I don't have what would, in the 'normal' world, be considered rhythm. I can't move to a beat, and I probably couldn't create a consistent syncopation in this lifetime, even with the great Buddy Rich guiding my hands.
But you know, I've finally realized that it's okay. So while I don't dance at weddings (I'm actually quite okay with that), I can chant a mean lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu. And that fills me with such joy--I can find the pace. I can walk the chant.
And, don't you know, if you walk enough, with enough heart, the dance carries you, whether you know it or not.
I've had this epiphany: I am too strong for my own good. Or, rather, I rely too much on the strength I have and, because strength is safe, I develop and over-develop it. And then, when life gets hard or scratchy or blisteringly uncomfortable, I keep going--but only by arming myself and fighting my way through. And then I wonder why I wake in the night quaking with anxiety, then run exhausted through my days.
So, the other day (actually, while I was teaching yoga, which is how and when most of these channeled-type thoughts come to me) I realized the answer is just in falling apart when you need to fall apart--not needlessly and not constantly, mind you. In other words, not making it a habit and certainly not breaking down in front of everyone you know, hoping for some kind of answer or platitude. No. The answer is in falling apart, being vulnerable and transparent, in front of **yourself.**
Because that's the only audience you're really trying to impress here...
I don't think it's about trying *hard enough.* I mean, what's enough? How do we measure that?
Okay. How do we measure that objectively?
Really, I think it's just about trying. Period. Either something will grab you, or it won't. Either your effort is authentic, or it's not. Only you know the truth of that effort and no one can (although they'll try to) judge you for it.
I think we both overestimate and underestimate what can be accomplished in one, small human lifetime. We can cause great damage so easily, that's the nature of the beast. Rebuilding takes time. One life's worth may not be enough.
But, oh, it's more than enough to try. To make an effort. To make an authentic effort. To have faith that, down the line, someone will be grateful for the work we started--the path, once invisible, now, at least, partially accessible.
Man. It'll be the death of us. But you know what's so freeing? Those words? They mean nothing. They don't exist.
The only thing that does is what's in front of you--and is that ever a relief. So, guide yourself back and watch as things unfold. Make the decision that feels true to you right now, in the moment, and never have use of the words if only in hindsight...
I read this great article recently by Gregg Krech about action and resolution. The mind will always, always throw up roadblocks. That's what it does. But the body? The body can just *get up* and go do something, taking the mind along for the ride.
Right? Think of the middle of the night. You wake up and have to go to the bathroom. Your strange sleep-mind pitches all kinds of scenarios and alternatives, but eventually you realize that it's all madness; you *have* to get up. When you get back to bed, a few minutes later, your mind realizes it really wasn't worth all that creative effort.
Life is like that. We don't have to know how or why. Our body knows. That's enough.
Just the word itself is enough to force me back under my bedsheets for the day. There's just no escape from the brain when it winds up and gets its gears going.
Or is there?
One of the most practical bits of pranayama (breathing practices) I've ever encountered is what I refer to as "Yin Breathing." Imagine your inhale moving from your heart to your pelvic floor, then bouncing from there back to your heart on the exhale. This is your orbit. This is where you live. This is where you are led.
Your head is just up there, holding your eyes, offering you navigation through cardinal directions. Don't consult it otherwise.
That's the question, right? When to be still? When to settle? When to keep going?
Well, I think it's just not in my nature to settle down. In a place? Yes. In a house? Yes. I like routine, I like stability. But when it comes to the work I do in this world? It's always changing--out of necessity, out of creativity, out of inspiration.
One day I just decided, well, I guess that's okay.
Most of the time, I feel pretty broken, disjointed, held together with chewing-gum and old Christmas ribbons. But I wonder if that's just the way of it? Our world now is much the same--glossed over with this very visible plastic-y sealant via social media.
(But don't let yourself be fooled into thinking that kind of glossiness only exists in our time--think back to the 1950's ideal-housewife-family scenario...that was Facebook live).
But! To the point. So, are these cracks worth plastering over? Shouldn't we just highlight them? Show them off to the world?
Or just crumble, erode away and wait for the weather to shift and for a new structure to emerge?