So this thought occurred to me (and if it's true, it's going to save me a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of hard, fruitless labor). What if we aren't meant to hold it all together? What I mean is, what if our lives aren't meant to fit into some kind of cohesive outline?
See, I was talking to my kids (my students) about outlining and its use in research. I hate outlining, and I can't do it. I've tried. It's just not how my brain works. But *reverse* outlining--when you go back over your finished product, pull it apart to see what's cohesive and what's a blatant outlier, well, that has some merit for me.
So. Why, in the name of all that is holy, am I trying to outline my life, day to day, moment by ever-present moment? What makes me think that I can apply some concept that has *never* worked for me in scholarly pursuit to the ever-loving organic nature of my life?
Well. I can't. But (!!), I can reverse outline it. I can do that now, write it down, cut it out (coll...
Despite best efforts, there's always the sleepless night. Am I right? I mean, this is true no matter who we are--from the stablest, least anxious person on the planet (I want to meet that rockstar) to the most solvent, not-a-care-in-the-world tycoon with three yachts, a fleet of private jets, and a unicorn (I want to meet them, too; maybe they'd adopt me).
So, yes. It happens. Just, for some of us, it happens more often than not. What can you do? For reals, that's a serious question. Last night was, I think, the result of the jittery wind-down, the download after some major cosmic (or otherwise) upgrade. (FYI: I have no idea what I'm talking about). I tried all my tools--books, meditation, tea, herbs, essential oils. Finally? I just decided to give into it.
It occurred to me that maybe the reason I couldn't sleep was that I wasn't *supposed* to sleep. I was *supposed* to pay attention to something. A message. A giant cosmic flag waving right over my head, a cosmic flare, if you wi...
Fighting your own mind, man. It's exhausting. (I bet if I did a word search for 'exhausting' on this blog I'd find more entries than I'm willing to own up to; I think I'm exhausted a lot). But I'm not sure why I (we) fight so bloody hard. The mind is built to take the controls. It's like some dystopian world where the machines take over (although, don't get me wrong--sometimes I think my life would have been a lot smoother if my computer could have made some of my decisions for me...just saying).
But the heart--the spirit. That's old. That's nature. That's the Green Man, the Earth Mother. That's Elementals and old cardinal-direction-five-element magic. All we need, really, is one huge Margaret Atwood-imagined disaster before the earth reclaims all of us and all of this.
So. Why are we, little cosmic microcosms, any different? I'm not saying bring on the disaster--good goddess, no. What I am saying is that we have a choice in every moment. We can choose to let the ma...
I really have no moment-before (so to speak) prompting this particular Satya. Sometimes things just come that, apparently, need to be said. I'll try and try to change the idea I've begun with, but it always fails. So here we are, apparently, ready to be broken. When this happens--when these Satyas come out of (seemingly) nowhere--I've learned to go within, see why this idea surfaced; there's always a reason. So. What's ready to break in my life? What could I drop? Or, maybe, what have I already dropped, accidentally?
All I can think of is this (and, honey, is this ever ready to break--I'll sweep the pieces out and dance them to dust, given the chance): my chronic resistance. Resistance to what? Well, everything, I suppose. Change, namely. New challenges, sure. But the core of it? A resistance, a refusal, really, to believe I'm capable of whatever's next on my list: a new class I'm teaching, a new role I've taken up, a new job, a new skill. My first thought is: I'll...
Okay, so I really don't love big social functions, which you probably know if you've ever hopped around this little blogosphere (only because I talk about it endlessly, so there's a good chance even a random hop will land you on the subject). I can do it but, man, is it ever exhausting. And I know at least half of you guys are with me on this, so thank you for that. Safety in numbers (ironically enough for introverts--Unite! Separately and in our own houses!).
So, I've got one of these functions today, and this is what I'm telling myself--I've got this orbit of manifesting creation around me, and so does everyone else. Imagine if we all walked around holding our projects, our creations, our deepest loves. That would make these things, these meetings, so interesting. Imagine seeing everyone with your heart first, instead of your wariness.
Because, if you had access to these creative selves, how could you not love the buttoned-up excec, totally intimidating with his mean face, i...
I did it first thing this morning, actually--in the first email of the day. A big fat apology for something that, really, didn't need one. You know what it was, though? What triggered the apology button? It's that what I had asked for created an inconvenience for this individual (and they didn't say that--this is just my interpretation, mind you, so a double-jeopardy of assumptions here).
So, it's tricky. Should I apologize for an inconvenience, despite the fact that it was a justified one? I don't know. It's polite, and I always try to be polite. But I also don't want to keep giving myself away to the apology vampires, you know? Or maybe a better analogy would be Apology Dementors, right? These things that fly around, sucking the life out of you. Sneaky and scary.
We do it **constantly.** So constantly, in fact, that "I'm sorry," means so little. It's hard to give a truly, heartfelt, heart-wrenching, justified apology these days. In so many ways, we need to take our language...
Fall down seven times, stand up eight. I say that a lot, and every time I do, I thank the teacher from whom I heard it. And that's what good teachers do--they leave us with these little tokens, little river stones worn smooth by their own experience and passed down with great care to those who have come for the lesson.
Good teachers know the absolute value of balance--that everything we do (or don't do) has a reverberation--immediate or otherwise. There can be no moving forward without some kind of displacement. Usually we don't mind--we'll move that old habit, belief, misconception, fear out of the way, making room for this new thing.
But sometimes those displaced things have taken root--and that hurts to remove. Good teachers know that, too. So they wait. They wait to let those roots wither on their own--and they will, if you can stop feeding that habit/belief/misconception/fear. That organic mass of stuff that is you and your capacity to grow will reabsorb those old roots,...
Do a little of what you love every day. Really, it's all you have to offer in return for this life, even if you feel you owe nothing to this world because it's been so bloody hard (then double points to you for spending five minutes, ten minutes, in love with something you've created--that's wild and brave and daring).
A little can be a little or a lot--see, that's the beauty of it. In my world, finding a quarter on the sidewalk is a pretty sweet deal. For others? They'd leave it there--not worth the trouble to pick up. That's okay. That's their working definition of what's worthwhile.
The point? Do what you love. One minute a day. Seven. Sixteen hours. You're the boss and you set the schedule.
You're not always at the mercy of someone else's clock. And the love, the art, the forest, the light will wait.
But not forever. It needs to be fed and will die, distressingly quickly, when given nothing for light but screens and devices, nothing for breath but central heating and...
We owe it to ourselves to be ourselves. And if that's impossible, then we owe it to those who love us and who have loved us.
Beautiful, unstoppable, indestructible energy goes into love. Don't tangle yourself in that love, wrapping it around and around you until you're trapped and immobile, mistaking that binding for safety. Instead, use that long line of love as a tether; trust it will hold you close, while giving you so much strength, so much support, and so much room to move that you can take yourself anywhere.
As kind of a given rule, I don't really like to dance, not in the generally accepted definition of the term, anyway. But I do love the idea of dance, as a concept--this free-form (at least, at first), movement to some kind of rhythm, heard or unheard. It's movement dependant on the circumstances of the moment--you can't jump ahead or fall behind without taking away from the art; it's all about the present.
Holding that definition, then, life is a dance--your schedule is the beat to which you move and, in between, fall the rests--your moments of free-form quiet. I was thinking of this yesterday as, in the midst of a crazy schedule, in which over the next two weeks I'll probably be pulling (my version of) all-nighters, finishing one long-loved and long-lived project, just to switch intellectual gears altogether and begin another one (for which, yes, at this moment I'm woefully ill-prepared), I spent the day with my sister. And it was just the best thing ever.