When do you work through your pain with vigor, recognizing it as a stagnancy that needs to be pushed? And when do you soften completely to the malady that needs tender loving care? Is the pain we experience in the physical and psychic being just another movement of Spirit offering us something great? Can we find the abundance in the dance?
With the beginning of a new summer cycle, the temperatures of the desert have peaked, as have the lessons that come with the season of fire! I am witnessing that at some moments my physical and psychic being is needing rest and recovery to meet the intensity, and other moments is starving to be pushed to feel a kinship with nature and her passionate inferno. My running practice is resting in my cells as I am not able to beat the heat, so I have surrendered. My home and yard are not nearly as tidy as this Virgo would typically keep. Even food preparations are slowing down. Some of the emotional explorations seem to be taking more energy to attend to with the thick hot air. Yet, I have kept up my commitment to these explorations, and to my cushion for seated meditation and my yoga mat for physical practice and to a commitment of expanding my capacity for joy, adventure, and connection to the precious tribe I am surrounded by.
I recognize this season as one of receiving all that has come before. In this practice, I am with the desire not only to reflect on what was, but to feel into how past wisdom and experience is being creatively expressed in my life right now. How have I been assimilating the teachings I sought out, consciously and unconsciously? Am I able to own my amazingness in a most human way? And what I mean by this is: Can I be generous with myself in just how light and sparkly I am? Can I be generous in just how incredibly disillusioned and ignorant I can still be, but with perhaps a bit more humor?
The theme of the light and dark is a thread I am constantly exploring. And in these navigations, the division between them is becoming less defined, as one always accompanies the other. In my own temple of body, mind, and spirit I have been feeling places of great discomfort. This discomfort is allowing me the change to practice knowing when to burn through the sensations with a bit of fierceness, and when to surrender and gift myself a moment of complete vulnerability. The process and ever-changing results are proving exceptional. The flow is constant but the tempo and profundity is an amazing daily surprise.
With something as simple as a physical strain in my wrist that is reoccuring over the last few years, I can see this practice unfolding. To nurture this pain, I actually have discovered pushing through as the heat of a yoga practice warms the musculature to stretch where it is restricted. I am also discovering that when I am afraid of the tenderness, maintaining the courage to perservere leads to movement in my emotional body as well. When I allow support in from the outside, I am discovering surrender. In relationship to my wrist, in that softening, I can receive touch, and also be witnessed which leads to possibilities about what that ache could actually mean for me on a subtler level.
With a commitment to a practice of meditation I have a gauge for witnessing the continuations of my days and for moments when I am reacting versus responding to all that arises. Whether it be the physical pain in my wrist, the discomfort my gut is speaking, or the heart tug of learning the ins and outs of my new family configuration, I have seen that some of my pushing is a dysfunctional coping mechanism to life, trying to control that which cannot be controlled.
I can hold my comparisons and the results of those comparisons with compassion, and I can get more active with my discipline of mind-training. I can also acquiesce that as a person I will hurt, I will fall down, I will get up, I will celebrate, and I will grow. And I am humble enough to realize that I have most certainly missed many teachings that are right in front of me. The practice for me is– can I appreciate that these experiences are what it is all about? Can I recognize how Spirit is moving without getting too arrogant with the idea that it should be different?
Tucson gets quieter in the summer months. People spend more of their time indoors, and have to plan their day carefully if they want to attend to something that involves the outdoors. However, responsibilities are still necessary. My relationship to it all must flow like the sweat that is constant at this time of year. The sweet expectancy of monsoons is a treasure, but the heat building up to a rain is like a sauna that you just can’t escape. I believe the summer storms with their lightening and thunder makes it all worth it in the end, but for me, meeting the heat is a practice.
After living in the desert for more than half of my life, I am aware that there are still a few months of commitment to this fiery exploration of Spirit and her choreography of the subtle and more grand expressions of intimacy with being authentically and brilliantly alive. I am welcoming the journey with an amorous heart. I am commiting to being curious in each moment. I am deciding to meet what is unfolding as it is with less of an ego-driven agenda or assumption of where the dance is leading me.