Our workplace cleaners went on holiday over Christmas, so when our kitchen bin reached capacity, I emptied the rubbish and noticed for the first time that the liner was tied on the side to fit the bin snugly. I put a fresh bag in and was dutifully tying it on the side, when one of my colleagues asked what I was doing. I said I was tying the liner on the way we do it around here – wondering if I had got it wrong.

No-one told me to tie the bin liner into place. There was no rule written or guideline to follow – I just saw that that was how it had been done and followed without further thought or question. These small and insignificant moments are perfect examples of how much of what we do in life is a mechanical or automatic adoption of the way we’ve seen how something is done.

Take this into the arena of religion – be it organised or our daily ‘religious’ mechanical behaviours – and the games truly do begin, as we learn to behave in ways that become part of us, but are not actually from our true self at all.

In that bin liner moment, I didn’t question or feel into the process, allowing even the smallest space for the possibility of checking in and acting from myself, I just adopted the way I saw it had been done before me. To bring our own awareness to the task or moment at hand is very different to “doing it the way it is done.” We all have an inner compass that registers everything, unimpeded by thoughts of right and wrong, its direction based on a knowing that, unlike organised religion, doesn’t come from outside measures, teachings or rules.

Many of us seem to have forgotten our inner compass when handing over to others to know what is right for us. The amazing thing is that our compass hasn’t forgotten us and is always patiently waiting for us to stop and listen to its messages. These messages often come in the form of a feeling, a deep inner knowing. Maybe all that is needed from us is to actually be willing to listen.

From tying bin liners to deciding on what to cook for dinner, how to be on a date or what organised religion we follow, it is easy to adopt popular practice, forever on show outside of us, at the expense of tuning into our own internal compass. Whatever we, or those around us do religiously – morning coffee, church on Sunday, tying bin liners – it is worth stopping to discern if it is done from a deep connection to the compass within, or a mechanical habit whose origins lie outside of our own hearts, as we follow accepted ways, instead of feeling the way for ourselves and daring to follow this instead.

By Adrienne Ryan, BEd, Brisbane, Australia

Related Reading:
Discovering My True Strength: Honouring My True Feelings Within
Conscious Presence while Cleaning our House
Garbage, Toilets and Cars – My Normal, My Religion

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578 thoughts on “Religious Behaviour and Bin Liners

  1. Loving imprints are going to be felt, when things are done without attachment, and in the simple understanding that what is given is for everyone equally so the bin liner done with loving movements is felt as love by all who use that bin.

  2. “…it is easy to adopt popular practice, forever on show outside of us, at the expense of tuning into our own internal compass…” Being innovative in whatever one does instead of following suit brings evolution to everything and everyone.

  3. This is an awesome practice in awareness Adrienne. It’s so exposing when we realised we just follow suit so often to avoid responsibility, because then we always have the back up of ‘well, everybody else was doing it’.

  4. What a powerful lesson you have presented for us here Adrienne; a lesson of irresponsibility and responsibility and which one we choose. Connecting to our innate, infinite and divine wisdom; being consciously present; whilst making choices is the key.

  5. It is so easy to drop into autopilot and do things because that’s the way they are done, without for one moment connecting to ourselves. I have found that through connecting more deeply to my innermost there are now several things I do very differently because as I honour myself, I am also supporting and honouring others too.

  6. Ever since I became a student of The Way of the Livingness, there has been a gradual process of becoming aware of the many things in life we do on auto-pilot, or we could say in a conforming, sheep-like way. So much of what we do, how we behave is driven by the norms of society rather than from our inner compass. It is so freeing to gradually release all these false layers and live our lives for our true selves.

  7. This made me think of what my mother used to say about leaving things as you find them and really the truth is we can never leave things as we find them because once we have related with them they are already different. However I knew what she meant which was basically take care of things and respect their placement. Now with the awareness of energy we can choose the quality of energy that we bring to any situation or object and thus potentially be a healing power in the world.

