Each day is unpredictable. Time is twisting. Some days I feel fired up and inspired by my desires and projects. Before I know, I am slammed with grief, both universal and personal. Sensitive to the strong emotions flying around, I struggle to focus, or to do more than sleep and go for walks. I can feel myself being pulled in so many directions.
I’m reminding myself a lot lately that this pandemic is really hard for humans, but perhaps quite a blessing for Earth. Our human world relates catastrophe to how it effects us. The world is so much more. This is not to downplay the hardship, but to open up my perspective beyond politics and my screaming activist heart. Humans are undergoing a major lesson and a major shift in consciousness, that will last far beyond the health crisis.
May this be a time that all souls learn lessons and go forward to create something new, rather than go back to the old ways. The old constructs are falling, and we can rise to nature what we are wanting next. We are being forced to look inward and ask what we are really doing with our lives. This introspection can feel traumatic, especially if we have been able to distract ourselves with life’s routines, habits, and what we took for granted.
My friend reminded me that even though I care and feel so much, that what I am doing here is far beyond politics. That healing isn’t about understanding meaning, or figuring anything out. Western culture is so caught in knowing, and ironically that focus can keep us blind to the lessons. Healing is about bringing light and balance to the parts of us in need. It is about expanding our beliefs of what is possible. We can be a light even if we are surrounded by darkness. We can be compassionate without making their pain our own.
Orienting myself this way has really helped me get more excited about my own path, and less worried about what it should all look like. There is no way to know. The entire world is flying by the seat of their pants, and in that, we find solidarity.
In today’s westernized hot bod yoga workout craze, how many times have you heard the phrases:
I want to find balance in my life…
If only I could create a work-life balance…
Move from your core!
Engage your core!
Ok don’t literally try to count. These concepts are all over the place. Capitalism has taken hold of yet another thing that cannot be generalized or materialized and has given it a name and face, and convinced us that we need it and that we don’t have the capacity to create it within ourselves. Everything society feeds us throws us into extremes, and then we come crawling back, desperate for a remedy (temporary if that), remaining trapped without examples of what true, real-life balance looks like. We are told that the more we do, the more we get. Maybe if we made it to a couple classes and chanted a few “Oms” then we would feel better, or even be on the cover of Yoga Journal! The truth I believe I that when you do the optimal amount, you get the best.
Being that EVERYTHING on my natal chart lives entirely on one side, I obviously have no innate sense of what balance is for me. Besides that, I’m an earth sign surrounded by two water signs, which means my need for stability is often thrown on some wild rides. SWEET. I mean, I may have some intellectual sense of what balance is, but when it comes to actually creating it for myself….well that’s just funny. I may seem all centered and stuff, but trust me, I am working HARD because all of my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual tendencies work to scatter me. That’s great, cuz it makes me highly curious and versatile, but ultimately it can be exhausting and debilitating, especially within modern culture. Thus, I now announce that I have dedicated my life to exploring what balance feels like for me. So, because I have no natural capacity for balance, I have become quite the expert in my experimental self-inquiry.
Of course we want to be proactive in creating balance and harmony in our lives. Balance begets health and we all want health. Health is NORMAL. It is the middle between too much and too little. We know deep within us the familiar place of peace, yet we accept a life that works in the opposite direction. Health and disease are two sides of the same coin. Disease is a deviation of the normal balance. It isn’t a different thing. Thus, healing from dis-ease requires more than just waging war on our imbalances, but to reinstate the natural balance. This natural state of being may not be in your conscious memory and it may seem so far away that you may not even know what feeling you are seeking. Keep listening. Patiently. Compassionately. Consider how long you have been doing things the “other” way….habit evolution takes tiiiiiime.
Balance does not eliminate challenges or highlights. But it does work to keep you centered in yourself as you face exciting circumstances. Being centered does not imply being settled. You can be centered in who you are and what you are doing, and still desire more of what the world has to offer. Enjoy all the contrast that exists on this magnificent planet.
The thing is, since you are always shifting, growing, moving, changing, your ideal balance does the same. Take it moment by moment to eventually see the shape of your own balance curve. Every moment you are shifting from pose to pose, your center of gravity shifts as well.
This brings me to the second buzzword: core.
