In these last few months we have been given one opportunity after another to look at who we are, to ask ourselves who we want to become, to view the way things have been, and to reconsider our participation in this world.
In one way or another, we have been forced to pause. We have been invited into a space of self reflection.
In this pause we get to ask. We get to not know. We get to draw new lines as we erase others. We get to learn. We get to really think about how we live our lives. And to clearly see the shadows of society, of which we are a part.
What we stand for. Who we stand with. What we normalize. And what we sweep under the rug, or swipe away with our thumb. What we value. What we care for. How self absorbed we are. How individualistic. The injustices that we participate in because they are so interwoven with the fabric of our day to day living. The kind of stress that we allow our lives to be saturated with, filled with modern day excuses, the brutality of capitalism, the patriarchal model of ambition and competition. The ongoing rat race. And the white race in power. A corrupt system that keeps white bodies safely numb, as it suffocates black bodies under its knee.
We’re sitting on the threshold. This is no ordinary time. What we’re facing is the call to massively transform. What we’re moving through is the discomfort of dismantling some deeply ingrained patterns. Between pandemic and the radical awareness of racial injustice and inequality – Going back to “normal” is not what’s in store.
To recreate ourselves we will need to establish boundaries, to discern, to dissolve, and to be willing to put down our defenses.
Our defenses are not always forms of healthy boundaries, rather, they are often an expression of undealt with issues.
What will you permit to enter into your life through the threshold of this time? As we sit here in the in between space, we get to choose.
If you could do magic and draw a circle of protection around you, your loved ones, and society, what would you consciously leave outside your circle?
What do you want to conjure within it?
Where do you want to direct the energy that moves through you right now?
Choice is an expression of freedom. And making a choice is the process of creating a boundary.
Within boundaries, one can build a life worth loving.
Without boundaries love has nowhere to live.
What do you want to do with what life is giving you?
The last few months have been an in depth course in boundaries. Places we cannot go to. Things we cannot do.
Where we cannot go can become the opportunity to go deeper into where we are.
What we cannot do can be a doorway into what more is possible.
Summer is hitting and the people want freedom.
It’s almost the fourth of July. The day of independence in the land of the free.
The land of the FREE – built on murder and slavery.
Slavery ended, yet people of color are murdered on the streets of this country. By the forces that are meant to protect.
We need firm boundaries to create new laws.
We need to dismantle old boundaries and liberate new pathways.
We need to break walls that protect the values of white supremacy, and burn the fields that grow oppression and racial inequality.
Covid restrictions make lots of people feel confined.
Some people think their feeling of confinement is more important than someone else’s life.
I look at white privileged, racist America that demands the right to carry guns, and sees wearing masks as a violation of their freedom.
And black people sitting in prisons for practically nothing.
Millionaires walk on carpets of corruption, under which they sweep the laws that they break, protected by laws that they fund.
I see Trump and I think: Here’s a person who grew up without any consequences to his actions. Without boundaries. Without the word NO.
I look at the disgrace of racist America and the values on which this country is built.
Mothers make homes – sanctuaries bound by love, conduits of generosity, temples of care and restriction.
Parenting is a lush forest of boundaries.
How is it ok that black mothers must add a necessary protective measure by giving their children “the talk” about the danger of police?
In my own world, within the sacred space of our home, I watch my own kids grow. They teach me when to tighten, when to loosen, when to change the terms and conditions of our contract. I fuck it up all the time. And it takes major discipline and strict boundaries to not go down the road of self hatred, and to teach myself to accept myself.
I gotta let the borders change and reshape themselves according to what is needed.
Boundaries need to be permeable. Fluid. Flexible. Ever changing.
If we protect ourselves too much, put up walls, and close off channels of communication when we experience the discomfort of seeing something unpleasant, and learning something difficult about ourselves, we will never know intimacy. Surface will forever stay our domain. We will never grow. Our roots will have nowhere to go.
Boundaries too tight become rigid walls.
Boundaries too light become puddles.
Boundaries unclear become the ground for aggressive or passive aggressive behavior.
For anything to grow we must first protect it within the womb.
For anything to flourish we must first plant it within the boundaries of the dark soil of the earth.
For anything to continue its journey, to deepen its roots, to bear fruit, we must allow the boundaries to change.
We must sit in the threshold and look at what we’re taking in, what we’re bringing forth, which aspects of the collective we want to be part of, and what parts of our own individual self do we want to bring into expression.
We have to become the barrier, so that we can break down systems of oppression. We have to define boundaries, so that we can break through walls.
To put it in yogic terms, we have to become Ganapati – the elephant in the room. Slow moving, and asking you to pause. So big, it becomes the barrier. So strong, it can break through walls. We get to become present to what is really here – there’s no way around some of the elephants that 2020 has placed in our doorways. Ganapati, or Ganesha, sits in the midline, and governs the inbetween space, where before we inhale we ask ourselves what we want to bring in through that breath, and before we exhale we ask ourselves what we need to release, let go of, and defund.
You can cultivate, excavate, call in, and/or generate this discerning, wise, powerful, presence.
Here’s a simple and potent practice you can do, to help wake this necessary power of breakthrough, that is interwoven with the process of making clear boundaries. Commit to doing it daily until the Full Moon on the 4th Of July, or for 40 days. Take 5-20 minutes to be with it:
Sit comfortably and bring awareness to your breath. Soften your eyes, and allow the attention to take rest in the space between inhale and exhale, and in between your exhale and inhale. Close your eyes when you’re ready, and keep breathing with this awareness. Feel the earth beneath your hips. Notice gravity, and allow yourself to slow down. Put your hands in Chin Mudra – Thumb and index fingers gently touch. When you’re ready, begin to chant or silently recite the mantra : Aum Gum Ganapataye Namaha. Allow the mind and heart to stay open, so that you can listen to what comes through you.
May we honor the pause that begs us to slow down and change our ways
May we let our discomfort educate us
So that we can write the history of the future with the broken tusk of the past
And allow the present to show us our capacity to break through limitations
As we reconsider our relationship to how the world works
May we protect vulnerable bodies
May we break down our defenses
And allow self inquiry to guide us to new territories within our minds
All while restructuring the workings of this world
And reorienting our collective life force
To the vulnerable beauty of our differences
And the undeniable power of our shared humanity.