“Do not fear ‘not knowing.’ In various phases and periods of our lives, this is as it should be….So maybe we stumble around in the dark for a while trying to find what calls us, but because we have managed to not talk ourselves out of being summoned by the wild one, we invariably stumble over the soulskin. When we breathe up that soul-state, we automatically enter the feeling state of “This is right. I know what I need.” -Clarissa Pinkola Estes, from Women Who Run with the Wolves
"Strictly speaking, no one has ever 'healed' anyone else. A true 'healer' simply remains present, providing a safe field in which unfamiliar and intense energies can be felt, bound-up emotions can be released, and we can come out of time, out of the drama and chaos of 'My Life', and breathe into our bodies, fall into our own presence, simplify. Healing is not a destination, nor a special power in the hands of a few, it is the re-contacting of that which is healed, already whole, beyond the healer and the healed - our true nature." - Jeff Foster
Reflecting on the anniversary of 9/11, I remember the whole city (and probably the whole country) was suffering from collective PTSD. It was thick in the air -our shock and grief- and yet I was working triple time to escape it. Clubbing, drinking, partying as much as possible- putting a band-aid over the gash which only fueled my anger, hate and pain. I remember the uncertainty- wondering what the world would look like next collectively and individually for myself. Not knowing felt unbearable. I've never been good at it despite the fact that my greatest growth, clarity and healing has always come from surrendering into that space with faith and hope (after resisting like a two year old of course). The world made no sense then and didn't seem like it ever would again.
And yet 15 years later- for the first time- I feel ready to visit the memorial and even the museum. For the first time, I watched the images from that gruesome day on the news and felt the sadness, reflected and mourned again without needing to go meet my friend at Coogan’s for shots and beers to take the edge off. A testament to the process of healing that started for me when I began this journey three years ago- a process that continues today and everyday of committing to this yoga thing, this meditation thing, this exploration of the divine thing.
Don’t get me wrong. I still struggle with escapism daily (one of the main culprits now is Netflix!) and I’m not knocking and actually quite enjoy a beer on a cold summer day, and a scotch on a cold winter night along with the company of good friends. But it's not about running away anymore; it’s now actually about being present. And when I am escaping, I’m aware that I’m doing it (most of the time anyway).
I still struggle with the "not knowing" stuff. The last three years have been a practice of learning to live with the discomfort of going from a stable corporate job with all the fixin's to the extremely rewarding but much more unpredictable calling of teaching yoga. Everyday I have to check in with myself, and trust that following the summoning of the wild flow will take me where I need to be.
I was talking with my best friend and soul sister the other day after she experienced a big loss about grief and making peace and how one day there is relief and comprehension, and the next day we are sitting in the wound again- throbbing, questioning, maybe regretting...and then the next day relief again. And how it goes on that way (sometimes for years) until the throbbing is less and the relief more. Or on the flip side one day we feel so in love with our partner, work, craft that our hearts are soaring and bursting out of our chest and the next day it may be more tempered, less heightened or it may feel downright hard and impossible. It applies to the lows AND the highs and the best we can do is stay curious, ride it with courage and faith, compassion and acceptance remembering that the one thing that is constant and steady is always accessible within each of us...that true nature we all share.
It's ALL a process. Healing. Growth. Forgiveness. Trusting. Loving. Grieving. Rejoicing. Making peace with not knowing, even when things are good and full of potential, our nature is to want to know where it’s going NEXT and every detail of how it’s going to play out robbing us of whatever “good” is in the moment.
I’m learning to BE with the processes. To let them take me IN and help me connect to my true nature. To embrace the exquisite possibilities of not knowing, and to see that my grief and pain are the keys to wisdom and healing if I move through, them instead of running around them.