How is your body feeling as the moon wanes, post its blue lunar fullness?
How is your heart, as the sun’s power slowly surrenders to shorter days?
How is your mind dealing with the spinning of the world through this phase in global pandemic, this wave of humanitarian crisis, this hit of natural disasters?
I hope that you give yourself a few gentle pauses throughout the day to check in with yourself, and to check in with loved ones. We all need moments of noticing, moments of being witnessed, and moments to listen and hold space.
I’ve been sharing with you a lot of my thoughts about going back to normal, and how not normal is the new normal, of how we could benefit from embracing and leaning into uncertainty, and of how this liminal space can offer us deep transformation on many levels.
Pema Chodron says: “Anyone who stands on the edge of the unknown, fully in the present without reference point, experiences groundlessness. That’s when our understanding goes deeper, when we find the present moment is a pretty vulnerable place. Completely unnerving and completely tender at the same time.”
While the ground beneath our feet keeps moving, changing, falling, and leaving us hanging, it is also asking us to actively participate in the reformation of the world, as we excavate profound wisdom from our pilgrimage to the dark unknown.
This is the time of year (in the northern hemisphere) when the earth shows up in her full abundance, right before she plunges into darker days. Harvest ushers us toward Fall. We come close to the ground as gravity pulls into her all that is ready to be picked. We are sorting through fruit and functions, figuring out what works and what doesn’t. As the season moves toward disorder, into a phase of scattering leaves and seeds with the wind, we might find the need for structure and order in preparation for it (Hello, Virgo season!).
Many of us have been reshaped by isolation. It’s a messy process. It takes focus, as well as breaking up with perfectionism, to dissolve so much of what we have ever known and who we have ever been. And then to reorient ourselves, and then to rebuild.
Isolation is a mind fuck, but it is also a container for self inquiry, contemplation, innovation, and growth. Even the most introverted people are hit by the lessons learned in the lonely caves of Covid.
I’ve always been an outsider, even though I love people. I am a loner in my nature. But also a community nurturer. I feel more alone and less like I belong with every day that goes by, yet more connected and deeply impacted by the whole.
It never felt like a problem for me to live within a dichotomy. Leather jacket, smoking in the bathroom A student. Ballet and Heavy Metal. Skull rings on fingers that played Beethoven on the piano. Witch with constant need for scientific proofs. Yoga, green juice, and a jaded attitude. Hiding in my cave, but ready for my closeup. Devoted mother and an eccentric wild woman. Howling at the moon and washing dishes. We are who we are, which is always more than one thing. And we are also an ever changing presence of complexity, paradox, and contradiction.
I’ve never felt the interconnectedness of everything and everyone as strongly as I do now, and yet I’ve never been more disconnected from a sense of community.
I’ve learned to appreciate the capacity to be and to experience myself not as just one thing, but as many. People love to talk about the True Self. I don’t think that we need to reduce ourselves in this way. What makes us authentic is our ability to hold and flow with the whole of ourselves.
Truth can be both reductive and expansive. What makes things true is that they’re facts. What makes something true is the fact that there is more to it. Things that ring true to us are often myths, symbols, poetry, art, metaphors, and interpretations. Truth is both simple and complex.
I do find it helpful in this day and age to see that there’s more to the story than the way that I see it, more than one perspective that is true, and that the answers to many of the questions people are grappling with right now are not simple or clear. AND – let’s be really clear – there are facts in the world, and we have to start there.
As we go from fact, through opinion, to interpretation, and into meaning making, we might find that we are left to carve our own path in this new and confusing world. The territories we are traversing have not been walked through before. This might be a lonely experience.
You are creative, and your innovative spirit is called to the task. The process might be a mess, because revolutionizing the world is not an orderly biz.
As we reorganize, restructure, and rebuild reality, traveling unfamiliar roads, we will need to rely on each other, support one another, and grow roots into collective soil.
The comfort of our own bodies, the health of our own families, the care for our own tribe, are all woven into the fabric of the whole. Society and the ecological systems of which we are a part depend on the individual choices we each make. Our decisions are closely connected to the well being of others.
Some of us feel like we are left to walk alone and figure things out on our own. We must remember that how we do it, and what we do in our isolated caves does influence more than our own lives.
May we respect the breath that is touched by the world, as it moves into our lungs.
May we honor the space in our hearts that holds the whole world that comes into us through inhalation.
May we allow the nourishment of the interconnectedness between world and self to flow through the body.
May we bless the blood that flows back into the heart, filled with what we are ready to give back.
May we honor the offering that we make as we release the breath from our lungs.
And may we respect the impact that it has on our environment when it touches the world through our exhale.
May the pause in the space before the world journeys back on the wings of prana into your lungs, be filled with care, and awareness of the gifts and the responsibilities of interconnectedness.
From my solitary path to the cave of your heart – so much love.