I’ve been trying to write a blog post about the difference between ‘cool’ and being genuinely relaxed; how both look similar objectively, but feel entirely different from an embodiment perspective. I was going to use a video of my partner relaxing on our honey moon as an example...
But it isn’t coming.
Instead i have this gnawing feeling about things falling dramatically apart around us. In my tiny sphere of influence i am aware of something in Britain falling apart. Notre Dame burning down. I am aware of the Extinction Rebellion week kicking off and feeling helpless here in my lounge room, not participating because of stuff i’ve ‘got to do’. The feeling that anything i offer is not enough anyway. Aware that when i watched part of an episode of Our Planet last night, chimpanzees gently playing, frogs breathing, grasses billowing in the breeze, that feelings of pain, grief, rage and hopelessness overwhelm me and tears come streaming down my face. So instead i watched a violent police drama. At least then my pain is displaced. My pain is put to one side for one evening. And the pain i’m feeling is felt instead by the characters in a fiction.
It is a time of not much trust.
At least not in me.
It is hard to write about ‘cool’ at the moment.
Maybe another day.
For The Embodiment Conference last year, i ran a session on staying in touch with our creative agency, asking how we can continue to make good decisions in the face of depressing news and terrible odds, because if we can't do that we are lost as a species. It was called Tools for Navigating the Zombie Apocalypse. It felt hopeful at the time and has informed a lot of my work moving forward. Things might be falling apart, but what can i do in my sphere of influence to look after my state and wellbeing enough to be able to keep treating people humanely and make small differences where i can?
I think this is all noble and good and today I am feeling hopelessness.
I am reminded that there is a shape in nature that reminds me how to be when things are falling apart. And it isn’t running around like a lunatic trying to put out small bonfires. It isn’t about throwing myself in the way of a Tsunami to try save everyone, or trying to stop the monumental tide that’s coming in. That is foolish heroics. It is about doing the very best I can to keep things living and surrendering to what i cannot control. The serenity prayer.
It isn’t a hopeful time. Today. For me. And that’s ok. Today i am surrendered to the truth of feeling hopeless. And I am trying to be ok with it. Trying to pull it around for you because i want a hopeful ending. Because yearning for a narrative that makes sense is part of it too. We are narrative making creatures. It is devastating to accept there may not be one.
And I look forward to the tide of a sense of what is possible flowing back in towards me at some point soon. Mean time, I find art helps. Making it. Being around it. Being in it. Having it around it. Finding metaphors to articulate my inner experience. And finding trees to lay under. Horizons to look out on.
This horizon was captured from the top of Devil's Dyke in the downs as the sun set. It was freezing cold and i was trying to record one of my somatic meditations. It didn't work. My fingers were too frozen to press the buttons properly. When i finally managed it, all i could hear on the recording was the howling wind. My voice muffled in the distance. I had to let the idea go, keep warm and surrender to the incredible vista.
Things fall apart the centre cannot hold…
I am encouraged by this beautiful quote:
‘For a seed to achieve it’s greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, I could look like complete destruction.’