I'm feeling quite reflective this month. There's been a lot of life changes that piled up in a short span. We've moved from New Orleans up to Colorado for the summer and fall. The backend of my business, the people who help keep all this going, have left me. We rescued a puppy last week who ended up needing life changing surgery once he was in our care (he pulled through!). I had just finished traveling to the Bahamas for a creative trip right before all of this, a place and headspace where I find incredibly inspired. I felt centered, in balance and aware of my path moving forward. Then July happened. With the flip of a switch I was thrust away from the center.
I sat with tea this morning watching the sun come up over the mountain and reflected on what all of this change was trying to tell me. I was reminded of my favorite talk on balance and creativity by Elizabeth Gilbert for Ted. It's worth listening to the whole things but some of my favorite key takeaways:
Success and failure both throw you equally as far from the center. One is seen as bad, one as good but both fling you far from balance
The only way to find center again is to do what you love, what brings you the most joy
The one constant? Change. Change is always constant. That's one of those weird chunks of knowledge to constantly chew on. It never really makes any sense.
Here are some reminders on refocusing life into the simplest terms:
Find What Brings You Calm
I know that writing and photography bring me joy and satisfy an urge to create. I know that getting back into my daily ashtanga practice will hurt like a B at first but ultimately will bring me calm.
Find Where Brings You Calm
Nature, Nature, Nature. This has become a non-negotiable for me. I'm a big believer that place can alter your progress if it's the wrong fit. Understand yourself, understand what you surround yourself with and how it affects you. I had a few healers who have told me during treatments that they didn't understand why I would gravitate towards New Orleans. For someone who is a blue lover and air dominant I need open space and natural elements in order to feel in balance.
Find Who Brings You Calm
I'm an energy vampire so if I'm around the wrong people, I'm done for. Watch who is there for you during your finest and worst moments. The people who don't clap in your fine moments or pick you up in your worst are not to be trusted. Only you know your true self and what brings you joy. No one else has had your experiences in life. No one else spends as much time with you as you spend with you.
Study Your Intuition
Last night I studied the stars. They are so clear up here! It reminded me that we are not alone in our guidance but we are disconnected from those invisible forces. We no longer have a strong animalistic intuition. It's clouded with blue light from screens, light, noise and distractions. The more you can harvest your intuition the more balance you will find. The internal compass is still there. Make no mistake, your gut is smarter than your head. We are already finding how important our gut is to our mental state, disease, etc. It has a strong pull and will not lead us away from what we truly are meant to do.
Let's not hold our breath and wait. Take good in, exhale what isn't working. Controlling our breath takes trust. If you've ever practiced Pranayama as an anxious shallow breather, you know that breath retention practice is kind of hellish. I never really enjoy it when I first start doing it but at some point it needs to be confronted to grow.
I'm accepting change and challenging myself to seek what swings life back into balance. Balance is a word that has a strange dichotomy of noun and verb. You want to find balance but you also have to create balance. It's a viscous cycle. But if we can start to view cycles as natural progressions and evolutions rather than taking a pounding in a washing machine, we can accept change with grace and fluidity!