May The Force Be With You Is A Lie!

I love the original Star Wars movies. If I accidentally flip to it on a Sunday afternoon, I might get to the credits before I realize I have watched the whole thing again. I saw the first one in 1977 with my dad. I vividly remember standing in a long line to get our tickets at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, North Carolina. It sticks out so clearly because my father never stood in line for anything. By standing in line for Star Wars he cemented its legacy in my mind. He was mesmerized by everything about this good versus evil movie, but, for me, what caught my imagination was the idea of The Force.

I hunted for that force in real life for 35 years before I discovered the truth. There may be a force, but the saying, “may the force be with you,” is a lie.

There is certainly a grander design at play in the world, one that can easily be called the force. Seminars I have attended have called it the flow, or prana (Sanskrit for vital life), or chi (Chinese for life force). I thought if I called it different names, maybe “it,” whatever “it,” was, would come to me faster. But none of those things worked for me – my flow wasn’t flowing!

One morning, while deep in meditation, I had my own experience that felt straight out of Star Wars. A voice from beyond the milky way spoke to me in its gentle, loving tone: 

Tomi, there is a cadence and a rhythm to life. You must be a clear vessel to receive it. When you whine about something, you disrupt the cadence. When you are impatient, you disrupt the cadence. Think back to Adyashanti and his definition of enlightenment. It is absolute cooperation with the inevitable. To be with the force, don’t fight life. Rise up to meet whatever life brings to you. Don’t wallow in the circumstances. Be thankful for the lessons before you, lean into them, and move through them faster. Remember the monk who was accused of fathering the child of a neighbor’s daughter? All he said was, “Isn’t that interesting.” When the child was born, he raised the child. When the neighbor’s daughter recanted her story several years later, what did the monk say? “Isn’t that interesting.” No resistance through emotion. No resistance through fighting reality. The monk rose up to meet life. You continue to resist rising up to meet life, Tomi. Stop it and you will be one with the force.

At that moment, it all clicked. It’s not, “May the force be with you”, it’s “May you be with the force.” To be with the force, I must be a clear vessel that rises to meet life, and to be a clear vessel means no interference from my wounds (or baggage).

I must be big enough to hold my past hurts in a new way so that they don’t keep what the Universe has designed for me from showing up. I must have the courage to let others say what they need to say without reaction or judgement.

Being a clear vessel means allowing life to flow through me uninterrupted so that whatever great future life has planned for me can happen. That is being with the force.

Until next week, may you be surrounded by all the llama llove you can handle.

Tomi Llama