I woke up stressed this morning. Nothing major, just every-day stresses: projects at work that weren’t going smoothly, the lack of an exact-o knife hampering my progress on an art piece, laundry to do…the usual list. But today I got into a massive funk about it. Because I’ve been dreaming of a different life…of waking up slowly and spending my days writing and making art and hanging out with people on their journeys. Of having a yard to eat lunch in during the summer, and a fireplace to eat it by in the winter. A life full of doing only things that I’m passionate about.
It’s a great dream. And I’m right on the edge of it. But I’m not there yet, and on days when the current life is uncomfortable, the distance from here to there starts to feel bigger. This morning it was feeling insurmountable. And then, straight out of the Great-Cosmic-Something, a beautiful, challenging question landed in my mind:
“Well, Sana, do you believe in what you teach or not?” As within, So without. One of the seven principles of tantra, and, incidentally, the subject of the art piece I’m stalled on. (oh, metaphors).
As within, so without.
If I want my fully-alive-life, then I first have to live fully, in the life I already have. Once I’m living the way I picture myself in the life I’m dreaming – not the form of it, mind you, but the spirit of it…the grace and ease of it…then I will be able to create outer reflection of it. The end result might not look exactly like the current picture in my head, but it will be the answer to the longing. And the way to get there is to change within.
Now, I’ve been working the “change within” for a while. But it’s been very focused on “within myself”. I had a lot of healing work to do, a lot of re-weaving of old stories into new myths. The work now is different – it’s about “within my life”. It’s about fully embodying the transformation – creating a new way-of-living that flows from my new way-of-being.
Once I put the pieces together, and laughed at myself for forgetting the basics, my mood shifted. I immediately wanted to sit down and write about it…but that would have been missing the lesson. Because to come fully into my life today, I needed to get to work. So I declined my habit of sitting and wishing my life were different, or procrastinating and doing something creative instead, and dove into my stuck and stalled projects. And lo and behold, they started moving. All the energy I was spending on sitting and wishing started to move into my work. It was a spreadsheet extravaganza. I got a lot done, had a great meeting with my boss, and came home ready to write. 🙂
It’s easy to forget that this kind of discipline feels so good; that it frees up so much energy…that this tantric practice of “declining the habit” can affect powerful change. I think, in part for me, it’s that I so rebel against the idea of “discipline”. Structure and rules are just not my thing. So I’m re-framing this kind of discipline in my head – a structureless structure based on declining old habits so that new patterns can emerge – not discipline, but Bliss-ipline (an awesome word I learned from a friend recently).
Because I’m pretty sure that this way lies all the bliss.
Feel free to scroll down & leave a reply… I’d love to hear your thoughts. <3