Well, here we stand at the precipice. Of what I have, this year, been referring to as ‘the collective psychosis’ that we all undergo – here in London and in many places in the world – that convinces us that we can increase our productivity by forty million times and get that to-do list completed ONCE AND FOR ALL in the last three months of the year.
Has anyone actually ever done this? Gotten it all done before the holidays, in the midst of the cocktail parties, the longer nights and shorter days, and the X-mas ‘do’s’? Without falling into an adrenal fatigue coma? I don’t know of anyone who has actually has. Report back, though, if you hold that mastery.
Mostly what I see around me – and mostly joining in despite my best intentions! – is people making themselves a whole mess of crazy with their own misguided sense of what needs to be done.
In fact, if we were living in harmony with the flow of nature, we would be trying to do much less now. Especially here in the Northern parts, where the days stretch into such a magical length in the spring and summer – and where the nights reach out to cloak and blanket the days in the winter. If we lived according to the cycles of the natural world, we would be getting our fullest work done from May 1 to August 1. We would keep enjoying the light and working from August 1 to September 21/22, when the days and the nights reach complete parity. Then we would start to slow down, go inwards, get things organised and ready for the ‘long night’ in December – a time for introspection, planting seeds of intention, meditation and attention to the more subtle dimensions of reality. The pace would start to pick up, gradually, as the light increases – from Feb 1 to May 1.
It is my sense that part of what is so stressful for many people is the push against the natural order itself. Bodies are animal and wild. Responsive – and ultra-sensitive. Many of us have become disconnected from our full-bandwidth intelligence – particularly our animal intelligence that is hooked up to the whole cosmos, so it seems to me.
Our bodies respond to the truth of everything with total innocence, and yet we go on with our crazy story-reality, and what we mistakenly think we are, and what we mistakenly think we know, and base what we need to do on those misunderstandings. So much of what the yoga and the spiritual practices are about is yanking us out of our self-induced trance of false presumption about ourselves and the world. It’s a re-sensitivity training. In my own life, a paradox has opened up. I am infinitely more resourced through my practices to face the bigger waves of life. And I am so much more sensitive, that I feel everything much more, which challenges every resource to the bone. Interesting.
This Autumn I am digging in DEEP. The whole tone of this year has been a bit like this; time to get super clear and focused and, essentially ‘keep my head down’. It’s been years since the continual practice of paying attention to everything that is going on in this moment has required such a level of focus and remembrance. Yet this year, I am riding the edge of that practice. And, the truth is, every time I just get connected to this moment, I find myself enjoying the tender vibrations of my life. Simple.
And I’ve been saying – singing, practically shouting my prayers. It’s so important to call myself into the realm of what is WILDLY important, my longing and my love. Mostly inchoate – less like a prayer for something in particular, more like the practice of listening to what I am actually feeling and letting it find words and song without being so fixed on an outcome. This is prayer – dwelling in my deepest wishfulness for myself and the world. And letting everything else fall into perfect place, with love and grace. Presence and Prayer – these are my highest resources for meeting my life fully now.
I hope you are well-resourced and anchored in your presence and your prayer as you read this. Let me know how you are doing, I love to hear from you.