Being What I’m Born to Be

By Jerry Rothenberg

On a fundamental level, being around John has helped me see that I am much more than what my thoughts and feelings tell me.  The limits I put on myself about what I can be in the world or with others have changed and expanded.  Stepping out of my old identity opens up a spaciousness inside that is like being a free self.  I’m now able to be in the world in a way that is new, spontaneous and caring.

This shows up in every aspect of my living.  In my work, for example, I’m not limited by a pattern of how I am supposed to be as a therapist.  This allows me to relate to my clients from a different base inside myself.  There is an openness and fearlessness and deep compassion that is present in how I move in communication with clients.  So in the sessions there is a tremendous richness that endlessly surprises me.

This fulfillment is wonderful. There is intelligence inside greater than my conditioned mind that teaches me how to be in life when I’m not restricted by ideas. This open mindedness has evolved being with John.  Seeing how he is living on the cutting edge of himself and not fixed in anything old, has allowed me to step through my limiting beliefs.

My health has been of great concern for many years.   I’ve had ongoing chronic health issues that doctors said would cripple me. Now I’m no longer stuck in defining myself as ill.  Loving kindness has allowed me to know I can have a healthy body.  It has moved me past any of the limiting diagnosis.  Now whatever my health issues are, it’s about learning to accept and embrace my body unconditionally, to be truly okay with my body as it is.  It’s awesome that when your identity is rooted in openness and newness, you are not restricted by ideas of what is and is not possible.  My whole body responds to that on a cellular level.

Another area of change in regard to John’s teaching is my sexuality. Most of my life I based my sexuality on conditioned beliefs about what it is to be a man, and what is it to be potent, strong and  masculine.  This kept me in a certain macho posture.  My ability to meet the tender heart of myself as a lover was compromised by these beliefs.  I couldn’t find the core of my sexuality.  It seemed to be covered up by so many ideas.  It was only when I stopped believing in my “manhood” and opened to what it is to be present, that my sexuality returned to the simplicity of moment to moment.  Each breath was about intimacy and if movement happened, it was guided by wanting to meet and discover the other.  My masculinity was liberated to embrace a depth of feeling, vulnerability and sensitivity that allowed my heart to enter my skin and touch the subtle energies that made “sense” of my sexuality in a way I had never known.

As newness, I am always curious and open to meeting and being with others. Not living in needs for approval or being liked, there is a lovely rest in presence that is natural and available.  It is there when I am relating to others.  I don’t need to compensate for any insecurities by dominating relationships in my favor.  There is such a love for the other that comes up organically that I want to make room for them inside myself.   I see that all the time with John when he’s with people.  He isn’t the centre of his attention.  The world outside holds such a love affair, he willingly gives up himself for that to take place.  I’m learning how to do that as well.  When I’m with a group it is lovely to be present and allow that to have all of me rather than all of me trying to have all of that.

I owe everything that I’m evolving within and without to John’s teaching. There are so many faces John expresses.  John in the cafe, where you meet the person, who is wonderfully available, gracious and considerate and sharply intelligent.  In his body he actively expresses how a human being can live who has integrated the deepest of the spiritual into practical life.  Then there is the other face of John, the one who sits on a stage in front of several hundred people, whose radiance is such that all of us resonate and are brought into a space of profound stillness and light. This allows a listening inside that is so deep and subtle that living knowledge of what we are presents itself in every breath.  A communication and communion occurs on levels inside that awaken the heart, the mind and the body to what we were born to be.

Thank you, John.

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