So, apparently it’s a cycle. This shouldn’t surprise me, what isn’t a cycle? But I guess I’d hoped it was a path, or a staircase steadily climbing down in the direction of greater depth, or a ladder to higher heights.
So I have tasted stillness and I have felt no-mind. How beautiful it was to go beyond words, to actually stop the mental clutter for a bit. How sweet to receive understanding, rather than to work to manufacture it. I especially enjoyed the way it felt that my mind was here to translate and verbalize the truth, not to analyze, predict, or control it. For a short bit, I genuinely dropped the non virtue of senseless chatter!
But this week, my cracked open heart stopped aching for the first time in months. That stretchy expansive feeling like something is pushing its way out— well, it feels a little sad to notice it is gone. Mind you, my heart hasn’t shut back down, and I don’t feel it as shrinking at all. Just taking a breather, rebooting maybe?
And so my mind comes back online. I’ve been having long conversations in my head, and even via email with the actual targets of my busy thoughts. I’ve been manufacturing scenarios, or crafting proposals, and catch myself bracing for change and loss. It’s like the scene in the cartoon when the coyote doesn’t fall until he notices he has run off the cliff- I’m poised for that moment as if it is as inevitable as gravity.
And most noteworthy, I’m staying less in the present moment- running reviews, replaying tapes and mining memories for something. It isn’t wallowing, or going back. It feels like the “previously on this show” synopsis, and I am fascinated to see which metaphorical 60 seconds of the 8 hours of past programming my mind chooses to highlight for this egoic audience I am!
Perhaps this is integration? Perhaps here I have paused in the present to shine some love and light into the past, to feed the hope that old girl had from some unknown source? She somehow knew it would turn out alright, and felt a hand pulling her to live from her imagination rather than her past. Maybe that came from this present and future me, taking this moment to recognize that we only go as fast as the slowest hiker. Maybe this is me checking in with all these selves… My little girl, my bitchy teenager, my ambitious twenty something, my slumpy new mom, my desperate housewife…
To see if we are all ready to move on?
That’s an appealing thought. Integration and progress, instead of what I fear is backsliding and losing ground. And yet, all these familiar well worn old voices pop up— “Where are we going? When will we get there? Who else is going to be there? Is this the right way? I left something really important at the last stop, can we go back?”
So how did I manage before I found my heart?
If this is a cycle, then my task for moving forward is to do what worked before. My guess is that I listen and watch quietly for my future self, somewhere off down the path doing recon, to send a signal back about where we are going.
Before, I allowed myself to want adjectives more than nouns and verbs… I longed for a new feeling, not a specific person or place to deliver a feeling. This has served me well… It has given me the ability to whole heartedly and bravely accept new experiences that offer themselves that I somehow know will take me to those longed for feelings, even when I had zero familiarity with the logistics. This faithful listening has been my felt sense.
So, today I will I indulge in some adjectives sent by my circuitous path, informed by my past, to give this present busy mind something to do while we all wait for the future to begin. I have a knowing that my future is:
– Flowy. Like water. Not drip drip drip, not tidal wave. Flowy.
– Connected. Not wired, not codependent. Interrelated, interdependent, reliably connected.
– Expansive. Not manic, not scattered to the wind. Full of possibility, rich with facets, expansive.
– There is so much love. Some people are there that I can unequivocally call ‘Mine’ and they believe my commitment to be theirs. Like grandma level commitment, and it is reciprocal.
– It’s sexy too, some of it. Maybe a different form of sexy than what has been familiar? Maybe that’s too loaded a word? It is potent and vivid and deeply felt.
– There are children and old people, because that’s what makes the difference between a social club and a village, and I live in a village. Or maybe I live in a nomadic tribe? But it’s diverse and multigenerational for sure.
– And Creativity is key. This future will not be traditional, though it relies heavily on the right well-tested ancient and found wisdom.
– Spirit encompasses everything, everyone, in a loving ever-present embrace.
– I will finally get to teach again, though I’m guessing not as before.
– And it is sustainably green.
I know these are true.
Now to allow myself to let go of the ego driven desire to hook these noble truths to some particular person place or path– That is the work for me in this moment.
So here is my internal push and pull, the wrong questions, like:
Is it India, or California, or Arlington? That isn’t the point!
Is it in a group house, a family dwelling, a brownstone? Who cares?
Who is my partner and what shape does our relationship take? Also,’not the part I get to know for sure yet.
Who is my boss is completely irrelevant!
This thought process has helped me stay grounded here, hopeful about the future, and even a little more settled about my past (so tired of that story!).
So now, present that worries me so—bring it on! My heart is open, my mind is alert, my ego is learning to take a seat, my spirit is felt.