  8. The things I do go with an awake awareness. The biggest challenge in this to be my authentic me with people.

  9. Everyone is watching everything we do, all of the time. We can’t help but be a reflection to others, a marker of a particular way of living and being. So the question is always what are we going to represent in our lives?

  10. Daring to follow our own way can seem scary but if we do pluck up the courage we realise the world doesn’t collapse around us. The very opposite happens – life opens up and there is a release from the constraints of living to a set of rules imposed by society that not many are aware of being there.

  11. Always be open. The picture is not to follow or to not follow the patterns of the masses, as when we are open to feel truth, all is clear. If we are not clear, still go with what we feel, and feel into that choice. Life is forever on our side when we choose to feel.

  12. I remember growing up thinking that I should know the rules, or worried that I did not know the rules for this situation or that situation. I was totally oblivious that there is an inbuilt compass in me, that guides me in respect of my expression in the world, the feeling of what is right and wrong for me in any given moment. Its not a taught way of being, but simply hard coded from my essence, my quality and allowing that out.

  13. It is great stop moment to take stock of what is automatic pilot and if that supports our connection or not.

  14. To surrender deeper to the innermost compass of our true knowing is giving ourselves permission to let go of the separated individualism in order to return to our Divine Essence and willingly be obedient to Universal Law. Every single small step in this return becomes more constant with practice, until it is once again our natural way of being.

  15. Its very funny really for we known how to re-connect with ourselves and in that connection we have a knowing of how to gracefully imprint all that we do,

  16. Thank you Adrienne. I felt so expanded reading your words. I get the feeling that almost every move I make is being dictated from outside of me. When I walk in a crowd or even next to one other I find myself falling into step without questioning if this is my walk or not. It even happens when I’m alone.

  17. ‘…it is worth stopping to discern if it is done from a deep connection to the compass within, or a mechanical habit whose origins lie outside of our own hearts…’ This is relevant for all choices and if I am honest most of them come from outside of me to fit into so called norms. When I do make choices from a connection inside the difference I feel is strong. The more I honour and value myself the greater the number of choices I make by listening to my inner ‘compass’.

  18. When reading this blog I became aware of how much I pride myself for what I do, repeat and can copy.. Whilst this blog is showing me now that this in fact might not be done from a true connection but more of automatic response, routine or “right or wrong” movement.. Wow, but a very good moment to start realizing this.. And becoming aware of whatelse we now can choose and change around.

  19. Rote behaviour and thinking patterns set the wobbly foundation for ‘normality’ where things are done unquestioningly, out of habit or to obey some rule. This is how what is normal but far from natural or even joyous gets perpetuated ad infinitum.

  20. Oh, how I love this. We learn by mimicking others as we grow up – and when we make mistakes or find ourselves in a difficult situation, we always have something/someone to blame. How empowering would it be when that choice to adopt a certain way is made with discernment, that we recognise the true good in that.

  21. The compass of our inner knowing is profound yet totally normal and inherent to all equally. What drives this compass is out of this world!

  22. It is our inner compass, our inner knowing and wisdom that provides the scope and breadth for us to grow from every opportunity that is presented to us in our daily lives.

  23. Listening to my inner compass more is something that I’m developing – catching those moments when I override or dismiss something that I’ve sensed or find myself on auto-pilot and with that greater awareness taking more responsibility for the imprints that I make in our world…

  24. Daring to follow the way we feel, this makes such sense, and it raises a lot for us to consider as so much of what we do is habitual and we often do not discern why we’re doing it. What I feel here is we are on auto pilot with this, to discern we need to connect to ourselves and feel, where to just do it automatically based on what we see allows us to check out and not be present.

  25. Adrienne, how lovely to read this again and feel on another level the true possibilities of living from me, not from what I’ve been shown, adopted, or followed. How might the inner heart do life?

  26. I agree Adrienne all that is needed is to be willing to listen to what we are feeling in our body. When we build a steady inner connection to our essence we do not question or doubt how to handle anything in life, our inner wisdom shows us the way if we allow it to.

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