I just finished reading the latest blog from the Yarn Harlot, entitled “Bridge.” In it, she describes her disdain for transitions. Specifically, she talks about traveling from one place to the next and the emotional and physical upheavals into which she is thrown. It struck me as interesting because late last year I wrote a blog with a similar emphasis on travel, except I took the opposite stance, describing what I loved about leaving places.
So as I was reading I started thinking about how much I enjoy the transition, the excitement of something different, the excitement of the upheaval, and furthermore, how I tend to struggle instead with readjusting once I have arrived and then maintaining a level of excitement once I am rooted.
For me, I feel as though the journey, the transition is the greatest part. There is something about having only exactly what I need, the bare minimum upon which I can survive, the supreme detachment to all of my stuff and then embarking on an adventure. It’s here that I can learn the most about myself because myself (or, you could say, my Self) is all I have. It feels like I’m living Truth. This, for me, is what life is about. The journey, the adventure, the learning, the revelation.
It is when I arrive that I am most thrown off guard. What do I do at the destination? Sometimes it feels as though I’ve forgotten why I initially intended to travel, having gleaned something I often feel is absolutely greater than I what I set out for in the first place. So I am there, and I have new information and new eyes. It would appear that I may never find myself lost while traveling, but may instead have no idea where I am when I arrive. Where do I set my things down? How do I interact with others? And generally, riding the Traveler’s High, I generally am thinking, When do we get to do it again?
So it’s safe to say I am not always most comfortable with the settling period. (Oh, by the way, if you haven’t caught on yet, I’m so very not talking simply about literal travel anymore…) Eventually, however, I do. And the next thing that comes is the attempts to stay excited about where I am. You could say I sometimes may confuse the word “stable” for “stagnant.” It happens in yoga (“When will my next ‘aha’ moment be?!”), it happens in my life (“This daily routine feels like I’m stuck in a hamster wheel!”).
As I’m writing and reading here, I am now able to see that the difference here is awareness and mindfulness of the present moment. In one situation- when I travel and experience detachment- I am fully alive. I am aware only of the present moment. In the other situation- when I am settled and becoming more attached to things or stuff or what have you- I am distracted and I lose this awareness.
Last night I had dinner with a friend and we had an extended conversation about balance and the middle path. As we talked about things happening in our lives, and the issues that were most important to us presently, we realized that at the core of every issue, we were trying to find the center between to poles. It seems that in this life we are always attempting to find balance. How can I be nice and not a pushover? Stern but not a bitch? How may I follow my heart and my own path without disregarding the feelings of others? How may I find myself both rooted and detached?
If I could find a way to see my life as the ceaseless journey it truly is, I could be fully aware and alive. There is no hamster wheel! Every moment is an ‘aha!’ moment!
Incidentally, I have just gone on the journey of this blog. I have traveled and explored. I have arrived at a destination, and I am lost. Now what? Now that I have gained some insight for myself, how do I apply it? How do I use it without overwhelming myself? At the end of yoga class we have 10 minutes lying in Savasana for deep relaxation, to let our practice sink in. Yet again, yoga gives us tools for real life applications of this new knowledge… My mind just did a really intense yoga practice and needs some Savasana.
I’m on to something here, I know it. It’s something I need to meditate on. It’s part of this transformation. I call my blog Living Dharma for a reason. I can find this middle path, or walk a lot closer to it on a more regular basis. I get closer every day and am grateful to think of myself as I was 2 years ago, 1 year ago, heck, 2 months ago and know that I get closer every day.