Last night during a session with a client we laughed as I stated
There’s beauty in the breakdown.
Yes, I know….that is not something I made up. It’s a song by Frou Frou “Let Go”
This is how my mind works…..or the way the Universe sends me downloads to help relay the teachings to my clients and to you all:)
During quarantine one of my clients was reading “When Things Fall Apart:” by Pema Chodron and found it to be quite insightful. While I have read much of Chodron’s work, I hadn’t read this book; that is unti now.
My life, as all of our lives, has been crumbling right under my feet. In our last chat Finding Ground Within we discussed the Buddhist concept of groundlessness and Chodron’s teachings. Groundlessness is the full on acceptance that there is never truly ground under our feet. The ground or foundation that we believe is there is an illusion created to make the uncertainty of life more tolerable.
The title of this book almost sounds like “oh yeah you know that time when things fell apart?” Or “You know the other shoe does drop at some point.” It doesn’t make me think, “Oh yeah like right now when the world feels like it’s on fire and the average person is ready to aggressively bite your face off if you speak or look at the them the wrong way.” But hey, its a sign of the times. Life is changing rapidly and with change comes turmoil and chaos which is exactly the point we are all in.
While I refuse to use the term “new normal,” I have come to more readily accept that I am in a new chapter of my life. I am six months from turning a milestone age. An age that so doesn’t correlate to how I feel. A spiritual friend told me a while ago that this was an age where I would be entering into great change. He said “Stephanie when one thing changes, everything changes. It triggers off a domino effect and that seems to be exactly where you are in life.” Yup, for better or worse, that does feel correct.
I spent a good portion of the past several months fighting said change. It wasn’t until I gave up my office to transition to an online business for the long term that acceptance began to settle in. After much playing in the ocean and watching the waves float (or as in Maine… crash:) I had an epiphany. A moment last week while in the water I thought…
Yeah Steph, this is exactly what it’s like
The waves keep moving whether you want them to or not.
The tide only changes when the time is right.
The tide comes in and it moves out. That level of consistency is only captured through change. Just as they say…
The only constant in life is change.
This also reminds me of a teaching in Thich Nhat Hanh;s book, “No Death, No Fear.” He states that the Buddha taught
When conditions are sufficient they manifest.
When conditions are no longer sufficient they withdraw.
They wait until the moment is right for them to manifest again.
Ah yes, Sensei, you are correct sir.
Maybe this is exactly what the coronavirus and these times is all about. We are being sent into hiding to look at ourselves and our society to take stock on how we are living.
I definitely feel this is the case for me. We have obviously seen a big shift towards slowing down. While there have been times when I have gotten very restless, a greater sense of peace has started to come over me. I am enjoying the space that I have in my life to have tea with the birds on my fire escape rather than quickly drinking my tea while emailing and doing admin work. The moment my eyes open in the morning an internal smile comes over me because I know that I have this time to create a morning transition. For the sake of full disclosure, I am NOT a morning person so this ritual has made getting up that much more inviting. Ha ha ha…
Just in the past week, it has begun to feel like time is sufficient again. Maybe it’s radical acceptance or possibly just the passage of time: most likely a little of both. But I have found the spark of life and glimmer in my eyes is come back. A project I have wanted to do for a long time just recently got completed.
Yup folks I present to you my very first YouTube video on my own channel! I am officially now a YouTuber…lol. I say this in jest but quite honestly who knows where this is all going.
Things have fallen apart for all of us and working towards putting it back together in a new way is the work we all have moving forward. Now that my business is completely online, there are moments of excitement (like when filming this video) that are at times overcast by hints of loss as occurs during the process of grief. With loss there is gain…but there is still loss.
As time passes, the things that weren’t working have fallen (and continue to fall) away creating more space for something new and totally different. It seems that for a lot of us, the change that is being forged is forcing us into the dark caves we have avoided for a long time. People have told me for a long time that I should be online. Me? I say. The person who freaks out when doing anything tech oriented? Yes they have said. Yes.
I am now finding my sea legs along with a deeper sense of inner peace come over me as I slowly take my forward steps.
In a discussion on her book “Radical Acceptance Revisited” Tara Brach stated
Whatever we can’t embrace with love imprisons us. No matter what it is.
If we are at war with it, we stay in prison.
I often share with my clients “what we resist, persists.” We can all collectively and individually fight the changes that are occurring but that does not mean they aren’t or won’t occur. When we can give ourselves a little love and compassion, we can melt away the internal struggle that is being created when we are war within.
How are you working with the energies of this year? Have you found, like me, that you vacillate between being in prison and full on radical acceptance? What things are helping you embrace these changes and utilize the energy for your own transformation?
For me, I continue to dig deep during the moments of struggle and give myself the medicine I encourage others to take. This time allows for a lot more practice of yoga, meditation, journaling, bird watching, sunset gazing and playful time at the beach. There are lots of things that I can’t do right now but when I focus on that, the only thing that occurs is more suffering.
I leave you with blessings for a life transition that allows for more moments of inner peace and gratitude for the struggle. Because it is only through challenge that we are allowed to grow.
Cheers to embracing the beauty in the breakdown!