There is a lot of talk these days about moving from your core…engaging your core, for it is a place to engage, contract, and tighten to become strong. with this approach, our preciously reliable core becomes this condensed point. To remain integrated and balanced, we need our cores to radiate through our entire body, fluffy, radiant and full, not sucked in and flattened. Your center of gravity moves as you do. Allow your core to shape-shift with you as well. Don’t expect the center of your being to stay in one place. That is not what it was meant to do. Balance is a moving target, not a fixed place. Get used to being a work in progress.
If I had it my way I would be running around the world without having to abide by intentions or boundaries. As beautiful as my mind is, it has created dis-ease for me most of my life without me realizing it. Now, I am trying on the understanding that my mind and all its creativity is here to work with me for the purpose of my soul’s greatest desire for expression. I’m writing this blog because I don’t know what else to do right now, because every time I have and idea and am ready to get jamming my body is like HAHA PSYCH! (Chronic illness is really fun.) I wanna scream at my Mr. Miyagi soul, telling my inner grasshopper to be patient so I don’t keep jumping around the field until I get chopped up by a weed wacker. This almost happened on several occasions before I learned how to be careful. So I suppose this gestation period is all for my highest good however frustrating it is.
We all have a limited amount of energy to spend on things, and I am so done with the days of haphazardly giving my energy to things that give me nothing in return, so I am very conscious and particular with what I chose to involve myself with, be it jobs, projects, daily activities, people, things I read, what I listen to. Even the intellectual decision process of what is worth your while take more energy than I wish to give sometimes.
Being that I am still too afraid to do what makes me feel most alive, like dance (big surprise to anyone who knows me) I use writing as my outlet. I have too many excuses to dance, including chronic illness, chronic back injuries, questions of identity, fear of past identity, ideas of self-worth, self-doubt, longing and belonging. using my body to share my artistry and wisdom still feels to vulnerable and raw. I figure I want to share, at least I could write. It may be a more mind-centric form of expression, but at least it is in service to my artistic creativity, rather than my intellectual ego that has had far too much airtime over the past 28 years I’ve been on this earth. I am a mover, so what am I doing sitting here in front of a screen? Not just for this blog, but I’m also writing a book. Don’t get excited just yet….I’m suddenly aware of just how SLOOOOOWLY I am to manifest my dreams, projects, passions. I mean, I’ve been unemployed five months….it took me three months to realize I wanted to write a blog, a month to convince myself that I should, and another month to actually set up my site and publish this. Why do we struggle so much with validating our desires? What makes them “valid?”
Part of my aversion to many things is that I have practically zero patience for technology. I do not understand it. I do not wish to understand it. Ok, I have a math degree but I can’t even use a Texas Instruments calculator for even close to what it’s worth. Humans have made it so hard for me to understand what it means to be a modern human. I don’t know what a plug-in is, I barely know how to perform a software update on my laptop, and I can’t perform it even when I try because I have no disk space. My browser is so outdated that I can even send emails from safari. Again, I cringe at the thought of having to back up my files on an external drive (which also require installed software) so that I can again have a functioning laptop with both space and up to date software. Social media freaks me out, I don’t want to be a virtual person, I want to be a living-in-the-flesh person, and orienting myself to screens makes my heart start to race and my mind unable to focus. I often have a hard time writing because my thoughts come and go faster than my brain can organize and my hands can write. But I payed for a year-long WordPress subscription, so here we go. I’m locked in. I signed up. Now I just have to learn how to promote myself. Setting up this blog was basically me clicking a lot of buttons impatiently and ignorantly between eating chocolate bars.
Learning how to operate machines and wireless connections are not my calling, but apparently they are a necessary skill for setting up any sort of business. Why does wanting to write mean that I have to know how to create a webpage? I’ve never even downloaded a song from iTunes….I don’t even know my Apple ID. Is it the same passcode I use for the iCloud (aka IF I use the cloud…cuz lord knows I don’t). All I’m saying is that I am technologically handicapped and a failure of my generation, so developing a web presence is a natural way for me to promote myself…
I’ve recognized that every “rut” I’ve been in has really been a need to create that has not been met or able to express itself. If my body isn’t brave enough yet, let me use another part of my creativity as the vehicle, but remember that it my body has been the instigator and a huge guide leading me in this process.