Monday, November 17, 2014

The River~

"Into the same river, we do and do not step."

Christina Sell shared this teaching in a workshop I attended a little while back. She was paraphrasing a well known quote by the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, which is: "No man ever steps into the same river twice." They both mean the same thing, but like the above version best.  Anyway,  when Christina shared this teaching in class,  I thought I understood the teaching then.  In hindsight, however,  I really understood only the basic premise of the teaching which is:  things change and we change. Yes, this is the gist of that particular teaching, but it's not the heart of the lesson, at least not for me anyway.  

As I was driving Lila around town while she slept the other day, I was taking in my new and not so new surroundings.  And what I realized during my drive, is that Flagstaff has lost a little bit of it's charm for me.  Now, this sounds worse than I mean it to, so let me explain. What I mean is that before moving back to Flagstaff, all I had was my memory of Flagstaff from 10 years ago. And my memories from that time are really pretty good, and most of them are happy memories.  In fact,  when I first moved to Flagstaff in 1998,  I came to continue the healing of my broken heart and to regain my confidence and connection to myself. I covered a lot of inner ground over the 6 years that I was here. 

Anyway, I guess when we decided to move back, I thought the move would be easier and that the feeling of Flagstaff that I remember would come back too.  And the feeling that I have carried with me all this time, is that this was the place that felt the most like home to me out of all the places I have ever lived.  Being an army brat with a long history of moving, and moving often,  home has always been an elusive thing to me. Add to this the fact that this is the place where Jason and I met and fell in love, and this is the place where I began my yoga practice, and you can understand why I hold this place in high regard. So because of my history here in Flagstaff, I thought that I would quickly feel at ease and at home here, but this has not been the case.  

Hence the saying, "into the same river, we do and do not step."  We can go back to the same river, to the same spot, at the same time, in the same clothes later down the line, but the river will not be the same. The river will not be the same because the current of the river is always moving and changing.  And that same river will not be the same because we too are different from one day to the next. We too continue to move and change. This is Life. 

Life and the river are one and the same. Life is no different from the river, it is the river: moving, flowing, changing, expanding, contracting, clear, muddy, raging, calm. How appropriate that this teaching is coming to me at this time when I have been searching for clarity and direction. Thank goodness I was listening when this quote was being whispered to and through me because that single moment of clarity helped me understand so much! 

And what I have come to realize, as I have struggled so much internally over the last few months, is that I thought I could come back to Flagstaff and re-create what I love and remember about this place and that it would feel the same as it did then.  I guess I've been chasing after an idea or ideal, a feeling of home and completeness, a feeling of the peace of belonging and of things making sense.  And now it is clearer than ever to me that it's impossible to re-create any one moment or thing in life because life is not meant to be re-created, it is meant to be created one moment and experience at a time.  
You enjoy what you have when you have it, and you stay open to all the other gifts and surprises that life has to offer you along the way.  All this is so obvious and intuitive and yet,  here I am just now getting it. 

It's like I've been living in the past and chasing the future, and it doesn't work.  And this way of living leaves everything in my life right now in an absolute blur. And maybe this is precisely the reason why I've been feeling so tired, confused and lost. Maybe all I need to do is find my way back to the center of the moment and all will get clear again, and I will begin to feel like myself again.  

So all this is to say that my life feels strange.  My life feels foreign to me at the moment, and I feel foreign to myself even though I am in a place that I know very well.  I am the same, and I am not the same. And this is all really fascinating and eye opening to me. I guess you could say that this is a turning-the-corner moment.  This is good, and I'll take it! In fact, it's imperative that I state that I am Grateful for this insight because it will help me move forward. 

As life flows on,  I will be sure to embrace the new and make a more concerted effort to try new things and allow for myself and my life to truly evolve.  As I do this, I will continue to let go of the old things I've obviously become a little to attached to so that I don't miss the chance to welcome whatever else wants to come into my life. 

Oh life! you are a fine balance that is hard to keep. And there again, I am reminded that there is no keeping anything. There is only living everything and loving the moment while you are in it.  

Awake and open,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Good Enough

I just read this great quote on Face Book and it couldn't have come at a better time...

