Two months ago, without planning, I decided to go on a very special type of cleanse: I withdrew from all types of social media for one month.
Fear, and its many declinations, is not a favoured topic, I know.
Fear is, culturally speaking, one of our very favourite topics. Disguised in layers of judgemental slurs, bold red letters, makeup, photoshopping (funny how this could read photo-shopping), what-will-others-think?
How do I overcome and grow? Two things have helped me.
Change is the only constant. I’ve been dealt this teaching over and over. Now I seek it, sometimes to a fault. I enjoy change, I enjoy the learning, the challenge, the reaffirmed knowledge that I’m OK, that I can take it, that I am resourceful, that I have what it takes. That while everything seems to fall into pieces, everything is falling into place.
This change is no different. I had been contemplating the possibility of renewing my website for some time, but the tech-burden seemed impossible to overcome. Every excuse was valid to postpone until it was made clear to me that change was inevitable.
It’s not easy to move one’s internet dwelling. Like with any move, some things were lost or broken. All the like and share counts on my posts are gone, so are all the comments. The pictures have been violently separated from their posts, and I honestly doubt that I will have enough time, patience, and (frankly) priority to reunite them all.
Luckily, most of my texts are still in Scrivener, and some did make it intact in the backup files. I do wonder however if I’d rather forget them all and start anew. If you ask me, I’d rather spend my time writing new entries than piecing the old ones together. I’d rather look forward.
So, without further ado: Welcome to my new digs! I hope you like them as much as I do and that you’ll visit often. I have lots of sweet and calming surprises for you.
My goal is to inspire you to believe that you can move from overwhelm and indecision to calm and clarity, so you can know what you really want and you can make it happen powerfully, in harmony with your wellbeing.
Change is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard. All you have to do is make space for the pieces to fall in their place.
There is something waiting to be born. Something wanting to be brought to life. And I keep searching. I keep trying new things, digging into another box, scripting my life away. Yet, that thing, that something that awaits won’t reveal itself. Am I not listening?
I’ve been searching with my head, jumping at every new hint. Have I been looking in all the wrong places? Have I been obscuring reality with distractions?
I’ve been ignoring all the signs. Now I know where the answers are. I know where that something is. And it’s buried safely in the darkest, scariest place. The only place I’ll avoid at all cost: me.
There is only one way: the one within.
I’ve been making friends with stillness for some time now. It’s been cordial, sometimes sweet. I thought we could leave it at that, until I realized that stillness, immobility, really scares the hell out of me. I love movement, I crave it. I confuse movement with “being alive.” All this air and space within needs to keep moving, or else…
Or else what? I’ll vanish. Stillness takes me as close to oblivion as I will ever get, on this side of the fence anyway.
My immobility, the part of me that doesn’t change, resides in the depths, in the place of nothingness. And I have to go there to meet it. I have to meet with immobility, and love it with all I’ve got until there is no love anymore, until there is nothing left.
F*cking feels like the edge of a cliff.
I haven’t written in a while.
Didn’t feel like it. Didn’t want to.
Or maybe that was writer’s block.
To be fair,
I haven’t done much of anything at all.
Didn’t feel like it. Didn’t want to.
I sat, and I sat.
waiting for it to repeat itself.
When I finally started to listen
(Man, I can be stubborn sometimes!)
My body just really wanted me to know,
to know how tired I am, have been,
And so, I rest.
I sit, and I sit.
I have severe bouts of melancholy. My friends and husband can attest to it, they’ve seen me on my “quiet” days, when I don’t feel like talking much, when I don’t care if it’s green or black tea, when I frankly should have cancelled our time together because I’m giving the impression I’d rather be elsewhere - or rather that I am elsewhere in my head.
I have long fought against it, judged myself for being “so soft.” I’ve tried to identify triggers, I’ve tried to control my environment, I’ve tried to surround myself with happy music, movies, and people. It doesn’t work. It just makes it worse.
Truth is, what harm is it to be melancholy? Why is it such a bad thing? Why is it expected of me to be happy, smiley face every day? That doesn’t sound real to me. True happiness is not a 100% setting all the time. True happiness is knowing that everything, whether good or bad, is temporary. Some days, I just don’t feel like smiling my ears off, it doesn’t mean I’m depressed, or that I don’t like you, or that I don’t have my shit together.
So please, please stop asking me if I’m OK and if I want to talk about it. Some feelings are just too deep for words, some internal contradictions cannot be resolved by the mind. I just need time and space to process and digest.
I understand that this is a touchy subject. And you might be thinking that I’m justifying my mood swings, or I haven’t yet reached nirvana. The confusing piece is that there is a blatant disregard of the truth in the yoga world regarding happiness. We picture ourselves in yoga poses on the beach with our big smiles. How luminous, brilliant wide smile-asana! I’m happy, you’re happy, we’re happy. If you haven’t mastered that pose yet, keep trying.
Truth is, yoga never made any promises regarding happiness - in fact, I’ve never seen it mentioned in any traditional texts. The true yogi understands that happiness is neither a goal, nor a fixed state. Feelings come and go, they evolve, they transform. Without our ability to recognize our feelings and to honour them, we become empty masks. I try to put up face, of course I do! On Facebook, in my classes, I don’t want people to think I’m depressed. But I can’t help but think that if, as yoga teachers, we acknowledged our feelings, we would be much better guides.
In times like these, I look up to Dhumavati, the crone Goddess of Disappointment and Letting Go. She’s taught me many things over the past two years. If her nature is to obscure the obvious, it is to better reveal the hidden, the unknown. Unlike other Mahavidyas, she is depicted as old, and she isn't beautiful. She represents what we avoid, what we turn away from in an effort to ignore. Indeed Dhuma, in Sanskrit, means smoke. Like the smoke of sorrow and melancholy, she obscures something to reveal another. A messenger of sorts, an ally.
When we honour Dhumavati's wisdom by “giving reverence to sorrow and disappointment as Divine friends who have come to teach us the limitations of the body-mind,” she rewards us with clarity. Melancholy is an opportunity to dig deeper, to uncover what we have left undone and what our true life purpose longs for.
As today’s melancholy bout comes to an end, I am thankful for its light. I understand myself and my mission in this world a little better.
*Quote pulled from Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses by David Frawley.