A mindful pause.
I have been sitting with my own patterns, the ebbs and flows, the ups and downs. I realise I experience suffering when not in flow. When my motivation and energy and focus are not aligned, I become anxious and at times, depressed.
For years and years I found flow in academic pursuits, the study of yoga and Buddhism, and also in teaching. These periods of flow could last months, and as I look back there are times when it may have been years. I have used these times well, I have helped others, I have had new experiences and learned new things, and I’ve grown as a human in the process.
I sit here, in this present moment, in one of those uncomfortable in between times, the periods of liminality, of having let go but not yet landed, still free falling, hoping for a safe place to ground. My feet unsure of what they will find, my mind unable to perceive anything more than a sense of direction, my heart allowing the feelings of uncertainty.
I am unsure.
Unsure of what the future will bring.
Unsure of which direction the world will head as we sit at this historic juncture.
Unsure which catastrophe is more likely to play out.
Unsure of how we will untangle ourselves from crisis and chaos.
Unsure of the order that will eventually ensue…compassion or control?
The tension between compassion and control is almost perceptible among the collective. Is this an open, inclusive space or a closed, exclusive place?
Open or closed.
Inclusive or exclusive.
Friendly or hostile…?
Safe or not?
People are being led by one of two things right now – hope or fear. In Australia we are about to vote for the next federal government. The topics distract us from the real question we are being asked.
The blue team are pushing security, a strong economy, a tight boarder, doubling down on defense and strategic political alliances. A stronger now, we can’t afford to think about the future – a vote for fear and status quo.
Try not to worry. Trust the people who understand these complicated things and you get on with your productive life and your favourite sport.
The red team are peddling universal health care, dignity in poverty, compassion in despair, an acknowledgement that suffering is likely to increase and spread, a collective response to the challenges ahead. A better future, we’ll all have to do it tough to get there – a vote for hope and transformation.
An acknowledgment of the complexity and the need to work together as this unfolds. We don’t know what the future will bring but we’ll face it together.
There’s also a green team, but the media are hoping we all forget about that. The media themselves, so sports oriented that they can’t compute that more than one team is playing this game. They portray a narrative that there can only be one of two winners, a grand final to be battled out in the thorny arena of press conferences and photo opportunities. Perpetuating the insanity of a system and rituals no longer fit for purpose.
The truth is, we need the blue to turn red and the red to turn green and the green to turn to deep blue…sky blue, ocean blue, the kind of blue you see on a world globe. A swirl of different blues that blend so beautifully with the greens and browns, the greys and reds, the colours of nature; at least those we can perceive.
We need to come back together, to shape a shared understanding of the now and collective vision of the future. We need strong, trustworthy leadership with a sense of direction and penchant for collaboration. We need leaders who are willing to explore different visions of the future, wonder about what is possible, who are willing to dream a little as they lead.
I am not left wondering why I cannot slip easily into flow.
The energy of the world is chaotic right now. Disorder and neuroticism are the rulers of the day. Those who seek to control are grabbing at power with both hands, those that seek to help are overwhelmed by their own compassion, and the sight of so much despair. Where do I direct my energy? Who can I help when the bombs are still dropping?
As I continue my practice, an imperfect one at that, I remind myself that this is all I have. The time to allow myself to just be, to do the things that need to be done – chop wood, carry water – rest and be ready.
I will be needed again soon enough.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be free from suffering.