"A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever really grows there."
Watching the snow drift down, touching the earth softly as if it were whispering a precious secret in the language of stillness, I can feel my own inner tides slow, as placidity takes motions place. There is a silencing of the world when it snows - a softening that is most perceptible via the senses. Senses that extend beyond the five realms of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. The senses that are invoked and called alive, primal stirrings of that tiny spark of madness inside each of us. Call it what you wish - Soul, Spirit, Universe, Mystery, Energy - we are all animated by a force much larger, more vast and complex than we could ever imagine. It's a force that animates the entire Universe. From the blades of grass beneath our feet to the stirring and spinning galaxies that light up the dark void of space, each and every particle and every bit of space within those particles is made of this "stuff" of life.
When you breathe in, you're inviting the breath of the world into your body. When you breathe out, you become a part of the breath of the world.
There is a belief that through the microcosmic universe of each of us the macrocosmic Universe is seeking to know itself. Each of us could be perceived as a cell within a larger Universal body, buzzing around so as to perform tasks that are specific and necessary to our existence. In this theory of the Universe seeking to understand itself, experience becomes a necessity. To feel pain and joy, love and loss, grief and gratitude, despair and forgiveness - these are all a part of what has been deemed "the human condition." Though I might argue such experience-producing emotions are not confined to the realm of homo sapiens, but extend to the "Other than Human" beings of this world, for they too are in fact "being." For simplicity's sake, I shall stick to the two legged creatures that walk around without fur or feather. We are the microcosm within the macrocosm!
To exist is to feel, and to feel is an immense gift. Yet, life can barrel in upon us, wave after wave, overwhelming our senses. Senses that remind us of our existence. Senses that insist we remember one very important detail - that we're alive! Part of this living that we do involves a great deal of healing. I am not referring to a healing that is relegated to the "fix it" category, but rather to the realm of "wholing". Wholing involves reuniting all of the aspects and pieces of who we are, no matter how shiny and bright or deliciously dark. Healing, in this sense, is not so much about remedying an ailment, but rather remedying the relationship we share to such dis-eases within the psyche and soma. Feeling becomes a pathway toward healing. For healing is and always will be a transformative process.
When we feel something, anything, we can generally classify whether such an experience is pleasant or unpleasant. And, of course, there exists a spectrum of intensity between and within both. If one feels love, there are accompanying sensations that can be detected within the body, from tingling and warming to expansion and lightness. If one feels fear, there are accompanying sensations that range from contractions in the heart, a tightening of the throat, and a churning within the solar plexus. Such sensations elicit meaning and connection, and hold great wisdom that sing songs of transformation. In order to access this primal wisdom of knowing and being one must stop long enough to feel.
And feeling can be quite a terrifying endeavor, particularly when we are raised in a society that teaches us to objectively look at our experiences; to logically ascertain the messages, thereby sterilizing our experience.
To feel is often synonymous with irrational behavior, weakness, and stupidity. Yet, we are born into this world as feeling-based beings first, and thinking-based beings second. Feeling is the pathway to living, and living involves a constant birthing and dying of self after self. If it weren't for the exuberant, mind-blowing and shattering aspects of both, we would likely not know that in such moments we have stepped through a threshold of growth. Transformations become portals into new worlds of existence, and no matter how many numbers or chains of words you throw at an experience to describe it, in the end one must feel an experience in order to call such!
Life is Messy!
Feelings make life "messy." The humor behind such a statement rests in the illusion that we control any and all of life. Life is messy. It always has been and always will be. Paradoxically, the more we attempt to assert our perceived control over life, the messier it becomes. Which is why I do believe those crazy Yoginis and Yogis have always been on to something - that to rest in a space of non-action, to sit in stillness and watch the snow fall, is in fact a great act. Within such moments we enter into the fullness of life. Fluctuations that present sinuous currents of movement and relationship remind us of how interconnected we are to all of life. Moments of stillness from which we can engage the act of listening deeply, to hear the seed sounds of life, are the moments in which we feel. To feel the sting, ache and embrace of life... the uncertainty within each moment. Being reminds us of both our own impermanence as well as our infinite existence. By being a cell within the Universal body of everything; and energy that will never truly die but simply transform, we become but a piece of a magnificent whole that is in a constant dance toward evolution. An evolution that is catalyzed by a desire to remember.
So, the next time you pause long enough to feel the moment that you're in, ask yourself these questions:
In what way does this moment help me to remember who I am at the depths of my heart and the furthest stretches of my soul?
Who is the "I" at the center of the microcosmic Universe that is "me" that breathes and feels its way through the world?
In this way, remembering becomes an honoring of life - a prayer to all of existence. Prayer being the voice of love emanating from each being; a call to the numinous and mysterious source that animates all of life.