"Done is better than good."
(Liz Gilbert and her mom)
"Don't let great be the enemy of good."

Just start and get it done!  I have been working on this blog post for nearly a week and have yet to finish it!  So here I am, sitting in the living room, tapping away on the keys while Lila sleeps.  So, where shall I begin?  Oh, that's right, anywhere will do.  Just begin and get it done and out there today!

So how are things?  How is life up North? And what's going on in general?  Well, let's see, Summer ended the day after the Fall Equinox. Not long after that, came the cooler temperatures and colored leaves, and the socks and shoes and the long sleeves. Fall here has been beautiful, and I have loved being able to feel and see the beauty of this season in all it's radiant glory.  

It's funny the details you are able to notice when you haven't seen or experienced something in a long time.  One of the things that I have noticed about the Autumn season is just how fast it comes and goes.  One day,  you see a slight change of color in the leaves and then before you know it, all the leaves on the trees are gold or red or orange and then the leaves let go of the branch and fall effortlessly to the ground. The trees are full of vibrant color and then they are bare. There is no hesitation in the change or the fall. And that has been such a sweet thing to witness. Nature is a great teacher. 

As this season has progressed,  I've discovered that I love the smell of the smoke from the wood burning stoves mingling with fresh, mountain air, and the sound the leaves make when they're blown down the street or when you crunch them under your feet. And the cool, crisp air that this autumn season brings feels refreshing and invigorating. So, in short, Fall has been amazing. And my body and soul feel more in tune with this time of change.  In other words, it feels more natural to me to want to stay in and cook or cuddle up on a cold, gray day than it does on a hot, sunny one.  So this aspect of things that I am experiencing up here in Flag are really, really good. And I am thankful for that. 

As for the rest of life here, things have been up and down.  Things have felt hard at home with Liam and his intense moments of ups and downs, which may be due in part to him not eating enough every couple of hours or just getting too tired and overstimulated at school.  Either way, we are working hard to find a way to help him change some of his negative behavior and to help him even out his emotions for the betterment of us all.  Finding the right way to do that has been immensely challenging. Lila is doing well for the most part except for this whole waking up in the middle of the night from 12-2  thing several times a week, which I have not been loving at all. And all I can say is that lack of sleep sucks and is tough!  It's hard to feel motivated or clear headed when running on very little sleep. So I am hoping that there are less wake ups as she gets over this 5ths disease virus and starts to feel better. 

Then, there is this running your own business thing that Jason is doing, which obviously brings its own challenges and rewards. That said,  Jason is doing a great job and continually reaches out to make connections to help his ideas fly and to spread the word of his vision for his business (  I think he's pretty amazing at what he does and the ideas he comes up with. But it's all the waiting for people to respond or for things to gel that is the hard part.  Of course, this is a patience thing. You work and do and wait. Life is a lot like tending to a garden I suppose.  You dig and ready the soil, plant the seeds, water, weed and wait, and then, something sprouts up and out. It all takes time...

Add to all this already crazy up and down,  my own starting over teaching and all the stuff I feel coming up in me at this time and, well, it's been a rather interesting journey. To be very honest, it's not been easy. I've been in such a hard place these last few months since our move.  And yes, a big move brings a lot up for anyone and everyone, but add to this an internal expansion or something or other and it's downright overwhelming. It's a double whammy transition, the kind that makes your head spin and makes you feel like you've lost your direction. Anyway, it's been hard, and I'm ready to be past this part.  And when I catch myself thinking like this, I have to remind myself that it has only been about 5 months since we moved! That's not a long time! And so here is my chance to remember to go easy on myself, to give things time to change and to let go of my expectations of how I think I should be handling everything.  Here is my chance to remember that I am doing just fine and that I am not failing. I am learning.  And here's my chance to think again of the quotes above:

"Done is better than good."  And "Don't let great be the enemy of good." 

Right now, it's about just showing up to my life to do what needs to get done.  Right now, it's just about showing up to practice, to write, to teach, to share, to connect in whatever way I can manage it.  Not everything I do has to be great or even good so long as I am showing up and doing something. And maybe this is the real lesson in all this: Just show up.  Or as the Nike motto goes: "Just do it!" 

Just do the best you can right now and know it will get better.