Wow, note to self – blog about welcoming the void, and the void appears…it’s been almost two months since my last post, and they’ve been months of going inward, certainly, and then moving outward into my life in a new way; a time of transition.
I engaged in a delicious, ordinary, everyday ritual: I moved. I sorted through all of my possessions – touched everything I owned – and released most of it, passed along with gratitude to someone who will use it. It was, for me, joyous, even in the difficult moments. And there were difficult moments as my system processed so much change all at once. But the bumps were all navigable; I felt so ready to let go of what was no longer needed. And in the letting go, I could feel the return of all the spanda, or life-force that I had tied up in maintaining a bond of ownership with those things. I felt energized from it, and it was a good thing, too, because transition takes energy, and I needed every drop I could get.
I’ve moved in to a cozy little bungalow, on-campus at the retreat center where I’ve studied and trained and cooked and led, and above all, healed and grown for the past seven years and change. I’m here to continue to do all of those things and more, in the form of a six-month internship, a program that has been referred to as “personal-growth boot-camp.” I’m so excited.
I’ve been here for a couple of weeks now, so I’m settled in, and the work has begun already, by which I mean I’m coming face to face with the stories I tell about myself and the world, and am undergoing the same process I went through while moving, only this time it’s on a different level – instead of sorting through possessions I am sorting through perspectives, and releasing the ones that I no longer need. This, then, frees up the spanda I had tied up in maintaining the perspective, which I can use to fuel more aliveness in my life, or to fuel a new perspective on something.
This is not always comfortable. The tricky thing about perspectives is that we tend to identify with them; we internalize them until we believe that they are part of who we are. I think we each have one true Perspective – one essential Perspective, that is – the Perspective of our very essence. I think that one Perspective really does define us; it makes us who we are. This larger Perspective is unchanging and cannot be released. The smaller perspectives are the ones that I am talking about. They are invented as attempts to explain the nature of reality to ourselves when we lose true Perspective. By nature, they are partial.
Okay, it’s all very abstract, so I’ll concretize it a bit. Here’s one of the ways this process of perspective-shedding has looked: I used to tell a story that I hated winter and that I couldn’t stand the cold or the grey. This was a limited perspective – it was connected to the idea that I am somehow separate from nature and it’s rhythms and cycles and seasons. I told this story for so long that I had begun to identify with it – to think of it as “just part of being me”, and so I strengthened it by never having the appropriate winter gear and refusing to go out in nature in the wintertime.
Well, a couple of months ago, my Teacher’s Teacher came to town and I had a session with him, and he told me I needed to move my body outside every day for 45 minutes at least. Now, the thing is, when the Teacher’s Teacher talks, it’s worth listening to. Not because he’s an enlightened being who knows what’s best for you, but because he’s usually right, and he’s been at it a lot longer than you, and he wants what’s best for you, and you respect him and his wisdom.
So I’m working my way up to it. I started with getting the right winter gear. Abundance Herself showed up in the form of some beloveds in my life who knew I was trying to befriend the season and were very generous. Then I decided to start with 5 days a week, because this is a big change from “as little contact with winter as possible” and I want to ease into it. I also didn’t keep time at the beginning, and let myself start small – 10 or 15 minutes at a time. Soon enough, I made it to 45 minutes, and am enjoying every one. It’s such a gift to be able to walk under the trees (almost!) every day, and I’m quickly finding myself falling in love with winter. My walk is becoming a touchstone for me; a place I find inspiration, or comfort, or grounding.
And I’m not telling the story of “I hate winter” anymore. I’m walking – literally – into closer connection with the natural world, which is tied to true Perspective, the only Perspective that can see the Oneness of it all and the Manyness of it all at the same time. And I see now I’ve landed back in the esoteric.
Anyway, it’s shaping up to be a transformational 6 months. Because the program is so intense, it’s unlikely that I’ll have time to blog every week, but will do my best to post at least once a month. I’m really looking forward to this journey and seeing where it takes me and sharing some of the learnings along the way.
I think it’s pretty awesome that, just about 6 months after saying “Hell Yes” to my life and posting my very first blog, I arrived here, which has felt like my life saying “Hell Yes” back to me.
Well, that’s my 2015 so far. How’s yours going? Comment and let me know!